tagged w/ Privatization
I am always amazed at people’s misconceptions concerning rumors. Just start rumors about something, (it doesn’t have to be the whole truth and nothing but…) and before long it winds up a part of the collective conscience. Throw out something on any topic and there will be a response that has been around for ages even though such response will espouse very little accuracy. Take prisons for instance, people want to look at the incarcerated as parasites feeding off the backs of the tax payer. The rhetoric will go like this… “Don’t they have it made, free meals, free medical, free housing all made possible with the hard earned cash from our pockets." Too many people are ignorant to the fact that today’s industrial world is based on profits and greed has run amuck trying to generate new ideas on how to squeeze profits from a stone.
Privatization helps those who think mainly in numbers ($$$ numbers) and prisons are the latest to go on the auction block. Hey, why not privatize jails, the individuals behind bars have the potential to bring in cash via labor and they don’t even have to be compensated. Indeed, they are in jail anyway, why not lease their labor out and make tons of moola without too much investment and overhead. Sure we have to provide living quarters and food but we can make that as austere and bleak as possible providing the minimum, they don’t deserve more; after all they have committed crimes. Read the article and watch the heartbreaking video of a judge who gave out maximum sentences to young kids for petty offenses, in order to get kickbacks from friends who have invested in such prisons. It will make your heart ache that is if you still have some of your human compassion intact, after the many heartless attempts by the conservatives to make life hell for the 47% , they deem unworthy. thinkingblue
SLAVE AUCTION 1850 http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/slaveauction.htm
Profiting from another person's misery has been around, since the beginning of civilizations. But isn't it about time, we stop this practice and start respecting one another?
Alas, It will never happen! Never, as long as people can rationalize that it's nothing but Business as Usual. I don't have much hope for our human race, not at the moment when I see how those who represent and lead us, work against benevolence, respect and generosity because they believe GREED is the only master we should worship.
... TOO BAD. Below another sad tale of a long injustice perpetrated in the name of GREED. thinkingblue
SEE VIDEO HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDdAmaHPKdYI am always amazed at people’s misconceptions concerning rumors. Just start... more
The great con of capitalism is the ability of corporations to fleece the federal coffers and taxpayers for their own private gain. Through a well-orchestrated campaign, they managed to convince taxpayers that “government is too big” and “federal workers are too lazy and too well compensated”. It is the con of a lifetime, for somehow taxpayers seem to forget that whether the government paves the road or a private entity does so, in the end we still had to pay the tab.
Private capitalism survives by fleecing Americans first as taxpayers, then as consumers. Privatization is nothing more than a way to skirt federal regulations, to legally discriminate and to rob the revenue coffers. The scam is promoted for everything from prisons to schools to sports stadiums.
The truth is,,,they really didn't build that...we did.The great con of capitalism is the ability of corporations to fleece the federal... more
1 month ago
What do you do during your day that doesn't require it? All life on Earth springs from water and so many abuse it. I believe water must then be declared a global human right to keep it out of the hands of those who would commoditize it at the expense of the poor. Water is part of the commons and therefore belongs to all of us and this Earth. Privatization and pollution now in a world of more extreme and frequent drought, flood and glacial melt due to intensifying effects of climate change will leave us not only water scarce, but food scarce. It is way beyond time to become cognizant of the role we all play in preserving water for us and future generations.What do you do during your day that doesn't require it? All life on Earth springs... more
Your slip is showing EU.
In all honesty, I fear the seeds for another European war are being sown. In a Democracy, when the people say 'No', the issue should be settled. But instead, they are saying 'We don't care what you think, do as we say and do it now.'
People have their breaking point and the Greeks are certainly at theirs. If the bankers don't back off, they will likely get nothing.Your slip is showing EU.
In all honesty, I fear the seeds for another European war... more
US Illinois: Water agency ups offer for Bedford Park transmission line (American Water)
US Florida: Marion County delays action on funding for Veterans Treatment Court; approves plan FGUA plan to acquire private water systems (Aqua America)
US Illinois: Chicago Black aldermen criticize outsourcing plan
US Pennsylvania: Allentown council refuses to vote on water, sewer lease until financial questions answered
US Pennsylvania: Allentown water, sewer lease proposal would control rate increases, mayor says
US Pennsylvania: Allentown City Council issues Mayor Pawlowski an ultimatum on proposed water system lease
US Indiana: Aqua Indiana can end city link (Aqua America)
Indonesia: Manila Water Acquires Suez's 51% Stake in PAM Lyonnaise (Suez)
Study: Why Outsourcing is Bad for the EconomyMunicipalization
US Illinois: Water agency ups offer for Bedford Park transmission... more
Thom Hartmann talks with Steve Bucci, Ph.D. , Senior Research Fellow, Defense and Homeland Security-the Heritage Foundation Website: www.heritage.org about the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), introduced by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD). Under CISPA, the U.S. government will be able to share information about incoming cyber attacks — that includes providing American companies details on malware, viruses, and other malicious code that pose a threat to their security. But will it mean the end to our online privacy?Thom Hartmann talks with Steve Bucci, Ph.D. , Senior Research Fellow, Defense... more
didn’t initially make the connection between Emmitt Till and Trayvon Martin, it took a photograph shared by a friend to light the bulb in my head, but once it went off, it was profound – profound and sad. Depressing actually. Depressing not just because of the personal tragedy for Trayvon and his family,didn’t initially make the connection between Emmitt Till and Trayvon Martin, it... more
A report surfaced Thursday which was discussed by the US State Dept. on World Water Day regarding what they say is a greater chance for conflict/terrorism in the 21st century due to water scarcity. Funny, I have been writing about this for years. Seems many of us are ahead of the curve on many issues. However, my views on the coming wars were based on them primarily coming also as a result of militarization of water as a political/economic weapon and a way to subjugate poor people through privatization, which is already occurring and the fact that US AID is part of this spells it all out.
As we have seen very recently in places like Iraq that is exactly what happened. The U.S. invaded Iraq thus facilitating the entrance of companies such as Bechtel to come in order to privatize the water system (they eventually pulled out.) Monsanto was also given access in order to push their GMO seeds on the farmers. Therefore, when I read a report put out by intelligence agencies or the military/government regarding this I don't see it as a report of warning for the people. I see it as a blueprint for them to use in the facilitation of their concentration of more power and control over the populace. Obviously, they know what is causing and contributing to much of the scarity of water in our world yet these same governments do nothing policywise to actually improve the lives of the poor being most affected by it before the worst of it hits.
Therefore as the video above illustrates, this is an ongoing unsustainable cycle perpetuated by water waste...our waste and the waste of industry, agriculture and a world for the most part that does not connect the dots between consumption and waste being twice the rate of replenishment. Add to that a growing population and you see where this is going. The solution to this seems simple, but based on human nature is very complex. In another civilization where greed and selfishness would not come into play conservation would be such a no brainer that the inhabitants would more than likely not find themselves in this predicament of survival. However, we are human and we are here. The question now is, do we have the moral will it will take on an unprecedented scale to conserve this precious resource while doing all in our power to fight the forces who have already predicted our fate? If we wish to survive, we have no other choice.
More at the linkhttp://www.policymic.com/articles/5872/water-wars-caused-by-scarcity-and-control-will-t... more
Every year since 1993 the world has observed March 22 as World Water Day. It is a day set aside to raise awareness of the importance of water to our lives and to the ecosystems of our planet that give us life. This year the theme is water and food security. This is an important theme especially now as the effects of climate change are now hitting the developing world where much of our food is grown and where the majority of our world's poor live. For many making the connection between water and food security is something they just do not think about. In the developed world we are so used to going into a store and buying what we want without thinking about where it came from, how it was grown or what went into it. We do not consider that when we waste food we also waste water.
The price we are and will pay regarding water scarcity and food insecurity in the future will only increase as we continue to not take this seriously. For the past decade I have reported on water scarcity in every part of the world and the effects that scarcity is having on this most precious resource and the food and people that depend on it. There are many factors involved in this crisis worldwide such as lack of political will; lack of moral will; privatization; population; pollution (resulting in physical and non physical scarcity); overconsumption (overpumping and waste) and climate change (sea level rise causing salt water intrusion, drought, flood, water evaporation, glacier melt.)
I also want to add war to this list, because as we are seeing currently in Syria and in places in the Middle East drought is already affecting agriculture which is now resulting in people rising up to demand better care of their resources because of livelihoods/lives lost and higher food prices. This is definitely an urgent factor that we need to consider regarding the future of global water resources in line with militarization of such resources which will result in more conflict.
More than 40% of our planet is now in water scarce zones. This is predicted to increase with more people moving to urban areas by 2050. Our world population has doubled since 1950 and we are on track to see 9 billion within the next twenty. Yet, we are not adequately preparing as a species regarding preserving the very resources that will sustain us. More people on this planet have a mobile phone than have a toilet. What does that tell us of our priorities?
In assessing the factors involved in the connection between water and food security all of these factors then come into play and connect with something that to me is the most important factor: Perception. As I mentioned just above more people on this planet have access to mobile phones than to toilets. And more people are becoming unattached to the world around them which I believe is contributing to the lack of caring for what is actually most important. Our zeal for progress is ironically in many ways leading us backwards.
For me progressing means moving forward technologically and evolving while also improving on and preserving those life systems that support us in a sustainable way. Polluting the water we use to grow food or wasting it in order to have it to make tarsands is not sustainable. Overpumping aquifers to put water in fossil fuel plastic bottles to make a profit for a private company while people go thirsty and hungry is not progress. Profit at the expense of life is not progress. And once again, it all comes back to our perceptions as a species: To our understanding the true value of water and finding ways to use it in preserving a progressive and sustainable society.
The good news is that this is achievable. We can feed our people while preserving our ecosystems. It requires us all to look inside ourselves and to ask how important water really is to us and to make the commitment to changing our perceptions of this world and our place in it. There are so many organizations working on doing just that and on this World Water Day and every day they deserve our gratitude and support.
In the end however, we shouldn't need one day to remind people of something that should be part of their lives everyday. And to those living in parts of this world where they know where their food comes from and just how precious the water that births the seed is, they already have this perception. Perhaps we need a World Water Day theme based on that to start.
My hope and faith lie with those who know the land and who work it. Those who are truly committed to preserving this beautiful planet for our children. Sustainable agriculture, water conservation, agroforestry, agroecology, stewardship, equality and most importantly, advocacy. 2012 can be the year when we finally begin to understand that what is important is that which brings progress and life and doing all in our power to see beyond the material, political and societal walls that now impede our evolution. Water can be the catalyst to that awakening. Make it yours today and save a life.
More at the linkEvery year since 1993 the world has observed March 22 as World Water Day. It is a day... more
On July 4, 2010, Joost Notenboom and Michiel Roodenburg set off from Deadhorse, Alaska, on a more-than-18,000-mile journey to the southern tip of Argentina. Their chosen mode of transport: bamboo bicycles. Their mission: to raise awareness of the global water crisis that leaves more than 1 billion people without access to safe drinking water. Eighteen months, 14,000 miles, and 62 flat tires later, we caught up with them just long enough to ask a few questions about their trip so far -- and their plans for when they finish, which, if all goes as planned, will happen in just a few more months. To learn more about their trip, or to support local water projects along their route, check out their website.
Q. What are a couple of Dutchmen doing shouting about water scarcity? Last I checked, there was no dearth of the wet stuff around your corner of the globe.
A. True, true. We actually started getting really interested in water once we finished our university exchange program in Israel a few years ago. (That's also where we met.) Joost was writing his thesis on the issue of water in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and that was where we both saw that water is something that people will fight about.
It's also not only a question of scarcity. It's about energy, about food, about climate change, about ecosystems. Water is the basic building block of life. So it's true that back home, we don't have many issues with access to clean water -- everyone has a tap with water coming out -- but we do feel the effects of climate change when the sea levels will start to rise; we do pollute our rivers through industry; and through international trade we increase our virtual water footprint.
What we wanted to do with this trip is learn as much as possible about some of these different issues surrounding water.
Q. Tell the truth, is this not just an excuse to have an epic cycling adventure?
A. Also very true. We cannot say that this is something that we hate doing. It's a lot of fun, and every day is another adventure, literally. But who says you can't do both? Trying to do some good doesn't have to be sacrificial or tiresome; you can have fun while doing it, right?
Visiting these water projects, trying to learn something, doing presentations to share our experiences -- that keeps it very interesting for us. We also get to visit places where tourists normally don't come. This is because we're cycling through some of the tiniest little towns, and on some of the shittiest and most deserted back roads. But it is also because we get asked to come check out remote projects, or talk at universities. This way we get to know so much more about a place and its people than doing a standard Lonely Planet-guided backpack trip.
Q. Have you ever attempted to ghost ride your bikes into a ditch and book a flight home?
A. We've seen a lot of beauty, and we've lived together every day for the past 18 months. We've shared all the ups and the downs, and we both think this is a big reason why we haven't been tempted to book a flight back yet. There's always someone to cheer you up or push you along; doing this kind of thing alone would be something very, very different.
But the most inspiring thing so far has to be the kindness of the people we meet along the way. It's sort of unusual to see two guys on bamboo bikes hauling trailers full of gear. We guess it's instantly clear we're going a long way and people respond to that by offering us a place to stay, advice on travel conditions, a kind word, food, or just a wave from their car as they pass us by. We've had so many encounters with wonderful people that it has completely reinforced our faith in humanity.
Q. What does the water crisis look like? What are some of the images that will stick in your minds?
A. It really is water crises (plural). It has so many faces. It might be a global issue, but every country or region has its own specific consequences and realities.
It's for instance the three little girls pulling a rope together to haul one bucket of water from a well in the tiny little mountain community of Xepatan, in Guatemala. It's hard work, and because these girls have to help their mom doing these chores, this means they cannot go to school. Access to a clean water supply, more than anything else, gives you time. Not having to walk hours a day simply fetching and carrying water means that kids (because it's mostly them that do this) can just be kids, and play and go to school.
It's also the image of not seeing the pink river dolphin in the Amazon Basin. We were invited to go to the Amazon and learn more about this, the largest reservoir of freshwater on our planet, draining more than one-fifth of the world's total river flow. River dolphins are a bellwether species in this aquatic environment, and their health is directly correlated to the health of the forest. Not seeing them means that their environment is most likely in trouble, and we learned that this is mainly due to big hydroelectric projects, pollution [from] gold mining, and deforestation.
Q. Tell us about some of the water projects you've seen or been involved in.
A. There are so many examples of successful projects that made a difference in the lives of those they were intended for. There are solutions for the billion people who don't have access to clean water today; there are solutions for the 2.5 billion who don't have access to basic sanitation. It's a matter of reaching those people and giving them that one little push so they can help themselves. Because -- and we've seen this time and time again -- it's always the local people themselves who want to change their own situation. They get fed up with their kids getting sick, or their crops failing, or their animals dying, and they are clever and proud and entrepreneurial enough to seek out solutions.
We remember going to a fancy university in Costa Rica, and the people there showed us a biodigester they had made which collected all the waste from the student dorms and turned it into energy and clean water. This was their prototype and they were very proud of it. A few months later, in Colombia, we saw the same thing at someone's farm. He had built his own biodigester a few years back because he couldn't afford his electricity bill anymore. He'd just thought of it and it seemed to him like a good idea. Now he collects the sewage from his own house and from his pigs and converts that into power and water. The waste is then used as fertilizer. Sustainable development in action!
Q. What good are you? What have you done to help solve the problem?
A. We can't solve the problem, so we're probably not very good. We're not the fastest cyclists either, nor the strongest; and we're not even the first. We haven't raised the most money, or brought our own water footprint down to zero ... Riding a bicycle from the Arctic to the Antarctic ... is actually sort of easy. But effecting real change is difficult and slow ...
We are raising donations for small, local water projects, and we've deliberately not chosen to raise funds for one big, international NGO. We like those small projects that previously didn't have a chance of reaching out to international private donors, and had to depend solely on public money. So we've supported one pump-building project in Guatemala so far; getting that $20,000 budget financed took a long time. And now we're trying to do the same for another water filtration project in Colombia for which $10,000 has already been raised, and that still needs $4,000.
More at the linkOn July 4, 2010, Joost Notenboom and Michiel Roodenburg set off from Deadhorse,... more
Take note US law enforcement: no pepper spray, no raids, no beatings.
This is it. This is the crux of the global economic and environmental crises we face and this was the place to take it. It is always the 1% that is heard even at these conferences above the voices of the poor, the indigenous peoples and those in this world who are being disproportionately affected most by climate change. It is our time now. Failure here is a failure of and for humanity, our water, our land, other species and our economies. The science is indisputable. The effects to water, agriculture and social structure are now a reality and becoming more severe. It is time to put humanity first.
Occupy climate justice.Take note US law enforcement: no pepper spray, no raids, no beatings.
This is it.... more
"From Idaho to Indiana to Florida, recently passed laws will radically reshape the face of education in America, shifting the responsibility of teaching generations of Americans to online education businesses, many of which have poor or nonexistent track records. The rush to privatize education will also turn tens of thousands of students into guinea pigs in a national experiment in virtual learning – a relatively new idea that allows for-profit companies to administer public schools completely online, with no brick-and-mortar classrooms or traditional teachers." — Lee Fang"From Idaho to Indiana to Florida, recently passed laws will radically reshape... more
1 year ago
70% percent or more of our food contains genetically engineered food brought by the bio-tech giant: Monsanto.
GMO is endangering people’s health and our environment at an alarming rate.
Cross-contamination is irreversible and good, organic crops are being jeopardized.
These seeds are incredibly expensive compared to the traditional ones and have been genetically modified to produce their own pesticide, to survive the spraying of the: “Roundup”, a potent herbicide and to self terminate.
This has lead our farmers to buy new GMO seeds each year and depend on Monsanto. As a result of this ruthless drive to use India as a testing ground for genetically modified crops, 125,000 farmers took their own lives.
These people were driven to debt, to economic distress, homeless and landless.
GMO has and is failing catastrophically.
This company is persecuting, bullying and bringing farms to bankruptcy.
GMO was never adequately tested for safety, actually more and more research shows its dangers to the human/animal health, polluting our crops and our water.
Monsanto did use false advertising; Monsanto poisons the third world and privatizes water. Its employees have passed through the so-called revolving door many times, they rotated between this industry and the public agencies: Clarence Thomas, Gwendolyn S. King, Linda Fisher, Jim Travis, Linda Avery Strachanand, Toby Moffet , Marcia Hale, Donald Bandle, George H. Poste, Michael Kantor and Michael Taylor all bending rules, finding loopholes to assure this company profits.
This technology is only exacerbating hunger, poverty, irreversible contamination and climate change in our world.
Bring down Monsanto’s monopoly on our food and a centralized agriculture.
Bring down Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds.
Bring down the use of harmful pesticides, herbicides and chemicals alike.
Hold this company accountable for its damages to the world.
Organic agriculture, permaculture and biodiversity are the only answer to sustainability, to the preservation of our environment and our health.
We want you, as our government, as a body of representation of the people of the United States to invest billions subsidizing organic, environmental agriculture.
Bring down Monsanto’s poisoning, companies alike and the agrochemical industry once and for all as it is one of the greatest threats to the whole human race.
Please sign and share this petition on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.
Repost this message:
Tell our Government: Bring Down Monsanto’s poisoning. Hold this company accountable for its damages to the world! http://bit.ly/bko2mZ
More at the link70% percent or more of our food contains genetically engineered food brought by the... more
The state of water in our world currently is endangered. Pollution, privatization, waste, climate change effects and lack of attention to this most crucial life crisis is bringing us to the brink as a species. And we have no one to blame but ourselves. In trying to assess in my own mind why something so basic and necessary to our lives is given such little attention it is frustrating to say the least. Especially in this age of technology when we see through our modems and other devices so much more information than ever before being shared on this and so many other global crises.
When you look at the world as a whole and realize that 3/4 of it live in poverty and that the majority of those areas also do not have access to potable water/sanitation, the corrolation is obvious. Yet, we as a species even in the 21st century are failing at even providing the basic necessities of life to ourselves and others. Why? Why is water so unimportant to so many even though they know they cannot live without it? Is it ignorance? Arrogance? Or is it because there are those who have been made to believe that we will always have what we need because money can buy you anything even at the expense of taking it from others.
Just look at the levels of pollution in our global waterways. Industry and nitrogen fertilizer rich agriculture alone have managed to kill some of the major river systems of the world and made dead zones devoid of the oxygen marinelife needs to survive. The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and other destructive land uses (fracking, tarsands extraction, strip mining, mountain top removal) are culminating to push our atmosphere and water to the tipping point. We are now seeing more extreme events (storms, floods, droughts) around the world which are the results of human forcings on the natural cycles of the planet to the point where we have actually affected the hydrologic cycle. And this is now being touted as the "new normal."
This has already resulted in billions of dollars of lost agriculture to the world, most recently in Thailand where much of their rice crop has been destroyed from unprecedented floods that are also happening globally simultaneously, as well as extreme droughts on both sides of the world. This then has a domino effect regarding food prices and the ability to live. And with predictions of these events (extreme floods and droughts) becoming more severe with rainfall patterns changing, the entire way the world grows food is being challenged. And in the process more fall into poverty, illness, war and hopelessness as those with more green paper think it buys them rights to the resources of Earth that belong to all mankind.
So for me there can only be one main reason why this has happened. We have strayed from our humanity. We have allowed materialistic manmade forces to infiltrate our consciousness and perceptions of life on this Earth and those skewed perceptions are now killing us and in the process destroying this Earth for future generations.
And it is the hope of changing those perceptions and bringing a paradigm shift in thinking that is now bringing people out into the streets worldwide calling for justice and equality. Calling for accountability for those who have stripped this Earth of all that was once good in exchange for a world of their making that can sustain no one, not even themselves. The false illusion of money's worth in comparison to the limitless value of this Earth coupled with delusions of grandeur built on sand in failing to understand the true meaning of humanity and its true purpose must now be challenged. And that right now is the hope we have as a species... awareness, awakening, gnosis.
The inate instinct that tells us as humans that we are one with this planet and that to destroy her destroys us. This is the lesson we must learn. This is the perception we must impart to others. We are at the brink, but we don't have to go over. There are ways to heal her and ourselves. We can join globally with likeminded individuals who know the stakes and make this shift happen with our thoughts and our actions. We can reclaim our humanity and in the process save ourselves. It won't be easy. However, the alternative is simply not an option.
Water is life, it is our life, it is the blood of Earth.
And it is worth fighting for.The state of water in our world currently is endangered. Pollution, privatization,... more
George Papandreou has announced that there will be a Greek referendum to approve the EU bail-out deal
GREECE'S astonishing decision to call a referendum – "a supreme act of democracy and of patriotism", in the words of premier George Papandreou – has more or less killed last week’s EU summit deal.
The markets cannot wait three months to find out the result, and nor is China going to lend much money to the EFSF bail-out fund until this is cleared up. The whole edifice is already at risk of crumbling. Société Générale is down 15pc this morning. The FTSE MIB index in Milan has crashed 7pc. Italian bond spreads have jumped to 450 basis points.
Unless the European Central Bank step in very soon and on a massive scale to shore up Italy, the game is up. We will have a spectacular smash-up.
If handled badly, the disorderly insolvency of the world’s third largest debtor with €1.9 trillion in public debt and nearer €3.5 trillion in total debt would be a much greater event than the fall of Credit Anstalt in 1931. (Let me add that Italy is not fundamentally insolvent. It is only in these straits because it does not have a lender of last resort, a sovereign central bank, or a sovereign currency. The euro structure itself has turned a solvent state into an insolvent state. It is reverse alchemy.)
The Anstalt debacle triggered the European banking collapse, set off tremors in London and New York, and turned recession into depression. Within four months the global financial order had essentially disintegrated.
That is the risk right now as the reality of Europe’s make-up becomes clear.
The Greek referendum – if it is not overtaken by a collapse of the government first – has left officials in Paris, Berlin, and Brussels speechless with rage. The ingratitude of them.
The spokesman of French president Nicolas Sarkozy (himself half Greek, from Thessaloniki) said the move was “irrational and dangerous”. Rainer Brüderle, Bundestag leader of the Free Democrats, said the Greeks appear to be “wriggling out” of a solemn commitment. They face outright bankruptcy, he blustered.
Well yes, but at least the Greeks are stripping away the self-serving claims of the creditor states that their “rescue” loan packages are to “save Greece”.
They are nothing of the sort. Greece has been subjected to the greatest fiscal squeeze ever attempted in a modern industrial state, without any offsetting monetary stimulus or devaluation.
The economy has so far collapsed by 14pc to 16pc since the peak – depending who you ask – and is spiralling downwards at a vertiginous pace.
The debt has exploded under the EU-IMF Troika programme. It is heading for 180pc of GDP by next year. Even under the haircut deal, Greek debt will be 120pc of GDP in 2020 after nine years of depression. That is not cure, it is a punitive sentence.
Every major claim by the inspectors at the outset of the Memorandum has turned out to be untrue. The facts are so far from the truth that it is hard to believe they ever thought it could work. The Greeks were made to suffer IMF austerity without the usual IMF cure. This was done for one purpose only, to buy time for banks and other Club Med states to beef up their defences.
It was not an unreasonable strategy (though a BIG LIE), and might not have failed entirely if the global economy recovered briskly this year and if the ECB had behaved with an ounce of common sense. Instead the ECB choose to tighten.
When the history books are written, I think scholarship will be very harsh on the handful of men running EMU monetary policy over the last three to four years. They are not as bad as the Chicago Fed of 1930 to 1932, but not much better.
So no, like the Spartans, Thebans, and Thespians at the Pass of Thermopylae, the Greeks were sacrificed to buy time for the alliance.
The referendum is a healthy reminder that Europe is a collection of sovereign democracies, tied by treaty law for certain arrangements. It is a union only in name.George Papandreou has announced that there will be a Greek referendum to approve the... more
Corporations carry out some of the most horrific human rights abuses of modern times, but it is increasingly difficult to hold them to account. Economic globalization and the rise of transnational corporate power have created a favorable climate for corporate human rights abusers, which are governed principally by the codes of supply and demand and show genuine loyalty only to their stockholders. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/recent-news/43017-some-of-the-qmost-wantedq-corporate-human-rights-violatorsCorporations carry out some of the most horrific human rights abuses of modern times,... more
1 year ago
Firoze Manji: Nothing in international law allows regime change and assassination of a leader.
He also talks about oil, unholy alliances, privatization, European banks and the vast amounts of fossil water under the Nubian Aquifer... the real prize.Firoze Manji: Nothing in international law allows regime change and assassination of a... more
Earlier this month, officials in the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu had to confront a pretty dire problem: they were running out of water. Due to a severe and lasting drought, water reserves in this country of 11,000 people had dwindled to just a few days' worth. Climate change plays a role here: as sea levels rose, Tuvalu's groundwater became increasingly saline and undrinkable, leaving the island dependent on rainwater. But now a La Niña–influenced drought has severely curtailed rainfall, leaving Tuvalu dry as a bone. "This situation is bad," Pusinelli Laafai, Tuvalu's permanent secretary of home affairs, told the Associated Press earlier this month. "It's really bad."
So far Tuvalu has been bailed out by its neighbors Australia and New Zealand, which have donated rehydration packets and desalination equipment. But the archipelago's water woes are just beginning — and it's far from the only part of the world facing a big dry. Other island nations like the Maldives and Kiribati will see their groundwater spoil as sea levels rise. Texas, along with much of the American Southwest, is in the grip of a truly record-breaking drought — even after days of storms in the past month, Houston's total 2011 rainfall is still short of its yearly average by a whopping 2 ft., or 60 cm. Australia has experienced severely dry weather for so long, it's not even clear whether the country is in a state of drought, or more worryingly, a new and permanent dry climate that could forever alter life Down Under. "Climate-change impacts on water resources continue to appear in the form of growing influence on the severity and intensity of extreme events," says Peter Gleick, one of the foremost water experts in the U.S. and head of the Pacific Institute, an NGO based in Oakland, Calif., that focuses on global water issues. "Australia's recent extraordinary extreme drought should be an eye-opener for the rest of us."
(See photos of the world's water crisis.)
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2097159,00.html#ixzz1bAUCHxtB
More at the link.Earlier this month, officials in the South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu had to... more
Global poverty did not just happen. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor. Today, the problem persists because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies — in other words, wealthy countries taking advantage of poor, developing countries.
Renowned actor and activist, Martin Sheen, narrates , a feature-length documentary directed by award-winning director, Philippe Diaz, which explains how today's financial crisis is a direct consequence of these unchallenged policies that have lasted centuries. Consider that 20% of the planet's population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate. At this rate, to maintain our lifestyle means more and more people will sink below the poverty line.
Filmed in the slums of Africa and the barrios of Latin America, The End of Poverty? features expert insights from: Nobel prize winners in Economics, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; acclaimed authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson; university professors William Easterly and Michael Watts; government ministers such as Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and the leaders of social movements in Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania. It is produced by Cinema Libre Studio in collaboration with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation. Can we really end poverty within our current economic system? Think again. http://www.theendofpoverty.com/
More at the linkGlobal poverty did not just happen. It began with military conquest, slavery and... more
A group of seals banded together long ago on a distant sea at place called Seagull Bay. The Seals of Seagull Bay had decided to get together to solve the shark problem lurking in their feeding grounds. The sharks were killing off a lot of their friends and family and making life in general pretty miserable for the seal population. The Seals of Seagull Bay decided to start a Safety Committee to gather ideas and resources to combat the shark problem.
The safety officials who would sit on the committee were elected by the democratic process of popular vote and would be given the responsibility of protecting the Seals of Seagull Bay. The committee was set and after period of deliberation and debate the committed come up with the solution to the shark problems. The Safety Committee decided some members of the seal population would become security officers and do nothing but lookout for sharks while the rest of the seals of Seagull Bay would fish. Since the security officer seals wouldn’t have time to fish while their brethren hunted for food the other seals would provide the security seals with six fish a day to pay for a secure hunting ground.
This was so successful in cutting down shark fatalities and injuries at Seagull Bay other groups of seals started to copy the Seagull Bay model of security. Meanwhile, a group of supply side economic seals got together at an exclusive summer retreat called K Street Island. They suggested that The seals of Seagull Bay hire a private company to take over the security for Seagull Bay to take care of the shark problem that already been solved.
The K Street Seals claimed their client Seal Safe LLC could cut the cost of fish down to half the amount they paid now and provide even better security. The Seals of Seagull Bay couldn’t believe their ears. They were doing well with their current security but there was still some injuries and occasional unfortunate death. The K Street Seals guaranteed that no Seal would be killed if they hired their private company to secure the feeding grounds.
A lot of the Seals of Seagull Bay said this was a “No Brainer” a term that the K Street Seals kept repeating during their presentation to the Safety Committee. But other Seals of Seagull Bay suggested they should just stay with their current arrangement and try to improve upon what they already done. The committee of twelve members was deadlocked in a 6 to 6 tie. One of the K Street Seals visited the house of one of the Safety Committee members who was opposed to the hiring of their private company. The next day the committee member sporting a new gold Rolex fin watch that was visited by the K Street Seal changed his vote breaking the deadlock and giving the K Street Seals private company a two year contract to handle the security for Seagull Bay.
Soon after taking over the security at Seagull Bay Seal Safe laid-off half of the security force and cut the remaining security officers pay by two thirds. The security officers complained that they could not feed their families on two fish a day. The company suggested they ask the Safety Committee to subsidize their fish payment because the company had to downsize to run more efficiently. As a result of cutting the security force shark attacks increased.
The Seals of Seagull Bay outraged by the increase shark attacks under the security of Seal Safe LLC demanded answers. Seal Safe sent a company Executive to help smooth over and explain the new security policies. The angry seals listen to the company Exec explain “The Company did not adjust for the recent fish inflation. The value of fish has fallen by 60% in last quarter. We have to wait for the invisible fin of the Free Market to correct itself.” The Exec continued “The bottom line is we’ve come to secure these hunting grounds at all cost. We realize that each seal life is important and need to be protected. We have asked the Safety Committee to give Seal Safe a slight revenue adjust of 40% to help cover the cost of increased security measures.”
The committee members now all wearing golden Rolex fin watches unanimously agreed to the revenue increase. Seal Safe in addition to receiving an increase in revenue started offering three protection packages for the Seals of Seagull Bay. The three different packages called tiers offered different levels of protection Tier 1 the economy pack offered limited protection against shark attacks offering an one hour course on “Individual Responsibility” and a Seal Safe whistle with the company logo costing a mere eight fish a day. Tier 2 the Seal Safe Enhanced Protection Pack offers both the course on “Individual Responsibility” and the Seal Safe Whistle with company logo, but also Seal Safe’s patented Shark Alert Flash Light with company logo for the middle of the road cost of 14 fish a day. Tier 3 the Cadillac package combines all the safety measures of the other packages with state of the art anti-shark swim suit with company logo. Made out of a hundred percent titanium steel guaranteed to protect against shark attacks but not drowning for the cost of 100 fish a day.
The Seals of Seagull Bay now furious with Seal Safe demanded that the Safety Committee end their agreement with Seal Safe for breach of contract. The Safety Committee said their fins were tied because the contract agreement they signed gave Seal Safe the exclusive right to own all the fish of Seagull Bay if the agreement wasn’t satisfactory to the Seals of Seagull Bay. The Seals of Seagull Bay were clearly not satisfied with their agreement with Seal Safe, so Seal Safe owned all the fish. The Seals of Seagull Bay refused to accept the terms of the contract with Seal Safe and decided to boycott the company.
Seal Safe board of directors enraged that the Seals of Seagull Bay were not honoring their contract hired Killer Whales to break the boycott and to protect all the fish they owned in the hunting grounds of Seagull Bay. The Safety Committee with their golden Rolex fin watches called for the two sides to negotiate, but it was too late Seal Safe had sold its fish rights of Seagull Bay to K Streets new clients a shark owned company called Seal Killers Inc. THE ENDA group of seals banded together long ago on a distant sea at place called Seagull... more