Archive for the ‘Neoliberalism’ Category

Wonder Woman?

2016-12-28

Many should recall that the United Nations Organisation had selected as its inspiration, as role model for all women and girls a famous woman, a fictional woman, Wonder Woman. That cartoon character, half-naked, is ever decked out in a bikini made from a tiny US flag, and wearing tall black boots – and the UN officials saw no problem with that.

Fortunately protests would lead to the withdrawal of that offensive character – obviously nowhere in the whole wide world was there any woman, a living person who could serve as inspiration, as role model. Yet, throughout the year there has been ample evidence of the existence of such women – in this case, Latin America.

Which brings us to this recent post in TeleSUR, Indigenous Women Led Environmental Struggle in 2016. A brief introduction,

Women are leading the struggle in Latin America against environmental destruction as well as Indigenous rights, but they often face assassination, jail, threats and violence.

They not only fight against gender inequality, but also demand wider societal transformation of a patriarchal system that doesn’t work for them as women — even though it is working exactly how it’s supposed to.

These women are engaged in life-threatening struggles, yet their battles seldom attract the attention of the corporate Western media – and for obvious reasons. That UN officials should have overlooked such role models is something of an indictment of the corporate (and other) drift of that organisation. Yes, Wonder Woman.

 

El Salvador and its fight to life

2016-10-19

But for the grace of, what, luck? Place of birth and station in life. Just imagine being transplanted to El Salvador, and as a peasant or indigenous who depends on water, from streams and rivers, for drinking, cooking, washing and other basic needs of life. And El Salvador is a very poor country, of which the World Bank is aware, since it collects and disseminates data on the country, and provides loans and technical assistance. (more…)

Saint Domingue ou Haïti – L’enfer?

2016-10-10

Haiti, a cursed country? Une nation des damnés? Les damnés de la Terre? It surely seems so. But, its people, truly ‘resilient’?

As if liberating itself from France (to which it was compelled to pay ‘reparations’ until 1947 for its victory and freedom from slavery) were not costly enough, it would be victim to the forces of nature, hurricanes and earthquakes – and recently the United Nations (and its Nepalese soldiers), not to mention home-grown remarkably corrupt despots, courtesy its northern neighbour, who would do their ‘fair bit’ of pillaging, repression and murder. Haiti is a country with a poverty rate of some 60% and with its one percent as rich as the poorest 45% of the population. (more…)

09Oct67 – ‘Che’

2016-10-09

Today, 09Oct, marks 49 years that Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was murdered in Bolivia. As is known, the illustrious ‘Che’ had embarked on a mission to promote the liberation of the masses of people oppressed by corrupt, cupidinous governments imposed by oligarchs or outside powers.  With, The Legacy of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, TeleSUR pays homage to one of the giants of the 20th century, with his light still shining brightly into the 21st – significantly different from  those corporate media-created ‘leaders’,  ‘heroes’, college-degreed mediocrities of insignificant accomplishment and, most assuredly, destined to rather prompt despatch to historical oblivion. (more…)

Injuns worth more than weeds? When?

2016-09-25

One would think that to construct a pipeline that would transport petroleum across many states of the US would require extensive consultation with local, state and federal authorities – as well as those would be affected by such a venture. Then, again, considering those who would be affected, the conclusion would be straightforward – they were called pests, among other names then, so no difference now even though political correctness in the US would demand not publicly using such a word. (It is still ‘entertaining’ to read those reports from the NYT on the merciless US campaign of dispossession and slaughter of the Indigenous, even late into the early 20th century.) (more…)

the indigenous, living in the past

2016-09-11

Those who have survived extirpation, in a few instance thrive. Otherwise for the majority of Native Americans, even of the US, it remains a struggle for survival – with the US government a not-insignificant contributor to that struggle. A recent example is the constructing of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). (more…)

Honduras and Guatemala, two days in June

2016-06-28

The murders of indigenous in Honduras, and of Berta Cáceres in particular bring to mind that date, 28 June 2009, first year of the US presidency of Barack Obama and his Secretary of State. On that date, the democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was overthrown in a military coup with the full knowledge and acquiescence of the US. TeleSUR has a post on that event, Honduran Democracy Still in Crisis 7 Years After Coup, with an introduction that invites further reading, (more…)

Comes a noteworthy birthday, Che

2016-06-14

Today marks the birthday of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, enduring hero of not just oppressed peoples world over.

TeleSUR provides us a brief photo history of a remarkable man, Remembering Ernesto “Che” Guevara   A brief description, (more…)

A journey into useful economics

2016-05-28

Prof John Quiggin progresses along with his ‘Economics in Two Lessons’. The intended text, while much more substantive, is still aimed at the general reader. Its title, as is known, is a take-off on that of ‘Economics in One Lesson’ of Henry Hazlitt, which was rather popular in the US.

Quiggin posts his drafts for comment and critique over at the crooked timber blog, then tidies up his draft as he goes along. His current offering is a timely one, Intellectual property: Extract from Economics in Two Lessons (expanded and amended)

This chapter is quite useful to also better appreciate the arguments against the secretly negotiated, corporate-friendly ‘free trade’ agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), under which the role of the state would be subordinate to that of the multinational/transnational corporations (MNCs/TNCs), especially of the US. (In essence, the corporate control will be reside in the US, with the power of its government and military).

Another element of the proposed ‘free trade’ deals, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism would represent another concession to the MNC, where the MNC can sue the state, but not the other way around, and even for potential loss of earnings. Thanks to citizen activism, continuing leaks and information secured through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests in the US have tended to strengthen the arguments against the trade deals.The deterioration in the economic fortunes of the average citizen since the 80s will increase, as those of the MNCs and their sponsors increase.

The draft Intellectual Property (IP) chapter should help shine a brighter light on the reliability, the credibility of media reports and pronouncements of politician advocates for such ‘free trade’ deals.

Water, nature and protective voices

2016-05-01

The loss of ancestral rights, lands and natural resources continues apace in places where the affected communities lack credible and effective representation. In Guatemala, as Honduras and other countries, the indigenous and campesinos refuse to be silenced, often at the cost of their lives. A recent example is the eleven day march of 15,000 to Guatemala City to protest the ruthless onslaught of corporations on their water resources. As TeleSUR reports,  March for Water: Thousands Protest Corporate Greed in Guatemala (more…)