Sunday, November 24, 2013

In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk — way to go, people!

And since 1999, it seems things have only gotten better when it comes to small-scale agriculture in Russia. 
A Russian family by their Dascha, or family plot
A Russian family by their Dascha, or family plot
In 2003 the Russian President signed into law a further “Private Garden Plot Act” enabling Russian citizens to receive free of charge from the state, plots of land in private inheritable ownership. Sizes of the plots differ by region but are between one and three hectares each [1 hectare = 2.2 acres]. Produce grown on these plots is not subject to taxation. A further subsequent law to facilitate the acquisition of land for gardening was passed in June 2006. (according to a footnote in “Who We Are” by Vladimir Megre, pg. 42)
What other country raises so much of their food in such sustainable, organic, and non-GMO modes of production? While the European Union is setting the stage for agribusiness takeovers of major market share from traditional peasant farmers in places like Poland, Russia seems to be one of the few countries on the global stage moving so clearly in a sustainable and healthy direction.
And while organic farming gets a lot of media attention in North America, the fraction of agricultural land actually under organic cultivation is miniscule at 0.6%. The EU is a bit better at 4%. In spite of the minimal land area under organic cultivation, the movement for healthy agriculture in North America is under increasing siege by government “regulators”.
So what’s behind this wonderful new revival of Russian peasant agriculture? Could it be as simple as one person — Anastasia — a 40-year-old woman from Siberia who befriended a traveling Russian entrepreneur? Based on material Anastasia gave him, that entrepreneur, Vladimir Megre, has published nine books which have become underground best-sellers in Russia. 
One of Anastasia’s imaginations, which Megre describes in considerable detail, is a future in which more and more people live on small (one-hectare) homesteads, which she calls Kin’s Domains. There they cultivate the earth to grow trees and raise vegetables and fruits of exceptional nutritional value, with enough surplus to sell. Anastasia imagines a national culture based on simple rural life in eco-villages like these, in which values of health, love, truth, freedom and beauty take precedence. Eventually she sees this leading to a booming business in eco-tourism as people from all over the world want to come to Russia and catch with their own eyes a glimpse of what humanity and the world can become.
Anastasia, however, is not just a simple peasant woman. In fact, she seems to be something of a spiritual adept, in the ancient Vedic tradition. In addition to her suggestions for agriculture and nutrition, she shares with author Vladimir Megre, insights on subjects as diverse as statecraft and the education of children. The books are an enjoyable and educational read. Though it’s sometimes tiresome to wade through Megre’s personal struggles with the material, I don’t think there’s anything I’ve seen yet that quite compares with what Anastasia has put before us in these few slim volumes. She describes her mission as helping people find their way through “the dark forces’ window of time”. And that’s something we could sure use some help with. Thanks Anastasia!
Here’s an excerpt from one report on the Anastasia material from Scott Fraser, writing for
Another Russian family at their Dascha
Another Russian family at home in their Dascha
“….Vladimir Megre, a Siberian entrepreneur, is the author of The Ringing Cedars Series. The story begins with Vladimir on a commercial trade run through some remote communities of Siberia. He starts to build an interest in the economic value of the Siberian cedar, and then pursues reports of a “ringing cedar,” an anomalous tree that stores cosmic energies and, after many hundreds of years, begins to ring. On his journey, Vladimir meets Anastasia, a young woman who has grown up in the Siberian wilderness. She brings Vladimir back to her forest glade and shares her advice with him regarding the raising of children, living a natural lifestyle, and illuminating the spirit of Creation that rests within every person.
For Vladimir, living a few days in Anastasia’s world is full of shocking and mystifying experiences. Humbled by the simple accommodations of a grass-lined dugout and not even a fire, Vladimir witnesses the abilities of Anastasia’s visionary “Ray,” as well as her astonishing somersaults, swings, and soaring through the forest canopy. Both the wild animals and the plants in her domain are seemingly tamed, observes Vladimir, as he watches the squirrels bring her food, the cedars shower her in pollen, and witnesses a show of acrobatics with the denizen bear!
As Vladimir’s critical interest in these phenomena grow, Anastasia stresses the importance of the wisdom she offers, offering the vision of an emerging culture re-united with Nature. Letting the children grow up in orchards and gardens full of our love is the key to reclaiming humanity’s Creator role on earth, and this new Age of Co-Creation will be realized when we empower our dreams with the purity of thought that comes from living a natural life.
A typical Russian garden by uncommon vistas on Flickr
"A typical Russian garden" by "uncommon vistas" on Flickr
This is the story of The Ringing Cedars. Whether one accepts it as fact or fiction, it is playing a massive role in transforming the culture of Russia, and in various communities around the world.
Dachniks is a term for the cottage-gardeners of Russia, and we become very familiar with their story in reading Anastasia. Leonid Sharashkin, editor of The Ringing Cedars Series’ English editions and a doctoral student in Agroforestry, is able to share with us the massive impacts of this gardening movement in the larger context of Russia’s agricultural economy:
“Currently, with 35 million families (70% of Russia’s population) working 8 million [hectares] of land and producing more than 40% of Russia’s agricultural output, this is in all likelihood the most extensive microscale food production practice in any industrially developed nation.
“According to official statistics, in 1999 more than 35 million families (105 million people, or 71% of country’s population) owned a dacha or a subsidiary plot and were cultivating it… The 35 million plots of these families occupy more than 8 million hectares and provide 92% of Russia’s harvest of potatoes, 77% of its vegetables, 87% of berries and fruits, 59.4% of meat, and 49.2% of milk.”
“When you look at the contribution of gardening to the national economy as a whole, it’s even more stunning,” Sharashkin said. “In 2004, gardeners’ output amounted to 51% (by value) of the total agricultural output of the Russian Federation. This represents 384 billion rubles (approx. US$14 billion!!!), or 2.3% of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is greater, for example, than the contribution of the whole of electric power generation industry (317 bn rubles), significantly greater than all of forestry, wood-processing and pulp and paper industry (180 bn), significantly greater than the coal (54 bn), natural gas (63 bn) and oil refining (88 bn) industries taken together. The share of food gardening in national agriculture has increased from 32% in 1992 to over 50% by 2000.”
Russian Dascha
Russian Dascha
“Essentially, what Russian gardeners do,” he concludes, “is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.”
Though the dacha movement has its roots in Russia’s traditional peasant culture (and more recently in post-WW2 programs to boost agricultural production) the Ringing Cedars movement has had its own major contributions since the release of the books in 1996. A strong focus on planting trees and using non-timber tree products, permaculture principles like “no-dig” gardens, and fulfilling a spiritual relationship with the land are some of the new characteristics among the dachniks who have been inspired by Anastasia.
As well, the readers of Anastasia are also at the heart of a growing Russian eco-village movement. These are subsistence communities made up of multiple family estates, normally called “Kin’s Domains,” a term that appears in the books. Along with each family’s estate of between one and three hectares, these eco-villages may include community areas with a school, clinic, theatre, and festival grounds. Before the release of the Ringing Cedars books, Russia was without an eco-village movement; but in 2004, a conference of readers had attendants representing more than 150 eco-villages!
The spiritual affinity within the communities of the Ringing Cedars movement lies in their vision of re-establishing “Motherland,” an eco-culture where every person is fulfilling their role as a Divine Co-Creator. As readers go deeper into the series, Anastasia begins to reveal the path back to the state of a Creator Being, teaching about “The Science of Imagery,” of empowering our creative ability with pure thought, feelings, and a loving relationship with Nature. She also shares her stories about the history of the People of Earth, of the priests who led us into the Occult Age that is just now ending, and of the Beauty that was found in the gardens and rituals of an ancient Vedic race.
An early cover from one of the first books in the series.
An early cover from the first book.
Anastasia also gives advice regarding the sowing of seeds, raising bees, and ideas for setting up a permaculture-style estate. Along with accounts of kombucha UFOs, ancestraldolmens (ancient burial chambers), and supernatural orbs, The Ringing Cedars Series contains a diverse array of paranormal tales, practical sustainability, poetic scripture, and cultural vision. For me, the books are a captivating read of personal, cultural, and spiritual significance.
Across Russia, “Garden Plot Acts” legislation is increasingly coming into effect, entitling each Russian citizen to a piece of land free from taxation and inheritable though the family line. I read this message of sovereign title to land for the purpose of spiritual fulfillment as a hopeful tiding of humanity’s future here on the planet. As I wander about visiting homesteads, farms, communities, and seeking the stories to inspire a natural and spiritual life, I have discovered Anastasia. It is one of those inspiring stories, and there are many blessings for us all on the path of Inspired Co-Creation…”
Read the whole story here on
From “Woman in”:
“In the 1960s the then General Secretary N.S.Khrushchov in compliance with the agricultural programm in Russia began to grant private citizens six hundred square meters plot on lease in collective orchards. Such a plot was called “dacha” (a country house). In the 1990s dachas turned from a place for rest into a major means of surviving – people then were more like farmers than amateur gardeners. For most people a dacha is a place to grow vegetables, fruit, berries…”

The economic situation has been slightly changing in the country since the late 90s. And gradually dachas have been turning into a place for a rest…

Occupy Wall Street activists buy $15m of Americans' personal debt

Rolling Jubilee spent $400,000 to purchase debt cheaply from banks before 'abolishing' it, freeing individuals from their bills

• How could Brits do the same thing?Occupy Wall Street's debt buying strikes at the heart of capitalism

Occupy Wall Street
'Our primary purpose was to spread information about the workings of this secondary debt market,' said Andrew Ross. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
A group of Occupy Wall Street activists has bought almost $15m of Americans' personal debt over the last year as part of the Rolling Jubilee project to help people pay off their outstanding credit.
Rolling Jubilee, set up by Occupy's Strike Debt group following the street protests that swept the world in 2011, launched on 15 November 2012. The group purchases personal debt cheaply from banks before "abolishing" it, freeing individuals from their bills.
By purchasing the debt at knockdown prices the group has managed to free $14,734,569.87 of personal debt, mainly medical debt, spending only $400,000.
"We thought that the ratio would be about 20 to 1," said Andrew Ross, a member of Strike Debt and professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University. He said the team initially envisaged raising $50,000, which would have enabled it to buy $1m in debt.
"In fact we've been able to buy debt a lot more cheaply than that."
The group is able to buy debt so cheaply due to the nature of the "secondary debt market". If individuals consistently fail to pay bills from credit cards, loans, or medical insurance the bank or lender that issued the funds will eventually cut its losses by selling that debt to a third party. These sales occur for a fraction of the debt’s true values – typically for five cents on the dollar – and debt-buying companies then attempt to recoup the debt from the individual debtor and thus make a profit.
The Rolling Jubilee project was mostly conceived as a "public education project", Ross said.
"We're under no illusions that $15m is just a tiny drop in the secondary debt market. It doesn't make a dent in the amount of debt.
"Our purpose in doing this, aside from helping some people along the way – there's certainly many, many people who are very thankful that their debts are abolished – our primary purpose was to spread information about the workings of this secondary debt market."
The group has focussed on buying medical debt, and has acquired the $14.7m in three separate purchases, most recently purchasing the value of $13.5m on medical debt owed by 2,693 people across 45 states and Puerto Rico, Rolling Jubilee said in a press release.
“No one should have to go into debt or bankruptcy because they get sick,” said Laura Hanna, an organiser with the group. Hanna said 62% of all personal bankruptcies have medical debt as a contributing factor.
Due to the nature of the debt market, the group is unable to specify whose debt it purchases, taking on the amounts before it discovers individuals’ identities. When Rolling Jubilee has bought the debt they send notes to their debtors “telling them they’re off the hook”, Ross said.
Ross, whose book, Creditocracy and the case for debt refusal, outlines the problems of the debt industry and calls for a “debtors’ movement” to resist credit, said the group had received letters from people whose debt they had lifted thanking them for the service. But the real victory was in spreading knowledge of the nature of the debt industry, he said.
"Very few people know how cheaply their debts have been bought by collectors. It changes the psychology of the debtor, knowing this.
“So when you get called up by the debt collector, and you're being asked to pay the full amount of your debt, you now know that the debt collector has bought your debt very, very cheaply. As cheaply as we bought it. And that gives you moral ammunition to have a different conversation with the debt collector."

Switzerland Shows U.S. How to Handle CEOs: Voters Create Maximum Wage Policy

In Switzerland a petition from 100,000 people, or about 1.25% of the population, creates a public referendum.  By this means, last March, Swiss voters created strict limits on executive pay.
On November 24, the Swiss will vote on whether to take a further step — limiting executive pay to no more than 12 times the lowest salary in the company. Such a maximum wage policy allows the CEO pay increases, but only if workers get at least a twelfth as much.
A movement in the U.S. is asking: If Switzerland can do it, why can’t we?
The Swiss are also set to vote, on a date yet to be set, to create a guaranteed basic income of $2,800 (2,500 Swiss francs) per month for every adult. That’s about $16 per hour for a full-time worker, but it’s guaranteed even for those who can’t find work.
You know what country can afford such a measure even more easily, given its vast supplies of wealth? The United States of America.
Here in the United States, had the minimum wage kept pace with productivity since the 1960s it would now be $21.72 an hour, or $3,722 a month. The Congressional proposal of $10.10 an hour, which President Obama now says he supports, equals $1,751 a month for a fulltime job. The actual U.S. minimum wage of $7.25, which does not apply to all workers, makes $1,242 a month. But only if you can find work.
That’s less than half what the Swiss are voting on, and Swiss workers also have their healthcare paid for, public transportation widely available, quality education and higher education free or affordable, 14 weeks paid parental leave, and a nearly endless list of other advantages provided by the government.
A basic income guarantee, currently practiced in Alaska and once supported by President Richard Nixon and the U.S. House of Representatives, would be far more efficient than targeted support programs, because every individual would receive the exact same check, with no stigma attached to it; and, yes — believe it or not — people who could find work would still work.
Switzerland has a greater percentage of its population made up by immigrants than the United States does. Switzerland has four national languages.  What allows Switzerland to practice democracy so much more effectively?
Two major parts of the answer are obvious. Switzerland doesn’t fight wars, and it doesn’t redistribute its wealth upward creating an overclass of multibillionaires.
Perhaps its time to begin moving our own country in a peaceful, prosperous direction. A growing number of people have decided to try.

Amended Complaint Federal Reserve whistleblower

Published by Oldereb
The Federal Reserve (FRBNY and BOG) are accused of hiding a trillion dollars annually using their exclusive handling of records and disbursement of the Treasury security auction accounts. The Amended Complaint filed in a whistleblower suit in Federal District Court alleges the BOG is operating as a government contractor as defined by the Supreme Court and not as an agency. Further, their violation of the law that all profit of the Fed belongs to the government is alleged to negate any claim...
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NJ Mayor using eminent domain to bailout homeowners in foreclosure

Using eminent domain to bail out underwater homeowners won't fix all Irvington's problems, but Mayor Wayne Smith thinks anything that can help some residents of his economically struggling township is worth trying.
"It's not a panacea," Smith said. "But it looks like it could help some people."
Irvington is the second municipality in the country to declare its intent to use eminent domain to purchase homes in foreclosure, behind Richmond, Calif. Support for the tactic is gaining traction nationwide in municipalities besieged by foreclosures. Irvington's neighbor Newark, as well as Brockton, Mass., Chicago, and Yonkers, N.Y., have floated or are studying the idea.
But the practice, which gives municipalities the power to circumvent mortgage contracts, acquire loans from bondholders, write them down and give them back to the bondholders, is controversial. It has drawn zealous opposition from Wall Street, real estate groups and some in Washington.
According to Cornell University law professor Robert C. Hockett, who helped devise the plan, eminent domain works because only government has the power to forcibly sidestep mortgage contracts.

US already third world economy: American economist

The US dollar has seen value decline, an American economist says.
The US dollar has seen value decline, an American economist says.
A prominent American economist says the United States has already become a Third World economy as the world superpower continues to offshore its gross domestic product (GDP).

"If jobs offshoring continued, the US would be a Third World economy in 20 years,” Paul Craig Roberts wrote in a column for the Press TV website on Thursday.

“America is in the toilet, and the rest of the world knows it,” he wrote, noting, “More small businesses close, as memberships decline in golf clubs, as more university graduates return home to live with their parents, who are drawing down their savings to live.”

“With the world moving away from using the dollar to settle international accounts, as the Federal Reserve prints more dollars, the rate at which foreign holders of dollar assets sell off their holdings will rise,” wrote Roberts.

The economist added that the US neocons who rule in Washington and their Israeli ally are, however, determined that “Washington start yet more wars to create Lebensraum for Israel.”

A new jobs report released on Tuesday showed the US economic recovery continues to be sluggish and many economists warn that the constant fiscal fights in Washington only threaten to make the situation worse.

The US economy added 148,000 jobs in September while the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.2 percent, federal economists reported Tuesday. The report fell short of expectations as economists had estimated the number of jobs added would come in at 185,000.

“The decline in the dollar’s exchange value and the domestic inflation that results will force the Fed to stop printing. What then covers the gap between revenues and expenditures? The likely answer is private pensions and any other asset that Washington can get its hands on,” noted Roberts in his article.

Analysts say that the recent US government shutdown could cloud the value of the next two monthly reports, meaning that a clear picture of the jobs market may not appear until the December report is released in January.


50th Anniversary JFK Edition of The Jack Blood Show with WRH Mike Rivero – The Federal Reserve and JFK

The Series Continues as Jack Blood invites What Really Happened dot Com webmaster, master researcher, and Talk show host Mike Rivero to the podcast.
Jack and Mike cover all things Federal Reserve, and how that relates to the Assassination of JFK. Also: How does the Federal Reserve create Wars, Wreck Sovereign Economies, and make slaves out of those who fall under their control.

More on Mike Rivero, and show notes below:
What Really Happened? JFK
All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars

UK Police State? 'New law would ban protests, even imply thought crime'

The March to War Continues: China sets up air defense zone over East China Sea

Beijing on Saturday announced it was setting up an "air defence identification zone" over an area that includes islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China, in a move that could inflame the bitter territorial row.
Along with the creation of the zone in the East China Sea, the defence ministry released a set of aircraft identification rules that must be followed by all planes entering the area, under penalty of intervention by the military.
Aircraft are expected to provide their flight plan, clearly mark their nationality, and maintain two-way radio communication allowing them to "respond in a timely and accurate manner to the identification inquiries" from Chinese authorities.
The outline of the new zone, which is shown on the ministry website and a state media Twitter account (, covers a wide area of the East China Sea between South Korea and Taiwan that includes the Tokyo-controlled islands known as the Senkakus to Japan and Diaoyous to China.

Despite threat of nicotine poisoning, federal law allows 12-year-olds to work in tobacco fields

Woman working in tobacco field on Shutterstock

A group that fights child labor has called on the U.S. Department of Labor to prohibit children from working in tobacco fields.
“We don’t let 12-year-olds buy and smoke cigarettes,” said Sally Greenberg, co-chair of the Child Labor Coalition, in a statement released Friday. “Why would we let them perform dangerous work in tobacco fields beginning at the age of 12? It simply isn’t right.”
Earlier this month, The Nation reported that children as young as 12 were toiling in tobacco fields, where they often suffered a form of acute nicotine poisoning from handling wet tobacco.
Children and teens are particularly vulnerable to green tobacco sickness due to their smaller body size. The illness often causes weakness, headache, dizziness and vomiting, and can require emergency medical treatment.
The Labor Department had proposed updating the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 in 2011 to strengthen child labor laws and ban children from working with tobacco.
The Act set a minimum work age of 16 for most occupations, but exempted minors who work in the agriculture industry.
The new regulations would have prohibited “the employment of young hired farm workers in tobacco production and curing in order to prevent occupational illness due to green tobacco sickness.” They also would have prohibited those under the age of 16 from operating heavy machinery, working with pesticides, and working in dangerous locations.
The Labor Department said it proposed the new regulations because of studies showing that children were significantly more likely to be killed while performing agricultural work than while working in all other industries combined.
But the proposed changes were shelved in 2012 due to pressure from the American Farm Bureau and members of Congress.
“In withdrawing these badly needed safety rules, the Obama Administration yielded to industry lobbyists, but this new information about exposure to tobacco raises new warning flags,” Greenberg said. “The Nation’s reporting makes it clear that the US government has a responsibility to protect 12-year-olds toiling in the fields. It must pick up the process it started and protect child workers from the known dangers of tobacco harvesting.”
[Woman working in tobacco field on Shutterstock]

Ron Paul – “We’re More Likely To Have More QE Then Tapering With Yellen”

Where Did All The Gold Go?

22 November 2013, by Tyler Durden (Zero Hedge)

The last twenty years have seen an acceleration of real wealth transfer from the west to the east. Nowhere is that more evident than the change in gold stock piles since 1993 with Russia and China gorging and Holland, Belgium, and most notably Switzerland selling it all...

Federal Reserve and Wall Street Assassinate US Dollar

Paul Craig Roberts
Activist Post

Since 2006, the US dollar has experienced a one-quarter to one-third drop in value to the Chinese yuan, depending on the choice of base.

Now China is going to let the dollar decline further in value. China also says it is considering undermining the petrodollar by pricing oil futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange in yuan. This on top of the growing avoidance of the dollar to settle trade imbalances means that the dollar’s role as reserve currency is coming to an end, which means the termination of the US as financial bully and financial imperialist. This blow to the dollar in addition to the blows delivered by jobs offshoring and the uncovered bets in the gambling casino created by financial deregulation means that the US economy as we knew it is coming to an end.

The US economy is already in shambles, with bond and stock markets propped up by massive and historically unprecedented Fed money printing pouring liquidity into financial asset prices. This month at the IMF annual conference, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said that to achieve full employment in the US economy would require negative real interest rates. Negative real interest rates could only be achieved by eliminating cash, moving to digital money that can only be kept in banks, and penalizing people for saving.

The future is developing precisely as I have been predicting.

As the dollar enters its death throes, the lawless Federal Reserve and the Wall Street criminals will increase their shorting of gold in the paper futures market, thereby driving the remnants of the West’s gold into Asian hands.

PBOC Says No Longer in China’s Interest to Increase Reserves
By Bloomberg News – Nov 20, 2013

The People’s Bank of China said the country does not benefit any more from increases in its foreign-currency holdings, adding to signs policymakers will rein in dollar purchases that limit the yuan’s appreciation.

“It’s no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves,” Yi Gang, a deputy governor at the central bank, said in a speech organized by China Economists 50 Forum at Tsinghua University yesterday. The monetary authority will “basically” end normal intervention in the currency market and broaden the yuan’s daily trading range, Governor Zhou Xiaochuan wrote in an article in a guidebook explaining reforms outlined last week following a Communist Party meeting.

China Announces That It Is Going To Stop Stockpiling U.S. Dollars

This article first appeared at Paul Craig Roberts' new website Institute For Political Economy.  Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His Internet columns have attracted a worldwide following.