John Perkins Update.

Posted on December 21, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

mountain1(Cross-posted from johnperkins.org – An article written by John Perkins)

Year in Review: Latin America in 2014

By John Perkins

I just returned from a magical trip with a special group of people to amazing Peru. Our group experienced sacred sites and ceremonies with the Q’ero and other Quechua elders and shamans. Now I look forward to facilitating another group as we visit the sacred sites and great Mayan teachers of Guatemala beginning very soon, January 16 (to join visit: http://www.johnperkins.org/a-journey-to-the-lands-of-the-maya-guatemala/).

This year much of my time and energy has been spent in Latin America. I have talked about events in various countries and ways in which people are waking up. With the closing of the year, let’s look at some of these stories and see how they have developed.

Chevron and Big Oil

Big Oil (Chevron, Shell, BP, etc) have long been seen as an enemy of the Amazon, as purveyors of contamination, poverty, and disease. (Blog Post: “Big Oil, Romania, and the Amazon”.) Oil is a tool for bringing a country into economic submission, as I learned during my time as Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm (“economic hit man.”) Ecuador is not the only country to have issues with Big Oil; dependence on fossil fuels has led countries all over the world to economic disaster and civil unrest.

There has often been violence between the multinational companies and the indigenous people who have had their lives brutally impacted by the oil industry. Just in the last few weeks, a brave Ecuadorian Shuar leader, José Isidro Tendetza Antún, was found dead, tortured, and buried in suspicious circumstances mere days before he was scheduled to travel to Lima, Peru for climate talks. He had been a leader in the struggle to rein in mining and oil companies that threaten so much of his native Ecuador.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has sometimes been praised and sometimes castigated for his stance on the Amazon rainforest, most recently exploiting the natural resources of the region by signing permits for oil drilling in one of the most bio diverse regions on the planet. On the other hand, he has also made statements opposing Chevron in the nearly twenty year saga of Ecuadorian villagers against the oil giant over the clean-up of contaminated areas.

Though the Ecuadorian villagers have won against Chevron with the help of a legal team lead by Steven Donziger and Pablo Fajardo, the Big Oil company is refusing to keep its promise to abide by the judgment of Ecuador’s courts. In typical Corporatocracy fashion, Chevron is not under the regulation of a single government and therefore refuses to respect any. Its executives are threatening not only the lives of the indigenous people of the Amazon, but people all over the world, from Canada to Romania to Myanmar to India. Other governments in those regions continue to do business with Chevron, despite clear evidence that the environment and the people suffer greatly.

Monsanto and “Free-Trade”

Another multinational corporation that is threatening the health of the land and the people of Latin America and most of the rest of the world is Monsanto. (Blog Post: “A Latin American Awakening and Monsanto”.) In Latin American countries, free-trade agreements have paved the way for the Corporatocracy to gain control and have sent thousands of children across the border into the US in desperation.

Throughout history since the Industrial Revolution, the move to take agriculture away from small farmers and give the power and profits to big companies has resulted in poverty and destruction. Not only do these agreements render it impossible for small farmers to make a living from their seeds and produce, but they have also introduced incredibly dangerous chemicals and pesticides into once-pristine environments.

Earlier this year we saw some Latin American governments seek to stand firm for the interests of their people against major privatization of agriculture. The fight is far from over. Groups of citizens have organized to demand that their rights, interests, and cultural values be protected by their leaders and that the corporations abide by new standards and laws.

Awakening

However, as powerful as these big corporations are, the people who are waking up are more powerful. There is much that we can learn from our southern neighbors in how to harness our power to make our leaders work for change. (Blog Post: “Lessons on Capitalism from an Unlikely Source”.)

One striking example of leaders listening to their people is the 20 x 20 Initiative: 8 Latin American nations joining forces to fight global warming. Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru are coming together for this agreement to protect forests and fertile land.

We can do our part to help and support this awakening by calling and emailing our leaders and elected officials and demanding that they work against free-trade agreements such as CAFTA-DR and the proposed TPP. We can vote with our dollars by buying local and small-farm-grown produce and products instead of shopping at big box stores and retailers. Our market power can be made even stronger by sending emails to the Big Business executives telling them we will boycott their companies until they too support local businesses and farmers and provide their employees with higher wages, health care, and retirement pensions. We can join or organize consumer movements to strengthen our messages.

Let’s make 2015 the year we focus our intentions and our dreams on changing the world for a better future through taking positive actions and by educating those around us.

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(Thank you to breakingtheset at YouTube)

This Is The Most Important Time In History.

Posted February 16, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“A dying people tolerates the present, rejects the future, and finds its satisfactions in past greatness and half-remembered glory.”

– John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

oneness3-1Cynics may not be in alignment that these are the most important times in history. This is understandable given the gap between what people are aware of and the failure of politicians and governments to shape the world according to that awareness. So, many have become frustrated that the facts of events and situations are still being hidden as they always have. God only knows how many suffer in isolation after discovering important truths kept from view of the rest of the human race.

So, what is to be done to help remove the doubts of the cynical? First, it is beneficial to try to describe what the cynic/doubter goes through when they are aware of realities that do not coincide with the perceptions of most people. One can only guess how many millions of men and women have arrived at this state of frustration and impatience, but on the positive side one can say with certainty that the number has risen steadily in recent years; this trend will not subside as more people communicate with others all across the Earth.

To the cynics, frustrated, and impatient please help yourself to become more optimistic by remembering all the good events that are occurring with greater regularity now, just as these events and announcements have occurred in recent years. The first event to express gratitude over is the tremendous amount of good that has become generated by regular men and women through the use of computers and the internet. Imagine the millions of people in every nation on Earth who are entirely able to produce communications that bring truth to the world.

Be thankful that people are no longer going to their televisions to learn what is occurring around the world, and that there are good men and women doing fantastic work to bring the truth on issues of importance. Issues which relate directly to the health and well-being of regular citizens have been discussed extensively on the internet, and good solutions have been disseminated in the process. Yes, it is frustrating that these solutions are not becoming implemented as soon as necessary. Yet, see in your mind’s eye the billions of words passing through cables and the air that continuously become more refined with each passing day, leading to solutions that, because of their inherent, obvious proof of excellence, their quality of offering improved methods of creating world conditions, and look ahead to the fast-approaching inevitable time when they become widely accepted and implemented.

Consider the example provided by John Perkins, author of “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”. Until listening to this interview of Mr. Perkins, who has this writer’s admiration and respect, that he had Howard Zinn as a professor in classes at Boston College wasn’t known. Perkins mentions his sitting in classes taught by Professor Zinn and that in later years they became friends. Howard Zinn’s book “A People’s History of the United States” has become a multi-million copy bestseller, making Mr. Zinn one of the world’s first “whistleblowers” – while the book profoundly altered the historical perceptions of countless men and women.

It is interesting to note that John Perkins books have also become bestsellers and profoundly altered the historical perceptions of countless millions of men and women. Some reading this are perhaps aware that Matt Damon was a neighbor of Howard Zinn. People may remember one of the most memorable monologues in movie history where the character played by Matt Damon, “Will Hunting”, is sitting in the office of a National Security Agency (NSA) recruiter and clearly “blows the whistle” (through the movie screen) on the NSA’s actions and negative consequences for people around the world.

Now, were Howard Zinn, John Perkins, and Matt Damon born into families considered “blue-bloods”? This would seem to not be the case. The example provided for regular citizens around the world by Zinn, Perkins, and Damon – as well as truth-tellers/whistleblowers everywhere – is that average, regular citizens are able to make the difference. Look on the internet, at your trusted truth-telling websites, and most times you will see the results of efforts taken by people in the same conditions as yourself.

The communications from the millions of men and women involved in sharing the truth on the internet contain a variety of views depending on the producer/creator’s age, level of education, personal experience, and other factors. However, it is beyond debate that regardless of these various factors, there most importantly are tremendous examples of men and women communicating about great issues with integrity and sincerity.

Those reading this will know what it means when saying that one can tell after a certain amount of time spent taking in communications over the internet when someone is genuine and honest – or not. Simply knowing that there are men and women who are sincerely and genuinely trying to take actions to create a better world is reason for celebration and optimism.

John Perkins is one of the sincere and genuine truth-tellers trying to create a better world for his, and all people’s, grandchildren. He describes the world’s economic system as a “death economy”, a situation in need of conversion to a “life economy”, where not “maximization of profits” at all costs – including destruction of lives through war, destruction of the environment through poisoning, and the greatest wealth inequality the world has ever seen – but fair profits, production of useful goods, and public service become the focused motives for corporations and governments.

Mr. Perkins has an intimate, personal knowledge of geopolitics, economics, and the negative consequences of overwhelming focus on “maximization of profits” at all costs. As an economic hitman he dealt personally with Presidents Jaime Roldos of Equador and Omar Torrijos of Panama, both of whom died (Perkins states outright in this interview that these were CIA executions) while in office after rejecting the “suggestions” of Mr. Perkins and others who desired natural resources in those men’s nations. He points out that these are not historical examples of planned assassinations and coups that have since ended; he points out that the President of Honduras was overthrown from office three years ago.

John Perkins’ books are very disturbing, but the truth revealed is absolutely important

Perkins, to his great credit because of the intensely troubling history he knows, maintains his optimism for the future while sharing that optimism with his audiences and viewers. To the cynics, frustrated, and impatient who wonder how a man like John Perkins is able to maintain a shred of optimism in the face of an Earthly reality containing gruesome examples of man’s inhumanity to man, perhaps his relationship with Mayan and other indigenous societies offer an answer.

John Perkins has experienced profound changes of a spiritual nature, seen with his action of traveling to Central America to apologize to citizens of lands who felt the negative effects from his actions while an economic hitman. His personal apology is moving, recorded in a video titled “Apology of an Economic Hitman” and available to view on YouTube.

If John Perkins – a man who literally risked his life to tell people the truth – can remain optimistic and states that “this is the most fascinating and important time in history”, surely people can overcome doubt, frustration, and impatience.

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(Thank you to The Peoples Voice TV @ YouTube)