Monday, May 2, 2016

Interesting links for April 2016

Interesting links for April 2016

Panama Papers
...Panama Papers is the biggest-ever international cooperation of its kind. In the past 12 months, around 400 journalists from more than 100 media organizations in over 80 countries have taken part in researching the documents.
... the Panama Papers provide data on some 214,000 companies.
Indians in #PanamaPapers list: Aishwarya Rai, Amitabh Bachchan, KP Singh, Iqbal Mirchi, Adani elder brother
Are Corporate Gatekeepers Protecting Western Elites from the Leaked Panama Papers?
>> good explanation of how shell companies operate, and a round-up of the issues including taking in Craig Murray's inputs
>> refers the above and gives more of his own inputs

Donald Trump on North Korea going to war: 'Good luck, enjoy yourself folks'
>> rather than toeing the regular line of pleading and mongering etc, rather than falling into the "oh no we cannot ever let that happen" trap, he's calling N.Korea's bluff. Understandably, the people who are stuck in that loop, are scandalized. And here, Trump's non-interventionist philosophy (being accused as isolationist) is coming through. Mad dictator on the other side of the planet? Let him go do as he pleases and get royally screwed; there's no need to intervene and appease and strengthen him.
Vivaldi - the new web browser for power users
>>made by Opera browser's original creator
...What is "Spotlight?" It's a way to save you time and support critical thinking. Out of the hundreds of articles and videos I read and view every week, I will assemble a list of some of the best for everyone on our mailing list.
>> same as I'm doing! <3
Young family of 3 murdered for making expose film; a similar pattern being seen of a default assumption that if you find people dead under mysterious circumstances then it
NY Times Reporter Found Dead After Exposing MKUltra amendment which will redefine foreign companies as Indian to donate to political parties..
...a Delhi High Court judgement in 2014, before the national election, that indicted the BJP and Congress for accepting donations from the foreign company Vedanta. This was against the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). At least, it was in violation back then...
...He just proposed an amendment to that law to make this (Vedanta) company not foreign anymore. In other words, he just saved BJP's and, wait for it, Congress' ass as well.
... Why is it surprising the Modi government is doing it? Well, that is because it was this same government that came down hard on 'some' NGOs (some of which were pursuing cases against the accused in the 2002 riots) under the same FRCA for receiving foreign donations. They were accused of using the donations for 'political activities'.
... What are the implications of this amendment? First of all, the BJP and Congress would be saved as this amendment is effective retrospectively. Secondly, it would open the doors to other such 'foreign' corporations to dictate the political scenario in our country, be it foreign policy or economics. Of course, all they have to do is to give hefty donations to political parties.
Shecup : a possible re-usable alternative to sanitary napkins
The Splitwise Guest Calculator
Crashing on a friend's couch and want to give a little something to show your appreciation? Let us tell you how much your stay was worth.
>>how the millions to billions of public funds spent on bringing hi-tech to schools has been mostly wasted, with harm to students, belittling of teachers and benefits mostly only to companies like Apple, HP etc peddling these products and services
How Policing Works in a Privatized City
Atlantic Station is a city within a city
>> Example of how a private property city area with public access is thriving in Atlanta, USA
... There were no tickets, no yelling, no moments of intimidation. No one is taking your stuff, threatening to arrest you, or even giving you tickets. You have the right of exit.
... Where monopolistic, tax-funded enforcement can be cruel, inflexible, and violent, the same enforcement brought about within the matrix of an exchange economy can yield results that are humane, orderly, and beautiful. The right to just walk away makes all the difference.
... Private enterprise is gradually bringing about what governments only promised to do, and it is happening without much fanfare.
Five Digital Services that are Freeing the World, and Why
Higher Education Is Morally and Financially Bankrupt
A system that piles debt on students in exchange for a marginal or even zero-return on their investment is morally and financially bankrupt.
Pass, Fail : An inside look at the retail scam known as the modern university
The Kids are Alright : Professors have always complained about classroom distractions. We need to teach to the students who care

>> some counter points to above Pass/Fail article
Interesting.. both sides have truth to them; one explanation doesn't completely do away with the other.
The Slow-Motion Financial Suicide of the Roman Empire
The Bailout State Is as Old as Rome
Flashback: 9/11 WTC Gold Heist – $1.7 Billion in Bullion Missing; Massive Insider Trading by Dozens of Major Corporations
The TSA Spent $1.4 Million on an App That Only Cost This Guy $10 to Reproduce
>> Highighting tech giant IBM's corrupt nexus and lobbying with govt.
...Which, incidentally, brings us to none other than one of Deutsche Bank's most respected credit analysts, Dominic Konstam, who clearly has an appreciation of the existential risk he finds himself in, not only career-wise, but in terms of the entire financial structure. We know this, because after reading his email blast from this morning we realize just how vast the fear, if not sheer terror, is among those who truly realize just how broken the system currently is.
... We have reposted his entire letter below, because it represents the most definitive blueprint of everything that is about to be unleashed - especially since it comes from the perspective of one of the people who is currently deep inside Deutsche Bank and realizes just how close to the edge the German bank is.
Fed Out Of Bullets, What Comes Next? - Mike Maloney & Jay Taylor
Michael Maloney, founder and owner of, defends his view that we are still in the early stages of a major deflationary environment.
... APDuino allows Kretzinger to read the sensors in his garden without any programming. Now Kretzinger's garden can send him tweets or Facebook updates if something is going wrong and Kretzinger can adjust the water flow, pH and temperature from a smartphone.
... His towers can be removed and taken to farmer's markets where customers can "pick" their strawberries or lettuce directly from the units.
You Won't Believe What We Saw In Socialist Venezuela -by WeAreChange
community and access to tools on sustainable culture
An ethics watchdog thinks that the FTC may have misled Congress about how it protected Google, and highlights how the White House went into panic mode to limit the damage to the giant ad slinger over a newspaper report last year.
omg they show how disney recycled same animation sequences in their movies
>>  nice review of Naomi Klein's book and movie, and pointing out the crucial parts that the movie seems to have misleadingly omitted.
...many of the specific steps outlined in the book do have the potential to shift our economic system in important ways. Those steps, however, are given no space at all in the film. The focus is almost entirely on transitioning to renewables, which turns the film into what is essentially an informercial for industrial wind and solar.
... partly a misreading of the protestors' motives: what has really driven these communities to resist is not climate change, but a deeply-felt desire to maintain their traditional way of life and to protect land that is sacred to them
... At its heart, the threat that all of these communities face doesn't stem from fossil fuels, but from a voracious economic system that will sacrifice them and the land they cherish for the sake of profit and growth.
... And while the tar sands region is undeniably an ecological disaster, it bears many similarities to the huge toxic lake on what was once pastureland in Baotou, on the edge of China's Gobi Desert. The area is the source of nearly two-thirds of the world's rare earth metals – used in almost every high-tech gadget (as well as in the magnets needed for electric cars and industrial wind turbines). The mine tailings and effluent from the many factories processing these metals have created an environmental disaster of truly monumental proportions: the BBC describes it as "the worst place on earth".[5] A significant shrinking of global consumer demand would help reduce Baotou's toxic lake, but it's hard to see how a shift to renewable energy would.
>> referred to above
Hidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.
>> ohh shit it's in India too
From Lee Camp: Why I Just Got Arrested At #DemocracySpring [Truth&Comedy]
>> mass arrest of over 1000 ppl in Washington DC, protesting against big money in politics. This is largest arrest in a generation, and mainstream media is censoring this event.
Newsletter from Local Futures / Economics of Happiness
... But while the media has focused mostly on individual cases of wrong-doing, it's far more important to change the corrupt system that enables all of these abuses to occur.
... One small part of that system is a free trade agreement (FTA) with Panama, signed by Barack Obama in 2011, which made it easier for corporations and wealthy Americans to avoid taxes by setting up offshore accounts in Panama. At the same time, these treaties reduce the power of government to combat tax haven abuse. According to the International Business Times, "Should the U.S. embark on such an endeavor, it could be exposed to fines from international authorities."
This Experiment Using a Glass Cover and the Sun Can Generate Water Even in Drought Affected Areas!
In a semi-arid region of Satara district in Maharashtra, there is a plot of lush green land with about 20 fully-grown, beautiful trees – all of which were the part of a very efficient experiment. The seedlings for these trees were fed with water obtained from dry soil, with the help of solar energy.

Compelling series of articles by P Sainath showing how sheer profiteering is happening from the scarcity of water, and the scale of the inequality in its distribution.
One question that hangs in the air : with a major change in government in late 2014, have these realities for MH changed?
There have been huge diversions of water in the last 15 years to industrial projects. And to private companies also in the lifestyle business. To cities from villages.
India's looming water wars can destroy everything, from Make in India to smart cities
    Nikhil Inamdar writes: India has the world's largest number of people without access to clean water. The financial burden of this has fallen on its poorest agrarian communities, but the crisis is now spilling over to industries too. In Marathwada, the tanker business is the only one booming. The rest of the economy has collapsed.
Five rights loan defaulters should know they have
Right to ample notice
Right to ensure fair value
Realise balance proceeds
Right to be heard
Right to humane treatment
..."I don't know what single word I'd put [in its place]. I would talk about a process in which we become more informed, intelligent, curious, competent, skillful, aware by our interaction with the world around us, because of the mainstream of life, so to speak. In other words, I learn a great deal, but I do it in the process of living, working, playing, being with friends. There is no division in my life between learning, work, play, etc. These things are all one. I don't have a word which I could easily put in the place of 'education,' unless it might be 'living'."
...John Holt is right in saying that most people use "education" to refer to some kind of treatment. (Even "self-education" can reflect this: a self-administered treatment.) It is this usage that I am contrasting with learning, and this idea of people needing treatment, whether carried out in schools or homes or wherever, that I wish to call into question.
... We adopt the educative stance when we feel it is our right and duty to manipulate others for their own good.
... Most of us have forgotten what it was like to follow our own noses, to ask our own questions and find our own answers.
... let us not discriminate against the uncertified when it comes to the matter of employment. Several landmark studies have shown that there is no correlation between educational training and performance on the job. (See especially Ivar Berg's The Great Training Robbery, Beacon Press, 1971.) If we must assess competence for a given job, let us assess it as directly as we can, and not conflate competence with length of sitting done in educational institutions.

Excerpt from a newsletter by DEF (Digital Empowerment Foundation):
"Over the years, we've realised that tribal cultures and the digital world complement each other. Tribal culture has evolved on the principles of liberty and free speech, just like the Internet. These principles are like oxygen to these worlds, without which they will wither away and die."
George Monbiot writes: So pervasive has neoliberalism become that we seldom recognise it as an ideology. We accept the proposition that this utopian, millenarian faith describes a neutral force; a biological law, like Darwin's theory of evolution. But the philosophy arose as a conscious attempt to reshape human life and shift the locus of power.
...Neoliberal policies are everywhere beset by market failures. Not only are the banks too big to fail, but so are the corporations now charged with delivering public services. As Tony Judt pointed out in Ill Fares the Land, Hayek forgot that vital national services cannot be allowed to collapse, which means that competition cannot run its course. Business takes the profits, the state keeps the risk.
... "Investment", as Sayer notes, means two quite different things. One is the funding of productive and socially useful activities, the other is the purchase of existing assets to milk them for rent, interest, dividends and capital gains. Using the same word for different activities "camouflages the sources of wealth", leading us to confuse wealth extraction with wealth creation.
...Every invocation of Lord Keynes is an admission of failure. To propose Keynesian solutions to the crises of the 21st century is to ignore three obvious problems. It is hard to mobilise people around old ideas; the flaws exposed in the 70s have not gone away; and, most importantly, they have nothing to say about our gravest predicament: the environmental crisis. Keynesianism works by stimulating consumer demand to promote economic growth. Consumer demand and economic growth are the motors of environmental destruction.
... What the history of both Keynesianism and neoliberalism show is that it's not enough to oppose a broken system. A coherent alternative has to be proposed. For Labour, the Democrats and the wider left, the central task should be to develop an economic Apollo programme, a conscious attempt to design a new system, tailored to the demands of the 21st century.
Arvind Kejriwal Speech in Delhi Assembly 30th March 2016
Arvind Kejriwal Speech in Assembly 29th March 2016
Delhi Budget 2016 Live by Manish Sisodia (FULL SPEECH)
Delhi Govt Press Conference on Delhi Budget 2016 by Arvind Kerjiwal, Sisodia
CM Arvind Kejriwal FULL SPEECh at inauguration of 21 Mohalla Clinics
Five strong earthquakes have jolted Asia in the last several days. There have been 16 major earthquakes measuring 6.0 or higher in April alone and nine in the last seven days. The two biggest in this unprecedented wave of serious shakers just happened over the weekend in Ecuador with a mammoth 7.8 earthquake killing at least 77 people and a 7.0 in Kumamoto on Kyushu Island in southern Japan where three large earthquakes in three days have struck killing at least 41 people. Within the last two weeks, the tiny South Pacific island of Vanuatu alone has been hit with five major quakes. Four days ago a powerful 6.9 quake hit Myanmar killing two. And now with seven major shakers just in the last 96 hours alone killing at least 120 people, both laypeople and scientists alike  are growing more concerned about what may be coming next.
ABP News investigates success of Mohalla Clinic in Peeragadi
Change the Rules of the Game: Gunter Pauli at TEDxMaastricht
>> aweeesomee!
mushroom cultivation from coffee waste, paper and shoes from crushed stone, reforesting the oceans with coral.. this guy is a non-stop solutions powerhouse!
documenting over 100 case studies

He's also involved with India's largest organic tea plantation next to Kaziranga in Assam
Why The US Dollar Will Collapse in 28 May 2016 ?
39 mins long video, giving a well-worded, well-paced description of international economics, consequences of US's reckless printing more dollars,
KPP (Kinetic Power Plant) by Rosch Innovations AG
5 MW+ Systems for Sale
...Affordable (~$0.03/kW-h power production price), renewable utility plant system, capable of 100% continuous capacity output; includes back-up; 9-12-month build time, depending on size. Third party-tested (German TUV), patented (PCT), 100% guaranteed. Entertaining regional licenses; selling plants from 5 MW up.
...When I interviewed the CEO, Detlef Dohman, last April, he said that, as of then, they had around 100 MW of installed capacity running. Their patented KPP utilizes a combination of buoyancy and gravity in a proprietary system that includes their exclusive generator, air compressor, and circuit controller.
Forgotten Indian history: The brutal Maratha invasions of Bengal
For medieval India history, incidents that don't fit into an overarching Hindu versus Muslim narrative tend to be removed from popular discourse. The 1741 Maratha invasion of Bengal is one such example.
Why lakhs of Indians celebrate the British victory over the Maratha Peshwas every New Year
Five hundred Mahar soldiers scattered the 25,000-strong Peshwa army for the East India Company in Koregaon near Pune in 1818.
...Although the first Maratha ruler, Shivaji, freely recruited Mahars in his army, two centuries later, by the time of the Peshwas, the status of Mahars was lower than ever. The Peshwas were Brahmins of a particularly orthodox bent.
... Dalit recountings of the battle emphasise that when the English were approaching, Mahars offered their services to Peshwa Bajirao II. It was only when he rejected them yet again that they switched their loyalty to the British instead.
Government's response to drought 'is lacking in compassion', economists, activists tell Modi
Aruna Roy, Harsh Mander, Jean Dreze among 170 citizens who urge Centre to implement relief measures rapidly.
Soil could save Earth from overheating
New research shows that changing the way we farm and manage soils so they store carbon rather than lose it would help avoid dangerous climate change.
...So, the trick is: don't degrade healthy ecosystems, because unmanaged forests and grasslands store carbon very efficiently. Wetlands drained for agriculture surrender their soil carbon, but restored wetlands soak the stuff up.
Opinion: To solve Kashmir crisis, India first needs to treat Kashmiris as equal citizens
NIT and Handwara are the symptoms of a much deeper malaise that cannot be treated by the band-aid measures being proposed in the wake of these crises.
...Sarabhai, Balraj Puri, JP Narayan, and many others like them, incessantly implored the Indian government to stem the rot within Kashmir and its institutions in the 1950s, '60s, and into the '70s, and to take concrete steps to bring Kashmir into the national, democratic mainstream so as not to allow a victory for the opportunists.
...Their words went unheeded. So strong was the fear that Kashmir would dissociate from India that the Indian government supported a series of dictatorial, corrupt and ineffectual governments in the state – including the first National Conference government – which promised them Kashmiri loyalty. In the process, they drove Kashmiris towards the very enemy they were trying to lure them away from.
...When young Kashmiris shout pro-Pakistan and anti-India slogans, it is not necessarily because they believe that Pakistan is a better option, or because they have fallen prey to radical Islamic ideologies, but rather because they do not feel, and have never felt, included in India and its rhetoric of democracy, secularism and globalisation. This is especially true of this generation, which grew up during the insurgency and India's military response to it, an experience which they view as akin to living under an occupation.
... Handwara, where a rumour that a schoolgirl had been sexually molested by a soldier led to widespread street protests, army firing in response, and the deaths of several innocent Kashmiris.
...because it evokes memories of the loss of dignity that Kashmiris have had to suffer at the hands of the military forces for over two decades. The mistrust deepens and violence spirals further out of control as authorities mishandle the investigations into such incidents, creating a feeling amongst Kashmiris that they have no recourse to justice, especially through political institutions.
How we beat drought in Solapur
Collector Tukaram Mundhe tells Kiran Tare that solution exists in planning and implementation of existing laws in letter and spirit.
Learning / Sex
by Carol Black & Neal Marlens
Many of us have difficulty explaining the concept of unschooling, life learning, or self-directed learning to those who are unfamiliar with it.  In an attempt to help unschoolers communicate their way of looking at things to the wider community, we have come up with the following helpful worksheet in two parts.
>> car / pickup truck which doubles up as a 3KW generator
"We all rant a lot about how politicians have let the country down, how the system is messed up, however we are often ill-informed of the ways to engage with the system, of what one can do to change the system. The theme for the policy workshops therefore, is 'Beyond ranting'. What can one do, beyond ranting? The aim of the workshop is to provide a platform to citizens to develop an understanding of important policy issues, the role of a Member of Parliament, opportunities in the field of public policy and means to engage with their representatives to champion issues that citizens are passionate about."
...Our students are the achievement of a systemic commitment to producing individuals without a past for whom the future is a foreign country, cultureless ciphers who can live anywhere and perform any kind of work without inquiring about its purposes or ends, perfected tools for an economic system that prizes "flexibility" (geographic, interpersonal, ethical).
The Integral Space
12-Year Old Child Reveals One of the Best Kept Secrets in the World
The Biggest Chemical Attack On American Citizens By Their Own Government
>> Asbestos poisoning from WTC towers demolition
How they were a serious liability for the owners, links to Larry Silverstein and Dick Cheney, how they escaped big losses and made huge money from twin towers collapse.
>> Thousands of people sick and dying now, govt falsely declared whole area safe in just days after 9/11 and hasn't provided any relief/compensation to firemen, first responders etc who took brunt of it.

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