Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Reality

Internally Displaced Persons, as defined by international institutions, generally refers to refugees uprooted by civil war or natural disasters who still remain in their country of origin, but those forced to migrate due to development practices also qualify as IDPs. While development of megadams, agricultural plantations, mines, and other industrial projects often displace indigenous populations, we have yet to apply the term IDP to those displaced by economic policies under the new world order.

As many of the areas plagued by the problems of IDPs were propelled into violent conflict by IMF and World Bank policies to implement privatization, those displaced by concurrent state austerity measures would likely soon surpass the present global estimate of 25 million conventional IDPs. Just because we haven't erected Red Cross or UN humanitarian camps and services for IDPs in the United States, doesn't mean that the concept isn't valid; it simply means that keepers of official statistics have yet to catch up with the new reality.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Climate of Corruption

Austerity as a symptom of systematic theft has many faces; one of those is the closure of schools, libraries and state parks. Now we have the closure of courts.

After three years of layoffs and cuts to public services following in the wake of bank bailouts, America is becoming less of a society and more of a disaster. Homeless seniors and incarcerated youth are not a sign of cohesion, but rather a result of corruption.

The corruption of governance that caused this calamity has yet to be addressed. Indeed, the only argument between the White House and Congress is how much to steal from Social Security and other social programs to cover the bank bailouts and Pentagon misadventures. In this climate of corruption, it is not only difficult to imagine a prosperous, peaceful future, it is increasingly hard to conceive of interventions capable of preventing social collapse.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fighting Fraud

Norman Solomon challenges Obama and the GOP in defense of Social Security and Medicare.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Wise Use Militias

Talk to Action discusses militias and right-wing terrorism in the United States. Q&A in the comments section grapples with the important difference between facts and information in the struggle for democracy within a free market state.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Duplicity and Debt

Michael Hudson chats with Paul Jay on The Real News about Obama's duplicity and the debt ceiling charade. Having handed $13 trillion to Wall Street, cutting Social Security and Medicare has to be one of the biggest betrayals in American history. But as Hudson points out, that was Obama's plan from the beginning.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Totalitarian Objective

Privatization, first and foremost, is a totalitarian objective. The goal of eradicating the public interest depends on this misanthropic philosophy.

Subjugating public institutions to market tyranny, however, involves more than just greed and the misery it ensures. Pitting the poor against each other as they grovel for life’s basic necessities also mobilizes resentment against any group perceived as benefiting from the public good.

While we’ve witnessed this dynamic in operation since Reagan glorified greed as a national virtue, its institutionalization under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations has helped to propel bigotry as well. Eliminating social services for immigrants, jailing blacks, and terminating the sovereignty of indigenous nations are some of the most visible agenda items of this bigotry.

As popular resentment against the federal government is mobilized concurrent with the implementation of privatization, outbreaks of vigilante violence encouraged by state and market interests is a given. How we respond to this coming crisis will determine whether the crisis becomes an epidemic.

The research, education, and organizing we do in advance makes all the difference in what type of community action we can expect.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Israeli Blood Diamond News

As a luxury item, foregoing the purchase of diamonds is a painless gesture, especially when many are brutally produced by forced labor in horrific conditions. But blood diamonds, as these have come to be known, are not merely a topic of human rights abuses against slave labor; they are also a growing topic of focus for global solidarity opposing human rights abuses perpetrated by the State of Israel against Palestine.

In his article on how the diamond cutting and polishing industry in Israel supports the Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, Sean Clinton reports that as Israel’s #1 export commodity, blood diamonds contribute $1 billion a year to the Zionist Apartheid. Along with the $3 billion a year from the U.S. Treasury in the form of military aid, American consumers are often oblivious to their underwriting of the occupation.

Given that nearly half of the diamonds purchased in the US are from Israel, a boycott of this luxury good is a campaign American jewelers are hoping to avoid. Fortunately, as word gets out about their efforts to censor Israeli blood diamond news, consumer resentment might prove to be as effective a motivator as human rights.