07/26/2017
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National Security Demands Secrecy in the Heart of Arkansas

Within a week of the ExxonMobil tar sands oil pipeline burst in Mayflower, Arkansas, ExxonMobil was in charge of the clean-up, the U.S. government had established a no-fly zone over the area, some 40 residents were starting their second week of evacuation, ExxonMobil was threatening to arrest reporters trying to cover the spill, and several homeowners had filed a class action lawsuit seeking damages from the world’s second-most profitable corporation that had helped keep the pipeline secret from terrorists.

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Many of us who have been researching collapse for a decade or more repeatedly use the word in writing, speaking, and daily conversation, but few of us have the opportunity to define it with such precision or personal experience as one finds in Dmitry Orlov’sforthcoming book Five Stagesof Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit(New Society Publishers, 281 pages). I first heard of Dmitry when I was writing for From The Wilderness in 2005 after FTW published “Post-...

Derivatives turn the financial system into a casino. And the House always wins.

Cyprus-style confiscation of depositor funds has been called the “new normal.”  Bail-in policies are appearing in multiple countries directing failing TBTF banks to convert the funds of “unsecured creditors” into capital; and those creditors, it turns out, include ordinary depositors. Even “secured” creditors, including state and local governments, may be at risk.  Derivatives have “super-priority” status in bankruptcy, and Dodd Frank precludes further taxpayer bailouts. In a big derivatives bust, there may be no...
 
The US is at the dawn of “a new era in police surveillance,” the Associated Press revealed casually last week. In a Chicago-based story about the growing use of drones and other sophisticated, unmanned aircraft for aerial surveillance, it noted that the Congressional Research Service considers their future use "bound only by human ingenuity."

The story focused on one Illinois legislator who has proposed a limit on how far law enforcement agencies can go. But bills have been introduced in almost 40 states, and the Bill...

"We in America are the best entertained and least informed society in the world." - Neil Postman

Two radical questions for you, dear reader. Are U.S.-based corporate media deliberately dividing the nation? What will it take to end the reign of corporate media's "junk food news"?

These two radical, " root cause" questions animate a compelling new documentary about Sonoma State University's award-winning Project Censored media research program. "Project Censored - The Movie," is an independently produced 1 hour film by...

By Adrian Kuzminski

INTRODUCTION

Today Vermonters have no control over access to capital. Loans are available to them almost exclusively through an unfair and exploitative banking system.

Money can be borrowed for the most part only from private banks which enjoy unearned profits through their effective monopoly over lending money to Vermonters at usurious rates of interest.

As a result, most Vermonters, like most people in other states, find themselves in perpetual debt peonage. If they are able to obtain capital for personal or private investment from the...

I am kicking off the second day of the National Conference on Media Reform in Denver, Colorado by sitting in on a provocative panel discussion devoted to "exploring our post-industrial landscape and discussing the risks and opportunities it brings with it."

Arizona State University's Dan Gillmor began by briefly referencing a number of instances of social media censorship and content policing by Facebook (and other big new media companies like Apple), and pointing out that Facebook is an...

Which is the more paranoid statement?

  1. AMERICAN MEDIA: "North Korea is threatening to attack us with nuclear weapons."
  2. NORTH KOREAN MEDIA: "The United States is threatening to attack us with nuclear weapons."

Taking recent events in the U.S. and the Korean peninsula as evidence, while mostly ignoring historical context, the drift toward another American war in Asia can be seen as clearly as the ambiguous moves and countermoves of countries with no obvious motive for war might allow, producing ...

"Anytime we give someone an experience that doesn't fit into the old story, it weakens it. It could be an act of generosity, it could be an act of forgiveness, anything that vilolates the understanding that we're separate and everyone's in it for themselves..." -Charles Eisenstein

"Corporate media is no longer meeting the needs of our democracy. We have a Truth Emergency on our hands." -Peter Philips
 
Project Censored is in the house! With these introductory words, former Project Censored (PC) director Peter Phillips, sociology prof at Sonoma State University, kicked off the PC road show at "Tattered Cover" Bookstore here in Denver, Colorado on the eve of the 5th National Conference on Media Reform...

If you want to understand how much energy costs, don’t look at your electric bill; instead get a copy of the new book Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth [4]. This massive coffeetable book contains hundreds of arresting images showing the effects of our energy choices, including oil spills, nuclear accidents, massive solar arrays, tar sands mines, fracking operations, transmission lines, and more. The photos are complemented by essays from leading...

 
Obama’s Secret Trade Deal
 
Out of public view the Obama administration is negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a US-led free trade deal with several Pacific Rim countries. Six hundred US corporate advisers have had input, but so far the text hasn’t been shared with the public or media.
 
The level of secrecy is unprecedented. During discussions paramilitary teams guard the premises, helicopters loom overhead, and there’s a near-total media blackout on the subject. US Senator Ron Wyden, who chairs the congressional committee with...

What a heady 2 days in Denver. And it ain't just the altitude.

The two-part title of this year's "Journalism That Matters" conference captures both the sense of uncertainty AND excitement felt by all of the attendees here at the JTM gathering, a unique open space conference full of some of the most creative and innovative news enthusiasts and professionals in the country.

During a 48 hour period at our University of Denver host campus, we swapped stories, shared ideas, pushed the boundaries, did our fair share of blue...

by Vidda Crochetta

While Senator Sanders may portray our Social Security programs as solvent, it really depends on your reading of what actually happened. The Social Security coffers as it stands today may very well be in the black - as best as in the black can be for a program that’s post Baby Boomer era.

With most of us Baby Boomers closer to our sunset than our sunrise the “contributions” we pay into Social Security is not the same as before. We are increasingly dependent on what the younger generations put into this Roosevelt-inspired retirement piggybank. Unfortunately, the...

Public Press Conference – New Book Release

Friday, April 12, 2013

12:30 in the Cedar Creek Room – Vermont Statehouse

In honor of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, and to celebrate “Vermont Pursuit of Happiness” Day and the Chelsea Green distributed release of a new book entitled MOST LIKELY TO SECEDE, writers from Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence independent news journal will be holding a public press conference @ the Vermont Statehouse on Friday...

Money power in private hands games the system. It does so destructively. Controlling money, credit and debt for private enrichment assures speculation, booms, busts, inflation, deflation, instability, crisis, recessions and depressions.

The Cypriot crisis alone begs the question. Money power in public hands could have avoided what's now happening. Ordinary Cypriots face horrific hard times. So do most people in Euroland countries and America.

Force-fed austerity is policy. Banks accounts no longer are safe. Nor are public pensions. Insiders get advance word and flee. From March 1 - 15, 132 companies...

Good to hear fellow Vermonter Bill McKibben speak at the "Journalism That Matters" conference in Denver, Colorado tonight.

Over hors d'oeuvres and libations prior to his talk, Bill and I had a chance to catch up about the Red Sox, our families, Vermont independence, and the state of the world. As always, he is self-deprecating and funny and intense all at once - we joked about how the airline industry has now refused to feed its passengers while flying across the country. Salted peanuts, anyone?

In his...

In any society, some groups of people have more discretionary power over the affairs of society than do other groups. In our society, for example, factory owners have more discretionary power than factory workers, and those who write the laws have more discretionary power than individual voters do.
 
How much discretionary power a group exercises depends on the roles the members of the group play in society, and it also depends on how coherent the group is. An unorganized group of factory workers has very little power, while a well-organized worker's union may be...

“It’s clear to anyone with a pulse that we’re in terrible trouble: as citizens who need a polity, as humans who need a community, as animals who need a home. For the disillusioned, the dispirited, and the despairing: take heart! A seed of resistance is taking root in a place called Vermont. For the ready, the willing, and the able: take aim–the Gods of Empire can be defeated. Most Likely to Secede, with its intellectual clarity, its moral authority, and its quiet, fierce loyalty to people and place, will show you how.”

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