Jun 302012


Source: youtube

The IMF-EU bailout deal for Greece is in fact an anti-constitutional agreement. The debt crisis in many countries of the eurozone ( Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, etc. ) is nothing more than illegitimate debt that benefits private world banks, financial creditors and European government officials. The provisions included in the loan contract and the bailout deal violate all principles of the Greek Constitution and European and International Law. The Greeks have every legal and moral right to defend their constitution against the policies which tend to eliminate the country’s very sovereignty.

The theory of the “odious debt” is not a general or newly-founded concept. It is based on the principles of international law (U.N. Charter) and can be legally used when the debt has been incurred, not in the interests of people, but against its interests and / or in the personal interest of the rulers or persons close to the regime. Institutions like the World Bank and the IMF must be checked for their policies towards lending money, advocating exhausting austerity mechanisms and, moreover, co-operation with corrupt and dictatorial regimes. The denial to pay off the debt would be a blow to this anti=social liberal madness and would send a strong message to international loan sharks.

Stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and relieve them from the unbearable weight of an illegitimate and “dirty” debt. SUPPORT GREEKS AGAINST THIS HOSTILE TAKE OVER.


Jun 302012


Source: youtube



Debt is considered to be odious if the government used the money for personal purposes or to oppress the People. Moreover, in cases where borrowed money was used in ways contrary to the People’s interest, with knowledge of the creditors, the creditors may be said to have committed a hostile act against the People, and renders the debt as subject for repudiation

The UNCTAD study expands on this current understanding of odious debt by underscoring the human rights considerations, based on equity and transitional justice as basis for declaring debts as odious.

The challenge remains for social movements to actively pursue an independent citizens’ debt audit and push governments to conduct an official debt audit and cancel odious and illegitimate debts.


Jun 292012



Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F718A4I2K7s&feature=em-uploademail



Source: youtube

Out of 131 hospitals, as many as 50 will be closed. Patients already have to pay at the door when going to see a doctor. Procedures will have to be paid up front, and if you don’t have the money you will be sent home. “People will die.” “The cruelty is unbelieveable.” “This is a nightmare.”

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBPCUcZJAlk



By Ian Millhiser, Think Progress

[…] Why The Law Is Constitutional

  • The Individual Mandate Is Constitutional. In the words of a leading conservative judge who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, the case against Obamacare has no basis “in either the text of the Constitution or Supreme Court precedent.” Learn the three reasons why the individual mandate is constitutional here.
  • Upholding Obamacare Does Not Mean The Federal Government’s Power Is Limitless. The Affordable Care Act is constitutional, but a long list of things are beyond Congress’ power to regulate, including federal murder laws, rape and assault laws, federal truancy laws and federal child neglect laws. Learn more here. […]

READ @ http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/06/28/507712/everything-you-need-to-understand-todays-health-care-decision/



A look at Rahm Emanuel’s calendar shows how wealth and access, far more than party identity or ideology, have come to comand the attention of politicians—leaving everyday people out of the conversation

By Mick Dumke, The READER

[…] Last September, after submitting a FOIA request and badgering mayoral aides for weeks, we received copies of the first months of Emanuel’s daily schedule. We reported in October that it was filled with rich guys who also happened to be some of the mayor’s big-money donors.

This time we asked for the next three months of the calendar: September, October, and November of 2011—a period when GOP presidential candidates battling for the nomination were railing against the White House.

The mayor’s office didn’t respond to our request to discuss Emanuel’s schedule. But once again, we found that his days were loaded with rich guys, campaign donors, powerful contractors, union busters, charter-school supporters, City Hall insiders, aldermanic brownnosers, and other favor seekers.

But during these three months Emanuel found time for another type of visitor: major funders of conservative attacks on President Obama. As such, the mayor’s calendar offers a glimpse of what passes for bipartisanship in Chicago—and shows the ways in which wealth and access, at least as much as party identity or ideology, have come to command the attention of politicians, leaving everyday people out of the conversation.

For instance, on September 1 Emanuel met for an hour with Muneer Satter, a managing director at Goldman Sachs. Satter donated $190,000 last year to Restore Our Future, a Romney-affiliated PAC, and he’s sent tens of thousands more to top congressional Republicans fighting to slash federal programs and regulations. Yet Goldman Sachs isn’t averse to taking money from governments predominated by Democrats: the city of Chicago has hired the firm repeatedly for no-bid work as an adviser on bond issues, including a $600 million bond sale last month. In February the CTA picked the firm to advise it on “public-private partnerships” to help finance infrastructure. […]

READ @ http://www.chicagoreader.com/gyrobase/rahm-emanuel-meets-with-gop-and-mitt-romney-donors/Content?oid=6801482&showFullText=true

READ PART I @ http://www.chicagoreader.com/gyrobase/who-has-access-to-mayor-rahm-emanuels/Content?oid=4887900&showFullText=true



By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

[…] Bid-rigging skims from towns after they’ve already borrowed money through bond issues. But some communities insist they’re being skimmed before they borrow as well. The central complaint is that the credit ratings of municipalities are excessively low, compared with counterparts in the corporate market who have the same risk of default. If true, this would artificially hike borrowing costs for cities and towns.

“Municipals virtually never, never default,” says Rebecca Kaplan, a city councilwoman in Oakland, one of the cities listed as a victim in the Carollo trial (the defendants rigged an auction for a Port of Oakland bond deal). “And yet munis receive ratings that, if you were comparing them to corporate ratings, you would think you were talking about a significant risk of default.”

The statistics bear this out. If you look at this report prepared by the House of Representatives four years ago – look at page 5 in particular, in the table for “Cumulative Historical Default Rates” – you’ll see that munis consistently receive significantly lower ratings than comparable corporate bonds. […]

READ @ http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/notes-on-wall-streets-bid-rigging-scandal-20120622


THE SCAM WALL STREET LEARNED FROM THE MAFIA: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-from-the-mafia-20120620



By Nicholas Watt, Guardian UK

[…] EU leaders will discuss plans for greater fiscal co-ordination over dinner in Brussels on Thursday night when they assess a paper presented by Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European council. This has four main elements:

• An integrated financial framework that would move towards a single European banking supervision. Britain is pleased that the paper says this needs to be done in a way that preserves the “unity and integrity of the single market”.

Britain favours a banking union for the eurozone. It will insist that two key elements of such a union – a single regulator and the mutualisation of risks in which banks stand behind one another – must be limited to the eurozone.

• An integrated budgetary framework. Britain supports this for the eurozone and is pressing for eurobonds. But this is being fiercely resisted by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.

• Moves towards an integrated economic policy framework.

• Strengthening EU and national democratic oversight over the new arrangements. […]

READ @ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/28/david-cameron-veto-eurozone-negotiations

Jun 292012


Posted by greydogg and ‘Snake’ Arbusto, 99GetSmart.com

* An official report was released today from the European Commission. It says that 68% of the Greek population is living BELOW the poverty level. There is a humanitarian crisis in Greece.

* There is a huge shortage of prescription drugs in Greece. The pharmacies don’t have money to keep medicine in stock. People in Athens have to wait in queues for 2 hours to get into a pharmacy to buy their drugs – if the drugs are available. Many people with serious medical conditions have to do without their medication because they can’t afford the drugs or the drugs are not in stock.

* In February, when the Greek government passed another round of  ‘austerity’ for the Greek People, they levied a new tax on homeowners and attached it to the electric bills. If people decided not pay the tax – in an act of civil disobedience or because they simply did not have the money –, the electricity would be shut off. In protest, as soon as the electric company left, people turned it back on, illegally. It’s easy to turn the electricity back on if you know what you are doing. But the new trend is that the government goes to houses randomly, with the police, and if you have illegal utilities they arrest you on the spot.

* In the Northern suburbs of Athens, arsonists drove a van full of petrol into the Microsoft building in the middle of the night. The lobby and part of the first floor were destroyed. No one was injured. No suspects yet.

* European summit in Brussels: Plan for Bank Unification for the banks in Greece. The Troika continues to steal the assets of the Greek People.

* UBS reports that today’s Europe looks like Germany in 1939.


– News from Athens via StopCartel Livestream broadcasting LIVE

Monday – Friday @ 10 pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

– FUNDRAISER FOR StopCartel Livestream from Athens: http://99getsmart.com/?p=3667

Jun 282012



By Richard RJ Escow, Economy in Crisis

A recent court case proves what many of us have long suspected: Big banks have been ripping off this nation’s towns and cities for years in an old-fashioned racketeering scam. We ran some numbers to see how much this criminality might have cost the American people. The answer? Billions.

That’s billions that might have been used to educate our children, pave our roads, and protect us from crime, disease, and fire. Will somebody take this investigation as high in these organizations as it needs to go, pursuing the truth wherever it may lead? […]

READ @ http://economyincrisis.org/content/wall-streets-city-bid-rigging-racket-wheres-the-investigation



By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism

It’s become oh-so-predictible that banks get at most “cost of doing business” punishments that they almost seem not worth noting. But that’s precisely why it’s important to keep tabs on them, to let the complicit authorities and the perps know that the public is not fooled, even it is not in a position to do anything about it…yet…

Even though the Libor/Euribor price-fixing scandal hasn’t gotten much attention in the US, this is a really big deal. Admittedly, it did not crash the economy the way toxic RMBS and CDOs did. Instead, it was a massive price manipulation, the sort of victimless-looking crime where stealing a few basis points over a monster volume of transactions has a huge aggregate impact. This scheme went on for a full five years, with 20+ banks fingered, meaning everyone who was anyone was in on the game. As Ben Walsh put it:

The importance of Libor and, to a lesser extent, Euribor, is hard to overstate. They are used to value of hundreds of trillions of dollars of financial instruments. Or as Matt Levine puts it, they “set the ratesmag-glass_10x10.gif on pretty much all the loans and swaps in the world … CFTC order mentions $350 trillion of [over-the-counter] swaps, $10 trillion of loans, and $437 trillion of CME eurodollar contracts indexed to Libor alone”. […]

READ @ http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/06/quelle-surprise-barclays-settlement-on-liboreuribor-fixing-illustrates-bank-crime-pays-well.html



By Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Susanne Craig, NYTimes

[…] the sharply higher loss totals will feed a debate over how strictly large financial institutions should be regulated and whether some of the behemoth banks are capitalizing on their status as too big to fail to make risky trades.

JPMorgan plans to disclose part of the total losses on the soured bet on July 13, when it reports second-quarter earnings. Despite the loss, the bank has said it will be solidly profitable for the quarter — no small achievement given that nervous markets and weak economies have sapped Wall Street’s main businesses. To put the size of the loss in perspective, JPMorgan logged a first-quarter profit of $5.4 billion.

More than profits are at stake. The growing fallout from the bank’s bad bet threatens to undercut the credibility of Mr. Dimon, who has been fighting major regulatory changes that could curtail the kind of risk-taking that led to the trading losses. The bank chief was considered a deft manager of risk after steering JPMorgan through the financial crisis in far better shape than its rivals.

“Essentially, JPMorgan has been operating a hedge fund with federal insured deposits within a bank,” said Mark Williams, a professor of finance at Boston University, who also served as a Federal Reserve bank examiner. […]

READ @ http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/jpmorgan-trading-loss-may-reach-9-billion/?hp



Source: youtube

In a 25 minute speech, Senator Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor and challenged Congress to break free of its billionaire masters and work for the American people.

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y-u0UnKZ_U



By Paul Craig Roberts

[…] It has proved to be more difficult for Washington to interfere in China’s internal affairs, although discord has been sowed in some provinces. Several years from now, the Chinese economy is expected to exceed in size the US economy, with an Asian power displacing a Western one as the world’s most powerful economy.

Washington is deeply disturbed by this prospect. In the thrall and under the control of Wall Street and other special interest business groups, Washington is unable to rescue the US economy from its decline. The short-run gambling profits of Wall Street, the war profits of the military/security complex, and the profits from offshoring the production of goods and services for US markets have far more representation in Washington than the wellbeing of US citizens. As the US economy sinks, the Chinese economy rises.

Washington’s response is to militarize the Pacific. The US Secretary of State has declared the South China Sea to be an area of American national interest. The US is wooing the Philippine government, playing the China threat card, and working on getting the US Navy invited back to its former base at Subic Bay. Recently there were joint US/Philippines military/naval exercises against the “China threat.”

The US Navy is reallocating fleets to the Pacific Ocean and constructing a new naval base on a South Korean island. US Marines are now based in Australia and are being reallocated from Japan to other Asian countries. The Chinese are not stupid. They understand that Washington is attempting to corral China.

For a country incapable of occupying Iraq after 8 years and incapable of occupying Afghanistan after 11 years, to simultaneously take on two nuclear powers is an act of insanity. The hubris in Washington, fed daily by the crazed neocons, despite extraordinary failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, has now targeted formidable powers–Russia and China. The world has never in its entire history witnessed such idiocy.

The psychopaths, sociopaths, and morons who prevail in Washington are leading the world to destruction.

The criminally insane government in Washington, regardless whether Democrat or Republican, regardless of the outcome of the next election, is the greatest threat to life on earth that has ever existed. […]

READ @ http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/06/28/can-the-world-survive-washingtons-hubris/



Source: youtube

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT9SNPUFngo&feature=youtube_gdata

Jun 272012



By Javiera Manuela Ruli and Reto Sonderegger, Global Research

Friday night June 22, 2012

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has just been removed from office by Congress through political impeachment, an express trial that lasted only 24 hours. This manoeuvre must be seen as a coup to the democratic process started in 2008. Social movements are protesting in front of Congress as well as in various parts of the country. 

This plot by the major Paraguayan political parties has to be interpreted as the last step of a process of political destabilization in the country started with the massacre of Curuguaty last June 15th.

The facts from Curuguaty seem to show a high-level plot and operation by the opposition. The massacre that occurred in a camp of the landless peasants during a police operation left a toll of 17 dead, 11 peasants and 6 police officers, and 80 wounded. There are 54 people arrested facing very serious charges.

We will try to explain now the chain of events that have shaken the country from the Curuguaty deaths to Lugo’s overthrow today.

Background to the Curuguaty events

The Canindeyú department in the northeast part of Paraguay is a border region with Brazil with a high concentration of land in the hands of soy agribusinesses, marijuana cultivation and drugs and weapons smuggling.

Blas N. Riquelme is one of the richest people in the country, former Colorado Senator, large landowner with supermarket chains and many other food companies. Blas N. Riquelme was fraudulently given 50 thousand hectares of land, which were meant for poor peasants of the agrarian reform, during the Stroessner Dictatorship in 1969. This case of ill-gotten land was reported in the Report of the Truth and Justice Commission in 2008.

Since the fall of the Dictatorship in 1989, local peasants have been fighting to get these lands back. Two months ago a group of 60 landless peasants occupied two thousand hectares of the lands in an area called Marina Cue. These people did not belong to any specific peasant organization.

The Curuguaty massacre

On Friday June 15, two groups of law enforcement officers, the GEO Special forces and the police, entered Marina Cue with only a search warrant. The first group went to the camp to talk with the peasants. The police group suspiciously positioned itself behind. Surprisingly, in a confused event, long distance shots were fired. The first persons to fall were the chief and the deputy chief of the GEO forces.

During the ensuing battle, helicopters with reinforcements from the Special Operations Forces arrived and dispersed the peasants with flamethrowers and tear gas. The result of the battle was 11 peasants and 6 policemen dead.

In the first 24 hours after these events, police and soldiers surrounded and closed the area not letting anybody in. A first group of human rights advocates from Asuncion was detained by the police for several hours. In the Capital peasant leaders remained on alert, and in Curuguaty locals complained of law enforcement hunting down all survivors of the gunfight and any peasant activists in the area. Police burned the camp, erasing all evidence. During this period no prosecutors entered the area to observe what happened and collect evidence. It is assumed that during this time the police removed dead bodies and destroyed any proof.

Injured people, who went to health centers, were detained and placed in isolation cells in police stations. Some relatives and local people, who went to the health centers or to the police stations in order to get information on the victims, were also arrested. Lawyers and human rights organizations were not allowed access. […]

[…] Lugo hands over the repressive apparatus to the Colorados

Because of what happened in Curuguaty, Lugo replaced Interior Minister Carlos Filizzola naming as his replacement the former Attorney General, Candia Amarilla. During his tenure as State Prosecutor, Amarilla was characterized by his persecution and criminalization of social sectors.

Amarilla was trained in Colombia and is one of the promoters of the implementation of Plan Colombia in Paraguay. He is also a member of the Colorado Party. To make matters worse, Lugo replaced the National Director of Police and put in his place the chief who was in charge of the police operation in Curuguaty, the Commissioner Moran Arnaldo Sanabria. Both officials are publicly rejected by the social movements and several political sectors. Amarilla announced the end of the “protocol” in eviction operations, implemented by the previous Minister, consisting of dialogue with civil society organizations prior to operations. Amarilla states that his mandate will be the enforcement of the law with a strong arm.

With these two appointments, Lugo hands over the repressive apparatus into the hands of the Colorado Party. It is evident that he negotiated these nominations to avoid political impeachment. However, by doing this, he got the Liberal Party against him, which in turn negotiated with the Colorado Party and the Oviedistas to carry out the political impeachment. […]

READ @ http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31603&_tmc=P6XhLwDMZj4D7BZf9YQJOz7vjWQrsyILXOeEEaMCW9E



By Joseph Kishore

Led by the United States, the major powers have issued a series of bellicose statements and threats after Syria shot down a Turkish F4 Phantom jet that had entered its airspace. Backed by the Obama administration, the Turkish government has taken actions that mark a major step in the direction of all-out war.

Representatives of NATO countries will participate today in a meeting called under Article 4 of the alliance convention, which provides for discussion between members on joint action against a threat.

While the meeting is not being held under Article 5, which calls for military action of all NATO members, Turkey said on Monday it would press NATO to consider Article 5 at the meeting. It is also the first time Article 4 has been invoked since Turkey did so against Iraq in February 2003—one month before the US-led invasion.

After speaking with the US over the weekend, Turkey shifted from its initially more measured tone. “It was an act of war,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said Monday. Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc added that Turkey will use “all rights granted under international law until the end. This also includes self-defense. This also includes retaliation many-fold.” […]

[…] Syria is the latest target of a campaign to undermine or overthrow governments that the US deems, for one reason or another, to be a hindrance to its control of the Middle East and Central Asia. It has led wars against Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, and has rained drone missiles down on Pakistan and Yemen. At the same time, it is involved with Israel in a covert program of assassination and cyber warfare against Iran. […]

READ @ http://wsws.org/articles/2012/jun2012/syri-j26.shtml



For the architect of the euro, taking macroeconomics away from elected politicians and forcing deregulation were part of the plan

By Greg Palast, Guardian UK

[…] The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government’s control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession.

“It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians,” he said. “[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business.”

He cited labor laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes. All would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace – or the plumbing.

As another Nobelist, Paul Krugman, notes, the creation of the eurozone violated the basic economic rule known as “optimum currency area”. This was a rule devised by Bob Mundell. […]

READ @ http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/robert-mundell-evil-genius-euro



By Kostis Karpozilos, Truthout

“I ask the Greek people to demonstrate their patriotism, national unity, and trust that with the help of god we can do our best to exit this crisis as soon as possible.” This first official statement of Antonis Samaras, the winner of the elections on Sunday, marks Greece’s entrance into a twilight zone of renewed conservatism. The right-wing New Democracy managed to win the elections—gaining 30 percent of the popular vote and 129 seats in parliament—and now has formed a coalition government with the participation of the center-left PASOK, which won 12 percent of the vote and thirty-three seats, and the moderate Democratic Left, at 6 percent with seventeen seats.

To those unfamiliar with the situation in Greece, this might seem a strange coalition of forces, but it is not; over the last months these three parties had formed an unofficial group centered on the idea that Greece should remain in the Eurozone at all costs, while striving to reform the memoranda that have been negotiated with the European Central Bank and the IMF. Their cooperation after the election demonstrates how a new polarization around these “bailout” agreements has altered the dominant political dichotomies of the past.

The election results also reflect Greece’s rising social polarization due to the disintegrating effects of the depression. The relatively crisis-immune agrarian Greece, elite and upper-middle-class suburbs, pensioners, and housewives voted for New Democracy. SYRIZA, the leftist coalition that transformed the Greek political scene and gained 27 percent in this election, was supported by the working-class neighborhoods of Athens and Piraeus, along with those that have less to lose and not much to hope for—the youth, civil servants, and small businesspeople competing with “big business.” These are two worlds apart: voters for New Democracy and its partners wanted stability, feared the exodus of Greece from the Eurozone, and detested the leftist rhetoric of SYRIZA; the others were united in their opposition to the memorandum, but from various standpoints—from the radical Left to those who wanted to express their despair but cared less about a specific political program. At the end of the day, the “silent majority” for stability prevailed. Only some dozens of supporters of New Democracy were in Syntagma Square to applaud Samaras upon his victory.  […]




By Mairi Mackay, CNN

[…] His practical manual on how to overthrow dictatorships, “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” has spread like a virus since he wrote it 20 years ago and has been translated by activists into more than 30 languages.

He has also listed “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action” — powerful, sometimes surprising, ways to tear power from the hands of regimes. Examples of their use by demonstrators and revolutionaries pop up over and over again. […]

[…] His ideas of revolution are based on an elegantly simple premise: No regime, not even the most brutally authoritarian, can survive without the support of its people. So, Sharp proposes, take it away.

Nonviolent action, he says, can eat away at a regime’s pillars of power like termites in a tree. Eventually, the whole thing collapses.

For a half century, Sharp has refined the theory of nonviolent conflict and crafted the tools of his trade. His methods have liberated millions from tyranny — and that makes regimes from Myanmar to Iran quake in their boots. […]

READ @ http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/23/world/gene-sharp-revolutionary/index.html

Jun 262012



By Brett Redmyne-Titley, OpEdNews

[…] Pres. Barack Obama is traitor. This underhanded legislation / treaty secretly sells- out the American people’s legal rights in favor of his corporate puppet masters. The concept, inception, and mechanism of the TPP treaty comes, solely, from the Obama administration. In doing so, our one time constitutional scholar president attempts to create a new, world-wide, corporate dynasty. TPP gives up legal sovereignty and jurisdiction of the United States, and its laws, to a foreign power. This is the very definition of treason.

If Americans don’t stop TPP corporations will, literally, be able to circumvent the existing laws of the EPA, FDA, unions, collective bargaining agreements, patent protections and access, banking regulations and many other American regulations and rights. All will be negated solely by the arbitrary diktats of corporations being currently, and secretly, included in the language of the TPP treaty. Should state, local, or federal governmental agencies attempt to enforce American laws in favor of their citizens a separate corporate court will have supreme jurisdiction over that American governmental agency. This “Tribunal” has the power to override existing American regulation. Federal agencies, State Gov’ts, City authority, citizen’s property, and competing American corporate interests will be considered as the Defendant before the court. These defendants will have been charged, by the plaintiff corporation, with the new crime of a “Technical Barrier to Trade.”

Should the defendant chose not to comply with the Tribunal’s diktat, or refuse to pay Tribunal ordered financial compensation, the judgment will be enforced by our federal gov’t against American interests.

Making matters even worse American based corporations will not have access to the authoritarian controls and manipulations of the TPP treaty. These luxuries are only available to the big multi-national corporations. Smaller American corporations will be subservient to the whims of TPP. […]

[…] So, your state decides to place a health tax on cigarettes of one dollar a pack, as compensation for increased healthcare costs of smokers to the state. (California’s Prop 29 attempted to do this in the last primary election.) The voters approve it. Seems pretty fair so far. Au contraire.

R.J. Reynolds doesn’t like this portion of democracy, considering it bad for business and profits. Healthcare and designed addiction be damned, big corporations, at least the ones with real power, don’t worry about the trifles of mere democracy. They just turn to the “Investor/State Dispute Resolution Tribunal.” Not to a state court, not the federal court, nor the Supreme Court of the United States. A Corporation run court. For this TPP has adopted the more ominous description of, “Tribunal.”

This corporate sponsored, congressional, science fiction continues with the makeup of the Tribunal and its members. Composed of just three corporate lawyers (remember what Shakespeare said?) the three will be divided into; one with experience with the defendant’s issues, one for the plaintiff corporation, and a third who is, somehow, neutral. The Tribunal will meet in closed session away from cameras and reporters when adjudicating disputes between sovereign American federal, state, and local laws and the wishes of the corporations whose countries’ governments have, maliciously, ratified the TPP treaty.

With the likelihood of your state prevailing being nil, the tribunal rules against the cigarette tax. The tax is ordered to be repealed and, as punishment to the state for the crime of state-sponsored health interests, is next assessed a corporate monetary penalty due to the tax being a, “technical barrier to trade”. This term is the mantra of TPP and translates directly into, “your (healthcare) law is restricting our profits.”

The tribunal then issues an order for compensation of, hypothetically, one hundred million dollars due to the loss of profits to R.J. Reynolds tobacco sales. Your state’s attorney general says, “over my dead body”, and heads for the Appeals court, perhaps the Supreme Court. Au contraire.

Here lies the treason of the TPP. It grants, once congress ratifies it, the complete nullification of the jurisdiction of all US courts regarding matters before the tribunal. So your state loses. Automatically.

Well, now your state treasurer says, “we’ll never pay.” That won’t work either. Thanks to TPP, and a majority of treasonous Congressman, the federal government, which has authority over the states, must enforce the monetary judgment. Your states treasurer wakes up one morning to a call from the bank. It’s something about a $100 million withdrawal. Uncle Sam just stole your states $100 million and gave it to R.J. Reynolds. And there wasn’t a damn thing your state could do to stop it. […]

READ @ http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=152087



By Rick Rozoff, StopNATO

On Tuesday, June 26 Belgium time the North Atlantic Council, the highest governing body of the U.S.-dominated North Atlantic Treaty Organization military bloc, will take up the issue of Syria under provisions of its founding document that in the past ten and a half years have resulted in military deployments preparatory to and the subsequent waging of full-scale wars.

The ambassadors of the alliance’s 28 member states constitute the council, nations whose collective population is 900 million. Its founding members include three nuclear powers – the U.S., Britain and France – the first the self-proclaimed world’s sole military superpower. […]

[…] Syria’s population now is much the same as Iraq’s was then and Turkey is now a nation almost three times as large. Syria is isolated and its military forces are small compared to its neighbor Turkey’s. The latter can count on the support of 27 allies, including most of the world’s major military powers. The U.S. has an estimated 90 B61 tactical nuclear weapons stationed at the Incirlik Air Base 35 miles from Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Activating the Article 5 mutual military assistance – in effect war – clause has been mentioned by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at least twice since April, on the first occasion over two months before the downing of the Turkish warplane last week.

On June 25 Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc announced that his nation “has made necessary applications with NATO regarding Article 4 and Article 5.” […]

READ @ http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/nato-war-council-to-target-syria/



Source: Washington’s Blog

The world is already in Cold War 2.0 in Syria.  Now we are edging closer to a hot war.

Self-defense has been a recognized legal right for thousands of years.

But when empires wish to go to war against a country, self-defense is seen as a criminal causus belli.  For example, Turkey admits that its fighter jet was in Syrian territory when it was shot down.

Indeed, the Turkish fighter jet was flying very low and very close to the Syrian shoreline:

“The plane disappeared and then reappeared in Syrian airspace, flying at 100 meters altitude and about 1-2kms (0.6-1.2 miles) from the Syrian coast,” Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi told a Damascus news conference.

“We had to react immediately, even if the plane was Syrian we would have shot it down,” he said. “The Syrian response was an act of defense of our sovereignty carried out by anti-aircraft machinegun which has a maximum range of 2.5 km.”

And yet Turkey is calling Syria the aggressor:

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Turkey condemned the “hostile act by the Syrian authorities against Turkey’s national security”, saying it posed “a serious threat to peace and security in the region”. […]

READ / VIDEO @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/06/turkish-jet-was-in-syrian-territory-flying-very-low-when-shot-down.html



By Allison Kikenny, The Nation

Police arrested eighty-nine protesters after more than 6,500 people flooded Tel Aviv’s Habima Square Saturday night to protest the arrest of Daphni Leef, the leader of last summer’s mass protests against inequality and the high cost of housing in Israel.

Tel Aviv District Commander Aharon Eksel told Haaretz, “Protesters crossed the line. They set out to clash with the police.”

Police also say the protest was illegal, and that protesters attacked inspectors and police by spitting and throwing objects.

In rhetoric that should sound familiar to any American protester, demonstrator Khen Tsubery told the Jerusalem Post that the lack of a permit was intentional because permits are difficult to obtain. […]

READ / VIDEOS @ http://www.thenation.com/blog/168561/thousands-occupy-tel-aviv-police-respond-brutal-force#



By Michael Carmichael, Information Clearing House

Senior Israeli officials now confirm that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has, “decided to attack Iran before the U.S. elections in November.”

Netanyahu’s agenda is much broader than knocking out Iranian nuclear installations for his aim is to reshape the political landscape in the USA and Israel shifting everything to the far, far right in order to create a new comfort zone for religious fundamentalists.

Netanyahu’s major backer, Sheldon Adelson, is now firmly behind Mitt Romney, and they are known to believe that an Israeli attack on Iran in September or October will displace Obama and many dovish Democrats in Congress and establish a hawkish regime in Washington.

Israel has agreed to restrain any attack on Iran until after the current round of five talks between Iran and the P5+1 that will come to an end in either late July or August:

“U.S., Israel continue preparations for strike on Iran nuclear facilities.

The website cites U.S. defense contracts and Israel’s new military preparations, suggesting that ‘all sides are getting ready for whatever may come.’

Israel and the U.S. are pushing forward with preparations to jointly strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, the U.S. blog Business Insider reported on Saturday.

“U.S. defense contracts, an Iranian F-16 acquisition, and Israel’s new military preparations suggest that all sides are getting ready for whatever may come,” the report says. […]

READ @ http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31695.htm



A new feature in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act would legalize U.S. government propaganda directed at the American people, with the belief that successful wars require domestic acceptance

By Lawrence Davidson

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is misnamed, since it has less to do with defense than offense. The offensive it wages is not just against a growing list of alleged enemies of the United States but also, from a constitutional perspective, against the rights of American citizens and residents.

Major parts of the legislation are based on the assumption that key legal protections for individuals are incompatible with the requirements of national security. The result is that Americans are now caught between “the terrorists” and the authoritarian propensities of their own government.

The NDAA – specifically Section 1021(b)(2) – has already institutionalized the U.S. military’s ability to indefinitely detain, without charge or trial, citizens and non-citizens alike. This is a serious abuse of power. The monarchical authority our Founders sought to escape practiced such a “disappearance” of people. So have the contemporary dictatorships that Washington has so consistently supported. […]

READ @ http://consortiumnews.com/2012/06/11/defense-bill-legalizes-us-propaganda/



By Kimberly Kindy / Scott Higham, Washington Post

[…] On Jan. 23, Boehner (R-Ohio) met Paulson for breakfast. Boehner would later report the rearrangement of a portion of his own financial portfolio made on that same day. He sold between $50,000 and $100,000 from a more aggressive mutual fund and moved money into a safer investment.

The next day, the White House unveiled the stimulus package.

Boehner is one of 34 members of Congress who took steps to recast their financial portfolios during the financial crisis after phone calls or meetings with Paulson; his successor, Timothy F. Geithner; or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, according to a Washington Post examination of appointment calendars and congressional disclosure forms.

The lawmakers, many of whom held leadership positions and committee chairmanships in the House and Senate, changed portions of their portfolios a total of 166 times within two business days of speaking or meeting with the administration officials. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, 19 to 15. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/lawmakers-reworked-financial-portfolios-after-talks-with-fed-treasury-officials/2012/06/24/gJQAnQPg0V_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics



By Richard D. Wolff, Truthout

[…] Capitalism thus entails and reproduces a highly undemocratic organization of production inside enterprises. Tina believers insist that no alternatives to such capitalist organizations of production exist or could work nearly so well, in terms of outputs, efficiency, and labor processes. The falsity of that claim is easily shown. Indeed, I was shown it a few weeks ago and would like to sketch it for you here.

In May 2012, I had occasion to visit the city of Arrasate-Mondragon, in the Basque region of Spain. It is the headquarters of the Mondragon Corporation (MC), a stunningly successful alternative to the capitalist organization of production.

MC is composed of many co-operative enterprises grouped into four areas: industry, finance, retail and knowledge. In each enterprise, the co-op members (averaging 80-85% of all workers per enterprise) collectively own and direct the enterprise. Through an annual general assembly the workers choose and employ a managing director and retain the power to make all the basic decisions of the enterprise (what, how and where to produce and what to do with the profits). […]

READ @ http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/9968-there-is-an-alternative-to-capitalism-spanish-city-mondragon-shows-the-way