Monday, February 24, 2014

Moving beyond the illusion of left and right (AAP related news links)


AAP Weekly Email Newsletter: 17th Feb to 23rd Feb 2014


We just kicked off our national campaign with a rally in Rohtak, Haryana. The response was overwhelming. 

You can make a difference to India's future. Donate to AAP. Why donate? Watch


Storify compilation of this week (click on link to view):

Self Over State: BJP: What we do is moral, ethical & legal. What you do is wrong! Period.

Constitutional today, Unconstitutional tomorrow

Dishonest Governance vs Honest Intent

AAP Articles this week (click on link to view):

Our financial records open to public, AAP to court - DNA India 22nd Feb

'Congress and BJP ganged up against AAP government - Rediff 16th Feb

Kejriwal writes to Modi, asks him to come clean on ties with Mukesh Ambani - Times of India 20th Feb

'Neither Left nor Right', AAP says it's not anti-business - Business Standard 22nd Feb

AAP's entry makes Pune BJP, Cong jittery - Times of India 21st Feb

Lok Sabha polls: AAP targets big names in first list, Yogendra Yadav and Medha Patkar in fray - Indian Express 17th Feb

AAP on TV this week (click on link to view):

Amartya Sen salutes AAP electoral strategy, asks it to be more inclusive

Truth vs Hype: AAP vs Reliance - The Gas Pricing Controversy - NDTV 24x7 22nd Feb

Aam Aadmi Party Press Conference: AAP announces first list lok sabha candidates - India News 17th Feb

Interaction with Mr Arvind Kejriwal at CII(Confederation of Indian Industry) - 19th Feb 

AAP's Amethi game plan - NDTV 24x7 20th Feb

बड़ी खबर : मोदी, राहुल को रोक पाएंगे केजरीवाल? - NDTV India 20th Feb


AAP website -
AAP Facebook :
AAP Twitter :
AAP NRI Contact:

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Radio Interview with Deborah Frieze, on Walking Out and Walking On (what my life journey has been about)

Listen to this! A radio show interview with Deborah Frieze about Walking Out of dead-end systems and Walking On to create the world we really want to live in. A deep systems understanding of what's been happening in the world. She mentions several initiatives around the world, including Shikshantar Andolan, Udaipur where the name of the movement got coined.
What she describes is pretty much what my life journey has been about. I'll agree with her on this : It wasn't really about dropping out; it was about fully engaging life and the world. And I'm SSOOO happy off it.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fundraising for Sadhana Forest @ Auroville, Tamil Nadu

*Personal note: These guys are genuine.. I've visited them in Auroville, Tamil Nadu, as well as gotten first-hand accounts from a large number of people from many different places. And they've got the solutions, the know-how, the experience, to restore ANY dry/wasteland to a lush living environment with minimal input costs. What they've done for the region near Auroville, if replicated elsewhere, would go a long way in moving regions permanently out of drought condition, restoring forests and restoring agricultural land fertility. Your money will be put to good use here. Also, In case you have the contacts, please connect them to governments or policy groups or parties who can take the best practices here, bring in the necessary resources and implement them at broader scales. They are busy doing the intensive work so it's up to the rest of us to scale it up.
Regards, Nikhil Sheth,, +91-9665831250

Forwarded email:

Sadhana Forest just celebrated 10 years of work.

These 10 years have been wonderful, creative and at the same time, extremely challenging.

In India, we have planted over 29,000 trees and harvested hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of water. In Haiti, Sadhana Forest has planted 80,000 food-producing trees that will feed up to 70,000 people and trained 7,000 Haitians in agroforestry and permaculture.

These days, we are starting Sadhana Forest Kenya, creating food forests with the Samburu people who suffer from drought and malnutrition.

Sadhana Forest has been funded by one-time donations, which have brought us this far, but are very unpredictable. In order to continue our work, we now need your support. We are now launching the Sustaining Member program that will enable you to contribute a small amount on a monthly basis. Any amount would help us!

To support our work please click here:

Thank you very much for your help!


Yorit and Aviram

Thursday, February 20, 2014

invitation to Adivasi Food festival on the 25th February at Bissamcuttack

Forwarded email:
We are organizing an adivasi food festival where both cultivated as well as uncultivated
and / or forest foods that the adivasis depend on will be displayed on
25th February at Bisamcuttack, Rayagada. This is a unique event where
people from a dozen tribes who live in the villages of Odisha,
Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh  and Maharashtra will gather
with their local produce to tell us how and why they prefer their
traditional food. Members from  the  Kondh, Koya, Didai, Santhal,
Juanga, Baiga, Bhil, Pahari Korva, Paudi Bhuiyan and Birhor from more
than 300 villages spread across the tribal heartland of India.

The idea behind this adivasi food festival is to show that traditional
food culture of these people, based on their age-old agriculture
practices, have provided food and nutritional security for them down
the ages. If such practices are nurtured and improved upon, it would
provide far better food security than the current public distribution
system does and also help the communities and the forests in
protecting each other.

It will be a colourful event with singing and story-telling in an
unusual mingling of tribal cultures. Adivasi and Dalit children from
nearby villages and schools will also participate in this festival
which will showcase the richness of their food diversity and local
cultures. We will also be putting together more than 400 recipes for
dishes made from locally cultivated crops and uncultivated and /
forest produce - a rich storehouse of knowledge that needs to be
preserved and respected.

It is this thought that prompted us to hold the food festival. The
imposition of modern agriculture systems based on the use of chemical
inputs has had several adverse impacts, not least in undermining the
traditional practices of adivasi farming practices. It has reduced the
space for interaction among the tribes people who grow their food
mostly through exchange of labour, seeds, skills and services. It has
also destroyed the age-old custom of consulting one another on
farm-related decisions, etc.

This has begun to worry the elders in the community who fear the
modern system is distancing their people from their once strong
traditions and shared ways of living. They are apprehensive that their
customary support systems have begun to wither away as community
resources are being converted into individual assets and individuals
are being forced to adapt to the ways of the so-called civilized world
where each man has to fend for himself.

The food festival at Bisamcuttack is aimed at deepening their
communitarian ethos and shared knowledge systems. The event will
highlight their sustainable way of growing food and their relationship
with their ecology -the forest, seeds, land and food.

We hope to encourage the young adivasis to imbibe the significance of
the old ways by listening to the stories and songs of their and to
think critically about their future. We hope the event will help these
communities to regain pride in their sustainable practices and reclaim
control of their collective spaces. We also hope it will also prove to
be a stimulating forum for sharing the associated ecological knowledge
and cultural linkages that exist or were prevalent in earlier times.

The food festival on 25th February will be followed by a discussion
the next day on ways to increase such linkages through collective
efforts to protect tribal practices and thus ensure the harmonious
relation between people and forests.

We look forward to meeting you on the 25th February at Bisamcuttack, Rayagada.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Biases in news reporting

I'd like to illustrate an example of how bias can and often gets built into news reporting, and how a simple difference in highlighting of different facts involved can twist the tale. Even to the extent of painting the victims of an event as the villains, distracting the reader from the root causes of an issue, and advocating the wrong solutions by misinterpreting the problems.

This article published by the New York Times on environment conservation efforts in the Indian state of Nagaland, paints a picture of Naga villagers following a harmful practice of hunting an endangered species of migratory birds. It then tells how through persistent "education" and awareness efforts by State and NGOs, the villagers are getting reformed.

But there's more to this story than what most of it portrays. Some important questions were neglected:
Have the villagers been indiscriminately hunting this bird to near extinction since time immemorial? If not, since when? How did they come to this situation?

The answer to these comes almost as an aside, in 3 small paragraphs halfway down the article:

"Their other sources of income had run into problems after the Doyang dam, a huge structure generating 75 megawatts of electricity, was commissioned in 2000. In a wet, mountainous state like Nagaland, it is not irrigation but flat land that is most coveted by farmers. The Doyang reservoir came up in some of the flattest areas in Doyang, submerging cultivable fields.

Attracted by the new body of water and the sugar cane and wild bananas that were growing on the banks of the reservoir, wild elephants trampled over several crops, say villagers. Suffering losses, villagers decided to capture Amur falcons, which were now congregating in dizzying numbers over the reservoir, for their livelihood.

Villagers have argued that if they are not allowed to hunt wild birds and animals, then they need to be provided an alternative way to generate seasonal income."

In this article, the "hunting is steeped in their tradition" got a lot more stress, even getting downright repetitive. An image was built that these villagers are inherently, by their very culture and way of life, inclined to hunt the falcons to extinction. Whereas the part quoted above was seldom referred to in the rest of the article. It's almost as if these paragraphs were inserted later as an afterthought. Omitting these parts out completely would have exposed the bias for what it really is, so other tactics are used. This is a typical example of control over what inference the reader makes. Even without outright lying, by choosing which parts of a story to lay stress on and which to downplay, a totally different picture can be conveyed. This happens regularly in our present mainstream media at the reporter/writer’s level or the editor's level; in the latter case, the original author might find out about the ideological edits made by their superior only after the article gets published.

Look at how much it is downplayed : "Their other sources of income had run into problems after the Doyang dam.." :: Other sources of income, or primary livelihood? If you permanently stop an entire community engaged in a livelihood like farming from doing it, then that doesn't mean that their "other sources of income" have "run into problems". It means you've deprived them of their livelihood, their way of life, their food security. At an average farmer's level, it means that unless he takes some drastic, desperate measures, his family is going to go hungry, and in the absence of community support (true here as everyone's in the same fix), they might even die.

In this case, the desperate measures manifested in resorting to hunting of Amur falcons. Hunting which was until now a cultural ritual (which inherently has limits and wouldn't lead to overhunting), was now commodified (which doesn't have any limits: the more you hunt, the more you earn). All these millennia these people didn't over-hunt any bird to extinction : it started happening only after their livelihoods were taken away from them, by the State and the power industry building a dam over their farmlands. Of course, the proceeds from the dam cannot be expected to go to these "backward" villagers to compensate them monthly for their livelihood losses (which would be a certain very large amount to be paid monthly for ever): that would make the dam non-profitable for the entities who built and operate them.

A miracle is conveyed over the killing of the birds dropping down to zero in just an year of efforts. This happened because the over-killing had only recently started, after the dam was made. It wasn’t  a feature of the villagers’ cultural traditions as is repeatedly indicated.

So, which entity was really responsible for the endangerment of the birds? Those who were evicted from their ancestral lands, desperate to feed their families and given no other choice? Those who flooded flat farmlands in a mountainous region with a dam made to sell electricity for a profit? Or those consuming the electricity for whose consumption the dam was built? (The north east states sell electricity to various states on the mainland.. it could be your own city) The article decisively points fingers at the villagers, albeit giving some small defense on their behalf towards the end, but never going into the root causes.

And now we come to the truly dangerous part. By misinterpreting the problem itself, it becomes possible to justify any narrowly-focused solution, as professed all over this article. We're not fixing any problem by "educating and reforming" the villagers : a feat trumpeted like a heroic effort by the government and NGOs involved. This also highlights a serious problem with field-specific specialization of NGOs that come in from the outside : You cannot expect a Natural History Society to be telling anyone anything about dams, even if it's clear that it was a dam's hasty construction that is causing the problems they're endeavoring to solve.

So here's an exercise for the reader : If you were given an opportunity to rewrite the article under discussion, would you write it differently? What would your inferences be, and what would you be more comfortable with your readers inferring? What would your advocated solution look like?

(this article is being published as an Editorial in an upcoming website on alternatives that I'm partly involved with.. will update with link when it's up)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A brief problems-only history of post-independence India

1. Fossil-fuel dependent farming (termed Green Revolution) gets pushed onto the country's farmers in a big way. The country starts incurring major deficits due to this transformation of what was till now a zero-input-costs sector.

2. To fend off bankruptcy due to above, IFI's (intl financial institutions) force the opening up of Indian economy with totally unrelated terms and conditions in lieu of loans accepted by govt without any public discussion thanks to country being occupied with communal issues, and 500-yr old colonialism comes back in the form of MNCs.

3. Environmental and community safeguards are waived to make way for unprecedented extraction of natural resources, bringing windfall profits to a few private players, and employment for a small educated middle class, and little gain to the remaining Indians. Largest human migrations since Partition happening across the nation as people are evicted from homelands to make way for SEZs, industrial corridors etc.

4. Food production gains made with Green Revolution are lost as vast lands put on fertilizer/pesticide drug overdoses succumb and lose fertility and biodiversity, sea fisheries lose capacity due to fertilizers/pesticides runoff, and India becomes a food importing nation once more. Overdependence on now failing BT cotton and hybrid seeds combine to induce the greatest wave of suicides witnessed in all of human history.

5. People standing up against all this : Govt, in pocket of industrialists, brands them as Naxalites and likens them to terrorists.

6. Country now needs continuous increasing foreign investment to offset its now continuous increasing outflow of resources.

7. Economic regulations relaxed and increase in currency circulation being done to adjust to above situations. Causing runaway inflation.

8. Mass media nearly completely owned by industries causing the problems, continues distracting and keeping the people in the dark, hence very few know what's really going on with their own country.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blow the whistle

Ground Reality: FDI in retail: The myths around what it can achieve

Ground Reality: FDI in retail: The myths around what it can achiev...: Reblogging a nice article I've come across

GM technology has not been able to increase crop yields anywhere

"The Prime Minister said that GM technology has great potential to improve yields. This has been claimed by the industry too. But the fact is that it is now 20 years since the first GM crop was introduced in the United States, and there is still no evidence of a GM crop having increased crop productivity. The US Department of Agriculture's own studies show that the yields of GM corn and soybean are lower than that of conventional varieties.

Even in India, the Central Institute for Cotton Research (CICR) Nagpur, which monitors the cotton crop, has admitted: "No significant yield advantage has been observed between 2004-2011, when the area under Bt cotton increased from 5.4 to 96 per cent." Thus, the argument that the world needs to produce more for the growing population by the year 2050, and therefore it needs GM crops, does not hold true. "

Author: Devinder Sharma,
Click the link on top to read the full article

How to make people think?

How to make people think?

Ask them a question. Ask them what they feel about so and so issue. 

All this time they're constantly being told what to think. For the first time in a long time, let them hear someone asking them what do THEY think. 

Once they've poured out the answer that was residing in their head, 
DO NOT react, even if you disagree with them. Acknowledge them, and Let them be. 

Because now the opinion, the idea has flowed out of their head and been put into words : it has come out of the darkness into the light, where it can be evaluated much better. 

After this, later that day, while they're sleeping, they'll start thinking, pondering, questioning : 
Is that what I truly believe? Is that how I really want things to be? Could there be something else here? 
Who knows, by the next morning, the same person might be thinking about an issue in another way completely.

So get your questions ready, go out there and make people think.

Economics of Happiness Conference, Bangalore, 15 March 2014

Localisation : The most strategic way to tackle our escalating social and ecological crises?


Over the past 30 years, giant banks and corporations have become wealthier and more powerful than ever before. This has happened because governments, in the name of 'economic growth', have supported ever-increased global trade while neglecting local business potential.  Through a series of 'free trade' treaties, trade and financial deregulation continues today, weakening and impoverishing governments and whole countries. This is the essence of economic globalisation. 


Despite the rhetoric of inevitability that supports it, globalisation is a process of planned change — the consequence of government policies that support the profit-driven agendas of big businesses and banks.  These policies include the building up of transport, communications and educational infrastructures tailored to the needs of global corporations; the over-regulation of local and national businesses; and the use of misleading indicators like GDP.


Since globalisation is at the root of so many problems, localisation — a shift away from the global and towards the local — is an obvious part of the solution.  


The central principles of localisation


•    Localisation is the diversification and decentralisation of economic activity.  •    Localisation strengthens human-scale business — especially for basic needs such as food, water, and energy, but also in housing, banking and healthcare.  


•    Localisation relies more on human labour and skill and depends less on energy and technology.  


•    Localisation requires less transportation, less packaging, and less processing, thereby reducing waste, pollution and fossil fuel use. 


•    Localisation adapts economic activity to the diversity of ecosystems, restoring cultural and biological diversity.


•    Localisation fosters a deeper connection between people and nature.


•    Localisation rebuilds social interdependence and cohesion, providing a more secure sense of identity and belonging, which in turn is a prerequisite for peaceful coexistence.


•    Localisation challenges conventional notions of international development, instead reclaiming and regenerating diverse knowledge systems, languages, aesthetics and wisdom traditions.



Global to local policy changes:


¥    The renegotiation of international trade treaties, this time putting local needs first. This means the re-regulation of global trade and finance, along with the relaxation of regulations that currently stifle local trade and finance.


¥    A shift in taxes and subsidies that currently favor the large and multinational. Rather than tax labour while subsidising the use of energy and technology, policies need to promote the creation of jobs and livelihoods while minimising the wasteful use of energy and other resources.


¥    A re-direction of public investments in infrastructure. Billions are still being invested in creating and improving trade-based infrastructures — superhighways, shipping terminals, airports — while the needs of local economies are being neglected.


¥    Government control and regulation of the creation of money and debt.   Leaving these key elements of modern economies in the hands of unaccountable banks and financial institutions has led to reckless speculation and economic collapse, as well as a widening gap between rich and poor.


***At the grassroots, a powerful localisation movement is emerging worldwide. India itself has a rich history of innovation and activism. Here and elsewhere, the localisation movement is showing that strengthening community and the local economy can undo many of the problems created by the mad rush towards globalisation.  


Central to this new thinking has been the local food movement, which is already demonstrating that shortening the distance between farmers and consumers creates a multitude of benefits, including: healthier and fresher food; more income for farmers; more agricultural and biological diversity; and less pollution and fossil fuel use.  Perhaps most importantly, small, diversified and locally-adapted farms actually produce more food per acre than large industrial monocultures, while reclaiming the food supply from multinational corporations.


The same logic that underlies the local food movement applies not only to other aspects of primary production (for example, fisheries and forestry), but to other quite different areas of economic life.  Amongt the countless initiatives already underway are:


Via Campesina  Transition Towns  Decentralized renewable energy  Local business alliances  Local banking  Alternative currencies and local bartering  Local stock markets  'Gift economies'  Ecovillages  School gardens  Non-school education   Eco-building        Biodiversity economics  'Counter-development' Anti-Corruption  Inner Transformation


We believe that these and many other initiatives like them can gain strength by forging alliances under the localisation banner.  Together, we can build a movement that will challenge the might of the mega-corporations and bring the economy back home. 


We invite you to join us!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Off with the Ads!

Hi readers,
I had switched on Ads on this blog to explore if there's any chance of
a little income generation.. a couple of months on I've decided to
switch them off.

For one, there was practically no earnings. And in return, when I
visited my blog, I was embarassed to see promotions for the very
things I've been writing and advocating against!

One day there was an ad asking for donations to BJP's Modi for PM
fund. The next day there was an ad asking donations to Congress's
election campaign.

And then there are these ads for online clothes and gadgets stores...
and I know that the major ones like Flipkart are pursuing seriously
predatory competitive practices : I've personally heard of cases of
them lowering their sale price below the cost price, and enduring a
loss (which with their large coffers they have the capacity to), just
so that all buyers buy from them, they capture the market and starve
other sellers. So they'll actually sell at loss just for the sake of
shutting down competitors. Anyways, such companes' ads I found on my
blog. Yikes.

And then there's ads encouraging you to buy a car or a bike... Which
will only increase your dependency on fossil fuels, plus yet another
nail in the planet's coffin!

Google's Adsense account has extensive settings and all, I explored
that, but there's no end to what categories I have to check on and
off. No matter how many areas I keep blocking, I ultimately have no
influence over the ideological decisions of which ads to display.

For example, I'd love to see ads calling for contributions to
grassroots movements, campaigns for sustainability and justice, and
currently I'm also finding AAP as a worthy alternative. But their
stuff will never come, as the bad guys have paid more money. It's
money power which ultimately dictates which ad will be shown, and so
any choices given to me are window-dressing.

So, off with Adsense. My sincerest apologies to readers for shoving
these ads in your faces : I'll do my best to make sure it doesn't
happen now on. (Of course, I won't have a choice if the blog service
provider decides to show ads irrespective of whether I like it or

Bitcoin's fall: we need an alternative, not a substitute for money

Bitcoin's fall / flaws being predicted on Dec 5 2013 :

And it crashes on 10th February 2014 :

These guys know their stuff, they called it, and it happened. So now I
would advise the reader to pay attention to the other things they've
been writing / videoing about:

I think this also brings out a deeper message, and these happenings
are reinforcing it for me.

Bitcoin came about as a result of a hunt for an alternative currency.
But the way of transacting : the buying and selling of materials and
services in an environment of conditionality and selfishness that
we've taken for granted to be the only way things can get done... that
was kept the same. The core was the same, it wasn't rethought.

So Bitcoin was a substitute. Not an alternative.

I don't think that's going to cut it. This is kind of like seeing
there's some problem in education, and substituting the existing
teachers with higher quality replacements, and expecting that that
will solve the problem. That doesn't solve the problem, because we
didn't change the system itself. The education will fail the students
regardless of what substitute teacher we bring in; similary, the
substitute currencies will fail.

The people who went in for Bitcoin, and wanted a decentralized
currency, I don't think they're recognizing that centralizing is an
inevitable consequence and a requirement for the system of
transactions where there's conditionality and selfishness involved.

What we need here is an alternative to that system of transacting. An
alternative that doesn't have conditionality and selfishness inherent
in it. We have to keep in mind that even barter, commonly mistaken to
be the only original mode of transaction, also has conditionality and
selfishness inherent in it. And that's why I hear the cliche, "So
you're saying we should just go back to barter??" The assumption here
is that barter was the origin and we all came from it, hence "go back
to". The brain shuts down there, and no consideration is given to
thinking how families, extended families, indigenous communities, and
even ecosystems and communities in the animal/plant world operate
every day.

I do have a solution in mind and at heart, but I don't think I can do
justice to it in writing it here... I can feel it but would need more
time and space to write it. But there are some wonderful resources I'd
like to point you to. The real alternatives, which do not have
conditionality and selfishness inherent in them, have different names
but common core values. The names go by "Gift Economy", "Giftivism"

5 deaths in major banking institutions in last 2 weeks

It's surprising how these deaths are being declared as suicides or accidental deaths just hours or a day or so after the actual event... is there no real investigation happening?? Why am I not seeing a single statement like "the police are investigating"?

And don't be too vindictive by saying "5 less criminals" etc... it's a lot more probable that these were the Edward Snowdens / Chelsea Mannings of the financial sector and they got stopped before they could whistle-blow, plus their deaths will send a chilling effects down the ranks to prevent anyone else from going public with what they know.

 JP Morgan Executive Becomes 5th Banker to Die in Last 2 Week

Who the country's real looters are

It's time we take a clear look at who the nation's real looters are.
The politicians are their agents... they may get a 5% cut.. but who's
running off with the remaining 95%??

They provide jobs to 1 lakh people only after throwing 10+ lakh people
out of their homelands and centuries-old livelihoods.

They occupy 1000s of hectares of public land for practically free, get
lakhs of crores worth of tax benefits and subsidies, do not have to
spend anything on international standards of pollution control and
safety, and then boast of how they are 'competitive' and give high
paying jobs to Indians (by passing on some of the loot gotten through
govt intervention).

They rip off Rs.1000cr and then put Rs.1cr in CSR and make a huge show
of it. They're hiring most of the social work graduates through their
foundations and keeping them busy in solving symptom problems while
preventing anyone from digging too deep.

Even while boasting of giving jobs, automation is constantly on (our
textbook chapters on India having labour-intensive industry and hiring
more ppl are irrelevant now; technology has caught up) and the
ABSOLUTE NUMBER of jobs in many private sectors has DECREASED in last
10 yrs, esp in mining which is being pushed so heavily even overriding
environmental no-go's.

They talk eloquently about ordinary Indians spitting on roads, while
secretly spitting billions of liters of toxic pollutants into our

They have wrecked our rivers and lakes, wiped out our forests,
polluted our air, depleted and poisoned our groundwater.

If local people being harmed by them stand up to defend their
motherland, these companies are the ones ordering the media and govt
to brand them as naxalites, terrorists. Our own defense forces, whose
job was to protect the country from foreign invasion, are being used
like private merceneries to murder our own citizens who are standing
up in self defense. (why else do you think there are increasing cases
of suicide, depression and fratricide among these forces? They're
realizing they're being ordered to kill their own people)

They own the mainstream media and have used it to paint themselves as
good, disciplined, reputed, honorable and needed for the country's
'growth', without explaining exactly what we're supposed to grow into.
(Picture a desert spanning across the country and 1 billion dead
people : that's what we're growing into.)

They are the real foreign hand, the shadow dictators of our nation.
White skin or brown skin, it's the attitude to grab and control
everything, to take and take as much as possible, which matters. We
don't need them at all; it's a big fat lie we're being brainwashed

What you can do : For starters, stop believing whatever the mainstream
media portrays, particularly watch out for them imposing their
opinions on you.

Find out who their owners are; you'll be shocked to find out.

Talk to people on the ground, visit the countryside, spend your spare
time on thinking and discussing rather than watching TV.

Look for independent news sources, particularly orgs that have
transparent funding and are reader-funded. Invest in these independent
news sources.

Find out which banks are using citizens' savings to lend to these
corporates, and don't keep your money with them (that will be
difficult as these guys will be the ones giving highest interest rate.
That's because they're giving you a cut of the loot of your own

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Universal Basic Income - your living is your birthright, no one should force you to earn it

Thanks to Shiv Hastawala for sharing this in some emails...

This short video shows the Unconditional Basic Income experiments done in India (Delhi and Madhya Pradesh) and interviews the recipients of the cash transfers.

The interviewees reveal positive effects on health, labor supply (quality), financial stability, improved environment, resource access, equity, investments, debt reductions and most of all, EDUCATION!!

This is a game changer. It clearly debunks most of the arguments against taking care of the basic needs of the human population. Even though these experiments were done on a small scale with significantly small amounts of cash transfers, they are a good start for the Indian community (and even the world).


I just came across this idea of Unconditional Basic Income. This is an amount of money that is paid to every individual (of the nation pertaining to this so-called law) every month as a means to meeting basic human needs regardless of their participation in the labor market. The European arm of this organisation has already gained around 280000 signatures for this petition and the bill will most likely be presented to the European Union soon. Why it caught my attention was because this could be a real step in the transition towards a NLRBE since meeting the needs of all people is one of the major aims of this model.

However, what I found most intriguing was that experiments on this subject are already being carried out in India but most of us are not aware of it. I am quoting the text from in italics below. Hope you find it interesting:
Although barely reported in the media, two basic income pilot projects are have been underway in India since January 2011. One pilot is being conducted in part of Delhi and the other in eight small rural villages in Madhya Pradesh. The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) began planning and raising money for the rural project in 2008. The Delhi government eventually joined in, working with SEWA to organize an urban pilot project in Delhi.

Publicity about the project has been deliberately kept low because opponents have been using scare tactics to disrupt and to discourage participation in the project. They have spread rumors that the pilot would lead to the reduction or elimination of existing government support for the poor.

Families participating in the urban project receive 1000 Rupees per month (about US$22). Some participants have reduced access to other government transfers; some participants receive the grant all with full access to other government transfers. In the rural project, adult receive 200 Rupees a month (about US$4.40) and each child under the age of 14 receives 100 Rupees a month (about US$2.20). The project organizers will study the consumption, expenditure, and nutrition of the different groups of participations to a “control” group receiving no additional transfers to determine the impact of cash transfers.

These projects are similar to the Namibian basic income pilot project and to the U.S. and Canadian governments’ Negative Income Tax experiments conducted in the 1960s and 1970s, but the rural project adds an important new innovation to the method: the project is being conducted on the village, rather than on the individual, level. All residents of eight Indian villages will receive the basic income, and their behavior will be compared with residents of twelve “control” villages. This method will allow project designers to study village-wide effects of the transfer.

Guy Standing, professor of economic security at Bath University (UK) and an honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network, helped to conceive and organize the project. He argues that it needs to be conducted with scientific dispassion. But he’s hopeful of the outcome. Asked about the results of the Namibian pilot project—which he was also a part of—Standing said that organizers documented many positive effects: “Child school attendance went up dramatically, use of medical clinics went up. Those with HIV/ AIDS started to take ARTs (Antiretroviral Therapy drugs) because they’d been able to buy the right sort of food with the cash. Women’s economic status improved, and the economic crime rate went down. Income distribution improved.”

For more about the projects see an interview with Guy Standing in The Times of India:

Universal basic income (UBI)—the unconditional provision of an amount of money to every citizen—is an idea that has gained ground in several Western countries. Switzerland is planning a referendum on the subject; and a vigorous debate is on in the US and European countries on the feasibility of UBI. There have been instances in individual cities in the US and Canada where UBI has been tried out, with a degree of success, in the past.

There are good reasons to pursue the idea in India, the primary one being equity. There is a strong case to provide UBI to all Indians, a significant number of whom do not have a regular source of income. The second reason, which is equally important, is the damage that a bloated government is inflicting on the Indian economy. A vast number of “welfare schemes”, “flagship programmes” and the like eat into a huge amount of government revenue. In fact, the reason why India is in such dire fiscal straits is the explosion of such programmes and the money that has to be borrowed to keep them running. The macroeconomic consequences have been devastating. If a lump-sum is handed out to every Indian family, this flab can be cut easily.

It is not a utopian idea. One way to fund UBI is to dramatically reduce expenditure on subsidized goods and services such as food, healthcare and education. The freed up money can then be used to provide UBI. The numbers are simple. If, to pick an arbitrary number, every Indian family is handed out Rs5,000 every year, then for a population of 1.2 billion, the expenditure works out to Rs1,20,000 crore every year. This is not a big, unrealistic, sum. By comparison, the budgeted amount for total subsidies alone in 2013-14 is Rs2,31,000 crore—almost double of what is required to provide UBI of Rs5,000 to every Indian family. The entire non-Plan expenditure stands at Rs1,10,9975 crore, more than nine times what is needed for UBI. Now shaving off non-Plan expenditure in toto is not feasible, but surely if providing UBI is a political priority, the sum required can be easily found.

Financial affordability is one thing, political feasibility is another. But even on that count UBI can be a winner. Take a careful look at all the major welfare schemes being run currently—including the gargantuan Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). In the end, they serve as ways of transferring some money to the poor. This is seen to be a vote-spinner for any party in power. UBI can be a far more attractive idea politically. Giving regular income to the poor, far in excess of what they can earn through the MGNREGS or any other scheme, is more promising.

These issues apart, UBI promises to be a humane idea: It can end the uncertainty that so deeply afflicts the poor in this country. MGNREGS promised to be a good idea. But as it stands currently, it is a corruption- and inefficiency-ridden scheme. The poor may want work but may not get it. And even if they work, chances are they will not get the money due to them.
There are, of course, design issues that need to be confronted head on. What is the amount that must be provided as UBI? What should be the principles on which this sum is decided? Will establishing UBI make India a country of layabouts who refuse to work because they have a guaranteed income? These are contentious issues that need to be debated. But the logic of introducing UBI remains strong.

The reasons for providing UBI in Western countries are different: stagnant wages, an effective demand collapse and associated sociological problems. In India, these issues are different but the background remains the same: helping the poor and ensuring that government intervention in the economy—devastating in recent years—is minimized.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What the USA has turned into

This mailer serves a true picture of what the United States of America has turned into; what their governing elite are doing to their own people who dare to follow their conscience. This case smacks not of a democracy but a dictatorship, where "traitors" will be shown no mercy. I want to ask to Indian parents of youngsters that they want to send to the US for higher studies and career : Please pause and take a deeper look at what you're getting your children into. Even without getting trapped in such situations, their talent, their genius can be very easily be directed towards increasing the sum total of suffering on this planet (click to see an example of how)

Iraq Veterans Against the War | Newsletter

Iraq Veterans Against the War | Newsletter

Iraq Veterans                          Against the WarSupport Our Work:                          Donate Now

Dear Nikhil,

In 2006, after spending 1 year in Baghdad, Iraq as an intelligence analyst, Sara Beining decided that she could not return. She found it impossible to support an illegal and immoral war of aggression, and she was already suffering from symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. So Sara decided to take a stand. She deserted the Army and joined Iraq Veterans Against the War soon afterward.

Nearly 8 years later, Sara was apprehended by the Army and is now facing general court martial - the highest court in the military. If charged, Sara could spend a significant time in military prison, away from her 5 year old daughter.

Please help Sara fight to keep her family together by contributing to her legal fund.

Sara is an amazing mother, but her daughter is not the only person feeling her absence. In addition to being an active member for the past 8 years, Sara has been serving on IVAW's executive board since 2012. Her contributions to IVAW have helped the organization to become what it is today. Sara is a kind and generous friend, a bright, critical thinker, an excellent writer, and always brings a unique personal and political perspective to our work. We need her back!

After all of her many contributions to this movement, it's time for us to give back to SaraHelp us work to ensure that those who take a stand for their families, their health, and for what is morally and ethically just get a fair trial. Make a generous contribution to Sara's legal fund today.

IVAW works to build a service-member and veteran led movement that ends militarism by transforming ourselves, military culture, and American society. Sara leads by example; her actions remind those serving while suffering with post-traumatic stress and crises of conscience that they have the right to heal.

Help our movement by helping Sara. Make a generous contribution today.

In Solidarity,

Maggie, Matt, Joyce, and Julia
IVAW Staff

Monday, February 10, 2014

John Perkins quote

Watch the 1 hour interview that covers nearly every aspect about the present world economic (dis)order, his own life journey and the movement afoot for a better world :

Watch the movie Money and Life :

Find out more about John Perkins and his work:

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

some news on global economy/ war/ world order

Some interesting news/opinion articles I'm coming across : Secretive Obama “Shock Troops” Deploy Across America :

The “shock troops” currently being deployed by the Obama regime, this report explains, number nearly 800,000 and were “activated” this past month under Section 5210 of the controversial US law titled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [aka Obamacare] titled “Establishing a Ready Reserve Corps” and stating that this force must be ready for “involuntary calls to active duty during national emergencies and public health crises.


 15 February “Catastrophe” Warned Will Shake Entire World :


The three Western bankers targeted for elimination by Obama regime “black team hit squads,” this report says, were Deutsche Bank executive Bill Broeksmit, 58, found dead at his home in Chelsea, south west London, on 26 January, JPMorgan Chase & Company vice president in technology operations Gabriel Magee, 39, who died after falling from his London headquarters on 28 January, and chief economist at Russell Investments, and former US Federal Reserve economist, Mike Dueker, 50, found dead at the side of a highway that leads to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State on 31 January.

The “common link” between these bankers, this GRU report continues, began this past year after two JP Morgan whistleblowers confessed that their bank manipulates the gold and silver markets, which led to this past weeks stunning announcement that Europe’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, would withdraw from the appropriately named gold and silver price “fixing”, as European regulators investigate the manipulation of precious metals prices by Western banks.

Deutsche Bank executive Broeksmit, called among the “finest minds” in his field, and Russell Investments Dueker, ranked among the top 5 percent of economists by number of works published, this report says, were at the forefront of the European investigation into JPMorgan gold and silver price manipulation and had as their “inside man” JPMorgan tech guru Magee who oversaw his banks computer systems built for this crime.

Critical to note, GRU economic analysts say in this report, is that if the price of gold and silver were to achieve their “honest” level, JPMorgan would collapse as it does not have the reserves needed to equal the “paper” gold it has already sold, and a JPMorgan collapse would then, in turn, implode the entire global economic system.

the Obama regimes “master plan” of purposefully creating global financial chaos in order to destabilize enemy countries and create a flight into the US dollar is now failing and has led to the highly influential trends forecaster Gerald Celente to warn people this week that they need to “brace themselves for a disastrous global collapse and riots that will engulf the entire world.”

Though virtually unknown to the American(s), within two hours of the 11 September 2001 attacks, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declared a national emergency, and for the first time in US history, invoked its emergency powers under Securities Exchange Act Section 12(k) easing regulatory restrictions for clearing and settling security trades for the next 15 days.

These changes would allow an estimated $240 billion in covert US government securities to be cleared upon maturity without the standard regulatory controls around identification of ownership due to the quickly unfolding Black Eagle Trust Fund plot that would have most certainly destroyed the entire global economic system.


Specifically, the Chicago Board Options Exchange reported to the SEC that four days before the attack an extremely unbalanced number of trades betting United’s stock price would fall were being placed, followed one day before the attack by the US stock options market authorities reporting to the SEC that an equally extraordinary number of trades were betting that American Airlines stock price would fall too. As to who made these trades, and made tens-of-millions of dollars from them, the world will never know as the Obama regimes SEC admitted in 2010 that they had destroyed all the documents relating to them.

This GRU report further notes that with the New York City headquarters of the SEC destroyed on 9/11 after the mysterious implosion of World Trade Center Building 7, and the equally devastating cruise missile attack on the Pentagon that destroyed its computing accounting system burying forever the information on where the missing $2.3 trillion went, this new “catastrophic event” being planned by the Obama regime within a fortnight of 15 February can be expected to be as worse, and will, most assuredly, “shake the entire world.”

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