* WHY DO WE PROTEST THE NATO SUMMIT?
By Buddy Bell, Truthout
After the end of World War II, a group of nations in the north Atlantic established NATO to impede Russian influence over the reconstruction of Europe and to facilitate their own. The economic blueprint begun under the Marshall Plan and continued with NATO saw European member countries shift their energy dependency from coal to oil at a time when the U.S. was the world’s leading oil producer, supplying more than a third of worldwide production from within its own (today, greatly oil-depleted) borders. A couple of decades earlier, the U.S. had already wrested from Britain effective control over vast petroleum reserves in Venezuela. This arrangement ensured that U.S. oil companies stood to make a fortune, setting a high price to fulfill Western Europe’s manufactured demand.
After the Cold War ended, the U.S. rebranded NATO and extended its mandate as a defender of liberty in regions beyond the north Atlantic. Seeing military action as a suitable solution to various global conflicts, it has had the effect of sowing discord and violence instead of alleviating these problems.
In Kosovo, NATO claimed that bombing the countryside would stop Yugoslav forces from invading homes and practicing summary executions of the Kosovars. Instead, Belgrade’s atrocities at ground level “kicked into high gear,” as was widely predicted by international aid workers, described in the Washington Post as “the only remaining brake on Yugoslav troops” and who were forced to leave their host villages when NATO commenced aerial bombing. Two years later, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia would issue an indictment against Slobodan Milosevic on 17 Kosovo-related war crimes, 16 of which happened after NATO’s entry into the conflict. […]
* SOLIDARITY VERSUS AUSTERITY: A REPORT FROM THE GREECE SOLIDARITY DELEGATION
Tansy Hoskins reports on her experiences on the trade union solidarity delegation to Greece organised by the Coalition of Resistance and the People’s Charter.
By Tansy Hoskins, Coalition of Resistance
Athens is a city of lit fuses. Graffiti covers buildings, pavements and statues like an angry rash. Burnt out and boarded up buildings are dotted around the city. Tension is palpable as people await the next demonstration, the next riot and the elections in April.
However, the crisis in Greece has gone beyond something that an election or a riot can resolve. It runs deeper than the question of who should sit in parliament, of how the debt should be paid off, or if it should be repaid at all. The crisis is now about the very fabric of society, of who should have control and for whose benefit society is run.
The 45,000 homeless people in Athens – many of whom spent a frozen winter sleeping in caves – are testimony to the total failure of capitalism to provide a decent standard of living. The loss of healthcare and unaffordable food prices means people are literally struggling to stay alive.
At the same time Athens still has its luxury shops, hotels and restaurants. There are multi-national corporations feasting on whatever the parliament decides to add to its corrupt garage sale of national assets.
But amongst the chaos and the poverty – and abandoned by traditional power structures – people have been taking control of their lives and communities. They face the huge opposition of international capital and all its manifestations but they have no choice – it is do or die.[…]
* ABOUT BOROUME
“Boroume” or “We Can”, is a voluntary initiative that fights food waste and that coordinates the daily donation of surplus food to orphanages, soup kitchens, old age homes and other welfare institutions. Seeing the paradox that 1 in 11 citizens in the Attica region are struggling to secure enough food to feed themselves whilst at the same time tonnes of good food is being thrown away everyday by restaurants, hotels, bakeries and other food points, we decided to do something about it.
How we work
We work closely with welfare institutions, social workers in municipalities and soup kitchens all over Greece in order to learn about their daily needs. Everday we ensure that food from eateries, bakeries, fast food shops, restaurants and other companies gets donated to the above organisations. We do not stock or transport food, but make sure that it gets picked up directly by those who need it most. Our aim is for the food to be donated within the same neighborhood in order to strengthen the ties between people living in the same area.
In addition to the above:
- we assist companies that want to donate food in Corporate Social Responsibility programmes
- we give personal advice to people who are in need of food and help them secure food on a daily basis
- we hold food drives in schools
- we work with hotels in the Attica region to help provide welfare institutions with necessary equipment as well as food […]
* COLLECTIVE KITCHEN – ATHENS, GREECE
Source: EL CHEF
This is a video of direct action by El Chef the Che Gourmet and stands as a shining example of how a few people can make a positive difference when they take their power and use it to empower the community.
READ @ http://tinyurl.com/6tqg73j
* MONSANTO, A HALF-CENTURY OF HEALTH SCANDALS
By Soren Seelow, Le Monde
The giant U.S. agribusiness Monsanto was found guilty on Monday Feb. 13, after being sued by a small farmer from Charente who had been poisoned by a herbicide. This event is a first in France. On the scale of the history of the one-hundred-year-old multinational, this sentence constitutes just one more episode in an already long record of court procedures.
PCBs, Agent Orange, dioxin, GMO, Aspartame, growth hormones, herbicides (Lasso and Roundup) … a number of products that have made the fortune of Monsanto, have been marred by health scandals and trials sometimes leading to their prohibition. But nothing has so far hindered the irresistible rise of this former chemical giant who converted back to biogenetics and has mastered the art of lobbying. Portrait of a multinational multi-recidivist. […]
* THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO – FULL LENGTH FILM
There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.
Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.
* TOKYO SOIL SAMPLES WOULD BE CONSIDERED NUCLEAR WASTE IN THE US
By Fairewinds Energy Education
VIDEO @ http://vimeo.com/38995781
* ARE THE GOP JUSTICES POLITICAL HACKS?
By Robert Parry, Consortiumnews
[…] For instance, in a Nov. 8, 2011, legal opinion affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, conservative U.S. Appeals Court senior judge Laurence Silberman recognized this legal reality (even though he might not politically like “Obamacare”).
Silberman, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan but a serious constitutional scholar, explained how the law – including its most controversial feature, the individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance coverage – fits with the Commerce Clause.
“We look first to the text of the Constitution,” Silberman wrote in his opinion. “Article I, § 8, cl. 3, states: ‘The Congress shall have Power . . . To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.’ (Emphasis added by Silberman).
“At the time the Constitution was fashioned, to ‘regulate’ meant, as it does now, ‘[t]o adjust by rule or method,’ as well as ‘[t]o direct.’ To ‘direct,’ in turn, included ‘[t]o prescribe certain measure[s]; to mark out a certain course,’ and ‘[t]o order; to command.’
“In other words, to ‘regulate’ can mean to require action, and nothing in the definition appears to limit that power only to those already active in relation to an interstate market. Nor was the term ‘commerce’ limited to only existing commerce. There is therefore no textual support for appellants’ argument” that mandating the purchase of health insurance is unconstitutional.
Silberman’s last point bears repeating: There is “no textual support” in the Constitution for people challenging the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. […]
* A BRIEF EXPLANATION OF WHAT LEGITIMATE AND NON-LEGITIMATE (ODIOUS) DEBT ARE
Une vidéo très pédagogique sur la question de la dette publique, réalisée par Joris Clerté, Clémentine Autain, Cédric Durand, Razmig Keucheyan et Stéphane Lavignotte.
Translation and Subtitles by SnakeArbusto, it-just-keeps-getting-better