1.28.2015

Tsipras Begins Destroying the Bankers' and Billionaires' Criminal Austerity Scheme in Greece.

Spotted this morning near Athens

Everyday the news outta Greece gets better. Yesterday Yanis Varoufakis, the new Finance Minister of Greece, said, "We are going to destroy," he said of the nation's wealthy elite, "the basis upon which they have built for decade after decade a system, a network that viciously sucks the energy and the economic power from everybody else in society." Which could be the best quote i ever read.

Then today, only 3 days after the election, the new government announced immediate fundamental changes to many austerity programs imposed by the trioka's conditionality clauses. The Barricades Are Down' in Greece literally, as Yiannis Panousis, Minister for Citizens’ Protection and Public Order, removed the iron barricades in front of the Greek Parliament. The barricades were installed to protect the lawmakers from angry demonstrators after the huge anti-austerity protests ongoing since 2010.

In Northern Europe the EU and the Germans each said again this morning that Greece must obey, comply, etc. On the ground in Greece, Syriza is already rolling back austerity. My personal favorite, so far, is the halting of privatization plans that threw down an open challenge to international creditors, who were drooling over the acquisition of some of the world's most historic monuments. As you'd imagine, the Bankers and Billionaires Club is pissed right off and the 'markets' are unhappy. Just another bit of good news brought to you by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Tsipras and his team, like the rest of us, face the same enemy - the global elites, or more accurately, as Raúl Ilargi Meijer calls them in his article, a 'Bunch of Criminals'. Meiger does an excellent job there of explaining in clear language how 'stimulus' and 'QE' are code words for the government bailing out its own bankers and supporters for the bad bets they made in their unrepentant lust for outrageous fortune.

Hopefully Syriza has learned how to deal with the EU by studying Iceland's example. Iceland declared independence from international banks in a 2009 referendum supported by 92%, kicked them all out. Now, after a being threatened for a few years, Iceland has seen its economy bounce back strongly  As Brian Wilson says, "Iceland is free. And it will remain so, so long as her people wish to remain autonomous of the foreign domination of her would-be masters — in this case, international bankers."

There are other ways of being, Iceland and Argentina's way worked for them, Another Way for the Zapatisas, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Venezuela...all different ways of fighting off the same enemy...all of them, and all of us, owing huge thanks to two giants Fidel and the Cuban people. Only the shadow knows what the future holds for Greece's way, but...

...i do know that Canada, where i live, needs a political leader with the policies, principles and balls of Tsipras if it/we are ever to call ourselves free. Canadians must, like Greece, stop Harper in the upcoming election, must, as Iceland did - kick out the banksters, oligarchs, corporate shills and various vampires who run Canada now.

1.26.2015

Syriza’s Victory Reminds Anti-Capitalists Everywhere That There Is 'Another Way'

Congratulations follow jubilation from 'the street' everywhere

This morning Alex Tsipras' first acts after being sworn in are very encouraging: In his first act as PM Tsipras visited the Kaisariani rifle range where Nazis executed 200 Greeks on 1 May 1944. followed shortly after by his first meeting with a foreign ambassador with Russia's Andrey Maslov. The economic clout of Russia and the other BRICS nations give Syriza the time and space it needs to make decisions and take action, as the Yanquis love to say, at "a time and place of their choosing".

"The biggest nightmare for the eurocrats would be if Greece left the Euro, and even the entire union, and became a success story. A resurgent Greece, freed from the shackles of Merkelism, starting to prosper, would serve as a beacon for other put upon nations." - RT As of this morning Germany is still demanding that the new Greek gov.  obey the troika's dictates but their words ring more hollow by the minute.

Hollow because Merkel and her fellow euro power-brokers are now faced with an winnable dilemma. Giving in to Tsipras would risk a political tsunami of radical European leftists standing firm could lead to a Greek exit and not giving in would probably mean others following them out the door.

Hollow and hypocritical too considering that "Germany’s 'economic miracle' (or wirtschaftswunder), which saw the defeated country rebuild its shattered infrastructure to become a world-beating industrial powerhouse, was made possible by a deal struck in London in 1953, which saw half of the debts it owed to the rest of the world written off. Crucially, it was made a condition of the deal that West Germany would only have to make repayments when it was running a trade surplus: in other words, when it had earned the money to pay up, rather than having to borrow more, or dip into its foreign currency reserves. Its repayments were also limited to 3% of export earnings." - The Guardian

Greece's leap opens the door for Spain, Italy and Ireland to follow Iceland's example. Iceland forced the international banking bullies to take heavy losses and has since seen its economy bounce back strongly.

As Iglesias of Podemos' said in his Athens speech a few days ago: "What we have ahead of us is not going to be an easy road. We first have to win the elections—and only afterwards will the real difficulties begin." The fist domino has fallen and behind the scenes the 'talks' will have already started. Surely the pressure on Syriza to capitulate and accept some type of meaningless window dressing has already begun and will only intensify. Which is where Russia and BRICS come in. Greece has options, so does the rest of Europe, so does the rest of the world.

We all face the same enemy - The Bankers and Billionaire's Club - They, like the elites throughout history, will not voluntarily give up the wealth and power. Syriza’s victory serves to reminds anti-capitalists everywhere that there is 'Another Way' to see the world. A way where the tools of tyranny - money, debt and the delusion of democracy - defer to a new form of government: dromocracy, from the Greek word "dromos," meaning the street.

1.24.2015

'GO Syriza Go' Win the Elections, Build a New Platform, a New Cooperative Solution to Follow

Syriza supporters rally in Athens

With only hours to go before the polls open in Greece where almost everyone stopped paying their taxes entirely in advance of the elections, where the banks run out of cash daily, where the "eurozone may still look great from the top of a Swiss mountain; but it looks terrible from the foot of the Acropolis" - Raúl Ilargi Meijer

The verdict is in, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, hardly a revolutionary, says it, Award winning author Mark Weisbrot shouts it. Greece was not nearly this poor before it joined the EU. A return to normal for Greeks means they must declare themselves bankrupt, leave the eurozone, re-establish their own currency and devalue.

Volunteer run soup kitchens abound in Greece

The good news is that Greece is already living the model that is going to save it  "it’s a whole new model – and it’s working", says The Guardian. In response to the immediate economic crisis Greeks have setup citizen-run health clinics, food centers, kitchens and legal aid hubs have sprung up to fill the gaps left by austerity, and now look set to play a bigger role under a Syriza government. A Syriza-government can serve as an example and a platform for the social change across Europe and beyond.

Maria Paravantes evoked Pandora in her piece, no not the tall green people, "The Greek myth of Pandora (her name meaning 'of all gifts') probably best describes the Greeks' current predicament. Greece, much like the maiden Pandora, is all gifted. Located in one of the world's most geographically strategic locations, with endless miles of coastline, hundreds of islands, majestic mountains, with a mild climate all year round, boasting one of the world's healthiest diets and home to a fresh, educated and diligent workforce, Greece has it all."
"And yet, like Pandora, all is never enough. So she opens the box (or jar) and releases all wickedness onto the world. Well, the evil has already taken its toll, its time now for the last item in the box to emerge... hope, if not for a better future at least for a different one."

Syriza gives me hope here in Blackpoint, 9 time zones away. Regardless of the outcome, we already can see that in Greece hope has turned into action, The people haven't waited for it, they've made their dreams come true...we can too. GO Syriza Go'

1.23.2015

Syriza Set to Make History in Greek Vote Sunday, Progressive Fingers Crossed Worldwide


"History is knocking at our door," declared Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza in Greece, during a speech to thousands of supporters in Athens last night. Tsipras was joined on the podium by Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos movement. The question about whether the anti-establishment rebels had continental ambitions ended to the strains of Leonard Cohen’s 'First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin'. Tsipras, putting his arm around his foreign compatriot Iglesias, as both joined thew roaring crowd in chanting the chorus line: "And then we take Berlin".

"The wind of democratic change is blowing in Europe." said Spain's Iglesias.  That 'wind' has progressives far beyond Europe holding their breath.  Greece, the birthplace of democracy, is voting for all of us. The Irish Times said Tsipras "received one of his biggest cheers of the night when he said that he will press for the repayment of a forced war loan from Greece to Germany during the second World War.

Germany - whose debt was suspended after World War I and then dropped altogether (courtesy of the Lausanne Conference) in order for the country to stand back on its own two feet - demands that any new Greek govt obey, pay, and impliment more austerity measures. In reality Germany is being as much a mouthpiece for all global money interests not just Germany's.

With the lead in at least six polls (of between 4% and 10%), Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has come out swinging for the anti-EU vote this morning saying, "... he'll end Greece's catastrophy...that he'll refuse to honour commitments made by the previous government...that he will negotiate with his European peers but not with Merkel"

Greece has 'nothing to lose but its chains' to paraphrase Marx, the Bankers and Billionaires Club, including its large German contingent, like the chains right where they are. If Greece becomes insolvent and leaves the euro, the Federal Republic would expect a loss of up to 76 billion euros,” said economics professor Timo Wollmershäuser. That's just Germany, the Greek government debt is up to €330 billion. And a lot of debt nowadays is ensured in the derivative markets. So if Greece actually leaves the euro that would mean that a lot of credit default swaps would come due. And that could actually bring down the euro, and could also bring down the whole financial system, worldwide.

Sounds great to me, if Greece and other Mediterranean countries will hopefully follow the Icelandic example. They can dump the the euro, devalue their own currency and start their way back to real prosperity with tourism and exports. Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal have it all, so do we here in Canada, and we both, we are all, locked in a mortal battle with what Ellen Brown describes as the Vampire Squid. With Syriza set to make history in Greece and the dominoes lined up, The Bankers and Billionaires Club is watching closely, me too.


1.22.2015

Greeks Will Choose Between Proven Failure and the Unknown on Sunday...Go Syriza Go



The Greek elections in three days will historic, either way. The Greeks will be choosing between proven failure and the unknown, between 26% general and 60% youth unemployment, between even further austerity measures as Germany requires and the Greek people who are fed up with this, between the people who don’t want any more of this and the Bankers and Billionaires Club wants more... lots more.

It's all about debt of course, and how you define it. A couple days ago Greg Palast wrote an excellent piece arguing "Greece owes Germany, the IMF and the European Central Bank for bail-out-billions.  Nonsense. None of the billions in bail-out funds went into Greek pockets.  It all went to bail out Deutsche Bank and other foreign creditors.  The EU treasuries swallowed 90% of its private bankers’ bonds. Germany bailed out Germany, not Greece." Palast's logic and argument hold for all the purported stimulus plans and QEs. Every one of them is a scam to pay off the bad bets of criminals.

Greece's debt started growing long before the EU. Since WW11 Greece's generals, bureaucrats and politicians have lived like kings on the bribes they have routinely accepted from the military contractors courtimg them. Greece's generals used the fear of Turkey to blackmail successive weak governments into borrowing, Turkey's generals did the same.

Then the debt ramped up when spending and borrowing to buy from the EU's arm's dealers-especially the German arm's dealers-when Greece panicked in response to the paranoid security fears of America after 9/11 during the lead up to the 2002 Olympics. Greek debt  wasn't brought on by overspending on social programs-as the financial markets keep bellowing-but by the unnecessary spending on arms.

Angelos Philippides, a prominent economist, explains, "For a long time Greece spent 7% of its GDP on defence when other European countries spent an average 2.2%. If you were to add up that compound 5% from 1946 to today, there would be no debt at all.".Athens' fondness for weaponry, and willingness of Germany and France to feed it are the historic problem. Now the profit hungry bankers demand that the poor in Greece cover their bad bets.

The Greeks have stopped paying their taxes entirely in advance of the elections, the banks run out of cash daily, one truth among many is that Greek debt cannot be repaid by more austerity. Another is that the elites in Greece, as they do everywhere, have drained the Greek treasury dry. "You see, the Greek government debt is up to €330 billion. And a lot of debt nowadays is ensured in the derivative markets. So if Greece actually leaves the euro that would mean that a lot of credit default swaps would come due. And that could actually bring down the euro, and could also bring down the whole financial system, worldwide." - RT

Now, because the crooks have used that Greek 'debt' as an insurance swindle, the Bankers and Billionaires Club members are in fear of losing some of their ill-gotten gains when Greece, like Argentina, Iceland and Brazil did, default on the swindlers and vote for the unknown.

1.17.2015

Perennial Grasses Can Restore Earth's Carbon Balance and Rebuild Soil Fertility, Post Revolution

Switchgrass' mass, like most perennial grasses, is 80% below ground

How? To start with the roots of perennial grasses, like the Switchgrass above, often account for up to 80 percent of total plant weight. These thrifty perennials, with their long roots hold on to soil, water, and fertilizer means less of all types of pollution including carbon pollution of the atmosphere. Every year, healthy soil absorbs and converts atmospheric carbon into biomass.

The annual grains that government subsidized corporate agriculture grows on what was once the tall grass prairie create many problems including the run off of chemical fertilizers and pesticides into our watersheds, the consumption of huge quantities of fossil fuel products, the overuse of our limited fresh water resources and the direct emission of billions of tons of carbon that was once safely sequestered in the living soil's biomass but now resides in our common atmosphere.

"There is no limit to the quantity of biomass that can be stored in topsoil." says Princeton's Freeman Dyson. Adding, "Biomass means living creatures, plants and microbes and animals, and the organic materials that are left behind when the creatures die and decay. If all the carbon that we are emitting by burning fossil fuels were absorbed by perennial plants . the average increase in thickness of the topsoil is one hundredth of an inch per year."

UN Food and Agriculture Organization says, "Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide can be lowered by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing in terrestrial, oceanic, or freshwater aquatic ecosystems. The long-term conversion of grassland and forestland to cropland (and grazing lands) has resulted in historic losses of soil carbon worldwide but there is a major potential for increasing soil carbon through restoration of degraded soils and widespread adoption of soil conservation practices."

Another source - The Grasslands of the US - is an excellent natural history study of the N. American grassland's biology, above and below ground. The tall grass prairie gets its name from the upright bluestems (Andropogon spp. shown left ) that reach heights of 6 feet or more by late summer. Their roots may extend to depths of 9 feet or more, binding the soil and enriching it with organic matter as roots die back at the end of the growing season, sequestering and conserving nearly all of the below ground carbon to biomass. The above-ground parts of the plants also die down in winter and though most of the abovre ground carbon is retuned to the atmosphere, about 1/4 is converted to humus by bacterial action.

Soil is a living organism, dirt is what corporate ag, turns it into. Perennial plants out compete annual plants due to the development of larger root systems which can access water and soil nutrients deeper in the soil and to earlier emergence in the spring. Consequently corporate ag, along with the bankers and billionaies 'best practices' policies, always calls perennials weeds and demands eradication by any means necessary as part of capitalism's war on the wild.

Of course i know this is all a pipe dream, know only to well that we live in a world dominated by money not real wealth, but it gives me solace to research and learn that the Great Mother abides, that the biosphere which didn't notice our arrival, won't notice our passing either. We could be an ongoing partner in creation if, as Naomi Klein says, "We are really in a spiritual crisis. The idea of humans having a divine right to dominate the earth and being outside the community of living things and living systems is at the heart of the crisis.” Adding, "It does necessitate a new understanding — or an older understanding — of our role in the world. One that says, no, we were never free from nature, nor should we be." Without this spiritual revolution no other changes matter to our human destiny. Might as well dance eh!



1.15.2015

Charlie's Disgusting Slander Isn't Free Speech or Satire, Je ne suis pas Charlie


The global Charlie Hebdo debate rages. One thing is unanimous, everybody agrees nobody should be shot for a cartoon no matter how much it insults your "god". Another almost as universally agreed to is nobody should ever kill somebody in the name of their "god". Then we get to much more mucky 'free speech' issue. Just yesterday the Pope said in speech in the Philippines that there are 'limits' to free speech. [more good pope-ing IMO]. This morning Charlie Hebdo's founder said the murdered editor ‘overdid’ provocative cartoons.

My muddy 2 cents worth is that after seeing many of Charlie Hebdo's cartoons recently, none of them are funny, all of them are slanderous at best, most are disgusting. Free speech doesn't mean we don't as a society set limits. We say ya can't yell FIRE in a theater cause people can/will be trampled. Doesn't mean ya can't yell FIRE down the road someplace else. Seems to me it's OK to say lottsa stuff that it's not OK to sell at the news stand.

France has a long history of tolerating this type of trashing of both real and imaginery beings. Charlie, for instance, got his name from when Charles DeGaulle banned it decades ago. Charlie Hebdo trashes 'em all with equal slanderous, un-funny, results. If i was dictator i'd tell Charlie to keep his disgusting crap out of the public realm or go to jail. But, unfortunately, neither the French or anybody else has had the wisdom to make me dictator so i'll just have to stick to kibbitzing like millions of others.

The Mud Report has slung plenty of mud and will continue to, though sometimes a bit out of the strike zone, this blog aims always at the ideas never at the thinker of them personally. It's terrible that people can get so caught up in their beliefs, religious or any other, so blinkered to the wider reailty that we - the flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and fareries - are all cousins, all in this together. Blinkered and siloed they will say and do to 'others' what they never would if unblinkered.

Blinkered and siloed is divided and conquered. These divisions aren't absolute nor is our self imposed blinkering. Trash like Charlie Hebdo is allowed to exist on newsstands because it serves those who benefit most from our division. Charlie's slander isn't funny but it works to divide us. Je ne suis pas Charlie

1.05.2015

Today 35.2 Million Usually Divided Canadians are Bound Together Cheering GO CANADA GO

With the crowd chanting “We Want Russia" Team Canada captain Curtis Lazar celebrates one of Nic Petan's three goals last night.

Pancho and i are just back from our after lunch walk around the neighborhood. It's a fairly typical early January day here in Blackpoint [+5C and low cloud cover]. We've had about 50mm [2in.] of rain the last couple days and usually the folks would be as low and sodden as the ground under their gumboots on days like this...but not today!

Today Canada is a nation of 35.2 million individuals bound together by hockey. Canada is well known to be populated by an abnormally courteous people whose most commonly spoken phrase is: "i'm sorry". Right now in lane-ways, stores, you name it, people greet each other with a tense smile and a thumbs up. Today we all play for Team Canada.

Once a year Canadians who are usually divided by politics, by economic class, by geography, by language, by race, even by which NHL team they root for are united from coast to coast to coast by tonight's dramatic final against Russia in Toronto.

Canadian Tire, a Canadian institution unlike your usual heartless corporation, has again gone beyond expectations with its campaign to raise money through it's commercials to underwrite the cost of sending and equiping thousands of underprivileged kids [boys and girls] to hockey camps and leagues. Canadian Tire of course knows that every Canadian is watching and where everyone [including the Gumboot Nation] will buy their next pair of iconic footwear, birdseed, etc. It's hard to forget Canadian Tire, everyone of us has some of their famous money in their wallets.


Like the video above explains, on the ice tonight, every score is assisted by …the early rising parents…the trusty car-poolers…the kindly business sponsors...the play-by-play announcers…the crowd igniters… and everyone else whose efforts prove, there’s no such thing as an unassisted goal. Learning the lesson that every goal, everywhere across Canada, Russia and everywhere else is assisted by a country sized community who often appears divided but can be united by sport is one of the greatest things about living up here in the Great White North.

1.03.2015

Science Says Shiva's Message is Equally True Locally, Globally, Anywhere and Everywhere

Soil carbon deficit with and without erosion following replacement of natural vegetation with industrial farming - NOAA

The verdict is in, the studies are clear, the re-establishment of perennial grasses on permanent pastures - areas for natural grasses and grazing of livestock, such as meadows and pastures (33,556,943 km²) alone could, for instance, sequester our entire CO2 emissions for the last decade. Judith Curry's article 'Soil carbon: permanent pasture as an approach to CO2 sequestration' outlines the math and science behind the numbers used by the Princeton Geophyscial Fluid Dynamics Labratory in their study titled 'The Anthropogenic Carbon Cycle'.

These latest studies corroborate earlier ones by National Geographic - The Perrennial Solution, and the 40-year international study conducted by IFOAM  All of them agree that perennials are thrifty. Their long roots hold on to soil, water, and fertilizer, which means less pollution. That the transition to organic farming, farm and ranch land must become a significant sink for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong.

Then there's organic farming's impressive ability to cut forty per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions that come from the use of fossil fuels and chemical-intensive industrial globalized system of agriculture. Organic farming reduces the output of carbon dioxide per unit of agriculturial output by 37-50%, reducing costs for the farmer and increasing our planet’s ability to absorb greenhouse gases.

How much? Since 1981, data from the Farming Systems Trial has revealed that soil under organic agriculture management can accumulate about 1,000 pounds of carbon per acre foot of soil each year. This accumulation is equal to about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide per acre taken from the air and sequestered into soil organic matter.

The experts in soil conservation, organic farming and perennial prairie grass restoration agree biodiversity and soils rich in organic matter are the best strategy for re-sequesting GHGs...and that these long used and proven approaches can mitigate current environmental damages while creating a cleaner and safer world for future generations...and that, though do-able, without major changes in land use...we're screwed.

Of course scientists never go on to include the unspoken and obvious next sentence because they feel it's not acceptable and 'cause their future employment may depend on dummying up. But i'll SHOUT IT: Corporate agriculture is damaging the world's underlying bioshere to such an extent that the lives of our descendants and those of countless other trillions of living things hinge on our action.

"Biodiverse organic farms produce more food and higher incomes than industrial monocultures. Mitigating climate change, conserving biodiversity and increasing food security can thus go hand in hand." - Vandana Shiva

On every scale, from backyard to global, each of us can act in parallel as part of the solution to the destruction being wrought by the GIANT. Another great aspect of Shiva's message of hope is that it is just as valid anywhere as everywhere.



1.02.2015

Vandana Shiva's Message of Hope for 2015: Soil and Seed Can Solve the Human Created Crisis We Face


It has been declared 'the International Year of the Soil,' but the year ahead, according to Dr. Vandana Shiva, will also see key developments in the global fight to overthrow corporate power with true democracy" In the Year of the Soil," Shiva continues, "let us celebrate the connections between Mother Earth and ourselves. We are, afterall, made of the earth. We are made of soil."

Shiva again reminds us that it is organic farming and ecological agriculture (frequently called agroecology) which offers the "answer to the havoc that's being created by fossil fuels." Quoting from her book, Soil Not Oil, Shiva argued that "in the soil lies the answer to the problems oil has created" across the planet.

Billions of people worldwide are aware that chemical-and energy-intensive industrial food and farming pose a fundamental threat to public health, the environment and climate stability. "Forty per cent of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions come from the use of fossil fuels and chemical-intensive industrial globalized system of agriculture. Biodiversity and soils rich in organic matter are the best strategy for climate resilience and climate adaptation." - Vandana Shiva

Each one of us can be a tiny point of light in our own backyard. Shiva's message is just as valid anywhere as everywhere. The answers and the solutions.are the same: The globe's soils are now depleted of the massive carbon content they historically contained. Industrial agriculture has killed the biota is the soil, it's now 'dirt' in many regions of the world. It can be reversed, it's been proven in many long term studies, including this 40-year international study conducted by IFOAM which concludes: "the transition to organic farming, farm and ranch land can become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong


The single greatest service each of us can provide to our planet, our famlies and ourselves is to grow our own organic food from non-hybrid seeds. To save our own seed in turn, and in so doing be part of the future solution to the present day destruction being sown by GMO's, agri-business and the bio-technology giants. - Bob Wiley [ed. The Mud Report]