Archive | December, 2011

World on the verge of a nervous breakdown

31 Dec

The economies of nations are now interconnected so tightly that trouble in one place will  propagate throughout the system. There’s not enough flexibility and resilience,

The inescapable conclusion: Our modern high-tech markets, in which more money than ever before swirls around the globe in a blink of an eye, are better at transmitting panic and fear than anything heretofore created by humans. If civilization is supposed to imply progress, then something has gone very awry: In the second decade of the 21st century, our infrastructure is increasingly fragile, increasingly prone to disruption. The sword of Damocles hangs above everyone’s head, and the thread that keeps it from falling is fraying perilously thin.

What is perhaps most fascinating about this state of affairs is how it has arisen as a consequence of global capital’s relentless quest for lower operating costs and greater efficiency and flexibility. The better we get at extending supply and production chains across the globe, the more vulnerable those chains become to a disruption at any given point. The faster we enable the transmission of information around the world and through the financial markets, the more volatile those markets become, as every new headline sends a different trading signal.

via World on the verge of a nervous breakdown – Globalization – Salon.com.

Advertisements

Paul’s Foreign Policy Stance Divides Many G.O.P. Voters – NYTimes.com

30 Dec

But Mr. Paul’s national security positions draw raves from many veterans, students and others who believe his noninterventionism would curtail a dangerous trend toward military adventurism and strengthen America’s influence and prestige while diverting resources to pay down the national debt. In interviews at Paul campaign events this week, many said they embraced his national security proposals, rather than reluctantly accepting them.

via Paul’s Foreign Policy Stance Divides Many G.O.P. Voters – NYTimes.com.

Biologists: Lone Gray Wolf Crosses Into California – From the Wires – Salon.com

30 Dec

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A lone gray wolf has wandered across the Oregon border into California in what wildlife officials hailed Thursday as the historic return of a species not seen in the state in more than 80 years. …

The last confirmed wild gray wolf in California was killed in 1924 by a trapper protecting livestock. Conflict between wolves and ranchers across the West remains a key point of tension as reintroduction efforts in recent decades have led to the species’ spread.

via Biologists: Lone Gray Wolf Crosses Into California – From the Wires – Salon.com.

Hawks who learned nothing – Salon.com

30 Dec

… let’s take a moment to remember some of the people who got the Iraq War completely wrong. This is important not only as a historical matter, but also because many of these same people are now calling for escalation against Iran, from the same perches and sinecures whence they helped get our country into Iraq. And, as former general Anthony Zinni said in regard to the consequences of a war with Iran, “If you like Iraq and Afghanistan, you’re gonna love Iran.”

via Hawks who learned nothing – Salon.com.

Bloggingheads.tv – Ron Paul is changing history

30 Dec

Ron Paul is not really running for president

Rather he is running with some very important ideas, the most compelling of which is his critique of US foreign policy. He is the ONLY figure on the national stage at present who questions US liberal and neo-con interventionism, militarism and brutal global hegemony.

He is THE antiwar/pro-peace candidate for 2012, in the tradition of Dennis Kucinich in 2008 and 2004 and Ralph Nader in 2000. That’s why our inclusive non-partisan peace culture respects Paul, even with all his warts.

He will never be the Republican candidate for president much less win a national election, but his ideas will influence generations of Republican, Democrat and independent voters to come.

via Bloggingheads.tv – The Bromance.

Farmers March with Occupy Wall Street: Sowing the Seeds of Hope and Democracy

28 Dec

According to AlterNet, more than “500 rural farmers, urban farmers, food laborers, community activists and former occupiers” showed up for the beginning of the day at an East Village community garden, which began with Bronx urban farmer Karen Washington telling an energetic crowd of her journey over the past two decades to create a healthy food environment for her neighborhood.

Washington, who helped found the City Farms Markets, a series of community-run farmers markets, was stunned to hear that “food was a privilege and not a right”. So she set out to change that, mainly by putting her hands in the dirt, planting seeds and feeding her community. Through her work in the Bronx, Washington is helping combat the major issues of obesity, diabetes and lack of access to healthy food faced by underserved communities. …

Over the past three decades, the U.S. has adopted economic policies promoted by Wall Street investment banks and agribusiness monopolies that have led to massive concentration in food and agriculture. Today market concentration is so great that only four firms control 84 percent of beef packing and 66 percent of pork production, which has resulted in forcing more than 1.1 million independent livestock producers out of business since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.

via Farmers March with Occupy Wall Street: Sowing the Seeds of Hope and Democracy.

Ron Paul as President — Marginal Revolution

28 Dec

Ron Paul is changing the ideological landscape of American politics and the fabric of modern classical liberalism. No matter what your point of view, I recommend that you take the Ron Paul phenomenon very seriously indeed.

via Ron Paul as President — Marginal Revolution.

Shadows and Wild Flowers

27 Dec

IMGP5761rd

IMGP3738rd

IMGP3591rdHiSat

Wolfgang Oehme, Free-Form Landscape Architect, Dies at 81 – NYTimes.com

27 Dec

For 30 years, Mr. Oehme teamed up with James van Sweden to develop self-sustaining gardens, free of pesticides, that could remain beautiful even as the seasons changed. They planted flowers and bushes not by threes and fives, but by the thousands. Details, like how the wind would move the leaves of different plant species, were studied meticulously. Water, whether trickling or in reflecting pools, became a hallmark.

via Wolfgang Oehme, Free-Form Landscape Architect, Dies at 81 – NYTimes.com.

Revolution Through Banking? | The Nation

27 Dec

It’s easy to list the characteristics of an ideal “Occupy” bank. Setting one up is rather harder. The legal and institutional obstacles to establishing a new (or de novo) bank are formidable and would require years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more. One alternative therefore might be for Occupy to partner with or even acquire a bank that is already established and that shares our vision. Indeed there are many small banks around the country which might be amenable—community banks, or so-called “triple bottom line” banks, which aim for community development and positive social and environmental impacts as much as profit.

Our group works on, and we are well aware that we may not succeed. But there are other groups around the country thinking about this problem: Occupy San Francisco is already setting up its own credit union. Perhaps our work will inspire someone else to set up a bank like the one we are imagining. If many attempts are made, there is a greater chance that one will succeed.

via Revolution Through Banking? | The Nation.