7.01.2015

Tsipras Must Resign Immediately

Tsipras this morning in Athens...another flip-flop

After today's capitulation, Alex Tsipras must resign immediately. We've all been watching this drama for many months now. One day Tsipras says one thing, the next, the absolute opposite. Regardless of whether it's a case of bribery or blackmail - J. Edgar style, whether he's insane or incompetent, this is the final straw.

i hope and suspect that SYRIZA is meeting right now and voting to demand his resignation as leader. If not, the Greek Parliament must, by the end of the day today demand a non-confidence vote.

"Greeks know what Tsipras urged they oppose he largely supports – likely heading toward full capitulation given the largely negative response he’s gotten so far and how easily he shifts from one position to another. He was elected on a pledge to end austerity. Instead he increased it harshly and supports tougher measures.
He wants to avoid snap elections in case Greeks vote yes on Sunday to accept Troika terms. Given his public betrayal, SYRIZA would likely lose and he’d be out of a job. He wants to remain prime minister no matter the cost to his own people." - Global Research 

Sunday's referendum, which was always somewhere between symbolic at best and meaningless, must be canceled. As the Guardian says: "The jargon-heavy question inviting Greeks to decide whether to support texts on “reforms for the completion of the current programme and beyond” and the “preliminary debt sustainability analysis for Greece” has been widely criticised. Speculation mounted that the Tsipras government would be forced to call off the referendum."

The international narrative among progressive voices is: Tsipras' surrenders, saying, "Since becoming Greek Prime Minister in January, Tsipras proved he’s like all the rest – promising one thing, doing another."

From the Bankers and Billionaires Club: 'Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, out of his depth?'

Is this the face of insanity?

IMO, it's most likely that Tsipras has had some sort of mental breakdown. It's all so sad. No matter which side you're on though, this morning's capitulation isn't just another twist in some game. Tsipras must resign immediately.

6.08.2015

Non-Compliance With the Empire of Debt's Parasitic Agenda Is the Road to Freedom

Most people in the industrial world have surrendered to the debt monster, most but not all, some still choose to live a life of non-compliance, to fly under the radar, to use their energy growing healthy food and healthy children who understand that real wealth isn't measured in money. Some others are forced by poor choices, inequality of oppurtunity or other circumstances to capitulate and in that new state have learned that there is another way to live freely, happily, creatively in this world.

Once upon a time, until just a generation or two ago, the vast majority of westerners looked at over-consumption, especially when funded through debt, for what it is - immoral, short term thinking or ignorance and greed. Most understood that this highway to hell isn't paved with good intentions. Most took pride in being self-sufficient, learned the skills necessary to achieve it, took pride in their callouses as a sign of their hard work and cherished the freedom they'd secured through that hard work.

When did it all change? i'd say it happened in little bits, little bites, over a period of time.. One important bite happened when people started to believe they had a stake in capitalism. They 'invested' in mutual funds, they accepted the logic of defined contribution pension plans, they used their new fangled credit cards to buy needless crap again and again because they could and had allowed themselves to hypnotized into believing themselves entitled to it. Now the debt addicts must turn their eyes and their minds away from the grotesque obscenities of the war machine, the torturers, the environmental degradation, the loss of personal freedom, etc lest they face the fact that without the Empire's armies fleecing of the world's resources their imaginary wealth would disappear and they'd be forced to do the hard work it takes to live a truly sustainable life as their forefathers did, a life that doesn't exist by externalizing the effects it creates onto future generations and the biosphere..

Empires come and go and this Empire of Debt will too. Archaeologist Arthur Demarest’s explains how the Mayan civilization's evolution closely parallels the current one saying: “The Mayan society had evolved too many elites, all demanding exotic baubles…all needed quetzal feathers, jade, obsidian, fine chert, and animal furs. Nobility is expensive, non-productive and parasitic, siphoning away too much of society’s energy to satisfy its frivolous cravings.”

Parasites, maybe even more accurate than the term vampires i often use. But semantics aside, the first step for a budding non-conformist must be to see clearly who the parasites are and how they operate. A few days ago Raúl Ilargi Meijer wrote an excellent article on his site The Automatic Earth that's explains how the buying into the parasite's promise of a free lunch ends up in a life in a tent city.

How can we avoid the free lunch through debt delusion? "We can refuse to participate in a dead society gone shopping", says Joe Bageant. Joe goes on to explain that once we understand what feeds the parasites, it becomes possible to think of stopping them and the Empire of Debt itself. The Empire can withstand tinkering, but can't continue without fuel. "Like an old mill on a dry riverbed, it will become a relic of a past that’s done with, a useless hunk of debris. Our radical withdrawal will be the end of the Machine."

Empires come and go but we are all, flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and faeries, in this together and always will be. Only by living freely and without fear can we escape the parasites that live on our blood, sweat and fears. "We have the capacity to say no, to refuse to cooperate and only this refusal to cooperate that will save us." - Chris Hedges

5.14.2015

NDP Leapfrogs the Liberals and Harpo's Cons Into 1st Place in National Ekos Poll

NDP #1 nationally according to latest Ekos national poll

This morning Reuters published the results of the new survey by polling company Ekos puts the NDP at 29.2 percent support, the Conservatives at 28.6 percent, and the Liberals at 27.6 percent. Rueters said: "Canada's left-leaning New Democratic Party (NDP), which stormed to victory in a provincial election in conservative Alberta this month, has vaulted from third to first place in national support...".

Seems 'the times they are a changin' fast and the fearful corporate owned mainstream media doesn't know what's going on in the minds and hearts of Canadians.

Elizabeth May - The Bigot Slayer

Another example is the MSM's immediate and reactionary response to Elizabeth May's speech denouncing the harpo regeme's bigoted attempts to use Omar Khadr in its ongoing fear-mongering campaign. Almost as quickly as the MSM denounced Ms. May the social media and blog-o-sphere erupted in support of her and her appraisal of Omar. For instance, during Evan Solomon's CBC interview of 'Elizabeth the Bigot Slayer' in which he attempted to score his own points against her his social media accounts lit up with Canadians angry at Evan aggressive questioning not Elizabeth's responses.

Further only 10 per cent of respondents to a Power and Politics survey on Monday's episode thought the speech would hurt May politically, while 89 per cent said it would not. That survey with 89 percent of respondents saying this will *not* harm Liz May's political career is a better sanity-check than all those preening, self-annointed PR experts combined. According to the litmus test of CBC comments, a sizable plurality of popular opinion agree that what she said was 100% correct, bad joke or not.

Then there's the fact that not only have harpo's numbers plummeted recently, but so have the Liberals'. Apparently Trudeau's fork tongued support of Bill C-51 - The Secret Police Act - has turned Canadians off from coast to coast to coast.

Polls will be polls, i wouldn't be sticking a fork in harpo just yet, but as one friend said in an email earlier, "This one is a ray of sunshine on an otherwise rainy day here in southwest BC".

5.04.2015

Hope Will Triumph Over Fear in Tomorrow's Alberta Elections

Three Hundred Eight.com Canada's #1 poll of polls site, projections as of this morning

Tomorrow's election in Alberta has devolved into Hope vs. Fear, the issues are still relevant but have been eclipsed by the usual right-wing shadow of fear mongering. Usually fear trumps hope, usually the reptilian brain trash cans hope every time, but this time millions of us across Canada hope it doesn't.

As the poll of polls site Three Hundred Eight.com has shown over the last few weeks Rachel Notley and the NDP now lead in every part of Alberta among decided voters. Everyone on all sides is holding their breath because the polls have been terribly wrong recently and nearly 25% are still undecided [or claim to be]. Win or lose though Rachel Notley has opened up the space for Albertans to speak out publicly about another way, a non-corporate ass-kissing way, for Alberta.

Even the Calgary Herald concludes that Rachel isn't anywhere near as scary as Grim Jim and is fear mongering cohorts want Albertans to believe. As Mitchell Anderson' article today 'Albertans Summon Nerve as Election Upset Looms' outlines the Tories are on the brink of defeat because of mis-management of their resources and related government revenues. Hell, even Angie Klein, whose father was Ralph Klein, a PC premier and Calgary mayor, has let it be known she will vote for the NDP.

Everyday a new poll comes out and every day the Notley/NDP's numbers rise. The Orange wave she and the NDP are riding have done it with policies the pundits long claimed would be a death wish: reviewing royalty rates for oil and gas, withdrawing support for the Northern Gateway pipeline, freezing tuition fees, instituting a progressive income tax and increasing corporate taxes among other things.

Mainstreet Technologies', the province's biggest pollster, president Quito Maggi says, “The [PC] dynasty in Alberta will come to an end on Tuesday with the election of an NDP government; what seemed like the unlikeliest outcome is now the only possible outcome.”

How? Well as Doug Broome wrote,  "Alberta has a history of sudden dynastic changes. First the United Farmers of Alberta overthrew the Liberals forever, then Social Credit came from nowhere to ditch the UFA, ruling for decades until 1971 when the current PC dynasty commenced and Social Credit disappeared. Since it became a province in 1905 Alberta has had only three changes in governing party. On Tuesday comes the fourth seismic shift."

Hope will triumph over fear tomorrow in Alberta's election.


4.23.2015

The Best Advice on Earth Day and Every Day is to Divest in Every Aspect of Capitalism


Yesterday another Earth Day came and went and what Pogo said on the 1st Earth Day: "We have met the enemy and he is us." becomes more true and more ignored with each iteration. Humans are, as BeezleyBillyBub accurate details in 'Collapse Data Cheat Sheet' - an impressive curriculum vitae of a self-exterminating species - responsible for the disease. Beazley says: "You can blame capitalism, big banks and monstrous corporate conspiracies for the near term collapse of life on earth, but these things could not exist without us..."

Most of us, but not all, some choose to live a life of non-compliance, to fly under the radar, to use their energy growing healthy food and healthy children who understand that real wealth isn’t measured in money.

A stake in capitalism
Unfortunately in the past decades many folks started to believe they had a stake in capitalism. They ‘invested’ in mutual funds, they accepted the logic of defined contribution pension plans, they used their credit cards to buy needless crap again and again because they deserved it. Now they must turn their eyes and their minds away from the grotesque obscenities of consumer capitalism lest they are forced to admit what Pogo, Beazley and many others who have cast aside their culturally installed blinkers clearly see.

Capitalist vampires live on the blood of the compliant. There are other ways to live, better ways, but consumers fear their imaginary wealth would disappear if vampire capitalism were to crumble and they’d be forced to do the hard work it takes to live a truly sustainable life.

The only viable divestment strategy on Earth Day, and every day, is to divest in every aspect of capitalism, to refuse to comply. Turn on, tune in and drop out is still the best advice.


4.16.2015

Starve the Vampires, Save the Earth - STOP CONSUMING NEEDLESS CRAP - Refuse to Comply

Ignite your inner rebel, refuse to comply!

The message of wanting and consuming less may not sell, but it doesn't really have too. In reality we're already seeing how the limits to growth are creating deflation and slow degrowth caused by both debt and wealth inequality. What the economists call a drop in discretionary spending is to me a drop in spending on needless crap. That drop is now curtailing the demand for all types of commodities including fossil fuels by the manufacturers and shipping industries without consumers having to buy into the concept of choosing less consciously.

Slow degrowth is inevitable in a deflationary world. Avoiding the alternative - a massive environmental collapse - can happen through 'cooperative self-limitation' but it can also happen when, for whatever reason, consumers choose of bread over oreos, needs over wants. Even the most addicted consumers, living in a slowly degrowing world with a modest 2%-3% defationary economy, like we're seeing right now in many 'developed' economies', will learn a new trick.

Less may not sell, but needs must trump wants. Living simply can be a revolutionary act, but it also can be as involuntary as shading your eyes in the direct sun. Humans can refuse to participate in a dead society gone shopping. "Once we understand what feeds it, it becomes possible to think of stopping the Machine. I puzzled over this one for a long time, only to suddenly grok the obvious: the fodder for the Machine is our precious life energy! This is the crux. Any machine can withstand tinkering, but no machine can run without fuel." - Joe Bageant

Our life's energy, feeds capitalism's craw. Hedges thinks: "We have the capacity to say no, to refuse to cooperate", and that, ..."only this refusal to cooperate that will save us." Adding: "Any boycott or demonstration, any occupation or sit-in, any strike, any act of obstruction or sabotage, any refusal to pay taxes, any fast, any popular movement and any act of civil disobedience ignites the soul of the rebel and exposes the dead hand of authority."

The human world teeters on the brink of war i fear. The news becoming to depressing to watch, unable to change any of it that "give them bread and circuses" was the Roman Emperors' answer. Monetized, profited on and traded, our life's work - chicken feed for the vampires. Ignite your inner rebel, refuse to comply, STOP CONSUMING NEEDLESS CRAP starve the vampires, save the environment.

4.13.2015

Cap and Trade - a Deception That Profits Polluters and Carbon Traders Without Curbing CO2 Emissions


Today Ontario announced it will join Quebec and California's dubious Cap and Trade scheme. A scheme that even the Globe and Mail has trouble really endorsing in it's article this morning.'The Story of Cap and Trade' by Annie Leonard [above], Story of Stuff creator, outlines why Cap and Trade is a deception designed to generate profits for large corporations and carbon offset traders while increasing, not decreasing emissions. Consumer capitalism's pollution of the biosphere is a disaster and like all disasters there's money to be made by selling false hope to the fearful.

Annie's quote: “You can only compromise to a point before a solution isn’t really a solution.” leads off  'A devastating critique of cap-and-trade' by Marc Gunther that ends with another quote from Annie's acclaimed video: The danger with [carbon] offsets is that it’s very hard to guarantee that real carbon is being removed to create the permit, yet these permits are worth real money, This creates a very dangerous incentive to create false offsets—to cheat. Now in some cases cheating isn’t the end of the world. In this case, it is.

An excellent analysis of Cap and Trade's deceptions is by Oscar Reyes of Carbon Trade Watch, an organization that seeks a "justice-based analysis of climate change and climate analysis."

Another oft quoted piece, 'Carry On Polluting', by Larry Lohmann, says: "The damaging effects of carbon trading schemes are felt severely in poor countries. The Durban Group for Climate Justice has documented that almost all the carbon credits are generated by polluting companies, while communities that follow climate-friendly practices such as preserving local forests or defending their lands against oil exploitation are ignored. Only big firms can afford to hire carbon accountants, liaise with officials and pay the costs of getting projects registered with the UN. Yet these are often the companies that local people battle hardest against in defense of their livelihoods and health."

Lohmann goes on to cite  Friends of the Earth’s  report, 'A Dangerous Distraction', which concludes that the practice of carbon offsetting isn't leading to global emission reductions or helping developing countries, but instead is leading to more ways to avoid cutting emissions.

Cap and Trade fits perfectly into the neo-liberal delusion that the 'market' is always the best solution. What all cap-and-trade systems have in common is the creation of a new commodity – the right to pollute – that is then sold in a new market from which the traders scoop their cut out if every transaction. The financialization of nature is not about protecting the environment; it is about creating ways for the financial sector to continue to earn high profits.

Cap and Trade plans in Ontario and beyond won't curb CO2 emissions, won't stop any type of pollution of the biosphere, but it will enrich those who level the mangrove forests that protect the coastlines of the global south in order to replant those areas in GMO Palm oil plantations and it will subsidize the leveling of the Amazon for sugar beets that will end up as transportation fuel. Unfortunately pollution of the biosphere is a disaster and like all disasters there's money to be made by selling false hope to the fearful.

4.12.2015

Obama's Convenient Dismissal of History Rings Hollow to Latin America's Victims of it

Raul Castro during historic Summit of the America's speech

How convenient for Obama and the Untied Snakes of America to dismiss the history of colonialism, intervention and abuse throughout Latin America because it happened before Obama was born. And of course the lapdog global mainstream media regurgatated their dear leader's wit. South of 'the border', in Latin America itself, where the people live with the disastrous effects of that history every day, the media and the people know that it's much easier for the oppressors to dismiss their abuses as old news than for the oppressed whose families have been murdered, whose resources have been stolen and whose inalienable rights have been crushed by racism and greed to forget it.

For instance Latin America listened to Raul Castro's historic speech to the Summit of the Americas, not a summation by the corporate press. Raul Castro's speech itself called for an end to the U.S. blockade against his country. Castro said "...the decades-old blockade has harmed the Cuban people, and is a violation of international law.”  Castro argued relations between Washington and Havana are far from normalized, saying, "...the continued presence of a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay still usurps part of our territory.”

John Wight's overview 'Latin America not US backyard' from a few days ago played out these last few days when the Summit of the Americas became the "triangle of tension" when Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro arrived and said he would hand U.S. President Barack Obama a petition with more than 11 million signatures asking him to repeal the sanctions. Immediately the other leaders spoke out in support of Maduro. Obama was in full retreat, once or twice seeming to stumble over his slower, older, lapdog Harper in the process.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said, "We reiterate our strong condemnation of the unacceptable and unjustifiable unilateral sanctions imposed against the sister nation of Venezuela and the continued foreign interference with the purpose of creating a climate of instability in that sister nation. We ratify our firmest support to the Bolivarian Revolution and the legitimate government headed by President Nicolás Maduro." Brazil, Argentina, Boliva, Equador, Mexico, Nicaragua, even Columbia said Obama must rescind the sanctions against Venezuela.

History doesn't determine the future but it does frame it. So to does the media not only present content but also frames it.

For instance, just before the Summit the U.S. State department officially recommended that Cuba be removed from the Terrorist watch list, no mention at all by the MSM of the fact that Congress has a 45 day window in which to vote against it, which given the Republican Majority in both houses is a forgone conclusion.

Speaking Friday, Obama said the US is not looking to interfere with Latin American countries as it used to. Saying, "The days in which our agenda in this hemisphere so often presumed that the United States could meddle with impunity, those days are past," The hypnotized Norte Americanos may believe this crap but the people of Latin America know better, they've heard the fork tougued snake's speeches before.

Not everyone wants to be a consumer,
the world needs us all to want less.
Cuba stands as a symbol
of real wealth for all.
Para todos, todo. Para nosotros, nada


4.04.2015

Living Simply, Joyfully, Refusing to Comply With Immoral Rules, Is a Revolutionary Act

Hermit, hippie, or scoundrel - O.B. Joyful in 1920

O.B. Joyful - 'America's First Hippie' - left an indelible legacy on Berkshire County where i grew up. He lived most of his years in Lanesborough, Massachusetts about 10 miles away from my hometown of Adams. He was born in the same year as my grandfather who knew him a bit and often, after a few Genesee Ales, would tell me stories about the "crazy old man" down the road a peice.

Joe Durwin reminds the readers of his recent article that O.B. Joyful was viewed in his time as a eccentric or a criminal depending on the viewer's perspective. Luckily for me, grandpa was a unique individual himself and allowed others the same right. Today's labels have expanded and now include hermit, renowned poet-philosopher and pioneer hippie. None the labels do him justice, as no label can for any of us. O. B. was a cultural revolutionary who lived his life close to nature. In an age of unquestioning reliance on 'growth' O. B. thrived by having and wanting less. O.B. joyful was a prophet for the coming age of 'Aquarius' in the '60's and '70's and an example for us all then and today that living simply is a revolutionary act.

O.B. knew in his bones and manifested in his actions what half a century later was being written about in the book 'Limits to Growth' which predicted our civilization would probably collapse due to our inability to live within nature's limits. Looking back now at the '70s or further back to O.B.'s time it's easy to see that modern 'civilization' by and large has never heeded those warnings and the delusion of self-centered endless material growth has brought the natural world that underlies all real wealth to its knees.

A few days ago The Mud Report wrote, in response to Chris Hedges article that 'Only Refusal to Cooperate Will Save Us From Totalitarian Capitalism', saying in part: "Humans do, hopefully, still have the capacity to say 'no'. Will they? Refusal to cooperate isn't easy. Refusal, individually and collectively, to capitulate can save us and make us whole as well." O. B. Joyful was both prophet for and example of how to live another way in the world, a way that fulfills the individual, the society and the nature's undeniable limits.

Hedges wrote: "...any act of civil disobedience ignites the soul of the rebel and exposes the dead hand of authority. It is only this refusal to cooperate that will save us." Refusal to comply, cooperate, capitulate with who? The fascist forces of corporate domination? The Machine? The Man? or the conditioning that 'civilization' attempts to pound into us from every corner in an attempt to form within each of us a uniform worldview from which escape is near impossible?

The materialist internal domination O.B. escaped is escapable by everyone. Escape isn't easy, but it is essential. There can be no freedom, there is no salvation without it. The Machine, The Man, Pirsig's Giant are created by the collective projections, the complicit dreams, of the prisoners of materialism. When a person complies, cooperates, capitulates to civilization's crass commands that person dies on the vine.

O.B. Joyful's actions, and mine to the best of my ability, show that living simply is a revolutionary act.

3.26.2015

Canadians' Biggest Threat to Safety and Security is Harper and his Fear-Mongering Chicken-Hawks


Today in Ottawa Harpo is beating the fear drum louder than ever. He and his evangelical co-hort are following the GW Bush/Netanhayu game plan to stay in power by manipulating the unfounded fears of their poulations. Fortunately on this topic all the opposition parties agree [though for some reason Justin Trudeau refuses to connect the dots on Harpo's Secret Police Act - Bill C-51].

Crawford Kilian's piece today at the Tyee - 'How Harper Turned Canada into a Rogue State' - takes on the historic as well as the recent 'how' of Harpo's strategy. Besides focusing on the diversionary swivel from tar sands and corporate ass-kissers to war PM Kilian also says: "Harper and the Conservatives are classic Bush-style chicken-hawks." A phrase lifted from Jessie Ventura in his rants agains Bushy and his bullshit.

Another well worth the read was written by Haroon Siddiqui  in the The Star yesterday and titled 'Stephen Harper's flip-flop on war fits pattern of deceit'  In it Haroon says: "Harper makes the mission against the Islamic State sound like holy war against evil." Then explains that  "Our [Canadian] presence there motivates the angry lone wolfs here to attack Canadian targets. It also prompts some young Canadians to go join the Islamic State in an ill-conceived solidarity with Muslims." Adding: "Whereas all this is presented as “jihad” and “jihadism” — a product of “violent Islam,” no less — reality is more prosaic. In just about every case of “jihadist” attack, either carried out or foiled, the stated reason is the same: retaliation for the endless wars on Muslim nations. But Harper won’t hear of it."

Harpo and his ilk are only interested in power not peace just as Netanhayu was in the Israeli election last week. The slight difference in their rhetoric is emblematic of the underlying amount of delusional fear within the two populations. Canada still has a majority of folks not yet completely paralysed by fear, in fact many recent polls are showing that the fear-mongering isn't working and that support for the 'chickenhawks' is dropping coast to coast to coast.

As Crawford Kilian, a Vietnam era dissenter, points out, asserted effort by resistance can change the mndset of the even the most ardent pro-war person when the reality of it strikes close enough to their home. i lived through that era too, an era of perhaps even larger lies about the motives behind that atrocity and the facts on the ground. Back then the chicken-hawks were still trumpeting the 'commie under every bed' lies, now it's 'a terrorist under every bed'. The names have changed slightly but the methods and the motives are the same.

The biggest threats to the safety and security of Canadians are Harpo and fear-mongering chicken-hawks. The only way that Canadians can stop Harpo and his ilk is by cooperating in a one-time people's coilition to 'Heave Steve' by holding their individual noses long enough to vote for the mostly likely candidate to beat the Conservatives in their riding in the next election especially in the swing ridings and those newly formed ridings that are 'to close to call'