Thursday, September 29, 2011

Alert: 'shallow earthquake' repeated 10 times today at Fukushima Dai Ichi site might be nuclear problem: reactor no. 4 on fire

Some hours ago Fukushima Diary reported a strange 'shallow earthquake' at Fukushima Dai Ichi site. The quake (5+ category) was not just extremely shallow but also has very abrupt decrease of strength around the site, making it immediate suspect for a strong explosion (atomic or otherwise). A loud noise was also heard, which is uncommon in earthquakes.

The earthquake is also mentioned by Washington Post.

Later he has reported that there have been 10 successive such 'earthquakes' between 19:95 and 22:41 JST (GMT+9, no DST).

Since 20:00 reactor no. 4 caught fire, as is documented by both Fukushima Diary and EneNews (this one with video).

Sequence of fire

Echoes from the Class War (Sep 29) - Occupy USA movement

Main theme: Occupy Wall Street movement spreads through North America: 

Are we witnessing in North America something similar to what we have seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Greece or Spain? Hard to say but worth keeping an eye on it. 

Main references:

Outside US borders: Occupy Manchester (England)

Activities without known website (other than my bête noire, Facebook, or mere twitter hash tags) may be found at Occupy Together. They include cities in Canada, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland.

Live feeds:
A video report by the people at NYC ··> PO.

Video reports by the people of Chicago ··> OccupyChicago.

Video report at Russia Today ··> PO.

Pickets disrupt foreclosure auctions in California ··> Naked Capitalism.

Opinion: Arun Gupta: The Revolution Begins at Home: a Clarion Call to Join the Wall Street Protests ··> AlterNet.

Liberty Sq.

Susan Sarandon joined the protests

Basque Country:

Errekalde neighbors demand the resignation of Bilbao Mayor Azkuna and Western Basque police chief Ares, for indiscriminate violence and fascist-like occupation of the neighborhood. They ask Amnesty International to investigate the repression  ··> Branka[es], SA[es].


Solidarity is not a crime
Police pushy against meeting (right) in solidarity with German internationalists, from Hamburg and Bremen, arrested in the eviction of Kukutza social center. Flo and Rafi are kept in the prison of Basauri, being the only people that remain under arrest for the Kukutza clashes ··> Sare Antifaxista[es/ge].

Bilbao: protest against visit by narco-terrorist Colombian ex-president Alvaro Uribe ··> Branka[es].

Marches for independence and socialism in the Gudari Eguna (Fighter's Day, Sep. 27th) across the country ··> Gara[es].


Switzerland to quit nuclear power altogether: by an overwhelming majority of the Council of States supported the measure that implies to close down all five existing reactors by 2034 and develop hydroelectric and wind power instead. The measure was approved by the lower house back in June. While nuclear power provides 40% of the country's energy demand, most of it comes from hydroelectricity. Nuclear research is allowed to continue ··> Washington Post, AGI.

West Asia:

Palestine: the struggle against genocide and apartheid continues every day ··> Ilan Against the Wall:
  • Anata: clashes between tree-planting Palestinians and tree-burning Zionist immigrants
  • Arakib: demo against the expulsion of Bedouins ('Israeli citizens') from their ancestral homes ··> video at YouTube.
  • Asirah, Nablus: three injured, including a 10 year-old boy and a journalist, after nazi style attack by settlers with Zionist-military support ··> video at YouTube.
  • Jalgulia: protest last Saturday against land-grabbing by Zionists
  • Nabi Saleh weekly protests ··> video at YouTube.
  • Nil'in: one protester was shot by the Zionist colonial forces in the weekly demo against the Apartheid Wall ··> Further info (and videos) at Nil'in village website.
  • Sheikh Jarrah: weekly protest on Friday.
  • South Hebron Hills: scheduled protests against land-grabbing and expulsions by Zionist planned genocide machine. 
  • Jerusalem: demo against eviction of (Jewish?) homeless squatters ··> video at YouTube.
  • Tel Aviv: vigil in memory of Ibrahim Zaza, 12, murdered by Israeli terrorist bombings in the Gaza Strip concentration camp ··> video at YouTube.

Saudi Arabia: woman to be lashed for driving (women are fighting that way against the Patriarchal oppression of the fundamentalist tyranny) ··> BBC.



Ontario: to jail for selling true milk. Michael Schmidt (pictured) convicted for 'selling' raw milk within a consumer cooperative created ex-professo. Meanwhile industrials who add bone powder to milk and other abuses remain at large ··>  Food Freedom.
Vancouver: Demand that Dick Cheney to be put to trial for war crimes ··> video at PO.

Ottawa: protest against tar sands exploitation ··> video at PO


Boston: Demand that Donald Rumsfeld be put to trial for war crimes ··> video at PO.

Palm Beach: Postal workers demonstrate against cuts ··> video at PO.

Secret plans to dump decommissioned nuclear reactors into the Ocean unveiled ··> EneNews, Asahi.

Honduras: Supreme Court judges who opposed coup persecuted by the totalitarian regime of Lobo ··> LINYM[es].

The three honest magistrates who opposed the coup

South Asia:

India: Telangana TRS workers repressed by police ··> video at PO.

East Asia:


Former PM Naoto Kan admits to have contemplated evacuating Tokyo (but was overwhelmed by the challenge). He did not even evacuate Fukushima, so... ··> EneNews, ABC.

TEPCO claims 'cold suhtdown' for reactor no. 2 at Fukushima Dai Ichi. This reactor was the only one not damaged in the outside but it had experienced explosions and meltdown anyhow ··> Critical analysis at Ex-SKF.

Tokyo will accept and burn radioactive waste ··> Ex-SKF.

Ocean currents prevent radiation from being diluted. Highest concentrations not necessarily closest to Fukushima ··> EneNews, NYT.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New radiation maps from Japan

Ex-SKF reports on new official radiation maps of parts of Japan issued by the Government. Notice that metropolitan Tokyo is excluded even if dangerous radiation levels affect some areas.

Environmental radiation (in micro-sieverts/hr):

The color code may be quite misleading, however it is difficult to evaluate: 5 micro-sieverts may be like an X-ray but an X-ray every hour will kill you soon.

The generally accepted limit for civilians is 1 mSv/year (1 mSv=1000 micro-Sv). An X-ray per hour (within the yellow zone) will reach this safety limit in 200 hours (less than 9 days). In the green zone it will take less than 1000 hours (42 days).

In the middle blue zone it takes 5,000-10,000 hours (around a year), so this area and the deep blue one are the only ones barely safe by normal standards. Light blue to red should be declared evacuation zone, at least for children.

Green here does not mean safe, just less immediately deadly. In fact all the green zone should be totally evacuated, I understand.

For comparison and, specially because it sets no artificial border at Tokyo, this other map compiled by Prof. Hyakawa (overall similar with the official one):

Also the color code is less optimistically green and more objectively reddish. Still all that is colored has unacceptable levels of radiation for civilian life.

Cesium-134 and cesium-137 (in Bequerels/m²):

This kind of mapping, even if similar in the results has the advantage that it can be compared almost directly with Chernobyl exclusion zone maps like this one:

Curies (Ci) can be directly converted to Becquerels and vice versa:

1 Ci = 3.7×10¹⁰ Bq = 37 GBq

(For those unfamiliar with the IS, 1 Km² = 10⁶ m²)

So 1 KBq/m²  =  1 GBq/Km²

  • 37 KBq/m² = 37 GBq/Km² = 1 Ci/Km² (within the gray zone in Japan) - Unnamed zone low limit
  • 185 KBq/m² = 185 GBq/Km² = 5 Ci/Km² (within the grey-blue zone) - Periodic control zone low limit (includes most of Fukushima Pref.)
  • 555 KBq/m² = 555 GBq/Km² = 15 Ci/Km² (within the light blue zone) - Permanent control zone low limit (includes urban areas in Fukushima Pref.)
  • 1480 KBq/m² = 1480 GBq/Km² = 40 Ci/Km² (within the yellow zone) - Closed zone

The Chernobyl evacuation scheme is anyhow quite questionable. The civilian exposure limit is much lower than what they'd get living in the 'Unnamed Zone'.  That's why there are still so many radiation victims, specially among Children. Yet some crackpots like former Ukranian President Viktor Yushenko who want to do as in Japan and get the polluted lands back to the economy, spreading radiation all around.

Curiously enough there are areas in the current, geometric, exclusion zone that are relatively safe. This is something that the people at Safecast did notice as well. But their latest drive through the exclusion area (different roads) yields unbearable radiation measures.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

'At dawn'. 36th anniversary of the last fascist executions in Spain. Homage of the victims remains a crime today.

36 years lasted the fascist dictatorship in Spain since Madrid, and then Valencia and Barcelona, fell to the military terrorists in 1939. 36 years have passed since the macabre leader of that treason against the people died in bed (not without losing his right hand and dauphin to the rage of ETA). In spite of all that time the fascists remain not just untouchable for their many crimes but even scrutiny of these crimes or homage to the brave guerrillas who fought against tyranny for decades remain out of the normal social and political discourse and might even be punishable.

That is the case of the memory of Juan Paredes Manot "Txiki" and Anjel Otaegi, two of the last five executed by fascism. If any municipality names a street or plaza on them or raises a monument, is brought to the courts for apology of terrorism. Instead mayors who name their streets for fascists or keep monuments to Franco enjoy full impunity.

As the tyrant said: I leave all tied and well tied.

But can those oppressive ropes survive the test of time? For how long will the ghost of Franco dominate Spanish politics?

Whatever the case, today 36 years ago, at dawn, five people were executed in Burgos and Barcelona. Three of them were members of the Communist Party of Spain (Marxist-Leninist) and of the Patriotic and Antifascist Revolutionary Front (FRAP), a short-lived Spanish urban guerrilla. Their names were Xosé Humberto Baena Alonso, José Luis Sánchez Bravo y Ramón García Sanz. The other two, Txiki and Otaegi, are still remembered through a Basque Country that was always a step aside (and often ahead as well) of whatever was happening in Spain proper.

Back in the day, still under fascism, Spanish singer Rosa León composed this song for the five guerrillas. Like everything under fascism, it's full of ambiguity and can only be understood knowing the sociological and political clues of the time but this song, that still has the power to squeeze tears, was a true hymn back in the late 70s and early 80s: a song of love, sadness and defiance.

Al Alba (At Dawn):

Lyrics (my hurried translation):
If I told you my love that I fear the dawn.
I do not know which stars are those ones that hurt like threats,
nor I know what the Moon bleeds at the edge of her sickle.

I feel that after the night will come the longer night
I want you not to abandon me, my love, at dawn.

The children we did not have hide in the sewers.
They eat the last flowers, they seem to be foreseeing
that the day that comes, comes with delayed hunger.

I feel that after the night will come the longer night
I want you not to abandon me, my love, at dawn.

Thousands of silent vultures are extending their wings.
Doesn't it break you down, my love, this silent dance?
Damned dance of the death, gunpowder of the morning.

I feel that after the night will come the longer night
I want you not to abandon me, my love, at dawn.

Echoes from the Class War (Sep 27)

Basque Country:

Noain (near Pamplona): four neighbors accused of apology of terrorism for showing the photo of a prisoner of conscience, Miguel Ángel Llamas, one of the several arrested and tortured earlier this year in the judicial attack against the counter-information site (see also here, here and here) ··> Ateak Ireki[es].

Pau tribunal to send Josu Esparza (another victim of ideological persecution) to Spain ··> Gara[es], video of Josu Esparza (in Basque with Spanish subtitles) at Ateak Ireki.

Strasbourg pan-European court ratifies that Spain violates human rights by persecuting Basques for their opinions. Arnaldo Otegi was sentenced to a whole year of prison for stating the obvious. He said:

How is it possible that [Basque politicians] get photographed today in Bilbao with the king of Spain, when  the king of Spain is the supreme commander of the Spanish Army, that is: the responsible of torturers and the one who protects torture and imposes his monarchical regime to our people through torture and violence.

··> Gara[es].

Bilbao: Christian Fundamentalist Mayor Azkuna proclaims that he will not allow any Kukutza IV (Kukutza III being the social center evicted this last week) ··> Gara[es].
protest against no-kissing ordinance
Bilbao: city ordinance, that forbids kissing and is extremely restrictive in general, challenged at court ··> Branka[es].

Bilbao: Mass criminal and narco boss Álvaro Uribe (former President of Colombia) will be in this city tomorrow invited by the Digital Cities' Meeting, taking place in Euskalduna Jauregia. A demonstration has been called against him ··> Branka[es].

West Eurasia & North Africa:

Germany: Bavarian Nazis investigated for email links with Norwegian mass-murderer A. Breivik. Among them there could be Roland Wuttke, leader of the NDP in Bavaria ··> Sare Antifaxista[es].

Germany/Ecuador: Nazi war criminal Walther Rauff was on payroll 'democratic' secret service. Known after file is declassified ··> Sare Antifaxista[es].

Palestine/Turkey: list of Zionist war criminals who assaulted the Mavi Marmara published online by the Turkish government ··> Jews sans frontieres.

Syria: tanks attack Rastan ··> Al Jazeera.

  • Clashes escalate with at least 17 dead, as police attacked opposition camp at Sanaa··> video at PO.
  • Women protest against Saleh ··> video at PO.
Egypt: gas pipeline to the Colonialist Apartheid Regime in Palestine (Israel) sabotaged again ··>  Al Jazeera.


  • Ottawa: Greenpeace protests against sand oil extraction at Parliament ··> video at PO
  • London (Ontario): protest against police use of taser (hyper-dangerous electric-shock gun) on face of young man ··> video at PO.

USA: Occupy Wall Street movement continues ··> video at PO.

Bolivia: controversial jungle highway suspended after protests. President Morales promises referendum ··> Gara[es], Al Jazeera.

East Asia & Oceania:

  • Japan authorities and TEPCO denounced in scientific paper for violating the rights of children. Fukushima worse than Chernobyl ··> EneNews.
  • TEPCO bribed compensation committee members ··> Fukushima Diary.
  • Radiation at Narita (Chiba Pref., Tokyo metropolitan area) very bad (10 microSv/h) ··> EneNews.
  • Fukushima exodus: people leave the doomed prefecture (if they can) ··> EneNews.

New Zealand: police attacks students' protest in Auckland ··> video at PO.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Latest from Fukushima: extreme risk of hydrogen explosion

A leak from a Fukushima worker reports that they are scared to death and that the Japanese Military (Self Defense Forces) has stopped collaborating with TEPCO because they distrust them.

The troubled company (which should have been intervened by the government on March 13) only decided to test for flammable gases in the last minute before cutting the pipes, which now happen to have probably 100% hydrogen in them. Contact with air would cause a explosion and any explosion would scatter more radioactive materials and make the situation even worse. 

Workers believe that it is radiation itself which is generating hydrogen out of water, i.e. this hydrogen is no remnant of the previous explosions (one of which has been speculated to have been a true nuclear explosion) but wholly new created hydrogen,

Meanwhile the government is going to lift the tiny mandatory evacuation area (go figure!), as if everything would be alright. 

External article: 'Actual workers talk about Fukushima' at Fukushima Diary

Work conditions for the mostly unqualified workers at destroyed Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear power plant are not really known. Now some workers speak out anonymously: salaries not paid, lack of training, very bad and illegal working conditions...

The translation to English could be better but still very worth reading. Also available in German, Italian and Korean.

Some excerpts:

... working conditions are unfair and illegal. We have no insurance, we are poorly paid and we [don't] even have a contract.


... you have promised me 15,000 yen [USD 200] a day and I’ve got nothing...
Even many experienced workers from the nuclear industry have refused to work in Fukushima, she said, “This is suicide,” because they know the effects of elevated radioactivity.
You will not find a real solution that allows to separate the molten fuel rods, which are the cause of the diffusion of radioactive material when the technician can not approach the fast reactor core...

Read the  full story at Fukushima Diary.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Echoes from the Class War (Sep 25)

Basque Country:

Video homage to Kukutza III social center:

The arrested in the demos (mostly while running away from police attacks) report very different treatments: some were treated properly, while others have been beaten, threatened, insulted and abused ··> SA[eu].

A new social center is occupied in the old quarter of Donostia (San Sebastian) ··> Gara[es].

Spanish fascists show up in Leitza for a photo. The citizens ignored the provocation ··> SA[es].

Britain: protests against healthcare (NHS) cuts ··> video at PO.

Yemen: after return, dictator Saleh attacks opposition breaking his own request of a truce ··> Al Jazeera.

Egypt: striking teachers protest in Cairo ··> video at PO.


Occupy Wall Street movement continues growing amidst arrests and police repression:

Live Stream from New York.

Videos at PO: reporters arrests, arrests of women who protested police touching them, RT report.

Washington's Blog also has a host of videos on police violence. The movement also gets a commentary at Naked Capitalism

Los Angeles Israel consulate close down... by local anti-Zionist Jews ··> video at PO.


Latest Fukushima Dai Ichi videos show steam ··> Fukushima Diary.

Yellow powder scattered by typhoon may be plutonium ··> Fukushima Diary.

Generalized food insecurity in Japan as newly harvested rice measures 500Bq/Kg (and yet is distributed as "food"). The amount is more than a hundred times normal safety standards in Germany ··> Fukushima Diary.


Speed of light limit may have been broken by neutrinos ··> BBC, Al Jazeera.

Dwarf galaxies dislike the very concept of dark matter ··> BBC.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Huge demo in Bilbao demands the end of political trials and the beginning of a democratic solution

Many thousands demonstrated today in Bilbao demanding:


The demo was called by a number of political parties (Basque Nationalist Left, Aralar, EA, Alternatiba), labor unions (LAB, STEE-EILAS, HIRU, EHNE) and other associations (Lokarri, Esait, EHBE, EHE, Behatokia, Gazte Abertzaleak, IA, TAT, Bai Euskal Herriari)

In the opening group, there were also members of non-calling unions: Txiki Muñoz (ELA) and Jesús Uzkudun (CC.OO.)
People cheered in favor of independence, human and political rights, repatriation of prisoners and a democratic solution. They also showed their solidarity with the demolished and violently repressed Kukutza social center. 

The demo finished before the Town Hall, where Maite Ugarteburu read a letter from imprisoned political leader Arnaldo Otegi[es/eu], which acknowledges that there are still important power actors in Spain that want at any cost to impede that peace ever comes for the Basque Country. 

Source: Gara[es].

Demands of resignation of the mayor of Bilbao for mismanagement with the Kukutza social center conflict

The municipal group of Bildu (Basque Nationalist Left coalition) demanded the resignation of the mayor of Bilbao. Inaki Azkuna (PNV), for the mismanagement he has done with this issue from the beginning till the end.

In response to the claims of urban guerrilla by the mayor, Txema Azkuenaga said that the situation rather resembled the worst of fascism: a neighborhood occupied by police, hundreds of injured, open portals so the people could find refuge from police, injured seeking refuge in church, police entering the health center and stealing medical reports. 

They blamed Azkuna for all what has happened and demanded that the Town Hall must be with the people for the project Kukutza IV, which must be built starting now. 

A group has been created in Facebook under the moniker Azkuna Dimisión (Azkuna Resignation), gathering already more than a thousand members.

The 31 arrested, accused of public disorders, are expected to be set free in the upcoming hours. 

Source: Branka[es].

Echoes from the Class War (Sep 24)

Lots of infos piling up again in my "to do" folder. Here there's a synthesis:


Basque Country: 

Organized political prisoners adhere to the Gernika agreement that promotes exclusively political struggle ··> Gara[es].

Homage to Agoitz (Aoiz) neighbors murdered by the fascists in 1936 ··> SA[es].

French state: lots of activities by Spanish and French 'indignants' in Paris (from Spanish Revolution):

Spanish state: Protests against health cuts ··> video at PO.


Corfu occupied social center raided by police ··> Contra Info.

Thessaloniki bank attacked in solidarity with political prisoners who refuse internal body searches ··> Contra Info.

West Asia:


From Ilan against the Wall:
  • Al Akrib Bedouins marched against their forced relocation by Zionist invaders
  • Beit Ummar: aggressions by Zionist settlers and soldiers are constant. People demonstrated last Saturday
  • Biddu: demo last Sunday
  • Bil'in: demo against the apartheid wall
  • Hebron: Shuhada st. to be renamed Apartheid st.
  • Qalandia checkpoint (near Jerusalem): women demonstrate for Palestinian statehood
  • Nabih Saleh: protests against Zionist occupation
  • Sheikh Jarrah: Zionist settlers burned internationalists' tent. These had been supporting the Al Kurd family against racist expropriation. Demos all Fridays.
  • Wallaja (near Bethlehem): demo on Friday against the extension of Wall of Shame.
Thousands demand in Ramallah a Palestinian state ··> Gara[es].

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya denounces Abbas' maneouver in the UN as "scam" ··> VoltaireNet.


Libya: witch hunts by the NTC follow racist massacres ··> VoltaireNet.



More of the Take Wall Street movement ··> videos at PO (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), report at Washington Blog, AlterNet how-to-help article.

Arrests in protests against death penalty ··> video at PO.

Berkeley students protest rising costs ··> video at PO.

Bolivia: citizens clash with police on controversial jungle highway ··> video at PO.

Chile: student protests continue ··> videos at PO (1, 2), report at Disidente del Capitalismo[es].

They paint themselves of democracy but are made of dictatorship. Free education.

South Asia:

India: Mutiny and hunger strike among counter-insurgency troops ··> Revolution in South Asia.

East Asia:

Indonesia: Miniskirt protest against cultural and legal dictatorship on how to dress ··> video at PO.


Video of the large anti-nuclear demo in Tokyo ··> PO.

Typhon hits Fukushima damaged nuclear power plant (effects still unclear, besides spreading radiation all around) ··> Fukushima Diary



Another anti-Zionist demo in Sydney ··> video at PO.

Rooftop protest against asylum-seekers arrests (also in protest) ··> video at PO.


The Pillaging of Latvia by Anders Aslund ··> Counterpunch.

The demolition of Kukutza sets Bilbao alight

Basque Country:Police and popular violence shatters Errekaldeberri (Bilbao) as excavators arrive to demolish Kukutza gaztetxea (a 13 years old social center of Bilbao).

The popular neighborhood was taken by police forcing people to take refuge where they could (taverns, open portals, church, station). The demonstration called for 20:00 could never begin. Some people set trash bins on fire, police controls were set around the city, bus transportation was suspended, police charged into the train station, a real state company's offices have been set alight, loss of electric power in Errekalde, political taverns of the city's ruling party (PNV) have been attacked through the city...

At least some of the incidents may have been caused by infiltrated plain clothes policemen. You see indeed some people acting very suspiciously, cheering people to stop behaving peacefully and then running away the first ones, helping to create both incidents and panic.

At least 24 people have been arrested.

Images tell better than words:




demolition, not of a mere building but of a huge dream


more arrests

sterile city of ruins and police

Sources: Sare Antifaxista[es], Gara[es], Berria[eu], La Haine[es], Irola Irala Irratia[eu/es].

Friday, September 23, 2011

Obama: the first ultra-Zionist US President?

Well, not really the first, but he's overdoing it so much that even New York magazine has acknowledged it by proclaiming him The first Jewish (sic) President.

Problem is that they have borrowed the sentence from a 2008 article by James Petras, who already saw how Obama's meteoric and unusual career could only be the product of his intense dive in the Zionist Lobby.

Sources: Al Jazeera, VoltaireNet.

The accident of Marcoule was radioactive (hidden by France)

The recent accident at a nuclear facility at Marcoule (Occitania or "SE France", near Avignon) was seriously radioactive in spite of the claims by the Sarkozy government and the nuclear industry that it was a mere industrial accident with no radiation danger. 

An anonymous source already informed back in the day (Sep 12) that there was risk of radioactive leak. 

Now we have known that the dead worker, José Marín, was seriously irradiated: his coffin was sealed with a radiation protection (lead) and the family could never see or even approach the corpse, which has not had any autopsy either. 

The corpse was rescued from the exploded oven by special NRBC unit and the public attorney authorized an exceptional lack of autopsy.

One of the injured workers, with third degree burns on 85% of his body, is in a military hospital in Paris, what allows the all-powerful French Armed Forces strict control on any information on his health state. 

The nature of the radioactive junk being burned in the exploded oven is also a secret. Even the information of the residue of the filters has been declared secret. The oven was meant mostly to burn, mostly military, radioactive junk, accumulated in the center since 1958.

Source: Público[es], via EneNews.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

External article: 'Economics Debunked: Chapter Two for Sixth Graders' (Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism)

One of the best articles online on why the so-called economic science is just a pile of esoteric junk (and people still swallow it with religious fervor).


Once upon a time, about a hundred years ago, economics was different from how it is today. Many famous people had thought about economics, including Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, and others. Economics was not a perfect science, and lots of people who thought about economics disagreed. But in the last century, economists started to agree about two things: economics should become as mathematical as it possibly could, and politicians should listen to economists.


Someone named Lorie Tarshis went to Keynes’ classes, took notes, and made a book out of it. The name of the book was “Elements of Economics.” It was published in 1947. Back then, there were people who thought that communist spies were everywhere. Some of these people, including William F. Buckley, decided that Tarshis’ book was also part of a communist plot, and started saying so very loudly to as many people as they could find. Many colleges became afraid to use “Elements of Economics” as a textbook.


Meanwhile, Paul Samuelson was writing his dissertation, and he saw how angry the people had gotten with Tarshis. He decided to make it so his dissertation could not be attacked in the same way. So he did three things, writing very “carefully and lawyer like.” First, he changed Keynes’ ideas a little bit so that in Samuelson’s version of them, they said that corporations in the capitalist system would always give everybody a job as long as the government and labor unions didn’t bother the corporations. That made corporations happy with him, so that they didn’t think people should call him a communist. Second, he called his ideas “neoclassical synthesis Keynesianism.” That made other economists think that he wasn’t changing their ideas very much, so they were more happy to support him. Third, he wrote all of his arguments up in mathematical form. Now why would he want to write up his ideas as mathematical arguments? Well, for one thing, a lot of people don’t understand complicated math, so he could automatically win arguments with someone who didn’t understand math. Even the people who went around calling people communists couldn’t call him a communist if they didn’t understand the math he was doing.


Isn’t the point of mathematics that in math, things are either right or wrong?

Actually, the way that things work in math is that first, you make ASSUMPTIONS, and then you figure out from the assumptions whether things are right or wrong. So the way that you use a mathematical argument to say things that people will like is that you change the assumptions until they make it so the answers are answers that people like.


Some people who don’t think like economists have made fun of economists for making unrealistic assumptions like these. Those people seem to think that if economics is based on assumptions like these, that maybe aren’t true, then economics must not be a useful science. But these people don’t know that in 1953, Milton Friedman destroyed all of their arguments with a magical “get-out-of-reality-free card.” When you play this card, it makes it so you’re not allowed to make fun of economists for basing their theories on assumptions that aren’t true.


But even though the card might not really work, mostly people don’t argue with economists and so they still use their theories and “think like economists.” “Thinking like economists” is kind of like looking at the world with 3-D glasses. When you’re watching a 3-D movie, it makes it so that you see really neat things. When you’re not watching a 3-D movie, then everything looks red and blue and kind of weird. But economists still like wearing their 3-D glasses.


Some economists have tried to use a lot less theories and mostly just figure out what is actually going on in the world. This kind of economics is called “empirical research.”


Even though it’s a good idea to do cross-validation, a lot of economists don’t do it.


Economics seems to be in a lot of trouble right now. The old economics has problems, and the new kinds of economics have problems too. Some economists have even given up studying the economy and now study things like speed-dating and violence in movies.


Read the full article at Naked Capitalism.

Troy Davis executed in spite of reasonable doubts on his guilt

The true victim of a rotten justice system
A policeman is killed and a scapegoat must be found to be lynched by the 'good citizens' with the blessings of the judiciary system of Georgia (USA). In addition the policeman was white and the scapegoat was black (how else?!)

There was no evidence? The accused has always proclaimed his innocence? No problem for Georgia, where prisoners are treated as slaves and put to work in chains... 

I am not in general against death penalty: Hitler deserved it, Olmert and Barak deserve it and Breivik deserves it as well. But the problem with the death penalty is that it is seldom used against mass institutional criminals like these but instead against minorities and poor people for less important crimes and without enough evidence. As they say, in the USA, whether they hang you or you are set free depends almost only on the attorney you can pay. 

And that is not justice but a mockery of it.

Until the moment of his death by institutional murder, Troy Davies said it was not his fault, he did not have a gun, he did not kill that damn cop. Not a single piece of evidence exists but he was killed anyhow. Shame on you, Georgia!

Thousands take Errekaldeberri in solidarity with evicted Kukutza social center

More images at Gara
Yesterday afternoon I shook off my laziness and went to the demo in solidarity with Kukutza gaztetxea, the occupied social center that police had evicted in the morning. As I walked out the train station I was truly impressed at the crowd gathered just outside the doors.

Later, before we set off, I counted the people gathered at the plaza and I estimated some 5000, maybe more. This figure is confirmed by some media, so it was probably right.

Upon turning the corner of Gordoniz street, there was no room left anywhere, so massive was the response. 13 years of cultural activitism paid off: people came from all the metropolitan area and even from outside the city in spite of the short notice. Errekaldeberri has not seen such a mobilization in decades, if ever.


There have been more than 30 arrested, the demolition has been suspended by the judge (on technical reasons, I understand). 

Mayor Azkuna says: Go ahead! It's just culture (Tasio)


Another video of the demo can be watched at Gara.

The mayor of Bilbao (Christian Fundamentalists, PNV) and the imposed councilor of interior (pro-Spanish Social-Democrat, PSOE) converge in excusing the violence of the police on supposed aggressions by people in the gaztetxe, who only used nonviolence all the time. In this line mayor Azkuna considers that the problem is not the police and lack of centers of popular culture (something other than the Guggenheim junk for German tourists, something directly managed by the people and for the people, such as Kukutza used to be) but for him the problem is Kukutza itself ··> Gara[es].


Further protests today evening have got police injuring and arresting people by the dozens ··> SA[es]

There was another protest before the tribunals this morning. They demanded the resignation of the Councilor of Interior (regional police chief), R. Ares, for causing 40 injured without any reason at all ··> Branka[eu].

Labor union LAB  denounced that the town hall also closed the city center of Errekaldeberri yesterday for no reason at all: leaving in the same journey the neighborhood without any cultural or civic service whatsoever, be it self-managed or managed from the town hall ··> Branka[eu].

Update (Fri 23): The court has ruled that the demolition of the building can go ahead, there's a call to defend Kukutza. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Alert: Kukutza III social center evicted after six hours of police violence

[Scroll down for updates please]

Between 5 and 5:30am tonight police forces occupied and forcibly evicted the most long lived social center (gaztetxe) in Bilbao. 

Kukutza III (pictured) was occupied 13 years ago, after two short-lived attempts (hence the "III" ordinal), in the popular neighborhood of Errekaldeberri, under the shadow of the Pagasarri mountain. The building, an abandoned industrial bloc was ideal for the purposes of the organized youth of the neighborhood: to develop social and cultural activities, from a tea salon to a super-cheap vegetarian restaurant, from dance to theater, from music to self-defense...

After the municipal elections, the rather far-right (ultra-catholic ultra-conservative) mayor Azkuna pointed his finger at the building. It is owned by a private speculator and fraud-involved company, which hopes to demolish it and build apartments. The judge blessed all the farce. 

In the middle of the night police took the building not entirely by surprise and evicted it. At the moment we know of no arrests but demolition will probably follow soon destroying a social reality outside the promoted corporative Bilbao of the ugly and sad bourgeoisie.

Source: Branka[eu] (link 1, link 2).

PS- In this lip dub video, the people of the gaztetxe showed us the building and the activities developed in it:


Update: Sare Antifaxista[es] reports of "incidents" since 6 am (no details provided).

Police with armored vehicles attacked the gatztetxe before dawn
Update: Berria[eu] reports that 50 people resist eviction inside the gaztetxe, including a pregnant woman and several minors. Meanwhile people have gathered around the social center.

Update (10:20am): Gara[es] titles police sows chaos in Errekalde while trying to evict the social center.
Apparently police could only access the building after breaching a hole with one of their armored vehicles (small tanks). They have also included a helicopter in this aggression (all that will be paid from our pockets, mind you). 

Several people resists on the roof of the building with banners with a banner that reads Kukutza gaztetxea ikutu bez! (do not touch Kukutza gaztetxea!

Riot police has charged often through the streets of the popular neighbohood, causing several injured and executing four arrests.

The attempted eviction can be watched by UStream (actually just one lateral street, that at the moment of writing this seems quiet). 

The disgraceful episode can also be followed by Twitter and at Kukutza's site (in Spanish and Basque).

It seems that a demo has been called for 5pm.

Update (10:40): Twitter (mins ago) reports police charging against a press conference[eu/es] in the street. 25 arrested along the morning.

Even police acknowledges now that eviction will be impossible before evening. Will it be outright impossible? Kukutza and this city deserves a popular victory against the bourgeois far right.

Who are the violent ones?

More details from the press conference (10:20, posted here at 11:20): the attorney of the social center was beaten three times and then retained in a tavern (it is unclear if he was arrested after all).

Police have thrown tear gas against the terrace, after breaking in the rooms where people was resisting peacefully they have attacked them with rubber bullets and tear gas.

It is believed that some 50 people may have been arrested and brutally beaten by the riot police.

Excavators and bulldozers are already at the social center to demolish it.

The Neighbors' Association denounced the owners, linked to corruption in Cantabria, the town hall and the ultra-violent attitude of the police, which they compared with the dark decades  fascism.

It has been rather surprising for all that nonviolent resistance has been met with this police ultraviolence... but this is the Basque Country, the so-called Basque Government has been appointed from Madrid by means of fraudulent elections and the complicity of the local corrupt-to-the-marrow Christian Fundamentalists (PNV).

Update (11:30): Gara[es] confirms that the social center has finally been evicted. The body count is of dozens of injured and maybe 50 arrested.

It may not have finished, a twit mentioned that people wanted to reoccupy while the building still stands.

Other tweets mention that the demolition is imminent.

from El Correo

from Deia