Category Archives: Enviroment

Interview 1218 – The Freedom Cell Solution with Derrick Broze : The Corbett Report

Derrick Broze of TheConsciousResistance.com joins us once again to continue our conversation on agorism and counter-economic activity. Today we discuss Freedom Cells, an idea for self-organized peer to peer groups that assert sovereignty, create alternative institutions, and innovate counter-economic activity.

SHOW NOTES:
www.TheConsciousResistance.com
www.FreedomCells.org
Interview 1103 – Derrick Broze on Agorism and Counter-economics
Creating Freedom w/ Vertical and Horizontal Agorism
The New Libertarian Manifesto
What is a Freedom Cell?
Welcome to The Free Thinker House!
Free Thinker House – Patreon
Free Thinker House – Facebook

Interview 1218 – The Freedom Cell Solution with Derrick Broze : The Corbett Report.

Transforming Our Communities Ourselves With Technology

microfactoryBy Brian Berletic

Many people may mistakenly believe that the future is something that others, like big companies or governments usher in and that they themselves play either a minor active role, or one that is entirely passive. In reality, there are already groups of regular people just like you or me around the world literally building the future of their communities themselves with their own two hands and in collaboration with their friends, family, neighbors, and through the power of the Internet, with like-minded individuals around the world.

Above image: Instead of some planned community built by government or developers, we can add a layer of opensource technology over our existing communities, on our rooftops, in our offices, and at existing public spaces or markets. In addition to this added layer of physical technology, a little change in our mindset will go a long way in transforming our communities.

Because of the exponential progress of technology, the impact of small, organized projects is increasing as well. Think about 3D printing and how for many years it remained firmly in the realm of large businesses for use in prototyping. It was only when small groups of enthusiastic hobbyists around the world began working on cheaper and more accessible versions of these machines that they ended up on the desktops of regular people around the world, changing the way we look at manufacturing.

Similar advances in energy production, biotechnology, agriculture, IT, and manufacturing technology are likewise empowering people on a very distributed and local level.

What we see emerging is a collection of local “institutions” giving people direct access to the means to change their communities for the better, bypassing more abstract and less efficient means of effecting change like voting or protesting.

Political processes, however, will become more relevant and practical when people actually have resources and direct hands-on experience in the matters of running their communities. Demanding more of those that represent you will have more meaning when those demands are coupled with practical solutions and enumerated plans of action.

asset3D printing has come a long way since the first RepRap desktop printers and their derivatives which includes MakerBot’s first designs. 3D printing has gone from an obscure obsession among hobbyists to a mainstream phenomenon that is transforming the way we look at manufacturing. 

Let’s explore these “institutions” and see what is possible, what is already being done, and how you can get involved today in physically shaping your community’s future starting today.

Makerspaces

A makerspace is exactly what it sounds like: a space where you make things. However, it is often associated with computer controlled personal manufacturing technology like 3D printers, CNC mills, and laser and/or waterjet cutters. There is also a significant amount of electronic prototyping equipment on hand including opensource development boards like the Arduino, which allows virtually anyone to control physical objects in the real world.

OMG_SGA well-equipped makerspace in Singapore. 

Makerspaces also generally include a small core team with skills ranging from design and engineering to software development. These teams usually are eager to bring in new people and introduce them to the tools, techniques, and technology they are so passionate about.

Makerspaces already exist around the world and it is very likely that no matter where you live, you have one relatively nearby. Makerspaces hold workshops for both absolute beginners and experienced tech enthusiasts.

11831662_10153498305854054_7334928807928857564_nMakerspaces hold frequent workshops to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with others, often absolute beginners. There is a good chance your local makerspace has workshops available. Some are even free.

You can prototype virtually anything in a makerspace, making it the perfect place to go when you have a problem and want to develop a practical, tangible solution to solve it. Everything from an opensource solar charger to a new kind of 3D printer could be (and has been) made at a makerspace, making it the perfect nexus for our local community and the variety of other local institutions that may crop up there.

Local Agriculture

A combination of rediscovered traditional practices combined with modern technology makes local food production both practical and profitable. Community gardens are not uncommon, and there is a growing interest around the world, particularly in urban areas to utilize the sun-soaked rooftops to grow food with which to consume or distribute to local restaurants and markets.

6512514787_19c44032c3_bUS-based Growing Power proves what communities can accomplish by working together. They have proven that community urban agriculture can be both practical and profitable, with their project becoming not just a local business, but a resource for the community as well. 

The Comcrop project in Singapore provides a particularly impressive example, having been in operation for several years now, serving not only as a source of locally produced food for restaurants and grocery stores, but also as a community resources teaching all who are interested how to raise crops in a dense urban environment like that found in Singapore.

1533928_389833864495338_1822153760_nSingapore’s Comcrop project has proven that even in the densest of urban environments, agriculture can be carried out by communities for profit, fun, and education. Collaboration with local makerspaces could further enhance their operation’s efficiency.  

Another impressive example of local agriculture is US-based Growing Power where greenhouses, vermiculture, and aquaponics are all combined to generate an immense amount of food feeding into a local distribution network the project has diligently developed over the years.

Local food production and distribution is steadily expanding around the world as the concept of farmers’ markets spread and entire communities of both producers and consumers connect in a much more relevant, transparent, and beneficial manner than possible under the existing mass consumerist paradigm of big-ag and big-box stores.

Applying the resources found at a makerspace to local agriculture gives us the ability to take organic agriculture and increase its efficiency through automation. That’s the idea behind ProgressTH’s own automated agriculture project, and others like it. There is no reason why local communities cannot have locally produced organic food, and utilize technology to bring efficiency on par with that claimed by large-scale operations.

Power Production

Modern civilization does not function without electrical power, something we are reminded of every time the power goes out during a storm. Currently, most of the world’s power still comes from centralized national grids and large power plants.

3017799-poster-solarcityDropping prices and increasing capabilities is making solar power an attractive means to help decentralize and localize power production. 

However, the march forward of technology is finally making the means of producing power locally more accessible to more people around the world. An extreme example of a localized, distributed power grid can be found in the remote hills of Thailand’s Phetchaburi province where the national power grid never quite made it. A local team created a tech-center of sorts where villagers were trained in the designing and installation of solar power systems, bringing the village light and power for irrigation house-by-house. The villagers have created a sort of collaborative network where everyone helps out when expanding the network’s capabilities.

12376007_1741837166035713_3364478883118053319_nThe Pedang Project in Phetchaburi, Thailand has literally brought power to a tiny remote village isolated from the national power grid.  Now it is taking its experience and sharing it with others around the country to replicate their success.

This network also trains people from all over the country to replicate their success elsewhere, even in areas where the national grid does reach, but where independence in power production is still sought.

This includes a school halfway across the country that is entirely solar powered which has incorporated alternative energy in the curriculum giving students practical experience and skills to use once they graduate.

3609A5FD89134C30889AEFF923B80445A school in Thailand’s northeast has also become a center for alternative energy and organic agriculture, all of which is combined with more traditional curriculum. Students grow their own food and help maintain the solar power system that powers the school during studying hours. 

Imagine every community, rural or urban, developing their own alternative power solutions themselves, managing both the physical infrastructure and the knowledge required to maintain it. It doesn’t necessarily need to replace current power production, but it could augment it until technology makes it possible for complete, localized and distributed power production.

Healthcare + DIYbio

Makerspaces are already collaborating with hospitals and healthcare professionals around the world to speed up the process of developing solutions to everyday problems, or lower the costs of existing solutions that remain out of reach for many patients.

makerhealth-space-utmbThis healthcare professional is working on a prototype in a makerspace placed literally within the hospital he works at.

MIT’s MakerNurse program is one example of this. Bangkok-based QSNICH (Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health) is another example. Decentralizing and opening up the development of biomedical technology is key to lowering its prices. While subsidizing healthcare now is necessary to ensure people who cannot afford treatment can still get it, in the future, healthcare will be so cheap such subsidies will have less impact on the quantity and quality of care.

Biomedical technology, the hardware you see in hospitals is one thing, the actual pharmaceuticals and therapies administered to patients is another. DIYbio (do-it-yourself biology) is a growing community much like the maker movement that seeks to open up biotechnology to a wider audience by lowering the cost of equipment and opening up knowledge by making their work collaborative, transparent and, most importantly, opensource.

CAM046523D-printed prototypes developed for healthcare professionals at a Bangkok-based children’s hospital by ProgressTH’s in-house makerspace. 

And, believe it or not, cutting-edge technology like gene therapy which has actually already cured cancer in terminal leukemia patients and shown promise in clinical trials for everything from heart disease to blindness and deafness is being approached by the DIYbio community. For now, it borders between something like a community lab and a small start-up company, as is the case with Bioviva or Andrew Hessel’s Pink Army Cooperative. In the future, we can see current collaborations between makerspaces and healthcare professionals extending and evolving between biotech researchers and local community labs.

5633564fc361888e528b460eLiz Parrish of Bioviva is blurring the lines between traditional R&D and accelerated and smaller-scale progress in developing therapies for patients. 

Again, the makerspace allows for the prototyping and development of much of the opensource biotech equipment already being produced and making headlines around the world.

Microfactories

Microfactories are localized manufacturing facilities that specialize in small-run production. Say that you create a brilliant prototype at your local makerspace, but need to make only 100-200 of them at a time. Traditional factories because of current economies of scale usually will not help you, at least not for a reasonable price. Microfactories can fill the void between makerspace prototypes and mass production.

08_firstbuild-hackathon-28Microfactories already exist, but require large capital investments for the amount of machinery required to efficiently carry out small-run production. Advances in personal manufacturing will continue to lower these barriers, and many makerspaces around the world are already working to bridge the gap between prototyping and small-run production.

In the future, microfactories may evolve into an entire network of distributed manufacturing making mass production obsolete. This is, again, dependent on the progress of manufacturing technology. When computer-controlled manufacturing processes like CNC mills and 3D printers can handle more materials, faster, and more efficiently, small-run production will become more and more practical.

And already, microfactories are going from concepts to actual physical locations as is the case with the GE-backed FirstBuild microfactory in the US. In Thailand, electronics company Gravitech has created a production facility just north of Bangkok making Arduino-compatible boards for the local market cheaper and of better quality than could be imported.

aCAM04834An Arduino-compatible board made in Thailand for the Thai market beats out Chinese-made boards both in quality and even price. This is part of a trend toward the gradual reduction of manufacturing “hubs” and lead toward a more distributed and local means of manufacturing.

This is just the leading edge of a shifting paradigm toward fully distributed manufacturing. Again, makerspaces will play a crucial role, providing educational and training resources for the local community to learn how to design and develop ideas into prototypes and then pass them on to local microfactories for production and distribution.

microfactory-typeLocal Motors is pioneering the concept of distributed car manufacturing. Microfactories in the future may make everything from handheld devices to something as big as a car, on demand or in small runs that will challenge or entirely shift our current globalized manufacturing paradigm. 

Just how far could this go? Looking at US-based Local Motors, who is attempting to create (which much success) a distributed auto-manufacturing network, it can probably end up encompassing nearly everything we use on a daily basis short of aerospace and architecture. With 3D-printed buildings cropping up around the world, each community might have their own cooperative-owned system for that as well.

Other Possibilities

Maybe now you can see how communities possessing these key institutions could begin to tackle their problems head on, practically, with tangible solutions instead of waiting for others, far away, to address them for them. By doing so, people will become more directly involved in their own destiny, possessing both skills and experience in running and improving their communities, giving them better insight and discretion when engaging in political processes beyond their community.

And because of the talent that is attracted to and produced within makerspaces, the means of creating, for example, parallel mesh communication networks or water production and distribution systems, could exist as well. Virtually everything in one’s community could end up a product of local talent, entrepreneurial vision, and innovation.

But it is important to remind potential critics that this is not a process toward tens of thousands of isolated communities scattered across the planet. Like makerspaces today, while each one possesses its own tools and talent, they are all connected and collaborating together with other spaces around the world taking and adapting great ideas when needed, while sharing their own success with others through an opensource culture.

The distributed nature of these economic, manufacturing, healthcare, agricultural, and infrastructure networks also means more resilience, especially because they are collaborative on a much larger scale. There is no single power plant or agricultural region to “wipe out” to plunge a huge population dependent on either into crisis. Disasters and crises can be absorbed and compensated for by neighboring communities unaffected. The loss of power in one community will not affect another if both are self-sufficient in power production. However, temporary assistance would be possible for one community to lend another.

“Standards,” if you will, would still exist, honed not through legality and policy, but through actual performance data, user feedback, and reputation. And because this process by its very nature is a flexible one, unforeseen opportunities and threats could be capitalized on or met as needed.

How Can You Get Involved Today?

Yes, you can get involved today! All you have to do is find your closest makerspace (or here) and drop by to check it out. You can also begin teaching yourself by taking advantage of the huge amount of fully free resources online covering everything from the basics of 3D printing, to opensource electronics, to local organic agriculture, to DIYbio. Let your favorite Internet search engine be your guide and find the resources you find most useful to your own style of learning. On YouTube alone, by simply typing any area of interest in, you can usually find dozens of tutorials and presentations.

uB8qp72A makerspace in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Just a few years ago, there were no makerspaces at all in Thailand, now there are clubs and spaces from north to south and a growing community connected through collaboration and enthusiasm about the power of hands-on innovations and solutions.

Get your friends involved; and if none are interested, it is easy to make new friends who are interested in this shifting paradigm, since “collaboration” is in fact at the very heart of it. If you are in Bangkok, feel free to contact us for workshops that ProgressTH and its many friends have on offer, some of which are even free.

The most important thing to remember is, no matter how small your progress is day to day, it will all add up in a year’s time to something that will surely surprise you. The only sure way to fail is by doing nothing — after all, zero times all the days in the year still only equals zero. You do not need to be a trained engineer or professional designer, biologist, or experienced farmer to begin building up your local community. Many of the most prominent names contributing to this current paradigm are college dropouts, or entirely self-taught. You will surely run into professionals, however, and you will learn a lot from them.

It is a truly exciting journey, and one that will have direct benefit to both yourself and your community. You can do it part-time in addition to your existing job. And many have ended up making a living full-time by contributing. We have, and will continue covering this unfolding movement, and we would love to cover your contributions… so start contributing!

Brian Berletic writes for Progress Thailand. Follow ProgressTH.org on Facebook here or on Twitter here.

Transforming Our Communities Ourselves With Technology.

SOCIALISM IS GOOD

SOCIALISM IS GOOD

Countries such as Singapore, Norway and Switzerland are part capitalist and part socialist.

We are talking about “borderline socialist states, with generous welfare benefits and lots of redistribution of wealth.”

The World’s Happiest Countries – Forbes

All of the above countries are wealthier than the USA.

The United Nations World Happiness Report 2013 shows that the happiest nations are concentrated in northern Europe, where the Nordic model of social democracy has been employed
However, the CIA and its friends have been making various attempts to destabilise countries such as Norway.
One of the aims of the Anders Breivik false flag was to promote the ‘right wing’ in Norway.
Socialism has its merits.
In the early 1900s, socialists led the movements for votes for women, child labour laws, consumer protection laws and the progressive income tax.

Is Bernie Sanders’ democratic socialism right for America.

The word ‘socialism’ is related to ‘sociare’, the Roman word for ‘to share’.

There are elements of socialist thinking in the teachings of Plato[51]Aristotle.[52] and Jesus.

….

The term “socialism” was used by Henri de Saint-Simon.

Simon saw “socialism” as a contrast to the doctrine of selfish “individualism”.

“The world’s wealthiest 62 people now own as much as the poorest half of the planet’s population.”

“The richest 1% now own as much as everyone else put together.”
 

Robert Owen and David Dale’s mills, at New Lanark, made good profits, in spite of not employing child labour, and not paying slave wages.
The socialist Robert Owen proposed the organization of production and ownership in cooperatives.
Thomas Paine proposed a detailed plan to tax property owners to pay for the needs of the poor in Agrarian Justice[55]
The Chartists in the United Kingdom wanted the vote given to all male adults and wanted a more equitable distribution of income and better living conditions for ordinary people.

Socialism is not the same as communism.

Communism, as organised by Lenin and Stalin, was an extremist (Kosher Nostra) doctrine, not much different from fascism; with the original Soviet and Chinese Communism , a rich elite treated the ordinary people as slaves.

Hitler, like Tony Blair, was used by the ‘right wing’ to smash socialism. Hitler got his thugs to beat up socialists.

Adolf Hitler.


Chris Watson.In 1904, Australians elected the first Australian Labor Party prime minister: Chris Watson, who became the first democratically elected social democrat.

The British Labour Party first won seats in the House of Commons in 1902.
After World War II, social democratic governments introduced social reform and wealth redistribution via state welfare and taxation.

Salvador Allende, president of Chile and member of the Socialist Party of Chile. His presidency was ended by the CIA on 9 11.[165]The main opposition to Socialism comes from the CIA, working on behalf of the rich elite.

In Indonesia, the moderate socialist President Sukarno was toppled by the CIA, who ordered the murders of around one million Indonesians, the vast majority of them moderates.

The CIA toppled the socialist Salvador Allende, and replaced him with the fascist Augusto Pinochet.

The CIA also committed mass murder in Nicaragua because it preferred right wing dictatorship to agrarian reform.

…In Europe, the CIA’s Operation Gladio carried out numerous acts of false flag terrorism in order to keep the rich elite in power.

In the UK, the CIA infiltrated the Labour Party and took over all the key positions.

Controlled by the CIA, many social democratic parties, particularly after the Cold war, adopted neoliberal market policies including privatisation and deregulation.

The Western welfare state was attacked from within, but state support for the corporate sector was maintained.[200]
In the 1990s, the British Labour Party, under Tony Blair, continued the policy of transferring wealth from the ordinary people to the rich elite.

The game of Monopoly comes to an end when one player has a monopoly.
“The world’s wealthiest 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the planet’s population.”

“The richest 1% now own as much as everyone else put together.”
 
global inequality.

The current economic crisis is easily solved if we adopt a more socialist approach.

It’s time to increase taxes on the rich.

“The west’s leading economic thinktank”, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development recently produced a report on inequality.

The report says that rising inequality causes lower growth in an economy.

Rising inequality is estimated to have reduced growth by:

More than 10% in Mexico and New Zealand.

Nearly 9% in the UK, Finland and Norway.

Between 6% and 7% in the United States, Italy and Sweden.

It has been revealed that the wealth gap holds back economic growth.


OECD secretary-general Angel Gurría

The report shows that the UK economy would have been more than 20% bigger had the gap between rich and poor not widened since the 1980s.

The OECD proposes higher taxes on the rich and policies aimed at increasing the wealth of the bottom 40% of the population.

Reagan and Thatcher supported ‘trickle-down economics’, the crazy idea that ordinary people would benefit from weakening trade unions and making bankers richer.


J P Morgan

The OECD report shows that:

1. “Income inequality has a sizeable and … negative impact on growth.”

2. “Inequality … hampers growth.”

“The world’s wealthiest 62 people own as much as the poorest half of the planet’s population.”

“The richest 1% now own as much as everyone else put together.”
 

The game of Monopoly can go on for ever, so long as the rich 0.01% do not end up controlling all the properties, houses, hotels and cash.

The game of Monopoly can also go on for ever, so long as you are allowed to borrow money.

You land on ‘Mayfair’ where your opponent has hotels.

You haven’t got enough cash, so you borrow from ‘the bank’, which has limitless money.

Each time you pass ‘Go’ you pay 5% on your borrowing.

If your opponent lands on your hotels on ‘Oxford Street’, you then have enough money to pay back the money borrowed from the bank.



Of course, if your opponent has far more properties and hotels than you, you will end up with growing debts.

But, the bank always allows you to borrow more money.

So the game goes on for ever.

The game only ends if:

(1) the rules are changed so that there is a limit to borrowing

(2) and, one player has far more properties, hotels and cash than the other and the dice are generally in his favour.


imghumour.com

The USA currently has some economic problems.

Its debt is rising. 

Its population is ageing. 

Its schools are mediocre. 

Its infrastructure is rickety. 

Its politicians are corrupt.

It is spending too much money on wars.

There is a giant gap in wealth between the elite and the average citizen…


A well nourished man steals maize from a starving child during a food distribution at a feeding center in Sudan in 1998. Photo by Tom Stoddart.

But, so long as the US government can go on printing money, the game can go on for ever.

Of course, if the USA fails to get its house in order, the dollar will go down in value and ordinary people become much poorer.



We should all look at Switzerland, which is made up of a number of counties (cantons).

The central government in Switzerland controls the railways. 

The cantons control education, labour, economic and welfare policies and so on.

Each canton has its own parliament and constitution. 

The communes vary in size from a few hundred to more than a million people.

Switzerland has lots of hotels!
Britain 1960s 1970s. London’s Science Museum.
 

Many people today are richer than people back in 1820.

However, the gap between the haves and the have-nots globally is now at the same level as in the 1820s.

Gap Widens!

This is according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

 
Rockefeller

The researchers studied income levels in 25 countries, charted them back to 1820 and then collated them as if the world was a single country.

(Full report here)

The Gini coefficient is used to measure income inequality.

Zero represents perfect equality and 100 perfect inequality.

The global Gini rose from 49 in 1820 to 66 in 2000.

Britain 1960s 1970s. London’s Science Museum.

Between 1950 and 1980, income inequality did drop sharply.

This was due to an ‘egalitarian revolution.’

This ‘egalitarian revolution’ involved Socialist Parties and Trade Unions winning better wages and conditions for the poor, particularly in Europe.

These Socialist Parties and Trade Unions were then infiltrated by the right-wing security services.

Reagan came to power in 1981 and Thatcher came to power in 1979.

Inequality shot up after globalization got going in the 1980s.

The gap between the haves and the have-nots globally is now at the same level as in the 1820s.

Brazil and Mexico are even more unequal than they were in 1820.

Only in a few nations – such as Switzerland and France – has there been a long-term decline in income inequality.

The Scandinavian countries have the smallest income disparities, but these countries have now been fully infiltrated by the CIA and its friends.

Britain 1960s 1970s. London’s Science Museum.
Some voters have been successfully brainwashed into voting for the politicians who will rob the poor in order to help the rich.
Think of Reagan, Thatcher, Blair, Obama…
Some voters have been brainwashed into rejecting the politicians who help the poor.
Think of the critics of Arbenz in Guatemala, Mosaddegh in Iran, Allende in Chile, Ben Ali in Tunisia…

There is a continuing mind control programme to persuade the voters that the rich deserve to be rich and that the poor deserve to be poor.

There is a continuing mind control programme to persuade the voters that taxes on the rich must not be raised and that the moderate socialist policies in Scandinavia are a bad thing.

US is an oligarchy, not a democracy.

Britain 1960s 1970s. London’s Science Museum.
Child poverty in Sweden has increased by almost 50 percent since 2006.
The economy is in trouble.
And the best way to help the economy is to greatly increase the minimum wage, worldwide.
And help small businesses; not greedy global corporations.
 
Poor children in Scandinavia, not helping the shoe trade. 
 

Robert Owen took over some textile mills at a place called New Lanark in Scotland.

At that time, in the early 19th century, children from as young as five were working for thirteen hours a day in the mills.

Robert Owen brought about reforms, such as halting the employment of young children.

His mills prospered.

 
London strike 
 
On 14 August 1889, in the UK, the Great London Dock strike began.
The Dockers demanded a minimum wage of 6 pence an hour.
The strike was a success.
Dockers could afford to buy more in the shops.
Some of the money raised in tax went towards the military-industrial complex. 
 
In 1909, the UK government increased taxes on the super-rich.
 
“Income tax was raised to one shilling on incomes above £2,000; those earning over £5,000 would pay an additional super tax at six pence in the pound on income above £3,000.
“Only 25,000 people earned above £3,000 and those liable for super tax numbered around 10,000.”
Some of the money raised from tax was diverted towards buying the weapons of war used in the 1914-18 conflict.
But, gradually in the UK there was a narrowing of the gap between the rich and the poor.

A sanitised version of a UK military punishment for its own soldiers.
However, the ‘bad guys’ then began to infiltrate the reform movements.
Today, most trade unions seem to have been infiltrated.
And there are few oligarchs who take an interest in their workers’ welfare.
On 23 June 2010, we learn that in Detroit, almost half of all children live in poverty. 

(“Dying Detroit” – The Impacts of Globalization. Social Decay and Destruction of an Entire Urban Area) 
In India, “57 per cent of GDP is being ‘consumed’ by about one per cent of the total population.”

(India is prospering but not Indians: Aiyar

 

Mumbai

In the UK, the proportion of poor children in working households rose to 61% in 2008-9.
In the UK, in the top 100 companies, the average chief executive is paid more than £4m a year.
 

(Low pay keeps even more in poverty.)

In 1960 the average income of the top 20% of the world’s population was 30 times that of the bottom 20%.
By 1997, it was 74 times.
Today the assets of the top three billionaires are more than the combined GNP of all least developed countries and their 600 million people. 
 
 
Bangkok
 
On 24 June 2010, at Global Research, Andrew Gavin Marshall wrote about: The Global Political Awakening and the New World Order 
The richest 10% of the world’s adults own around for 85% of the world’s wealth. 
The bottom half of the world adult population own around 1% of the world’s wealth. 
On 23 June 2010, in the Financial Times, Douglas Bruce explained that without some trickle-down effect, any recovery will be stillborn 
Douglas wrote: “Going back a generation or two… it was still possible for a middle-class father to support a family of four, but it now takes two earners to maintain most families, and that at a lower standard of living…” 
 
India 

At theeconomiccollapseblog, we read about:

From this we learn:
“Over the past several decades an increasingly growing percentage of agricultural land has been gobbled up by big corporations and by corrupt governments.
“Hundreds of millions of people have been pushed off their land.”
Global corporations dominate much of the world economy.
According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the number of “least developed countries” has doubled over the past 40 years.
2 “Least developed countries” spent 9 billion dollars on food imports in 2002. By 2008, that number had risen to 23 billion dollars.
3. Average income per person in the poorest countries on the continent of Africa has fallen by one-fourth over the past twenty years.
4. Bill Gates has a net worth of somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 billion dollars. That means that there are approximately 140 different nations that have a yearly GDP which is smaller than the amount of money Bill Gates has.
5. A study by the World Institute for Development Economics Research discovered that the bottom half of the world population owns approximately 1 percent of all global wealth.

India

6. Approximately 1 billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry each night.

7. The wealthiest 2 percent own more than half of all global household assets.
8. It is estimated that over 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where the income gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
9. Every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death and three-quarters of them are children under the age of 5.
10. According to Gallup, 33 percent of the people on the globe say that they do not have enough money for food.

A distraction. 

11. As you read this, there are 2.6 billion people around the world that lack basic sanitation.
12. According to the most recent “Global Wealth Report” by Credit Suisse, the wealthiest 0.5% control over 35% of the wealth of the world.
13. More than 3 billion people, close to half the world’s population, live on less than 2 dollar a day.
14. CNN founder Ted Turner is the largest private landowner in the United States. Today, Turner owns approximately two million acres. That is an amount greater than the land masses of the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. Turner also advocates restricting U.S. couples to 2 or fewer children to control population growth.

Gordon Brown reportedly works for the CIA.

15. There are 400 million children in the world today that have no access to safe water.
16. Approximately 28 percent of all children in developing countries are considered to be underweight or have had their growth stunted as a result of malnutrition.
17. It is estimated that the United States owns approximately 25 percent of the total wealth of the world.
18. It is estimated that the entire continent of Africa owns approximately 1 percent of the total wealth of the world.
19. In 2008, approximately 9 million children died before they reached their fifth birthdays. Approximately a third of all of these deaths was due either directly or indirectly to lack of food.
20. The most famous banking family in the world, the Rothschilds, has accumulated mountains of wealth while much of the rest of the world has been trapped in poverty. The following is what Wikipedia has to say about Rothschild family wealth….
It has been argued that during the 19th century, the family possessed by far the largest private fortune in the world, and by far the largest fortune in modern history.
Nobody seems to know exactly how much the Rothschilds are worth today. They dominate the banking establishments of England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and many other nations. It was estimated that they were worth billions back in the mid-1800s. What the total wealth of the family is today is surely an amount that is almost unimaginable, but nobody knows for sure.
 


“What we have in the world today is not capitalism.

“Rather, it more closely resembles ‘feudalism’ than anything else…

 
“It would be great if we lived in a world where those living in poverty were encouraged to start owning land, to create businesses and to build better lives for themselves… 
 
“It turns out that the global elite have decided that they don’t really need so many expensive American ‘worker bees’ after all and they have been moving thousands of factories and millions of jobs overseas.
“Meanwhile the American people are so distracted watching Dancing with the Stars, Lady Gaga and their favorite sports teams that they don’t even realize what is going on.”
~~

Source : Aangirfan

U.K. Town Moves Forward with Fluoridated Milk for Children

 

fluoridated_milk

On Monday January 18, the Blackpool Council approved a plan to introduce fluoridated milk to school children via the town’s free breakfast program. The Council is attempting to tackle a dental health problem that has caused nearly half of all 12-year olds in Blackpool to have at least one decayed, missing, or filled tooth.

The Blackpool Gazette reports:

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary for Blackpool Council, said: “Unfortunately the state of Blackpool’s dental health is very poor.

However, where some parts of the country can benefit from fluoride naturally appearing in their daily drinking water, in Blackpool we cannot.

What we do have is a method through the free breakfast programme that allows us to reach all primary school children as they are growing up and make the fluoride milk available to them there.

The proposal will allow for children to opt out and requires the schools to provide non-fluoridated milk. First proposed in 2013 the plan was delayed while studies were conducted. The studies found that children in the town have “lower than normal” levels of fluoride.

The Blackpool Council’s website states,

a proposal to introduce fluoridated milk, which contains fluoride to help reduce the risk of tooth decay, was approved by the Council’s Executive on Monday 18 January. The milk, which is recommended by the World Health Organisation, is the latest in Blackpool Council’s plans to tackle poor dental hygiene amongst children in the town.

Around 400 children in Blackpool are also admitted to hospital every year to have teeth extracted under general anaesthetic, at a cost to the NHS of thousands of pounds.

The Council also states that the fluoridated milk plan will come at no extra cost to the taxpayer thanks to the free breakfast program. They estimate that 8,400 students currently receive milk on a daily basis and many of them will now be drinking fluoridated milk. The plan would add .8 mg Fluoride per 189 ml of milk, or 4.2 parts per million. In April 2015 the U.S. government lowered the recommended levels of fluoride to 0.7 parts per million.

Interestingly, under a section titled “Ethical Considerations” the Blackpool council writes “none.” The reason I find that interesting is because a simple search of studies on fluoridation will show that there are many health issues associated with the practice and thus dosing children with the chemical through their milk does raise some ethical questions.

The Blackpool Council also writes that the benefits of fluoridated milk have been proven by the European Union and the World Health Organisation. “This is why fluoride is widely used in many ways for example water or toothpaste and mouth washes. A well mineralised tooth is what everyone is trying to achieve to prevent decay,” the Council writes.

However, critics have long argued that any benefits of fluoride are only effective when applied topically, directly to the teeth. This would make water and milk fluoridation largely a waste of resources. Moreover, exposing the internal organs to fluoride might actually be harmful to health. The possibility of harmful side effects from water fluoridation is still heavily debated.

In 2015 Truth In Media reported that the Cochrane Collaboration, a  global independent network of researchers, professionals, and patients, narrowed the review down to the most comprehensive, well-designed and reliable papers, before analyzing and publishing their conclusion.

According to Newsweek:

The review identified only three studies since 1975—of sufficient quality to be included—that addressed the effectiveness of fluoridation in the population at large. These papers determined that fluoridation does not reduce cavities to a statistically significant degree, says study co-author Anne-Marie Glenny, a health science researcher at Manchester University in the United Kingdom.

The scientists also found “insufficient evidence” that fluoridation reduces tooth decay in adults (children excluded). “From the review, we’re unable to determine whether water fluoridation has an impact on caries levels in adults,” Glenny says.

Trevor Sheldon, dean of the Hull York Medical School in the United Kingdom, conducted a review of water fluoridation in 2000. Sheldon concluded that the process is not effective. “I had assumed because of everything I’d heard that water fluoridation reduces cavities but I was completely amazed by the lack of evidence,” he told Newsweek. “My prior view was completely reversed.”

Sheldon points out that some studies have actually shown that when water fluoridation was ceased, cavities went down a small percentage among schoolchildren.  This includes a 2001 study of two British Columbia communities that was included in the Cochrane review.

The Cochrane team also found that most studies confirming the effectiveness of fluoridation were completed prior to the widespread use of dental products such as mouth rinses and toothpastes. The study did find evidence that fluoridation was linked to a 26 percent decrease in cavities. However, this study was also done before the growth of modern dentistry. The researchers write, “We have limited confidence in the size of this effect due to the high risk of bias within the studies and the lack of contemporary evidence.”

In early June, the Health Research Board (HRB) completed an in-depth review of the effects of water fluoridation. The review was conducted at the behest of the U.S. Department of Health. After examining all internationally peer-reviewed papers on the topic of fluoride and health effects from 2006 to 2014, the HRB “found no definitive evidence that community water fluoridation is associated with positive or negative systemic health effects.”

Image Credit

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist, community activist, gardener and promoter from Houston, Texas. He is the co-founder of The Houston Free Thinkers, and co-host of Free Thinker Radio. Broze also hosts and produces a weekly podcast under the name the Conscious Resistance Live. His writing can be found on TheConsciousResistance.com, The Liberty Beat, Activist Post, and other independent media sources.

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

By Derrick Broze

 

Source : Activist Post.

German Supermarket Chain Bans Bee-Killing Neonic Pesticides on Produce

pesticides-aldi-sud-image-735-350

The New Year starts with more positive news. Aldi Süd, a German supermarket chain with stores in the U.S., has become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides toxic to bees, including the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, from all produce sold in their stores. [1]

The announcement was made January 1st, with the retailer expecting fruit and vegetable suppliers for their stores to comply with their new policy ASAP. The following pesticides will no longer be tolerated:

  • Thiamethoxam
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Clothianidin
  • Cypermethrin
  • Deltamethrin
  • Fipronil
  • Imidacloprid
  • Sulfoxaflor

The decision to ban bee-toxic pesticides comes following public pressure, and follows another German retailer’s decision to ban the herbicide chemical glyphosate – another toxic compound that is fueling numerous problems.

According to a press release from Greenpeace, the chemicals are used on various commodities in Europe:

  • Thiamethoxam – applied to lettuce and endive
  • Chlorpyrifos, clothianidin – applied to kohlrabi, herbs, Brussels sprouts, head cabbage, cauliflower, and kale
  • Cypermethrin – applied to leek, head cabbage, and leguminous vegetables
  • Deltamethrin – applied to cauliflower, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, pea, head cabbage, tomato, and lettuce
  • Imidacloprid – applied to apples, peaches, apricots, and lettuce
  • Sulfoxaflor was recently granted regulatory approval in Europe, despite calls and legal action to prohibit its registration [2]

The UK’s largest garden retailers, including Homebase, B&Q, and Wickes have already voluntarily stopped selling neonicotinoids.

These pesticides have proven to cause problems for bee reproduction, navigation, and foraging, as well as the suppression of bee immune systems. Just this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its preliminary pollinator assessment for the neonic imidacloprid which finds various residues of the chemical in crops where the pollinators forage, and confirms bees’ widespread and sustained exposure to the highly toxic and persistent chemical through poisoned pollen and nectar.

Sadly, requests for our government agencies to ban these pesticides have been ignored.

Thanks Aldi, for doing the right thing and protecting the bees!

by Christina Sarich

 

Sources:

[1] BeyondPesticides

[2] BeyondPesticides/resources/pesticide-gateway?

Image used from: Spiegel.de

 

Source : Natural Society.

CISA Is Now The Law: How Congress Quietly Passed The Second Patriot Act

Update: CISA is now the law: OBAMA SIGNS SPENDING, TAX BILL THAT REPEALS OIL EXPORT BAN

* * *

Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies – including the NSA – to share cybersecurity, and really any information with private corporations “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The most vocal complaint involved CISA’s information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.

Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and many others including countless politicians and, most amusingly, the White House itself.

In April, a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts signed onto an open letter opposing it. In July, the Department of Homeland Security itself warned that the bill could overwhelm the agency with data of “dubious value” at the same time as it “sweep[s] away privacy protections.” Most notably, the biggest aggregator of online private content, Facebook, vehemently opposed the legislation however a month ago it was “surprisingly” revealed that Zuckerberg had been quietly on the side of the NSA all along as we reported in “Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying For Privacy-Destroying “Cyber-Security” Bill.” 

Even Snowden chimed in:

Following the blitz response, the push to pass CISA was tabled following a White House threat to veto similar legislation. Then, quietly, CISA reemerged after the same White House mysteriously flip-flopped, expressed its support for precisely the same bill in August.

And then the masks fell off, when it became obvious that not only are corporations eager to pass CISA despite their previous outcry, but that they have both the White House and Congress in their pocket.

As Wired reminds us, when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21 in October, privacy advocates were again “aghast” that the key portions of the law were left intact which they said make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security, claiming that Congress has quietly stripped out “even more of its remaining privacy protections.”

“They took a bad bill, and they made it worse,” says Robyn Greene, policy counsel for the Open Technology Institute.

But while Congress was preparing a second assault on privacy, it needed a Trojan Horse with which to enact the proposed legislation into law without the public having the ability to reject it.

It found just that by attaching it to the Omnibus $1.1 trillion Spending Bill, which passed the House early this morning, passed the Senate moments ago and will be signed into law by the president in the coming hours.

This is how it happened, again courtesy of Wired:

In a late-night session of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new version of the “omnibus” bill, a massive piece of legislation that deals with much of the federal government’s funding. It now includes a version of CISA as well. Lumping CISA in with the omnibus bill further reduces any chance for debate over its surveillance-friendly provisions, or a White House veto. And the latest version actually chips away even further at the remaining personal information protections that privacy advocates had fought for in the version of the bill that passed the Senate.

It gets: it appears that while CISA was on hiatus, US lawmakers – working under the direction of corporations adnt the NSA – were seeking to weaponize the revised legislation, and as Wired says, the latest version of the bill appended to the omnibus legislation seems to exacerbate the problem of personal information protections.

It creates the ability for the president to set up “portals” for agencies like the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, so that companies hand information directly to law enforcement and intelligence agencies instead of to the Department of Homeland Security. And it also changes when information shared for cybersecurity reasons can be used for law enforcement investigations. The earlier bill had only allowed that backchannel use of the data for law enforcement in cases of “imminent threats,” while the new bill requires just a “specific threat,” potentially allowing the search of the data for any specific terms regardless of timeliness.

Some, like Senator Ron Wyden, spoke out out against the changes to the bill in a press statement, writing they’d worsened a bill he already opposed as a surveillance bill in the guise of cybersecurity protections.

Senator Richard Burr, who had introduced the earlier version of bill, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Americans deserve policies that protect both their security and their liberty,” he wrote. “This bill fails on both counts.”

Why was the CISA included in the omnibus package, which just passed both the House and the Senate? Because any “nay” votes  – or an Obama – would also threaten the entire budget of the federal government. In other words, it was a question of either Americans keeping their privacy or halting the funding of the US government, in effect bankrupting the nation.

And best of all, the rushed bill means there will be no debate.

The bottom line as OTI’s Robyn Green said, “They’ve got this bill that’s kicked around for years and had been too controversial to pass, so they’ve seen an opportunity to push it through without debate. And they’re taking that opportunity.

The punchline: “They’re kind of pulling a Patriot Act.”

And when Obama signs the $1.1 trillion Spending Bill in a few hours, as he will, it will be official: the second Patriot Act will be the law, and with it what little online privacy US citizens may enjoy, will be gone.

 

 

Source : Zero Hedge.

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