Map shows where every Disney movie takes place

The map was created by artist Eowyn Smith to highlight the diversity of Disney and Pixar films and posted to her Deviant Art page. It catalogues the locations of 46 Disney movies and 16 Pixar films. If she couldn’t obtain specific background about the characters from their story, Smith used details from the myths on which the films were based. The results were astounding.

Even when Disney comes up short with their other politics, it seems they got globalization just right. Disney characters are a great way to smuggle complex ideas about global acceptance and varied geographies into a kid’s entertainment diet. 

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[M]odern democracies have been around for long enough for neo-liberal capitalists to learn how to subvert them. They have mastered the techniques of infiltrating the instruments of democracy — the ‘independent’ judiciary, the ‘free’ press, the parliament — and molding them to their purpose. The project of corporate globalization has cracked the code. Free elections, a free press, and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has reduced them to commodities on sale to the highest bidder.
—  Arundhati Roy, An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire

Secret Trans Pacific Partnership treaty chapter reveals even greater corporate control & international policing measures
November 14, 2013

On November 13, WikiLeaks released the secret negotiated draft text for the entire TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP is the largest-ever economic treaty, encompassing nations representing more than 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. The WikiLeaks release of the text comes ahead of the decisive TPP Chief Negotiators summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 19-24 November 2013. The chapter published by WikiLeaks is perhaps the most controversial chapter of the TPP due to its wide-ranging effects on medicines, publishers, internet services, civil liberties and biological patents. Significantly, the released text includes the negotiation positions and disagreements between all 12 prospective member states.

The TPP is the forerunner to the equally secret US-EU pact TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), for which President Obama initiated US-EU negotiations in January 2013. Together, the TPP and TTIP will cover more than 60 per cent of global GDP. Both pacts exclude China.

Since the beginning of the TPP negotiations, the process of drafting and negotiating the treaty’s chapters has been shrouded in an unprecedented level of secrecy. Access to drafts of the TPP chapters is shielded from the general public. Members of the US Congress are only able to view selected portions of treaty-related documents in highly restrictive conditions and under strict supervision. It has been previously revealed that only three individuals in each TPP nation have access to the full text of the agreement, while 600 ’trade advisers’ – lobbyists guarding the interests of large US corporations such as Chevron, Halliburton, Monsanto and Walmart – are granted privileged access to crucial sections of the treaty text.

The TPP negotiations are currently at a critical stage. The Obama administration is preparing to fast-track the TPP treaty in a manner that will prevent the US Congress from discussing or amending any parts of the treaty. Numerous TPP heads of state and senior government figures, including President Obama, have declared their intention to sign and ratify the TPP before the end of 2013.

WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange stated: “The US administration is aggressively pushing the TPP through the US legislative process on the sly.” The advanced draft of the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter, published by WikiLeaks on 13 November 2013, provides the public with the fullest opportunity so far to familiarise themselves with the details and implications of the TPP.

The 95-page, 30,000-word IP Chapter lays out provisions for instituting a far-reaching, transnational legal and enforcement regime, modifying or replacing existing laws in TPP member states. The Chapter’s subsections include agreements relating to patents (who may produce goods or drugs), copyright (who may transmit information), trademarks (who may describe information or goods as authentic) and industrial design.

The longest section of the Chapter – ’Enforcement’ – is devoted to detailing new policing measures, with far-reaching implications for individual rights, civil liberties, publishers, internet service providers and internet privacy, as well as for the creative, intellectual, biological and environmental commons. Particular measures proposed include supranational litigation tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards. The TPP IP Chapter states that these courts can conduct hearings with secret evidence. The IP Chapter also replicates many of the surveillance and enforcement provisions from the shelved SOPA and ACTA treaties.

The consolidated text obtained by WikiLeaks after the 26-30 August 2013 TPP meeting in Brunei – unlike any other TPP-related documents previously released to the public – contains annotations detailing each country’s positions on the issues under negotiation. Julian Assange emphasises that a “cringingly obsequious” Australia is the nation most likely to support the hardline position of US negotiators against other countries, while states including Vietnam, Chile and Malaysia are more likely to be in opposition. Numerous key Pacific Rim and nearby nations – including Argentina, Ecuador, Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and, most significantly, Russia and China – have not been involved in the drafting of the treaty.

In the words of WikiLeaks’ Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, “If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei.

Read the full secret TPP treaty IP chapter here

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The Illusionists, a documentary.

Writer and director Elena Rossini has released the first four minutes of The Illusionists.  I’m really excited to see the rest.  The documentary is a critique of a high standard of beauty but, unlike some that focus exclusively on the impacts of Western women, Rossini’s film looks as though it will do a great job of illustrating how Western capitalist impulses are increasingly bringing men, children, and the entire world into their destructive fold.

The first few minutes address globalization and Western white supremacy, specifically.  As one interviewee says, the message that many members of non-Western societies receive is that you “join Western culture… by taking a Western body.”  The body becomes a gendered, raced, national project — something that separates modern individuals from traditional ones — and corporations are all too ready to exploit these ideas.

Subtitles available here.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

'Fewer crops' now feeding the world http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26382067

" Fewer crop species are feeding the world than 50 years ago - raising concerns about the resilience of the global food system, a study has shown. The authors warned a loss of diversity meant more people were dependent on key crops, leaving them more exposed to harvest failures. Higher consumption of energy-dense crops could also contribute to a global rise in heart disease and diabetes, they added. The study appears in the journal PNAS. "Over the past 50 years, we are seeing that diets around the world are changing and they are becoming more similar - what we call the ‘globalised diet’," co-author Colin Khoury, a scientist from the Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture, explained. "This diet is composed of big, major cops such as wheat, rice, potatoes and sugar. "It also includes crops that were not important 50 years ago but have become very important now, particularly oil crops like soybean," he told BBC News. While wheat has long been a staple crop, it is now a key food in more than 97% of countries listed in UN data, the study showed. And from relative obscurity, soybean had become "significant" in the diets of almost three-quarters of nations. He added that while these food crops played a major role in tackling global hunger, the decline in crop diversity in the globalised diet limited the ability to supplement the energy-dense part of the diet with nutrient-rich foods. "

and neoliberal capitalism found a new way to kill us all too.

The Dark Side of Globalization: Why Seattle’s 1999 Protesters Were Right

In 1999, my friend moved to Seattle, where he was hit with rubber bullets, tear-gassed in the face, and nearly arrested by police. He had joined the famous protests of the WTO Ministerial Conference, widely known as the Seattle Protests. The Occupy Wall Street of their time, they focused on globalization rather than the excesses of finance. And, quite like the Occupy Wall Street of their time, they were often mocked by critics as silly, aimless, and overly hand-wringy about the future.

The organizers were a hodgepodge of groups—unions worried about competition from cheap foreign labor, environmentalists worried about the outsourcing of polluting activities, consumer protection groups worried about unsafe imports, labor rights groups worried about bad working conditions in other countries, and leftists of various stripes simply venting their anger at capitalism.

In the decade that followed, the Seattle protests came to seem as not only silly, but also misguided. After all, what were the excesses of globalization compared to the travesty of the Iraq War, or the disaster of the financial crisis? America seemed to decide that we had much more important things to protest about, and the Seattle protesters have been largely forgotten in our pop media culture.

It is a shame, because the worries of the Seattle protesters have been proven right on nearly every count.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

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The world of animation continues to expand beyond shores as globalization/technology is now starting to introduce newer regions to compete. ABU- DHABI-based animation studio ALTER GEO, unveils what they’re calling “the Middle East’s first anime.” Currently, the studio is still looking for funding to animate a full series based on their Torkaizer mecha anime homage.

PLOT: “The story of Torkaizer follows Ahmed, a young Emirati who visits Japan after graduating from college, only to find an alien invasion awaiting him there. Through a twist of fate, Ahmed finds himself piloting Torkaizer — humanity’s last hope. Will Ahmed fight to protect everyone? And what will he do when all this chaos follows him back home to the United Arab Emirates? Find out when this series gets funded one day… HOPEFULLY!!”

Studio Website : http://alterego.egonauts.com/

What we’re seeing in the world today is the secession of the middle and upper classes, into outer space, where they all become one country. And then they suck the resources out of the rest of the world. Many of the wars that are being fought now, whether they are in Libya or Syria or parts of Africa, are really resource wars, disguised as wars against Islam or wars against despots. Indian corporations too are now in that race in places like Ethiopia and Sudan. But India is also shamelessly colonizing itself, kind of consuming itself.
—  Arundhati Roy

Globalization should be for people not corporations. In other words, let people freely roam without any rules and make corporations stay within their countries or even cities borders. That would automatically fix the economy. It’s kinda like how regulations should be for corporations not people. Corporations destroy exponentially more and kill exponentially more. Taxes should be taken from corporations not people. Money doesn’t need to come from somewhere like they always say. Money is actually nothing but numbers in computers. Spying should be on corporations not citizens. Take any false choice and you know you have a situation where the thing is not a problem necessarily but it’s use against the poor exclusively should actually be reversed to suppress the powerful.

The True Price of Great Holiday Deals

The most important website last weekend and in weeks to come — on which the hopes and fears of countless Americans are focused (and the President’s poll-ratings depend) – is not HealthCare.gov. It’s Amazon.com.

Even if and when HealthCare.gov works perfectly, relatively few Americans will be affected by it. Only 5 percent of us are in the private health-insurance market to begin with. But almost half of Americans are now shopping for great holiday deals online, and many will be profoundly affected — not because they get great deals, but because their jobs and incomes are at stake.    

Online retailing is the future. Amazon is the main online shopping portal this holiday season but traditional retailers are moving online as fast as they can. Online sales are already up 20 percent over last year, and the pace will only accelerate.Target and many other bricks-and-mortar outlets plan to spend more on technology next year than on building and upgrading new stores.

Americans are getting great deals online, and they like the convenience. But there’s a hidden price. With the growth of online retailing, fewer Americans will have jobs in bricks-and-mortar retail stores.

Amazon announced last summer it would add 5,000 new jobs to the 20,000 it already has. But not even 25,000 Amazon jobs come near to replacing the hundreds of thousands of retail jobs Amazon has already wiped out, and the hundreds of thousands more it will eliminate in the future. 

To put this in some perspective you need to know that retail jobs have been the fastest growing of all job categories since the recession ended in 2009. But given the rapid growth of online retailing, that trend can’t possibly last. What will Americans do when online sales take over?

Add to this the fact that most of what’s being sold this holiday season – online and off-line —  is no longer made by Americans. Vast shipping containers of gadgets, garments, and other goodies are fabricated or assembled or sewed together in Asia for the American market.  

Online retailers are facilitating this move by having these goods shipped directly from Asian factories to distribution centers in America and then to our homes, without ever having to go to an American retail store or even a wholesaler. This means even lower prices and better deals. But it also means fewer jobs and lower pay for many Americans.

Some manufacturing is coming back to America, to be sure, but not the assembly-line jobs that used to be the core of manufacturing employment. Computerized machine tools and robots are doing an increasing portion of the work — which is why many companies can afford to bring their factories back here.

Get it? Technology and globalization are driving the good deals American consumers are getting this holiday season. But the same forces are keeping wages down, and are even on the verge of eliminating many of the low-wage retail and related service jobs many Americans now need to make ends meet.

To put it another way, American consumers getting great shopping deals are also American workers on the losing end of those same deals.

The biggest reason holiday shopping is especially frenzied this season is so many Americans are already stretched to the breaking point that they’re more desperate than ever for bargains. Sixty-five percent of today’s shoppers are living paycheck-to-paycheck. That’s up from 61 percent last year, according to consumer research by Booz and Company.

Median household income in America continues to drop, adjusted for inflation, because low-wage jobs are the major ones available. Lower-wage occupations accounted for only 21 percent of job losses during the Great Recession. They’ve accounted for 58 percent of all job growth since then.

The President’s dropping poll-ratings are only partly due to the bumbling roll-out of the Affordable Care Act. The computer glitches at HealthCare.gov aren’t the most important reason why Americans are grumpy this holiday season. The bigger problem is the economy remains lousy for most people.

Technology and globalization are taking over more and more American jobs. There’s no easy fix for this, and it’s hardly the President’s fault. But the sobering reality is the United States has no national strategy for creating more good jobs in America. Until we do, more and more Americans will be chasing great deals that come largely at their own expense.

Globalization is the result of powerful governments, especially that of the United States, pushing trade deals and other accords down the throats of the world’s people to make it easier for corporations and the wealthy to dominate the economies of nations around the world without having obligations to the peoples of those nations.

A cruise along the streets of Chennai—or Silicon Valley—filled with professional young Indian men and women, reveals the new face of India. In the twenty-first century, Indians have acquired a new kind of global visibility, one of rapid economic advancement and, in the information technology industry, spectacular prowess. In this book, C. J. Fuller and Haripriya Narasimhan examine one particularly striking group who have taken part in this development: Tamil Brahmans—a formerly traditional, rural, high-caste elite who have transformed themselves into a new middle-class caste in India, the United States, and elsewhere.

Fuller and Narasimhan offer one of the most comprehensive looks at Tamil Brahmans around the world to date. They examine Brahman migration from rural to urban areas, more recent transnational migration, and how the Brahman way of life has translated to both Indian cities and American suburbs. They look at modern education and the new employment opportunities afforded by engineering and IT. They examine how Sanskritic Hinduism and traditional music and dance have shaped Tamil Brahmans’ particular middle-class sensibilities and how middle-class status is related to the changing position of women. Above all, they explore the complex relationship between class and caste systems and the ways in which hierarchy has persisted in modernized India.

Can’t wait to read this one!

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