Community Articles from 2019
The Corporate Plan to Groom U.S. Kids for Servitude by Wiping Out Public Schools
By Lynn Parramore
Posted July 17, 2019
When Lafer began to study the tsunami of corporate-backed legislation that swept the country in early 2011 in the wake of Citizens United—the 2010 Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited sums to influence the political system—he wasn’t yet clear what was happening.
In state after state, a pattern was emerging of highly coordinated campaigns to smash unions, shrink taxes for the wealthy, and cut public services. Headlines blamed globalization and technology for the squeeze on the majority of the population, but Lafer began to see something far more deliberate working behind the scenes: a hidden force that was well-funded, laser-focused, and astonishingly effective.
Lafer pored over the activities of business lobbying groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – funded by giant corporations including Walmart, Amazon.com, and Bank of America—that produces “model legislation” in areas its conservative members use to promote privatization.
Of all the areas these lobbyists were able to influence, the policy campaign that netted the most laws passed, featured the most big players, and boasted the most effective organizations was public education. For these U.S. corporations, undermining the public school system was the Holy Grail. More…
The system of public education is under attack by corporate forces and funding is being reduced in the hope of inducing systemic failure, allowing corporations to take over.
The public school system is the foundation upon which the nation was built. Consider the consequences if corporations are successful in taking over the system. Do you believe that students needs or corporate profits will be the priority?
How Legal Weed Is Killing America’s Most Famous Marijuana Farmers
By Natalie Fertig
Posted July 16, 2019
Under Prop 64, though, cannabis has become what some in the industry call “the most regulated crop in the nation’s most regulated state.” Each plant must be meticulously monitored through a central system called “track and trace.” There are separate state and county regulations, and the county requirements—from additional taxes to environmental impact studies—can be drastically different for farmers in different parts of the state. And where farmers once paid just income and maybe some sales taxes on their medical marijuana, they are now paying taxes before they grow, after they grow, and after they sell.
Zoning certificates and water board fees can cost $3,000 to $5,000, but the biggest costs come in environmental and structural changes to the property. Many Humboldt farms lie in the mountains, deliberately out of the way to avoid easy detection, at the end of long dirt roads that are hard to navigate. Paving the dirt roads alone can cost over $100,000. More…
Don’t Owe. Won’t Pay
by Charles Eisenstein
Posted July 15, 2019
The legitimacy of a given social order rests on the legitimacy of its debts. Even in ancient times this was so. In traditional cultures, debt in a broad sense—gifts to be reciprocated, memories of help rendered, obligations not yet fulfilled—was a glue that held society together. Everybody at one time or another owed something to someone else. Repayment of debt was inseparable from the meeting of social obligations; it resonated with the principles of fairness and gratitude.
If one debt can be nullified, maybe all of them can.
The moral associations of making good on one’s debts are still with us today, informing the logic of austerity as well as the legal code. A good country, or a good person, is supposed to make every effort to repay debts. Accordingly, if a country like Jamaica or Greece, or a municipality like Baltimore or Detroit, has insufficient revenue to make its debt payments, it is morally compelled to privatize public assets, slash pensions and salaries, liquidate natural resources, and cut public services so it can use the savings to pay creditors. Such a prescription takes for granted the legitimacy of its debts. More…
Top Cancer Research Advisor Compares Wireless Radiation To Cigarettes
by Arjun Walia
Posted July 5, 2019
It’s truly astonishing how the health concerns regarding wireless radiation, which are firmly established in scientific literature, are often ignored and not addressed within the mainstream media. Given the fact that mainstream media controls a large amount of people’s perception and awareness with regards to multiple issues, the health concerns regarding 5G are still largely off the radar on the minds of many.
We’ve seen many examples of how federal health regulatory agencies have been completely compromised by corporations, and the new 5G issue appears no different at the moment. This is how certain products and services get approved without ever really going through any appropriate safety testing.
A great example of this type of corporate corruption in the United States, for example, was outlined a few years ago by a group of more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC who put out a public statement, while remaining anonymous, outlining the big problem of corporate influence and the effect it is having on health policy decisions. They were referred to as the Spider Papers. The authors heavily stressed just how big of a problem this truly is. More…
Doctors treating patients from over-exposure to wireless radiation joined scientists at Queen’s Park to recommend the Ontario Government take steps to protect public health before the roll-out of 5G – the next generation of cell phone tech.
How are technologies like this approved by federal health regulatory agencies without any appropriate safety testing?
Escaping Extinction Through Paradigm Shift
Written by Nafeez Ahmed
Posted June 30, 2019
We have been trained to believe that voting every once in a while in parliamentary systems suffices for effective democratic action that serves our legitimate interests. We now know that this is not enough. Our democracies are not just broken, beholden to special interests belonging to an interlocking network of energy, defense, agribusiness, biotechnological, communications and other industrial conglomerates dominated by a tiny minority.
Our democracies are in a state of collapse: incapable of addressing the systemic complexity of the crisis of civilization. As they fail, they are veering toward rejecting their own democratic ethos toward increasing authoritarianism — shoring up centralized state powers to ward off dangerous ‘Others’ and unruly citizens. And so it is only natural that we feel the most immediate response must be to react against this state of abject failure. Yet this response itself is a function of the same sensation of helplessness and paralysis induced by the system itself. More…
Decatur I-Net Plans Draw Comcast Acrimony in Georgia
by Katie Kienbaum
Posted June 23, 2019
At a May 6 City Commission meeting in Decatur, Georgia, city leaders approved a project budget of $2.35 million to build a municipal I-Net and award the construction contract to Georgia-based Network Cabling Infrastructures, Inc. The decision came amid demands from cable giant Comcast that the community of about 24,000 immediately begin paying exorbitant fees for infrastructure the city has used under a past local franchise agreement. The case of sour grapes was resolved, but it once again reveals how the large corporate monopolies don’t hesitate to flex their muscles when things don’t go their way.
At the Decatur City Commission meeting on April 15, City Manager Andrea Arnold explained to city leaders and attendees that Comcast was seeking payment from the city for use of the Institutional Network (I-Net) that connects public buildings, reported local news site Decaturish. At the April 15 meeting, Arnold stated:
“The heavy handed approach taken by Comcast grossly violates the way the city operates. Instead of working towards a creative solution to satisfy both parties, Comcast is bullying the city into making a hasty, uninformed decision.” More…
Most rural areas have no choice when it comes to Internet Service Providers.
Consider the benefits of a community having its own network where it can provide service at significantly reduced rates and cut out the big carriers and their monopolies.
The Bankers’ “Power Revolution”: How the Government Got Shackled by Debt
by Ellen Brown
Posted June 19, 2019
We have a $22 trillion debt that cannot possibly be repaid. The government just keeps rolling it over and paying the interest to banks and bondholders, feeding the “financialized” economy in which money makes money without producing new goods and services. The financialized economy has become a parasite feeding off the real economy, driving producers and workers further and further into debt.
The irony is that the United States does not need to carry a debt to bondholders at all.
We need a new model, one designed to serve the needs of the public and the economy rather than to maximize shareholder profits at public expense. More…
Our current monetary system is based on debt that requires interest payments to private parties. The burden of these interest payments is already overwhelming our ability to pay.
Why are we paying interest on our money supply when the money could just as easily be created interest free? Who would benefit from keeping the system exactly as it is today?
18 Ways Julian Assange Changed the World
by Lee Camp
Posted June 17, 2019
Julian Assange and WikiLeaks revealed the American military’s war crimes, the American government’s corruption and the American corporate media’s pathetic servile flattery to the power elite.
In an evolved and fully realized society, the oligarchy would see Assange as a dangerous criminal (which they do), and the average working men and women would view him as justice personified (which they don’t). We would celebrate him even as the mass media told us to hope for his downfall.
But we are not evolved and this is not Gotham City and average Americans don’t root for the truth. Many Americans cheer for Assange’s imprisonment. They believe the corporate plutocratic talking points and yearn for the days when we no longer have to hear about our country’s crimes against humanity or our bankers’ crimes against the economy. Subconsciously they must believe that a life in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains and know all about it thanks to the exhaustive efforts of an eccentric Australian is worse than one in which we’re tirelessly exploited by rich villains yet know nothing about it. More…
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