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Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine

Despite not being a dispassionate reviewer, I wrote this review of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. In case you didn't know, I'm not entirely without positive bias. And even with high expectations, the book really impressed. It seems to be doing quite well without my recommendation, but I would like to add my recommendation to the many that are out there. Hope you like the review.

Free Software

As I mentioned earlier, I interviewed Richard Stallman earlier this month. Just published the interview and set up a forum (linked at the bottom of the interview) where folks can introduce themselves if they'd like to help begin the exploration on possibly converting ZNet to free software.

Walgreens

Quick story I got in the email. African American pharmacists at Walgreens have launched a class action lawsuit against that corporation for racial discrimination. I've blogged elsewhere about Black Americans and health care. It is among the deadliest impacts of racism in the US, though it is not usually understood that way.

Costs, Human Tolls

Everytime I refresh my browser window, the death toll from the tsunami grows by a couple of thousand. The New York Times reports that at least a third of the dead are children. Even as we mourn, it is easy to detach ourselves from the reality of a number as large as 44,000. It is hard to imagine, and mourn individually, each life lost in such a short span of time. That this number could have been lower if detection systems had been in place for the impoverished countries affected by the tsunami, is shameful.

Four More Years

For the record, I'm in the "partially blame the people" category as far as last week's depressing election results are concerned.

Profitable Private Armies

A few days back, Gary Jackson, the president of the one of the world's largest private armies, Blackwater USA, said that since the U.S. invasion of Iraq (and the country's ensuing descent into chaos), the mercenary firm's business has grown over 600%.

Outsource the NBA!

While I realize the brave and hard-working people of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada Movement) are stretched thin in their struggles against the building of destructive dams along India's rivers, I can't help but wish that some of their strength, organizing skills and experience could be outsourced to Laos, where thousands of people there are about to be swept away in the name of development...

A Pillar Of Corporate Life (C.P. Pandya)

One can never accuse Riggs Bank of lacking a global perspective. Indeed, the American financial institution’s expansive scope of malfeasance makes it an international player on the corrupt corporate scene. With dubious deals in Saudi Arabia, Chile and Equatorial Guinea, Riggs’ underhanded schemes span three continents – what an equal opportunity brigand. Where to begin?

A Fine Balance (C.P. Pandya)

India's new government continues to walk a political and economic tightrope, eagerly welcoming in foreign investors while promising to financially help the very population hurt by the liberalization program. On Thursday, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram unveiled a new budget that allows foreign direct investors to carry unprecedented stakes in Indian companies, but also pledges a significant amount of money to India's poor.

Among the notable points in the budget:

AIDS and Trade (C.P. Pandya)

This latest report on "corporate villainy" (as Justin Podur has so flatteringly subheaded my blogging efforts) comes under the auspices of government collusion. And its messenger is none other than the bastion of capitalism itself, The Wall Street Journal. A look at two stories in Tuesday's Journal teases the reader to make some fairly obvious connections. Since the paper isn't available free online (remember, "bastion of capitalism"), allow me to summarize.

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