Sep 302013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* FROM TRAGEDY TO TRAVESTY: SELLING OFF THE CRADLE OF DEMOCRACY

Source: TheAutomaticEarth

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Is it merely a coincidence that the troika rode its Trojan horse into Athens again on the very day Angela Merkel went awfully close to an absolute majority in German elections? I’m sure it is. But it’s still very bad news for the Greeks, who now have their perhaps last chance to throw out the international financial system and decide their own fate, before most of their valuables have been sold off to foreign interests. Greece is where democracy started, and the way things are going, it may be where it will end as well.

The troika starts the new round of talks right off the bat with more pressure on selling off more of the goodies, even as up to now they’ve not sold for anything near targets, at absolute bottom prices, if at all. The Greek population, if it doesn’t call a halt to these negotiations, will end up not owning a single brick in their own country anymore, and still be heavily indebted to foreign banks and investors. And largely unemployed. Their own government, which consists mainly of bankers too, warns of domestic radical elements, but what other choice but radicalization do they leave the people? From Greek news service Ekathimerini:

Troika puts pressure on sell-offs

Creditors insist on acceleration of privatizations projects for the shortfall in revenues to be covered in 2014

The troika of Greece’s creditors on Monday exercised strong pressure on the state privatization fund (TAIPED) to speed up the country’s sell-off projects.

During a meeting at TAIPED’s headquarters, the mission chiefs of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund called for more action so that this year’s revenue shortfall, amounting to €1 billion, can be covered in 2014.

At the troika’s focus were the privatizations of ports, water and sewage companies, and Hellenic Post. According to plans drawn up in January, these sell-off projects should have started in the second quarter of the year, while the aim now is for them to get started in the last quarter, given that the third will be over in a week’s time.

The troika was also updated about delays in the utilization of real estate, and mainly that in the development of Athens old international airport at Elliniko, which is the biggest project in the privatizations package.

The Greek side again cited problems related to the nature of the properties for sale, saying they require a kind of “maturing” before they begin to attract investor interest. TAIPED officials also cited the differing views among the various authorities, with ports being the best such example as their privatization should have started in July.

The fund’s management also presented a list of more than 25 pending legislative and regulatory issues that must be settled before the privatization procedures can begin.

One of these issues was settled just hours before the troika’s arrival in Athens, as the Infrastructure Ministry repaid the debts of the Greek state to Athens water company EYDAP. Last Friday Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis had tabled an amendment in Parliament allowing for the payment of the approximately €600 million owed to EYDAP by the state.

PM Samaras and his crew consistently rely on unrealistic assumptions, not so much to appease the troika, who know the books, but to fool the people, who don’t. And then afterwards, they can claim unforeseeable circumstances led to even worse numbers, and more budget cuts and tax hikes will be needed. And lest we forget: another 25,000 government workers are set to be fired. The pattern is so obvious and so predictable it’s definitely not funny. […]

READ @ http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/from-tragedy-to-travesty-selling-off-the-cradle-of-democracy.html

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* BBC – Adonis Georgiadis – Greek Mininster of Health

Source: BBC HARDtalk

Those who think the worst of the Eurozone crisis is over should consider what’s happening in Greece. Public sector job cuts have prompted a new wave of strikes, a third bailout seems likely as the government wrestles with its crippling debt burden, while poverty and extremist violence threaten the country’s social cohesion. HARDtalk speaks to Greece’s controversial health minister, Adonis Georgiadis. His callous comments, which repeatedly disregarded the humanitarian catastrophe in Greece, are absolutely ridiculous and delusional.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoLTXH2j1sY#t=479

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* GOLDEN DAWN LEADER ARRESTED IN DUBIOUS CRACKDOWN

Greek state cracks down on neo-Nazi movement, but questions remain about how willing and able it truly is to stamp out the fascist threat it created.

By Jerome Roos, ROARmag

Nikolaos Michaloliakosm Leader of the neo-nazi organizatioin Golden Dawn in Greece

Greece: Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of the neo-nazi organization, Golden Dawn, during his arrest in Athens.

It’s quite incredible what difference two weeks can make. Just 10 days ago, government officials and members of Greece’s ruling centrist coalition were openly discussing the possibilities of a future government with the outspokenly neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. Then, a group of Golden Dawn thugs shamelessly murdered antifascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, and suddenly everything seemed to change. As tens of thousands of antifascist protesters took to the streets, government officials and mainstream media for the first time openly denounced the party as a “criminal organization”. Investigations were launched, senior police officers suspended and Golden Dawn collapsed in the polls.

Today, the sudden state crackdown on the violent extremists took a dramatic turn with the arrest of the party’s undisputed leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, by the national anti-terrorism unit. Three other MPs, a party leader from the Athenian suburb of Nikaia and 12 more party members were also arrested, while further arrest warrants have been issued for several MPs and party members. In an indication of the government’s resolve to finally sweep away the institutional basis of the neo-Nazi movement, today’s crackdown marks the first time since the fall of the military junta in 1974 that sitting MPs — let alone an official party leader — have been arrested.

Unfortunately, the institutional crackdown and criminal charges are long overdue, as the government (with Europe’s blessing) willingly tolerated the proliferation of neo-Nazi violence against immigrants and leftists for years. There are thus good reasons to remain profoundly skeptical of the government’s actual intentions and the broader implications of the arrests for the future of the antifascist struggle. While arresting its leaders will undoubtedly cripple Golden Dawn’s hierarchical organization and may temporarily paralyze the party’s official actions, it does not eradicate the penetration of fascism into the very fabric of the Greek state and society. Most importantly, a very large amount of Greek police officers and key elements of the country’s armed forces still support and adhere to Golden Dawn’s violent and openly racist ideology.

This fact was underlined when, just a few days ago, a group of special force reservists publicly demanded the government to resign and openly called for a military coup should it fail to do so. Since Golden Dawn claims up to 60 percent support from the country’s police force, and since most of its MPs and thugs have so far escaped imprisonment thanks to the right-wing inclinations of the judicial system, it is also unclear how effective the legal crackdown can really be. The current charges may set in motion the criminalization of the party, but it remains unclear how far state institutions are really willing and able to go in their efforts to stamp out the specter of neo-fascism.

These institutional limitations are compounded by the fact that Golden Dawn has traditionally been supported by a powerful sub-section of Greece’s oligarchic capitalist elite, whose financial interests have been neatly served by Golden Dawn’s anti-immigrant narrative and its violent attacks on anarchist and communist organizers. Already a while back, investigations by the Financial Crimes Unit revealed that Golden Dawn is funded by a group of wealthy businessmen, shipowners and orthodox priests (the latter are among the richest landowners in Greece). These are the same people who control the Greek government and media, and the same who are likely to be pulling the strings behind the “sacrificial” moves currently being taken against Golden Dawn. […]

READ @ http://roarmag.org/2013/09/golden-dawn-party-leader-arrested/

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* ATHENS BATTLEFIELD AS POLICE CLASH WITH ANTI-FASCIST PROTESTERS

Source: RT

Police have clashed with anti-fascist protesters in Athens during a rally turned violent, triggered by the murder of a musician at the hands of a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi.

VIDEO @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LJsfGBK8Evk

Sep 292013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* THE EMPIRE PRESIDENT: JEREMY SCAHILL ON OBAMA’S “NEO-CON” DOCTRINE OF MILITARY FORCE IN U.N. SPEECH

Source: Democracy Now!

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama openly embraced an aggressive military doctrine backed by previous administrations on using armed force beyond the international norm of self-defense. Obama told the world that the United States is prepared to use its military to defend what he called “our core interests” in the Middle East: U.S. access to oil. “[Obama] basically came out and said the U.S. is an imperialist nation and we’re going to do whatever we need to do to conquer areas [and] take resources from people around the world,” says independent journalist Jeremy Scahill. “It’s a really naked declaration of imperialism … When we look back at Obama’s legacy, this is going to have been a very significant period in U.S. history where the ideals of very radical right-wing forces were solidified. President Obama has been a forceful, fierce defender of empire.”

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: That is the great Somali-Canadian rapper, K’naan. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report.  I am Amy Goodman with Nermeen Shaikh.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: I want to turn back to President Obama’s address at the U.N. General Assembly. During a speech Obama told the world the US is prepared to use its military to defend what he termed “our core interests in the Middle East,” that is US access to oil.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure our core interests in the region. We will confront external aggression our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War. We will ensure the free flow of energy from the region to the world.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: That was President Obama speaking yesterday at the U.N. General assembly. Jeremy, your response to what Obama said in his speech.

JEREMY SCAHILL: During this section of the speech my jaw sort of hit the floor. He basically came out and said the United States is an imperialist nation and we are going to do whatever we need to conquer areas to take resources from around the world. I mean, it was a really naked sort of declaration of imperialism, and I don’t use that word lightly, but it really is. I mean, he pushed back against the Russians when he came out and said I believe America is an exceptional nation. He then defended the Gulf War and basically said that the motivation behind it was about oil and said we are going to continue to take such actions in pursuit of securing natural resources for ourselves and our allies. I mean, this was a pretty incredible and bold declaration he was making, especially given the way that he has tried to portray himself around the world. On the other hand, you know, remember what happened right before Obama took the stage is that the president of Brazil got up, and she herself is a former political prisoner who was abused and targeted in a different lifetime, and she gets up and just blasts the United States over the NSA spy program around the world. […]

READ / VIDEO @ http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/25/the_empire_president_jeremy_scahill_on

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* HAVE A NICE DAY, N.S.A.

By Vanessa Barbara, NYTimes

Brazilian president snubs Obama, cancels state visit over NSA spying.

Brazilian president snubs Obama, cancels state visit over NSA spying.

At the opening of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Dilma Rousseff, the president of my country, Brazil, delivered a scolding speech in response to reports that the National Security Agency has monitored electronic communications of Brazilian citizens, members of government and private corporations. Like a displeased school principal, Ms. Rousseff seemed to speak directly to President Obama, who was waiting in the wings to deliver his own speech.

She called the surveillance program “a breach of international law” and “a situation of grave violation of human rights and of civil liberties; of invasion and capture of confidential information concerning corporate activities; and especially of disrespect to national sovereignty.” She seemed personally offended when she demanded “explanations, apologies and guarantees that such procedures will never be repeated.” Last week, she called off a planned visit to the United States, after she learned that the N.S.A. had gained access to her own e-mails, telephone calls and text messages.

All in all, it was a nice example of what Brazilians call “Dilma Bolada,” or “Furious Dilma.” (A Rio de Janeiro publicist has even created a fake Twitter profile under that name, to make fun of our president’s famous short temper.) […]

READ @ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/27/opinion/have-a-nice-day-nsa.html?hp&_r=0

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* NEW YORK POLICE PASSING OUT FLYERS URGING PEOPLE TO UPGRADE iPHONES TO IOS7 TO HELP PREVENT ROBBERIES

Source: Fugitive.com

1-iphone-flyer

New York police are passing out flyers urging people to update their iPhones to the new iOS7 update because it will make the phones safer against theft.

The flyer that police are handing out is informing people the new software update gives the smartphone more security because a stolen phone cannot be reprogrammed without an Apple ID and password. It also encourages iPhone users to register their devices with the New York Police Department’s Operation Identification Program.

New York police officers were at subway stops encouraging people to upgrade to iOS 7.

It is reported that the new software update also promotes security through fingerprint recognition, and a thief cannot stop the original owner from locating it after it’s been stolen. […]

READ @ http://www.fugitive.com/2013/09/23/new-york-police-passing-out-flyers-urging-people-to-upgrade-iphones-to-ios7-to-help-prevent-robberies/

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* POLICE NOW CAN SWITCH OFF iPHONE CAMERA AND Wi-Fi

Source: Veterans Today

ScreenHunter_2023-Aug.-19-16.39

Police throughout the globe have been embarrassed to see online videos of their officers pepper spraying tied captives. In our age of mobile gadgets the pictures can be uploaded online in seconds, making supervisors to answer the questions.

But now the police may not need to fear scrutiny anymore, because Apple has recently patented a piece of technology that would allow the authorities and police to block data transmission, including video and photos, whenever they like. All they need to do is decide that a public gathering or venue is deemed “sensitive” and needs to be protected from externalities. In this case Apple will enable them to switch off all its gear. The developers insist that the affected locations are normally cinemas, theaters and concert grounds, but Apple admits it could also be used in covert police or government operations that may need complete “blackout” conditions.

In the meantime, privacy outfits point out that it could also be used to prevent such whistle blowers as Edward Snowden from shooting pictures and sharing them online. In response, Apple claimed that the wireless transmission of sensitive data to a remote source is a threat to security, with the sensitive data being anything from classified government data to answers to an exam administered in an academic setting.

Anyway, the fact is that Apple has patented the means to transmit an encoded signal to all wireless gadgets, commanding them to disable recording functions. The developers reveal that the policies would be activated by GPS, and Wi-Fi or mobile base-stations that would ring-fence around a building or a sensitive area in order to prevent mobile cameras from taking pictures or recording video. […]

READ @ http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/08/19/police-now-can-switch-off-iphone-camera-and-wi-fi/

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* FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE / SECRET REVEALED

Source: TED

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLXa1kEMooU#t=13

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* N.S.A. GATHERS DATA ON SOCIAL CONNECTIONS OF U.S. CITIZENS

By James Risen, NYTimes

facebook-nsa-400x223

Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.

The spy agency began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 to examine Americans’ networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes after N.S.A. officials lifted restrictions on the practice, according to documents provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor.

The policy shift was intended to help the agency “discover and track” connections between intelligence targets overseas and people in the United States, according to an N.S.A. memorandum from January 2011. The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.

The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners. […]

READ @ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/nsa-examines-social-networks-of-us-citizens.html?pagewanted=1&google_editors_picks=true&_r=1&

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* SEYMOUR HERSH ON OBAMA, NSA AND THE ‘PATHETIC’ AMERICAN MEDIA

Pulitzer Prize winner explains how to fix journalism, saying press should ‘fire 90% of editors and promote ones you can’t control’

By Lisa O’Connell, The Guardian

Seymour Hersh exposed the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. Photograph: Wally McNamee/Corbis

Seymour Hersh exposed the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. Photograph: Wally McNamee/Corbis

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.

It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist”.

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don’t even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends “so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would” – or the death of Osama bin Laden. “Nothing’s been done about that story, it’s one big lie, not one word of it is true,” he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.

Hersh is writing a book about national security and has devoted a chapter to the bin Laden killing. He says a recent report put out by an “independent” Pakistani commission about life in the Abottabad compound in which Bin Laden was holed up would not stand up to scrutiny. “The Pakistanis put out a report, don’t get me going on it. Let’s put it this way, it was done with considerable American input. It’s a bullshit report,” he says hinting of revelations to come in his book.

The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.

“It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama],” he declares in an interview with the Guardian. […]

READ @ http://www.theguardian.com/media/media-blog/2013/sep/27/seymour-hersh-obama-nsa-american-media?CMP=twt_gu

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* SOUTH PARK NSA

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1OljRf9ZM

Sep 272013
 

Posted by SnakeArbust and greydogg, 99GetSmart

Written by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan, from Istanbul:

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The early 1990s… A political rally of Recep Tayyip Erdogan gathers a big crowd and the masses cheer in amazement with every prophecy and promise he utters. Among the many statements, one of them focuses on Turkey’s Europeanization project, which has turned out to be a project of centuries. Erdogan’s exact statement was “…and about the European Union, never worry. We will never enter EU, because they are a Catholic-Christian club and will never accept us.” This statement has served as a guarantee for the supporters of political Islamists in Turkey for a long time, although it has been looked upon with suspicion by some as Erdogan climbed the career stairs and became “the single man” that decides on everything, including Turkey’s Europeanization process.

Over the years, Euroskepticism has been the prevailing point of view in general Turkish society, going hand in hand with rising nationalism in the country. While a big part of the supporters of the governing AKP have been against EU accession, the negotiation process has started and has been continuing very slowly without chapters being opened or completed. In previous years, Turkish business people have been uttering their lack of belief that Turkey would ever manage to complete negotiations, suggesting that it would be more realistic to focus on strategic partnership rather than full membership. The political elites of the AKP have been giving mixed signals over the past years due to its catch-all make-up, yet as the Islamist- and nationalist-rooted politicians become more and more concentrated in top positions, Euroskeptic statements become more frequent as well.

Last week there were demands from the Turkish government to delay EU enlargement progress reports because of the religious feast that Turkish people will observe and that would deny the progress report the public attention it would otherwise get. Another statement concerning the enlargement process came from the EU Minister, Egemen Bagis: “We will probably never be part of the EU.” This statement, coming from the chief negotiator and minister who is responsible for Turkey’s Europeanization project, not only reflects the attitude of the Turkish side but also the feeling of weariness of the governing party concerning the EU.

Not a week after the EU Minister made a statement about the hopelessness of the government regarding a common future for Turkey and the EU, PM Erdogan’s chief advisor, “telekinesis maestro” Yigit Bulut, made another statement: “It might be best to give up on hollow dreams about the EU”. When two strongly Euroskeptical statements come from two very influential people in the government, it might actually reveal a political stand; this now shows how “dedicated” the government is to EU membership and Europeanization process. During the Europe-harmonization reform packages so far, the AKP has been carrying out a very “liberal” version of the reforms, changing bills and laws according to AKP’s agenda and even diverging from European logic from time to time. The very European laws have been turned into elements that will prevent eventual Europeanization, almost fulfilling the earlier statement by Erdogan: “Democracy is not a goal for us, it is just a tool towards our greater goal”.

One might say that the AKP government’s using disproportionate force against any kind of anti-government protest (including the nationally recognized May 1 celebrations), issuing Euroskeptic statements, diverging from the Europeanization project, and boosting nationalism by organizing national alternatives to international cultural and sports events (Turkolympics, Turkevision, Turkish Language Olympics) are all preparation for the 2014 municipal and presidential elections. Yet, this time the election “presents” and boost of nationalism might have outcomes beyond the ballot box. As recently put by political advisors to PM Erdogan, Turkey is going through a phase of “valuable solitude” – seemingly a sugar-coated term for isolation. And at a time when Turkey has become the world’s most fragile economy, on the verge of crisis and with extreme nationalist tendencies, desperately needing more international investments, there can be no guarantee that at any time, new crackdowns will not again reflect its police-state attitudes and practices.

MORE STORIES by Gürkan Özturan @ http://radicaldemocrat.blog.com

MORE UPDATES RE: TURKEY @ http://99getsmart.com/category/turkey/

Sep 262013
 

Posted  by www.uneditedmedia.com

A story about perspective on childhood:

A friend I’ve known for over a decade, whose indigenous to the lands I now call home, saw this high school kid fall off his bicycle. The kid fell backwards, and his helmet slipped towards  his nose. My friend, whose recent birthday inched him towards forty, said he watched the  EMT’s lift this teenager into an ambulance and hoped he was ok. Later we learned the kid died, and this big brown man’s voice quivered, “Oh no,” He tipped against the wall and started obbing. He wept at this complete strangers death. I watched unsure of how to react and just told him I was there for him. A few hours later he walked up and hugged me, said, “I’m sorry. Where I’m from, so many young people die.

I recently visited the Pine Ridge Reservation to witness and stand on the side of the Lakota people who’d invited us. They invited us as allies and take part in an ongoing struggle against Whiteclay, NE. Before getting into the flesh of that struggle, there are things I need to share, things think we must be look at, and try to understand before reaching the actions. See, there are facts, little factoids you learn about place when you’re there. Sometimes about death and addiction. Statistics, and they mean nothing. It’s hard to grasp a % of a thing, when you’re not in the thing. You’re not the one living it.

Pine Ridge Reservation statistics:

Lakota people have the lowest life expectancy in America.

* Life expectancy for men 48, 52 for women. Lowest reported 45 years of length life.

USA= 77.5 years of average lifespan.

* Teenage suicide rate is 150% higher than the U.S. average for teens.

* The infant mortality rate is the highest on this continent

300% higher than the U.S. national average.

* The death rate from alcohol-related problems on the Reservation is 300% higher than the remaining US population.

* Alcoholism affects 8 out of 10 families.

We heard these numbers as we crossed onto the Pine Ridge reservation. These death and alcohol statistics became more comprehendible as we listened to uncountable stories of known and recently dead: Cousins and siblings– relative upon relative, from car accidents, and acts of drunk random violence. Liver cirrhosis. Died from alcohol. I listened while on Pine Ridge, and everyone had stories, and lists of their known dead. The pizza hut worker who hated Whiteclay, whose brother died of cirrhosis, of alcoholism. A 35 year old women, who lived the streets of Whiteclay, who’d slur at me that she knew it was bad. That Whiteclay had to go, that her father died there. But we ran into her after she’d made the 2 mile trek to Whiteclay, NE from the Pine Ridge Reservation. My trip to the reservation wasn’t only to learn about the history of Whiteclay, NE, but also to listen to stories from the people who struggle against Whiteclay, and called the Pine Ridge reservation home.

We arrived to the Lakota’s homelands by crossing an imaginary border out of Nebraska, into what I’d learn wasn’t the Pine Ridge Reservation to the Lakota who invited us, but was really POW camp 344.

9646058461_534396c208This name referencing the tribal identification number assigned them by the federal government. We were told that each reservation, and thus tribe was assigned a numeric sequence to attach them to the lands their people were now isolated too. While the story of POW camp 344 is far too large for this small article, let it be known that I heard stories of warriors that once fought the Unite States government, and won victories. The Lakota warriors even decimated one of United States armies in the field. Warriors vs Soldiers.

Know that the stories shared with us came from a people that the United States government practiced “Total War” against, as they practiced against all tribes. Total War is what Germany did as it bombed London into rumble. It’s what the United States did when it vaporized Hiroshima with the atom bomb. Total War means that United States soldiers openly and purposely killed everyone. Infant, to elder, no limit to where to aim a bullet, but only to aim it at whatever breathed, that looked indigenous, that was brown. The Lakota’s experience with the United States government echoes at Wounded Knee located 18 miles north east of Whiteclay, NE.

9868474823_9c629778f0Where, the United State continued its practice of unfettered lies to indigenous people, and gathered them under a peace flag, and massacred the Lakota around their cooking fires. It’s reported that after the gunfire died down the soldiers called to the children who hid amongst their recently massacred families. The United States promised the children safety through voiced promises of the uniformed US soldiers. The children eventually came out of their hiding places. The United States shot the children dead.

This is part of the history of the Lakota people imprisoned in POW camp 344. See, if I understand it correctly, the Lakota people were a real threat to the United States, the Lakota warriors and leaders fighting for their way of life. Understand that after the United States confined the Lakota into POW camp 344, they tore the children from their families. The United States forced them into schools to learn how to be white, or western, or whatever you want to call it. These schools did their best to beat out the Lakota’s culture and traditions. The history of boarding schools is also one too deep and dark for me to be able to work through here, but it must be understood that, not only did the United States murder these people, but also did it’s best to destroy their cultures and traditions, and it seems the United States did it out of fear and while there learned this process of elimination continues through Whiteclay, NE.

What I witnessed in against Whiteclay, NE, was a moment of a struggle in a struggle that’s continued for centuries. It’s a struggle against the US government that fears a people, for their abilities to fight back, so much so, that it’s done everything to decimate them. We were told that this place of Whiteclay, NE was placed there on purpose, by the United States government, the same government who massacred the Lakota, who tore children out of their families and forced these kidnapped children into reeducation schools. The Lakota stated simply that Whiteclay, NE’s sole purpose for existing was to ensure that the Lakota never came together. It poisoned them. That Whiteclay’s sole purpose was to funnel alcohol into Pine Ridge. The Lakota aren’t the only one who believes so, the chair of the US Commissioner on Civil rights Mary Frances Berry said that Whiteclay, NE “only exists to sell beer to the Oglala Lakota,” on Pine Ridge Whiteclay, NE, sits 2 miles south of POW camp 344′s biggest city of Pine Ridge. Pine ridge’s population 3,308. Whiteclay’s population sits at 14. Whiteclay was created in1904 by an illegal executive order by President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt’s feelings towards indigenous peoples are summed by this quote, “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth.” Before that Roosevelt’s illegal executive order a 50 mile buffer zone between POW camp 344 and the United States had been negotiated with Lakota elders. This buffers sole purpose was to create a barrier between the people, and illegal alcohol peddlers.  Roosevelt eliminated that barrier, breaking treaties by not consulting tribal elders and leaders, of that buffer zone. Whiteclay, NE was created. The first businesses that moved onto these stolen lands were liquor stores. Four of which operate today.

The liquor stores which serve the 14 person population of Whiteclay sell an average of 13,000 cans of beer a day, most of which gets bootlegged north to Pine Ridge. I went there before the march and days of actions wearing a small yellow flower on my lapel. I was warned to bring something from a good place . I was told I should leave the item there as a way to protect myself. I’m not spiritual or religious, but when I rolled into that town I wore a small yellow flower on my lapel. I brought the flower from a place we camped, where the owner of the land told us he hated Whiteclay. His father’s last words as he succumbed to liver cirrhosis were used only to beg to be taken back to Whiteclay, NE for a drink. I picked that yellow flower from what I was told was a good place.

The town itself seemed out of place and I reflected later that it seemed lost. I wore my yellow flower and was approached by the local street folk, a gathering of Lakota who spent their days begging for change, and hoping for alcohol. They rose up and screamed at me. I watched my Lakota allies talk to them and it was hard to watch as they tried to interact with this group of their own people, who drunkenly begged at the doors of these liquor stores. The drunks said for us to get out, that there was no more warriors left. It was their land, and that all they wanted was change for another can. One of our Lakota allies looked down, angry or sad, it was hard to tell, but I heard him say, “No, no we’re, right here. The warriors are coming back. ” I left the flower attached to the pole of a street sign.

9868474323_dc464d9f7bThe warriors did come back in the following days with the allies they’d invited. We walked Whiteclay, NE with Lakota warriors for two consecutive days. The warriors armed with their bodies and strong hearts. Lakota warriors stepped in front of Police officers as the officers tried to break up people blockading liquor store doors.

9694276464_91d5e76c61The warriors intercepted drunks who tried to approach, or attack their allies who come to support them. The Warriors turned a corner and 2 beer trucks made quick U-turns and retreated out of the town. For 2 days Whiteclay’s alcohol sales were disrupted. The bar owners turned to recruiting drunks off the street for protection, the police walked us out on the last day intermingled with a line of Lakota alcoholics. Our allies told us, that people need to understand that Alcoholism was a sickness, and never was it so apparent to me than seeing that line of intermingled police and drunks urging us back across the line.

9691038607_4199c7be7eI’ve left POW camp 344, but the Lakota live on there in their struggle. I’m left with the stories and memories resounding in my head and heart. A young women in fatigues telling me that she had been forced into the role of a warrior. That all the men were alcoholics now and so that she had to fight. I’m left with the words of one of the Lakota organizers of the Women’s Peace March. She said that Whiteclay, NE was created to funnel alcohol to the Lakota people”. That the United States government was still waging war on the Lakota through liquid genocide.” That for her people the epicenter for this battle continues to be Whiteclay, NE.

Whiteclay NE, sit’s 200 yards from POW camp 344. A camp ravaged by alcohol, by alcohol related death. Two hundred yards from a peoples’ land who the United States government feared so much, they lied to them under peace flags, and slaughtered them with bullets and cannon. Massacred them with uncountable broken promises. Feared them so much that they tried to organize a way to beat the Lakota out of these people, to break their connections to their history, and traditions. The United States feared the Lakota so much that they broke treaties and promises to elders and took away an agreed on buffer zone to funnel liquid genocide onto the reservation. The Lakota have faced generations of these continued assaults.

The day I left I was taken aside by one of the women organizers of the first days peace march. She looked at me and said, “the first generation is coming of age to not be forced into boarding schools.”The second generation removed from these forced reeducation camps is up and coming.” I stood side by side these generations of Lakota warriors, who unarmed, were able to disrupt the poisoning of their people for two days. I think back to a sign I saw on the edge of Whiteclay, NE which stated, “A sober Lakota is a dangerous Lakota.” Dangerous only to the forces trying to make sure they can’t fight back. Because when they do, like those few days. They win.

9649158982_c60e190a2dText and photographs by @uneditedcamera

Sep 262013
 

El análisis de James Petras

“Mujica no debería ser tan ignorante ni tan servil, por lo menos puede reconocer que esto no es natural, que se puede cambiar, se pueden montar sistemas nacionales que no dependan de las compañías norteamericanas que están colaborando con el gobierno en la entrega de información”, dijo James Petras. Foto: Mujica y Obama en Cartagena de Indias en abril de 2012

“Mujica no debería ser tan ignorante ni tan servil, por lo menos puede reconocer que esto no es natural, que se puede cambiar, se pueden montar sistemas nacionales que no dependan de las compañías norteamericanas que están colaborando con el gobierno en la entrega de información”, dijo James Petras. Foto: Mujica y Obama en Cartagena de Indias en abril de 2012

“Debemos destacar la respuesta política de Brasil frente al espionaje y la intervención estadounidense en toda América Latina”, dijo el sociólogo norteamericano James Petras en su columna de análisis de la coyuntura internacional de los lunes en CX36 (*). En ese sentido, dijo que “Rousseff parece una revolucionaria frente a la respuesta tan débil y servil de Mujica” sobre esta nueva forma de colonialismo que practica el imperialismo. Además, puso en contexto el atentado islamita en Kenia, explicó la situación internacional respecto a la posible agresión a Siria, comentó el triunfo electoral de Angela Merkel y destacó el discurso anticapitalista del Papa Francisco. A continuación transcribimos en forma íntegra este análisis que Usted puede escuchar/descargar en el siguiente link: http://content.bitsontherun.com/players/mxWmYMY3-y47WGXn0.html

Fotografía que nos envió James Petras, donde posa con los productos de su huerta

Fotografía que nos envió James Petras, donde posa con los productos de su huerta

María de los Angeles Balparda: Estamos en contacto como cada lunes con James Petras. Buenos días Petras, ¿Cómo está?

James Petras: Estamos muy bien, con muchas noticias para comentar.

MAB: Pero antes, déjame contarle a la audiencia que estamos mirando una foto que nos mandaste en la que mostrás la producción que sacaste de tu huerta.

JP: Si, fue un muy buen año y tenemos muchas cosas para cocinar.

MAB: ¿Qué hay en la canasta?

JP: Tomates, pepinos, calabazas de distintas variedades… Estamos muy bien.

MAB: Muy bueno., Felicitaciones y nos da mucha envidia además.

¿Por dónde empezamos?

JP: Gracias.

La primera cosa es la traición que anunció el canciller John Kerry cuando insiste con que Rusia apoya una resolución de Naciones Unidas que da permiso a la intervención militar en Siria.

El acuerdo entre el Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Rusia, Serguéi Lavrov, con su par estadounidenses, John Kerry, excluye esta posibilidad. Pero ahora Washington dice que no va a apoyar el acuerdo si Rusia no apoya esta resolución. Y Rusia cree que esta resolución va a dar luz verde para aprovechar el desarme de Siria para atacarlos, como hicieron con Libia cuando Rusia firmó un acuerdo para mediar en el conflicto y después Washington y los países de la OTAN  utilizaron una cláusula para atacar.

Hay algo similar ahora en la propuesta de Washington, a pesar de que el acuerdo está conforme con las acciones de Siria, que está entregando un inventario de todas sus armas, según el acuerdo, y han acordado asumir la Organización para la Prohibición de Armas Químicas.

Ahora,  frente a esto, hay que decir que aparentemente Kerry firmó el acuerdo para  neutralizar la derrota que estaba enfrentando en el Congreso norteamericano; pero ahora con el acuerdo con Rusia, en la coyuntura, bajan las presiones internas y aprovechando eso Kerry vuelve al ataque con la propuesta militar. Esto contradice toda la idea de acuerdo internacional para resolver el conflicto.

MAB: ¿Entonces en qué está el acuerdo? ¿Está vigente?

JP: En este momento todavía Washington sigue con la propuesta de incluir la cláusula militarista que permite a los países de la OTAN firmar acuerdos de paz hoy y mañana lanzar un ataque militar utilizando cualquier pretexto, cuestionando el inventario de Siria, desarmar el calendario, o cualquier otro pretexto podrían utilizar para lanzar el ataque aéreo que en este momento están prohibidos.

Diego Martínez: ¿Esto se está negociando ahora en Naciones Unidas?

JP: No, esto es en el marco de las discusiones ruso-estadounidenses. Es una cuchillada en la espalda de Rusia, porque Lavrov entendía –y todo el mundo lo entendía así- que la propuesta de incluir una cláusula que permita el ataque no está sobre la mesa.

Pero de repente, en el momento en que bajaron las presiones internacionales, Kerry vuelve con eso. Y repite lo que hicieron primero en Yugoeslavia, cuando Slobodan Milosevic firmó un acuerdo para permitir la vigilancia, y después Bill Clinton, lanzó las bombas en aquel país. Lo mismo sucedió con Libia, a partir del acuerdo de Rusia y Naciones Unidas.

Es decir, tenemos que se reitera la firma de acuerdos y después incluirle cláusulas que se puedan manipular para  lanzar guerras.

MAB: En otros temas…

JP: Otro tema importante es el conflicto en Kenia, que dejó 68 muertos.

Todos los medios excluyen el contexto: Kenia está en guerra contra Somalia. La está ocupando con fuerzas militares y asesinando a centenares de somalíes. Entre 2011 y 2013 Kenia invade, ataca y mata a los somalíes.

Entonces ahora el grupo islámico que se llama Al Shabab, vuelve a atacar  a Kenia.

Por eso hay que poner las cosas en contexto, la masacre en Kenia es consecuencia de la agresión de Kenia contra Somalia y los musulmanes dicen que van a seguir atacando Kenia mientras Kenia mantenga sus tropas ocupando Somalia.

Es una guerra .Lo que hay allí, no es un ataque unilateral, es una guerra, un conflicto entre los invasores de Kenia y la resistencia musulmana. Y debemos tomar en cuenta que si hay 68 muertos en Kenia, hay veinte veces más muertos en Somalia producto de la ocupación de las Fuerzas Armadas keniatas.

DM: ¿Qué papel juega Israel por ejemplo? Porque las informaciones dicen que fuerzas especiales israelíes participan en defensa del ejército keniano.

JP: Es que Israel tiene muchas inversiones en Kenia y a la vez Kenia respalda a Israel en sus agresiones contra los palestinos.

Kenia es el país clave para el imperialismo y el sionismo en África del Este.

Por eso no hay duda de que Israel dice que va a ayudar a las víctimas, pero en realidad lleva armas pesadas para ayudar a las fuerzas represoras en Kenia.No es simplemente una intervención gratuita porque hay relaciones orgánicas entre el gobierno de Kenia, con un presidente Uhuru Kenyatta, que enfrenta un juicio por crímenes contra la humanidad. Uhuru Kenyatta es un asesino de su propio pueblo y ahora cuenta con Israel para aplastar la resistencia de los islámicos.

DM: ¿Cuáles son los intereses en juego allí?

JP: Bueno, principalmente en el caso de los islámicos, están resistiendo la invasión de Kenia, junto con los otros países cipayos de África. Me parece que eso es lo principal.

Ahora Somalia es un país con recursos, incluso petróleo en alguna parte de su territorio, pero es un país clave para controlar las rutas marítimas hacia Asia y ha permitido la piratería contra barcos de carga, especialmente los que llevan petróleo.

Entonces, por razones geo-económicas y por las políticas anticolonialistas esta guerra tiene su importancia.

DM: Le cambiamos el tema y nos vamos a Europa. Angela Merkel logró una nueva reelección.

JP: Si, en un sentido era algo que podía esperarse, pero la prensa está exagerando la victoria de la derecha, porque Merkel sola alcanzó el 46% y la oposición –social liberales y centro izquierda- consiguió un 43%. Es un margen mínimo, muy limitado, incluso sin mayoría en el Congreso, y uno debe ver que el país está dividido. Sin embargo la prensa lo presento como que los votantes alemanes dieron una victoria aplastante a la derecha y no es así.

Incluso el aliado de Merkel, el Partido Democrático Liberal, no consiguió ni el 5% necesario para conseguir algún lugar en el Congreso.

Entonces, obviamente, esto va a resultar en una coalición entre Merkel y los democristianos y los socialdemócatas, y no va a haber grandes cambios. Al contrario, va a ser la continuación de la política de la OTAN, tal vez con algún impuesto a los ricos y un pequeño incremento en gasto social. Pero más allá de eso este resultado no va a expresar ningún gran cambio, ni por la derecha ni por la izquierda.

DM: Se viene la Asamblea General de la ONU. ¿Cuáles son los temas que podemos destacar a tratar allí?

JP: No hay mucha cosa.

Israel va a presentar su política agresiva, defendiendo posiciones racistas en Palestina y también amenazando atacar Irán. La única posibilidad de algo novedoso es si Barack Obama encuentra alguna plaza y tiempo para acercarse al presidente iraní, Hasán Rouhaní, que ofrece muchas concesiones y una oportunidad de solucionar el conflicto entre Estados Unidos e Irán.

Ahora, mucho depende esto del grado en que Obama pueda liberarse de las presiones sionistas que están presentes en su gobierno, en su administración, y dominan el Congreso norteamericano. Es una enorme oportunidad pues Irán tiene hoy un equipo muy pro-occidental, en relación con el pasado, muy interesados en llegar a un acuerdo y mostrarse completamente libres de cualquier intención de crear armas nucleares. Pero las agresiones de Israel y los sionistas son muy fuertes y están muy presentes en el gobierno de Obama, así que vamos a ver si tiene la capacidad de superar esas presiones y extender su mano para abrir nuevas negociaciones directas con Irán.

DM: El viernes se dio un nuevo incidente cuando se le vuelve a negar a un Presidente latinoamericano sobrevolar territorio en este caso estadounidense, al venezolano Nicolás  Maduro, la vez anterior había sido negado el paso por territorio europeo al boliviano Evo Morales.

JP: Son pequeñeces, detalles frívolos e ignorantes de crear un pequeño problema, en vez de buscar acuerdo sobre los grandes temas, siempre buscan la forma de intervenir y causar líos, problemas, críticas. Esto indica una vez más la falta del mínimo concepto de diplomacia, de política, una exagerada política de mosquito, que pica a un elefante y trata de crear un conflicto.

Me parece que la política norteamericana no está a la altura, porque obviamente la ruta se puede cambiar y Maduro hace su viaje a China. Por eso no hay que pensar más que en otra demostración de la pequeñez de la política norteamericana.

Y frente a eso debemos considerar algo súper importante, como las últimas declaraciones del Papa Francisco en Italia, donde dio un discurso abiertamente anticapitalista, atacó las economías de lucro, las economías capitalistas por las formas que está subordinando al ser humano frente al egoísmo capitalista. Es otra indicación de la nueva orientación que quiere dar el Papa Francisco al Vaticano.

Recordemos que primero condenó al guerra contra Siria; después apareció buscando algún tipo de conciliación, de comprensión para temas como la homosexualidad, los anticonceptivos y el aborto; y ahora sale abiertamente a atacar el capitalismo.

Debemos tomar en cuenta que el nuevo Papa adoptó un nuevo discurso, lo que  tiene importantes implicaciones para los millones de cristianos que sufren alguna agresión por parte del imperialismo.

DM: ¿Queda algún otro tema que quiera desarrollar?

JP: Lo más importante –y que debemos destacar- es la política de Brasil frente al espionaje y la intervención estadounidense en todo América Latina.

El hecho es que Brasil insiste en que Estados Unidos reconozca que el ciber imperialismo ya no es aceptable; y se suma frente a esa agresión, la incapacidad de Obama de reconocer el espionaje como un acto imperialista. Ante esto, Dilma Rousseff cancela su visita a Washington y determinar que toda la actividad de Internet debe pasar por empresas nacionales independientes de los Estados Unidos. Es una declaración anti imperialista, anti intervencionista y una propuesta muy latinoamericanista.

Ahora, ¿en qué grado el resto de los países van a entrar en esta política? Eso hay que verlo, porque me pregunto ¿en Uruguay van a esta iniciativa? Porque Montevideo también estuvo bajo la óptica de la Nacional Security Agency (NSA) y debemos ver si en el gobierno de Uruguay están a la altura de seguir el camino que marca Dilma en este caso.

No debemos decir que simplemente se trata de espionaje, porque ese espionaje está dirigido a controlar todas las comunicaciones, es una forma de imperialismo del siglo XXI. Dominas la información, entonces consigues información estratégica que te permite dominar las actividades políticas, diplomáticas y económicas. Es parte del colonialismo.

MAB: Petras, justamente José Mujica dijo el jueves pasado que espera que Estados Unidos “no pierda el tiempo” en espiar a Uruguay ya que sería una manera de “tirar la plata”. Y agregó que Washington no puede pretender “cosechar” amigos mientras haya sospechas de espionaje.

JP: ¡Sospechas! No son sospechas, son realidades. Esto es definitivo.

Creo que Mujica no está a la altura ni tiene un mínimo de nacionalismo.

Rousseff parece una revolucionaria frente a la respuesta tan débil y servil frente a una agresión tan evidente. Mujica no puede ni hablar con su mujer sobre las compras que van a hacer en el mercado, sin que quede registrado en Washington.

MAB: Y dijo más: “Con la evolución de las comunicaciones inalámbrica que existe hoy, hay que suponer que todo se escucha y lo que no se escucha es porque no se quiere escuchar”, eso lo dijo Mujica.

JP: Encima es ignorante, porque toda la información que están archivando tiene que ver con políticas económicas, estrategias, diplomacia, tratamiento entre Ministros, tratamiento con los grupos económicos y militares. No se puede funcionar como gobierno cuando la oreja del imperialismo está presto a escuchar e intervenir. Porque si hay una discusión entre la cúpula económica con el gobierno, todo pasa a Washington y desde allí se respalda al empresario más afín a su política e incluso utilizar todos los recursos  necesarios para cambiar el diálogo y la naturaleza de los acuerdos.

Lo mismo pasa con los contratos de Comercio, Washington puede tener las posiciones de los diferentes Ministros e intervenir en este caso, para obtener trataos más favorables a sus intereses.

Mujica no debería ser tan ignorante ni tan servil, por lo menos puede reconocer que esto no es natural, que se puede cambiar, se pueden montar sistemas nacionales que no dependan de las compañías norteamericanas que están colaborando con el gobierno en la entrega de información. Rusia tiene por ejemplo sistemas que no están penetrables como en otras partes.

Finalmente quiero plantear una hipótesis:

Recuerden el año 2000 cuando decían que tenemos que cambiar todo el sistema informático, yo creo que fue en ese momento cuando implantaron el sistema de espionaje. Plantearon que había que cambiar el sistema informático debido al cambio de siglo y las compañías norteamericanas, las mismas compañías colaboraron con el sistema de espionaje estatal. Bajo el pretexto de que algo peligroso podría pasar, muchos países entraron en este rollo y a partir de eso, resulta que tuvieron acceso a todos los sistemas.

Pienso que fue allí donde plantaron toda la semilla del espionaje.

Y para confirmar esta hipótesis, tenemos a países como Rusia que no se conformaron con este llamado peligro, son los sistemas que no están afectados en este momento.

MAB: Claro.

DM: Una información que acaba de surgir: Uruguay condena los ataques en Kenia.

JP: Si, es cierto, debemos condenarlos, pero debemos entender porqué ocurren. Y si condenamos a los islámicos hay que condenar al gobierno keniata por invadir y ocupar desde hace tres años a Somalia. Las masacres de los keniatas contra los somalíes, deben recibir las mismas condenas que el ataque al shopping de Kenia. Pero no se puede condenar unos sin hablar de los otros.

DM: Una última información: En este momento Mujica se reúne con George Soros.

JP: Bueno, eso pasa con muchos renegados que abrazan a los enemigos del pasado.

DM: Petras, le agradecemos mucho todo este análisis y desde ya lo convocamos para el próximo lunes.

JP: Bueno, un abrazo para vosotros y un saludo a la primavera que ya la tienen presente por allí.

(*) Escuche en vivo los lunes a las 11:30 horas (hora local) la audición de James Petras por CX36, Radio Centenario desde Montevideo (Uruguay) para todo el mundo a través de www.radio36.com.uy

Sep 252013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* NPR’s NEW BOSS: FINANCIAL INDUSTRY LOBBYIST, GOP DONOR, RIGHT-WING THINK TANK BOOSTER

By Peter Hart, FAIR

npr-logo

Last month NPR CEO Gary Knell left to take a job at National Geographic, making him the latest in a string of CEOs who left after a short stint running the public radio outlet. On September 13, NPR named a new acting president and CEO: board member Paul G. Haaga.

Paul Haaga

Paul Haaga

The NPR press release  (9/13/13) states that Haaga’s “accomplished career” included a stint as “chairman of the Investment Company Institute”–the powerful lobbying group of the mutual fund industry. As the Los Angeles Times  (11/29/03) once reported, “Mutual funds have been mostly shielded from the reforms forced on the financial world–thanks in large part to the efforts of the Investment Company Institute.”

NPR also adds that Haaga has ties to right-wing think tanks–he is “a member of the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute” and he sits on “the Board of Overseers of Hoover Institution at Stanford University.” […]

READ @ http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/09/17/nprs-new-boss-financial-industry-lobbyist-gop-donor-right-wing-think-tank-booster/

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* DOJ’s WIRETAPPING OF AP RESULTS IN LENGTHY PRISON TERM FOR SOURCE

Though outrage followed disclosure of FBI practice, conviction went ahead

By Jon Queally, CommonDreams

blog_governmentsurveillance_0

When it was first reported that the Department of Justice was illegally combing through the phone records of Associated Press offices and targeting journalists with secret subpoenas for their communication records, outrage erupted among free press advocates and journalism professionals.

Caught red-handed with the disclosures, Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder was forced to perform damage control, defending the practice against those who said it was a violation of key constitutional protections while saying that future safeguards would be put in place to censure overreach by the DOJ.

On Monday, however, a plea-agreement by a former FBI agent—who disclosed information about a terrorist plot in Yemen to the Associated Press and was discovered after the FBI secretly obtained access to the news agency’s phone records—shows that, despite the outrage behind the practice of wiretapping journalists, the man is now heading to prison for a lengthy term. […]

READ @ https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/09/24#.UkGJnxhoaWk.facebook

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* NSA STORIES AROUND THE WORLD

By Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

pic_giant_sm_eye

[…] (1) Last week it was revealed that Belgium’s largest telecom, Belgacom, was the victim of a massive hacking attack which systematically compromised its system for as long as two years. Media outlets suspected that the NSA was behind it, and the country’s Prime Minister condemned the attack as a “violation of a public company’s integrity.”

But last week, using documents obtained from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and other der Spiegel journalists reported in that paper that it was the GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence agency, that was behind the attack on its ally. According to that report, the attack was carried out by targeting individual engineers at the telecom with malware that allowed GCHQ agents to “own” their computer and thus exploit their access to the telecommunications system.

It’s worth remembering that as the US and UK run around the world protesting the hacking activities of others and warning of the dangers of cyber-attacks, that duo is one of the most aggressive and malicious, if not the most aggressive and malicious, perpetrators of those attacks of anyone on the planet. As Slate’s Ryan Gallagher put it in a typically excellent analysis of this report:

“The disclosures are yet another illustration of the extremely aggressive scope of the clandestine spy operations that have been conducted by both the United Kingdom and the United States. Infiltration of computer networks is usually more commonly associated with Russian and Chinese government hackers, but the British and Americans are at it, too, even targeting their own allies’ communications. The surveillance tactics appear to have few limits, and while government officials have played up the necessity of the spying for counter-terrorism, it is evident that the snooping is often highly political in nature.”

Nobody hacks as prolifically and aggressively as the two countries who most vocally warn of the dangers of hacking. […]

READ @ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/23/various-items-nsa-india-belgium

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* THEIR WAY OR ANOTHER WAY?

By Dennis Loo, dennisloo.com

John Bolton

John Bolton

Peter Ludlow has an essay over at The New York Times’ series The Stone entitled “The Banality of Systemic Evil.” His title is a takeoff on the phrase “the banality of evil” made famous by Hannah Arendt’s description of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann in her much cited 1963 article “Eichmann in Jerusalem.” Arendt observed that Eichmann was just an ordinary man who committed great acts of evil by merely performing what is expected of him within an evil system. Evil, in other words, is not a maniac as someone like Hitler is usually depicted as, but a product of system’s logic. As Eichmann’s stated at Nuremberg, “I was just following orders.”

Ludlow’s starting point is a recent Time Magazine cover story that notes that 70 percent of those 18-34 years old think Edward Snowden “did a good thing” in leaking information about what the NSA is really doing. As an example of those who think the very opposite to this, Ludlow cites comments by former UN Ambassador John Bolton, an infamous liar and neoconservative, instrumental in lying about the grounds for Bush’s invasion of Iraq as well as many other events, who fumed at Snowden’s actions back in June 2013:

“Number one, this man is a liar. He took an oath to keep the secrets that were shared with him so he could do his job. He said … he would not disclose them, and he lied. Number two, he lied because he thinks he’s smarter and has a higher morality than the rest of us. This guy thinks he has a higher morality, that he can see clearer than other 299-million 999-thousand 999 of us, and therefore he can do what he wants. I say that is the worst form of treason.”

It’s true that Snowden did act out of a higher morality than that of the system that employed him. Bolton believes in a different standard for morality.

Let’s walk through Bolton’s two given reasons for despising Snowden. I want to use this discussion as a basis for a wider ranging discussion. Bolton is a useful idiot in this case: his logic, shared by the leaders of both the Republican and Democratic Parties and the dominant perspective in mainstream media (MSM) but they won’t come out and be quite as blatant as Bolton.

First, Bolton calls Snowden a liar for violating his oath to keep the secrets his job required him to keep. Evidently, when you take an oath to uphold the Constitution this includes refusing to be a whistleblower when you learn that terrible lies and criminal practices are being carried out! This is particularly wonderful for Bolton to claim given his other comments about his own work and that of others who work in and for the government. Here is what he said in 2010 on Fox Network:

John Bolton: I want to make the case for secrecy in government when it comes to the conduct of national security affairs and possibly for deception when it’s appropriate. Winston Churchill said during WW II that in wartime, truth is so important that it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.[i]

Interviewer: Do you really believe that?

JB: Absolutely.

Interviewer: You would lie in order to preserve the truth?

JB: If I had to say something that I knew was false in order to protect American national security I would do it. […]

READ @ http://dennisloo.com/Articles/their-way-or-another-way.html

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* INTERVIEW: U.S. BEHAVING LIKE AN INSANE POWER

By Richard Rozoff, StopNATO

Page_1-Obama-640x383

The US is an insane power like the Nazis – Dr. Edward Herman

The US is behaving like an insane power, like the threat of the Nazis back in the 1930s and 40s. It’s out of control, and it’s engaging in war after war, violating international law and considers itself to be above the law. It is also the richest country in the world but it’s having trouble feeding its own citizens while preparing for yet another war. Dr. Edward Herman told in an interview with the Voice of Russia that it is time for the international community to rise up and bring the US under control.

Hello. This is John Robles. I’m speaking with Dr. Edward Herman. He is a Professor Emeritus at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of several books namely “Manufacturing Consent” which he wrote with Noam Chomsky and “The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context and Politics.” My next question is: isn’t the US financially “stressed out” maybe if you would put it… to engage in yet another war? Is this financially viable for the US or maybe a move to actually save the economy?

For those of us that are critical of US policy, of the situation with respect to the use of resources, it’s amazing! The United States is in a financial crisis. It’s cutting back on all kinds of public expenditures, on Food Stamps, it’s cutting back on its schools and it’s really stripped for resources, and here it’s about to go into another war which is going to be extremely costly.

So we’re dealing with a country that is kind of a little “crazy.” It has unlimited resources for its military policies and its wars abroad but it’s struggling to provide for its own citizens. It’s amazing! This may be a good part why the public is against this war. The public is troubled, it’s getting very poor support from its government. And yet this government is preparing for another war of choice! It’s really quite amazing. […]

READ @ http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/interview-u-s-behaving-like-an-insane-power/

Sep 242013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* THE FASCISTISATION OF THE GREEK STATE

By Nicholas Vrousalis, NewLeftProject

fascism in greece

The recent murder of the Greek anti-fascist Pavlos Fyssas by neo-nazis exposes an insidious transformation undergone by the Greek state in the epoch of austerity. Imagine a class where a ten-year-old racially abuses a fellow student. If the teacher takes no steps to stop the abuse, but allows the first student to continue unhindered – perhaps he’s too bored to interfere, or half-agrees with the abuse – then he is a fascist by omission. Suppose that the first student persists in his racist tirades, and initiates a set of intimidation tactics against the other student. The teacher’s inaction gets worse, to the point of beginning to look like positive fascist agency. At this stage a third student intervenes and attempts to curb the racist attacks of the first student. Now the teacher punishes the third student and threatens him with expulsion from school. The teacher is no longer a fascist by omission. He’s a fascist period.

Over the past few months the Greek state has engaged in behaviour far more troubling than that of the teacher. The first stage began to unravel from mid-2012, when Greek society first confronted the ascending party apparatus of Golden Dawn – Europe’s most successful neo-nazi organisation. Although Golden Dawn unambiguously qualifies as a gang by the lights of the Greek criminal code, its institutional manifestations and its leading members have never been legally challenged by state prosecutors. One striking upshot of this systemic omission by the Greek justice system received broad coverage in October 2012, when the police failed to protect the play Corpus Christi from a mob of fascists and fundamentalist Christians preventing its performance. The second stage of fascism by omission took hold with the rejection by the Greek government of a proposed anti-racist bill in June 2013, in part due to the flirtation of leading members of cabinet with voters of Golden Dawn. The next stage, that of fascism period, is now with us through the concerted efforts of Greek justice officials to criminalise anti-fascist activism. These efforts have been consecrated in recent state prosecutions against writer Savvas Michael for ‘incitement to violence’ and ‘breach of the peace’, and against hospital workers in the island of Samos, allegedly for preventing a ‘Greeks-only’ blood donation organised by Golden Dawn in hospital premises. In both cases the teacher clearly penalises the good student, and encourages the fascist. This makes the teacher a fascist. Indeed, the second prosecution is in a way more reprehensible, for it literally legitimises the use of public property for racist purposes. […]

READ @ http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/the_fascistisation_of_the_greek_state

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* THE PROBLEM IS THE GREEK GOVERNMENT, NOT ONLY GOLDEN DAWN

By Augustine Zenakos, BorderlineReports

Greece Elections

A torrent of world-wide publicity has followed the murder of leftist musician Pavlos Fyssas by Golden Dawn supporter Giorgos Roupakias, two nights ago. In Greece, understandably, the discussion is even more tense. But what is missing in this discussion -partly obscured by the horrific, if murderously delayed, realization that this gang of thugs is out of control, and partly purposefully concealed by the mainstream media- is that there is a very profound sense in which Golden Dawn is not “the problem”; the problem is rather this perverse coalition of “socialist modernizers” and far-right nationalists, who are governing Greece ostensibly to safeguard its “European perspective”. Next to the thugs themselves, it is the Greek government who must bear the full responsibility not only for Golden Dawn and its crimes, but also for the fact that a brutal, racist, totalitarian agenda now forms a significant part of the Greek state’s attitude towards democracy and its institutions.

It is not Golden Dawn who created concentration camps for immigrants. Centre-left and centre-right politicians did that. Concentration camps for immigrants, drug users and homeless people were first talked about in pre-Olympic Greece, in 2004, with the purpose of “improving” the image of the streets of Athens. The Olympics were planned by the centre-left government of Kostas Simitis and took place during the centre-right government of Kostas Karamanlis. The first concentration camp was to be constructed in the old NATO army base, in Aspropyrgos. The plan never materialized due to the reaction by NGOs and left-wing parties. It was discussed again when Christos Markogiannakis took over the Ministry of Public Order, in 2009, but again was not put into practice. The one who finally gave life to the idea that a modern democracy should imprison immigrants without due process or trial in containers fenced off with barbed wire was Minister of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoidis, a “socialist” with centre-left PASOK, currently Minister of Transport in our coalition government. The creation of concentration camps was hailed as a major breakthrough by Andreas Loverdos, Minister of Public Health at the time, another “socialist”. And the practice came into full bloom under the direction of current Minister of Public Order Nikos Dendias, an MP for New Democracy, a self-described “liberal”. […]

READ @ http://borderlinereports.net/2013/09/19/the-problem-is-the-greek-government-not-golden-dawn/

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* PUSSY RIOT’S NADEZHDA TOLOKONNIKOVA: WHY I HAVE GONE ON A HUNGER STRIKE

In an open letter, the imprisoned Pussy Riot member explains why the brutal conditions at Penal Colony No 14 have led her to undertake a hunger strike in protest

By Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Guardian

Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova

Beginning Monday, 23 September, I am going on hunger strike. This is an extreme method, but I am convinced that it is my only way out of my current situation.

The penal colony administration refuses to hear me. But I, in turn, refuse to back down from my demands. I will not remain silent, resigned to watch as my fellow prisoners collapse under the strain of slavery-like conditions. I demand that the colony administration respect human rights; I demand that the Mordovia camp function in accordance with the law. I demand that we be treated like human beings, not slaves.

It has been a year since I arrived at Penal Colony No 14 in the Mordovian village of Parts. As the prisoner saying goes: “Those who never did time in Mordovia never did time at all.” I started hearing about Mordovian prison colonies while I was still being held at Pre-Trial Detention Centre No 6 in Moscow. They have the highest levels of security, the longest workdays, and the most flagrant rights violation. When they send you off to Mordovia, it is as though you’re headed to the scaffold. Until the very last moment, they keep hoping: “Perhaps they won’t send you to Mordovia after all? Maybe it will blow over?” Nothing blew over, and in the autumn of 2012, I arrived at the camp on the banks of the Partsa River.

Mordovia greeted me with the words of the deputy chief of the penal colony, Lieutenant Colonel Kupriyanov, who is the de facto head administrator of our colony. “You should know that when it comes to politics, I am a Stalinist.” Colonel Kulagin, the other head administrator — the colony is run in tandem — called me in for a conversation on my first day here with the objective to force me to confess my guilt. “A misfortune has befallen you. Isn’t that so? You’ve been sentenced to two years in the colony. People usually change their minds when bad things happen to them. If you want to be paroled as soon as possible, you have to confess your guilt. If you don’t, you won’t get parole.” I told him right away that I would only work the 8 hours a day required by the labour code. “The code is one thing — what really matters is fulfilling your quota. If you don’t, you work overtime. You should know that we have broken stronger wills than yours!” was Kulagin’s response.

My brigade in the sewing shop works 16 to 17 hours a day. From 7.30am to 12.30am. At best, we get four hours of sleep a night. We have a day off once every month and a half. We work almost every Sunday. Prisoners submit petitions to work on weekends “out of [their] own desire”. In actuality, there is, of course, no desire to speak of. These petitions are written on the orders of the administration and under pressure from the prisoners that help enforce it. […]

READ @ http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/sep/23/pussy-riot-hunger-strike-nadezhda-tolokonnikova

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* WOMAN PROTESTERS IN TURKEY BRAVE SEXUAL HARASSMENT

By Pinar Tremblay, Al-Monitor

article-2335924-1A24BA58000005DC-71_964x720

On Sept. 11, a story broke about a female student taken into custody at one of the most prestigious universities of Turkey, Middle East Technical University (METU). Ezgi Ozen and her friends were protesting a government road project that may destroy 3,000 trees on the METU campus and nearby neighborhoods. Another protester was able to shoot a video of Ozen being handcuffed and escorted to police vehicles. The video shows an officer yelling, “If she resists, her arm will be broken.” Unarmed and relatively small, could Ozen really have “resisted” the police?

After she was released, Ozen announced that 200 police officers verbally and sexually harassed her while in custody. She said, “They all took turns touching me.” During the Gezi protests, we read several stories of sexual, physical and verbal harassment of women, so much so that the women of Gezi had to organize under the banner “No to Sexual Harassment in Custody” (“Direniste Polis Tacizine Hayir“). Given that Turkish culture shuns the victim of sexual harassment, and the lack of hope among Turks for any kind of compensation from the police for abuses, it is safe to assume the number of incidents are higher than reported.

As other Al-Monitor contributors have explained, Turkey is witnessing a second wave of Gezi protests. METU is one of those sore spots. Students there failed to greet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an affectionate manner during his last visit in December 2012. Indeed, METU hosted one of the first rather unpleasant anti-Erdogan protests. Currently, 45 students are under investigation, with prosecutors asking for up to six years of imprisonment. In addition, nine students are facing charges for possible terror-group membership. Several mainstream media outlets refer to METU as a “hotbed of left-wing organizations,” and this is no compliment in Turkey. […]

READ @ http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/turkish-women-protest-despite-harassment.html

Sep 222013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

Source: RevolutionNews

In this video TV journalists interview Pavlos Fyssas’s mother, the mother of the 34-year old hip hop artist known as Killah P who was murdered by Neo-nazi fascists (Xrysh Avgh) in the early hours of September 18 in Keratsini, Athens.

In this video we learn that an eye witness took a video of the scene of the crime and mistakenly took it to police – and for some reason the video hasn’t been brought up at all as evidence. Pavlo’s girlfriend went to the police to ask for help before the incident, there were 12 riot cops on 6 motorbikes – they said they would not get involved with such “gomaria” (beasts). Click to view videos

After what seems like a set up to have him murdered, a car came up with the killer, who then said he would kill him – and Pavlo was stabbed in the heart and abdomen. Fyssa’s mother claims the murderer was paid [by Golden Dawn].

Video Transcript (English Version):

Interview with Pavlos Fyssas mother:

-Can you hear me?
-Yes we can.

-Please listen to me. There is an eyewitness of the murder and he took a video of it. But he made the mistake of giving it to the police. But he has it. You can see the scene and how it evolved.

– So do you mean the police has this video in their possession Mrs. Fyssa?
– Yes there is an eyewitness and he took a video. I don’t know him. He gave it to the police. He said the following: ”I’ll start from the beginning. They were watching football. Somebody who frequents the bar said something about someone who might have been a member of Golden Dawn. Don’t know exactly what. Not one of “our” kids.”

– So you say that there is video that covers the crime scene, the murder? – Yes not the conversations in the bar but the scene outside.
– My kid…. Well there was my kid, his girlfriend and another four of their friends. And because he was always in front, he was always protective, this is how he always acted, he told them to ‘get away and let me delay them so you can leave.’ Our house is not even 100m away. They got him in front of his house. But his girlfriend didn’t leave. She ran to the cops who were in total 12 “Dias” riot cops on 6 motorcycles. They were already there. And she pleaded shouting “go there, go there, something bad will happen”.

– And what did they tell her? Why didn’t they go? – They told her this, “And are we supposed to go fight these bullies?”
– And after he fought 3 of them, because you cannot imagine what kind of a kid we are talking about, he fought all three, and we all know how violent they are, a car came from the opposite direction, his murderer got out of the car and said, “I will kill you fucker “.

– Had they any previous encounters?
– No Mister. My son didn’t know the guy.

-We cannot know that. We can’t know from where the hate comes from.
– I am shouting from yesterday. Do not put labels on my son, he was a free mind and nothing else, and if you really want to know who he was LISTEN TO HIS SONGS. They were unknown to him. But how unknown can members of the Golden Dawn can be? We all know them but we are scared of their faces. He was a brave man and he wasn’t backing off. You are wrong, he didn’t have a previous problem with him. He was a paid murderer. And they told him to do that.

– So he was being targeted and he went directly to your son?
– I don’t know if.. Who is talking now?

– Kanelakis Madam.
– Well listen Kanelakis, who are you?

– I am a reporter.
– You need to understand something. Are you listening to me?
– Yes I am.

– And you won’t interrupt with bullshit?
– Madam I ask because here it says that he was targeted.

– Mister Kanelakis I ask you to respect the woman’s situation, and the fact that she is on the phone line with us and not here.
– But of course I respect her.
– Your son’s friends, did they tell you if Roupakias (the murderer) was in the bar?

– No he was informed. He was informed by someone in the bar. He is a paid murderer. And they informed him to come and kill and it happened that his victim was my son. Why? Because he protected his friends. If he had run off it one of his friends would be dead. Because his friends went off to the supermarket to buy beers and go to the house. – OK.

– Did Kanelakis understand that? – Madam have you contacted the police?

– No I haven’t. Which police are you talking about? Are you having fun with me?

– Did they say anything about the video the eyewitness gave them?
– This was on the news yesterday night. You didn’t listen to it? Why didn’t you? How did we hear it and you did not?

– You told us it was an eyewitness and I’m asking you if it helped the investigation.
– The eyewitness wanted the cops to tell Paul’s father that his son was a brave man. He didn’t get a scratch from the other three. He did not have a single scratch. Only the stab wounds. Do you understand that? Stop trying to drive us crazy. Stop it.

– We don’t have this intention Madam. —— (Talking to the reporters)
– You are the ones who gave them power. You brought them here. And you made them kill my son. You are all responsible.

– I speak to you personally, and I want to make it clear that we respect all the things you have said and we do not intend to offend your family. And we respect your pain. – You offend with the things you say. What else do you want? For my son people are organising concerts in many countries. What affairs would my kid of thirty years old have with a 50 year old murderer? Do you want to know who my son really was?

VIDEO @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCZvj3XiSaA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Sep 212013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* “FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION ACT” TARGETS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM

By James Tracy, ActivistPost

The fact that the US Senate is now defining what a journalist actually is sets a dangerous precedent threatening the present marketplace of ideas that in recent history has been greatly expanded by the internet.

According to the text of an amendment sponsored by Senators Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin to the proposed “Free Flow of Information Act” (PDF) that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 12, only salaried journalists will be given the free press protections guaranteed to all US citizens by the Constitution.

Under such a law presumably only the news reporters and analysts employed by moderate-to-substantial revenue-generating news entities are regarded as “legitimate” journalists. This is because the Feinstein-Durbin amendment’s wording is especially vague on exactly what type of news organization the writer needs to be affiliated with to be able to comment and report freely. […]

READ / VIDEO @ http://www.activistpost.com/2013/09/free-flow-of-information-act-targets.html

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* FORBES CALLS GOLDMAN CEO HOLIER THAT MOTHER TERESA

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Mother Teresa? Really?

Mother Teresa? Really?

I got a lot of letters from folks this week about an online column for Forbes written by a self-proclaimed Ayn Rand devotee named Harry Binswanger (if that’s a nom de plume, it’s not bad, although I might have gone for “Harry Kingbanger” or “Harry Wandwanker”). The piece had the entertainingly provocative title, “Give Back? Yes, It’s Time for the 99% to Give Back to the 1%” and contained a number of innovatively slavish proposals to aid the beleaguered and misunderstood rich, including a not-kidding-at-all plan to exempt anyone who makes over a million dollars from income taxes.

This article is so ridiculous that normally it would be beneath commentary, but there’s a passage in there I just couldn’t let go:

Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett. Or if the moral praise showered on Mother Teresa went to someone like Lloyd Blankfein, who, in guiding Goldman Sachs toward billions in profits, has done infinitely more for mankind. (Since profit is the market value of the product minus the market value of factors used, profit represents the value created.)

Instead, we live in a culture where Goldman Sachs is smeared as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity. . .

What a world we live in, where Mother Teresa wins more moral praise than Lloyd Blankfein! Who can bear living in a society where such a thing is possible? Quel horreur! […]

READ @ http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/forbes-calls-goldman-ceo-holier-than-mother-teresa-20130920

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* THE WEEK THAT WAS IN DOOM SEPTEMBER 15, 2013

Source: DoomsteadDiner

end-world-survival-guide-staying-alive-during-zombie-apocalypse.w654

[…] Anyone who has followed this story of Fukushima has read a record of evasion, incomplete statements, incompetence, half-measures and outright lies, seemingly aimed at managing the news rather than coming up with solutions to insure public health.

To review the bidding, Fukushima has been a horrible mess since this story broke in 2011.  The Japanese tsunami of March 11, 2011 disabled the power supply and cooling for three reactors, causing the cores to melt in all three.  Initial efforts were to stabilize the reactors and to control decay heat from the radioactive fuel. Later efforts were directed to prevent the release of radioactive materials.  this past June, it was clear that  record high levels of radioactive tritium were measured in the harbor at Fukushima. Given recent reports this past August of contaminated water leaking from the three units, this effort has obviously not borne fruit.  At least one US senator has recognized that the Fukushima disaster is a national security issue for America.

Yet the greatest danger seems not to be from the copious amounts of radioactive water rushing into the Pacific Ocean, but from the fuel cores themselves.  From Washington’s Blog:

But the real problem is that the idiots who caused this mess are probably about to cause a much bigger problem.

Specifically, the greatest short-term threat to humanity is from the fuel pools at Fukushima.

Arnie Gundersen is an oft-quoted and well respected nuclear expert intimately acquainted with Fukushima.  He said:

There’s more cesium in that [Unit 4] fuel pool than in all 800 nuclear bombs exploded above ground…

But of course it would happen all at once.

It would certainly destroy Japan as a functioning country…

Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that’s probably the lesson there. […]

READ @ http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2013/09/15/twid-september-15-2013/

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* THE TOP SHORT-TERM THREAT TO HUMANITY: FUEL POOLS OF FUKUSHIMA

Source: Washington’s Blog

water being poured into fuel pool 4

Water being poured into fuel pool 4

The Greatest Single Threat to Humanity: Fuel Pool Number 4

We noted days after the Japanese earthquake that the biggest threat was from the spent fuel rods in the fuel pool at Fukushima unit number 4, and not from the reactors themselves. See this and this.

We noted in February:

Scientists say that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hitting Fukushima this year, and a 98% chance within the next 3 years.

Given that nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says that an earthquake of 7.0 or larger could cause the entire fuel pool structure collapse, it is urgent that everything humanly possible is done to stabilize the structure housing the fuel pools at reactor number 4.

Tepco is doing some construction at the building … it is a race against time under very difficult circumstances, and hopefully Tepco will win.

As AP points out:

The structural integrity of the damaged Unit 4 reactor building has long been a major concern among experts because a collapse of its spent fuel cooling pool could cause a disaster worse than the three reactor meltdowns.

***

Gundersen (who used to build spent fuel pools) explains that there is no protection surrounding the radioactive fuel in the pools. He warns that – if the fuel pools at reactor 4 collapse due to an earthquake – people should get out of Japan, and residents of the West Coast of America and Canada should shut all of their windows and stay inside for a while.

The fuel pool number 4 is apparently not in great shape, and there have already been countless earthquakes near the Fukushima region since the 9.0 earthquake last March. […]

READ @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/the-largest-short-term-threat-to-humanity-the-fuel-pools-of-fukushima.html

MORE: A Visual Tour of the Fuel Pools at Fukushima @ http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/04/a-visual-tour-of-the-fuel-pools-of-fukushima.html

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* FUKUSHIMA … RADIATION SO HIGH – EVEN ROBOTS NOT SAFE

Source: RT

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwO3MDfUeRo#t=92

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* 5,200 GALLONS OF OIL SPILL INTO COLORADO’S SOUTH PLATTE RIVER

Source: EcoWatch

Photo courtesy of EcoFlight

Photo courtesy of EcoFlight

A damaged oil tank has dumped 5,250 gallons of oil into the South Platte River south of Milliken, CO, yesterday.

Gary Wockner of Clean Water Action said in a statement Wednesday night that the spill “exemplifies the danger” of drilling and fracking in floodplains.

“This state of Colorado and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must force Anadarko [the owner of the oil tank], to clean it up—no matter the cost—and make reparations to the public, including paying fines and enforcing the Clean Water Act which may include civil and criminal penalties,” said Wockner.

“In addition, the state must initiate new rules for drilling and fracking near rivers, streams and in floodplains that better protect the public and the environment.” […]

READ / PHOTOS / VIDEOS @ http://ecowatch.com/2013/breaking-oil-spill-colorado-south-platte-river/

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* INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY DESTROYS MIND AND ENVIRONMENT

Source: EnviroLinkForum

Author: sushilydv

Who are destroying our planet for profit

The fast-paced, consumerist lifestyle of Industrial Society is causing exponential rise in psychological problems besides destroying the environment. All issues are interlinked. Our Minds cannot be peaceful when attention-spans are down to nanoseconds, microseconds and milliseconds. Our Minds cannot be peaceful if we destroy Nature.

Industrial Society Destroys Mind and Environment. 

Subject : In a fast society slow emotions become extinct.

Subject : A thinking mind cannot feel.

Subject : Scientific/ Industrial/ Financial thinking destroys the planet.

Subject : Environment can never be saved as long as cities exist.

 

Emotion is what we experience during gaps in our thinking.

If there are no gaps there is no emotion.

Today people are thinking all the time and are mistaking thought (words/ language) for emotion.

When society switches-over from physical work (agriculture) to mental work (scientific/ industrial/ financial/ fast visuals/ fast words ) the speed of thinking keeps on accelerating and the gaps between thinking go on decreasing.

There comes a time when there are almost no gaps.

People become incapable of experiencing/ tolerating gaps.

Emotion ends.

Man becomes machine.

 

A society that speeds up mentally experiences every mental slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A ( travelling )society that speeds up physically experiences every physical slowing-down as Depression / Anxiety.

A society that entertains itself daily experiences every non-entertaining moment as Depression / Anxiety. […]

READ @ http://www.envirolink.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2915

Sep 202013
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* THE TEN MOST DISTURBING THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE FBI SINCE 9/11

Source: ACLU

dem13-fbiagents-730x300

On September 4, 2013, James Comey became the 7th director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first change in leadership at the bureau since the 9/11 attacks provides Congress, the president, and the attorney general the opportunity to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the FBI’s post-9/11 policies and programs. Over the last 12 years, the FBI has become a domestic intelligence agency with unprecedented power to peer into the lives of ordinary Americans and secretly amass data about people not suspected of any wrongdoing. That power has inevitably led to persistent and unconstitutional abuses of authority, some of which are highlighted below. For a comprehensive look at how the FBI once again became a domestic spying agency and its impact on civil liberties and privacy, read “Unleashed and Unaccountable: The FBI’s Unchecked Abuse of Authority.”

USA Patriot Act Abuse

The recent revelation about the FBI using the Patriot Act’s “business records provision” to track all U.S. telephone calls is only the latest in a long line of abuse. Five Justice Department Inspector General audits documented widespread FBI misuse of Patriot Act authorities (1,2,3,4,5), and a federal district court recently struck down the National Security Letter (NSL) statute because of its unconstitutional gag orders. The IG also revealed the FBI’s unlawful use of “exigent letters” that claimed false emergencies to get private information without NSLs, but in 2009 the Justice Department secretly re-interpreted the law to allow the FBI to get this information without emergencies or legal process. Congress and the American public need to know the full scope of the FBI’s spying on Americans under the Patriot Act and all other surveillance authorities enacted since 9/11, like the FISA Amendments Act that underlies the PRISM program.

2008 Amendments to the Attorney General’s Guidelines

Attorney General Michael Mukasey re-wrote the FBI’s rulebook in the final months of the Bush administration, giving FBI agents unfettered authority to investigate people without any factual basis for suspecting wrongdoing. The 2008 Attorney General’s Guidelines created a new kind of intrusive investigation called an “assessment,” which required no “factual predicate” before FBI agents could search through government or commercial databases, conduct overt or covert FBI interviews, and task informants to gather information about people or infiltrate lawful organizations. In a two-year period from 2009 to 2011, the FBI opened over 82,000 “assessments” of individuals or organizations, less than 3,500 of which discovered information justifying further investigation. […]

READ @ https://www.aclu.org/ten-most-disturbing-things-you-should-know-about-fbi-911

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* THE HEALTH OF THE POPULATIONS BATTERED BY AUSTERITY

By Patrick Saurin, CADTM

arton9359-4b639

Reader’s notes: The Body Economic. Why Austerity Kills.
David Stuckler & Sanjay Basu
Allen Lane, 2013.

In a recently published book, The Body Economic. Why Austerity Kills, David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu present an enlightening panorama of the consequences for public health, of the austerity based policies applied to the economic crisis. Adapting work they have published in the specialised press they arrive at the conclusion, that austerity not only kills, but it aggravates the economic problems it is supposed to solve.

From serious research in referenced and incontestable sources, often coming from the very institutions or States whose actions they criticise, David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu build up a detailed and precise inventory of the major crises since the 30s: starting with the great depression in the US at that time; the crisis of masculine mortality in Russia after the fall of the communist regime, the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the liberalising of the economy; the Asian crisis in 1997, and finally the Worldwide recession that began in 2007, are the events these researchers have studied.

The great recession of these last years has given the authors the opportunity to study the policies applied by a certain number of States, particularly concerning their attitudes to the banks, who are largely responsible for the crisis, and the results obtained. Hit by an unprecedented crisis, Iceland chose not to assume their banks’ losses – the population refused this in two referendums – and to reject the austerity plan proposed by the IMF. Instead of bailing-out the banks, Iceland decided to reinforce its social spending in allocating an important part of its GDP. It passed from 42.3% in 2007 to 57.7% in 2008, paying particular attention to the public health and social protection systems so as to assist the population in sustenance, employment and housing. This social policy has prevented the economic crisis from producing a public health crisis. Even the institutions that would be the most hostile to these policies such as notation agencies or the IMF have had to recognise the favourable effects.

Greece on the other hand has not organised a referendum to decide on its policies but has zealously applied austerity plans decided by the Troika (IMF, ECB, and the European Commission). The public health budget has been reduced by 40%, the social services helping the population with sustenance, housing and employment have been drastically diminished, wages and pensions have been cut. The consequences are of the same order: increase in suicides (+ 20% between 2007 and 2009), a 20% increase in the use of heroin between 2010 and 2011, unemployment, especially among the younger has exploded, the number of homeless is in the tens of thousands. For David Stuckler et Sanjay Basu, “Greece’s tragedy has shown that austerity will not save a failing economy. Rather than being part of a solution, it is part of the problem.” (p. 93) […]

READ @ http://cadtm.org/The-Health-of-the-Populations

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* ‘WINNING THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM’: OBAMA MOVES TO FAST-TRACK THE TPP

Critics slam highly secretive deal as a tool for U.S. and corporate power

By Sarah Lazare, CommonDreams

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As Obama moves to fast-track the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), critics are blasting the highly-secretive trade deal as “NAFTA on steroids” and a tool for advancing U.S. and corporate power.

“If impoverishing working people around the world is the goal, then the trade policies like this are working quite effectively,” Chris Townsend, political director for United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), told Common Dreams. “This is the grand-daddy of trade deals, a very destructive project, and it is happening completely under the radar.”

Meeting with his corporation-heavy Export Council, President Barack Obama declared Thursday he intends to push for renewal of Trade Promotion Authority legislation to allow him to fast-track so-called trade agreements by giving Congress a yes or no vote but taking away powers to amend.

The statement comes as the U.S. continues negotiations with 11 other countries on the TPP, with the stated goal of wrapping up the deal by the year’s end. The U.S. is also pursuing a similar trade deal with the European Union. […]

READ @ http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/09/19-9

MORE INFORMATION ON TPP: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement @ http://99getsmart.com/?p=3715

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* GREEK ANTI-FASCIST MUSICIAN MURDERED BY NEO-NAZI THUGS

By ROAR Collective, ROARMAG

Pavlos Fyssas, a 34-year-old left-wing activist and hip-hop artist, was stabbed to death by Golden Dawn supporters in the Keratsini district of Athens.

Killah-Pavlos

A report by Pavlos’ father (via Occupied London):

Pavlos’ friends made a remark against Golden Dawn inside a café where they were watching a football match. Somebody from a nearby table overheard them and made a phone call to Golden Dawn members. Golden Dawn squads arrived almost simultaneously with DIAS motorbike police. Pavlos tried to help his friends evade the scene, but he was ambushed by another Golden Dawn squad and surrounded. Then another Golden Dawn associate drove with his car opposite in an one-way street, stopped and stabbed him to death, while the DIAS policemen did not intervene. One girl asked them to help but they didn’t. They only approached afterwards to arrest the man with the main suspect.

From eye-witness report (via Indymedia Athens):

Around 24:00 a group of 15-20 fascists, wearing black T-shirts and military pants and boots, was deployed on P. Tsaldari street. During that time, Pavlos (a.k.a. Killah P) was walking with his girlfriend and another couple when he was spotted by the fascists shouting “what are you looking for here, you know there is no place for you in this hood”. The fascists hunted the two couples down P. Tsaldari street towards Gr. Lampraki avenue, where from another street, a new group of around 10 fascists came out and surrounded the guys. At that time, a car drove opposite in an one-way street, stopped, the driver came out and stabbed Killah P once in the heart and once in the abdomen (the stabbing on his abdomen had an upside-down “L” shape).

The whole scene took place in the presence of DIAS motorbike police, who only afterwards and only as soon as most of the fascists had already dispersed, arrested the murderer (according to some witnesses Killah P, while still in shock, kept pointing at the murderer and this is how the cops arrested him — a 55-year-old holding a knife, described by other eye-witnesses as a known Golden Down associate). The ambulance took 35 minutes to arrive and Pavlos was pronounced dead at Nikaia general hospital.” […]

READ @ http://roarmag.org/2013/09/pavlos-fyssas-killed-golden-dawn/

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* THE BELL HAS TOLLED

By Eirene, A Place Called Space

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The bell has tolled. There can be no more excuses. No more false illusions. No more sitting on the fence. No more complicit silence.

Pavlos Fyssas, an outspoken anti-fascist,  has been murdered in an organised, premeditated attack.

As if I would cry

As if I would get scared

(from the lyrics of one of Fyssas’ songs)

The neo-Nazis have shown their true face, the extent of their organisation, the consequences of their messages of division and hate.

The14% who voted for them and brought them into the Greek Parliament; the majority of the Greek population who have remained silent; the rest of Europe that has been pretending that this was not happening; the complicit Greek coalition government that has nurtured and helped the growth of this malignancy. All those who ignored the all too clear signs:

  • the Nazi salutes
  • the swastika tattoos
  • the torch-lit marches at night
  • the persecution and hounding of, and violence against unprotected immigrants
  • the nightly gang rides on motorbikes looking for victims
  • the stabbings
  • the proclamations of ‘Greece for Greeks only’, the giving out of food to Greeks only, the ‘Greeks only’ blood transfusions
  • the xenophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynist, anti-gay messages they have been disseminating
  • the disruption of the workings of the Greek Parliament
  • the assault of Greek Members of Parliament on Greek television
  • the attack on members of the Communist Party last week

The signs have all been here, but it was easier to ignore them, to pretend that they did not exist until a Greek person is murdered. […]

READ @ http://a-place-called-space.blogspot.gr/2013/09/the-bell-has-tolled.html