Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sphere Alliance Message #17
Intra-Terra Portals are Available For Use



As received by Denise...

15 July 2015

I wasn’t planning to ask a question today because I am tired, but as I was reading some news I was also thinking “how does a portal work?” and I got “We are glad you asked!

So I cleared my space and declared that only messages of absolute, unconditional, pure love and truth are welcome.

Yes we laugh at your hesitation.  We are never too tired of you! You are tired, but this will not take long.  How does a portal work? You asked.  Firstly there are many types of portals and to go into the detail quantum mechanics and technical specifications would be lost on you.

Thanks, I appreciate that. 

Let us show you.

I see a black screen with what appear like tunnels of lights, many different sizes of thickness from very thin to very thick, each one a different color.  Most of the large diameter ones appear to be translucent and gold in color.  It looks like a large pile of spaghetti noodles, with the ends going in lots of different direction and not staying still.

Can you tell me how they work?

Ok, there are many different technologies and techniques to make these portals work.  Or should we say, to use them, as they have never stopped working, it was you humans who forgot how to use them. 

So you saw the colors, which we showed you to indicate separate frequencies....

Like a radio dial? 

Yes like a radio dial, but in color not sound.  In reality, neither color nor sound are used for traveling wormholes, but these two descriptions help to “see” the idea of the many different frequencies.

All portals have remained opened.  Some have been guarded by our dear brethren who stayed behind on earth and have remained hidden from your view.  Yes, we laugh at your reference... the hairy folk that you call Bigfoot. Another story for later. 


Still image shot from a video by Studiodrom of a Bigfoot in the Yosemite Valley tossing a rock at the photographer. Image courtesy Bigfoot contractee Thomas Hughes. Thomas claims to have communicated with Bigfoot beings telepathically on a number of occasions. He says this photo matches the one he saw in Texas.  Thomas says these beings are not native to earth and come from a star system 5-6 light years away. Bigfoot are omnivores like humans, eating plants and and meat, and seem to have multidimensional abilities that enable them  to vanish from sight when pursued.

The closely guarded portals remain so.  Those will not be used by humans for some “time”. The lesser used, more abundant lower frequency and ‘local’ portals are ready for your ‘local’ use. 

Does this mean I can travel to see my brother 650 miles away through a portal?

Yes indeed.  You are not ready, because you do not believe it yet.  It is not enough to believe it when you see it.  You must believe it before you see it and we know that is a difficult task for humans.

OK. Please tell me how it works.

Yes. You find your local portal.  There are hundreds in every square mile.  

You stand in front of it. Some are near water, some near trees; some are anchored several feet above the earth.  

You have to know the destination portal and that is where the trick is.  There is no map of portals at least not yet.  

But you (each of you) can imagine a paper map if you desire and visualize the position you wish to arrive at.

I felt a sharp break in the connection.

Yes, that is enough for now.  Enough for you think about and imagine.

With love and joy we end this transmission.


Presenting The “Greek Terms Of Surrender” As Annotated By Yanis Varoufakis


Presenting The “Greek Terms Of Surrender” As Annotated By Yanis Varoufakis
Published July 15, 2015

The Greek “deal” has already been dubbed “a new Versailles Treaty” for good reason: for Greece, the agreement which effectively abdicates sovereignty to Germany, is precisely that.

And while few if any in Greece – and certainly its parliament – have carefully read the actual contents of the Summit statement, and instead are rushing to pass the deal with hopes that just approving its contents may lead to the ECB blessing a prompt reopening of banks so Greeks can resume withdrawing their frozen deposits before the public realizes it was betrayed by its rulers, one person who has read it is the former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

And not only that: just hours before what may be the most critical vote in Greek history, he has released an annotated version of what the Euro Summit statement really means for Greece.

In his words: The Euro Summit statement (or Terms of Greece’s Surrender – as it will go down in history) follows, annotated by yours truly. The original text is untouched with my notes confined to square brackets (and in red). Read and weep… [For a pdf copy click here.]
Full annotated statement:

Euro Summit Statement Brussels, 12 July 2015

The Euro Summit stresses the crucial need to rebuild trust with the Greek authorities [i.e. the Greek government must introduce new stringent austerity directed at the weakest Greeks that have already suffered grossly] as a pre- requisite for a possible future agreement on a new ESM programme [i.e. for a new extend-and-pretend loan].

In this context, the ownership by the Greek authorities is key [i.e. the Syriza government must sign a declaration of having defected to the troika’s ‘logic’], and successful implementation should follow policy commitments.

A euro area Member State requesting financial assistance from the ESM is expected to address, wherever possible, a similar request to the IMF This is a precondition for the Eurogroup to agree on a new ESM programme. Therefore Greece will request continued IMF support (monitoring and financing) from March 2016 [i.e. Berlin continues to believe that the Commission cannot be trusted  to ‘police’ Europe’s own ‘bailout’ programs].

Given the need to rebuild trust with Greece, the Euro Summit welcomes the commitments of the Greek authorities to legislate without delay a first set of measures [i.e. Greece must subject itself to fiscal waterboarding, even before any financing is offered]. These measures, taken in full prior agreement with the Institutions, will include:

By 15 July
  • the streamlining of the VAT system [i.e. making it more regressive, through rate rises that encourage more VAT evasion] and the broadening of the tax base to increase revenue [i.e. dealing a major blow at the only Greek growth industry – tourism].
  • upfront measures to improve long-term sustainability of the pension system as part of a comprehensive pension reform programme [i.e. reducing the lowest of the low of pensions, while ignoring that the depletion of pension funds’ capital due to the 2012 troika-designed PSI and the ill effects of low employment & undeclared paid labour].
  • the safeguarding of the full legal independence of ELSTAT [i.e. the troika demands complete control of the way Greece’s budget balance is computed, with a view to controlling fully the magnitude of austerity it imposes on the government.]
  • full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, in particular by making the Fiscal Council operational before finalizing the MoU and introducing quasi-automatic spending cuts in case of deviations from ambitious primary surplus targets after seeking advice from the Fiscal Council and subject to prior approval of the Institutions [i.e. the Greek government, which knows that the imposed fiscal targets will never be achieved under the imposed austerity, must commit to further, automated austerity as a result of the troika’s newest failures.]

By 22 July
  • the adoption of the Code of Civil Procedure, which is a major overhaul of procedures and arrangements for the civil justice system and can significantly accelerate the judicial process and reduce costs [i.e. foreclosures, evictions and liquidation of thousands of homes and businesses who are not in a position to keep up with their mortgages/loans.]
  • the transposition of the BRRD with support from the European Commission.

Immediately, and only subsequent to legal implementation of the first four above-mentioned measures as well as endorsement of all the commitments included in this document by the Greek Parliament, verified by the Institutions and the Eurogroup, may a decision to mandate the Institutions to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) be taken [i.e. The Syriza government must be humiliated to the extent that it is asked to impose harsh austerity upon itself as a first step towards requesting another toxic bailout loan, of the sort that Syriza became internationally famous for opposing.]

This decision would be taken subject to national procedures having been completed and if the preconditions of Article 13 of the ESM Treaty are met on the basis of the assessment referred to in Article 13.1. In order to form the basis for a successful conclusion of the MoU, the Greek offer of reform measures needs to be seriously strengthened to take into account the strongly deteriorated economic and fiscal position of the country during the last year [i.e. the Syriza government must accept the lie that it, and not the asphyxiation tactics of the creditors, caused the sharp economic deterioration of the past six months – the victim is being asked to take the blame by the on behalf of the villain.]

The Greek government needs to formally commit to strengthening their proposals [i.e. to make them more regressive and more inhuman] in a number of areas identified by the Institutions, with a satisfactory clear timetable for legislation and implementation, including structural benchmarks, milestones and quantitative benchmarks, to have clarity on the direction of policies over the medium-run. They notably need, in agreement with the Institutions, to:
  • carry out ambitious pension reforms [i.e. cuts] and specify policies to fully compensate for the fiscal impact of the Constitutional Court ruling on the 2012 pension reform [i.e. cancel the Court’s decision in favour of pensioners] and to implement the zero deficit clause [i.e. cut by 85% the secondary pensions that the Syriza government fought tooth and nail to preserve over the past five months] or mutually agreeable alternative measures [i.e. find ‘equivalent’ victims] by October 2015;
  • adopt more ambitious product market reforms with a clear timetable for implementation of all OECD toolkit I recommendations [i.e. the recommendations that the OECD has now renounced after having re-designed these reforms in collaboration with the Syriza government], including Sunday trade, sales periods, pharmacy ownership, milk and bakeries, except over-the-counter pharmaceutical products, which will be implemented in a next step, as well as for the opening of macro-critical closed professions (e.g. ferry transportation). On the follow-up of the OECD toolkit-II, manufacturing needs to be included in the prior action;
  • on energy markets, proceed with the privatisation of the electricity transmission network operator (ADMIE), unless replacement measures can be found that have equivalent effect on competition, as agreed by the Institutions [i.e. ADMIE will be sold off to specific foreign vested interests at the behest of the Institutions.]
  • on labour markets, undertake rigorous reviews and modernisation of collective bargaining [i.e. to make sure that no collective bargaining is allowed], industrial action [i.e. that must be banned] and, in line with the relevant EU directive and best practice, collective dismissals [i.e. that should be allowed at the employers’ whim], along the timetable and the approach agreed with the Institutions [i.e. the Troika decides.]
On the basis of these reviews, labour market policies should be aligned with international and European best practices, and should not involve a return to past policy settings which are not compatible with the goals of promoting sustainable and inclusive growth [i.e. there should be no mechanisms that waged labour can use to extract better conditions from employers.]

  • adopt the necessary steps to strengthen the financial sector, including decisive action on non-performing loans [i.e. a tsunami of foreclosures is ante portas] and measures to strengthen governance of the HFSF and the banks [i.e. the Greek people who maintain the HFSF and the banks will have precisely zero control over the HFSF and the banks.], in particular by eliminating any possibility for political interference especially in appointment processes. [i.e. except the political interference of the Troika.] On top of that, the Greek authorities shall take the following actions:
  • to develop a significantly scaled up privatisation programme with improved governance; valuable Greek assets will be transferred to an independent fund that will monetize the assets through privatisations and other means [i.e. an East German-like Treuhand is envisaged to sell off all public property but without the equivalent large investments that W. Germany put into E. Germany in compensation for the Treuhand disaster.] The monetization of the assets will be one source to make the scheduled repayment of the new loan of ESM and generate over the life of the new loan a targeted total of EUR 50bn of which EUR 25bn will be used for the repayment of recapitalization of banks and other assets and 50 % of every remaining euro (i.e. 50% of EUR 25bn) will be used for decreasing the debt to GDP ratio and the remaining 50 % will be used for investments [i.e. public property will be sold off and the pitiful sums will go toward servicing an un-serviceable debt – with precisely nothing left over for public or private investments.] This fund would be established in Greece and be managed by the Greek authorities under the supervision of the relevant European Institutions [i.e. it will be nominally in Greece but, just like the HFSF or the Bank of Greece, it will be controlled fully by the creditors.] In agreement with Institutions and building on best international practices, a legislative framework should be adopted to ensure transparent procedures and adequate asset sale pricing, according to OECD principles and standards on the management of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) [i.e. the Troika will do what it likes.]
  • in line with the Greek government ambitions, to modernise and significantly strengthen the Greek administration, and to put in place a programme, under the auspices of the European Commission, for capacity-building and de-politicizing the Greek administration [i.e. Turning Greece into a democracy-free zone modelled on Brussels, a form of supposedly technocratic government, which is politically toxic and macro-economically inept] A first proposal should be provided by 20 July after discussions with the Institutions. The Greek government commits to reduce further the costs of the Greek administration [i.e. to reduce the lowest wages while increasing a little the wages some of the Troika-friendly apparatchiks], in line with a schedule agreed with the Institutions.
  • to fully normalize working methods with the Institutions, including the necessary work on the ground in Athens, to improve programme implementation and monitoring [i.e. The Troika strikes back and demands that the Greek government invite it to return to Athens as Conqueror – the Carthaginian Peace in all its glory.] The government needs to consult and agree with the Institutions on all draft legislation in relevant areas with adequate time before submitting it for public consultation or to Parliament [i.e. Greek Parliament must, again, after five months of short-lived independence, become an appendage of the Troika – passing translated legislation mechanistically.] The Euro Summit stresses again that implementation is key, and in that context welcomes the intention of the Greek authorities to request by 20 July support from the Institutions and Member States for technical assistance, and asks the European Commission to coordinate this support from Europe;
  • With the exception of the humanitarian crisis bill, the Greek government will reexamine with a view to amending legislations that were introduced counter to the February 20 agreement by backtracking on previous programme commitments or identify clear compensatory equivalents for the vested rights that were subsequently created [i.e. In addition to promising that it will no longer legislative autonomously, the Greek government will retrospectively annul all Bills it passed over the past five months.]

The above-listed commitments are minimum requirements to start the negotiations with the Greek authorities. However, the Euro Summit made it clear that the start of negotiations does not preclude any final possible agreement on a new ESM programme, which will have to be based on a decision on the whole package (including financing needs, debt sustainability and possible bridge financing) [i.e. self-flagellate, impose further austerity upon an economy crushed by austerity, and then we shall see whether the Eurogroup will grave you with another toxic, unsustainable loans.]

The Euro Summit takes note of the possible programme financing needs of between EUR 82 and 86bn, as assessed by the Institutions [i.e. the Eurogroup conjured up a huge number, well above what is necessary, in order to signal the debt restructuring is out and that debt bondage ad infinitum is the name of the game.] It invites the Institutions to explore possibilities to reduce the financing envelope, through an alternative fiscal path or higher privatisation proceeds [i.e. And, yes, it may possible that pigs will fly.] Restoring market access, which is an objective of any financial assistance programme, lowers the need to draw on the total financing envelope [i.e. which is something the creditors will do their utmost to avoid, e.g. by ensuring that Greece will only enter the ECB’s quantitative easing program in 2018, once quantitative easing is… over.]

The Euro Summit takes note of the urgent financing needs of Greece which underline the need for very swift progress in reaching a decision on a new MoU: these are estimated to amount to EUR 7bn by 20 July and an additional EUR 5bn by mid August [i.e. Extend and Pretend gets another spin.] The Euro Summit acknowledges the importance of ensuring that the Greek sovereign can clear its arrears to the IMF and to the Bank of Greece and honour its debt obligations in the coming weeks to create conditions which allow for an orderly conclusion of the negotiations. The risks of not concluding swiftly the negotiations remain fully with Greece [i.e. Once more, demanding that the victim takes all the blame in behalf of the villain.] The Euro Summit invites the Eurogroup to discuss these issues as a matter of urgency.

Given the acute challenges of the Greek financial sector, the total envelope of a possible new ESM programme would have to include the establishment of a buffer of EUR 10 to 25bn for the banking sector in order to address potential bank recapitalisation needs and resolution costs, of which EUR 10bn would be made available immediately in a segregated account at the ESM [i.e. the Troika admits that the 2013-14 recapitalisation of the banks, which would only need a top up of at most 10 billion, was insufficient – but, of course, blames it on… the Syriza government.]

The Euro Summit is aware that a rapid decision on a new programme is a condition to allow banks to reopen, thus avoiding an increase in the total financing envelope [i.e. The Troika closed Greece’s banks to force the Syriza government to capitulate and now cries out for their re-opening.] The ECB/SSM will conduct a comprehensive assessment after the summer. The overall buffer will cater for possible capital shortfalls following the comprehensive assessment after the legal framework is applied.

There are serious concerns regarding the sustainability of Greek debt [N.b. Really? Gosh!] This is due to the easing of policies during the last twelve months, which resulted in the recent deterioration in the domestic macroeconomic and financial environment [i.e. It is not the Extend and Pretend ‘bailout’ loans of 2010 and 2012 that, in conjunction with GDP-sapping austerity, caused the debt to scale immense heights – it was the prospect, and reality, of a government that criticized the the Extend and Pretend ‘bailout’ loans that… caused Debt’s Unustainability!]

The Euro Summit recalls that the euro area Member States have, throughout the last few years, adopted a remarkable set of measures supporting Greece’s debt sustainability, which have smoothed Greece’s debt servicing path and reduced costs significantly [i.e. The 1st & 2nd ‘bailout’ programs failed, the debt skyrocketing as it was always going to since the real purpose of the ‘bailout’ programs was to transfer banking losses to Europe’s taxpayers.] Against this background, in the context of a possible future ESM programme, and in line with the spirit of the Eurogroup statement of November 2012 [i.e. a promise of debt restructure to the previous Greek government was never kept by the creditors], the Eurogroup stands ready to consider, if necessary, possible additional measures (possible longer grace and payment periods) aiming at ensuring that gross financing needs remain at a sustainable level. These measures will be conditional upon full implementation of the measures to be agreed in a possible new programme and will be considered after the first positive completion of a review [i.e. Yet again, the Troika shall let the Greek government labour under un-payable debt and when, as a result, the program fails, poverty rises further and incomes collapse much more, then we may haircut some of the debt – as the Troika did in 2012.]

The Euro Summit stresses that nominal haircuts on the debt cannot be undertaken [N.b. The Syriza government has been suggesting, since January, a moderate debt restructure, with no haircuts, maximizing the expected net present value of Greece’s repayments to creditors’ – which was rejected by the Troika because their aim was, simply, to humiliate Syriza.] Greek authorities reiterate their unequivocal commitment to honour their financial obligations to all their creditors fully and in a timely manner [N.b. Which can only happen after a substantial debt restrucuture.] Provided that all the necessary conditions contained in this document are fulfilled, the Eurogroup and ESM Board of Governors may, in accordance with Article 13.2 of the ESM Treaty, mandate the Institutions to negotiate a new ESM programme, if the preconditions of Article 13 of the ESM Treaty are met on the basis of the assessment referred to in Article 13.1. To help support growth and job creation in Greece (in the next 3-5 years) [N.b. Having already destroyed growth and jobs for the past five years…] the Commission will work closely with the Greek authorities to mobilise up to EUR 35bn (under various EU programmes) to fund investment and economic activity, including in SMEs [i.e. Will use the same order of magnitude of structural funds, plus some fantasy money, as were available in 2010-2014.] As an exceptional measure and given the unique situation of Greece the Commission will propose to increase the level of pre-financing by EUR 1bn to give an immediate boost to investment to be dealt with by the EU co-legislators [i.e. Of the headline 35 billion, consider 1 billion as real money.] The Investment Plan for Europe will also provide funding opportunities for Greece [i.e. the same plan that most Eurozone ministers of finance refer to as a phantom program].


Yanis Varoufakis full transcript: our battle to save Greece


Yanis Varoufakis feels "on top of the world" now his part in the crisis talks is over. Photo: Getty
http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2015/07/yanis-varoufakis-full-transcript-our-battle-save-greece

Yanis Varoufakis full transcript: our battle to save Greece


The full transcript of the former Greek Finance Minister's first interview since resigning.
BY HARRY LAMBERT

PUBLISHED 13 JULY, 2015 - 17:37

Read the report from Greece of our interview with Varoufakis here.

This conversation took place before the deal.

Harry Lambert: So how are you feeling?

Yanis Varoufakis: I’m feeling on top of the world – I no longer have to live through this hectic timetable, which was absolutely inhuman, just unbelievable. I was on 2 hours sleep every day for five months. … I’m also relieved I don’t have to sustain any longer this incredible pressure to negotiate for a position I find difficult to defend, even if I managed to force the other side to acquiesce, if you know what I mean.

HL: What was it like? Did you like any aspect of it?

YV: Oh well a lot of it. But the inside information one gets… to have your worst fears confirmed … To have “the powers that be” speak to you directly, and it be as you feared – the situation was worse than you imagined! So that was fun, to have the front row seat.

HL: What are you referring to?

YV: The complete lack of any democratic scruples, on behalf of the supposed defenders of Europe’s democracy. The quite clear understanding on the other side that we are on the same page analytically – of course it will never come out at present. [And yet] To have very powerful figures look at you in the eye and say “You’re right in what you’re saying, but we’re going to crunch you anyway.”

HL: You’ve said creditors objected to you because “I try and talk economics in the Eurogroup, which nobody does.” What happened when you did?


YV: It’s not that it didn’t go down well – it’s that there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. … You put forward an argument that you’ve really worked on – to make sure it’s logically coherent – and you’re just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven’t spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem – you’d have got the same reply. And that’s startling, for somebody who’s used to academic debate. … The other side always engages. Well there was no engagement at all. It was not even annoyance, it was as if one had not spoken.

HL: When you first arrived, in early February, this can’t have been a unified position?

YV: Well there were people who were sympathetic at a personal level – so, you know, behind closed doors, on an informal basis, especially from the IMF. [HL: “From the highest levels?” YV: “From the highest levels, from the highest levels.”] But then inside the Eurogroup, a few kind words and that’s it, back behind the parapet of the official version.

[But] Schäuble was consistent throughout. His view was “I’m not discussing the programme – this was accepted by the previous government and we can’t possibly allow an election to change anything. Because we have elections all the time, there are 19 of us, if every time there was an election and something changed, the contracts between us wouldn’t mean anything.”

So at that point I had to get up and say “Well perhaps we should simply not hold elections anymore for indebted countries”, and there was no answer. The only interpretation I can give [of their view] is “Yes, that would be a good idea, but it would be difficult to do. So you either sign on the dotted line or you are out.”

HL: And Merkel?

YV: You have to understand I never had anything to do with Merkel, finance ministers talk to finance ministers, prime ministers talk to Chancellors. From my understanding, she was very different. She tried to placate the Prime Minister [Tsipras] – she said “We’ll find a solution, don’t worry about it, I won’t let anything awful happen, just do your homework and work with the institutions, work with the Troika; there can be no dead end here.”

This is not what I heard from my counterpart – both from the head of the Eurogroup and Dr Schäuble, they were very clear. At some point it was put to me very unequivocally: “This is a horse and either you get on it or it is dead.”

HL: Right so when was that?

YV: From the beginning, from the very beginning. [They first met in early February.]

HL: So why hang around until the summer?
YV: Well one doesn’t have an alternative. Our government was elected with a mandate to negotiate. So our first mandate was to create the space and time to have a negotiation and reach another agreement. That was our mandate – our mandate was to negotiate, it was not to come to blows with our creditors. …

The negotiations took ages, because the other side was refusing to negotiate. They insisted on a “comprehensive agreement”, which meant they wanted to talk about everything. My interpretation is that when you want to talk about everything, you don’t want to talk about anything. But we went along with that.

And look there were absolutely no positions put forward on anything by them. So they would… let me give you an example. They would say we need all your data on the fiscal path on which Greek finds itself, we need all the data on state-owned enterprises. So we spent a lot of time trying to provide them with all the data and answering questionnaires and having countless meetings providing the data.

So that would be the first phase. The second phase was where they’d ask us what we intended to do on VAT. They would then reject our proposal but wouldn’t come up with a proposal of their own. And then, before we would get a chance to agree on VAT with them, they would shift to another issue, like privatisation. They would ask what we want to do about privatisation, we put something forward, they would reject it. Then they’d move onto another topic, like pensions, from there to product markets, from there to labour relations, from labour relations to all sorts of things right? So it was like a cat chasing its own tail.

We felt, the government felt, that we couldn’t discontinue the process. Look, my suggestion from the beginning was this: This is a country that has run aground, that ran aground a long time ago. … Surely we need to reform this country – we are in agreement on this. Because time is of the essence, and because during negotiations the central bank was squeezing liquidity [on Greek banks] in order pressurise us, in order to succumb, my constant proposal to the Troika was very simple: let us agree on three or four important reforms that we agree upon, like the tax system, like VAT, and let’s implement them immediately. And you relax the restrictions on liqiuidity from the ECB. You want a comprehensive agreement – let’s carry on negotiating – and in the meantime let us introduce these reforms in parliament by agreement between us and you.

And they said “No, no, no, this has to be a comprehensive review. Nothing will be implemented if you dare introduce any legislation. It will be considered unilateral action inimical to the process of reaching an agreement.” And then of course a few months later they would leak to the media that we had not reformed the country and that we were wasting time! And so… [chuckles] we were set up, in a sense, in an important sense.

So by the time the liquidity almost ran out completely, and we were in default, or quasi-default, to the IMF, they introduced their proposals, which were absolutely impossible… totally non-viable and toxic. So they delayed and then came up with the kind of proposal you present to another side when you don’t want an agreement.

HL: Did you try working together with the governments of other indebted countries?
YV: The answer is no, and the reason is very simple: from the very beginning those particular countries made it abundantly clear that they were the most energetic enemies of our government, from the very beginning. And the reason of course was their greatest nightmare was our success: were we to succeed in negotiating a better deal for Greece, that would of course obliterate them politically, they would have to answer to their own people why they didn’t negotiate like we were doing.

HL: And partnering with sympathetic parties, like Podemos?
YV: Not really. I mean we always had a good relationship with them, but there was nothing they could do – their voice could never penetrate the Eurogroup. And indeed the more they spoke out in our favour, which they did, the more inimical the Finance Minister representing that country became towards us.

HL: And George Osborne? What were your dealings like with him?


YV: Oh very good, very pleasant, excellent. But he is out of the loop, he is not part of the Eurogroup. When I spoke to him on a number of occasions you could see that was very sympathetic. And indeed if you look at the Telegraph, the greatest supporters of our cause have been the Tories! Because of their Eurosceptism, eh… it’s not just Euroscepticsm; it’s a Burkean view of the sovereignty of parliament – in our case it was very clear that our parliament was being treated like rubbish.

HL: What is the greatest problem with the general way the Eurogroup functions?

YV: [To exemplify…] There was a moment when the President of the Eurogroup decided to move against us and effectively shut us out, and made it known that Greece was essentially on its way out of the Eurozone. … There is a convention that communiqués must be unanimous, and the President can’t just convene a meeting of the Eurozone and exclude a member state. And he said, “Oh I’m sure I can do that.” So I asked for a legal opinion. It created a bit of a kerfuffle. For about 5-10 minutes the meeting stopped, clerks, officials were talking to one another, on their phone, and eventually some official, some legal expert addressed me, and said the following words, that “Well, the Eurogroup does not exist in law, there is no treaty which has convened this group.”

So what we have is a non-existent group that has the greatest power to determine the lives of Europeans. It’s not answerable to anyone, given it doesn’t exist in law; no minutes are kept; and it’s confidential. So no citizen ever knows what is said within. … These are decisions of almost life and death, and no member has to answer to anybody.

HL: And is that group controlled by German attitudes?
YV: Oh completely and utterly. Not attitudes – by the finance minister of Germany. It is all like a very well-tuned orchestra and he is the director. Everything happens in tune. There will be times when the orchestra is out of tune, but he convenes and puts it back in line.

HL: Is there no alternative power within the group, can the French counter that power?
YV: Only the French finance minister has made noises that were different from the German line, and those noises were very subtle. You could sense he had to use very judicious language, to be seen not to oppose. And in the final analysis, when Doc Schäuble responded and effectively determined the official line, the French FM in the end would always fold and accept.

HL: Let’s talk about your theoretical background, and your piece on Marx in 2013, when you said:
“A Greek or a Portuguese or an Italian exit from the Eurozone would soon lead to a fragmentation of European capitalism, yielding a seriously recessionary surplus region east of the Rhine and north of the Alps, while the rest of Europe is would be in the grip of vicious stagflation. Who do you think would benefit from this development? A progressive left, that will rise Phoenix-like from the ashes of Europe’s public institutions? Or the Golden Dawn Nazis, the assorted neofascists, the xenophobes and the spivs? I have absolutely no doubt as to which of the two will do best from a disintegration of the eurozone.”
…so would a Grexit inevitably help Golden Dawn, do you still think that?

YV: Well, look, I don’t believe in deterministic versions of history. Syriza now is a very dominant force. If we manage to get out of this mess united, and handle properly a Grexit … it would be possible to have an alternative. But I’m not sure we would manage it, because managing the collapse of a monetary union takes a great deal of expertise, and I’m not sure we have it here in Greece without the help of outsiders.

HL: You must have been thinking about a Grexit from day one...
YV: Yes, absolutely.

HL: ...have preparations been made?

YV: The answer is yes and no. We had a small group, a ‘war cabinet’ within the ministry, of about five people that were doing this: so we worked out in theory, on paper, everything that had to be done [to prepare for/in the event of a Grexit]. But it’s one thing to do that at the level of 4-5 people, it’s quite another to prepare the country for it. To prepare the country an executive decision had to be taken, and that decision was never taken.

HL: And in the past week, was that a decision you felt you were leaning towards [preparing for Grexit]?

YV: My view was, we should be very careful not to activate it. I didn’t want this to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I didn’t want this to be like Nietzsche’s famous dictum that if you stare into the abyss long enough, the abyss will stare back at you. But I also believed that at the moment the Eurogroup shut out banks down, we should energise this process.

HL: Right. So there were two options as far as I can see – an immediate Grexit, or printing IOUs and taking bank control of the Bank of Greece [potentially but not necessarily precipitating a Grexit]?
YV: Sure, sure. I never believed we should go straight to a new currency. My view was – and I put this to the government – that if they dared shut our banks down, which I considered to be an aggressive move of incredible potency, we should respond aggressively but without crossing the point of no return.

We should issue our own IOUs, or even at least announce that we’re going to issue our own euro-denominated liquidity; we should haircut the Greek 2012 bonds that the ECB held, or announce we were going to do it; and we should take control of the Bank of Greece. This was the triptych, the three things, which I thought we should respond with if the ECB shut down our banks.

… I was warning the Cabinet this was going to happen [the ECB shut our banks] for a month, in order to drag us into a humiliating agreement. When it happened – and many of my colleagues couldn’t believe it happened – my recommendation for responding “energetically”, let’s say, was voted down.

HL: And how close was it to happening?

YV: Well let me say that out of six people we were in a minority of two. … Once it didn’t happen I got my orders to close down the banks consensually with the ECB and the Bank of Greece, which I was against, but I did because I’m a team player, I believe in collective responsibility.

And then the referendum happened, and the referendum gave us an amazing boost, one that would have justified this type of energetic response [his plan] against the ECB, but then that very night the government decided that the will of the people, this resounding ‘No’, should not be what energised the energetic approach [his plan].

Instead it should lead to major concessions to the other side: the meeting of the council of political leaders, with our Prime Minister accepting the premise that whatever happens, whatever the other side does, we will never respond in any way that challenges them. And essentially that means folding. … You cease to negotiate.

HL: So you can’t hold out much hope now, that this deal will be much better than last week’s – if anything it will be worse?
YV: If anything it will be worse. I trust and hope that our government will insist on debt restructuring, but I can’t see how the German finance minister is ever going to sign up to this in the forthcoming Eurogroup meeting. If he does, it will be a miracle.

HL: Exactly – because, as you’ve explained, your leverage is gone at this point?

YV: I think so, I think so. Unless he [Schäuble] gets his marching orders from the Chancellor. That remains to be seen, whether she will step in to do that.

HL: To come back out again, could you possibly explain, in layman’s terms for our readers, your objections to Piketty’s "Capital"?

YV: Well let me say firstly, I feel embarrassed because Piketty has been extremely supportive of me and the government, and I have been horrible to him in my review of his book! I really appreciate his position over the last few months, and I’m going to say this to him when I meet him in September.

But my criticism of his book stands. His sentiment is correct. His abhorrence of inequality… [inaudible]. His analysis, however, undermines the argument, as far as I am concerned. Because in his book the neoclassical model of capitalism gives very little room for building the case he wants to build up, except by building upon the model a very specific set of parameters, which undermines his own case. In other words, if I was an opponent of his thesis that inequality is built into capitalism, I would be able to take apart his case by attacking his analysis.

HL: I don’t want to get too detailed, because this isn’t going to make the final cut...
YV: Yes…

HL: ...but it’s about his metric of wealth?

YV: Yes, he uses a definition of capital which makes capital impossible to understand – so it’s a contradiction of terms. [Click here— http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2014/10/08/6006/—for Varoufakis’ critical review of Piketty’s Capital.]

HL: Let’s come back to the crisis. I really understand very little of your relationship with Tsipras…
YV: I’ve known him since late 2010, because I was a prominent critic of the government at the time, even though I was close to it once upon a time. I was close to the Papandreou family – I still am in a way – but I became prominent … back then it was big news that a former adviser was saying “We’re pretending bankruptcy didn’t happen, we’re trying to cover it up with new unsustainable loans,” that kind of thing.

I made some waves back then, and Tsipras was a very young leader trying to understand what was going on, what the crisis was about, and how he should position himself.

HL: Was there a first meeting you remember?

YV: Oh yes. It was late 2010, we went to a cafeteria, there were three of us, and my recollection is that he wasn’t clear back then what his views were, on the drachma versus the euro, on the causes of the crises, and I had very, well shall I say, “set views” on what was going on. And a dialogue begun which unfolded over the years and one that… I believe that I helped shape his view of what should be done.

HL: So how does it feel now, after four-and-a-half years, to no longer be working by his side?

YV: Well I don’t feel that way, I feel that we’re very close. Our parting was extremely amicable. We’ve never had a bad problem between us, never, not to this day. And I’m extremely close to Euclid Tsakalotos [the new finance minister].

HL: And presumably you’re still speaking with them both this week?

YV: I haven’t spoken to the Prime Minister this week, in the past couple of days, but I speak to Euclid, yes, and I consider Euclid to be very close to be, and vice-versa, and I don’t envy him at all. [Chuckling.]

HL: Would you be shocked if Tsipras resigned?
YV: Nothing shocks me these days – our Eurozone is a very inhospitable place for decent people. It wouldn’t shock me either to stay on and accepts a very bad deal. Because I can understand he feels he has an obligation to the people that support him, support us, not to let this country become a failed state.

But I’m not going to betray my own view, that I honed back in 2010, that this country must stop extending and pretending, we must stop taking on new loans pretending that we’ve solved the problem, when we haven’t; when we have made our debt even less sustainable on condition of further austerity that even further shrinks the economy; and shifts the burden further onto the have nots, creating a humanitarian crisis. It’s something I’m not going to accept. I’m not going to be party to.

HL: Final question – will you stay close with anyone who you had to negotiate with?
YV: Um, I’m not sure. I’m not going to mention any names now just in case I destroy their careers! [Laughing.]

Badass Bunnies, Scared Squirrels and us



We have a baby rabbit in our backyard. It’s unafraid of us. It comes out whenever we do and eats within a few feet of wherever we are. It’s a new one and we are watching it grow fat on our clover.

Yesterday I saw it go after a squirrel, chasing it right out of the yard. It surprised me, as I’d only seen its peaceful, clover chewing side. I’ve heard a story of a rabbit that grabbed a squirrel, shook it and then kicked it with its hind leg! I guess your opinions of rabbits depend on your perspective – human or squirrel. Both would be accurate.

This is not a story of rabbits. It is a story of us. It is an exploration of opinions. I’ve been thinking a lot about beliefs, facts, fantasy and illusion. Each of these a construct of the mind and its attempt to make sense of whatever its being presented with. In any situation , anything could be perceived as “truth”. It all comes down to perspective.

We’ve moved and are moving from a shutdown, shut off, unaware existence to a wide open place of possibility. We are seeing, noticing, hearing and feeling MORE. Our “truths” are changing and with them, our expectations.

Yet some things feel the same. We are human. We have bodies and with them perceived needs for health, shelter and prosperity. We have hearts and desires, lovers and friends. How is it that our world is changing while so much remains the same? Part of the answer may be found in the mirror. It is a tool of reflection. I heard Bashar say something once about mirrors and I’ll borrow some of it here to make a point.

When you are frowning and see yourself in a mirror, you may desire to get rid of the frown. Its unattractive, causes wrinkles and doesn’t feel that great. You don’t, I imagine, walk over to the reflective glass and attempt to pull the ends of your mouth’s image UP, forcing a smile to appear. No, if you feel like it, you smile with your physical face, resulting in a changed image, a smiling one.

This wide open world with accelerating possibilities includes near instant manifestation of your energy INTO YOUR LIFE. What you are feeling, believing and therefore expecting is played out over and over for you, in real time. Attempting to change circumstances without first altering expectations is akin to pulling the ends of your mouth’s image up so you’ll see a smile. It won’t work.

It is our beliefs about ourselves that create our life. It is our expectation for abundance that manifests abundance. The same is true for illness, health, struggle, happiness and peace. We are in absolute control here. There is no one else in the room.

That mirror is not two-way. The life you see is a reflection of your intent. The intents that manifest are those backed up with your beliefs. What you believe is possible becomes your life. Every time.

In the bunny’s mirror, he sees a squirrel as a nuisance to be removed and himself as the badass to do it. In the squirrels mirror he sees the bunny as a threat. In this human’s mirror, they are both pretty cute.

Perspective alters beliefs and intent. Daily life will only seem to continue unchanged IF WE DON’T CHANGE OUR PERSPECTIVE. It’s all possible now. This rapid frequency has opened our hearts. It is there where beliefs expand. Your heart is your most powerful organ.

As you go about your day, allow for a new vision to take hold. In this image, you are smiling, joy-filled, in control and prosperous. Life is appreciated and interesting. These things have no choice but to manifest in your mirror.

You are powerful love producers. Your essence is light. A sovereign being, your reflection is absolute agape, pure love.

Embrace each moment with all that you are. In answer to the question “Who are you?” Reply “I AM.” Enough said.

You are the ones you’ve been waiting for.

Sign up for my newsletter here. I’m hearing that some who’ve signed are not seeing it in their inbox. They are sent once or twice a month, by a service (Constant Contact). My email is also shown there, so look for it in your spam or promotions folders. Thanks!

With absolute love,

~Sophia

You tube link here.



Study links Prozac, Paxil use with birth defects


http://www.japantoday.com/category/health/view/study-links-prozac-paxil-use-with-birth-defects
Study links Prozac, Paxil use with birth defects
HEALTH JUL. 15, 2015 - 04:35AM JST
WASHINGTON

A sweeping U.S. government study of thousands of women has found links between the older antidepressants Prozac and Paxil and birth defects, but has cleared other popular treatments in the class, including Celexa, Lexapro and Pfizer’s Zoloft, which is the subject of a major lawsuit over birth defect claims.

Earlier studies had raised questions about antidepressants in a class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs, prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2005 to issue a safety warning about use of the treatments during pregnancy.

In the current study, published in the British Medical Journal, researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to see if the birth defect risk affected the entire class of drugs, or only select treatments.

For the study, the researchers asked nearly 28,000 women if they took Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft any time from one month before conception through the third month of pregnancy and analyzed which women bore children with birth defects.

They found that many popular antidepressants - Celexa, Lexapro or Zoloft - are not associated with birth defects. Only two in the study, Prozac, sold generically as paroxetine, and Paxil, sold generically as fluoxetine, were implicated.

In women who took those two drugs early in pregnancy, birth defects occurred 2 to 3.5 times more frequently compared with women who did not take them.

Prozac use was associated with a birth defect in which a baby’s skull is misshapen. Paxil use was associated with a defect in which a baby’s intestines protrude outside the body and with anencephaly, in which a baby is missing parts of the brain and skull, the study found.

Both Paxil and Prozac were linked to a heart defect.

The study’s authors noted that the risks appeared to be small. For example, in women who took paroxetine early in pregnancy, the risk for anencephaly rose from 2 cases per 10,000 to 7 per 10000.

The analysis was only able to show links between the drugs and birth defects, but could not prove that the drugs caused the deformities.

The authors called the findings about Zoloft “reassuring” because the drug was used by some 40 percent of the women in the study who said they had used an antidepressant in early pregnancy.


Putin signs ‘right to be forgotten’ bill into law


The USA needs something like this in regards to personal profiling by data mining firms who aggregate personal and marketing data and sell the resulting profiles to governments, 3 letter agencies, corporations and the public with absolutely no audit trail as to where they got it, and no accountability for its accuracy, and no remedy for its removal.  Search engines are only the public tip of this mass survellience ice berg.  Most Americans are aware of the quantum leaps that have occurred in recent years in data mining software. -AK

http://rt.com/politics/273604-russia-putin-law-forgotten/

Putin signs ‘right to be forgotten’ bill into law
Published time: July 14, 2015 14:41
Reuters/Jason LeeReuters/Jason Lee


The Russian President has signed into force the act that orders all internet search engines to delete links leading to spurious or dated information about Russian citizens should they request it.

The Kremlin press service said that “under the new federal law search engine operators must on request delete the links to pages that allow access to the internet information about private persons if spreading such information violates Russian laws, if it is false or has become outdated due tosubsequent events or actions.”

However, the new law does not regulate information describing criminal prosecutions on which the statute of limitations has not yet expired and convictions that have not been served or removed, the press service adds in its statement.Information systems that conduct the search for the state and municipal work and services also do not fall under the regulations of the new act as well as web services created for executing other tasks for the society’s benefit under the existing federal laws.

The restrictions are only on the links given out by search engines and the bill does not order the data itself to be deleted.

Should a search service refuse to delete the links, the person who filed the complaint has the right to go to court and get a warrant.

The bill, dubbed by the mass media as the ‘right-to-be-forgotten bill’, was drafted in May this year by all four caucuses of the State Duma. Its sponsors claimed that it was in line with the most recent decisions of European legislatures and courts, like the 2014 ruling of the Luxembourg court that for the first time gave internet users the full right to “be forgotten” and demand the deletion of links on their personal data by search engines.

Parliament approves amendments to ‘right to be forgotten’ bill

The bill was passed almost unanimously in the first reading, but caused a wave of criticism from reporters and internet professionals, which prompted serious changes in the next two readings. In particular, the Duma changed the order to delete links to any information about users so that it does not include data that is truthful and up to date. Another important correction was the removal of the part of the bill that ordered search engines to remove the links to information older than three years, even if this information is correct.

The lawmakers also expand the period during which a search engine must fulfill users’ demands from three to ten days.

The right-to-be-forgotten bill will come into force on January 1, 2016.
This blog is supported by ads and donations. If you enjoy this blog please consider supporting it with a contribution via PayPal.