* TRIGGERING ECONOMIC DISASTER: THE INDSIDIOUS ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF)
By James Corbett, Global Research
[…] The cracks in the Euro have been showing for years, despite the best efforts of the Goldman Sachs gang to paper over the debt swap deal that helped Greece lie its way into the Eurozone and helped Goldman earn 12 percent of its entire trading and investment revenue in 2001 on a single day. Lagarde didn’t mention this in her speech, but she did assure the crowd that at the IMF “your money is used prudently.”
The only thing that is remarkable about this is that the public is expected to believe it. No one who has any understanding of the IMF’s past or how it operates would expect that these funds to be used in any other way than they always have been: as leverage over the governments that sign their peoples on to debt servitude. In the 1990s the IMF put “stipulations” on their loan package for Brazil that required amendments to the country’s constitution, and then lobbied extensively for those changes. Between the start of IMF involvement in Peru in 1978 and the second round of loans in the 1990s, the appropriately acronymed SAP (structural adjustment program) managed to quadruple illegal coca production by devastating local farmers and leaving them to choose between growing coca or starving. They chose coca.
There are countless other disasters. And countless swindles. Billions of dollars in IMF loans to Russia in the 1990s were diverted straight into the Swiss bank accounts of oligarchs and gangsters. One $4.8 billion dollar loan program administered by the fund in 1998 went in one door of the Russian central bank and straight out the other. The people never saw a ruble of it and were left with unemployment rates, stock market losses and currency devaluation that rivaled the Great Depression.
The fallout from these operations is invariably the same. The people figure out that they’ve been footed with the bill for someone else’s party and the riots begin. We’ve been witnessing this in Europe since the Euro crisis began and it’s flaring up again. This week a 77 year old Greek pensioner shot himself in the head outside parliament because, he said, he didn’t want to have to start picking through trash in order to feed himself. The IMF issued a statement Thursday that it was “deeply saddened” by the incident, but the people of Athens have taken to the streets yet again, with thousands flocking to the site of his death and many scuffling with police.
These types of protests aren’t merely predictable, they’re part of the plan. The IMF and World Bank documents that leaked out in 2001 detailed the four step plan for looting a country, including the “IMF riot” stage. People take to the streets to protest the austerity measures that are tied to the IMF loans, causing foreign capital to flee, governments to go bankrupt, and foreign speculators to pick up the pieces at fire sale prices. The riots happened in Indonesia in 1998. And Bolivia in 2000. And Ecuador and Argentina in 2001. What’s happening in Europe is not an exact analogue, and it’s aimed at centralizing power in the EU in Brussels and the ECB in Frankfurt, but that the IMF has seen the crisis as an excuse to get its foot in Europe’s door as a lender is particularly telling. […]
* ESM, EUROPEAN STABILITY MECHANISM
* A GREEK IMPOSSIBILITY: 2 MILLION MISSING JOBS
Source: Testosterone Pit
It’s not like the hapless Greeks—and by extension their foreign sponsors—don’t already have enough problems on their hands. Now comes the Hellenic Statistical Authority with its just released Labor Survey that showcases a job market and unemployment issues that were the ugliest ever. And within this sobering picture there was one number that knocked the breath out of hope itself.
The overall unemployment rate in January jumped to 21.8% from 21% the prior month (before revisions). Youth unemployment—those 15 to 24 years old—was a shocking 50.8%. But the real fiasco for the Greek economy, and at the same time the unvarnished truth, was the number of people who actually have jobs. That number is less subject to murky statistical manipulation and beautification, if that word can even be used in this context, and hasn’t been seasonally-adjusted out of existence: the number of employed dropped by 20,600 in January to 3,880,120 people—35.9% of a population of 10.8 million! […]
* SHATTERING THE LIES ABOUT GREECE
Το βίντεο για την Ελλάδα που κάνει το γύρο του κόσμου
* AUSTERITY PLAN DECAPITATES GREEK CULTURAL HERITAGE
By Apostoli Fotiadis, Global Issues
The broken display cases at Greece’s Museum of Olympia, the site where the first Olympic Games were held thousand of years ago, have stunned members of the Archaeological Service who have been registering a stream of missing cultural artifacts.
Despina Koutsouba, president of the Association of Greek Archaeologists (SEA), says treasure dating back to the Classical, Hellenistic and Byzantine periods has disappeared from the museum, including ‘a golden ring stamp, copper sculptures from the eighth century BC, coins and clay vases’.
The burglaries in the National and Municipal Galleries during February, as well as the armed robbery at the Museum in Olympia on Mar. 5, have exposed weaknesses in the protection of cultural heritage sites around the country, made worse by the so-called austerity programme that is slashing all national public service budgets.
To add insult to injury, the Greek Minister of Culture has decided to cut funding for museum security by 20 percent. According to a new law, the Greek government is also planning personnel cuts of 30-50 percent at the Ministry of Culture. […]
* SPANISHTAN BY ALEIX SALO
This is a subtitled version of “La burbuja inmobiliaria” by Aleix Saló expaining the recent economic crisis in Spain. This video was created by Aleix Saló of Barcelona, Spain.
ENGLISH SUBTITLES: Cristian Scott: http://www.youtube.com/user/thegoodcristian
Aleix Saló’s website @ http://aleixsalo.com/
* CHICAGO NATO SUMMIT: SECURITY EXPECTED TO BE ”FORTRESS-LIKE”
By Richard Rozoff, StopNATO
[…] In the Chicago Tribune, Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer report that when the world leaders arrive, they will be protected by armored vehicles, magnetometers, terrorist watch lists, and heavily armed police and soldiers. The security measures, they say, may be unprecedented in Chicago history.
On April 4, the city approved a parade permit for a protest march to take place on the first day of the summit, May 20. The rally will start in Grant Park at the Petrillo Music Shell, and proceed west down Jackson Boulevard to State Street. Heading south on State, the march will then turn east on Harrison and then to Michigan Avenue. On Michigan, the protesters will head south to McCormick Place, the venue for the event. To date, the US Secret Service has not announced what security perimeter will surround McCormick Place, but it is anticipated that it will be substantial.
As the city continues to prepare, the Tribune reports that the Department of Streets and Sanitation has been ordered to remove the “big belly” trash cans that line the parade route and dot other loop streets. These cans are bulky and enclosed, and can conceal contents and create problems during periods of unrest. […]
* AUNT MADDIE OF HAMELIN LEADS CHICAGO STUDENTS DOWN NATO’S GARDEN PATH
By Richard Rozoff, StopNATO
[…] Albright has traversed the way of all flesh since her fire-breathing days as the chief U.S. foreign affairs official during President Bill Clinton’s second term, and in latter days has been given to more mellow and even, if the term fits the subject, reflective comments. The female equivalent of avuncular.
In her former avatar she was infamous for answering a query of Lesley Stahl of CBS’s 60 Minutes concerning Iraq – “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” – with “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”
Rebuking then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell over events in Bosnia in the mid-1990s, she demanded to know “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”
Perhaps her most representative comment is this from 1998:
“It is the threat of the use of force [against Iraq] and our line-up there that is going to put force behind the diplomacy. But if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us.” […]
* LEAKED VIDEO SHOWS US CONTRACTORS RANDOMLY KILLING CIVILIANS
Employees of the US military contracting group Academi (formerly Xe, Blackwater USA and Blackwater Worldwide) are seen in new leaked video shooting their machine guns at random while driving through the streets of Baghdad, crashing into other cars and even running over a pedestrian without hesitation. Academi received a $250 million contract by the Obama administration to provide military services in Afghanistan.
Watch the videos:
What is Academi (aka Blackwater)?
* AMERICA’S PILL-POPPING CAPITAL
By Evelyn Nieves, Salon
[…] But shutting down pill mills in these parts is like playing Whac-A-Mole: As soon as a lawless “pain management” clinic or pharmacy is smacked down, others spring up. Investigations take years before prosecutions can be secured. And pill mills are only part of the problem. Most often, pill addicts get their drugs from friends or on the street. Drug gangs from cities like Detroit, Atlanta and Columbus, Ohio, have also moved in on the action, setting up drug “stores” in residences and other fronts. Almost fondly, people here recall when Oxycontin was jokingly called “hillbilly heroin ”and pill addicts were “pillbillies.” No one is joking now. What is happening in Appalachia, about 10 years into an explosion of prescription drug abuse, is so pervasive a problem that law enforcement officials say they cannot solve it alone.
The West Virginia newspapers offer daily examples of what the Mingo County sheriff, Lonnie Hannah, calls the “spinoffs of drug abuse”: Murders, assaults, robberies, burglaries, domestic violence, child abuse, child neglect, elder abuse, DUIs, overdose deaths. West Virginia, the ninth smallest state, has the highest rate of prescription drug overdose deaths in the nation.
Hannah estimates that two-thirds of the crimes and incidents his department handles are related to pill abuse. Chasing down pill dealing is more than enough work by itself. “It’s all over the county,” Hannah said, at his headquarters in the city of Williamson (nickname: Pill-iamson), the Mingo County seat. Authorities keep busting pill mills and dealers in the city of 3,000 residents, only to see them start up again. “Whenever we move in,” Hannah said, “they move around to someplace else.”
People in these parts have a word for pill abuse: “pilling.” So much of it goes on that everyone has a story. They know someone who has abused or is abusing pills. They know parents who have lost custody of their children or neighbors who have lost good jobs or friends who have died because of them. They are shocked to hear that in some places in the country, say, San Francisco, pilling is neither a word nor a fact of life. […]
* AUTISM LINKED TO INDUSTRIAL FOOD
Source: Common Dreams
[…] Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy: Study Links Autism with Industrial Food, Environment
The epidemic of autism in children in the United States may be linked to the typical American diet according to a new study published online in Clinical Epigenetics by Renee Dufault, et. al. The study explores how mineral deficiencies—affected by dietary factors like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—could impact how the human body rids itself of common toxic chemicals like mercury and pesticides.
The release comes on the heels of a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimates the average rate of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among eight year olds is now 1 in 88, representing a 78 percent increase between 2002 and 2008. Among boys, the rate is nearly five times the prevalence found in girls.
“To better address the explosion of autism, it’s critical we consider how unhealthy diets interfere with the body’s ability to eliminate toxic chemicals, and ultimately our risk for developing long-term health problems like autism.” said Dr. David Wallinga, a study co-author and physician at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). […]
MAKING A KILLING: THE UNTOLD STORY OF PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGGING – FULL DOCUMENTARY FILM: http://99getsmart.com/?p=2930