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Terry Dyke
Worked at City of Austin
Attended University of Texas at Austin
Lives in Austin
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Terry Dyke

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In case you were wondering what the heck is going on in this country, it's about Dixie. Again. Still.

... The South’s current drive to impose on the rest of the nation its opposition to worker and minority rights—through the vehicle of a Southernized Republican Party— resembles nothing so much as the efforts of antebellum Southern political leaders to blunt the North’s opposition to the slave labor system.

... the South’s efforts to spread its values across America are advancing, as Northern Republicans adopt their Southern counterparts’ antipathy to unions and support for voter suppression, and as workers’ earnings in the North fall toward Southern levels. And now as then, a sectional backlash against Southern norms has emerged that, when combined with the Southern surge, is again creating two nations within one.
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The Southern labor system (with low pay and no unions) is wending its way north.
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The party of Dixie

The "Conservative Revolution" of 1994, staged by Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and other like-minded Southerners, was effectively a takeover of the Republican Party by Southern interests and leadership, and has stayed that way right up through the present.

Recently, the media trumpeted the defeat of "last Democrat" Mary Landrieu, a final milestone in the GOP's merger with the South.

The brand of "conservatism" they're promoting could more accurately be termed "Southernism," a particular mix of values that are essential to Dixie, but distinctly un-American -- patriarchy, theocracy, aristocracy, and caste.

The Republican crusade to force these values on America is actively supported, of course,  by the one percent, who appreciate the "aristocracy" part.

Washington has always been the South's nemesis, even before the Southern bid for independence was suppressed by force of arms in 1865. We shouldn't be puzzled that they never quite got Americanized -- a conquered people doesn't just "get over it" in a few generations.

So for 150 years, we've basically been stuck with a cold civil war.

The Southernized GOP has no use for Washington, saying right up front that "government is the problem," that it should be "drowned in the bathtub," and generally gridlocking Washington right out of the governing business. Call it "Dixie's revenge."

Constantly undermining the American government the way they do, and refusing to "compromise" -- i.e., to take part in governing -- stops looking like mere legislative opposition and starts looking more like fifth-column subversion.

It's getting to the point where the GOP should no longer be considered a legitimate political party. It is functioning more like an insurgency, and they need to be dealt with for what they are.

Then, maybe, we can turn our efforts to the root problem of this deep and endless divide in our country, the Southern question. Dixie wanted to be its own country, a different country, but we forced them to stay, and that has backfired horribly. Now what?

We need some workable answers, because all those irreconcilable differences keep getting in the way of having a truly American society -- prosperous, democratic, egalitarian, and secular.
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  #GOP   #fifthcolumn   #Dixie   #ColdCivilWar #dividednation
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+Louis Doggett PAHAHA!!! Tell me another! Let me guess, you're one of those guys who says Bush wasn't a Conservative. 

Let's break down the debt by President, usinghttp://useconomy.about.com/od/usdebtanddeficit/p/US-Debt-by-President.htm

Obama: +53% (6 years)
Bush 43: +101% (8 years)
Clinton: +32% (8 years)
Bush 41: +54% (4 years)
Reagan: +186% (8 years)
Carter: +43% (4 years)
Ford: +47% (4 years)
Nixon: +37% (4 Years)
Johnson: +13% (4 Years) 
Kennedy: +8% (4 years) 
Eisenhower: +9% (8 years)

The all-time record holder, FDR, racked up a 1048% increase over a 16 year term, the worst depression in the modern era, and the Second World War. 

You have to go back over a hundred years ago before you start to find any sort of support for 'Republicans are good for the budget', and the first President in the modern era who didn't have 16 years and a Great Depression and a global war to contend with who bumped the budget by more than 10% was...a Republican. His Republican replacement bumped the budget by even more, and after each time a Democrat got in after a Republican was in office, well, what do you know. Carter reduced the growth by 4%. Clinton reduced the growth by 22% (and note: he did so over 8 years where Bush 41 only had 4 years). And Obama has managed to cut the rate of growth in half.

So, your idea that Conservatives will shrink the debt? Pipe dream. Handing vast bags of cash to oil companies, the MIC (which one of your own warned you and us about...), and to multinationals loyal to no one else but themselves is too tempting to ever let the National Debt go down. Those bombs and missiles aren't gonna buy themselves, you know.

"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due." - Richard "Dick" Cheney, 2004
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Energy, complexity and the cornucopian myth

John Michael Greer revisits Overshoot and brings some historical perspective to our ecological predicament.

White’s Law, one of the fundamental principles of human ecology, ...holds that a society’s economic development is directly proportional to its consumption of energy per capita.

[Fossil fuels] boosted the concentration of the energy inputs available to industrial societies by an almost unimaginable factor...

If you have a highly concentrated energy source and don’t yet know how to use it efficiently, your society isn’t going to become as complex as it otherwise could. Over the three centuries of industrialization, as a result, the production of useful knowledge was a winning strategy, since it allowed industrial societies to rise steadily toward the upper limit of complexity defined by the concentration differential.

...inevitably, industrial societies ended up believing that knowledge all by itself was capable of increasing the complexity of the human ecosystem.

Since there’s no upper limit to knowledge, in turn, that belief system drove what Catton called the cornucopian myth, the delusion that there would always be enough resources if only the stock of knowledge increased quickly enough.
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#energy #energydecline #overshoot #peakoil #transition #sustainability
I was saddened to learn a few days ago, via a phone call from a fellow author, that William R. Catton Jr. died early last month, just short of his 89th birthday. Some of my readers will have no idea who he was; others may dim...
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+Ian Carlson Back at ya, bro!
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The #CulturalCreatives circle -- a carefully-vetted group of 100 artists, writers, makers, and thinkers on G+.

They all have 1000+ followers and post actively. Most tend toward the humanist/progressive/green end of things, and all have a creatively provocative take on this stuff that fills our waking hours.

If you are interested in joining the circle and expanding it, please do the following:

1. Add this to your circles
2. Add yourself to the circle
3. Share the expanded circle to Public
4. Include comments and #CulturalCreatives tag

Thanks!

Terry Dyke

#CulturalCreatives  #circles  #circlesharing   #sharedcircles    #publiccircles
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Thank you +Terry Dyke 
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Democracy's Awful Little Secret

It may be that democracy doesn't scale up well. Just raw, dumb mathematics putting a lid on rule by the people. If so, the 1/3 billion of us in this continent-sized nation are in trouble when we want democracy to be more than in name only.

Those voters who stay at home in droves give us the line "So what? One vote, why bother?" And of course we say "Because Florida 2000," however lame we know it sounds.

The problem is, they're right -- it's the perfectly bad "consumer value proposition." They don't get anything for their vote that they wouldn't get by staying at home. And if there's one thing we certainly are, it's a nation of consumers. That typically leaves us muttering something about "more education."

Then a couple of observations kind of bumped together for me that I found provocative: Iceland and ancient Athens.

Iceland, of course, managed to dodge the bullet during the 2008 banking meltdown by the simple expedient of tossing out the gunmen -- unlike the rest of the world, Iceland simply allowed their diseased banks to succumb to their own corruption. I took this as a heroic act of democracy in action, and kind of marveled at why Iceland could do such a thing, while the US could not.

Scratching the surface, though, I learned that Iceland the nation has a total population that's about half that of my hometown, Austin.

That they are able to educate themselves so well and maintain a moral compass pointing to a democratic "true north" seem to support an idea that we should probably pay more attention to -- democracy as a system that doesn't scale up well.

The arithmetic is inherent: in a small electorate, a participant's vote carries more weight than in a large one. As it gets larger, the "consumer value proposition" of voting -- well, we see how that turns out.

For the history-minded, it's worth noting that in ancient Athens, birthplace of democracy, the electorate was less than 30,000. The Agora seated even fewer (about 6,000), and Plato recommended an ideal maximum of 5,000 citizens in his Laws, companion piece to The Republic.

It's easy to imagine: you can readily gather a coalition of 60 - 75 of your colleagues, which could have a substantial impact on the outcome of a vote of a 6,000 person electorate. With just one more degree of separation -- a "two-hop" -- each of your 60 have their own 60, and you've got 3,600 on your side. That is a qualitatively different dynamic than with an electorate of millions -- it puts any such personal coalition-building way out of reach.

Since the days of ancient Athens, though, attempts to increase the scale of democracy have given us the questionable hack of "representative democracy." What could possibly go wrong!?

It may even be safe to generalize: the smaller, more local and more homogenous a political entity is, the more frequent the political outcomes will be that we're willing to call "democratic."

What Athens was in miniature America will be in magnitude.
- Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man

...who recognized the differences in scale, but didn't understand the consequences of it.

“Wealth we employ more for use than for show, and place the real disgrace of poverty not in owning to the fact but in declining the struggle against it. Our public men have, besides politics, their private affairs to attend to, and our ordinary citizens, though occupied with the pursuits of industry, are still fair judges of public matters"

- Pericles

...who got it right.
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#democracy #relocalization #localism #appropriatescale #banksters
themassesareangry Searching for models for the new government they were creating, America's Founding Fathers studied both the democracy of Athens and the republic of Rome, but they favored the latter. In The Federalist essay...
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Democracy by John Dunn
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In all this drama about wearing guns in public, it seems that there's a real opportunity for the problem to solve itself that nobody has mentioned yet.

I think it would be very appropriate, with all these fine examples of Southern manhood swaggering around fully-armed, that we legalize duelling.

You're welcome!
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Pogo as in the punkers' dance because virtually all party members are punks and the creator plays in a band: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_Pogo_Party_of_Germany (wow, didn't expect there to be an english wiki page about them)
I think it is meant to symbolize the chaotic nature of that party.
Didn't know about the Pogo you were referring to until I googled it, seems pretty cool too :D
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The "moderate voter" turns out to be a statistical artifact

People with extreme but ideologically inconsistent positions on a number issues "average out" to be moderate in the stats.
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#ideology #polarization #polling #voters


It's time to stop using the word "moderate."
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Terry Dyke

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Much to our detriment, a conquered people doesn't just "get over it" in a few generations.

Just because they got defeated, we clearly didn't win their hearts and minds. So now we expect them to forgive and play nice?

At this point, the South has effectively completed a merger with the Republican Party, whose principal task since 1994 has been to gridlock Washington right out of the governing business.

Call it "Dixie's Revenge."
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Happy Appomattox Day! The South lost 150 years ago -- get over it already.
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+Terry Dyke One of the most distressing things for me about the current political scene is how vulnerable Southerners are to Republican Party propaganda. The GOP is made up of a bunch of vultures who tell constant lies to get poor white Southerners to vote for Republican candidates. That also is an outcome of the post-Civil War events. The South was a plantation economy in which a small, wealthy white elite used poor, hardscrabble whites to enforce segregation and uphold the economy. pre-Civil War period. During the post-Civil War colonial period (South colonized by the North), good education and economic development (which go together) was denied white Southerners and has led to their vulnerability to right-wing propagandists today.  So many blacks left the South and went north in the Great Migration. The good news is that a lot of those blacks have come home to the South, and a lot of northerners have moved South in recent years. I think the South will change and  become far less reliable for Republicans in the future.
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More and merrier!
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Come on in!
 
The 360 Degrees Circle - 02/03/15
If you want to add smart guys and brilliant ladies to your circles, you are at the right place: The 360 Degrees Circle is a great fellowship of nice people who turn everyday G+ to an awesome place. So, if you want to join these people in a relationship based on fun and friendship, add and share this circle and, maybe, next week you'll be in! ;))
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Bingo. Of course  they're not over it. A conquered people doesn't just "get over it" in a few generations. Incredible short-sightedness by the US to think that military victory over a nation seeking independence would also win their hearts and minds.

"It's okay -- we just smashed half your population, most of your land and all of your aspirations, but now we can all of us just happily get on with being Americans."

Yeah, right -- this said to a people that didn't have any interest in being Americans in the first place, and arguably still don't.

They're a people who wanted their own country so they can do things according to their own values -- decidedly un-American values, but theirs nonetheless. If the UN considers independence a universal right, then the US should, too, and let Dixie go its own way.

The Cold Civil War started heating up in 1994 with the "Conservative Revolution," led and shaped by Southerners like Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. It wasn't just a seat-count in Congress; it was a cultural overhaul that has only deepened since then.

The GOP may now be properly considered the political arm of a resurgent Dixie, whose aim was always to get out from under Washington. Now the GOP is succeeding in at least neutralizing Washington by gridlocking it right out of the governing business.

Oh, what they're up to, those wacky Republicans! Call it "Dixie's revenge."
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Is it to late to let the South secede?
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+Johnathan Gross Even though I don't happen to agree with that conclusion, I'd say first that it's not a matter of "better" or "worse" -- just adaptation to changing circumstances.
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You Don't Have to be a Bank to Issue Money

Mutual credit systems make possible a type of currency that doesn't require central banks, interest-bearing debt, or arcane measures to keep the money supply in balance.

They can also operate well on a local scale as a complementary currency. One of the more popular forms is a LETS (Local Exchange Trading System)

The idea is simple: think of a personal check that circulates. Your payee can use it for payment on something else, and so on from hand to hand.

The check is never "cashed" -- sooner or later, you'll end up working (or trading something) for a "check" of the same amount. By that point, though, the check is effectively a bank note -- without the bank!

If you understand the very primitive LETS, you basically understand how money should work. It really is that simple. Galbraith was not kidding when he said “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent”.

But there is no deeper mystery. This is it.
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 #mutualcredit #money #relocalization #transition #usury #curecapitalism
Mutual Credit is the way money is created in barters worldwide. Barters don't barter. They don't use national currencies to finance their trade and that's why they are called that way. But they use...
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Education
  • University of Texas at Austin
    Anthropology & Computer Science
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It's late, and it's getting interesting...
Introduction
Neighborhood citizen and urban farming instigator. Relocalization advocate.

Old hippie with a mortgage, a pension and a contrarian view of The Future.

Army brat and conscientious objector. Former rocker, programmer, cable network exec, media consultant and public servant. Now happy to be full-time human and husband.

I follow energy and technology issues, particularly post-industrial and post-carbon social adaptation, and look for ways to "walk the walk."

Always grateful to talk to people with similar interests and concerns. Actually, with anyone who doesn't go "Huh?"

I write a lot more than I used to, but don't play as much music. I currently have a novel that I'm looking to get published.

For reals, I make stuff in my workshop.
Bragging rights
Able to empty a room in thirty seconds just by saying "peak oil."
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Writer, researcher, neighborhood organizer
Employment
  • City of Austin
    Research Analyst (retired), 2012
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Currently
Austin
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San Antonio - Berkeley - Great Barrington MA - Lasqueti Island, BC - Dobbs Ferry NY - New Brunswick NJ - Caldwell ID - Gotemba, Japan - Stuttgart, Germany - Augsburg, Germany - Ft. Knox KY