This is Joanna Harcourt-Smith’s account of taking acid with “internal freedom” pioneer Tim Leary, while the latter was in Folsom Prison, where he was being held for “crimes” without victims. She smuggled in two tabs in her belly button and they shared them secretly while she was visiting.
Bankers, economists, financiers and others have for some time been looking to find another kind of currency, besides the dollar, to help stabilize global markets and exchanges. The dollar has been the de facto currency used for most global transactions – but this makes the market vulnerable both to US political instability and to American imperial ambitions. Below is a report on the ongoing discussions:
The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The IMF said Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, could help stabilize the global financial system. SDRs represent potential claims on the currencies of IMF members. They were created by the IMF in 1969 and can be converted into whatever currency a borrower requires at exchange rates based on a weighted basket of international currencies. The IMF typically lends countries funds denominated in SDRs. While they are not a tangible currency, some economists argue that SDRs could be used as a less volatile alternative to the U.S. dollar. The goal is to have a reserve asset for central banks that better reflects the global economy since the dollar is vulnerable to swings in the domestic economy and changes in U.S. policy. The Fund also suggested that certain assets, such as oil and gold, which are traded in U.S. dollars, could be priced using SDRs.
Filed under: Current Events, Economics & Finance, Modern History, Politics, Roots of War & Domination | Tagged: alternative currency, alternative to dollar, global financial system, IMF, resserve assets, SDR (Special Drawing Rights) | Leave a comment »
This Spanish-language film by Basque-Mexican director Alejandro González Iñarritu (who previously made the fascinatingly complex personal-social dramas Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel), was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the 2011 Academy Awards. It stars Javier Barden in a performance that received the Best Actor award at Cannes and was nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards. Like Iñarritu’s other films, Biutiful is a complex tale of interweaving themes of fatherhood, spirituality, crime, mortality and the social-political challenges of the post-modern world. Barden plays the role of Uxbal, a single father in contemporary Barcelona, struggling to raise his two children, while protecting them from their coke-addicted, bi-polar, prostitute mother, and hustling enough income by helping immigrant African drug sellers and immigrant Chinese low-wage factory workers while also dealing with own terminal cancer, which he tries to hide from his children. Barden, who is in every scene of the film, is superb as a decent man confronting his personal mortality in a setting of apocalyptic social collapse. The title Biutiful comes from a spelling lesson he gives his children.
Filed under: Current Events, Films, Modern History, Politics, Spirituality | Tagged: 21 Grams, Academy Awards, Amores Perros, Babel, Best Actor, Best Foreign language film, Biutiful, Cannes Film Festival, Iñarritu, Javier Barden | 1 Comment »
This is a link to a very unusual French YouTube video in nine parts, called La Belle Verte (The Beautiful Green). The story is about a group of very happy, loving people, living a simple pastoral life, on another planet – who decide to send emissaries to Earth, which they do every 100 years or so, to see how Earth civilization is progressing, and try to help out.
While on Earth they explore, with compassion, such strange and amusing artifacts as money, cars, cities, hospitals, etc. And they have the ability to “disconnect” Earth people from their blindness, so that they then go around hugging and thanking others, and admiring the beauty in all that they see.
A “grid of streets” on the seabed at one of the proposed locations of the lost city of Atlantis has been spotted on Google Ocean. Google Ocean, an extension of Google Earth, allows web users to virtually explore the ocean with thousands of images of underwater landscapes. The network of criss-cross lines is 620 miles off the coast of north west Africa near the Canary Islands on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The perfect rectangle – which is around the size of Wales – was noticed on the search giant’s underwater exploration tool by an aeronautical engineer who claims it looks like an “aerial map” of a city. The underwater image can be found at the co-ordinates 31 15’15.53N 24 15’30.53W. Atlantis experts said that the unexplained grid is located at one of the possible sites of the legendary island, which was described by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. According to his account, the city sank beneath the ocean after its residents made a failed effort to conquer Athens around 9000 BC. The legend of Atlantis has excited the public imagination for centuries. In recent years evidence (always disputed) of the lost kingdom has been found off the coast of Cyprus and in southern Spain.
From the UK newspaper The Telegraph, February 20, 2009.
This is a brilliant and incisive summary of the crucial differences between the current bankrupt capitalist model (as also portrayed in the recent film Inside Job which won Best Documentary) and a viable real-market alternative.
In America we are taught from birth that capitalism is synonymous with markets, democracy, and individual liberty. Whatever its flaws, the only alternative is communism, or so we are told. This sets up a false and dangerously self-limiting choice between two economic models both of which create concentrations of power that stifle liberty and creativity for all but the few at the top. Communism is dead. As we now look for solutions to our current economic crisis, the relevant distinction is not between capitalism and communism, but rather between Wall Street and Main Street.
The Wall Street economy is centrally planned and managed by big banks and corporations for which money is both means and end. The primary goal is monopoly control of markets, physical resources, and technology to maximize profits and bonuses. Main Street economy is comprised of local businesses and working people who self-organize to provide livelihoods for themselves, their families, and their communities producing real goods and services in response to community needs. Main Street exemplifies the market economy envisioned by Adam Smith; Wall Street is the antithesis.
The stronger the relations of mutual trust and caring and the more equitably power is distributed, the more the market becomes self- policing and the less need there is for formal governmental intervention. Smith believed that people have a natural and appropriate concern for the well-being of others and a duty not to do them harm. He also believed that government has a responsibility to restrain those who fail in this duty. Smith and the political economists who followed in his tradition developed an elegant theory of the market’s capacity to self-organize in the community interest based on a number of carefully articulated assumptions, including the following:
- Buyers and sellers must be too small to influence the market price and must honor basic principles of honest dealing.
- Income and ownership must be equitably distributed.
- Complete information must be available to all participants, and there can be no trade secrets.
- Sellers must bear the full cost of the products they sell and incorporate it into the sale price.
- Investment capital must remain within national borders, and trade between countries must be balanced.
- Savings must be invested in the creation of productive capital rather than in speculative trading.
These are the characteristics of a real market economy. Wall Street capitalism violates them all.
Published on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 by YES! Magazine
Filed under: Current Events, Economics & Finance, Films, Modern History, Politics | Tagged: Adam Smith, capitalism, David Korten, Film-Inside Job, productive capital vs. speculative trading, real market economy, real-markets vs. "free-markets", Wall Street, YES! | Leave a comment »
Here is a link to a website with fascinating images of the ancient Maya hallucinogenic mushroom cult. The website is created by Carl de Borhegyi, who writes “The following study was inspired by a theory first proposed by my father, the late Maya archaeologist Dr. Stephan F. de Borhegyi, that hallucinogenic mushroom rituals were a central aspect of Maya religion…” read more-
Filed under: Ancient History, Consciousness, Divination, Psychedelics, Science, Shamanism, Spirituality | Tagged: ancient Maya religion, Carl de Borhegyi, hallucinogenic mushrooms, mushroom stones | 4 Comments »