Day three of this government shakedown as this duopoly we keep endorsing with our votes every election keeps pillaging us. In fact, that will be the lead article this morning, about the way “we the people” have been conditioned to accept psychological abuse by way of politics and ideology. While I’m working on that article, let me present you with today’s Ghion Water.
Minding our Manners
Corporate capitalism, and the ideology that justifies it—neoliberalism, the free market, globalization—no longer has any credibility. All of the utopian promises of globalization have been exposed as lies. Allowing banks and corporations to determine how we should order human society and govern ourselves did not spread global wealth, raise the living standards of workers or implant democracy across the globe. The ideology, preached in business schools and by pliant politicians, was a thin cover for the rapacious greed of the elites, elites who now control most of the world’s wealth. [from Truthdig]
The Calm before the Storm?
Focus on the Donbass conflict increased in the closing weeks of 2017 as military action on the front lines separating the forces of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk enjoying Russian support from Ukrainian militias and armed forces reached an intensity not seen for more than a year. This is despite the heralded exchange of military prisoners by both sides before New Year’s under talks supervised by the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill.
Then, this past Thursday came a wholly new development – a draft law passed by the Ukrainian Parliament that could effectively end Kiev’s participation in the conflict resolution process known as the Minsk Accords. Although observers in the United States and Western Europe may have missed it, many Russians believe this development amounts to a declaration of war. [from Consortium News]
Policing the Empire
Although I never met him, I have to think that’s something Philando Castile would want. Before his life was snatched away, he made a reputation as a man of incredible kindness and compassion. His family and friends have spoken about him far more eloquently than I could. His pastor, Danny Givens, said, “you felt seen by him…. you felt like you mattered, like you meant something to him at that moment.” His friend and co-worker, John Thompson, recalls that “if kids couldn’t afford lunch, he would pay for their lunch out of his own pocket. And that was against school policy. And I mean kids can’t afford lunch right now. They miss Mr. Phil at that school. They miss him. I miss my friend.” Another colleague, Joan Edman, put it simply: “this man mattered.” [from Current Affairs]
Because Economic Inequality is the Source of Injustice
Debates over minimum wage increases focus on whether the wage rise is actually a net benefit to workers overall. Opponents contend that the wage effect (the greater pay) can be fully offset by employers cutting back on their use of workers to prevent their labor costs from rising. The way this translates in econ-speak is that the wage effect (more pay) can be offset by the employment effect (more difficulty in getting a job).
Given that ex-cons are likely to find it hard to get back into the workforce to begin with, many who do find work will wind up in minimum or near-minimum wage jobs. And more so than other workers, they may regard what the authors call “criminal market activity” as an alternative to wage labor. [from Naked Capitalism]
About this House of Cards Economy
But is there anything deeper we can take out of this topsy-turvy journey? Perhaps this: the markets run on perception. When people believe the central banksters are willing to rain helicopter money down on Wall Street to keep the party going, they’ll invest and manifest that perception in reality. Markets will rise in response. When people believe the central banksters are going to take the punch bowl away, they’ll sell off their investments and manifest that perception in reality. Markets will fall in response. [from Corbette Report]
Sprinting Towards Fascism
Representatives for the three companies testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to outline specific ways they are trying to combat extremism online. Facebook, Google, and Twitter aren’t just tinkering with their algorithms to restrict certain kinds of violent content and messaging. They’re also using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to manufacture what they call “counterspeech,” which has a hauntingly Orwellian ring to it. Essentially, their goal is to catch burgeoning extremists, or people being radicalized online, and re-engineer them via targeted propagandistic advertisements. [from Anti-Media]
What You Won’t Hear on Corporate Media
This Day in History
1824 – A British force is wiped out by an Asante army under Osei Bonsu on the African Gold Coast. This is the first defeat for a colonial power. Goes to show, hubris is susceptible to a walloping.
Quote of the Day
“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.” ~ Erich Fromm
Profiled This Day
Profiled today is someone who is not famous, someone who is not celebrated on television or fawned over by a public addicted to stardom. This someone are actually all mothers without whom life would not be possible. In an age where we keep adoring the rich and famous and keep looking towards the affluent to lead us, I’ve often said that I my next vote would be for an unknown working mother who is breaking her back to provide for her children. I’d rather be with a mom working at Hardee’s than be “with her” any day of the week.
The picture above is of an Ethiopian mother with her child on her back. This imagery has always personified mothers to me, carrying us on our backs and protecting us from the ill winds of this world. I use the feature pictures to highlight people who have made amazing contributions to humanity historically and in our time. Let this article prove that one does not have to be famous and wealthy to make a difference. Thank you to all mothers in the world.
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