Judgement Day

Still stopping by? Make yourselves at home; I won’t be back. As the following note to Tom Engelhardt, sent upon the occasion of Bill McKibben’s latest paean to well-paid mediocrity, makes plain, I find the stench of big money and its disingenuous sycophants that pervades everything I read on the Net to be somewhat… offputting. Truthfully, I’d as lief try to save a pack of rabid dogs, as what humans have become: too sick in the head to realize how sick in the head they are…

Sorry, Tom, but if I don’t hear back from you (and I have every reason to believe that I won’t), I’m afraid I’ll have to unsubscribe (if it’s any consolation, you won’t be the last). This last article by Bill has made it crystal clear to me that neither you, nor anyone else, will ever mention either my name or my ideas to any third person, and, therefore, that I’ve wasted the last twenty years of my life. And truthfully, that’s really not anything that I need to be reminded of.

And I must say, it doesn’t help any that you all continue to act as though reversing several billion years of maximizing benefits and minimizing costs (reproductive imperatives that are now on steroids due to the widespread adoption of fossil fuels) is as easy as strolls, er, protests in the parks; protests, moreover, that somehow seem never to include more than some small fraction of one percent of the populace. Ever considered the possibility that maybe you’re all a bit too close to the thousands of activists in your own respective entourages to properly see the billions of rich (or wanna-be rich) carbon addicts who protest nothing, but who would undoubtedly fight you tooth and nail (yep, up to and including violence) if it started to look too much like you might win?

Ah well, don’t let me discourage you; continue to ‘fight’ the ‘good’ ‘fight’. I’m sure that no matter what, your efforts will pay off – even if you fail in all your present attempts to save the larger part of humanity from the policies of their deal – er, leaders, it seems to me that when enough of the reserve army has been killed off, or even just allowed to die, there’ll be pay raises all around, and not half as much need to worry about those pesky carbon footprints – you guys can all jet around Hell’s Half-Acre even more than you do now, and – an added bonus for people who, as far as I can see, have acted in nothing but bad faith since they first heard my name – it’ll be even more like Hell than ever, both in the terrain below, and in the company along for the ride.

As for me, it occurs to me that I’m long overdue to start burning the many one-way ‘bridges’ that, with no reasons ever offered for their unidirectionality (not that I actually need any), have been denied me, though unlike you lordly non-leaders on the other side (who are, apparently, entirely in agreement on at least one thing: that none of you need ever sully your hands (let alone your ‘authority’ (read: name recognition)) by getting down-and-dirty amongst the nonentities like me who populate the message boards), I’ve done pretty much nothing else but try to help as many individuals (both human and nonhuman), as much as possible.

No more. When this reply, still unanswered, goes up on my WordPress blog a few days from now, I’ll be done, and, I consider, well out of it. The fact that no one who’s read me online has any use for an extra twenty thousand dollars a year for life, nor even knows anyone who does, tells me more than I ever wanted to know about you all. Do any of you have a single harsh word to say about the treatment of the GLOBAL 99% by the GLOBAL 1%? I think not…

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Test

Hmm… a comment I made below (at http://www.alternet.org/comments/activism/mass-social-transformation-movement-inevitable-be-prepared#disqus_thread ) that seemed to disappear a while later, but now appears to be back, and so was probably just me not checking far enough downthread. As they say, Oops…

Moszep10 hours ago

It really comes down to human nature; most people are easily distracted, bought or led. We are trained to comply and conform. Even people who think they are rebels are buying into a manufactured distraction. Very few people are awake or conscious of reality.

Revolutions are seldom ever instituted or executed by the majority. The Nazis seized power and they were not the majority. The Bolsheviks, which literally means majority, were actually not the majority. They took the moniker from a single vote in which they were the majority, even though they were the Mensheviks, literally minority, on many other votes. It later became used by Trotsky do differentiate between Lenin’s views from Stalinism. Mao never represented the majority, etc… The US Revolution can be framed as a small group of wealthy landowners not wanting to pay taxes. Did they represent the majority?

Once power is achieved, the goal becomes maintaining the organization and power. This is concept is highlighted in the Iron Law of Oligarchies.

Power is often in the hands of a small group willing to use violence to intimidate, that in turn instills obedience in the rest of the populace.

Someone post something positive…

  • JosephFurtenbacher Moszepan hour ago

    Okay. There’s no need for any violence at all if you can sign up, eventually, sixty-five million or so voters who would not be averse to an extra twenty grand a year for life, in return for possible labor somewhere down the road, and a ‘pledge’ to shop responsibly in the meantime, by authorizing, at the same time their no-uncertain-terms representatives take control of the printing press, stiff taxes on carbon, to protect the natural environment from us all, and greed (in the form of wage and price controls), to protect the people’s new bigger slices of the larger, more sustainable pie from the Mitts, er, mitts, of the severely envious, ‘hard-working’ rich…

    You just have to get over that old canard (I wish I could believe that most of you, in your heart of hearts don’t still accept it) that those who are unwilling to work to produce others’ luxuries shall not be allowed to consume any necessities (or, to reflect our modern systems of production more accurately, shop for them).

    And, for anyone who can bring themselves to acknowledge that perhaps someone else knows more than they do, while caring just as much, I’ve even reduced my offer to an acronym – GSI (for Guaranteed Sustainable Income) – that’s small enough to fit on a button or sign, yet large enough (potentially) to strike fear into the hearts of the current printing-press dogs-in-the-manger…

    Sigh. Positive enough? I wouldn’t have replied if I didn’t think you were more intelligent and ethical than most of the people I’ve read (or read about) online…

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Torrent Up, Trickle Down

Quislings’ work turns noses brown

Funny how all the people going on about Fascism never remembered the word ‘quisling’. I didn’t myself, until I thought about all the people I’d communicated with online – trying to make the world a better place, you know – only to receive back, finally, dead silence from them and everyone they knew.

*shrug*

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A New Comment, A New Social Contract – One With A $20,000 Signing Bonus…

A copy of a comment I just made on The Globe And Mail, and copied to LinkedIn…

Joseph Furtenbacher

10:33 AM on April 20, 2013

Hmm… a copy of a comment I made this morning on the Washington Post and copied to Facebook (where it showed up with the somewhat mystifying conversion of ‘justice tempered with mercy…’ to ‘justice…’)…

JoeFurtenbacher wrote:

7:39 AM EDT

Well, I thought I could let it go, but no, ethically, I realized I had to try one last time, it having become obvious to me that if I didn’t, the pipeline would surely be approved, and I would face years of being forced to put the boots to you all – to the opponents for trying to play me, and to the President for having assumed that he could pretend to be more intelligent and ethical than me and get away with it.

As well, having reduced my policy prescriptions for reducing both poverty and environmental destruction to three that I believe are both necessary and sufficient, I thought I’d set them out, and let any psychologist/sociologist/economists explain to me, or to anyone, for that matter, why exactly they wouldn’t be. So,

1. Levy a stiff carbon tax, on both domestic sources and imports from countries that don’t ratify similar social contracts; stiff enough so that the fossil-fueled luxuries of the rich (roughly speaking, people who make more than the median per capita income) are reduced more than the fossil-fueled necessities of the poor are increased;

2. Implement wage and price controls; three percent per annum (including on financial transactions) seems more than generous to me;

3. Deposit $20,000 in the bank account (if they don’t have one, get them one) of anyone who’s willing to contract to work a maximum of 1,000 hours a year, if necessary (with the necessity to be decided by a majority of the contractees) to counter a deemed shortage of necessities, which I would define (to go on with) as: clean air, water, and energy, nourishing food, adequate clothing, shelter, health care, education, justice tempered with mercy…

Feel free to discuss, but I should warn you, I won’t be waiting on your decisions. Been there, done that, learned a lot since…

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Thanks For The Jackboots; I Needed Them…

Q. What happens if you’re living in Ottawa, Canada, and you’re thin, and your place is a mess, and you ask the Ottawa Police Service if you’re legally required to eat?

A. Well, I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but for me, it went something like this: first, a couple of officers showed up while I was still on the phone, leaving only when I made noises to the person on the other end of the line about how I was about to be abducted, and then, around a week later, a public health nurse (and her sidekick) who’d been visiting me arrived at my door, announcing the imminent arrival of what turned out to be a crowd of people including a psychiatrist and a plain-clothed police officer.

Said officer proceeded to ask me a lot of meaningless questions about The Case(s) of the Stolen Cats, before accepting my invitation to talk alone inside (and once there, taking the opportunity to advise me to get my remaining cats registered, and telling me he knew nothing at all about the registered cat I had also reported as stolen, and had not yet been assigned an officer), and then going back outside, and asking me to come out and point out the houses of the neighbours involved.

Well, that, as it turns out, was merely another of the lies he told me, being nothing more than a prelude to the announcement, in front of the crowd of assembled Nazis, er, do-gooders, that in the interests of protecting me (and others!) from myself (when I’d left my apartment in the last four weeks only to buy groceries), he would have to put handcuffs on me, and force me into the back of his car (which turned out to be an undercover police cruiser), and take me to the hospital for a seventy-two hour observation/incarceration period.

After which period of petty tyranny, I was released without the shirt that had been on my back when I was forced in (fortunately I’d been wearing a jacket and parka, since I was left with a long walk home in a snowfall)… the shirt I’d been working in for the last little while… too dirty to wash, apparently… *shrug*

And, as a result of my small absence, I return to find (in addition to no running water in my apartment, and my stolen cats no closer to being returned) worldwide bedlam. Good job, City of Ottawa… How’s that WinterNoBrainActivityLude workin’ out for ya?

D’oh! – Homo Simpiens

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers. – Kahlil Gibran

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One Of Us, Or One Of Them?

One of the little people; my little people.

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A Note To Your Teachers

A recent email to the schoolers behind a website which, in order to protect the innocents, shall not remain nameless…

Hi folks,

Look, I thought I’d take a chance and contact you privately instead of venting on Disqus (one of my many soapbox platforms), but I’ll tell you straight, if no one sees fit to honor me with a personal reply to my request (no professional not paid to do so has done so so far), then it will come to that, and not, I assure you, to your advantage.

You may or may not have heard of me, but even if you have, you can’t have been paying very close attention; your website contains just about every error I’ve been railing against for the last year or so. See, unlike you guys, I’ve spent the last twenty years or so living on an average of around $10,000/year (Cdn), in order to have the time available to study, from the top down, any branch of knowledge I felt would have any utility in resolving, with minimal pain for all, the many problems faced by human societies and individuals, a list of disciplines that included, but was not limited to: philosophy, psychology, sociology, economics, law, history, politics, pedagogy, theology, architecture, computers, and nutrition. Try to understand: to me, hearing you people talk is very much like what I would expect to hear from one of your more alert teens, were they given an equal chance to expound; I’m guessing it’s been a while since anything any of you wrote was reviewed by a peer who wasn’t being paid – in status and/or comfort – to do the deed, as I am not…

As a small example, your webpage states:

About Us

The Early Education Initiative seeks to promote a high-quality and continuous system of early care and education for all children, birth to age 8. Much of our focus is on pre-K up through 3rd grade.

All children? Sure you don’t mean ‘all (legal) American children’? Yes, I’m well aware that that information is provided by context, but so what? That sentiment infects your website: NewAmerica.net. Too bad even the newest, shiniest America money could buy wouldn’t help the half of humanity living on less than $9,000 (US, PPP).

And so, entirely unaware, having never reexamined your first principles in decades, you foist your unsustainable, unhealthy, and unethical fossil-fueled lifestyles off on the very children you claim to care about. As an example, it seems that since adults like living in cities better than villages, it is, quite obviously, better for their children to be raised there, right? They are just little blank-slate adults, aren’t they? The world, according to your pronouncements, would obviously be a better place if all children were raised in the city and bussed out to the country to examine strange flora and fauna such as pumpkins, instead of being raised there and taught to produce any of their own food, right? That would require teachers willing to rot somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and – gasp – get their hands, and possibly even their clothes, *dirty* – perhaps even willing to be forced to – gulp – *sweat* (sorry, I’ll try not to mention it again without a shower handy). While, apparently, other children – Somalian children, for example – are well enough served by being left behind, dead, when their parent’s food or water supply becomes too low to keep them alive. Gonna bus them out to the pumpkin patch too? Or maybe just discuss whether they’re watching age-appropriate television or not?

Hope someone on your team will decide to work with me instead of against me; I don’t ask for impossibilities, but unless anyone being paid to improve things starts admitting that I know more than they and all their colleagues put together do – it’s no more than the plain truth, after all – there will be no saving of even your own children. You’re better than most of the people I end up reading, but, because of your duties, which are rather imperfectly imagined, you’re just as dangerous as your less-educated adversaries, because you’re no less out of touch with reality than they are… on your front page, for example, for every mention of (entirely impersonal) children, there seems to be an equal and opposite mention of (entirely personal) paychecks…

But, much in the same way an astronomer could fairly safely predict that the sun would appear to rise the next morning, I’m more than capable of predicting that none of you will reply with an honest statement of your salary, and why, precisely, you deserve it any more than, say, I would. I’m that good… not at all confused, in fact. Just sickened by what humanity has become while I wasn’t watching.

Joseph Furtenbacher

p.s. You can find most of the fruits of my labor on Facebook, WordPress, The Huffington Post, Disqus, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The National Post and The Ottawa Citizen; Google should snare most of the rest. Of course, I’ll understand if you don’t feel the slightest inclination to do any such thing after such an insulting letter – being the world’s best polymathic macroethicist, how could I fail to also be best qualified to understand the effects of my own handiwork? Happens, though, if I do anything else here, we’re doomed anyways…

p.s. As predicted…

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Who Teaches The Pedagogue?

If children lead children, it shall all be fun and games, until somebody loses an eye…

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Hello, World

Is there anybody out there who wants to help the rich more than become (or remain) one of them? Is anyone more interested in helping the poor than using them?

fs910@ncf.ca

Ah, the crickets… summer can’t be far away!

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A Few New Platform Planks And A New Picture

 

Don't say I never compromise:)

 

Tracy Tong of Metro Ottawa had a few questions she wanted answered, a desire for a pic, and a rather peculiarly-phrased word limit of four sentences per topic…

Name: Joseph Furtenbacher

Age: 50

Occupation: The world’s best polymathic macroethicist (moral philosopher of all disciplines, academic of none), with a solid grounding in philosophy, psychology, economics, sociology, politics, history, law, pedagogy, theology, architecture, computers and nutrition, I’ve spent the last six months creating a social networking virus that has changed the focus of human dialogue from finger pointing to solution seeking. Due to my frustration at finding my concepts and style as widely copied as my name was deeply buried, I decided to help everyone involved by running for Mayor of Ottawa, both as a means of helping Ottawans (I assumed they felt they needed any help), and letting the rest of the world know the source of the innovations they’d been bandying about so casually. I also wanted to stop the cherrypicking that has allowed my most beneficial (but unpopular) policies to languish unremarked. At the moment, with my campaign in support of ‘The Man Who Should Be Mayor’, and my blog, https://josephfurtenbacher.wordpress.com, I’m engaged in trying to convince the people of Ottawa that they themselves are worth far more than their status, money and possessions combined.

On transit: As with most of the other monomathic theories I encounter, I find our present transit rationale contains holes big enough to drive a light rail train car through. Our municipal debt stands at around $800,000,000 ($200,000,000 of it added this year), yet we cheerfully contemplate adding hundreds of millions more for the whitest elephant I’ve seen since I started looking for them twenty years ago (it’s good, however, that Mr. Haydon is conscious of the need to recycle the fill that would result from digging a tunnel a hundred feet below street level through rock located adjacent to a fault line, though I don’t know that using it to dam the Ottawa river would be my first choice; and in addition, I can’t help but feel that the eventual ongoing costs of security, cleaning, and machine maintenance will hardly help our bottom line). My plan calls for the laying of double track along the 417-174 corridors from Kanata to Orleans, and along the O-Train-Via Rail corridors from Gatineau to Barrhaven, served by feeder busses via underpass accesses, with a street level (sunken) double-track free-to-use shuttle service from an O-Train line transfer (and fare payment) station, along the Slater-Transitway corridors (Slater will become a corridor by splitting the difference with north-south overpasses), to a similar station on the Queensway line. The rolling stock will be the lightest available that is able to reliably handle our admittedly whimsical winter wonderlands.

On taxes: Tax rationale is the largest part of the competence pillar of my platform (the other three being pragmatism, ethics and vision); it’s largely why I decided to run: I’m firmly convinced that practically everyone else in the world (a notable exception being Ezra Klein) has no idea what they’re talking about; as evidence I offer the crazy-quilt disjointedness that our present ‘systems’ exhibit. My rationales, based as they are on the far more realistic model of human nature provided by evolutionary psychology, provide simpler, more effective policies – I’m not whistling in the dark like most people are, so I can address specific issues in detail while maintaining coherence with the rest of the policies I advocate. For example, to address the status and comfort addiction many people in this city suffer from, I would introduce consumption taxes and subsidies through property tax shifting, so as to benefit businesses who produce sustainable, healthy, and prosocial goods and services, while encouraging those who feel differently towards their customers (or the rest of the world) to take a good look in the mirror. And I think it’s sort of hypocritical to complain about upper levels of government downloading costs when we pay large numbers of ‘public servants’ enough to push them into the top tax bracket; I agreed to work for the median (or representative) income of $40,000 not only so as to remain mindful of the problems faced by our less fortunate residents, but also in order to be able to apply pressure to others who may, perhaps, overvalue the benefits of their services to the many people in our region who continue to wait for such basic necessities as affordable housing or daycare. To anyone who argues that such wage levels would not lead to the employment of the right sort of people, I believe that even these few paragraphs offer an effective rebuttal.

On the environment: I believe that most people in this city are dangerously deluded concerning the degree of sustainability their actions entail; having lived with the crutch of fossil fuels for so long, we have come to consider it a necessity, and therefore a right. For my part, having biked year-round for the last twelve years, I’ve seen staggering numbers of overweight drivers alone in their vehicles speeding to and from jobs which could just as easily have been performed at home, but for the absence of a water cooler. My vision calls for rezoning office buildings and gas stations and raising their rates, as well as implementing progressive residential property taxes (with reductions for those who invest in the production of on-site food or affordable housing) in order to send a message to people who feel that their status is more important other people’s (or species’) health. I will also, assuming enough people care enough about the environment to actually vote for me, spur the creation of rooftop and small-park community gardens and the planting of food trees, and subsidize composting toilets, both to reduce the amount of sewage we dump into the Ottawa river, and to increase the fertility of our region over time.

What’s the one luxury you can’t live without? The belief that someday humans will care as much about themselves as I care about them.

What was the last book you read? Of Human Bondage, by W. Somerset Maugham, a favourite of long standing.

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