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Monday, March 30

Time To Put Human Values Ahead of Shareholder Values

The above recommendation comes from Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow.

“Only when we recognise that the economy must exist within the limits laid down by ecology will we have the chance of a meaningful economic recovery, rather than futile attempts to resurrect the old economy's corpse with more of the same medicine.”

These issues are being covered by Rob Edwards,, a freelance journalist specialising in environmental issues. He is also the Environment Editor for Scotland's Independent Newspaper The Sunday Herald

FINALLY...... someone (in journalism) who speaks my mind completely.

PRAISE THE LORD AND (don't) PASS THE AMMUNITION (cause you won't be able to find any)

Thank you Mr. Edwards - you just saved me a lot of time today. I'm trying to put together a 2 minute WAKE THE HELL UP speech to the town council and BOE for this evening's meeting about the looming cuts that our school system will be facing. I am so sick and tired of everyone barking up the wrong tree here. I am so sick of the political posturing, bickering, and utter waste of time trying to "fix" this world wide mess we are in.

I was going to start my rant with the NCLB nonsense that has a lot to do with the difficulties our BOE is facing. I want to see a show of hands by those who might know anything about this legislation and who wrote it. I am curious how many "officials" know about one of its authors. You guys know who I'm talking about -- Margaret Spellings -- She was one of the principal proponents of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Houston in 1979.

Before her appointment to George W. Bush's presidential administration, Spellings was the political director for Bush's first gubernatorial campaign in 1994, and later became a senior advisor to Bush during his term as Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

Despite the fact that she had never been a teacher or school administrator, Spellings was nominated to the post of the Secretary of Education by George W. Bush on November 17, 2004.

Our town and most others will never be able to fix things unless they open their eyes to the hidden agenda behind NCLB

This town meeting tonight is also for residents to come and share their concerns about the economy. There is no way I'm going to be able to do that in the remaining one minute I will have. But thanks to Mr. Edwards' most recent column -- Leading adviser's warning to ministers: the problem's not bankers, it's society -- I'm gonna just go for it and read it IN FULL as quickly as I can:

THE ECONOMIC system is broken, and attempts by governments to fix it by kick-starting growth and consumerism are "delusional" and "pathological", the Westminster and Holyrood governments will be warned by their own advisers this week.

A ground-breaking report by the leading environmental advisers to First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister Gordon Brown will deliver a damning verdict on capitalism and demand a radical shift to a fairer, more sustainable society.

The report has been compiled by the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), a group of 19 experts chaired by Jonathon Porritt which advises Salmond and Brown on environmental issues. Entitled Prosperity without Growth?, it is to be published tomorrow.

The pursuit of economic growth, founded on the increasing consumption of material goods, has failed to bring social justice, prosperity or happiness, the report says.

"The narrow pursuit of growth represents a horrible distortion of the common good and of underlying human values," the report concludes. "The market was not undone by rogue individuals or the turning of a blind eye by incompetent regulators. It was undone by growth itself."

The report presents a fundamental challenge to the economic policies being pursued in London and Edinburgh, raising questions about some of the basic tenets of modern capitalism. We are living in an "age of irresponsibility", it says.

"Questioning growth is deemed to be the act of lunatics, idealists and revolutionaries, but question it we must," says Tim Jackson, a professor at Surrey University and the SDC's leading economics expert.

"The myth of growth has failed us. It has failed, spectacularly, in its own terms, to provide economic stability and secure people's livelihoods."

According to the report, inequality is higher in industrialised nations than it was 20 years ago. The rich have got richer, but the poor have remained poor, with wealth only trickling to a "lucky few".

The environmental consequences have been "disastrous", the SDC says. In the last 25 years the global economy has doubled, leaving 60% of the world's natural ecosystems degraded and threatening "catastrophic" climate change.

The economy is "fundamentally broken", argues Jackson. "A return to business as usual is not an option. Prosperity for the few founded on ecological destruction and persistent social injustice is no foundation for a civilised society."

A society founded on the "relentless pursuit of novelty" undermines social well-being. "The economy itself is dependent on consumption growth for its very survival," the report says. Market economics have to be questioned and consumerism has to be reversed, the report urges.

It recommends 12 steps to a sustainable economy, such as tackling inequality, changing work patterns and respecting ecological limits.

In Scotland the SDC is urging ministers to invest in infrastructure that creates low-carbon communities. "Rather than build more roads for more cars, the government must make it easier to use rail and buses, cycle or walk," it says.

Jan Bebbington, the SDC's vice-chair and an accounting professor at St Andrews University, said: "The Scottish government must stop thinking the pursuit of economic growth, no matter how sustainable the growth is labelled, is going to make Scotland flourish almost as a matter of course."

But the Scottish Government stressed its purpose was "sustainable economic growth". A spokesman added: "To suggest we stop trying to grow our economy, when we can see the effects of the recession around Scotland, is completely wrong."

Sustainability was a "fundamental aspect" of economic policy, he argued. "That's why we have set out actions to create thousands of jobs in sustainable industries that harness Scotland's natural advantages."

The Confederation of British Industry in Scotland also gave the report's findings a cool reception. "The dismal picture portrayed by the SDC is not one we recognise," said CBI Scotland's David Lonsdale.

But Green MSP, Patrick Harvie said: "We have long argued for a vision of the economy which puts human values above shareholder value, and I'm delighted that the SDC is saying the same thing."

I'm looking forward to the report that is coming out today. If anybody comes across it, please leave the link in the comment section.

A tip of the hat to Indigus for bringing this to my attention.

And if per chance they haven't taken the microphone away from me at this point, I'm going to go all "Howard Beale" on the audience, because until they unplug themselves and their children, it's all pointless.

We've been screaming for years "I'm not going to take it anymore". It's time we change that statement a tad.....

I'm mad as hell and I'm not buying it anymore...

Just STOP BUYING CRAP (including most of the shit on our supermarket shelves -- It is truly unfit to eat.)

It's simple.

It's back to basics time

or else........

(don't forget -- there's no more ammo -- and there's a very good reason why)

We can bring it ALL to a screeching halt very peacefully.

Let's get to work.

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