Berlin NY ‘Museum Tourist Trap’ Is World Bank Solution For African Small Farmers, Too

The New York Times is 100%+ for ‘Free Trade’.  Just as it is 100%+ for wars against Muslims in distant lands as a solution to them hating us for invading them.  Ahem.  Well, my former manufacturing/farming town is on its last legs and rapidly dying and desperately needs the NYT to send Mr. Kristof, their irritating busybody trouble maker, to Upstate NY to see the mess up here.  But no, he is in Africa, to tell the African people how to farm, how to live.  Well, they are not doing so hot, either, under his advice nor the World Bank’s advice…which eerily is very, very similar to the advice given to my small town!  Imagine that.


Mr. Kristof if well paid.  Even if his wretched paper has to whore itself to Mexican multi-billionaire moguls to bail itself out of bankruptcy, he is very well paid indeed. So this spawn of a collapsing business jet sets around the planet, creating a massive carbon footprint, wailing about CO2 pollution and telling third world peasants how they can become successful farmers. Now, is Mr. Kristof a successful farmer?  HAHAHA.  Can he use a mule team or oxen like me?  Can he sheer sheep like me?  Tell hens from roosters?  Clean out honey from bee hives like me?  Perish the thought!


He is the worst sort of dilettante:  precious, precocious and utterly clueless.  The World Bank, after destroying small farmers in Europe, South America, Asia and North America, is hard at work, destroying African farmers.  Exactly like ernest Maoists during the Great Leap Forward in China, an army of ill-equiped ‘experts’ like Mr. Kristof who cut their fangs by going to elite universities in the West, going to the peasants to tell them how to do things the peasants know how to do better….we see a catastrophe forming.  The hilariously named ‘Millennium Project’ in Ethiopia has been featured in several stories so far, detailing how the farmers move towards any wells sunk by the World Bank and how they are supposed to ‘settle’ there and do sustainable farming even though they are basically half or fully nomadic.  In the past, these sorts of things simply start starving slums where the former pastoral people end up hunkering down near water, the land overgrazed into desert, expecting handouts from international aid organizations.


The World Bank is all about making someone pay for loans which are  made out of thin air.  And this magic is what fascinates the Kristofs ‘helping’ these poor peasants.  Let’s read what Kristof describes:  Koraro: The Sustainability Factor – Nicholas D. Kristof Blog –

The Project’s approach toward fertilizer subsidies is a good case in point. In 2005, all fertilizer was given away, leading to a significant increase in food production. Fertilizer subsidies were then progressively rolled back; by last year, only 50% of the cost was covered. For the 2009 growing season, the project tried something new: farmers were given loans for fertilizer, but they are expected to pay back the full cost plus interest when the harvest comes.


HAHAHA.  A classic bait and switch!  Give someone a freebie and then get them hooked and then force them into debt.  This is EXACTLY how heroin dealers operate.  The entire goal of this seeming generosity was to get the poor peasants used to using fertilizer and then put them into hock!  Then, get them to use Monsano’s seeds and ditto: eternal serfdom.  Economic slavery.

. …. Many farmers facing similar constraints have chosen to scale back their farms, thereby requiring less fertilizer, rather than face enormous debts. As Yohannes Debelkow puts it, “we are rich in land, but without fertilizer we can’t grow anything. Because it’s so expensive, I can’t afford to get fertilizer for all of my fields, and that is why we are poor.” …


Someone should give Debelkow an honorary PhD for being smarter than the smarty pants of the World Bank!  HAHAHA.  His analysis is perfect.  I wish people in my own village, blinded by partisan politics, could see things so elegantly and clearly.


…Helping farmers to become economically self-sufficient is the Project’s primary goal in the coming years, according to Sachs. “Agribusiness is the next phase,” he says “and that’s primarily why we’re adding the next five years.” At the same time, the team is looking at ways to increase and diversify income through beekeeping and tourism…


How on earth are these poor farmers going to be ‘self sufficient’ if they are going deeper and deeper into debt? Mr. Sachs sounds delusional or outright evil. Note his other solutions: beekeeping???? All my bees died of the new plagues caused by modern beekeeping which involves moving massive numbers of hives all over the place, spreading diseases. And these diseases are traveling from Israel to Egypt to Ethiopia. On top of this, tourism???


Exactly what my neighbors debated tonight! Yes, bring in armies of tourists who will make a bunch of desperate farmers richer? Nepal has floods and floods of tourists pouring in and it is collapsing. The peasants are joining the Maoist Revolutionaries and are involved in a hot civil war there. This is much more likely for Ethiopia’s desperate peasants, not selling trinkets to occasional mountain climbers from the West. Who happen to be creating vast amounts of CO2 pollutions so they can entertain themselves in distant lands, by the way (HAHAHA….remember: we all must take global warming very seriously!).

. …Other critics question the team’s ability to scale the project up to the hundreds of millions of people stuck in extreme poverty, cringing at the additional billions of dollars that would need to be spent and the army of well-trained, highly-educated managers that would need to be identified. One MVP employee who has worked at multiple Millennium Villages (and wished to remain anonymous) said that the local project coordinators – people with significant development experience and ties to the region – are few and far between. Finding similarly-qualified people to liase with every single village throughout the poverty-stricken world, he believes, is a longshot.


This seems more like a major job creation process not for Ethiopian peasants or the residents of the small, dying town of Berlin.  Instead, it is a huge bonanza for an army of well-fed, well-connected CREEPS who will ‘manage’ these poor peasants and push them all deep into debt or turn them into monkeys to be viewed by equally well-fed, well-connected CO2 polluting tourists.  The Maoist rebels in Nepal have no interest in pleasing foreign tourists (ie: foreign devils) any more than the enraged peasants of Afghanistan want well-trained, highly-educated foreign devils managing themselves.  And I would suggest that even in my little village, the sentiments are basically the same, too.  Imagine if Kristof and these brainiacs were to come to my mountain and tell me how to do things here, when none of then know how to chop wood, sheer a sheep or guide an ox team.  Feh.


But then, hubris is like this.  We must recognize these ‘charities’ are mostly employment schemes for an army of kids pouring out of well-to-do communities like Scarsdale or Manhattan, seeking foreign adventures before going home and working for the government.  Or more likely, they are outliers of the CIA.  And of course, these sorts of scams are great for budding politicians.  Learning to lure people into traps is a great way to train for running for office.  Ask Obama about this.

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Filed under Free Trade, Politics

38 responses to “Berlin NY ‘Museum Tourist Trap’ Is World Bank Solution For African Small Farmers, Too

  1. Gus

    Mob Biz Booming!

    Maybe the cosa nostra could invest
    in Berlin. They are looking to expand.

  2. JT

    Berlin recovery plan:
    legalize pot
    start some gay clubs
    sell the hill tops to wealthy New Yorkers and start a couple of small local breweries.
    An odd coffee show here and there Amsterdam style would be a good addition too.
    Change the nature of your annual parade 😉 add pride.
    This will bring all sort of artists there too. “Berlin the Berlin of the east coast.”
    A bit like your big brother in Germany.

    Coffee shops and the 2 breweries will provide jobs. :D.
    And for gods sake get some decent fireplaces and let your firewood dry 1,5 years before burning it and stop burning toxic treated wood . That should take care of the smog problem in Berlin.

  3. billibaldi

    I can offer a couple of Australian case studies.

    There is a town called Nimbin, which was first class dairy country which went into decline when Britain entered the EU (or the EEC in those days.) (Australia used export serious amounts of fat in the form of butter to Britain.) With the decline in the property values, in the 70’s a lot of alternate lifestylers left Sydney and relocated to the warm climes of Nimbin because they could afford it. Lo and behold they found that the terrain and climate was good for growing Marijuana. Long story short, every year they have a annual fair/agricultural show devoted to Marijuana called Mardigrass.

    Of course it is complicated since it is illegal to possess or grow marijuana in the state of New South Wales.

    I have not been for years, but it was quite obvious that Mardigrass did bring a lot of money into Nimbin which is unremarkable otherwise. Nimbin is only a short drive from the major tourist area of Byron Bay.

    I just mention this to show that it is possible.

  4. billibaldi

    I forgot point out that old guard of Nimbin have taken a long time to warm to Mardigrass with all the great unwashed and worse that seem to come out of the hills. However economics have forced a rethink with the mardigrass being a important fundraiser for local causes including the local (volunteer ) rural fire brigade.

  5. EconCurious


    You seem to be pretty down on President Obama. To me, he seems like a guy who at some point in his life, had some genuine interest in helping out the underprivileged. His stance in the last year has been more moderate (although I guess it depends upon your politics, since he has been labeled as just about everything else in the political spectrum). Do you think:

    a) He was genuine at one point, but was lured to the “dark side” by promises of book deals and speaking engagements.
    b) Was never genuine, and became a “community organizer” as a way to work his way up the political ladder.
    c) Is still genuine, but sincerely thinks that a moderate, attempt at a “bi-partisan” approach is the best way to get things accomplished.
    d) Something else?

  6. billibaldi

    The success of a town called Maleny may be more useful. Sadly the lady who was responsible for much of the success, Jill Jordan has just passed away.

    Jill tackled the problems facing Maleny through a system of co-ops. Please read the first part of the referenced transcript.

  7. if

    “NO, you can not have YOUR money, sorry.” Yup, that is what they are going to say in the next crash when you show up at the teller and want to make a withdrawal. No, I’m not kidding. Suspending Money Market Redemptions Is Now Legal; SEC Approves New Money Market Regulation In 4-1 Vote Welcome to Pottersville! I guess it is not such A Wonderful Life. so instead of giving you 97 cents on the dollar in a run on the banks, save your gas money. IMO, we all should have seen this one coming. IMO, this is a HUGE tell that they know some sort of systemic event is coming. What other reason would they have to in act this? Uh…just in case? This is really fucked up.
    As only Denninger provides FOMC Statement 1/27 In English The important part is things are not getting better and they will leave rates right where they are for some time (the banks have not made enough money yet). ”

  8. CedarS

    Just mimic what local leaders have done here in MI:
    1. Build gigantic warehouses on outside of town
    2. Wait for tenants to lease property
    3. Years later, keep waiting for those tenants

    1. Build strip mall on far side of town with no sidewalk access
    2. Dedicate space for a coney island, a cell phone store and a dollar store.

  9. Dibbles

    The federal government is such a sorry bunch of fools. But we keep electing them. It is us. I think Obama is sincere about helping struggling Americans, but wayyyy in over his head. And what does he have to work with?

    One party is a bunch of raging eunuchs demanding their fertility back by giving our money to their butch big brothers. The other party cowers from spousal abuse and allow its’ children to be molested to stop the beatings.

    For the eunuchs, nothing matters except funding the global wack-a-mole slush fund. Every muslim Poncho Villa now requires the American people to play the pinata. Every secular-goverment-hating Christian crusader group must have “faith-based” money from that same secular government.

    For the abused spouse the thought of standing up for themselves is just too scary. Better to sacrifice the kids. So the raging eunuchs keep them infertile too.

    I guess every municipality should incorporate and become it’s own privatized economy – free from “government interference”. During the Depression Era, there were many local scrips to keep commerce functioning. And churches actually earned their tax privilege status by helping the neediest. No one screamed “socialism!”, and it helped lessen suffering.

    Please read your state’s constitution. They all differ. I read mine. It’s a marvelous document, as is the US Constitution. And it is OURS. It can give guidance, and local government is still somewhat accountable. It won’t stop the Hatfields and McCoys from their feuding, but most reasonable people can work through and reach consensus for solutions. Immobility from fear is not a solution.


    ELAINE: I fixed the double posting for you. 🙂

  10. Dibbles

    Good grief, my posts get longer and longer. Sorry Elaine. Guess I need to figure out how to create my own webpage.

  11. Dibbles

    Elaine, I see that I double-posted when I meant to make an edit. Is there anyway I can delete my post, correct and resubmit?

  12. leavingtheoffice

    Obama is like the guy who reads the evening news on TV, or a figurehead monarch. He just says what he’s been told to say and sticks to the script.

    The “coup” someone alluded to yesterday happened when America elected the senile TV cowboy as president. George H.W. Bush moved from CIA head to vice-president and started running the show behind the scenes. All the clandestine operations spooks who received their pink slips during the Carter years were brought back into the fold, let loose in places like Nicaragua and facilitated the union of Wall St., weapons runners and the international trade in hard drugs. Obama has so little wiggle room, that it matters little what his personal feelings are.

    That’s why Putin is so different. He was an insider who patched together a coalition of like-minded patriots from within the old KGB and turned on the money men once he was in power. Maybe that’s America’s only hope, a strong man patriot with the backing of enough of the defence/ intelligence community to purge the others?

  13. Eric

    Complicating the dialogue between you and the townspeople is the IQ gap – thirty or more points makes it hard to communicate. You at 150 and them at 110 would create such a situation.

  14. justiceatsqualor

    Whereas most self identified “educated” people are fooled by most media propoganda, the virtue of your “townspeople” is that they weren’t and aren’t fooled by much of it at all; they just don’t know what to think.

    It’s also hard to blame their provinciality; after all they are townspeople.

    Less endearing is a bias towards inaction unless foreseeable events actually effect them negatively.

  15. Paul S

    The underlying problem is that too many in the American electorate just don’t get it. REAL change won’t occur in our current two party system. The cycle keeps repeating itself. The party that is out of power just bides its time until the party in power screws up and then it’s the other party’s turn to run things. There won’t be real change until the two parties have their power bases taken from them by means of third and fourth party candidates. The biggest culprits in this two party cycle are voters who don’t vote. That just guarantees the status quo.

  16. PLovering

    I just returned from a week of fishing in Florida with Capt. Kim (charter boat captain and brother), which I do almost every year.

    Well, Florida sucks, to wit: Teachers are buying school lunches for starving kids.

    My brother’s buddy bought a modest condo unit a few years ago for $185,000. This same condo fetched $45,000 at recent foreclosure auction.

    We stopped to buy a couple of beers at an extensive yacht provisioning operation near Boca on the Inter-Coastal just before noon on a bright sunny day. We were only their second customers so far that day.

    Of course, like vultures on a dead carcass, the Lizard Criminal Enterprise is thriving in Florida. Riviera Beach is good for a few shootings every night.

    So much for coming attractions.

    Lock’n Load.

  17. Gary

    Tacoma, although it still has a pulp mill and a few other industries (besides a huge operation importing goods from the orient)
    has tried to remake its image recently.

    It has a streetcar that goes from nowhere to nowhere. A Museum of Glass that is knocking on the door of bankruptcy—Tacoma was never a glass mfg area and the museum is built around a former glass artist, Dale Chihuly. And a “revitalized” former manufacturing area which is now an extension campus of the U of W which specializes in MBA programs !

    Most of the time the streetcar runs empty except for when there are weekend events in the theatre district.


    ELAINE: In the late sixties, I and my dear friends revived SF tourism by creating the Haight Ashbury. Boy, were we POPULAR. On weekends, it was nearly impossible to cross the damn street due to the flood of rubbernecking tourists. We brought in huge bucks to SF those days.

    I say all the time, my little town can be transformed into a great place if we become hippie friendly! But the natives absolutely hate hippies. Deliverance-ville.

  18. Dibbles

    Eric it started at the beginning of our republic.

    For my parents generation, Pearl Harbor was the catalyst for military build-up and industrial economic success.
    For my generation, the assassination of JFK and the following cover-up, followed by the assassination of Bobby, MLK and Watergate was our wake-up call.
    For my son’s generation, 9/11 is the defining game-changer. But there is a common thread thoughout all of these episodes in our public life.

    I believe the seeds of the corporate coup started with the “Reagan Revolution” when union contracts of federal air traffic controllers were considered arbitrarily irrelevant and disposable by one party of that contract-the Executive Branch (President Reagan). But contracts with private corporations were considered sacrosanct and binding. This was the beginning of the destruction of FDR’s New Deal. The tax burden was shifted from corporations (which could write-off wage costs) and increasingly imposed on working people and retirees. Tax-code was changed so that credit-card interest deduction was no longer allowed. Social Security was doubled and shifted to the general operating fund. Unemployment compensation was taxed. Waitress’ tips now became “income” and therefore taxable. And of course, small businesses suffered heavier taxation since they couldn’t offshore their communities and businesses.

    We tend to see history from the reference point of our short lives. Our economy functioned very well under the New Deal. Our country produced more wealth through innovation and productivity than had existed prior to it. With the New Deal wealth produced by labor and white-collar professionals was justly rewarded and a thriving middle-class grew to create even more wealth and productivity. Unfortunately the tax codes were increasingly shifting tax burden to blue and white-collar individuals, small businesses and industries. As corporate profits grew, so did their political clout. The rest is now our history, although it is one that is, hopefully, still cyclical.

    War and debt-based economies are inseparable. Credit and Monetary reform (not to mention public campaign funding reform) and a whole ‘nother long discussion.


    ELAINE: Correct, alas, totally correct.

  19. Dibbles

    One more entry and I’ll shut up.

    Please read President Eisenhower’s farewell address in it’s entirety when you have few minutes.

    And please consider Thomas Jefferson’s concern:

    “Bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, and laws impairing the obligations of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation. … The sober people of America are weary of the fluctuating policy which has directed the public councils.  They have seen with regret and indignation that sudden changes and legislative interferences, in cases affecting personal rights, become jobs in the hands of enterprising and influential speculators, and snares to the more-industrious and less-informed part of the community.”  James Madison, Federalist Number 44, 1788.

  20. DrKrbyLuv

    Welcome back PLovering, hope your fishing trip went well…

    Q – “did you catch anything?
    A – “sheesh, I hope not”

  21. emsnews

    You catch that when you fish off of Cape Cod in winter. 🙂

  22. PLovering

    Hi DrKrbyLuv,

    Yep, we caught a few fish … nice black fin tuna (20 lbs), dolphin, kings, and trash. Sailfish were free-jumping and not feeding. Lots of spinner sharks in surf.

    Spinners trapped a school of kings between beach and reef 150 yards offshore.

    Talk about fun times for bankers.

  23. CK

    As I read these postings, some questions pop into my mind.
    1) Why should Berlin NY or any other place continue to exist after its reason for existence is over?
    2) Why should old lines drawn by dead idiots on degrading paper prevent me or thee from buying or selling to anyone who wants to deal with us?
    3) If you are not bankrupt, why do you worry that some abstraction might be?
    4) Wanting wealth without its creators is like wanting food without effort.
    5) PLO, are you going to smoke any of that tuna for trade with interested folk?
    6) If evolution is correct, then small towns are no longer viable. A death foretold by becoming an inefficient competitor in a disappearing niche.
    7) Your report on the dialogues during your “town hall meeting” sounds amazingly like dialogue Ayn Rand wrote decades ago.
    Ayn is hated now as Cassandra was hated before not for her philosophy but for her accurate predictions.

  24. melponeme_k

    CK, the horrific Rand made no predictions.

    But a couple of enterprising gnomes (as Elaine correctly terms them) saw a way to the cave of dreams through Rand’s unethical philosophy.

    She advocated winner takes all and that is easy to accept. Its the easy path that wins every time over the ideals of self control and civic goodwill. The gnomes piled on to objectivism and used that in crafting Free Trade/Chicago Economics.

    They used our own greed to fund their own. Not to many of us have clean hands in regards to this collapse.

  25. Dibbles

    Darn, I keep miss-referencing. Posting at 5:53 should have been James Madison’s concern.

    My hasty. My bad. My apology.

  26. emsnews

    The death of small towns is NOT ‘organic’…it is due to free trade. All over the planet, small towns are being decimated and this is very, very dangerous. More and more humans are in the cities and suburbs. But read carefully the annals of history….cities can die, empires can die.

  27. PLovering

    @CK, “PLO, are you going to smoke any of that tuna for trade with interested folk?”

    All our fish ended up in some freezer, except for the baked tuna for dinner last Sunday.

    The boat does commercial fishing, but there is a catch limit on most species, and three restaurants take almost all the catch. Fish are out-sourced smoked to special order.

    Had I known you were interested in doing a tuna trade, well, the sun never sets in my business.

  28. emsnews

    Lots and lots of mercury in fishes. A lot more than in vaccinations.

  29. igneous

    Very sorry to hear about your town.

    Even if tourism did somehow provide a future its a matter of how much wealth it would provide to the town and the economy at large. A cottage tourism industry can not compete with modern farming and industry. Its like comparing the production of a feudal society to that of a modern industrial society.

  30. Amazing how quickly things turn mediaeval.

  31. larry, dfh

    I think it started when Truman created the intelligence community. Ever since then it’s been ‘go along to get along’, that is, if you don’t want your brains splattered on your wife’s new designer dress. As Dick Gregory said: the c.i.a. didn’t elect ronald reagan, they elected george bush.
    But the game is totally stacked. Third parties haven’t a chance, because the FEC is controlled by both parties. You wouldn’t believe the number of people, supposedly educated functioning people, who didn’t know who Cynthia McKinney was when I told them I had voted for her. All mainstream methods of communication are dominated by those who dominate everything else. It’s only a contest as to which party will be on the top line of the check. Teh payee. It isn’t possible to get real campaign finance controls through congress. Can a hyena be anything but a hyena? There might be a possibility that campaign finance can be controlled through the states, because states do have some control over their federal representatives; the the supreme court probably closed that door as well.
    And nice fishing and boating!

  32. Colin

    @ JT
    “Berlin recovery plan:
    legalize pot
    start some gay clubs”

    lol, i can just see Elane wandering arround Berlin NY dressed as a fairy god mother; and as she passes aiming her magic wand at passing buildings. Zap! dilpidated building you are now a gay club! Zap! another gay club! Zap! Abandoned car park you are now a hydroponic pot lab!

    …Oh let’s not get this started again, some people where still posting a three weeks later the last time we did this.

  33. CK

    The great thing about fiction is that it is fiction. You might enjoy comparing the fictional dialogue in Atlas to the actual dialogue EMS reported. The moralities stay the same, the drones get reshuffled.

  34. emsnews

    Colin, that is a great idea. I will implement it as soon as possible. Free trade killed my own farm business and all the farmers are losing their ability to make money so why not?

    At least it would be a lot livelier. Right now, our town rolls up its several sidewalks (made in the Great Depression by FDR) at sun set. Boring.

  35. Advocating tourist traps in Africa! And I wonder if the banksters and western agricorps got the Ugandan farmers hooked on fertiliser as well. Because the people in Uganda aren’t doing too well, their government is utterly corrupt (like ours), what do their politicians do? Do something utterly insane!

    And Harold Ford, who’s running for Gillibrand’s US Senate seat from NY, is all silent about it, as well as about US corporations that are enabling it.

  36. JT


    Come to think of it my home town where my family farm is has one success story. There was a hippie girl who inherited their family farm in 1969 (her husband is from the US btw). They started farming organic herbs and other crops and are hugely succesful these days.
    So an addition to Berlin recovery plan:
    a organically grown hops and barley for the local breweries (a bit like the German reinheitsgebot)
    b organically grown herb farm and shops (you can pick your own or buy from the shops).

    The organic farm has grown now they sell their products all over the country, they have a health spa and a farm shop.
    Their site is in finnish but I found their products on an on-line shop:

    High priced beer and herbs if the legalize pot part fails 😀 .

  37. Tom Parsons

    I followed up Billibaldi’s mention of Nimbin by locating it on Google Earth, and was happy I did.

    As far as I can see from the pix available on GE, it started out a typical-looking rural Oz town (think of “A Town Like Alice”), except for being in a region greener than I thought they had that far south.

    Then the hippies decorated it!

    Well worth a look.

  38. emsnews

    Us hippies love being tourist attractions. This was part of our ‘culture’ from the very, very beginning.

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