Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
* SPANISH MINERS BATTLE RIOT POLICE OVER AUSTERITY
Video Essay By Raul Gallego Abellan
Music By Kevin MacLeod
Spanish miners in the northwestern provinces of Asturias and Leon, armed with homemade rockets and slingshots, have been battling police in protest against government cuts, including a slashing of subsidies in their industry.
* GOVERNMENT SPENDS MORE ON CORPORATE WELFARE SUBSIDIES THAN SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMS
Source: Think by Numbers
About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.
Before we look at the details, a heartfelt plea from the Save the CEO’s Charitable Trust:
There’s so much suffering in the world. It can all get pretty overwhelming sometimes. Consider, for a moment the sorrow in the eyes of a CEO who’s just found out that his end-of-year bonus is only going to be a paltry $2.3 million.
“It felt like a slap in the face. Imagine what it would feel like just before Christmas to find out that you’re going to be forced to scrape by on your standard $8.4 million compensation package alone. Imagine what is was like to have to look into my daughter’s face and tell her that I couldn’t afford to both buy her a dollar sign shaped island and hire someone to chew her food from now on, too. To put her in that situation of having to choose… She’s only a child for God’s sake.”
It doesn’t have to be this way. Thanks to federal subsidies from taxpayers like you, CEO’s like G. Allen Andreas of Archer Daniels Midland was able to take home almost $14 million in executive compensation last year. But he’s one of the lucky ones. There are still corporations out there that actually have to provide goods and services to their consumers in order to survive. They need your help.
For just $93 billion a year the federal government is able to provide a better life for these CEO’s and their families. That’s less than the cost of 240 million cups of coffee a day. Won’t you help a needy corporation today? […]
* PUSSY RIOT TRIAL ‘WORSE THAN SOVIET ERA’
Judge refuses to allow 10 defence witnesses while lawyer claims women are being tortured with lack of food and sleep
By Miriam Elder, Guardian UK
By the end of the first week of Pussy Riot‘s trial, everyone in the shabby Moscow courthouse was tired. Guards, armed with submachine guns, grabbed journalists and threw them out of the room at will. The judge, perched in front of a shabby Russian flag, refused to look at the defence. And the police dog – a 100lb black Rottweiler – no longer sat in the corner she had occupied since the start of Russia‘s trial of the year, but barked and foamed at the mouth as if she were in search of blood.
The trial of the three band members, jailed since March after performing a “punk prayer” against Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s main cathedral, has been about more than the charges brought against them – formally, hooliganism motivated by religious hatred. In five days of testimony, lawyers and witnesses have laid bare the stark divide that has emerged in Russian society: one deeply conservative and accepting of a state that uses vague laws and bureaucracy to control its citizens, the other liberal bordering on anarchist and beginning to fight against that state with any means it can.
The court is dominated by a glass cage that holds the three women – Maria Alyokhina, who has emerged as their unofficial spokeswoman; Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, whose chiselled features have made her the band’s unofficial face; and Yekaterina Samutsevich, who sits in a corner of the cage looking every bit the disgruntled punk.
After five days’ sitting in the cage, some days for 10 hours at a time, the women appear exhausted. Violetta Volkova, one of their lawyers, said they were being tortured – denied food and adequate sleep. After a week of being dismissed and lectured by the judge, she could no longer hide her anger. On Friday, as the judge, Marina Syrova, denied yet another defence objection, Volkova began to shout.
Syrova, her glasses forever perched perfectly in the middle of her nose, answered tartly: “You’re losing the frames of dignity.”
“Those frames long haven’t existed here,” Volkova replied, seething.
According to Pussy Riot’s lawyers, Russia has revived the Soviet-era tradition of the show trial with its case against the group. “Even in Soviet times, in Stalin’s times, the courts were more honest than this one,” lawyer Nikolai Polozov shouted in court. Outside, during a rare break, he explained: “This is one of the most shameful trials in modern Russia. In Soviet times, at least they followed some sort of procedure.” […]
* WHEN DID SANDY WEILL CHANGE HIS MIND ABOUT TOO BIG TO FAIL? AND WHY?
By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
There were a great many fascinating moments in the now-legendary Squawk Box interview of former Citigroup chairman Sandy Weill, in which the creator of the Too-Big-To-Fail model told an astonished Andrew Ross Sorkin that it was time to break up the Too-Big-To-Fail banks. But one moment in particular flew under the radar:
SORKIN: But did this come to you in 2008, 2009, was there a conversation you had with someone, because this is a true revolution.
WEILL: Change. You know I think it is something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last year and I wanted to really get my thoughts together before I said anything. But I think good things are simple and I think what I’m saying is very simple.
For the moment we can ignore the fact that Weill throughout the interview kept patting himself on the back for his “good thing” of an idea. (Although, if close attention is paid, one does get the impression that Weill sincerely believes he came up with the “break up the banks” idea on his own, and it’s almost like he’s preparing to take credit for it if it happens; this is just one of the many layers of delicious comedy that can be peeled back through careful re-examination of this interview). We can just call all that background noise for now.
* OUTRAGEOUS EXAMPLE OF CORPORATE GREED FROM CATERPILLAR
By Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks