The US government, er, Google, has spoken!
“Unequal Scenes” gives a bird’s eye view on the lines of inequality so clearly drawn in South Africa.
Never before has the division between rich and poor been so easy to grasp. Activists can thank South African artist Johnny Miller, who captured the following photos with a drone to illuminate the vast difference between living conditions among the classes.
The project, titled “Unequal Scenes,” began as a Facebook post that eventually went viral, reports PetaPixel. After the photo of the Masiphumelele community and its surroundings in the Republic of South Africa was shared more than 1,000 times, Miller knew he was on to something. He went on to capture many other, similar photographs and videos across South Africa.
“Discrepancies in how people live are sometimes hard to see from the ground. The beauty of being able to fly is to see things from a new perspective – to see things as they really are,” writes Miller. “Looking straight down from a height of several hundred meters, incredible scenes of inequality emerge.”
The crisp images clearly show physical divides between ultra-rich neighborhoods and downtrodden shacks. Sometimes the divides are wetlands, other times rich and poor are separated by an electric fence.
According to the artist, some of the communities were “designed with separation in mind,” while others grew “more or less organically.” The division is what remains of Apartheid policies which were enforced by law 22 years ago. Change may have taken place since then but in reality,
“many of these barriers, and the inequalities they have engendered, still exist.”
Pathetic scumbags. The DEA should be charged with crimes against humanity for prohibiting a plant that is basically medicine that can alleviate so many health problems.
It is now common knowledge that the plant called marijuana possesses medicinal value. But, the big question is why the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the United States is unwilling to allow for a complete scientific research on the plant. The DEA is the United States federal law enforcement agency and is tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the country.
Although some people have made frantic efforts with their own resources to investigate the plant, it is still appropriate that scientific research on marijuana is carried out under government funding.
A new report authored by two organizations concerned with Psychedelic substances – the Drug Policy Alliance, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic – has revealed that scientific research on marijuana was impossible in the United States, due to the deliberate action by the DEA.
According to the report, when the 91st United States Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) into law in 1970, activists in favor of medical marijuana started petitioning the DEA to remove marijuana from Schedule I, where it categorizes drugs for a high possibility of addiction and no accepted medical use. CSA is the statute establishing the United States federal drug policy, under which the manufacture, importation, possession, use and distribution of certain substances is regulated.
The executive summary of the report stated that case studies compiled in the report illustrated a decades-long pattern of behavior, demonstrating the DEA’s inability to exercise its responsibilities in a fair and impartial manner, or to act in accordance with the scientific evidence, often as determined by its Administrative Law Judges.
The report revealed that on three different occasions to get the DEA to listen to the petition of activists, the DEA officials’ declined. It is said attempts at research, which would allow the plant to be taken out of Schedule I, were deliberately blocked. This created a situation whereby many who would make use of the plant to cure their various ailments, were unable to use it in many states.
The report said the common tactics the DEA employed to frustrate activists included a delay on requests. For example, the report revealed that the DEA took 16 years to issue a final decision to the first marijuana rescheduling petition; five years for the second; and nine years for the third. In two of the three cases, it took multiple lawsuits to force the DEA to act.
Similarly, in the case of a researcher seeking an independent supply of marijuana for research purposes, it took the DEA 12 years, and another lawsuit to deny the request. The report concluded that this shows that for over 40 years, bureaucrats at the DEA have actively obstructed research on marijuana.
The report said the DEA is determined to hold onto its scientifically unsupported drug scheduling system; also to obstruct research that might alter current drug schedules in the United States.
The report recommended that due to the lackadaisical attitude of the DEA, responsibility for determining drug classifications and other health determinations should be completely removed from the DEA and transferred to another agency. It recommended a non-governmental entity, such as the National Academy of Sciences.
Also, the report advised that the DEA should be ordered to end the federal government’s unjustifiable monopoly on the supply of research-grade marijuana available for federally approved research. The report urged the United States to follow the example of countries such as Canada, Israel, Czech Republic, England and the Netherlands, who successfully licensed private producers of medical marijuana for government approved research.
A jobseeker inspired by predictions that robots will steal our jobs in the next 30 years has decided to be proactive and become a robot in order to land a job.
on June 22nd, 2016
With the imminent rise of the machines and everyone anticipating that robots will be taking all our jobs, a proactive human jobseeker has decided to become a robot in order to improve his odd sof landing a tech job. If you can’t beat’em, join’em, right?
Meet Canu, a man trying to stay ahead of the times. Inspired by grim predictions that robots will be taking over our jobs in the next 30 years, he has set up a tongue-in-cheek website where he advertises himself as a human-turned robot, with 4 years of experience in marketing under his belt, but also the ability to “program and download any other skills as needed”. Just one of the perks of being a machine, I guess. His human side presents some advantages as well, like being “already assembled” and not requiring batteries. So there you go, tech companies, the perfect employee.
Photo: Get Canu
“Uber embraces driverless cars. Lowe’s introduces robots to stock shelves. A company employs a robot as the office manager. With the rise of the robot workforce, one human named Canu decides to join the ranks as a robot. It’s probably the first time in history,” Canu’s website states.
Photo: Get Canu
Canu is currently looking for employment with San Francisco tech companies “and beyond” and hopes to get them interested by listing the advantages of hiring a robot or cyborg – less sick days, grumpiness and mistakes. As for what makes him more qualified than other robots, Canu says that “Most robots struggle with emotion, lateral thinking, and spatial-awareness. Canu provides the most human-like experience for any business while not creeping out co-workers or customers.”
Photo: Get Canu
Canu’s incredible story of becoming a robot hasn’t gone viral just yet, but with the topic of machines stealing our jobs being so hot these days, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing him take over the internet very soon. Stay tuned.
via The Mirror
David Rockefeller is a part of American history and the only billionaire in the world who is over 100 years old. The richest oldest man on the planet is due to turn 101 in June.
He is part of a family dynasty whose name is associated with America and has become legend. His grandfather John D Rockefeller who died in 1937 was the founder of Standard Oil and the world’s richest individual.
The name Rockefeller has been associated with wealth, power, politics, finance, diplomacy, philanthropy, marijuana prohibition, aliens, UFO’s and conspiracy theories.
One such conspiracy theory is the creation of a ‘one world order’, according to which a group of ‘Elites’, including David, are milking the system for their own benefits and the benefit of their friends and fellow conspirators against the interest of the United States.
They have been accused of setting up institutions such as the ‘Trilateral Commission’ and the ‘Bilderberg Group’ among others to advance their interests nationally and globally.
Their aim is to create an international world order under a single umbrella, to deal with global issues, initiated and controlled by western countries.
Obviously such a hefty vision could be seen as a conspiracy, by the powerful and the well connected, to dominate and manipulate the weak and the fragmented people of the world.
David Rockefeller, the last former member of the unofficial royal family of America, has admitted in an article by The Independent, that if he is accused of such conspiracies to bring about a ‘one world order’, then he is proud and guilty as charged.
He says: “Some even believe [the Rockefellers] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterising my family and me as ‘internationalists’ conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I’m proud of it.”
Although the name ‘Rockefeller’ still retains its resonance, its influence is fading. Being a Rockefeller these days ain’t what it used to be.
David, patriarch of that family and of a vanished Wasp establishment, celebrated his 100th birthday.
These days he is pretty low in the billionaires’ pecking order: 603rd according to Forbes magazine, the chronicler of such matters, with a fortune of “only” $3.2bn.
Even the family’s total wealth, much of it locked away in trusts, is put at a relatively modest $10bn – enough to buy fleets of yachts, private jets and a couple of mansions in Belgravia, but not a patch on his grandfather John D Rockefeller.
When he died in 1937, “Senior”, the founder of Standard Oil and a contender for the world’s richest ever individual, was reckoned to have assets equal to 1.5 per cent of US GDP, about $250bn today. Compared with that, Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are distant also-rans.
From almost the moment of his birth, on 12 June 1915, in the embers of the Gilded Age, David was the favourite grandchild: the one, according to “Senior”, who was “most like myself”.
The others of John Rockefeller Jnr’s six children are now long gone. Winthrop, a former governor of Arkansas, died in 1973. Abigail, David’s only sister, died in 1976, followed by John in 1978, and by Nelson – his most famous sibling, governor of New York and Gerald Ford’s vice-president – in 1979.
Laurance Rockefeller, an airline magnate, survived until 2004. David is the last one left. And in his day, Nelson notwithstanding, he was probably the most influential of them all.
David Rockfeller flourished at the intersection of business, high finance and international diplomacy. He was never elected to any political office, but in his heyday, in the 1970s and 1980s, he seemed to know every politician who mattered on the planet.
Part of that went with the job of chairman of Chase Manhattan, which David sought to make a global bank. Part was due to merely being a Rockfeller.
“Having the name can be an advantage,” he once said. “I’m more apt to get through on the telephone to somebody.” Part perhaps also reflected his much-praised work in US wartime intelligence in Europe, between 1943 and 1945.
All of this made him a networker of epic proportions (his Rolodex, in that pre-smartphone age, read like a global Who’s Who); not surprisingly the journalist and former LBJ aide Bill Moyers once called him “the unelected but indisputable chairman of the American establishment”.
From the outset, too, David was a committed internationalist. To that end, in 1973 he set up the Trilateral Commission, featuring the West’s great and good, and soon found himself the butt of conspiracy theorists around the globe.
Today, there’s much hyperventilating about the secretiveness of the Bilderberg Group (another collection of worthies favoured by David). But that fuss is nothing compared with the suspicions once aroused by the Trilateral Commission.
For the right, it was a cabal operating as a global government; the left saw an unaccountable rich man’s club, promoting free markets to the exclusion of all else. Senior’s favourite grandson was accused of being the plotter in chief – and he positively revelled in the charges.
“Some even believe [the Rockefellers] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterising my family and me as ‘internationalists’ conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I’m proud of it.”
But the globetrotting chumminess had its downside. David Rockefeller, it was said, never met a dictator he disliked.
More specifically, he worked with his friend Henry Kissinger to persuade President Carter to allow another friend, the deposed Shah of Iran, into the US in 1979 to be treated for cancer.
The result was the Tehran embassy hostage-taking and a rupture with Iran that endures to this day.
Most fascinating perhaps is David’s relationship with the domineering Nelson. His elder sibling was tempestuous, ferociously ambitious and a compulsive womaniser. As a child, David was reserved and solitary, with an passion for collecting beetles.
As an adult, he was suave and non-confrontational, a man who loathed scenes above all else. Not surprisingly, the pair grew apart, especially after Nelson’s divorce and remarriage to his mistress Happy Murphy in 1963, a scandal that may have scuppered his presidential aspirations.
Gradually, starting even before Nelson’s death, David became the family head, his image further burnished by philanthropy: over his life, he is reckoned to have given away $900m, including $79m last year alone. In 2002, he became the first Rockfeller to write an autobiography, entitled, simply, Memoirs.
Ultimately, David Rockefeller is a reminder of how even the mightiest dynasties fade. Before the Kennedys, the Rockefellers were America’s unofficial royal family.
But the last Rockefeller to hold public office, David’s nephew Jay, retired last year from his Senate seat in West Virginia. The Kennedys are increasingly history, and, one day, the Bushes and Clintons will be as well.
The younger Rockefellers have gone their own way. Most have to make their own living; some have even changed their names. Being a Rockefeller ain’t what it used to be.
Their political relevance, however, persists. David, like Nelson, was a “Rockefeller Republican”, a well-born moderate endowed with a deep sense of noblesse oblige.
If the GOP is to recapture the White House in 2016, a dash of inclusive Rockefeller Republicanism is essential. And nothing, surely, would more delight the oldest billionaire on earth.
The hallmark of the months leading to today’s EU referendum has been horrifying censorship. One can but hope that Noam Chomsky’s dictum that censorship is a “brand on the imagination” and that it a…
With permission from
June 23, 2016
The hallmark of the months leading to today’s EU referendum has been horrifying censorship. One can but hope that Noam Chomsky’s dictum that censorship is a “brand on the imagination” and that it affects those who have “suffered it forever” does not apply.
The British electorate has been treated to a fake debate about issues that mask some of the most critical issues of our time. And that’s even if the issues will not be addressed whoever wins in the early hours of Friday morning.
The Right wing case for Britain leaving the EU is as idealistic as it is bizarre. It arises from the complexities of EU-formation. The Right accurately remembers the elite liberal Left which wanted to impose fairness “from above” given their despair at electorates unwilling to fight for revolution. The Right is blinded by memory – of a misty past of speeches about “Euro-Communism” and “Social Democracy” by people who no longer matter. To the Right, all the “free market reforms” fostered by EU institutions are forgotten. Maybe, idealistic free marketeers look the other way because the results of the EU experiment are clear: free markets inevitably lead to corporate monopoly power crushing the will of the people. Free markets lead inexorably to concentrations of wealth and power. To inequality and – before the uptick – austerity.
The Left wing case for Britain remaining in the EU is not really Left wing at all. It is founded on atavism and pessimism about the working classes of Europe. To this section of society, the EU can somehow be reformed from within. They believe elite governments in Europe – already out of touch with their own electorates – can negotiate in Brussels and Strasbourg with corporations, on the same terms.
The idea of being able to reform the European Union by negotiation is fantasy. In the U.S. context, it would be a bit like a future President Bernie Sanders transplanting Washington’s “K Street” of lobbyists into the West Wing for fruitful discussion about creating a fairer America. There is no negotiation to be had, except around the edges. Every aspect of the EU is targeted to one goal, to create a militarily powerful satellite of the United States that borders Africa and Eurasia, underpinned by corporate power. For every progressive law the EU has successfully passed, a hundred hurl millions into economic catastrophe.
It took months before UK politicians knew the acronym “TTIP” – so ignorant are they about the consummation of the marriage between Eurocrats and the kind of people you might meet on the ski slopes of Davos every winter. UK Prime Minister David Cameron was forced to make a statement denying that Britain’s National Health Service – a chronically underfunded but visionary universal healthcare system – would be broken up and destroyed by TTIP. Will it sway today’s vote? Actually, the secret deal to empower corporations to take on democratically mandated legislation in EU states may have already hit the buffers.
There’s another trade deal – between Canada and the U.S. – which could formalise the power of U.S. multinationals over European legislation. We didn’t hear anything about CETA before the referendum. Nor did we hear anything about the brutality of EU institutions when it came to what the UN now calls the worst refugee crisis in history.
Even famous NGO charities who are usually reticent about entering “the political” are privately askance about EU policy on refugees. One minute it’s border fences, the next it’s paying cash to prospective EU members to dump children fleeing wars. Where is the recognition that European powers have been at the front of the queue baying for war, from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf, from the Baltic to the Caspian? Sometimes, even in Latin America.
The liberal commentariat decries the xenophobia of right wing Brexiteers. It argues that the BREXIT club is furnished by those who want to do harm to refugees. No one can surely join a club so full of racists, they say. Presumably, it would be like people voting for Donald Trump because they didn’t want an Iraq War which has killed, displaced or wounded millions.
What liberal “remainers” don’t say is that they are in a club with the IMF, Goldman Sachs and a politician who carries out thousands of targeted assassinations, President Obama.
Because, Britons voting today should not be in any doubt that a vote to remain in the EU is a vote to catalyse the Lehman Brothers disasters of the future. The EU exists –pre-eminently – to forge a deregulated world with vulture funds and private equity that contaminates every aspect of relations between human beings. From cradle to grave, there will be the privatisation of public space let alone education, health and aspiration. Not only that, but there’s something even more financially lucrative than the European health market : war.
War will be a privatised Europe’s crowning achievement. With EU connivance, it killed hundreds of thousands in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. And that was only a precursor. For when trade deals entrench the U.S. armaments industry in EU institutions, even chemical additives in food fade into the background as an issue.
The EU will do nothing about climate change except create “markets” to trade in gruesome carbon credits. And climate change and wars for resources will give ample opportunity for EU nations to wage war for one side or another. The EU will create phantasms and spectres for people to hate. Human rights policies will be conjured to attack the enemies of U.S. corporate capital: statist nations, countries that refuse to bow down to the orthodoxy of open capital markets.
If there is hope on the horizon regardless of today’s vote – it is that the rest of the world is gathering forces. China no longer looks the other way as President Obama attempts to place ever more bases around it. Together with Russia, it will not play ball with the neoliberal power-plays of Washington and its EU client bloc. And fissures are developing fast. Britain, whichever way the vote is swung, will be a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. When it seeks urgent infrastructural capital, or when it seeks lenience from big BRICS power over steel it will have to tow the line from BRICS capitals. It’s a line that will be towed at the expense of EU membership. And domestic electoral change in EU nations amidst the continuing fallout of Lehman 2008, will inevitably lead to the breakdown of negotiations.
So ironically, both sides in today’s referendum will win. The EU will have to reform because the peoples of Europe will have none of the EU-US military-industrial complex. Whether what is born is called the EU or a new kind of economic bloc, tied to emerging markets, it must happen. If the UK votes out, it will merely be the beginning of the end of a failed project, like the Berlin Wall 27 years before it. It must fail because with the threat of climate change to the threat of nuclear war, humanity depends on it.
Afshin Rattansi is host of RT’s award-winning Going Underground news and current affairs show broadcast around the world. He will be joining Julian Assange on the eve of the referendum for a live webcast from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London as well as a special edition of Going Underground on Saturday.