Shortly before midnight on March 6 I departed Kuala Lumpur on board a Boeing 777 bound for Tucson, via Tokyo and Los Angeles. That was just 26 hours ahead of the mysterious flight MH370 which departed from the same airport just after midnight on March 8 and has become the object of a massive search and equally massive speculation. I get an uneasy feeling when I consider how close I came in time and circumstance to being on that plane. Now, more than a month later, the mystery of the flight’s disappearance seems no closer to being solved.
Given the changing and contradictory news that has been provided by Malaysian authorities and others involved in the search, I can’t help but wonder if the news is being manipulated and crucial information is being withheld from the public. Why haven’t we heard more about the passengers? Who they are and what might they have been involved in? One tantalizing fact that is no longer mentioned is that 20 of the passengers were employees of Freescale Semiconductor, which according to the Express (UK) “makes powerful microchips for industries including defence.” The Express article, Malaysian plane: 20 passengers worked for ELECTRONIC WARFARE and MILITARY RADAR firm
, reveals some facts about the company’s ownership that raise suspicions and ought to be fully investigated. A casual search of the internet will bring up plenty of other possible scenarios and explanations of what might have happened to flight MH370.
Russia, Ukraine, and the New world Order
While still in Malaysia I picked up a copy of The Star (March 4 edition), one of Malaysia’s leading daily newspapers. One of the main articles had to do with the crisis in the Ukraine. The headline read: Ousting democratically-elected leaders
, with the sub-head, The ousters of democratically-elected leaders have often been carried out directly or indirectly by champions of democracy themselves
, thus suggesting how hypocritical and disingenuous western politicians have been in any number of cases where regime change has been the intended result. The article was written by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, who is President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). You can read it here
.As western leaders vilify the Russian leadership and the media beat the drums for “sanctions,” it is important to keep in mind that the Ukrainian government of PresidentViktorYanukovich was democratically elected in 2010, and he was forcibly removed by a coalition that includes neo-Nazis and fascists, backed by western countries intent on bringing Ukraine into the EU orbit and NATO.If the United States and EU are really interested in a negotiated settlement, they will need to seriously consider the Russian point of view and address the legitimate concerns of the Russian government. Floyd Rudmin’s recent article in Counterpunch, Viewing the Ukraine Crisis From Russia’s Perspective
, provides some fundamental background facts that provide a more complete picture.
It’s Time to Put Money Out of its Misery
Last month I wrote an article for publication in Transformation
as part of their 9 article series on money. Now, editor, Michael Edwards has provided a wrap-up piece, It’s time to put money out of its misery.
Read it here
Traveling with Children
One curious thing I noted during my recent visits in Southeast Asia is the number of young adults that I saw traveling with small children. In one instance I happened to be on a motor coach going from Penang to Kuala Lumpur. Among the passengers were two Scandinavian couples in the company of two infants and one toddler. This experience put me in mind of a very acute observation made by some long forgotten sage (it might have been Ogden Nash, but I can’t swear to it): The definition of a baby–“An alimentary canal with a loud noise at one end and a foul odor at the other.”
Actually, I think it’s wonderful that so many young people are willing and able to balance child rearing with their search for adventure, but it’s too bad the children will have little of it to recall.
Sharing the Commons
One thing that seems certain to me is that the new paradigm society will come about through radical sharing and a major shift of our collective energies toward projects that promote the common good. On the Commons has just announced the offer of their new e-book Sharing Revolution: The essential economics of the commons by Jessica Conrad. You can download the free e-book here. I’ve not yet read it, but I’m confident that it will prove to be a major resource in “helping people connect and collaborate to advance the common good and develop greater economic autonomy.”
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My latest article, Money, debt and the end of the growth imperative, was published today (March 3) in the online journal, Transformation. Read it here. –t.h.g.
What are the implications of this for transforming the system of exchange and finance?
The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is offering a Community Capital Toolkit that can be downloaded free of charge from the BALLE website.
In case you’re not familiar with BALLE, here is a brief description of the BALLE vision and mission from their website:
Within a generation, we envision a global system of human-scale, interconnected local economies that function in harmony with local ecosystems to meet the basic needs of all people, support just and democratic societies, and foster joyful community life.
At the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, BALLE [bawl-EE], our work is focused on creating real prosperity by connecting leaders, spreading solutions that work, and driving investment toward local economies.
BALLE equips entrepreneurs with tools and strategies for local success, and we provide the national forum for the most visionary local economy leaders and funders to connect, build their capacity and innovate. …more…
Toolkit includes: The 20-page Guide to Community Capital
Seven FREE past webinar recordings
Access to a community capital library of resources
You can download it here.
Posted in Community, Developing Alternatives, Emerging paradigm, Finance and Economics
Tagged BALLE, community capital, financing, local economies, new business, new business development, The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, toolkit
There is no doubt that the world is in the midst of an unprecedented mega-crisis. It is a time of excitement and rapid change, as well as great danger. What can we do to try to discern how it will all turn out? Every society and every era has had its “seers” or “prophets,” but how does one judge which of them are to be believed? In the modern era, we tend to give more weight to predictions that are based on broad knowledge and rational arguments than upon religion and superstition. Two widely regarded present day seers are Kevin Carson and John Michael Greer. Things get interesting when there is a fundamental disagreement. So it is between these two, as described in a recent web post at City of the Future.
The debate that is described in the article, Catabolic Ephemeralization? Carson Versus Greer, is summarized in this excerpted paragraph:
So which is it? Are we headed for a future in which short-wave radio returns and a rebuilt postal service takes over from failing server farms, as Greer would have it? Or will we be able to “leapfrog” away from our old imploding infrastructure toward a world of distributed, highly efficient, peer-to-peer manufacturing facilitated by open source design?
It’s well worth reading. Find it here.
What will it take to get us to a would of peace where we all have access to what we need to live a dignified life? My thought is that we will need to share and cooperate as never before, to devote ourselves to promoting the common good, and to create new social, political, and economic structures that better serve those ends.
One promising initiative in that direction is Shareable.
Given my particular interest in cross cultural activities and travel, I recommend that you read Neal Gorenflo’s post, #HackTravel: Why No One Will Buy Tourism in the Future. Start by watching this two minute video:
The International Reciprocal Exchange Association (IRTA), the premier association of the commercial “barter” industry, has been for more than forty years promoting the interests of small and medium sized enterprises by assisting its member trade exchanges to provide them with liquidity and effective opportunities for moneyless trading.
Since 2005, IRTA has been reaching out to the wider grassroots community of researchers, developers, and organizers of private currencies and complementary exchange mechanisms and has broadened its advocacy to include them.
The upcoming 34th Annual International Convention of the IRTA in Las Vegas will provide a unique opportunity for social entrepreneurs and monetary activists to further consolidate programs of cooperation with the well-established commercial “barter” sector of the moneyless exchange movement. The Convention will be held from Sept. 19 thru 21 at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.
Along with IRTA President and experienced trade exchange operator Annette Riggs, and Rob van Hilten, Executive Director of QOIN, a consultancy for community currencies, I will be a panelist in a Saturday session (September 21) titled Understanding Diverse Exchange System Models: From Bitcoin and Berkshares, to Transparent Credit Clearing Networks. This session will consider three basic topics of discussion:
Bitcoin, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The benefits and limitations of cash-based local currencies.
The emerging global exchange network.
There is still time to register for this important event. You can get details about the convention program and secure your place by visiting the IRTA website at http://www.irta.com/.
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Posted in Developing Alternatives, Emerging paradigm, Exchange Design
Tagged berkshares, Bitcoin, commercial barter industry, community currencies, convention, IRTA, moneyless exchange, private currencies, QOIN, trade exchange
Regarding effective community initiatives, you might want to read this inspiring article from Der Spiegel about two Greek women in Athens who have done some remarkable social action things: People Power: Young Greeks Team Up to Combat Crisis.
This story shows what Greeks can do, and are doing, to make things better for themselves, aside from government policies and actions, by organizing “self-help initiatives to provide free medical care, repair street lighting and monitor public spending.”
The rest of the world might follow their lead. read about it here.
The past several decades have seen the emergence of diverse movements that seek to address specific problems and provide general improvements to society. Environmentalists have been trying to stop pollution, climate change and resource depletion; civil libertarians seek to stop the abuse of basic human rights and the erosion of democratic institutions; humanitarians are trying to end hunger, disease, and degrading treatment like human trafficking, genital mutilation and genocide, to name a few. And yet, the juggernaut rolls on, destroying more forests, polluting more water, concentrating more power and wealth in fewer hands. The need for change is obviously becoming more urgent, but why isn’t it happening?
This latest post by Tom Atlee helps to frame both the fundamental problem and broad approaches to transformation. Please give it your careful attention– then take appropriate action.
Posted in Basic Concepts, Developing Alternatives, Emerging paradigm, Geo-politics, Prescriptions, The state of democracy
Tagged civil libertarians, climate, environment, parasitism, surveillance, Tom Atlee