When Hillary Clinton supporters are confronted with the evidence of their candidate's financial ties to dirty coal and oil, dirty finance, dirty autocratic governments, and so on, they insist that there's nothing to see here, because no one can link any specific contribution to a specific policy outcome.
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The Leap Manifesto calls for a Canada remade as "a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the opportunities of this transition are designed to eliminate racial and gender inequality."
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(In 2010, Boing Boing was pleased to feature as a guestblogger Arthur Goldwag, author of Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order, and many, many more. The following is an excerpt from Arthur's latest book, The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right. - dp)
Conspiracy theories often resemble a kind of misbegotten, debased form of theology — one that begins with a set of suppositions and then reverse engineers a fantastical version of reality that comports with them. History does not dispute, for example, the fact that Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s mother’s father was Jewish. But in the auto magnate and arch-conspiracist Henry Ford’s telling, this genealogical detail held the key not only to Lenin’s entire character and political philosophy but to the vicissitudes of the former Russian Empire circa 1920 and to the historical development of Bolshevism worldwide. Lenin’s wife is Jewish, and his children all speak Yiddish, Ford insisted, a little hysterically. Russia’s yeshivas are the recipients of lavish subsidies from the Bolshevik state:
The Bolsheviks immediately took over all the Hebrew schools and continued them as they were and laid down a rule that the ancient Hebrew language should be taught in them. The ancient Hebrew language is the vehicle of the deeper secrets of the World Program.
And for the Gentile Russian children? “Why,” said these gentle Jewish educators, “we will teach them sex knowledge. Read the rest
columnist Terry Savage happened upon two little girls giving away lemonade at their roadside lemonade stand. She was affronted at this economic illiteracy: after all, the raw materials for the lemonade had come out their parents' pockets, so they should be charging for the product! The mentality that leads to children giving away their parents' things (rather than selling them) is what has led to America's economic decline, according to Savage:
I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight.
"You must charge something for the lemonade," I explained. "That's the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs -- how much the lemonade costs, and the cups -- and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money..."
No wonder America is getting it all wrong when it comes to government, and taxes, and policy. We all act as if the "lemonade" or benefits we're "giving away" is free.
Get that, kids? The correct thing to do with the stuff you appropriate from others is sell it
, not give it away! Sounds about right -- companies take over our public aquifers and sell us the water they pump out of them; telcos get our rights of way for their infrastructure, then insist that they be able to tier their pricing without regard to the public interest. Read the rest
Happy International Women's Day to everyone, but especially to all the strong, brave women who fought and fight for a world where women and men have equal opportunities, equal representation in all fields of endeavor, and equal rights in society, custom and law. I am privileged to have been raised by my strong, feminist mother
and father to be a feminist man. For my Mom, my grandmothers, my wife, and my daughter, happy IWD!
International Women's Day
Previously:Awful 1962 marriage textbook speaks out against feminism ...
Naomi Klein on social change
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"Our debt to Haiti stems from four main sources: slavery, the US occupation, dictatorship and climate change. These claims are not fantastical, nor are they merely rhetorical. They rest on multiple violations of legal norms and agreements."—Naomi Klein, in The Nation (via @shockozulu) Read the rest
Guestblogger Arthur Goldwag is the author of "Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order, and many, many more" and other books.
(CC-licensed photo on Flickr by 911conspiracy)
Forty-five years ago, Harpers magazine published Richard Hofstadter's essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics." The occasion for the piece was the revenant conservatism that had driven Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign (the magazine hit the newsstands the month of the Johnson/Goldwater election), but it remains astonishingly apt. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone who wants to understand the mentalités of fringe political movements in the United States--from the Anti-Masons and Know Nothings in the first half of the 1800s, to McCarthyism, the Nation of Islam, and the Weathermen in the last century, to the Birthers and Truthers today.
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(Douglas Rushkoff is a recent Boing Boing guest blogger -- below, a previously-planned excerpt from his new book, the last in a series of excerpts which ran during his guest-blogging period.)
Here's the final excerpts for the BoingBoing serialization of my new book Life Inc: How the world became a corporation and how to take it back.
I've chosen them in response to concern from readers of the earlier excerpts, who are asking "what should we actually do
about all this?" I think the first step is to fully comprehend how the financial mess we're in is not some aberration, but the culmination of a debt-based economy. When speculation and lending outweigh innovation and value-creation as drivers of economic activity, addiction to growth and the attendant bubbles are really the only possible long-term outcome. That's why it's important we understand how the ground rules were established, who came up with them, and why. Only then can we begin to look at how arbitrarily they were determined, and how artificially they were upheld. But once we've done that, we need to look at mechanisms for restoring the functioning of a bottom-up economy that is at least as worthy as its top-down counterpart. Corporate foundations, while well-meaning, end up sitting on giant stores of investment that work against the very causes the foundations are supposedly working to fix. (There's a big section on how this works, using some of the LA Times terrific analysis of how the Gates Foundation invests its assets.)It's not a matter of getting rid of corporations and centralized currency altogether, but maintaining alternative means of creating value and exchanging it. Read the rest
Tiffiniy from A New Way Forward sez,
Thanks to readers on Boing Boing and many others, the movement for dealing with the economic crisis has grown to 40,000 people in two months! But, so many people want to actually learn about what's going on, learn about the insider groups that are preparing to fight. Now, during the week of June 8th, thousands of people will get together at economic crisis house parties across the country to watch an ANWF-exclusive video that lays out how we got into this mess and a live webcast of economic crisis town hall forums in San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC. These events allow us to talk about alternatives for getting out of the crisis and take back the conversation from the technocrats who think that regular people like us shouldn't have a say.
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Brought to you by Alternet and A New Way Forward, Doug Rushkoff and Professor Dal Bo will be speaking at the San Francisco town hall, and in Washington DC, Simon Johnson, and Les Leopold in NYC. We're thinking of petitioning Naomi Klein to speak at our NYC event (we need women!)
ANWF is differerent, we're all volunteer and people have made this our fight to win. People need to register their house parties and help build the movement and spirit. You can register a public or private- we have tools and a guide for hosting your party.
So, it'll be exciting, we'll get to feel like we have town halls again!
Naomi Klein's must-read piece in Rolling Stone about the $700 billion Wall Street bailout begins by examining Reuben Jeffery III, the man first tapped to serve as the program's chief investment officer. Snip:
Like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, he's an alum of Goldman Sachs, having worked on Wall Street for 18 years. And as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2005 to 2007, he proudly advocated "flexibility" in regulation – a laissez-faire approach that failed to rein in the high-risk trading at the heart of the meltdown.
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Bankers watching bankers, regulators who don't believe in regulating – that's all standard fare for the Bush crew. What's most striking about Jeffery's résumé, however, is an item omitted when his new job was announced: He served as executive director of Paul Bremer's infamous Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, during the early days of the Iraq War. Part of his job was to hire civilian staff, which made him an integral part of the partisan machine that filled the Green Zone with Young Republicans, investment bankers and Dick Cheney interns. Qualifications weren't a big issue back then, because the staff's main function was to hand over stacks of taxpayer money to private contractors, who were the ones actually running the occupation. It was this nonstop cash conveyor belt that earned the Green Zone a reputation, in the words of one CPA official, as "a free-fraud zone." During Senate hearings last year, when Jeffery was asked what he had learned from his experience at the CPA, he said he thought that contracts should be handed out with more "speed and flexibility" – the same philosophy he cited back when he was in charge of regulating Wall Street traders.
David Byrne interviewed Radiohead's Thom Yorke for Wired Magazine about Radiohead's In Rainbows, an album that was released on a pay-what-you-care-to basis online. The conversation is fascinating -- as is anything that David Byrne is involved with. Byrne is not only my all-time favorite musician, he's one of my favorite thinkers and writers too (and a kick-ass blogger besides). Wired's done a great job with the online presentation of the piece, adding in audio from the interview and video of Radiohead performing.
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Byrne: I've been thinking about how distribution and CDs and record shops and all that stuff are changing. But we're talking about music. What is music, what does music do for people? What do people get from it? What's it for? That's the thing that's being exchanged. Not all the other stuff. The other stuff is the shopping cart that holds some of it.
Yorke: It's a delivery service.
Byrne: But people will still pay to have that experience. You create a community with music, not just at concerts but by talking about it with your friends. By making a copy and handing it to your friends, you've established a relationship. The implication is that they're now obligated to give you something back.
Yorke: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was just thinking while you were saying that: How does a record company get their hands on that? It makes me think of the No Logo book where Naomi Klein describes how the Nike people would pay guys to get down with the kids on the street.
The Thought Kitchen has a short video made by Alfonso Cuaron, who directed Children of Men
, about the ideas in Naomi Klein's new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
Naomi Klein has just published a controversial best seller entitled The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. In it she defines shock doctrine as “the use of public disorientation following massive collective shocks–wars, terrorist attacks, natural disasters–to push through highly unpopular economic shock therapy.”
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The metaphor of “shock” is important because her thesis stems from a contention that what works on a person also works on a nation. Think 9/11 and fear-induced politics that have eroded some of the fundamentals of what we knew as American democracy. To peer into her thinking, check out the short film by Alfonso Cuaron, who made Y Tu Mama Tambien and Children of Men. Klein was hoping he’d send her a quote for the book jacket, but instead he assembled a team of artists and this short film. Sweet indeed.
Naomi Klein (No Logo) and Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón (Children of Men) have created a short film to accompany her latest book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
," whose thesis is that present-day global capitalism took hold when its advocates learned to exploit disasters. After a disaster (war, tsunami, terrorist attack), you can push your agenda for worsening labor conditions, looser regulation, and pocket-lining exercises (Enron, Halliburton) while the reeling, disaster-struck population of the world has its attention elsewhere.
Klein attributes this technique to Milton Friedman, who is reported to have said that "only a crisis -- real or perceived -- produces real change." She connects this idea to the fundamental notion underpinning CIA torture techniques (as reported in CIA interrogation manuals from 1963 and 1983) -- to produce a state of shock in which the victim is out of control of her faculties, a "suspended animation" that can be exploited to get victims to do things that violate their own ethics or beliefs.
The Cuaróns' filmmaking is superb, as is Klein's writing. This is a chilling and powerful 7-minute film, and it made me want to pick up the book as soon as possible.
Link to video, Link to The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
(Thanks, Csims!) Read the rest
* Last year, photographer Siege spent his life's savings on a trailer for his mom (above) and 13-year-old brother in Louisiana. Katrina destroyed their trailer home, and ate their belongings. Siege returned to Louisiana with his girlfriend to help them recover. He took this snapshot of his mom on Monday, September 12, and writes:
My mom was feeling very hopeful through all this. Then we met with FEMA this morning. After two hours waiting in line for it's cold bureaucratic embrace, her hope started to flicker.
This is what it looks like when poor people have lost it all, and are told to get in line. Which line? Did you fill out that form? I hear they suspended the vouchers. Who do I call for shelter? Call this 800 number to get your number. But sir, I don't have a phone. Go to this website to get a number. But sir, I don't have a computer, or a home to put it in, or a phone to connect it to.
to the blog where Siege is documenting the trip, and efforts to raise funds to buy his mom and brother a new home (he's auctioning off prints of his erotic, fashion, and portrait work for that purpose).
Link to another snapshot of Siege's mom with a shotgun; she sustained injuries on her face and legs while attempting to make her way through hazardous hurricane debris.
* Snip from a Human Rights Watch statement alleging that authorities abandoned up to 600 prisoners in New Orleans to drown in their cells during Hurricane Katrina. Read the rest