martes, junio 30, 2009


Alba TV se propone construir un modelo de comunicación diferente, antagónico al dominante, un modelo de comunicación socialista, tarea que no puede ser delegada sino que debe ser asumida directamente por los trabajadores, campesinos, indígenas, los oprimidos, porque en este modelo de comunicación no puede existir ningún tipo de intermediarios.

Canal Comunitario Internacional

ALBA TV, herramienta para la organización popular

Alba TV es un proyecto para la integración desde los pueblos, desde los movimientos sociales, desde las comunidades que junto a las televisoras comunitarias del continente articulamos las luchas populares contra el imperialismo, por la construcción y fortalecimiento de la identidad del sur, y para impulsar las transformaciones políticas, económicas y culturales hacia el socialismo.

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World Energy Outlook 2009 - Climate Change Excerpt

Following IEA discussions with national governments, the UNFCCC Secretariat and a number of key climate change experts, Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka has taken the decision to exceptionally release a special early excerpt of the World Energy Outlook 2009 climate change analysis, and to make this available to all governments participating in the international climate change negotiations.

Negotiators had signalled their desire to be equipped with the WEO 2009 climate change analysis as early as possible, in order that a detailed understanding of the energy sector can be fully incorporated in the UNFCCC negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009. The urgent need for this early input also came through strongly at the WEO 2009 Climate Change Workshop, held on 15 April 2009 in Stockholm, and attended by senior representatives of OECD and non-OECD governments, as well as executives from industry and major international organisations.

The World Energy Outlook 2009 Climate Change Excerpt will be released to coincide with key climate discussions this autumn, such as the UNFCCC meeting in Bangkok between 28 September and 9 October 2009 which is a fundamental session in the run-up to Copenhagen. The WEO excerpt will set out the latest energy trends and their impact on greenhouse-gas emissions, updated in light of the financial crisis, as well as detailing a pathway for the energy sector to achieve a transition to a low-carbon world – with a particular focus on the investments needed between today and 2020, a focal point for the international negotiations.

In a year that is so crucial for securing a new global deal to address climate change, the IEA is pleased to take this unprecedented step to ensure that all Parties participating in the negotiations have early access to the new IEA World Energy Outlook scenarios. Of course, they will also be able to look forward to the formal launch and publication of the World Energy Outlook 2009 on 10 November. The full text will contain substantially more climate change data and analysis, as well as important studies on natural gas market prospects and on the energy sector in Southeast Asia.



LINK: http://www.worldenergyoutlook.org/

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lunes, junio 29, 2009

A Few Thoughts on the Coup in Honduras

It is impossible to imagine that the US was not aware that the coup was in the works. At minimum, the US could have flexed its tremendous economic muscle before the coup and told the military coup plotters to stand down.

By Jeremy Scahill

There is a lot of great analysis circulating on the military coup against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras. I do not see a need to re-invent the wheel. (See here here here and here). However, a few key things jump out at me. First, we know that the coup was led by Gen. Romeo Vasquez, a graduate of the US Army School of the Americas. As we know very well from history, these “graduates” maintain ties to the US military as they climb the military career ladders in their respective countries. That is a major reason why the US trains these individuals.

Secondly, the US has a fairly significant military presence in Honduras. Joint Task Force-Bravo is located at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. The base is home to some 550 US military personnel and more than 650 US and Honduran civilians:

They work in six different areas including the Joint Staff, Air Force Forces (612th Air Base Squadron), Army Forces, Joint Security Forces and the Medical Element. 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, a US Army South asset, is a tenant unit also based at Soto Cano. The J-Staff provides command and control for JTF-B.

The New York Times reports that “The unit focuses on training Honduran military forces, counternarcotics operations, search and rescue, and disaster relief missions throughout Central America.”

Significantly, according to GlobalSecurity, “Soto Cano is a Honduran military installation and home of the Honduran Air Force.”

This connection to the Air Force is particularly significant given this report in NarcoNews:

The head of the Air Force, Gen. Luis Javier Prince Suazo, studied in the School of the Americas in 1996. The Air Force has been a central protagonist in the Honduran crisis. When the military refused to distribute the ballot boxes for the opinion poll, the ballot boxes were stored on an Air Force base until citizens accompanied by Zelaya rescued them. Zelaya reports that after soldiers kidnapped him, they took him to an Air Force base, where he was put on a plane and sent to Costa Rica.

It is impossible to imagine that the US was not aware that the coup was in the works. In fact, this was basically confirmed by The New York Times in Monday’s paper:

As the crisis escalated, American officials began in the last few days to talk with Honduran government and military officials in an effort to head off a possible coup. A senior administration official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity, said the military broke off those discussions on Sunday.

While the US has issued heavily-qualified statements critical of the coup—in the aftermath of the events in Honduras—the US could have flexed its tremendous economic muscle before the coup and told the military coup plotters to stand down. The US ties to the Honduran military and political establishment run far too deep for all of this to have gone down without at least tacit support or the turning of a blind eye by some US political or military official(s).

Here are some facts to consider: the US is the top trading partner for Honduras. The coup plotters/supporters in the Honduran Congress are supporters of the “free trade agreements” Washington has imposed on the region. The coup leaders view their actions, in part, as a rejection of Hugo Chavez’s influence in Honduras and with Zelaya and an embrace of the United States and Washington’s “vision” for the region. Obama and the US military could likely have halted this coup with a simple series of phone calls. For an interesting take on all of this, make sure to check out Nikolas Kozloff’s piece on Counterpunch, where he writes:

In November, Zelaya hailed Obama’s election in the U.S. as “a hope for the world,” but just two months later tensions began to emerge. In an audacious letter sent personally to Obama, Zelaya accused the U.S. of “interventionism” and called on the new administration in Washington to respect the principle of non-interference in the political affairs of other nations.

Here are some independent news sources on this story:

School of the Americas Watch

NarcoNews

Eva Golinger’s Postcards from the Revolution

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sábado, junio 27, 2009

An excerpt from the latest posting in Sibel Edmonds' excellent blog:

Chip Pitts has an interesting analysis on ‘Twitter Factor’ over at CSR LAW. It is extensively documented and linked. I plan to go back and read it a second time.

Philip Giraldi has a refreshing perspective on the latest concerning Iran over at
AntiWar.

Giraldi appropriately bashes the newly found expertise among those who’ve been muddying historical facts and what’s really happening on the ground with their intentional fiction, spin, or, ignorant interpretation reeking with naivety or plain old stupidity:
    “Having spent much of my working life as an intelligence officer on the street in places like Istanbul, I am astonished at what passes for expertise in the debate over what to do about Iran. It is clear that even the few genuine experts on Iran don’t really know what is going on there because they are slaves to their sources of information, which tend to reflect their own philosophical viewpoints and are, in any event, narrowly based.”
Here are a few excerpts on ‘Twitter Hero’ Mousavi:
    “He is, in reality, a defender of extremely corrupt vested interests. That he has attracted the support of the so-called "Gucci crowd" of twentyish twitterers does not mean that he has embraced western values.”
I love his right on target characterization here: “Gucci Crowd of Twentyish Twitterers”!! Well-said, Phil, totally in line with what I’ve been getting from my Iranian sources here and over there.

    “And then there is the corruption issue, Iran’s six hundred pound gorilla. Mousavi is heir to the corrupt Iran of the post- revolutionary period when the country was looted by the senior clerics cooperating with the business class, the bazaaris.”
The corruption charges on Mousavi are valid; have been established. He appears to fit the “
State Department Viable Candidate Criteria,’ don’t you agree? And, here is another good observation:
    “If there was one thing I learned from twenty years of experience as a military intelligence and CIA officer it is that nothing is ever what it seems. If a situation appears to be clear cut, with good guys and bad guys arrayed against each other it is probably anything but. So maybe black and white comes out gray. All the more reason to step back.”
And this is how Giraldi nicely wraps up his piece:
    “The old Hippocratic advice to doctors to "do no harm" should perhaps be the best advice for the American political chattering classes and the media. Doing no harm regarding events in Iran is to stay out of it.”
That’s it for a quick round up of a few select issues while Sanford Gate & the Iran Spin machine are busy at work, taking up space and time all over the news and much of the blogosphere…

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In early 1996 I had Parry as a guest on my radio talk show on WGDR (Plainfield, Vermont), and we talked extensively about the October Surprise scandal. In fact, it is this scandal that first sparked my interest in investigative journalism in the 1980's.


Iran Divided & the 'October Suprise'

By Robert Parry (A Special Report)
June 24, 2009

Iran’s current political divisions can be traced back to a controversy nearly three decades ago when Iran faced war with Iraq and became entwined with U.S. and Israeli political maneuvers that set all three countries on a dangerous course that continues to this day.



LINK:
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/062409.html

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viernes, junio 26, 2009


From: Comidita

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jueves, junio 25, 2009

THE OIL INTENSITY OF FOOD

Lester R. Brown

Today we are an oil-based civilization, one that is totally dependent on a resource whose production will soon be falling. Since 1981, the quantity of oil extracted has exceeded new discoveries by an ever-widening margin. In 2008, the world pumped 31 billion barrels of oil but discovered fewer than 9 billion barrels of new oil. World reserves of conventional oil are in a free fall, dropping every year.

Discoveries of conventional oil total roughly 2 trillion barrels, of which 1 trillion have been extracted so far, with another trillion barrels to go. By themselves, however, these numbers miss a central point. As security analyst Michael Klare notes, the first trillion barrels was easy oil, “oil that’s found on shore or near to shore; oil close to the surface and concentrated in large reservoirs; oil produced in friendly, safe, and welcoming places.” The other half, Klare notes, is tough oil, “oil that’s buried far offshore or deep underground; oil scattered in small, hard-to-find reservoirs; oil that must be obtained from unfriendly, politically dangerous, or hazardous places.”

This prospect of peaking oil production has direct consequences for world food security, as modern agriculture depends heavily on the use of fossil fuels. Most tractors use gasoline or diesel fuel. Irrigation pumps use diesel fuel, natural gas, or coal-fired electricity. Fertilizer production is also energy-intensive. Natural gas is used to synthesize the basic ammonia building block in nitrogen fertilizers. The mining, manufacture, and international transport of phosphates and potash all depend on oil.

READ THE REST: http://www.earthpolicy.org/Books/Seg/PB3ch02_ss3.htm

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Agrocombustibles: cifras para el desánimo


Existen 800 millones de automovilistas que quieren garantizar su medio de movilidad, y que enfrentan el interés de los dos mil millones de personas más pobres del mundo que luchan por su sobrevivencia, por su alimentación. Lester R. Brown (2006)

Para sustituir diesel con biodiesel en sólo dos por ciento se necesitaría emplear el 50 por ciento de la producción mundial de aceites vegetales. Miguel Baltanás (2006)

Llenar el tanque de una camioneta SUB (casi 94 litros) en Estados Unidos requiere 204 kilos de maíz, cantidad que contiene suficientes calorías para alimentar a una persona durante un año. Agencia EFE

Los monocultivos a gran escala pueden conducir a una significante pérdida de biodiversidad, erosión del terreno y filtración de nutrientes. Informe de la ONU sobre los Agrocombustibles.

Una tonelada de maíz puede producir 413 litros (109 galones) de etanol. Con esa cantidad un moderno automóvil estadounidense puede recorrer unos dos mil 800 kilómetros. Esto debería proyectarse para cerca de 150 millones de autos existentes en Estados Unidos. Ángel Rodríguez Álvarez en su informe “Etanol: ¿combustible limpio?”

Por cada tonelada de combustible obtenido de la palma de aceite se producen 33 toneladas de emisiones de CO2, o lo que es lo mismo, diez veces más que las producidas por el petróleo. Informe de la consultora holandesa Delfi Hydraulics

Un litro de etanol genera una erosión de entre 15 y 25 kilos de suelo, lo cual significa su pura y simple desaparición. Además, según sea la región, se necesita entre 500 y mil 500 litros de agua para producir un kilo de maíz, lo que significa que un litro de etanol extraído del maíz requiere la utilización de entre 120 y 360 litros de agua. Eco Portal

En Indonesia el gobierno prevé destruir 16.5 millones de hectáreas de selva tropical para plantar palma de aceite, con el fin de obtener biodiesel. En Malasia el plan es para seis millones de hectáreas. En Sumatra y Borneo ya han sido convertidas en plantaciones de palma aceitera cuatro millones de hectáreas. Amigos de la Tierra

Según la FAO, entre 2003 y 2008 se duplicó el uso de maíz para biocombustibles y se prevé que la demanda aumentará 12 veces para el 2016.

Fuente: La Jornada del Campo

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Eric Holt-Giménez reads from "Food Rebellions"

Eric Holt-Giménez reads from "Food Rebellions" from Marilyn Borchardt on Vimeo.



Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director of the Institute for Food & Development Policy / Food First reads from his new book, 'Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice', co-written by Raj Patel with Annie Shattuck. This presentation is from the event Not Just Change, But Justice: U.S. Trade Policy & its Impacts on Food, Land, and Immigration. May 2, 2009.

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miércoles, junio 24, 2009

From Sibel Edmonds' 123 Real Change blog:

State Department Seeks ‘Viable’ Iranian Candidates


Now Accepting Applications


The State Department seeks a ‘viable’ Iranian political candidate to lead and channel the current dissenter factions in Iran to topple the current Anti-US regime and replace it with one certified and approved by the United States Government and US ‘special’ business interests. The latest developments in Iran have presented our ‘real’ policy makers with a golden opportunity to execute their plan for Iran and to at long last achieve their objectives. The previous administration’s bold and hawkish methodology and their overly used and exhausted ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ and ‘evilization’ rhetoric failed to achieve these objectives, which are shared by those who actually ‘matter’ in our country. Today we have a new administration brought to power by brilliantly and masterfully utilizing the rhetoric of ‘change.’ This new slogan of ‘change’ includes a new style and methodology in addressing long-sought Iran objectives. This opportunity is mutual, where the Iranian candidate of our choice will enjoy not only the symbolic power position supported and protected by US intelligence and military services, but enormous monetary benefits he or she will be able and allowed to parasitically extract from the resources and people of Iran. This may be your opportunity.

Listed below are the candidate qualification criteria and ‘some’ of the unclassified major benefits we are committed to providing the chosen ‘viable’ candidate. Also attached are two appendixes to provide you with examples of ‘real life’ candidates we have successfully installed and supported. In order to make them even more relevant we chose examples from your neighboring countries. Once you submit your application you will receive an initial package containing additional examples, similar to those listed in these two appendices, in much greater detail.

READ THE REST by clicking this link

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This wonderful piece about a Palestinian farmer was published two years ago in GRAIN's Seedling magazine. But today it remains every little bit as timely.




Sharif Omar

Sharif Omar is a farmers’ leader in Jayyus, a small Palestinian village in the West Bank. Jayyus is not far from the green line – the border between Israel and the West Bank established in 1948. When the Israeli government began to build a concrete wall to separate Israel from land in the Occupied Territories that might eventually become a Palestinian state, they did not follow the green line. They routed it in such a way as to embrace the illegal Israeli settlements, and in the process hived off a good deal of Palestinian farmland. Jayyus is one of the villages that the wall has cut off from its people’s farms.

It is impossible to say how long we have lived in Jayyus. The farms have been handed down for generations, and there are huge extended families. The farms next to my land belong to my cousins, and the land beyond that to more distant cousins. Jayyus is an old village. Archaeologists have found stones from Roman times and clay and glass pots from Roman or even Greek times. Some of my olive trees are thought to be more than 1,000 years old. So we feel that we’ve always been here. Now, coming forward into my lifetime, as you know, in 1947 UN Resolution 181 gave the Palestinians 51 per cent of historic Palestine, and the Jewish settlers 49 per cent. Palestinians refused this because they possessed 92 per cent of the land at that time and the settlers possessed only 8 per cent. There were 600,000 settlers and 2.5 million Palestinians. The Palestinians were deceived when the Arab armies, led by Glubb Pasha, ordered them to put down their guns, saying they would fight on their behalf. There wasn’t really a battle, and the Israelis got 78 per cent of Palestine and left us 22 per cent. And now, if the Israelis achieve their plans with the wall, they will leave us approximately 13 per cent of Palestine, and it will not be in one place, it will be in five compartments. And Gaza will be separate, so I don’t believe that we will have a state if we have this wall.



To see the rest of the story:
http://www.grain.org/seedling/?id=474

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martes, junio 23, 2009

Unfortunately, fine journalists like Jeremy Scahill are rare to find in the USA.

Obama's Undeclared War Against Pakistan Continues, Despite His Attempt to Downplay It

In a new interview, Obama said he has “no intention” of sending US troops into Pakistan. But US troops are already in the country and US drones attack Pakistan regularly.

By Jeremy Scahill

Three days after his inauguration, on January 23, 2009, President Barack Obama ordered US predator drones to attack sites inside of Pakistan, reportedly killing 15 people. It was the first documented attack ordered by the new US Commander in Chief inside of Pakistan. Since that first Obama-authorized attack, the US has regularly bombed Pakistan, killing scores of civilians. The New York Times reported that the attacks were clear evidence Obama “is continuing, and in some cases extending, Bush administration policy.” In the first 99 days of 2009, more than 150 people were reportedly killed in these drone attacks. The most recent documented attack was reportedly last Thursday in Waziristan. Since 2006, the US drone strikes have killed 687 people (as of April). That amounts to about 38 deaths a month just from drone attacks.

The use of these attack drones by Obama should not come as a surprise to anyone who followed his presidential campaign closely. As a candidate, Obama made clear that Pakistan’s sovereignty was subservient to US interests, saying he would attack with or without the approval of the Pakistani government. Obama said if the US had “actionable intelligence” that “high value” targets were in Pakistan, the US would attack. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, echoed those sentiments on the campaign trail and “did not rule out U.S. attacks inside Pakistan, citing the missile attacks her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, ordered against Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. ‘If we had actionable intelligence that Osama bin Laden or other high-value targets were in Pakistan I would ensure that they were targeted and killed or captured,’ she said.”

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This is part of a posting from Sibel Edmonds' blog, which I learned about last week also. Thanks to David Rodríguez for telling me about it.

Iran one Last Time: Twitter Works Both Ways


Seeking Our Iranian Comrades’ Solidarity

Dear Activists in Iran:

We stand in solidarity with you and your movement against the alleged election fraud you’ve claimed. In return we hope you will reciprocate by supporting us in our struggle here in which we’ve been engaged for hmmmm…more or less eight years now – the following is an abbreviated list of our grievances:

  • We the people of the United States have been spied upon by our government around the clock. All our communications - phone, cell, e-mail, fax, are being monitored. This even includes our ‘twitting’ with you; that’s right! They keep saying it’s for our own safety and that it’s to catch terrorists among us. They have yet to catch any, but they keep saying ‘it don’t matter - soon the results will show you.’ What do they mean by this? Our representatives are not giving us answers, instead declaring their own solidarity with the spying program targeting all of us. This should matter to you, since many here are afraid to follow you on twitter out of their fear of becoming one of those ‘results’ our government has been promising to show. Imagine how many more of us you’d get without this oppressive pressure! So please join us and declare your solidarity with us in this regard.
  • We the people of the United States have been coerced into financing and supporting atrocious torture practices and killing of civilians in defenseless third world countries, who happen to be your neighbors. We’ve been financing it directly with our taxes, and supporting it through those representatives we somehow keep electing to speak and decide for us. We know your media is not that much better than ours, but surely you have heard our torture stories. To make it fit today’s graphic news we even have thousands of pictures to show. Does your government photograph or capture theirs on video? Exactly; it’s that bad! In our name and with our votes our military and their mercenary contractors have been piling up tens of thousands of civilian bodies in Iraq and Afghanistan. We don’t seem to be able to put a stop to that either. We keep going to the booths and voting, but things remain the same; they keep getting our tax dollars at the end of each week’s hard work, they keep getting ‘yeah’ votes from our representatives, and they keep killing, kidnapping, and torturing. We are not bad people, as you are not ‘axis of evil’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘fanatics.’ We really don’t believe in building empires, torturing, and killing. But we are stuck, and we keep continuing the same cycle, only worse with every new turn. Please help us figure out a way to help ourselves. We really need your solidarity in finding a way to stop these atrocious human rights violations committed in our name and with our money.
  • We the people of the United States have been kept in the dark on so many issues directly related to us and affecting us due to our mainstream media - which has to come to resemble the ‘Pravda’ we used to look down upon. They don’t tell us much, and what they tell us is usually what they get directly from our government. At least you all know that what you’re getting over there is sanitized and censored, since there seems to be no pretense to otherwise. Our situation is worse! Many of our people still think they’ve got ‘freedom of the press’ and independent reporting, so they don’t bother ‘twitting’ or searching the net for real news. Many who do ‘twit’ limit it to a few key words like Brittany or Brangelina or Kate, and this is after they get bombarded with them from our ‘news’ channels. Please don’t get discouraged or offended when you come across many of us who don’t know where Iran is located, or think you ride camels over there, or that you speak Arabic, or,...Instead come and lend your solidarity in helping us find a way to inform our masses and help them see the light.

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This is from Traveller Within, a blog I discovered just a week ago. Here is a little bio info about its author.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

To You, the new Iran 'expert'

Yes, you.

Who, until this morning, thought that 'Shiraz' was just the name of a wine

Who's beaming with pride you can now write 'Ahmadinejad' without copy-and-pasting it from a news website

Who only heard of Evin prison when Roxana Saberi was there (Roxana who?)

Who changed your Facebook profile picture to a green rectangle saying "Where's my vote?" even though you don't actually vote in Iran

Who actually thinks that Mir-Hossein Mousavi is a secular
And that his election means that Iran will give up its nuclear claims
And allow you to visit Tehran for Christmas

Who joyfully makes Azadi/Tiananmen square comparisons
Who first heard of Azadi square last Sunday

Who's quick to link to articles you haven't read, debunking other articles you've barely heard of

Who has just discovered that Iran has a (quasi-)democracy, and elections, and the like

Who blinked in disbelief at the images of women - oh, they have women! and they're not in burkas! - demonstrating

Who has never heard of Rezai or Karroubi before (hint: they ran for election in a Middle-Eastern country last Friday)
Who staunchly believes that the elections have been stolen - either by ballot box stuffing, (14 million of them!) or by burning some ballots, or both (somehow?), regardless of the absence of any proof (yet)

... But who nevertheless

Has been tweeting, and re-tweeting, and polluting cyberspace with what is essentially hearsay, rumours, and unconfirmed truncated reports or falsification coming from people who actually know about the realities of Iran's political world and have an agenda:

You know nothing. Abso-fucking-lutely nothing about what happened, or is happening across Iran at the very moment. Most of us don't, actually. What we see is a tiny slice of reality, mind you, what is happening on the main squares in the big cities, under camera lenses.


I hear your objection though:

Yes,
you are entitled to an opinion, to formulating it, to blog it, and to discuss it. I do that too. (this my blog after all).

But do everyone, and you first and foremost, a favour.
Learn from the people who know a thing or two about the issue at hand.
Be selective about you read, listen to, and watch. A simple way is to follow an Iranian friend's updates and the links they put up.
(Even the State Dept is reading tweets from Iranians.)

Ask questions more than you volunteer answers.

And when you get a tweet that says UNCONF or 'can anyone confirm?', for Pete's sake, that says "This is potentially bullshit". Don't spread nonsense. Don't spread unconfirmed or unsourced information.

And rather that getting all excited following live some current events taking place in a country you probably cannot place on a map, read analysis of what it means, what the candidates actually stand for, and what the result will mean for the Iranians and the world.

Then, I would be delighted, truly, to read what you have to say.
Until then, please, pretty please - SHUT UP.

-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

As for what I think? I don't know. I think the results could be fake - and they also could be real. We probably will never know.
And I don't think we're watching a Ukraine '04 redux or a 'Green revolution'.
And I think that the people on the street will tire of getting beaten up by a government that is currently revoking foreign media licenses and will forfeit. We're - well, Iran is - likely stuck with Ahmadinejad for four more years.

And while the troubles on the street are unlikely to lead to a change of government, they'd have had the benefit of showing the Iranian people in a new light - they're normal people, only with more courage than most of us have.

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lunes, junio 22, 2009

Relaunch of bilaterals.org


All the versions of this article: [English] [Español] [français]

bilaterals.org | 22 June 2009

Relaunch of bilaterals.org

Dear friends

Today we are relaunching bilaterals.org with new features and a new design. Major changes to the website include the following:

- It now includes a multimedia section. This section is "open-publishing" like the rest of the site, so anyone can upload videos, photos and audio materials now, in addition to texts.
- We have incorporated the materials from fightingftas.org and upgraded the space for news from resistance movements against so-called free trade agreements (FTAs) and bilateral investment treaties.
- You can now find information by country much more easily than before.
- We have added more signposts to specific issues, an "email this article" feature, and a redesign of the layout.

As a result, the site now gives much more prominence to people’s resistance against FTAs and provides a unique platform for the free and open exchange of a complete range of materials, from brief news and your own commentaries to full length videos and photos from the struggles. All of these changes are based on direct requests from activists in different parts of the world and have been implemented without changing the basic structure of the site.

For those who are not so familiar with the site, background information about bilaterals.org is presented below.

Five years of action

This relaunch comes a few months ahead of the site’s 5th anniversary in September. Over those five years, bilaterals.org has come to serve an important role for many people involved in different struggles against bilateral trade and investment agreements. The site currently houses 15,000 articles on the whole range of FTA negotiations and campaigns, and is used by 6,000 people around the world each day.

It’s very easy to get involved in bilaterals.org and to use it for your campaigns, education and mobilisation work:

- To publish materials yourself, all you need to do is click on the "publish" link. In the multimedia section, click on the "upload" link. You can also comment on any article or engage with other people who share their comments.
- If you want to take responsibility for any section of the site, or if you want to make suggestions on how to improve things, please get in touch.
- If you would like to help out with translation work, there are always small jobs on this front. Please let us know if you can volunteer.
- If your organisation would be interested in contributing to the site’s financial costs, we would welcome the support.

While no one owns or controls bilaterals.org, a small group of people collaborate informally to keep the site going on a day to day basis. You can join the group or get in touch about any question or concern by writing to bilaterals.org@gmail.com.

in solidarity
the bilaterals.org team
(Aziz Choudry, María Eugenia Jeria, Paul Pantastico, Renée Vellvé, Carlos Vicente)


About bilaterals.org
June 2009

bilaterals.org was set up in 2004 as an open-publishing site where people fighting FTAs could exchange information and analysis and build cooperation. At the time, there was no single tool to track the expanding global web of FTAs and investment treaties, and their interconnections. Those campaigning against bilateral deals had found it hard to link up with others around the world to compare notes, share analysis and experience, and develop broader and complementary strategies. A number of organisations initiated this collaborative website. The initiators included the Asia-Pacific Research Network, GATT Watchdog, Global Justice Ecology Project, GRAIN, IBON Foundation and XminY Solidariteitsfonds.

Since then, the site has become a useful resource for social movements, NGOs, researchers, journalists and the broader public as a global clearinghouse for media reports, texts of agreements, critical analyses, campaign materials and educational tools to understand, expose and mobilise against these agreements. It has also helped bring more visibility to bilateral deals as powerful instruments of privatisation, neoliberalism and corporate control.

With the continued failure to move WTO talks beyond the deadlock that they have been in for several years, and notwithstanding a change in government in the United States earlier this year, the global web of free trade and investment agreements continues to expand, whether along North-South, North-North or South-South lines. Despite today’s global food and financial crises which demonstrate the failure of the neoliberal model once again, many governments, and the corporations and investors whose interests they primarily serve, continue to march us down the same dead-end street. With political, financial and corporate power growing among elites in China, India, Brazil, South Africa and other ”developing” countries, governments from the South are pushing free trade deals more than ever, often in the name of regional integration. Yet most of these deals entrench the same model of economic growth trumpeted by free market ideologues. This model means more agrofuel plantations, more GMOs, more mining operations, more industrial infrastructure projects, more rights for corporations and private investors, more pressures on people to migrate, weaker job security, no real sovereignty for local communities and increasing poverty. Meanwhile, newer forms of consolidation of power in corporate hands are emerging.

Resistance movements against bilateral FTAs, sometimes disguised as “economic partnership” (EPAs) or "association" agreements, have been growing quite strongly. The struggle against the US-Korea FTA which has seen sustained mobilisation among many sectors of Korean society, the widespread resistance to the EU’s EPAs in Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean, the hard battles fought against various deals in Colombia, the official opposition to both US and European FTAs in Bolivia and Ecuador, the amazing popular movements against CAFTA in Costa Rica and other parts of Central America, and the growing battles against Japanese, Chinese, US and EU trade and investment deals throughout Asia are testimony to that. So, too, is the appalling massacre of Indigenous Peoples in the Peruvian Amazon earlier this month, following protests over new laws which ease restrictions on mining, oil drilling, logging and farming in the region as implementation of the US-Peru FTA. The newly revamped bilaterals.org hopes to play a continued role in these struggles.

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RECOMMENDED: Live Station http://www.livestation.com/

Watch high quality TV and radio online

Watch high quality TV and radio online

The Livestation player is a free, downloadable application that enables you to watch live TV and radio from the world's leading broadcasters, add your own and other's channels, chat and interact with your friends while watching.

Current player features include:

  • Watch the world's leading broadcasters in high quality.
  • Ability to add your favourite streams/channels to your player.
  • Search and add viewer-added streams to your player.
  • An easy to use, channel changing carousel.
  • Chat to others, invite your friends to join in too. During the first US Presidential Candidate Debate, we hosted an instant live interactive discussion with Al Jazeera’s programme producers.
  • What’s Hot, find out what other Livestation viewers are watching.
  • Breaking news alerting system allowing you to receive desktop alerts from your favourite channels even when you are not watching.
  • Channel selection and programme guide.
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  • Ability to scale player window from 50% to 200%.
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Other functions, including support for subtitles and audio description, and many other interactive features, will be added in future releases.

Main system requirements:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Vista, Apple Mac OSX and Linux
  • Internet Explorer 6+ (Windows only)
  • 1 Ghz processor
  • 256 MB of memory
  • A network of at least 800 kbps

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RECOMMENDED: The Sixty-One http://www.thesixtyone.com/

Our Mission

thesixtyone makes music culture more democratic: artists upload their work for review, but, rather than allow a stuffy suit in a boardroom to decide what's good, thousands of listeners do. The best music automagically bubbles up on our homepage where you can listen to the most popular songs for any genre. It's a quick way to find new music for your iPod powered by pure excitement as opposed to some contrived marketing budget.

Think you've got a good ear? Aside from customizing your experience, creating an account allows you to earn reputation, level up your influence, and collect badges for discovering and recommending good music that others may enjoy. On thesixtyone, tastemaking becomes fun, competitive, and trackable.

We're on a quest to help people fall in love with something new while giving deserving artists an efficient channel for finding their audiences. To learn more about how thesixtyone works, please see our FAQ.






Team

James Miao

Having worked in the video game industry since high school, James became bored of making more games about shooting aliens and wondered if gaming could be harnessed to entertain people and solve real-world problems. Prior to games, James hacked hardware as a teen, designing a media hub built on a custom UI optimized for the living room.


Samuel Hsiung
Sam previously co-founded WebShaka, the creators of YouOS (operating system in your browser) and ProjectWedding. During his school years, he also did work in audio fingerprinting and music recommendation by applying machine learning to digital signal analysis data. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the California Institute of Technology.

Ben Olson - Intern, Summer 2008
According to Facebook, Ben enjoys really bad puns, redundancy, INTERCAL, obscure references, reflexive verbs, neologisms, redundancy, regular expressions, scolopendra gigantea, prefab/modular architecture, and Phaidon Press. He recently authored "Coldplay: Hannah Montana For Adults," a groundbreaking study published by Gobias Industries.


Press

Click here to download our logo for press purposes.


"thesixtyone is the most interesting music website I've seen since Last.fm."

-- Shane Richmond for The Telegraph

"thesixtyone is probably one of the most feature-rich, well thought-out music sites of its kind."

-- Lifehacker

"an interesting music discovery game that connects artists and fans."

-- Boing Boing

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domingo, junio 21, 2009


Shock Doctrine—California Style

Since the financial crisis hit in September, Naomi has been warning that the real shock was yet to come. "Unless we get a good deal" on the bailouts, Naomi wrote back in October, "there will be nothing left over after the banks are done feeding to pay for the meager services now provided in exchange for taxation. The spiraling cost of saving Wall Street from its bad bets is already being used as an excuse for why we can't solve our many other crises, from health care to climate change."

In California, the real shock has arrived with the state's devastating budget crisis and unprecedented spending cuts. Read the post by Avi Lewis below about California and then click on the links to watch his incredible half-hour documentary.


Schwarzenegger’s Shock Therapy—The Poor Pay For The Sins Of The Rich

By Avi Lewis
June 17, 2009
Published on the Huffington Post

Now that Washington has ruled out an immediate bailout for California, we know who will pay the ultimate price for the crisis born on Wall Street: the state’s most vulnerable citizens. And with many states facing similar crises, this could be a preview of where the country as a whole is headed.

California is facing a $24.3 billion dollar budget gap, and the governor wants to attack it with cuts to social programs alone. If Schwarzenegger has his way, the price will be paid by 1.9 million people who lose their health care coverage, 1.3 million who lose basic welfare, thousands of state workers who get fired, schools that lose $5 billion in funding, having already survived brutal cuts earlier this year.

I just spent a week in LA and Sacramento filming a documentary on the crisis for Fault Lines, the show I co-host on Al Jazeera English Television. We interviewed teachers who are on hunger strike against the cuts, students organizing protest marches, health care workers and their patients, politicians from both parties, undocumented immigrants and the talk show hosts who demonize them (Californians will know the John and Ken Show…)

What we discovered (beyond some priceless video of Arnold Schwarzenegger introducing Milton Friedman’s TV series on PBS in 1990, is that thanks to the quirks of California’s system, the state is a Petri dish for some of the most virulent strains of American political culture.

Around the world, government is seen as the last hope to stimulate a comatose economy. In California, anti-tax, anti-spending, and anti-government sentiments are converging: California is facing a de-stimulus package of epic proportions.

Watch both parts of my half-hour documentary below, and check out AJE live, 24 hours day, at livestation.com.

Fault Lines, California: Failed State, Part 1:


Fault Lines, California: Failed State, Part 2:








Since we posted this on Facebook, we have been bombarded by people's stories:

  • "The similar solutions are on the table in Poland. The one and only cure from their point of view are tax cuts and cuts in social spending. For example, as we have free public universities, there is a governmental plan to reduce this privilege only to one specialization for each person (I know that it's far better than in US but it is one of the first steps)" -- Jakub Osina

  • "Bosnia: coming apart at the seams... The IMF is forcing its usual - cuts cuts cuts, on a country which is already bankrupt, unemployment at 40 percent (50 where I live), a law being passed to cut public expenditure by 10 percent (will hit war invalids, old age pensions, already shamefully low and often not paid teachers' wages, etc.). Members of parliament, ministers and the like had raised their own wages last year, "just in case", so they will still be above the average, but common people are loosing their nerves. Unemployed veterans blocked the Bosnian-Croatian border here in Bihać yesterday in revolt after five months of not receiving a 80 euros allowance, and no representative of the authorities even showing up to talk to them... Syndicates are announcing mass demonstrations for tomorrow (June 18th)." -- Paola Lucchesi

  • "Naomi, in Italy it's happening the same, and we don't even know Milton Friedman. 135,000 teachers sent home, 200,000 Italian university researchers will be sent home within 15 days. Not 1 euro for non regular workers who have lost their jobs in the last three months. I think that in Italy there will be a hot fall season, hotter than summer." -- Thomas Olivieri

Keep these stories coming by sharing your thoughts on The Huffington Post. We look forward to reading them.

All the best,
Debra Levy, Naomi's research assistant

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sábado, junio 20, 2009

¡COBARDES!

Hace unos días el congreso de EEUU, dominado por los demócratas, votó a favor de dar $106 mil millones para financiar las guerras de Obama en Iraq, Afganistán y Pakistán. Recuerdo muy bien a algunos independentistas, melones y populares que defendieron a Obama a brazo partido durante las primarias y las elecciones el año pasado, llamándolo "el candidato de la paz"- ustedes saben muy bien de quiénes hablo. Obama y los congresistas demócratas que votaron a favor de esta medida son unos cobardes y traidores a quienes no les ha molestado para nada traicionar a los votantes. Ví la lista de congresistas demócratas que votaron a favor de la desgraciada medida y me encontré los nombres de LUIS GUTIERREZ y NYDIA VELAZQUEZ. ¡Que pena! Es una verdadera pena.

Para más información sobre estos cobardes de la "izquierda responsable" empeñada en perpetuar las políticas de Bush, lean el análisis de Jeremy Scahill.


Cuando los republicanos hacen la guerra, es un escándalo y una desgracia, pero parece que cuando los demócratas hacen lo mismo, entonces la guerra es buena.

CARMELO RUIZ MARRERO

******

http://carmeloruiz.blogspot.com/
http://bioseguridad.blogspot.com/
On Facebook: Ruiz Marrero
On Twitter: carmeloruiz

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*** SIN COMENTARIOS ***



Estimados estudiantes, profesores y amigos:

Con sumo placer le notificamos que el Dr. Máximo Cerame Vivas, profesor de Ciencias Ambientales y asiduo colaborador del Certificado en Reglamentos y Permisos Ambientales de la División de Educación Continua y Estudios Profesionales (DECEP), ha sido designado de manera unánime, para formar parte de la Academia Puertorriqueña de Artes y Ciencias de Puerto Rico. Para nosotros, en la universidad y muy especialmente en la DECEP, representa un gran prestigio tener al Dr. Cerame como parte de nuestro profesorado. Le deseamos muchas felicidades en este logro tan significativo en su vida.

Cordialmente,


David W. Román Vargas, J.D., LL.M.
Coordinador y Profesor
Certificado en Reglamentos y Permisos Ambientales
División de Educación Continua y Estudios Profesionales
Decanato de Asuntos Académicos
Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras

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It's Official -- The Era of Cheap Oil Is Over

Energy Department Changes Tune on Peak Oil

By Michael T. Klare

Every summer, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy issues its International Energy Outlook (IEO) -- a jam-packed compendium of data and analysis on the evolving world energy equation. For those with the background to interpret its key statistical findings, the release of the IEO can provide a unique opportunity to gauge important shifts in global energy trends, much as reports of routine Communist Party functions in the party journal Pravda once provided America's Kremlin watchers with insights into changes in the Soviet Union's top leadership circle.

As it happens, the recent release of the 2009 IEO has provided energy watchers with a feast of significant revelations. By far the most significant disclosure: the IEO predicts a sharp drop in projected future world oil output (compared to previous expectations) and a corresponding increase in reliance on what are called "unconventional fuels" -- oil sands, ultra-deep oil, shale oil, and biofuels.

So here's the headline for you: For the first time, the well-respected Energy Information Administration appears to be joining with those experts who have long argued that the era of cheap and plentiful oil is drawing to a close. Almost as notable, when it comes to news, the 2009 report highlights Asia's insatiable demand for energy and suggests that China is moving ever closer to the point at which it will overtake the United States as the world's number one energy consumer. Clearly, a new era of cutthroat energy competition is upon us.

Peak Oil Becomes the New Norm

As recently as 2007, the IEO projected that the global production of conventional oil (the stuff that comes gushing out of the ground in liquid form) would reach 107.2 million barrels per day in 2030, a substantial increase from the 81.5 million barrels produced in 2006. Now, in 2009, the latest edition of the report has grimly dropped that projected 2030 figure to just 93.1 million barrels per day -- in future-output terms, an eye-popping decline of 14.1 million expected barrels per day.

Even when you add in the 2009 report's projection of a larger increase than once expected in the output of unconventional fuels, you still end up with a net projected decline of 11.1 million barrels per day in the global supply of liquid fuels (when compared to the IEO's soaring 2007 projected figures). What does this decline signify -- other than growing pessimism by energy experts when it comes to the international supply of petroleum liquids?

Very simply, it indicates that the usually optimistic analysts at the Department of Energy now believe global fuel supplies will simply not be able to keep pace with rising world energy demands. For years now, assorted petroleum geologists and other energy types have been warning that world oil output is approaching a maximum sustainable daily level -- a peak -- and will subsequently go into decline, possibly producing global economic chaos. Whatever the timing of the arrival of peak oil's actual peak, there is growing agreement that we have, at last, made it into peak-oil territory, if not yet to the moment of irreversible decline.

Until recently, Energy Information Administration officials scoffed at the notion that a peak in global oil output was imminent or that we should anticipate a contraction in the future availability of petroleum any time soon. "[We] expect conventional oil to peak closer to the middle than to the beginning of the 21st century," the 2004 IEO report stated emphatically.

Consistent with this view, the EIA reported one year later that global production would reach a staggering 122.2 million barrels per day in 2025, more than 50% above the 2002 level of 80.0 million barrels per day. This was about as close to an explicit rejection of peak oil that you could get from the EIA's experts.

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viernes, junio 19, 2009

ESTE DOMINGO, DOCUMENTAL SOBRE EL PERíODO ESPECIAL EN CUBA, LA AGRICULTURA ECOLóGICA Y CóMO EL PAíS ENFRENTó EL AGOTAMIENTO DEL PETRóLEO

Este domingo, 21 de junio, se exhibirá en la finca La Chakra en Cupey la película THE POWER COMMUNITY: HOW CUBA SURVIVED PEAK OIL. Entrada $5. Excelente documental, lo ví el miércoles pasado en El Local en Santurce. Para más información: http://www.proyectolachakra.blogspot.com/ o llamar 787.637.0371

Sobre la película:
http://www.powerofcommunity.org/cm/index.php


When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call "The Special Period." The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope.

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil is a project of the Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions, a non-profit organization that designs and teaches low-energy solutions to the current unsustainable, fossil fuel based, industrialized, and centralized way of living. Visit www.communitysolution.org for more information.

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http://lamasapuertorico.blogspot.com/


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jueves, junio 18, 2009

"The Responsible Left:" Funding Obama's Expanding Wars $100 Billion a Vote

The cowardly Democrats who checked their spines at the door to Congress when they voted Tuesday try to defend their flip-flop on war funding. Frankly, it is embarrassing.

By Jeremy Scahill

Over the past few days, we reported on how the White House and Democratic Congressional Leadership waged a dirty campaign to scare up votes to support another $106 billion in funds for their wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now, several of the so-called anti-war Democrats who left their principles at the House coat check on their way in to vote Tuesday are trying to explain away their hypocritical votes.

New York Democrat Anthony Weiner, who voted against the war funding in May—when it didn’t matter—only to vote Tuesday with the pro-war Dems, sounded like an imbecile when he made this statement after the vote: “We are in the process of wrapping up the wars. The president needed our support.” What planet is Weiner living on? “Wrapping up the wars?” Last time I checked, there are 21,000 more US troops heading to Afghanistan alongside a surge in contractors there, including a 29% increase in armed contractors. Does Weiner think the $106 billion in war funding he voted for is going to pay for one way tickets home for the troops? What he voted for was certainly not the “Demolition of the 80 Football-field-size US Embassy in Baghdad Act of 2009.” To cap off this idiocy, Weiner basically admitted he is a fraud when he said the bill he voted in favor of “still sucks.”

Jan Schakowsky, who has done some incredibly important work on Blackwater and the privatized war machine, also voted against the supplemental in May, but switched her vote on Tuesday. “I do believe my president is a peacemaker,” Schakowsky said. “I’m going to give him what he wants.” A peacemaker who is expanding war? Moreover, what happened to the system of “checks and balances?” If Congressmembers, especially anti-war ones like Schakowsky, start just giving the president “what he wants,” then where is the peoples’ voice?

How are these people sleeping at night?

Obviously these folks are partisans or else they wouldn’t be Democrats, but this “Dear Leader knows best” mentality is cultish. Republican Rep. Ron Paul, who, whatever one thinks of him, has been consistently opposed to these wars, put it best when he rose on the floor Tuesday to speak against the war funding: “I wonder what happened to all of my colleagues who said they were opposed to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder what happened to my colleagues who voted with me as I opposed every war supplemental request under the previous administration. It seems, with very few exceptions, they have changed their position on the war now that the White House has changed hands.”

One “anonymous” Massachusetts lawmaker told Politico that those Democrats who voted for the war funding and IMF credits are “what we call the responsible left.” Barney Frank, another flip-flopper on war funding, compared the anti-war left to the Rush Limbaugh right-wing, saying, “They have no sense of reality.” Perhaps Rep. Frank should ask the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who lobbied intensely against the war funding he supported if they have “no sense of reality.”

As previously discussed, this vote was a crucial test—because the White House and pro-war Democrats actually needed to get some ‘anti-war’ legislators to vote with them or the bill would have failed—in determining which Democrats have a spine when it comes to standing up to the war and which are just party operatives with their principles and votes up for political bidding.

While the White House reportedly told some Democrats who voted against the war, “you’ll never hear from us again,” Obama has made it a point this week to intervene to defend those hypocritical “anti-war” legislators who voted with him. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn was one of the 51 Democrats who voted against the funding in May and then consciously misplaced his principles Tuesday. Cohen was targeted for his hypocrisy by activists, spurring President Obama to issue a statement to local media in his district praising Cohen:

The White House Press Office called the Washington bureau of The Commercial Appeal late Wednesday afternoon offering the statement after anti-war liberals across the country derided Cohen as a “fraud” and one who deserved a place in the “Hall of Shame.”

“Congressman Cohen is a leader in the United States Congress and a strong voice for the people of Tennessee,” Obama’s statement declared, adding that Cohen’s vote will “ensure our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to protect our country.”

What is particularly telling is how Cohen doesn’t even pretend his vote had anything to do with principle or representing his constituents. It was simple partisanship. “Maybe [Obama] just wanted to respond to people who helped him,” Cohen said. “Yes, I was surprised but I’ve been in the president’s corner on several occasions and it’s good to have him in my corner.”

All of this sounds, frankly, corrupt. Instead of using cold hard cash, the White House threatens to pull the rug from under dissenting legislators and offers its support to those who cede their conscience to the president’s agenda. So much for change.

This spending bill is likely to sail through the Senate where there is no group even vaguely resembling the ever-shrinking anti-war crowd in the House. Once again, here are the Democrats who turned their backs on their pledges to vote against this war funding:

Yvette Clarke, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Jerry Costello, Barney Frank, Luis Gutierrez, Jay Inslee, Steve Kagen, Edward Markey, Doris Matsui, Jim McDermott, George Miller, Grace Napolitano, Richard Neal (MA), James Oberstar, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Thompson, Edolphus Towns, Nydia Velázquez, and Anthony Weiner.

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Tomado de http://www.pragroecologico.info/


Republica Dominicana Sustentable

Recientemente Katia Avilés de SOCLA visitó la Republica Dominicana con la Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Ciencias Agrícolas.
(para ver fotos del viaje: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sredir?uname=kr.avivaz&target=ALBUM&id=5345486237685321457&authkey=Gv1sRgCK6Zsdr48orrjgE&feat=email incluyen todo tipo de agricultura)
Aunque gran parte del viaje se enfocaba en fincas grandes y tradicionales, el aprender de fincas en la hermana isla fue de gran beneficio. Este viaje sirvió para resaltar los peligros de ver la agricultura fuera del contexto ambiental y social en el que esta se lleva a cabo. Mientras varios agrónomos preguntaban cuanto químico era necesario para obtener que cantidad de producto en cuanto tiempo, el trasfondo de las fincas era uno muy interesante. En la región de Constanza los dueños eran principalmente mas claros de piel, mientras que los trabajadores agrícolas eran principalmente Haitianos. Mirando a lo lejos se veía en el valle de Constanza cuerdas y cuerdas de campos llenos hasta mas no poder de comida, alguna de esta perdiéndose. Pero ni un solo árbol o bolsillo de sistemas intercalados. La naturaleza estaba casi completamente esterilizada, a pesar de estar rodeados de verde. Estos sistemas dependen completamente tanto de las importaciones baratas y subsidios (económicos y ecológicos) de petróleo para fertilizantes, como de la mano de obra haitiana barata dada la extrema situación social del país vecino. Este tipo de agricultura convencional prueba ser imposible si no se abusa y explota a la naturaleza y al ser humano en el proceso. El valle de Constanza principalmente cosecha para un Mercado exterior que desea unos frutos “perfectos”, mientras que los frutos que no dan la talla se tiran a la pila de rechazo. Me pregunto cual es el impacto de que sea la pila de rechazo lo que se vende al Mercado local. Todos estos factores denuncian el peligro de estudiar un sistema de una manera tan estrecha en que no se entiende el contexto en que se dan las relaciones espaciales, sociales y naturales.

Este viaje sirvió también para recaudar un poco de información sobre iniciativas sustentables en la Republica Dominicana. Estas, exitosas o no, son de gran importancia dadas las similitudes de nuestros dos países, lo que provee pie para compartir tecnologías y métodos organizativos. La agricultura orgánica en la RD se da principalmente para el Mercado europeo el cual se define como muy exigente. La conversión a orgánico se da entonces en este contexto, hacia una gran escala de exportación. La Finca Ecológica de Mango, Mangos de Matanzas, se desarrolla de esta manera. Utilizan el método japonés bocashi de producción de composta y producen a gran escala mangos para el mercado europeo. También tuvimos la oportunidad de conversar con el Agro. Santo Guerra quien inicio un proyecto de producción orgánica en Constanza. Este proyecto fracasó, en gran parte dada la falta de mercado y el alto costo de inversión inicial. Conocer y entender fracasos y exitos es esencial para seguir mejorando nuestro trabajo. Otros contactos de importancia en el área se hicieron con el Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF) y algunos miembros que han estado tratando de empezar proyectos de agricultura orgánica como la Sra. Xochilt Estrada Guevara, Coordinadora Regional del Proyecto de Agricultura Sostenible (PAS). El IDIAF, PAS y el Servicio de Extensión Agrícola (SEA), junto con la Agencia de Cooperación Internacional del Japón (JICA, por sus siglas en ingles) publicaron la GUIA PRACTICA PARA LA PRODUCCION DE ABONOS Y EXTRACTOS NATURALES escrita por el Agro. Santo Guerra y Yoriko Kumakura. Esperamos pronto poder poner el libro, o partes de este, en nuestra pagina para su utilización.

Tambien esperamos pronto ponernos en comunicación con el Sr. Rodolfo Pierre del Grupo Vivencial Gaia.
Para comunicarse con el y obtener la tremenda y necesaria revista “De Vuelta al Conuco” pueden escribirle a gaiadominicana@yahoo.com
Para ver una muestra del gran trabajo que realiza este compañero, pueden bajar la revista de mayo siguiendo este enlace...
webspace.utexas.edu/kra353/Vuelta al Conuco mayo del 2009.pdf
enero
webspace.utexas.edu/kra353/Vuelta al Conuco Enero 2008.doc

Ademas, contamos ahora con otras conecciones cuyas direcciones se encuentran a la derecha en la lista de enalces. Con tantos contactos estamos pensando que pronto la SOCLA pueda empezar a hacer viajes cortos para visitar fincas y proyectos sustentables en otras áreas del Caribe.

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