Big Rock Candy Mountain

The official voice of the Deseret Liberation Organization

A Latin American leftist with a brain

Ecuador’s Rafael Correa seems to be a pretty chill bro, his contempt for the media notwithstanding. Adbusters has an article which, underneath the layers of pan-leftist Ph.D-speak, makes a point:

Ecuador’s act could be the beginning of a revolution in which leaders of developing countries realize that their obligation is to defend the well-being of citizens and not to submit to Western-imposed neoliberalist policy. Ecuador may not be wealthy, powerful or even politically relevant to most of the developed world, but it is now a beacon of strength for the dozens of countries spending more on loan interest than on health care and education. By choosing people before money and life before debt, Ecuador is beginning to make cracks in the capitalist system.

I believe the problems lie not with capitalism itself, but with the Friedman-Hayek ideological form of capitalism that has infected much of the Western intelligentsia. Liberalism and capitalism are actually the road to social democracy, as Bernstein pointed out. Nonetheless, a pretty good article on a country the papers don’t cover anymore because they have no idea how to run a business.

Speaking of the idiots who run the papers, the New York Times is trying to be hip by printing a quasi-interesting blog meme from several weeks ago. Hopefully some website arises which attempts to do good reporting, or the papers learn how to use the internet, like the rest of us did in 1995, and somehow manages to save itself.

Still, congrats to Adbusters for almost seeing geopolitics as something not controlled by a secretive cabal of the BBC, Israelis, and Americans (especially the Jewish ones).

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Filed under: Politics,

Green conservatism

Sully weighs in on climate change:

My own preference is to avoid the bureaucracy of cap-and-trade in favour of a serious carbon and petrol tax that would shift the economic balance towards noncarbon energy. If you gave back the tax revenue through a tax refund, you could avoid depressing growth and help cushion the working poor from higher petrol costs. You need no new bureaucracy to do this – and you’d help drive green decision-making away from top-down government towards more bottom-up human-level calculations.

It’s not as satisfying as a massive government regulatory programme. It tries to counter the worst-case scenarios without assuming them. It hopes that a carbon-hostile tax would prompt a technological breakthrough to solve the problem. And it’s easily reversible if needs be. It’s the kind of green policy that is neither in denial nor in hysteria, and it’s a rough balance between the planet’s needs and humanity’s. Think of it as innovation over regulation – a way to manage the contradictions of conservatism and environmentalism after all.

I too favor the straightforward method, which might actually do something and can actually be modified over time. Nonetheless it has no chance of passing. While often pointing the GOP’s tight connections with major industries, environmentalists are less apt to criticize Democratic connections to labor. And on the most important issue of our time, both seem finally united against prudence, justice, and good government.

Filed under: L'Ecologie, Politics

A tale of two activists

Tim DeChristopher, the man who stood up to the cronyism that epitomized the Bush years, has been indicted by Utah’s U.S. Attorney:

Tim DeChristopher — the monkey-wrenching University of Utah student who caused an environmental sensation by disrupting a high-profile oil and gas lease auction — pinned his hopes on President Barack Obama to get him out of trouble.

But shortly after a federal grand jury handed up a two-count felony indictment Wednesday against the 27-year-old economics major, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar crushed any notion of help from Washington.

The Bureau of Land Management, Salazar warned, “will not tolerate future conduct which undermines the integrity of the bid process.”

Well, at least we aren’t the only ones.

Meanwhile, some nutjob who gets off by creeping out the families of scientists will now get a $500 check from the government. Making a principled stand for transparency and sustainability in public policy is a bad thing, but trying to get beat up by the cops because you don’t understand biology is the basis of American government.

UPDATE: Thanks to Obama, we’ll now also have JesusGoblins bugging the hardworking researchers of Upper Campus as well. The Jesus Goblin is basically identical to the VeganZombie, but is working on a fluff degree that doesn’t involve “identity.”

Filed under: Utah Politics,