Apparently, if we add up all the ‘values’ that make up Planet Earth, we arrive at the figure of $5 quadrillion! We’ve reduced the irreducible to the level of an accountant’s spreadsheet. Yet, it’s exactly this kind of thinking that’s created the disaster that, forget 10 years, it’s already with us and it’s been building to this since the start of the Industrial Revolution approximately 200 years ago.
“Trump has taught us a lot about ourselves. He has taught us what happens when we don’t do our homework. He has taught us what happens when we don’t spend time on our civic duties back home….” In the second part of Chris Hedges’ interview with Ralph Nader, activist and attorney, on the importance of a civic life.
Payments can happen cheaply and easily without banks or credit card companies. This has now been demonstrated – not in the United States but in China. Unlike in the US, where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments, in China most money flows through mobile phones nearly for free. In 2018 these cashless payments totaled a whopping $41.5 trillion; and 90% were through Alipay and WeChat Pay, a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking. According to a May 2018 article in Bloomberg titled “Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares“: Continue reading →
We have been losing ground. Corporate politics has invaded many sectors of our lives. In times of tactical retreat (in preparation for later advances), the military uses a tactic called blowing up the armory to describe a situation in which they will destroy any unsecured weapons and munitions to prevent their opponents from capturing them and using the arsenal against the retreating forces.
Screenshot by Dandelion Salad via Flickr Watch the video below
“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.” — Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, 1963
It was a helluva week on the Iran front. It started with attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13th and ended with Donald Trump ordering, and then calling off, a military attack on Iran on June 20-21. How we got from beginning to end of that chapter in ongoing US-Iran saga is worth close consideration.
Chris Hedges discusses the lifetime achievement of activist and attorney Ralph Nader, in his creation of government regulation and regulatory agencies to protect the rights and lives of the public. His work began with seat belt regulation and lead to the passing of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
“Socialism is a society coming together and taking control of the major centers of economic power: the banks, factories and industries, the major natural resources, the major sources of energy, all the centers of the economy. All the centers of economic power being controlled by society and functioning to work in the benefit of society. If you think that that could come into being as the result of a bunch of people going to the polls and clicking for one candidate, that’s delusional, could never happen.” — Caleb Maupin
The drama of attacks on oil and tanker assets in the Middle East can’t seem to get any more tense. The danger of war breaking out between the US and Iran is reaching a crescendo. However, if this goes down, it is a war scripted by Washington.
The government of Ecuador has recently agreed to allow the U.S. military to base aircraft and naval ships at one of the Galapagos Islands in violation of the Constitution of Ecuador, which both forbids any foreign military installations and provides the natural environment with the right to be protected.
Britain’s Home Secretary signed off on the U.S. request to extradite Julian Assange, and now UK courts will decide his fate. But if the process until now is any indication, he will not receive a fair hearing, says journalist and filmmaker John Pilger.