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John Nichols | Vermont Votes for Public Banking

  • "When the prairie populists of the North Dakota Non-Partisan League swept to power a century ago, with their promise to take on the plutocrats, one of the first orders of business was the establishment of state-run bank." 
  • The Stone That Brings Down Goliath

John Nichols, The Nation

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7234-capitol-money-black-white-071512.jpg March 9, 2014 | When the prairie populists of the North Dakota Non-Partisan League swept to power a century ago, with their promise to take on the plutocrats, one of the first orders of business was the establishment of state-run bank.

They did just that. And in just a few years the Bank of North Dakota will celebrate a 100th anniversary of assuring safe stewardship of state funds, providing loans at affordable rates and steering revenues toward the support of public projects.

John Nichols writes about politics and media issues for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, WI. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and dozens of other newspapers.

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The Stone That Brings Down Goliath, Ellen Brown, Web of Debt

  • cover-thumb.jpg?w=160&h=235 Wall Street banks are deemed “too big to fail” only because there is no viable alternative – but there could be. Local governments could form their own publicly-owned banks, on the model of the state-owned Bank of North Dakota. They could then put their revenues, their savings, and their newly-acquired real estate into those public utilities, to be used to generate interest-free credit for the local government (since it would own the bank) and low-cost credit for the local community. For more on this promising option, which has been or is being explored in almost half the state legislatures in the U.S., go here
  • The end of "Too big to fail."

 

Are Polluting Mining Corporations like PolyMet Sociopathic?

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  • "Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person." -- Anonymous
  • Duluth doctors: PolyMet study skips health impacts

Gary G. Kohls, Duty to Warn

Journalism with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. All reader supported Evergreene Digest relies on reader donations. Click on the donation button above to make a contribution and support our work.

March 4, 2014 | In 2010 the NeoConservative, pro-corporate, anti-democratic Roberts’ 5/4 Supreme Court’s decided in the  Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling to grant personhood to corporations by allowing unlimited, anonymous monetary contributions to political campaigns and candidates. This ruling, called by many to be the worst Supreme Court decision of the past century, has emboldened the already powerful and corruptible multinational corporations (that now have achieved dominion over US politics as well as the economy) to “buy” any number of politicians and brain-wash voters by multi-million dollar ad campaigns that the rest of us can’t afford to counter in state and national elections.

The US Supreme Court has thus made legal the absurd notion that inanimate corporations like PolyMet and GTac (potential despoilers of northern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin’s irreplaceable wetlands, aquifers and aboriginal land and water rights) deserve the same privileges (but not the same responsibilities) as living humans.

Gary G. Kohls is a retired physician who writes about issues of war, peace, justice, mental health and nonviolence and feels it is important to mix religion and non-partisan politics. 

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Duluth doctors: PolyMet study skips health impacts, John Myers, St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press

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The 19 health care professionals say the state and federal agencies conducting environmental impact statement "have not been clear about the health impacts that sulfide mining will have on the people of northeastern Minnesota and visitors to the region."

Sign_the_PetitionTake action to stop PolyMet from getting a permit!

Why Corporations Want Our Public Schools (Graphic)

  • Where’s the big money in privatization? Take it from the teachers.
  • 7 Most Absurd Things America's Kids Are Learning Thanks to the Conservative Gutting of Public Education

YES! Editors

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contrubuting Editor Lydia Howell

Thank%20You-sm_0.jpgThis article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. 

Feb 21, 2014 | 

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7 Most Absurd Things America's Kids Are Learning Thanks to the Conservative Gutting of Public Education, Katie Halper, AlterNet

  • Kids learn that gun control is a gateway to tyranny and that science is unchristian.
  • Publicly Funded Schools That Are Allowed to Teach Creationism

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Four: the concussion defense

  • The final installment in a four-part series
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Three: the great pinkwash 
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Two: the stadium swindle
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan
  • Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers

Jason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

Sunday,  2 February,  2014 | 

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Related:

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Three: the great pinkwash

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Two: the stadium swindle

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan

Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers, Alissa Scheller, Huffington Post

  • The NFL may be generating money faster than Peyton Manning can rack up touchdowns but the league's owners have a history of looking for handouts when it comes time to pay for new stadiums. Here is a look at the staggering amount of public funds used to build the homes for NFL teams as well as a few of the NFL's other staggering fiscal stats.
  • Bill Moyers | Stadium Funding Deals Only Enrich the Plutocrats

Monsanto’s scary new scheme: Why does it really want all this data?

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  • As biotech giant pays huge sums for data analysis about farms, many are terrified about how it might be harnessed.
  • The big question is who exactly will end up owning all this data, and who gets to determine how it is used. 

Lina Khan, Salon

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crops_stormclouds-620x412.jpg(Credit: Nejron Photo, Fotokostic via Shutterstock/Salon

Sunday, December 29, 2013 | Imagine cows fed and milked entirely by robots. Or tomatoes that send an e-mail when they need more water. Or a farm where all the decisions about where to plant seeds, spray fertilizer and steer tractors are made by software on servers on the other side of the sea.

This is what more and more of our agriculture may come to look like in the years ahead, as farming meets Big Data. There’s no shortage of farmers and industry gurus who think this kind of “smart” farming could bring many benefits. Pushing these tools onto fields, the idea goes, will boost our ability to control this fiendishly unpredictable activity and help farmers increase yields even while using fewer resources.

Lina Khan reports on the effects of concentrated economic power with the Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative at the New America Foundation.

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An Accident Waiting to Happen, Elizabeth Royte, OnEarth Magazine

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  • As oil trains derail across the United States, a windswept—and vulnerable—stretch of Montana’s Glacier National Park underscores the folly of transporting crude by rail.
  • The Crime of the Century

An Accident Waiting to Happen

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  • As oil trains derail across the United States, a windswept—and vulnerable—stretch of Montana’s Glacier National Park underscores the folly of transporting crude by rail.
  • The Crime of the Century

Elizabeth Royte, OnEarth Magazine

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A BNSF train in Glacier Park. (Photo: Matthew Smith/cc/flickr)

February 23, 2014 | The trains roll throughout the day, running east and west along the snow-blanketed tracks of northwestern Montana, dipping low along the southern edge of Glacier National Park. Boxcars, intermodal freight containers, and bulk cargo clamber up and then down the Continental Divide. Night falls, and yet another train emerges from the east, accompanied by a thin metal-on-metal shriek. First to appear are two locomotives, their headlights tunneling through the darkness, then 103 tanker cars, dull black with hymenopteran stripes. Inside the tankers are two and a half million gallons of light, sweet crude, freshly pumped from North Dakota’s Bakken shale formation.

For more than a century railroads have hauled freight and people through this stretch of the Rockies. Glacier owes its existence, in fact, to the Great Northern Railway, which back in 1910 vigorously promoted the legislation that would establish a brand new national park, to which the railroad would soon be hauling wealthy visitors. Railroads, of course, are integral to U.S. commerce, and no one blinks when mile-long trains pass through small towns, big cities, and vast stretches of prairie, desert, and forests. Or at least they didn’t blink until recently, when shippers began to fill so many of those railcars with oil. In 2009, western crude filled a mere 8,000 tanker cars; in 2013, thanks to increased production in the Bakken, it filled 400,000.

OnEarth Magazine contributing editor Elizabeth Royte also writes for the New York Times Book Review, which called her "no stranger to the pleasures and perils of chasing errant pieces of plastic and other castoffs to surprising (and often disgusting) places." She's the author of Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It and Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash.

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The Crime of the Century, Peter G Cohen, Truthout | "Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission"

  • We urgently need to elect candidates pledged to shut down fossil fuels and convert our nation to sustainable, green energy now! This is not a matter of party or belief; it is essential to passing on the gift of a livable world to our children! We must not vote for anyone who has not taken this pledge. If the parties won't do it, it is up to us.
  • Tar Sands & Keystone XL are more Dangerous than an Iranian Atomic Bomb

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Three: the great pinkwash

  • The third installment in a four-part series 
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Two: the stadium swindle
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan
  • Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers

Jason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

Saturday,  1 February,  2014 | 

Full story…

Related:

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part Two: the stadium swindle

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan

Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers, Alissa Scheller, Huffington Post

  • The NFL may be generating money faster than Peyton Manning can rack up touchdowns but the league's owners have a history of looking for handouts when it comes time to pay for new stadiums. Here is a look at the staggering amount of public funds used to build the homes for NFL teams as well as a few of the NFL's other staggering fiscal stats.
  • Bill Moyers | Stadium Funding Deals Only Enrich the Plutocrats

Usurious Returns on Phantom Money: The Credit Card Gravy Train

  • The credit card business is now the banking industry’s biggest cash cow, and it’s largely due to lucrative hidden fees. 
  • The Ultimate Shell Game

Ellen Brown, Web of Debt

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meddygarnet (CC BY 2.0)

February 14, 2014 | You pay off your credit card balance every month, thinking you are taking advantage of the “interest-free grace period” and getting free credit. You may even use your credit card when you could have used cash, just to get the free frequent flier or cash-back rewards. But those popular features are misleading. Even when the balance is paid on time every month, credit card use imposes a huge hidden cost on users—hidden because the cost is deducted from what the merchant receives, then passed on to you in the form of higher prices.

Visa and MasterCard charge merchants about 2% of the value of every credit card transaction, and American Express charges even more. That may not sound like much. But consider that for balances that are paid off monthly (meaning most of them), the banks make 2% or more on a loan averaging only about 25 days (depending on when in the month the charge was made and when in the grace period it was paid). Two percent interest for 25 days works out to a 33.5% return annually (1.02^(365/25) – 1), and that figure may be conservative.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com, http://PublicBankSolution.com, and http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.

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