When you’re an early adopter of a website, that means you have your pick of usernames. A young lady in Canada registered for Instagram early on, before Facebook acquired the company. Her username was her real first name: Chanel. Eventually, brands began to use the service, and that’s when the fashion house of the same […]
In May 2009 Congress created a special commission to examine the causes of the financial crisis. The idea was to emulate the celebrated Pecora Commission of the 1930s, which used careful historical analysis to help craft regulations that gave America two generations of financial stability.
But some members of the new commission had a different goal. George Santayana famously remarked that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” What he didn’t point out was that some people want to repeat the past — and that such people have an interest in making sure that we don’t remember what happened, or that we remember it wrong.
Seven years after their dubious lending practices helped push the United States economy to the brink of disaster, the nation’s largest banks are closing in on a long-sought goal: to unseat Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants, and capture their share of the profits in the country’s $5.7 trillion home loan market.
Taking place largely behind the scenes, the movement to take over the mortgage market has been propelled in part by a revolving door between Washington and Wall Street, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
While the big banks’ effort to enshrine their vision into law has failed so far, plans to replace Fannie and Freddie — which have long supported the housing market by playing a unique role as so-called government-sponsored enterprises, or G.S.E.s — are still very much alive. The Obama administration has largely embraced the idea, and government regulators are being pushed to put crucial elements into effect.
These are more than attacks on pillars and stones, these are attacks on millennia’s worth of archaeological heritage and human co-existence… all with the aim of eroding one of the richest and most diverse cultural landscapes in the world. They’re targeting our collective history… the foundations of our civilization…. In essence, humanity’s very memory. They’re deluded enough to think that they can author a new era, AD, After Daesh, and brainwash future generations.
Well, over the last two years, these groups have given us a glimpse of what their dark world would look like.
We’ve been haunted by scenes from Syria and Iraq: communities robbed of life; livelihoods destroyed; childhoods lost; schools and hospitals deserted; torture and mass murder.
Haunted by images of children’s bodies washing up on shore. And by the idea that we could live in a world where people die in restaurants. Or at concerts. Or kneeling while they pray.
As unsettling and upsetting as it is, this glimpse into the future has been a revelation. It’s given us a renewed appreciation for what we have, what we value, and for what we must fight.
So, it must be a turning point for humanity.