May 062012



Posted by Elena Tiniakou




By David Graeber, Naked Capitalism

A few weeks ago I was with a few companions from Occupy Wall Street in Union Square when an old friend — I’ll call her Eileen — passed through, her hand in a cast.

“What happened to you?” I asked.

“Oh, this?” she held it up. “I was in Liberty Park on the 17th [the Six Month Anniversary of the Occupation]. When the cops were pushing us out the park, one of them yanked at my breast.”

“Again?” someone said.

We had all been hearing stories like this. In fact, there had been continual reports of police officers groping women during the nightly evictions from Union Square itself over the previous two weeks.

“Yeah so I screamed at the guy, I said, ‘you grabbed my boob! what are you, some kind of fucking pervert?’ So they took me behind the lines and broke my wrists.” […]




By Thomas Heffner, Economy in Crisis

We no longer control our own country! This is not an idle statement or a joke and few people, even our legislators, are aware of it. We are now controlled by the WTO – Here is how:

We are controlled to a great extent by the WTO. It is a biased undemocratic organization of 153 nations that limits America’s ability to act in its own best interest, in fact it works to our detriment ruling against us 9 out of every 10 times.

By signing the agreement with the World Trade Organization, the U.S. President and Congress agreed to concede a major portion of our Constitution in favor of the WTO’s constitution and relinquish our sovereignty and usurp our democratic legislative process, including:

  • Conforming U.S. laws, regulations and administrative procedures to the will of the WTO (Article XVI, p. 10)
  • Subjecting all federal, state and local laws and practices that affect trade to international review by the WTO (Article XVI, p. 10)
  • Allowing any WTO member country to challenge federal, state and local laws and practices as trade impeding (Section 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding)
  • Taking all trade disputes to the WTO judiciary – giving the WTO final jurisdiction over all trade altercations. No appeal exists outside of the WTO (Section 2 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding)
  • Empowering the WTO to enforce its rulings by imposing fines on the United States until we comply
  • In it, the United States has no larger vote than a smaller country, such as Grenada (Article IX, p. 5) […]




The branch designed to be insulated from political pressures has been the most craven of all in the post-9/11 era

By Glenn Greenwald, Salon

The abdication of U.S. federal judges in the post-9/11 era, and their craven subservience to Executive Branch security claims, has been a topic I’ve written about several times over the past couples of weeks. Yesterday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals adopted the argument of the Obama DOJ that John Yoo is — needless to say — fully immune from any and all liability for having authorized the torture of Jose Padilla, on the ground that the illegality of Yoo’s conduct was not “beyond debate” at the time he engaged in it. Everything I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the identical shielding of Donald Rumsfeld by federal courts and the Obama DOJ from similar claims applies to yesterday’s ruling, and The New York Times has a good editorial today condemning this ruling as “misguided and dangerous.”

In sum, this yet again underscores that of all the American institutions that have so profoundly failed in the wake of 9/11 to protect the most basic liberties — Congress, both political parties, the establishment media, the Executive Branch, the DOJ specifically — none has been quite as disgraceful as the federal judiciary, whose life tenure is supposed to insulate them from base political pressures that produce cowardly and corrupted choices. And yet, just consider these two facts:

(1) not a single War on Terror victim — not one — has been permitted to sue for damages in an American court over what was done to them, even when everyone admits they were completely innocent, even when they were subjected to the most brutal torture, and even when the judiciary of other countries permitted their lawsuits to proceed; and,

(2) not a single government official — not one — has been held legally accountable, either criminally or even civilly, for any War on Terror crimes or abuses; perversely, the only government officials to pay any price were the ones who blew the whistle on those crimes. […]




By Richard Rozoff, StopNATO

In the past seventeen years millions of troops from approximately 60 nations have served under NATO command in wars and post-war zones in several countries outside of the military bloc’s territory.

The NATO-led Stabilization Force in Bosnia had 60,000 troops in 1995, the Kosovo Force 50,000 in 1999, the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan 140,000 at peak strength and smaller detachments have served with Operation Unified Protector in Libya, Operation Allied Harmony in Macedonia, Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean Sea and Operation Ocean Shield in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

With rotations, the number of troops serving under the alliance’s command in Southeastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East is likely in the millions. In 2010 the American commander of the Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan said that 55,000 NATO troops had been airlifted through that base to Afghanistan in May of that year, an annual rate of two-thirds of a million at a time when an estimated 140,000 of 152,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan were serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

NATO forces have also been stationed in Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan over the past decade. […]




Source: Athens News

Voting in the 2012 general election got underway at 7am on Sunday at 20,560 polling stations in 56 constituencies across the country.

Polling stations will remain open until 7pm.

A total of 9,850,803 people (4,771,377 men and 5,079,425 women) are registered to vote, of which 3.65 percent are first-time voters.

The voting age is normally 18 and over, but all citizens born in 1994 will be allowed to participate, whether they have reached 18 or not.

There are 6,510 candidates running in the election.

Parliament comprises 300 MPs, 238 of whom are voted directly according to the reinforced proportional representation system in eight single- and 48 multiseat constituencies. […]

[…] Unofficial exit polls will be announced, via the media, by the country’s polling agencies shortly after the closing of polling stations.

The authorities say that they expect results from a quarter of polling stations by 9.30am, while the first indicative results are anticipated no sooner than 11am on Sunday night.

The counting should be completed in the early hours of Monday morning. […]




By Igor Ignatchenko, Strategic Culture Foundation

On May 6 Greece is to hold snap parliamentary elections against the background of unparalleled social-economic and political crisis. No matter all the bail out “aid” tranches received the situation us not getting better a bit, one can hardly call the living standards of Greeks to be satisfactory at present. The more credits the government takes the more the noose gets tightened on the whole country. The first aid package (approximately €100 billion) only worsened the situation, the Greek external debt grew twice to € 360 billion but the crisis was there to stay. More and more often the Greeks start to blame their politicians for the hard times. It’s them, as they see it, who have sold out the country to international financial organizations.

The two leading political parties of the country are discredited: the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), that won the last elections in October 2009 (headed by former finance minister Evangelos ), and the right-of-centre New Democracy (ND) headed by Antonis Samaras. The both parties took part in signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the European Union that tightly tied Greece to foreign creditors. […]




Source: Aljazeera

France’s 46 million voters have gone to the polls to choose between Socialist Francois Hollande and conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.




With Barcelona on lock-down over a European Central Bank meeting, the Minister of the Interior of Catalonia is making a name for himself as a tyrant.

By Carlos Delclos, RoarMag

In a gesture intended to win the confidence of the ECB, Felip Puig — Minister of the Interior for the region of Catalonia — has once again managed to convey to the general public (and investors with no interest in ignoring social facts and their long-term consequences) both his incompetence and his eroding legitimacy. This is just par for the course for Puig, who famously vowed to go “as far as the law allows, and even beyond” to repress social movements.

It started with the preventive incarceration of students, activists and union leaders in the aftermath of the March 29th Spanish general strike, with the excuse that the detainees were likely to either flee the country or participate in the May Day protests and the May 3rd protest against the European Central Bank’s summit in Barcelona. The Spanish government, acting on Puig’s request, also suspended the Schengen protocol (which guarantees the free movement of European residents across European borders) citing security reasons. […]

[…] What did coincide with this date was a massive and curiously humble student protest against exponentially rising college tuition rates and in solidarity with the jailed student activists, who remain in preventive custody after more than a month. On a beautiful spring day, thousands of students marched through the Arc de Triomf to share a meal at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and collect funds for legal fees. But the Apocalypse Express had already departed, and the president of this university, Joan Josep Moreso, decided to shut down the university due to security concerns rising from the university’s proximity to the 5-star hotel in which the ECB summit was taking place. […]




Source: Washington’s Blog

After visiting Fukushima, Senator Ron Wyden warned that the situation was worse than reported … and urged Japan to accept international help to stabilize dangerous spent fuel pools.

An international coalition of nuclear scientists and non-profit groups are calling on the U.N. to coordinate a multi-national effort to stabilize the fuel pools. And see this.

Fuel pool number 4 is, indeed, the top short-term threat facing humanity.

Anti-nuclear physician Dr. Helen Caldicott says that if fuel pool 4 collapses, she will evacuate her family from Boston and move them to the Southern Hemisphere. This is an especially dramatic statement given that the West Coast is much more directly in the path of Fukushima radiation than the East Coast.

And nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen recently said (at 25:00):

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.


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