Dean Baker – The Elite’s Childlike Commitment to Austerity

September 17, 2015

The landslide victory of left-wing candidate Jeremy Corbyn for Labor Party leader in the United Kingdom has many establishment types bent out of shape. The Blair-wing of the party was literally obliterated, with Corbyn drawing more than four times the votes of his nearest competitor. After giving the country the war in Iraq and the housing bubble whose collapse led to the 2008-2009 recession and financial crisis, the discontent of the Labour Party’s rank and file is understandable. But naturally the elite types are fighting back. In this vein we get a lengthy piece in the New Yorker by film critic Anthony Lane warning us of the evils of Jeremy Corbyn. I will leave for others the discussion of Mr. Corbyn’s friends and associates. I am mostly interested in Lane’s treatment of Corbyn’s economic agenda. He tells readers: Read

Christina Sarich – Study: Children Exposed to GMO Soy Pesticides Suffer ‘Serious Genetic Damage’

September 2, 2015

A 2015 study has shown that children exposed to pesticides used to grow GM soy suffer serious genetic damage. Does this mean that our children will suffer the same fate as those unfortunate enough to live near GM soy fields in Argentina? Researchers from the National University of Río Cuarto, Cordoba (UNRC) compared children who lived close to a GM-soy growing area in Argentina to children who lived in another city in Cordoba that was not adjacent to GM soy fields.  Genetic damage in the group of exposed children was 44% higher than in the unexposed children. Read More

Expat Files – 08.23.15

August 25, 2015

-In Latin America, some countries like Colombia produce enough oil for their own use and have plenty to export as well. When the price of oil is high (like 2 years ago) government slugs, like pigs at the trough, expand and gorge on the extraordinary tax revenues, but boom times do end. So now that oil prices are in the crapper, Latin countries that produce oil like Colombia-with their very weak environmental laws- have found an easy but highly destructive way to increase those oil tax revenues again, by FRACKING!!! -Did you know that a very recent study revealed that your average fat-assed deadbeat Costa Rican government employee took FIVE TIMES as many sick days in 2014 as did persons working real jobs in the private sector? Not only that, the report states that Costa Rican government pinheads make from 150 to 200 percent more than people working in equivalent private sector jobs. Sound Familiar? Yet another example of how retarded Latin Governments believe anything first-world is imminently desirable… no matter how ruinous, unknowingly copying every last disastrous first-world defect as well. -More on those famous S.A. Corporations and Latin taxes

Jeffrey Tayler – In whatever Christian denomination you choose to look at, you’ll find despicable misdeeds left and right

August 25, 2015

I’ve decided that, at least in the United States, the religiously devout really do have the interests of rationalist nonbelievers at heart, at least as far as providing us with (a sick, unseemly sort of) entertainment goes. They strive ceaselessly and tirelessly, without remiss, on holidays, weekends, and during the work week, to provide us with new episodes of the tragicomic—though mostly tragic—reality-show farce that is religion, and at their own expense. We might just as well call them the Falstaffs of Faith. In the Roman Catholic cult, aging, supposedly celibate yet surely (concupiscently) turgid priests in frocks and beanies hide behind screens in confessionals and eagerly (probably pantingly) parse accounts of the sexual misdeeds of their flock members, and have the nerve to impose “penance” on them, even as dioceses continue to declare bankruptcy to get out of making payouts to their own sexual abuse victims. In the United States alone, by 2012, the Catholic Church’s victims numbered as many as 100,000, and payouts to them had amounted to as much as $2.2 billion. Read

Interview with Elizabeth Henderson – Author, Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture – 08.20.15

August 24, 2015

Elizabeth Henderson farmed at Peacework Farm in Wayne County, New York, producing organically grown vegetables for the fresh market for over 30 years. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), co-chairs the Policy Committee, and represents the NOFA Interstate Council on the Board of the Agricultural Justice Project. For 20 years, from 1993 – 2013, she chaired the Agricultural Development Board in Wayne County and took an active role in creating the Farming and Farmland Protection Plan for the county. In 2001, the organic industry honored her with one of the first “Spirit of Organic awards, in 2007, Abundance Co-op honored her with the “Cooperating for Communities” award and in 2009 NOFA-NY honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award and then a Golden Carrot in 2013. In 2014 Eco-Farm presented her with their “Advocate of Social Justice Award, the Justie.” Her writings on organic agriculture appear in The Natural Farmer and other publications, and she is the lead author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture (Chelsea Green, 2007). She also wrote A Food Book for a Sustainable Harvest for the members of Peacework Organic Community Supported Agriculture (aka GVOCSA) in its twenty seventh year in 2015.

Emilio Godoy – Pope Francis Joins Battle Against Transgenic Crops

August 13, 2015

MEXICO CITY, Aug 11 2015 (IPS) – A few centuries ago, the biotechnology industry would have been able to buy a papal bull to expiate its sins and grant it redemption. But in his encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si”, Pope Francis condemns genetically modified organisms (GMOs) without leaving room for a pardon. In his second encyclical since he became pope on Mar. 13, 2013 – but the first that is entirely his work – Jorge Mario Bergoglio criticises the social, economic and agricultural impacts of GMOs and calls for a broad scientific debate. Laudato Si – “Praise be to you, my Lord” in medieval Italian – takes its title from Saint Francis of Assisi’s 13th-century Canticle of the Sun, one of whose verses is: “Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.” It is the first encyclical in history dedicated to the environment and reflecting on “our common home” – planet

Expat Files – 08.02.15

August 4, 2015

-When cars are stopped at Latin American traffic blockades the cops will only ask for 3 things: license, registration and proof of payment of the car’s yearly circulation sticker. Nothing else is important to them; not the broken windshields, lack of seat belts, burned out brake-lights, black smoke belching from tailpipes or even the 5 kids sitting up front on daddy’s lap. -Any traffic violations you might accumulate will never account or appear against you personally, only against the owner of the car. Tickets for moving violations are rare and cheap so it doesn’t pay to fight them. You’re better off paying the 40 bucks than waste your time going to a court hearing that might be postponed/delayed any number of times and for any reason. BYW: those hearings almost always take place in a crappy part of town. -Expats need a lawyer of course but as your Spanish improves you’ll start to use him less and less, especially for the small stuff. But note: however adept you become at the language there will be certain times to just let him take over or you’ll be forever wasting time and effort. Sometimes when you think you’ve got it under control, you don’t. -Ask any long time gringo, one of the most persistent general problems they see with Latin American workers is their lack of an eye for detail. That said, most times when Latin governments try to “gringoize” (i.e., modernize) a government department or service- for example by “computerizing” a chronically inefficient system- a larger disaster often follows. Today we have a recent true story proving that very point. -CONSULT WITH JOHNNY- SCHEDULE A CELL OR SKYPE CALL: Follow the consult link on the main page at and Johnny will help you sort out your Latin American plans.

Lifeboat Hour – 07.31.15

August 3, 2015

Carolyn and Mark Matousek discuss his work with helping people transform through telling the truth about their own personal stories. Download this episode (right click and

Pope Calls on World Youth to Rise Up Against Global Capitalism – Lauren McCauley

July 15, 2015

The latest call for a youth uprising against global capitalism came not from grassroots groups, but from the leader of the Catholic Church, who on Sunday gave a rousing speech during which he told a crowd of young people in Paraguay that it is their time to “make a mess.” The address marked the end of Pope Francis’ week-long pilgrimage to Latin America, during which he alsoassailed the prevailing economic system as the “dung of the devil,” saying that the systemic “greed for money” is a “subtle dictatorship” that “condemns and enslaves men and women.” During Sunday’s rally, which was held on the banks of the Paraguay River outside the capital Asunción, the Argentinian pontiff went off-script as he addressed tens of thousands of local youth. “They wrote a speech for me to give you. But speeches are boring,” Pope Francis said. “Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up. A mess which gives us a free heart, a mess which gives us solidarity, a mess which gives us hope.” He also encouraged those present to look at their less fortunate peers, some of whom he met earlier in the day during a visit to the Banado Norte shantytown, and

Something’s Missing From Pope Francis’ ‘Radical’ Vision of Equality: Women By Roisin Davis

July 9, 2015

Pope Francis this week embarked on a seven-day “homecoming” tour of Latin America on his unstoppable quest to defend the planet and the poor.The continent—the most unequal region in the world, and the Argentine pontiff’s home turf—will likely provide fertile ground for more of his legendary sermons on poverty and inequality. After addressing a crowd of a million in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on Monday, Francis is scheduled to attend a meeting of grass-roots political activists and visit one of the continent’s largest prisons, in Bolivia, as well as a slum and a children’s hospital in Paraguay. While he advocates for South America’s impoverished and disenfranchised, its prisoners, its indigenous peoples and its children, one group is unlikely to feature in Francis’ apparently radical agenda: its women. Despite his efforts to champion his constituency—the world’s poor, of which the vast majority are women—the pope tends to overlook the feminized nature of poverty and inequality. Like the rest of the world, including the Vatican, Latin America is built on gender inequality. Important progress has been made in the region over recent decades, and the percentage of its overall population living in poverty had decreased significantly. But the feminization of poverty (an increase in
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