The Refugee Crisis is About Us | Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow

was born in 1957, the same year China purged more than 300,000 intellectuals, including writers, teachers, journalists and whoever dared to criticise the newly established communist government. As part of a series of campaigns led by what was known as the anti-rightist movement, these intellectuals were sent to labour camps for “re-education”.

Because my father, Ai Qing, was the most renowned poet in China then, the government made a symbolic example of him. In 1958, my family was forced from our home in Beijing and banished to the most remote area of the country – we had no idea that this was the beginning of a very dark, long journey that would last for two decades….


The Enormous, Little Known, Global TPP Trade Deal

[What’s been leaked about it so far reveals that the pharmaceutical industry gets stronger patent protections, delaying cheaper generic versions of drugs. That will be a good deal for Big Pharma but not necessarily for the inhabitants of developing nations who won’t get certain life-saving drugs at a cost they can afford.

The TPP also gives global corporations an international tribunal of private attorneys, outside any nation’s legal system, who can order compensation for any “unjust expropriation” of foreign assets.

Even better for global companies, the tribunal can order compensation for any lost profits found to result from a nation’s regulations. Philip Morris is using a similar provision against Uruguay (the provision appears in a bilateral trade treaty between Uruguay and Switzerland), claiming that Uruguay’s strong anti-smoking regulations unfairly diminish the company’s profits.

Anyone believing the TPP is good for Americans take note: The foreign subsidiaries of U.S.-based corporations could just as easily challenge any U.S. government regulation they claim unfairly diminishes their profits — say, a regulation protecting American consumers from unsafe products or unhealthy foods, investors from fraudulent securities or predatory lending, workers from unsafe working conditions, taxpayers from another bailout of Wall Street, or the environment from toxic emissions….]

Read the full article | AlterNet

How Dickens and Hugo Make Sense Today | Poverty Capitalism

In terms of food, housing and other essentials, the cost of being poor has always been exorbitant. Landlords, grocery stores and other commercial enterprises have all found ways to profit from those at the bottom of the ladder.

The recent drive toward privatization of government functions has turned traditional public services into profit-making enterprises as well.

The Expanding World of Poverty Capitalism | New York Times


ADL | 1 in 4 Adults are Anti-Semitic

ADL | 1 in 4 Adults are Anti-Semitic


In today’s unsettling news, one in four adults worldwide harbors disturbingly anti-Semitic views.

This from a new survey commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The survey asked 53,100 adults in 102 countries — a group accounting for 88 percent of the world’s adult population — whether or not they agreed with traditionally anti-Semitic statements.


Statements like: “Jews have too much power over the media,” “Jews only care about their own kind” and “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.”

A Wonderful, Brilliant Idea

It’s a pretty simple concept: Elderly people in retirement communities want someone to talk to. Young Brazilians want to learn English, and the best way to do that is by speaking to native English speakers. When CNA Speaking Exchange recognized the mutual need, they designed a tool that connected the two groups and some unexpected friendships were formed.

Our Cool, Trendy, Affordable Clothes | The Rana Plaza Collapse 2013

10 Extinct Languages in the USA… or, The Obliteration of Cultural Diversity

10 Extinct Languages in the USA… or, The Obliteration of Cultural Diversity

One language dies every two weeks in the world.