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Gaza clash continues as group calls ceasefire

Gaza clash continues as group calls ceasefire | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Israeli jets attack seven sites in Gaza, as Islamic Jihad group says it wants to abide by a ceasefire deal from 2012.
Eli Levine's insight:

So, Israel attacks first, breaking the cease-fire, which prompts a response from Islamic Jihad, who then are now on the receiving end of an Israeli assault. 

 

The lesson here, is that Islamic Jihad should have responded with video of the Israeli attack and launched a media campaign in the US via the Internet, not our national news.  Not that any of us seem to care about the fact that we're funding a massive war machine that's acting with unchecked impunity in the Middle East for a poorly prioritized and not very well sensed set of priorities.

 

Conservatives are idiots; war mongering and senseless idiots, regardless of culture, background or ethnicity.

 

And we voted for them or, at the very least, failed to vote against them.

 

Think about it.

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On Centralization

When the production of energy shifts from the centralized production of fossil fuels to more decentralized and democratic forms of production will we begin to know liberation. The same goes for the ownership of capital: the more centralized ownership is in state or in a few private hands, the less productive and well the society will be. If the Libertarians want liberty, they will enable the government to take on some economic regulatory powers, not to extract wealth from the rich, but to ensure that wealth flows to ALL of those who produce it and live in society. To allow for the concentration of wealth is an anathema to freedom and productivity in society, just as the concentration of undemocratic power in any social body or institution is as well. The state can only have as much power as the society allows in the manner that it allows. Power is always decentralized in a society as the state only has the monopoly on legitimate uses of violence. Anyone may fight the government at anytime. If enough people join in, there is nothing that the government can do to stop them. That is natural law: when the society has had enough, it will do something about the problem. Better to fear the immediate and likely problem, vis a vis the rich, than the distant and less likely problem, vis a vis the government.

Think about it.

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Three Steps We Can Take to Solve Poverty, From Someone Who Knows Firsthand | Perspectives | BillMoyers.com

Three Steps We Can Take to Solve Poverty, From Someone Who Knows Firsthand | Perspectives | BillMoyers.com | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Tianna Gaines-Turner has been struggling to feed her family for years. She testified before Congress this week.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
Eli Levine's insight:

There's a lot of good thoughts here. Contrary to Republican, conservative, and Libertarian beliefs, we're all interdependent in a society. Poverty is a social problem because children from poorer families typically don't become the most able citizens as they get older. Health is affected, psychological problems can develop, education lags and blame is placed on the people who are perceived to be responsible. This then effects work performance in the economy and reduces our society's ability to be well, let alone, competitive. We're rotting from the inside out due to ignorance, callousness, ideology, and greed. And this eats itself in the end, whether you accept it or not. 

 

Think about it. 

 

Feel about it. 

 

Idiot rich people. 

 

Think about it. 

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Complex systems made simple

Complex systems made simple | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Network scientists at Northeastern have designed an algorithm capable of identifying the subset of components that reveal a complex system's overall nature.

Via Spaceweaver, Tim Williamson, NESS, Luciana Santos.
Eli Levine's insight:

Way cool. And useful. 

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Buddhist Economics: How to Stop Prioritizing Goods Over People and Consumption Over Creative Activity

Buddhist Economics: How to Stop Prioritizing Goods Over People and Consumption Over Creative Activity | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
"Work and leisure are complementary parts of the same living process and cannot be separated without destroying the joy of work and the blis

Via Ferananda
Eli Levine's insight:

What good is wealth without happiness? What good is profit without purpose? These are things that the market isn't going to answer. These are problems t that require legislative action and law enforcement to solve. Otherwise greed will just come back to destroy its followers and many innocent civilians in the process. 

 

Think about it. 

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Ferananda's curator insight, July 7, 3:48 PM

Lovely article about a vision for Economics which has the potentials of human spirit at the center. Its a practice and aspiration. If you think that economics is to complex, scientific and far from you, think twice.  It is the harmony of our society. Its the relationship with matter, wealth and other.  

 

A quote:

 

Buddhist economics must be very different from the economics of modern materialism, since the Buddhist sees the essence of civilization not in a multiplication of wants but in the purification of human character. Character, at the same time, is formed primarily by a man’s work. And work, properly conducted in conditions of human dignity and freedom, blesses those who do it and equally their products.

Pierre Johnson's curator insight, July 7, 4:44 PM

Une perspective bouddhiste sur l'économie... Une voie de transition ?

Kurt Laitner's curator insight, July 8, 12:31 PM

phenomenally relevant 

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Iraq's parliament deadlocked in bid for new unity government | Al Jazeera America

Iraq's parliament deadlocked in bid for new unity government | Al Jazeera America | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Sunnis and Kurds abandoned a Tuesday meeting after Shias failed to name a prime minister to replace Nouri al-Maliki
Eli Levine's insight:

Business as usual in Iraq.

 

This killing and fighting isn't new; just a chapter in a long history of bloodshed amongst Sunni and Shi'a, Arabs and other ethnicities.

 

You'd think though that people would be able and willing to rise above the history in order to realize a better world for themselves and their children.  The solution looks so simple to an outsider, as it usually does. 

 

However, it is ultimately the Shi'a who have to relinquish that which they should not attempted to take in order that they can save themselves from the threat of being wiped out by the Sunni and the return of another silly headed regime that will only create more misery, more suffering, and bigger problems in the world, thanks to its members' attitudes, actions, and perceptions.  Unless these things change anywhere in the world, Iraq or otherwise, it will just be muddling through for humanity rather than us living up to what we could potentially be.

 

A shame and a pity that people can't, won't, or don't see things like this.

 

Think about it.

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To America With Love

To America With Love | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Libertarianism may be the political philosophy in fashion amongst my generation.  However, I am 99.999% positive that it is not an adequate solution to our social, economic, and environmental problems in the present or in the near to distant future.

 

Yes, there are some things that government cannot and ought not do for its own sake, because it harms society and, thus, harms itself in the process.  Government is also liable to make mistakes from time to time because it is an organization of humans and organizations of humans are only as good as its occupants are able to work together.  This does not mean, however, that government is not an essential component in the production of a healthful, healthy, and functional society within the context of our environment.  Sometimes it is necessary to legislate and enforce against certain actions, behaviors, and practices that cause harm to the people who live in society and to the environment in which we all live.  Thank goodness we have an institution within our society to do this, because without it, we would have to resort to vigilante violence or the slow and improbably functional practice of the market forces to work out our problems quickly and effectively in favor of the public.  This would then shorten everyone's perspective and priorities to the shortest term possible, disrupt business connections and connectivity, and ultimately destroy our environment and our society for the sake of Libertarian's beliefs and abstract ideological goals which wouldn't be realized in the chaos that would ensue from their policies, beliefs, perspectives, and actions.  How dare they jeopardize our well being for the sake of their beliefs and personal preferences for unnatural chaos (which they've more likely than not, never actually experienced before in their lifetimes). 

 

Human society requires a certain amount of order in order to survive and reach optimal states.  It's incredibly childish for people to think that they can go without having a benevolent, effective, and empirically grounded organization assisting with sifting through the negative aspects of society and providing some kind of vision for society's function (based on how a society would ordinarily self organize and function from the beginning).  The key to government is dialogue with the public and accountability to the public and its well being, and dialogue amongst government on the horizontal and vertical levels of government.  It's a team collaborative effort to produce well being for everyone, not just the few who have the most amount of wealth in a society, if the government and its members are interested in surviving.  That's something that Libertarian philosophy does not and will not take into account, thus, rendering it a nice sounding, but ultimately sub-optimal system of social function and organization.

 

Sadly, I think that we're ultimately going to go through a phase of Libertarianism, thanks to the failures of both the existing parties in the United States to organize government effectively for the public over the private elites.  It is presenting itself as the third way, and people are going to go over to that third way, regardless of its actual merits, if it speaks to them in such away that sounds pleasant to them.  Ultimately, I can only hope that the public realizes that Libertarianism is not the way to go for its own sake and benefit.  I cannot force society to take in my conception of empirically grounded social-ism anymore than the Libertarians can make a functional, healthy, stable, happy, and livable society with their perspectives, attitudes, and beliefs.  Thus we must all suffer, because of the karmic actions of the general public (myself included, because I do not want to see society operating at sub-optimal levels).  It takes a little bit of government action and proactive dialogue in order to make a society tick, from the perspective of the government's well being.  It's sad, but the legitimacy of the government ultimately lies with the public.  Sometimes the public is wrong when it comes to making big, complicated choices for itself.  Those of us who would hope for the best for society by listening to what it wants and needs rather than imposing a regimen on them without consideration of a diagnosis will simply have to wait, hope, and organize, if possible, for the sake of society and the world in which we live in.

 

Think about it.

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Nicoteens

Nicoteens | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Samantha Bee investigates the conditions facing child laborers on Kentucky tobacco farms.
Eli Levine's insight:

Typical, money-grubbing, bottom-feeder behavior.

 

This is all that Capitalism yields for our people, our society, and our well being without the government's oversight and regulation.  This State Senator Hornbeck probably has never worked like or been treated like these kids in his lifetime.  Yet, for the price, he's perfectly willing to put these kids into harm's way, be it from exposure or nicotine poisoning.

 

This "man" probably wouldn't last a day doing a real work job under the conditions that he and his compatriots set for the kids.  Yet, here he is, doing precisely what he would himself refuse to do on a regular basis, with no concern, empathy, or willingness to have care or empathy for the well being of these kids (as young as 7, mind you) who toil in his fields for his profit, with no additional returns for their own selves as a result of their ill-gotten labor.

 

What does this say about our society when we have people who have to send their kids to work in these death fields to make ends meet, for the sake of these "people" who are only around to turn the profit?

 

The good news is, is that these "people" will not listen to the likes of Nick Hanauer, thus enabling them to be overturned in time.  The bad news, is the violence that we'll have to experience while we overturn and "reset" our society, with no guarantee that it will reset appropriately and effectively for longevity, health, well being, and quality of life for all.

 

Capitalists: the warts that blemish the face of humanity as a whole.  And it shows in how they behave, act, and treat other people and the environment in which they live.

 

Think about it.

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BP seeks to wrest back compensation

BP seeks to wrest back compensation | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

BP asks a US court to order a "vast number" of businesses to repay part of the compensation awards they were paid in the wake of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Eli Levine's insight:

And this is why the Capitalists will have to be beaten into submission, either through the force of society coming to help these poor, miserable, and mentally ill people, or through the military defeat of the forces of Capitalism and the complete capitulation of the business interests to the social and environmental interests.

 

They will never really learn or believe in anything other than the accumulation of money for their own selves; little more than a bunch of bottom feeders in spite of their financial success.

 

What is the point in a profit if it ruins economies, societies, and environments to get at them?

 

Idiot people....

 

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A Message To the Capitalists

The pure Capitalist, in terms of their attitude and belief structure, is most likely always and forever going to be viewed by me, at the very least, as an inferior being relative to the rest of humanity. They are, in essence, little more than money-grubbing bottom feeders, no matter how "powerful" or "successful" they may be at their enterprises, unhappy with their state in the world, and unintelligent enough to sacrifice their material and non-material human needs in the pursuit of profit and relative power.


In ancient times, across cultures, the merchants were often regarded as one of the lower classes, arguably, for good reason. They were, and still are, overtly set at accumulating that which they do not need, oftentimes, at the expense of the general peace and well being within their own society and amongst other societies.

 

Now, it is debatable whether the capricious and non-responsive rule of priests or kings was any better than the capricious and non-responsive and poorly prioritized rule of the Capitalists. This is why, I would say, we need to evolve into a new logic of governance and a new function of government, before we all are overwhelmed by the forces of society breaking free.

 

Capitalists: you want to know what I'm looking for? I want your complete and utter capitulation to a kind of social-ism, where society, health, well being, and quality of life are put ahead of your profits. Kiss a Red Star, in public and on video camera and surrender completely your influence in government and society to people who realize that their performance in government is tied to their survival and well being.

 

Otherwise, there is no deal. And I will refuse to help you further while you feebly attempt to undo your habits of millennia past.  You'll revert back to your own habits without this acknowledgement of submission.

 

Those are my terms.

 

Think about it.

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Heads they win: A new measure shows the financial sector’s expanding share of the economy

Heads they win: A new measure shows the financial sector’s expanding share of the economy | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

A new measure shows the financial sector’s expanding share of the economy


Via Aykut Kibritçioğlu
Eli Levine's insight:

So basically, we don't produce as much as we did.  All the profits from the companies seem to have been shunted into the banks where it accumulates wealth upon itself without actually generating any value for the actual economy or the society in which the profits are being realized.

 

In order to have growth in an economy, you need to do more than simply have earned net profit accumulate more profit upon itself.  You've got to pay out that wealth to workers who will then go out and spend the money that they earn on goods and services, which will then create a feedback loop, provided that workers are continuously paid according to how much profit they produce through their labor.  I'm for a minimum wage, but not a living minimum wage.  I'm for profit sharing, such that the larger companies who employ most of the people in the economy and generate the most amount of profit have to kick chunks of that extra wealth down to their workers rather than simply allow things to accumulate at the top.  Trickle down is absolute bunk empirically, I don't know how it is that we still use that as a model (except for the fact that Liberal and Conservative elites have been co-opted into the Capitalist circles of wealth, power, and corruption.

 

You want to see real growth; the production of real well being?  Try paying your workers more than sub-subsistence wages when they produce massive amounts of profit.  Then, watch what happens.

 

Stupid, corrupt economists.  Idiot corrupt politicians and policy-makers.

 

Think about it.

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Human vs. Natural Law

Human vs. Natural Law | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

The beauty of human-made laws is that they can be changed, altered, or removed for our own sake and benefit as a society.  Natural laws may not be so easily or readily removed, and may in fact cause considerable damage to ourselves if we ever figure out how to remove or alter them.  Cause and effect is always going to be there.  We should be mindful of both when making decisions in both our individual and collective social lives.

 

For example, a tax designed to go after the marginal returns on high profits that result from the diminution of quality has effects that are unknown on the economic system as a whole (think of the now 5oz can of tuna versus the old 8oz can of tuna).  The return on investment would still be high, just not as high as it would have been if the diminution of quality had taken place.  As such, it would be an experimental tax, first done on a small scale targeting a few of the older and more established industries in several localities.  If it has no significant impact other than to discourage eroding the quality of the goods, it can be implemented full scale.  If not, it can be removed or altered in order to produce the best results that are possible in the society through the economy.

 

The only ethic or ideology that suits a government's own function and well being is altruistic love for the society and the people and environment that you oversee.  It needs resources to do this and the resources should be collected through non-intrusive and damaging manners to either individuals or to organizations.  No other framework, other than the scientific perspective on how things are and how things actually work or can work, has any business being in government or government offices for their own sake and benefit.  They are significantly less likely to come up with positive, effective, and socially beneficial solutions to societal and environmental problems.  They would take revenue blindly, without any regard for how it effects the economic system, or else, not take any revenue and prevent the government from delivering effective and necessary services to the public.  They would also not design effective plans and services for the public's well being, owing to their lack of knowledge and care to have knowledge about their social and environmental worlds, and likely create all sorts of unnecessary (and unwanted) chaos in the social and environmental worlds for the sake of their truly sub-optimal and self-destructive ideological framework and perspective/conception of reality.  To not actually or effectively care for the society that you're working for is an effective death sentence for your government and elite institutions and networks in the long term (which becomes the short term), either literally, through removal from office and society, or through the spoilage of your memory in the minds of people.  It is ultimately cheaper and better for you, as a leader, to just govern for the sake of your public and to do the job as intended than to attempt to go off on your own tangent or opinion trail and stifle the complaints that will happen along the way.

 

This much history has shown.  Again, natural laws, cannot be changed without having potentially severe and negative consequences for ourselves, if we're able to change them at all.  Human-made laws, absolutely changeable.  The basic premise seems to be applicable in every society, even if the definition and goals of good governance varies from society to society.  Love, care, and a reliance on truth and facts, are most likely, I think, the things that will see a society and a government through until the end of the universe (or until things change faster than we're able to adapt to them for survival).  The essence remains the same although the scientific method is technically the only method that will effectively see society and government through the issues and problems that they will each and all face.

 

Just remember: human laws, no matter how attached or religiously significant we can make them, can always be changed for our own benefit, while changing natural law runs the risk of doing significant damage to our own selves, if it's actually possible to do so.

 

Think about it.

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The Path to Heaven; The Path to Hell

The Path to Heaven; The Path to Hell | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

It's not just the money in politics that's problematic to our society.  It's also the caliber of the people we send to office, the substance of their actions while in office, that's eroding our society and our polity from the inside out.

 

You need good people, with good intentions, good wisdom, good messaging, and solid, substantial action from the people who wield authority, responsibility, and control in our society.  Also, you need the negative in order to remind people how good things are under the an existing governing faction.  But that negative should never again return or hold power in a society without having a challenge to that negativity waiting in the wings to remove it from office again, and again, and again, until society is able to automatically recognize the negative and keep it out and recognize the positive and let it in.

 

Small selfishness, incorrect perceptions of reality and conceptions of the self, and ideological commitments based on nothing but faith are poison for governments and people who sit in governments.  Pragmatism, care, benevolence for the whole, and a solid comprehension of how the smaller self fits into the whole of the society and the environment is what is good for governments and governing members alike.

 

A pity we can't or won't see that in our country of incorrect perceptions of reality, self, and the world that is around us.

 

Think about it.

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The Decreasing Returns of Wealth

The Decreasing Returns of Wealth | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Perhaps Deng Xiaoping's greatest weakness, is his misprioritization or misunderstanding of wealth.  Being rich is not, in and of itself, a path to being well.  Sometimes, being rich actually contradicts and ruins your ability to be well, if you become rich at the expense of the environment or the whole human society in which you live.  A better goal is to be well, not rich; healthy on the physical and psychological levels, not wealthy.

 

If only I had 5 bucks for every rich person I know who is not happy, not fulfilled, and downright miserable.  There is only so much wealth that one or a family needs in order to be well.  What then is the point of going way over that limit at the expense of your more human needs?

 

Think about it.

Because the environment, our society, and our individual lives are at stake and, quite frankly, I value those three things more than I value the amount of monetary or material wealth that I'm accumulating.

What's the excuse of the businesspeople and bankers?

 

Think about it.

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‘Rational expectations’ — nonsense on stilts

‘Rational expectations’ — nonsense on stilts | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
from Lars Syll Assumptions in scientific theories/models are often based on (mathematical) tractability (and so necessarily simplifying) and used for more or less self-evidently necessary theoretic...
Eli Levine's insight:

If the base assumptions do not match with empirical reality, the whole model will be thrown off. There is no point in persisting with information that is simply wrong and to do so in economics and social sciences is to ultimately destroy it through bad policy and decision-making. It is to sail in a harbor or along a coast or shoals with incorrect and inaccurate charts and navigation devices. The policy makers will be removed for their incompetence or else have a harder time making a case for re-election. Just try and do it. See what happens again and again and again. 

 

Think about it. 

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The Cultural Evolution of Socially Situated Cognition

The Cultural Evolution of Socially Situated Cognition | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Because human cognition is creative and socially situated, knowledge accumulates, diffuses, and gets applied in new  contexts, generating cultural analogs of phenomena observed in population genetics such as adaptation and drift.

Via Spaceweaver
Eli Levine's insight:

This doesn't shock me at all. But it's nice to see things confirmed. 

 

Think about it. 

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Middle East’s stable monarchy comes face to face with extremist threat | Al Jazeera America

Middle East’s stable monarchy comes face to face with extremist threat | Al Jazeera America | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
If the Islamic State were to infiltrate Jordan next, the US and Israel could be drawn in
Eli Levine's insight:

This is why I think we should be making an appeal to the Iraqi people, asking them for permission to launch airstrikes again ISIL while calling on the Shi'a to change leadership (at the very least, pull support for al-Maliki). We have to be proactive yet sensitive to the needs and wishes of the Arab and Muslim people when facing militant jihaddi conservatives. Without sensitivity, care, and respect, we're likely to fan the flames higher. Failing to be proactive, however, can lead to the rise of a truly nasty threat for everyone's well-being, quality of life, and sovereignty. 

 

Think about it. 

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Ukraine crisis: Donetsk rebels in mass withdrawal

Ukraine crisis: Donetsk rebels in mass withdrawal | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Ukrainian separatist rebels pull back to the main city of Donetsk, abandoning several strongholds in the Donetsk region to government forces.
Eli Levine's insight:

Let's hope that this means the rebels are pulling back and are not going to ground in the country for a guerrilla war. I wonder what Russia is doing, if anything to facilitate these developments. Vladimir seems interested in a dialogue, but the United States should make note to Russia that while we can respect Russia, that we are not going to be foolish. It's going to take the EU and Russia to heal Ukraine, the US should only act as a moderating influence in the conflict rather than a partisan for either less than reasonable side, regardless of how they verbalize liberal ideals. It's not like the Kievan government was being a true champion of democracy by ignoring one third of its population. 

 

Something to think about. 

 

Think about it. 

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Liberty Unpacked

Liberty Unpacked | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

When talking about freedom and/or liberty, most Americans do not question the origins, function, or definition of freedom within the context of the grand scheme of the universe that is around them.  They frequently just spout off about "liberty" or "freedom" and how government is always an institution that blocks freedom for the individual from doing the things that they want to do.  Quite honestly, this debate sounds a lot like a teenager complaining about parenting that is, in their estimation, overly strict, without ever questioning the origins, reasoning, or functionality of that strictness.  Even with adults making these complaints, I can never help but hear the twinge of unreflective childishness.  Yes, there are some practices that government does do that aren't good for society's well being and the individual's sense of freedom.  Yes, the government's members do make mistakes from time to time with regards to their treatment of members of society and the attitude that underlies them.  But that does not mean that a government's role in society ought to be minimized to a point where it does nothing while grave social, economic, and environmental injustices happen, nor does it mean that laissez-faire has any validity as an economic, social, or environmental system and logic for government relative to producing an optimum for society's ability to adapt, mitigate against problems, and generally function and survive as best as it can in spite of the calamities that we will face as a species and the dangers that are internal and external to society.  Therefore, I will examine the concept of "freedom and liberty to act", to see if it has any grounding in empirical reality at all and to see whether it is, indeed, socially, economically, and environmentally better than the concept of "freedom and liberty from negativities and problems".

 

The freedom and liberty to act requires that you're not hindered by anyone or anything else in the universe that is around or within you.  To have actual maximum freedom and/or liberty in this sense is to be independent of all factors that might inhibit you.  However, this is impossible to have, as we are all always going to be interdependent upon each other, both for the production of that which we call our "self" and upon the consequences and circumstances that we end up experiencing.  Your desires stem from your brain, which is produced by a complex mix of your family's (not just your parent's) genetics, your experiences, and your perceptions of your experiences.  There is nothing in your brain that is independent of the rest of the universe and, on top of that, it is limited simply by virtue of its biology relative to the scale of the universe.  Your desires, priorities, beliefs, experiences, and perspectives limit your ability to act, and therefore, deny you your freedom to have maximum liberty.  The second part of this equation are the consequences of your actions; how you effect everyone and everything else that is around you.  Even if you were actually God (capital "G") you would still be effected internally and, potentially, externally by the rest of the universe.  On the human level, this is amplified by virtue of the fact that you're never actually "God", in spite of what your brain may tell you, and will, therefore, always be effected for better or for worse by your actions here on Earth, in this universe.  It is a different plane of existence that only exists in your brain to think that you're at liberty to act independently of the consequences of your actions, in spite of how easily some people can slip away from the direct negativities of their actions from time to time.  How you impact others and the environment matters to your own health and your own survival.  You're truly an idiotic fool if you actually believe and act in the world like it works otherwise. 

 

Thus, when all of these things are considered: your limited and dependent biology, the consequences of your actions, and the circumstances that you find yourself in, where is the true "freedom" or "liberty" to act?  If you, through your actions, limit or inhibit someone elses' ability to live and be well, does that not, in the long term (which  becomes the short term) lead to a detriment in your own liberty due to the negative reputation that you may create or the damage that you do?  What happens if you anger the rest of society or destroy the environment in which you're living?  What happens to your liberty to act then, when you're inhibited by consequence and circumstance?

 

As you can see, the whole notion of freedom or liberty to act is half-baked at best, without any real reflection on where the potential for freedom comes from.  Now, when we consider the freedom to be free from certain things that are detrimental to our health and well being, we see a different story emerge.  We see people being able to actually go about their lives unhindered by governmental dependency, because they're able to independently of the government put food in their bellies, put roofs over their heads, get medical attention when they need to, and take on educational opportunities when they need/want to in order to move up the social and economic ladder according to their wishes and their abilities and willingness to go for what they want and need.  Yes, it means some people lose out on their imaginary "freedom" to act, because through their choices and actions, they'd limit other people from being able to act without causing detriment and pain to the other who is losing out.  If a person does not have the resources or the time or the energy to confront those who limit their freedom, it stands to reason that they appeal to the larger body of society, which manifests itself in these cases, as the government of the society; the apparatus of the society that is responsible for making sure that the "strong do not harm the weak", in the words of Hammurabi in his Code of Laws.  This prevents the numerous weak from being scattered and abused piecemeal by those who have marginally greater amounts of material wealth and/or social influence, thus ensuring the survival of all, including the exploitative elites who would run a society and themselves into the ground, in the name of freedom, liberty, and the engorgement of their own private accounts.  That is why we have societal rules that are enforceable, so that we all can enjoy a reasoned existence on this plane of existence and not be caught up in the torrents of some imaginary plane of existence where rules don't matter and there is no accountability or sense of where the natural boundaries are.  This prevents the need from the natural law of society from running its course and killing the diminutive "strong" who abused the numerous weak and could very well help save the environment in which we're living with a change in priorities from monetary economic growth, for the sake of monetary growth, to a more level mindset of improving upon and maintaining human well being.

 

Sadly, the Libertarians who espouse this ideology of "freedom to do" rarely ever really reflect or question their own beliefs and sentiments in the issue.  They have some merit when it comes to pointing out problems in the government and problems with how the government operates.  However, their beliefs do not belong in the environment that they despise.  It would lead to their own ruination as well as the destruction of our whole social and environmental world if the government were to become inappropriately laissez-faire and ineffective at delivering the goods and services that it need to provide for society for society's, as well as for the government's sake.

 

Freedom doesn't really exist, and liberty is just an abstract concept.

 

Think about it.

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Priority Fail

Priority Fail | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Republicans push foreign military spending while they neglect America's troubles at home.
Eli Levine's insight:

It's death that comes to the society who prioritizes the external over the internal. 

 

Yes, I think we should be joining in the fight against ISIS in Iraq through air power with the permission of the Iraqi people, along with advocating for Nouri al-Malaki to step down.  However, in order to be strong, we need to protect our citizens at home first, and we need to protect, grow, and encourage that which made us strong in the first place.

 

Workers need to be paid decent wages based on how much they produce for a company.  Revenue has to be raised by government through taxation in such a way that innovation and the economy is not hurt through the gathering of taxes.  Our environment at home and abroad needs to be looked after, such that we can survive as a species and as a society.  Our electronic and physical infrastructure has to be maintained and upgraded periodically for commercial and defensive purposes.  The well being of our citizenry has to be our first priority, not through creating dependency, but through enabling them to pursue well being and health effectively.

 

All of this can't be done, so long as we let our top 1% and 0.1% and 0.001% income receivers take the lion's share of the wealth we produce and set policy for their own personal "benefit" at the expense of our national and global interests and we keep electing the same clueless ideologues and conservatives to power.

 

What's it going to be, America?  Rich people?  Ideologues?  Conservatives?

 

The responsibility to save your own self is ultimately in your own hands.  But I doubt you're going to do it in time to save your own selves, let alone, the nation and civilization and environment that you all, actually, depend on.

 

Idiots....

 

Pure idiots.

 

Think about it.

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Syria rebels hold a cautionary tale as ISIL rises in Iraq | Al Jazeera America

Syria rebels hold a cautionary tale as ISIL rises in Iraq | Al Jazeera America | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
ISIL's project is a year matured in Syria, where public opinion has long since turned against the extremists
Eli Levine's insight:

The first step to dealing with these fighters would be to change the composition of the government from pro-sectarian al-Malaki to another candidate who's actually willing and able to produce a unity government.

 

It's because of the tacit support of Sunni civilians and overt support by Sunni militias that ISIS/ISIL has managed to gain such a powerful foothold in Iraq.  Civilians give intelligence and places to rest and hide; Iraqi Army soldiers get the cold shoulder.  It's the same reason how the British failed so miserably to keep ahold of their empire, especially with regard to their nearest province: Ireland.

 

I get that the US doesn't want to intervene anymore than we have to in Iraq.  However, calling for al-Malaki to step down and to have a new unity government would be a good political maneuver to heal this division that Republicans in America and George W. Bush exacerbated in Iraq.  I would also offer the Iraqis the option of having us fly combat missions over Iraq to keep up pressure on ISIS/ISIL.  The insurgency will not leave until the political questions of Iraq's governance have been answered conclusively and in the favor of all Iraqis.  Even then, there will be a few people who will continue to fight, even if military operations and public opinion have turned against them.  The difference is that these individuals should only be isolated individuals that could be arrested beforehand, with intelligence from the civilian population, such that they cause no harm to anyone.  Humane treatment, as defined by Iraqi culture and sentiments, is the best way forward for dealing with the lunatic fringe (bearing in mind, that it may not be the same as American sentiments on the issue).

 

Think about it.

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Xi promises Chinese soft power

Xi promises Chinese soft power | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Chinese President Xi Jinping says China will never seek to impose its will on other nations, no matter how strong it becomes.
Eli Levine's insight:

A very interesting statement.

 

But actions will speak louder to the international community, especially as China comes up against resistance in the South and East China Seas and if they face resistance over their interests in Africa especially.

 

This is, however, what will ultimately put the Chinese over the Americans as a world power.  All China needs to do is garner greater respect, admiration, and friendliness from the other countries of the world and they will have legitimacy, power, and authority that the US will only be able to dream of having with mere military superiority.  We run around, flexing our muscles, forcing people to be like us and receive resentment, bitterness, hatred, and animosity that we feel compelled to chase around the world.  Projection power is important, I think, to American national security.  However, occupation, forced nation building on our terms, and other forms of resource exploitation are ultimately practices that are going to have to be abandoned by the US, if it wants to remain relevant as a world power.  Military strength alone does not make one a great nation, after all, in spite of what our conservatives and ideologues believe, nor does spreading liberalism and democracy make for good liberalism or democracy.

 

This Is a cue to soul search on our part, as a nation and as a polity, with regard to how we handle ourselves socially, politically, economically, and militarily abroad.  A shame that it is likely to go un-noticed by the policy makers who currently sit in our high offices of consequence, authority, and responsibility.

 

Think about it.

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Iraq's al-Sadr calls for emergency government

Iraq's al-Sadr calls for emergency government | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Leader of powerful Shia group Mahdi Army says "new faces" needed to tackle ISIL-led Sunni rebellion in country's north.
Eli Levine's insight:

I'd tell al-Malaki to step aside.

 

His sectarian policies are partially responsible for the production of ISIS's popularity amongst the Sunni public.  It's through the governing game that you win your supporters.  That's what ISIS is doing (and is doing better than al-Malaki's government).

 

If only al-Sadr would run for office.

 

Think about it.

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Iraq PM rejects unity government

Iraq PM rejects unity government | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Maliki rejects calls for a government of national unity to help counter the offensive by jihadist-led Sunni rebels.
Eli Levine's insight:

We should be working to undermine and eliminate this man and his government from Iraq.  Not only is this a stupid way to fight a sectarian-based war and win a country, but it's also crippling to all of our interests if ISIS gets more democratically fueled legitimacy in the areas they control in Iraq and Syria.

 

This is just going to fuel extremists and make it harder for al-Malaki to govern.  It's time that the US appeal to the Iraqi people to get rid of this man en masse and install someone who will support a unity government.  That, or remind al-Malaki that he'll be dealing with a hostile jihadi state on what will be a new border in the region.

 

Idiot.

 

Complete and utter, f*cktard.

 

And that's an insult to f*cktards.

 

Think about it.

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IB History Notes - 2.2 China under Deng Xiaoping, economic policies and the Four Modernizations

IB History notes on 2.2 China under Deng Xiaoping, economic policies and the Four Modernizations
Eli Levine's insight:

An interesting and pragmatic guide that needs to be adopted to each society's situation.

 

The collaboration and focus on what works and what doesn't work, rather than on ideological principles is what attracts me to these principles.  Allowing people to have some modicum of extra based on how much they're able to produce?  Also good, provided that some of it past a certain point, gets kicked down to workers.  A more conscientious attitude towards the environment would also be helpful.

 

A very interesting case to look at, for sure.

 

Think about it.

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The Genius of Deng Xiaoping

The genius of Deng Xiaoping, was that he was able to grow what would become a thriving economy from the ashes of the Chinese Revolution, the Cultural Revolution, and Mao's cult of personality.  He not only out maneuvered the old guard of the revolution, but also was practical and frugal enough to not waste energy, efforts, and resources growing ideologically based nonsense.  He kept control of the country's capital through the central bank, and enabled a modicum of personal profit making to encourage party leaders and business people to grow and develop.

 

All that needs to be done in China, is to have the excess profits that are accumulating in those no-name accounts to be kicked down to workers, according to how the economy grows.  It may also be a good idea for their next leader to welcome some more individual freedoms of expression after the wages have been increased according to the profits realized.

 

What Deng proved is that you don't need the international monetary system of capital to grow a powerful economy.  If you collaborate with your workers, enable people to get ahead personally (to a reasoned degree), and listen to what works rather than impose what you think would work, great things can grow from your society.  All that is left is stewardship of the environment and society, and a constant, proactive, and dedicated effort to understand what is there, how things are shaping up, what is changing, and how to approach that change such that everyone wins (meaning, the least amount of actual harm is done in a society to individuals).

 

The minority, no matter how powerful they may think they are, is ultimately bound to the will of the majority.  It is far better (and less messy) to sacrifice ones' own marginal position for the sake of the common well being and to ride out the benefits that they receive from what is an honest sacrifice.

 

Not all who lose something are losers.  Not everything that you lose is worth having to begin with.

 

Think about it.

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