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grahamhgreen

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Member since: Thu Dec 30, 2004, 02:05 PM
Number of posts: 13,653

Journal Archives

Ukraine: "The package is very unpopular, complex, hard reforms that have long needed to be done"

Here comes austerity, privatization of public assets, and Monsanto:

LONDON — After three weeks of urgent negotiations with the interim government of Ukraine and in an atmosphere of great power competition, the International Monetary Fund announced on Thursday an agreement to provide up to $18 billion in loans over two years to prevent the country’s default.

snip

Posting later on Twitter, Mr. Yatsenyuk wrote: “The government will not allow the bankruptcy of Ukraine. The package is very unpopular, complex, hard reforms that have long needed to be done, submitted to Parliament.”Senior Western officials said on Wednesday that the loans from the United States and from the I.M.F. would be structured to get the government through its first few months without undue political upheaval, putting off some of the more difficult changes until after the May election.

Poll: We are All Working to Transform the ACA into for Medicare for All, or Better, Right?

NASA Study: Civilization Doomed by Overconsumption, Wealth Inequality (Infographic)




A NASA-funded study looked at factors that cause a civilization to collapse. In the past 5,000 years, many advanced societies have collapsed, resulting in hundreds of years of decline and regression. Basing their model on how predators and prey interact, the scientists concluded that societies that collapsed had two factors in common: overconsumption of natural resources and economic stratification.

http://www.livescience.com/44204-study-civilization-doomed-by-overconsumption-wealth-inequality-infographic.html



Or, we could just keep "compromising" with the .01% 'til we all die, lol!

"How Much Microsoft Charges the FBI for User Data" - Gizmodo

It's no mystery that government agencies compel tech companies to give them (totally legal) access to user data. It's also pretty well known that the tech companies charge the government for the trouble. We've just never really known how much—until now.

Long story short, Microsoft charges the FBI (read: taxpayers) hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for access to information about you. And their rates are on the rise. The Syrian Electronic Army says it hacked into the FBI's super-secret Digital Intercept Technology Unit (DITU), where they found the actual invoices from Microsoft detailing how much each request for data cost.

An invoice from December 2012 totals $145,100 which boils down to $100 per request. The rate had doubled by August 2013 when Microsoft charged the FBI $200 per request for a total of $352,200. The most recent invoice from November 2013 is $281,000. Remember: all of those six-figure sums (provided by taxpayers) are for one month's worth of user data requests. That adds up to millions of dollars a year.

http://gizmodo.com/how-much-microsoft-charges-the-fbi-for-user-data-1548308627



Corporate Interests Behind Ukraine Putsch:



According to his SigmaBleyzer profile, Williams “started his work regarding Ukraine in 1992” and has since advised American agribusinesses “investing in the former Soviet Union.” As an experienced fixer for Big Ag, he must be fairly friendly with the folks on the Executive Committee.

Big Ag Luminaries

And what a committee it is — it’s a veritable who’s who of Big Ag. Among the luminaries working tirelessly and no doubt selflessly for a better, freer Ukraine are:

–Melissa Agustin, Director, International Government Affairs & Trade for Monsanto

–Brigitte Dias Ferreira, Counsel, International Affairs for John Deere

–Steven Nadherny, Director, Institutional Relations for agriculture equipment-maker CNH Industrial

–Jeff Rowe, Regional Director for DuPont Pioneer

–John F. Steele, Director, International Affairs for Eli Lilly & Company

And, of course, Cargill’s Van A. Yeutter. But Cargill isn’t alone in their warm feelings toward Ukraine. As Reuters reported in May 2013, Monsanto — the largest seed company in the world — plans to build a $140 million “non-GM (genetically modified) corn seed plant in Ukraine.”

_________________

Morgan Williams is at the nexus of Big Ag’s alliance with U.S. foreign policy. To wit, SigmaBleyzer touts Mr. Williams’ work with “various agencies of the U.S. government, members of Congress, congressional committees, the Embassy of Ukraine to the U.S., international financial institutions, think tanks and other organizations on U.S.-Ukraine business, trade, investment and economic development issues.”

As President of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, Williams has access to Council cohort — David Kramer, President of Freedom House. Officially a non-governmental organization, it has been linked with overt and covert “democracy” efforts in places where the door isn’t open to American interests — a.k.a. U.S. corporations.


Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy and National Democratic Institute helped fund and support the Ukrainian “Orange Revolution” in 2004. Freedom House is funded directly by the U.S. Government, the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Department of State.

David Kramer is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and, according to his Freedom House bio page, formerly a “Senior Fellow at the Project for the New American Century.”

Nuland’s Role

That puts Kramer and, by one degree of separation, Big Ag fixer Morgan Williams in the company of PNAC co-founder Robert Kagan who, as coincidence would have it, is married to Victoria “F*ck the EU” Nuland, the current Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Interestingly enough, Ms. Nuland spoke to the U.S.-Ukrainian Foundation last Dec. 13, extolling the virtues of the Euromaidan movement as the embodiment of “the principles and values that are the cornerstones for all free democracies.”

Nuland also told the group that the United States had invested more than $5 billion in support of Ukraine’s “European aspirations,” meaning pulling Ukraine away from Russia. She made her remarks on a dais featuring a backdrop emblazoned with a Chevron logo.

Also, her colleague and phone call buddy U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt helped Chevron cook up their 50-year shale gas deal right in Russia’s kitchen.

Although Chevron sponsored that event, it is not listed as a supporter of the Foundation. But the Foundation does list the Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil and Raytheon as major sponsors. And, to close the circle of influence, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council is also listed as a supporter.

Which brings the story back to Big Ag’s fixer — Morgan Williams.

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/03/16/corporate-interests-behind-ukraine-putsch/



Yeah, I'm done with it. Ukraine seems to be nothing more than a push for helping oligarchic corporations (Gas, Banking, Agribusiness) expand their power at our expense.

"Dozens killed in another bloody day for Iraq ".... not that anyone cares.....

Violence across Iraq, including shelling and clashes in a rebel-held city on Baghdad's doorstep, have killed 37 people amid a protracted surge in bloodletting with polls looming next month.

In the city of Fallujah, 60km west of the capital, government-led shelling and fighting between soldiers and gunmen killed 15 people and wounded 40, according to Ahmed Shami, the chief medic at the city's main hospital.

The violence erupted just after midnight on Wednesday as sporadic shelling targeted northern, eastern and southern neighbourhoods of the city.

Speaking to the AFP news agency tribal leaders in the city confirmed the doctor's account....

The violence, in which more than 2,000 people have died already this year, has been primarily driven by discontent in the minority Sunni Arab community, that alleges mistreatment at the hands of the Shia-led government and security forces, and by the civil war raging in neighbouring Syria.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/03/dozens-killed-another-bloody-day-iraq-20143192266501288.html


Ukraine corn may replace US corn in China. Monsanto/GMO's/Ukraine

According to Ukrainian marketing experts the country could increase supplies to China by 5-6 mln tonnes, thus taking the largest part of the US share of the market. Experts added that Ukraine corn has a number of competitive advantages over US production, in particular it is completely GMO-free.


http://www.allaboutfeed.net/Nutrition/Raw-Materials/2014/1/Ukraine-corn-may-replace-US-corn-in-China-1442190W/


Sustainable Pulse Director, Henry Rowlands, reacted to the Ukrainian associations’ statement by suggesting that “Ukrainian agriculture will be seriously damaged if the Ukrainian government legally allows GM seeds in the country. Their farmers will find their export markets reduced due to consumers’ anti-GMO sentiments both in Russia and the EU.”

Rowlands continued: “The bulk of Monsanto’s investment in Europe is destined for the Ukraine, where Monsanto expects to have its largest seed production plant in Europe within five years after earmarking an initial $150 million investment, which could rise to $300 million within several years. Does Ukrainian agriculture want to totally rely on the success or failure of one US based company?”

http://sustainablepulse.com/2013/11/05/sustainable-pulse-slams-ukraine-agri-associations-over-gm-seeds-draft-law/#.Uymuwpm9LTo


China Rejecting U.S. Corn as First Shipment From Ukraine Arrives
By Bloomberg News
January 06, 2014 3:53 AM EST
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China continued to reject corn cargoes from the U.S. that contained an unapproved genetically modified variety while accepting a first bulk-carrier shipment of the grain from Ukraine.
Genetically modified corn and corn-derived products totaling 601,000 metric tons were rejected in 2013, the official Xinhua News Agency reported today, citing the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. A Panamax-sized shipment of non-genetically modified corn from Ukraine entered the country on Dec. 6, according to a statement dated Dec. 25 on the website of state-owned China National Complete Engineering Corp.
The quarantine agency’s newest figure cited by Xinhua was 56,000 tons more than it announced on Dec. 19, showing the government’s continued screening of U.S. corn and and dried distillers’ grains, or DDGS, for the unapproved insect resistanr MIR 162 gene.

Net corn sales to China from the U.S. in the seven days through Dec. 26 dropped by 116,000 tons from the previous week, according to a report on the website of U.S. Department of Agriculture.
China National Complete Engineering carries out overseas engineering projects, often funded by Chinese government, according to its website. It began to market grain from Ukraine last year under a contract that became effective December...

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: William Bi in Beijing at wbi@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net


Will dig into this later. So we have gas and oil interests.... Big Agribusiness, Monsanto.... And austerity behind the scenes.

While I'm at it, saw Main Squeeze too (for the Deadheads):

Finally saw Umphrey's Mcgee:

Highly recommended:



Crimea Vote: 83% of Eligible Voters. Salaries & Pensions (SS) to Double. Retirement Age Drops:

The Hindu (the third most widely-read English newspaper in India) Reports:

Nearly 97 per cent of voters said “yes” to revert to Russia, from which Crimea had been separated when the Soviet Union broke up just over 20 years ago. A mere 2.5 per cent voted in favour of staying with Ukraine....

The turnout was a record-breaking 83 per cent of Crimea’s 1.5 million eligible voters. With ethnic Russians constituting 58 per cent of the region’s population, the vote results indicate that many ethnic Ukrainians, who account for nearly a quarter of Crimeans, voted for reunification with Russia. The Medjlis of Crimean Tatars said 95 per cent of its followers boycotted the vote. Crimean Tatars, who make up about 12 per cent of Crimea’s population, still smart from painful memories of their deportation by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin during World War Two....

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin will address a joint session of the Russian Parliament on Tuesday in connection with the Crimean referendum. The process of Crimea’s accession may take two to three months, according to experts. Crimean authorities said the region will begin replacing Ukrainian hryvnia with the Russian rouble within the next two weeks.

The Russian government has promised to raise the salaries and pensions for Crimean residents to the average Russian level, which is two to three times higher.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/crimea-breaks-away-from-ukraine-asks-to-rejoin-russia/article5795696.ece


Washington Post reports this:

For example, the average monthly pension in Russia is said to be about $270, almost double the $150 paid in the average Ukrainian’s monthly pension. And the retirement age will drop by five years, to 60 for men and 55 for women.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/how-will-things-change-in-crimea-if-it-joins-russia/2014/03/14/f76a6208-ab07-11e3-adbc-888c8010c799_story.html


The Star Reports:

Many Russian-speakers voted for the union because they had hopes of seeing their meagre pensions raised and Soviet-style housing and medical benefits restored.

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/03/16/cheers_and_jeers_greet_crimeas_vote_for_russia.html








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