Around the web

Uganda’s Freethinker Library gets off to a promising start…

 

 

From The Freethinker UK

I am pleased to report that, following our appeal for funding for the Freethinker Library for the Kanungu Humanist School in Uganda, $260 (almost £200) has so far been raised. Henri (Hank) Pellissier, of the Brighter Brains Institute with whom we a working to stock the library, told me this week that “that is enough to buy a LOT of books – the director is very appreciative.”

Hank also sent me the photo below of the sign created for the library.

Meanwhile the school’s director Robert Magara reported that a journey was made to the Angelina Bookshop in Kampala on to make the first book purchases.

He wrote: “I wish you were here to witness the happiness the the school kids showed me after receiving the books. Really, Thank you very much our dear funders.”

The appeal remains open for another three weeks, so if you would like to support this important humanist literacy initiative, please click on this link to donate
From The Freethinker UK

I am pleased to report that, following our appeal for funding for the Freethinker Library for the Kanungu Humanist School in Uganda, $260 (almost £200) has so far been raised. Henri (Hank) Pellissier, of the Brighter Brains Institute with whom we a working to stock the library, told me this week that “that is enough to buy a LOT of books – the director is very appreciative.”

Hank also sent me the photo above of the sign created for the library.

Meanwhile the school’s director Robert Magara reported that a journey was made to the Angelina Bookshop in Kampala on to make the first book purchases.

He wrote: “I wish you were here to witness the happiness the the school kids showed me after receiving the books. Really, Thank you very much our dear funders.”

The appeal remains open for another three weeks, so if you would like to support this important humanist literacy initiative, please click on this link to donate.
~~

A Cooperative Way of Life…

 

 

From George Monbiot

The Ground Beneath Our Feet
Some radical ideas for reshaping the economy

The ideology Labour confronts has penetrated so far into our lives, and has been so thoroughly internalised and reproduced, that we have found it difficult to see, or even to name. This ideology is neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism is the doctrine that human society should be defined as a market, its social relations reimagined as commercial transactions, to discover a “natural hierarchy” of winners and losers. Any attempt to limit competition or change social outcomes is treated as hostile to liberty. Trade unions should be crushed, tax and regulation minimised, public services privatised or reconstructed in the image of the market. Inequality is recast as virtuous: a reward for merit and a generator of wealth, which trickles down to enrich everyone. Efforts to create a more equal society, it maintains, are both counterproductive and morally corrosive.

Its assault on the public realm, on collective bargaining, on the redistribution of wealth, on public protection and on society itself has caused or exacerbated the multiple disasters we now suffer. So why does this toxic philosophy still dominate our lives? Principally, I believe, because its opponents have not produced a coherent new narrative with which to replace it. Labour’s renaissance, and the political opening it creates, enables us to tell this story. But it is crucial that we use this moment to create something new, rather than burrowing back into the solutions of the past.

Keynesian economics worked spectacularly during what the French call the trente glorieuses: 1945-1975. But I don’t believe they can take us through the 21st Century, for two main reasons. The first is that global finance discovered how to vitiate them. Its assault on capital controls, fixed foreign exchange rates and a balanced global trading system was highly effective, and has now made the UK’s post-war miracle almost impossible to replicate, within our financially porous borders. Without a radical reversal of the current global order, we are stuck with these constraints.

A Support System for Women (and Men) Living in Cars and Vans…

 

~~

Puerto Rico Cooperative takes care of its own…

 

Photo from happier times before the hurricane at the co-op

 

From Orlando Sentinal

TRUJILLO ALTO, Puerto Rico — It’s 10 minutes to noon, and Alexandra Rodriguez Rios has already cooked and delivered more than 60 lunch plates to residents in her co-op living community.

She’s had a different menu every day since Hurricane Maria. It’s nothing fancy, she says. It’s what they call the “hurricane diet:” canned sausages, Spam, white rice, canned vegetables, beans.

But it is “guiso,” meaning it’s flavorful and well seasoned. And there’s always enough for anyone who might walk through the glass doors of the activity center at the Cooperativa de Vivienda Ciudad Universitaria.

Rodriguez Rios, 37, heads the cooking committee — one of six committees residents in the community have organized to make sure all of their own needs are met.

It’s been more than two weeks since the hurricane hit the island, but the cooking, maintenance, administrative and security committees are still going. They recently added an unofficial FEMA representative, who travels 30 minutes into San Juan to access government computers so she can sign people up for federal aid.

“I like cooking, so it’s no problem. I get here at 7:30 a.m. and I get everything done. I have no problem with it. Plus, there are so many elderly people here who live alone,” Rodriguez Rios said.

Fifty Ways We Can Recover…

 

~~

WILLIAM EDELEN: My Friend, Justice William O. Douglas

 

w

 

From Our Archives
WILLIAM EDELEN (1922 – 2015)
The Contrary Minister

We are perched on a precipice in the history of our Democracy when it comes to the role of the Supreme Court today. I contemplate OFTEN nowadays… how my old friend Justice William O. Douglas would interpret these current maneuverings.

If Douglas was alive and on the court TODAY, he would be appalled at the very notion of the “Citizens United” opinion narrowing the definition of “corruption” to “quid-pro-quo” (money for political favors) AND giving the rights of “person-hood” to “corporations.” As stated so emphatically by Mitt Romney during the 2010 Presidential Campaign, “Corporations are people, my friend!”

WHAT ??? OH MY… how we NEED DOUGLAS NOW!

“The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to keep the government off the backs of the people,” Douglas wrote. Further he wrote: “The New York Stock Exchange is a cross between a casino and a private club, filled with termites.” President Franklin Roosevelt was a good friend of many on the Stock Exchange, and yet he told Douglas, “Go ahead and charge them.” Douglas went ahead full speed and charged Richard Whitney, the President of the Exchange, who was indicted for the embezzlement of his clients’ securities. Whitney was convicted and sent to prison. Douglas zeroed in on the other members of the Exchange to make reforms that would be totally and truly responsive to security holders.

Message for Trump…

 


~~

Trump, The Anti-Obama…

From the author of The Making of Donald Trump…

~~

George Monbiot: Goodbye – and good riddance – to livestock farming…

 

 

From George Monbiot

[See response in next article below]

The suffering inherent in mass meat production can’t be justified. And as the artificial meat industry grows, the last argument for farming animals has now collapsed

What will future generations, looking back on our age, see as its monstrosities? We think of slavery, the subjugation of women, judicial torture, the murder of heretics, imperial conquest and genocide, the first world war and the rise of fascism, and ask ourselves how people could have failed to see the horror of what they did. What madness of our times will revolt our descendants?

There are plenty to choose from. But one of them, I believe, will be the mass incarceration of animals, to enable us to eat their flesh or eggs or drink their milk. While we call ourselves animal lovers, and lavish kindness on our dogs and cats, we inflict brutal deprivations on billions of animals that are just as capable of suffering. The hypocrisy is so rank that future generations will marvel at how we could have failed to see it.

The shift will occur with the advent of cheap artificial meat. Technological change has often helped to catalyse ethical change. The $300m deal China signed last month to buy lab-grown meat marks the beginning of the end of livestock farming. But it won’t happen quickly: the great suffering is likely to continue for many years.

The answer, we are told by celebrity chefs and food writers, is to keep livestock outdoors: eat free-range beef or lamb, not battery pork. But all this does is to swap one disaster – mass cruelty – for another: mass destruction. Almost all forms of animal farming cause environmental damage, but none more so than keeping them outdoors. The reason is inefficiency. Grazing is not just slightly inefficient, it is stupendously wasteful. Roughly twice as much of the world’s surface is used for grazing as for growing crops, yet animals fed entirely on pasture produce just one gram out of the 81g of protein consumed per person per day.