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Index August 2014

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2014-08-01: Worker’s alternatives;
2014-08-02: global de-dollarization – World Bank whistleblower – money laundering;
2014-08-03: The Orange Social Design Award: help us make our cities more liveable;
2014-08-04: Human trafficking is rampant in Canada;
2014-08-05: Ukraine … questions and non-answers;
2014-08-06: 50 US experts head to West Africa to contain outbreak of Ebola;
2014-08-07: Sick of this market-driven world? You should be;
2014-08-08: Why National Security Has Nothing to Do With Security;
2014-08-09: Pushing LBJ Into War: Robert S. McNamara and the Real Tonkin Gulf Deception;
2014-08-10: Gluttons of Information: The Metadata Confusion in Oz;
2014-08-11: A Financial Casino Would Be a Step Up From What We Have;
2014-08-12: Nanoelectronics meets biology: From new tools to electronic therapeutics;
2014-08-13: The responsibility for ISIS doesn’t lie with the West;
2014-08-14: Cry for Argentina: Fiscal Mismanagement, Odious Debt or Pillage?
2014-08-15: One Nation Under SWAT;
2014-08-16: What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America;
2014-08-17: Obama, Zuma and the Washington-Pretoria-Tel Aviv Relay;
2014-08-18: key-search: alternative development projects;
2014-08-19: What Do the World Bank and IMF Have to Do With the Ukraine Conflict?
2014-08-20: COMMENT: The second assassination of Mike Brown;
2014-08-21: The Islamic State;
2014-08-22: POVERTY;
2014-08-23: AGROFORESTRY;
2014-08-24: German NGO says TTIP will undermine global food security;
2014-08-25: Bank of America to Pay $16.65 Billion to Settle Mortgage Fraud Charges;
2014-08-26: Monetary policy in the US and EU after quantitative easing;
2014-08-27: GEOPOLITICS;
2014-08-28: Dozens of police departments suspended for losing US military-grade weaponry;
2014-08-29: We-commerce: The sharing economy’s uncertain path to changing the world;
2014-08-30: Ukraine and Russia: War, not Peace;
2014-08-31: Gabriel Kolko’s Unfinished Revolution.
All articles sorted chronologically.

Gabriel Kolko’s Unfinished Revolution

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Published on Zmagazine, by Eli Cook, Aug 24, 2014.

Gabriel Kolko, historian and socialist, died last month in his home in Amsterdam. He was 81.

When Kolko’s The Triumph of Conservatism appeared on the scene in 1963, it was not only a book of history but heresy. This was the era in which American liberalism reigned supreme, and social commentators such as Daniel Bell confidently assured the public that the formula for sustained economic prosperity and political freedom had been uncovered in the form of a capitalist system kept in check by a powerful and centralized regulatory government.   Continue Reading…

Ukraine and Russia: War, not Peace

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Published on The Economist, Aug 30, 2014 … and more on Google News-search (my comment: … and the whole blackmailed or otherwise dump elite is unable to stop this mess, as money, power and influences are more important than peoples – Heidi).

… All this came after Mr Poroshenko met Vladimir Putin, for the first time since June, in the margins of a summit in Minsk. The meeting began icily and achieved little. Russia’s interests—keeping Ukraine out of NATO—have not changed. Even if many Russians are ready to buy claims of soldiers “accidentally” crossing the border, the rest of the world is not. Yet Mr Putin still maintains that the war is a “domestic matter”, and calls for negotiations to include representatives of eastern regions. The Kremlin will prop up its rebel proxies to ensure they are not defeated, but has no desire for a full-scale invasion. “Military activities are an instrument for strengthening their political position ahead of negotiations,” says Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs, a journal … // Continue Reading…

We-commerce: The sharing economy’s uncertain path to changing the world

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Published on Tech Republic, by Lyndsey Gilpin, Aug 27, 2014.

Peer-to-peer collaboration is gaining ground and changing the economics of the future, but there are questions to answer and obstacles to overcome … //

… States of sharing:

  • The sharing economy is here to stay. It is a small but rapidly expanding market that is transforming social, economic, and environmental practices.   Continue Reading…

Dozens of police departments suspended for losing US military-grade weaponry

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Published on Russia Today RT, by Lucy Nicholson, Aug 27, 2014.

Close to 200 state and local police departments in the United States have been suspended for losing military-level equipment transferred to them by the Pentagon, a new investigation found …;

According to the media outlet Fusion, its independent investigation into the Pentagon’s “1033 program,” which equips state and local police departments across the US with excess military equipment, turned up an alarming trend: Not only did many law enforcement agencies fail to comply with the program’s guidelines, they routinely lost dangerous weaponry.   Continue Reading…


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Mixed Links:

Monetary policy in the US and EU after quantitative easing

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… Monetary policy in the US and EU after quantitative easing, the case for asset based reserve requirements ABRR – Published on Real World Economics Review, issue no 68, by Thomas I. Palley, Aug 21, 2014.

  • Abstract: This paper critiques the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) exit strategy which aims to deactivate excess liquidity via higher interest rates on reserves. That is equivalent to giving banks a tax cut at the public’s expense. It also risks domestic and international financial market turmoil. The paper proposes an alternative exit strategy based on ABRR which avoids the adverse fiscal and financial market impacts of higher interest rates. ABRR also increase the number of monetary policy instruments which can permanently improve policy. This is especially beneficial for euro zone countries. Furthermore, ABRR yield fiscal benefits via increased seignorage and can shrink a financial sector that is too large. Continue Reading…

Bank of America to Pay $16.65 Billion to Settle Mortgage Fraud Charges

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Published on CorpWatch, by Pratap Chatterjee, Aug 21, 2014.

Bank of America has agreed to pay the government $9.65 billion to settle charges of misleading investors over mortgage lending in the run up to the 2008 financial crisis. The bank will also pay out an additional $7 billion to help borrowers and communities affected by the loans.

The settlement agreement was hammered out by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the attorney generals of six states – California, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Maryland. Similar large multi billion dollar settlements over mortgage related fraud have recently been reached with JP Morgan and Citigroup for$13 billion and $7 billion respectively.   Continue Reading…

German NGO says TTIP will undermine global food security

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Published on EurActiv, July 25, 2014.

.The German aid organisation Brot für die Welt warns that a planned EU-US free trade agreement known as TTIP will undermine local support for smallholders in developing countries and exacerbate the global food crisis. EurActiv Germany reports … //

… Support for regional food products under question: … //

… Local farmers disadvantaged:   Continue Reading…


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Achieving food and nutritional security through family farming – Published on World Agroforestry Centre, by Kate Langford, August 20, 2014.

With the International Year of Family Farming taking place in 2013, renowned Indian agricultural scientist, M S Swaminathan looks at what is needed to support these most important of producers in achieving food as well as nutritional security, especially in India.

It is estimated there are around 500 million farming families in the world. The International Year of Family Farming “offers an opportunity for achieving a shift from food security to nutrition security,” says Swaminathan. “Family farms tend to be based on crop, livestock, fish, agroforestry and mixed farming systems” which means they lend themselves to being made both nutrition and environment sensitive.   Continue Reading…


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The Islamic State

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  • * (Inside) The Islamic State FULL, 42.31 min, uploaded by VICEnews, Aug 14, 2014;
  • Der Islamische Staat und die Ästhetik des Wahnsinns, Die Welt, von Jan Küveler, 18. August 2014: erstmals zeigt eine TV-Reportage den Islamischen Staat (IS) von innen. Bester Laune planen seine Bürger die grausamsten Gräueltaten. Das Böse zeigt sich in seiner ganzen Unschuld. Das Erstaunlichste an der Reportage aus dem syrischen ar-Raqqa*, de facto Hauptstadt des Islamischen Staats (IS), die einem Reporter des Internetmagazins “Vice” sensationellerweise gelang, ist die Offenheit und Freundlichkeit der Menschen. Das Kind, das angibt, später einmal lieber Dschihadist als Selbstmordattentäter werden zu wollen, lächelt scheu-kokett. Sein Vater, genannt der Belgier, weil er dort lange lebte, bevor er nach ar-Raqqa kam, um einen Gebetstruck zu fahren, muss gerührt weinen, wenn er verspricht, die Ungläubigen in aller Welt auszurotten …;   Continue Reading…

COMMENT: The second assassination of Mike Brown

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Published on Socialist, by ELIZABETH SCHULTE, August 19, 2014.

The unarmed Black teen killed in Ferguson, Mo., has suffered a political and media smear campaign, reports Elizabeth Schulte – like so many other victims of police … //

… Oh, and the Ferguson police had some surveillance video to release–something you know all too well if you’ve had the misfortune of tuning in even briefly to cable TV news over the past several days.   Continue Reading…

What Do the World Bank and IMF Have to Do With the Ukraine Conflict?

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Published on truthout, by Frédéric Mousseau, Aug 17, 2014.

Mostly unreported as the Ukraine conflict captures headlines, international financing has played a significant role in the current conflict in Ukraine. In late 2013, conflict between pro-European Union (EU) and pro-Russian Ukrainians escalated to violent levels, leading to the departure of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 and prompting the greatest East-West confrontation since the Cold War.   Continue Reading…

key-search: alternative development projects

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Land resources Management – rural and urban development projects, 1.43 min, uploaded by Mrtv English Channel, Aug 15, 2014:

A workshop on land resources management for rural and urban development projects was held in Nay Pyi Taw, yesterday. President U Thein Sein gave a speech, saying that the government will be able to settle landless people on newly-developed plots in accordance with urban and rural development plans after identifying the real landless people.   Continue Reading…

Obama, Zuma and the Washington-Pretoria-Tel Aviv Relay

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Published on ZNet (also on counterpunch, and on Pretoria News), by Patrick Bond, Aug 15, 2014.

What, ultimately, was the importance of the Africa-US leadership summit at the White House last week? It came at a very decisive moment for geopolitical relations in the axis linking Washington, Pretoria and Tel Aviv. And surprising US-China economic connections were also revealed, potentially reaching deep into Africa. Mega-corporations of both US and African parentage revelled in the attention and repeated blasts of public subsidies, with deals alleged to have reached $37 billion over the three days.     Continue Reading…

What White People Can Do About the Killing of Black Men in America

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Published on Huffington Post/The Blog, by Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Aug 13, 2014.

… I spoke to Rev. Tony Lee who is an African-American pastor at Community of Hope AME Church in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Rev. Tony and I went to seminary together and he has been a colleague I trust to speak the truth to me about race in America. He called the recent deaths ‘disturbing but not surprising.’

“The reason people are responding so strongly is that these are examples of daily antagonisms felt by black people on the street. This is part of a wider school-to-prison pipeline and the ghettoization and de-humanization of black bodies. Social media gets the word out much quicker and people are responding to dead black men on the streets in LA, Ferguson and NYC by saying ‘wait, that is going on in our streets too.’”   Continue Reading…

One Nation Under SWAT

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Published on TomDispatch, by Matthew Harwood, Aug 14, 2014.

Think of it as a different kind of blowback. Even when you fight wars in countries thousands of miles distant, they still have an eerie way of making the long trip home.

Take the latest news from Bergen County, New Jersey, one of the richest counties in the country. Its sheriff’s department is getting two mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, or MRAPs — 15 tons of protective equipment — for a song from the Pentagon. And there’s nothing special in that. The Pentagon has handed out 600 of them for nothing since 2013, with plenty more to come. They’re surplus equipment, mostly from our recent wars, and perhaps they will indeed prove handy for a sheriff fretting about insurgent IEDs (roadside bombs) in New Jersey or elsewhere in the country. Continue Reading…

Cry for Argentina: Fiscal Mismanagement, Odious Debt or Pillage?

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Ellen Hodgson Brown, August 12th, 2014.

Argentina has now taken the US to The Hague for blocking the country’s 2005 settlement with the bulk of its creditors. The issue underscores the need for an international mechanism for nations to go bankrupt. Better yet would be a sustainable global monetary scheme that avoids the need for sovereign bankruptcy. Continue Reading…

The responsibility for ISIS doesn’t lie with the West

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(my comment: not only, but I agree with the rest – Heidi) – Published on Left Foot Forward, by KUNWAR SHAHID, August 11, 2014.

While it would be ridiculous to allow the West the moral high ground, it is even more absurd for the Muslim world to transfer the responsibility for ISIS on to the West.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is emulating al Qaeda, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Boko Haram and pretty much every single Sunni Islamist militant organisation in the world by taking up arms vying to establish a regional – and eventually global – caliphate.   Continue Reading…

Nanoelectronics meets biology: From new tools to electronic therapeutics

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Press release: On the frontiers of cyborg science: … published on Nanotechnology Now, Aug 10, 2014.

Abstract: Nanoscale materials enable unique opportunities at the interface between the physical and life sciences, and the interfaces between nanoelectronic devices and cells, cell networks, and tissue makes possible communication between these systems at the length scale relevant to biological function. Continue Reading…

A Financial Casino Would Be a Step Up From What We Have

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Published on naked capitalism, by Yves Smith, August 10, 2014.

This is a terrific and very accessible interview with Boston College professor Ed Kane, who is a long-standing critic of the failure to rein in financial firms that feed at the taxpayer trough. At one point in the talk, Kane and his interviewer Marshall Auerback discuss how casinos are well aware of the fact that the house can lose and they monitor gamblers intensively to make sure that no one is engaging is sleight of hand. Thus if we treated our banking system like the financial casino that it has become, we’d be much better off than we are now. Continue Reading…

Gluttons of Information: The Metadata Confusion in Oz

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Binoy Kampmark, August 8, 2014.

It is sometimes hard to know whether those in power adopt a policy of confusion purposely, or through grand design. When it comes to the flawed policy of data retention on a mass scale, a burden that is bound to fall on telecommunications companies, the problem is most acute of all. What is to be kept? What falls within that broad term metadata? Continue Reading…

Pushing LBJ Into War: Robert S. McNamara and the Real Tonkin Gulf Deception

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Published on Counterpunch, by GARETH PORTER, Aug 5, 2014.

For most of the last five decades, it has been assumed that the Tonkin Gulf incident was a deception by Lyndon Johnson to justify war in Vietnam. But the U.S. bombing of North Vietnam on August 4, 1964 in retaliation for an alleged naval attack that never happened — and the Tonkin Gulf Resolution that followed was not a move by LBJ to get the American people to support a U.S. war in Vietnam.   Continue Reading…

Why National Security Has Nothing to Do With Security

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Published on TomDispatch, by Noam Chomsky, August 5, 2014.

… On August 7, 1945, a previous age was ending and a new one was dawning. In the nuclear era, city-busting weapons would be a dime a dozen and would spread from the superpowers to many other countries, including Great Britain, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel. Targeted by the planet’s major nuclear arsenals would be the civilian inhabitants not just of single cities but of scores and scores of cities, even of the planet itself. On August 6th, 70 years ago, the possibility of the apocalypse passed out of the hands of God or the gods and into human hands, which meant a new kind of history had begun whose endpoint is unknowable, though we do know that even a “modest” exchange of nuclear weapons between India and Pakistan would not only devastate South Asia, but thanks to the phenomenon of nuclear winter also cause widespread famine on a planetary scale.   Continue Reading…