Participatory budgeting is becoming increasingly popular, with more than 1,500 programs worldwide. The concept is simple: People submit ideas for what government should spend a portion of its money on and then vote on the best ideas. Until now, however, the process has been limited to cities and regions. Recently, Portugal became the first county to instate a nationwide participatory budgeting (PB) process with Orçamento Participativo Portugal.
Mark Cochrane, Professor and Senior Research Scientist at the Geospatial Science Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University, returns to the podcast after a year and a half to update us on what the latest science has to tell us on the (often controversial) topic of climate change.
Mark has been researching the climate for over 20 years, and among his many other accomplishments, moderates what we believe to be the most level-headed, open-minded and data-centric discussion forum on climate change available on the Internet today.
In this week's podcast, Mark updates us on the latest empirical data, separates out what science can and cannot prove today regarding climate change, and provides clarity into closely-related but less well-understood issues, such as ocean acidification.
- The Trump U turn: How the now-settled case resembles a similar lawsuit from Canada
- Billionaires vs. the Press in the Era of Trump
- The Cost (and Profit) of Fake News
- Even If OPEC Gets a Deal, It Risks Reviving Battered Oil Rivals
- Switzerland votes against strict timetable for nuclear power phaseout
- 'Thunderstorm asthma' deaths in Melbourne rise to six
- Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90
- Breaking News on the War on Cash: Now Spain
- Indian Currency Crashes To Record Low As Cash Exchange Of Old Notes Suspended
- Army Corps will close anti-DAPL protest camp at Standing Rock by Dec. 5
- Trump’s presidency, overseas business deals and relations with foreign governments could all become intertwined
- Trump election: Wisconsin prepares for vote recount
- The Economy Needs Higher Oil Prices – Goldman Sachs
- A Blade Strikes Steel, and the Blast Shocks a Nation’s Energy System
A remarkably diverse array of “explanations” of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory have been aired, representing both the conventional political spectrum and well beyond.
While they very widely in terms of accuracy, all miss the bigger picture: the Public has begun a coup d'etat against the ruling elites.
- How the Deep State/"shadow government" came to be
- A number of "quiet coups" have concentrated power over the decades
- The moral hypocrisy of today's ruling elite and the public's growing rebellion against it
- The key success factor the current people's coup will need in order to triumph
If you have not yet read Part 1: The Power Struggle Unfolding Before Our Eyes available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.
In Part 1, we reviewed six narratives that seek to “explain” Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the 2016 presidential election. We then distilled these narratives down into three categories: moral claims, elite machinations and structural economic/social issues.
I propose that the most comprehensive explanatory narrative of Trump’s improbable victory is The People Staged a Coup D’Etat.Threats to Democracy
To understand this narrative, we must first examine the structure of the American system of governance and the previous “quiet coups” that consolidated power in new elites.
In broad brush, the U.S. Republic was designed to be run by elites—hence the Electoral College and the bicameral legislature with a senate overseeing the rabble of the House of Representatives.
The founders—particularly James Monroe and his allies—were acutely aware that the greatest threats to an enduring democracy were a tyranny of the majority, a majority that undermined the civil liberties for all, or an elite whose powers could not be constrained. This is the purpose of the balance of powers between the Executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government.
But these structural efforts to restrain a tyranny of the majority or an above-the-law ruling elite, the U.S. has experienced both a tyranny of the majority—the Jim Crow racial discrimination that was institutionalized in the Southern states until the mid-1960s—and a ruling elite that is above the law.
I would argue that the current ruling elite (neocon, neoliberal) personified by Hillary Clinton, is effectively a force unto itself, i.e. above the law.
The roots of this ruling elite’s expansive power can be traced to the 1940s rise of the National Security State, the catch-all term for the institutions (CIA, Department of Defense) established by...
- Investors Make Bullish Bet on Trump, and an Era of Tax Cuts and Spending
- Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World
- Mouse lifespan, heart health extended by common chemical
- Dementia declines, mysteriously, from 2000 to 2012
- A New Theory Regarding EmDrive: The Fuel-Free Method of Space Travel
- Is Physical Law An Alien Intelligence?
- This Tree Could Make Coffee Plantations More Profitable And More Environmentally Sound
- How turning off a plant's sunshield can grow bigger crops
In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Charles Hugh Smith discuss:
- Merchants Of Fear
- Scare tactics abound these days
- Paid Shills
- There's an agenda behind the messages we receive
- Persuasion & Propaganda
- The "news" is attempting to trigger specific responses
- An New Era Of Fascism?
- If you look at the definition, it seems we're not too far off
First off, very happy Thanksgiving wishes from Chris and me to all our Peak Prosperity readers! We hope each of you is having a wonderful day of gratitude with people you care about. Despite all of the challenges and predicaments we discuss on this site, there is much in this world to be thankful for.
Now, in an entirely different tone, Chris and Charles work up some heat in this week's podcast, as both of them excoriate the degradation rampant in today's media. Rather than serving as a Fourth Estate, holding up truth to power and prioritizing truth and accuracy above all else, today have have a captive system serving the interests of political power (the State) and moneyed interests (corporations). As a populace, we are only as well-informed as our information is valid. How can we act effectively (including voting) when we can't trust the sources of the information we receive?
Click to listen to a sample of this Off the Cuff Podcast or Enroll today to access the full audio and other premium content today.
- Trump’s Tulsi Gabbard Factor
- Donald Trump’s Awesome Opportunity To Fix The Federal Reserve
- Stanford researchers find students have trouble judging the credibility of information online
- 5 Tips For Rock Solid Wealth Protection In 2017
- Charting the Post-Election Probabilities for Gold
- Right-wing group led by Trump propagandist launches campaign against Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX
- Is OPEC Playing The Oil Markets Again?
- Trump's Plan To Defund NASA's Climate Research Is... Yikes
- U.S. healthcare spending up 5 percent in 2015
- CalPERS, CalSTRS Considering More Rate Increases
- Dallas Bankruptcy Threat Attracts National Attention
- LA County’s $50 Billion Retirement Time Bomb
- All eyes on Springfield with stopgap state budget set to expire Dec. 31
- Editorial L.A. still has work to do on pension reform
- Charleston police, fire pension plan deficit spikes
- Pension funding to weigh on Chicago's credit rating -S&P
- NHS 'will run out of cash by 2020' say MPs as damning report declare service 'not sustainable' (UK)
- Junk-Bond Market Heads Toward Deep Freeze
- China Cracks Down on Home Buyers With Fake Divorces
The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), a nonprofit policy research group in Paris, France, recently published two quick-take issue briefs and a longer analysis that spotlights the potential of the sharing economy. These reports explore how goods-exchange networks, crowdsourcing, and collaborative mobility can contribute to and/or complicate municipal, regional, and national sustainable development goals.
Looking for some thoughtful, solutions-oriented reading material right about now? We've rounded up 20 of our favorite new books on cities, social change, food systems, platform cooperatives, design, and more.
- Dark Meat
- Regime Shift: What Trump Means For Markets
- Post-Election Mathematics
- ‘Restoration economy’ strives to protect pollinators, create jobs
- Canada will dump its coal power plants by 2030
- Can OPEC Get It Right At Long Last?
- New Quake Tests Resilience, and Faith, in Japan’s Nuclear Plants
Few books have left as large an imprint on Chris' outlook on the world as has Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.
Our so called modern economy requires the equivalent of two full planets of resources to operate. Therefore, it's living on borrowed time, which means that someday, that experiment must end as must every living arrangement that borrows too heavily from the future.
Giving that we're indoctrinated from birth that "Growth is good", how can an intelligent person grapple with this contradiction? Get ready for a discussion that upends much of the conventional programing we grew up with, and asks us What different path should we be taking?
An interesting exploration of the use of various tree barks for baking and cooking with. Definitely a unique addition to the pantry.
There are now more than 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries around the world.
- Let’s Say Obamacare Is Repealed. What Then?
- Trump and Our Greatest Mistake
- The Peak & Decline Of International Reserves Warns Of Massive Asset Deflation Ahead
- Political Divide Splits Relationships — and Thanksgiving, Too
- It’s time to get rid of the Facebook “news feed,” because it’s not news
- Will We Ever See $100 Oil Again?
- It's official: NASA's peer-reviewed EM Drive paper has finally been published
- Electric Cars Provide Little Threat To Oil Demand
In the wee hours last night, disk space on an old system of ours filled up. That created a digital bottleneck that affected a number of processes of ours, including our email system -- which we didn't realize until we got things fixed a few minutes ago.
Sadly, in the hours we were troubleshooting this, many of you received multiple copies of this weekend's PP newsletter. I'm now receiving a number of understandably cranky emails from folks wondering why their email inboxes are getting bombarded.
Our sincere apologies for this inconvenience.
The good news is we *think* we've fixed the bottleneck, and the related cascade of issues. So the extra emails should not be getting sent anymore (if that's not the case, please let us know!)