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Putting the “Sharing” Back into the Sharing Economy

In recent years, a new kind of economy based on the age-old practice of sharing is flourishing across North America and Europe, and is now rapidly spreading in popularity throughout the Middle East and other world regions. Human beings may have shared since time immemorial, but information technology and peer-to-peer networks have given rise to an innovative trend in modern societies – the sharing economy, which enables people to ‘share’ various goods and services with their peers in everything from cars and bikes to food, office space, spare rooms, even time and expertise. Countless articles and reports have now …

The Modern History of Venezuela and Popular Democracy

Part 9 (but, by all means, see other 8 informative parts)

TRNN’s Paul Jay interviews Edgardo Lander, a professor of social sciences at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas and member of CLACSO and the Hemispheric Council of the Social Forum of the Americas, Chavez’s attempt to establish a participatory democracy that changed the structure of power and decision making.

New York Times Tries to Whitewash Publication of Faked Ukraine Photos

The New York Times responded yesterday to the exposure of its fabricated report alleging that Russian Special Forces are stirring up protests in east Ukraine against the pro-Western regime in Kiev.

An article Tuesday, titled “Scrutiny over Photos Said to Tie Russia Units to Ukraine,” is a clumsy attempt at damage control. Buried in the paper’s inside pages, the article begins: “A collection of photographs that Ukraine says shows the presence of Russian forces in the eastern part of the country, and which the United States has cited as evidence of Russian involvement, has come under scrutiny.” The Times also …

Internet for the Wealthy on the Way Unless We Stop It

Take Action Today: Immediate mobilization required to save open Internet

In what the New York Times describes as “a net neutrality turnaround” the Obama administration’s new FCC chairman is proposing rules that will create an Internet for the wealthy. The new plan to create a pay to play Internet came to light Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal.

To take action click here.

Under the plan wealthy corporations will be able to purchase faster service, while those that cannot do so will have slower service. Rather than an open Internet for all the US will be moving to a class-based Internet. Of course, this will mean that when Netflix …

Wall Street Greed: Not Too Big for a California Jury

Sixteen of the world’s largest banks have been caught colluding to rig global interest rates.  Why are we doing business with a corrupt global banking cartel?

United States Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that the too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks are too big to prosecute.  But an outraged California jury might have different ideas. As noted in the California legal newspaper The Daily Journal:

California juries are not bashful – they have been known to render massive punitive damages awards that dwarf the award of compensatory (actual) damages.For example, in one securities fraud case jurors awarded $5.7 million in

Martin Indyk’s Galloping Horse

Moral Crisis at Heart of Obama’s Peace

To understand how thoughtless the US latest ‘peace process’ drive has been, one only needs to consider some of the characters involved in this political theater. One particular character who stands out as a testament to the inherently futile exercise is Martin Indyk.

Indyk, a former US ambassador to Israel, was selected by Secretary of State John Kerry for the role of Special Envoy for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Under normal circumstances, Kerry’s selection may appear somewhat rational. Former ambassadors oftentimes possess the needed expertise to navigate challenging political landscapes in countries where they previously served. But these …

Economic Inequality: Another Answer

Here is one perspective on what the future has in store for us:

We have already returned to the levels of income inequality of the 1920s, and the concentration of wealth is heading toward the ratios of the 1890s. The social relations of the future, writes Piketty could resemble Jane Austen’s world, in which a tiny group of the wealthy employed vast armies of poorly paid servants.

The “Piketty” referred to in this quotation is Thomas Piketty, a French economist whose massive Capital in the Twenty-First Century has just been translated into English and published. Our …

The West Marches East

Part 1: The U.S.-NATO Strategy to Isolate Russia

In early March of 2014, following Russia’s invasion of Crimea in Ukraine, the New York Times editorial board declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “stepped far outside the bounds of civilized behavior,” suggesting that Russia should be isolated politically and economically in the face of “continued aggression.”

John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, lashed out at Russia’s “incredible act of aggression,” stating that: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on [a] completely trumped up pre-text.” Indeed, invading foreign nations on “trumped up pre-texts” is something only the …

US Militarism and Easter Day Disinformation on Iraq

We gather tonight knowing that this generation of heroes has made the United States safer and more respected round the world.

—President Barack Obama, State of the Union address, January 24, 2012

As Easter was celebrated in the US and UK with, for believers, the message of hope, Fallujah, the region and much of the country is again under siege, not this time by US mass murderers, but by the US proxy government’s militias armed with US delivered weapons.

In 2003, a month into the invasion, Easter Day fell on the same day as this year, April 20, as Iraqis of all denominations …

Reassessing the U.S.-Israel “Special Relationship”

Presentation at the National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel “Special Relationship” on March 7, 2014 at the National Press Club.

Alison Weir is the author of Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the United States Was Used to Create Israel, on the history of US-Israel relations (see review). The New York Times reported of her presentation: “When the speech ended, Ms. Weir was met with thunderous applause, and across the room there was a widespread sense of satisfaction that someone was saying what needed to be said.” Former US Senator Tom Campbell stated: “Ms. Weir presents …

On the Death and Life’s Work of the Unconquerable Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

They can incarcerate my body but never my mind.
— Rubin “Hurricane” Carter

For a man who spent nearly four decades of his seventy-six years under the restrictive eye of the US correctional system, few have ever touched as many lives as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. The world-class boxer turned wrongfully accused prisoner, turned advocate for the rights of the unjustly incarcerated, has succumbed to cancer, but his memory and work will endure as long as there are people outside and inside the prisons of the world fighting for justice.

It is difficult to think of more than a handful of prisoners in history …

Cutting the Gordian Lock at Pacifica

For the last month we’ve been occupying the Pacifica National Office, barricaded in, 24/7, taking turns standing watch, resisting the rogue board. We’re KPFA listeners and programmers, United for Community Radio members, with help from our allies at other Pacifica stations. Here’s how this came about:

On the night of March 13th the Executive Director of the Pacifica Radio Network was suddenly fired by the Pacifica National Board. No reason was given for the dismissal; the item had not even been on the agenda. The motion was simply introduced in a closed session and quickly passed by the SaveKPFA faction and …

Autonomy and Will-to-Growth

The grotesque absurdity of relentless economic “development”: after two centuries, the planet reels under the onslaught of previously inconceivable catastrophes—most disastrously, global warming and deadly, perennial nuclear wastes.  Yet, restlessly insatiable, the profit-addicted Juggernaut remains in perpetual-motion—devouring entire ecosystems as it plunders resources and carves out new markets.  Indeed, such unremitting economic activity, as John Stuart Mill warned 150 years ago, could end up destroying the entire world.

Karl Marx emphasized the inevitable volatility of business (boom-slump) cycles: the over-extension of business credit invariably leads to overproduction, periodic recessions, and rising unemployment —wherein millions of people predictably lose their “jobs.”  Yet …

Could Mind-reading Technology Become Harmful?

The increasing detail at which human brains can be scanned is bringing the possibility of mind-reading appliances closer and closer. Such appliances, when complete, will be non-invasive and capable of responding to our thoughts as easily as they respond to keys on a keyboard. Indeed, as emphasized in the Lifeboat Foundation’s 2013 publication, The Human Race to the Future, there may soon be appliances that are operated by thought alone, and such technology may even replace our keyboards.

It is not premature to be concerned about possible negative outcomes from this, however positive the improvement in people’s lifestyles would be. …

The New Farmer’s Almanac

The Greenhorns, which publishes The New Farmer’s Almanac for the Year 2013, was founded in 2007 to support thousands of young farmer’s who are leaving US cities to start small scale organic farms.

An economically precarious occupation, farming is subject to numerous forces over which the farmer has no control. Among others, these include land speculation, unfavorable weather, and constant downward pressure on crop prices. The New Farmer’s Almanac is modeled on the annual Old Farmer’s Almanac, which dates back to revolutionary times. The main difference is the new almanac’s focus on the myriad of networks and resources which have …

Behind the Egyptian Junta’s Iron Curtain

After a recent CODEPINK delegation to Egypt ended up in deportations and assault, we have become acutely aware of some of the horrors Egyptians are facing in the aftermath of the July 3 coup that toppled Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. Over 2,500 civilians have been killed in protests and clashes. Over 16,000 are in prison for their political beliefs and allegations of torture are widespread. Millions of people who voted for Morsi in elections that foreign monitors declared free and fair are now living in terror, as are secular opponents of the military regime, and …

Johnny Racist and a White Jew with a Fat Arse

A black musician friend told me a funny story the other day. Among his sins he regularly attends black comedy nights here in London. On these nights the comedians are black and the audience predominantly so. But the other night a big white young woman settled in the front row. It didn’t take long before one of the female stand up artists picked on her.

“What are you doing here, on a black comedy night?”

“I am black,” the big white woman answered.

“Surely you are not, you are very white.”

“But I am Jewish,” the woman replied

“So you …

The Sword of Injustice

A Western Shoshone Tragedy Vs Nevada Millionaire Rancher Cliven Bundy

Wow, I am always puzzled at how lucky some people are as apposed to others. Presently, a lot of media fanfare and armed militia have come to the aid of rancher “Cliven Bundy.” It seems that they have helped him win the day. Or, so it would seem at least for now.

Currently, his brothers in arms have successfully stopped the confiscation of his cattle by U.S. Federal Agents and the Bureau of land Management (BLM) authorities. Heck, he even got his cattle returned to him after they had him dead to rights grazing cattle for 20 years on …

Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Climate Change

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the atmosphere and absorbed by the ocean may be invisible to the naked eye, but it is extraordinarily visible in its effect, as will be chronicled herein, and it shows up in the weirdest places.

Burning oil, gas, and coal spews tons upon tons upon tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, and similar to blowing up a balloon too much, the earth’s atmosphere can only hold so much before bad things start popping.

Are you sitting?

Imagine Baffin Bay in the Arctic Sea in the middle of winter, but ice is not able to thicken and form, like …

Elections 2014: Indian Democracy Fighting for its Life

The most common question being asked about the ongoing Indian elections is: Will Narendra Modi win? This in itself is strange, because India has a parliamentary, not presidential, system, and the usual question asked is: Which party will win? If the focus has shifted to an individual, it is worth asking why.

Modi has been a member from childhood of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which has a large number of affiliated organisations, popularly referred to as the Sangh Parivar (‘Sangh family’), which includes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Its ideology is Hindu nationalism or “Hindutva”. According to …