What Does the World Bank Do?

As many have heard by now, the leaders of the so-called BRICS nations – Brazil, India, China, Russia and South Africa – used the occasion of the 6th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil to announce the creation of the long-awaited BRICS Development Bank. Formally the “New Development Bank,” it will be based in Shanghai and capitalized with an initial $10 billion in cash ($2 billion from each of the five founding members) and $40 billion in guarantees, to be built up to a total of $100 billion.

Immediately, the press began touting the new bank as a potential rival to the current IMF / World Bank system of infrastructure development and poverty reduction in the third world. “BRICS Development Bank Could Challenge World Bank and IMF” touts US News & World Report. “BRICS Ink $50 Billion Lender in World Bank, IMF Challenge” asserts Bloomberg. The World Bank, for its part, is downplaying the rivalry, with World Bank President Jim Young Kim openly welcoming the bank at a recent meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The only competition we have is with poverty,” he told reporters at the meeting.

But all of this talk about a potential rival to the IMF and World Bank have exposed the general public’s ignorance about what exactly these institutions are and what they do. While most are familiar with the IMF and its predatory lending practices (and those who aren’t are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the “IMF riot” strategy that was developed in the third world and is now being imported to Europe), the World Bank is less scrutinized and less well understood. What is it, what does it do, and why is it important for the BRICS to challenge its hegemony in the development and poverty reduction arenas?

For the answer to that, we’ll need to examine the World Bank’s history, both the official history that it touts to the outside world and the real history of its part in plundering the developing world that it is supposedly there to help. …


Psychiatrist Discusses the Lasting Trauma of Circumcision

Psychiatrist Richard Schwartzman discusses his personal experiences with, and feelings about circumcision; his observations about the importance of early childhood nurturing, and protection from trauma.

Richard Schwartzman, DO, is a practicing psychiatrist, board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Prior to becoming a physician, he was a licensed, practicing pharmacist. He is a graduate of Temple University School of Pharmacy (1961) and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (1966). He completed his psychiatric residency training at Hahnemann University (1974), and a fellowship in forensic psychiatry at Temple University School of Law and Medicine (1976). In addition to maintaining a private clinical practice throughout his career, Dr. Schwartzman also served as Hahnemann’s Medical Director of Psy- chiatric Services to the Philadelphia Prisons from 1978-2000, where he was Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry. In his private practice, he employs the unique therapeutic method pioneered by Wilhelm Reich, MD, and is considered to be a leading training therapist in this method. Solebury, Pennsylania, USA.

Psychiatrist Discusses the Lasting Trauma of Circumcision – YouTube.

Assange says ‘Google works like NSA’

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange equated Google with the National Security Agency and GCHQ, saying the tech giant has become “a privatized version of the NSA,” as it collects, stores, and indexes people’s data. He made his remarks to BBC and Sky News.

“Google’s business model is the spy. It makes more than 80 percent of its money by collecting information about people, pooling it together, storing it, indexing it, building profiles of people to predict their interests and behavior, and then selling those profiles principally to advertisers, but also others,” Assange told BBC.

“So the result is that Google, in terms of how it works, its actual practice, is almost identical to the National Security Agency or GCHQ,” the whistleblower argued.

‘Google deeply involved in US foreign policy’

Google has been working with the NSA “in terms of contracts since at least 2002,” Assange told Sky News.

“They are formally listed as part of the defense industrial base since 2009. They have been engaged with the Prism system, where nearly all information collected by Google is available to the NSA,” Assange said. “At the institutional level, Google is deeply involved in US foreign policy.”

Google has tricked people into believing that it is “a playful, humane organization” and not a “big, bad US corporation,” Assange told BBC. “But in fact it has become just that…it is now arguably the most influential commercial organization.”

“Google has now spread to every country, every single person, who has access to the internet,” he reminded.


There are alternatives such as yandex.com, but google seems to have them all beaten in terms of volume of data and its cache is often a lifesaver if a site goes offline.  But google has an under-appreciated usability problem too.   It keeps tabs on the interests of its users through the use of cookies, arguably to help you home in on what you’re looking for.   When it presents a list of “hits” to you it monitors which ones you click on and builds a profile of your interests.  This is why two people searching for the exact same item often get different results.  The problem is that this personalized “info-bubble” can become confining and limit your horizons to what you already know.  Startpage.com tries to avoid this by performing your google search while blocking your cookies, so your search comes back unfiltered.   Of course who knows who runs startpage, but it’s an option.  Dmoz.org is a different approach, it’s a web directory maintained by humans.  Wikipedia has a list of search engines here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_search_engines