Community Articles from 2018
Harvest of Greed – The Merger of Bayer and Monsanto
By Dr. Joseph Mercola
Posted July 5, 2018
The Bayer-Monsanto entity is now the largest seed and pesticide company in the world, controlling more than 25 percent of the global seed and pesticide supply. Farmers are concerned about what the merger might do to prices and quality — since less competition inevitably tends to lead to price hikes while reducing incentive for innovation — the merger will also give the subsequent entity even more power to pressure and manipulate governments into accepting the unacceptable risks posed by GMOs and toxic pesticides.
Farmers have also expressed concern over what the merger might do to prices, as less competition inevitably tends to lead to price hikes.
As just one example, the price of a bag of seed corn has risen from $80 to $300 over the past decade alone — a price hike attributed to the consolidation of seed companies and reduced competition. The merger of Bayer and Monsanto is predicted to make matters worse. Farmers also worry that consolidation will result in lower quality products by reducing incentive for innovation. Organic farmers have their concerns as well. More…
The Coming Collapse
by Chris Hedges
Posted June 5, 2018
As a foreign correspondent I covered collapsed societies, including the former Yugoslavia. It is impossible for any doomed population to grasp how fragile the decayed financial, social and political system is on the eve of implosion.
All the harbingers of collapse are visible: crumbling infrastructure; chronic underemployment and unemployment; the indiscriminate use of lethal force by police; political paralysis and stagnation; an economy built on the scaffolding of debt; nihilistic mass shootings in schools, universities, workplaces, malls, concert venues and movie theaters; opioid overdoses that kill some 64,000 people a year; an epidemic of suicides; unsustainable military expansion; gambling as a desperate tool of economic development and government revenue; the capture of power by a tiny, corrupt clique; censorship; the physical diminishing of public institutions ranging from schools and libraries to courts and medical facilities; the incessant bombardment by electronic hallucinations to divert us from the depressing sight that has become America and keep us trapped in illusions.
We suffer the usual pathologies of impending death. I would be happy to be wrong. But I have seen this before. I know the warning signs. All I can say is get ready. More…
California Senate votes to restore net neutrality
By Makena Kelly
Posted June 4, 2018
The California Senate voted on Wednesday to approve a bill that would reinstate the net neutrality regulations repealed by the Federal Communications Commission in December.
The bill, S.B. 822, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D–San Francisco), was introduced in March and passed through three committees, all along party-lines. The bill was approved 23–12 and will now head to the state Assembly.
After the FCC moved to eliminate net neutrality rules, states began implementing their own measures. In January, over 20 attorneys general sued the commission before the order was even published. Some governors attempted to use executive orders, while others worked with legislators. California’s bill to restore protections in the state is one of the toughest responses to the FCC’s rollback. More…
Money creation and inequality – an underexposed topic for monetary reformers
by Lino Zeddies
Posted June 4, 2018
It is beyond doubt that the current money system has a huge impact on the distribution of power and wealth and heavily contributing to systemically worsening inequality. Even though there is growing public awareness and debate about the problem of inequality, so far the focus has been on the distribution of existing money and wealth, while the distributive effect of how and for what purpose money is created in the first place, seems to be a complete blind spot.
A sovereign money system creates a much fairer economic playground compatible with the ideals of a free market economy and a thriving democracy.
Firstly, when transitioning to a sovereign money system, there would be a considerable one-time debt relief as credit money would be replaced by debt-free sovereign money. Depending on a country’s level of debt and the amount of bank money in circulation, this would typically allow a huge reduction of government debt just due to the transition. Less government debt means less interest expenses for the public, allowing lower taxes and better public services and better infrastructure. More…
Blackstone, BlackRock or a Public Bank for California’s Money?
by Ellen Brown
Posted June 3, 2018
California needs over $700 billion in infrastructure during the next decade. Where will this money come from? The $1.5 trillion infrastructure initiative unveiled by President Trump in February includes only $200 billion in federal funding, and less than that after factoring in the billions in tax cuts in infrastructure-related projects. The rest is to come from cities, states, private investors and public-private partnerships (PPPs). And because city and state coffers are depleted, that chiefly means private investors and PPPs, which have a shady history at best.
There is an alternative. California’s pools of idle funds cannot be spent on infrastructure, but they could be deposited or invested in a publicly owned bank, where they could form the deposit base for infrastructure loans. California is now the fifth-largest economy in the world, trailing only Germany, Japan, China and the United States. Germany, China and other Asian countries are addressing their infrastructure challenges through public infrastructure banks that leverage pools of funds into loans for needed construction. More…
Don’t Settle for “Fake Belonging” — In Society or Politics
by Debilyn Molineaux
Posted June 2, 2018
We human beings have an intense — an inherent — need to belong to a group. In our “cave days,” it was important for the survival of our species to be connected and work together. As we’ve evolved, physically, emotionally and societally, belonging has been equally important to our survival. Our community provides acceptance, support, and values.
It’s the “something bigger than ourselves” that provides meaning to our lives.
Belonging and connection means having a sense of purpose, which allows for happiness. We are meant to be in groups. No one is an island. No. One. We are wired for community. More…
Seizing the Public Banking Moment
by Matt Stannard
Posted June 1, 2018
The free market has failed as a governing paradigm of material life. Whatever the case for local markets in their specific context, large-scale competition and hierarchy are destructive, trauma-inducing conditions for people and the planet. For centuries, people have pushed back against those competitive and hierarchical models, advocating and experimenting with more cooperative and ecologically holistic economic visions.
One of those visions is financial democracy: public or community control of the financial system itself. Recognizing that the generation and value of money are artificial, and that how we pay for things is fundamentally a political question, advocates of financial democracy see banking – the power to lend money and to create value through the act of lending – as an enormous power. Such power should be democratic, not autocratic. More…
See Which Produce Has the Most Pesticides in EWG’s 2018 Dirty Dozen List
by Anna Hunt
Posted May 27, 2018
Almost everything we eat in the conventional diet is subject to manifold doses of chemicals. Agricultural producers often spray vegetables and fruits with 10-15 sprays, such as pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides, during the growing season. And that’s considered the norm!
In total about seven billion pounds of pesticides are used annually worldwide. This includes agriculture and other industries. For example, modern building practices employ pesticides for wood preservation. But what I’m trying to do is make a point: if you’re buying conventional, non-organic food, you are eating these chemicals.
It’s very likely that ingesting argochemicals diminishes the benefits of eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. That’s why, it is important that you do whatever you can to lessen your exposure to these chemicals. More…
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