The Technological Revolution and the Future of Freedom, Part 1
There is a new and unique development in human history that is taking place around the world; it is unprecedented in reach and volume, and it is also the greatest threat to all global power structures: the ‘global political awakening.’ The term was coined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and refers to the fact that, as Brzezinski wrote:
For the first time in history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive. Global activism is generating a surge in the quest for cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world scarred by memories of colonial or imperial domination.
The skinny legged wide receiver with 4.7 speed (fast for a white guy in 1970), was running like “a thief from a grocery store” down the sidelines. It was a late Saturday morning in October. The pale blue cloudless sky suspended the sunny brilliance of this “Indian Summer” day. Such a contrast to the dirt brown city grass and the fire engine red of his uniform. His hands cradled the pigskin tucked close to his body. The only sound he could hear was the wind whistling through his sweaty helmet. The poorly arranged yard lines, white chalked like some giant checkerboard, passed below him rhythmically. In the distance, an empty end zone. His heart and mind raced along with his legs.
Europe is committing fiscal suicide – and will have little trouble finding allies at this weekend’s G-20 meetings in Toronto. Despite the deepening Great Recession threatening to bring on outright depression, European Central Bank (ECB) president Jean-Claude Trichet and prime ministers from Britain’s David Cameron to Greece’s George Papandreou (president of the Socialist International) and Canada’s host, Conservative Premier Stephen Harper, are calling for cutbacks in public spending.
The United States is playing an ambiguous role. The Obama Administration is all for slashing Social Security and pensions, euphemized as “balancing the budget.” Wall Street is demanding “realistic” write-downs of state and local pensions in keeping with the “ability to pay” (that is, to pay without taxing real estate, finance or the upper income brackets). These local pensions have been left unfunded so that communities can cut real estate taxes, enabling site-rental values to be pledged to the banks of interest. Continue reading →
Fortress Toronto: Massive Security Clampdown for G8/G20 Meetings Most Expensive in Canadian History
World leaders have started arriving for the G8 and G20 meetings amidst a massive security crackdown that will mark the most expensive three days in Canadian history. Large swaths of Toronto’s downtown core have the appearance of a police state, with an estimated deployment of over 19,000 security personnel—nearly five times the number at the G20 in Pittsburgh last year. The security price tag is around $1 billion, and some predict the total summit cost will surpass $2 billion. [includes rush transcript]