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Permaculture design for Stephan Schrotter at Cairo Montenotte, Italy

Permaculture design for Stephan Schrotter at Cairo Montenotte, Italy

This article is in three parts.  The entire series will take us through a Permaculture Design Project at a property in Italy.  Firstly we will look at how the project was observed, then the analysis that was undertaken before starting the design.

Holistic Goal

What is it?

holistic goal is a three-part goal describing the quality of life desired, the forms of production to get there, and the future resource base that the forms of production depend on. A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a goal. A task is one step in the plan of action to accomplish a goal.

A Holistic Goal (now referred to as a “Holistic Context” by the Savory Institute) is necessary for anyone who wants to be a Holistic Manager. It can help you with your personal life, your business, and your family life. Having a Holistic Goal has eliminated a lot of decision-making stress in my life.

Holistic Management involves using a simple decision-making framework that ensures all significant management decisions are simultaneously economically, socially and environmentally sound both short and long term.  No longer are decisions made toward objectives or goals alone, but always toward a new concept called the holistic goal for any management situation. The holistic goal provides the context for all objectives, goals or actions toward any vision or mission. This helps greatly in avoiding unintended consequences to our actions that are so universal that economists long ago used the term “Law of unintended consequences.”

-Allan Savory

What you have to manage?

A Permaculture project:  Rebuild the house with two or three rooms to rent, food production for the family and guests, trees…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

War and Censorship — Difficult Times in Italy

War and Censorship — Difficult Times in Italy

A post by Miguel Martinez, originally published in Italian on his blog on  Italy was the first European country to be struck by the COVID-19 pandemic and the first to implement a national lockdown. At that time, Italians would display the flag on their balconies and sing aloud in a show of national unity. That time is past and gone. 

The media gives the alarm: news of danger and a call to arms, together. When the message is inseparable from mobilization, it becomes propaganda. Since “propaganda” today has a bad name, let us immediately specify: propaganda can say absolutely true things and defend right causes, but it remains always propaganda.

The state of mobilization puts an end to disputes: in war, everyone must be in solidarity around a human figure, the leader, able to embody all passions.

Young people run to enlist volunteers. Fear, excitement, optimism. It’s Gonna Be Okay!

We grit our teeth, citizens cleanse themselves gel and unmask the traitors, actually mask them – but we will win soon!

People who, until the night before were ready to file a complaint because they were not served the cocktail they had requested, or because the plane left five minutes late, meekly lock themselves in their homes, place the tricolor flag out of the window, and prepares to see the enemy fall to the ground.

Above: “I stay home — checkmate to the coronavirus”
The first deaths are celebrated: both as innocent victims of the wickedness of the enemy, and as brave fighters.
“A nurse dies of coronavirus refuses to see her husband for the last time and saves his life”
But there are also the first victories, a united people, let’s open the windows, it’s spring!

Our leader is leading us to triumph and we will dance in Sardinia all summer!

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Managing the Pandemic: A Costly Mistake we are Making

Managing the Pandemic: A Costly Mistake we are Making

This comment by Olga Milanese is related to the situation in Italy, where it is common to talk about the pandemic in terms of the “Maximum Precaution Principle.” This term is not much used elsewhere, but similar concepts are expressed in different forms in other countries, for example stating that no level other than zero is acceptable in regards to the pandemic (see, e.g. this exchange). Unfortunately, the consequence is that other problems are neglected. Here, Olga Milanese writes some interesting considerations from her viewpoint of a lawyer about the “principle of precaution.” These considerations apply not only to the pandemic, but to many facets of the situation as it is nowadays. Facing multiple existential threats, from climate change to resource depletion, the human tendency, now as in past history, is to select one as “the” threat, and convey all the efforts on it, without realizing that some of the perceived “solutions” may do more harm than good.


The PRINCIPLE OF MAXIMUM PRECAUTION is not what it seems! 
 
First of all, there is no principle of “maximum” precaution, but of precaution … and that’s it! The difference is fundamental. This principle contemplates the need to adopt protection and prevention measures even when it is not absolutely certain that a particular phenomenon is harmful, but there is a SCIENTIFICALLY RELIABLE doubt that it could be. 
 
This means that the legislator and the public administrations, in the exercise of their discretionary powers, must act cautiously when there is a potential risk. In these cases, we speak of “technical discretion”, since the choices are made as a result of an evaluation based on the knowledge and the means provided by the various sciences…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Anti-Lockdown Protests All Across EuropeIncreasingly draconian lockdown measures, economic destitution, and sweeping police powers are evaporating public trust and eroding public patience.

Anti-Lockdown Protests All Across EuropeIncreasingly draconian lockdown measures, economic destitution, and sweeping police powers are evaporating public trust and eroding public patience.

As the alleged “second wave” of the Coronavirus “pandemic” is reported to be sweeping across Europe in recent weeks, many governments have enthusiastically embraced their totalitarian side and granted themselves sweeping new “emergency powers” alongside new lockdown measures.

The public has been markedly less co-operative this time around. Rebelling against the seemingly arbitrary limitations which are not supported by either science or common sense. Protests have taken place all across the continent.

GERMANY

Thousands of people gathered in Berlin over the last few days, protesting the Merkel government passing a new lockdown law. Police turned water cannons on the crowds, and nearly 200 people were arrested.

The mainstream reported “hundreds” of protesters, but as pictures plainly show it was more like tens of thousands:

 

SPAIN

After the Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez declared a sixth-month state of emergency in late October, there were days of protests across the country.

Barcelona, already a hot-bed of anti-government feeling due to the brutal repression of the Catalan Independence referendum, saw violent confrontations between riot police and protestors

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Police Join Protestors in Naples, Italy

This is what we need to desperately save our future. The police have to wake up and see that they are destroying, not just their own future, but that of their families for generations to come. I have always pointed out — tyranny ends when the police defend the people against the corruption of government. That is how you win bloodless revolutions.

NAPLES Riots after Government Says it Will Impose 40 day Lockdown

Protest breakout in Naples after the government claimed that 2,000 have COVID-19 so they may lock down the region for 40 days and have imposed a curfew.  These lockdowns have not stopped the virus but instead, prolong it. We see civil unrest rising around the world and this may lead to even overthrowing governments in many places.

Politics in the Age of the Coronavirus. What can we learn from the Italian Elections? 

Politics in the Age of the Coronavirus. What can we learn from the Italian Elections?

Sep 20, 2020. The president of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, votes at the Italian regional elections. In these elections, the first in the age of the COVID, the victory went to the Left largely by means of over a better strategy in managing people’s perceptions of the epidemic. Here, I report some personal considerations on how this result may tell us something about the coming US presidential election.

The regional elections of this weekend in Italy were held after a debate still dominated by the COVID epidemics. Although the virus itself was not mentioned so much in the speeches and in the political programs, the rest of the debate was shallow and lacking ideas on both sides. The Left was unable to propose anything better than “restarting growth,” and the Right little more than vague talks of “Italexit.”

So, the COVID epidemic hovered like a ghost over everything that was said and done. The Left coalition, the parties supporting the current government, had placed their bets on appearing tough on the epidemic. The government-controlled media tried to reinforce this perception by doing their best to terrorize citizens with daily catastrophistic reports. This strategy had a risk: if the elderly were to stay at home for fear of being infected at the polling station, then a disaster was looming for those parties that relied on their vote: in particular the Democratic Party (the former communists).

The Right, instead, never found a coherent strategy on the epidemic. Sometimes, it tried to convince its electorate that the epidemic was brought to Italy by black immigrants from Africa, but that worked only on people already convinced that all evils in Italy arrive from Africa.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The lure of imperial dreams: What are our leaders going to do to us?

The lure of imperial dreams: What are our leaders going to do to us?

Donald Trump is often represented wearing some kind of imperial garb. Actually, his presidency may have been less imperial than that of his predecessors. Yet, his style as president is very much “imperial” and his winning slogan in the 2016 elections, “MAGA,” (make America great again) has a deep imperial ring to it. Earlier on, Benito Mussolini, the leader of the Italian government between the two world wars, was destroyed (and with him Italy and not just Italy) by his Imperial ambitions.

When things get tough, people seem to think that they need tough leaders and this is a clear trend in the world, nowadays. It is a deadly mechanism that tends to bring dangerous psychotic personalities to the top government positions. I already noted in a previous post how imperial ambitions coupled with incompetence (both common conditions in high-level leaders) can destroy entire countries.

Here, let me examine an interesting feature of how Benito Mussolini (1883 -1945) ruled Italy. Despite his warlike rhetoric, during the first phase of his government he pursued a moderate foreign policy, avoiding wars. Then, the second phase of his rule was characterized by a series of disastrous wars that led to the destruction of Italy (and not just of Italy) and to the downfall of Mussolini himself. Whether this story can tell us something about a possible second term for Donald Trump as president, is left to the readers to decide.

Benito Mussolini and the Italian Empire: How Leaders’ Absurd Decisions Lead to Collapse.

Benito Mussolini ruled Italy for 21 years after the “March on Rome” of 1922. Many things happened during those years but, on the whole, you could think of the Fascist rule as having two phases: one before and the other after the turning point that was the invasion of Ethiopia, in 1935.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Infodemic of Fake News in the Era of CoV-19

The Infodemic of Fake News in the Era of CoV-19

In Italy Facebook and Twitter are not the primary social media apps of Italians generally speaking. More than ever WhatsApp and Instagram are the mobile apps of choice for social media messaging and these apps have been the cause of many fake news stories where local gossip is translated into a media story only later to be discovered as fake. There are even fake animal stories in abundance on social media on Instagram and Twitter and filters on Instagram that made claims to diagnose—and even cure—COVID-19.

Remember the ibuprofen scare that was said to originate from a friend of a doctor at the Medical University of Vienna in March? The claim, originally made as a voice recording in German and quickly translated to many other languages in message form, was that COVID-19 was either caused by or aggravated by patients taking ibuprofen. I saw about thirty tweets to this effect in March that many people aimlessly executed without reading any verifiable studies on this claim. Well, it turns out this was a hoax and wildly successful since even today people are still retweeting the fake news for which there is zero scientific basis.

While fake news is not endemic to Italy, it is having an increasing impact in other European nations as WhatsApp has become the primary vehicle for transmitting fraudulent news stories. Now for every rumour on social media, major and independent news is tasked with correcting the fake news reports to include telling readers how to deal with what is now called an “infodemic.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Italians are not singing anymore: the problem of a weak state

Why Italians are not singing anymore: the problem of a weak state

Shows of brutality are used by politicians to look “tough on crime,” but they are a mark of weakness, not of strength. Something similar has happened in Italy where a weak government imposed harsh confinement measures on citizens. They didn’t arrive to force everyone to wear iron chains, but the idea was similar: politicians trying to look “tough on the virus. Image: convicted inmates from Brevard County Jail.

In some places in the US, jail inmates are forced to wear black-and-white striped costumes and chains around the ankles. In some cases, even iron balls are attached to the chains. Without denying that there exists a crime problem, you may reasonably argue that this is not the best way to reduce it. But these spectacular measures are chosen by politicians competing against each other by showing that they are “tough on crime.”

Something similar seems to have happened in Italy, with local politicians competing against each other to impose on citizens harsher and harsher measures against the coronavirus epidemic. Also in this case, without denying the gravity of the epidemic, you may reasonably argue that most of these measures were not the best way to fight it.

The Italian lockdown was probably the harshest seen anywhere in Europe. It involved a series of unclear and often contradictory orders from the government, sometimes looking like they were meant to harass citizens rather than stopping the epidemics. Just as a few examples, you could be fined if your spouse rode in the family car in the front seat rather than in the back seat.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Could Turn Violent” – Italian Officials Fear South Turning Into A Powder Keg

“This Could Turn Violent” – Italian Officials Fear South Turning Into A Powder Keg

Signs of social unrest in major Western cities could be developing over the next few weeks, and as we previously warned last Friday, a global depression with high unemployment could unleash a “social bomb” in European countries and or North America. 

At the moment, Italy is the most high-risk country in the West to experience a potential breakdown in society. The country is suffering from an explosion in COVID-19 cases and deaths, a collapsed hospital system, an economic depression, and high unemployment. Sounds a lot like Venezuela… 

Italy has called up the military in recent weeks to enforce lockdowns across the country. There have also been reports of organized gangs operating in the Southern part of the country that are using social media to plot raids on businesses, reported Bloomberg.

It’s a race against time for Italian officials to prevent social unrest: 

“We need to act fast, more than fast,” Mayor Leoluca Orlando of Palermo, a city of Southern Italy, told daily La Stampa. “Distress could turn into violence.”

Lockdowns in the country have entered the fourth week, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement on Monday recommending that the government must extend the countrywide lockdown through Easter. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has been injecting stimulus into the economy to prevent a complete economic crash, and the next round could hit as early as mid-April, worth $33 billion.

Italy is the epicenter of COVID-19 in Europe. As of Monday afternoon, 101,739 confirmed cases had been reported, with 11,591 deaths. The growth rates in deaths in Northern Italy is still on an exponential curve. 

“Discomfort and malaise are growing, and we are recording worrying reports of protest and anger that is being exploited by criminals who want to destabilize the system,” said Orlando.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Cuomo Orders “100%” Of New Yorkers To Stay Home, Italy Confirms Another 600 Deaths As ‘Martial Law’ Declared: Live Updates

Cuomo Orders “100%” Of New Yorkers To Stay Home, Italy Confirms Another 600 Deaths As ‘Martial Law’ Declared: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Hong Kong reports largest daily jump in cases on record as travelers revive outbreak
  • NY rolls out restrictive new measures
  • NY case total tops 7k
  • Italy says Army will help enforce lockdown, effectively declaring martial law; might extend lockdown through early May
  • Spain death toll cracks 1,000
  • Italy reports another 627 deaths
  • Confirmed cases in US pass 14k
  • Drive thru testing site in NJ’s Bergen County has a line that’s over 1,000+ cars long
  • Switzerland bars all gatherings of more than 5 people
  • Trump says no plans for national lockdown
  • Germany to pass ‘shadow’ budget on Monday
  • EU suspends budget rules
  • Bavaria becomes first German state to impose ‘lockdown’
  • Johnson says UK can defeat virus in 12 weeks if ‘we work together’
  • Treasury now moving back both filing & payment deadlines for 2019
  • Novartis will donate up to 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to support global response
  • NBC News employee succumbs to virus
  • Dr. Fauci says social distancing should continue for several weeks
  • MTA confirms it has 23 sick workers
  • US, Mexico agree to shut southern border
  • China makes first purchase under ‘Phase 1’ trade deal
  • Altria chairman & CEO tests positive
  • Military confirms 35 American troops infected in Europe

*  *  *

Update (1320ET): As Italy’s worst outbreak spirals further and further out of control, Italy is reporting 5,986 new cases of coronavirus and 627 new deaths on Friday, raising the countrywide total to 47,021 cases and 4,032 dead, as the total number of cases in Europe surpasses the total ‘officially’ confirmed in China.

If you’re curious about how things are looking on the ground in Italy, this Channel 4 report is chilling.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Virus is a Time Machine

The Virus is a Time Machine

Heinrich Hofmann Christ and the Rich Young Man  1889

Around mid-January I started including coronavirus news in the daily Automatic Earth “Debt Rattle” news aggregators, and wrote the first essay on the topic on January 29. Tons of people since have asked why, but I thought the virus had “potential”. Though not everybody would agree, I still think that. So the Debt Rattles are full of coronavirus these days.

For a proper understanding, we must remember that China was 4-5 weeks too late in reporting the disease, and after that the west was 4-5 weeks late in acting on the news. This happens simply because a politician who cries wolf will have a short career, and reporters, certainly today, follow that same model.

I explained 5 weeks ago why this happens the way it does in China in The Party and the Virus, but western countries’ political and media systems are structured very much the same way. Being early to warn does not help your job prospects. Unless you’re 100% sure, but then you won’t be alone and there’s nothing left to warn about. So might as well stay mum.

Until you must speak, and then you’re way behind, and you’ll be as wrong as you are late. Cast in stone. Bias “R” Us. But then, that’s why there’s the Automatic Earth. The Matrix is never perfectly sealed.

In the case of COVID19, the story is not about the numbers of cases or fatalities at any given point after two months and change, it’s about the disruption it will cause. We have a highly contagious virus that can cause death. That is all you need to know really. Feel free to claim that reactions and measures are over the hill, but no government has the option to say things are not all that bad and it’s business as usual.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New Jersey Declares State Of Emergency As Coronavirus Cases Triple In Greater New York: Live Updates

New Jersey Declares State Of Emergency As Coronavirus Cases Triple In Greater New York: Live Updates

Update (0850ET): As the US market open draws near, investors are parsing a flood of coronavirus related news overnight, including the good (President Xi’s to Wuhan and a sharp drop in new cases in South Korea), the bad (US confirmed cases nearing 1,000), and the ugly (Italy’s crackdown is starting to resemble China’s, as the video below would suggest).


“Please stay at home & go outside only when you need to buy medicines or see doctors. Please follow our rules & wear face masks,” Italian authorities use loudspeakers to promote awareness among local residents about #COVID19 prevention and control.


While we’ve focused on some of the new developments in the US earlier, there’s plenty going on in Europe to rattle investor confidence. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Spain has doubled in the past few days, prompting the government to shut all schools in Madrid and the surrounding area for 2 weeks.

The Spanish parliament’s lower house suspended all activities on Tuesday for at least a week after a lawmaker with the country’s right-wing Vox Party was confirmed to have the virus.

MP Javier Ortega Smith was diagnosed with the virus, El Pais newspaper reported, citing sources from with Vox.

Ortega Smith is Vox’s No. 2 leader, and in this capacity participated in a large scale political rally last weekend, where we interacted with constituents and other lawmakers, Reuters said.

* * *

NYC-based bankers better have a bugout base in Antarctica, because all the suburban bedroom communities preferred by wealthy financiers have already been infected with the coronavirus: Westchester, New Jersey, Fairfield County and Long Island (though thankfully not the Hamptons) have all reported cases of the virus (even scarier: a handful of infections have no clear connection to another case, potentially offering a glimpse into what might be a much wider ‘community outbreak’).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Italy Expands Quarantine Throughout Country As Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Surge: Live Updates

Italy Expands Quarantine Throughout Country As Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Surge: Live Updates

Summary:

  • First 2 Coronavirus deaths recorded in Germany
  • Santa Clara reports second coronavirus death
  • 3 more deaths confirmed in Washington State
  • LA reports first case of community spread
  • De Blasio says NYC quarantine “a possibility”
  • WHO’s Dr. Tedros says threat of pandemic has become “very real”
  • Confirmed cases near or pass 1,000 in France, Germany and Spain
  • US deaths hit 22
  • Canada reports first death in British Columbia
  • Germany state of Brandenburg has between 4k and 5k in home quarantine
  • Trump to meet with Wall Street CEOs Wednesday
  • South Korea imposes travel advisory, confirms another 96 cases; 3 new deaths (total: 54)
  • Hungary stops flights to and from Northern Italy
  • PM Johnsons says UK won’t close parliament
  • Trump to hold WH meeting on fiscal stimulus
  • Italian PM promises “massive shock therapy” to save economy from coronavirus
  • Amazon asks employees in NY, NJ to work from home
  • Deutsche Bank cancels 150-year-anniversary celebrations
  • Dozens of flights leave northern Italy despite quarantine, even as airlines cancel routes
  • Moody’s says US economy headed for recession
  • Cuomo confirms 142 new cases in New York State, bringing total confirmed in NYC to 19
  • NY has started making its own sanitizer
  • Columbia University cancels classes, Princeton moves lectures online
  • 78 new public health labs open across US Monday
  • Spain PM says he will have ’emergency plan’ to tackle outbreak
  • UK confirms another 45 cases
  • VP Pence will hold press conference at 5:30ET Monday
  • Amtrak shutters ‘Acela Corridor’
  • Korean construction worker contracted by US military tests positive
  • Total number of cases jumps above 9,000 while deaths hit 463
  • ‘Grand Princess’ docks in Oakland
  • Another cruise ship disaster might be shaping up in Fla.
  • Trump congratulates VP Pence via tweet
  • New cases in South Korea drop as Philippines case total doubles
  • EUCO President says conference call will be held to coordinate EU response
  • Germany and France finmins hold talks to discuss crisis

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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