African countries aren’t the only ones where you can see land grabs. If you live in Asia, the sport of the rich can also be seen there. In Pakistan, a new website Zamana tells of the larceny happening there, even though the country is already at extreme risk of hunger… Predictably, the World Bank and IMF are up to their necks in this mess. Important reading.
It has been a heartbreaking day. If you’ve only got a minute, please click on this link and sign the petition at the end of it. Normally, I think internet petitions are largely futile, but this time, I think it’s worth taking a moment to do. So, please click and sign, and I’ll explain why it’s worth doing below the fold.
It’s both a happy and sad time when a victory involves workers winning a pay increase from $10,000 a year to $17,000 – but in this economy and this America, we take the wins where we can. And for the tomato pickers of Immokalee in Florida, this is definitely a win.
I’m looking forward to The Daily Show this evening – John Oliver was out interviewing the little woodland creatures (or so they appeared) who were part of the protest rainbow today at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh. Undoubtedly, they’ll be made to look foolish (and in all likelihood, they had it coming). It’s sad that Comrade Oliver couldn’t interview folk from inside the G20 building – they are idiots of a far more dangerous stripe. But before I opine about them, a quick thought about what happened outside the G20 today.
I remember that, nearly a decade ago, the Global Justice movement was under fire for the way it organized. It seemed to be a moveable carnival of activism, known only by its dates (N30 for the WTO on November 30th, 1999 – Seattle, A20 for the Summit of the Americans on April 20th, 2001 – Quebec City, and so on).
Everyone’s favourite guerilla political artists are back. Their latest hijink involves distributing fake versions of the New York Post. You can tell they’re fake, because everything inside is factually accurate and scientifically informed. But don’t take it from me – take it, at 1:11 in – from a representative of the New York Post.
When it comes to broadcast media, nothing beats radio. It’s fast, cheap, out of control, and the medium through which I’ve learned more about the world than any other.
So here’s a post about radio. First, a rant. If there’s a hell, the creators of the Chevron radio adverts (which sound like this) will one day finds themselves there, listening to their wretched creation on loop, in perpetuity. From the very first pensive piano note, everything about the ad spits disingenuity, deceit and greenwash. There hasn’t been an occasion where I’ve heard the opening notes and not changed the station. The net effect is to make me want to give money to these people, who have a much firmer grasp of Chevron’s environmental commitments.
One of the things I’ve been up to recently is this piece, written with my co-authors of Food Rebellions. It’s a look at the rise of philanthropy capitalism, and some worrying attempts to ‘fix’ Africa. You can read it all at The Nation, but there’s a less elegantly formatted version below the fold.
The preeminent thinker about food and hunger, Amartya Sen, learned about famine from direct experience. In his work, notably in Poverty and Famines, he argues that democracy and a free press can ward off famine.