ANTIPARTISAN – AN ADDITION TO THE VOCABULARY OF SUSTAINABLILITY

Two years ago today, Jim Bacon wrote a column titled “Elections, Shmelections. Nothing has changed.”

That column deserves to be reread with care. From the perspective of the long term trajectory of civilization, NOTHING WAS CHANGED by yesterday’s election except the level of hype.

Barack Obama could be the best president the US of A has ever had and that would not change the current trajectory on contemporary society.

The future is not about what President Elect Obama – or any other President – can or will do. The future is about what citizens and their Organizations have already done, individually and collectively, and will do, especially collectively and primarily at the New Urban Region scale.

This is true whether or not Senator Obama is able to implement his agenda. Check out the Obama platform on taxes and spending, housing stimulus and the bailout, retirement security, trade, foreign policy, access to health care, offshore drilling, climate change, immigration, education and the culture war issues. They are great pre-1973 ideas but will they really result in “change” much less yield Fundamental Transformation to a sustainable trajectory?

To be fair with the Elephant Clan promising pre-1973 “growth and prosperity” had the Donkey Clan been more realistic, they would have been hammered by the voters. That is because the vast majority who went to the polls believe in Big Rock Candy Mountain.

And why do they believe in Big Rock Candy Mountain? That is what both Clans have been promising for 35 years.

In neither Clan’s platform were there substantive proposals for Fundamental Transformation in governance structure to reflect economic, social and physical reality. There was not even the call for a Balance of individual rights with community responsibilities that was in both the Bush I and Clinton platforms of 1992.

There were no proposals that would result in a Fundamental Transformation in human settlement pattern.

Both Fundamental Transformations are necessary to preserve democracy with a market economy.

An ‘historic’ election? The only historic aspect is that finally citizens MAY have put aside prejudices that were contrary to the principles upon which the US of A was founded 233 years ago – slavery and racism.

On 5 November citizens and their Organizations are faced with the same human settlement pattern they had on 3 November – the Helter Skelter Crisis. That crisis has resulted in:

The Mobility and Access Crisis, and

The Affordable and Accessible Housing Crisis

The later of which has triggered a Global financial meltdown.

Reversing the Helter Skelter Crisis is the only path to shrinking the ecological footprint of humans, reducing energy consumption and dependence on foreign petroleum as well as enhancing personal and food security along with other key elements of a sustainable trajectory for civilization.

Although they make important observations, there is something profoundly frustrating about the posts “A Few Pre-Election Thoughts,” (3 Nov) and “Va, Welcome to the Real World,” (5 Nov) by Peter Galuszka and “Democracy in Action,” (4 Nov) Jim Bacon. These posts imply that who gets elected and which party they represent (note: “which PARTY they represent) makes a difference. Political party monopoly is bad, the current political party duopoly is worse.

In the ESTATES MATRIX we document why MainStream Media has abandoned the Fourth Estate. Watching the election coverage on the ‘major’ networks and cable channels last night and then reading the election coverage in today’s press makes it clear:

MainStream Media is dependent on political party duopoly is pseudo “competition” for revenue.

“Let’s you and him fight” political ‘coverage’ is a huge contributor to MainStream Media’s bottom line. According to WaPo the two parties spent over $375 million dollars on “media and advertising” for the top of the ticket from June trough election day.

Political candidate and party ads plus the ‘issue’ ads intended to generate bail-out proceeds, defense contracts and to obscure responsibility for the Global financial meltdown (and other hot air issues) make up the majority of ad revenue. The prime drivers of dysfunctional settlement patterns – Large, Private Vehicles and Dream Homes – ad revenue is in the tank along with the advertisers.

In a democracy there is no sustainable path to Elephant Clan recovery. That is because the Clan would have to convince 50.5 percent of the voters in key states that they are enjoying to fruits of “growth and prosperity.” That is not possible when the “growth and prosperity” they tout has been subsidized by burning thru natural capital that has been and / or is being exhausted.

This is not just the problem with oil but with all resources from blue crabs to top soil, to potable water. The natural capital is not completely gone yet but it will be more inaccessible and much more expensive in the future. Resources will be affordable only by those at the top of the economic Ziggurat and they do not make up 1 percent of the voters, much less 50.5 percent.

Oh yes, there is a way to lower the cost – a recession. A depression works even better. But that does not make those voters at the bottom of the Ziggurat happy.

Culture War issues are no longer a viable refuge for the Elephant Clan. Concerning the Culture Wars the op ed “Last of the Culture Warriors” by Peter Beinart in the 3 Nov 2008 WaPo is a must read.

In a democracy with a market economy there is no sustainable path for the traditional platform of the Donkey Clan either. The only option is rabid populism because there are not enough resources to support continued Mass OverConsumption, especially with dysfunctional human settlement patterns.

The favorite weapons of the Clan wars and also not available. Derogatory labels are not only useless – as the results from yesterday’s election show – hurling misleading epithets at the other party is ineffective and probably counter-productive. Calling someone a fascist, ultra conservative, right wingnut, center right, center, center left, liberal, ultra liberal, left wingnut, socialist, communist – and all the other labels – is meaningless.

Scaring citizens by suggesting that the other party wants to take away their ‘freedom’ or ‘taxing the poor to support the rich’ is will not work. Neither will using ill defined terms like “limited government,” “free markets” or “rule of law” when those in public office violate their responsibility to protect community interests.

Party labels have been stretched and distorted to include at least 50.5% of those who come out to voter. (By the way, “Donkey Clan” and “Elephant Clan” were not invented by EMR or Jim Bacon. EMR first heard about them from a political scientist who describes himself as a “recovering Republican.” The Clan designations have a useful ‘tribal’ ring and have been adopted into the SYNERGY Lexicon.)

Where to from here?

“Politics is broken.” Partisan two party competition is a dead end. Bipartisan ‘cooperation’ is worse and a nonpartisan agenda not much better. Bipartisan and nonpartisan catchalls mask the need for Fundamental Transformation. How about an Antipartisan strategy?

Drop the superficial political spectrum labels – call them all Core Confusing Words.

Spell out principles such as those in The Shape of the Future with respect to human settlement patterns or those dealing with managing the economy in the “IT IS ELEMENTARY” post of 10 October 2008 on this Blog.

Define objectives using clear, well defined terms within a comprehensive Conceptual Framework.

Spe
ll out the strategy to achieve the objectives and seek broad agreement on the tactics to achieve the objectives. With respect to human settlement pattern, SYNERGY lays out a Three Step Process in HANDBOOK.

The Antipartisan approach is to create a broad consensus based on agreement of the vast majority of stake holders with the level of decision being the level of impact.

The biggest problem for some will be that an inclusive Antipartisan process will “slow things down.” Slowing things down in a society where speed has burned through natural capital and atomized society is a good thing, not a bad thing. Small is beautiful and Regional is the new Global.

Note on Vocabulary:

Google and Webster, Third Edition indicate that “Antipartisan” is a new word so we capitalized it. Antipartisan.com is an available domain name. Jim Bacon’s “Elections, Shmelections, Nothing Has Changed” column drew a suggestion from Groveton concerning a new “third” party. Perhaps what is needed is an antiparty?

EMR


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22 responses to “ANTIPARTISAN – AN ADDITION TO THE VOCABULARY OF SUSTAINABLILITY”

  1. “enhancing personal and food security along with other key elements of a sustainable trajectory for civilization.”

    Food security?

    Wow, you really are a Malthusian. Forget about the discredited ideas of 1973, you’re stuck in 1823.

    So I’ll ask this question — if all of the current political failures have their roots in the ignorance of “dysfunctional human settlement patterns” then what leaders in history have ever talked about it?

    Or is this a one-man quest that no one else has embraced? Has all of civilization has been on the brink of disaster since, say, the founding of Rome? You know, those guys with their Large Private Chariots and Oversized Dream Villas. The fools did not realize their Mass OverConsumption would lead to 2,700 years of prosperity.

    And what have the Romans ever done for us anyway?

  2. my question was going to be much more modest…. something along the lines of which 3rd party candidate best addressed the issues of concern…

    but then that was inevitably going to lead to the conclusion that none of the current ones do..and that we need a new one with the right message that will then subsequently be overwhelmingly supported by citizens lusting for fundamental transformation…

    the specifics of such a 3rd party platform though – remain secret – to protect the innocent… though I suspect a core constituency would be those that decry the dark evil of Walmart and the forces that empower it.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Green Party is pretty specific, certainly more so and open than the Republicrats:

    http://gp.org/platform.shtml

  4. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Ed, I am torn between the idea of creating a third party founded on the principles of creating new institutions for the 21st century that support economically and environmentally sustainable regions, and the idea of creating an antiparty “movement” that operates independently of political parties — but gets things done through them. So, when someone like Del. Poisson (see the post that follows this one) introduces an idea like a mileage-based tax that is consistent with the principle of fairly allocating location-variable costs, then the antiparty mobilizes to support him. If a good idea emerges from the Rs, the antiparty mobilizes to support it as well.

    The more I think about it, the more I like the antiparty idea. The Rs and Ds can fight the culture wars all they want. The antiparty movement will sit out those battles, choosing to work with members of either party who support Fundamental Change in human settlement patterns, education and health care.

  5. I’m trying to understand what the middle ground might be between Democracy and King.

    Because.. in the end.. what we have.. is advocacies … for change… that decry the “problem” of Democracy and instead want someone in charge to force the “correct” solution onto everyone.

    That’s what is driving the current partisanship with the Dems and Republicans right now – is a fundamental refusal to find common ground to go forward on and an insistence that you have to get your guys into office in order for right solutions to be put into place.

    Of course, the 3rd party folks don’t think any differently that the two institutional parties… they just want their agenda put into place … also – without compromise – the ONLY way their platform can go forward is if we have fundamental change in Governance and go to a “king” type of government.

    wrong?

    You want Democracy? You got Democracy.

    You don’t like Democracy?

    Fine – go somewhere where they don’t have it.. and …enjoy.

  6. Ray Hyde Avatar

    “the 3rd party folks don’t think any differently that the two institutional parties… they just want their agenda put into place … also – without compromise – “

    Bingo.

    Compromise is essential to reaching a position of maximum net social value.

    EMR’s position also leaves no room for compromise, and it is as sure to be wrong as any other agenda driven party or idea.

    RH

  7. re: …”…essential to reaching a position of maximum net social value.”

    naw.. you fell off the wagon again… and you can’t get up

    compromise does not mean agreement on net social value… if you can’t even agree of what the phrase actually means…..

    compromise means you agree on a POSITION that you are willing to accept even if you do not believe that it actually is net social value – even in your own mind.

    If we actually could agree on what the term means – compromise would not be necessary.

    For instance, virtually everyone agrees that a national policy of energy independence would be a useful thing…

    but the next step is where things get ugly…

  8. E M Risse Avatar

    Jim Bacon:

    The future of democracy and market economies depend on moving away from political parties.

    Political parties were useful when it took Jefferson days, not nonoseconds to get from Cville to Georgetown.

    Political parties were useful when citizens had could be persuated by emotional drivel and meaningless jargon examples of which are easy to identify.

    Leave the political parties to those who believe that the Earth is flat and that someone, somewhere is a higher authority that can dictate the best interest of a Cluster of sane, well-informed Households.

    Lets go with Antipartisan.

    That can be worked into PROPERTY DYNAMICS.

    We will Antipartisan when we are editing PART ELEVEN.

    Tell Del. Poisson the Antipartisans are coming.

    EMR

  9. Bob, if you think food security is some Malthusian throwback term, you need to do some more reading. You are, in fact, so misinformed that no one else has even bothered to respond to your remarks. Food security is a very real concern, and you (like most) may ignore it at your peril. I wish you were right about “prosperity”. I hope we never see the extremes where those who trust in the current settlement pattern (like you) are storming the gates of those who are better prepared (as I hope to be) and people are dying. Rome fell, and so may the United States. I wish you good luck.

    Yes to Antipartisan! Some thoughts:

    * there are many existing organizations, networks, and coalitions that would be very excited to join forces against partisanship. The more, the merrier, right?

    * How does the Antiparty make decisions, how is it organized? Steering politicians and voters away from partisanship would take a great deal of power… how to insure such power isn’t abused?

    * Everyone knows the earth is cubic.

    😎

  10. Woah, slow down there, Rabbit. Worrying about food security in the U.S. is Malthusian, not the term itself. The “we’re all going to starve” scare tactic was the hallmark of Malthus. Malthus doesn’t use the term, as far as I know.

    The causes of crop problems here are entirely political. (Ethanol, farm subsidies, and dollar devaluation driving up commodity prices.) As we saw with “drill, baby drill” public opinion can stop the insanity when properly motivated.

    “hope we never see the extremes where those who trust in the current settlement pattern (like you) are storming the gates of those who are better prepared (as I hope to be) and people are dying.”

    First of all, I am fairly confident that I am far more heavily armed than you are — I am not worried. Second, I don’t trust in “settlement patterns”, I trust (a) human freedom, and (b) technology. I believe free men make better decisions than a committee of gnostics that find value in inventing cutesy new terms. If (a) fails, (b) saves the day.

    Rome went 1,200 years before falling. It sucked for about a century and has been a pretty cool place to be ever since, aside from the occasional sacking.

  11. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Bob, I think you misunderstand EMR’s use of the phrase “food security.” He’s not making a Malthusian statement about shortages of food. He’s concerned about the quality and safety of the food — as in, spinach not infected with botulism, beef not infected with mad cow disease.

  12. I think this perfectly illustrates the problem with EMR’s statements.

    They are so vague that they can be interpreted in many different ways.

    “Food Security” is not about where the food came from – it’s about the policies in place to insure that food is safe to eat – regardless of origin.

    You could have all food produced within a New Urban Region but without regulation what would happen?

    We already know the answer to this ..we have LOTs of examples of earlier times and places where even eggs from your neighbor next door could sicken you if he neglected the things it took to keep the eggs from becoming unsafe to eat.

    but EMR…. uses the phrase in the context of Settlement Patterns – without further explanation… leaving each person to try to understand what he meant by it.. so Jim Bacon ends up with his own version.. and Larry Gross ends up with his own version and EMR moves on to the next undefined out-of-context phrase.. to befuddle…and confuse.

    I know there is a sentiment of defending EMR’s ideas by providing one’s own explanation of what his ideas really mean but isn’t this EMR’s job since they are his phrases?

    Should not a simple question to EMR of “What exactly do you mean by Food Safety” have a fair expectation of him .. actually explaining what he means instead of telling the questioner that he does not have time to answer questions to those who he says, “refuse to understand”?

    When the entire class gets an “F”.. and in the remarks section the comment “refuses to understand” is written… what does that mean?

  13. My next comment, by the way, will be in response to the next time people are reminded as to their responsibilities not to attack the person and not the use profanity….

    I will then ask .. what is the responsibility of the person who posts his ideas in the first place….

    There are two here that almost never fail to responsibly make clear what their intent was if questioned…and that would be Mr. Bacon and Mr.Galuszka.

    You can disagree with them both – even strongly – but with both of them – you never find yourself wondering exactly what they mean… they make it clear in the original post and if there is subsequent doubt and questions – they clear it up pronto…

    Kudos to them.

  14. “Bob, I think you misunderstand EMR’s use of the phrase ‘food security.’”

    I stand corrected. But I also stand utterly befuddled because I can’t see how settlement patterns has anything to do with that sort of food security.

    Larry G, I’m with you. And with Lewis Carroll.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

  15. E M Risse Avatar

    Bob:

    “… I am utterly befuddled because I can’t see how settlement patterns has anything to do with that sort of food security.”

    No one doubts that.

    You will continue in befuddlement so long as you insist there is no connection between human settlement patterns and economic prosperity, social stability and envronomental sustainability.

    EMR quotes Lewis C. in “The Shape of the Future” — the same passage — in the section on the reason one must have a robust Vocabulary and that we defined the key words in GLOSSARY.

    Perhaps one of the reasons that Jim Bacon understands what we write is that he takes time to read what the words we use mean. No Humpty Dumpty here.

    Larry:

    You had your chance to understand but endlessly take the opportunity put up strawpersons instead of trying to understand.

    We do not have time to endlessly repeat when you just bury your head in the sands of Geograhic Illiteracy.

    You say:

    “Food Security” is not about where the food came from – it’s about the policies [and practices] in place to insure that food is safe to eat – regardless of origin.

    “You could have all food produced within a New Urban Region but without regulation what would happen?”

    Of course that is right [as ammended].

    But the statement assumes EMR is so stupid as to not understand that.

    If the food comes from within a the New Urban Region, or from a specific Urban Support Region, it would be far easier to test for and trace the origin of the melamine before thousands of cats, dogs and children die or the e coli from wild pigs in the Salinias Valley — or were those peppers from someplace in Mexico?

    Food security will be huge in coming decades. It will make food more expensive and thus economic to grow close to the point of consumption.

    Of course you know this — or you would if you bothered to read what we have written.

    There is a bigger issue, you posted a link to an airphoto of Waterloo, Iowa and then subsequently demonstrated you did not understand what a Clear Edge was — or intentionally misconstrued the function of a Clear Edge.

    Perhaps some do not have the capacity to embrase the the Vocabulary and Conceptual Framework necessary to deal with these issues?

    If so, civilization as we know it is doomed.

    More on this in the blog post “Upon Further Review” forthcoming.

    Rabbit:

    “* How does the Antiparty make decisions, how is it organized?”

    Great question.

    An initial step is a Critical Mass of those who think Antiparty is a good idea. (Not “the” Antiparty because “the” makes it a “party.”)

    Paul Hawken has some thoughts in “Blessed Unrest.” EMR is not sure how well Hawken’s ideas will work. More on that when TRILO-G is completed.

    “Steering politicians and voters away from partisanship would take a great deal of power… how to insure such power isn’t abused?”

    Another good question. More on this in the Blog post “Upon Further Regiew” forthcoming.

    EMR

  16. re: “But the statement assumes EMR is so stupid as to not understand that.

    If the food comes from within a the New Urban Region, or from a specific Urban Support Region, it would be far easier to test for and trace the origin of the melamine before thousands of cats, dogs and children die or the e coli from wild pigs in the Salinias Valley — or were those peppers from someplace in Mexico?”

    No.. I do not think you stupid.

    But you can get e coli just as quick inside a new urban region as from outside of it if… in EITHER CASE – you do not have the correct policies in place to start with.

    There is no differentiation with respect to what kind of settlement pattern is involved.

    and there is no natural advantage to have food sourced more locally..

    and there are some disadvantages for regional food security … if it is based on not allowing imports.

    For one.. you’ll not get some very common (and safe) foodstuffs that cannot be raised in your region.

    For two, you’re gonna have lots of different regions – each with it’s own particular and unique food safety policies to a certain extent like we already see… different countries and different states with different policies – except now.. you would take it to even smaller discrete levels.

    Further… setting food safety standards takes research and development resources that may not be available within each and every new urban region.

    In this country.. which has dozens, perhaps hundreds of New Urban Regions… the food testing.. might be confined to a single lab… with highly specialized personnel and testing equipment… and certainly not anywhere near the level of one lab per New Urban Region.

    It’s things like this that make me feel that .. while not stupid at all.. that EMR has not fully considered in his thesis…

    In other words, he assumes that New Urban Regions can be self-sufficient, self-sustaining (with a little help from Urban Support Regions) … but there are 18-wheeler sized “holes” in some of his assumptions.

    EMR is free to assert that food safety can be done better inside of each New Urban Region but it’s not a substantive assertion if it blithely assumes resources that are not going to be there to do it.

    and they won’t be there if.. for the entire US of A.. there might only be a single lab for a particular type of food…

    Sure.. you could decide that each New Urban Region will have their own labs.. but at what cost..of devoting precious regional resources to …duplicate a function that did not need to be and could have been used for other important priorities?

    and for ANYTHING that was exported… what would you do then? How would your Regional Lab determine the safety of food not grown within the New Urban Region?

    Would you send your Lab folks to all the Urban Support Regions that produce food for you New Urban Region?

    The questions go on and on… and no they are not strawmen…they are honest questions about things specific that seem to not logically “work”… like what I’ve pointed out here.

    Some things CAN be done regionally.

    Some things can even be done locally.

    But Some things – are National in scope… food safety and prescription drugs being two obvious examples.

    These things are not going to be done on a per New Urban Region basis unless we are willing to have 10 times as much labs and personnel as we now have…

    Just think of it.

    Instead of one CDC in Atlanta, we’d need one for each New Urban Region….

    Instead of one FEMA, we’d need one for each region…

    these things do not make sense in context at least to me, however, I’m willing to listen to EMR.. to explain how it will work… because.. I assume he HAS thought about it.. or else he’d be promoting something that he has not yet fully worked out major aspects of.

    So … you blog… you promote your vision… and you entertain questions.. and provide answers… even more than once.. cuz you know.. there might be some hard cases that don’t get it the first time..but there are also a lot of other folks who may have missed the previously provided wisdom and would appreciate a redux…..

    capische EMR?

  17. From wikipedia:

    Food security refers to the availability of food and one’s access to it. A household is considered food secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation.

    It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain food security in a world beset by a confluence of “peak” phenomena, namely peak oil, peak water, “peak grain” and “peak fish.” More than half of the planet’s population, numbering approximately 3.3 billion people, live in urban areas as of November 2007. Any disruption to farm supplies may precipitate a uniquely urban food crisis in a relatively short time. The ongoing global credit crisis has affected farm credits, despite a boom in commodity prices. Food security is a complex topic, standing at the intersection of many disciplines.

    I am not just whistling Dixie here, I am talking about an increasingly fragile artifice that holds most human civilizations in its faltering grip. Our food production has become unsustainable, if indeed it ever has been sustainable for a population of any size and density, due to a morass of economic, political, and globalizing forces.

    Wheat is one good example. Globalization, farm subsidies, and large scale monoculture farming have left us all dependent on relatively few producers, all using the highest yield and most popular strains of wheat in response to “market forces”. I place that in quotations because our market has been manipulated. We now have fewer food producers and less variety in the strains produced.

    Enter wheat leaf rust:

    Wheat leaf rust, also known as brown rust, is a serious fungal disease affecting wheat and rye caused by Puccinia triticina. It is the most prevalent of all the wheat rust diseases, occurring in nearly all areas where wheat is grown. It has caused serious epidemics in North America, Mexico and South America.

    Varietal resistance is important.

    Variety is the spice of life, and it may also be the key to survival. We have this marked lack of variety in a food commodity that has become so ubiquitous that a major plague could cause starvation in many populations around the world. We aren’t just lacking variety in wheat strains, we come to rely on the cheap and easy resources and eschew dietary variety in favor of convenience. Who eats millet or buckwheat anymore?

    Cereals are just one ingredient in a recipe for disaster.

    Bob said:
    Worrying about food security in the U.S. is Malthusian, not the term itself. The “we’re all going to starve” scare tactic was the hallmark of Malthus. Malthus doesn’t use the term, as far as I know.

    Bob, even reading my own post makes me wonder if I’m getting too extreme. I posted in haste, and it sounds more emotional than rational. I will try to avoid that in the future.

    Google “food security”, or google the news for “food riots”, and let me know your analysis. I’m open to criticism.

    Second, I don’t trust in “settlement patterns”, I trust (a) human freedom, and (b) technology.

    I would trust more in freedom if most humans weren’t so easily led down primrose paths. As far as technology goes, agriculture is a great example of how technology can be misused for profit rather than the greater good. Monsanto breeds genetically modified soy, corn, sorghum, canola, alfalfa, and cotton to resist the active ingredient in their top-selling pesticide. Why not breed modified seeds to resist weeds, blight, and pests instead? Because goodness is not good business.

    Food water, and energy security have many implications. If you’re worried about homeland security, would you rather (a) have all our food, water, and energy production centralized, as they are now, and delivered over a vulnerable grid, or (b) have these functions widely distributed, and accomplished in a manner most appropriate to the locale?

    Sure, some things should be centrally dictated for safety or quality control. There’s also a lot to be said about having production closer to consumption.

    As far as the issues with Dr. Risse’s language… I can understand some of the confusion, these are complex issues and I often find myself muddled by all the conflicting information and language. On the one hand, it may clarify some things to have a “lexicon” to define terms. On the other, it feels like muddling through a J.R.R. Tolkien book while trying to learn Elvish.

    Someone once told me that it is the responsibility of the listener to remain open and attentive, but the communicator is responsible for making themselves understood. For this reason I prefer to avoid getting stuck on “lingo”. I intentionally change the words I use every so often in order to make certain my audience has more opportunities to understand.

    Great discussion people, keep it going.

  18. pretty good post except for this:

    “I would trust more in freedom if most humans weren’t so easily led down primrose paths.”

    this statement has huge implications in virtually any scenario involving settlement patterns, food security…. and Democracy… even..

    one more thing….

    urban areas – New Urban Regions – and food – and where it is produced and how – seems to be a central issue with EMR and folks with similar orientation but are we not treating New Urban Regions like clones that don’t care what latitude they exist at – that each one will still grow it’s own food rather than import it?

    Sure looks like some New Urban Regions will have a diet high in bananas while other New Urban Regions will have potatoes at every meal… but no bananas…

    😉

  19. Larry,

    Agreed that the remark about freedom was vague. How about this: I perceive that a powerful central government in a large country such as ours has unique problems. For democratic process to work, the constituency must be well-informed about the dealings of the government in order to preserve their freedom. That’s difficult to manage when that constituency must rely on information sources that operate for profit rather than for altruistic aims.

    As far as getting your bananas and your potatoes: biointensive methods using greenhouse or cold frame technologies (some pretty simple) can yield both, even in the harshest Maine winter. I am a big fan of appropriate technology.

  20. E M Risse Avatar

    Larry:

    Sorry to put you to the trouble of going on and on about lab locations.

    Here is the text I decided to delete from the post:

    “As you know, EMR advocates Community Labratories.”

    Why? The results of lab tests can be communicated instaniously, the inorganic (and especially orginanic) material to be tested cannot.

    Someone who supports Community Hospitals and Community Colleges would surely advocate Community Labratories. Of course there will be specialties and coordination but give the demeaning comments a break.

    EMR has advocated a system where any citizen can go to a lab they trust — and to which her vote and purchases makes a difference — to see if, for example, the disease that is decimating the Easter Race of House Finches (Mycoplasma gallisepticum or avian conjunctivitis) has crossed over to Purple Finches as it has to American Gold Finches….

    The Cornell Lab of Ornothology can help the Community Lab set up — or there may be a Community Lab in a coordinated set of labs in a New Urban Region that specializes …

    Had we incuded the sentence we deleted, you would not have had to wasted time with more gratutious insults such as:

    “In this country.. which has dozens, perhaps hundreds of New Urban Regions… the food testing.. might be confined to a single lab… with highly specialized personnel and testing equipment… and certainly not anywhere near the level of one lab per New Urban Region.

    “It’s things like this that make me feel that EMR has not fully considered in his thesis…”

    There are many, perhaps an infinite number, of aspects of the New Urban Region Conceptual Framework and of Regional Metrics that EMR has not thought out but so far you have not found any.

    You would know that if you had read what was suggested months ago instead of tossing up question after question.

    You will understand if EMR does not bother to try to deflect any more of your intentional insults.

    Rabbit: Excellent point about potatoes and bananas.

    When costs are fairly allocated Community Labs and greenhouse bananas are both economical.

    EMR
    EMR

  21. “You will understand if EMR does not bother to try to deflect any more of your intentional insults.”

    EMR seems to be the only author here with a free license to insult.

    The question isn;t whether you cangroe banannas in Maine, it is whether it is worthwhile, after all costs are considered.

  22. Anonymous Avatar

    EMR:

    RE: your quote

    “Although they make important observations, there is something profoundly frustrating about the posts “A Few Pre-Election Thoughts,” (3 Nov) and “Va, Welcome to the Real World,” (5 Nov) by Peter Galuszka and “Democracy in Action,” (4 Nov) Jim Bacon. These posts imply that who gets elected and which party they represent (note: “which PARTY they represent) makes a difference. Political party monopoly is bad, the current political party duopoly is worse.”

    Yes, who gets elected is important. As for making some good observations but being profoundly frustrating, I think that one could say the same for your writing talent, which makes for impenetrable prose.

    I am simply not going to use your vocabulary. I am not going to buy into the Risse dogma.

    If that makes me some kind of MSM dinosaur, so be it. I can’t understand what point you are trying to make about the news media anyway.
    Peter Galuszka

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