It’s Martin Luther King Day here in the US. We celebrate it by giving banks a holiday, and letting working people get overtime. The Martin Luther King who’ll be on our screens is a memory filtered of its radical light. Particularly in his later life, King had a sharp diagnosis about how the evils of militarism, racism and poverty had a root cause. That cause? Capitalism. Will we hear about that on CNN, from the President, on the news? Not likely.
It’s already bitterly ironic that Bill Clinton is the United Nation’s special envoy to Haiti, after the economic policy he imposed there to transform it into the Caribbean’s sweatshop. Now, President Obama has asked George Bush to lead fundraising efforts for relief in Haiti. After Bush took part in an international coup to overthrow Aristide. It’s like sending in the horsemen of the apocalypse to negotiate peace.
There are, however, more sensible ideas. Here’s some analysis curated by Dan Moshenberg that reinstates that most hidden perspective in disaster – gender. More below the fold. Continue reading “Haiti: Horsemen and hoarse women”
It’s hard to get reliable information on what’s happening in China, so this post comes with a bit of a disclaimer. I’m not sufficiently familiar with the source, ChinaWorker.info, to vouch for it. A figure of 96% aggrieved about inequality seems high, but then again the New York Times cites it too. And I am familiar with some of the data: the number of ‘mass incidents’ in China last year sounds about right – a quarter of a million protests. It seems like China’s well on its way to A Million Mutinies Now.
I’m on tour in the US! Truth be told, I’ve been on tour for a week, appeared on National Public Radio, and West Coast Live (like Prairie Home Companion, but funnier and with fewer banjos), and have cropped up at a the Commonwealth Club, and a bookstore or two in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now I’m on the road, hitting Boston, New York, Washington DC, Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles with the book in hand. Continue reading “The Value of Nothing in the US”
I cover the carbon trading disaster in The Value of Nothing, and every day brings more evidence that it’s an idea riddled with holes. Europol, the European Police Office, has recently uncovered over EUR 5 billion (over US$ 7 billion) in carbon fraud in the past 18 months alone. (They also provide a handy diagram explaining how the fraud works.) The problems aren’t exclusively European, though. The excellent Outlook India reports on the fiasco in the world’s second largest country. More below the fold.
Continue reading “Ashes to Ashes”
I’m on the road for the next couple of weeks – and on Colbert tomorrow! – so I’ll be cross posting over the next couple of days. First up, a fine piece by Sonia Shah from Z-net. Choicest line is the quote from the USDA official: “the [pesticide] companies believe this is safe…” More below the fold.
Continue reading “USDA: The companies believe this stuff is safe”