Food Power and Human Connection – Edesia Rising
By Zhiwa Woodbury
Posted April 20, 2015
The Orwellian oligarchy has done a masterful job of convincing us that we are powerless, reducing us to despair and symbolic political actions in pursuit of wholly inadequate, piecemeal changes where science and nature demand radical, systemic reforms. The result is a cultural malaise in which we “medicate” our natural depression with OCDD: obsessive compulsive distraction disorder. And, of course, the plutocrats are more than happy to supply us with a seductive cornucopia of distractive electronic suppressants and copious amounts of antidepressants and opioids to numb our spiritual pain.
The reason we are losing this autocratic game, and losing the world in the process, is that we are playing by their rules. We’ve been conditioned to believe that our power is limited to voting for the lesser of corporate-sponsored evils, marching in the streets and feebly petitioning our broken political institutions for crumbs of incremental change. Which is to say, no power at all – trickle-down politics. To pull the curtain back and reveal our naked emperors, we must stop thinking within the dark political box by which they’ve disenfranchised us. We must recognize our most effective powers. More…
How To Sell Off a City
By Rick Perlstein
Posted February 25, 2015
For over a decade now, Chicago has been the epicenter of the fashionable trend of “privatization”—the transfer of the ownership or operation of resources that belong to all of us, like schools, roads and government services, to companies that use them to turn a profit. Chicago’s privatization mania began during Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration, which ran from 1989 to 2011. Under his successor, Rahm Emanuel, the trend has continued apace. For Rahm’s investment banker buddies, the trend has been a boon. For citizens? Not so much.
And as mayor, Emanuel has proven himself practically an addict when it comes to brokering deals with his former investment banker comrades and the other business interests he keeps on speed dial. As the Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke discovered when they filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the mayor’s private schedule, Emanuel almost never met with community leaders during his first year in office, but he met constantly with rich bankers like Rauner, BMO CEO William Downe and Larry Fink, chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the world’s biggest money management firm. These are his people. More…
Release the Ego—Transform the World
by Nanice Ellis
Posted January 26, 2015
There is enough for everyone. Our magnificent earth provides an abundance of food, energy, natural medicine, and building supplies that could easily meet the needs of everyone on this planet. Mother Earth does not charge money for any of these things, but our artificial economic system creates lack, scarcity and a slave civilization. We are killing our world and ourselves with poison food, toxic water, and polluted air, not to mention depression, anxiety, poverty and a host of other socio-economic issues – all caused or related to the global economic system.
It appears very easy to blame corrupt world leaders, governments, corporations and a host of other problematic sources — but the system continues because we agree to it. Perhaps, our agreement is complacent, but nonetheless, our lack of non-agreement perpetuates the dysfunction. So the question is, “What is it about each of us that makes us comply and go along – enabling the corrupt and moral-less?” More…
The Only Road Out Of Davos
by Raúl Ilargi Meijer
Posted January 23, 2015
The Davos crowd are not the important people, it’s just propaganda that makes you see them in that light. There’s no glory in wealth. The important people are your neighbors, your families, and most of all your children. And the answer to their insidious schemes is really simple; its that very simplicity which may well be the reason you never saw it.
You see, a dollar spent on locally made products goes much further than one spent on products that are shipped in. About 4 times further. Because if you buy local products, you support local jobs, which in turn support the community you live in through taxes that pay for strengthening the community, and so forth. Ergo: if something produced locally costs twice as much as what’s available from 1000 miles away, you’d still be better off. Even if it’s three times more expensive, you’ll still end up richer. More…
1700 PRIVATE jets ferrying the billionaire class decended on the Davos Economic Forum. So many that it caused air traffic control problems. You just know these people have the best interests of working people and the planet in their hearts.
Deep Questions Arise Over Portland’s Corporate Water Takeover
By Victoria Collier
Posted January 9, 2015
A simmering water war is about to come to a boil over the fate of historic, well-loved public reservoirs in Portland, Oregon. At the heart of the controversy is a breakdown in public trust that reflects the dangers of corporate-led water privatization schemes in the United States and around the world.
In an emotionally charged public meeting on November 18, 2014, Portland residents bombarded two of their city commissioners with questions about what they believe is a cronyism-driven plan to kill the elegant, gravity-fed, open water reservoir system that has reliably served their city safe, clean drinking water for more than 100 years.
Most troubling are charges of decades of revolving-door cronyism surrounding Joe Glicker, a vice president of CH2M Hill, the company awarded the contracts to build the new covered reservoirs for Portland. Not only was Glicker a former chief engineer of the Portland Water Bureau (PWB), he also worked as a core consultant with the EPA to write the very LT2 rules that now require these massive “emergency” water infrastructure projects. It’s a conflict of interest that has local water rights advocates’ heads spinning and steaming all at once. More…
Our Daily Poison: How Chemicals Have Contaminated the Food Chain
By Marie-Monique Robin
Posted November 30, 2014
A few of the topics discussed include the origins of the chemical industry in chemical warfare; its history of “strategizing how to control and manipulate research on the toxicity of its products, while waging a merciless war on all the scientists wishing to maintain their independence in the name of the defense of public health”; the modern epidemic of cancers and other diseases that exploded at the end of the 19th century; the weaknesses of epidemiological studies; the idea of acceptable daily intake; case studies of specific chemicals; and the “cocktail effect.”
There are several painful stories of poisoning victims’ struggles for recognition and compensation, which serve to break up and humanize the flood of technical information. In her conclusion, Robin calls for a new precautionary approach to approving chemicals that errs on the side of protecting people rather than industry. More…
Skyrocketing Water Bills in the US: Is Water The New Enron Scam? – Fake Crises, Fake Bills, And Fake Solutions
Skyrocketing Water Bills in the US: Is Water The New Enron Scam? – Fake Crises, Fake Bills, And Fake Solutions
By David Simon
Posted November 26, 2014
Readers may remember my past article dealing with the apparent corruption regarding water rates in places like Dekalb County, Georgia. Electricity, Gas, Water. It’s crucial that people be aware that they are not safe from those providing these services and necessities. They should know that their “government” can even move to take water from them.
But Dekalb County is not the only place in the United States where water rates and the restriction of access to water has become a significant issue. As the quotes above demonstrate, Benton Harbor, Michigan appears to be ground zero in the battle for access to water. But “emergency managers” are not the only way to take water from people or charge them fortunes they can’t pay.
In Georgia, the technique is somewhat more subtle. There, water providers do not jack up the rates since doing so would cause a public outcry and protest. Instead, they send out water wills that are fictitious and that have no basis in actual water usage – bills as high or higher than 10 times more than the normal rate, often reaching the amount of three to six thousand dollars. When customers call to complain, the water board’s phone system conveniently doesn’t work and they end up reaching no one. And when they call the office of the CEO of the county, as people have been doing at the rate of nearly 50 calls per day for months, nothing happens. Letters of complaint go unanswered. More…
Want to feed the homeless? Be prepared to pay the government for the privilege
by Michelle Chen
Posted November 18, 2014
Cities are enacting politics to keep homeless people out of sight and uphold a social order driven by racial and economic inequality. Homeless people, by definition, have nowhere to go – but now in many cities, they have even fewer options. While real estate developers tout “green space” and the economic “revitalisation” of urban landscapes, it’s the sidewalks, parks and plazas that have become hostile territory for the poor. City lawmakers are trying to “clean up” the streets by barring homeless people from parks, shunting families into overcrowded shelters and, in some places, making it a crime even to help the homeless.
Last week, when a 90 year-old activist got arrested for feeding local homeless people at the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, his outrage pointed to a nationwide trend of criminalizing compassion in the United States. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, since the start of 2013, 21 cities have imposed measures to restrict people from sharing food with the needy in public. More…
A City for Sale: Detroit Auctions City Assets for Pennies on the Dollar
By Seraphine Collins and Andre Damon
Posted November 8, 2014
Jugurtha looked back at Rome and said, “A city for sale, if it can find a purchaser!” – Sallust
On the side of the Lodge Freeway, a few blocks from Detroit’s historic Boston-Edison neighborhood, stand, row upon row, acre upon acre, hundreds of city maintenance vehicles—backhoes, snow plows, and lighting and utility trucks—all newly-painted and cleaned.
It looks as though these vehicles have been lined up for some great task; perhaps, at any moment, thousands of workers will arrive at the lot, man the cabins, and stream into America’s poorest large city to repair its thousands of broken street and traffic lights, fill the potholes that mar nearly every street, prepare its antiquated drainage system for the harsh Michigan winter, and remove the trash piled up in neighborhoods and parks. More…
The Public Bank Option: Building an Ark
By Mike Krauss
Posted October 28, 2014
Ellen H Brown is an attorney, researcher, author and daughter of U.S. diplomats. And observant.
In the aftermath of the Wall Street collapse and the catastrophe it let loose, she noticed that while forty-nine of the fifty states and thousands of municipal governments were drowning in red ink and deficits, one state was not: North Dakota.
She investigated and discovered that unlike the other states, the people of North Dakota owned their own central bank, a mini Federal Reserve, the Bank of North Dakota (BND), and as one North Dakota banker put it, “When the crash hit, the BND never blinked, and the credit kept flowing.” More…