Jul 312012
 

By greydogg, 99GetSmart

* WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE CHICAGO 2012

Source: youtube

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N48-YbRyIU&sns=fb

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* EXTREMISM NORMALIZED

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Remember when, in the wake of the 9/11 attack, the Patriot Act was controversial, held up as the symbolic face of Bush/Cheney radicalism and widely lamented as a threat to core American liberties and restraints on federal surveillance and detention powers? Yet now, the Patriot Act is quietly renewed every four years by overwhelming majorities in both parties (despite substantial evidence of serious abuse), and almost nobody is bothered by it any longer. That’s how extremist powers become normalized: they just become such a fixture in our political culture that we are trained to take them for granted, to view the warped as normal. Here are several examples from the last couple of days illustrating that same dynamic; none seems overwhelmingly significant on its own, but that’s the point:

After Dick Cheney criticized John McCain this weekend for having chosen Sarah Palin as his running mate, this was McCain’s retort:

Look, I respect the vice president. He and I had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not. I don’t think we should have.

Isn’t it amazing that the first sentence there (“I respect the vice president”) can precede the next one (“He and I had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not”) without any notice or controversy? I realize insincere expressions of respect are rote ritualism among American political elites, but still, McCain’s statement amounts to this pronouncement: Dick Cheney authorized torture — he is a torturer — and I respect him. How can that be an acceptable sentiment to express? Of course, it’s even more notable that political officials whom everyone knows authorized torture are walking around free, respected and prosperous, completely shielded from all criminal accountability. “Torture” has been permanently transformed from an unspeakable taboo into a garden-variety political controversy, where it shall long remain. […]

Guests: Jane Hamsher, founder of Firedoglake and Glenn Greenwald, from Salon

READ / VIDEO @ http://www.salon.com/2012/07/31/extremism_normalized/

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* POLICE HARASS, ASSAULT AND ARREST PROTESTERS IN ANAHEIM

By Political Fail Blog

Anaheim, CA July 29, 2012

Anti-police violence activists take to the streets after over a week of heated protests against police involved shooting deaths in the community.

PFB on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/PFailBlog
PFB on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/politicalfailblog
PFB on the Web: http://www.politicalfailblog.com

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS3yiqu7inA&feature=youtu.be

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* THE MOST IMPORTANT TRADE AGREEMENT THAT WE KNOW NOTHING ABOUT

By David S. Levine, Economy in Crisis

[…] TPP is misleadingly labeled as a trade agreement, making it seem like a relatively narrow and limited agreement involving traditional topics like tariffs and exchange of goods—the sort of government-to-government discussions that seem too esoteric to have much impact on the everyday citizen. It is, in fact, much more than that. As explained by the USTR, TPP is an “ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that reflects U.S. priorities and values.” President Obama, who announced the goal of creating TPP in November 2009, has said that TPP will “boost our economies, lowering barriers to trade and investment, increasing exports, and creating more jobs for our people, which is my No. 1 priority.” That sounds pretty important—and more than a little vague. Unfortunately, we don’t know much about it beyond those platitudes.

Here’s what we think we know. Based upon the leaks that have occurred, it seems that an enacted TPP would require significant changes in U.S. and/or other signatory countries’ laws.  It would curb public access to vast amounts of information in the name of combating intellectual property infringement (or piracy, depending on your choice of words). The owner of the copyright in a song or movie could use a “technological protection measure”—what are often called “digital locks”—to prevent your access to it, even for educational purposes, and regardless of whether the owner had the legal right to do so. Your very ability to read this article, with hyperlinks in it, could be affected by TPP. So, too, might your access to works currently in the public domain and available free of charge. And these concerns are only related to the intellectual property rights chapter of TPP. There are apparently more than 20 chapters under negotiation, including “customs, cross-border services, telecommunications, government procurement, competition policy, and cooperation and capacity building,” as well as investment and financial services. Technically, TPP would only take effect in the 10 negotiating countries: Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam. Mexico joined recently, and Canada and Japan may soon follow. But in reality, it would also affect citizens of any nations that interact with at least one of those 10—which means even the shut-off North Korea might feel its influence.

Sadly, even the above involves a fair amount of conjecture and speculation, rather than verifiable fact. This procedural bottleneck, fueled by a dogged adherence to a belief in 20th-century-style secrecy, requires direct engagement, even if that engagement is flawed and wildly inefficient. So, on July 2, I traveled to San Diego to take part in an experimental, bizarre, new, and terribly important civic duty: being among a fraction of the nearly 300 “registered stakeholders” to speak to the negotiators attending the 13th round of negotiations of the TPP—even though none of us had any clue what was really going on.

The only thing that I knew with certainty was that I didn’t know much about what was happening in the TPP negotiations, and therefore I couldn’t offer much in the way of substantive questions and input, which was the point that I wanted to make to the negotiators. Other than “cleared advisors”—primarily industry representatives—no one outside the inner circle knows what is currently being negotiated in TPP. Most members of Congress do not even know what is in TPP. Indeed, the last publicly available text of TPP’s intellectual property chapter is a leaked version dated Feb. 10, 2011. Nonetheless, the goal of the “stakeholder engagement event,” as the TPP “Welcome Stakeholders!” packet explained, was to provide an “open and productive forum.” Yet the public knows more about the aggregate numbers of nuclear warheads the United States and Russia have deployed on intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty than it does about U.S. negotiating positions in TPP. Thus, on “openness,” the TPP negotiators and USTR have failed. […]

READ @ http://economyincrisis.org/content/the-most-important-trade-agreement-that-we-know-nothing-about

RELATED POST:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: The 1% Strike Back Against Occupy Movement @ http://99getsmart.com/?p=3715

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* SO WHAT’S THIS PIRATE PARTY YOU KEEP HEARING ABOUT?

By Smari McCarthy, Informative Activist

 What’s in a name?

[…] So what’s with the name? I don’t know, really. I’m as confused as you are. Nobody criticises the “Progressive Party” for being one of the least progressive and most repressive parties in Icelandic politics. Nobody criticises the “Independence Party” for fostering a culture without independent thought. The Liberal Party is full of social conservatives and the Left-Greens have an alarming number of fascists. And “Samfylkingin”? Give me a break. Political parties in Iceland have a long history of adopting the most oxymoronic names – or at least the most moronic names – they can come up with. With one exception.

We didn’t choose to go with “Sjóræningjaflokkurinn” because it doesn’t sound cool. Also, we don’t condone theft, only piracy. The law of the sea is quite clear in it’s Article 101 definition, and it does not apply to us.

“Píratapartýið” however came up during a meeting where we had been talking about the ways in which words keep being misappropriated and reappropriated. In Icelandic, the word for “casino” is “spilavíti” – literally “game hell”. The word for drugs is “eiturlyf” – literally “poison medicine”. Icelandic is very direct about its meanings – the language is very actively used as a tool of political manipulation. The current favorite is to stick the word “meint” (alleged) in front of anything – a similar thing is happening in English. It’s a dampening word which makes all certainty go away. The people at that meeting rather enjoyed challenging this tyranny of language, so we decided to use “Pírat”, which is very much not an Icelandic word (and is, as is rightly pointed out, meaningless), conjoined with “Partý”, which means the fun kind of party but not the political type of party. The name might still change, pending election from our members, although honestly I haven’t heard any good counterproposals.

Frankly, I really enjoy the fact that the best people can fling at us is that we have a silly name (oh noes!). A foreign name (gasp!). A name that doesn’t fit acceptable political doctrine (shame!) or befit an organization bent on gaining power (take a hint!). If they can’t find anything better to complain about…

Oh by the way, here’s some Shakespeare:

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

[…]

READ @ http://www.smarimccarthy.is/2012/07/so-whats-this-pirate-party-you-keep-hearing-about/

Jul 312012
 

 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the July 30, 2012 broadcast 

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

– The steelworkers from the Hellenic Halyvourgias Steel Mill in Aspropyrgos held a general assembly of their union on Friday, 27 July and Saturday, 28 July and voted to officially terminate their nine-month strike. One hundred fifty workers were reported present. 107 voted to end the strike, while 14 voted against and 29 abstained.

The workers voted to strike last October, protesting layoffs, cuts in working hours and a decrease in pay to 500 euros ($615) per month. The heroic nine-month strike was interrupted at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, 20 July, in a brutal raid by rioting police, who were working in the interest of a private owner, Nikos Manesis.

Again, during the early morning hours on Monday, 23 July, the Greek rioting police used chemical weapons to disperse a group of striking steelworkers gathered outside the gates of the mill. The workers were there to protest the reopening of the steel mill.

Supporters of the steelworkers, who quickly organized an impressive rally – 10,000 people gathered in Omonia Square and marched to Syntagma Square on Monday (23 July) evening – were stunned at the decision to end the strike.

The details are still unclear, but it appears that the strike has ended without any of the steelworkers’ demands being met. Longtime supporters feel that the struggle of the steelworkers represents the larger struggle for workers’ rights in Greece and that this was not their decision to make alone. Supporters feel an especially deep disappointment that the strike seems to have ended without any gains for Greek society.

Kritios Katsionis, an MP from the Communist Party, asks “What are the demands from the union now?” He also responded to the steelworkers’ supporters, who are asking “Who is giving orders to whom?”

The arrangement with the government was that once the strike ended, the rioting police would be removed from the steel mill because there would be no reason for their presence. The Minister of Justice said that the rioting police would be removed by Monday morning. But despite promises from the government, the rioting police remain on guard.

According to Mr. Katsionis, industrialist Nikos Manesis, a private citizen and the owner of the Hellenic Halyvourgias Steel Mill, is giving direct orders to the Greek government, who then pass down his orders to the rioting police. Manesis has instructed the government to leave the rioting police at the steel mill, in order to marginalize the workers.The rioting police were also instructed, by Manesis, to let the workers into the factory one by one, in a show of control.

The government continues to insist that it had acted upon the wishes of the workers, while the radical-Left main opposition party SYRIZA and the Communist Party condemned the police action.

——————

– “When it becomes serious, you have to lie.” –  Jean Claude Juncker, May 2011.

From Suddeutsche Zeitung:

“No time to lose”: The chairman of the €-group feels that a crucial point in the debt crisis has been reached. Jean-Claude Juncker supports plans by ECB chief Draghi for the purchase of government bonds – and says that Germany is partly to blame for the crisis. Berlin treats the euro area “as a branch,” Juncker said, and that “chatter about the withdrawal of Greece” is not helpful.

Juncker confirmed that the euro countries are preparing together with the bailout fund EFSF and the European Central Bank to buy government bonds from struggling countries if necessary. Because there is no doubt, he said, that “It is still necessary to decide exactly what we will do and when.” This depends “on developments in the next few days and on how fast we have to react.”

Except that Germany’s Finance Minister “denied plans for a new aid program for Spain, according to newspaper Welt am Sonntag, after the media reported European Union leaders aim for Spanish government bond purchases by the European rescue fund and the European Central Bank.”

Tyler Durden, from zerohedge, summarizes:

i) since the head of the Eurogroup is back to outright refuting what Germany said a day earlier, Europe is once again back to Plan B – lying, which means things are again on the verge of an all-out collapse, and a plunge in the EURUSD (which, as a reminder, is precisely what the German export industry wants more than anything), and

ii) just as at the June 29 summit, beggars are again hoping they can be choosers, and force Germany – by way of a full-blown media onslaught in which they represent a vague possibility as a certain outcome, and thus have already set expectations about 5% higher than they it would be otherwise – to succumb to the will of the beggars, and allow full-blown debt monetization.

In conclusion, here are excerpts from a Spiegel magazine interview with Mr. Juncker, highlighting his hilarious attempts to justify his lies:

SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, you are a Christian Democrat and a Catholic, which is why we want to talk to you about the Ten Commandments.

Juncker: I already have an idea of what you are getting at.

SPIEGEL: Are you familiar with the Eighth Commandment?

Juncker: Of course. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

SPIEGEL: Apparently you don’t take it very seriously. More than two weeks ago, you denied a  report by SPIEGEL ONLINE about a secret meeting of several European Union finance ministers to discuss the situation in Greece, even though the official limousines were already pulling up in Luxembourg.

Juncker: The most important commandment is not to inflict harm on others. Although it isn’t stated quite that way in the Ten Commandments, it follows from them. The finance ministers of several Euro Group nations had agreed to meet on Friday with the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Jean-Claude Trichet. Because the financial markets in Europe were still open and trading was still underway on Wall Street, we had to deny the existence of the meeting. Otherwise the rate of the euro against the dollar, which had already fallen as a result of your report, would have plunged disastrously.

SPIEGEL: With this false denial, you not only harmed your own credibility, but that of European financial policy as well.

Juncker: And it didn’t exactly enhance the credibility of SPIEGEL ONLINE to disseminate the false report that we were meeting in Luxembourg to discuss Greece’s withdrawal from the monetary union.

SPIEGEL: Forgive us for saying so, but SPIEGEL ONLINE had obtained information to that effect from government sources, as well as a working document prepared specifically for this meeting for the German finance minister.

Juncker: It is not unusual for finance ministers to have documents with them that contain all of the issues being discussed in public. And the question of Greece’s withdrawal from the monetary union is certainly being discussed in public. But that’s a far cry from saying that the issue is on the agenda of a meeting. As a result, I had to be all the more careful to ensure that no unnecessary turbulence would occur in the markets.

SPIEGEL: Are you saying that, as a finance minister in the age of global capital markets, you cannot tell people the truth?

Juncker: I do not have a ready answer to your question. My main concern is to protect people from detriment. That’s why I feel practically compelled to make sure that no dangerous rumors begin to circulate. I’m certainly not going to go to confession because of a false denial. God understands more about the financial markets than many who write about them.

SPIEGEL: When secret meetings are held and the truth isn’t always being told, people get the impression that there must be something wrong with this Europe.

Juncker: People understand perfectly well that politicians have to discuss sensitive issues behind closed doors. I had 10 seconds to decide how to react to the report in SPIEGEL ONLINE. Let us say, hypothetically, that I had said: “Okay, we are having a meeting, but I’m not going to tell you what we intend to talk about.” That would have triggered a tsunami in the financial markets. Instead, I chose to produce a small wave of outrage over a white lie.

SPIEGEL: Nevertheless, we’d like to try aiming for the truth.

——————

– Of the 11.5€ billion to be cut from Greece’s budget, employees, pensioners and patients are scheduled for 5€ billion in cuts. Some of the proposed measures include:

A cap for pensions: maximum pension would be 2,000-2,200 euro

Pensions: A 5% cut for pensions 1,000-1,400€. A 10% cut for pensions over 1,400€. The cut will be applied to the total amount, for those receiving more than one pension.

Allowances, Social Benefits: More than 89 social and welfare benefits will be given according to income and social criteria. Only the unemployment allowance and EKAS (a welfare benefit for low pensioners) are “untouched’’ by the measures, even though a very low-income cap was set and applied last year for EKAS.

There have been some rumors that there will be cuts to unemployment allowance for seasonal workers (agriculture, tourism), but this has not been confirmed.

Lump sum: There will be a lump-sum cut of 22.67% for civil servants, and a total of 40% in cuts for insurance funds that pay a higher lump sum than the employees’ contributions.

Healthcare: Maximum annual spending per insured patient will be 1,500€! This amount includes expenditures covered by insurance funds for prescription medicine, 2 check ups per year and 1 hospital stay.

If this amount is exhausted before the year’s end, patients will have to pay 10€  per visit to a doctor and 15% of the daily cost for a hospital stay.

——————

Information is the backbone of the effort to liberate ourselves, not just in Greece or Europebut the whole world. Independent media are an extremely important conduit of unfiltered information. We must build and support a network of information in order to succeed.

Please consider contributing:

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

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StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

Jul 302012
 

 

By greydogg, 99GetSmart

– IMF KNEW GREEK PROGRAM WOULD FAIL

By Katerina Nikolas, Digital Journal

Former Greek finance minister and Greece’s representative to the IMF until January, Panagiotis Roumeliotis, has spoken of the bail-out Memorandum imposed on Greece by its Troika of lenders, the IMF, EU and ECB. To Vima reported Roumeliotis accused the Troika of underestimating the negative affects the austerity program would have on the Greek economy, pushing it deeper into recession.

In an interview with the New York Times Roumeliotis revealed officials at the IMF knew the program was doomed to failure. He said “We knew at the fund from the very beginning that this program was impossible to be implemented because we didn’t have any – any – successful example.”

He added that whilst the IMF uses Greece’s failure to implement structural reforms as an excuse for the programs failure, the real cause “is that the severe cuts contributed to the downward spiral by decimating economic demand within Greece.”

Roumeliotis’s words reiterate those of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who admitted in June that Greece’s program of austerity was important even if it did not succeed, in order to set an example to other European countries to adhere to their future obligations within the EU. […]

READ @ http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/329376?fb_action_ids=10151132441877959%2C10151132424507959&amp

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* PROTECTORS OF WALL STREET

A vital new book from the TARP IG, and yesterday’s vote on a Fed audit, reveal some disturbing truths

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

If you believe the Federal Reserve has done a fine job of managing monetary policy and trust it to continue to exert vast power with no accountability or transparency, then you are probably content with the status quo. But yesterday, “a powerful left-right coalition” in the House of Representatives — defying the Fed as well as a likely White House veto — voted overwhelmingly to enact Rep. Ron Paul’s bill to subject the Fed’s monetary policy to audits by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan and independent congressional agency. As Dennis Kucinich, one of 89 Democrats to vote for the bill, put it: “It’s time that we stood up to the Federal Reserve that right now acts like some kind of high, exalted priesthood, unaccountable to democracy.”

Despite the large bipartisan House majority in favor of the bill, it is almost certain, as Reuters put it, “to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate.” That’s because “Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, at one time expressed support for an audit — though he reportedly has changed his mind.” Indeed, despite substantial Democratic support for the bill (including some from the progressive wing, such as Kucinich, Jerry Nadler and Raul Grijalva), “every top Democratic leader [in the House] voted against the bill, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland.” As former Alan Grayson aide Matt Stoller documented yesterday, Democratic leaders did not merely oppose the bill but actively whipped against it, meaning they sought to pressure caucus members to stay in line and oppose it; but as he observes: “The Democratic leaders, despite whipping, barely got a majority of the caucus to vote no. This is a massive failure on their part, and shows how weak they are.”

It was this same left-right coalition, led by Paul and joined by liberal Democrats such as Alan Grayson, that succeeded in enacting an Audit the Fed bill back in 2010. Even though that 2010 bill was substantially weakened by the same forces that oppose the bill now — the Fed, the White House, and party leadership — that audit, once completed, “revealed 16 trillion dollars in secret bank bailouts and has raised more questions about the quasi-private agency’s opaque operations” and independently showed that the Fed ignored rules to aid the largest banks. Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose watered-down Audit the Fed amendment is what passed in the Senate in 2010, said this about the audit revelations:

The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. . . . “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”

The argument has always been that the Fed must be able to act with independence and secrecy and that transparency would undermine its credibility and lead to political interference in monetary policy; especially now, the ostensible concern is that Republicans will impede necessary measures. But as Stoller points out, none of the parade of horribles about which the Fed warned resulted from the 2010 audit, and more to the point, the Fed — prime enablers of banks, crony capitalism and oligarchy — has proven that it deserves neither the trust nor the credibility which it had previously commanded. It’s remarkable to watch the Democratic Party become its most devoted defenders. As Stoller said about yesterday’s vote: “It’s so tiresome to see the Democratic leadership take the side of Wall Street, over and over and over.” […]

READ @ http://www.salon.com/2012/07/26/protectors_of_wall_street/

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* THOSE WHO BENEFITED FROM WALL STREET FRAUD MUST BE PROSTCUTED … INCLUDING ROGUE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO AIDED AND ABETTED THE CRIMES

By George Washington, Washington’s Blog

Wall Street fraud caused the Great Depression and the current financial crisis. Top economists and financial experts agree that our economy will never recover unless Wall Street fraud is prosecuted.

Yet the government has more or less made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, and instead to do everything necessary to cover up for Wall Street.  For example, the Obama administration is prosecuting fewer financial crimes  than under Reagan or either Bush.

For example, we pointed out in 2010:

The government’s entire strategy now – as during the S&L crisis – is to cover up how bad things are.

But it is not only a matter of covering up fraud that has already happened. The government also created an environment which greatly encouraged fraud.

Here are just a few of many potential examples:

  • Tim Geithner was complicit in Lehman’s accounting fraud, (and see this), and pushed to pay AIG’s CDS counterparties at full value, and then to keep the deal secret. And as Robert Reich notes, Geithner was “very much in the center of the action” regarding the secret bail out of Bear Stearns without Congressional approval. William Black points out: “Mr. Geithner, as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since October 2003, was one of those senior regulators who failed to take any effective regulatory action to prevent the crisis, but instead covered up its depth”
  • The former chief accountant for the SEC says that Bernanke and Paulson broke the law and should be prosecuted
  • The government knew about mortgage fraud a long time ago. For example, the FBI warned of an “epidemic” of mortgage fraud in 2004. However, the FBI, DOJ and other government agencies then stood down and did nothing. See this and this. For example, the Federal Reserve turned its cheek and allowed massive fraud, and the SEC has repeatedly ignored accounting fraud. Indeed, Alan Greenspan took the position that fraud could never happen
  • Paulson and Bernanke falsely stated that the big banks receiving Tarp money were healthy, when they were not

READ @ http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/07/corrupt-government-officials-should-be-in-jail-alongside-corrupt-banksters/#more-82308

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* 2 ANAHEIM PROTEST: 1 FAUCOUS, 1 SILENT MARCH; 9 ARRESTED

Source: The Orange Country Register

Anaheim SWAT members cruise down Ball near Harbor, where a growing group of more than 100 protesters blocked traffic. SWAT TEAMS FOR LESS THAN 200 PEOPLE??? 

READ / VIDEO @ http://www.ocregister.com/news/anaheim-366053-group-peace.html

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* A CALL TO ACTION: PROTEST ANAHEIM POLICE BRUTALITY AT DISNEYLAND 7/29/12 12PM-4PM EAST SHUTTLE AREA AND HARBOR BLVD 

Source: youtube

WE HAVE BEGUN ORGANIZING FOR PROTESTS AT DISNEYLAND @ East Shuttle Area and Harbor Blvd.

PROTESTS at DISNEYLAND will begin Saturday July 28, 2012 from 12 to 4 PM and again on Sunday July 29 from 12 to 4 PM.

We will protest every weekend until we get justice.

STAY UPDATED IN INFORMED ON FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Protest-Police-Brutality-at-Disneyland-Updates…

*** WARNING ***

WE MUST REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A PEACEFUL PROTEST!

IN THE TRADITION OF NON-VIOLENT STRUGGLES for civil rights and justice, we ask that all participants in these protests hold their anger, their outrage, so that THE MESSAGE OF OUR DEMANDS FOR JUSTICE CAN BE UNDERSTOOD. We need justice done against these racists in police uniform. PLEASE!!! DO NOT TAUNT THE POLICE; DO NOT GIVE THEM A FALSE REASON TO ATTACK THE MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN THAT WILL BE JOINING US IN THESE PROTESTS.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VSzj4oZ1NY

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* THIS IS MY BODY

By Jason Stefaniak

VIDEO @ http://vimeo.com/45539176

Jul 292012
 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the July 27, 2012 broadcast. 

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

– Greek bank workers will hold a 24-hour strike on July 30 to protest decisions made by the Troika and enforced by the Greek government-of-the-regime about them, without representation

OTOE, the bank union federation stated:

“The government must realize it doesn’t have the ethical or political right to show weakness, ignore the historical moment for Greek banks and succumb to the pressures of the creditors,”

The bank workers ask the Greek people to stand in solidarity and support their strike.

——————

– EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras held a PRIVATE meeting in Athens on Friday, to discuss Greece’s progress with the terms of the Memorandum.

According to Giorgos Kosmopoulos from StopCartel TV:

Barroso’s visit to Athens plays a direct role in the psychological manipulation of the Greek people by imposing fresh directives to the puppet regime. Once again, the official threats state that Greece will not get the next infusion of cash unless the directives of the Memorandum are fulfilled. There will be no renegotiations. Barroso is in Athens to make it clear that there is no other way than to accept the ruthless terms of the Troika.

——————

– In a speech delivered on Friday, Mr. Pantelakis, the President of the Unions, had this to say:

The Troika came disguised as doctors who administered the medicine that was supposed to save Greece, but they were charlatans and their ‘medicine’ is poison. It is killing Greece. If the Troika were public workers, they would be fired from their jobs.

——————

– PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos stated that he will put forth austerity measures with cuts to be spread out over the next four years. He concedes that the measures are very difficult, with huge reductions in pensions, wages and health care.

However, the Troika has stated all along that austerity measures must be imposed within the next two years, as per the terms of the Memorandum.

——————

– A new poll reveals that only 40 days after the last election, the great majority of Greeks – 83% – do not trust the new government. Only 16.5% have a positive view of the current government.

This creates an atmosphere that will benefit the people’s movement. The next few weeks are critical, as the new austerity measures are imposed. If 83% don’t trust the government now, what will happen when the government proceeds with more crushing policies? It will be very interesting to see what will happen next.

——————

– The Troika’s clerks met with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday. Once again, the Troika’s errand boys point out to the puppet government that their target must be to achieve the reforms that they signed off on in the terms of the Memorandum. When the Troika talks about “reforms,” what are really doing is declaring open season on Greece’s public assets.

The clerks will leave Athens over the weekend, but will return in September with the same old threats, in an effort to keep the Greek people feeling insecure and afraid. The IMF knew all along that austerity measures were not going to succeed. There has never been an IMF success story, to date.

Greeks are going to hear about huge cuts. Here are some of the ‘reforms’:

– Pensions over 1,400€ will be cut by 40%

– Cuts to health care will include a 1,500€ ceiling per person, per year.

– Tuition penalties will be imposed on university students who fail to complete their studies within 4 years.

– The pension eligibility age will be raised from 65 to 67 years.

– Christmas and Easter bonuses, the so-called 13th and 14th salaries, that have suffered huge cuts already, will be terminated altogether.

– 30,000 more public-sector workers will lose their jobs within the year.

——————

– 55% of hotel rooms and apartments for tourists in Greece are empty. This is the ‘success’ of the IMF, EU and ECB program in Greece. Europeans, and in particular Germans, reportedly fear unrest. Tourism receipts from European Union visitors fell by 28 percent for 2011 compared to 2010, and the trend continues. Tourism accounts for 15% of Greece’s GDP.

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– Greek hospitals are in dire straits. Not only is there a severe shortage of doctors, nurses and other vital personnel but medicine and disposable items are in short supply, as well. Patients must bring their own syringes and catheters to the hospital for their own personal use.

StopCartel is calling out for people to assist Greece by organizing collection drives to help supply Greek hospitals with medicines and medical supplies. Please contact Giorgos at StopCartel for more information: info@stopcartel.org

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Information is the backbone of the effort to liberate ourselves, not just in Greece or Europebut the whole world. Independent media is an extremely important conduit of unfiltered information. We must build and support a network of information in order to succeed.

Please consider contributing:

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

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StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

Jul 282012
 

 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

A Czech artist has re-modelled a traditional London double-decker bus into a mechanical sculpture of an athlete doing push-ups to celebrate the Olympic Games opening in the British capital on Friday.

David Cerny, whose past works have enraged European politicians and sought to poke fun at rival artists, has installed the bus outside the Czech Olympic House in London’s Islington neighbourhood.

Cerny bought the 1957 bus from an owner in the Netherlands, attached two huge arms, an electrical engine and a lot of wiring and suspension tools to make it into a piece of art named “London Boosted”.

The mechanisms inside make the 6-tonne bus move up and down on bright red arms, raising the chassis into various angles, accompanied by recordings of a groaning voice and video projections in the windows.

“There is one common exercise for every sportsman in the world, and that is push-ups,” Cerny said.

“It is training for sport activities but at the same time it is also punishment in armies and prisons. So the push-ups are a very universal physical activity…It is in a way very ironic.”

In 2009, Cerny revealed a huge puzzle-like object, called “Entropa”, in an EU building in Brussels that pictured European countries in unflattering ways, making a dramatic start to the Czech Republic’s EU presidency.

Bulgaria protested for being shown as a squat toilet, Germany was a Swastika-like web of highways, including moving cars, France was covered by an “On Strike” banner and Britain was missing altogether.

In the Czech Republic, he once painted pink a Soviet tank, which was serving as a monument of the 1945 liberation of Prague. His “Shark”, was a statue of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein floating in formaldehyde. It was meant to poke fun at British artist Damien Hirst’s embalmed shark, and was banned from exhibitions in Belgium and Poland.

Cerny once also put up large replicas of guns and posters in London back in the 1990s, calling on people to observe a “Day of Killing” to control population growth, as part of an art fair.

In that context, the London bus seems uncontroversial.

“We will see how long the athlete can work out for,” Cerny said. “Let’s hope he will exercise for the full three weeks. He will be the biggest sportsman there.”

VIDEOhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PG5_bscyE4

David Cerny’s Websitehttp://www.davidcerny.cz/

Jul 262012
 

 

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece weeknights @ 6 pm Athens time. The following post is a loose transcript of the July 25, 2012 broadcast. 

By greydogg and snake arbusto, 99GetSmart

– Dictatorship is alive and well in Greece and it is executing the country. The local and foreign loan sharks control the mass media and are ratcheting up the fear factor. They are trying to manipulate the thinking and emotions of the citizens by terrifying them into accepting more austerity measures and the privatization of public assets. By repeatedly stating that they are afraid Greece will go bankrupt in weeks or months, the government-of-the-regime hopes to paralyze people with fear in an effort to get them to accept that there is only one way for Greece, even though that way will end in catastrophe. The foreign and local loan sharks of the Troika, the industrialists and multinational corporations are executing the entire nation by ensuring bankruptcy.

And all the while, not one word is ever mentioned about the super-profits Germany makes off Greece’s monthly interest payments.

The Greek people must realize that the crisis is deepening ever day. The so-called Prime Minister of Greece, Antonis Samaras, lies to the public without hesitation. Samaras says Greece will renegotiate when it’s stronger and in a more powerful position to do so. How does he expect a stronger, more powerful Greece AFTER he sells off all public assets to foreign interests for pennies on the euro?

The reality is that the Greek government-of-the-regime that is controlling the lives of the Greek people is semi-dead and lives in fear. We are coming to the most critical phase of this war against us. Let’s rise up and take back our lives and control of our government!

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– EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will meet with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras today in Athens to discuss Greece’s progress with the terms of the Memorandum. His last visit was in June 2009. There have been 13 subsequent inspections.

According to Athens News:

Mr. Samaras and President Barroso… will discuss the overall situation in Europe and obviously particularly focusing on Greece,” EU Commission spokesman Alejandro Ulzurrun told reporters.

Barroso’s trip will coincide with a visit by EU/IMF inspectors to assess whether Athens deserves to receive more payments under the 130-billion-euro rescue program, as speculation mounts that Greece could be forced to quit the euro zone.

Barroso’s visit to Athens plays a direct role in the psychological manipulation of the Greek people by imposing fresh directives to the puppet regime. Once again, the official threats state that Greece will not get the next infusion of cash unless the directives of the Memorandum are fulfilled. There will be no renegotiations. Barroso is in Athens to make it clear that there is no other way than to accept the ruthless terms of the Troika.

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– On Wednesday afternoon, a phone call tipped off authorities to a bomb threat at the Ministry of Finance. The building was immediately evacuated and searched. Nothing was found.

A similar situation occurred at the Regional Court of Halandri, it was reported.

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– According to an official report from the Greek administration, 190,000 small businesses will close this year due to the recession and austerity measures imposed by the international community. Another 260,000 people will be left unemployed.

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– In view of the upcoming visit by the Troika’s clerks, the Ministers of Health and Labor announced to the public what cuts they will propose.

Of the €11.5 billion to be cut from the budget, the Minister of Labor proposed €5 billion in cuts. Main pensions will have a ceiling of €2,000 a month. This means that the government-of-the-regime is planning to cut pensions that pensioners have paid for entirely by themselves, with no government subsidies! The Minister of Labor will also cut social subsidies to Greek families with handicapped children.

The Minster of Health announced cuts of €300 million next year and another €300 the following year. The Ministry of Health will also establish a ceiling on medicine, allowing only a limited lifetime allowance for medication.

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– The steelworkers from the Hellenic Halyvourgias Steel Mill in Aspropyrgos will hold an assembly on Friday and Saturday to make decisions about their strike. They are also scheduled to meet with the Minister of Labor on Friday.

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– About 400 workers from Skaramangas shipyard held a rally and march last week. The workers are protesting their current schedule of work – one day per week. They are requesting an end to the ‘rotation work principle’ and demanding the back pay owed to them. The company’s management is refusing to accept requests to revoke the rotation work principle, where everyone works one day a week.

The strike will continue through Friday. On Monday, the shipyard will close again. A general meeting will be held by the workers to decide on their next course of action.

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– The Hellenic Sugar Industry S.A. was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Thessaloniki, Greece. The HSI workers’ union is protesting the sale of this profitable state-controlled company to private foreign interests. They maintain that the 5 factories could not only cover local consumption, but could increase production for export. The workers are demanding to be spared from the politics of disaster capitalism.

——————

Information is the backbone of the effort to liberate ourselves, not just in Greece or Europebut the whole world. Independent media is an extremely important conduit of unfiltered information. We must build and support a network of information in order to succeed.

Please consider contributing:

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

——————

StopCartel TV broadcasts live from Athens, Greece on weeknights at 6pm Athens time @ http://www.livestream.com/stopcarteltvgr

Jul 262012
 

 

By greydogg, 99GetSmart

* WALL STREET LEGEND SANDY WEILL: BREAK UP BIG BANKS

Source: youtube

Former Citibank boss Sandy Weill, who lobbied vigorously for a repeal of the Glass-Steagall act separating real banking from financial gambling – has called for them to be broken up:

What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not too big to fail.

[…]

I’m suggesting that [the big banks] be broken up so that the taxpayer will never be at risk, the depositors won’t be at risk, the leverage of the banks will be something reasonable, and the investment banks can do trading, they’re not subject to a Volker rule, they can make some mistakes, but they’ll have everything that clears with each other every single night so they can be marked-to-market. […]

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ_fvnN9P2Q&feature=player_embedded#!

READ @ http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/07/the-banker-most-responsible-for-allowing-the-too-big-to-fail-banks-says-we-must-break-them-up/

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* IT’S IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOVERNMENTS TO GROW THEIR WAY BACK TO SOLVENCY

By Tyler Durden, zerohedge

While it might seem like somewhat stating the obvious, it is nonetheless worth driving home to the politicians and public policy wonks who see rates at record lows and perceive a Keynesian borrow-and-spend-fest as once again the solution to borrowing-and-spending too much. As Morgan Stanley puts it, fiscal policy is sailing between the Scylla of chase-your-tail austerity and the Charybdis of sovereign insolvency. In short, it is impossible for developed market (DM) governments to grow their way back to solvency. Doing nothing would sail governments towards the whirlpool of national insolvency – at some stage. But avoiding insolvency would risk being monstered by recession. If ‘expansionary austerity’ worked, then Europe would now be booming. The outlook for fiscal policy and public sector finances is a major uncertainty for investors and, critically, is part of the reason why risky assets are being de-rated and ‘safe’ assets are at unprecedented valuations.

Morgan Stanley:The Strait of Mess

Fiscal policy is sailing between the Scylla of chase-your-tail austerity and the Charybdis of sovereign insolvency. It may be possible – with perfect foresight, untrammeled authority, tolerant markets, accommodating central banks and a disregard for political pressure – to navigate between these two threats. History suggests otherwise. Either way, this adds what is likely to be a long-running element of political and financial risk to the investment outlook. Markets are reacting by increasing the rating on ‘safe’ assets, and de-rating riskier assets, including equities.

Most DM governments are essentially broke. Of course, governments are not businesses, so the usual rules do not apply. But it seems that the net present value of governments’ liabilities – including the commitments embodied in current social security policies – exceed the net present value of their assets (including yet-to-be collected tax receipts). Exhibit 1 shows estimates of the (negative) net worth of some G-10 governments, relative to current-day GDP. […]

READhttp://www.zerohedge.com/news/its-impossible-dm-governments-grow-their-way-back-solvency

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* OCCUPY THE SEC URGES THE SEC TO INVESTIGATE JP MORGAN OVER LIKELY (AS IN BLOOMIN’ OBVIOUS) SARBANES OXLEY VIOLATIONS

By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism

We’ve written at length how the Obama Administration claim that it couldn’t prosecute bank CEOs and senior executives because they didn’t do anything illegal is utter hogwash. Sarbanes Oxley, passed in the wake of Enron, was designed to prevent CEOs and other top executives from escaping liability by claiming they were clueless face men. And it provides for a clear path to criminal prosecutions.

But the way Sarbanes Oxley was defanged is by making it an exercise in form over substance. Public firms engage in compliance theater while the SEC sits on its hands as far as enforcement is concerned (Note that the SEC did fail on its lone effort to use Sarbox against a CEO in the case of Richard Schrusy and Healthsouth. But that case was tried before a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, and I will spare readers the long form account as to why you can’t generalize from these results). Both the MF Global collapse and the JP Morgan Chief Investment Office fiasco look like slam-dunk Sarbox cases, yet we’ve seen nary a sign of interest from the SEC.

Occupy the SEC has used House Financial Services Committee hearings this week on the tenth anniversary of the passage of Sarbanes Oxley to raise pointed questions as to why the SEC has not launched a probe of JP Morgan. I have a sneaking suspicion that this line of thinking won’t get any air time, and instead the Congresscritters will focus on how the nasty law inconveniences fine upstanding major corporations.

I hope you’ll read their succinct and forceful letter […]

READhttp://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/occupy-the-sec-urges-the-sec-to-investigate-jp-morgan-over-likely-as-in-bloomin-obvious-sarbanes-oxley-violations-ows.html

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* WAR AND MONEY: OBAMA’S BEEN A VICIOUS 1% HOAX FOR ‘HOPE AND CHANGE’

By George Washington, Washington’s Blog

President Obama and Democratic “leadership” expanded policies of President Bush and Republican “leadership” in unlawful wars and looting of literal trillions of the 99%’s wealth to a 1% oligarchy.

This is Orwellian-opposite of Obama’s campaign rhetoric for “hope, change,” and accelerated from usual war-business and rigged-casino economics throughout US history. Let’s look:

More unlawful wars:

War law is crystal-clear in letter and intent: military armed attack is illegal unless another nation’s government is attacking. This is the legal victory all our families sacrificed to win through two world wars. It also upholds the first unalienable right to “Life” from government murder.

Rather than declare the “emperor has no clothes” obvious that US wars are unlawful, Obama and Democrats acted as the Left arm of one fascist war-mongering body to:

  • reject prosecution of the unlawful wars and related War Crimes, such as torture,
  • expand unlawful armed attacks with drones and NATO invasions,
  • continue easily proved lies to expand war onto Iran: Iran never threatened Israel; all fissionable material is fully accounted for lawful use in energy and medicine. In contrast, Israel “wipes Palestine from the map,” and the US openly violates the Non-Proliferation Treaty. […]

READhttp://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/07/war-money-obamas-been-a-vicious-1-hoax-for-hope-change.html

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* ERODING SOCIAL JUSTICE IN SPAIN

By Stephen Lendman

Along with Greece, Spain represents the epicenter of decaying Western societies. Multiple rounds of social spending cuts reflect Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s war on his own people.

Complicit parliamentarians go along. At issue is class warfare, transferring household wealth to bankers, other corporate predators, and privileged elites, eroding Spain’s middle class, and destroying a whole youth generation and perhaps others to come. More on this below.

Spaniards protest angrily against what no one should tolerate. They’re back after the latest announced austerity package.

On July 19, London’s Guardian headlined “Spanish take to streets in protest as MPs pass ($65 billion) austerity package,” saying:

They raged in 80 cities nationwide. They’re mad as hell and won’t take it anymore. The Guardian downplayed turnout. Possibly millions participated. Around 800,000 rallied in Madrid. Other major cities saw huge crowds.

Police attacked protesters violently. “Angry civil servants had blocked traffic in several main Madrid avenues earlier in the day, with protesters puncturing the tires of dozens of riot police vans, amid growing upset at austerity, recession and 24% unemployment.” […]

READ @ http://sjlendman.blogspot.cz/2012/07/eroding-social-justice-in-spain.html

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* THE MAN WHO CHANGED ICELAND – THE MESSAGE FOR GREECE

Source: youtube

The man who forced the government of Iceland to resign and kicked out the IMF representatives from his country, Hordur Torfarson, is now teaching meta-modern democracy throughout Europe.The rest of the world would benefit from following the example set by Iceland: Arresting the corrupt bankers who are responsible for the current economic turmoil.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH0_JQW–gc&feature=player_embedded#!