March, 2011

30 Mar

Greenspan Attacks Increased Financial Regulation

By Walter

In an op-ed column in this morning’s Financial Times, former US Federal Reserve chairman, Alan Greenspan, predicted “unanticipated adverse outcomes” resulting from the implementation of the Dodd-Frank bill recently passed by the Congress in response to the recent disastrous consequences resulting from years of deregulation, aided and abetted by Greenspan himself. The basis for his prediction? The modern financial system is too complex to regulate.

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28 Mar

Until Everybody Knows

By Walter

Great news! Frances Fox Piven and Cornel West have organized a National Teach-In for Tuesday afternoon, April 5. The theme is “On Austerity, Debt, Corporate Greed and How to Fight Back.” Progressive luminaries such as Jeffrey Sachs, Heather McGhee, and Richard Trumka will be on hand. The event will be live-streamed over the Internet from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM, after which local groups are encouraged to continue the discussion. For more information on organizing a group or simply tuning in yourself, visit www.fightbackteachin.org. It throws me back to the Sixties to see that the program will originate from Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square, where the Rev. Howard Moody and his assistant, Al Carmine, both of whom were in the forefront of the struggle for gay rights and a woman’s right to chose, once held forth and led the charge.

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25 Mar

Meet GE, Corporate Citizen

By Walter

Allow me to introduce you to General Electric, labeled by the NY Times this morning as “the nation’s largest corporation.” On second thought, let’s let GE introduce itself. Here, on its website, is how it describes its role as a corporate citizen:

“GE’s approach to corporate citizenship and to business are[sic] driven by a common understanding of the role we can play in helping to solve the world’s toughest problems. Our goals are to make money (strong, sustained economic performance), make it ethically (rigorous compliance with financial and legal rules), and make a difference (ethical actions, beyond formal requirements, to advance GE’s reputation and long-term health).”

Journalist David Kocieniewski presents quite a different picture, beginning with the fact that GE made a profit of more than $5 billion in the US last year (and a total of $14.2 billion worldwide), and paid not one cent in taxes.

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22 Mar

Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization

By Walter

A friend called my attention to a recent lecture by a brilliant young neuroscientist named David Eagleman. It’s called “Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization” and it is absolutely breathtaking in its explanation of the value and the importance of the Internet, and I urge you to click on the link and sit back and enjoy a most fascinating hour and 45 minutes.

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21 Mar

Is Freedom On the March?

By Walter | 2 comments

2

From the Berlin Wall to Tiananmin Square, from Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain to Yemen, Somalia to Saudi Arabia, freedom is on the march! Or is it? From Libya to Zimbabwe, Iraq to Afghanistan, Tibet to North Korea, freedom is being crushed. What lessons should we take from this mixed-bag of results in the growing worldwide struggle for freedom? The first lesson is that violence is not the most effective way to advance the cause of freedom. The second is that success in forcing a change in political leaders does not necessarily lead to political freedom. And the third is that political liberation must be followed by economic freedom.

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20 Mar

The Power of Music

By Walter

Music touches the soul in ways that mere words cannot. That’s why I thought it important that the ideas regarding the advancement of the human race as articulated in this blog and on this web site be supported by music. On Day One, I felt “Power to the People” by John Lennon and his marching cohorts represented the essence of what the Coalescence is all about. Power to the people, indeed!

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19 Mar

Who Pays When Leaders Fail?

By Walter

What does it take to convince young men to take up arms and go into battle against other young men who they do not know, with whom they have no quarrel, and at the risk of their most precious possession: their lives. History may judge that on occasion the cause was just and the price was commensurate with the outcome. But more often than not, it was the case that what was involved was not justice, or freedom, or the liberation of the oppressed, but the failure of a couple of megalomaniacs who didn’t gave a damn about the price paid by others who were called upon to serve as their proxies in a senseless macho pissing contest.

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