Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dallas Takes a 3-2 Lead in the NBA Finals


















DALLAS leads  3-2

Heat-Mavericks notebook
By Dave Ivey, for
Posted Friday June 9, 2011

THE FACTS: Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks are one win away from the first championship in franchise history following Thursday's 112-103 defeat of the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Nowitzki had 29 points and Jason Terry scored eight of his 21 points during a game-ending 17-4 run that gave the Mavericks a 3-2 lead as the series returns to Miami.

Dwyane Wade fought through a first-half hip injury to lead the Heat with 23 points and Chris Bosh added 19 points and 10 rebounds. LeBron James recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 10 assists and 10 boards, but scored just two points in the pivotal fourth quarter. Five players scored in double digits for each team in what was by far the highest-scoring game of the series.

QUOTABLE: "We're going to play whistle to whistle. I heard that term. Been watching the hockey series. A lot of people in the hockey world use that term, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to try to win each possession and just take it one at a time."
-- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle

THE STAT: The Mavericks shot a remarkable 68.4 percent (13-for-19) from 3-point distance to offset a 36-26 disadvantage on the boards. Six Dallas players canned at least one trey, led by J.J. Barea (4-for-5), Terry (3-for-5) and Jason Kidd (3-for-5).

TURNING POINT: After Wade sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put Miami up 99-95 with 4:37 remaining, the Heat didn't make another field goal until James' layup with 29.6 seconds left. Dallas tied it at 100-100 on Terry's wide-open 3-pointer, then took the lead for good when Nowitzki drove the baseline for a dunk at the 2:45 mark.

QUOTABLE II: "JET was phenomenal. He was aggressive again from the get-go. ... That's the JET we need. We need him to attack and get in the lane. It opens up a lot of stuff for everybody else out there."
-- Nowitzki on Terry

QUOTABLE III: "We'll have to see how it responds tomorrow. When he's able to sweat and keep it warm, he was fine. Fortunately, we have an extra day. We'll see if that's enough."
-- Miami coach Erik Spoelstra on the left hip contusion suffered by Wade when he collided with Dallas forward Brian Cardinal in the first quarter.

HOT: The Mavericks shot 66 percent in the first half (23-for-35). They were 5-for-7 from 3-point range, with five different players each connecting once, and held a 60-57 lead at intermission. In the first four games of this series, Dallas averaged just 45.5 first-half points with a high of 51 in Game 2. Tyson Chandler was 4-for-5 in the half, Terry was 4-for-6 and Nowitzki was 6-for-9.

NOT: James sent out a "Now or Never!!" tweet on Wednesday and called this the biggest game of his career. He was more aggressive, but his shooting struggles continued. He was 8-for-19 from the field, including 0-for-4 behind the arc. During the three games played in Dallas, the two-time NBA MVP shot 38.6 percent from the field (17-for-44) and was 1-for-11 from 3-point territory.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Faces in the crowd at the AAC included former Dallas Cowboys running backs Tony Dorsett and Daryl "Moose" Johnston, Cowboys receiver Miles Austin, race-car driver Danica Patrick and actor/comedian Norm MacDonald.

GOOD MOVE: The Mavericks won their second straight game since moving Barea into the starting lineup ahead of DeShawn Stevenson. Barea finished with 17 points, five assists and just one turnover in more than 25 minutes. He scored a team-high eight points in the third quarter and scored six of the Mavs' first nine points in the fourth with a three-point play and his fourth 3-pointer of the game.

BAD MOVE: Miami's 18 turnovers led to 21 points for the Mavericks. Each member of the "Big Three" -- James, Bosh and Wade -- committed four turnovers.

NOTABLE: Of the previous 26 times the NBA Finals have been tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 has gone on to win the series 19 times. ... This was the 52nd and final home game of the season at the American Airlines Center, where Dallas was 29-12 in the regular season and 9-2 in the playoffs. The Mavericks sold out all 52 contests. ... This caps an eight-month stretch in which the Dallas area hosted the World Series, Super Bowl and NBA Finals. ... Backup Mavs center Brendan Haywood was inactive with a strained right hip flexor. He also missed Game 3 and played just 3:05 in Game 4. ... Dallas had 23 assists and is 10-0 in the postseason when dishing 20 or more. ... This is Miami's first losing streak since it dropped five straight from Feb. 27-March 8.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Facebook Used by Courts to Find Those Who Are ‘Only Online’

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Two years after an Australian lawyer caused a stir by sending a foreclosure notice via Facebook, the practice of online legal service is spreading as a means for courts to keep their dockets moving.

Courts in New Zealand, Canada and the U.K. have adopted the Australian example to avoid having cases stall when people can’t be located and served in person. Lawyers said the U.S. may not be far behind in using the world’s most popular social- networking service.

“There are people who exist only online,” said Joseph DeMarco, co-chair of the American Bar Association’s criminal justice cyber crime committee, and a lawyer at New York-based DeVore & DeMarco LLP. Being able to serve documents by social- media networks would be a useful tool, he said.

While Facebook Inc. is under regulatory and legal scrutiny in countries including the U.S., South Korea and Germany for failing to protect its 694 million users’ data, privacy advocates said that serving court notices by mail or in person often already provokes privacy complaints. Therefore using Facebook doesn’t raise any new issues.

“There are going to be privacy concerns, but in some respects they’re almost inescapable,” said Mark Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. Someone “is going to be subject to legal service, even though they may not be happy about it. But if they are properly notified the law’s primary concern is addressed,” whether the notice arrived via Facebook or not.

Reliable, Secure

The Palo Alto, California-based company may find legal papers served via its system a welcome recognition of the security of its internal messaging function.

Following the 2008 foreclosure case, spokesman Barry Schnitt said the company was pleased to see the Australian court validate Facebook as a reliable, secure and private communication medium, the Associated Press reported. Andrew Noyes, a Facebook spokesman, declined to comment on its recent use as an alternative means of delivering court documents.

“It seems only logical now that tools like Facebook or Twitter be used” to contact people who can’t be traced using traditional means, said Daniel Hamilton, director of Big Brother Watch in London, noting such efforts don’t violate personal privacy. “Now is it desirable? No.”

The judge in the Canberra case required lawyers to serve a foreclosure notice on the couple at their home address and a secondary address, as well as via Facebook, said Archie Tsirimokos, a managing partner at Meyer Vandenberg Lawyers who represented creditor MKM Capital.

Calls, Faxes

Since then, courts have grown more lenient in approving the use of Facebook. In March, Hilary Thorpe, a lawyer in East Sussex, England, persuaded a British court to allow her to serve a woman solely through her Facebook account, after showing that calls, faxes and visits had failed to track her down.

The people in both the U.K. and Australian cases were successfully notified in the eyes of the court, the lawyers said. Tsirimokos said that “within a day” of sending the notice, the recipient’s privacy settings in the Australian case were tightened, showing the debtors got the notice. MKM won a court order and then seized and sold the house.

Thorpe, who sent the notice via Facebook’s private message system, said “it was a matter of minutes for the debtor to respond to the e-mail,” allowing the case to move ahead.

U.S. lawyers say it would be helpful if their courts allowed the practice, and privacy experts don’t see it as a concern because U.S. court documents are already public.

Unethical Friending

The challenge would be to collect enough proof to convince a court the accountholder is the right person and the page is checked often enough to ensure it’s a fair path of notification, DeMarco said. This would need to be done without violating ethics codes that would prevent lawyers from “friending” the target under false pretenses to get past security settings.

Not everyone with a Facebook page visits the site regularly, as seen with statistics comparing the number of users, tracked by the website, with the number of visits, tracked by ComScore Inc. Of the 150 million U.S. users, there were just over 145 million unique visitors there. In the U.K., Facebook’s third-largest market with 29.5 million users, there were 27.8 million visits, according to ComScore.

“Nothing on its face in New York state or federal law precludes it,” DeMarco said.

There are countries, like France and Germany, where electronic delivery isn’t allowed in any form. French law requires delivery in person.

“It wouldn’t be admissible procedurally to send a message by Facebook,” said Matthieu Bonduelle, head of France’s Magistrates’ Union.

English court rules permit electronic document service, said Danvers Baillieu, a technology-law specialist in London.

“As far as the law is concerned, it’s just a method of delivery,” he said. “The precise form of technology is neither here nor there.”

What the automobile has been and could be, but isn't...

Personal jet packs to go on sale by end of 2011, says inventor

(Now, we're talking!!! Oh, no, maybe not...The fact that commercially available jet packs might possibly exist by the end of the year is awesome. But from the video demonstration, they are a bit farther off than they think.--jef)

By Eric W. Dolan, RAW Story,  Posted on 06.7.11
Glenn Martin, the inventor of a personal jet pack, said he expects his flying contraption to go on sale by the end of the year.

Commercial and government customers starting lining up to purchase the jetpack after a successful test flight in New Zealand in 2009, shown below.

Keith Olbermann hopes to talk more freely on new Current TV show

(I haven't had a good read on Olbermann in a while, honestly. At one point he can seem visionary, and the very next, he can be as petty as any one of his frequent verbal targets he accuses of same. But this "reveal"--which also is one of my biggest issues--puts some stock in his credibility that he has been lacking since the 2008 election.Corporate media ownership has neutered factual news reporting--period. The corporate mainstream media is a propaganda machine first, revenue generating machine next, and occasional source for news as a distant third. Olbermann's previous employer, MSNBC is owned by NBC which is owned by General Electric, which owns several defense contractor firms. See how direct that is? If Olbermann is really planning on breaking out of his former corporate restraints and delivering true unbiased journalism, more power to him. Of course...his new Al Gore...heh...;-)--jef)

RAW Story
By Eric W. Dolan - Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann said in an interview with Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air that he hopes he will be able to talk more freely on his new show at Current TV.
The liberal host of MSNBC's Countdown gave his last broadcast for the cable news network he called home for eight years in January. The following month, Olbermann accepted a job as Chief News Officer of Current Media, the parent company of Current TV, where he will start his hour long new show, also called Countdown, on June 20.
"This is not specific to NBC or MSNBC, but I just saw an environment growing in which there were more and more conflicts of interest within these large national corporations -- or even multinational corporations -- where no matter what you said, you had the potential to affect some other part of the big company's business."
"The more that that's true, the less they want you to say. And even if there is no explicit attempt to censor or to proscribe or otherwise to interfere, there becomes an issue of the larger the corporation, the more fear in the part of the people involved in its production."
"My hope was to go and get an environment where there wouldn't be any of that and I think I've found it."  ~ Keith Olbermann
Olbermann believes that he should not have been suspended from MSNBC for making political contributions to three Democratic candidates because he was an opinion journalist. He said it was not a conflict of interest for a nearly universally liberal opinion journalist like himself to donate to liberal candidates.

The Current TV cable channel went on the air in August 2005 and is led by former Vice President Al Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt.

During the interview, Olbermann also explained why he does not vote and how the Bush administration responded to his show at MSNBC.

Listen to the Fresh Air interview, courtesy of NPR, below:

The Truth About "Erectile Dysfunction"

For many men, medical treatments for erectile dysfunction are ineffective because ED is often a psychological problem.
By Maneet Bhati and Chris MacKinnon, The Good Men Project
June 8, 2011

One of the most common sexual complaints men present to their primary care physicians is trouble “getting hard” and “keeping it up.” For the last 20 years the treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) has improved tremendously with the advent of medications such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. Over 75 percent of men taking these medications are able to restore erections. However, for the remaining 25 percent of men, medical treatments are largely ineffective. In addition, a high percentage of men stop taking their medication. This can be explained in part by the fact that ED is both a physical and psychological problem.

Identifying and Changing Beliefs About Sexual Performance

For starters, a lot of men carry the belief that sexual performance and having a firm erection is one of the most defining and important characteristics of every sexual experience. As men try to make sense of their ED, many traditional (and implicit) male values about sexuality are triggered. For example, the inability to maintain erection often leads to feelings of shame because many men believe that “real” men should be able to satisfy their partner. And the only—or best—way to satisfy their partner requires an erection. Some partners will hold similar expectations of the need for the satisfying partner that can serve to worsen the situation.

ED is often strongly linked to performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is a widespread psychological phenomenon that affects many aspects of life, not just sex. It occurs when men become fearful of failure or embarrassed that they cannot achieve or maintain erections. Common thoughts that run through the man’s mind are, “Do I have an erection yet?” or “Am I going to have an orgasm this time?” A vicious circle of anxiety can develop where the anticipated fear of not having an erection results in recurring difficulties actually having one.

Here’s how the cycle starts: Men may hold some imagined fantasy of good sex, which leads to pressure to perform. When men do not achieve the result they were hoping for (i.e., a firm erection), this leads to troublesome feelings—sadness, disappointment, guilt and shame—and a return to negative thoughts that are now compounded by performance anxiety in the company of self-criticism.

The cycle can go on for a long time. For men to break the cycle, they first need to recognize that it exists. Only then can men start to change maladaptive ideas about sexuality that are not entirely helpful. First, men need to appreciate that setting the bar too high is a recipe for failure. Men need to reassure themselves that they do not have to be hard enough to drive nails every time they are intimate. Research has shown that many men with ED actually underrate their erectile response during sexual activity.

Secondly, men need to know that occasional sexual difficulties are normal and thus so are they. Research shows that most healthy men occasionally experience erectile dysfunction or failure. It does not mean you are necessarily impotent or that there is something inherently wrong with you. This can happen to anyone, and usually does at least occasionally.

Third, in western society we see a trend towards “instant gratification.” We want everything right away and instantaneously. This trend influences our relationships and sexual performance by creating a pressure to have an erection instantly and to be outstanding sexual performers. This trend of instant gratification does not take into account the fact that sexual performance is a learning process that takes time. Achieving mastery in sexual performance is no different than achieving mastery in sports or other activities: it takes practice. Sexual performance is a life-long learning process.

Reframing sexual performance as an evolving process that changes over time can lower the pressure that may be causing ED. For example, in the beginning of his career Michael Jordan was a prolific dunker who dominated games with his athletic ability. But as he got older, he relied more prominently on jump shots. The results were the same: He was still able to score—he just did it differently.


Changing the Ways Couples Think About Sexuality

In too many cases, a man’s inability to reach a firm and enduring erection leads to the end of all sexual activity. Here’s a provocative idea for couples: Good sex does not have to involve sexual intercourse. Couples can learn many different non-intercourse forms of sexual stimulation. For example, oral sex, cuddling, sensual touching, sexual massage, role-play, introducing sexual videos, or even food creates new and interesting ways to achieve sexual intimacy and orgasm.

Couples can collaboratively identify novel ways of being sexual together. It is not always easy to start these conversations, but once the subject is introduced and a rule is established about refraining from judgments, people can begin to risk sharing something new they may want to try.

One way to open up a supportive and non-judgmental dialog is by having each person write privately something the couple used to do sexually but rarely does anymore, then share these together. Partners can share their beliefs around what constitutes sexual intimacy. They can voice their frustrations about what is not satisfying them, validate and reinforce the activities that they enjoy, and make suggestions for different types of sexual activity they want to engage in.

It is also important for men to discuss the anxieties, pressures, and negative feelings (shame, guilt, etc.) they face when it comes to sexual performance. Vocalizing these fears can help increase empathy, understanding, and awareness. It also gives both partners an opportunity to examine how each of them may contribute to the ideas that exacerbate ED.

If there are negative relationship patterns that are not helping one’s sex life or relationship, there are ways to change them. A great starting point is for the couple to make the commitment to read together John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Reflect together on the chapters as they pertain to your relationship and complete the exercises contained inside. These exercises can help strengthen the relationship and lay a firm foundation for increasing sexual intimacy.


Getting Help for Your Erectile Dysfunction

We always recommend contacting your primary care physician first for a thorough assessment in determining the extent to which a man’s ED is physical or psychological. Many of the psychological difficulties that maintain ED are self-induced. This means that men have the ability not only to exacerbate sexual problems; they also have the power to overcome them. The old adage that you must always have a firm erection quickly followed by sexual intercourse to qualify for having good sex is unrealistic and simply inaccurate. Challenging these unrealistic beliefs, tempering unreasonable expectations, embracing sexuality as a life-long process, and being open to different forms of sexual activity can help men achieve diverse kinds of intimate moments with their partners.

Austerity Measures Will Only Worsen Current Recession

There’s no chance consumers will soon rescue the economy. The only hope for a speedy recovery is for the government to increase spending in the right ways.
By Eileen Appelbaum, AlterNet
Posted on June 8, 2011

The administration and Congress made a terrible mistake switching their attention from jobs to deficit reduction -- and the country is already suffering the consequences. GDP growth fell from 3.1 percent in the last quarter of 2010 to just 1.8 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Consumer spending has slowed. The pace of business investment has weakened. Factory orders are down. In fact, the Institute for Supply Management’s May manufacturing figure fell to 53.5 from 60.4, the largest one-month decline since January 1984. Housing still hasn’t recovered from the bursting of the bubble and remains a disaster zone.

Friday’s job report for May -- showing an increase in the official unemployment rate to 9.1 percent from 8.8 percent in March -- should give the "Austerity Now!" crowd pause. Amid the assault on government spending, public sector employment fell by 29,000 in May, mostly at the local level. Local government jobs are down nearly half a million since they peaked in September 2008. Expect this to worsen in July, when the new budget year starts in most states. Teachers are getting pink slips.

There is no sign the private sector, which added a mere 83,000 jobs in May, is about to take up the slack. Companies are sitting on trillions in profits, but they won’t use this money to create jobs if they don’t see increasing demand for their products and services. With the economy slowing and the political class focused on deficit reduction, it’s hard to fault these big corporations -- not to mention still struggling small businesses -- for not taking on more workers. A "contractionary expansion" -- fancy economist talk for cutting government spending and unleashing the private sector to expand hiring and production -- is nowhere in sight.

Women are especially at risk. They hold the majority of the public sector jobs already lost or slated to be cut. While job creation during the recovery has been slow for both men and women since the labor market hit bottom in February 2010, men gained more than four-fifths of the new jobs, even capturing two-thirds of jobs added in private services where they are less than half the workforce. In the public sector nearly two-thirds of the jobs lost were held by women.

While everyone else is tightening their belts is not the right time for the government to tighten its belt as well. That way lays disaster. Unless demand picks up, the private sector is not going to hire enough workers to make a dent in unemployment. Where will increased demand for private sector products and services come from? Workers are unemployed or worried about their jobs, and households are strapped for cash. There’s no chance that consumers will soon rescue the economy. The only hope for a speedy recovery is for the government to increase spending in a way that averts layoffs, creates jobs and puts money in the pockets of ordinary people.

Austerity while the economy is weak hurts the economy. It makes the deficit worse, not better, as tax revenues again begin to shrink. What is needed right now -- dare we say it? -- is for government to spend more: provide block grants to the states to avert a crisis in public education and a decline in access to health care for poor kids; extend unemployment benefits to the rising number of long-term unemployed; and engage temporarily in direct job creation to put millions of unemployed workers back to work quickly.

Concern about the bond vigilantes, those feared bogeymen that deficit hawks maintain are ready to pounce and raise interest rates if the government takes steps to improve the job situation, is misplaced. It’s the weakening economy, not government spending to protect and create jobs, that investors fear. Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds are not rising -- they have fallen to 3 percent as investors seek safe harbor in US government guaranteed assets. Only the current foolishness over raising the debt limit can threaten that guarantee and cause investors to flee US government bonds and the interest rate to suddenly spike.

Absent government policies, it takes a long time for an economy to recover from a recession and financial crisis. The panic and depression of 1873, similar in many ways to the current economic situation, lasted six years before lifting in 1879. But unlike in 1873-'79, we now have the economic know-how to bring our current crisis to a speedy end. We lack only the political will.

Policy-makers must focus on creating jobs, not slashing the deficit. It’s unconscionable to allow nearly 25 million unemployed and underemployed Americans to continue to suffer the devastating economic and psychological consequences of unemployment.

S.W.A.T. Team Breaks Down Doors Looking For Student Loan Defaulters

By Sarah Jaffe | June 8, 2011

Has it become illegal to attend college without a giant bank account?

Kenneth Wright of Stockton, California was almost knocked down by a S.W.A.T. team breaking down his door one morning. He says they then handcuffed him and put him in the back of a police car.

Federal agents confirmed that the Department of Education was behind the raid on Wright's house. They were in search of his estranged wife, who had defaulted on her loans.

As we reported last week, recent college graduates face an unemployment rate nearly double that of the rest of the population, and African-American grads (like Wright and his wife) are looking at an unemployment rate of 19 percent (that's the U3 estimate, with the U5 & U6, it's easily 30%). Meanwhile, the cost of a college degree is at an all-time high, up 3,400% since 1972.

With the government still doing little to create jobs, even a bill that would allow grads to clear student loans off their slate in a bankruptcy filing will do little to help those laboring to pay back their loan burden.

And if this incident is any indication, it looks like those borrowers will be facing more than just bad credit when they default.

So much for the American dream.

The Bernanke Scandal: Full-Frontal Cluelessness

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 by
by Robert Scheer
Ben BernankeHow I wish that Ben Bernanke would get caught emailing photos of his underwear-clad groin. Otherwise we don’t stand a chance of reversing this administration’s economic policy, which is shaping up to be every bit as disastrous as that of its predecessor.

Indeed, the Fed chairman’s much anticipated remarks on Tuesday take one back to the contemptuous indifference of a Herbert Hoover to the public’s suffering: Bernanke dismissed the wobbly economy with its anemic 1.8 percent first-quarter growth as merely “somewhat slower than expected.” The rise in unemployment to 9.1 percent was “some loss of momentum.”

The problem with Bernanke is that he is utterly clueless as to the stark pain and fear endured by the 50 million Americans who have experienced, or face the prospect of, losing their homes. His remarks reflected the insularity of a ruling-power elite that is magnificently impervious to the damage that Bernanke’s policies in the current and past administration helped inflict on what used to be called the American way of life. This is a man who assured us there was no housing crisis, while his policies at the Fed encouraged the mortgage securitization swindles that caused the meltdown of the economy.

His full statement stands as a classic example of the limits of economic language as morally descriptive: 
“Overall, the economic recovery appears to be continuing at a moderate pace, albeit at a rate that is both uneven across sectors and frustratingly slow from the perspective of millions of unemployed and underemployed workers.” 
Frustratingly slow—how about going bat nuts with fear over not being able to make your mortgage payment and losing your home? Tell it to workers who must contend with stagnant wage rates and sharply rising gas and food costs as better jobs and therefore consumer demand move offshore. Bernanke takes low wages to be reassuring news on what he sees as the all-important inflation front: “subdued unit labor costs should remain a restraining influence on inflation.”

At home we are experiencing a social tsunami with the disappearance of a middle-class workforce of stakeholders who were assumed by observers as varied as Thomas Jefferson and Alexis de Tocqueville to be the very bedrock of America’s experiment in freedom. Many with jobs are struggling desperately to get by as the average workweek and pay scales fall, and countless workers find themselves settling for rewards well below their skill sets. Even those slim pickings are denied to the unemployed. Bernanke concedes: “Particularly concerning is the very high level of long-term unemployment—nearly half of the unemployed have been jobless for more than six months.”

The jobs that have been created by our large multinational corporations, like the bailed-out GE, are primarily outside of the country, as Bernanke admitted:
“Many U.S. firms, notably in manufacturing but also in services, have benefited from the strong growth of demand in foreign markets.” 
Those foreign gains, fueled by far more successful anti-recession policies in China, Brazil and Germany, have driven up demand and prices abroad in the areas of petroleum, food and key construction commodities.

Bernanke, speaking at a monetary conference in Atlanta, conceded that “the depressed state of housing in the United States is a big reason that the current recovery is less vigorous than we would like,” and that the “U.S. economy is recovering from both the worst financial crisis and the most severe housing bust since the Great Depression.”

But he offered not a word as to how the severe effects of that housing bust might be mitigated. Not a word about assisting people to stay in their homes. Yet he claimed that the relief that the Fed provided to the bankers by buying up more than $1.2 trillion of the toxic mortgages those bankers had created “has been accomplished, I should note, at no net cost to the federal budget or to the U.S. taxpayer.”

This is the Big Lie technique at work, employed by a huge banking lobby that stresses the direct cost of the TARP program while ignoring other programs that will not be paid back, as well as the additional cost of $5 trillion to the national debt that a proper Fed policy could have avoided.

The record is by now indelibly clear that the economic approaches pursued by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, with Bernanke playing a key role in both administrations, can be most accurately summarized as a policy of government of the bankers, by the bankers, and for the bankers.

Assurances of stability to the financial markets, meaning the ability for companies to borrow government funds at a near-zero interest rate without giving anything back to the public in the form of mortgage relief or job creation, have been the overwhelming goal. But even by that standard, as the latest statistics on job creation and construction starts attest, the government’s effort is not working. Putting the bankers first has represented pushing on a string, what Paul Volcker condemns as a “liquidity trap,” a situation in which taxpayer money has been made available to major corporations that invest in job creation that benefits foreigners instead of U.S. workers. Now that’s an obscenity we should be concerned about.

The Floundering of QE 2

Down With the Ship? 

Was Friday's job's report the final nail in the coffin for QE2? 

It should be. After all, how is Fed chairman Ben Bernanke going to convince people that his bond purchasing program is working when payrolls rose by a measly 54,000 and the unemployment rate climbed back to 9.1 percent? It'll take a lot more than fast-talk to sell that load of horse-manure. The truth is, QE2 has been a total bust and the BLS's report is just the icing on the cake. Just look at the data; it's as grim as anything we've seen in the last two years. Here's a clip from an article titled "Disastrous US jobs report points to deepening slump" that will give the reader some idea of how bad things really are:
"The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a liberal Washington think tank, explained Friday that the official unemployment figure masked an even grimmer reality. It pointed out that the labor force participation rate remained at its lowest point of the recession and that the labor force in May was smaller than it was a year ago, by about 500,000 workers, even though the working-age population grew by 1.9 million in that period.
"Consequently," it noted, "the proportion of the population that is in the labor force is now 0.7 percentage points below where it was a year ago. If the labor force participation rate had held steady over the last year, there would be roughly 1.8 million more workers in the labor force right now. Instead, they are on the sideline. If these workers were in the labor force and were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate would be 10.1 percent right now instead of 9.1 percent. In other words, the improvement in the unemployment rate over the last year (from 9.6 percent to 9.1 percent) is due to would-be workers deciding to sit out the economic storm". ("Disastrous US jobs report points to deepening slump", World Socialist Website)
So, the only reason the stats look as good as they do (which isn't very good at all) is because people are throwing in the towel and calling it "quits" altogether. So much for the American dream, eh?

And there's an interesting twist to the BLS report that readers may not have noticed. The reason the jobs picture is so bleak, is because the "austerity crazed" government has been laying people off while the economy is still struggling which is making things even worse. This is from the Streetlight blog:
"The government sector of the economy continued to make the jobs picture worse. May was the seventh month in a row during which government layoffs undid some of the work of the private sector in creating jobs. Since January 2009, government employment has shrunk in 21 of 29 months -- and without temporary hiring for the Census, it would probably have shrunk in 25 of the last 29 months.
This steady reduction in government employment is a form of contractionary fiscal policy.....If government employment were simply keeping up with population growth in the US, we would expect to see about 17 to 18 thousand more state and local government jobs each month. Instead employment has shrunk by an average of 15 thousand jobs per month since the start of 2009....
In other words, in the absence of the sharp cutbacks in government spending that have been prevalent in the US over the past year or two, about 1.3 million additional people would be working now compared to 8 months ago, rather than the actual job growth we've experienced over that time of about 1 million - a 30% difference. That's a pretty tough headwind to fight, especially for an economy that's already struggling." ("Contractionary Fiscal Policy and the US Job Market", The Streetlight blog)
So, if the government hadn't been foolishly slashing jobs in the middle of a Depression, 1.3 million more people would still be working today. How's that for shooting yourself in the foot? Remember, the easiest way to prime the pump is to make sure that people aren't fired during a slump. That's Rule #1. But, of course, the deficit hawks have already won that scrimmage, so it's probably pointless to even talk about it. 

And this isn't just about employment either; it's about distribution, too. As economist David Rosenberg points out in a recent post at Zero Hedge "the labor share of national income has fallen to its lowest level in modern history - down to 57.5% in the first quarter from 57.6% in the fourth quarter of last year, 57.8% a year ago, and 59.8% when the recovery began." 

What does that mean? It means all the gains in productivity are going to the fatcats in the front office while workers are scraping by on fewer and fewer crumbs. It means working people are getting reamed again bigtime.

But, then, Bernanke promises to level the playing field with QE2, right? Everyone who wants a job will be able to find one and it'll be Happytime in America again. At least, that's what he intimated in his op-ed in the Washington Post before the program kicked off in November. Here's an excerpt:
"The Federal Reserve's objectives ---- are to promote a high level of employment and low, stable inflation.....Low and falling inflation indicate that the economy has considerable spare capacity, implying that there is scope for monetary policy to support further gains in employment without risking economic overheating.....the Federal Reserve has a particular obligation to help promote increased employment..... Steps taken this week should help us fulfill that obligation." ("What the Fed did and why: supporting the recovery and sustaining price stability", Ben Bernanke, Washington Post)
So, has QE2 lowered unemployment?


Reduced spare capacity? 

Not much.

Increased inflation?


So, it was all baloney; QE2 didn't really do anything except send gas and food prices skyrocketing. (which has further crimped consumption) 

But that's not how Bernanke sees it. According to him the program has worked spectacularly. Here's the Fed chief crowing about the miraculous effects of QE2:
"Equity prices have risen significantly, volatility in the equity market has fallen, corporate bond spreads have narrowed, and inflation compensation ...has risen to historically more normal levels." (Bloomberg)
Yipee. Another freebie for the investor class! And we're supposed to be grateful for that? What about the jobs you promised? What about stimulating the economy and putting people back to work? Wasn't that how you sold QE2 to the American people in your op-ed, Mr. Bernanke? 

It was all lies. Every word of it. Here's how Cullen Roche sums it up over at Pragmatic Capitalism:
"QE2 didn't monetize anything. It didn't cause the money supply to explode. It didn't really do anything except cause a great deal of confusion and generate an enormous amount of speculation in financial markets that now appears to be contributing to turmoil and strife around the globe......
Where we saw a real impact was in commodity prices, general price speculation and the financing pyramid.....Rates have meandered up and down and up and down without a care in the world for the Fed's $600B purchase program. In other words, the program had no impact on rates." ("The QE3 conundrum", Pragmatic Capitalism)
QE2 has been a total flop. The rise in stock prices was a reaction to the temporary increase in corporate earnings which fueled investor optimism. That was a one-time deal caused by trimming expenses and laying off workers. Now production costs are rising at the worst possible time, when all the other economic indicators are beginning to sag. Current data shows weakness throughout the economy, which is why stocks are falling. Expect the worst.

Bad ideas have a way of outlasting their shelf-life. (Especially when people in positions of power have ulterior motives.) Quantitative easing should be put to rest once and for all. It hasn't lowered interest rates, increased GDP, boosted employment, or sparked another credit expansion. The plan has failed. Time to move on.

The Politics of American Unemployment

Diminishing Hopes

The May jobs report was nothing less than abysmal—in regards to both employment and progressive politics. A mere 54,000 new jobs were created last month (the fewest in eight months). This leaves 14 million Americans unemployed, while another 25 million remain marred in underemployment. Any lingering hope of a stable recovery has now vanished, as the economy barrels headlong towards an intractable double-dip recession.

Although—as Paul Krugman has rightly noted—whether the economy officially backslides into a double-dip remains rather immaterial to those already wallowing in their own personal recessions.

In regards to presidential politics, the bleak jobs report will assuredly refocus attention on the economy. For Obama and the Democrats this can only spell trouble. Meager job numbers continuing into 2012 will no doubt embolden Republican attacks, forcing Democrats to undertake the unenviable task of arguing that the jobs picture would be far worse if Obama had not assumed the helms of power in 2008. Proving a negative to an electorate awash in unemployment and rampant underemployment will be impossible. Meanwhile, Republican attacks levied against Obama’s stewardship of the economy, whatever their particular integrity or merit, will assuredly resonate.

This political dynamic has firmly tied the Republican prospects to a faltering economy and thus given Republican legislators nationwide a direct incentive to undermine the economy as best they can. Hence, Republicans—driven as well by deep neoliberal orthodoxy—have happily and rapidly capitalized on soaring governmental dept to slash and burn spending at all levels. Although Democrats have also widely knelt at the altar of austerity, showing their innate affinity for neoliberal ideals. Of course, this austerity fetish has only exacerbated the employment problem. The May jobs report finds that city and county governments cut 30,000 jobs last month, including 18,000 educators (the much celebrated economic antidote of education becomes rather farcical if classrooms are left without teachers).

The political beauty of the Republican posture, though, is that it is nothing less than a self-fulfilling prophesy on a grand scale. The government—Republicans endlessly and instinctually argue—doesn’t create jobs. And now by starving government budgets and payrolls, aided by eager and daft Democrats, they are proven ‘right.’

The sheer gall of Republican led attacks regarding the economy and job creation is also something to be marveled. Capturing the general neoliberal inspired and Republican utilized rhetorical attack last week in an appearance on the PBS Newshour (a network conservatives deride, yet readily appear on), the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore declared that the Keynesian based policies of the Democrats (?) had been an utter disaster in terms of jobs and that it was “time to hold Keynesians to account for their failure.” Forget the neoliberal based policies that precipitated the current levels of mass unemployment—we are told—it’s the Keynesians’ fault! The crash of 2008 and its preceding origins have apparently been dropped down the right’s vast memory hole.

The absurdity of neoliberals blaming Keynesians for the stagnate labor market aside, the general sentiment does have merit. The economic policies of Obama and the Congressional Democrats have indeed failed. Further, whether Democratic policies may be considered Keynesian or not is rather moot, for the Keynesian model is not a credible alternative—unmasked as ineffective as far back as the 1970s. So, if neoliberalism caused the crisis and Keynesianism (or Keynesian-light) has failed to resolve it, what is to be done?

The Political Constructs of a Systemic Resolution

The financial crash of 2008 was not a structural crisis, but rather a systemic crisis—a crisis of capitalism. Given its systemic nature, the crisis can only be resolved via a complete break with the system from which it originated. This means that the current neoliberal capitalist model must be, and necessarily will be, replaced—much the same as the Keynesian model was unceremoniously abandoned in the 1970s.

The neoliberal successor may take one of two forms, and its final shape will undoubtedly be formed by the politics of the 2012 Presidential campaign. The first alternative is one of mere cosmetics. In short, it entails throwing structural fixes at a systemic problem and hoping that in doing so, consumer and financial confidence can be adequately restored. Although this may indeed prove sufficient to save capitalism in its present constructs from the immediate precipice, it can only prolong the time before the next inevitable and more fundamental crisis occurs. This, though, appears to be the Democrats’ 2012 plan: stabilize the sinking ship just long enough for Obama to secure a second term.

The second alternative lies in a complete break from capitalism, occurring via either a right or left alternative. The right alternative appears to be of a neo-fascist shade. This alternative has already coalesced into a disproportionally powerful movement and is currently in rather rapid ascendancy (see the corporate infused Tea Party). And now with the full cast of dimwitted Republican Presidential hopefuls eagerly bending to the whims of the Party’s Tea Party ultra-right, this alternative looks poised to gain further traction.

The left alternative, on the other hand, has failed to find as lucrative of a source for its own advancement as that of the right. Moreover, the corporate funded Democrats, seeking to avert any potential hiccup in the Obama reelection campaign, have aggressively tried to suppress any and all rumblings from the wider left (a.k.a. the ‘fucking retards’). In fact, the Democratic establishment is so frightened of independent progressive power that it has even shied away from its own energizing base, seen in the indifference the Obama Administration offered in response to the uprising in Wisconsin.

Perhaps—and this remains solely a blind and unfounded hope—the continued malaise of Obama and the Democrats in regards to jobs will stir an alternative and genuine realignment of the left. Perhaps the jobs crisis will finally steer the left toward the development of a movement independent of the Democratic Party. Indeed, the labor struggle in Wisconsin and the broader Mid-West, along with the recent speech by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at the National Press Club on the need to develop labor’s political independence, are both hopeful signs. Yet, as the saga of Obama has already proven, hope is a rather fleeting emotion.

Corporate Takeover of Food Production

Food Sovereignty Responds 
by: Yve le Grand , Truthout 

Although the credit crunch has pushed the issue of the global food crisis to the background, it is still going on today. In fact, the number of chronically hungry people worldwide has risen and is estimated to amount to 967 million people according to the new Declaration of Human Rights, launched by the Cordoba process[1] at the end of 2008, on the occasion of the Declaration's 60th anniversary.

In 1948, the of the United Nations declared "... everyone has a right to be free from hunger and to adequate food including drinking water, as set out in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."[2]

The world famine in the 1970s led the Declaration to introduce the concept of food security: "... the availability at all times of adequate world food supplies of basic foodstuffs to sustain a steady expansion of food consumption and to offset fluctuations in production and prices."[3]

This definition of food security, which is basically a technical matter of providing adequate human nutrition, led to the assumption that more food production would solve the problem of mass starvation. The Green Revolution led to a spectacular increase in the amount of food produced, but the numbers of the chronically hunger did not diminish accordingly.[4]

In his landmark book on poverty and famines,[5] Amartya Sen, concluded that enough food was being produced (i.e. enough calories per capita), but that the access to food, the entitlement to it, was the core of the problem. The poor simply lacked the financial and political means to claim their share of world food production. Sen made it clear that the world food problem was, thus, not so much a matter of food production, as it was one of social inequality and injustice. To see how a perfect storm has been in the making since the first Declaration of Human Rights, it is necessary to go back to the root of all food: seeds.

The Seed Situation 

In and of themselves, "Seeds are the very beginning of the food chain. He, who controls the seeds, controls the food supply and thus controls the people."[6] To understand why this is important for current developments in the agrarian industrial complex, it is necessary to have an understanding of how "normal" agricultural practices and techniques have evolved over time, in contrast to contemporary corporate practice in the last few decades.

When people first settled down and started to grow crops for food, through a lot of hard work and through trial and error, indigenous plant breeds were improved upon over time by cross pollination. Thus, plants developed that were suited best for local circumstances and climate conditions (e.g. drought, wind, flooding, soil). Through the techniques of crop rotation, mixed crop planting and by using natural fertilizers (manure, compost), the soil was not too depleted to recover and be (re)used.

Two of the most important agricultural practices are brown bagging and seed exchange. Brown bagging is the farmer's custom to save part of the seeds from the current harvest, to sow them in the following year. Seed exchange makes for the dissemination of new strands of DNA that have been obtained through crossbreeding plants. In this way, the various genetic materials guarantee biodiversity, which is of the utmost importance in order to withstand insect attacks or other pests that threaten a growing crop.

After the Second World War, chemical companies that had already diversified into seed fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, began to invest heavily in the research and development (R & D) of so-called "hybrid" seeds, while buying up seed companies. Hybrid seeds grow with the input of petroleum-based fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides; e.g. "Roundup Ready" seeds developed by Monsanto the devil would only be able to grow through the exclusive use of their Roundup chemicals. A short while later, R & D would focus on genetically modified (GM) seeds, for which use companies could charge money on the basis of intellectual property rights (IPR).

How has the jump from seed saving and exchange to IPR on seeds been legally possible? In 1980, in Diamond v. Chakrabarty,[7] 447 US 303, the US Supreme Court ruled that a patent covering a living organism from now on was extended to cover "a live human-made micro-organism. "

In other words, whereas prior to this process, plants and animals themselves were subject to property rights and ownership, their genetics were not. After the process, the genetics of plants and animals could be owned and, thus, subject to intellectual property rights.

As a consequence, farmers could neither freely and legally plant nor save seeds for replanting of any plant variety registered under the plant variety provisions of the new patent law. This development marked a shift from public agrarian practice in which seeds could be exchanged and saved freely, to privately owned seed DNA, subject to IPR.

Source: International Seed Federation.[8] Since 1985, the trade in commercial seed has been soaring.

IPR deprives farmers from what they and many others worldwide claim as their inherent right to save and replant seeds. Seed varieties, which have been developed over centuries, have adapted to their particular environments, while their gene pool has to survive unforeseen factors such as pests and diseases - or climate change. Thus, farmers are losing their independence and become "extensions" in the field for the biotech corporations the world over,[9] as IPR clauses in the contracts between them and the farmer forbid the farmer to save and replant their seeds. Though farmers buy the GM seeds, they do not own them. In fact, farmers are renting the GM seeds from the biotech corporation on an annual basis.

Another consequence of the court ruling is the explosion of tactical cooperations, strategic mergers and takeovers among agro-chemical-biotech companies and the ensuing consolidation of power in the hands of a few transnational corporations (TNCs).

Based on a report published by the ETC Group, the action group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration:[10]
  • From thousands of seed companies and public breeding institutions three decades ago, 10 companies now control more than two-thirds of global proprietary seed sales.
  • From dozens of pesticide companies three decades ago, 10 now control almost 90 percent of agrochemical sales worldwide.
  •  From almost 1,000 biotech start-ups 15 years ago, 10 companies now account for three-quarters of industry revenues.
The concentration of power makes for strong industry lobbies in governmental organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Bank, in favor of governmental deregulation and the promotion of free trade, including agriculture. This directly affects the lives of people, in particular in the global South.

Free Trade and Agriculture

The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) came into being at the same time as the WTO - until then GATT[11] - on January 1, 1995. The AoA, effectively considering agricultural crops as commodities, was based on three pillars for trade regulation: domestic support, market access and export subsidies.[12]

The first pillar, domestic support, is a set of rules that regulate under which circumstances local producers can be subsidized. The second pillar, market access, is aimed at reducing the tariff on imported goods, in an attempt to "create order, fair competition and a less distorted agricultural sector."[13] Non-tariff barriers on imports - such as import quotas or import restrictions - have to be "tarifficated" in order to become part of the global market process. Once bonded to a tariff, the rate will subsequently be reduced over time. The third pillar obliges developed countries to reduce the export subsidies given to local producers, in order to reduce false competition.

Only developed countries are rich enough to sponsor their agricultural producers one way or the other.[14] These subsidized crops flood the global market at below-cost prices. This both undercuts and lowers the farm gate prices for the local producers in developing countries, while these countries cannot afford to support their domestic producers or pay them export subsidies. In practice, this leads to what has become known as export dumping.

Due to the asymmetric power relations between developed and developing countries, it seems that the trade regulations have had a virtually opposite effect from that ostensibly intended: the reduction of tariff protections has negatively affected small-scale farmers - who make up 70 percent of the population in developing countries - who see the key source of their income slip away, driving them off the land and into the cities, in search of a new way to make a living.[15]

Subsistence farmers are effectively threatened by the conditions put forward once their state government takes out a loan from the World Bank or signs a WTO Trade agreement, as these come with structural adjustment programs (SAPs). SAPs are in effect prescribed economic "reform" policies, such as the reduction of government budgets and social spending; the cutting of programs and subsidies for basic goods; the elimination of restrictions on foreign ownership; the increase in interest rates; the promotion of a switch from subsistence farming to export economies, while eliminating import tariffs.[16]

Government deregulation thus favors TNCs over smallholders[17] in a bid to compete with export crops in a global market that, in fact, is seriously distorted by the agricultural subsidy policies of the developed countries.

Recently, the dash for agrofuels, diverting food crops to produce energy, has put yet more strain on the competition for land and other resources such as water.[18] The social and environmental consequences of business as usual has driven many farmers off their land toward cities, putting additional pressure on the land, as agricultural land is urbanized. Nowhere can these non-trade concerns[19] be witnessed better than in the growing number of slums around cities in the developing world.

The dispossessed are fighting back, however. They have organized themselves in all sorts of organizations, the aim of which is to resist further global appropriation of their lands and local economies. They campaign for agricultural reform and the human right to food; they demand food sovereignty for all.

Food Sovereignty

"People facing hunger and malnutrition are, to a large extent, smallholders, landless workers, pastoralists and fisherfolk, often situated in marginal and vulnerable ecological environments. Neglected by (inter)national policies, they cannot compete with increasingly subsidized industrialized agriculture, both nationally and in the world market. Many farmers tried to catch the Green Revolution train, but became stuck in the debt trap of increasing input costs and decreasing product prices. Concentration in the food market chain is another worrying trend causing increasing dependence of both consumers and producers on a declining number of seed, inputs and food products conglomerates."[20]

Food sovereignty is a term originally coined in 1996 by the members of La Via Campesina as an alternative policy framework, countering the narrow view of food security as access to global food imports by food-deficient countries as a political goal.

Emerging in 1993, Via Campesina is "an international movement of peasants, small- and medium-sized producers, landless, rural women, indigenous people, rural youth and agricultural workers that fight for the right of people to determine their own local policy to food security through agrarian reform and rural development."[21]

Via Campesina's Seven Principles of Food Sovereignty[22]

1. Food: A Basic Human Right

Everyone must have access to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food in sufficient quantity and quality to sustain a healthy life with full human dignity. Each nation should declare that access to food is a constitutional right and guarantee the development of the primary sector to ensure the concrete realization of this fundamental right.

2. Agrarian Reform

A genuine agrarian reform is necessary, which gives landless and farming people - especially women - ownership and control of the land they work, and returns territories to indigenous peoples. The right to land must be free of discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, race, social class or ideology; the land belongs to those who work it.

3. Protecting Natural Resources

Food sovereignty entails the sustainable care and use of natural resources, especially land, water, seeds and livestock breeds. The people who work the land must have the right to practice sustainable management of natural resources and to conserve biodiversity free of restrictive intellectual property rights. This can only be done from a sound economic basis with security of tenure, healthy soils and reduced use of agro-chemicals.

4. Reorganizing Food Trade

Food is first and foremost a source of nutrition and only secondarily an item of trade. National agricultural policies must prioritize production for domestic consumption and food self-sufficiency. Food imports must neither displace local production nor depress prices.

5. Ending the Globalization of Hunger

Food sovereignty is undermined by multilateral institutions and by speculative capital. The growing control of multinational corporations over agricultural policies has been facilitated by the economic policies of multilateral organizations such as the WTO, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Regulation and taxation of speculative capital and a strictly enforced code of conduct for TNCs is therefore needed.

6. Social Peace

Everyone has the right to be free from violence. Food must not be used as a weapon. Increasing levels of poverty and marginalization in the countryside, along with the growing oppression of ethnic minorities and indigenous populations, aggravate situations of injustice and hopelessness. The ongoing displacement, forced urbanization, repression and increasing incidence of racism of smallholder farmers cannot be tolerated.

7. Democratic control

Smallholder farmers must have direct input into formulating agricultural policies at all levels. The United Nations and related organizations will have to undergo a process of democratization to enable this to become a reality. Everyone has the right to honest, accurate information and open and democratic decision-making. These rights form the basis of good governance, accountability and equal participation in economic, political and social life, free from all forms of discrimination. Rural women, in particular, must be granted direct and active decision-making on food and rural issues.

The acceptance of this framework[23] in the context of the Declaration of Human Rights, is extremely important, not only for the small, food-producing people involved, but also for the end consumer in the developed world: the true right to food and the true right to produce food, mean that all people have an unalienable right to safe, nutritious and culturally-appropriate food as well as to food-producing resources, while they have the ability to sustain themselves and their societies in the process.

If the no consensus on a G8-driven global partnership against hunger is the surprise outcome of the High Level Meeting on Food Security held in Madrid in January of this year, it may well be an indication that the food sovereignty movement is conquering terrain. In the final declaration of the farmers' and civil society organizations, they state that:
"We see the proposed Global Partnership as just another move to give the big corporations and their foundations a formal place at the table, despite all the rhetoric about the 'inclusiveness' of this initiative. Furthermore it legitimates the participation of WTO, World Bank and IMF and other neoliberalism-promoting institutions in the solution of the very problems they have caused. This undermines any possibility for civil society or governments from the Global South to play any significant role. We do not need this Global Partnership or any other structure outside the UN system."[24]
After all, until a few decades ago, it was primarily the small farmers of this world who sustained us all with their hard work in the field.
[1] "The Cordoba process was started at an international seminar on the right to food at CEHAP [Chair of Studies on Hunger and Poverty], Cordoba October 2007, further pursued at the Right to Food Forum organised by the FAO Right to Food Unit in October 2008 and completed in its present version following a second meeting convened in Cordoba by CEHAP on November 28-29, 2008. It will be subject of further consultations and possible revisions during 2009." Source.
[2] Source.
[3] FAO 1974
[4] See here.
[5] Sen, Amartya (1981): "Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlements and Deprivation," Claredon Press, Oxford.
[6] Dominique Guillet, Association Kokopelli.
[7] Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 US 303 (1980)
[8] See here.
[9] For a brief history of the seed industry, see here and here.
[10] The ETC Group, an international advocacy organization based in Canada, has been monitoring corporate power in the industrial life sciences for the past 30 years, revealed this in a report in November 2008 that can be downloaded here.
[11] General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 1947. A tariff is a tax on goods upon importation.
[12] See here.
[13] See here.
[14] United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report 2005, p.129 vv.
[15] UNDP Human Development Report 2005, chapter 4.
[16] See here.
[17] Raj Patel in "Stuffed and Starved" (2007), London Portobello Books, describes this process in detail.
[18] GRAIN, "Stop the Agrofuel Craze."
[19] Fourth Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture (2000).
[20] Jonas Vanruesel, 2008. "Food as a human right: a struggle for human dignity and food sovereignty" in Omertaa Volume 2008/2.
[21] See here.
[22] A concise summary of the principles of food sovereignty can be found on the site of the organization for the defense of family farms in the USA.
[23] See here and here.
[24] Final declaration of farmers and civil society organizations.