After long career bailing out big banks, Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner

[Spiritual]
After long career bailing out big banks, Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
by Jake Johnson
Posted August 17, 2018

Tim Geithner, fleecing the poor“Your economy, rigged to redistribute wealth to the top.” After a lengthy government career defined by his central role in bailing out predatory Wall Street banks as former President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner appears to have found his true calling in the private sector, where he now heads a large financial institution that exploits the economic struggles of poor Americans for profit.

As president of Warburg Pincus – a major New York private equity firm – Geithner helps manage a lucrative predatory lending outfit called Mariner Finance, which mass-mails loan checks to low-income Americans, hides exorbitant interest rates in the fine print, and quickly sues those who fail to repay the loan and interest in time, according to a detailed Washington Post report published late Sunday. More…

Money and the Unflappable Economist

[Social]
Money and the Unflappable Economist
By Philip E. Mirowski
Posted August 16, 2018

Koch brothers corrupting educational intgegrityAt the beginning of May 2018, there was a brief furor over donations from Koch family-affiliated philanthropies to fund the Mercatus Institute and the newly-named Antonin Scalia School of Law at George Mason University (GMU).

Although articles concerning the admirable efforts of the GMU student organization UnKoch My Campus appeared in many of the prominent news outlets, the attention span of journalists seemed to barely outpace that of interest in one of Donald Trump’s tweets, with even less consequence. But more to the point, the silence of the economics profession concerning the revelations was pretty deafening.

Briefly, I would like to revisit why this was so and why it matters. More…

Amazon’s Fusion With the State Shows Neoliberalism’s Drift to Neo-Fascism

[Economic]
Amazon’s Fusion With the State Shows Neoliberalism’s Drift to Neo-Fascism
by Elliott Gabriel
Posted August 15, 2018

corporate invasion of privacyThis year may go down in history as a turning-point when the world finally woke up to the dark side of the ubiquitous presence of popular Silicon Valley companies in our daily lives. One can only hope so, at least.

From Amazon to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and PayPal – among others – revelations poured out confirming the ongoing abuse of user data by monopolistic corporations, as well as their growing role as vendors of surveillance technology to the U.S. police state, military, and migrant detention agencies.

In March, the lid was blown off of the violation of user data on Facebook, with Cambridge Analytica mining user information for the purpose of providing millions of detailed “psychological profiles” to the Trump campaign, among others. Scarcely two weeks later, the Google campus was in an uproar over the development of its “Project Maven,” which was building an AI-fueled platform to vastly upgrade the automatic targeting abilities of the U.S. military’s global drone fleet. Faced with public outrage and internal dissent, the company pulled out of bidding to renew its Pentagon contract, which ends next year. More…

How To Save Heirloom Tomato Seeds

[Community]
How To Save Heirloom Tomato Seeds
By Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz
Posted August 14, 2018

of no interest to capitalistsHeirlooms are irresistible, not just because they’re delicious, but because growing them defies capitalism.

Most tomatoes in a supermarket are hybrids, bred for uniform shape, mechanized harvest, and long journeys. A study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that between 1903 and 1983, the variety of produce being grown had shrunk by 93 percent—408 varieties of tomatoes down to 79—and many of those heirlooms have been lost entirely. Like sunshine, heirloom seeds are of little interest to capitalism if they can’t be patented or owned.

Hybrid varieties have had the benefit of genetic tinkering that allows for some cool traits. But these seeds must be purchased new each year from the companies that create them. Heirloom varieties have long, stable genetic histories, and these seeds usually have been passed down for generations within communities. Hybrid varieties have had the benefit of genetic tinkering that allows for some cool traits. But these seeds must be purchased new each year from the companies that create them. Heirloom varieties have long, stable genetic histories, and these seeds usually have been passed down for generations within communities. More…

A Mexican Town Overthrew Their Local Government And Things Are Going Great

[Social]
A Mexican Town Overthrew Their Local Government And Things Are Going Great
by Mac Slavo
Posted August 13, 2018

town kicks out anyone claiming the right to rule themThe town of Cherán was once plagued by people claiming the right to rule over them and now they live peaceful lives free of violence. After the town of 20,000 people in Mexico decided to take matters into their own hands by kicking out politicians, cops, and criminals, the now completely voluntary society is running great and the people finally have freedom and peace.

It sure sounds scary to those unable to imagine a life of true freedom, but the town has been liberated since 2011 and no politician is allowed to come in and begin to control the people. According to Vice, armed men and women — not police, but members of an autonomous militia — guard every entrance to the town, looking for strangers with contraband. “Contraband” would be considered political propaganda posters of those who claim the right to rule other human beings. Since the town has been free since 2011, there’s no use for politicians or those who want power over others. More…

Trade War Provides Perfect Cover For The Elitist Engineered Global Reset

[Economic]
Trade War Provides Perfect Cover For The Elitist Engineered Global Reset
by Brandon Smith
Posted August 12, 2018

bait and switchOver the past several months, I have been examining the underlying or hidden motivations behind the currently expanding global trade war, including the impressive level of cognitive dissonance surrounding the issue. The political left doesn’t seem to have an intelligent grasp of economic issues in the slightest. I’m not seeing any critical discussion from leftist media outlets or pundits on fiscal uncertainties, and the only reaction that is common from them is that they hope that the trade war results in the financial downfall of the US so that Trump can be voted out in 2020.

They may very well get their wish, but they seem to imagine themselves celebrating at the end of the disaster, and I predict they’ll be so concerned with their own financial survival that they won’t have time to celebrate…

The initial reaction in conservative circles to the trade war was unfortunately overconfident denial, with many refusing to call the situation a “trade war” at all and some predicting an end to the conflict before it began. Obviously those assumptions are proving incorrect. More…

To Avoid Humans, More Wildlife Now Work The Night Shift

[Social]
To Avoid Humans, More Wildlife Now Work The Night Shift
By Kaitlyn Gaynor
Posted August 11, 2018

animals becoming nocturnal to avoid humansWhile we expected to find a trend toward increased wildlife nocturnality around people, we were surprised by the consistency of the results around the world. Eighty-three percent of the case studies we examined showed some increase in nocturnal activity in response to disturbance. Our finding was consistent across species, continents and habitat types. Antelope on the savanna of Zimbabwe, tapir in the Ecuadorian rainforests, bobcats in the American southwest deserts – all seemed to be doing what they could to shift their activity to the cover of darkness.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the pattern also held across different types of human disturbance, including activities such as hunting, hiking, mountain biking, and infrastructure such as roads, residential settlement and agriculture. Animals responded strongly to all activities, regardless of whether people actually posed a direct threat. It seems human presence alone is enough to disrupt their natural patterns of behavior. People may think our outdoor recreation leaves no trace, but our mere presence can have lasting consequences. More…

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Great story on why we need to remove ALL of our elected government representatives

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