The New Hot 5, American-based jazz band plays for a herd of cows in Autrans, France.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Calls for direct democracy have recently become a lot more prevalent around the world in the context of the Arab Spring, Los Indignados and Occupy Wall Street movements. This begs the question, how direct democracy would practically work, not only on a local but also a national and international scope. Popular wisdom seems to be that electronic voting could be the silver bullet that would make this possible. However, not only is it hard to trust electronic voting whenever a secret ballot is required, but there is a lot more to making direct democracy work on that scale than simply dealing with the efficiency of counting votes.
Who makes the rules and enforces them is sovereign. Direct democracy is about the legislative decisions, the rules, being made by the people for the people.
The people that are affected by the rules should be deciding which rules need to be defined in that affected group. Rules that affect only a small group should be defined by consensus in that small group. For legislation that affects a larger group the consensus needs to be developed in that larger group. This is the essence of the Principal of Subsidiarity, which implies that authority should be with the most decentralized entity possible and more centralized entities should primarily support the decentralized ones.
The United Nations has completed the first-ever global assessment of the state of the planet's land resources, finding in a report Monday that a quarter of all land is highly degraded and warning the trend must be reversed if the world's growing population is to be fed.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that farmers will have to produce 70 percent more food by 2050 to meet the needs of the world's expected 9 billion-strong population. That amounts to 1 billion tons more wheat, rice and other cereals and 200 million more tons of beef and other livestock.But as it is, most available land is already being farmed, and in ways that often decrease its productivity through practices that lead to soil erosion and wasting of water.That means that to meet the world's future food needs, a major "sustainable intensification" of agricultural productivity on existing farmland will be necessary, the FAO said in "State of the World's Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture."FAO's director-general Jacques Diouf said increased competition over land for growing biofuels, coupled with climate change and poor farming practices, had left key food-producing systems at risk of being unable to meet human needs in 2050.
"The consequences in terms of hunger and poverty are unacceptable," he told reporters at FAO's Rome headquarters. "Remedial actions need to be taken now. We simply cannot continue on a course of business as usual."
Every dictator worth his epaulets knows that the best way to nip a revolution in the bud is to have his opponents “disappear.” No body to mourn, no martyrs raised, and of course the ever-useful plausible deniability. But in Bahrain, with its tightly packed population of 230,000 citizens living on a small sandy archipelago in the Persian Gulf, it is difficult to bury the bodies. People notice. So what's an authoritarian government to do when the people rise up and protest the regime? Bury the evidence and pretend it never happened.
Pearl Roundabout was the locus of Bahrain's anti-government protests last spring, the Bahraini answer to Egypt's Tahrir Square. The roundabout, located at the intersection of several major roads leading to the capital's major business centers, was crowned by a soaring white monument constructed in 1982 on the occasion of the third Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, which was held in Manama that year. The six convex arches, one for each of the council member nations, were topped by a giant pearl, symbol of the region's maritime heritage. Before oil transformed the coast from sand spit to skyscrapers, the gulf was best known for its pearling industry.
But soon after the protests started on Feb. 14, the monument took on a new symbolism—defiance against a regime that had repeatedly failed to deliver on a decade old promises of reform and political freedoms. As in Tahrir, protestors set up a camp around the monument, and used the hexagonal fountain at its base as a stage for rallies. In the early hours of Feb. 17, security forces broke up the camp with a combination of rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition. Six people died and the Bahraini revolution was born. What started as a unified protest soon devolved into a ugly sectarian split; Bahrain's Sunni minority rallied in support of the Sunni royal family, and Shias, who make up an estimated 70% of the population, lobbied for rights they said they had long been denied. Protestors started calling their movement the Lulu Revolution after the Arabic word for pearl.
A month later the government ordered the monument pulled down. Officials declared on state TV that it had been “violated” and “desecrated” by the protestors, and needed to be “cleansed.” But by then the symbolism had already taken on a life of its own. Nothing remains of the monument now, just a barren patch of land encircled by not one, but two, layers of fencing and guarded by armed soldiers. Nevertheless the nation remains divided. You are either “pro-roundabout,” meaning you want reform. Or “anti-roundabout,” meaning you prefer the status quo.
Even your choice of coffee is a declaration of allegiance: The Costa Coffee franchise, which is owned by an apolitical Shia businessman, is considered “pro-roundabout.” Starbucks' franchise in Bahrain, owned by a presumably bemused Kuwaiti, is anti. Jassim Hussein Ali, a well-known member of the Shia opposition Wefaq party and, until the party resigned in protest last spring, a member of Parliament, was recently approached at his neighborhood Starbucks and told that he might be more comfortable at a Costa. “The guy made it sound like a joke, but the kind of joke that wasn't really a joke,” he told me over coffee a few weeks later. We met, of course, at Costa.
Efforts to bury the revolution haven't stopped with the destruction of monuments. The half-dinar, Bahrain's highest value coin ($1.5), features the monument. It has completely disappeared from circulation. So quickly and so quietly that no one knew to retain any as mementos. “They were just gone one day,” says Fatima Haji. “It's revenge. They [the government] want nothing that is a reminder of our protest.”
The financial elite are laughing for they are well aware of the ongoing planned global financial demolition as well as the rapidly emerging New World order ~ with the Global elite firmly in control. However, there is another choice but it will take the same courage the people of Iceland took in reclaiming their country from the robber barons.
The next step in the Occupy Wall Street movement, after establishing its presence and credibility, is to fully expose the enemy, the global financial elite, as well as their ongoing global financial demolition plans which will eventually lead to a New World Order ~ unless the people reclaim their power as they did in Iceland.
Make no mistake ~ this is a planned demolition not unlike Building 7 as well as the two Trade Center towers on 9/11.
Richard K Moore (An expatriate from Silicon Valley, who retired and moved to Ireland in 1994 to begin his ‘real work’ ~ trying to understand how the world works, and how we can make it better ~ which culminated in his widely acclaimed book Escaping the Matrix: How We the People Can Change the World (The Cyberjournal Project, 2005) ~ explains the Global Elite plan for a New World Social Order.
Excerpt: “From their position of power, as the financiers of governments, the banking elite have over time perfected their methods of control. Staying always behind the scenes, they pull the strings controlling the media, the political parties, the intelligence agencies, the stock markets, and the offices of government. And perhaps their greatest lever of power is their control over currencies. By means of their central-bank scam, they engineer boom and bust cycles, and they print money from nothing and then loan it at interest to governments. The power of the elite banking gang (the ‘banksters’) is both absolute and subtle … Capitalism is a vehicle that helped bring the banksters to absolute power, but they have no more loyalty to that system than they have to place, or to anything or anyone. As mentioned earlier, they think on a global scale, with nations and populations as pawns. They define what money is and they issue it, just like the banker in a game of Monopoly. They can also make up a new game with a new kind of money. They have long outgrown any need to rely on any particular economic system in order to maintain their power. Capitalism was handy in an era of rapid growth. For an era of non-growth, a different game is being prepared.”
So what is the different game that is being prepared ?
Moore describes it well ~ “Just as the financial collapse was carefully managed, so was the post-collapse scenario, with its suicidal bailout programs. National budgets were already stretched; they certainly did not have reserves available to salvage the insolvent banks. Thus the bailout commitments amounted to nothing more than the taking on of astronomical new debts by governments. In order to service the bailout commitments, the money would need to be borrowed from the same financial system that was being bailed out!”
Quebec police admit going undercover at montebello protests
G20 Police spotted in Black Bloc clothing -Toronto G20
Video Report: Tactics, Agent Provocateurs?/Undercover Police
Bolivia is the main land standing between Peru and a Roundup-Ready Paraguay. Despite South American territories jumping on the GM crop bandwagon, Peru has issued a 10-year moratorium on all GM planting in an effort to preserve their biodiversity. This temporary ban includes prevention of GMO imports, cultivation, breeding and production.
Some UN legislators opposed the ban, concluding that GM food is already consumed and can cover food needs better as the sales are greater than organic. Meanwhile, Brazil’s vote to approve commercial application of a GM bean variety is expected shortly. Without much testing or proof of crop worth, the idea is to speed up evaluations and approvals, in an attempt to resist golden mosaic virus.
A couple weeks ago, HFA reported on the deaths and sickness resulting from the vast unhindered spraying in Paraguay and other parts of South America. With soy becoming a lucrative “green gold” crop and apparent economy booster, it’s a relief to see Peru taking a stand.
NEWS FROM LATIN AMERICA
1.Peru approves 10 year ban on GM crops – GENET-news
2.Brazilian commission changes its internal statutes to speed up approval of GM crops – GM-Free Brazil
‘There was just mass hysteria,’ Simon told me long afterwards. ‘It was every man for himself. I didn’t know which way to go. In the end, I just ran with the crowd. We ran and ran until the bugles grew fainter.’
This was the moment, of course, when the armies of Mao Tse-tung stunned the world by intervening in the Korean War. It had begun in June, when Communist North Korean forces invaded the South.
U.S. and British forces repelled the communists, fighting in the name of the United Nations, then pushed deep into North Korea. Seeing their ally on the brink of defeat, the Chinese determined to take a hand.
In barren mountains just a few miles south of their own border, in the winter of 1950 their troops achieved a stunning surprise. The Chinese drove the American interlopers hundreds of miles south before they themselves were pushed back. Eventually a front was stabilised and the situation sank into stalemate.
Three years later, the United States was thankful to get out of its unwanted war with China by accepting a compromise peace, along the armistice line which still divides the two Koreas today.
For most of the succeeding 58 years the U.S., even while suffering defeat in Vietnam, has sustained strategic dominance of the Indo-Pacific region, home to half the world’s population.
Yet suddenly, everything is changing. China’s new economic power is being matched by a military build-up which deeply alarms its Asian neighbours, and Washington. The spectre of armed conflict between the superpowers, unknown since the Korean War ended in 1953, looms once more.
American strategy guru Paul Stares says: ‘If past experience is any guide, the United States and China will find themselves embroiled in a serious crisis at some point in the future.’
The Chinese navy is growing fast, acquiring aircraft-carriers and sophisticated missile systems. Beijing makes no secret of its determination to rule the oil-rich South China Sea, heedless of the claims of others such as Vietnam and the Philippines.
Did you see that?
I don’t know about you but I couldn’t believe my eyes. They’re advertising a vehicle based on its value in urban street warfare conditions! Not only that, people are frozen in their tracks within the drama watching TV screens featuring what appears to be an apocalypse taking place everywhere.
Then, after this mad dash through an urban war zone the Jeep pulls up with it’s scull drawing on the back tire cover, and the announcer says:
“The 2012 Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Edition. The toughest vehicle in the world. Any world.”
…as they flash the initials it shows the letters WW3 below the name Call of Duty, and they then flip the first W to an M to stand for this vehicle’s name:
MW3 – Modern Warfare 3, as he says “Any world.“
Amazing! How brash!
Notice also the clever enmeshing of virtual reality with reality, not just by a civilian vehicle in a war zone, but people interspersed in the scenes themselves watching computer screens of the very action they’re standing in. That puts YOU in the action! And they make light of it by detaching you safely from the reality, but you can participate by buying a war-ready vehicle.
by Zen Gardner
An amazing thing is happening on the world stage. While the Occupy Revolution continues to be minimized, marginalized and seemingly bastardized by the mass media and even some of the alternative media, it keeps rolling on in spite of all the efforts to ignore, deter or derail it.
And I think I know why.
This now multifaceted phenomenon appears to be morphing...and in very exciting ways. Occupy just-about-anything has taken on a life of its own and energized vast multitudes of fed-up people worldwide. Citizens everywhere are realizing their officials and leaders are sold out stooges of the military corporate complex and that they're not going to get any changes by "normal" means.
So they're mobilizing--physically, mentally and spiritually. And it's wonderful--in spite of all the damn co-opters, distortionists, jealous non-participants and the like.
And the fundamental cry at this point is simple - DO something! Make your presence known and try to effect change in whatever sphere you can, cuz clearly the establishment isn't going to do anything except continue to make things worse.
-- We strongly apologize for choosing MS Sam as a choice for a narrator. Won't happen on the next #OpRobinHood messages.
Hello, we are p0isAnon. Anonymous and TeaMp0isoN have joined forces to fight censorship in the name of OpCensorThis. There is a new operation that has been taking place over the actions of Banks in response to the Occupy Movement. We have watched our brothers and sisters being refused their hard earned money by the banks on top of being beaten and brutalized by officers during peaceful demonstrations. Congratulations banks, you have gotten our attention.
You ignore your customers and use authorities to censor their voices. Operation Censor This will not stand for such acts and is spawning another operation under Operation Cash Back which already removed well over 500,000 accounts from banks and put them into credit unions. This is the next step. Banks have stolen millions from its customers as well as lacked the security to protect them. We give you Operation Robin Hood.
In regards to the recent demonstrations and protests across the globe, we are going to turn the tables on the banks. Operation Robin Hood is going to return the money to those who have been cheated by our system and most importantly to those hurt by our banks. Operation Robin Hood will take credit cards and donate to the 99% as well as various charities around the globe. The banks will be forced to reimburse the people there money back.
We are going to take what belongs to us. The Banks have thrown people out on the streets with corrupted actions. When the poor steals, it's considered violence, but when the banks steal from us, it's called business.
We have already taken Chase, Bank of America, and CitiBank credit cards with big breaches across the map. We have returned it to the poor (the TRUE 99%) who deserve it.
We have donated thousands to many protests around the world. We have donated thousands to the homeless and other charities. Our government has fallen short in many ways. It's time for the people to step up. We are finished depending on our government to do right by us. How safe can the banks be keeping you when we are easily able to steal thousands already. You have the benefit of us being the good guys.
We are not afraid of the Police, Secret Service, or the FBI. We are going to show you banks are not safe and take our money back. We are going to hit the true evil while not harming theirs customers and helping others. We are not only starving the banks but are ready to start the attack. We have come to take the 99% 's money back. We are not asking permission.
Let's see how Banks like paying out money like they made us do. Is it called stealing when one takes what was theirs in the first place? Is it called stealing elections when banks are funneling our millions into paying off congressmen and lobbyists. It's time for the banks to pay for their crimes and corruption. We are not waiting for our government to step up and take action. It's time for the banks to pay for not protecting you and only causing harm. But why feel sorry for them while they make us pay every day? Make us over pay for their services? Make us pay all their little charges? Operation Robin Hood urges YOU, to now move your accounts into secure credit unions, before it's too late while we hit them from the inside.
We are going to make the banks deliver your money back to you with a smile on their faces and hate in their heart. The only fraud happening has been the actions of the banks frauding the people. It's time for the banks to do business with Anonymous and TeaMp0isoN. And one of us is not as harsh as all of us. We are looking forward to start doing business with you pigs.
How loud will you squeal when the same is being done to you? We will avenge every person banks turned down and stolen from. Join us in Operation Robin Hood. Take from the banks and give to the poor. Our actions will be swift. It's time for the people to rise up and the banks to remember who they work for. It's time we fight back. It's time YOU take back your freedom. We are done asking politely.
Banks, you have got the attention of the Hydra of the internet that has grown fangs of poison.
The only question now, is do they expect us?
We are p0isAnon
We are Robin Hood
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
Operation Robin Hood... fully initiated.
Greetings fellow citizens of the World.
We are Anonymous.
We are currently being censored by a powerful and oppressive government. While we protest against tyranny, they continue to censor and arrest us. Even in the United States, the land of the Free, we are now slaves to the 1%.
In November 2011, the United States Government forced Twitter to reveal personal information without court order. Also, the United States government is secretly tracking individuals with GPS devices. By far, the worst offences of 2011 to the American people are The Protect IP Act and SOPA bills. They alone will enable the 1% to censor the Internet and silence our Right To Free Speech.
Operation Blackout humbly ask you to protest against these social injustices! Support your Occupy movements! Martin Luther King said, "Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about things that matter." We Anonymous do not choose to become the way we are. As Nelson Mandela said, "When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw."
November 30th is your day to act. Your help to the movement will be decisive. Your mission is to help us spread the word on Operation Blackout. Make as many twitter accounts as you can and spread the message, which will be available in the description. With that message, and a trending hashtag with it, we can spread the word. Operation Blackout will prevail despite the government's disapproval. Operation Blackout, engaged.
We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
To the United States government, you should've expected us.
Bloggers and online activists who shroud their digital identities may not be as anonymous, or safe, as they believe.
In a proof-of-concept hack called a "Reverse Lookup," security researcher Andy Baio took a random sample of 50 anonymous blogs, and, in less than 30 minutes, revealed the identities — names, addresses, employers and photos — of seven blog authors.
On his website, Waxy.org, Baio explained that lifting the bloggers' veil of anonymity was not a highly technical exploit; all he needed to expose them was Google's simple, free and ubiquitous search engine optimization tool, Google Analytics.
The case for an Italian rebellion is not insane. I had the chance to speak with many foreign observers, recently, and I found that an Italian rebellion is considered a real option. (I will not quote their names, but if they want they can comment here).
An Italian rebellion? Other Mediterranean countries have done just so, lately. Tunisia and Egypt, for example, have chosen to rebel against their dictators and the world has appreciated. Considering the Italian political situation as a sort of authoritarian regime and thinking that it is not reformable through the normal democratic process, one is lead to think that the rebellion is the only possible solution.
In that mindset, if Italians rebel, they demonstrate their democratic will and maturity. If they don’t rebel, they show they are anything between accomplices and weak victims of the head of their government and his power system. If Italians will rebel, they will free themselves from the shame of accepting a very doubtful sort of democratic government, the consequences of which are dangerous for themselves and the world. That’s the option. But it is not happening.
Of course, assuming that Italy is not a real democracy and that it is not going to be reformed through a democratic process is a quite extreme vision of the Italian situation. Many Italians still think they are in a democracy and that next electoral opportunities will bring a new government to them. But many others think that they live in a regime, based on a non-democratic control over the media (i.e. television) by the head of the government.
The incredible series of scandals that involved the head of the government are linked to his political incapacity to manage the financial crisis, which makes Italy dangerous for the world’s financial stability. There is a general understanding about the fact that a change in government should be needed to solve some real Italian problems. The government has resisted all scandals by denying any problems and by acting as if all criticism was the enemy’s obscure maneuver. The majority in Parliament has been reinforced by an alliance with a dozen or more politicians that had been elected in one of the opposition’s parties and that have been convinced to change side using very controversial means. Many see the Italian political stall as a consequence of a lack of democracy in Italy. If nothing is done, Italy will lose its place in the euro system, causing tragic consequences to the world’s financial stability. Poverty will grow, desperation will rise, violence will diffuse.
Thus, as it has been said, a rebellion should be an option. Or isn’t it?
As seen from abroad if Italians don’t rebel, it may be that Italians are accepting the way their politicians work. If it was true, the international shame should be on them, too, and not only on their politicians. But listening to what Italians are thinking and doing is a bit more complicated. And maybe a learning experience.
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