— Team George Galloway (@TeamGeorgeG) February 1, 2015
— Team George Galloway (@TeamGeorgeG) February 1, 2015
I was asked to give an overview of the Irish Right 2 Water campaign to a food and skills co-operative made up of largely ‘educated’ alternative types.
Ready for an argument, I carted in great reams of legal documents from the incorporation or Irish Water , state legislation, remunicipalization studies from Grenwich University, books including Water Wars by Vandana Shiva and The Price of Thirst by Karen Piper, not to mention sundry newspaper articles. I argued that water is a human right and that an ecological rather than a market paradaigm would provide a more sustainable supply for our small nation.
I also showed how our government had created sneaky legislation and incorporation rules that primed the resource for privatization, with whats appears to be an inbuilt share option for the crony board members at 5cent a share which they can sell at a vast profit with a nod from the ministers in charge (one of whom’s brother is active on the water privatization business Stateside). I pointed up how the government now will not answer any parliamentary questions about our water supply,( especially the one I put asking what kind of free allowances Diageo and Intel were receiving).
The talk went swimmingly, with the group agreeing we need a constitutional inclusion to protect the resource and the seed of a lobby around that germinating as the conversation evolved. Even the prospect of putting the water supply on the state balance sheet and possibly having to pay more tax didn’t phase them.
Then the bombshell crashed into my well massaged ego over herbal tea – ‘It’s great we now have all this information but all those protesters (from working class and rural areas) don’t even know what they are protesting about’.
Actually they do! Where did I get my information on the situation but from those (working class) protesters. They know all about years of austerity to pay odious bank debt. They know all about the IMF Troika who are funded by those same odious banksters who insisted on the sale (to them) of our public resources. Now our last resource, our precious waters, which we Irish have revered since the times of Finn McCool are to be stripped from us to pay these financial terrorists into perpetuity. These protesters talk on the streets of the prostituted media which mews approvingly at corporates and governments who throw them a preview tidbit of the next onslaught normally aimed at most vulnerable in our society. These protesters know they wont be able to pay water bills when prices are hiked up after the next general election. Then the normal MO of the World Bank/IMF kicks in. Those who can afford it will have water, those who cant will go thirsty or drink contaminated water. In many cases many will be evicted by rack renting greedy absentee landlords from their homes for non payment if the governmnet doesnt have them in jail first. (more…)
The morphing of “terrorism” and “domestic dissent” into an all encompassing and convenient category known as “domestic terrorists” or “domestic extremists” has been a long time coming. It has always been my contention, and continues to be, that the oligarchs who have funneled all of the wealth to themselves since the 2008 banker bailouts know exactly what they are doing. They also know that it will eventually result in severe domestic unrest during the next cyclical downturn. As such, the agenda has been to utilize the entirety of the intelligence-industrial-military complex created by the “war on terror” against the domestic population once it recognizes how badly it has been looted…
Read more here.
As the dollar soars, so does the real yield on bonds denominated in dollars.
As central banks rush to depreciate their currencies and push yields into negative territory, what’s becoming scarce globally is real yield in an appreciating currency. Real yield is yield adjusted for inflation/deflation: if inflation is 3% and bonds yield 2%, the real yield is negative 1%. If inflation is negative 1% (i.e. deflation), and the yield on bonds is .1%, the real yield is 1.1%.
What’s the real yield on a bond that earns 1% annually in a currency that loses 10% against the U.S. dollar in a year? Once the foreign-exchange (FX) loss/gain is factored in, the investor lost 9% of his investment.
Needless to say, the real yield must include the foreign-exchange loss/gain. An investor earning 10% in a currency that’s losing 20% annually against other currencies is losing 10% annually, despite the apparent healthy nominal yield.
It depresses me how quickly the Fed’s ZIRP and QE policies have re-blown price bubbles in many US housing markets. Is our collective national memory that short? How could we unlearn the lessons of the 2007 housing bust so quickly?
The Greek stock market is down 36% year to date; the risk of global contagion in the event of a Greek exit is very real. Ordinarily such a crisis would require a massive coordinated effort from global stakeholders, perhaps directed by the IMF or some other pan-national financial body. But not in this case; the rhetoric is nationally-based and biased without unity of purpose across finance ministries. Recent official soundings from the UK and German governments saying that exposure to Greece is limited only underscores the depth of denial, ignorance and lack of consensus that exists within the euro area. A Greek exit from the euro would profoundly weaken the euro experiment and create a dangerous precedent for all future crises in the region. (more…)
He’s a thug, and a crook, and a liar, and a pseudo-intellectual and a murderer. Ok? Those things are factually verifiable.
– From the late Christopher Hitchens’ outstanding interview: Christopher Hitchens’ Polemic Against Henry Kissinger
Crazy John McCain is at it again. Nothing gets this guy more riled up than American plebs questioning status quo war criminals. I suspect much of this anger is rooted in his own legitimate fear about how history will remember his own legacy of remarkable stupidity.
Watch the video here.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
EU foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss imposing further sanctions on Russia following an upsurge in fighting in east Ukraine.
A woman pushes a cart as she visits a hypermarket of French grocery retailer Auchan in Moscow, Jan. 15, 2015. A new poll shows 80 percent of Russians would give up Western food for a stronger economy. Reuters (more…)