Saturday, June 16, 2012


I am truly not a fan of economic disaster and hardship. If the Greeks say no to the Euro, there will be problems, but, all freedom starts with problems. Let's face it, the "Markets' have been the dominant force and power in world politics for the past 100 years. Their power is supreme and governments do their bidding. They play games with our lives because they can, and because we make them rich. Even now, as the EU is on the brink of economic collapse, they are downgrading bonds and causing even more hardship. But what do they care, they are rich and continue to be so, unless, we say no.

If Greece tells the Markets to pound sand, other may do so, also. Yes, we can build a new economic system that has the goal of helping all, not just the few. Who cares if we use post it notes or fancy paper for currency, it is simply a matter of what we agree it is worth. We don't need banks and Wall Street to dictate value to us. So, as discussed in the Trilogy, this is a Time of Choosing. It is my hope that the Greeks, who started western political democracy, will not launch economic democracy in a movement that will sweep across the planet, while we still have one!

Monday, June 11, 2012

The world in figures

Following is a snapshot of the world ahead of the UN's June 20-22 Rio Summit on sustainable development.

  POPULATION: Seven billion today, a doubling since 1950, and set to rise to 9.3 billion by 2050, of which two-thirds will live in cities. The population in poor countries has increased more than fourfold since 1961. Forty percent of the world's population today now lives within 100 kilometres (62 miles) of the shoreline.
- ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT: Mankind today is gobbling up 50 percent more of the for our resources and waste than it can sustain. Brazil, China, India and Indonesia have seen their per-capita footprint increase by two-thirds over the past half century. The United States and China together use up nearly half of the global biocapacity. In per capita terms, rich countries' footprints are around four or five times greater than that of poor economies. The hefiest impacts per capita are made by Qatar, Kuwait and the respectively.
- POVERTY: The number of people living on $1.25 (one euro) a day fell from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 1.289 billion in 2008, or 22 percent of the . For the first time in 20 years, the proportion of Africans living in has fallen, with 47 percent living below this threshold in 2008 compared with 52 percent in 2005. But 43 percent of the population in developing countries live on less than $2 (1.6 euros) a day.
- BASIC SERVICES: More than 2.5 billion people are in need of decent and nearly one in 10 has yet to gain access to "improved" , as defined under the UN's 2015 development goals. 1.4 billion people have no mains electricity.
- : Emissions of man-made are scaling new peaks and the early signs of climate change are already visible, in glacier melt, changed snowfall and habits of migrating species. Current pledges for curbing will lead to warming of 3.5 degrees Celsius (6.3 degrees Fahrenheit), massively overshooting the UN target of 2 C (3.6 F) and enhancing the risk of flood, drought, storms and rising seas.

- BIODIVERSITY: In 2002, the international community pledged to slow biodiversity decline by 2010, and incorporated the target into the UN's Millennium Development Goals. But the drop-off has accelerated, driven especially by habitat loss. A fifth of mammals, 30 percent of amphibians, 12 percent of known birds, and more than a quarter of reef-building corals face extinction, according to the "Red List" of threatened species.
- ENERGY: World energy consumption rose by 5.6 percent in 2010 and is set to double by 2030. Fossil fuels account for more than 80 percent of the energy supply, followed by renewables with around 13 percent, of which biofuels is by far the biggest contributor. In rural Africa, 85 percent of the population relies on biomass for energy.
- DEPLETED RESOURCES: Between 2000 and 2010, 13 million hectares (32.5 million acres) of forests disappeared each year, accounting for the third biggest single source of greenhouse gas. Fish catches increased fivefold between 1950 and 2005. Thirty percent of fisheries are over-exploited, depleted or recovering from depletion. By 2050, the world will produce 13.1 billion tonnes of waste annually, a fifth more than today.
- FOOD: One person in seven suffers from malnourishment. Demand for food will increase by some 70 percent by 2050, which will lead to a nearly 20 percent increase in global agricultural water consumption. Between 2000 and 2010, 203 million hectares (500 million acres) of land were transferred to foreign control, especially to China, petro-economies in the Gulf and rich countries eager for food security and biofuels. Two-thirds of the transactions were in Africa and 14 percent in Asia.
- TAXES AND SUBSIDIES: Subsidies for fossil fuels amounted to $312 billion in 2009. A tax of 0.005 percent on foreign exchange trading could raise $40 billion a year in additional aid for , which in 2010 stood at $130 billion.
- Population: The State of World Population 2011, published by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); UN Environment Programme (UNEP) 2012 report, 'Green Economy in a Blue World'
- Ecological footprint: Global Footprint Network website
- Poverty: World Bank report, February 2012; 2011 Human Development Report by the UN Development Programme (UNDP); UN's Fourth World Water Development Report
- Climate change: Carbon estimate in letter to science journal Nature Climate Change, December 2011; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 Fourth Assessment Report; May 2012 estimate on carbon pledges by Ecofys and Climate Analytics; Global Footprint Network
- Energy: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011; UNEP; 2011 report by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Energy Agency (IEA)
- Depleted resources: UNEP
- Biodiversity: "Red List" of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- Food: UN's Fourth World Water Development Report; Land Matrix Project
- Taxes and subsidies: UNDP's 2011 Human Development Report

Monday, June 4, 2012


Tisha B'Av, the Fast of the Ninth of Av, is a day of mourning to commemorate the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, many of which coincidentally have occurred on the ninth of Av. Tisha B'Av will occur on the following days of the secular calendar: Jewish Year 5772: sunset July 28, 2012 - nightfall July 29, 2012 Der Spiegel claims Israel arming German submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles Posted on June 4, 2012 June 4, 2012 – ISRAEL – Israel is arming submarines supplied and largely financed by Germany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, influential German news weekly Der Spiegel reports in its issue to be published on Monday. The magazine said in a cover story that Berlin had until now denied any knowledge that German submarines were being used as part of an Israeli atomic arsenal. But former high-ranking officials of the German defense ministry told Der Spiegel that the government always assumed Israel was putting nuclear warheads on the Dolphin-class vessels. "How then could Iran produce a nuclear bomb without getting bombed? The most worrisome scenario would be for it to “sneak out.” Iran would complete the conversion of its low-enriched uranium stockpile to 20 percent at declared facilities, as it is now doing. Simultaneously, it would install advanced centrifuges at a secret facility. At the chosen moment, it would stage an incident—say, an explosion at Fordow—that it would claim had dispersed such high levels of radioactivity that the area had to be quarantined for several weeks, making inspections impossible. (It could even blame the incident on an Israeli covert attack.) Under this cover, Iran would move the 20 percent uranium to the secret facility and complete the enrichment to weapons-grade levels. Because the U.S., Israel and the IAEA would be unable to determine whether declared stockpiles had been moved or where they had been moved to, they might find themselves unable to act. In this scenario, Iran could produce enough weapons-usable uranium to conduct a test in as little as a few weeks." Storm clouds gather as diplomacy fails: Iran promises ‘lightning response’ to any Israeli attack Posted on June 3, 2012 June 3, 2012 – IRAN – Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has threatened a “lightning response” to any Israeli attack and warned that sanctions would fail to curb his country’s nuclear programme and only deepen its “hatred of the west.” I HOPE YOU ALL SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE!