Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Global Subversion and the Deep State

Global Subversion Begets a Question for Ed Snowden

It’s part of the public record that the NSA has engaged in an industry-wide campaign to weaken cryptographic protocols and insert back doors into hi-tech products sold by US companies. We also know that NSA officials have privately congratulated each other in
successfully undermining privacy and security across the Internet.
Hence it’s only logical to assume that the NSA’s numerous subversion
programs extend into foreign “commercial entities”. Thanks to documents recently disclosed by the Intercept we have unambiguous confirmation.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks and Corporations Don't

Why Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks and Donald Trump Doesn't | Robert Reich

In America, people with lots of money can easily avoid the
consequences of bad bets and big losses by cashing out at the first sign
of trouble. The laws protect them through limited liability and bankruptcy.

was designed so people could start over. But these days, the only ones
starting over are big corporations, wealthy moguls, and Wall Street. Corporations
are even using bankruptcy to break contracts with their employees. When
American Airlines went into bankruptcy three years ago, it voided its
labor agreements and froze its employee pension plan.  After
it emerged from bankruptcy last year and merged with U.S. Airways,
America's creditors were fully repaid, its shareholders came out richer
than they went in, and its CEO got a severance package valued at $19.9 million.

Friday, August 22, 2014

How to End Militarized Policing

How to End Militarized Policing | The Nation

In the last week, the ACLU, Color of Change
and even libertarian Senator Rand Paul have demanded that militarized
policing in the United States be dialed back. While it is essential that
major reductions in the high-tech military presence of police be
enacted, real changes in the way communities of color are policed
require much deeper shifts in the core mission and function of American

Much of the militarized weaponry seen in Ferguson comes directly from
the Pentagon through the 1033 weapons transfer program begun in 1997.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What the market-driven world is doing to us

Sick of this market-driven world? | George Monbiot

The self-serving con of neoliberalism is that it has eroded the human values the market was supposed to emancipate

Saturday, July 19, 2014

What if Higher Ed was like this...

A Classroom Leaves the Syllabus to the Students - NYTimes.com

A few Lehigh University
students turn out prosthetic hands on a 3-D printer. Yards away,
another group studies the breeding habits of endangered fish darting
around wading pools, and yet another pieces together a film about a
Polish poet. Most of the students here are pursuing their own projects —
about 30 in all — and finding their own way, with little faculty input
and with nothing more at stake than testing their own ambition, skills
and curiosity.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Global Conflict Fueled by Oil and Natural Gas

Raging Energy Wars: Global Conflict Fueled by Oil and Natural Gas | Alternet

We live in an energy-centric world where
control over oil and gas resources (and their means of delivery)
translates into geopolitical clout for some and economic vulnerability
for others. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Assessment-based Education - a Way out of the Testing Regime?

"Alternative High": Raising the Bar on Public Education

Such an approach is extremely rare and flies in the face of policies
that favor rote memorization and near-constant standardized exams to
measure learning. Ann Cook, one of the founders of Urban Academy, has
long resisted one-size-fits-all assessments that have become dominant
and, along with her colleagues, has persuaded the New York State Board
of Regents to grant a variance to a group of New York State public high
schools that use rigorous performance-based assessments to replace four
of five high-stakes tests required for graduation.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Higher Education in an Era of Corporate Control

Servants of Power: Higher Education in an Era of Corporate Control

Academia has really been slow to assess the changing dynamics of
capitalism and the erosion of democracy in the United States. Those who
have written about this tidal wave of change have been marginalized by
being labeled conspiracy theorists or radicals with an axe to grind.

Banks Buying Up the Planet

Buying Up the Planet: Out-of-Control Central Banks on a Corporate Buying Spree

What is to stop a foreign bank from simply printing its own currency
and trading it on the currency market for dollars, to be invested in the
US stock market or US real estate market?  What is to stop central
banks from printing up money competitively, in a mad rush to own the
world’s largest companies?

Apparently not much. Central banks are for the most part unregulated, even by their own governments.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Is the Pentagon Preparing for Mass Civil Unrest?

Pentagon Preparing for Mass Civil Unrest | Alternet

June 15, 2014
A US Department of Defense (DoD) research
programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and
tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the
supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme
is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant
insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense
policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant

Monday, June 9, 2014

Time for Congress to Investigate Bill Gates' Coup | Diane Ravitch

Time for Congress to Investigate Bill Gates' Coup | Diane Ravitch

The story about Bill Gates' swift
and silent takeover of American education is startling. His role and
the role of the U.S. Department of Education in drafting and imposing
the Common Core standards on almost every state should be investigated
by Congress.  Thanks to the story in the Washington Post and to diligent
bloggers, we now know that one very rich man bought the enthusiastic
support of interest groups on the left and right to campaign for the
Common Core.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Internet now a tool of oppression? Say it ain't so...

How the Internet Is Transforming from a Tool of Liberation to One of Oppression | Astra Taylor

Thanks to Snowden, we now know the Internet has become a giant
government spying apparatus dependent on the complicity of companies we
use everyday. The pendulum of public perception is swinging -- the
Internet transforming from a tool of liberation and expression to one of
oppression and control.  As this video to promote the protest shows, the mood has darkened considerably.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Is Tax-Dodging, Corporate Welfare Actually Destroying the US Economy?

Stiglitz: Tax-Dodging, Corporate Welfare Destroying US Economy | Common Dreams

In an interview with journalist Bill Moyers, they discuss his new white paper
(pdf) on the same topic written for the Roosevelt Institute.  Stiglitz
describes how the current tax code actually encourages large
multinational corporations to invest abroad, hire people abroad, and
keep their earnings abroad.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Are Public Banks Unconstitutional? Ellen Brown Lays it out...

Are Public Banks Unconstitutional?

The movement to break away from Wall Street and form
publicly-owned banks continues to gain momentum. But enthusiasts are
deterred by claims that a state-owned bank would violate constitutional
prohibitions against “lending the credit of the state.”