The Thursday Activist Reader is designed to be an online readers’ pick compilation of reading and discussion for a better world. You are invited to join in the discussion as well as in sending a list of one or more articles from your reading that you think would be informative and interesting to Comox Valley activists.
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Interesting to note that of the three articles I choose as most significant for me this week, all three are from Commondreams.org—but then that doesn’t surprise me; it’s a great source of views and information on events that are changing our world.
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Michael Moore Says His New Movie Will Change America
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/02/11/michael-moore-says-his-new-movie-will-change-america
By Lauren McCauley
Michael Moore is launching his “most subversive” movie yet: Where to Invade Next. Subversive in that it doesn’t spend time identifying what is wrong or proposing changes; he goes to countries with a more progressive governments that are already doing the sort of things North Americans have only begun to dream of.
Speaking from a hospital bed where he is recovering from pheumonia, Moore noted the relevance to the election debate happening in the US where one candidate attacked the Bernie Sanders “unrealistic,” “pie in the sky,” and “ideas that sound good on paper, but aren’t going to happen.” The truth is, Moore asserts is that all these great “ideas”—free universal health care, free university, free day care, taxing and policing hedge fund millionaires—have already happened in nearly every other industrialized country in the world! And Moore has the film—to prove it!
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4 Billion People at Risk as ‘Water Table Dropping All Over the World’
Global scarcity of key life source far worse than thought, new study finds
byAndrea Germanos
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/02/12/4-billion-people-risk-water-table-dropping-all-over-world
A new analysis reveals that global water scarcity is a far greater problem than previously thought, affecting 4 billion people—two-thirds of the world’s population—and will be “one of the most difficult and important challenges of this century.”
From the study:
Direct victims of the overconsumption of water resources are the users themselves, who increasingly suffer from water shortages during droughts, resulting in reduced harvests and loss of income for farmers, threatening the livelihoods of whole communities. Businesses depending on water in their operations or supply chain also face increasing risks of water shortages. Other effects include biodiversity losses, low flows hampering navigation, land subsidence, and salinization of soils and groundwater resources.
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European Groups Expose ‘Terrifying Extent of Corporate Grab’ Within TTIP
‘The ability to enact effective and fair tax systems to finance vital public services is one of the defining features of sovereignty,’ says Global Justice Now—one that is threatened by corporate trade deals
By Deirdre Fulton
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/02/15/european-groups-expose-terrifying-extent-corporate-grab-within-ttip
This is my pick of the week! Every day the corporate giants, with the complicity of our milk toast governments that no longer speak for the citizens who elect them, continue to eviscerate our democratic governance wielding the deadly knives of Free Trade Agreements. Agreements that are primarily about entrenching corporate prerogative.Even with global inequality at historic highs and corporate tax evasion in the public spotlight, a new report out Monday shows how a so-called free trade deal between the U.S. and European Union could further threaten tax justice, hampering governments’ ability to ensure that critical public services are well funded or to pursue progressive tax practices.
According to the London-based Global Justice Now and the Netherlands-headquartered Transnational Institute, the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) “would massively increase the ability of corporations to sue member states of the EU over measures such as windfall taxes on exceptional profits, or use of taxation as a policy instrument such as a possible ‘sugar tax’.”
The ability to enact effective and fair tax systems to finance vital public services is one of the defining features of sovereignty,” he added. “The fact that multinational companies would be able to challenge and undermine that under TTIP is testament to the terrifying extent of the corporate grab embedded in this toxic trade deal.”
Sometimes I think we are all sort of sleeping through this huge assault on the ability of democratic governments to be in control of the vital decisions that affect the life of our communities and peoples. The question you have to ask after reading this is how can we stop it.
Once again it is the Council of Canadians that is leading the way.
I would like to hear what others in our community think about the urgency of defeating these corporate privilege agreements and how they think we can make a difference. So far Justin Trudeau doesn’t seem to be listening on the issue that may be the most significant in his term of office.