Join Vancouver's Stop Bill C -51 Rally Monday March 2nd, Don't Let Dissent be Silenced!

Harper is using the 'jihadi threat' fear tactic to silence dissent

Vancouver organizaers are expecting a big crowd for the Stop Bill C -51 Rally and March, Monday March 2nd, 4:00-5:30 pm at Broadway and Commercial. Just Say No to the Anti-Terrorism Act, join the rally. A sunny day, all kinds of people, music, head on down, it'll be a hoot. For more information contact Lawyers Against The War

Make no mistake about it, silencing dissent, is the objective of the Conservatives C-51 Bill under the thin cloak of anti-terrorism. In reality there's not one word or dollar going torward prevention of radicalization in Canada. Opposition is growing. Just today a group of 100 academics, made up mainly of law professors from across Canada, have signed an open letter arguing the proposed bill has major problems that threaten Canadians' privacy and freedom of speech and that  C-51 is dangerous' legislation.

The most quoted legal opinion - Bill C-51: A Legal Primer by Clayton Ruby and Nader R. Hasan - concludes, Bill C-51's "overly broad and unnecessary anti-terrorism reforms could criminalize free speech."

As Keith Jones explains: "No one should be taken in by the government’s pretense that “lawful dissent” will be protected from CSIS dirty tricks and provocations. Canada’s national security apparatus is notorious for spying on socialist, labor, anti-war, environmental, and aboriginal groups and justifying it on the grounds that one of their members “may” engage in unlawful activity sometime in the future."

In Ottawa the NDP now says they're 'again' it, the Liberals look squeamish at best, Justin's worst decision ever. Where would we be without Elizabeth May who from Day #1 has spoken out saying: “[Bill C-51] is about creating a secret police. It's the death of freedom,” Elizabeth's excellent interview in The Strait pulls no punches as well. May is the only truly progressive voice people have in Parliament.


The Land Defenders at Wild Coast and Forest Action Network are Heroes, Not Criminals

One of the 2.5 million waterways no longer protected in Canada

The recent RCMP report linking environmentalists with terrorism will be used by the 'authorities' to further prepare the general public for a war against front-line people defending the land. Land defenders are heroes, not criminals. The real threat to the bankbooks of shareholders in the oil and gas industry is a growing public support for Indigenous land defense across the country.

"Land defenders are heroes, not criminals" is a new-to-me slogan so obvious after reading it. Following the links in a friend's email the other day led me to Wild Coast..."a crew that's Grassroots, anti-racist, feminist, and fierce in defense of the land." WildCoast and Forest Action Network are 100% home-grown and volunteer-led. They have no fancy offices or high-paid staff, just a fighting spirit and the courage to win.

One of their prime projects right now is the Caravan to Unis'tot'en Camp. The camp is snowed in and the caravan organizers are looking for: "Strong-hearted volunteers are needed to break trail and supply the camp, We are organizing rides for March and April."

The Unis'tot'en Camp is in its fifth year blocking gas and tarsands pipelines in the mountains between Smithers and Kitimat, and it keeps growing. This camp is a both a symbolic and actual example of the 'War on the Wild'. The land defenders themselves understand that we're all - flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and faeries - in this together.Without land defenders, without bottom up resistance, there will be no future for any of us.

Considering that: "In 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Omnibus Budget stripped away the rules that protected our rivers, lakes, and habitat for decades. waterways were protected in Canada. Before the bill 93 lakes.2.5 million lakes and waterways were protected in Canada, today that total is 62 rivers and 93 lakes." - WildCoast.ca 

It's little wonder that resistance to extractive capitalism is growing everywhere. In environmental activist and co-LAN founder Zoe Blunt's article in the The Strait the B.C. environmentalist says oil pipelines kill, not protesters. It's a great read, Zoe stands tall, in it she says, "“The violence is going to be done to the land if these pipelines go through,” Blunt said. “It’s not the kind of scars that can heal. If a pipeline ruptures, that is incredibly destructive. It kills living things. It kills entire ecosystems for generations. There’s no recovery from that.”

One rupture and thousands of jobs are lost in the fishing and tourist industries. A huge swath of forest that now happily sequesters GHGs leveled...Devastation, Death of all living things, No recovery...that's the inevitable cost sooner or later. Short term profit, paper money to boot, for a few already obscenely rich assholes is the benefit. The corporations are theives, they deserve no respect, no co-operation, no capitulation.


Only Intact Ecosystems Can Really 'Save BC Wolves', the Cariboo or the Rest of Us

B.C. Gray Wolf targeted in 'War on the Wild'

Thanks to Pacific Wild for spearheading the efforts of "A coalition of 60 environmental groups from across the province including the local Valhalla Wilderness Watch has sent the provincial government an open letter signed by 173,000 people from around the world, which calls for an end to the wolf cull."- The Nelson Daily

Titled: 'Save B.C. Wolves' the letter says in part:
"Your government’s claim that killing wolves will save these caribou populations has no scientific basis as proven by the failure of BC’s wolf “reduction” programs, involving the sterilization, killing, trapping and/or poisoning of wolves. For years, these programs have failed to halt the decline in imperiled caribou populations. Killing more wolves will not miraculously save the caribou. The caribou populations are declining because for decades your government has failed to adequately protect their habitat."

As the letter says, this isn't a new issue, successive governments have known, science has known and spoken out for decades.Yet a series of governments of all denominations found it more expedient to let the developers, trophy hunters and snowmobilers destroy more and more habitat.

It's important to recognize that today the MSM from Vancouver to Nelson to Edmonton have come out in strong support of stopping the Wolf kill.

175,000 people have signed the 'Save B.C. Wolves' petition at Change.org as of this morning. It's meaningless of course, but i'm a proud signer. Might as well use one's god-given middle finger when applicable eh. Sign Here...Wave finger momentarily.

The division of opinion on this issue in BC is a reflection of the much broader cultural division between those who believe technology will save us and and those who believe it's nature, in this case, intact ecosystems are the only thing that can save the caribou, the wolves and the rest of us. That deeper division is behind the 'War on the Wild' that The Mud Report has focused on from it's beginning to just a few articles ago.

In an intact ecosystem millions of other life forms are interlaced in a wild web of life with the cariboo and wolves. Each has it's place, all are equal. Technology means heriachy not equality. Where one sees potential commodities, the other sees the Great Mother.


How Much is an Acropolis Worth to the Bankers and Billionaires Club - Brussels Division?

The worst part of the trioka's noose IMO is the privatization of public property. How much is an Acropolis worth to the Bankers and Billionaires Club? After all it's just a half fallen down pile of old rocks. Bet it'd make a great spot for a Starbucks though, maybe a nice mini-mall, there'd be lottsa room for parking after the pile of rocks gets cleared off.

The noose like agreement Greek PM, Tsipras signed with the 'institutions' demands the same budget surpluses, includes no debt reduction, no change in the commitment to keep austerity measures intact and the selling-off of public property for the exclusive purpose of lining lenders’ pockets, remains intact.

On the street ordinary Greeks wondered what the government had achieved. "We went through two months of agony, emptied the banks, to realize we are still a debt colony," 54-year-old electrician Dimitris Kanakis told Reuters. "The paymasters call the shots." A large group within Syriza, led by a Central Committee member, says "Leadership strategy has failed miserably".Why? Why, after the new Greek government fought a la David vs Goliath for several weeks would they cave in at the last minute and admit that the best it can do is continue the much hated policies of the predecessor Samaras government

The J. Edgar Hoover solution - blackmail, threats and bribes - ranks high on the why-o-meter. IMO though, being a recently confessed hope-aholic, the best tactical reasoning so far comes from Raúl Ilargi Meijer in '50 Shades of Greece'.which explains: Syriza wasn't given a mandate to leave the Euro, just to end austerity. Sypiza must, by referendum maybe, after bending over backwards to prove to Greeks that Germany and Holland will never budge, result in Syriza winning the mandate they need to leave the Euro.

Given that yesterday European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated, “there can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.” Why would the trioka accept any result in any referendum, unless they won it. But between the mutiny in Syriza and the disillusionment on the street it's more likely the Tsirpas government will get booted out and another leader will shout that unlike Samaras, oops, Tsipras, this time they will really show Germany who's boss. Tyler Durden asks: "Does Germany really want to negotiate with Golden Dawn instead?"

That, the Golden Dawn lever, will probably be abandoned immediately by Striza just like Grexit, their only big lever, and the printing of Drachmas, which Syriza handed over without a whimper on last Friday in the agreement which excluded any “unilateral moves” such as new Drachmas and making a deal with BRICS for instance.

Beppe Grillo, leader of Italy's anti-austerity 5 Star party had it right beforehand in his piece: 'The Eurozone Chess Game Enters Its Final Stage: Germany Wins In Three Moves' but concluded that the Euro was up in smoke now that the curtain had been pulled back to reveal the reality that the N. Europeans, especially Germany, enjoy the benefits of their 'export miracle' only because the common currency's market value is dragged down by the PIGS [Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain], the Baltics, the Irish...and the PIGS+ are forced to use a currency priced far to high to sell their goods, an export disaster.

All of the PIGS+ countries will face the same situation, sooner or later, their bankruptcy will be unavoidable. When that happens instead of dancing with the devil they should do some version of what Willem Buiter, chief economist of Citigroup, and John Cochrane of the University of Chicago suggested to Greece: "The Greek government could meet its domestic obligations, such as pension payments, by issuing tradeable IOUs that could also be used to make tax payments — in effect, creating a parallel currency. This virtual money could also be used for other purposes: for instance, to recapitalize ailing banks."

Virtual money, like Bitcoin could stand in while whichever country [Syriza should still do it], prints billions of Drachmas or Lira or ? then quietly distributes them to their banks over the weekend and open the banks Monday morning chocked full of the new currency, nary a Euro in sight.


Like Every Addict's Thirst For More, Debt -The Ultimate Four Letter Word - Never Sleeps

A few days ago an old friend sent the image above and asked how can people be so blind? My first reaction was to respond with George Carlin's line, "They call it the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." But the truth is this nightmare isn't just happening in America, it's a global middle class affliction.

How did it happen? How did the material dreams of so many turn into nightmares? Many of those idling away on clogged freeways started when they took out their first student loan. Now they sit, dressed in high heels and ties, praying that the next equity loan on the house gets approved before the repo men, collection agents and bankruptcy lawyers appear. Living beyond ones means -over-consumption - and the cycle of debt are addictions just like any other. Neither the junkie nor the bankrupted consumer became an addict the first time he/she tried drugs or took out a loan but...

As time marches on one un-payable debt leads to another and another. Unfortunately consumers and their debt cycle have been labeled by the dismal science of economics as debt slavery, which it isn't. IMO, calling them debt slaves is both a convenient cop-out for the over-consumers and an insult to real slaves, past and present, who have been bought, sold, tortured, chained and forced into bondage. Debt addicts, like all addicts have a choice. The choice gets more difficult with every pull on the crack pipe or every new big screen TV, but it's still a choice.

Ed Abbey once said, “If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream.” "Neither to serve nor to rule" Fits perfectly into a world of self-determined people un-addicted to needless crap, like Bhutan maybe, a world where people free from debt and the endless thirst for more allows space for happiness and joy.

Debt never sleeps, it's the ultimate four letter word. The biosphere staggers under the weight of the materialist delusion of endless growth.  "If we take a look at who is actually pushing the environment to collapse according to their consumption levels, it becomes clear by the numbers that the real planet destroyers are not the teeming masses of the Third World, but industrial civilization’s energy gluttons driving their SUV’s, checking their stock portfolios on the internet, and wagging their finger at the huddled masses who have been corralled into megacities because globalization wiped out their indigenous means of subsistence:" - Overpopulated by Homo Colossus

The cycle of over-consumption and debt serve the Bankers and Billionaires Club's bottom line but more importantly in the global picture debt addiction makes individuals, cultures and nations much easier to push around as evidenced by today's headlines from Ukraine and Greece. If debt ridden over-consumers are debt slaves, they're self-indentured.

Lao Tzu said, "Only those who know when enough is enough can ever have enough.".  


The IMF Noose, Ukraine Version, Tightens Around the Necks of the Poor and Vulnerable

Ukraine's poorest and most vulnerable will pay

The IMF is the banking division of US imperialism. IMF packages don't require collateral, instead they require that the borrowers sign conditional structural adjustment agreements. As anybody who has read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine understands, the IMF's conditions don't come with strings attached, they come with nooses.

The IMF noose demands that loans be allocated for specific purposes in exchange for tough reforms of the whole economy. The main requirements of the 'institution' are to cut social spending, which always inordinately effects the most vulnerable and poorest in the society, and privatize publicly owned assets like some of the best agricultural land in the world and huge proven fossil fuel reserves.

The initial IMF loan less than a year ago, a loan the former elected president rejected, of 15bn was bumped up to 18bn. As everyone except the delusional in Kiev expected, Ukraine is already broke and the noose tightens. Yesterday Kiev confirmed that  the IMF aid package conditions mean Ukraine gas prices must go up 280% and that as a result inflation could be 25-26 percent by the end of 2015.

Where once the armies of resource depleted empires conquered and slaughtered to secure those resources and expand the empire's domain, now the empire unleashes it's phoney money and debt. As Charles Hugh Smith explained the details of the scam on his blog recently but stopped short of condemning the outright imperialist goals of the US that determine the IMF's policies. Policies where  the common assets of the debtor nations are the target of the 'loan to pay off the last loan' scam. All the loans are credit and fiat currency - thin air mixed with paper - but the assets that secure the loan as part of 'conditionality' are real wealth like Ukraine's soil or oil and gas reserves.

One year ago today The Mud Report asked: 'Why is Ukraine, Once Again, Where Continents, Cultures and Empires Collide?' and answered: 'Follow the Money'. Unfortunately Ukrane has taken every possible wrong turn in the last year, in every direction, including their now total subservience to the IMF and their henchmen. Ukraine is a colony of the Empire of Debt, the plunder of their natural wealth and common assets will ensue as soon as those pesky Russian supplied rebels are squashed.

The IMF program crushes the poor to plunder resources and expand the empire. The odds of the poor somehow rising up to crush the rich is beyond hope, but the idea that the combination of  people in personal debt over their heads who can't borrow/spend more and the growing hoards of fear filled folks who aren't spending on needless crap, is creating deflationary trends around the world, and it is causing the velocity of money to plummet.

The poor can't overthrow the Bankers and Billionaires Club but the global middle classes can just by turning down their consumption spigot a bit...and they are. Deflation can turn debts, big or small, upside down, non-violently, with a minimum of pain for the many and a pulling back of the Wizard's curtain in Oz and your town too.


Tsipras and Varoufakis - Big Talk, Little Walk - Greece Capitulates, Deutschland Uber Alles

Alexis Tsipras Surrenders

The Eurogroup's statement says, “We also agreed that the IMF would continue to play its role”. Greece has given in on this point and the Troika continues to exist and be strongly involved in all but name. The tentative agreement also contemplates no debt reduction and, apparently, no change in the commitment to keep austerity measures intact. “The Greek authorities commit to refrain from any rollback of measures and unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms that would negatively impact fiscal targets, economic recovery or financial stability, as assessed by the institutions,” the statement said. Signing this statement is a clear capitulation by Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis.

The complete 'rundown' on 'How Greece Folded To Germany'  shoulda been expected, once again Bankers and Billionaires Club's henchmen saved the day for elites everywhere. Obviously i'm a serious sucker for hope and should be Googling '12 step' options...but...

Greece shouldn't have surrendered to Germany’s bullying. Every Mud Report on Greece has solutions in it, todays comes from Willem Buiter, chief economist of Citigroup, and John Cochrane of the University of Chicago who pointed out: "The Greek government could meet its domestic obligations, such as pension payments, by issuing tradeable IOUs that could also be used to make tax payments — in effect, creating a parallel currency. This virtual money could also be used for other purposes: for instance, to recapitalize ailing banks."

Hope is a two edged 'thrill of victory, agony of defeat' kinda thing. It must have been a long trip home from Brussels for the well spoken Greek duo. Why not hope that they have printed billions of drachmas, it's a long weekend there, they could distribute them to the banks over the weekend and open the banks Tuesday chocked full of Drachmas, nary a Euro in sight... 1:1 exchange rate.

Stay tuned because if Syriza's media darlings don't make some huge surprise move that shows they are walking the talk i'd bet that in days they'll face a no confidence vote.


"Be Not Afraid" of Corporate Shills, Bill C-51's Goal is to Silence Critics Not Protect Canadians

The verdict about Hapo's latest fear mongering 'security bill - C-51 - is in. From the Globe and Mail to Rabble, it's unanimous...Harpo's a lying, manipulative, politician much more interested in his own future than yours or mine. Two days ago Rabble said: "Against this backdrop, the Liberals cowardly caved and announced they would support the bill even before it was studied in the House of Commons. A wary NDP expressed tepid opposition, with only Elizabeth May calling it what it is: "The Act to Create a New Secret Police."

Now that everyone including longtime NDP stalwats Ed Broadbent and Roy Romanow have come out against the bill Tom Mulcair has found the cajones to say the NDP will oppose the bill. His new position would seem much less like crass political positioning if he had, like Elizabeth May did, come out swinging from day one instead of converting on the road to Jerusalam. At least he did it.

Maybe the best article i've read so far comes from First Nations activist Pam Palmeter who long standing opposition to Harpo's assault on those who decry extractive capitalism is unassialable. First prize for outspoken disgust goes to Rafe Mair who's article 'How Quickly Politics of Fear Could Transform Canada', among other great bits says: "Prime Minister Stephen Harper, unless thwarted by a surge of surprising voter intelligence, has found the winning formula. Leading his coven of three-piece-suit and pearl necklace know-nothings, he will rally the electorate in a rout of the mortally dangerous non-Christian hordes within and without our borders, saving God from Allah and leaving Trudeau and Mulcair gasping for air, something they excel at."

And the best statement overall came from the now 95-year-old pacifist Frank Showler of Toronto, who reminded one church group that "all through the Bible, there is a pretty consistent message that we can all take heart from: Be not afraid. And so perhaps a very good response to Bill C-51 is to declare that its potential passage will not deter or censor us, or make us back down: we will unashamedly continue our work for justice, our solidarity with those unjustly targeted, and our loving resistance to the criminal actions of this government and its agencies."

The broad strokes in Harpo's bill that activists condemn as stage dressing for further assualts upon any who dare to resist corporate control are valid but..."Be not afraid." of the fear mongers or their false message. "Be not afraid" because the fearful are easily manipulated and soon silenced. "Be not afraid" of corporate/government message control tactics, stand up to it, speak out against it.

Corporate control of the message was the focus yesteday's post, today's is an extension of that message..

Where would Canada be without Elizabeth May?


Oborne's Resignation a Reminder - If Corporations Control the Message, They Control You

Peter Oborne's integrity is an example for journalists everywhere

Yesterday longtime journalist, Peter Oborne resigned from The Daily Telegraph, he went out with a bang not a whimper. His letter, published in full here [but removed from the Telegraph], detailed some of the reasons he finally quit, including, “If advertising priorities are allowed to determine editorial judgments, how can readers continue to feel this trust? The Telegraph’s recent coverage of HSBC amounts to a form of fraud on its readers. It has been placing what it perceives to be the interests of a major international bank above its duty to bring the news to Telegraph readers.”- Peter Oborne

i ran into the article ‘Democracy itself in peril' this morning at RT [surprise]. RT saying Oborn's letter "documents years of editorial decisions marred by the paper’s advertising contracts with the bank, including the decision not to follow the recent HSBC tax-avoidance scandal as closely as other media outlets, and even removing some articles from the site completely."

Good on Peter for shining a light on the reality that 'Freedom of the Press' equalsthe freedom to print what you're told. This is, and has been, the case since about two days after Gutenberg invented the printing press. First out came the Bible, second came Don Quixote, third came 'direction' from the kings and bishops.

Five years ago an early Mud Report said: "We are all told that totalitarian regimes use the control of information as one of their key tools, we don't often see as clearly our governments do the same." And went on to explain: "Back in my youth we believed that our 'free press' protected us, then, as the lies surrounding the Vietnam war surfaced and the complicity of the press in supporting those lies became obvious that pipe-dream of protection from propaganda evaporated."

The Vietnam War was a time of crisis and enlightenment for many. Looking back now i see that the names and perspectives of every story are flip-flopped to suit whatever regime is in control. Nowadays money rules and the truth drools [except maybe in Bhutan].

Oborne's letter concludes:
"This brings me to a second and even more important point that bears not just on the fate of one newspaper but on public life as a whole. A free press is essential to a healthy democracy. There is a purpose to journalism, and it is not just to entertain. It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men. Newspapers have what amounts in the end to a constitutional duty to tell their readers the truth. There are great issues here. They go to the heart of our democracy, and can no longer be ignored."

Of course, RT also has an editorial perspective. IMO the only way a person can see the message control, the propaganda, is by looking at the issue from different the different perspectives. Even this is getting harder-er by the day almost. Take for instance the ongoing spin battle about Venezuela. Remember when Hugo Chavez was being demonized and held up as a dictator by Venezuela's 'free press'? His crime when he came to power and remained there on the back of numerous democratic elections was his refusal to allow Venezuela’s wealth to continue to be shipped out of the country, as it had been for decades, by a small group of Western-supported oligarchs. Regardless of how many complimentary pieces were written in the non-Empire ass-kissing media, the only ones that surfaced in the corporate mainstream were the pro-elite anti-Chavez ones. Chavez is dead, Maduro is president now but the story is still the same.

The corporate agenda has become the corporate media's agenda because a well informed, independent people exercising their free will are often difficult to control with simple fear tactics and they often resist in unpredictable ways. Worse yet, independent minded, free people seldom stalk the malls in zombie like pursuit of needless crap.


Yanis Varoufakis-"The rational and the free escape the empire of expediency by doing what is right"

"This Is Not A Game" said Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis

There's conflicting, swirling, headlines about the EU-Greece standoff in the corporate media today, apparently the markets are jittery...no the markets are bullshit, but that's another story...nobody knows. But the EU and 'Trioka must be nervous about Greece looking elsewhere to get a better deal. As former British diplomat William Mallinson said today, “They fear above all Greece getting closer to Russia, as it ought to historically in any case. Because at the end of the day, they know very well that it is possible to have a BRICS loan with perhaps Russian-Chinese help, with far lower interest rates.”

Late yesterday Greek president Tsipras said again: "Greece will not step back from promises to people."

"This Is Not A Game" said Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis yesterday. They both know Greece has options once it slips out of the Euro noose, for instance Greece might fit nicely into the Eurasian Economic Union. Probably the best example of Greece's leverage is the announcement this morning that Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been invited to China by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang for a state visit.

Yanis Varoufakis went on to say, "The major influence here is Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher who taught us that the rational and the free escape the empire of expediency by doing what is right. How do we know that our modest policy agenda, which constitutes our red line, is right in Kant’s terms? We know by looking into the eyes of the hungry in the streets of our cities or contemplating our stressed middle class, or considering the interests of hard-working people in every European village and city within our monetary union. After all, Europe will only regain its soul when it regains the people’s trust by putting their interests center-stage."

"the rational and the free escape the empire of expediency by doing what is right" sure doesn't sound like the words of a man about to cave in eh. Sure hope someday that spirit, that message spreads to your home town and mine.


How 2,000 Greek Elites Used HSBC's Criminal Schemes to DodgeTaxes While the Poor Starved

Bankers aren't to big to jail in Iceland

Basically the Bankers and Billionaires Club are a pack of criminals. The best explanation of the sordid Swiss HSBC version comes from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists [ICIJ]. It's easy to read with near zero jargon. In it, among other disgusting revelations, i learned how over 2,000 Greek oligarchs used HSBC to dodged billions in taxes while Greece was being crippled by forced austerity measures, including pay cuts and tax increases for the working class.

It includes [in a sidebar] the story of Hervé Falciani’s long, strange journey from bank computer expert to jailed fugitive to candidate for office to spokesman for whistleblowers. Falciani exposed how governments everywhere are losing $3 trillion a year through tax dodging by the global elites - enough to end extreme world poverty many times over - and how the mega-rich often cause damaging financial crises with wild speculation, get bailed out by taxpayers, then argue that public spending on schools and hospitals should be slashed to meet the resulting deficits - austerity.

The banks are corporations, they serve only one master - their rich shareholders. The big banks profit from doing business with tax dodgers and criminals around the world including a long list of arms dealers, blood diamond dealers, big time international drug dealers and a bunch of prominent donors to the Clinton Foundation, including the Canadian businessman Frank Giustra.  

Another short, sweet, easy to read article by Charles Hugh Smith today sheds light on why gimmicks lenders press on borrowers to maintain the artifice that the loan is being serviced are financial frauds. Saying, "Sometimes the best way to summarize a complex situation is with an analogy. The Greek debt crisis, for example, is very much like the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007-08. Please read it if/when you have the strenght. It's an open window to understanding why Iceland jailed it's criminal bankers and why your country should too.

As of a few minutes ago the Eu - Greece talks have once again broken down because the Greeks refuse to comply with the Trioka and German demands for submission. There will be more meetings, more communiques by fork tongued servants of the Bankers and Billionaires Club. Fortunately for all of us around the world there will be no deal because Syriza represents Greece's working classes not the criminal bankers and oligarchs.


Journal of Cell Biology Study Proves Researchers are Dumber Than Dogs...Again

Check out the picture above of my two dogs, one old and....one young. Can you 'read' their emotions? Would you like a treat?

Science has an uncanny way of finding what it's looking for. Take the results of the study just released at the journal of Cell Biology concluding that "dogs can tell happy faces from angry ones". Adding, "This is the first time solid evidence has been found to prove an animal can read the expressions of a totally different species."


The researchers in Vienna trained [means treats of some sort] 11 dogs by showing them only the upper half or the lower half of a person’s face [then giving the treat if 'correct'] The undoubtedly sincere scientists concluded "that the dogs used their memories of real emotional human faces to accomplish the discrimination task."

IMO, what they proved is that they are dumber than the dogs.

Fortunately the journalist who wrote it up added one common sense bit at the end: "But anyone who has had a dog will tell you, they often know if you’re sad regardless of the expression on your face." .

i love dogs, and i know they can read the emotions of those around them far better than i can, they can also remember how to get treats and how to keep them coming. Dogs know just as much, or more, about 'training' than humans do. Dogs read a bigger part of the whole picture, body language, facial cues, tone of voice and inner/outer vibe. Dogs also happen to have one of the highest ratios of mirror neurons among all the creatures tested so far.

Science far to often eliminates the any broader focus by using a bias conditioned by endless babble about our human exceptionality. If anything is exceptional, everything is exceptional. Fortunately that means there's hope for humans because we have mirror neurons too. We're clever animals maybe, buy we're not exceptional, we share with our cousins the innate quality of animal altruism. Being open to the reality of altruism in animals can teach us much about ourselves far beyond what reductionist scientific reasoning can allow.


Canada's Mad Cow Case Caused by Lax Feed Rules, Government Inspection Cutbacks and Bank Rules

The innocent Alberta cattle above aren't 'mad' but you should be.

This morning it's near impossible to find a corporate media outlet not echoing the Harpo government's 'don't worry, be happy' spin about Canada's new mad cow [BSE] case yesterday. No mention anywhere of the fact that Harpo has cut at least $56 million from the budget of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in the last 3 years. Or any about CFIA's response to those cuts which has has given more responsibility to the food industry to police its own safety practices.

Bob Jackson, executive vice-president (B.C.) of the Public Service Alliance of Canada and a former meat inspector, says that ongoing budget cuts to the federal agency are leaving people at risk of eating unsafe food. Adding, “A lot of this [inspections] is being turned over to the industry—and, unfortunately, we’ve seen the results of that. It’s downright dangerous when people are policing themselves.”

The only known way for the BSE agent, an abnormally shaped protein called a prion, to spread among cattle is through feed that contains ground meat, bone or blood meal from another animal [cows are vegetarians]. The original source of BSE is believed to have been feed containing tainted meat from sheep with scrapie.

The disease gets into the human food supply when an infected cow is slaughtered for meat. Yesterday's cow was a 'downer' from the far north of Alberta that was unable to walk from the transport truck to the slaughterhouse. An inspector concluded that the animal likely had pneumonia, and it was diverted out of the human food chain. The body was processed into feed for farm animals other than cattle and sheep, and the head was sent to the provincial capital for testing. [What about the other cows on that ranch, or across Canada, that haven't fallen over...yet?]

In Canada it has been illegal to feed cow or sheep protein to other cows and sheep since 1997. How re-assuring is that when it's perfectly legal in Canada to grind up sick animals [who might have BSE] and feed them to chickens, pigs, goats or ?. Then grind up the unprofitable parts of those animals and feed that crap to the cows and sheep...what could go wrong with that scheme?

Many ranchers throughout N. America supplement the protein in their animal feed with parts from other animals because it's part of the 'best practices' demanded by the banks in order to get the loans the ranchers need to keep their deby ridden operations going. It's hard to blame a rancher who teeters on the brink of financial disaster, who is assured by regulators and lenders that it's safe and who trusts the government to be more interested in safety than balanced budgets, choosing to go with the flow over potential bankruptcy.

Canad's lax regulations and cuts by the government as well as misleading Canadians about the changes it’s making to Canada’s food safety measures show it's actually bowing to industry pressure in its cuts to CFIA's budget said the union that represents food inspectors.

Notable political economist Mark Blyth, commenting today on Canada's austerity bullshit says: 'It's beyond stupid." Why all these stupid cuts? Because Harpo wants to claim a balanced budget by cutting services to Canadians, services that, among other things, we expect will keep the food we and our kids eat safe. The reality is Harpo's policies have one objective - a return to power at any cost...any cost to everyone except the Bankers and Billionaires Club members that is.

Like all his neo-liberal ilk, Harpo refuses to raise taxes on his rich benefactors and their corporations choosing instead to sacrifice the health and safety of our food supply, our water supply and the land itself.

Harpo is VERY dangerous, he must be stopped.


The Happy Lesson From Bhutan's Organic Farmers: Dreams Don't Come True, They're Made True

Organic Ag. Raises Bhutan's Happiness Quotient [and mine]

This morning a friend sent one of the most uplifting articles ever - 'Bhutan's Organic Dream'. It's about the Himalayan nation of Bhutan, who left Disneyland in the dust as the 'Happiest Place on Earth' years ago, and has now become the world's first wholly organic nation.

As Pema Gyamtsho, Bhutan's minister of agriculture and forests explains, "Ours is a mountainous terrain. When we use chemicals they don't stay where we use them, they impact the water and plants. We say that we need to consider all the environment. Most of our farm practices are traditional farming, so we are largely organic anyway." He goes on to say, "...we are Buddhists, too, and we believe in living in harmony with nature. Animals have the right to live, we like to see plants happy and insects happy."

Every seed is awakened and so is all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our animal neighbours the same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. 
-Sitting Bull

'Organic Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the Context of Food Security', a 40 year multinational, multidisciplinary, peer reviewed study backs the Bhutanese. So does The Rodale Institute's 35 years of data from the Farming Systems Trial by proving that not only is organic farming better for the farmer and better for the eater, it's also MUCH better for the indispenseable biosphere that supports us all.

A few of Bhutan's happy farmers

The science is clear, diverse organic farms produce more food and higher incomes than industrial monocultures. Mitigating climate change, conserving biodiversity and increasing food security can thus go hand in hand. Bhutan will not only prosper but it will set an empirical example for the world to follow.

Naomi Klein said recently: "We are really in a spiritual crisis. The idea of humans having a divine right to dominate the earth and being outside the community of living things and living systems is at the heart of the crisis.” Adding, "It does necessitate a new understanding — or an older understanding — of our role in the world. One that says, no, we were never free from nature, nor should we be." The Bhutanese are making their dream of living sustainably come true by basing its development on the pursuit of collective happiness.


IMF's Solution to Ukraine's Bankruptcy - More Debt, Conditionality and Austerity...Just Like Greece

Today the IMF announced a new $17.5bn bailout package for Ukraine. In return Ukraine will have to present a “program of deep economic reforms,” which includes the whole economy and a plan to transform Naftogaz, Ukraine's state oil and gas company. This is the next stage in the US dominated criminal's conditionality noose designed to privatize [steal] Ukraine's huge offshore oil and gas reserves.

In IMF jargon it's called 'structural adjustment requirements', the same requirements that have strangled Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and many others and are the focus of Naomi Klein's 'The Shock Doctrine' require that certain initial conditions are met before a 'loan' is granted. As the international study 'Conditionally Yours', an analysis of the policy conditions attached to IMF loans' states, "If countries are genuinely facing protracted and serious debt problems, then IMF lending only makes the situation worse."

Almost exactly one year ago The Mud Report began a wide ranging series of articles on Ukraine. Some of them focused on how the IMF is dominated by the U.S. who, as the main shareholder, has veto power over its actions. The IMF is a tool of the Empire of Debt generally and of U.S. foreign policy particularly. The debt's conditions will be used to put their water, electricity, public transportation, vast agricultural lands and other public infrastructure on the block . These common assets in Ukraine [and everywhere the slime goes] are real wealth that will be scooped up with pockets full of empty fiat currency by criminal capitalist speculators. This scam is the maybe the biggest crime in human history.

This new steaming pile of bullshit emanating from the Snidley Whiplashes of international banking who are again rubbing their hands together in lust because they know that Ukraine possesses 30% of the world's richest black soil and as well as other vast commonly owned real wealth. Once again the IMF is showing the same bankruptcy of morality and stupidity that has the earmarked their entire existance. To the IMF, a subsidiary of the Bankers and Billionaires Club, there's only one solution to being bankrupted by your previous debts...more debt.

Fortunately, more and more folks everywhere understand that the corporate mainstearm media are merely mouthpieces of the elites. Our world is breaking under the weight of lies  "We are living in an era where a single statement of truth will drive a pin into the global bubble of phantom assets and debts, and the lies spewed to justify those bubbles." - Charles Hugh Smith.

Greece could be the pin, the domino, that turns our darkness toward the light. But if it isn't, there will be another and another behind it because: "An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo


Worried About Grexit's Potential for Contagion in Your Neck of the Woods? You Should Be

The potentially history making meeting in Brussels between Yanis Varoufakis and his European Finance Minister peers started 6 hours ago. This public part [live webcam here] of the meeting will be followed by private discussions long into the night. Perhaps tomorrow at the  EU leaders summit we'll learn Greece's fate. Also happening right now, as the Finance Minister is in Brussels discussing that fate, the new Greek foreign minister is in the Kremlin, getting instant updates from Brussels and finalizing Greece's Plan B.

At this point it seems apparent to all that Greece has a simple choice: 'comply' to stay in the euro, which means living with austerity for decades to come, or leave the euro. It's that simple. After exiting the Eurozone, Greece could seek BRICS, Russian or Chinese cash for the 'bridging' it needs if Germany blocks a new deal. As Tyler Durden explains: "The majority of Greeks supposedly want to stay in the euro, but they must come to grips with the reality that the euro is a plutonium life preserver. It's one or the other: permanent austerity as the cost of keeping the euro or no austerity and no euro. You can't have it both ways."

As the world awaits it seems a perfect time to go look at two important aspects of this issue that aren't making the headlines they deserve: How Greece got into the huge debt it faces and the domino effect a Greek exit from the Eurozone would unleash.

First: Greece's debt started growing long before the EU. Since WW11 Greece's generals, bureaucrats and politicians have lived like kings on the bribes they have routinely accepted from the military contractors courting them. Greece's generals used the fear of Turkey to blackmail successive weak governments into borrowing heavily. Of course Turkey's generals did the same.

As Angelos Philippides, a prominent economist, explains, "For a long time Greece spent 7% of its GDP on defence when other European countries spent an average 2.2%. If you were to add up that compound 5% from 1946 to today, there would be no debt at all." Athens' fondness for weaponry, and the willingness of Germany and France to feed it, are the historic problem.

The 'bailout' so staunchly defended now by the Germans as sacrosanct actually bailed out the banks who made the bad loans that then turned into profit for the shareholders of the arms dealers. At least 90% of the Greek bailout has paid off reckless lenders who made the bad loans with less than 10% of it reaching the Greek people. IMO the debt itself is invalid at best.

Second: The size of the domino effect, or contagion in economist jargon, is unknown. As the video above demonstrates little Greece's decision could end up at all of our doorsteps very quickly for exactly the same reasons the housing bubble in America went boom in your town too regardless of how far away from the criminals who caused it you happen to be.

Though Greece's debt is 'only'.$300+billion the bonds issued in connection with it have been bundled, collateralized and bet on by casino capitalism amounting to, according to the Bank for International Settlements, 26.45 trillion dollars in currency derivatives [ain't capitalism wonderful]. To give you some perspective, keep in mind that the U.S. government spends a total of less than 4 trillion dollars a year. The entire U.S. national debt is just a bit above 18 trillion dollars.

Every bank everywhere, every pension plan, every mutual fund, every speculator who thinks of him/herself as an investor buys these stinking piles of crap based on the relative blessings of the rating agencies who themselves are in on the scam. The whole bunch of 'em are criminals, they'd all be in jail if they didn't bribe and blackmail [carrot and stick] the law makers in every western country.

"Greece has the potential to be the small domino that ends up toppling much larger dominoes." says Charles Hugh Smith.


Greece Will Be Safe From Wolves of Wall St by Building With BRICS - Other PIGS to Follow

Looks like the Bankers and Billionaires Club has inherited the wind, at last. Not only is Greece not caving in to German demands they are growing more confident by the day. What was looking like a bluff by Syriza last weekend was then, in poker parlance, called and raised by Germany and the Europen Central Bank. How, i wondered could bankrupt Greece continue to stand tall in the face of such a well heeled opponent's bet. The only answer is that they already have the winning hole cards they need.

Then when German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble pushed the door open to possible Russian financial aid for Greece yesterday it became clearer what those hole cards are. Perhaps it's Russia they've made a 'bridging loan' deal with but i doubt it as both parties have said it ain't so publically. Russia has its own issues right now, but China is another story. China has trillons of US dollars stashed away so Greece's debt is a pimple on their balance sheet and BRICS has plenty of money too.

Apparently this Wednesday, Feb. 11th, we'll all see that what's at stake is everything. Syriza either folds, and cedes by withdrawing all demands or it exits the Eurozone - GREXIT. The corporate media in the west continues to pound out the drumbeat that Greece is in over its head, that unless they fold it'll be a disaster for Greece...but that's bullshit. In reality Greece will survive but the Eurozone may not. In fact the whole criminal banking mafia is so intertwinned in their derivative schemes any crack in the wall of belief now holding the forces of equality at bay could spell doom for the global elites.

Syriza is playing this high stakes game in support of the future of Greece on the one hand, but on the other they are fighting for us all. As the Automatic Earth blog says today: "...that is what Syriza, and precious few besides them, are set to fight. And why they deserve – and need – our support. Because if they don’t win, we don’t."

Apparently scotch sales soared at the Bankers and Billionaires Club today as another huge crack in the criminal's wall was exposed when Details Nefarious Tactics of Global Tax-Dodgers 'Biggest Banking Leak in History' broke. The times they are a changin'. Greece has stood tall. 'Contagion' will be the next keyword as Spain, Italy and Portugal, collectively called the PIGS, will follow soon after. 'It Can Be Done'.

Remember how in the old nursery rhyme the smart little pig builds his house out of bricks to stay safe from the wolf. Well. it's still true with a bitta tweaking. Now its the PIGS who will build their home's using BRICS to keep them safe from the wolves of Wall St.


60 Years Ago Germany Was Bailed Out by it's Creditors, Now They Refuse to Remember History

"Sixty years ago, half of German war debts were cancelled to re-build its economy. Yet today, debt is destroying those creditors." explains Nick Dearden in his excellent Telegraph article about how today's corporate news self-servingly avoids the inconvient truth that Greece and Spain, among others, helped postwar Germany recover despite the slaughter of innocents during the Nazi occupation a few years before.

Dearden goes on to explain, "The debt cancellation for Germany was swift...Germany was given large cancellation of 50% of its debt. The deal covered all debts, including those owed by the private sector and even individuals. " Adding, "... the most innovative feature of the London agreement was a clause that said West Germany should only pay for debts out of its trade surplus, and any repayments were limited to 3% of exports earnings every year." A deal Greece and the other indentured servants of Northern Europe's debt tyranny would gladly accept.

But, the Germans are adamant, Greece and the others must comply. Adamant, hollow and hypocritical too considering that "Germany’s 'economic miracle' (or wirtschaftswunder), which saw the defeated country rebuild its shattered infrastructure to become a world-beating industrial powerhouse, was made possible by that deal struck in London in 1953. In contrast to the 3% limit on German debt payments, the Greek government's crippling foreign debt payments are around 30% of exports. In reality, in '53 the elites feared communism more than they loved compound interest. Now, with their delusional heads firmly fixed up their own asses and believing that the lower classes have been subjugated the Bankers and Bilionaires Club refuse to remember their own history.

The in the history of the world is chocked full of debt write-offs. From ancient Babylon to 1930s Europe, debt jubilees have been far more common than corporate media propaganda over Greece's modest proposals suggest. Modern capitalist propaganda that un-payable debt is always attributable to mis-management by the borrower, the reality is that lenders who make bad loans deserve to lose, whereas the modern elites game plan is to privatize profits and socialize losses, historic moral traditions rested on the principle that both creditors and debtors had equal responsibility for un-payable debt.

The prognosticators are as confused as their muses. One group is convinced that Germany will have to yield in this dangerous game of chicken with Greece, others are sure yesterday's proposal by Greece of a debt swap for a different type of bond arrangement was in fact 'Syriza Blinking'. IMO, neither is true and neither is a acceptable.

We all face the same enemy - The Bankers and Billionaire's Club. The actions of the club's Northern European branch is criminal and par for the course. Were the Greeks to accept the Trioka's yoke [with cosmetic changes] the outcome would be the same in the longrun as if Germany were to somehow come to its senses and change horses, the rich would keep getting richer on the backs of the people who work for a living leading to a larger plunge down the economic toilet as a result.

Northern Europe's elites will not voluntarily give up their wealth and power. Syriza’s victory serves to reminds the anti-capitalist rabble everywhere that there is 'Another Way' to be in the world. A way where the tools of tyranny - money, debt and the delusion of democracy - defer to a new form of government: Dromocracy, from the Greek word "dromos," meaning the street.


Debt Creates Stress - Stress Trumps Empathy for 'Others' - But There are No 'Others', Only Us

Animal alturism, seems they understand there are no 'others'

In separate tests in mice and people, empathy towards strangers increased when stress hormones were blocked by a drug. Dr Jeffrey Mogil, study author and neuro-scientist from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said his team's findings suggest that the stress system in the brain can have a 'veto' on our empathy system." He also said "it was intriguing that the impact of stress on empathy appeared to be identical in mice and humans."

The researcher's unspkoken reliance on an unconscious cultural bias that is conditioned by endless babble about our human exceptionality and dominion over the globe which has lead humanity to the brink of collapse spiritually and economically. We could once again become an ongoing partner in the biosphere if humans understood that, as Naomi Klein says, "We are really in a spiritual crisis. The idea of humans having a divine right to dominate the earth and being outside the community of living things and living systems is at the heart of the crisis.” Adding, "It does necessitate a new understanding — or an older understanding — of our role in the world. One that says, no, we were never free from nature, nor should we be. Without this spiritual revolution no other changes matter to our human destiny."

Considering that we - the flora, fauna, microbes, minerals, forces and faeries - are all part of one biosphere, one life, who then is this 'other'? Where ever we look there is no other, just us.

We are all proven to be hard wired with empathy and compassion by mirror neurons which fire both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another by the firing of mirror neurons. This type of neuron 'mirrors' the behavior it sees as though the observer were itself acting. Dogs, for instance, have been shown to possess the highest ratio of mirror neurons among all the creatures tested so far. One day i have no doubt that this capacity will be proven to be universal.

The growing knowledge and eventual acceptance of others' altruistic behavior should have deep implications for how we interact with nature generally. There have been decades of experimentation proving moral or altruistic qualities in non-human primates, and also provide support for the idea that human morality is innate. A 1964 study found that rhesus monkeys who could pull on a chain to acquire food would refuse to pull for days if doing so delivered a shock to another monkey; they were “literally starving themselves to avoid inflicting pain upon another” (de Waal 2006).

Many anthropologists argue that altruism is an ancient impulse and an empathic instinct; something more primitive than culture and, in fact, considerably more ancient than the human species itself. They posit that altruism is deeply innate, predating the phylogentic split that occurred six million years ago. According to them selflessness is as natural as appetite.

How did any species, let alone all of us, evolve such ethical qualities as empathy and compassion, in the first place? [often called Darwin's Paradox] Answer: Cultural evolution favors groups. Turns out, it was empathy and altruism that allowed cultural evolution and the evolution of compassion in the first place. Turns out, there are no 'others'.

Which brings me to how the importance of empathy in our daily lives. So many people live lives dominated by the voices of fear and stress they are unable to hear those of compassion and empathy inside us all competing for our attention even in our most stressful moments. A wonderful and moving example of how our empathy can lead us to a much better world was shared by a long time friend after reading the BBC piece on mice and men:

"Nothing surprises me in this article.  For starters, I have known about the feelings of mice ever since Domino [her cat] trapped one when I was living at Camelia.  When I held him back and removed the board behind which the mouse was hiding, I discovered that the mouse had started to cry.  I had no idea mice could cry.  Ever since that time, I have done my utmost to ensure the safety and health of mice - not always possible when you have a cat, but I try."


Healthy Soil - Healthy Plants - Healthy Air - Healthy Water - Healthy Planet - Healthy Happy People

The only safe, proven, low-tech and large-scale way to remove of GHGs from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and carbon sequestration. If there is a future it'll include climate-smart organic agriculture and other low-emissions ideas like soil organic carbon sequestration.

The sequestration numbers are impressive, for instance Lal of Ohio State says "that restoring soils of degraded and desertified ecosystems has the potential to store an additional 1 billion to 3 billion tons of carbon annually, equivalent to roughly 3.5 billion to 11 billion tons of CO2 emissions. (Annual CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning are roughly 32 billion tons.)

Lai's use of 'additional' refers to the much larger potential of sequestration rates of grasslands generally along with other proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices ['let the buffalo roam'], restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food. Ongoing multi-decade research conducted by Dr.Christine Jones of The Soil Carbon Coalition is showing an average of 33 tonnes CO2 per hectare per year sequestered through the re-introduction of native perennial plants.

The closer science looks at soil biology, the less it knows - so there's hope. According to the research published in Nature in January by scientists from the University of Texas at Austin, fungi stored 70 percent more carbon per unit of nitrogen in soil than bacteria which fart out over half of the carbon they consume meaning that our 'models', based on the life-cycles of micro organisms are badly underestimating the real situation.

Lead author Colin Averill explains "that the fungi take up organic nitrogen on behalf of the plant, out-competing soil microorganisms that decompose organic matter and release carbon. He says this points to soil biology as a driver of carbon storage, particularly "the mechanisms by which carbon can stay in the ground rather than going into the atmosphere."

Since Europeans arrived in N. America there's been a massive loss of soil carbon into the atmosphere.  The same is true of all the world's grasslands and forests. If our descendants are to survive, we not only need to keep the remaining 3.2 trillion tons of carbon in the soil, where it is now (instead of allowing it to be released into the atmosphere as collateral damage from industrial agriculture), but we must also capture and sequester (through organic soil and land management) at least 100 billions tons of excess carbon that are currently over-saturating the atmosphere.

Of course, it's all a pipe dream in a world dominated by money not real wealth. In the meantime, awaiting the revolution, it gives me solace to know that the Great Mother abides regardless of our delusions. We could again be an ongoing partner in creation if, as Naomi Klein says, "We are really in a spiritual crisis. The idea of humans having a divine right to dominate the earth and being outside the community of living things and living systems is at the heart of the crisis.” Adding, "It does necessitate a new understanding — or an older understanding — of our role in the world. One that says, no, we were never free from nature, nor should we be." Without this spiritual revolution no other changes matter to our human destiny."

Change is good, "The pencil is mightier than the pen" as Robert Pirsig wrote, but change, though never easy, is inevitable. Change that leads away from current the stress filled chaos toward healthy, independent people who exercise their free will with empathy for all is a good thing. Free will when manifested as empathy in action makes happy people and...happy people would, it seems, choose to eat healthy plants or critters who ate happy plants, that themselves grew in happy soil, soil that helped clean the air, air who in turn helped clean the lungs and the thoughts of the previously unhappy and stressed out people. Change is good, free will is better still.