A System Out Of Control

The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers–with more financial institutions to follow, no one knows how quickly–is the product of greed and deregulation embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike.

A Wall Street trader watches as the stock market crashes in reaction to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (Zuma)

A Wall Street trader watches as the stock market crashes in reaction to the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers (Zuma)

THE LATEST chaos on Wall Street–the worst financial upheaval in the U.S. since the Great Depression of the 1930s–highlights not just the scale of the world financial crisis, but the needless destruction caused by the blind competition at the core of capitalism.

The Wall Street crisis will almost certainly make the current economic slump worse. A shadow banking system beyond the reach of regulators in the U.S. or any other country is crashing down, destabilizing the world financial system. Even before the latest crisis, Bill Gross of Pimco, a big money-management firm, warned that an uncontrolled liquidation of debt by financial institutions “can turn a campfire into a forest fire, a mild asset bear market into a destructive financial tsunami.”

The risk of such a catastrophe is growing. As hundreds of billions of dollars in financial assets vaporize, banks will be forced to raise interest rates to increase the amount of money they have in their reserves. This, in turn, will cut off credit to business and consumers alike, further choking an anemic economy. Continue reading


Documentary: Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad

When the people of Oaxaca decided they’d had enough of bad government, they didn’t take their story to the media… They TOOK the media!

In the summer of 2006, a broad-based, non-violent, popular uprising exploded in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Some compared it to the Paris Commune, while others called it the first Latin American revolution of the 21st century.

But it was the people’s use of the media that truly made history in Oaxaca. A 90-minute documentary, Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad captures the unprecedented media phenomenon that emerged when tens of thousands of school teachers, housewives, indigenous communities, health workers, farmers, and students took 14 radio stations and one TV station into their own hands, using them to organize, mobilize, and ultimately defend their grassroots struggle for social, cultural, and economic justice.

“Beautiful, powerful, dramatic… magnificent… provides a remarkably deep and penetrating look into the people who made up the movement. Everyone interested in Mexico, in teachers and education, in workers’ movements, in indigenous people, in the state of our world and the struggle for social justice should see the video.”

For more information see http://www.corrugate.org/un_poquito_de_tanta_/un_poquito_de_tanta_verdad

To watch this documentary full screen click here

Every Child In School Numbered For Life

All 14-year-old children and future generations in England will have their personal details and exam results placed on a compulsory electronic database for life under a plan announced in February by government officials.

Colleges and prospective employers will be able to access students’ records online to check on their qualifications. Under the terms of the scheme all children will keep their individual number throughout their adult lives. The database will include details of exclusions and expulsions.

Officials claim that the introduction of the unique learner number (ULN) is not a step towards a national identity card. But it will be seen as the latest step in the Government’s broader efforts to computerise personal records.

Teachers’ leaders, parents’ organisations, opposition MPs and human rights campaigners have questioned whether this Big Brother approach is necessary and have said that it could compromise the personal security of millions of teenagers.

The new database — which will store a “tamper-proof CV” — will be known as MIAP (managing Information Across Partners). To be registered on the new database every 14-year-old will be issued with a unique learner number. Unlike the current unique pupil number now given to children in school but destroyed when they leave, the ULN will be used by government agencies to track individuals until they retire. Ultimately, it will create a numbered database for every citizen aged 14-plus in the UK. Continue reading


It’s a Media-opoly!

A funny conspiratorial look at how the media really works…

“It’s a media-opoly…a media-opoly. The whole media’s controlled by a few corporations thanks to deregulation by the FCC. You mean Disney, Fox, Westinghouse, and good ol’ GE? They own networks from CBS to CNBC….”


Taking Liberties

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The War on Democracy by John Pilger

Set in Latin America and the US, The War on Democracy explores the historic and current relationship of Washington with countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Chile. Continue reading


Engineering of Consent: Guatemala Coup 1954

Extract from “The Century of the Self” by Adam Curtis. Story behind the coup d’etat which toppled elected president Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954. The film explains how Edward Bernays, recruited by United Fruits, created the conditions for a government intervention. Mass media were successfully used for manipulating the public and generating consensus around a military action involving the CIA.