As I have previously shown, speculative derivatives (especially credit default swaps) are a primary cause of the economic crisis. And I have pointed out that (1) the giant banks will make a killing on carbon trading, (2) while the leading scientist crusading against global warming says it won’t work, and (3) there is a very high probability of massive fraud and insider trading in the carbon trading markets. Now, Bloomberg notes that the carbon trading scheme will be centered around derivatives…
Carbon trading fraudsters may have accounted for up to 90pc of all market activity in some European countries, with criminals pocketing an estimated €5bn (£4.5bn) mainly in Britain, France, Spain, Denmark and Holland, according to Europol, the European law enforcement agency.
Internet visionary fears an end to openness as Internet rivals consolidate power.
The Web, which began life as an open community where information and tools were freely shared across geographic, political, and social boundaries, is in danger of becoming segmented into a federation of closed camps led by a handful of increasingly powerful vendors, said Internet pundit Tim O’Reilly.”We’re heading back into an ugly time,” said O’Reilly, during a keynote address Tuesday at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York City.
O’Reilly said efforts by Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), Apple, and other tech vendors—as well as publishers like Rupert Murdoch’s Dow Jones—to create closed communities around their products and services are jeopardizing the freedom, and the spirit, of the Web. Continue reading “Journal: Web War II”
EXTRACT: The fact of the matter is that career politicians will say anything to get re-elected and will do anything to stay in power. This then becomes a classic dichotomy: the politicians say one thing, yet continue to act in ways anathema to what they repeatedly profess they stand for. Yet they are re-elected over and over again. Both Republicans and Democrats alike are equally guilty, and this becomes clear when one simply compares the rhetoric with what they actually do. With very few notable exceptions, Dr. Ron Paul comes to mind, there is no honor, no integrity, no intestinal fortitude among them. They are weak and spinless creatures driven only by an insatiable thirst for power and control, yet fancy themselves saviors, strong and powerful simply by their ability to manipulate the system and ignore the people. The self-serving Democrat-Republican duopoly is symptomatic of our sick republic, and the only medicine that will cure it is to remove this duopolistic tumor.
Phi Beta Iota: INTEGRITY. The Average American has more common sense, decency, and integrity that most serving in Washington as political appointees sworn to a partisan agenda, or as elected officials who have betrayed their constituencies by toeing to the party line. Mr. MacInnes is articulating a broad “pox on both parties” that has been in motion since everyone realized that Al Gore sold out (Warren Christopher carried the offer) in 2000.
Now, having said that, we reiterate our view that President Barack Obama could be the George Washington of this century if he rejects the partisan hacks and the Wall Street hucksters that are looting the Treasury and avoiding responsibility. All he has to do is demand the Electoral Reform Act of 2009 followed by the Smart Nation-Safe Nation Act of 2010, and we will have a Republic again–an informed, secure, sane, responsible Republic.
Edit of 5 Jul 09 to observe that Mr. Gore is now worth $100M. Greg Palast not only called the fix before the election, but the one after as well. How sweet it must be to cast We the People adrift.
This book is nine years too late. It lacks passion & credibility. By way of context, and to disclose my inherent bias, I am an estranged moderate Republican who will never forgive Al Gore for 1) picking the de facto Israeli Ambassador and a closet neo-conservative as his running mate; 2) refusing to act on the advance disclosure by Greg Palast of the Bush plan to steal the election by disenfranchising 35,000 to 50,000 people of color in Florida; and 3) refusing to sign or encourage any other Senator to sign the legitimate House of Representatives demand for a repeal of the Florida results and a new election.
In that context, this book is shallow, pedantic, and largely pointless, as futile as his last sixteen years. You would be better off with the ten books I list below, or even with the reviews alone of those ten books. This is a double-spaced easily readable statement of the obvious.
1) TV and advertising have destroyed reason 2) Passionate faith blinds and makes the loyal brain-dead 3) Generals are not allowed to tell the truth and ignored when they do 4) Concentrated wealth and concentrated power doom democracy 5) Corporate power and mass deception go hand in hand 6) Bush administration has taken secrecy and withheld information to new heights 7) Loss of civil liberaties and rise of a police state, including torture, set a new low for America 8) Education and being informed are not the same thing. 9) His top threats are the environment, water, terrorism, drugs & corruption, and pandemics. Evidently he is not familiar with the ten high-level threats identified by LtGen Scowcroft and the United Nations (poverty, environmental degradation, infectuous disease, inter-state conflict, civil war, gencoide, other atrocities, proliferation, terrorism, and transnational crime). 10) Congress failed America by becoming the hand-maiden of the President rather than the Article 1 balance of power. 11) Internet offers hope (but no recognition of the missing sense-making tools including total transparency for all budgets)
I’ve met Al Gore and I have dealt with his senior staff both in office and now. My bottom line is that he is a very intelligent and well-intentioned individual with a very shallow staff and absolutely no sense of how to build a transpartisan team. He may run for President in 2008, if he does, he will lose unless he discovers the following three fundamentals:
1) Transpartisan meme as represented by Reuniting America (Unity 08 is a fraud, the last gasp of the two-party spoils system, the same one that displaced the League of Women Voters from the Presidential debate process in order to exclude the more sensible Libertarian, Green, Reform and Independent candidates from the debate) 2) Electoral reform as the ONLY major issue facing America 3) Selecting and announcing a multi-party Cabinet in advance, and challenging all the others to do the same–America is too complicated to be managed by a white boy and his cronies! It’s time we destroy the Republican and the Democratic Party machines, restore participatory democracy, and end the corrupt “winner take all” system in both the Legislative and Executive branches.
Al Gore continues to have potential, but on his present course he will not earn the Nobel (Paul Hawkin, Herman Daly, and Lester Brown have done more) and he will not restore democracy in America. He’s too busy being a hedge fund manager and celebrity speaker with one probllem and no solutions. That’s how I see it. He has not earned my vote yet, but I will change parties and vote Democratic if he first wins the Democratic primaries, then selects a Republican as a running mate, and commits to the three ideas above. It’s not rocket science. It just takes passion and an appreciation for diversity and dissent, and that is one thing Al Gore has not been able to unleash.
Watch the DVD First. Up to Four Stars if You Do That…..,
June 1, 2006
Note: Although the DVD is mostly Al Gore and Powerpoint slides, interspersed with views of the adoring audience, it is a VERY effective briefing, and after seeing the DVD, my appreciation for the book went up. It is still over the top on fonts and graphics–the next edition should be toned down–but if viewed together with the DVD, the book goes up to four stars.
I actually read The Global 2000 Report to the President: Entering the Twenty-First Century as published in 1982 and still in my library, and I follow the excellent work of Lester Brown, whose “State of the World” publications are extremely pointed, pertinent, and professional.
In that context, this book is a real disappointment. It is a superb “coffee table” book, with glorious photographs, some really excellent time phrase photos (showing melting ice and increased drought at the same place over three period. The writing is thoughtful, but the composition of the book makes it very inefficent at communicating the ideas in structured form. This is an artist’s rendition, with what for me at least was an annoying jumble of mixed big font sizes, constantly changing lay-outs, and no tables or substantive “here are the ten threats, here are the ten solutions.”
I am waiting for the video, and I suspect that the movie will be ten times more valuable as both an educational and mobilization tool, much as the Wal-Mart video is superior to the Wal-Mart book.
I admire the author very much, and believe that his commitment to the environment and to doing the right thing is genuine.
The best part of the book is the end, which lists a number of things that one can do personally to help with the environment, and also puts a number of “myths” into boxes (e.g. melting of cold ice at the Poles is good), but sadly, the choice of fonts, colors, layouts, and so on make this book a 50% success, at best. “art” or COSMETICS triumphed over substance and seriousness, and the Vice President has lost, yet again, a chance to make a larger difference. I will pray that the movie makes this review, and this book, irrelevant.
This is certainly a book that is worth buying to support the Vice President, to appreciate the photos and content, but this book missed a great opportunity to provide America and the world with a more digestible serious document that could have led to action. In its current form, it is nothing more than a “what nice pictures, quite right, something must be done” and then it goes back on the coffee table and achieves nothing. Sorry, but that is my hard-nosed evaluation.