viernes, junio 29, 2012

Americanos in China

Americans in China

Originally aired 06.22.2012
It used to be that the American expats in China were the big shots. They had the money, the status, the know-how. But that's changed. What's it like to be an American living in China now? And what do they understand about China that we don't?

Months ago, in preparing for this show, we started reaching out to Americans living in China and asking for their stories. A shocking amount of the expats came back with stories about different times they were on Chinese television. So many people sent us their China TV stories that we began to wonder, "have ALL of you guys been on TV?! Is this the consummate expat experience in China?" Several expats talk to Ira about why the Chinese love foreigners on their TV shows. And Evan Osnos, a staff writer for The New Yorker who writes about China, says it's hard for Americans living in China to figure out what to tell friends and family back home. (7 1/2 minutes)

There are about seventy thousand Americans living in mainland China today, according to the Chinese and US governments. A lot of the Americans in China only stay for a few years, but then there are others — American ex-pats who’ve lived in China for a decade or more with no foreseeable plans to come home. Who are they? And how Chinese do they become? Evan Osnos has this story, which starts with an ex-pat named Kaiser Kuo. Evan is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he writes the column Letter from China. (29 minutes) Song: "In Between", Kinematic

There are so few farmers in the United States that in 1993, the census stopped counting the number of Americans who live on farms at the time. But in China, despite the vast migration to cities in recent years, more than half the country still lives in rural areas. Michael Meyer is a writer whose first book, The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed detailed his three years living in Beijing’s oldest neighborhood. Now he’s writing about living in rural China — specifically, in the village his wife comes from — for a book called In Manchuria that will be published later this year. (17 minutes)

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Kayakeando por Oscar

jueves, junio 28, 2012

Rio+20 Ends in Failure

Rio+20 Ends in Failure, Corporate Capture

Pratap Chatterjee
June 27th, 2012

The United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil concluded this past weekend with no new government pledges. On the other hand, multinationals scored a public relations victory by claiming that they will implement $50 billion of sustainable changes to help save the environment.

Image by Friends of the Earth International

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Sacha Baron Cohen: The Fresh Air Interview

Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, the authoritarian, anti-Semitic and unexpectedly sympathetic protagonist of The Dictator.
Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures
Sacha Baron Cohen plays Admiral General Aladeen, the authoritarian, anti-Semitic and unexpectedly sympathetic protagonist of The Dictator.

May 21, 2012
Actor and writer Sacha Baron Cohen is famous for taking his characters — Ali G., Borat, Bruno — into the real world, interacting with people who have no idea that they're dealing with a fictional character. But his new movie, The Dictator, is a scripted comedy about a tyrant on the loose in New York.

Related NPR Stories

Interview Highlights

On why he enjoyed playing a dictator
"Dictators are ludicrous characters, and, you know, in my career and in my life, I've always enjoyed sort of inhabiting these ludicrous, larger-than-life characters that somehow exist in the real world. And just looking around, you know, over the last 10 years in particular, I kind of became obsessed [with] Colonel Gadhafi, amongst others, but Gadhafi in particular because he was so over the top. His dress style was so flamboyant, so ridiculous. In fact it could only really get to that level of absurdity by the fact that he was somebody who was unquestioned. You know, it's a bit like when you walk around Los Angeles, and you see some of these stars dressed in a peculiar way, the reason they're dressed like that is that no one actually questions them."

On the design of the set:
"I said [to the set designer] 'Listen, we want to create this new country that is not quite in the Middle East, it's not quite in Africa, but, you know, it has elements of Gadhafi, it has elements of the United Arab Emirates, it has elements of Turkmenistan. We don't want it to be specific, but we want it to feel real."

On Borat speaking in Hebrew in the movie Borat
"I do like the irony of Borat, a deeply anti-Semitic character, speaking Hebrew, and this guy [in The Dictator,] who you know, wants to annihilate Israel, is also speaking Hebrew."

On why the movie The Dictator, unlike Borat, is scripted
"We actually just thought we could make a better movie if it had a script and, you know, didn't involve real people. I think pulling off, pulling off a kind of fake documentary of me being a, you know, actual dictator would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible. We got away with it on Borat because Kazakhstan was a real country. So you could say, 'I'm from Kazakhstan National Television.' People would look up Kazakhstan, and it existed. But if I came this time and said, 'I'm from Wadiya,' they'd, you know, look it up and realize it didn't exist, and if I said listen, 'I'm the dictator of Turkmenistan or, you know, or Libya,' they could look it up on Wikipedia and realize that I'm not. So it would have been impossible to, you know, have this real story."

On being brave
"I don't know if I'm brave. Yeah, I mean, I don't know if I'm brave. I think I think in the moment. So when I'm in character, I'm in character, and I'm obviously thinking about what's going on around me, but it's easier to do stuff when you're in character."

On the police and FBI following his characters
"There was a time, you know, I got so used to the police turning up. You know, with Borat, I think they came about 45 times. Sometimes it was the police, then the FBI were following us for a while. They had so many complaints that there was a Middle Eastern man ... driving through America in an ice cream van, that the FBI assigned a team to us. And so we had the FBI and then we had the Secret Service. But there were so many of these instances, and with Bruno as well, that for a while it would take about six months afterwards for me not to totally freak out whenever I saw a policeman."

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miércoles, junio 27, 2012

The Dinner Party: Benh Zeitlin, All-American Etiquette, and the Automat

Courtesy Fox Searchlight Behn Zeitlin

Episode 154: Benh Zeitlin, All-American Etiquette, and the Automat

This week: Filmmaker Benh Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") paints with an axe... Michael Ian Black and Meghan McCain swear they can answer your etiquette questions peacefully... Actress Alison Pill, of Aaron Sorkin's new show "The Newsroom," takes us behind-the-scenes... New Yorker receptionist Janet Groth reflects on (almost) being Mrs. John Berryman... Lunching at the 'Automat'...Plus, doubled data, a summer fashion preview, and a soundtrack from playful pop band Micachu and the Shapes. Read more...

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martes, junio 26, 2012

Tito Kayak sale mañana de Granada

Tito Kayak sale
mañana de la isla de Granada

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, martes 26 de junio- M
añana miércoles, Alberto De Jesús "Tito Kayak", partirá del Parque Nacional Levera, al norte de la isla de Granada, hacia la isla de Carriacou, unas 15 millas hacia el norte. Carriacou, una pequeña isla de apenas unas 16 millas de largo, es una dependencia de Granada y queda justo al sur de San Vicente y las Granadinas. La isla es conocida por su larga tradición de embarcaciones artesanales, por lo cual suponemos sus habitantes estarán interesados en el kayak de Tito por éste ser un trabajo artesanal de Venezuela.

El tramo inicial de 95 millas de Venezuela a Granada, en el que Tito enfrentó varias dificultades e imprevistos, fue el más largo y por mucho el más difícil de esta travesía, un verdadero bautismo de fuego para nuestro audaz kayakero. Afortunadamente los próximos brincos de isla en isla no serán tan largos o difíciles como ese.

No olvidemos que el verdadero protagonista de esta gesta es el prisionero político boricua Oscar López Rivera, quien lleva 31 a
ños en las cárceles de Estados Unidos. Es por él, para generar apoyo internacional para su excarcelación, que se realiza esta actividad.

Para información:,
En Twitter: @amigosdelmarpr

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Monsanto golpea a Paraguay

Monsanto golpea en Paraguay: Los muertos de Curuguaty y el juicio político a Lugo

por Idilio Méndez Grimaldi* Sábado, 23 de Junio de 2012
Este artículo fue escrito unas horas antes del derrocamiento de Fernando Lugo en Paraguay. Idilio Méndez explica las claves detrás del complot político en un país acosado por la agroindustria y con una clase política al servicio de sus intereses.
¿Quienes están detrás de esta trama tan siniestra? Los propulsores de una ideología que promueven el máximo beneficio económico a cualquier precio y cuanto más, mejor, ahora y en el futuro.
El viernes 15 de junio de 2012, un grupo de policías que iba a cumplir una orden de desalojo en el departamento de Canindeyú en la frontera con Brasil, fue emboscado por francotiradores, mezclados con campesinos que reclamaban tierras para sobrevivir. La orden fue dada por un juez y una fiscala para proteger a un latifundista. Como resultado se tuvo 17 muertos; 6 policías y 11 campesinos y decenas de heridos graves. Las consecuencias: El laxo y timorato gobierno de Fernando Lugo quedó con debilidad ascendente y extrema, cada vez más derechizado, a punto de ser llevado a juicio político por un Congreso dominado por la derecha; duro revés a la izquierda, a las organizaciones sociales y campesinas, acusadas por la oligarquía terrateniente de instigar a los campesinos; avance del agronegocio extractivista de manos de las transnacionales como Monsanto, mediante la persecución a los campesinos y el arrebato de sus tierras.
El 21 de octubre de 2011, el Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería, dirigido por el liberal Enzo Cardozo, liberó ilegalmente la semilla de algodón transgénico Bollgard BT de la compañía norteamericana de biotecnología Monsanto, para su siembra comercial en Paraguay. Las protestas campesinas y de organizaciones ambientalistas no se dejaron esperar.
Monsanto, a través de la Unión de Gremios de Producción, UGP, estrechamente ligada al Grupo Zuccolillo, que publica el diario ABC Color, arremetió contra SENAVE y su presidente por no inscribir la semilla transgénica de Monsanto para su uso comercial en todo el país.
Monsanto presentó otra variedad de algodón, doblemente transgénico: BT y RR o Resistente al Roundup, un herbicida fabricado y patentado por Monsanto. La pretensión de la transnacional norteamericana es la inscripción en Paraguay de esta semilla transgénica, tal como ya ocurrió en la Argentina y otros países del mundo.
Previamente a estos hechos, el diario ABC Color denunció sistemáticamente por presuntos hechos de corrupción a la ministra de Salud, Esperanza Martínez y al ministro del Ambiente, Oscar Rivas, dos funcionarios que no dieron su dictamen favorable a Monsanto.
la UGP viene preparando un acto de protesta nacional contra el gobierno de Fernando Lugo para el 25 de junio próximo. Se trata de una manifestación con maquinarias agrícolas, cerrando medias calzadas de las rutas en distintos puntos del país. Una de las reivindicaciones del denominado "tractorazo" es la destitución de Miguel Lovera del SENAVE, así como la liberalización de todas las semillas transgénicas para su cultivo comercial.

Las conexiones
La UGP está dirigida por Héctor Cristaldo, apoyado por otros apóstoles como Ramón Sánchez - quien tiene negocios con el sector de los agroquímicos - entre otros agentes de las transnacionales del agronegocio. Cristaldo integra el staff de varias empresas del Grupo Zuccolillo, cuyo principal accionista es Aldo Zuccolillo, director propietario del diario ABC Color desde su fundación bajo el régimen de Stroessner, en 1967. Zuccolillo es dirigente de la Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa, SIP.
El plan consiste en criminalizar, llevar hasta el odio extremo, a todas las organizaciones campesinas, para empujar a los campesinos a abandonar el campo para el uso exclusivo del agronegocio. Es un proceso lento, doloroso, de descampesinización del campo paraguayo, que atenta directamente contra la soberanía alimentaria, la cultura alimentaria del pueblo paraguayo, por ser los campesinos productores y recreadores ancestrales de toda la cultura guaraní. 
El asesinato del hermano del jefe de seguridad del presidente de la República obviamente es un mensaje directo a Fernando Lugo, cuya cabeza sería el próximo objetivo, probablemente a través de un juicio político, quien derechizó más su gobierno tratando de calmar a los oligarcas.
Lugo es responsable de la aprobación de la Ley Antiterrorista, propiciada por Estados Unidos en todo el mundo después del 11 S. Autorizó en 2010 la implementación de la Iniciativa Zona Norte, consistente en la instalación y despliegue de tropas y civiles norteamericanos en el norte de la Región Oriental - en las narices del Brasil - supuestamente para desarrollar actividades a favor de las comunidades campesinas.
El Frente Guazú, coalición de las izquierdas que apoya a Lugo, no logra unificar su discurso, y sus integrantes pierden la perspectiva en el análisis del poder real, cayendo en los juegos electoralistas inmediatistas. Infiltrados por USAID, muchos integrantes del Frente Guazú que participan en la administración del Estado, sucumben ante los cantos de sirena del consumismo galopante del neoliberalismo. Se corrompen hasta los tuétanos y en la práctica se convierten en émulos vanidosos de engreídos ricos que integraban los recientes gobiernos del derechista Partido Colorado.
Curuguaty también engloba un mensaje para la región, especialmente para Brasil, en cuya frontera se producen estos hechos sangrientos, claramente dirigidos por los amos de la guerra, cuyos teatros de operaciones se pueden observar en Irak, Libia, Afganistán y ahora Siria. Brasil está construyendo hegemonía mundial junto a Rusia, India y China, denominado BRIC. Sin embargo, Estados Unidos no ceja en su poder de persuasión al gigante de Sudamérica. Ya está en marcha el nuevo eje comercial integrado por México, Panamá, Colombia, Perú y Chile. Es un muro de contención a los deseos expansionistas del Brasil hacia el Pacífico.

Mientras, Washington sigue con su ofensiva diplomática en Brasilia, tratando de convencer al gobierno de Dilma Rousseff a estrechar vínculos comerciales, tecnológicos y militares. Entre tanto, la IV Flota de los Estados Unidos, reactivada hace unos años después de estar fuera de servicio apenas culminó la Segunda Guerra Mundial, vigila todo el Atlántico Sur, en carácter de otro cerco al Brasil por si no comprendiese la persuasión diplomática.
Y Paraguay es un país en disputa entre ambos países hegemónicos,

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sábado, junio 23, 2012

Green Grabbing our Future: Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Released by the Institute for Food and Development Policy, June 19, 2012
By Eric Holt-Giménez, Agnes Walton and Mariagiulia Mariani


The “Green Economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication” or The UN’s Rio+20, is being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 20-22, 2012. The conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) meeting marks the 20th anniversary of Rio’s first “Earth Summit,” the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), as well as the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in Johannesburg, South Africa. For two days Rio will host heads of state and high-level officials from 190 countries as they attempt to negotiate a global roadmap for sustainable development. Over 50,000 participants from the private sector and civil society are meeting in side events and parallel events in and near the conference.
In the shadow of the global economic crisis, this year’s conference will focus on the “Green Economy.” Enshrined in the 2011 United Nations Environment Program’s report “Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication,” the concept aims to usher in global economic growth by putting market values on environmental services and environmentally-friendly production and consumption.

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Whose Clean Development? Communities Speak Out

Focus on the Global South, Authors include Dorothy Grace Guerrero, Jacques-chai Chomthongdi, Joseph Purugganan, Mary Ann Manahan, and Nicola Bullard

This report is a response to Rio+20.

Our analysis, and that of many communities and organisations across Asia, is that the CDM is an extension of the generalised approach to big project and energy intensive development that has systematically marginalised indigenous peoples and local communities and over- exploited the Earth. The “clean development mechanism” is, quite simply, a mechanism that allows polluters to avoid binding emissions reductions in one location, while shifting emissions to another location. At the same time, it allows corporations and state entities to reap additional profits from projects that are questionable in terms of sustainability, community benefits or even addressing climate change.

Number 160, June 2012
Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit, the Earth is in a sorry state.
Twenty years of accelerated growth based on extractivism, productivism and consumption in the framework of highly unequal trade rules, all-powerful corporations and speculative finance capital has created unprecedented political, economic, social and ecological fragility, and even outright collapse. In a desperate effort to re-ignite the engines of economic growth, the G20, UN agencies and some sectors of capital are pinning their hopes on the new “green economy”. Although the precise definition of the “green economy” is not clear (the hefty UN Environment Programme report on the green economy slips all over the place) what IS clear is that there is nothing very green about it. Behind the rhetoric of “sustainable development” and “poverty alleviation” the “green economy” is a capitalist project that aims to open all spheres and dimensions of life to finance, claiming that by putting a “price” on nature, environmental policy can be delivered through market signals. Many fear that this will not only be a total failure in terms of achieving the kinds of policies needed to shift the balance of forces in favour of life and the planet and away from profit (see the current state of carbon markets for just one example of a failed market-based environmental policy) but that it could very easily lead to (yet another) speculative bubble which will eventually have to be paid (yet again) by us, the 99 percent.

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Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero

On June 20 Puerto Rican environmental activist Alberto De Jesus “Tito Kayak” will row through the Caribbean antilles from Venezuela to Puerto Rico to generate support for the release of political prisoner Oscar Lopez-Rivera, who has spent 31 years in the American prison system. Oscar was convicted for belonging to the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), an organization that engaged in armed struggle for Puerto Rican independence in the 1970's. He was not convicted of any particular violent act of the FALN, but rather for “seditious conspiracy”. Convicted rapists and murderers in the USA generally serve much briefer sentences than Oscar, who was not convicted of any violent act. The US government intends to keep him imprisoned for fifteen more years, until July 2027. Oscar is currently 69 years old.

Repression against Puerto Ricans on the basis of our political beliefs is constant and relentless, and spans from police and FBI surveillance, infiltration and disruption of lawful and peaceful independentista organizations and campaigns to outright assassination. To name just two of the most outrageous examples of the latter: in March 1937 local police under orders of US-appointed governor Blanton Winship slaughtered a peaceful Nationalist march in the streets of Ponce city, killing 19 and wounding around 150. And in September 2005 FBI agents- with the assistance of local police- murdered independentista leader Filiberto Ojeda-Rios, leader of the clandestine group Los Macheteros, right in his house. Both crimes, and many other violent and unlawful acts against our independence movement, remain unpunished to this day.

Puerto Rico has an ancient tradition of armed struggle against colonialism, which dates back to the Taino resistance against the Spanish conquest, and the 1868 Lares uprising against Spanish rule. In 1898 the United States invaded Puerto Rico and has since then pretended to impose its absolute will over this Caribbean island nation. For over 110 years of US colonialism, there has not been a moment in which the invader has not encountered resistance. Instances of peaceful and armed struggle are too many to number here, but to name just one: in 1950 US president Harry Truman almost met death at the hands of Puerto Rican nationalists who shot at him in the streets of Washington DC. In its Resolution 1514, the United Nations recognized the absolute right of colonized peoples to fight against colonialism and for their independence and self-determination.

Tito Kayak represents a new breed of activist patriot. His militance, creativity and audacity has taken him and his organization, Friends of the Sea, to carry out daring high-visibility acts in favor of environmental protection and human rights and against the abuse of the powerful. Protesting against the passage of radioactive waste through Caribbean waters, interrupting the US Navy's target practice in the island of Vieques, picking up litter in beaches, teaching children to recycle, Tito Kayak does all this and much more, earning great respect and esteem from the people of Puerto Rico. His actions have also earned him the contempt of US authorities, which have jailed him on several occasions. He once spent a whole year imprisoned in the United States for draping a Puerto Rican flag on the Statue of Liberty's forehead, thus openly defying probation terms imposed on him by the US Judiciary.

Now Tito will travel the ancient route of the Arawak people of old, from one island to another, calling on all Caribbean peoples to join in the call for liberty for Oscar, while at the same time strengthening regional anti-colonial and environmental struggles and promoting Caribbean and Latin American unity. For more information: , or subscribe to the bilingual Twitter feed:!/amigosdelmarpr

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viernes, junio 22, 2012


Eduardo Gudynas

20 Jun 2012


Los países latinoamericanos llegarán a Rio de Janeiro también cargando con sus divergencias. Comencemos por Brasil: bajo el gobierno Lula da Silva los temas ambientales perdieron relevancia; se intentó controlar la deforestación en la Amazonia, pero en otras áreas se priorizaron proyectos productivos y exportadores. La situación se ha agravado bajo el gobierno de Dilma Rousseff a tal punto que un grupo de grandes organizaciones ambientalistas hace pocos meses atrás sostuvieron que se vive el “mayor retroceso de la agenda socio-ambiental desde el final de la dictadura militar”. En el plano internacional, Brasilia sigue una agenda ambiental unilateral, ya que no coordina ni el seno del MERCOSUR (donde hay un grupo en esta materia), ni tampoco con los demás países del continente (GRULAC – Grupo Latinoamericano).

Todos los demás vecinos sudamericanos llegarán a Rio de Janeiro cargando serios problemas ambientales. En estas últimas semanas están en marcha graves conflictos ambientales especialmente en las naciones andinas. En Bolivia está avanzando una nueva marcha indígena que reclama proteger un parque nacional, en Perú las protestas mineras han incluido represión policial, muertos, y hasta una crisis en el gabinete de Ollanta Humana, y en Ecuador, finalizó pocas semanas atrás una multitudinaria marcha nacional en defensa del agua y contra la minería. Con una conflictividad mas baja, aunque no sin tensión, se encuentran las resistencias locales a la minería en Argentina o las represas en Chile, similares a las disputas que se viven en Uruguay frente a Aratirí u otros proyectos.
La respuesta de buena parte de estos gobiernos ha sido muy similar: criminalizar la protesta ciudadana, iniciar acciones judiciales contra sus líderes, y burlarse de los temas ambientales, concibiéndolos como trabas al desarrollo. La criminizalización y judicialización, que avanza en los países andinos y Argentina, se enfoca en los líderes sociales o en condicionamientos legales a las ONGs de base o redes nacionales.
Las posturas políticas se pueblan de contradicciones. El presidente Evo Morales reclama medidas globales enérgicas contra el cambio climático, pero no las toma dentro de su países, y ahora considera que las demandas de indígenas o ambientalistas son una nueva forma de colonialismo.
La burla se ha convertido en otro instrumento común. Así como José Mujica se burlaba de quienes defienden los venados o las dunas costeras, otros mandatarios hacen cosas similares. Rafael Correa de Ecuador califica las demandas ambientales como “infantilismo de izquierda” y Cristina Fernández de Argentina, los tipifica como una postura esnob.
Todo esto hace que el progresismo gobernante en América del Sur llegue a Rio de Janeiro en una situación muy incómoda. En todos los países la agenda ambiental está en retroceso, se flexibilizan los controles ecológicos, y se aceptan grandes inversiones con alto impacto en el entorno.
Las estrategias de desarrollo siguen basadas en aumentar las exportaciones de materias primas, aprovechando el alto precio en los mercados internacionales y la voraz demanda asiática. Es cierto que bajo el progresismo ha regresado el Estado, y que se intentan distintos programas de asistencia social para reducir la pobreza, y que esto ha sido exitoso. Pero también debe reconocerse que en todos estos países, desde la Venezuela de Chávez al modelo Kirchner “nac & pop” (nacional y popular), se sigue dependiendo de las materias primas.
Las nuevas estrellas que alimentan el actual crecimiento económico en unos casos son hidrocarburos, en otros minerales, y más cerca nuestro, monocultivos como la soja. Esta estrategia está repleta de impactos ambientales, que van desde la contaminación minera y petrolera, a la pérdida de áreas silvestres por el avance de la frontera agropecuaria. Pero el progresismo necesita de esos emprendimientos, ya que ellos son esenciales para financiar sus planes de lucha contra la pobreza basados en pagos mensuales en dinero (tal como hace el MIDES en nuestro país).
No se logra romper una relación productiva y comercial desigual. Mientras que en el pasado América Latina enviaba sus materias primas al norte industrializado para luego comprarles sus manufacturas, mientras que hoy las exportamos a China, para importar desde allí electrodomésticos, automóviles o textiles.
Bajo esta situación, si se implantan medidas ambientales en serio, muchos emprendimientos extractivos serían inviables ya que nunca lograrían pasar las evaluaciones de impacto ambiental. También sería necesario contener el consumismo, en unos casos porque involucra productos con componentes tóxicos, terminan en mucho desperdicio o consumen mucha energía. Estos son límites que ni siquiera los gobiernos progresistas están dispuestos a cruzar, de donde sus intervenciones en las negociaciones de Rio+20 terminan en cuestiones menores, campañas publicitarias o apelaciones a la responsabilidad empresarial.
También han cambiado los actores involucrados en estas contradicciones ambientales. En el pasado, las empresas transnacionales de los países industrializados eran responsables de muchas debacles ecológicas. Pero hoy nos encontramos que se viven problemas concretos con corporaciones que son latinoamericanas, como pueden ser las brasileñas Petrobrás (hidrocarburos) o Vale (una de las empresas mineras más grande del mundo). La situación se vuelve más complicada todavía, cuando se descubre que buena parte de la propiedad accionaria de esas empresas está en manos del gobierno brasileño, su banco de desarrollo (BNDES) o de los fondos de pensión de los grandes sindicatos. Aquí se origina una nueva tensión y fractura en los debates en Rio de Janeiro, ya que unos cuantos movimientos sociales, incluyendo grandes sindicatos, ven con buenos ojos la actual ola extractivista que descansa en los recursos naturales, y no están dispuestos a aceptar medidas ambientales sustantivas.
Entretanto, para las comunidades campesinas o indígenas de Perú, Bolivia o Ecuador afectadas por emprendimientos petroleros, hidroeléctricos o mineros, no encuentran diferencias entre empresas brasileñas o afincadas en el hemisferio norte, o entre aquellas que en su junta directiva tienen sindicalistas progresistas o economistas neoliberales.
Es así que a Rio de Janeiro llega una izquierda latinoamericana que ha reciclado la vieja tradición de exportar materias primas. Su agenda es cada vez menos verde, en tanto acepta la destrucción de la Naturaleza, y al centrarse en el desarrollismo convencional, se vuelve marrón, con toda su carga de contaminación. Es por estas razones que este progresismo se está convirtiendo en una “izquierda marrón”.

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jueves, junio 21, 2012

Kayakeando por la libertad


Carmelo Ruiz Marrero

El próximo 20 de junio el activista ambiental puertorriqueño Alberto De Jesús "Tito Kayak" remará a lo largo de las antillas desde la Península de Paria en Venezuela hasta Puerto Rico para buscar apoyo para la libertad del prisionero político Oscar López Rivera, quien lleva 31 años preso en Estados Unidos. Oscar fue convicto por pertenecer a las Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), organización que en la década de los 70 llevó a cabo una lucha clandestina por la independencia de Puerto Rico desde adentro del territorio estadounidense. No fue convicto por ningún acto violento particular realizado por las FALN, sino por "conspiración sediciosa". Violadores y asesinos convictos en Estados Unidos usualmente sirven sentencias mucho más breves que la que cumple Oscar, quien no fue convicto por ningún delito violento. Las autoridades estadounidenses tienen la intención de mantenerlo preso quince años más,
hasta julio de 2027. Actualmente Oscar tiene 69 años de edad.
La represión contra puertorriqueños en base a nuestros ideales políticos es constante e incesante, y va desde la vigilancia policial (lo que en Puerto Rico se le llama 'carpeteo'), e infiltración y desestabilización de agrupaciones independentistas involucradas en actividades perfectamente legales y pacíficas, hasta el asesinato. Para nombrar sólo dos instancias de esto último: En marzo de 1937 la policía local, actuando bajo órdenes del gobernador Blanton Winship- quien no fue electo sino nombrado por el gobierno de EEUU- masacró una marcha pacífica de nacionalistas en la ciudad de Ponce, matando a 19 e hiriendo a alrededor de 150. Y en septiembre de 2005 el FBI, con la colaboración de la policía local, asesinó en su casa al independentista Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, líder del grupo clandestino armado Los Macheteros. Ambos crímenes, al igual que muchas otras acciones violentas e ilegales contra el movimiento independentista puertorriqueño, siguen impunes hasta el día de hoy.

Puerto Rico tiene una antigua tradición de lucha armada contra el colonialismo, que data desde la resistencia taína contra los conquistadores españoles, y el grito de Lares de 1868. En 1898 Estados Unidos invadió a Puerto Rico y desde entonces ha pretendido imponer su voluntad absoluta sobre esta nación caribeña. Durante más de 110 años de colonialismo estadounidense, no ha habido un solo momento en que el invasor no haya encontrado resistencia. Las instancias de lucha pacífica y armada son demasiadas para enumerar aquí, pero nombremos una sola: en 1950 el presidente yanqui Harry Truman casi se encontró con la muerte a manos de un comando nacionalista boricua que lo tiroteó en Washington DC. En su resolución 1514, las Naciones Unidas reconocen el derecho absoluto de los pueblos colonizados a luchar contra el coloniaje y por su independencia y autodeterminación.

Tito Kayak representa una nueva cepa de activismo patriótico. Su militancia, creatividad y audacia lo han llevado a él y su organización Amigos del MAR* a realizar actos intrépidos y de alta visibilidad en pro de la protección ambiental y los derechos humanos y en contra del abuso de los poderosos. Protestar contra el paso de desperdicios nucleares por aguas caribeñas, interrumpir prácticas de tiro de la fuerza naval estadounidense en la isla de Vieques, recoger basura de las playas, enseñar a los niños a no tirar basura en la calle y a reciclar, todo eso y mucho más hace Tito Kayak, lo cual le ha ganado gran estima del pueblo puertorriqueño. Y le ha ganado también el odio sañoso de las autoridades yanquis, las cuales lo han encarcelado varias veces. En una ocasión pasó un año prisionero en Estados Unidos por poner una bandera boricua sobre la frente de la Estatua de la Libertad en Nueva York, en abierto desafío a una probatoria que le había impuesto la judicatura estadounidense.

Ahora Tito recorrerá la antigua ruta de nuestros ancestros arauacos, de isla en isla haciendo un llamado a todos los pueblos caribeños a que se unan al reclamo de libertad para Oscar y a la vez fortalecer todas las luchas anticoloniales y ambientales y promover la unidad caribeña y latinoamericana.
Para más información o suscríbanse a la cuenta de Twitter!/amigosdelmarpr

* Movimiento Ambiental Revolucionario

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miércoles, junio 20, 2012

Earth Beat: Full Circle

Bad news, Radio Netherlands has decided to cancel Earth Beat. The last show will be at the end of July.

Grand Cirque: arriving back in Vancouver after 67 days

Earth Beat, 15 June 2012. Things that come full circle, like how an international explorer found the glamour of travelling in his own backyard, and a man’s Harley-Davidson, lost in the Japanese tsunami of 2011, is found – on the other side of the Pacific.
Listen to 'Full Circle'
Download as MP3 (right-click and 'save as')

Grand Cirque: Sea Kayaking - three kayaks heading north along Sunshine Coast
Grand Cirque: Sea Kayaking - three kayaks heading north along Sunshine Coast
The Grand Cirque - listen in new player
Bruce Kirkby makes his living as a photographer, writer and general all-round adventurer.
He’s been to six continents, and his international expeditions are usually years in the making.
But a 1,500 km loop via kayak, foot and river raft through some of his home country’s most remote, and in some parts even unexplored, terrain proved to be just as challenging, in some cases more so, even though it was in his own backyard. View photos.

Despite some rust, the Harley-Davidson was in fair condition.
Despite some rust, the Harley-Davidson was in fair condition.
Tsunami Harley - listen in new player
Peter Mark lives on the west coast of Canada, and often combs the beaches where he lives.
But he never expected to find a Harley-Davidson inside a container washed up on shore – a container from Japan that had gone afloat because of the tsunami, 13 months earlier.
Peter tells host Marnie Chesterton about his efforts to return it to its owner.

Children in a tiny village in Ghana play on their electricity-generating merry g
Children in a tiny village in Ghana play on their electricity-generating merry go round for the first time
Lighting up Ghanaian villages is child’s play - listen in new player
Ben Markham is a former engineer who has harnessed the power of play, and used it to generate light in remote Ghanaian villages, by installing merry-go-rounds.
We spoke to him about how much energy the average child produces, and to a teacher at a school on an island where there’s no electricity, about how the lanterns have changed life in the village. View photos.
More about the project at Empower Playgrounds and you can donate here.

Eustace Conway
Eustace Conway
Back to the land - listen in new player
Eustace Conway has been living off the land for more than 30 years. He has built his own home, does all his own blacksmithing, makes all his own tools and medicines, doesn’t personally use electricity or running water, grows and hunts for his own food and makes his own clothes. And he has since he was 17. For nearly 20 years, including his college years, Eustace lived in a tepee in the Appalachian mountains, where he still lives today, and fended for himself. And it all began at a very early age. View photos.
More: GQ article - The Last American Man. Shawnee Street Media blog - On Turtle Island.

Your letters - listen in new player
Host Marnie Chesterton reads some of your reactions to the news that Earth Beat will be ending soon.

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viernes, junio 15, 2012

Let's hope the Supreme Court kills Obamacare

The Supreme Court Should Rule with the People

June 14th, 2012
By Margaret Flowers, MD and Kevin Zeese

Six years after Massachusetts enacted the state version of Obama’s health law, the people of Massachusetts are not happy. According to a June 11th poll in Massachusetts, 78% of patients say the cost of care in Massachusetts is a serious problem and 63% say it has gotten worse in the last five years. Patients report longer waits, higher premiums, higher co-pays and are less satisfied with health care. The number of bankruptcies due to medical illness and costs has continued to increase in Massachusetts too.
Despite what the corporate media report,Romney-Care, on which Obama-Care is modeled, is not working.
Americans want the Supreme Court to find the Obama law unconstitutional. More than two-thirds of Americans hope the Supreme Court will overturn some or all of the 2010 health care law, according to a June 7th New York Times-CBS poll. A mere 24% said they hoped the court “would keep the entire health care law in place.” Forty-one percent of those surveyed said the court should strike down the entire law, and another 27% said the justices should overturn only the individual mandate, the requirement that people purchase private insurance if they are not insured or pay a fine.

Overturning the entire law may have less of an impact now that three of the nation’s largest insurers, UnitedHealth, Aetna and Humana, say they will continue popular provisions such as allowing young adults under 26 to gain coverage under their parents' plans and covering preventive care.
And overturning the law may provide an opportunity to push for a real solution to the ongoing health care crisis, to finally create a national universal and publicly-financed health insurance such as improved Medicare for All.
Perhaps this time around the nation could have a real debate about proven solutions to the fundamental problems causing the health care crisis. Private for-profit insurance and medical corporations are at the heart of that crisis. It was these corporations that heavily influenced and in some cases wrote the Obama health legislation so that it enhanced their profit margins.
For example, emails and other documents recently released by congressional investigative committees find that the Obama administration worked closely with the Pharmaceutical industry, agreeing to a back-room deal that protected their profits by opposing the re-importation of prescription medicines at lower prices. Re-importation was something President Obama supported in his 2008 campaign when he criticized the Republicans’ behind-closed-doors deals with Big Pharma.
Further the White House coordinated their $150 million advertising campaign with major pharmaceutical companies. And nearly $70 million was spent through two Super PACs — political action committees — organized by White House officials. Advocacy groups like Families USA and the unions coordinated their advertising with the White House and Big Pharma too.
The Obama law will not control costs, provide universal coverage or improve the quality of health care. More and more commentators are recognizing that there is a constitutional way to do so – remove two words “over 65” from the Medicare law. This would cover every American and be a major step toward improving health outcomes in the United States.
In an amicus curae brief, we joined 50 doctors to make the case that Congress has already demonstrated it can regulate healthcare markets effectively by implementing single payer systems such as Medicare or the Veterans Health Administration.
We argued that the mandate was obviously unconstitutional, otherwise Congress could “reform” any failing private industry – whether it be automobiles, coal, pharmaceuticals or any other – by enacting legislation requiring every that American purchase the industry’s goods or services in exchange for some perceived public good the industry provides. As some of the justices noted in oral argument, this would change the relationship between citizen and government. Indeed, forcing the purchase of products is crony capitalism on steroids.
The brief demonstrates the superior efficiencies of single-payer systems. Only 2% of Medicare’s dollars go to administration and overhead, compared to private insurance which spends 16.7%. Under a single payer system, overall administrative costs would fall from the current 33% of health care spending to less than 5%, saving hundreds of billions of dollars. In fact, studies conducted by the nonpartisan General Accounting Office and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office have consistently concluded that if a national single payer system were implemented in the United States, administrative cost-savings alone would be enough to guarantee universal coverage without increasing overall healthcare spending
The brief shows that the cost of Medicare has increased more slowly than the cost of health care generally and more slowly than the cost of private insurance. And Medicare is rated highly by senior citizens, who are its primary beneficiaries, 51% of seniors give their health insurance an “excellent” rating.
Single payer has been supported by super majorities of the American people for more than a decade. This silenced majority of Americans who wanted real universal health care under a national health plan may get another opportunity to push for what they want if the Supreme Court rules with the people and against crony capitalist health care.
Medicare for all saves lives and saves money. Say ‘No’ to Romney/Obama health care and ‘Yes’ to Medicare for all now.

Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician Kevin Zeese, an attorney, are both are advocates for single payer health care and the co-direct, ItsOurEconomy.US which filed an amicus brief along with Single Payer Action and 50 doctors urging the court to find the mandate unconstitutional.

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