Puerto Rico didn't suffer a "natural disaster": it was looted and starved long before the hurricanes

Hurricanes Irma and Maria left Puerto Rico in tatters, but it would be a mistake to blame the weather for Puerto Rico's suffering; Puerto Rico was put in harm's way by corrupt governments doing the work of a corrupt finance sector, then abandoned by FEMA, and is now being left to rot without any real effort to rebuild its public services so that they can be privatized and used to extract rent from the island's residents. Read the rest

If this goes on... The 1% will own two thirds of the world by 2030

The House of Commons Library has published research projecting the post-2008 growth of inequality until 2030, arriving at an eye-popping headline figure: at current rates, the richest 1% will own two thirds of the world's riches by 2030. I think that number is too low. Here's why. Read the rest

Puerto Rico to dismantle its statistics agency in the midst of radical shock doctrine project

The Puerto Rican senate has approved Governor Ricardo Rosselló's plan to dismantle the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics (PRIS), handing its functions private contractors paid by the Department of Economic Development and Commerce to manage. Read the rest

Seasteading meets the shock doctrine in Puerto Rico, where ethnic cleansing precedes Going Galt

Naomi Klein's l(ooooo)ongread in The Intercept about the state of play in Puerto Rico is the comprehensive summary of the post-Maria fuckery and hope that has gripped America's colonial laboratory, the place where taxation without representation, austerity, chemical weapons, new drugs, and new agribusiness techniques get trialed before the rest of America are subjected to them. Read the rest

Trump Cabinet Secretary's hometown, 2-person company wins $300m power-rebuilding contract in Puerto Rico

When mainland US cities like Houston and Miami get hit by hurricanes, they rely on mutual aid deals with out-of-state and Canadian power authorities to rebuild, as hundreds of skilled maintenance workers flood in and work for free to get their grid up and running; but debt-crushed Puerto Rico is paying $300 million to Whitefish Energy, a two-person company from Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana. Read the rest

Puerto Rico's streets crawl with heavily armed, masked mercenaries bearing no insignia or nametags

Though Puerto Rican law prohibits ownership and bearing of most long-guns and especially semiautomatic weapons, the streets of the stricken US colony now throng with mercenaries in tactical gear bearing such arms, their faces masked. They wear no insignia or nametags and won't say who they work for, apart from vague statements in broken Spanish: "We work with the government. It’s a humanitarian mission, we’re helping Puerto Rico." Read the rest

Turkey: 6,000 arrested following coup, but that doesn't make it an inside job

The failed military coup in Turkey was bizarre, even (especially) by the standards of Turkish military coups (which is a surprisingly large data-set), and in the wake of the coup, 6,000 people were promptly rounded up and arrested including respected judges, powerful military leaders, prosecutors, and a whole list of others whose names seem to have been put on an enemies list long before any coup. Read the rest

Brexit's other shoe drops: austerity, deregulation, climate nihilism

As Conservative grandees jostle each other in the looming contest to become Prime Minister of the UK, we're starting to learn more about their plans for governing UK without the constraint of the European Union's human rights, environmental and labour rules. Read the rest

David Cameron capitulates to terror, proposes Britain's USA Patriot Act

The UK Prime Minister has seized on the tragic deaths and injuries in Paris as an excuse to terroise Britons into allowing him to pass his Snoopers Charter, a sweeping, badly written surveillance bill that will end security research in the UK, cause Internet bills to soar, and riddle critical software with back-doors, threatening anyone who reveals these vulnerabilities, even in court, with a year in prison. Read the rest

Greece's creditors demand casino rights, archaeological sites, selloff of EUR50B of national assets

Already sold: most of Greece's airports -- for sale: gas transmission, oil refineries, power company, post office, national highways, water company. Read the rest