Ghost Dog's Journal
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Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 13,685
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 13,685
(Brit gone native).
- 2014 (23)
- 2013 (57)
- 2012 (23)
- 2011 (6)
- December (6)
- Older Archives
With reference to the following influential blog article: - http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com.es/2014/08/you-wanna-be-uncle-sams-bitch-pay-price.html
From main article (proofread & edited by GD):
... Russia used these sanctions to do something vital for the Russian economy. Let me explain: after the collapse of the USSR Russian agriculture was in disarray, and (Boris) Yeltsin only made matters worse. Russian farmers simply could not compete against advanced Western agro-industrial businesses which benefited from huge economies of scale, from expensive and high-tech chemical and biological research, which had a full chain of production (often through large holdings), and top quality marketing capabilities. The Russian agricultural sector badly, desperately, needed barriers and tariffs in order to be protected from the Western capitalist giants but, instead, Russia voluntarily abided by the terms of the WTO and then eventually became a member. Now Russia is using this total embargo to provide crucially needed time for Russian agriculture to invest and take a much larger share of the Russian market. Also, keep in mind that Russian products are GMO-free, and that they have far fewer preservatives, antibiotics, artficial coloring, taste enhancers, and pesticides. And since they are locally produced, they don't need to be brought in using the kind of refrigeration/preservation techniques which typically make products taste like cardboard. In other words, Russian agricultural products taste much better; but that is not enough to complete. This embargo now gives them a powerful boost to invest, develop and conquer market share...
From comments (proofread & edited by GD):
... This is bad news for suppliers in the EU and great news for suppliers in Argentina, Brazil and South Africa. Russia will be playing the Great Equalizer by selling oil and gas to the EU, China and India and redistributing the proceeds to developing countries that are able to produce food. The miles and miles of plastic covered green houses and the income they produce in Holland and Spain will simply relocate to the developing world where they can be operated more cheaply. Once cargo is loaded on board a ship the transport cost to anywhere in the world is incidental.
As US NATO sanctions take hold, redirection of markets for manufactured goods will follow. Russia will be seeking sources for manufactured goods like airliners and automobiles from Brazil and China to the detriment of suppliers in the US and EU.
Once the flow of commerce is established between Russia and the other BRICs nations it will be next to impossible for the EU to regain their lost markets.
As the world economy shifts to the newer emerging markets world trade will likewise shift from transactions in dollars to other world currencies. As the World watches what could happen to them if they do not follow what the US dictates, the US-led sanctions against Russia will encourage trade to move away from the dollar. The US will find itself out of the loop and the dollar will lose its status as world reserve currency and the US will lose its hegemony...
Let's hope Russians (and Chinese, Brazillians, ...) will be intelligent and enlightened enough to develop localised, socially responsible and environmentally respectful and sustainable agricultural systems, and to encourage the same in the rest of the world wherever this makes environmental and social sense, sensibly regulating and limiting intercontinental trade in agricultural produce that could more sustainably be produced and consumed more locally.
Note that a similar analysis applies in the area of industrial production.
Posted by Ghost Dog | Sat Aug 9, 2014, 06:53 AM (1 replies)
Zoroastrianism /ˌzɒroʊˈæstriənɪzəm/, also called Zarathustraism, Mazdaism and Magianism, is an ancient Iranian religion and a religious philosophy. It was once the state religion of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires. Estimates of the current number of Zoroastrians worldwide vary between 145,000 and 2.6 million.
Zoroastrianism arose in the eastern region of the ancient Persian Empire, when the religious philosopher Zoroaster simplified the pantheon of early Iranian gods into two opposing forces: Spenta Mainyu (Progressive mentality) and Angra Mainyu (Destructive Mentality) under the one God, Ahura Mazda (Illuminating Wisdom).
Zoroaster's ideas led to a formal religion bearing his name by about the 6th century BCE and have influenced other later religions including Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity and Islam...
See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thus_Spoke_Zarathustra
Posted by Ghost Dog | Wed Jul 2, 2014, 03:57 PM (0 replies)
... As products of their social and cultural environments, humans raised in the West have been victims of a massive global brainwash forced into a world of duplicitous dualism to “choose” sides, of course choosing the political side of their own nation, culture, ethnicity and/or religion, conned into automatically accepting that their nation/culture/religion is far more righteous and superior in comparison to others on the opposing side...
... Fortunately over time this oversimplified, black and white rerun version of the world has been challenged and exposed as jingoistic bias and distortion of how our complicated world actually is. Many of us have intuitively known all along that as members of the same human species, the striking similarities of our common human nature that bind us together far outweigh whatever differences in culture, skin color, nationality, political ideology, global region or religion. What many of us are increasingly realizing both here in America as well as in other nations around the globe is that we have been purposely and methodically lied to and manipulated for a very long time. The education system in America is more about socializing, programming and brainwashing young people into becoming obedient, mindless, robotic adults than learning any real truth or learning to cultivate and use their critical faculties to seek the truth amidst the world of illusion.
This “us versus them,” “you’re either with us or against us” dichotomy has been forever used as an artificial manmade device to separate humans into an in-group versus out-group duality. Unfortunately it has been operating nonstop ever since cavemen first emerged from their caves and encountered other human tribes. Through human migration and modern technology of air travel and most recently internet travel, now more than at any time prior in man’s relative short history on earth, Canadian communications philosopher Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the world seen as a “global village” has shrunk the earth into a here and now everyday accepted reality.
As a result, in recent years the world view of nations and continents has become somewhat more homogenized, made more accessible by mass media technology that transcends both geography and culture. Learning and communicating with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds have brought the world closer. That said, conversely the earth today is geopolitically moving rapidly toward more fragmented polarization, driven by a single globalization economy owned, controlled and operated by a global oligarchy. Its perverse vision of a New World Order currently has much of the global population brainwashed to fear, mistrust, hate and kill each other with unparalleled potential. But not all of us are being fooled by such divisively spun projections from a shadowy elite madly pulling their deceptive spin levers cloaked behind their gold curtain. An honest look at what is actually happening now around the world exposes the oligarch agenda to purposely increase worldwide tension, division and conflict...
... By carefully orchestrated design, the US-EU-NATO alliance is obediently carrying out the oligarch high command to destabilize, polarize and militarize every continent on earth, pitting regional adversaries against each other in a global offensive with the West jabbing and baiting the East into military conflict from the Arctic to every corner of the globe...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Mon Jun 30, 2014, 06:48 AM (0 replies)
Source: New Europe
... The PP were the most voted for political party taking 26.04 percent of the vote and seeing their representation in the EP drop from 24 to 16 seats, while their share of the votes was 18 percent down from their win in the 2011 General Election which they garnered 44 percent of the votes...
... The PSOE polled just 23.02 percent, three percent less than the PP and around 6 percent down from their 2011 General election showing. The PSOE have won 14 seats in the EP, nine fewer than the 23 they won in 2009...
... Perhaps the standout factor for Sunday's results is that Spain's two major parties polled less than 50 percent of the total vote on a day when minority parties saw their share of the vote increase dramatically. This led some commentators to speculate as to whether this could be the end of the two-party dominance in the country.
The United Left claimed 9.99 percent of the vote and now have six seats in Brussels, four more than in 2009, while the newly formed "Podemos" (We Can) party, a left wing coalition, claimed 7.93 percent of the vote and won five seats. The center-right Union Progress and Democracy went from winning one to four seats.
Read more: http://www.neurope.eu/article/spains-popular-party-leads-ep-election-small-parties-real-winners
My preferred Title: Left,, Green and 'Indignados' parties gain most in Spanish EU election
The United Left is in coalition with Greens in Spain. This is the traditional real left. The new party 'Podemos says it will now, Indignados and Occupy-style (and indeed Chiapas-style), form open discussion circles in every locality on the basis of which to form policy. This is reminiscent of Kropotkin-style political ideas. The UPD's discourse mostly involves criticising the corruption in the two main parties (as do all). There are zero far-right parties with any weight at all in Spanish politics, except of course the PP, or significant sectors of the PP, heir to Franco's Catholic elitist authoritarians, itself.
In Catalonia the Catallan nationalist (seeking independence) ERC-led Left coalition trounced the also nationalist right wing and 'business' party CiU currently governing the Generalitat.
In the Canary Islands a majority voted Left for the first time in a long time, and the United Left and especially Podemos strongly surged.
Similar patterns will doubtless be found throughout the Iberian Peninsula and Islands...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Mon May 26, 2014, 05:32 AM (4 replies)
So, on reflection extrapolating from your earlier communication, the Danish crown, dominating the whole of Scandinavia at the time, finding itself all-but bankrupt (because largely of warring, I guess), looks around a little further out but still in fact well within the local Scandinavian-influenced world at that time, sees an opportunity to make a deal with the Scottish crown: the loan in cash or whatever easily-negotiable goods in exchange for the Orkneys and the Shetlands (but not eg. the Faröes) on lien.
The deal is struck; Denmark gets paid as agreed and Scotand gets the islands.
The Danish crown does not repay the loan so Scotland keeps the islands.
Fair deal, right? Yeah. Cool.
But hang on a minute.
From a Norwegian point of view, the Danish crown was occupying Norway at the time and sold Norwegian islands to Scotland (Norwegians, doubtless, not being consulted).
Denmarks's domination of Scandinavia did not persist.
Today, the situation established then persists..Regardless of whether the Danish crown had the right or not to sell the islands, obviously for Norwegians there is sentiment there.
As there is obviously sentiment in Scotland.
What in the future, it occurs to me, would be beautiful to see, would be an independent Scottish Republic in perhaps or perhaps not a Union but certainly a Special Relationship with Norway, inside and/or outside the EU.
Posted by Ghost Dog | Mon May 19, 2014, 11:20 PM (1 replies)
HAVANA (AP) — Revelations of a secret U.S. government program to set up a cellphone-based social network in Cuba are being trumpeted in the island's official media as proof of Havana's repeated allegations that Washington is waging a "cyber-war" to try to stir up unrest...
... State news agency Prensa Latina recalled a Jan. 1 speech in which President Raul Castro warned of "attempts to subtly introduce platforms for neoliberal thought and for the restoration of neocolonial capitalism."
"Castro's denunciations of the U.S. government's destabilizing attempts against Cuba were corroborated by today's revelation of a plan to push Cuban youth toward the counterrevolution, with the participation of a U.S. agency," Prensa Latina said...
... On the streets of Havana, some echoed their government's complaints about U.S. interference and ZunZuneo.
"Coming from them (the United States), nothing can surprise us anymore," said 25-year-old Claudia Garcia...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Fri Apr 4, 2014, 11:52 PM (0 replies)
Josefina Vidal, director of U.S. affairs at Cuba's Foreign Ministry, said late Thursday that the ZunZuneo program "shows once again that the United States government has not renounced its plans of subversion against Cuba, which have as their aim the creation of situations of destabilization in our country to create changes in the public order and toward which it continues to devote multimillion-dollar budgets each year."
"The government of the United States must respect international law and the goals and principles of the United Nations charter and, therefore, cease its illegal and clandestine actions against Cuba, which are rejected by the Cuban people and international public opinion," the statement said.
Posted by Ghost Dog | Fri Apr 4, 2014, 06:28 AM (1 replies)
... The artificial lighting of the distant (North American) planetary horizon is a purely artistic touch, of course. This projection does show the Iberian Peninsula's scale and position nicely, I must say.
Posted by Ghost Dog | Sun Mar 23, 2014, 06:51 PM (0 replies)
AFP - Voters are most likely to pick their mayors based on local issues that affect them directly in areas such as taxation, security or unemployment, in the first nationwide polls since Francois Hollande was elected as president in 2012.
But there is concern that some Socialist party loyalists, disillusioned by the government's track record as unemployment remains sky-high and the economy stagnates, will not turn out to vote.
Corruption scandals that have affected the main opposition UMP party as well as former president Nicolas Sarkozy could also alienate some centre-right voters.
As such, polls suggest around one in four voters are considering casting their votes for the far-right National Front (FN) in what could be a significant election for the anti-immigration, anti-EU party led by Marine Le Pen...
... Le Pen took over the leadership in 2011 and set about broadening the appeal of a party best known for the repeated convictions of her father and party founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, under French laws against holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred.
As well as trying to de-toxify the FN's image, Le Pen has attempted to make it less of a single-issue anti-immigration party by campaigning on unemployment, living costs and crime. Polls and pundits suggest that is prudent, as local elections tend to be decided on such local issues.
Under France's two-round, run-off system, any party that secures 10 percent backing in the first round has the right to present candidates in the second round on March 31.
A strong showing by the FN could see Sarkozy's centre-right UMP eliminated at the first hurdle in some contests, or see the overall right-wing vote divided in three-way run-offs, thereby boosting the Socialists.
Posted by Ghost Dog | Sun Mar 23, 2014, 02:56 PM (0 replies)
BEIJING (dpa-AFX) - China unveiled measures to speed urbanization in a bid to provide impetus to economic growth through lifting income and consumption among rural residents.
In its urbanization plan for 2014-2020, the government said Sunday it will reform 'hukou' registration, and improve water safety as well as air quality.
The 'hukou' a complex household registration system discourages rural residents to move and settle in urban areas. Easing controls on residency status will unlock huge income potential and raise domestic demand.
'Domestic demand is the fundamental impetus for China's development, and the greatest potential for expanding domestic demand lies in urbanization,' state news agency Xinhua said citing the plan from China's State Council...
... In an another release, Xinhua said the government will increase funding for railways, civil aviation network and improve connectivity among cities. The regular railways will cover cities with more than 200,000 residents by 2020...
... It's been a long time coming. A change is gonna come...
... A baby hatch in southern China has been forced to suspend work after hundreds of infants were abandoned, overwhelming the centre, its director says. More than 260 children had been left at the welfare home in Guangzhou since 28 January, director Xu Jiu added...
... China introduced the centres so parents could abandon infants safely rather than leaving them in the streets...
... All the abandoned infants had illnesses, such as cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome and congenital heart disease, the bureau added.
It is thought that many parents abandon ill babies because they fear they cannot afford the medical care required...
Posted by Ghost Dog | Mon Mar 17, 2014, 05:43 AM (0 replies)