The Longer View

“North Dakota 2.7% unemployment will soar” 24/7 Wall Street
“Switching to home solar power is the story of the year” EcoSalon
“”Plunging prices threaten UK’s ‘cash cow’ oil industry” AFP
“Next big future: Roll to roll manufactured decorative perovskite solar panels will be 5 times better and 10 times cheaper”
“Low oil prices chill once-hot oil town in North Dakota” Christian Science Monitor
“The shape of things to come: The solar powered car of the future.” Financial Times
“Charles Koch: We’re just getting started” Politico
“The future of solar” Fox Business videos

These are some of the headlines in the 1-25-15 online news. The Politico article almost seems an anomaly within the context of the others. Not. It is rather prescient of what the other headlines say in and of themselves. This blog has previously written of disruptive technology, a term used to describe development that displaces one form of technology with another based on the new form being cheaper, easier to use and with more inclusive access while the older displaced technology is more expensive, difficult to sustain and very exclusive. The personal computer (now the smart phone) is exemplary of what disruptive technology is all about. Solar has been described as just that – a disruptive technology. The Koch empire is heavily invested in coal, oil and fossil fuel processing (especially in regards electric power generation and distribution). Kenneth P. Vogel, writing for Politico, gives a smattering of the press release by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce from its current meeting in Palm Springs California. “The group raises money from donors who attend twice-a-year sessions like the one in Palm Springs, and spends it – both directly and through grants to other linked non-profits – on a combination of small government advocacy and partisan electioneering. The groups combined to spend about $290 million in the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections, including on hard-hitting ads that were credited with softening up vulnerable Democratic senators who ultimately lost to Republican challengers.” This was a first time “official” release of activity by these previously secret meetings. ““But as many of you know, we don’t rest on our laurels. We are already back at work and hard at it! In fact, the work never really ends. Because the struggle for freedom never ends,” Koch said.” Analysis finds the above pairing of headlines to be indicative of the upcoming struggles and some of the issues of the next two years. The relationship (and correlation of the two) will not be covered by the press, media or local news outlets (every struggle involves a struggler as well as a strugglee). Expediency accounts for this. As corporate entities (the media, not the Chamber), they are primarily interested in what drives their market share and improves their stock value. “Divide and conquer” – by separating these into individual news blurbs, the association of one with the other will essentially be obliterated. It appears on the surface that it could be shrugged off as just “growing pains”, the new encroaching on the old. Political scientists say politics is about not only seizing the power of the process (how the game is played), but also the power to frame the argument (what the game is about). ““Americans have taken an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism,” Charles Koch said in his speech, seemingly in reference to the Republican takeover of the Senate during the 2014 midterm elections.” One of those that the $290 million helped into office suggested that not enough people are available to work. Cutting Social Security disability would be a good way to increase the labor pool (John the Governator also argues this, though rather indirectly, by insinuating there are jobs available in Ohio going unfilled). Analysis found this incredulous. Not that SS disability should be cut, but that someone within this “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” propaganda would let slip that it really is all about making more cheap labor available for corporate America (who would opt for SS if they could have fulfilling high paying employment with medical coverage for their disability and a disability friendly work place?). Framing the argument in terms of collectivism, or rather anti-collectivism, makes it appear that the “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” all pay great, have a growing future and are sustainable. The sustainable, disruptive future is framed as “uncertain”, “collective”, “unproven” and “insecure”. The guns, money and megaphone seems to be with the Koch’s. Analysis finds vitality favoring the sustainable, disruptive future. Will Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce and others be able to silence and stifle vitality?


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