Category Archives: Geopolitics

Ukrainian Enemies Met: Guitars, Music, Poetry and Agreements

Sharon Tennison sends out a newsletter periodically. In a recent edition, she told of a remarkable meeting between combatants on the two sided of the Ukrainian conflict. Here it is in its entirety.-t,h,g,

Friends, something heartwarming happened in the last few days on the battleground of Novorussia (SE Ukraine). Two Ukrainian enemy camps (Kiev Ukrainian forces and the SEastern Ukraine forces)––enemies until they met––had a meeting that included guitars, singing and reciting poetry, plus some common goals agreed upon.  The power of people-to-people exchanges even between enemies is validated once again!   Please note the [  ] brackets where I have inserted a word or two to make the designations easier to understand or remember. Please share this “good news” story with your friends and colleagues.   Sharon

The following report came Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Something very, very interesting has happened in Novorussia (SE Ukraine)

Something fantastically interesting has happened in Novorussia: two senior Novorussian commanders, Igor Bezler and Alexei Mozgovoi have attempted to communicate with Ukrainian [Kievans] military who are on the other side.

This apparently began when [SE Ukraine Novorussian Commander] Igor Bezler agreed to be interviewed by three TV crews at the same time: a Russian crew, a Novorussian crew, and a Ukrainian crew.  The big news here was, of course, that a Ukrainian journalist was given access to the city of Gorlovka, currently surrounded by Ukrainian forces, and that she [note a woman!] got to speak with the local people, including combatants and then that she was given access to Bezler himself.   Since all the journalists were more or less openly accusing each other of “filtering the truth” all parties agreed that the full recording, unedited, would be made available on YouTube.  Now please keep in mind that in Banderastan [what SE Ukrainians call the Kievans in West Ukraine whom they see as primarily pro-Nazis] are blacklisted, Russian journalists are blacklisted, Russian TV stations banned, and that the people in the junta [in their terms the illegal government of Poroshenko] controlling  Ukraine are told that the other side are terrorists and Russian soldiers.  Oh, and the Kiev Ukrainian media is the most disgusting, sold out, subservient, propagandistic you can imagine.  And then suddenly, at least one Ukrainian TV crew agrees to show the face of one of the most feared Novorussian commanders (SE Ukrainian) and he get’s to speak his mind.

But the next event was even more amazing.  [SE Ukrainian Commander Alexei Mozgovoi agreed to a videoconference with not only Ukrainian journalists, but with actual field commanders of the [West Ukraine or Kiev] Ukrainian military.  To see Mozgovoi and the [Kiev] Ukrainians speak directly to each other was absolutely amazing.  And here I have to apologize.  I will not ask our translators to translate and subtitle the full happenings.  First, there were not one, but two such videoconferences.  Then, we are talking about three long videos, see for yourself:

Bezler interview: Published on Oct 21, 2014

http://youtu.be/uVN2wkuL88w (length: 2 hours 17 min)

First videoconference of Mozgovoi: Published on Oct 22, 2014

http://youtu.be/WYy5Y9MQozA (length: 1 hour 20 mins)

Second videoconference of Mozgovoi: Published Oct 28, 2014

http://youtu.be/tC7YGe0SmqQ (length:1 hour 51 mins)

I do hope that somebody somewhere will translate it all, but this is way too big a load for me to ask any of our volunteers.

Also, these are very complex videos.  There are discussions, some short moments of yelling and interrupting, there is cross-talk and there are even two songs.  This is complex, very emotional stuff, very hard to convey in a translated text.  Besides, who will have the time to sit through it all?

No, what I propose is to share with you the elements which struck me so much.

But first I need to clarify an important point: while the original idea apparently had been to have combatants talking to combatants, the Ukrainian side only had a few commanders and a few activists.  The Novorussian side was composed of actual soldiers.  Apparently, the Ukrainian side did not feel comfortable putting their foot-soldiers on the spot.

First and foremost, it was amazing to see how much both sides fully agreed upon.  Both sides agreed that this war was useless and only benefited the enemies of the Ukraine.  Both sides expressed contempt, disgust and even hatred for the politicians in power and the oligarchs who rule over Banderastan today.   Both sides also agree that Yanukovich [Ukraine’s former president] was a scumbag,  and that the earlier Maidan protests were absolutely legitimate,  but that the original protests had been hijacked by enemies of the Ukraine [the Nazi elements].  Both sides also agreed that this war had to be stopped.  Now, please keep in mind that Ukrainian Nazis were, of course, not invited.  These were mainly regular Ukrainian military speaking to Novorussian military and Ukrainian activists speaking to Mozgovoi.   There were also some real disagreements.

The Ukrainian [Kiev] position was this (paraphrase – not real quote): “the Maidan protests were legitimate and correct but you – the Novorussians – took up arms and you thereby created a crisis which the illegitimate junta used and which prevented us from defending our political goals.  We don’t want our country to further break up and what you are doing is exactly that.  Also, we know that the Russian “Polite Armed Men in Green” are fighting on your side and many of you are not representing true Ukrainian interests, but Russian interests.  Stop fighting and join the political process to clean our country from the crazies“.

To which Mozgovoi replied (paraphrase – not real quote): “we did not choose to fight, you came to our land and you are killing our people.  If you really want to clean Kiev from the Nazi scum, then don’t stand between us and Kiev and let us pass – we will take care of them,  no problem.  You are taking orders from Nazis and oligarchs and you are doing nothing to stop them from killing our people.  If we were to lay down our arms, we would all be massacred.

One interesting thing was that when the Ukrainians accused the Novorussians of doing Russia’s bidding, Mozgovoi replied that the Ukrainians were pawns of the CIA and, amazingly, the Ukrainians pretty much agreed that the CIA was running the show.  As for Mozgovoi, he did not deny that Russia was helping.

Both sides were expressing frustration that they could not unite their forces and jointly get rid of the oligarchs and the Nazis.

During the [Commander from Novorussia-no doubt ethnic Russian] Bezler interview, there was one amazing moment was when the Ukrainian crew asked Bezler if he spoke Ukrainian, to which he replied that ‘yes’.  Unconvinced, the Ukrainian crew asked him if he could recite a poem by Ukraine’s famous poet Taras Shevchenko [which every Ukrainian would know at least one].  Then, to everybody’s surprise, Bezler recited the poem “To the Poles” in which Sevchenko describes how happy the Cossaks were,

Until in the name of Christ

The ксьондзи (Latin Priests) came and set afire

To our quiet paradise. And spilled

A huge sea of tears and blood,

And killed and crucified orphans

In the Name of Christ

The heads of Cossacks then dropped

Like trampled grass,

The Ukraine cried, and moaned!

And the head after head

Fell to the ground. As if enraged,

A priest furious tongue

Screamed: «Te Deum! Hallelujah! .. ”

And this is how my Polish friend and brother!

Evil priests and rich men

Separated us from each other

When we could have lived together happy

[nb: this is my own translation, I could not find this poem in English anywhere; as any Russian, I mostly understand Ukrainian, but I can easily misunderstand a word or expression so, caveat emptor, and don’t take this translation to the bank!  The Saker]

It was quite amazing to see how well Bezler spoke Ukrainian and how he used this opportunity to remind his Ukrainian counterparts how already in the past they were used and manipulated by Russia and Orthodoxy-hating Westerners, and he did so using verses of their own national hero!

In another rather surreal moment, a Novorussian solider took out a guitar and sang a song about the war.  The Ukrainians were clearly moved, although they were also disturbed by the fact that the song repeatedly said that these were “Russians fighting Russians”.  This issue came up several again later in the conversation.  From the Novorussian point of view, the Ukrainians were also part of the “Russian cultural realm” (as opposed to state or nationality) albeit with a different accent and a different history.  The Ukrainians insisted that they were a different nationality, albeit one with strong ties to the “Russian cultural realm”.

During both the Bezler and Mozgovoi interviews the issue of prisoners was raised.  Both sides reported that their men were mistreated and even tortured while in captivity.  Interestingly, during the Bezler interview there were two [Kiev] Ukrainian officials present, one human rights activist and another who was representing the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense for the topic of POWs.  They both readily admitted that Bezler treated the Ukrainian prisoners not as prisoners at all, but as guests: they were free to walk around, they ate and slept with Bezler’s men, they were treated with kindness and hospitality. In one instance he even fed them red caviar!  But the very same Bezler openly admitted that “we take no prisoners from the Nazi death squads” confirming  what I have said many times: the Russian kindness and generosity towards Ukrainian POWs only extends to regular army units – captured death squad members are immediately executed.

There are hundred of small moments and exchanges which I wish I could convey to you, but that would take too much space and time.  What I will say is that it was quite amazing to see enemies talking to each other in a very friendly manner.  I was also amazed at how readily the Ukrainians agreed that the Ukraine must rid herself from the Nazis and the oligarchs.  In various occasions people on both sides said “let’s do that together!”.  Others were more dubious.  Frankly, I am extremely impressed by the courage and decency of many of the Ukrainians in these interviews who, while standing their ground on the issue of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine, quite openly said how much they hated the Nazis and the oligarchs.  I sure hope that God will protect these men for their courage.

Both Bezler and Mozgovoi looked very, very good.  The latter especially surprised me by explicitly stating that his goal was regime change in Kiev and not just the separation of Novorussia which he clearly sees as a only temporary solution and as a necessary self-defense measure.  Clearly, both Bezler and Mozgovoi are first and foremost anti-Nazis and both of them see that there is not “Novorussian solution”.  Mozgovoi explicitly stated that he think that both sides could live together if the Ukrainians got rid of their Nazis and oligarchs.

While I have always said that the only possible stable solution of the crisis is a de-nazification of the Ukraine and a conversion of the current Banderastan into a “mentally sane” Ukraine, I am not naive and I also see that this might take a decade or more.  However, seeing how Mozgovoi and his Ukrainian counterparts agreed on the need to de-nazify and de-oligarchise (is that English?) I see that there is hope because the bottom line is this: both sides have much more in common than what separates them!

Again, these were regular Ukrainians, not crazed Nazi death-squad members, I understand that.  And the two sides do disagree on fundamental issues.  I see that too.  But I also see that there is a basis, a minimum in common, to negotiate.  This does not have to be a war of extermination.

The Ukraine as we knew her is dead.  Now we have Crimea and Novorussia which are gone forever, and a rump-Ukraine I call “Banderastan” which is occupied by the US CIA, Ukie Nazis and oligarchs.  My hope is that the just as the Ukrainian civil war turned into a war for the self-determination and liberation of Novorussia, so will the war for self-determination and liberation of Novorussia turn into a war for the liberation of Banderastan from its US/Nazi/oligarchic occupiers.  If that happens and if a new Ukraine eventually emerges, then I have no doubt that the people of the Ukraine will agree that each region should have the right of self-determination ranging from cultural right to full separation.  Only then will we really find out which regions want to stay and which ones want to leave forever.

In the meantime, I am very positively impressed by the Novorussian field commanders.  Bezler and Mozgovoi of course, but also Givi, Motorola, Zakharchenko, Kononov  and the others are all strong figures capable of both fighting and talking.  Strelkov, alas, is still more or less in political no man’s land and I am very concerned about his proximity with the blogger el-Murid who is clearly a “gateway” to the “hurray-patriots” and “Putin bashers” which are being used by the Empire to try to discredit Putin. Still, the political infighting amongst Novorussian leaders continues and there is still no clear leader.  Hopefully, the upcoming elections will help to solve this issue.

#     #     #

THE HIDDEN HISTORY CENTER Now Established

John Judge, who recently passed away, was a log-time activist and co-founder of the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA). “At the time of his death, John was working on creation of a Hidden History Museum and Research Center in Washington, DC, to educate a new generation about covert operations, and to support the work of investigative journalists and researchers looking into the National Security State and the rise of secrecy, government plans for extra-Constitutional jurisdiction during emergencies, and threats to civil liberties and international relations. Some of his writings can be found at judgeforyourself.org.””

A recent message from Marilyn Tenenoff reports that the Hidden history Center has now been established. Here is Marilyn’s message:

THE HIDDEN HISTORY CENTER IS BORN!

I’m excited to announce that this weekend we will begin moving the John Judge Collection to the new Hidden History Center on the upper level of 105 Rowell Court in Falls Church, VA.  It is a wonderful brightly-lit space (over 1,000 square feet) in an attractive professional center called Old Brickhouse Square, located right on Route 7.

The i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, and the lease will be officially signed on Friday.

If you can lift boxes, we could use your help at John’s house on Saturday, October 11, between 11 AM and 3 PM.  We need to move about 100 boxes down one level, and to make a pathway in the basement, so egress will be easier for the movers.

There are still more boxes to pack, so we’d be glad to have your help, even if you can’t lift.

On Sunday, we have a team of movers coming to transport the first 450 boxes to our new location.  I believe that represents about 2/3 of John’s collection.  We probably still have another 100-150 boxes to pack.

After the collection is packed and moved, we will begin working on John’s personal belongings.  Please let me know if there is anything that belonged to him that you would like to have as a memento of your friendship with him.

If you are looking for end-of-the-year tax deductions, we can still use contributions to this project.  Make checks payable to Museum of Hidden History, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  Send them to P.O. Box 772, Washington, DC, 20044.  Or donate through PayPal on our website, http://museumofhiddenhistory.org/.

Thanks so much to all of you for helping to make John’s dream come true!  The work is just beginning!

Love ~ Marilyn

#     #     #

Lessons from History

It is said that those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it.

I recently came across this Quora post that answers the question, “Who was the most successful military leader in history? I found it to be immensely interesting and persuasive. Read it here.

Scottish independence–Aye or Nay? John Oliver sums it all up.

What are the pros? What are the cons? This may not persuade you, but it should amuse.

Syria prompts Europe to riase threat alert levels

This is the English actor’s take on the Syrian deal.

From JOHN CLEESE

ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2013 EUROPE

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

Regards,

John Cleese ,

British writer, actor and tall person

What is the New World Order and who is behind it?

What is meant by the term, “New World Order?” Who is promoting it and why? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? How will it affect the lives of ordinary people, and do we have any choice about it?

This video provides a great deal of background on the use of the term by political and other leaders over the years, and it outlines the dimensions of  a plan for world government that is being advanced by powerful people around the world.

Invisible Empire A New World Order Defined Full

Serious questions about the killing of Osama bin Laden

The evidence that the government has presented about the killing of Osama seems pretty flimsy. Are we to take the government’s word for it? Has the government ever lied to the people before? Might it be lying now?

Cindy Sheehan addresses those questions in a recent interview by Dr. Drew.

Also, Alexander Cockburn’s recent article, A Volcano of Lies, in Counterpunch deserves close attention. –t.h.g.

New Year’s Newsletter-2011

Much has transpired since I sent out my last newsletter early in December. I’ve spent time in Phuket and Krabi (Thailand), Penang, Kuala Lumpur, and Port Dickson (Malaysia), Sulawesi and Bali (both in Indonesia), then back to Bangkok and Chiang Mai (Thailand). I’ll not try to recount all of the significant events, experiences and achievements in these places, I’ll just say that I live a very blessed and interesting life. If you’d like to see pictures, you can visit my Photo Gallery at http://picasaweb.google.com/tomazhg.

In this edition, I’ll touch on the following topics:

Chiang Mai

Thai Entrepreneurs

Bali—The myth and the Reality

2011 Likely to Bring Serious Challenges to the Middle-class

Investing in the Common Good

Plans

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is still one of my favorite places. I’ve been here several times over the past three years, staying for varying lengths of time. This time I will be here for a month, after which I’ll return to North America for a planned stay of four months. The universe will decide what happens after that, but I have it in my mind to return to Thailand having already booked a return flight from Bangkok to LA and back

What’s the attraction here? There are several. First of all, I have friends here, both social and professional, so it is possible to strike a good balance between work and play. Secondly, I can better afford to live here than in the US. Very clean and comfortable lodgings can be had for $200-$300 per month, complete with private bath, good internet connection, convenient location, good public transportation that means I don’t need to have a car or even a motorbike to get around, and good food that is reasonably cheap. Thirdly, there are cultural attractions, many of which derive from the rich mix of Thais and foreigners. There’s a pretty good live music scene that includes jazz and Celtic music, plus frequent festival events. Fourthly, from Chiang Mai it is relatively easy and cheap to reach other interesting destinations throughout Southeast Asia. I could go on…

Thai Entrepreneurs

In Thailand, there is no such thing as unemployment insurance, and old age benefits provided by the government are so tiny as to be insignificant. That means that Thais need to be enterprising and supportive of one another to a greater extent than westerners. Besides that, Thais seem to have a greater connection to family and friends in the countryside who still have access to land, which makes me think that they will have an easier time adapting to the adverse economic conditions that appear to be on the horizon.

Pa is an entrepreneur. She has a juice stand which she sets up amongst a score of other food vendors every afternoon for the night market. Many of her customers are regulars. Split about half and half between Thai and farang (foreigner), they come back to her again and again, not  only because she makes the best smoothies and shakes, but because she is a bright spirit, happy and congenial. She truly enjoys her work, and that draws people like a magnet.

There is a kind of community amongst the vendors who operate there just outside the gate to the old city. It is a community that includes not only the vendors, but a goodly number of regular customers, as well. The vendors all know and help each other out in various ways, tending each other’s stands whenever it is necessary to run a short errand, or lending a hand when business is brisk.

Each vendor has a wheeled cart that is kept somewhere else in the off hours. They are brought to the market site in late afternoon, then wheeled off again around midnight by other entrepreneurs who make a business of providing the service of moving carts back and forth.

All of these people work very hard for little reward. Their prices seem absurdly low by western standards and in comparison to most of the local restaurants that cater to tourists—a fresh fruit shake for about half a U.S. dollar, a cup of fresh ginger tea for about 17 cents, a plate of pad thai noodles with chicken for less than a dollar. The low overhead expense of operating a street stall is a major factor that makes these businesses viable.

What makes their prices seem cheap to us of course hinges upon the exchange rates between the Thai baht and the currencies that tourists bring from home—dollars, euros, pounds, yen, etc. These foreign exchange rates are determined by mechanisms that seem to defy logic, and that few people understand. They are supposedly determined by what is touted as free trading (buying and selling) in the currency markets, but it is no secret that these markets are manipulated by central banks and big traders. In fact, the central banks of the various countries have a mandate to “manage” the value of their currencies. One has to wonder, what is the difference between “management” and “manipulation” and for whose benefit is it done?

Pa’s day begins early and ends late. I accompanied her a few times to see what her business entails. It starts in the late morning with a trip to the market to buy the fresh fruit ingredients needed for the evening’s business—papaya, pineapple, mango, watermelon, banana, apples, etc., and a separate trip to a roadside stand to collect a supply of the sweetest strawberries I’ve ever tasted. Then it’s off to the place where her cart is kept during the off hours where she washes the fruit and prepares for the evening’s business. The vendor carts get put in place around 4 in the afternoon and customers start coming around 5. It’s a pleasant experience to join the bustle of activity as the dinner hour wears on and waves of customers arrive, place their orders, and sit down at the portable tables to enjoy the food, the conversation and people watching. By 10 or 11, vendors begin cleaning up and shutting down and getting ready to repeat the process again the next day.

Bali—The myth and the Reality

The myth of Bali probably far exceeds the reality. That is not to say that it’s not worth the visit, it is, but if one is envisioning scenes from the movie South Pacific, they are likely to be disappointed. On my two visits, which were three years apart, I’ve spent most of my time in Ubud, so my observations are extremely limited. There are probably some more remote areas that can provide a different experience, but my impression of Bali is that it has become too dependent upon tourism and is rapidly losing its authenticity.

Ubud is purportedly the cultural center of the island, a claim that stands up pretty well. The whole place pretty much closes up around 10 or 11 at night. One notable thing about it is how quiet it is in the early morning hours. There are no late night discos blaring cacophonous sounds and heavy drum beats into the night, and traffic pretty much stops by midnight. The absence of mosques means that there are no artificially amplified “calls to prayers” rousing one from sleep at 4 a.m. as they do in Malaysia and other parts of Indonesia. The only sounds one hears are the insects buzzing in the trees, doves cooing, and the inevitable rooster crowing as dawn approaches. I take these sounds as God’s own call to prayer as s/he reminds us of the great mystery that is life, a mystery in which we all partake and are challenged to make good use of.

I spent the last night of my Balinese visit in Kuta—not really long enough to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of the place. I knew in advance of Kuta’s reputation as being very “touristy” and wide open. It clearly is the former, crowded with foreigners, traffic congested, and filled with trendy shops, but I can’t confirm the latter. Although the two usually go together, Ubud seems to be the exception to that rule. I’ve spent enough time there to get a good sense of the place. There are plenty of tourists there and the town is dependent upon them, but any hanky-panky that goes on there must be deep underground.

I was surprised to see so many family groups in Kuta. I found the beach there to be not at all inviting. The beach itself is far from the broad expanse of golden sand that one imagines of a tropical paradise, and the water was roiled by a heavy offshore wind (and probably other things that go with heavy concentrations of humans).

I had some difficulty finding a place to stay in Kuta. The ones I tried were either too expensive or fully occupied. I did eventually find acceptable lodgings, and after a late check-in and much needed shower, I went in search of food and drink. The beachside restaurant I chose (Blue Ocean) saved the day. It turned out to have free Wi-Fi, pretty good food, and a fabulous band that played a lot of great tunes from the 70s and 80s. The mixed-age crowd included a “mature” couple whose jitterbug skills were a pleasure to watch. Here’s a clue to my persistent question of why people choose to vacation in places that are overrun with other tourists. What for me is a negative, is for them an attraction. Tourists want to be with other people who are like themselves in some place other than home, where they can let their hair down and party.

One last thing about Indonesia, They get you coming and going–US$25 for your visa-on-arrival, and 150,000 Rupiah departure tax (about $17)on your way out—not a lot of money but annoying nonetheless.

2011 Likely to Bring Serious Challenges to the Middle-class

I’ve presented strong evidence in some of my recent blog posts (Inflation Will Destroy the Dollar) that we are on the verge of large price increases resulting from the US government fiscal crisis and massive inflation of the dollar (euphemistically referred to as “quantitative easing”). The last two years have already brought significant increases in the cost of living, despite government pronouncements to the contrary (Chris Martenson: Inflation Is So Much Worse Than We’re Told). Ordinary working people and retirees are being hit with a “double whammy” of stagnant or falling incomes along with an increased cost of living. In their phony political charade, the Republicans are pushing to give us more of the former, while the Democrats want to give us more of the latter—either way, the people lose, and ultimately we will get an increasing measure of BOTH.

As the economic and financial picture worsens, people are getting more worried and looking for answers. I’m often asked for advice about how to invest and protect one’s savings. Financial advice is not my main interest but I can read the writing on the wall, and it seems certain that those who have any savings at all will see the purchasing power of their nest egg shrink badly over the next couple years. Investment advisors typically advise clients to choose amongst three basic investment objectives—income, growth, and capital preservation. In a depression, “cash is king,” but in an inflationary scenario, capital preservation becomes the be all and end all and holding dollar denominated securities, including bank balances and CDs, will not cut it.

Investing in the Common Good

As I wrote in my latest book, The End of Money…, I think civilization is going through a metamorphic change. Making the shift away from the debt-based financial system and the growth imperative and to a sustainable, more equitable society requires that we learn radical sharing, cooperation, and organization. I have for a long time  been arguing that we need to reorganize the exchange function to be decentralized and interest-free, and that we also need to reorganize the finance function. That means shifting our financial investments from Wall Street to Main Street and applying them to support community vitality, self-reliance, and the common good.

In that vein it is remarkable to observe the emergent phenomenon known as “crowd sourcing.” While that approach has been variously applied, in the realm of finance it means gathering small amounts of investment money from a large number of sources. Interestingly, those investments are often in the form of donations rather than loans or ownership shares. People are increasingly demonstrating their willingness to put up money for things that may not benefit them financially, but that are seen to be in the public interest. Kickstarter.com is a well-know web platform on which entrepreneurs can showcase their projects and solicit funding.

A more recent development that I am enthusiastic about goes even further in helping to organize support for emergent projects on an ongoing basis. It’s called CREW (Connect to Resources that Expand your World), and it’s avowed purpose is to “connect people to fund small business for the common good.” It’s not quite ready to “go public” yet, but as a member of the Founder’s Circle, I’ll soon be asking you to join CREW. Watch for it.

Plans

I’ll be returning to the US soon, landing in Los Angeles on February 17. My plan is to remain in North America until the middle of June before going abroad again to continue active collaborations and to participate in conferences in Asia and Europe. I’ll head for Tucson shortly upon my return to rest up, see friends, and take care of some business there, then finalize plans for my North American tour (I have a few invitations pending and can consider others).

Here’s wishing you all a happy and fulfilling year, and may 2011 bring greater peace, justice, and harmony to our world.

Tom Greco

Daniel Ellsberg speaks about Wikileaks: Assange’s life in danger.

In this interview with MSNBC reporter, Dylan Ratigan, Daniel Ellsberg draws a parallel between Wikileaks now and his own leaking of the Pentagon Papers in the 1970s, and expresses concern that Julian Assange may be the target of an assassination threat by the US government. An important one to view. — t.h.g.

http://www.youtube.com/v/jQ2-PRlbvdo?fs=1&hl=en_US

Free speech and Wikileaks

This article from Alternet provides some interesting facts and useful insights into the Wikileaks brouhaha. — t.h.g.

The 9 Weirdest Things About the WikiLeaks Story Here are the 9 craziest facets of the international uproar surrounding WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

And here’s another report from Cyrano’s Journal: WikiLeaks threatens to unravel the Big Lie.