YOUR THIRD WAY CORPORATE POL IS ALLOWING THESE POLICIES TO TRUMP PUBLIC INTEREST!! VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
MY COMMENT TO BALTIMORE MEDIA OUTLETS:
Please write as to the goals of the developers rather than just the step by step so people can be informed and have time to organize to work in their own interests.
We know that the current pols are planning to privatize all of Maryland's public transportation. We will be at the mercy of private corporations for all things involving transport and no public input. Whether it is subsidized trips to DC by train or bus routes that take people to malls....Public transportation was the greatest democratic policy of last century and we do not want to see it defunded and privatized. They just announced yet another private contractor taking a Veola route and they are moving to give the ICC to a private contractor controlling toll revenue.
We know that the current pols are working to privatize public education and the tying of charters to businesses with curricula that tracks children into vocations is straight from China ....it is auotcratic and it will expand from poor schools to all public schools. We need to let people know that democratic education is all about teaching people to be citizens first and workers next!!!
We are heading into an election that has the same faces at the state level as we know Maryland is ranked #1 in the nation in fraud, corruptions, and lack of transparency. Can you imagine a Governor Gansler for goodness sake? Can you image yet another AG running that has never once decried the massive Wall Street and corporate fraud and has worked for years in Maryland as it is ranked #1 in all of the above? We must start now to demand better people run for office and promote them!!!!
Spain is having the most severe of austerity as all things public have been usurped pensions, health care, schooling, and even food....the unemployment and poverty is staggering. They were hit by not only the subprime mortgage fraud but by Wall Street's sovereign debt fraud. So, like Greece, targeted because they were social democracies, they now are preparing to fight back.
The first thing you need is media that isn't captured by corporate interests. Greece created their own media.
WE NEED TO FIGHT FOR DEMOCRATIC MEDIA OUTLETS THAT ARE BEING CONSOLIDATED INTO A CHINESE-STYLE PROPAGANDA MACHINE.
Spain's Rebellion Moves to Print Thursday, 24 January 2013 00:00 By Michael Levitin, Truthout | Report
The January launch issue of La Marea, Spain's new monthly magazine, with the lead story: "Laws at the Service of Capital." (Photo: Michael Levitin)Cooperatively owned by journalists and readers, Spain's radical new monthly magazine, La Marea, is committed to democratic regeneration and aims to reach people with sober language and militant ideas.
La Marea, Spain's radical new monthly magazine, operates out of a narrow, lime green office space in southeastern Madrid, in the working-class stronghold of Vallecas. There is a small foyer with a couch to receive visitors; some cramped desks with three second-hand computers bought at 70 Euros apiece; and a back room with a tiny kitchenette and one sprawling glass-and-mosaic table where the staff holds meetings. There is no charge for rent because La Marea's editors worked out a deal with the small Web business that agreed to share its space: They cover the monthly 100 euro electricity bill, and that is all.
Call it publishing on the cheap. And call it Spain's new experiment in print media for a society fed up with debt crisis, polarized and ineffective politicians and the increasing corruption of government by corporate power.
People say here that now, unlike a few years ago, family dinner discussions routinely center around financial and banking crimes, collusions between government leaders and big business, privatizations and cuts to public services like health care - not to mention the 25 percent jobless rate, a level unseen since the death of dictator Francisco Franco nearly four decades ago. Spain now reportedly has the third-highest poverty rate in the European Union, behind Bulgaria and Romania.
Financial crimes, illegal foreclosures, and cuts and privatizations to the country's social services have driven many middle-class and middle-aged Spaniards out into the streets demanding justice. (Photo: Michael Levitin)So it's in this context that a handful of journalists seized an opening. Building on the social and political momentum generated by Spain's 15M movement - known to many abroad as the Indignados, which began in May of 2011 and continues to campaign against bank bailouts, unlawful foreclosures and a raft of financial and political crimes - editor Daniel Ayllon says the publication is "one more piece in the process, where journalism professionals enter in this chain of social change."
"We're in an emergency here - education, pensions, they're cutting everything," he says. Yet, says fellow editor Thilo Schaefer, the strategy this time isn't to shout about injustice "like another loud, angry leftist voice" singing to an audience of activists, but to "prove and make the point with facts - to reach a broader public."
"If we want to change something, we have to direct it to everyone, not one sector. The big debate happening here is about politicians, how they need to fight back against the markets. But hey," says Schaefer, evoking a core argument made at Occupy Wall Street more than one year ago, "we're saying the markets are part of you and you are part of the markets - when former ministers are hired by huge energy and financial corporations, and when the public is left paying the bill for all the bankers who messed things up."
The Launch Issue
La Marea, which means The Tide, isn't actually a magazine, but it's not quite a newspaper either: It's a compact hybrid monthly, 64 pages long, on full-color tabloid-sized newsprint that is now being sold for three euros a pop at kiosks in the nation's three largest cities: Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. In bookstores and news shops elsewhere, from Valladolid to Huesca, and from Malaga to Seville, people are quickly snatching up the January launch issue, which totaled 25,000 copies and went on sale the Friday before Christmas. The February edition, Issue #2, is due out on January 25.
Daniel Ayllon (left), Berta del Rio (right) and editorial staff celebrated last month the arrival of La Marea's first printed edition at their office in Vallecas, Madrid. (Photo: Michael Levitin)In its editorial principles, La Marea states its commitment to "the defense of the public, of equality and secularism; of economic justice, historic memory, dignified work, the environment, the right to housing and free culture ... also to social movements and democratic regeneration." The inaugural issue features a bold, mustard-yellow cover with a drawing of a politician, a banker and a white-robed priest passing on stilts above a crowd of people, and headlined, "Laws at the Service of Capital: The Collusion Between Governments, Banks and Big Business Translates into Standards that Harm Society." The lead story explores the revolving door between big business and politicians, singling out members of both the ruling Popular Party and the opposition Socialist Party for explicit ties to the highest corporate levels in the banking, energy, telecommunications and other industries, and sets a clear tone for the issue.
Divided into two halves - the "blue" half features hard news analyses, reports, info-graphs and investigative features, while the "pink" half examines issues through a more cultural lens. The debut issue of La Marea includes stories about hiring irregularities, favoritism and nepotism at the Cervantes Institute, Spain's leading foreign cultural institution; the privatization of Spain's water supply by three corporations; curbs on civil liberties in the EU through increased drone use and other spy technology; and citizen efforts to craft a new Spanish Constitution.
There are stories from correspondents abroad like the one from Quito, about Ecuadorians who have returned home from Spain due to the foreclosure crisis; from Athens, about Greeks' new financial and community strategies to cope with the crisis; and from Belgium, about the closure of a Ford auto plant that cost 10,000 jobs. Spanish economist Antonio Banos offers an opinion piece entitled "2013: Year of the Acceleration" that predicts an expanded debt crisis and stronger public resistance to austerity. There are reviews of films, theater, music and books (David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a hot read in Spanish, as is Joseph Stiglitz's The Price of Inequality). One section of La Marea, called "Rompeolas" (Breaking Waves), highlights cooperatives and projects of communities building a new economic future.
Can a Cooperative Challenge the Media Establishment?
The debt crisis and years of recession have hit Spanish media hard: Some 70 news outlets have closed in the last four years and a reported 9,000 journalists are currently without work. The founders of La Marea also found themselves out of work when Publico, the left-leaning newspaper they worked for, folded in bankruptcy last February. After an unsuccessful attempt by employees to buy back the paper, Schaefer, then its deputy foreign editor, and Magda Bandera, its culture editor, helped raise 33,000 euros through the crowd-sourcing site verkami.com (Spain's equivalent of kickstarter.com). They launched Mas Publico, a 32-page paper that hit Spain's streets during the May 15 movement's one-year anniversary last spring.
But the activist tone wasn't what they wanted. Another left-oriented newspaper published in Madrid, called Diagonal, already served that purpose. La Marea's seven editors, who range in age from their mid-20s to mid-40s, all came from experience working in mainstream media. They wanted to give a more savvy, professional expression to the social movement whose militancy had galvanized the country - and had served as the forerunner of Occupy Wall Street, which followed four months later - but whose message and popularity, much like the US movement's, faced steep decline. "We don't have to tell people how to think; we don't have to manipulate," says Bandera
"We just put the data out there. The reality is very clear. With sober language and militant ideas, we can reach people."
Getting the publication off the ground - and then, making it profitable - poses a unique challenge to La Marea because of its strict adherence to an ethics code, which bars it from accepting advertising by banks, corporations or businesses with any record of foul play, financial, political or otherwise.
But what's most unique about La Marea's bid to crack the mainstream - tempting readers away from El Pais, La Vanguardia and the other corporate-backed party-supported giants of Spanish media - is its far-sighted social structure and business model: a 100 percent worker-owned cooperative.
Collectively owned by its seven founding editors and dozens of socios, or members, who support it financially, La Marea operates on a non-hierarchical basis without any boss or chief editor. All decisions are made collectively by the editorial team through an assembly process. Once the paper begins to turn a profit, it will put to a vote with its reader-shareholders whether to distribute the dividends or to reinvest the money back into the company. The supporting members, says Schaefer, "really feel that it is theirs."
"It's a collective effort," says editor Ayllon, "a co-op of workers and readers where the readers directly support the effort and take a stake in the paper." Ironically, perhaps, it made the most business sense to found La Marea as a print publication, rather than as a web site. "It's for practical reasons: [Print] is an income source," says Ayllon, who worked formerly as a freelance correspondent for Spanish media in New York.
"It's really not a noble 'print project,' or something romantic. As a weekly we can be profitable. People in Spain buy papers on the weekends. We believe that deep, real reflective analyses and investigations on paper have a future."
With some 23,000 followers on Twitter and 100,000 unique monthly visitors to www.lamarea.com - which receives a quarter of a million total page views a month - the magazine's online presence plays the complementary role of helping diversify readership, build the brand, and increase subscriptions and a membership base. A tablet version of the magazine is coming soon.
But print is paramount. And in this sense La Marea poses a two-fold experiment: one, to engage Spanish readers not with entertainment and partisan political chatter, but with serious, truthful analyses that disrobe the corporate-government alliance which is profiting by selling off the country's public services like health care, education and the rest. And two, to prove that a cooperative funding structure can survive, and sustain itself, in the realm of high-level independent journalism. "We're selling two things: information and the cooperative model," says editor Bandera.
The author of nonfiction books about the Balkans and Iraq, as well as a book of short stories, Bandera, 42, brings a powerful personal story to her role in co-founding La Marea: Just over one year ago she underwent treatment for breast cancer. "If you survive something, it is to live - to feel you put your energy into things you believe in. That is to be alive," she says.
"We had to coordinate, cooperate, collaborate. I dreamed we could do this."
A younger writer and editor on the staff, 25-year-old Berta del Rio, with bright blue eyes and an emphatic voice, echoes the purpose they have undertaken, and why it is important that it succeed. "I'm a journalist because I believe in change, in optimism - because a press that unites people behind a theme is possible. And it's the moment to build it," she says. "It seems incredible that a small group can produce media - as though it's something only for big business. But we see that we can, that we can swim against the current, can open eyes and reveal a space of freedom. We're debating ideas, not ideology. Both parties failed and our press serves to reflect on that [failure] and present new alternatives, to learn from history. It's the way to fight against established power" in the way that previous generations did under Franco, she adds.
She then switches to English and concludes with the words one hears uttered more and more often these days, in Spain and elsewhere:
"Yes we can!"
DON'T YOU THINK THAT HAVING AN ULTIMATE GOAL OF CREATING MEDICI-STYLE CITY STATES RUN BY CORPORATE RULING FAMILIES WOULD BE A GOAL WORTH DISCUSSING IN MEDIA? WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO SHOUT OUT AGAINST A MOVE TO TAKE AMERICA BACK TO THE MIDDLE-AGES?
HERE IN BALTIMORE AND MARYLAND THIS INSTITUTION IS JOHNS HOPKINS AND IF IT ISN'T ALL OF THE LAND THEY OWN WITH NO TAXES PAID, OR THE PUBLIC POLICY NGOs THAT CONTROL ALL POLICY IN THE CITY, OR THE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TAXES SENT TO HOPKINS TO ADMINISTER ALL PUBLIC PROJECTS.....
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!
McKinsey: Cities as Economic Units Rather than Countries
January 25th, 2013
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Written by Jillian Friesen, GEI Associate
Econintersect: The most recent edition of McKinsey Quarterly: Chart Focus Newsletter centered on the topic of emerging markets and how recent shifts in nation to city economic power is affecting multinational firms. Companies are now focusing on obtaining increased economies of scale by catering their business strategies to look at city-centric regions rather than countries. The major metropolitan areas of the future will prove to be vital aspects of the global economy, far over shadowing many nations in the McKinsey view.
In 2010, emerging economies made up 39% of the world's GDP. By 2025, this number is predicted to be over 70%. The need to adapt business models and strategies in order to gain a competitive edge over local industry is proving to be an urgent task. Click on graphic for larger image.
According to McKinsey Quarterly, which has put countless amount of research and effort into better understanding of established as well as Western start-ups, one cannot ignore cities in development processes. The solution to competing with the rising competitiveness of cities along side nations does not entail a quick fix strategy. In the words of the editors at McKinsey,
"We wish there were a secret formula or key capability that could easily transform a company’s emerging-market efforts. In fact, our experience suggests the challenge in emerging markets more closely resembles a decathlon, where success comes from all-around excellence across multiple sports." In its newsletter McKinsey Quarterly suggested multinationals should revamp their strategies by grouping large cities with similar traits together to form a "supercluster". This is only a part of the "decathlon," but it is vital. In this way, businesses will have the benefit of functioning as a "unified hub". When the need for more development arises, the cities would have a planned development process of branching off into separate clusters.
In a recent paper co-authored by Dirk Ehnts, titled, "From New Trade Theory to New Economic Geography: A Space Odyssey", Dirk Ehnts cited a quote from "Cosmos", written by Carl Sagan:
"Most of the world's great cities have grown haphazardly, little by little, in response to the needs of the moment; very rarely is a city planned for the remote future. The evolution of a city is like the evolution of the brain: it develops from a small center and slowly grows and changes, leaving many old parts still functioning. There is no way to rip out the ancient interior of the brain because of its imperfections and replace it with something of more modern manufacture. The brain must function during the renovation. That is why our brain stem is surrounded by the R complex, then the limbic system and finally the cerebral cortex. The old parts are in charge of too many fundamental functions for them to be replaced altogether. So they wheeze along, out-of-date and sometimes counterproductive, but a necessary consequence of our evolution." Ehnts brought up the need to take a closer look at the core-periphery economic model as well as others resembling it.
This blueprint for creating future competitiveness comes especially useful in this day and age when demographics stresses are spreading, as well as in lands where multiple languages and cultures live side by side. China, for example, has around 56 varied ethnic groups with hundreds of different dialects. Major metropolitan centers which lie within hours of each other and can sometimes differ in both language and culture.
In Africa alone there are almost 2,000 different recognized languages and dialects.
There is also the obvious situations of talent moving to cities with specific related industries. Implementing a strategy which encompasses an entire nation while completely ignoring the finer details of the country's diverse culture and industries disregards reality. There are cities which are already more powerful than many nations. The following example from the McKinsey report compares city regions in China with countries in Europe.
Many think the focus should be on emerging cities should be on how to properly develop them, not how corporations can gain competitive edges. Done correctly, a properly planned out city and surrounding sprawl could aid in the development of the city, its citizens as well as the nation as a whole. This in turn would create greater GDP and help companies that are invested within the nation. Paul Romer, an activist who supports the implementation of charter cities or, as he calls it, "special reform zones", sees these planned-out cities as a way to bring about "peace and prosperity" to emerging cities and countries.
Paul Romer speaking on the idea of charter cities. (Click below)
Many are critical of this idea however and feel it may jeopardize the ability of individuals or enterprises to live up to their full potential. Dirk Ehnts is one of these who disagree with the notion of planned and developed cities:
"Society is complex, and building a Manhattan in a developing country won’t work. Take a closer look at Dubai and Singapore, and you will understand that not all is well." Whatever the case may be one thing is for certain, the world is changing. People and companies alike will have to keep on adapting and changing with the times or be left behind. The question of whether or not to plan out cities or have companies acclimate to the morphing demographic landscape remains to be solved.
FREE MEDIA IS THE KEY TO DEMOCRACY. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE SOURCE THAT IS FREE, FAIR, AND BALANCED BUT RATHER A BUNCH OF PUNDITS REPEATING WHAT THE POLS SAY......YOU WILL LOSE YOUR DEMOCRACY!!!
SHOUT OUT TO THE FCC AND YOUR THIRD WAY POL!!!!
In December, you helped put the brakes on the Federal Communications Commission’s rush to allow more media consolidation. Together we turned the tables on the FCC, mobilizing more than 60 members of Congress to oppose the agency’s plan and delivering more than 200,000 petition signatures in opposition.
But FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski still wants to forge ahead — and refuses to come clean about his timeline or plans. Tell Chairman Genachowski you won’t stand for this.
Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch has been on a spending spree. He just confirmed to journalists at the L.A. Times that he wants to buy their paper. His lobbyists have kept the pressure on Chairman Genachowski, who remains poised to push through a rule change that would allow Murdoch to expand his media empire. Tell Murdoch and the FCC you won’t stand for this.
All the pieces are coming together for Murdoch. The Tribune Company, which owns both the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune, just emerged from bankruptcy and is eager to sell off its papers for some quick cash. And Murdoch has been on the hunt for new properties, gobbling up new cable channels and more.
Murdoch is hoping we’ll stop fighting. The FCC is hoping we’ll stop fighting. But I’m betting that you won’t stop fighting. Help us raise the volume and let the FCC know that you won’t stand for more media consolidation.
Media consolidation is good for Murdoch — but bad for diversity.
Thanks to your support, we completed additional analysis of media consolidation’s impact on women and people of color in the media. It’s not a pretty picture. Today there are only five African American-owned full-power TV stations, representing a 74 percent decline in just six years. Women own less than 7 percent of all radio and television stations. Tell the FCC that you won’t stand for it. We need a media that truly represents our country’s diversity.
The media consistently push damaging stereotypes and butcher coverage of issues critical to women and people of color. The FCC is required to foster diversity in our media — but the agency has been so negligent in its duty that we sued it and won. A federal court ordered the FCC to address the issue before allowing more media consolidation. But the FCC hasn’t listened, and the rules it’s trying to push through would make things that much worse.
We’ve created some amazing momentum in this campaign, but we can’t stop now. Help us build buzz for better media today.