Ken Loach, ‘The Spirit of ’45’ – ‘Starting Again’

Ken-Loach-in-Cannes-2010--006Ken Loach has been a long standing voice against inequality, poverty and fascism. Films such as ‘Truth and Liberty’ portrayed the Spanish Civil War in a replay of George Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’.

The Spirit of ’45 is Ken Loach’s new documentary about the 1945 general election and the creation of the welfare state by Clement Attlee’s Labour government. He tells Andrew Pulver why a feeling of group ownership was so important in the postwar years and how that ideal still rings true today                                       http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/video/2013/mar/13/ken-loach-spirit-45-video

His latest documentary harks back to the euphoria of victory post WW2, and the hopes for a ‘better’ world for the ‘majority’, with the single mindedness that ‘fascism’ would never happen again. It has, with unemployment, inequality and poverty mirrored in the mass evictions, suicides and homelessness going UNSEEN alongside the wealth glamour and billionaires of the age of “individual  choice.”                                                                                                                                      1362848391_274343_1362849287_noticia_normalReal Madrid football players with nothing better to do with their millionaires wages than get caught racing sports cars at 200 kph.

A world that can produce a statement like ; ” I DON’T SEE A WORLD WITHOUT MY PHONE”  as Gen Y – fi expect a limitless future. art-CONNECTED1-620x349      http://www.theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/gen-yfi-caught-in-web-fixation-20130214-2efgy.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/11/generation-self-what-young-care-about

http://sociedad.elpais.com/sociedad/2013/03/09/actualidad/1362848391_274343.html

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TIME TO START AGAIN.

The Rise and Fall of Spain

“THIS WORLD”, B.B.C. produced a very accurate documentary on “The Spanish Crash” which details the reasons why the stupid idea of unlimited growth failed in the past and will fail again. Here ’tis . . . .

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The Call That Made a Killing.

When to Start Again, – when no one is to blame for the death of innocents.

Jacintha Saldanha

Jacintha Saldanha, who took a hoax call from Australian DJs posing as members of the royal family before she was found dead. Photograph: AP

IT IS NO MEASURE OF HEALTH TO BE WELL ADJUSTED TO A PROFOUNDLY SICK SOCIETY.   J Krishnamurti.

The profound apologies that d.j.’s Mel Greig and Michael Christian have made quickly, and publicly, followed the trend by the radio station involved. The day after the news broke the 2 Day FM CEO promptly stated that nothing “illegal” had occurred, “no one could have foreseen this”, i.e. we are not responsible. At the same time in full knowledge of the stations historic and recent breeches of broadcasting standards.

The P.R. machines are at work now, deflecting, working on the front foot, attack is the best form of defence.  There is a rush by ALL the media to point out that “this sort of thing happens all the time, in every radio station in every country in the world”. This is mainstream radio, Southern Cross network, which owns 2 Day FM, reaches 5 million people every day. It’s NORMAL.

It’s the sort of majority readership “enjoyed” by News Limited who were also reminded that the end, (the daily thirst for shock horror front pages), DOES NOT justify the means (hacking mobile phones).

And after the deflection from Greig and Christian and the radio station, (who desperately need their advertising revenues back), the world’s conscience goes in search of another scapegoat to deflect attention from the sickness in a global society which is getting worse, not better, for the enjoyment of the few.

Autumn Statement

The “investigation” is being driven by a collective mind set, a level of intellectual arrogance and hubris fed by “lifestyle prosperity”, that cannot countenance the existence of “low incomes”, people struggling to get by, nervousness, humility, trust.

Soooooooo 20th century, so Welfare State . . .

I mean ‘look at ME, I’m being outrageous, isn’t that cool’? Who needs all that baggage, we all make our own choices . . . . . . . .don’t we?

If it’s legal do it, even if it’s ‘not quite’ legal, do it – we need to push the boundaries. A corporate mind-set that imbues the world with ‘faux’ and ‘emoticons’. That is ‘market savvy’ and chained to wealth creation, and finding that opportunity in the most unpredictable circumstances, a 1 in a million chance that the call would get through, who could be so stupid ?

And so Jacinta Saldhana probably died because she could not bear the shame. Alone working in London with her family in Bristol, who she did not tell about the “prank”.

A newcomer to a new country, working to help build a new life for her family. A stranger in a strange land, nervous, humble, unsure, unable to tell one accent from another. How much could she take, how much shame had she brought on her family.

Made to look like a fool for her gullibility, I wonder if she read the Tweets of Michael Christian as he jumped into the deep end of celebrity OH SO WILLINGLY, determined to milk this for all it was worth, I could make a killing from this . . . . . . . . .

Wouldn’t anyone? –  the DJ’s WERE making a killing. I mean everyone was still laughing, there are millions of “reTweets”, it’s gone viral, 50,000 hits on the website, and shit this is my first week at the station. This is the new NORMAL, kick where you see a head and milk it for all it’s worth – gone viral. “WHERE’S THE NEXT SUCKER”

The laughing lasted 3 days until Jacintha Saldahna couldn’t take any more and she hanged herself.

Greed, Fear and a $1 Quadrillion debt.

Max Keiser “On the Edge” interviews Nicole Foss from “the automatic earth” explain ‘austerity’ and the necessity for banks and governments to sell assets in a vain attempt to collateralise the existing $1 quadrillion derivative debt. The impossibility of this happening in a flatlining global economy will re-ignite the fear that stopped the world in 2008.

“They can’t get ahead of the curve; everything they’re doing is too little too late, and when fear is in control then you have a downward spiral and it won’t stop until deleveraging has run its course. Until the small amount of remaining debt is acceptably collateralized to the few remaining creditors, and we’re absolutely nowhere near that point at the moment, we’re far closer to a top than a bottom.”

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Nicole Foss has also presented a ‘book length’ article, one of the most comprehensive I have read explaining why a global transformation to renewables is not going to happen.

Renewable Energy: The Vision And A Dose Of Reality

“JUST DO IT” – new age film.

“JUST DO IT” is a film about the direct action taking place in the U.K. and all over the world. It is a great relief and a sense of hope to see a new generation of climate change activists taking peaceful protest to new levels. Emily James’ film follows a lineage of independent film makers such as Franny Armstrong (The Age of Stupid),  Annie Leonard (The Story of Stuff) and the thousands of filmakers all over the world who are chrystallising events and providing a community memory of efforts to save the planet despite governments and vested interests.

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The film is part of the “ INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL ” being held in Barcelona from the 5th – 11th November. It is being screened in many locations but can be downloaded from the website at http://justdoitfilm.com/

Mike Reynolds, how to Start Again.

Mike Reynolds has been a constant campaigner for eco living, fighting against planning and building regulations to the point where he can no longer practice as an architect. His globally acclaimed documentary “Garbage Warrior” was seen as an example of how the building of the future could follow ecological principles. Whilst filming a programme on “the nuclear” industry in Los Alamos U.S.A., “Democracy Now” presenter Amy Goodman, interviewed Mike Reynolds.

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This is Mike Reynold’s “Earthship” website http://earthship.com/ and here’s the Australian Earthship website ; http://earthship.com/australia

Friendly Fascism, Corruption and Bubbles. How Spanish banks survived the crash of 2008.

This article gives a short history of fascism and corruption in Spain before describing the current financial problems and their relationship with property and finance.

“Looking back, we probably should have known Spain’s banks would end up this way, and that their reported financial results bore no relation to reality.”

Spain is attracting a great deal of news coverage for all the right reasons lately, but the Spanish people have suffered enough.

It has a recently re-instated monarchy, On 22 November 1975, two days after fascist dictator General Francisco Franco’s death, the Bourbon heir Juan Carlos was designated King according to the law of succession promulgated by Franco. In 1969, when Franco named Juan Carlos as the next head of state, Spain had had no monarch for 38 years.

It has a King who,  as head of the Spanish “branch” of the World Wildlife Fund, thinks it appropriate to holiday in Botswana shooting elephants. That’s the King on the right (ahem)

The king’s daughter, la Infanta Christina Federica Victoria Antonia,  is married to Inaki Undangarin, Duke of Palma de Mallorca, who is currently facing charges of embezzlement of millions of euros.

It has a justice system in tatters, the Supreme Court suspended fellow Judge Baltasar Garzon from practicing for 11 years after investigating so called irregularities in Garzon’s investigation into wide scale corruption within the conservative Partido Popular. Up to 70 senior members were being investigated.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Dívar on Thursday resigned under pressure for charging 32 long weekend trips to Marbella and other Spanish destinations to the judiciary.

Carlos Divar had bi partisan support when appointed in 2008, the only candidate acceptable to the PP because of his “low profile”. This followed the appointments to the supreme court initiated by Jose Louis Aznar, ex- prime minister of Spain from 1996 – 2004. Aznar, now a very prominent member of Rupert Murdoch’s  News Ltd board, was a founder member of the “coalition of the willing” leading the “oil wars”, even before John Howard. The only natural resources Spain has is a small amount of coal in Asturia.

Aznar was “scholared” in politics by Manuel Fraga.  From 1951, Fraga served in various posts in the Franco regime, including minister for information and tourism.  He took part in the Transition (restoration of the Monarchy),  and formed the conservative People’s Alliance (AP), the precursor to the Popular Party (PP).

Fraga was known as a heavy-handed politician,  the drastic measures he took as chief of state security during the first days of the Spanish transition to democracy deeply damaged his popularity. The phrase “¡La calle es mía!” (“The streets are mine!”) was attributed to him. This phrase was his answer to complaints of police repression of street protests. He claimed that the streets did not belong to “people” but to the State.    

A certain sexual liberality in films was popularly summarized in the expression Con Fraga hasta la braga (“With Fraga [you can see] even the panties”).

Manuel Fraga with Gen Franco, “El Caudillo”, ‘the leader’.

Continue reading

Dr Bill Rees, “Why we’re in denial”

Dr Bill Rees founder of “The Ecological Footprint” and co-developer with Matthis Wackernagel, spoke at the recent International Conference on Degrowth in Montreal. “The Extraenviromentalist” team of Seth & Justin did a great job of covering the conference. http://www.extraenvironmentalist.com/blog/2012/05/24/degrowth-american-dream/

It is very rare that someone is able to concisely and clearly spell out what the inhabitants of the Earth are facing, but someone as respected as Bill Rees who has studied many areas of life on earth is worth listening to.

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MORE BANCO FLAMENCO, LA NINA NINJA, AS A CRISIS TURNS INTO EVENT HEAVEN.

Max Keiser reports from Europe as the Euro limps along, bouyed for the time being by “event heaven”. Let them eat cake.

Back in the real world La Nina Ninja displays a disdain unequalled as her “many  woman show” moves into another bank in Seville.

The shadowy world of the Murdoch enquiry continues to draw the ‘rich and powerful to the witness box and the eyes of Max & Stacy, who were quick to pick up on the pre jubillee hysteria and Christine Lagard’s comments that “the Greeks should pay their taxes” by revealing that infact Madam Lagard herself payes no tax.

…………….La Nina Ninja hits the exact spot once again, beautiful performance.

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Max and Stacy “do” Europe.

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http://maxkeiser.com/

Meanwhile for all you monarchists out there here is a time lapsed capture of the first cab off the rank this summer as far as the events go. The Queen’s Jubilee. Next is the Euro football tournament, then the Olympics, then Para Olympics then its Christmas !!

SPOIL 4 – THE PLANET.

The Problem – Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions

 EMISSIONS RISE AND THE TIPPING POINT GETS CLOSER.

The International Energy Association which advises world government on energy/fossil fuel production, last week noted THE INCREASE in 2011 of 1 Gt of carbon emissions over 2010 (which in itself was a “record”). The 450 ppm Scenario of the IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2011, which sets out an energy pathway consistent with a 50% chance of limiting the increase in the average global temperature to 2°C, requires CO2 emissions to peak at 32.6 Gt no later than 2017, i.e. just 1.0 Gt above 2011 levels.

“Under current policies, we estimate that energy use and (carbon dioxide) emissions would increase by a third by 2020, and almost double by 2050,” said IEA Deputy Executive Director Richard Jones.

“This would likely send global temperatures at least 6 degrees higher. Such an outcome would confront future generations with significant economic, environmental and energy security hardships,” he added.

In its recent report, The Critical Decade, the Australian government’s Climate Commission outlined a budgetary approach to avoid surpassing the danger limit.  The Commission estimated that humanity can emit not more than 1 trillion tonnes of CO2 between 2000 and 2050 to have a 75% probability of avoiding the danger limit.

The graph details emissions reductions cuts necessary as time progresses. The last time anyone had a 5% emissions reduction was when Russia collapsed. The only international agreement in sight is the Durban Platform which will not be enforcable before 2020.

Currently we are 22% of the way through the budgetary timeline, but we have emitted 328 Gt of fossil fuel CO2, burning through nearly 33% of the budget.  Thus we need to change our path soon from one of rising to decreasing annual emissions.

The IEA has its own 2°C scenario, in which emissions peak at 32.6 Gt no later than 2017.  Although emissions increased by 1.6 Gt in 2010 and 1.0 Gt in 2011, they can increase no more than 1.0 Gt (total, not annual increase) between 2011 and 2017 to meet the IEA scenario.

The Financial Problem

More neo conservative governments globally are decrying emissions reductions.   Canada has already pulled  (SPOIL 1) out of the Kyoto Protocol in an effort to be the No 1 oil exporter from tar sands.                                                                                       Australia’s Queensland Government ( SPOIL 2) “put coal before coral” when responding to a damning report from UNESCO on ALL levels of government in Australia handling development on the Great Barrier Reef. But Premier Campbell Newman has made it clear he will not stop  development in and around the  reef despite the UNESCO threat to classify  it as  a World Heritage site in danger.

”There are 35 major development applications seeking approval within the next  18 months that would impact on the reef. The scale and pace of proposed  development is out of control.”
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/queensland-puts-coal-before-coral-20120602-1zoui.html

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This corporate mythology that growth of the existing economic system will guide the world to sustainability is dillusionary, as at least the I.E.A. have discovered.

Air pollution with Nitros Oxide levels off the charts in many parts of Europe are causing a return to levels last seen in the 1960’s, this in London.

MANY ECONOMISTS ARE NOW QUESTIONING THE REALITY OF POURING MORE DEBT INTO WHAT IS ALREADY A BIG BLACK HOLE. WHILST AUSTRALIA AND CANADA PUT ALL THEIR CHICKENS IN ONE SHRINKING BASKET  – SUPPLYING CHINA – EUROPE AFTER 2 YEARS STILL TEETERS ON THE BRINK OF INSOLVENCY.

http://theautomaticearth.org/Finance/espana-en-fuego.html

WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW SUBSIDIES TO THE OIL INDUSTRY TOTAL $230-380 BILLION p.a. AND AN ADDITIONAL $190 BILLION p.a. is spent on Tar Sands production. http://awayfromitall.me/2011/12/16/show-me-the-money-o-k-cont/

WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY (City of London and Wall St) IS KICKING AND SCREAMING all the way to the legislature to STOP A FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX which would raise hundreds of millions of dollars.

WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW THE AVIATION & SHIPPING INDUSTRIES HAVE FAILED TO introduce regulations on international transport emissions.

WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN HOW TAX HAVENS SHUT OFF BILLIONS OF $’s from Government revenue

THERE IS ENOUGH MONEY TO FIX THIS – IT IS TIME FOR  POLLUTER PAYS.     For far too long environmental damage has not been factored into the “costs of doing business”, The idiotic situation exists whereby disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil rig fire and release of 4 MILLION barrels of oil into the Gulf is seen as being part of GDP GROWTH !!!

Emissions from international travel, (people or freight) REMAIN OUTSIDE THE KYOTO PROTOCOL and are NOT ASSESSED for their respective MASSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL WARMING. Aircraft emissions are 4% of global total and set to TRIPLE by 2020. Shipping emissions account for up to 4% of global total as 90% of trade is carried out by sea with 90,000 vessels pouring sulphur dioxide and other noxious chemicals into the atmosphere along coastal shipping routes. This says nothing of the regular shipping and marine disasters, such as the Costa Concordia or the idiotic situation whereby disasters such as the Gulf of Mexico oil rig fire and release of 4 MILLION barrels of oil into the Gulf is seen as being part of GDP GROWTH !!!

As a comparison U.S.A. and China account for 23% of global emissions EACH and the remaining 50%+ is divided amongst the other 192 countries. I.E. U.K. contributes 1.4%, Australia 1.4% etc etc.

THE EUROPEAN UNION IS RIGHTLY TAXING AIRCRAFT EMISSIONS on travel INTO the European Union from 2012, despite legal challenges from the U.S.A. and China.

Europe’s highest court gave unreserved backing to a hotly contested EU law charging airlines for carbon emissions on flights to and from Europe, a decision likely to escalate tensions with the United States and other trading partners.

All airlines flying to and from EU airports will buy permits under the European Union’s emissions trading scheme from 1 January 2012, the European court of justice ruled. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/21/international-airlines-carbon-emissions

Oxfam estimates $80-100 billion could be raised anually to fund environmental initiatives from taxing shipping emissions The European Union has lead the way by including aviation in it’s tax regime this year. New moves have just been announced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to reduce sulpher content in bunker fuel emissions to less than 0.5% (from 3.5% in cargo shipping). http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2179508/eu-moves-sink-shipping-sulphur-emissions

Sulpher being the most carcinogenic and responsible for up to 50,000 premature deaths along shipping routes globally.

Shipping industry must regulate to reduce climate change impact and damage to health and environment           LONDON (UK) July 18, 2005 –

Environmental groups said today that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is failing to protect the environment and human health from global shipping pollution.

GOVERNMENTS ARE AIDING AND ABETTING THE DETSRUCTION OF A LIVEABLE PLANET BY SHORT SIGHTED DECISIONS DESIGNED TO RESTART A FAILED SYSTEM.

MAY 15th, 15M, LOS INDIGNADOS, news.

12 months ago on 15th May Los Indignados made Spain and Europe aware in fundamental terms of the complete inequality of society. October 15th saw the “official” Occupy movement erupt globally. It has had a profound effect on millions worldwide and had gained the support of world renowned thinkers. An article in today’s Gaurdian by Katherine Ainger “Indignados make change contagious” provides an update from Barcelona of the evolution in train. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/08/indignados-make-change-contagious

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It is also worth looking back, (very well worth looking back) at Eduardo Galeano’s impromptue “discussion” at Placa Catalunya. A man very much “in tune” with Los Indignados, it is worth hearing his comments on what to “expect” from the Acampada.

“A FIT and PROPER PERSON” – 3, Sheldon Adelston.

The Governments of Madrid and Barcelona have finished the acrobatics and “bidding” to attract America’s 3rd wealthiest man  Sheldon Adelston to their respective Cities. But what is known about the man and what he does, a shadowy figure with casinos in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore and money to burn in Spain. A recent article in Rolling Stone makes a great deal of his $16.5 million donation to Newt Gingrich’s presidential tilt which just collapsed. Not only renowned for his search for political influence, he is also renowned for his union busting exploits in America and use of cheap foreign labour to work 24/7 on Asian projects where labour laws are ill defined.

Indeed, Adelson’s anti-union mania is the most important thing  to know about him. For it reveals just how crazy, and how unscrupulous, the man  is.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/why-gop-mega-donor-sheldon-adelson-is-mad-bad-and-a-danger-to-the-republic-20120410#ixzz1u7kJRSpV

The following film is of a “sworn deposition” given by Adelston accompanied at the hearing by an armed bodygaurd !

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A recent news item on Adelston’s proposal, “from a crisis to the gutter”, looks at the issue of prostitution as an ‘unwanted’ outcome, but little is said of the known “side effects” of the gambling industry – domestic violence, indebtedness, money laundering, racketeering, and, given the already vociferous approval by regional and federal Spanish governments, the “impression” that gambling is a legitimate “business” that should be encouraged.

Adelston’s backing of Newt Gingrich has recently made reporters look at the history of the pair back to 1996 when Gingrich was able to “neuter” the proposed Federal Gambling Commission,

“House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has recommended a substantial weakening of a bill to examine the runaway growth of legalized gambling in America.”  http://wthrockmorton.com/2012/01/24/anti-gambling-group-gingrich-thwarted-efforts-to-regulate-gambling/
The issue of Adelston’s desire for political influence must be high on the agenda when deciding whether “EURO VEGAS” is a acceptable for Spain. He is recently quoted as saying;     “I got to tell you something, I don’t want him (Rick Santorum), to run my country,”  and with Adelston’s fortune, and Murdoch’s News Corporation as a mouthpiece, money doesn’t talk, it screams.
The Catalan Government is presenting the “brand Barcelona”, buildings of Antoni Gaudi and the Barcelona football club as references. Reports suggesting that Adelston build Guadi’s model of a New York hotel are being suggested. The proximity of the land at Viladecans  to the airport, despite the fact that it is good for attracting tourists, cannot accommodate Euro Vegas as seen by Adelson, whose intention is to build several skyscrapers. The Mogul made already clear what meant by skyscrapers: when he visited Barcelona to talk about the project, the Catalan authorities showed him the Agbar Tower, the third highest in the city, 145 meters in height. Adelson responded that “it was not a skyscraper.”
Adelston’s list of requirements before investing in the city that is chosen, include :       the complete renouncement of rights over all public property in the defined zone; exemption from social security contributions for two years; exemption from the Value Added Tax for ten years; the reform of workers’ legal status, notably that of foreign workers; the bearing of the costs by the Autonomous Community for the building of all public transport infrastructure to the complex; authorised access to the casinos for minors and banned gamblers.
Madrid is in the lead. Its regional premier, Esperanza Aguirre, has met Adelson five times. “We should change whatever norms have to be changed,” she said recently. “We have to encourage this … and spoke of creating a “fiscal and legislative island” – though there are some demands that can be accepted and others that cannot.” Aguirre said.
Despite the governments making all the right noises, the EuroVegas No! initiative has come out firmly in opposition ; “Jobs and investment are not worth what they want in return,” Maria Fernández says as she passes out flyers in Madrid’s main plaza, Puerta del Sol. Could she be persuaded with more information though? “No. This is not the economic model we need. We don’t want a Sin City here. We don’t want Adelson’s money here. The entire project is intolerable.”
Adelston is no doubt using his experience in Asia to promote the Euro Vegas. Jose Maria Aznar is interviwed below setting out the types of reforms Adelston would welcome, no doubt spruiking Spain to Asia as a gambling destination of choice. Spain already has 30 casinos operating, creating an existing unacceptable level of social disruption. Portraying Euro Vegas as a creator of 350,000 jobs has obviously impressed the Spanish authorities but there are no details at this stage so they are very “rubbery” figures, some estimate 35,000 jobs will be created. What is known is that Adelston seeks to build cheaply, both land value and labour, and is succesful at both. His Singapore Sands Casino and casinos in Macau used both elements, construction continuing around the clock until the projects were finished.
Singapore Sands casino, and an endless pool 53 stories in the air.
It is the profits from the Asian casinos that is bankrolling Adelston as the economic growth in Asia shows little sign of decling. New figures show that “shopping sprees” to Europe are common, with the average Asian shopper snapping up bargains to the tune of $10 – 15,000 per visit. Spains extreme surplus of airports (twice as many as Germany !), is no doubt another reason governments, and more than likely Aznar, are backing Euro Vegas.
Gambling the future? most certainly, and remember the fate of the Hungarian Euro Vegas stated in 2011 as a project to be completed in 2010, then in 2012 ???http://www.euro-vegas.eu/ A blog begun in 2008 suddenly went quiet with the GFC but you have to wonder whether this was Adelston too http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=714110
 

“A FIT and PROPER PERSON” – 2, Jose Maria Aznar.

Aznar at his zenith, the “boys” club.

Jose Maria Aznar is elevated to the “Fit and Proper Person” test as the U.K. Independent reveals scorching details of his involvement in “arrangements” made by News International to switch their support from Labour (Gordon Brown) to Conservative (David Cameron) in 2009. Secret talks between Mr Cameron and Jose Maria Aznar, the former prime minister of Spain and a member of Mr Murdoch’s News Corporation board ocurred at a previously undisclosed meeting in November 2009, and also shows how Mr Cameron was being assiduously courted by News Corp executives beyond the Murdoch family, as the company was gearing up for its bid to take over BSkyB. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ios-exclusive-revealed–camerons-secret-summit-with-news-corp-7717644.html

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The secret meeting shows the extent to which Mr Cameron was engaging with News Corp executives, as well as the media tycoon himself, his son, James, and Mrs Brooks, just weeks after The Sun ended its support for Labour and backed the Conservative Party. At the time, News Corp was preparing to announce its bid to take over BSkyB. It is not known whether the future of the digital broadcaster was discussed at the meeting, but it is likely that the commercial interests of News Corp arose.

Mr Aznar, who was prime minister of Spain from 1996 to 2004, was appointed as a non-executive director of the News Corp board in 2006. As well as in the UK and the US, News Corp has made inroads into Spanish media, including the launch of Fox España in 2002.

Mr Aznar accompanied Mr Murdoch when he flew into London last June ahead of Mr Hunt’s decision on whether to grant approval for the BSkyB takeover – which was pulled weeks later when it emerged that the News of the World had hacked Milly Dowler’s phone. Aznar’s thoughts on Spain’s economic future are here detailed .

It’s easy enough once we get the bubbles started again, get people into debt and everyone can be happy. Easy enough for Mariano Rajoy, (Aznar’s puppet) to follow especially if you have people like Sheldon Adelston just waiting for the biggest concessions to offer a $20 billion “ray of light” (Esperanza Aguirre) to Spain.
Aznar’s friends in the pro Israeli lobby have no doubt included Adelston, a similar socially “liberal” minded conservative whose career seems to have benefited from busting every union organisation he comes into contact with. This naturally suits the conservative party in Spain whose determined attempts to break union influence is only just beginning.

Aznar’s fingerprints are all over the current Spanish authorities, from the Prime Minister to the mayor of Madrid, his wife Ana Botella, to the stacked Supreme Court whose main purpose was to silence Balthasar Garzon. The “Euro Vegas” project will be decided in the near future,  but will it be the panacae as is projected ?

“A FIT AND PROPER PERSON”, 1 – Rupert Murdoch.

 

Rupert Murdoch has been head of News Limited before, during and after the News of the World phone hacking broke. It highlighted the extent of political influence the Murdoch press has, and uncovered illegal payment of police, “willful ignorance”, sham investigations, and political favouritism in the process of the takeover of BSkyB televison.

He was seen as “NOT A FIT PERSON” to be the head of an international corporation by the Leveson Inquiry report, an opinion quickly denied by the News Ltd Board of Directors which includes Jose Maria Aznar, who have “full confidence” in Murdoch senior, although not commenting of James Murdoch, who once headed BSkyB.

The fact that the takeover has been abandoned may thankfully prevent a “launch” in the U.K. of the rabid Fox News network which has now contributed to America having the lowest political standards anyone can remember due mainly to corporate influence.

Some of the resignations and arrests so far.

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For an in depth report from September 2011 Rueters ran this story by John LLoyd “WHAT RUPERT DID” ; http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2011/09/20/what-rupert-did/

First, the News of the World (NotW), for many years the highest circulation newspaper in Britain, systemically hacked into the phones of politicians, celebrities, and people in the news – including murder victims and their relatives – in order to produce exclusives. Their journalists also bribed policemen, both with petty cash and – allegedly – with large payments: an early estimate was that News International (NI) had spent £100,000 on such bribes.

Second, many political figures have felt bound to confess they had sought to placate and woo Rupert Murdoch. In one of the debates on the issue in the House of Commons, David Cameron made the humiliating comment that ‘your bins are gone through by some media organization, but you hold back from dealing with it because you want good relations with the media’. Peter (Lord) Mandelson, in an interview in mid-July, said that all politicians avoided confrontation with the press ‘because we were too fearful’.

Third, now that this bubble has burst, it seems we ‘knew’ that these things happened. We – really, the political and media people – ‘knew’ that phones were hacked, policemen were paid off, and politicians were exposed, or threatened with exposure if they felt like attacking News International. As with the Wikileaks’ revelations, ‘knowing’ becomes knowing only when detail, context, and impact are combined. We ‘knew’, for example, that Saudi Arabia feared Iran (or, again, the political/policy/media circle ‘knew’). But we knew the scale of it and depth of it only when a diplomatic cable exposed by Wikileaks quoted members of the Saudi ruling house asking the USA to ‘cut off the head of the snake’.

Fourth, the News International titles, in common with all newspapers and especially tabloid newspapers, had huge reservoirs of indignation ready to be poured over governments (especially), corporations, and other institutions which lie, cover up, disguise, obfuscate, and spin. Yet here is another thing we ‘knew’: that, though the news media relentlessly promoted transparency and accountability, they are of all institutions the least likely to live by their rules – indeed, they reject these rules in the name of freedom.

Fifth, journalism has been at the heart of a generally optimistic narrative of freedom and openness over the past three decades, as communism collapsed in central and eastern Europe, apartheid ended in South Africa, media deregulation in India saw an explosion of news media in both broadcasting and print, and partial privatization and the granting of a measure of editorial freedom was allowed to the news media in China, which has elevated the struggle for a journalism of accountability to one of the major elements of a wider push for democratic change. At least until recently, it has been assumed that the world was getting freer, and in getting freer was becoming more open; and that this was due, in considerable part, to the globalization, and liberating effects, of independent news media and their democratic ethic.

John Lloyd however ends with this chilling thought ;

The columnist Nick Cohen wrote that the ‘News of the World routinely humiliated and taunted its targets because of their sex lives. Far from throwing the paper aside in disgust, the News of the World’s audience wanted more of the same.’

 

Spain converts passive resistance into a crime

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch. . all this in the name of austerity.

Many Spaniards were puzzled at the choice of an election on 20th November 2011 by then Prime Minister Jose Louis Zapatero. Most Spaniards would know that the 20th November is the anniversery of the death of the fascist dictator General Francisco Franco. Was Zapatero subliminally suggesting that at an election he knew he would lose, a vote for Rajoy’s P.P. conservative party would mean a return to the Franco era fascism ?   Many would now shout a loud YES after news that ;

“Spain converts passive resistance into a crime” & “Spain accused of ‘draconian’ plans to clamp down on protests”  Naomi Klein “Tweeted” on her website                 Shock Doctrine in Spain: after ruining Welfare State, Law will criminalize pacific protests

…………  This was a sample of the violence that put 128 people in hospital when Plaza Catalunya was peacefully occupied by Los Indignados in May 2011. Not much has changed except an election and the sanctioning of this brutality with the re appearance of an official authoritarian fascism. The law is designed to prevent “the questioning of authority”. The recent General Strike in Barcelona produced a similar “military” response.

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Indiscriminate firing of projectiles such as these, provide near fatal injuries such as this,

 

 

 

 

 

Testimonies to the level of violence in Barcelona (in Spanish) can be found at http://denunciacolectiva29m.wordpress.com/  After sordid details of the “undercover penetration” of environmental groups in the U.K. by secret police, further stripping away human rights is underway across the world.

Australia’s biggest “climate criminal”, ENERGY MINISTER MARTIN FERGUSON has already unleashed the secret service on Australian environmentalists. Ferguson’s irrational thinking now elevate environmentalists to be “a greater threat to society than terrorists”.

FOI documents confirm that Mr Ferguson pressed then attorney-general Robert  McClelland in September 2009 to see whether ”the intelligence-gathering  services of the Australian Federal Police” could be used  to help energy  companies handle increasing activity by coalmining protesters.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/asio-eyes-green-groups-20120411-1wsba.html#ixzz1rqDRaQ7h

THE PAIN IN SPAIN of the crushing austerity is not being felt by the political elite. Following Balthasar Garzon’s suspension from practice for 11 years the path is clear to re-establish an authoritarian regime with “austerity” as their mantra.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría referred to those who did not respect the Garzon decision.

“I would like to tell those political leaders to keep in mind that all judicial decisions are worthy of respect. All Spaniards must respect court verdicts, but even more so public representatives,” she said. “When you question the institutions, you are also questioning democracy – here and beyond our borders. I am appealing to their sense of responsibility. Spain is a democratic country. I am very worried about the image that some are trying to convey about a Spain that is not really Spain.”

Just which “image of Spain” Ms Santamaria is referring to is now more then ever unclear after the proposal to criminalise peaceful protest.

Spain converts passive resistance into a crime.  http://www.typicallyspanish.com/news/publish/article_34330.shtml

Those who organise protests over the internet now face charges ‘of integration in a criminal organisation’. The debate in Congress on Wednesday revealed that passive resistance will be considered ‘a crime against authority’ in Spain. The Minister for the Interior, Jorge Fernández Díaz, has explained some reforms to the Penal Code which he has been working on with the Minister for Justice, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón.
The ‘crime against authority’ will include passive or active resistance, a violent attack against a policeman was the example given, threats and intimidating behaviour, and the throwing of dangerous objects.
Those who organise gatherings of protest groups which turn violent, for example over the internet, now face being charged with the crime of ‘integration in a criminal organisation’. Any violent conduct by a protestor will be considered to ‘aggravate’ the charges.
Converting passive resistance into a crime is a major step and observers think the move has been taken because the Government realises only now the social cuts and labour reforms will start to take effect.
The 15-M indignant protests in Spain showed the power of such gatherings, and it seems from now on you can be arrested for sitting down with others in a plaza.

Spain accused of ‘draconian’ plans to clamp down on protestshttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/9198496/Spain-accused-of-draconian-plans-to-clamp-down-on-protests.html

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“This tomorrow – I have no tomorrow”, , , , , ,

CANADA, home to WHITE BEARS, BOREAL FORESTS, TAR SANDS and CLIMATE CRIMINALS.

Earlier posts have referred to The Tar Sands Pipeline issue threatening pristine wilderness on Canada’s west coast. Here Garth Lenz gives an impassioned plea to recognise one of the wonders of the world already bearing the scars of fossil fuel madness.

The ‘Canadian Boreal Initiative” has a terrific website with more stunning photographs, maps and information from a report – “THE CARBON THE WORLD FORGOT”. 

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Earlier posts on Tar Sands Pipeline issues, including the brilliant documentary “SPOIL”, on the CANADIAN GREAT BEAR FORESTS and WINONA LADUKE’s tireless campaign against TAR SANDS. 2 headed fish have been taken from the Athabasca River, cancer rates amongst idigenous villages have skyrocketed.

A recent study from the Australian Government clearly states that the PEAK of ALL OILS (including Tar Sands) will occur in 2016, after that demand will outstrip supply and a significant decline in availability will impact severly on the way society operates.

TOTAL TAR SANDS PRODUCTION of 250 BILLION barrells sounds a lot, but at current global demand of 83 MILLION BARRELLS A DAY,  the entire production of TAR SANDS will extend total peak another 5 or 6 years, (to 2016). Then we’re in decline, and as the report clearly states ;

Thus beyond 2017 we must begin to cope with the longer-term task of replacing oil as a source of energy.”

In the meantime what is lost is graphically shown in Garth Lenz’s TED TALK.

More discussion was raised through a recent BBC documentary, (the interviews are real, the storyline  acted) “IF THE OIL RUNS OUT”

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Meanwhile with the help of The Post Carbon Institute an animated film explaining just HOW and WHY we are at this point has been released by Incubate Pictures. http://www.incubatepictures.com: THERE’S NO TOMMOROW”

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“SALVATION IS AT HAND, JUST TAKE A CARD SIR”

Spain’s Partido Popular government is looking to a gambling led recovery from the economic “crisis”.  “ALL BETS ARE ON”

 Jose Maria Aznar puppets Esperanza Aguirre and wife Ana Botella, the “A list” darlings of Madrid, give the impression of destroying whatever glass ceiling exists to the progress of women. Through dynamic decision making, clearing away silly obstacles such as zoning laws and taxes, changing labour laws to allow cheap overseas workers, and generally acting like Aznar fingering his disdain to hard won standards. These two superwomen are getting Spain’s economy going. Not only is a bid for the 2020 Olympics being seranaded, drafted and submitted by the “spice girls”, but their charm and business acumen has prompted a “shopping list” of free land, tax incentives and changes to zoning and environmental law, as a gold carrot affirmative that “WE JUST HAVE TO HAVE EURO VEGAS”

“La Presidenta” Aguirre is putting her Regional Madrid government right behind billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his 16 billion euro development of 6 casinos, 12 hotels, 3 golf courses. The hyper fast tracking of a proposal that only surfaced in November 2011 (election time, nice one Aznar) to a stage where “approval” is now 3 months later a “done deal”, is an absolute disgrace. At a time when Aguirre has reduced government staff pay 15% with further austerity cuts to come, there is something obscene in salivating around the briefs of U.S. billionaires, something very UN Spanish. Aguirre described the proposed development as “a ray of light amid the darkness of the crisis.”

“SALVATION IS AT HAND, JUST TAKE A CARD SIR”.

Adelson is riding high on the successes of his “SANDS” development in Singapore and in Macau, (where Venice has been reproduced, pic.)

It doesn’t seem to matter to Aguirre, Botella, Edelston or Aznar that there are already over 30 casinos open in Spain, inflicting whatever social distress, broken homes, and poverty,   there’s always room for another sucker who wants to throw money away. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to Aguirre, Botella Edelston or Aznar that the reason casinos in Macau and SIngapore are doing very nicely is their economies are growing at 6% per annum. Europe is in recession, no doubt Edelston’s access to  billions is real enough but this is really putting Spain back 10 years, (just where Aznar wants it) before the Partido Popular corruption throughout Spain became endemic. Aznar’s stacking of the judiciary when P.M. has ensured new legislation will be adjudicated as “liberally” as possible. Spain is, after all, a ‘developed’ country

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…………………………….. The happy couple, Jose Maria Aznar and Ana Botella.

BOTELLA’s grand ideas may take more than chutzpah to get them up and running, she has a “credibility problem” on environmental matters being described as “ignorant” on air quality issues (a big problem with strict E.U. emissions regulations) which will feature greatly in any Olympic bid. BOTELLA’s career began as Aznar’s ended, (2004) after he was dumped as Prime Minister for stupid comments about the Madrid train bombings. Her speedy rise to Mayor of Madrid happened surprisingly when then Mayor Gallardon was appointed Justice Minister, (to get rid of Garzon) by Mariano Rajoy, yet another Aznar government appointee.

PRESS RELEASE FROM “PROPERTY INVESTOR EUROPE” http://www.pie-mag.com/articles/2492/madrid-keen-to-facilitate-euro-16bn-eurovegas-project/

Madrid keen to facilitate €16bn ‘Eurovegas’ project

24 January 2012, 08:43 PM

The Madrid authorities have proposed altering legislation to facilitate development of a casino, hotel and leisure complex in the city by US investor Sheldon Adelson which would imply a €16bn investment and create 200,000 jobs.   Esperanza Aguirre, president of the Comunidad de Madrid, and the city’s mayor Ana Botella agreed this week to pave the way for the so-called ‘Eurovegas,’ a complex of 12 hotels, six casinos and three golf courses in the outlying Alcorcón municipality, which Aguirre described as “a ray of light amid the darkness of the crisis.” Aguirre offered to facilitate Adelson’s proposed investment in order that the project be developed “without difficulties” and even “by changing the legal frameworks that need to be changed, as long as it remains within our principles and within the law.” The Madrid project would imply a €16.9bn investment over 15 years, with an initial €6.7bn during the first four years, and would create 261,000 jobs, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group. The development would require changes to the city’s urban planning laws in order to free up some 6m sq.m. of land. Adelson, who proposed the project in November 2011, has also requested changes to Spain’s gaming laws and labour laws, in order to be able to hire foreigners, as well as requiring that the complex of casinos and hotels be served by metro and train stations, according to El País newspaper.   Adelson, the eighth-richest man in the US, according to Forbes, is the owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the proprietor of two casinos in Las Vegas, three in Macao and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. (pic).

MAX KEISER REPORT – BRILLIANT.

MAX KEISER’s latest report sets the target on Data providers Stratfor. Rupert Murdoch’s NEWS LIMITED empire, James Murdoch and the sordid world of data collection/hacking. Great section interview with one of the original YES MEN Andy Bichlbaum, and the surveillance placed on the YES MEN by Stratfor.

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THE RAIN IN SPAIN and the HUBRIS of AZNAR

JOSE MARIA AZNAR is emerging (as Matt Taibbi describes Goldman Sachs) as the ;  “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” 

AZNAR’s appointments to the Spanish judiciary have seen the end of Balthasar Garzon’s investigation into the Gurtel Case which had up to 70 investigations into high ranking officials of the Aznar/Rajoy conservative party. Santiago Menéndez, (who was head of the revenue collection in Aznar’s government), is the new ONIF director. THE NATIONAL OFFICE OF FRAUD INVESTIGATIONS. His first act was to sack was chief investigator Víctor de la Morena, who was in charge of many criminal probes, including the Gürtel case initiated by Garzon, and the ongoing case against royal son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin. With Garzon found guilty of charges emanating from the Gurtel Case and suspended from the judiciary for 11 years Aznar’s witch hunt of Garzon is complete. His strategic placement of stooges in government positions leaves the way open for Spanish corruption to be borne again with massive building projects under slave labour conditions.

As Barcelona heads into it’s 50th day without rain, it’s depressing news all round on the environmental front, new environment minister Miguel Arias Cañete (Minister of Agriculture and Fishing in the governments of José María Aznar)           ” believes environmental regulations and laws in 26 areas are needlessly restricting the development of the Spanish economy.”  

His prehistoric outlook on his portfolio include relaxation of the coastal laws which allowed development such as Benidorm (pic) to happen.  This bullshit is accompanied by Cañete’s IGNORANT statement that “Environmental sustainability cannot be understood today without taking into account the economic factor.”

SPAIN has fallen hopelessly behind the European Emissions Reduction target of 20% by 2020, and Spain is choosing flawed understanding of environmental sustainability to justify economic growth.

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THE HUBRIS OF JOSE MARIA AZNAR.

Daily fog which descends on Madrid 

YET ANOTHER AZNAR APPOINTEE IS HIS WIFE, ANA BOTELLA, who is now Mayor of Madrid and in the process of wasting tens of millions of euros in a bid to host the 2020 Olympics. Spain has been criticised recently by the E.U. for failing to reduce the NO2 (Nitrogen Oxide from deisel fumes i.e. carcinogenic) levels from THE 50% INCREASE above current Eurpoean air quality standards – and whereas the London Olympics are the Green Games, Spain’s, if succesful will be the “Dirty Games” – in more ways than one.

But Botella’s past environmental record has been a matter of public debate for years. The wife of former conservative prime minister José María Aznar had her first dispute with the environmentalists in early 2008, when she blamed “the African dust” for pollution in the city, apparently forgetting that 80 percent of the city’s pollution comes from NO2 from vehicle exhausts, not the Sahara desert. Environmentalists called her “ignorant” and she was even rebuked by the environment minister.

MEANWHILE YET ANOTHER AZNAR STOOGE, Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain, blusters his way through the daily demonstrations by students and those protesting austerity cuts, in Valencia and Barcelona, – contrast this with the red carpet treatment given to speculators and shiesters of all kinds. Aznar’s contact from NEWS LIMITED no doubt encouraged the idea of “Europa Vegas”, the €17bn (£14.3bn) massive casino project planned by the US billionaire Sheldon Adelson It is being touted to be built in either Barcelona or Madrid.  “We believe we have the necessary package of agreements with the government which we need to provide assurance of success,” Local officials, though, are bending over backwards to accommodate Adelson, who is reportedly demanding tax breaks, gambling law changes, new labour laws and free land as he extends his empire from Las Vegas and Asia into Europe.

“We need the support of the government,” he said. “We can’t draw up a plan, give it to the building department and wait six months to get an answer.”

Madrid is in the lead. Its regional prime minister, Esperanza Aguirre, has met Adelson five times. “We should change whatever norms have to be changed,” she said recently. “We have to encourage this … though there are some demands that can be accepted and others that cannot.” (During José María Aznar’s first term in government, Ms. Aguirre was appointed Minister of Education and Culture )

Francisco Camps (recently found not guilty on corruption charges in the Gurtel case), shares a tender moment with Esperanza Aguirre. And so the circle is complete.

GARZON GUILTY VERDICT IS SPAIN’S SHAME

http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/hub.1326407570.html

Supporters sign a poster of Baltasar Garzón in Madrid.

2 OF 3 VERDICTS AGAINST BALTHASAR GARZON HAVE NOW BEEN DELIVERED. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT IN ALL 3 CASES THE SPANISH SUPREME COURT PROSECUTOR HAS ASKED THAT  ALL CHARGES.BE DROPPED.

THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND, FROM WHICH THERE IS NO APPEAL LAST WEEK FOUND GARZON GUILTY OF ILLEGALLY WIRETAPPING CLIENT/LAWYER CONVERSATIONS AND SUSPENDED HIM FOR 11 YEARS. THIS WEEK THE HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND “SHELVED” THE NEW YORK bribery allegations on the basis that a staute of limitations applied, but did not quosh the charges.

A VERDICT IS STILL AWAITING ON THE CHARGE OF HAVING IGNORED THE AMNESTY LAWS OF THE 70’s AND ORDERING THAT CIVIL WAR VICTIMS BE ALLOWED TO BE EXHUMED FROM MASS GRAVES AND REBURIED.

THE MOST IDIOTIC RESPONSE HAS COME FROM DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría of the Partido Popular (PP), who demands that institutions be “respected” whilst failing to realise that institutions MUST EARN RESPECT through the quality of their decision making, and that where institutions are seen to be corrupt then questioning is warranted and indeed necessary by ALL. http://elpais.com/elpais/2012/02/10/inenglish/1328902787_716051.html

NO MATTER THAT GARZON was investigating up to 70 corrupt (PP) officials feeding at the E.U. “money trough” in the “good old days” since AZNAR, the money flowed like wine and to date no-one has been brought to justice for the mispent billions in Spain but BALTHASAR GARZON, the man who was leading the investigation.

NO MATTER THAT WIRE TAPS HAVE BEEN AUTHORISED in other judicial investigations on more than 1 occasion, and it is hardly supprising that GARZON’S PERSECUTION BY THE STACKED AND PERSONNALY BIASED JUDICIARY halts that particular investigation. excerpts from the tapes below IN JOSE YOLDI’S ARTICLE demonstrate the validity of Garzons cause.

The most balanced opinions I have heard are those from Amnesty International lawyer Hugo Relva

“The court stands to become the laughing stock of the judiciary”

“A coincidence according to plan.”                                                                           Jose Yoldi. 

The conviction against investigating judge Baltasar Garzón had been forecast as the most likely result in all the private bets at the Supreme Court, High Court and General Council of the Judiciary. The investigation into allegedly illegal wiretaps ordered by the judge got started in February 2010, the third of three cases brought against Garzón in the Supreme Court.

A year before that, the far-right group Manos Limpias had sued Garzón over his inquiry into Franco-era crimes that the then-High Court judge felt constituted crimes against humanity. This part of Spanish history has never been judicially investigated on the basis of an 1977 amnesty law. Soon afterwards, a third case that had already been dismissed, involving sponsorship by Santander bank of lectures Garzón gave at NYU, was reopened.

The Franco-crimes case against him, pursued passionately by Judge Luciano Varela, was necessary to temporarily suspend Garzón from his duties, and the New York case extended the suspicion that he improperly accepted money from a source he later cleared of tax fraud allegations. But the important case against Garzón was the wiretap order.

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BALTASAR GARZON, DEMOCRACY NOW INTERVIEW.

 BALTASAR GARZON IS INTERVIEWED BY AMY GOODMAN AND JUAN GONZALEZ in May 2011 before the November election swept Manuel Rajoy’s right-wing party to power in Spain. Since the election result was known on November 20th, (the anniversary of the death of dictator Francisco Franco), the “snails pace” Justice Department has proceeded with obscene haste to GET GARZON.

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This interview gives the background for Garzon’s ability to apply Universal Jurisdiction to bring to justice dictators like Augusto Pinochet, and dispense justice on behalf of victims. It also reveals (via Wikileaks) the pressure put on the Spanish Govenrment by the U.S.A. to drop the case. But as can be seen, his actions have strong public support.

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3 separate trials are now taking place consequatively forcing Garzon to defend himself consistently for up to 5 weeks in Spain’s highest court.

It is relevant to consider that Garzon was investigating the Gurtel corruption case involving up to 70 of Manuel Rajoy’s “Partido Popular” (PP). The Gürtel casefile consists of tens of thousands of pages describing possible financial irregularities and acts of personal favouritism within the Partido Popular. It´s regarded as the biggest political scandal since the corruption case against former Marbella mayor Julián Muñoz, who allegedly pocketed millions of euros from illegal real estate transactions.
The Gürtel investigation was opened by judge Baltasar Garzon, now himself an object of investigation before the supreme court for ordering investigations of crimes during the Franco-era and possible prevarication. Due to Garzon’s suspension, the Gurtel investigation has stopped.

Judge Baltasar Garzón is known for ordering the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and seeking to indict members of the Bush administration for their role in torturing prisoners. Now, Garzón himself is facing a trial in Madrid, after right-wing groups objected to his investigation of atrocities committed by supporters of the dictator Francisco Franco. While prosecutors reportedly disagreed with the charges that Garzón had exceeded his authority, Spanish law allows civilians to lodge criminal charges. If convicted, Garzón could lose his right to sit as a judge in Spain.

Garzón has used the doctrine of universal jurisdiction to investigate war crimes and torture across national lines, famously indicting Osama bin Laden and other members of al-Qaeda in 2003 and attempting to indict members of the Bush administration for authorizing torture at Guantánamo Bay and overseas.

THE REIGN IN SPAIN – FASCISM ON TRIAL NOT GARZON.

  Judge Baltasar Garzón is being investigated by Spain’s supreme court, charged with ‘perverting the course of justice’.

Thirty-five years after the death of General Francisco Franco, Spain is finally prosecuting someone in connection with the crimes of his dictatorship, and of the Spanish civil war which came before it. Unfortunately, the defendant in the case is Baltasar Garzón, the judge who sought to investigate those crimes.

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Socialist Prime Minister Jose Felipe Zapaterro called a Federal election for November 20th , 2011 –  his term of office was not due to expire until March 2012, he made the decision a full 12 months before then.

Why did he select the anniversary of the death of the fascist dictator Francisco Franco for the election he already knew he would lose?

Even before the full economic picture of Spain’s dire financial situation is revealed by Popular Party (PP) leader Manuel Rajoy, we are witnessing the “Inquisition” style persecution of Baltasar Garzon by the fascist element that lay dormant as the economic good times rolled. Everyone has been feeding at the trough, even the Royal Family is being investigated  as the King’s son-in-law faces charges of mis-appropriation of funds from corrupt regional governments.

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Dr Martin Luther King Jr, 3 Speeches.

January 15 was the anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. His legacy is being sought by environmentalists and social justice campaigners today. The “spark” that ignited people’s souls when Dr King spoke is just not there, so we slide.

Democracy Now brought the spark to mind in their commemoration of a truly great man by replaying his speech on the American war in Viet Nam, and tellingly, in his shockingly prophetic speech the day before his assasination, “I have been to the mountain top and seen the promised land”. The 3rd speech is the Washington Memorial speech, “I have a dream”

Close your eyes, listen to the words, feel the moment.

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Washington Memorial.

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INTELLIGENCE, WISDOM.

AND NOW THE CLOCK POINTS HISTRIONICALLY TO NOON,                                      SOME NEW KIND OF NORTH,                                                                                   AND WHICH WAY DO WE GO ?                                                                                     WHAT ARE DAYS FOR ?                                                                                                   TO WAKE US UP,                                                                                                           TO PUT BETWEEN THE ENDLESS NIGHTS.                                                                  Laurie Anderson, “Another day in America”.

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In a year when “Time” magazine awarded the “Person of the Year” to “The Protester” we are bound to examine the society that gave rise to the nomination. If we are unable, in truth, to question the viability of the society that gives the protester this status, then that society is not free. It is captive to a mindset that is totally subjective.

When a burning man sparks a global movement  in the middle east, against the intellectual conspiracy that maintains brutal dictatorships with oppressive regimes, it is no wonder that the virus of protest spreads to those places where the myth originate, to the west.

The year 2011 has been a defining year, and as another defining year approaches, each successive year will herald a yet more defining year. There is a choice we have to make NOW.

To accept the “neutrality” of progress and all that technology offers as we sleepwalk towards a future made baron for generations to come, or to progressively rid ourselves of the shackles of amnesia and be the advocate of change rather than the victim.

Highlights from Stewart Brand and Winona LaDuke Debate.  A Spirited Exchange on Technology and the Environment.  (Eart Island Journal)

An audience question from Actor/activist Peter Coyote presents the “debate” as one between “Intelligence and Wisdom”.

Winona Laduke, anti-tar sands activist, reminds us what role amnesia plays in the acceptance of lifestyle and the intellectual hubris it promotes. The argument from Stewart Brand to accept the “neutrality” of consumerism and marketing  is totally rejected by La Duke.

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Post war hardships subsided to the illusion of a vision of “You’ve never had it so good” and that was before the credit boom. The 30’s depression mantra that, “my kids will be better off than I was”, will in a very short time, not only be unrealizable, but a fool’s paradise. The next “new bubble” emerges marketing “choice” based on amnesia, but the big economic bubble is now bursting. The “lifestyle” experiment is coming to an end.

When we look to the west, we observe a social form that has tried to engineer world domination with a century of world wars, until it was taken to its science fiction conclusion with star wars.         So the west opted for a more subtle method of ideological domination, “Lifestyle”, free market capitalism, another vote winning  “no brainer.”

The global ”Occupy” virus has exposed amnesia by revealing the extent of the “inequality” that has evolved, both within western society, and between developed and developing. When the attempt is made to share the “pie” with “other than” western society, the magnanimous gesture is based on the unsustainable demand that the “American lifestyle is non-negotiable”.

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 29 experts, including Herman Daly, were asked,  “What do you think should be the two or three highest priority political outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in June 2012?”

His answer succinctly sums up the Steady-State perspective.

“The conclusion of the 1972 Limits to Growth study by the Club of Rome still stands 40 years later. Even though economies are still growing, and still put growth in first place, it is no longer economic growth, at least in wealthy countries, but has become uneconomic growth. In other words, the environmental and social costs of increased production are growing faster than the benefits, increasing “illth” faster than wealth, thereby making us poorer, not richer.

We hide the uneconomic nature of growth from ourselves by faulty national accounting because growth is our panacea, indeed our idol, and we are very afraid of the idea of a steady-state economy. The increasing “illth” is evident in exploding financial debt, in biodiversity loss, and in destruction of natural services, most notably climate regulation.

The major job of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development is to help us overcome this denial and shift the path of progress from quantitative growth to qualitative development, from bigger to better. Specifically this will mean working toward a steady-state economy at a sustainable (smaller than present) scale relative to the containing ecosystem that is finite and already overstressed.

Since growth now makes us poorer, not richer, poverty reduction will require sharing in the present, not the empty promise of growth in the future”

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End of Year Ad from Occupy Barcelona , 15M.

This is a film which aired on Barcelona t.v. (Ch 103), with some very beautiful messages and thoughts for next year ………

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Dmitry Orlov, a presentation and an interview.

A recording of the public lecture by Dmitry Orlov on 9 June 2009, at the Davenport Hotel, Dublin, Ireland.  This was the opening talk to the 3 day conference The New Emergency: Managing Risk and Building Resilience in a Resource Constrained World.
This conference was organised by Feasta, the Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability. The talk is entitled  “Seizing the Mid-Collapse Moment”

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More recently Dmitry Orlov gave an interview with Tancrede Bastie which is available in FRENCH at http://www.orbite.info/traductions/dmitry_orlov/index.html and at http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/ and                                  http://energybulletin.net/stories/2011-12-16/conversation-dmitry-orlov-about-europe

The last question and response are incisive comments about the difficulties associated with the future.

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“If you read Dmitry carefully, scrupulously separating the factual bad news, which are beyond his control, from his views on what can be done to survive and live in a post-industrial world, you will find evidence of strong optimism.”  T.B.

TB: What difference do you see between American and European close future?

DO: European countries are historical entities that still hold vestiges of allegiances beyond the monetized, corporate realm, while the United States was started as a corporate entity, based on a revolution that was essentially a tax revolt and thus has no fall-back. The European population is less transient than in America, with a stronger sense of regional belonging and are more likely to be acquainted with their neighbors and to be able to find a common language and to find solutions to common problems.

Probably the largest difference, and the one most promising for fruitful discussion, is in the area of local politics. European political life may be damaged by money politics and free market liberalism, but unlike in the United States, it does not seem completely brain-dead. At least I hope that it isn’t completely dead; the warm air coming out of Brussels is often indistinguishable from the vapor vented by Washington, but better things might happen on the local level. In Europe there is something of a political spectrum left, dissent is not entirely futile, and revolt is not entirely suicidal. In all, the European political landscape may offer many more possibilities for relocalization, for demonitization of human relationships, for devolution to more local institutions and support systems, than the United States.

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POPULATION and the MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS.

I saw an article some time before I got “absorbed” into the machinations of the Durban COP 17 negotiations. It detailed how over 100 MILION Chinese people had just been “classified” as “below the poverty line” WHEN CHINA RAISED THE POVERTY LINE THRESHOLD. It was RAISED to $1 per day FROM 50 cents per day. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/30/china-raises-rural-poverty-line

WHEN THE MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS WERE AGREED THE (then) POVERTY LINE WAS $1 p.d.

12 YEARS LATER THEY HAVE HAD A 25% PAY RISE !!!!!    That obviously pleases the statasticians who send these figures up to the U.N. in GLOWING reports. The common (misguded) claim that “trickle down economics” has lifted “BILLIONS” out of poverty is RUBBISH.

WESTERN INDUSTRIALISED SOCIETY LAMENTS the destruction of the middle class through debt and we are witness to (what we consider) “poverty”, 10 million people in Spain having to exist on $130 a week. Social Security is a disappearing phenomena in America. It would be healthy to ANALYSE what poverty MEANS.

THE GLOBAL POPULATION is at 7 BILLION. We now add 1 BILLION every 12 YEARS

THE ISSUE OF “POVERTY” IS RELEVANT AS “WEALTH”  is associated with good education leading to a certain level of ECONOMIC “PROSPERITY”. This is undisputed. What is disputed is the level of “POVERTY” which “really” exists.

This film is “an indicator” of progress towards the MDG’s

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George Papandreou and Democracy.

AMY GOODMAN got a scoop when covering the Durban COP 17 when George Papandreou attended the talks. This interview the ex Greek P.M. talks of democracy in Greece, the referendum, the Occupy movement. He defines tax havens and globalisation as the biggest threat to democracy as they remove “power” from the nation. Very interesting to hear him speak after reading so much during the ongoing Euro crisis.

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COP 17 Problems, a prelude to “villains”.

Oklahoma Republican Senator JIM INHOFE sent this “message of encouragement” to a COP 17 “sideshow” run by Climate Sceptics. (Monckton was there).

THIS IS TYPICAL OF THE BONE HEADED REASONING THAT MAKES ‘PROGRESS’ EXTREMELY HARD, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, MUST GIVE CAUSE FOR ‘PROGRESS’ TO BE RECOGNISED.

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It’s time to “name and shame”, and the top of the pile is the U.S. Republican Party who, to a man (or woman) refuse to accept the science of Anthropogenic Global Warming.  JIM INHOFE is the top of the pile …… Thank you for your intergenerational wishes Jim. He is the man that nominates Monckton to appear at Senate Climate Change hearings and start the whiteanting.

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ANOTHER CHARACTER WHO NEEDS THE TORCHLIGHT TO EXPOSE HIS SILLOUHETTE IS BRITISH P.M. DAVID CAMERON.

Looking remarkably “compatible” with Tony Blair, Cameron has carried out the coup of the millenium by NOT replacing him after Gordon Brown’s election defeat. It was Blair and Brown who guided the U.K. to the edge of bankruptcy with the “LIGHT TOUCH” regulatory approach over the financial sector. But it was Cameron who claimed he would head, “the greenest government ever”

Very quick off the mark with Libya, Cameron’s determination to decide “in the national interest” has just caused a major ruckus in the E.U. Cameron is decidely opposed to a Financial Transactions Tax, (on behalf of the “City of London Square Mile”). The European Union is to introduce a “Robin Hood Tax” soon, but can only do that once the fiscal union is complete.

Cameron decided to act on behalf of the London Financial sector by using power of veto to prevent action. What this has actually done is “cast England adrift, floating somewhere in the north Atlantic” – effectively relegating the U.K. to a role “outside” fiscal union decision making with the other 26 E.U. members framing financial policy.

SMART MOVE DAVID, as one British Euro supporter Paddy Ashdowne commented. “In one night, 38 years of Foreign Policy is washed away.”

Olli Rehn E.U. vice president commented ; “If [Cameron's] move was intended to prevent bankers and financial corporations in the [City of London] from being regulated, that is not going to happen. We must all draw lessons from the financial crisis, and that goes for the financial sector as well.”

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OCCUPY BARCELONA UPDATE.

This film clip from Brandon Jourdan on how the Acampada has devolved from Placa Catalunya into the Barrio’s (suburbs). although the election result didn’t fully explain the absentee/spoil vote issue well, they do have polled support of 70%+, THIS WAS an election though, one that was selected by Zapatero to co-incide with the anniversary of the death of Generalisimo Franco, November 20th. Did Zapatero give some thought to the possible re-emergence of new fascist philosophy, based on “market fundamentalism” ?

Anyway the “Occupy” movement is alive and well, and will grow when further austerity measures are announced. Spain isn’t done with the financial shocks to its banks just at present.

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Ixpieth comment; Having read an article in the Guardian by fellow 15M author/journalist Katherine Ainger called “The Spanish election is a mandate for the indignados” , many comments were lodged stating this was a misinterpretation of the result. Katherine did “adjust” her comment and admit the absentee were part of claimed 15M “swing”. The absentee vote was, in fact, almost the same as the last election, and the “spoiled” vote had barely changed.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/21/spanish-election-mandate-indignados

Accepting that in the last election many conservatives did not vote, and the enthusiastic socialist vote was Zapatero’d out, and possibly DID accept the advice from 15M to “absentee or spoil” it is feasible that there was strong electoral support. But this was an election which should be considered in that light. 15M is  the basis of a global movement and has progressed, and is as impressive now as then, ON 15M.

It’s claims will be subject to heated debate and their arguments must be solid.          “WE ARE GOING SLOW BECAUSE WE ARE GOING FAR”..

Naomi Klein described Occupy as a global “state of mind”, Eduardo Galeano described it as the “birth of another world”. It has been a totally unexpected and great beginning, who knows what the future will turn up.

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Naomi Wolfe on her experiences being arrested in New York after speaking with demonstrators.

The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy

The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class’s venality

 Naomi Wolf

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Media Manipulation.

This post is in response to a comment left on Naomi Klein’s article “Capitalism vs Climate. The reader left the comment “For the sake of all humanity I hope Iran and Israel do not go to war”  which was perplexing for quite a while. Yesterday I received an email from Media Lens, a website which is an outstanding source of “fact checking” spurious news items.

This was entitled  ‘They Found Nothing. Nothing.’ The IAEA, Iran And ‘Fantasy Land’, and went on to explain the fabrications engaged in by most english speaking newspapers which is, Media Lens claims, directed at setting the scene for war with Iran. President Obama at the recent APEC conference did NOTHING to dispel these thoughts by insisting that “everything is on the table for discussion”. Meanwhile Israel’s stance on war is hardening, and as Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now !” discovers in this interview with Seymour Hersch, the public opinion is being lulled into the inevitable  acceptance of war by a news bombardment that refuses to print balanced opinion.

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The Media Lens article goes on to display a litany of unchecked  facts and statements in all the U.K. press regarding the I.A.E.A. presidents past and present ;

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OCCUPY EVERYWHERE.

OCCUPY EVERYWHERE ; THE MOVEMENT AGAINST CORPORATE POWER.      Organised by “The Nation” magazine and “The New School”

An engrossing panel discussion occured just 2 nights ago in New York which is long, (over 2 hours) but one of the best discussions I have seen/heard on the nature of the “Occupy” movement, the situation it faces and possible outcomes.

The panelists were, Michael Moore, filmaker; Patrick Bruner, a representative elected from OWS; Rinku Sen, racial justice advocate; Bill Grider, journalist and author; and Naomi Klein, Canadian author. A brilliant clarion call to get activated and a frank discussion of obstacles and what everyone can do to Occupy Everywhere.

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 http://www.thenation.com/

Your Never Alone With A Drone Pt 2

The Democracy Now interview below details the terrible practice Obama has intensified in his years as President. “Dubbya” began drone attacks but the fact emerges Obama has “signed off” on 85% of them.

“Those attacks that take place outside of the geographical area of armed conflict are extra-judicial killings contrary to international Human Rights Law and domestic criminal law unless the persons involved were killed while trying to evade lawful capture.”  Oxford Research Group, 2011 Discussion Paper, Drone Attacks.

There are now reported to have been 277 drone attacks since they began in 2004, 85% occuring since Obama took office in 2008. Between 2,300 – 3,000 people have been killed and President Obama is the first to announce that a high ranking Taliban or Al Qaeda “terrorist” is “hit”. No sign of Obama when a 16 year old and a 12 year old are killed though. They were the 174th and 175th confirmed child casualties in Pakistan.

Republican Senator Ron Paul in a Fox network interview commented , “We’re bombing Pakistan and trying to kill some people, making a lot of mistakes, building up our enemies, at the same time we’re giving billions of dollars to the government of Pakistan,” Ron Paul added. “We’re more or less inciting a civil war there, so I think that makes us less safe.

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Dmitry Orlov speaks,.

Well he does, and he speaks very well and his very deadpan delivery hides quite a wicked sense of humour. He engages because he takes a different aspect of a familiar issue and places a unique interpetation around it. Being able to see the same issue from a different perspective and make it tangible is a great talent, particularly when there are recommendations for a better future.

Born in Russia, Orlov has witnessed collapse, and can place experience behind his words.

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Franco Berardi Bifo, Insurrection.

Italian academic Franco Berardi Bifo gives an impassioned speech explaining the extremes of current action within society in response to the systemic failures we are facing. It is noteworthy that this is a European wide sentiment.

Occupy Melbourne Yeeeeeh !

Delighted to see this when I woke up today, recognising some of the faces in the crowd that has added to what can now be called a global movement. With the Carbon Tax going through the Senate in November there is really something to show the world,    Yes WE can.

Adbusters 15th October big day out.

I was in Placa Catalunya on the 15th May when this was born. I have never seen or been in a space that was packed so tight with so many people. I visited the site many times during the 6 weeks of rain, police brutality and deep deep indignation that is felt in Spain. 40% + of the youth of this country are unemployed, 2 million houses lay empty as people are being evicted I bear witness to the genuiness of this movement. A virus that has spread to the rest of Europe and America that will have it’s day.

“Our dreams cannot fit in your ballot box”

Stephane Hessel – Time for Outrage.

Stephane Hessel is interviewed on Democracy Now. The 94 year old born during the year of the Russian Revolution wrote a small book “Time for Outrage” last year which has sold 3.5 million copies. It is a cornerstone for protestors in Tahrir Square, Spain and now Wall St. His experiences as a French Resistance fighter, concentration camp survivor and co author of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights give his opinions some weight, and more importantly, validity, as the democracy which we are so proud of lies in tatters. This wonderful interview, and his thoughts are inspiring many people to take back what has been lost. as he warns that indifference is our worst enemy.

Arab Spring, European Summer, American Autumn, Winter of Discontent.

As we put another load in the washing machine, or wonder who will be the first to be ejected from the latest “X Factor” show, other important issues enter the minds of a new global citizenry.

Clocks are stopping as another crash occurs, defining moments are now common to more and more people, as the way things have been for the last 30 years lurch towards an as yet undefined precipice. Socially, economically and environmentally the prosperity bus is finding less and less traction as the steep gradient on the Mountain of Debt slows the engines of growth. Continue reading

Eduardo Galeano and the birth of a new world.

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