In a revolting development, the World Bank is trying to attract Western corporations to Jordan so they can take advantage of Syrian refugees as a cheap source of labor, placing these refugees at risk of torture, wage theft, and human trafficking. And when all that happens, corporations will say they were driven to do it by the "high wages" of American workers! As the Pet Shop Boys sang many years ago, there are a lot of opportunities, if you know where to take them. Of course, the character who sang that line was about to get rejected by the mark he was trying to con. We should be so lucky with the World Bank!
Ho hum, Adam Johnson, writing at FAIR, tells us that "liberal" media accounts describing the murder of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres tend to ignore the Obama Administration's role in aiding and abetting the chaos in which she was swept up. I'd like to think that's merely because then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was playing her coup-what-coup game as the present Honduran government overthrew the last one, but I know it's much worse than that -- by reporting our role in that coup, the "liberal" media would have to acknowledge its own failures, a dicey proposition since they fail us so often.
Kim Zetter, writing at Wired, describes how hackers took down a massive power grid in the Ukraine last December, leaving more than 200,000 good Ukrainians in the dark in the dead of winter. Damn scary, especially since the Ukraine's power grid is apparently more secure in some ways than ours, but what can we learn? Not just that two-factor remote authentication could have slowed (or maybe stopped!) the hack, but that we should assign more tasks to people and fewer tasks to computers -- even as we speak, Ukrainian workers are still operating breakers manually at 16 substations, and maybe they should have been doing that all along.
Consumer advocates tell the FCC that Comcast is violating net neutrality principles by exempting its own content (specifically, its recently-launched streaming service) from its data caps. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler has seemed sanguine about these "zero-rating" schemes in the past, though the difference between zero rating and "paid prioritization" (the latter item expressly forbidden by the FCC's Open Internet rules) seems to me to be semantic.
Finally, Sam Pizzigati interviews the incomparable Gar Alperovitz about "alternate ownership structures" that could begin to alleviate the income gap between rich and poor in America. With more co-ops, worker-owned corporations, and competition from municipalities, we could have the institutions that back successful movements -- and the next President won't necessarily have to go to Congress for permission to make them happen. Attend, as always, the long line of success stories Mr. Alperovitz describes; they don't add up to a movement, let alone an institution, but they certainly describe the outlines of one.