Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:49pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Economics
By Devinder Sharma
Apr 7, 2005 | The New Nation, Bangladesh

TF! Editorial Comment: Agriculture has long been a sticking point in international trade, often pitting heavily subsidized US and European farmers against subsistence and small-scale farmers in developing economies. It cannot just be about cheap food, but rather the integral nature and complex relationships of agriculture, food security, rural development, local economies and sustainability. In the article below, Sharma argues that influential economists like Jagdish Bhagwati are invested in a worldview that perpetuates existing power structures and cannot reconcile the competing frameworks of massive agricultural subsidies in the West, the dogma of free trade and sustainable development.
Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:48pm :: Good News | ISD-Societal Change | Individual

TF! Editorial Comment: Its always uplifting to discover how a personal insight can lead to creative initiatives for social change. There are many individuals who act on their insights in building a better world, but who often remain unknown. There is a website dedicated to sharing some of these stories of people who stick their necks out, calling them "giraffes." The article below features a man who realized that the 59 million teachers in the world are the largest group of professionals and had the idea to help teachers worldwide connect and share ideas and experiences--thus the creation of Teachers Without Borders.
Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:46pm :: Good News | ISD-World Affairs | Human
By Erin Peck
April 13, 2005 | Quinnipiac Chronicle, CT, USA.

TF! Editorial Comment: Landmines continue to pose a threat to numerous civilian populations, especially in post-conflict situations. In the article below, Jody Williams is featured as an individual who took initiative and made a difference. She adopted the issue of landmines back in 1991, launching a global campaign and in the process became a global activist for social change.
Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:44pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Culture
12 March 2005 | ABC Radio National, Australia

TF! Editorial Comment: "Culture jamming" is using media and advertising to comment or critique those very media themselves, often puncturing commercial images and messages. Culture jamming works with the core units of cultural transmission--the meme or the symbols/messages/jingles that we are bombarded with constantly. The article below features an interview with Kalle Lasn, Editor-in-Chief of Ad Busters Magazine (a flagship of culture jamming) which is concerned with the erosion of our physical and cultural environments by commercial forces. Here he weighs in on the media, marketing, mental health and the cult of consumption.
Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:42pm :: Good News | ISD-Philippines | ISD-Societal Change | Movements
April 13, 2005 | Sunstar

TF! Editorial Comment: Margaret Mead once said "never underestimate the ability of a small group of people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." In the case of Karangalan, a group of Filipinos is setting out to do just that, by "mobilizing excellence to create a visionary Philippines." In the article below, one of the organizers and TruthForce Editor-in-Chief, Nicanor Perlas is interviewed about the Karangalan approach to societal transformation.
Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:41pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Economics
Bob Burton
Apr 12, 2005 | IPS

TF! Editorial Comment: Ahead of the upcoming WTO talks, agriculture will again be a hot topic. Millions derive their livelihood from farming and a country's agricultural production systems are central to food security, and in many cases, rural development. Liberalization of rice trading in particular, is rife with economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological impacts, and as the article below discusses poses a direct threat to millions of farm families.
Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:40pm :: Good News | ISD-World Affairs | Human
April 12, 2005 | UNEP

TF! Editorial Comment: Numerous awards exist to honor excellence and innovation. Each of these examples offers an opportunity to explore the keys to success that could lead to possible replication elsewhere. In this way the examples become powerful incubators of change. In the article below, UNEP launches a new award that recognizes seven individuals from around the world for environmental achievement.
Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:38pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Culture
by Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman
April 12, 2005 | ZNet

TF! Editorial Comment: The cultural pursuit of education, charged with drawing out human potential, fundamentally necessitates freedom from political or economic interference in the unfailing pursuit of truth. In the shaping of values, mindsets, indeed knowledge itself, education must strive to develop critical thinking, creativity and free minds that can innovate in an unknown future. Despite the fact that we are far from achieving a ideal of freedom in education, it is disconcerting to witness the growing influence of business in influencing education. In the article below, the writers review a recent book with the title: "University Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education," describing the increasing impingement of market forces on higher education.
Posted on April 15, 2005 - 9:36pm :: ISD-World Affairs | Politics
Emad Mekay
Apr 7, 2005 | InterPress Service

TF! Editorial Comment: In a plutocracy wealth is power. Despite growing criticism of campaign financing, revolving door policies and influence peddling, money continues to play a corrosive role in politics, effectively subverting the founding principles of representative democracy. As the article below discusses, money politics in the U.S. has become a greater threat to democracy with lobbying described as a veritable fourth branch of government involving billions of dollars.