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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 3rd, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


AMERICAS In The TIME OF TRUMP.

MUCH OF THE CORN MEXICO CONSUMES COMES FROM THE US. MEXICO’S SECURITY WILL BE BETTER SERVED
BY CUTTING THIS DEPENDENCE ON US AGRICULTURE EXPORTS (FOOD – AND SEEDS) AND REDEVELOP ITS OWN
PRODUCTION.

FOR ADDED QUANTITIES THEY WILL BE WELL ADVISED TO HELP THE AGRICULTURE OF THE LATIN COUNTRIES TO ITS SOUTH.


Mexico Ready to Play the Corn Card in Trade Talks.


After Calling Nafta ‘Worst Trade Deal,’ Trump Appears to Soften Stance MARCH 30, 2017

By KIRK SEMPLE, THE NEW YORK TIMES, APRIL 2, 2017

Much of the corn that Mexico consumes comes from the United States.

MEXICO CITY — From the hundreds of millions of tortillas consumed every year to the countless tons of corn-enriched feed that fattens livestock and poultry, corn is perhaps Mexico’s most important agricultural commodity, one at the center of its life and culture.

Now corn has taken on a new role — as a powerful lever for Mexican officials in the run-up to talks over Nafta, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The reason: Much of the corn that Mexico consumes comes from the United States, making it America’s top agricultural export to its southern neighbor. And even though President Trump appears to be pulling back from his vows to completely overhaul Nafta, Mexico has taken his threats to heart and has begun flexing its own muscle.

The Mexican government is exploring buying its corn elsewhere — including Argentina or Brazil — as well as increasing domestic production. In a fit of political pique, a Mexican senator even submitted a bill to eliminate corn purchases from the United States within three years.

American corn shipments to Mexico totaled nearly $2.6 billion last year and are part of an elaborate agricultural trade relationship between the two nations that has helped to interlace their economies. But though the corn business is a tiny fraction of the overall $525 billion in annual trade between the two countries, it has gained outsize importance and become something of a symbol for the nations’ economic codependence.

{OUR COMMENT: CHEAP US CORN HAS RUINED THE AGRICULTURE OF MEXICO AND IMPOVERISHED ITS COUNTRY-SIDE, LIKE IT DID IN MANY UNDERDEVELOPED COUNTRIES – SPECIALLY IN AFRICA.
CUTTING OFF TRADE DEALS LIKE NAFTA COULD EFFECTIVELY EMPOWER POORER COUNTRIES. WE THINK
THUS THAT TRUMP THREW HIS IDEAS IN HISTORY’S HOPPER AND MAY INDEED FORCE COUNTRIES TO DO
WHAT IS GOOD FOR THEM. GROW YOUR OWN – FROM YOUR SEEDS}

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The prospect that the United States could lose its largest foreign market for corn and other key products has shaken farming communities throughout the American Midwest, where corn production is a vital part of the economy. The threat is particularly unsettling for many residents of the Corn Belt because much of the region voted overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump in the presidential election.

“If we lose Mexico as a customer, it will be absolutely devastating to the ag economy,” said Philip Gordon, 68, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat on a farm in Saline, Mich., that has been in his family for 140 years.

Mr. Gordon said he planned to call Mr. Trump at the White House “and remind him we need trade.”

“He’s a businessman,” Mr. Gordon said. “He understands how much support for him came from the agricultural community.”

A Trump administration document that circulated on Capitol Hill last week appeared to present a more moderate approach to Nafta negotiations, seeking to preserve much of the existing agreement and recognizing the interconnectedness of the two nations’ economies, cultures and histories.

Still, people involved in agricultural trade on both sides of the border said they were not about to rest easy on the basis of the document, which even the White House seemed to disavow.

“It’s really hard to track with this president,” said Todd Hultman, a grains analyst at DTN, an agriculture news and data service based in Omaha. “The campaign rhetoric has been really over the top. But what actions are really going to come from the White House is still a mystery.”

Mr. Trump has repeatedly asserted that Mexico has been the big winner under Nafta, and the United States the loser. But many leaders in the agricultural and food industries in the United States — not just in the corn market — hope Mr. Trump does not disrupt the agreement too much.

“When you mix politics with economics, you hope that economics influences your political decisions and not vice versa,” said Luis A. Ribera, associate professor of agricultural economics and director of the Center for North American Studies at Texas A&M University.

Many leaders in the American agriculture industry say Nafta has been a boon for farmers in the United States, particularly because it opened up new foreign markets and helped to expand agricultural exports more than fourfold since the agreement was signed.

In 2016, the United States exported nearly $18 billion of agricultural products to Mexico, the third-largest market for these American exports, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Mexico is not only the leading destination of American corn, but it also imports more dairy products, poultry and wheat from the United States than any other nation, and is one of the top importers of American pork, soybeans and beef, the department says.

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Varieties of Mexican corn displayed in Oaxaca. The government is considering an increase in domestic production. Credit Omar Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Mexico imported about 13.8 million tons of American corn last year, according to the Mexican government. Nearly all — about 12.7 million tons — was yellow corn, which is largely used for livestock feed, supplementing about 3.5 million tons of homegrown yellow corn.

The remainder of corn imports were of the white variety, which is used mostly for human consumption and is a key ingredient in tortillas. Mexico is essentially self-sufficient in white corn. The country produced 22.2 million tons last year and imported about 1.1 million tons of American white corn to make up for lucrative white corn exports to South Africa and other countries, according to the Mexican government.

And just as international supply chains in automobiles, aerospace and other industries crisscross the border, the same is true of agricultural products. Mexican calves — possibly fed American corn — are exported to the United States, where they are further fattened and then butchered for meat that may be exported for sale abroad, including to Mexico.

———————————————-

Farmers and agricultural industry representatives say that American farmers are already reeling from higher production costs and declining commodity prices, and that Mr. Trump’s threats on trade and immigration have injected more uncertainty.

“There’s a lot of volatility in agricultural markets to begin with,” said Barbara Patterson, government relations director of the National Farmers Union, “and shutting off our borders or losing access to trading partners has farmers concerned.”

The loss of Mexico as a market for agricultural products, farmers say, could presage job losses and bankruptcies.

“We’d like to see careful consideration and a cautious approach,” Ms. Patterson said.

———————————

Formal talks to renegotiate Nafta are still at least several months away. Still, corn producers, as well as their counterparts elsewhere in American agriculture, have begun to lobby elected officials and the administration.

“Soup to nuts: corn, dairy, meat, specialty products, fruit — they’re all pretty much gathered together,” said Tom Sleight, president and chief executive of the U.S. Grains Council. Producers, he said, are seeking to remind the administration of the importance of trade and Mexico to agriculture’s bottom line.

The administration’s threats have already begun to sour longstanding business arrangements between American sellers and Mexican buyers.

“Relationships are getting frosty with our customers right now,” Mr. Sleight said. “Usually it’s been a very symbiotic relationship, but recently it’s gotten a little more difficult. Mexicans are saying, ‘Why are you doing this to us? We’ve been your best customers.’”

The Mexican government has not delayed in exploring other markets in which to purchase corn.
A top agricultural official from Argentina visited Mexico City last month to discuss the possibility of increasing sales of Argentine yellow corn to Mexico. Officials from Mexico’s Agriculture Ministry are planning a trip to Argentina and Brazil this month to discuss increasing corn purchases from those countries.

Last month, Mexico’s deputy economy minister told The Financial Times that Mexico was exploring the possibility of allowing duty-free access to Argentine and Brazilian corn imports.

Developing new import arrangements with South America will not be easy, officials said. New relationships would have to be brokered, and costs to import may also be higher, officials say, in part because there are fewer established transportation routes between Mexico and the Mercosur countries of South America.

Mexican officials say, however, that an increase in trade between the regions might lead to more competition, which could increase efficiency and lower costs.

——————–

The showdown on Nafta has also inspired Mexican agricultural officials and producers to step up programs that would increase domestic corn production and revive a sector undercut by the agreement, said Alejandro Vázquez Salido, director of Aserca, a Mexican government agency that supports farmers and promotes the marketing of Mexican agricultural products.

Some economists blame Nafta for causing widespread unemployment in the Mexican agricultural sector by opening the floodgates to heavily subsidized American agricultural products, especially corn. A 2014 study estimated that 1.9 million agricultural jobs were wiped out, mainly those of small family farmers, helping to drive more illegal immigration into the United States.

Mr. Vázquez said that even before Mr. Trump began to attack Nafta and Mexico, the Mexican authorities had begun to discuss plans to substitute imports with national production. “But these new challenges, these new policies that we’re facing, are having us move in that direction faster than we were,” he said.

Mr. Trump has knocked Mexicans “out of our comfort zone,” forcing agriculture officials to find ways for Mexico to be less dependent on American imports, Mr. Vázquez continued. “We’re starting to move where we should’ve moved a long time ago: trying to produce internally what we’re importing.”

Meredith Hoffman contributed reporting from San Antonio.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 5th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

As reported by Irith Jawetz from Vienna:


Fareed’s Take: He tackled the 54 billions Trump wants to spend on additional Military. He quoted General Petraeus who told him a few years ago that during the Gulf war he wished he had more Foreign Office people to advise him.


Why? Soldiers do not understand the problems of the Middle East, the difference between the Shiites and Sunis, the history, the culture, and a brave officer who knows how to fight is not enough to win a war.

The Military budget of the US is already huge. It is 9 times the size of the Russian Military budget and 3 times them size of China’s,

Then he interviewed two National Security Advisors. Tom Donillon who was under President Obama and denied the allegation of wiretapping. He also said that Trump has no idea how the system works. The President cannot order wiretapping without a court order. Presidents cannot just order wiretapping..As for Jeff Sessions he was right to recuse himself and should not resign. We have to wait for his new explanation which will come this week.

Stephen Hadley who was National Security Advisor under George W. Bush agreed with Donillon on the wiretapping..Presidents cannot just do it.. If the Obama Administration was really worried about ties to Russia they may have had a reason to do it, but until now there is no proof that it happened. He also said what the panel today said that Trump likes to distract. Whenever something does not go his way and he gets criticized, he tweets something outrageous and diverts from the issue. This now seems to be a general idea floating around.

As for Sessions – he did the right thing and should not resign until he clarifies his position in the coming days. Then we’ll see.

They both agree that: North Korea is the biggest crisis Trump will face now. President Clinton faced the Oklahoma bombing, President Bush 9/11, President Obama the financial crisis and Trump will face North Korea. However if he does not appear to be reliable and trustworthy there will be trouble.

On the idea that Trump’s immigration policy will be good for the economy, Fareed disputes it vehemently. The costs of more agents, building that wall and not having immigrants for menial work will cost more than it will save.

Then he talked about Canada which has now surpassed the USA and a Land of opportunities. In every poll Canada ranks before the US in welfare, economy, freedom, healthcare.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 7th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

HOW ABOUT DISALLOWING INVESTMENTS BY ANYONE, OR ANY ENTITY, CONNECTED DIRECTLY TO ANY MEMBER OF THE PRESENT US ADMINISTRATION? CONSIDERING THE WHITE HOUSE BEHAVIOR, PEOPLE OF THE US ADMINISTRATION HAVE MORE AND MORE BECOME A DANGER TO THE WORLD ORDER AND TO PEACE – UNDERMINING IN EFFECT WHAT USED TO BE FRIENDLY GOVERNMENTS. Mr. BONDEVIK COULD LEAD THE WAY.

——————————————

CNN – International Edition+

Former Norwegian PM held at immigration over Iranian visa
By Kara Fox and Mohammed Al-Saiegh, CNN

February 7, 2017
Former Norwegian PM detained at US airport

(CNN) If you’re the former leader of a European nation, the president of a major human rights organization and the owner of a diplomatic passport, you’re not likely to encounter a long wait at airport immigration.

But on January 31, Kjell Magne Bondevik, the former Prime Minister of Norway, encountered more than just a lengthy queue.
Bondevik told CNN’s “Connect the World” he was interrogated by officials at Washington’s Dulles International Airport because he had an Iranian visa in his diplomatic passport.
“When they found the Iranian visa, where I was in December 2014, they said that there was a … regulation that with such a visa I had to be flagged up,” Bondevik said.

After the former European leader detailed his travel history — he was in Tehran speaking at an anti-extremism conference — Bondevik said he “assumed and presumed that they would let me go immediately.” But instead, Bondevik said he was questioned for over an hour.

“Did they really believe that I presented a problem or threat to the US? I expected they would show more flexibility and wisdom,” he said.

Bondevik said he was held along with migrants from the Middle East and Africa who were also facing additional screening. Although Bondevik was eventually released, he said the atmosphere surrounding President Donald Trump’s travel ban had shaken his core values.
Bondevik told CNN’s Becky Anderson he disagrees with the ban entirely, calling it “a contradiction” to his “view on human dignity.”
“I really dislike that he is treating people from some Muslim countries as a group and not individuals,” he said.

Bondevik, who heads the human rights organization Oslo Center, said the incident speaks to a wider issue of concern brought on by the President’s first actions in office.
It’s not just the ban that’s worrying Bondevik.

“I also must say that I dislike very much his approach to other international leaders — the Prime Minister of Australia, the President of Mexico … and how he is acting in the international community.”

He said many others, including Norway were concerned.
Last week, Trump signed an executive order that banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from traveling to America. The ban also suspended the refugee program for four months, and stopped the admission of all Syrian refugees indefinitely.
These are the faces of Trump’s ban

On Friday, the executive order was temporarily halted after a federal judge suspended key parts of the order nationwide. As of Monday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied the US government’s emergency request to resume the ban and had ordered both sides to submit their arguments for or against it before a final ruling.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 2nd, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

North American Energy Infrastructure: An Opportunity
for Cooperation?

From the CENTER FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS, the NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL of PROFESSIONAL STUDIES:
Co-sponsored by the Consulates-General of Canada and of Mexico in New York City

Monday, February 13, 6.30 – 7.45 pm


How to create a more economically vibrant and connected North America and support energy production? The answer may be infrastructure. Much of the infrastructure developed during the twentieth century is in need of renewal and is not adequate to support the energy revolution and transformation that has taken place across the continent over the last decade. The extraordinary increase in energy production demands a new vision for North American energy infrastructure.

U.S. President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, and Mexican President Pena Nieto have all committed to significant infrastructure spending. Will these plans lead to greater cooperation, interconnection, and integration of the American, Canadian, and Mexican economies? This panel will examine the opportunities and challenges facing the continent, including the role of governments and the private sector to develop and promote greater infrastructural development through pipelines, energy grids, and transmission lines.

Panelists:

Graham Campbell, President, Energy Council of Canada

Pedro Haas, Director of Advisory Services, Hartree Partners LLC

Rachel Ziemba, Managing Director of Research, 4CAST-RGE

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 1st, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

United Nations, New York City

UN chief decries discriminatory border bans in rebuke to Trump travel decree
António Guterres: ban based on religion or ethnicity violates basic values
Secretary general says such a ban risks fueling terrorist propaganda.

António Guterres denounced border policies ‘based on any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity or nationality’.

Julian Borger in Washington, The Guardian, Wednesday 1 February 2017

António Guterres, the new UN secretary general, said on Wednesday, in a clear response to the Trump administration’s refugee ban, that border policies based on religion, ethnicity or race were “against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based”.

US travel ban puts 20,000 refugees in ‘precarious circumstances’, UN says

Guterres did not mention the US or Donald Trump in his written statement but he directly addressed the political, legal and moral debate triggered by the president’s executive order suspending entry for refugees and other visitors from a list of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Guterres, who was formerly the UN high commissioner for refugees, also had implicit criticism for other western countries that have increasingly closed their doors to the vast numbers of refugees seeking safe haven around the world, and compared them unfavourably to poorer countries who host the overwhelming bulk of them.

The statement said Guterres was on his “way back from Ethiopia, the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa that for decades has been keeping its borders open to hundreds of thousands of refugees from its neighbours, many times in dramatic security situations”.


“Countries have the right, even the obligation, to responsibly manage their borders to avoid infiltration by members of terrorist organizations,” the secretary general said, but he added: “This cannot be based on any form of discrimination related to religion, ethnicity or nationality because … that is against the fundamental principles and values on which our societies are based.”

He added two other practical objections that have been at the core of much criticism of Trump’s executive order, on the grounds that it is poor national security policy. Guterres said such a ban “triggers widespread anxiety and anger that may facilitate the propaganda of the very terrorist organisations we all want to fight against” and that, furthermore, “blind measures, not based on solid intelligence, tend to be ineffective as they risk being bypassed by what are today sophisticated global terrorist movements”.

“This is not the way to best protect the US. or any other country in relation to the serious concerns that exist about possible terrorist infiltration,” Guterres told reporters in reference to Trump’s executive order. “I don’t think this is the effective way to do so. I think that these measures should be removed sooner rather than later.”

Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, said on Monday: “Trump’s executive order clearly breaches US international human rights obligations on non-refoulement and non-discrimination. It is unlawful.”

“Apart from being in breach of international law, Trump’s Executive Order carries a risk of inc . reasing rather reducing the risk of terrorism,” Emmerson said on Twitter on Tuesday evening

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Seemingly the new UN Secretary-General, a former Portuguese Head of State, does indeed have the backbone to stand up to his American host – this even as expected – President Trumps cabinet appointees may present a danger to the continuation of the present UN structure. Though only 10 days old and many members of the cabinet not yet approved by US Congress – this new US Administration has already managed to put in motion many revolutionary activities that clash with laws intended to protect the weak from the interests of the rich.

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Further, we received also the following from the outgoing US Mission to the UN:

This is to let you know that Ambassador Haley will be spending her first few months learning about the UN and Security Council and its members. She will not be meeting with NGOs for a while.

My last day is February 28. Have really enjoyed working with you.
Peggy

Peggy Kerry
NGO Liaison
U.S. Mission to the UN
799 UN Plaza

We clearly are sorry for losing Ms. Peggy Kerry from her position as NGO liaison to the UN
and we also note that the new US Ambassador for the UN – Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina – will be inactive for several months, and not having the background to function at the UN, and in need of a learning experience before she is ready to enter the fray – she in effect sees no need to ask also for advice in that learning time from the NGOs. This in itself is a major retrogressive step for the US in its international relations – that we will follow and watch attentively.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 3rd, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

BREAKING — THE DANGLING FRUIT IN FRONT OF TRUMP: Ford is canceling plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Mexico and instead is investing $700 million in Michigan. The company’s CEO Mark Fields told CNN that the move is a “vote of confidence” in President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to create a pro-business environment. Fields emphasized, however, that he did not negotiate any special deal with Trump. “We didn’t cut a deal with Trump,” he said. “We did it for our business.” bit.ly/2j4UZZ4

U.N.’s Israel vote: The House will vote Thursday on a resolution disapproving of the United Nations Security Council resolution criticizing Israel’s settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Many Democrats could join with Republicans to pass the measure as a means of demonstrating their support for Israel, even if their votes would put them at odds with President Obama. The U.S. refused to veto the Security Council resolution and instead abstained from the vote.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 25th, 2015
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From Laura Musikanski: The Happiness Alliance – Home of the Happiness Initiative and the GNH (Gross National Happiness) Index

Hi Friend of the Happiness Alliance,

Happiness is important to a new economic paradigm, the sustainability of our future and your happiness.

You are one of 61K people who took the Gross National Happiness Index and, in doing so, are the happiness movement. And the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) agrees – happiness, wellbeing & sustainability are important.

Who is the OECD? Here is a little history lesson. The OECD is the international organization that first started collecting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers and comparing them for all countries. As such, they became a major force pushing GDP to the forefront for policy makers and our society. The backstory is that the superpowers got together after WWII and decided the best way to end future world wars was to bind their economies together (anybody remember Bretton Woods in history class?). The measure they decided to use for economic success was GDP. The term “globalization” had not been coined yet, and the full effects of exponential growth of production, pollution and GDP were still to come. About ten years ago the OECD, and many others, started seeing that wider measures of well-being were needed.

So what? October 13-15 in Guadalajara, Mexico is the OECD’s Fifth World Forum on statistics, knowledge and policy “transforming policy, changing lives.” We will be there (chat with us at our booth), as will be nef, Richard Layard, Jeffrey Stiglitz, Gus O’Donnell and so can you.

There is no fee to participate, but you must apply as a participant by August 31. Send an email to  wellbeing at oecd.org to apply as a participant.

There is more news from our project:

Our latest tool, Happiness for the Depressed, takes a real look at how to address depression. It is quickly becoming one of our more popular tools in part because it does not to give a bandaid to real problems.

And for the data and policy geeks, our second of a four essays that will constitute a white paper on the happiness movement has finally been published. The peer review process is no joke – but we are grateful to the Journal for Social Change for the input and editing. The essay is Measuring Happiness to Guide Public Policy Making. The end includes a grid of the areas included by different measures.

Community activists – check out the wonderful work Laura Hannant had been leading in the Creston, British Columbia region. Elected and appointed officials from the city, region and community boards came together with volunteers to measure and now manage the happiness and wellbeing of the community as part of a three year long project.

Academics and Researchers – check out the article covering the research Professor David Pendery did with four different universities in Taiwan. He is particularly concerned with the happiness and wellbeing of Chinese youth.

Laura Hannant and David Pendery both plan to be at the OECD fifth world forum and share a booth with the Happiness Alliance.

Last, please keep using the Gross National Happiness Index for your life and for your group. If you have not tried the new platform, check it out! You can create a group with one click. If you have, please let us know what you think and of any problems ( info at happycounts.org)

Thank you!
Laura Musikanski, other volunteers & the board of the Happiness Alliance.

P.S. We need donations to help us cover costs for posters, handouts and a banner for the OECD forum. If you can help, please donate here!

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 11th, 2015
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

International Advocacy in the Digital Age
CPD Forum on Public Diplomacy

This panel brings together representatives from the foreign ministries of Canada, Israel, Mexico and the U.S. Department of State to share insights from the recent advocacy efforts they have led. Particular focus will be placed on the exploration of how best to merge traditional and digital campaigns and how we determine success through the use of metrics.

Panel discussion from 6:30pm-8:00pm; reception immediately following.

Registration required. Photo ID required for entry and no parking will be available on-site.

The program is co-sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Trade and Development Canada, and the Foreign Policy Group.

When:
Monday, April 20, 2015 – 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Where:
Canadian Embassy, 501 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 4th, 2015
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


A Godless Jewish Humanist.
who forced into migration from Nazi Germany – developed several lives and had achievements in many different areas – we would prefer mention by citing the title of one of his many books – “THE SANE SOCIETY” (1965) by the man who helped suggest to us Nuclear Disarmament, Amnesty International, and a pure humanistic art of loving.

Sunday, January 4, 2015 The review by Dinah M. Mendes of Tikkun – of a book about Erich Fromm – by Lawrence J. Friedman, assisted by Anke M. Schreiber, Columbia University Press, 2014

Even before opening Lawrence J. Friedman’s biography, “The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet,” readers are alerted by its title to the enormousness of the task of conveying the range and reach of this once celebrated intellectual. Erich Fromm was a Heidelberg University-trained sociologist, a psychoanalyst who helped found and direct psychoanalytic institutes in the United States and Mexico, author of more than a dozen books—many of them best sellers—a social commentator, and a political activist who promoted worldwide socialist humanism and nuclear disarmament. For college students and the educated reading public from the mid 1940s through the late ’60s, Escape from Freedom (1941), The Sane Society (1955), and The Art of Loving (1956) were often their first introduction to psychoanalytic, Marxist, and sociological constructs that Fromm incorporated and popularized in his reader-friendly prose.

The Lives of Erich Fromm is a virtual encyclopedia of Fromm data, with an impressively broad sweep that illuminates a cultural atmosphere and zeitgeist very different from our own more specialized and compartmentalized era. Perhaps the book’s greatest appeal is Friedman’s evocation of the historical, cultural, and political milieus that are the context of this scholarly biography, ranging from the Free Jewish Teaching Institute (Lehrhaus) in Frankfurt, to the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research; from the therapeuticum (the experimental sanatorium founded in 1923 in Heidelberg by Fromm and his first wife, Frieda Fromm-Reichmann that melded psychoanalytic treatment with Orthodox Jewish communal living); to the culture and personality movement in New York that joined prominent neo-Freudians—Fromm, Harry Stack Sullivan, Clara Thompson, and Karen Horney—with eminent anthropologists, such as Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Edward Sapir; to the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy and Amnesty International that Fromm helped to launch and fund.

The Public Versus the Private Lives of Erich Fromm

At the same time, Friedman traces the various, often parallel trajectories of Fromm’s life: his educational course, vocational development, emigration, institutional affiliations, significant relationships, and his steady output of books—for each of which he offers a detailed summary and statistics about sales and translations.

Friedman unfolds the public lives of Erich Fromm the social critic, political activist, and global educator with great vividness, but he is less successful at bringing to life the private Erich Fromm, whose inner life remains largely obscured beneath the evidence of his amazing productivity and range. While this might be regarded as a deficit in any comprehensive biography (and Friedman’s stated intention is to supplement previous Fromm biographies by elucidating the influence of his personal life on his intellectual contributions), it is especially striking in the biography of a man who defined himself as a psychoanalyst. Although the book is sprinkled with tart observations about Fromm—and even criticisms about the unabashed self-referential basis of his later writings or his “unethical trysts” with female patients—under Friedman’s hand they never quite coalesce into a satisfactory psycho-biographical portrait. In one notable example, he observes:

For much of his life, Fromm responded to disappointments and adversities … [by] jumping from one location to another, quitting one professional association and joining or creating another, altering his conceptual and clinical approaches, and switching from one intimate friendship or bed partner to another.

This is heavy-duty stuff, seemingly ripe for analysis and interpretation, but in the very next sentence, Friedman reverses direction, foreclosing deeper exploration and turning weakness into asset: “There was a pertinacity here. Fromm would rarely allow a difficult situation to immobilize him,” he concludes summarily.

Friedman’s myopia, his tendency to justify and smooth over rough edges, is mirrored on a larger scale by his authorial stance in relation to his subject, regarding whom his undisguised admiration and identification seem to preclude more objective assessment and critique. At one point, he compares Fromm’s “narcissism” to Freud’s, noting, “both regarded themselves as founders of unique psychoanalytic ideas, institutions, and traditions.” The unqualified idealization expressed in the elevation of Fromm to Freud’s status highlights Friedman’s difficulty in consolidating a profile of a man with outsized talents and passions, as well as egregious shortcomings, and in producing a critical evaluation of Fromm’s intellectual contributions—his psychoanalytic and ethical humanism theories in particular.

Fromm was an avid student of great teachers and systems, beginning with the vast tradition of Jewish learning, and followed by Marxism and psychoanalysis. But it seems that his enthusiasm and valuation were matched by an equally strong need to reject essential components of every system, assimilate seemingly divergent concepts, and refashion them—often on a grand scale—into a new product of his own making.

Unanswered Questions

Fromm was a master of syncretism, and while Marxism and Freudianism remained the orienting poles of his professional identity, he combined them with the ethical foundation derived from the Hebrew Bible, with elements of Christianity and Buddhism added to the mix. Friedman lays out a detailed map of the stages of Fromm’s intellectual journey, but he does not provide the psychological scaffolding or insight that might illuminate the course that Fromm charted.

Why, for example, did he find it necessary to reject Freud’s instinctual basis of psychic development and substitute in its stead the construct of social character (drawn from a fusion of Freudian and Marxian tenets)? What made him throw out the baby with the bath water instead of extending Freud’s idea into the social realm? Much later in life, Fromm apparently softened his anti-instinctual bias, and his constructs “biophilia” and “necrophilia,” first cousins of the life and death instincts enshrined in Freud’s Eros and Thanatos, appear without explanation or commentary (The Heart of Man, 1964).

With even greater cogency, the reader might wonder about what impelled Fromm, raised as an Orthodox Jew and enamored of its culture of learning and spirituality, to strip his ethical humanism of the influence and authority of a deity and to insist that everything of value is inherent in man (Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics, 1947)? Although Friedman frequently refers to the deficiency of Fromm’s parents as role models, Fromm’s childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood were filled with powerful and sustaining relationships with mentors.

Powerful Mentors

The precocious young Fromm began studying Talmud with his great-uncle Ludwig Krause, a Talmudic scholar, and as a teenager, came under the influence of Nehemia Nobel, rabbi of a prominent Frankfurt synagogue and student of the noted Kant scholar, Hermann Cohen, who had incorporated the universalism of Kant’s moral philosophy into Jewish religious tradition. The Nobel circle, which included Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Gershom Scholem and Leo Baeck, was instrumental in setting up the Free Jewish Teaching Institute (Lehrhaus) dedicated to introducing enlightened but assimilated German Jews to the richness of their Jewish heritage.

At the University of Heidelberg, under the tutelage of the sociologist Alfred Weber, brother of Max, Fromm wrote his dissertation on the function of Jewish law in maintaining social cohesion and continuity in three Diaspora communities: the Karaites, Reform Jews, and Hasidim. During the same period, he also studied with Salman Rabinkow, a Russian socialist and Talmudist, whom Fromm later acknowledged as his most influential mentor. Rabinkow introduced Fromm, variously, to the Lithuanian approach to Talmud, the writings of Maimonides, and the Tanya (the central text of Chabad Hasidism)—as well as to Hasidic melodies that Fromm reportedly sang for the rest of his life.

Friedman skillfully records the gradual transformation of Erich Fromm, the Orthodox Jew, the Frankfurt Institute academic, and psychoanalytic clinician—all private roles—into Erich Fromm, the public intellectual, educator, and activist. Both the cloistered cubicles of academia, and the individual focus of psychoanalysis, respectively, must have felt too restrictive to Fromm, especially when compared to the far-reaching impact of a political or religious system or the delivery of a message with universal reverberations. With his arrival in New York in the mid-’30s, Fromm began writing in English and grew adept at rendering psychological-sociological-political concepts accessible to a broad readership. His two best-known works, Escape from Freedom, an exploration of the seduction of and submission to authority and the fear of freedom, and The Art of Loving (which in Germany is still outsold only by the Bible) sold in the millions.

An Iconoclastic Proponent of Secular Religiosity

Fromm’s passion for refashioning ideas into a mold bearing his individual stamp seems nowhere more evident than in his application of Jewish ethical precepts and learning: Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics (1947); You Shall Be as Gods: A Radical Interpretation of the Old Testament and Its Tradition (1966); and To Have or To Be? (1976). His erudition is often on full display: in You Shall Be as Gods, he frequently offers his own translation of the Hebrew when the original interpretation does not measure up to his standards, and his love for the richness of the ancient texts is palpable. This does not deter him, however, from taking a free hand—the “radical interpretation”— in reaching the light at the end of the tunnel: a Frommian nontheistic humanist ethics.

Fromm could be alternately creative, iconoclastic, and single-mindedly reinterpretive in reaching his goal; one of the opening stories in Genesis, the eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (the Fall, in Christian theology) is recast by Fromm as a salutary and emblematic act of disobedience that reveals the innate human potential for independence of mind and freedom.

In Fromm’s explication, Hebrew Bible idolatry was actually a demonstration of the triumph of the “having” mode over the “being” mode, a harbinger of Marx’s later emphasis on the corruption of capitalism and consumerism. The greed and acquisitiveness of the newly liberated Hebrews in the desert, unable to resist stockpiling manna that God had warned them would rot, is another illustration of both the having mode and the intolerance of freedom, as is the Jews’ insistence to the prophet Samuel, many generations later, that he appoint a flesh and blood king over them.

Fromm’s odyssey through the Hebrew Bible leads him to the prophets of messianic vision, who foretell a time of universal peace and co-existence when—in Fromm’s version—divisions between people and states will be eliminated, and a universal ethics, motivated by brotherly love and the joy of human productivity (a melding of Marx and Freud), will prevail. Ultimately, Fromm espouses a secular religiosity—a fervent devotion to ideals that emerge from self-cultivation that is not obstructed by recourse to God’s authority or external directives.

A New Ethical Humanism

Fromm’s attitude to authority was nothing if not vexed, and he had a visceral reaction to authority in any doctrinal form. In his critique of Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics, the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr ventured that Fromm confused duty with authority, and, it might be suggested, authority with authoritarianism. Fromm’s antipathy to authority sparked his acclaimed formulations on authoritarianism, but also colored his controversial negation of key tenets of Freudian theory and the concept of a real God who is accepted as an external authority. Fromm took issue with the concept of the Freudian superego as an internally regulating authority that derived originally from parental authority, just as he did with the linkage of ethical principles to the authority of an existing God. He rejected Freud’s concept of the death instinct and the aggressive drive, just as he did the darker image of human nature captured in the idea of yetzer hara—the innate human propensity for evil and destructiveness. Fromm’s humanism is adamantly anti-theistic, anti-authority, and optimistic, if not actually utopian.

Fromm’s attitude to Freud (whom he never met) was admiring but critical, as the title of his posthumously published work, Greatness and Limitations of Freud’s Thought (1980) indicates. Freud referred to himself as a “godless Jew,” but his vehement opposition to religion stemmed from his conviction that it was based on infantile helplessness and dependency, and the false succor of illusions that it extended to its adherents. Fromm too might be described as a godless Jew, but one with an entirely different provenance and orientation. His quest was to free the cultivation of spirituality and ethics from their theistic, authoritative moorings in the Hebrew Bible and forge them—with elements of Hasidic mystical relatedness and themes from Marxism, Christianity, and Buddhism—into a new ethical humanism. A messianic mission, a desire to be a “light unto the nations” is discernible in the proselytizing, prophetic inflections of his late writings on ethical humanism. Freud, in his turn, might have identified in Fromm a tangled knot of Oedipal conflicts—the Freudian complex that signifies the generational struggle for power and authority, manifest in strife over the transmission or rejection of the old versus the new.

Fromm’s Legacy

Friedman is lavish with information about Fromm but leaves the final assessment of his contributions up to the reader. Fromm’s legacy resides neither in the innovation nor the profundity of his psychoanalytic and ethical concepts. Rather, his place in intellectual history is assured by his adaptation and popularization of ideas—mixing and matching across systems—which he introduced into the public domain via his accessible and best-selling books. Without him, many of Freud and Marx’s ideas—and he courageously upheld the value of Marx’s contributions at the height of the Cold War—might have remained sequestered in academic isolation.

Perhaps Fromm’s greatest gifts were as a social psychologist and critic; he had his finger on the social and cultural pulse, auguring trends that were still incubating or in the process of fomenting. In Escape from Freedom he wrote about the global threat and psychological appeal of authoritarianism and totalitarianism, even as they were advancing. In The Art of Loving, he differentiated between healthy self-love and selfishness, daring to suggest that self-love was not only healthy and desirable but a prerequisite for loving others—anticipating by many years the work of the psychoanalyst, Heinz Kohut. Assessing the threat of an engulfing consumerism, and the “having versus being modes,” he coined such enduring terms as “automaton conformity,” and the “marketing personality.”

Ultimately, it is impossible to pigeonhole Erich Fromm. He was a man of letters, and simultaneously a man of action, who used money earned from his books to support peace-promoting organizations. He was a psychoanalyst committed to the painstaking task of changing lives one by one, who sought at the same time to influence thousands and even millions of people with his ideas and prophetic exhortations. Prefiguring our contemporary immersion in global communication and veneration of celebrities, Fromm—­­­­­­a man of outsized passions and ambitions—was a public, celebrity intellectual and educator.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 19th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

  • Obama: ‘No one expects China to have an open debate about their surveillance programmes’ (Photo: whitehouse.gov)

 

Obama promises not to spy on EU leaders

 

18.01.14  – THE EUobserver – by Andrew Rettman

 

 

 

BRUSSELSUS President Barack Obama has said he will not spy on EU leaders or conduct economic espionage, but will continue snooping on ordinary US and EU citizens.

He made the pledge in a TV speech on Friday (17 January) in reaction to the Edward Snowden leaks.

“I’ve made clear to the intelligence community that unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies,” he said.

“We do not collect intelligence to provide a competitive advantage to US companies or US commercial sectors,” he added.

He justified the mass-scale collection of information on ordinary US or foreign nationals’ telephone calls, however.

“Why is this necessary? The programme grew out of a desire to address a gap identified after 9/11 … [It] was designed to map the communications of terrorists so we can see who they may be in contact with as quickly as possible,” he noted.

He promised to create a data privacy tsar to implement new safeguards.

The measures, enshrined in an executive order, centre round the future storage of intercepted phone data by an independent agency, which can only be accessed “after a judicial finding or in the case of a true emergency.”

Obama also ordered one of his spy chiefs, James Clapper, to draft better protection for US citizens whose internet data is caught in the NSA’s overseas operations.

He did not give non-US citizens any right of redress in US courts, however.

He also made no reference to the NSA’s most controversial exploits.

He said nothing on its introduction of bugs into commercial encryption software, on burglarising undersea cables, on hacking internet and phone companies, or bugging EU officials.

He also defended America’s right to spy in general.

He said: “The whole point of intelligence is to obtain information that is not publicly available.”

Counter-terrorism aside, he added: “Our intelligence agencies will continue to gather information about the intentions of governments … around the world in the same way that the intelligence services of every other nation does. We will not apologise simply because our services may be more effective.”

He noted that some foreign leaders “feigned surprise” on the Snowden leaks, while others “privately acknowledge” they need the NSA to protect their own countries.

He also claimed the US handling of the Snowden affair shows its respect for democratic values.

“No one expects China to have an open debate about their surveillance programmes or Russia to take privacy concerns of citizens in other places into account,” the US President noted.

For its part, the European Commission welcomed Obama’s words in a communique published shortly after he finished speaking.

“President Obama’s remarks and action show that the legitimate concerns expressed by the EU have been listened to by our US partner,” it said.

It promised to push for more, however.

It said it will seek “an improvement of the Safe Harbour scheme,” an EU-US pact on data handling by US firms.

It will also seek “the swift conclusion of an umbrella agreement on data protection in the area of law enforcement that will guarantee enforceable rights for EU citizens, including judicial redress.”

The European Parliament, which held an inquiry into the NSA affair, was more sceptical.

British centre-left deputy Claude Moraes, its NSA rapporteur, said Obama’s reaction is “substantial” but “weighted towards … a concerned US audience.”

He added that “lack of clarity” on the new safeguards mean “his comments may not have been enough to restore confidence.”

German Green MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht, who also took part in the NSA inquiry, was more critical.

He told EUobserver: “My impression is he [Obama] is making a change in rhetorical terms, not in substance.”

Albrecht said almost all NSA programmes, including Prism, which intercepts data held by internet firms like Google and Microsoft, “will be the same as before, there are no changes.”

He also said people should pay attention to the small print in Obama’s language.

He noted that the ban on spying on friendly “heads of state and government” leaves the US free to spy on lower-rank officials, such as foreign ministers.

He also noted that Obama included numerous “security carve-outs.”

For instance, the NSA can still bug German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone if “there is a compelling national security purpose.”

“European leaders will have to decide if they want to follow him, and lose the trust of their citizens in their ability to safeguard their basic rights,” Albrecht said.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 15th, 2014
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

Administration Is Seen as Retreating on Environment in Talks on Pacific Trade.

By Coral Davenport of The New York Times, January 15, 2014

Documents obtained by WikiLeaks show that the Obama administration is pulling back on environmental protections to reach a trade deal that is a pillar of the president’s strategic shift to Asia.
Read more at www.onenewspage.com/n/Science/7509arywd/Administration-Is-Seen-as-Retreating-on-Environment-in.htm#ur9WIpYRBZj7S6E2.99 

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is retreating from previous demands of strong international environmental protections in order to reach agreement on a sweeping Pacific trade deal that is a pillar of President Obama’s strategic shift to Asia, according to documents obtained by WikiLeaks, environmentalists and people close to the contentious trade talks.The negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would be one of the world’s biggest trade agreements, have exposed deep rifts over environmental policy between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations. As it stands now, the documents, viewed by The New York Times, show that the disputes could undo key global environmental protections.

The environmental chapter of the trade deal has been among most highly disputed elements of negotiations in the pact. Participants in the talks, which have dragged on for three years, had hoped to complete the deal by the end of 2013.

Environmentalists said that the draft appears to signal that the United States will retreat on a variety of environmental protections — including legally binding pollution control requirements and logging regulations and a ban on harvesting sharks’ fins — to advance a trade deal that is a top priority for Mr. Obama.

Launch media viewer

Michael Froman, the United States trade representative, said, “We’re pushing hard.”  Stephen Crowley/The New York TimesIlana Solomon, the director of the Sierra Club’s Responsible Trade Program, said the draft omits crucial language ensuring that increased trade will not lead to further environmental destruction.

“It rolls back key standards set by Congress to ensure that the environment chapters are legally enforceable, in the same way the commercial parts of free-trade agreements are,” Ms. Solomon said. The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the World Wildlife Fund have been following the negotiations closely and are expected to release a report on Wednesday criticizing the draft.

American officials countered that they had put forward strong environmental proposals in the pact.

“It is an uphill battle, but we’re pushing hard,” said Michael Froman, the United States trade representative. “We have worked closely with the environmental community from the start and have made our commitment clear.” Mr. Froman said he continued to pursue a robust, enforceable environmental standard that he said would be stronger than those in previous free-trade agreements.

The draft documents are dated Nov. 24 and there has been one meeting since then.

The documents consist of the environmental chapter as well as a “Report from the Chairs,” which offers an unusual behind-the-scenes look into the divisive trade negotiations, until now shrouded in secrecy. The report indicates that the United States has been pushing for tough environmental provisions, particularly legally binding language that would provide for sanctions against participating countries for environmental violations. The United States is also insisting that the nations follow existing global environmental treaties.

But many of those proposals are opposed by most or all of the other Pacific Rim nations working on the deal, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam and Peru. Developing Asian countries, in particular, have long resisted outside efforts to enforce strong environmental controls, arguing that they could hurt their growing economies.

The report appears to indicate that the United States is losing many of those fights, and bluntly notes the rifts: “While the chair sought to accommodate all the concerns and red lines that were identified by parties regarding the issues in the text, many of the red lines for some parties were in direct opposition to the red lines expressed by other parties.”

As of now, the draft environmental chapter does not require the nations to follow legally binding environmental provisions or other global environmental treaties. The text notes only, for example, that pollution controls could vary depending on a country’s “domestic circumstances and capabilities.”

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KarlosTJ

11 minutes agoLet’s not worry about getting the best trades we can – let’s worry about the environment. Because after all, allowing Americans to save…

Amy Haible

25 minutes agoOnce again, WikiLeaks shows us what we need to know. The environment is the economy. We can learn it now or after much suffering. But it…

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In addition, the draft does not contain clear requirements for a ban on shark finning, which is the practice of capturing sharks and cutting off their fins — commonly used in shark-fin soup — and throwing back the sharks to die. The dish is a delicacy in many of the Asian negotiating countries. At this point the draft says that the countries “may include” bans “as appropriate” on such practices.

Earlier pacts like the North American Free Trade Agreement included only appendices, which called for cooperation on environmental issues but not legally binding terms or requirements. Environmentalists derided them as “green window dressing.”

But in May 2007, President George W. Bush struck an environmental deal with Democrats in the Senate and the House as he sought to move a free-trade agreement with Peru through Congress. In what became known as the May 10 Agreement, Democrats got Mr. Bush to agree that all American free-trade deals would include a chapter with environmental provisions, phrased in the same legally binding language as chapters on labor, agriculture and intellectual property. The Democrats also insisted that the chapter require nations to recognize existing global environmental treaties.

Since then, every American free-trade deal has included that strong language, although all have been between the United States and only one other country. It appears to be much tougher to negotiate environmental provisions in a 12-nation agreement.

“Bilateral negotiations are a very different thing,” said Jennifer Haverkamp, the former head of the United States trade representative’s environmental office. “Here, if the U.S. is the only one pushing for this, it’s a real uphill battle to get others to agree if they don’t like it.”

But business groups say the deal may need to ease up. “There are some governments with developing economies that will need more time and leeway,” said Cal Cohen, president of the Emergency Committee for American Trade, a group of about 100 executives and trade associations that lobbies the United States trade negotiator on the deal. “When you think about the evolution of labor provisions, you realize how many centuries the development of high standards took.”

Since the trade talks began, lawmakers and advocacy groups have assailed the negotiators for keeping the process secret, and WikiLeaks has been among the most critical voices. The environment chapter is the third in a series of Trans-Pacific Partnership documents released by WikiLeaks. In November, the group posted the draft chapter on intellectual property. In December, the site posted documents detailing disagreements between the negotiating parties on other issues. The site is expected to release more documents as the negotiations unfold.

A version of this article appears in print on January 15, 2014, on page A17 of the New York edition with the headline: Administration Is Seen as Retreating on Environment in Talks on Pacific Trade.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 15th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

Yes – a most important outside reason for going to the Memorial for Mandela in Johannesburg was to make a public display out of the US effort to do right to its Southern Subcontinent starting with its largest democracy – Brazil.

Then, as I doubt it was mere coincidence, Obama also shook the hand of Brother Raul Castro. Fareed Zakaria observed these public happenings on his CNN/Global Public Square today.

Both events could have real consequences if followed up by the Administration. It was insane to tape Dilma Rousseff’s phone – now she is Prime Minister of Brazil but once was a Member of a National  Communist Party – like every dissent person was in those days  – including Nelson Mandela. But those days are gone – all what is left is a National reluctance to submit to US CIA-enhanced Capitalism that fights democracies world-wide.

The Castro’s are a different matter. What has been is passe – but what is now is a possible opening to Cuba with an honest effort to brig the Island-State to the fold of democracies, and as shown on TV in Johannesburg Raul is hoping for Dilma’s help. The US is closer by so it could actually be a tripartite cause that proves to Dilma that the US President is not just an occasional kisser.

And further – you convince Dilma and Angela Merkel of Germany as well, that a post-Bush era is started in Washington by giving full AMNESTY to Mr. Snowden who was the first to give them evidence that the bosses in Washington do not trust them – something that is not done among friends. And if it is done so these are clearly not regarded as  friends and Raul gets vindicated if he might insist on making his island into a future Chinese base – just an idea.

We just found that another swallow showed up in Washington – or was this a trained pigeon-carrier? We continue by re-posting it and hope it was not just a trial balloon to be shot down by right-wing Republicans with old-time Sugar-planting and cigar smoking Cubans of Miami friends.

====================

NSA Official Offers Amnesty Deal to Edward Snowden

By Agence France-Presse, 15 December 2013

National Security Agency official said in an interview released Friday that he would be open to cutting an amnesty deal with intelligence leaker Edward Snowden if he agreed to stop divulging secret documents.

Related Stories

Rick Ledgett, who heads the NSA’s task force investigating the damage from the Snowden leaks, told CBS television’s “60 Minutes” program that some but not all of his colleagues share his view.

“My personal view is, yes, it’s worth having a conversation about” a possible deal, said Ledgett, according to excerpts of the interview due to air Sunday.

But Snowden would have to provide firm assurances that the remaining documents would be secured.

“My bar for those assurances would be very high… more than just an assertion on his part,” said Ledgett.

Snowden, a former intelligence contractor for the NSA, has been charged with espionage by US authorities for divulging reams of secret files.

He has secured asylum in Russia and insisted he spilled secrets to spark public debate and expose the NSA’s far-reaching surveillance.

But NSA chief General Keith Alexander rejects the idea of any amnesty for Snowden.

“This is analogous to a hostage-taker taking 50 people hostage, shooting 10 and then say ‘You give me full amnesty and I’ll let the other 40 go,'” Alexander told “60 Minutes.”

Alexander said an amnesty deal would set a dangerous precedent for any future leakers.

The four-star general, who is due to retire next year, also said he offered his resignation after the leak but that it was not accepted by President Barack Obama’s administration.

Snowden reportedly stole 1.7 million classified documents and Ledgett said he “wouldn’t dispute” that figure.

About 58,000 of the documents taken by Snowden have been passed to news media outlets, according to the editor of Britain’s Guardian newspaper.

The CBS report also said an NSA analyst had discovered malware designed in China that could “destroy” infected computers.

NSA Information Assurance Director Debora Plunkett said the weapon was called the “Bios Plot,” after the key component in computers that performs basic steps such as turning on the operating system.

The malware was supposed to be disguised as an update for software, and after the user clicked on it, a virus would turn their computer into “a brick,” Plunkett said.

If launched, “Think about the impact of that across the entire globe,” she said. “It could literally take down the US economy.”

The NSA spoke with computer manufacturers to preempt the possible effect of the malware.


###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 14th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

This article was held back by us as since August – as a draft – we think time has come to post it as (a) Mexico is moving in the direction of opening the door to foreign investments that clearly will reduce its independence from its big neighbor,
and (b) the decreased dependence of the US on Middle East oil has shown that the US can free itself of Saudi slavery and
help from Mexican crude does indeed aid US foreign policy.

Also, I just read reports from the Syrian mess and it is clear that the US must feel safe in its oil supplies in order to avoid changing its position of non-interference as no-one is honest enough there to give out an interpretation of insurgency. Who are the Syrian insurgents and what do they want? Who pays the UN to investigate there and who expects anything less then subservience to the Arab UN staff.

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In Move for Economy, Mexican President Seeks Foreign Investment in Energy.

By ELISABETH MALKIN
Published: August 12, 2013

 www.nytimes.com/2013/08/13/world/…

MEXICO CITY — President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico on Monday, pushing one of the most sweeping economic overhauls here in the past two decades, proposed opening his country’s historically closed energy industry to foreign investment.

The president’s plan, which would rewrite two constitutional amendments, challenges a bedrock assumption of Mexico’s national identity — its total sovereignty over its energy resources — by inviting private companies to explore and pump for oil and natural gas.

Mr. Pena Nieto’s goal, like those of presidents before him, is to recharge Mexico’s economy by tackling areas that analysts agree hinder its expansion, which has averaged just 2.2 percent a year since 2001, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Perhaps the worst of those is the creaky energy sector. Demand for energy in the country is growing so fast that Mexico could turn from an energy exporter to an energy importer by 2020, the government says.

Already, Mexico must import almost half its gasoline, mostly from the United States. Mexican companies pay 25 percent more for electricity than competitors in other countries, the government says. Although Mexico has some of the world’s largest reserves of shale gas, it imports one-third of its natural gas.

In advancing the plan, Mr. Peña Nieto is making a gamble that the support he has built with opposition parties to make deep changes in education and telecommunications policy will carry over into the debate over energy and a related tax proposal he will send to Congress next month.

“With the reform that we are presenting, we will make the energy sector one of the most powerful engines in the economy,” Mr. Peña Nieto said at a ceremony to present the plan on Monday.

So far, Mr. Peña Nieto has proved astute at negotiating changes based on a list of commitments that all three major political parties agreed on last December. He has been helped by the two main opposition parties’ weakness after the 2012 election, which gave Mr. Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, a majority in Congress.

But his two major victories in education and telecommunications were comparatively easy. There was already consensus on the need to rein in the power of the teachers’ union and the companies that control telecommunications and television broadcasting.

In energy, the divisions are much deeper. In particular, Mexico’s left-wing parties have been adamant that the Constitution’s 75-year-old prohibition on private investment should remain ironclad. From the right, the National Action Party, or PAN, proposed energy reform last month that would go even further than Mr. Peña Nieto to invite in private investment.

Public opinion is also suspicious about opening up the industry. A survey last year by CIDE, a Mexico City university, found that 65 percent of the public opposed private investment in Pemex, the state-owned oil monopoly.

“The entire energy reform is a potential source of conflict,” said Luis Miguel Labardini, a consultant with Marcos y Asociados, a Mexican energy consulting firm. “Sometimes in Mexico we are conflict-averse.”

The proposal would allow private companies to negotiate profit-sharing contracts with the government to drill for oil and gas. Under such a scheme, the reserves would continue to belong to the Mexican state, but investors would get a share of the profits. Private investment would be allowed in refining, oil pipelines, and petrochemical production.

Although most analysts believe that Mr. Peña Nieto has the votes in Congress to pass the reform if the PAN votes along with his party, the president appears to want to sway public opinion, as suggested by his decision to make a prime-time televised address on the subject Monday.

“It is fine to appeal to rationality, but when it is about these issues, it’s indispensable to touch the audience’s heart,” wrote an analyst, María Amparo Casar, in the Excelsior newspaper last week.

The left-wing leader, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who won more than 30 percent of the vote in last year’s general election, is planning street marches to protest the change. If he succeeds in filling the streets of the capital it may be harder for party leaders to stand behind the plan.

Since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement exempted energy from Mexico’s broad economic opening, presidents have attempted to loosen the prohibitions that give Pemex sole control over all oil and gas exploration and production. No joint ventures are allowed. Those past proposals have often withered in Congress.

But this time, the precipitous decline of Mexico’s energy industry may work in Mr. Peña Nieto’s favor.

Pemex, which was long an important source of crude imports into the United States, is spending more to pump less. As Mexico’s giant Cantarell oil field in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico has declined, production has dropped 25 percent from the peak in 2004, to just over 2.5 million barrels of oil a day.

At the same time, the amount the government budgets for Pemex to invest has steadily climbed to $26 billion this year. To increase production and reserves, Pemex needs to drill in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico and in onshore deposits of shale oil and gas. But the company has neither the capital nor the expertise to increase production significantly, analysts say.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 26th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Raanan Katzir , China experience Missions.

THE UPDATE:

2001-present Director, Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group, “SACOG”.
 www.sustainabilitank.info/2009/08…

2001-present Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture at Galilee College in Israel –  www.galilcol.ac.il/ )

2001- Present Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture at CINADCO (International Center for Agricultural Development and Cooperation), Israel,


IN CHINA:

2011 Guizhou Province, Guiyang City: Invited by the Guizhou Academy of
Agriculture Sciences to lecture Sustainable Agricultural topics on the various
institutes of the Academy.

2011 Beijing, Lecturing on Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)..
Lecturing on Dryland Farming Institute , Hebei Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Gansu Agriculture University, Lanzhou (GAU), conducting a one week course on
Sustainable Agriculture
2011 Dingxi, Gansu: Chinese Potato National Conference. Lecturing on Agro Bio
Diversity.
2011 Wuwei,Gansau: Lecturing on Gansu provincial desert control research institute.
Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering Research Inst.
(CARRERI) CAS. Conducting a one week international course on Sustainable
Agriculture and combating desertification.
2011 Dingxi, Gansu, Chinese Potato National Conference. Lecturing on Agro Bio
Diversity 2012
2012 Lanzhou University, Institute of Agro ecology. Conducted one week
Course to Ph.D. and M.Sc. students on sustainable agriculture on dry land Conditions
2012 Inner Mongolia Holingeer ( Huhhot), conducting lecturing and
consultancy on arid land restoration and conservation. NGO, The Nature
Conservancy (TNC), Inner Mongolia project.
2012 Jiangxi, Ganzou,Anyuan township. A “ MATAT-Israel” consultancy
mission on “ Establishment of Modern Cycled Agricultural Economy
System”, organized by Jiangxi Association for International Exchange of Personnel.
2013 Henan, Lecturing on Pingding University.2013 Gansu, a consultancy mission in Minqin.
2013 China, Ningbo, Zhejiang 2013 Symposium on Foreign Economy, Trade Technology and Talent.
2013 China, Taiyuan. 2013 Shanxi foreign experts Group Seminar.
2013 China, Fuzhou, China Cross-Straits Technology & Projects Fair.
2013 China, Fujian, Zhangzhou , Sino-Europe Agricultural Development Center.
Lecturing on Fujian Academy of agricultural Sciences, Fujian Agricultural.
Lecturing on Fujian Vocational College of Agriculture and Forestry University.
Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture. Awarded as an Honorary Professor.
Visiting Zhangzhou Jiu-Bao Biotechnology Incorporation and Zhangzhou Science & technology Bureau.
2013 Zhejiang , Visiting Zhuji, Shaoxing District.
2013 Shanxi, visiting for field study tour and project proposals, Yonghe and Ruicheng Districts.

—————————

Raanan Katzir — Sustainable Agriculture (Agro-ecology), professional topics he offers for courses, conferences and consultancies 2013:

A. Sustainable Agriculture general subject:

• Sustainable Agricultural, the general approach
• Sustainable Agriculture ,national and global aspects
• The Israeli experience of Sustainable Agriculture
• The agro environmental problems in the developing countries
• Bio diversity, food security and environmental conservation.
• Agro biodiversity
• The basic elements of food security
• Food security and sustainable agriculture
• World water resources and sustainable management
• Bio technologies and sustainable agriculture
• Precise Agriculture
• Ecological threat to open space areas.

B. Regional Agricultural Research and Development (R&D),
Subjects:

• Agricultural Extension Methods to disseminate knowledge and technology.
• Advanced agricultural research in Israel.
• From subsistence to advanced marketing agriculture in the developing countries.
• Planning of Agricultural Projects.
• Agricultural Regional R & D (Research and Development), Projects

C. Agricultural development in arid zones

• Combating desertification, the Israeli case story.
• Advance agriculture on arid land, the Israeli experience.
• Combating desertification, the global issue.
• The advantages of drip irrigation method
• Irrigation control
• Soil salinity and the use of saline water for irrigation
• Soil disinfection by Solarization
• Soil conservation, rain water harvesting and a forestation in arid land
• Developing water resources and irrigation methods to achieve advance agriculture in arid zones, the Israeli experience
• Soil Conservation method to avoid erosion and harvesting of rain water
• Carbon sequestration on range land in arid zone
• Heat stress in milking cow

D. Other agricultural professional topics

• Advanced agriculture in Israel
• Organic agriculture practical methods
• Frost Hazard Mitigation.
• Urban Agriculture
• Peri urban agriculture in Israel
• Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA), of agricultural and environmental Projects
• Agro and eco tourisms projects
• Simplified hydroponics
• Benefits of micro farming to grass root farmers
• Fuel from agricultural crops as renewable energy resources
• Advance agriculture in greenhouses
• Greenhouse climate control
• Climate Change and Agriculture
• World food prices crisis
• Mitigation of factors causing agricultural natural disasters.
• The Israeli case story of using and involved of micro organisms in agriculture
• Rangeland restoration and conservation
• Modernize and biblical agriculture in Israel

The course on Sustainable Agriculture is aimed mostly to graduate and PhD students and also university staff professors. The course is focusing on the sustainable management of the natural resources as soil, water, crops, animal husbandry, climate and human resources, in order to maintain sustainable nature and produce food and raw material to obtain food security. The course is dealing with practical case stories, mostly of the Israeli experience and others. Participants will be able to understand and also analyze the rural sustainable management, planning and conducting of rural developing projects.
Similar approach could be apply to conduct rural regional study tour as consultancies and producing documents on Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA), and project financial applications.
The above topics could be presented also to advance farmers.
The above topics fit participation on international conferences.

—————————

Tel Aviv, 20,05,2013

Raanan Katzir, CV Summary

At present: Director, SACOG, “Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group”
4 Efter St. Tel Aviv, 69362, ISRAEL.
Tel: (+972-3)-6991381.Celular: (+972-58)-727-976
Fax: (+972-3-) 6990152. E-mail:  rannan at zahav.net.il

Agronomist, M. Sc. Agr., graduate from The Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University Jerusalem. Forty years of working experience with the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture in the fields of agricultural extension, plant protection, national coordinator of agricultural research and extension, head of national plant quarantine office and director of international projects in developing countries within the framework of the Israeli Agency for International Cooperation (CINADCO, MASHAV).

Conducting post studies in France, South Africa and the US. I participated on tens of international conferences. I Published tenths of articles concerning my professional work.

I have fully workable management of English, Spanish, French and Hebrew as mother language. I have often participated on international conferences and conducted tens of lecturing and consulting missions in the developing countries of South America, Africa, Central Europe, China, India and Oceania.
In the last thirty years I specialized on Sustainable Agriculture, focusing on sustainable management of natural resources the like of soil, water, crops, animal husbandry, climate and human resource for the aim of agricultural production and food security. The basic approach is a holistic integrated management to conserve the natural resources for their future ability to generate food and avoid agro-ecological disturbances.

My activity covers open field and protected agriculture (greenhouses), urban and peri-urban agriculture.

I am a member of the Israeli Association of Engineers, the Israeli Societies of Entomology and Phytopathology and the International Society of Development (SID).

General Secretary of OISCA-Israel an NGO connected to a mother NGO in Japan, dealing with environmental education, reforestation and international developing activities.

Since retirement in 2001 from Israeli Government work,I became director of a Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group (SACOG), engaged in lecturing, consulting and participation on conferences in Israel and in other industrial or developing countries.

======================================================================

THE PREVIOUS POSTING INCLUDES OLDER INFORMATION AS WELL:

1993 Beijing, China. One week International Symposium organized by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) on: Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.

1996 Hangzhou, China.  Two-week seminar on water resource management for sustainable agriculture under semiarid conditions.

  1997    Kunming, Yunnan, China.  One-week survey on agricultural development 
               projects

 1999        Lanzhou, China.. International Conference,  on Desertification. 
                 The Institute for Desert Research.

 2001        China, Shandong Province, KenLi, Agricultural Survey and Consulting Mission to
                Enhance Production.

 2001       China, Gansu Province. Yonchang, Jinchang, a survey on Water Resources and
               Efficient Irrigation. Jiuquan, Combating Desertification and Desert Agriculture.
                 Lanzhou, Conducting two seminars on Sustainable Agriculture (Institute for Desert  
                Agriculture and the Cold
                and Arid Regions Environmental & Engineering Research Institute, Chinese        
                Academy of Science),

 2002     China, Urumuqi, ‘ Forum on Environment, Cultural Heritage and Economic Development in Xinjiang”

 2002    China, Beijing, CALLAS Co. Conference on Seed Production in China
2002      China, Balikun County, Hami. Consultancy on mitigation of salinity soils.

2002      China, Saltland Greening Inst. Of Landscaping Co, TEDA , Tianjin.
              Conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002      China, Nanjing, Hohai Univ. conducting course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002       China, Nanjing, Institute of Soil Science (CAS), lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002     China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Conference on Desertification, . Conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002  China, Lanzhou, Arid Land Institute. Conducting a consulting mission in  Eastern Lanzhou Province  and lecturing  a course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002    China, Tailai, Heilongjiang Province.  Conducting a consulting mission on rehabilitation  of the sandy soils of the Tailai County.

2003  China, Sichuan, Chengdu. Provincial, Ministry of Agriculture. Conducting a  course on  Sustainable Agriculture.

2003 China, Guangdong, Guangzhou. South China Agricultural University.  
         Conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2003  Hong Kong, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden Cooperation. Presenting a lecture on Organic Agriculture in Israel

2004 China, Gansu Province, Lanzhou . Conducting lectures on Sustainable
         Agriculture on the following institutes: Dry Land Agriculture Inst., Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou University, Normal University, Cold and Arid Regions,   Environmental and Engineering Research Inst.

2005 China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Agricultural Bureau, Horticultural  Department , consulting mission on a regional R&D Project.

2005  China , Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture  in the Guizhou Normal University.

2006 China, Beijing, Eight International Conferences on Development of Dry Land.

 2006   China, Guiyang city, Guizhou Normal University. Conducting a course on  Sustainable Agriculture to students and university staff members

2006  China, Shanghai, Jiao Tong University, lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture to   students and staff.

2006  China,  Ya’an,  A one week course on Sustainable agriculture to  graduate  students and   staff in Sichuan agricultural University

2006, China, Sichuan Tibetan High Plateau, Khanding , Bamey, Daofu. A study tour to   establish a Simplified Hydroponics and  Micro farming  project.

2006,  China,  Beijing, Geography and Natural Resource Inst. CAS, conducting  lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.

2006,  China, Beijing, China Agricultural University, presenting lecture on the  advance desert agriculture in Israel.

2006 , China,  Tianjin Agricultural University, conducting  lectures on Sustainable  Agriculture.

2006, China, Lanzhou, Gansu Agriculture University , five days course on
          Sustainable Agriculture.

2006,   China, Lanzhou, Dry Land Institute, GAAS, conducting lectures on  
            Sustainable  Agriculture.

2006, China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. CAS, Presenting lecture on the  advance desert agriculture in Israel and drip irrigation

2007 China, Shanghai, The 9th Shanghai International Forum on Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Industry ( July 3-5)

2007     China, Gansu, Dingxi, one week course on developing water resources and  irrigation.

2007    China  , Inner Mongolia , Alaxa ( Alashan), one week consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification

2007       China    Chengdu, Sichuan. Conducting a one week course on Sustainable Agriculture .  South West Universities for Nationalities.

2007     China, Shanghai, A consultancy on The Ecological Conservation of the Chongming Island , (Shanghai Academy of agricultural Science). 

2008    China, Lanzhou University, Gansu. One week course to students and staff on  Sustainable Agriculture

2008      China  SHIHEZI University , Xinjiang , Conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture and a field study on advance desert farming. 

2008 China  , Inner Mongolia , Alaxa ( Alashan), in cooperation with NGOs ( SEE,  OISCA, Heifer), activities of  consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification.

2008    China,  Turpan, Xinjiang , in cooperation with Heifer-China , conducting consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification.

2008     China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. CAS, Presenting a lecture on Sustainable Agriculture and Biotechnologies Methods.  

 2009   China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS, Presenting a one week course on  Sustainable Agriculture.

2009     China, Dingxi, Presenting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture to experts of provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Water Authorities. 

2009    China, visiting Shapotou combating desertification research Center

2009      China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS. Conducting a one week international  course   on Sustainable Agriculture and combating desertification

2010   China , Conducting courses on Sustainable Agriculture and consultancy field visits on  Shanghai Jiao Tong University ( SJTU), and Sichuan Agricultural  University (SICAU).

2010  China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering   Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS, Conducting a one week international.

2010   China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Invited by the Guizhou Academy   of  Agriculture Sciences to lecture Sustainable Agricultural topics on the various  institutes of the Academy.
 
=============================================

A December 2010 CURRICULUM VITAE for MR. RAANAN KATZIR

Residence: 4 Efter St., Tel-Aviv, 69362, Israel
  Tel.: +972 3 6991381, Cell: +972 528 727976, Fax: +972 3 6990152
  E-mail:  rannan@zahav.net.il

Office:     “SACOG”, Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group.
                   (Address as residence)
Personal Information

Birth Date: December 26, 1935

Nationality: Israeli

Marital Status:  Married + 4 children (1961, 1965, 1970, 1976)

Languages:                          Speaking                    Reading                   Writing 
                   
               Hebrew                   very good               very good                 very good 
               English                    very good              very good                 good
               French                     good                       very good                 fair
               Spanish                    very good              very good                   fair
 Specialization:

Agricultural Ecology / Sustainable Agriculture
Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA )
Developing water resources
Advanced agricultural in arid land
Agricultural Regional Research and Development (R&D)
     Projects
Programming agricultural extension methods
         
Education:

1953-1956 B.Sc. in Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem,   the Faculty of Agriculture at Rehovot.

1958  M.Sc. in Agriculture,  Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The Faculty of Agriculture at Rehovot, (Thesis:  The Identification of the retention of copper fungicides for the control of tomato late blight, Phytophthora infestants).
  

Employment Record:

2001-present               Director, Sustainable Agriculture Consulting Group, “SACOG”.
                                       www.sustainabilitank.info/2009/08/sustainable-agriculture-raanan-katzir-from-the-greening-of-arid-and-water-short-old-palestine-and-israel-to-giving-a-helping-hand-to-big-china-israeli-consultants-can/
2001-present              Lecturing Sustainable Agriculture on Galilee College, Israel (www.galilcol.ac.il/ )
2001- Present             Lecturing Sustainable Agriculture on CINADCO (International Center for Agricultural Development and Cooperation), Israel, www.cinadco.moag.gov.il/cinadco/
1990 – 2001  Director of Projects & Technologies and Latin American Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO).      www.cinadco.moag.gov.il/cinadco/ 
  
———————————————————————————————————   

1987-1990 Director of international courses and in-charge of liaison with scientific institutes, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Center for International Agricultural Development and Cooperation (CINADCO).

1977-1987 Head of Plant Quarantine Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Plant Protection Department.

1976-1977 Coordinator for professional  (research, extension), activities, Ministry of Agriculture, Programming and Budgeting Division, as well as Lecturer in Plant Pathology at the Tel-Aviv University, Faculty of Life Sciences, conducting laboratory experiments.

1975-1976 Head of the Division for the Assessment of Natural Damage, Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture.

1971-1975 In charge of coordination of professional activities, Ministry of Agriculture, Programming and Budgeting Division.

1970-1971 In charge of professional activities, Ministry of Agriculture, Extension Service, and Plant Protection Division.

1968-1970                  Consultant to the Government of El Salvador, on behalf of the Division   for    International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, Israel and the Center for International Agricultural Development Cooperation (CINADCO), Ministry of Agriculture; in charge of the organization and implementation of a program on plant protection methods and techniques for pest control and extension activities.                    

1960-1968 Regional Extension Specialist in Plant Protection, Central Coast Area of Israel, Ministry of Agriculture, Extension Service; plant pest control; organizing courses and lectures for farmers on plant protection problems.

1959-1960 Commander of military agricultural training center; organizing and conducting agricultural courses for soldiers intending to establish agricultural settlements.

1958-1959 Responsible for the organization of agricultural courses at the military training center.

———————————————————————————————-
Overseas Studies and Study Tours:

1967   Five months of studies in the field of Plant Protection.  Diploma awarded by A.S.T.E.F.-Association for Technical Specialization, France.

1970  Three week Plant Protection Tour, organized by the University of California, Riverside, California.

1975 Two week study tour in Switzerland, organized by the Agricultural Crop Insurance Company, Zurich, Switzerland.

1979 Two month study tour in the U.S.A. (including Washington D.C., California, Florida, New York) on problems related to Plant Quarantine, under the auspices of U.S.D.A. and APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service).

1981 Two month study tour in the Republic of South Africa on quarantine problems, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of South Africa.

1984 Two week course on Storage Pests, EPPO, FAO, Montpellier, France. 

1999         Two week course on Forest Trees Dendrology. Amman, Jordan and Tel Aviv, Israel
 
————————————————————————————-

Participation in International Conferences:

1989 Bad-Durkheim, Federal Republic of Germany. One-week   conference on Integrated Pest Management in tropical and subtropical countries, organized by GTZ.

1992 Paris, France.  One-week seminar organized by the Inter-American
Development Bank on IDB-European NGO’s on ecological problems.

1993 Paris, France. One-week seminar organized by the Inter-American
Development Bank on Social Sector Programs and Social Sector Reforms.

1993 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. One-week workshop organized by UNCTAD on commodity export policies in African countries in a process of structural adjustment: cotton, tea and horticultural products.

1993 Beijing, China. One week International Symposium organized by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) on: Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.

1994 Mexico City, Mexico. One week World Conference organized by the Society for International Development (SID) on: People’s Rights and Security-Sustainable Development Strategies for the 21st century.

1994 San Jose, Costa Rica.  One-week conference,  on Integrated Pest Management.

1996 San Jose, Costa Rica.  One-week conference,  on Agricultural Environmental issues.

1996         Santa  Cruz, Bolivia, One week conference on Indigenous People in Latin America.

1996 Netanya, Israel. One-week conference,  on Periurban Agriculture.

Geneva, Switzerland, UNCTAD,   One week working group on Development Policies in Resource-based economies.

1998      Gaza, Palestinian Authorities. One week work group on Peace Procedure and  Agricultural Development.

1999        Bangalore,  India. International Conference on MAN and NATURE,   Organized by OISCA , South India.
         
1999        Lanzhou, China.. International Conference , on Desertification. 
                 The Institute for Desert Research.

1999         Jerusalem, Israel, XIVth international Plant Protection Congress (IPPC)

2000       Berlin,Germany, International Symposium , Urban Agriculture and Horticulture

2001    Tokyo, Japan, “ Global Forum on Education for Sustainable future:  
       Promoting  Earth Ethics”. Organized by OISCA-International.

2001      Nitra, Slovakia ,  Symposium on “Agriculture for the quality of Human  Life”.  Organized by Animal Husbandry Research Institute, Nitra.

2002      Calicut, Kerala, India, Conference on “Biodiversity and Environment “ Organized by OISCA South India.

2002     China, Urumuqi, ‘ Forum on Environment, Cultural Heritage and Economic Development in Xinjiang”

2002    China, Beijing, CALLAS Co. Conference on Seed Production in China.

2003    Switzerland, Lausanne, the International Conference for Sustainable Development and Environmental Remediation. Swiss Environmental Solution for Emerging Countries (SESEC II).

 2003     Mexico, Chapala Jalisco.  International II Symposium on Sustainable  Communities in Mexico & USA.

2003     Slovakia, Nitra, International conference on Bread and Peace to All people.  Presenting paper on Suastainable Agricultural Regional Development.

2003     USA, Fort Myers, ECHO 10th Annual Agricultural Mission conference.

2004     Switzerland, Lausanne, the International Conference for Sustainable
             Development and Environmental Remediation. Swiss Environmental Solution  for Emerging Countries (SESEC III)
.
2004     Mexico, Mazamitla. Primer Congreso Internacional “ Pobreza: la Cara del Esclavo Moderno” ( Poverty, the face of modern slavery).

2004  Japan, Amamatsu,  representing Israel on OISCA International Board of  Directors meeting.

2005  Mexico, Mazamitla. Secundo  Congreso Internacional “ Pobreza: la Cara del Esclavo Moderno” ( Poverty, the face of modern slavery).

2005    Mexico, Chetumal,  X Congrso Nacional y IV Congrso Internacional de  Ciencias Ambientales.

2005  Japan, Gifu Perfecture,  representing Israel on OISCA International Board of  Directors meeting.

2005  Switzerland, Lausanne, the International Conference for Sustainable
             Development and Environmental Remediation. Swiss Environmental Solution for Emerging Countries (SESEC IV).

2006 China, Beijing, Eight International Conferences on Development of Dry Land.

2006   Mexico, Sayula, Jalisco, International Conference on Future without Poverty
           sistemsdif.jalisco.gob.mx/congreso2006

2006  Japan, Fukuoka City, representing Israel on OISCA International Board of
            Directors meeting.

2006,  Slovakia, Nitra , International conference on “Water for life, water as element,” presenting paper on Water resources and irrigation methods to achieve advance agriculture in arid land.

2006,  Mexico, Zacatecas, IV International Congres on ” Un futuro Sin Pobreza, Desarollo Sustentable con Calidad.”
 
2007 China, Shanghai, The 9th Shanghai International Forum on Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Industry ( July 3-5)

2007 Mexico, Universidad Autonoma Zacatecas ( UAZ), XII National Mexican 
         Congress  of Horticultural Sciences, Protected Organic Agriculture Conference.
         ( Aug.)

2007 Slovakia, . Nitra , International conference on “A forestation, presenting paper on Israeli experience on rain water harvesting and a forestation in arid land.

2008  Japan, Tokyo , representing Israel on OISCA International Board of
            Directors’ meeting.

2010  Slovakia, Nitra , International conference on “Information Technologies in Agriculture”, presenting paper on Agro Bio Technologies, the Israeli Experience.

2010  Japan, Toyota City, representing Israel on OISCA International Board of 2010 Switzerland, Lausanne – The International Conference for Sustainable Development and Environmental Remediation. Swiss Environmental Solution For Emerging Countries (SESEC IX).Presenting a lecture on Agro Biodiversity.

———————————————————————————-

Professional Lectures Presented as single lectures or on-the-spot Courses, Consultancies and Other professional activities. 

1973 Arequipa, Peru. Three week course, organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Peru, on:  agricultural extension methods.

1973 La Serena, Chile. Three week course organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Chile on: Agricultural Extension Methods.

1974 Huancayo, Ciudad Trujillo, Peru.  Two three-week courses organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Peru, on:  agricultural extension methods.

1975 Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  Two-week course organized by FAO on the efficient and safe use of pesticides in agriculture.

1975 Santiago de Verguas, Panama.  Two-week course organized by FAO on the efficient and safe use of pesticides with emphasis on aerial and terrestrial use.

1977 Santiago, Chile.  Two week course organized by the University of Chile, Faculty of Agronomy, Campus Antumapu, on the efficient and safe use of pesticides. 

1977 Santa Tecla, El Salvador. Two-week course organized by the FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture of El-Salvador.  Intensive training course,  for the professional staff on the safe and efficient use of pesticides for coffee cultivation and technology transfer to the farmers of small farm holdings.

1985 Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.  Two-week course organized by the FAO on:  the safe use and correct application of pesticides on small farm holdings.

1986 San Lorenzo, Paraguay.  Two-week course organized by the FAO on:  the safe use and correct application of pesticides on small farm holdings.

1988 Amatitlan, Guatemala.  Three-week course organized by the Ministry of Agriculture on: Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Agricultural Extension.

1988 Lima, Peru.  Three-week course organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Crop Sanitation on: Integrated Pest Management with emphasis on Crop Quarantine.

1989 Katmandu, Nepal.  Two weeks workshop organized by FAO on the safe and efficient use of pesticides.

1989 Centeno, Trinidad and Tobago. Training course organized by FAO on the safe and efficient use of pesticides in the English speaking countries of the Caribbean countries and Surinam.

1990 Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Two week training workshop organized by the FAO on the safe and efficient use of pesticides.

Raratonga, Cook Islands.  Two week training workshop organized by FAO on safe and efficient use of pesticides.
                                                   

1990       Apia, Western Samoa, Two-week training workshop organized by FAO on safe and efficient use of pesticides
1990 San Salvador, El Salvador.  Survey organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture of El Salvador on: Study for the establishment of a plant clinic.

1990       Osaka, Japan, OISCA Kansai Training Center, a short course on Agricultural Extension Method.

1991 Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Survey organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ministry of Agriculture of Honduras on:  Study for the preparation of two projects:
 1) Plant clinic
 2) Improvement and management of tomatoes.

1991 Enugu, Nigeria.  Survey organized by the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) on:  The Development of a Training and Demonstration Farm.

1992 Ciudad Arce, El Salvador.  Three-week course organized by the Centro de Tecnologia (CEMA) on:  Agroecology with emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

1992 Enugu, Nigeria.  Two week course organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice and Peace (CIDJAP) on:  Agricultural Extension Methods.

1993 Quito, Ecuador.  Survey organized by the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, and the Ecuadorian Institute for Agrarian Reforms (IERAC) on:  Study of Projects for Agricultural Development.

1993 Bogota, Colombia.  Survey organized by the Departamento Nacional de Planeacion de la Republica de Colombia and the Israel Centre for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MASHAV, on:  A Project Plan for the Development of Tropical Fruits in the Atlantico Region.

1993 Chillan, Chile.  Three-week course organized by the Faculty of Agriculture, Concepcion University on:  Integrated Pest Management and Agricultural Extension Methods.

1993 Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.  Three-week course organized by the Junta Agroempresarial Dominicana (JAD) on:  Integrated Pest Management and Agricultural Extension Methods.

1994 Zacapa, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.  Three-week course organized by OIRSA on:  Integrated Pest Management.

1994 Plovdiv, Bulgaria.  The Higher Institute of Agriculture.  Two-week seminar,  on Agroecology.

1994       Guacimo, Costa Rica, three week course, EARTH ( Escuela Agricola Regional Tropico Humedo), on  Sustainable Agriculture.

1995 Quito, Ecuador, ESPE, Escuela Politecnica del Ejesito.  Three-week seminar,  on water resources and uses for agriculture, including agroecological problems.

1995 Burgas Free University, Bulgaria.  Two-week seminar on, Agroecology.

1995 Chillan, Chile, Concepcion University, Faculty of Agriculture.  Two-week seminar, on Agroecology.

1996 Grecia, Costa Rica. Two week seminar on agriculture environmental issues.

1996 Lima, Peru.  One week survey on agricultural development projects , Fruit Production and Irrigation. Organized by MASHAV.

1996 Quito, Ecuador. One-week survey, on agricultural development projects, Field Crop and Irrigation. Organized by MASHAV

1996 Hanzhou, China.  Two-week seminar,  on water resource management for sustainable agriculture under semiarid conditions.

1997 Lublin, Poland.  Two-week seminar, on Agroecology.

1997 Hamakita, Japan. OISCA Org.  Three week seminar on Agroecology.

1997 Kunming, Yunnan, China.  One-week survey on agricultural development projects.

      Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA. Delaware Valley College (DVC), Two-         weeks   seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.

Mexico, Oaxaca. One week MASHAV (Center for International Cooperation,  Min. of Foreign Affairs, Israel), survey mission on establishing an              Agricultural Training Center.
Guatemala ,  Guatemala City.  One week MASHAV mission on establishing  cooperation with The Central Agricultural School (ENCA ).
 El Salvador,  San Salvador.  4 days MASHAV mission, Evaluation a Project  on Diary Cattle.

 1997    Czech Republic, Prague. One-week seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.   Cooperation, MASHAV, Czech Rep., Min. of Agriculture.

1998  Ukraine, Kiev. One week MASHAV mission on establishing a project on Dairy Cattle. Cooperation MASHAV, Ukraine  Min. of Agriculture.

   Poland, Stara Pola.   One week MASHAV mission. Evaluation of a project    of  Dairy Cattle. Cooperation MASHAV , Poland Min. of Agriculture.

1998    Hungary, Budapest.   One- week MASHAV mission: Evaluation on an Irrigation Project. Cooperation between MASHAV and Hungary Min. of Agriculture.

1998    USA, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley College ( DVC ), Two week seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.

1998    St. Kitts, Nevis, 3 days seminar on Sustainable Agriculture.

1999      Nicaragua, Leon, Chinandega, Matagalpa. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Center for International Cooperation ( MASHAV ), a relief  survey mission,  following Hurricane Mitch damage.

1999      Costa Rica, San Jose, A study tour to determine characteristics of  a long term MASHAV project on Agricultural Marketing.

1999        El Salvador, San Salvador, An Evaluation on a MASHAV long-term project on Dairy  Cattle.

 1999     Jordan, Karak, conducting a regional project of establishing modern Sheep Dairy  and Milking Center
                .
 1999     Slovakia, Nitra, International Symposium on “Agricultural Towards the the 21st  Century”.

1999     Czech Republic, Prague, the Agricultural University. A course to graduate students on Sustainable Agriculture.

2000        Chile, Concepcion. Concepcion University & Fundacion Chile.  A study tour and Workshop on Arid Land Ecology and Reforestation. 

2001         Mauritius, St. Pierre. Agriculture Research/ Extension Unit (AREU), A course on  Sustainable agriculture.

2001       China, Shandong Province, KenLi, Agricultural Survey and Consulting Mission to   Enhance Production.

2001       Ecuador, La Peninsula de Santa Elena. An Agro- Ecological survey and Seminar on Sustainable Agriculture and Fruit Production. Organized by CeDeGe.
    
2001       China, Gansu Province. Yonchang, Jinchang, a survey on Water Resources and
               Efficient Irrigation. Jiuquan, Combating Desertification and Desert Agriculture.
                 Lanzhou, Conducting two seminars on Sustainable Agriculture (Institute for Desert  
                Agriculture and the Cold
                and Arid Regions Environmental & Engineering Research Institute, Chinese        
                Academy of Science),
            
2001       Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film, International Festival. Participating as a member
              of International  jury Committee.
              Committee.
2001      Japan, Tokyo, Conference on; “ Global Forum on Education for a    
               Sustainable Future:  Promoting Earth Ethic.
2002      Ecuador, Riobamba, conducting a university, “ Escuela Superior Politecnica
              de Chimborazo” (ESPOCH), course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2002      Mexico, Tehuacan, “The Center of Simplified Hydroponics”. Course on 
              Sustainable agriculture.
2002      China, Balikun County, Hami. Consultancy on mitigation of salinity soils.
2002      China, Saltland Greening Inst. Of Landscaping Co, TEDA , Tianjin.
              Conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.
2002      China, Nanjing, Hohai Univ. conducting course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2002       China,Nanjing, Institute of soil science (CAS), lectures on sustainable
             Agriculture.
2002     China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Environmental and Engineering Research
             Institute, Conference on Desertification, . Conducting a course on Sustainable
            Agriculture.

2002  China, Lanzhou, Arid Land Institute, Conducting a consulting mission in
           Eastren Lanzhou,  and conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.

2002    China, Tailai, Heilongjiang Province.  Conducting a consulting mission on the
            rehabilitation of the sandy soils of the Tailai County.

2002  Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film, International Festival. Participating as a
               member of International  Jury Committee.

2003  Ecuador, Guayaquil, “ Universidad Agraria”, conducting a course on
          Sustainable Agriculrure .

2003   Mexico, Chapala, Jalisco, Consulting work on how to avoid Lake Chapala
            from drying up by introducing agricultural sustainable Methods like   
          Simplified  Hydroponics.

2003  Argentina, Universidad Nacional de Tukuman. Presented a lecture on: 
         Sustainable Agriculture in Israel.

2003  Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film, International Festival. Participating as a
               member of International  Jury Committee.
2003  China, Sichuan, Chengdu. Provincial, Ministry of Agriculture. Conducting a   
           course on  Sustainable Agriculture.
2003 China, Guangdong, Guangzhou. South China Agricultural University.  
         Conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2003  Hong Kong, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden Cooperation. Presenting a
          lecture on Organic Agriculture in Israel

2004  USA, Denton, University of North Texas (UNT). Conducting lectures 
          concerning Sustainable Agriculture.
2004  USA, Waco, Texas. World Hunger Relief Inc. (WHRI). Conducting lecture on
         Sustainable  Agriculture.
2004  Mexico, Colima , University of Colima, Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas y
         Agropecuarias, conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2004 Mexico, Jocotepec, Chapala ,Tehuacan Center of Simplified Hydroponics,
         conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.
2004  Mexico, Puebla, Universidad Popular Autonoma del Estado de Puebla
         ( UPAEP), conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2004 China, Gansu Province, Lanzhou . Conducting lectures on Sustainable
         Agriculture on the following institutes: Dry Land Agriculture Inst., Gansu
         Agricultural University, Lanzhou University, Normal University, Cold and Arid    
          Regions,  Environmental and Engineering Research Inst.
2004  Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film21, Inter national Festival. Participating as a
           member of International  Jury Committee.
2004   Japan, Amamatsu, conducting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture in OISCA
           College. 
2005 China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Agricultural Bureau, Horticultural
        Department , consulting mission on a regional R&D Project.
2005  China , Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture 
         in the Guizhou Normal University.  
2005 Poland,  Warsaw Agricultural University (SGGW). Skierniewice, Research 
          Institute of Pomology and floriculture. Katowice, Silesia University. 
        conducting lectures  on Sustainable Agriculture.
2005 Mexico,Tecoman,  Colima University, Course on: El Modelo Israeli en    
          Agricultura Sostenible. 
2005 Mexico, Tehuacan, Conducting a study and consulting mission on integrated
          sustainable project of incorporation of the urban and peri urban areas.  
2005   China, Gansu Province, lecturing Sustainable Agriculture on   Cold and Arid    
          Regions, Environmental and Engineering Research Inst. Consultancy mission 
           on dry land agriculture in the Dinxi area
2005 China, Zhejiang, Quzhou and Lishui areas. Consultancy mission on mountain 
         growing vegetables.
2005 China, Beijing, Institute of Geographic Sciences and natural Resources, CAS,
    Lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture.
2005 Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film 22, International Festival. Participating as a
               member of International  Jury Committee
2005 China, Shanghai, Jiao Tong University, a single lecture on the global aspects
         of sustainable agriculture and food security.
2005  China, Chengdu , Sichuan , conducting a course on sustainable agriculture to
          experts of the provincial Ministry of agriculture.
2005 China , Guangzhou , Guangdong, South China Agricultural University
         ( SCAU), conducting a single lecture on the Israeli experience of Sustainable 
          Agriculture.

2005  China Guangzhou, Guangdong, Zongshan University, conducting a single  
         lecture on the Israeli experience of Sustainable Agriculture.
2005 China, Yanshan Guilin, Guangxi,  Institute of Botany (CAS). Conducting a    
 2006   China, Guiyang city, Guizhou Normal University. Conducting a course on
            Sustainable Agriculture to students and university staff members
2006  China, Shanghai, Jiao Tong University, lecturing on Sustainable Agriculture to 
          students and staff.
2006   China,  Ya’an,  A one week course on Sustainable Agriculture to  graduate 
             students and   staff in Sichuan Agricultural University
2006, China, Sichuan Tibetan High Plateau, Khanding , Bamey, Daofu. A study tour
          to   establish a Simplified Hydroponics and  Micro farming  project. Conducting
         with Heifer Int. China, Chengdu.
2006   Mexico , Lecturing and consulting on Sustainable Agriculture. Universidad
                Autonoma de Zacatecas.
2006    Mexico ,  DIF, Jalisco. Consulting on sustainable agriculture and combating
                  poverty. Mexico, Lecturing and consulting on Sustainable Agriculture, Universidad      De La Salle, Bajio Leon.

2006    Palau Lecturing and consulting on Sustainable Agriculture, Palau Community  College (PCC), Koror.

 2006,  Slovakia, Nitra, Agrofilm23, Inter national Festival. Participating as a
           member of International  Jury Committee
2006,  China,  Beijing, Geography and Natural Resource Inst. CAS, conducting
          lectures on Sustainable Agriculture.
2006,  China, Beijing, China Agricultural University, presenting lecture on the
          advance desert agriculture in Israel.
2006 , China,  Tianjin Agricultural University, conducting  lectures on Sustainable
           Agriculture.
2006, China , Lanzhou, Gansu Agriculture University , five days course on
          Sustainable Agriculture.
2006,   China, Lanzhou, Dry Land Institute, GAAS, conducting lectures on  
            Sustainable  Agriculture.
2006, China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering
           Research Inst. CAS, Presenting lecture on the  advance desert agriculture in
          Israel and drip irrigation
2006, Mexico, A regional rural Resears and Development ( R&D) proposed project.  
         A study tour in the State of Queretaro .

2006,   Mexico, Presented a lecture on  Toluca Rotary Club on ” Experiencia Israeli   
             on “Agricultura Sostentable”.
2006,  Mexico, Tehuacan, El Instituto Tecnologico de Tehuacan. Presented lecture on
          ” Experiencia Israeli on Agricultura Sostentable”
2006, Mexico, Universidad, Autonoma Zacatecas, Unidad Academica de Agronomia,
          Conducting a 3 days course on Sustainable Agriculture
2006, Mexico,  Universidad, Autonoma Zacatecas, Unidad Academica de Agronomia, Participating on a meeting day on  Analisis del Trabajo Desarollado ,  actividades a desarollar, esquema y formas del trabajo para lograr un programa rural regional de Investigacion y Desarollo.
2006, USA, Doylestown Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley College ( DVC ), Two weeks seminar on sustainable agriculture.

2007     China, Gansu, Dingxi, one week course on developing water resources and
              irrigation.
2007    China  , Inner Mongolia , Alaxa ( Alashan), one week consultancy and  
              lecturing on Combating Desertification
2007       China    Chengdu, Sichuan. Conducting a one week course on Sustainable 
             Agriculture .  South West Universities for Nationalities.  
2007     Germany, Gottingen University and Kassel University, conducting lectures     
              on  sustainable agriculture.
2007     China, Shanghai, A consultancy on The Ecological Conservation of the
         Chongming Island , (Shanghai Academy of agricultural Science).Mexico, Zacatecas, Universidad  Autonoma  Zacatecas (UAZ), Agricultural Faculty, conducting a 4 days course on Organic Agriculture
2007, Mexico,  Cholula, Tehuacan, lecturing on Organic agriculture
2007, Slovakia, Nitra, Agrofilm24, Inter national Festival. Participating
          as a member of International  Jury Committee
2007, Slovakia, Nitra, conducting a one week course to Ph.D. students of the Slovak
          Agricultural University, on Sustainable Agriculture.
2007,  China, Lanzhou University, Gansu. One week course to students and staff on Sustainable Agriculture.
China, Inner Mongolia , Alaxa ( Alashan), in cooperation with NGOs ( SEE,  OISCA, Heifer), activities of  consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification.

2008    China,  Turpan, Xinjiang , in cooperation with Heifer-China , conducting
              consultancy and  lecturing on Combating Desertification.

2008     China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering
             Research Inst. CAS, Presenting a lecture on Sustainable Agriculture and
             Biotechnologies Methods.   
2008    China,  Sichuan Agriculture  University, field visits in Shuanliu, Pengzhou ,   
              Pixian,   Anxianand Renshou Counties in order to support professionally the May  
              earthquake victims.  Conducting Sustainable Agriculture Course in Ya’an
              campus to students and staff

2008      China  SHIHEZI University , Xinjiang , Conducting lectures on Sustainable
              Agriculture and a field study on advance desert farming. 
2008     Slovakia, Nitra, conducting a one week course on Sustainable Agriculture
             to Ph.D. students of the Slovak   Agricultural University.
2008     Slovakia, Nitra, Agro film, International Festival. Participating as a member
              of International  jury Committee.
              Committee.

2008   Japan, Tokyo Conducting Sustainable Agriculture lectures on Chiba  
University, Graduate School of Horticulture
2008   Mexico, Del Valle, Guanajuato. Conducting a course on Sustainable
           Agriculture  in  the Universidad Tecnologica del Suroeste de Guanajuato

 2009   China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering  Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS, Presenting a one week course on Sustainable Agriculture.
2009     China, Dingxi, Presenting lectures on Sustainable Agriculture to experts of
             provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Water Authorities. 
2009    China, visiting Shapotou combating desertification research Center
2009      China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering
             Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS. Conducting a one week international 
             course   on Sustainable Agriculture and combating desertification
2009     Slovakia, Nitra, conducting a one week course on Sustainable Agriculture
             to Ph.D. students of the Slovak   Agricultural University
2009    Slovakia, Nitra, AGROFILM 26, International Festival. Participating as a  
member  of International  jury Committee .
2009    India, Bangalore, Institute of Simplified Hydroponics. Conducting a two days 
 course on “Sustainable Agriculture, the Israeli Experience”.
Presenting a lecture on the National Institute on Advance Studies On “Climate Change and the Israeli Agriculture”
Visiting the “Palm Grove Nurseries” and “Gopalan Enterprises”.

2010  Japan, a professional mission To OISCA Int. Japan. Visiting and lecturing
Sustainable Agriculture on Fukuoka, Nishi Nippon Training Center, Shikoku OISCA TC, Toyota City, OISCA Chubu TC, Hamamatsu, OISCA College for Global cooperation, OISCA Int. Head Quarter, Tokyo.
Visiting Takamatsu, presented lecture on Sustainable Agriculture: The general approach and the Israeli experience, to students and staff on the Faculty of Agriculture of the Kagawa University.
Visiting Tsukuba, Presented a lecture on Sustainable management of water resources in Israel to researchers of National Institute for Rural Engineering (NIRE) and Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Science (JIRCAS).

2010 China , Conducting courses on Sustainable Agriculture and consultancy field
               visits on  Shanghai Jiao Tong University ( SJTU), and Sichuan Agricultural 
               University (SICAU).

2010, Panama, Chriqui, San Felix. Conveying a study tour on Ngobe Bugle Indian 
          community and Conducting a course on Sustainable Agriculture in cooperation   
         with The Foundation Nuestra Senora del Camino.

2010  China, Lanzhou, Cold and Arid Regions, Environmental and Engineering
             Research Inst. (CARRERI), CAS. Conducting a one week international 
             course   on Sustainable Agriculture and combating desertification.
 
2010 ,  Slovakia, Nitra, Agrofilm27, Inter national Festival. Participating as a 
             Member of International Jury Committee.

2010     Japan. Lecturing Sustainable Agriculture topics on OISCA College for   
           Global Cooperation, Hamamatsu, OISCA Shikoku Training Center 
           (a JICA course), Presenting a key lecture on World Water Resources,
           Kagawa   University.

2010   China, Guizhou Province, Guiyang City. Invited by the Guizhou Academy   of
          Agriculture Sciences to lecture Sustainable Agricultural topics on the various
          institutes of the Academy. 
          

.————————————————————————————————————

Directing International Cooperation Activities in Israel

1987 Three- week seminar, on  Arboriculture Fruitiere (French).
1987 Five- week course, on Agricultural Extension in various branches (English). 
1988 Six- week course, on Agro forestry (English).
1989    Seven-week course, on Innovative Integrated Pest Management with     
            Agricultural Extension (English).     
1991 Five week course, on Agricultural Ecology (English).
1991 Four week course, on Food and Grain Storage  (English).
1992 Four week course, on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) (English).
1994    Three week workshop, on Management of Arid and Semiarid Ecological
            Systems (English).
1997   Three week workshop, on Regenerative Agriculture (English).
           
———————————————————————————————————————–

Literature  (Lectures Prepared as Articles for conferences)
A Mechanism for Adapting Agricultural Development to Current Socio-Economic Changes in Israel.  Bucharest, Romania, 1992.

Agroecology, An Approach of Preventing Ecological Damage in Agricultural Production.  Beijing, China, 1993.

National and Regional Supporting System to Promote the Export of Cotton (Israel). Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 1993.

People Security Through Agricultural Production and Rural Development in Developing Countries.  Mexico City, Mexico, 1994.

Big Business Farm – From Agriculture to Agribusiness.  Jerusalem, Israel, 1995.

Agro-ecological Aspects of the Peri-urban Process.  Netanya, Israel, 1996.

Agriculture Under Unfavorable Natural Resources.  Geneva, Switzerland, 1996.

Agricultural Development in Israel. www .city  farmer org.  Urban  Agricultural Notes. 1999

  Sustainable Agriculture in the World, The Israeli Experience .Bangalor India, 1999.

The Advantage of the Desert for the Advancement of Farming under Israel
     Circumstances. Lanzhou, China,1999.

The Use of Saline Water for Irrigation of Agricultural Crops. Tianjin, China, 1999.

Sustainable Agriculture, the Israeli Experience. Trivandrum, India,2000.

The Sustainable Management of Water Resources in the Arid Zone of Israel with Emphasis on Reforestation Activities. Concepcion, Chile,2000.

The Agro-Ecological Aspects of  “Sustainable Agriculture” in Mauritius, St. Pierre, Mauritius, 2001.

Agriculture for the quality on human life, Nitra, Slovakia, 2001.

Biodiversity and Environment, Calicut, Kerala State, India, 2002.

 Microfarm  Project using Simplified Hydroponics and Fertigation in the Lerma Chapala Basin. Mexico, 2003.

Socio Economic Forms in the Rural Area of the Developing Countries, Related to Food Security. Nitra, Slovakia, 2003.

Sustainable Agricultural Methods to Combat Desertification, the Israeli Experience, ECHO 10th Conference, Fort Myers, USA, 2003.

Microfarming Techniques for Yak Producers in the Tibetan Area of Muli in SW Sichuan, China. Conference, Chengdu, September, 2004.

The Global Aspects to Achieve Food Security through Sustainable Agriculture.
SESEC conference, Lausanne, Switzerland , 2005.

UN PROGRAMA REGIONAL AGRICOLA DE INVESTIGACION Y DESARROLLO BASADO EN EL ENFOQUE DE AGRICULTURA SUSTENIBLE. Estadeo de Zacatecas, Mexico, 2006

UN PROGRAMA REGIONAL EN  EL ESTADO DE QUERETARO CON EL FIN DE IDENTIFICAR UN PROYECTO EN EL CAMPO DE LA ELECTRICIDAD Y PROYECTO AGRÍCOLA  INTEGRAL REGIONAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN Y DESARROLLO. Estado de Quereraro, Mexico, 2006.

The Israeli experience on Biotechnologies and Sustainable Agriculture. Shanghai International Forum on Biotechnologies, July 2007

Chongming Island Ecological Conservation Project1, Shanghai, July 2007
      www.academicjournals.org/JGRP/PDF/Pdf2008/Mar/Katzir.pdf

Organic Agriculture under protected condition, Universidad Autonoma Zacatecas
     (UAZ), XII National Mexican   Congress of Horticultural Sciences, August 2007..

=================================================

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 19th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Future of U.S. Surveillance

NSA Revelations an Opportunity for United States and Brazil.

Julia E. Sweig

Although revelations of NSA spying provoked an angry reaction last week in Brazil, the United States and Brazil should treat the crisis as an opportunity. Read the Op-Ed

 www.cfr.org/intelligence/nsa-siva…

Meekly – the CFR said:

We are now three months away from President Dilma’s state visit to Washington. For the last few years, the big unfinished items on the bilateral agenda have been trade and the Security Council. Not so defense.

A defense cooperation agreement signed in 2010, even as tension over Iran might well have thwarted it, has created some profitable long term opportunities for Brazilian and American defense firms to enter one another’s markets. Progress in this space is remarkable, if for some uncomfortable, given the history of mutual suspicion when it comes to security affairs.

Now the arena of cyber security and internet governance—sovereign and global—also has the potential to create some very interesting presidential conversations about the tensions these two leaders face between privacy, human rights, civil liberties and security, and about the differences and potential synergies in our cultures of innovation and industrial policy. The topic also opens a door into the global personalities of the two countries, in this case regarding the merits and demerits of multilateral institutions for governing the internet.

Finally, are there any lessons to be learned regarding South America and regional security? Brazil’s experience with SIVAM is an example not only of extensive cooperation and technology sharing between Brazil and the United States—in this case via the defense giant Raytheon—but also an instance wherein Brazil seems to have avoided provoking its neighbors with a sovereign surveillance system, the potential impact of which need not be limited to Brazil’s territorial borders. Although the parallels are imperfect, it might be instructive for the presidents of the two biggest democracies in the Americas to recall the positive SIVAM experience when having the inevitable heart to heart about the NSA disclosures.”

The issue is what will be said behind closed doors and how the US will explain that massive surveillance that clearly had nothing to do with security?

===============================================

Will Snowden Come Between United States and Latin America?

Christopher Sabatini

Recent revelations about U.S. surveillance activities in Latin America have provoked a range of negative responses from regional leaders, but the practical consequences will be marginal. Read the Interview

 www.cfr.org/latin-america-and-the…

Recent leaks reveal that U.S. surveillance programs extended into Latin America, going beyond security and military affairs into commercial enterprises as well. How surprising is this?

It’s surprising that in most of the cases, the United States was spying on some of its closest allies in the region. Mexico, Colombia, Brazil—these weren’t places that were hotbeds of terrorism or where we were even spying or gathering information on matters of terrorism. If proven true, [the allegations] reveal that we were gathering information that extended beyond the supposed justification for the NSA program.

Second, while all countries spy on each other, what’s different is the type of spying. We were massively collecting information, potentially even on their citizens communicating with each other. That has triggered an understandable reaction from these governments for the United States to explain what it was doing. This isn’t government-to-government spying, or even government spying on people they suspect could place our national interests at risk. This is casting a very wide net both in terms of the people whose information is being collected and also the topics around which it’s being collected. If proven to be true, this surveillance may very much violate the U.S. congressional justification under which a lot of this had occurred. A third surprising element, if proven true, is that the United States was doing this with the complicity of telecom companies in Brazil—though the U.S. ambassador to Brazil denies these reports.

Some critics have accused some of these countries of hypocrisy for denouncing the United States, because they have their own domestic wiretapping programs. So to what extent is this about privacy, or are the reactions more about sovereignty?

First, there was a lot of heated rhetoric from some leaders even before the allegations came out—about the asylum-seeking, about the unfortunate grounding of President Morales’s plane—that goes far beyond the legitimate concerns of what the spying actually entailed. That rhetoric spilled over in ways that are not very constructive, to the point where you even had Mercosur, a trade association, promise to pull its ambassadors out of Europe—a move that goes far beyond the actual functions of a supposed customs union.

Additionally, two presidential summits have been dedicated to this in Latin America—the Unasur summit that brought together [Rafael] Correa, [Nicolas] Maduro, and [Cristina] Kirchner to denounce the grounding of Evo Morales’s plane, and then Mercosur. It seems disproportionate that so much of these presidents’ time, especially in countries that are facing very severe economic news, would be dedicated to this at a summit level. That’s unprecedented when compared to other regions.

Second, it is largely a sovereignty issue. For a number of these countries, the memories of authoritarian regimes spying on citizens, rounding up activists and opposition, are still very fresh. [Brazilian president] Dilma Rousseff was tortured and detained during the military regime. Mexico dissidents and leaders were also spied on by the PRI [Institutional Revolutionary Party] before 2001. The reactions need to be understood in that sense.

The other thing is, yes, the United States has helped some of these countries set up surveillance programs. Washington was instrumental in helping Colombia set up the programs it uses to monitor FARC [paramilitary group Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia], but the United States has always tried to separate those efforts from spying on citizens for political reasons. But once the equipment and know-how has been turned over, anything can happen. That’s what we’ve seen in the case of Panama, for example, where it became known fairly early on that the government has a tendency to eavesdrop on perceived political opponents. That’s where we do need to understand that the alleged NSA revelations are a different kettle of fish. In some ways, it’s “they’re our citizens; we get to spy on them, but you don’t.”

Are there clear distinctions in the ways that Latin American countries have reacted?

There is a range of differences: some reactions are serious, some are performative, and some are simply taking advantage of this. In countries that have taken this as a serious matter—Mexico, Colombia, and Chile—there has been that level of “let’s get to the bottom of it,” couched within a legitimate sense of national sovereignty and protecting their citizens. And the responses have been delivered [to the United States] through diplomatic channels.

In between, you have countries like Brazil, which, for reasons perhaps very much tied to recent history, has made moves outside the realm of typical diplomatic activity, and has called the U.S. ambassador to testify before the Brazilian congress.

Countries on the other end of this spectrum [Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua] were already trying to make hay even before the revelations, by offering asylum to Snowden, which, in some ways, has become somewhat of a red herring. Oddly enough, with the exception of Venezuela, those are not the countries where most of the alleged spying occurred. So it’s completely out of proportion to their level of legitimate victimization—with the exception of Morales’s plane getting grounded.

“[P]olitical leaders may use this for domestic political advantage, [but] it certainly doesn’t play as well as many think.”

Having said that, most citizens of these countries—and we see this in surveys—retain very positive views of the United States. As much as political leaders may use this for domestic political advantage, it certainly doesn’t play as well as many think. Popular opinions hinge much more on domestic issues. A classic example right now is that Rousseff’s popularity went from 57 percent to about 30 percent—that has to do with protests and unmet economic demands; that has nothing to do with spying. These reactions make for good political theater, but I’m not sure they make for good political campaigns.

Are there any concrete consequences for U.S.-Latin American relations? Rousseff recently said the leaks would not affect her planned October trip to Washington.

The practical implications will be minimal, in part because the United States has such a multifaceted relationship with these countries on everything from immigration to education, cultural exchanges, and economic ties. Those things reflect a very diverse relationship that goes far beyond the diplomatic government-to-government activities.

But there are two implications for U.S. relations in the region that are important. One is that the U.S. is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Latin America that will bring together economies from most of the Asia-Pacific region with Latin America, except for Colombia and Central America. When telecommunications comes down as one of the areas they are talking about, a lot of those negotiating parties are going to take a very close look at what’s in there and that there are safeguards that protect potential intervention and the flow of communication.

“The United States’ moral standing on being able to talk about issues like freedom of expression has taken a serious hit.”

The second is that the United States’ moral standing on being able to talk about issues like freedom of expression and access to information has taken a serious hit at a time when a number of countries are challenging domestic laws and regional norms concerning these very issues. That’s clearly why we see leaders like Correa, Maduro, Morales, [Nicaragua’s Daniel] Ortega—none of whom are paragons of freedom of expression—suddenly become these champions of transparency. It’s ironic, and it also means that the ability of the United States, and in some cases U.S.-based organizations, to speak out in some of these cases is going to be a little more difficult.

On the asylum requests from Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, it does appear Snowden is trying to get to Latin America. What are realistic possibilities for him as far as ending up there?

I may be proven wrong on this, but I still find it to be a very difficult practical matter that he can find his way to these countries. As much as these leaders have been saying out loud that he is welcome if he can get there, none of them are actually offering to lend their presidential jets to fly him down. For now, it just remains an empty gesture.

[Furthermore,] these governments are elected, however imperfectly. Let’s imagine Snowden has a good, healthy lifespan. I find it hard to believe that a chavista government is going to stay in power in Venezuela for fifty years—the same goes for the Morales and Ortega governments. So [asylum in these countries] may provide him a temporary respite, but it’s no permanent guarantee. Sadly, he is being manipulated for international public opinion by these leaders, and who knows when he himself could become a bargaining chip?

What can the United States can do to ease tensions in the coming weeks?

This is going to be resolved quietly and diplomatically, as a couple of leaders have said—[Colombian president Juan Manuel] Santos has said this; [Mexican president Enrique] Pena Nieto implied the same. Explanations and sharing of details as to the extent of the [surveillance] program and the like hopefully will be addressed. Rather than engage in megaphone diplomacy with the generally aggrieved countries, the United States is handling this quietly. On the other matters of asylum and other things, I think the United States is just letting these countries engage in their own megaphone diplomacy, and when the dust settles, their rantings will probably not have amounted to much.

===============================================

The Ongoing Domestic Debate.


Both the Bush and Obama administrations have sought to justify controversial domestic surveillance programs amid pointed criticism from Congress and civil rights activists. Read the Backgrounder.

 www.cfr.org/intelligence/us-domes…

==============================================

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 18th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

U.S. Endures Heat Waves, Extended Drought.

WASHINGTON, DC, July 16, 2013 (ENS) – Heat waves and drought conditions are touching off wildfires, shriveling grasslands across the western states and stressing eastern urban residents, forcing lawmakers and public lands managers alike to rethink their approach to water supplies.

In Washington, the Senate Water and Power Subcommittee is holding a hearing today on the future of the Colorado River. The hearing follows recent deadly wildfires, a record-breaking heat wave and worsening drought conditions in the Southwest that have put the region’s residents, wildlife and natural resources at risk.

The subcommittee is examining the Bureau of Reclamation’s Colorado River Basin Water Demand and Supply study, released last December, which found that there is not enough water in the Colorado River to meet the basin’s current water demands or future demand increases.

Spanning parts of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, the Colorado River Basin is one of the most critical sources of water in the West. The Colorado River and its tributaries provide water to nearly 40 million people for municipal use, supply water used to irrigate nearly 5.5 million acres of land, and is also the lifeblood for at least 22 federally recognized tribes, seven National Wildlife Refuges, four National Recreation Areas, and 11 National Parks.

Climate change will reduce water available from the Colorado River by nine percent, increasing the risk to cities, farms and the environment, the study concludes.

“This study serves as a call to action and underscores the importance of prioritizing innovative conservation solutions rather than resorting to costly pipelines, dams and other diversions,” said Matt Niemerski, water policy director at the nonprofit American Rivers. “We need to step up our efforts and manage our water wisely in order to meet the current and future needs in the basin.”

Across the country, more than 40 percent of U.S. freshwater withdrawals are used for power plant cooling. These plants also lose several billion gallons of freshwater every day through evaporation.

New research released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists indicates that increasing demand and drought are putting a great strain on water resources. Low water levels and high water temperatures can cause power plants to cut their electricity output in order to avoid overheating or harming local water bodies.

John Rogers, a senior energy analyst with UCS’s Climate and Energy Program, said, “In our water-constrained world, a 20-year delay in tackling the problem leaves the power industry unnecessarily vulnerable to drought and exacerbates competition with other water users. We can bring water use down faster and further, but only by changing how we get our electricity.”

A pathway that includes strong investments in renewables and energy efficiency, according to the UCS study, would greatly reduce power generation’s water use and carbon emissions. Under such a scenario, water withdrawals would drop by 97 percent from current levels by 2050, with most of that drop within the next 20 years.

Meanwhile, hot, dry conditions persist west of the Mississippi River, with at least 15 states experiencing drought. Wild horses and livestock compete for the same scarce water resources.

Drought conditions are taking a toll on western rangelands, leaving little water and forage for animals and livestock, prompting the Bureau of Land Management to provide supplemental water and food for wild horses, reduce grazing, and enact fire restrictions.

In New Mexico, 93 percent of rangeland and pastures are rated poor or very poor. The figure is 59 percent in Colorado; 35 percent in Wyoming; and 17 percent in Utah.

Similar conditions exist in Nevada, where more than 60 percent of the state has been in severe or extreme drought conditions since the beginning of 2013.

“Since last fall and winter, we have been working with grazers across the West in anticipation of tough conditions related to drought. In southwestern Montana, for example, the BLM worked with permitted ranchers to graze no more than 70 percent of their alloted forage on BLM-managed lands,” said BLM Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze.

“As drought conditions continue, wild horses, livestock, and wildlife that rely on rangeland forage and water will face extremely challenging conditions that may leave them in very poor condition,” said Kornze. “We are taking action to address these situations as quickly and as effectively as we can, but our options are increasingly limited by conditions on the land.”

In Nevada, all BLM Districts have been hauling water to wild horses. There, the BLM is trucking 5,000 gallons of water per day, five days a week to four locations in the Winnemucca District at a cost of $1,000 a day.

In the next few days, a USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service veterinarian will join BLM specialists in assessing horses in Lincoln County, Nev., after BLM employees noted that horses were not drinking water from trucked-in troughs and were not eating supplemental hay. This raised concerns about the health of the animals.

Over the past week in Nevada, average temperatures have been 10 degrees above normal, hovering around 100 degrees. The state has recently had only 0.1 to 0.5 inches of rain, resulting in sparse, poor-quality forage, according to the BLM.

Scarce water sources have put pressure on all users, including wild horses, livestock, and wildlife; causing long-lasting damage to plants, stream channels, spring areas, and water quality.

The heat wave continues across the eastern United States, with highs Tuesday expected to reach the 90s across much of the eastern third of the country, says the National Weather Service. Combined with humidity, this will create heat index values of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

The heat and humidity is here for several more days for the Eastern states, including the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Ohio Valley, and spreading into the Midwest and Great Plains. A large upper level ridge and sinking air in the lower atmosphere are causing the hot conditions, says the National Weather Service, which says, “Although this is the hottest weather so far this season, it is less than the extreme heat observed last summer over these areas.”

In New York, Con Edison’s crews, working 12-hour shifts, are pulling cables, replacing fuses and other equipment to bring power back to customers as the heat wave blankets the metropolitan area. The heat wave is expected to extend into Saturday.

Crews have been responding to scattered outages and have restored power to more than 7,600 customers in New York City and Westchester County since the heat settled here on Sunday.

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn called New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly personally after an intern fainted in the heat and paramedics did not arrive for more than 30 minutes.

“This whole situation is outrageous and I don’t know what happened, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it. It’s inexcusable,” Quinn told the “New York Daily News.”

Across the Great Plains, AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski and Head of AccuWeather.com’s Long-Range Forecasting Team Paul Pastelok, say heat will be coming in and out of the Plains over the next 30 days.

For the next two weeks, the Midwest will have temperatures in the 80s and 90s.

Meanwhile, temperatures will remain below normal across parts of the southern and southwestern states, mainly from Texas to Arizona, where heavy rain and flash flooding are possible.

The Southwest will catch a break as building monsoon conditions ease the heat down for the Four Corners area, but temperatures will increase over the Great Basin and West, according to AccuWeather forecasters.

All this week, the odds favor above-median precipitation over western Alaska, the southern Rockies, the Northern Great Plains, Western and Central Gulf Coasts, and from the Great Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a service of the federal government.

Dry conditions are likely across the Pacific Northwest, eastern Alaska, and the Central Great Plains. Temperatures are likely to be above normal west of the continental divide, and from the Midwest to the Northeast, with below-normal temperatures favored over New Mexico and the Southeast.

AccuWeather predicts the mercury will soar come September when the Southwest region will reach its hottest point of the year.

OUR MAIN COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE IS THAT IT SOMEHOW FORGOT MEXICO WHICH HAS RIGHTS TO THE COLORADO RIVER WATER AS WELL. THE SITUATION IS THUS MUCH MORE COMPLICATED THEN MENTIONED HERE. THE ARTICLE ALSO DID NOT MENTION THAT SOME OF THE AGRICULTURE IN ARIZONA IS SIMPLY MISPLACED – GROWING COTTON IN THE DESERT IS JUST NOT THE THING THAT SHOULD BE ALLOWED. OH WELL – YOU CANNOT MAKE SENSE EASILY WHEN YOU TALK CONSERVATION OF RESOURCES!

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 17th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Mr. Martin Nesirky, the Spokesperson for The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, speaking to the UN accredited PRESS, Monday July 15th, ended his daily briefing by saying:

“This morning, the Deputy Secretary-General spoke to a large group of representatives from non-governmental organizations and the private sector on international migration and development. He emphasized the need to establish sustained and strong partnerships between different actors to harness the benefits of migration and improve the situation of migrants. He also commended the role played by civil society in building such partnerships.

He said that the General Assembly was meeting on international migration and development in October, and that this was an opportunity for member States to lay the foundation for improved local, regional and international migration policies.” That’s what I have. Questions, please? Yes, Pam?

There was not a single question on this topic!

This statement relates to full three days of activities right here at the UN Headquarters in New York and across the street in the Church Center – which followed a full year of preparations outside the UN in a process that was started in 2006 when there was a UN General Assembly mandated first “High-Level” Dialogue on this topic and was succeeded by yearly meetings and further regional meetings.

Now we are at the preparation stage for the October 3-4, 2013 Second United Nations High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development with next planned meeting already for 2014 in Sweden, the home turf of Ambassador Ian Eliasson, the current Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. And all of this in the name of figuring out the UN activities in the post-2015 era – as mandated at the 2012 RIO+20 Conference.

At Rio the recommendations included the removal of the non-producing Commission on Sustainable Development and its replacement with a High-Level Panel that will look into the creation of a system of Sustainable Development Goals that will follow in 2015 after the expiring Millennium Development Goals – and this allows for an unusual opportunity to try for making the avoidance of the need of Migration into a Sustainable Development Goal. But the UN seems to oppose this by all the means it has – and I will explain.

You see – when I walk the streets of New York these days I bump into people. This is because the daily temperature reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit and people do not walk in a straight line. You must try to anticipate which way they will deviate – and I am as guilty as anyone else – this because global warming and Climate Change are already here with us. Relating to our topic here – MIGRATION occurs now not just because people are attracted by magnets of freedom from dictatorships, from religious or sexual oppression, or because of a chance to better education, but now – more and more – there is the push of hunger – climate change has made it impossible to support populations in their country of origin and this migration has become the highest security issue in our days. If heat and Climate Change is impacting New York, just think what this has done in Mali or Darfur!

The UN is not blind to this. The UN Secretary-General was supposed to be the opening speaker at the Monday, July 15, 2013 event at the meeting at the UN General Assembly with Mr. Vuk Jeremik, President of the General Assembly as Chairman of the session. But Mr. Ban Ki-moon chose to be on a July fact finding tour of Europe that took him to see the effects of glaciers melting in Iceland, and a visit in Paris on Bastille Day with the French troops fighting in Mali.

Both above visits, as well as the meetings in-between, would have made a great story had the UN Secretary-General returned to New York and told on Monday July 15th his impressions to the meeting here. But this seemingly did not cross his mind, and surely this is no reflection on the way Mr. Elliason presented the case. It must be said that seven years ago – at the first dialogue – Mr. Eliasson presided because it was his position of President of the UN General Assembly, so he is well versed with the issues – the roles of Civil Society, Labor Unions and Employers’ organizations, diaspora organizations, and academics. He stressed that the challenge is to reach to the help of the media – “Knowing the facts is the source of wisdom” he quoted.

Mr. Eliasson said he wants to see as a post 2015 program a five year action program in five areas of priority:
– the cooperation between States,
– a comprehensive data system of migration facts,
– the integration of the migrants into our societies and economies,
– plan migration with labor markets and development consideration,
– a framework for managing migration from crisis and violence regions.

What he did not mention is the right of people to avoid migration that was pushed upon them because of changes in the local environment.

Mr. Jeremik reminded us of the Rio vision for the post-2015 as an aspiration to strive for equitable approaches to overcome poverty and inequality.

At the meeting on Monday participated over 200 Civil Society organizations and 80 UN member States.
The main organization was in the hands of Switzerland and Swiss based NGOs like Caritas, The International Catholic Migration Commission, The Global Economic Forum, with with Ms. Susan Martin of Georgetown University, Institute for the Study of International Migration that awards you a Certificate on the subject, and Mr. Dennis Sinyolo, Education and Employment Coordinator at Education International, as moderators.

I sat through the full three days and saw that very good people from all over the globe were present – but by no means was this an objective success.

Starting with the strong Swiss presence I must say that as Migration means Emigration from one place and Immigration to another – this except Migration within the same country, Switzerland is a country of poor record as it does not allow citizenship except when the candidate is weighed in gold – and I am not abstract on this – Just think of the Agha Khan and his Swiss based Foundation. So, when A good looking lady presented herself as a migrant from El Salvador to Switzerland, with dual nationality and diamonds sparkling from her earrings, spoke about the Global Economic Forum backing the economic advantages that come from migration – I had to wonder about what I was hearing. Then let us not forget that simple mortals could not stay in Switzerland when their life was in peril. In general – I was more impressed by the people in the room then by some of the presenters, as in UN fashion – the good turns easily into the trite, and good ideas can produce easily flying meetings that are not free to the introduction of ideas born outside the initiating circle. Trying to introduce the notion that the UN is changing and that MDGs are ending with new SDGs taking their place, and the fact that the UN just opened this month the office for Sustainable Energy – the SE4All concept, and that right now there is an opportunity to talk of migration in context of Climate Change – all that was beyond the interest of the organizers and the moderators – but very much of interest of many of the participants.

Civil Society is surely a mixed bag, and the stress on remittances from the Migrants back to their families in the homeland become very important part of the economies of some oppressive governments – so, indiscriminately stressing the economic value may not be any better idea then using military from countries in trouble in order to beef up the troops of UN Peace-Keeping forces in other countries in trouble, when the pay for this service is income for the government that sends these troops. This comment may have nothing to do with the subject at hand but is important to the understanding of the depth of the problem when you work in he UN context.

Without delving further in depth of what was said, this because the meetings were just an interactive exercise that will generate its own papers, the real news this Monday were not the Civil Society NGOs that were allowed to participate – but rather those organizations that were excluded in total lack of transparency and thus gave a blue eye to the UN institution as a whole.

The subject came up when the United States pointed out that three NGOs were eliminated from participation this last week by being BLACKBALLED by some secret member State. These were three organizations – one registered in the UK and two in Israel and the UN does not release the names of the countries that objected to their participation. TO ME THIS WAS THE REAL NEWS OF THE MEETING – COVERING ON ALL THE GOOD THINGS THAT WERE SAID AT THE MEETING.

After the US, spoke also Israel and the EU, and eventually this became an important part in the summary of the meeting, when at the end it was presented by the Chef de Cabinet to the UNGA President, Mr. Dejan Sahovic, who is also from Serbia like the UNGA President.

Mr. Sahovic explained that this had nothing to do with the organizers of the event but is a UN given. Whenever there is an event at the UN, after Civil Society makes up the list of registered NGOs, these lists are distributed to all governments which have then the veto right against any line on that list.

OK, we knew that China will take out any NGO that is based in Taiwan, but how is it that an observer organization at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), that is competent in the subject matter and is very active, could be eliminated? To make it sound even worse – the UN does not release the name of the blackballing country and the delegate for the EU said clearly that the EU is worried about the lately decreasing importance of Civil Society at the UN.

I followed up trying to find who are these three blackballed organizations, but will not allow myself to express a guess to who was the blackballing State as this guesswork is easy – but we refuse to do it. Nevertheless, we must say that wonders do happen at the UN sometimes.

In this case it was with two NGOs with interest in Human Rights of Women – specifically women in Arab lands – even more specific – in Saudi Arabia – they DID SPEAK UP.
Lala Arabian from a Beirut based NGO INSAN, part of the Arab Network for Migrants, which I was told speaks a fluent English, decided to speak out in Arabic against the treatment of Arab women – specifically in Saudi Arabia. Further – A woman in an impeccable English, coming from a United Arab Emirates NGO, but probably living overseas, made a similar statement from the floor. I did not note her name but she came from www.migrant-rights.org/category/g…


The Three NGOs that were absent are:

1. The Institute for Human Rights and Business Limited (IHRB) is the British organization.
They partner with the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) on issues like the establishment of the new Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business headed by Vicky Bowman.
They specifically look at how to persuade business to respect Human Rights with Migration one of the specific topics. June 17-18, 2013 they just had a meeting in Tunis on the subject of Free Internet. Is this what some despot did them in for?

2. Microfy – “Microfinance for African refugees and migrant workers in Israel” – an Israeli based NGO that provides assistance to African refugees and asylum seekers, many of them who fled the genocide in Darfur. www.microfy.org Clearly a highly ethical organization that might have difficulty being listened to by despots.

3.”The Center for International Migration and Integration (CIMI)” advises governments and NGOs around the world on migration and integration.
CIMI has Observer Status wit the International Organization foe Migration (IOM) since 2003 and participates actively in all its meetings.
CIMI also partners with many other national and International organizations including the UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
This information was confirmed by Ms. Michele Klein Solomon, the Permanent Observer for IOM at the United Nations. CIMI is also based in Israel.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 5th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Venezuela’s Independence Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 3, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Venezuela as you commemorate the day that Venezuela declared its independence 202 years ago.

Venezuela and the United States have much in common. For example, revolutionary leader General Francisco de Miranda also played a part in our own struggle for independence, participating in the Battle of Pensacola in 1781. His contribution is forever memorialized in a monument that stands in the heart of Philadelphia, the original capital of the United States. When a devastating earthquake struck Venezuela in 1812 the United States sent the Venezuelan people the first humanitarian assistance it ever provided to a foreign country. These two examples demonstrate that Venezuela and the United States have shared ties of friendship and common values since the birth of our two nations, and the ties between our people endure.

I wish Venezuelans everywhere health, happiness, and hope on the anniversary of your independence.

——————————–

The Washington Post of July 5, 2013 tells us:

““As head of state, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden so that he can live in the homeland” of independence leader Simon Bolivar and the late President Hugo Chavez without “persecution from the empire,” Maduro said, referring to the United States.

He made the offer during a speech marking the anniversary of Venezuela’s independence. It was not immediately clear if there were any conditions to Venezuela’s offer.

Maduro added that several other Latin American governments have also expressed their intention of taking a similar stance by offering asylum for the cause of “dignity.”

In Nicaragua, Ortega said he was willing to make the same offer “if circumstances allow it.” Ortega didn’t say what the right circumstances would be when he spoke during a speech in Managua.

He said the Nicaraguan embassy in Moscow received Snowden’s application for asylum and that it is studying the request.

“We have the sovereign right to help a person who felt remorse after finding out how the United States was using technology to spy on the whole world, and especially its European allies,” Ortega said.

The offers came following a flap about the rerouting of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane in Europe earlier this week amid reports that Snowden might have been aboard.

Spain on Friday said it had been warned along with other European countries that Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence worker, was aboard the Bolivian presidential plane, an acknowledgement that the manhunt for the fugitive leaker had something to do with the plane’s unexpected diversion to Austria.

It is unclear whether the United States, which has told its European allies that it wants Snowden back, warned Madrid about the Bolivian president’s plane. U.S. officials will not detail their conversations with European countries, except to say that they have stated the U.S.’s general position that it wants Snowden back.

Maduro joined other leftist South American presidents Thursday in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to rally behind Morales and denounce the rerouting incident.

President Barack Obama has publicly displayed a relaxed attitude toward Snowden’s movements, saying last month that he wouldn’t be “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”

But the drama surrounding the flight of Morales, whose plane was abruptly rerouted to Vienna after apparently being denied permission to fly over France, suggests that pressure is being applied behind the scenes.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told Spanish National Television that “they told us that the information was clear, that he was inside.”

He did not identify who “they” were and declined to say whether he had been in contact with the U.S. But he said that European countries’ decisions were based on the tip. France has since sent a letter of apology to the Bolivian government.”

———————————–

The bottom line is as reported by the Guardian:

“We are not colonies any more,” Uruguay’s president, Jose Mujica, said. “We deserve respect, and when one of our governments is insulted we feel the insult throughout Latin America.”

Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, said on Thursday he and other leaders were offering full support to Morales and called the rerouting of the plane an aggression against the Americas.

Cristina Fernandez of Argentina said Latin Americans treasured freedom after fighting for independence from Europe in the 19th century and then surviving Washington’s 20th-century history of backing repressive regimes in the Americas. She demanded an apology for the plane ordeal.

“I’m asking those who violated the law in calm but serious manner, to take responsibility for the errors made, it’s the least they can do,” Fernandez said. “To apologize for once in their life, to say they’re sorry for what they’ve done.”

Morales has said that while the plane was parked in Vienna, the Spanish ambassador to Austria arrived with two embassy personnel and they asked to search the plane. He said he denied them permission.

“Who takes the decision to attack the president of a South American nation?” Maduro asked. Spanish prime minister Mariano “Rajoy has been abusive by trying to search Morales’ plane in Spain. He has no right to breach international law.”

———————————–

It seems like time has come for a US face-saving diplomacy before true craters open up at US borders – East, West, and South.

We have previously outlined a draft that we did not publish – but think now that the airplane flap justifies a US Presidential pardon to Snowden – just to get the issue of the World table – the damage was done and no sense for the US to dig itself deeper into the hole it created.

———————————-

US senator from New Jersey, Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told little Ecuadoran that he would block the import of vegetables and flowers from Ecuador if Ecuador gives asylum to Edward Snowden. The cost to Ecuador would be one billion dollars in lost revenues. Will he also forbid trips from the US to the Galapagos?

Will he be consistent and close US imports of Venezuela oil? Of Latin oil in general?
Ecuador and Venezuela happen to be also members of OPEC which Bolivia is not. A policy of threats presents many interesting angles and possibilities.
Will there be ways to enlarge this with some reaction to what happens in Egypt, in Saudi Arabia, some more grand-standing anyone?

———————————-

Thursday the leaders of Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay joined Bolivia’s President Morales in Cochabamba, for a special meeting to address the diplomatic row.

At the end of the summit a statement was issued demanding answers from France, Portugal, Italy and Spain. The United States was not mentioned in the statement.

“Europe broke all the rules of the game,” Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro said shortly after arriving at Cochabamba airport. “We’re here to tell president Evo Morales that he can count on us. Whoever picks a fight with Bolivia, picks a fight with Venezuela.”

Maduro said an unnamed European government minister had told Venezuela the CIA was behind the incident.

“We are not colonies any more,” Uruguay’s president, Jose Mujica, said. “We deserve respect, and when one of our governments is insulted we feel the insult throughout Latin America.”

Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, said on Thursday he and other leaders were offering full support to Morales and called the rerouting of the plane an aggression against the Americas.

Cristina Fernandez of Argentina said Latin Americans treasured freedom after fighting for independence from Europe in the 19th century and then surviving Washington’s 20th-century history of backing repressive regimes in the Americas. She demanded an apology for the plane ordeal.

“I’m asking those who violated the law in calm but serious manner, to take responsibility for the errors made, it’s the least they can do,” Fernandez said. “To apologise for once in their life, to say they’re sorry for what they’ve done.”

Morales has said that while the plane was parked in Vienna, the Spanish ambassador to Austria arrived with two embassy personnel and they asked to search the plane. He said he denied them permission.

“Who takes the decision to attack the president of a South American nation?” Maduro asked. Spanish prime minister Mariano “Rajoy has been abusive by trying to search Morales’ plane in Spain. He has no right to breach international law.”

Before the meeting, Morales said his ordeal was part of a US plot to intimidate him and other Latin American leaders.

He urged European nations to “free themselves” from the United States. “The United States is using its agent [Snowden] and the president [of Bolivia] to intimidate the whole region,” he said.

France sent an apology to the Bolivian government. But Morales said “apologies are not enough because the stance is that international treaties must be respected”.

Spain’s foreign affairs minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, said his country did not bar Morales from landing in its territory.

Amid the tensions, the US embassy in La Paz cancelled Independence Day celebrations scheduled for Thursday. In the eastern city of Santa Cruz, Bolivian government sympathisers painted protest slogans on the doors of the American consulate.

Bolivia has said it will summon the French and Italian ambassadors and the Portuguese consul to demand explanations.

Brazil was represented by Marco Aurelio Garcia, President Dilma Rousseff’s top international adviser. The presidents of Colombia, Chile and Peru, who have strong ties to the US, were not attending.

Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, said earlier on Thursday he supported Morales, but asked other leaders to remain cool and avoid an escalating dispute between Latin America and the European Union.

“We’re in solidarity with Evo Morales because what they did to him is unheard-of, but let’s not let this turn into a diplomatic crisis for Latin America and the EU,” Santos tweeted on Thursday.

—————————————

Our draft started: Thanks to the Egyptian military – their intervention got off the media front line the Snowden, Assage, Manning, WikiLeaks Warning Lighthouses – and replaced them with a renewed attention to the Islamic potential for acts of terror.

Furthermore – Latin America seems split between the go it alone States of the ALBA group – Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, their new friends – Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and now Nicaragua – and their opponents – the strong US connected, Chile, Colombia, Peru and the Southern European States Italy, France, Spain, Portugal that acted out on unsightly pressure from the White House, and perhaps even Austria – if it turns out to be true that they searched the Bolivian President’s plane. What about Mexico? Will they want to be seen as residing in the US vest-pocket?

Today it seems that just the Greens, the so called Pirates, and some other non-political fringe parties, are left in Europe to stand up for Democracy – The Reds, Blacks, Blues, Yellow, Orange, and Purple – all established political parties – have abandoned the Democracy ship because of the Transatlantic breeze from the Potomac. Europe seems anew like the Europe of the thirties with governments worried about their business-ties. Any infringements of democratic inalienable rights are not noted now, like they were not noted then. But this is totally misleading – just read the Guardian where all these stories started. This at a time the voters in quite a few European States do take position on this – and we would not be surprised if Austria as well took back its “Neutral Mantle” to declare that they too are ready to give refuge to Snowden. The coming days will tell.

————————————–

And as if nothing happened – a US hand to the people of Argentina as if they have now no elected government?:

Western Hemisphere: Argentina’s Independence Day

07/05/2013 02:31 PM EDT

Argentina’s Independence Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 5, 2013

On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I send best wishes to the people of Argentina as they celebrate their Independence Day this July 9.

The citizens of our two nations have a long history of productive and friendly relations, highlighted by educational and cultural exchanges and fruitful collaboration in the fields of science, technology, health, space, and energy.

The determination expressed by the patriots gathered at the Casa de Tucuman, to forge a free and independent nation, is a fundamental human longing, and one we share.

On this day, the United States wishes Argentina a happy celebration.

We look forward to working together to cultivate a strong bilateral relationship in the years to come.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 5th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

President Obama makes his fourth visit to Mexico and continues on to Costa Rica on what is also his sixth visit to Latin America. On this journey, the President hopes to highlight and reinforce the deep cultural, familial, and economic ties that so many Americans share with Mexico and Central America, and to promote economic growth across the region.

On Monday, the President met with Latino leaders who work both domestically and across borders to enhance social and economic development. The President heard various perspectives on how to strengthen collaboration in the region, further develop our economic relationship, and ideas for how the hemisphere can fit into broader strategic priorities. He emphasized that the long term trends in the hemisphere are clearly moving in the right direction, with growing middle classes, declining poverty and inequality in much of the region, and countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia taking a more active global role.

On Friday at the White House,business representatives offered strong support for measures intended to facilitate global and hemispheric trade, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They highlighted the growing importance of the energy sector throughout the Americas and the need for infrastructure improvements to facilitate cross-border trade.

The President made clear that immigration reform continues to be a top legislative priority this year; business leaders agreed on the need to enact commonsense immigration reform as quickly as possible. The meeting also underscored that increased trade throughout the region translates into jobs and growth here in America.

Over the next three days, the President traveled to Mexico City, and San Jose, Costa Rica. We hope you will follow @whitehouse, @lacasablanca and @nscpress for live updates from the President’s trip or get more information about the trip here.

On Friday, in Mexico City, President Obama spoke of what he considered a changing country — one making more headlines lately for economic optimism and potential political reforms than the drug cartels and organized crime violence that have claimed about 65,000 lives over the past six years.

The trip came as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto shifts his new administration’s focus to economic and social matters, instead of fixating on security — which analysts say remains a serious issue in many regions of the country.

President Obama promised to promote immigration reform — an important issue for Mexico, which has more than 10% of its population living in the United States. He also pledged action on guns, many of which flow south from the United States and are used to commit violence in Mexico.

President Obama went so far as to Blame U.S. For Gun Violence In Mexico – “Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” President Obama said during a speech at Mexico’s Anthropology Museum. “I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will.”

“But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do,” Obama added.

Following a 24-hour stay in Mexico President Obama continued to San Jose, Costa Rica. He was received by Tico astronaut Franklin Chang, Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo, and U.S. Ambassador Anne S. Andrew.The official welcome ceremony was held at the Foreign Ministry in downtown San José, where Obama met with President Laura Chinchilla – he, Chinchilla, and members of her Cabinet, held a bilateral meeting with the U.S. delegation. The stop in Costa Rica was the safest stop the US could have chosen in Central America these days.

Now back home, and the above trip must be seen in relation to Washington – Congress and Lobbyists.

We posted already about the US need to find a reasonable solution to the so called illegal immigrants to the US who are target to the various police levels and criminals in the US and Mexico systems. Most of them are also cheap labor because they are undocumented aliens, afraid to complain, and thus they are being exploited by US employers. They are a low paid working force in the US and a means to destroy the organized economy. This must come to an end as part of the reconstruction in US government policy. But this is just the beginning.

The GPS program of Fareed Zakaria on CNN today – Sunday May 5th, 2013, was all about a basic “Reset” of the US.

THE US MUST START DEALING MAINLY WITH ITS INTERNAL POLICIES – REFRAIN FROM FURTHER INVOLVEMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND SWITCH ATTENTION TO THE PACIFIC – SOUTH AND EAST ASIA. PART OF THIS CHANGE INCLUDES A CLEAR-CUT SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEMS WITH MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA AS WELL. Mexico is a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well – so here another link to above general “RESET.”

First let us explain the need to step out from the Lebanon-Iraq-Syria morass – the three countries of the Levant with a minority rule of which the Christian Maronite minority  in Lebanon and the Sunni minority in Iraq have already been deposed, and only the Alawite minority in Syria was still left hanging on to power. [The Alawite are a Shi’ite subsect that makes up 12% of the population, but it also draws some support from other minorities–Druze, Armenians and others–who worry about their fate in a majoritarian Syria. These fears might be justified. Consider what has happened to the Christians of Iraq. There were as many as 1.4 million of them before the Iraq war. There are now about 500,000, and many of their churches have been destroyed. Christian life in Iraq, which has survived since the days of the Bible, is in real danger of being extinguished by the current regime in Baghdad.] These situations were impossible to defend and the US entered situations of civil war destined to end with the minority loosing power. No sense what-so-ever for the US to allow itself be dragged into the Syrian internal war as well.

[In fact, we have seen atrocities much worse than those in Syria very recently, in Iraq under U.S. occupation only few years ago. From 2003 to 2012, despite there being as many as 180,000 American and allied troops in Iraq, somewhere between 150,000 and 300,000 Iraqi civilians died and about 1.5 million fled the country. Jihadi groups flourished in Iraq, and al-Qaeda had a huge presence there. The U.S. was about as actively engaged in Iraq as is possible, and yet more terrible things happened – AND CONTINUE TO HAPPEN – there than in Syria.]

 

If the objective is actually to reduce the atrocities and minimize potential instability, the key will be a political settlement that gives each side an assurance that it has a place in the new Syria. That was never achieved in Iraq, which is why, despite U.S. troops and arms and influence, the situation turned into a violent free-for-all. If some kind of political pact can be reached, there’s hope for Syria. If it cannot, U.S. assistance to the rebels or even direct military intervention won’t change much: Syria will follow the pattern of Lebanon and Iraq–a long, bloody civil war. And America will be in the middle of it.

With the Middle East pushed thus to the backburner – Fareed Zakaria’s team on GPS could focus on what is really important and achievable for the US Administration – the fixing of the US Home.

The US must deal with the Financial Sector – this is done by looking at the infrastructure, the education system starting with day-care centers, and the immigration bill as well. Then focus on Asia.

The immigration bill must be presented as a win-win rather then a loosing platform. There are three scenarios for allowing the legalization of these illegal people living in the US underground. Legalizing them will create new tax-payers and new income for the Social Security Taxes. But they will also help bringing aboard their employers who will start paying taxes as well. The growth rate will increase by 1% and the average GDP by $1,500. This alone will give a jolt to the US economy.

Fareed Zakaria had two great teams on his program today – Richard Haas of the Center on Foreign Relations and Princeton University’s Anne Marie Slaughter covering the political side, and then Rana Faroohar of the Economist and Gillian Tett of The Financial Times on the economy.
Then, to top it all a direct interview with Salman Rushdie who has been an immigrant twice – first from India to London then from there to the US. He had the gift of gab to express all of the above and tie it up neatly. The two economists had no problem agreeing among themselves.

So let us summarize the day – The US will be brought back into balance by allowing a settlement of its tens-of-millions illegals and bringing them into the positive circle of tax paying residents with rights to an education, health, and freedom to move up the jobs-ladder.

As we wrote earlier today, in addition the settling of bringing in new professionally needed immigrants as requested by the Silicon Valley CEOs will help bringing back jobs that go now overseas because the skills are not available in sufficient amount in the US.

When people will start earning more, they will be able to afford new housing and eventually new demand will help growth.

Then, again as we recently wrote, with non-fossil energy becoming more competitive, with a little further push, the US will clearly be able to embrace  the green economy which again will lead to further savings by avoiding environmental damage and health problems.

OH my! We just described the NEW AMERICAN REVOLUTION that starts with a friendlier look South-of-the-Border, arching to the true Orient and landing hard on those who opposed a betterment of the US economy by serving a 1% of the population aided by quite a few more naive followers that could not figure out by themselves that they were being had.

 

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 30th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

 

  • In sync: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag hold a joint news conference in Ulan Bator following their meeting Saturday.
    In sync: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag hold a joint news conference in Ulan Bator following their meeting Saturday. | KYODO

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Abe, Mongolian chiefs to cooperate on resource projects, North Korea

Kyodo, 

ULAN BATOR – After meeting with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Norov Altankhuyag in Ulan Bator, Abe told a news conference the two sides will accelerate ongoing bilateral negotiations toward inking a free-trade accord. The two sides agreed to hold a third round of trade liberalization talks in the Mongolian capital from Tuesday.

“As Mongolia is rich in natural resources, Japan’s technological cooperation will lead to a win-win scenario for both countries,” Abe, the first Japanese prime minister to visit Mongolia in nearly seven years, said after the talks.

Abe also pushed the participation of Japanese companies in developing one of the largest coal deposits in the world, at the Tavan Tolgoi site in the Gobi Desert, during the talks. Japan hopes to secure cheaper supplies of natural resources abroad while its nuclear power stations remains stalled in view of the Fukushima disaster.

The suspension of atomic power plants will drive up utilities’ fuel costs for the operation of thermal power stations to a sky-high ¥3.2 trillion in fiscal 2012, which ends Sunday, far in excess of levels seen before the 2011 meltdowns crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

As well as its abundance of coal, Mongolia is also known for rich mineral resources such as gold, copper and uranium, while rare metals and rare earths deposits could also possibly be extracted.

Aside from economic issues, Tokyo also considers Mongolia an important ally from a diplomatic and security perspective since it has diplomatic relations with North Korea — unlike Japan, which has no formal ties with the communist country — and borders China to the south and Russia to the north.

On North Korea, Abe said the two countries had agreed to deal with its recent provocations to the international community in line with U.N. Security Council resolutions. Given Ulan Bator’s ties with Pyongyang, Abe was especially eager to secure its support in resolving the long-standing issue of the North’s abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and ’80s, government officials said.

Last November, Ulan Bator hosted the first talks between senior Japanese and North Korean officials since 2008 on the abduction issue.

Meanwhile, Japan, the largest donor to Mongolia, also intends to provide technical assistance to help the country cope with serious air pollution in the capital and assist the building of new transport infrastructure as a way of alleviating heavy traffic in and around it.

Japan was Mongolia’s fourth-largest trading partner last year, when the fast-growing country’s economy jumped 17.3 percent from a year earlier. China, Russia and the United States occupied the top three positions.

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Japan and Mexico are arranging to hold a summit for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Enrique Pena Nieto in Tokyo on April 8, when Japan will kick off its diplomatic campaign to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, government sources said.
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Last post: Japan’s outdated model is dead; long live the emerging vision
As of today, Roger Pulvers takes leave of Counterpoint, for which he has written weekly since its inception on April 3, 2005. In his final three columns, he set out to consider in turn Japan in the past, present and future. This is the concluding part of that trilogy.
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