Tag Archives | Geopolitics & Globalization

World Wide Web Creator Denies ‘Off Switch’

Sir Tim Berners-Lee says we must be cautious of attempts to centralize the internet. Via Yahoo! News:

The inventor of the world wide web has denied there is an “off-switch” which could turn off the internet across the globe. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who launched the web on Christmas Day 1990, said the only way the internet could ever be entirely shut down is if governments all over the world co-ordinated to make it a centralised system.

It comes after moves by the Egyptian government last year to suppress use of the web led to speculation that the Hosni Mubarak regime had found a kill switch for the internet.

The 57-year-old computer scientist [Berners-Lee] said: “The way the internet is designed is very much as a decentralised system. At the moment, because countries connect to each other in lots of different ways, there is no one off-switch, there is no central place where you can turn it off.

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The Meaning Of Drones

Via the New Inquiry, film director and artist/inventor Alex Rivera on what the unmanned aerial devices and our morbid fascination with them signify, and the hope beyond the horror:

The drone is the most visceral and intense expression of the transnational/telepresent world we inhabit. In almost every facet of our lives, from the products we use, to the food we consume, from the customer service representatives around the planet who work in the U.S. via the telephone, to the workers who leave their families and travel from all corners of the world to care for children in the U.S., in every aspect of our lives we live in a trans-geographic reality. The nonplace, the transnational vortex, is everywhere, ever present.

The military drone is a transnational and telepresent kill system, a disembodied destroyer of bodies. As such, the drone is the most powerful eruption and the most beguiling expression of the transnational vortex.

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America the Beautiful: A Fire Sale for Foreign Corporations

Dr Brian Moench sounds the alarm at Truthout:

This may be one of the most important stories ever ignored by the so-called “lame-stream, liberal” media. It’s unlikely you’re losing sleep over US trade negotiations, but the unfolding business agreement among the US and eight Pacific nations – the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – should cause every US citizen, from the Sierra Club to the Tea Party to get their pitch forks and torches out of the closet and prepare to “storm the Bastille.”

The TPP negotiations have been going on for two years under extreme secrecy, no information has been made available to either the press or Congress about the US position. But on June 12, a document was leaked to the watchdog group, Public Citizen, revealing the current US position and the reason for the secrecy. The contents are surreal, shocking and prima facia evidence for how corporations have become the master puppeteers of our government.

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Welcome To The Anthropocene

Planet Under Pressure commissioned a 3-minute animated film showing the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes. Whether you agree with the filmmakers’ conclusions or not (comment below), I suspect you’ll admit that it’s a pretty cool piece of animation:

Welcome to the Anthropocene

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Synarchy: The Hidden Hand Behind the European Union

Flag of EuropeLynn Picknett and Clive Prince, the writing team whose once obscure research skyrocketed to fame in the wake of The Da Vinci Code, write in New Dawn Magazine of “synarchy,” a politico-occult movement they claim to be the “hidden hand” behind the European Union:

While questions remain about the existence of a single global elite with an agenda that goes beyond simply keeping itself very, very rich, there are certainly groups that want to run the world for quite other reasons. And with the increasing globalisation of political and economic institutions, it has become easier for a relatively small group to inveigle itself into quite staggeringly influential positions. One cabal in particular reveals – alarmingly – what a small group, driven by a fanatical belief system, can achieve from the shadows. And writing as we are in the United Kingdom, this group is on our doorstep, and has been for over a century.

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The Waning Influence Of The United States Constitution

Photo: Terry Miller

Photo: Terry Miller

Adam Liptak describes the decline of the United States Constitution’s global popularity in the New York Times. (If the U.S. adopted Roger Copple’s Third Constitution might the American model become more popular?)

The Constitution has seen better days.

Sure, it is the nation’s founding document and sacred text. And it is the oldest written national constitution still in force anywhere in the world. But its influence is waning.

In 1987, on the Constitution’s bicentennial, Time magazine calculated that “of the 170 countries that exist today, more than 160 have written charters modeled directly or indirectly on the U.S. version.”

A quarter-century later, the picture looks very different. “The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere,” according to a new study by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia.

The study, to be published in June in The New York University Law Review, bristles with data.

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The Industry of Hunger

Photo: Tawheed Manzoor (CC)

Photo: Tawheed Manzoor (CC)

Vandana Shiva on Al Jazeera English explains how, as mega-chains venture into industrial farming, they have created an epidemic of hunger- and generated billions in profit.

New Delhi, India – In November 2011, when the UPA government announced that it had cleared the entry of big retail chains such as Walmart and Tesco into India through 51 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, it justified the decision saying that FDI in retail would boost food security and benefit farmers’ livelihoods.

But the assurance that FDI in retail would ease inflation did not resolve the political crisis the government was facing; it deepened it. Parliament was stalled for several days of the Winter Session, after which the government was forced to withdraw its decision.

The story of FDI in retail goes back to 2005, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agriculture agreement with the US, along with the nuclear agreement.

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The Pentagon’s Invisible Third-World Army

iraqWhen enlistment is down, what’s the military to do? Outsource. Seventy thousand of the people in the Pentagon’s war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan are not U.S. soldiers, but “third-country nationals” — Filipinos launder our soldiers’ uniforms, Bosnians repair electrical grids, Indians serve up iced lattes. Many say they are being held in conditions resembling indentured servitude by subcontractors who operate outside the law, the New Yorker reports:

In the morning of October 10, 2007, the beauticians boarded their flight to the Emirates. They carried duffelbags full of cosmetics, family photographs, Bibles, floral sarongs. More than half of the women left husbands and children behind. In the rush to depart, none of them examined the fine print on their travel documents: their visas to the Emirates weren’t employment permits but thirty-day travel passes that forbade all work, “paid or unpaid”. And Dubai was just a stopping-off point. They were bound for U.S.

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A Bomb At Bilderberg 2011

BernankeLeavingBilderberg2008The most entertaining reporting from the Bilderberg conferences is usually filed by Charlie Skelton on his Guardian blog. In one of his latest entries he reveals that someone tried to bomb the current meeting in Switzerland. Well, maybe it was a bomb…

Just when you thought the annual four-day Bilderberg conference couldn’t get any more exciting, a policeman goes and finds a bomb. Or at least, he went and found a “tubular device” that at certain angles, if you squinted a bit, looked sort of like a bomb. By that well known bomb manufacturer – Pringles.

All of a sudden the shout went up, out came the handcuffs, and two men (that nobody recognized) were bustled into custody. We’re still trying to find out who they were or what they’re charged with. Ownership of a tubular device is still frowned on in Switzerland. That’s why Toblerone is shaped like that.

In light of this new tubular threat patrols were stepped up, sniffer dogs began sniffing about, and everyone was moved a bit further back from the hotel.

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