Sep 072012
 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* ATTIC AMNESIA: THE CONVENIENTLY FORGOTTEN CONTEXT OF THE GREEK CATASTROPHE

By Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque

The catastrophic situation in Greece has disappeared from the headlines in recent weeks, replaced largely by lurid reports from Syria, where religious extremists aligned with al Qaeda are wreaking carnage with suicide bombers in the capital — to the cheers of America’s adamant anti-terrorists.

[Such hypocrisy doesn't mitigate the hideousness of the current Syrian regime, of course. Why, I'm so old, I can remember when Washington sent innocent people to Assad's torture chambers for a little outsourced "rigorous interrogation." But as the hapless ophthalmologist teetering atop the slagheap in Damascus is now learning, no good deed -- or evil favor -- done on behalf of the Potomac Poobahs ever goes unpunished. Then again, the aforesaid hideousness does not gainsay the unsavouriness of the other side in the vicious Syrian civil war. I strongly recommend that readers consult As'ad AbuKhalil -- the "Angry Arab" -- for a clear-eyed view of both these plagued houses.)

But even though it is now off the media radar, Greece continues to groan under the draconian conditions imposed on it by Europe's financial elite. As always, everywhere, the weakest are going to the wall: the poor, the workers, and the middle class are being brutally punished so that the rich and powerful can escape the slightest consequence for their own monumental greed, their own ravenous crimes. […]

READ @ http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2266-attic-amnesia-the-conveniently-forgotten-context-of-the-greek-catastrophe.html

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* THE ”PAUPERIZATION OF EUROPE”

Source: Testosterone Pit

It started on Monday. “Poverty is returning to Europe,” said Jan Zijderveld, head of Unilever’s European operations, in an interview. The British–Dutch consumer products company, third largest in the world, was adjusting its commercial strategy to this new reality, he said, by redeploying to Europe what worked in poor countries of the developing world. Now the stars of the industry are affirming it. “The logic of pauperization,” L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon called it on Wednesday.

“If Spaniards are down to spending on average €17 per shopping trip, I can’t sell him detergent for half of his budget,” Zijderveld explained. “In Indonesia we sell individual packages of shampoo for 2 to 3 cents and still earn a fair amount.” […]

READ @ http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2012/8/29/the-pauperization-of-europe.html

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* JUDGES PROTEST PAY CUTS IN GREECE

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZhv_y-AOoA

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* GREECE: PROTESTING POLICE VS. RIOTING POLICE

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVHl92saxbg&feature=player_embedded

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* WORK THOSE GREEKS! ADVENT OF MODERN SLAVERY?

Source: Daily Bell, Staff Report

EU Says Greeks Should Work Six-Day Week: Report … In the leaked letter, reported in The Guardian newspaper, the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund call for Athens to implement the measure as part of the bailout agreement with lenders. According to the paper, the letter states that more flexibility must be implemented to work schedules, including working into the weekend by increasing the number of maximum working days to six. The paper printed the following extract from the letter: “Increase the number of maximum workdays to six days per week for all sectors. Increase flexibility of work schedules; set the minimum daily rest to 11 hours; delink the working hours of employees from the opening hours of the establishment; eliminate restrictions on minimum/maximum time between morning and afternoon shifts; allow the consecutive two-week leave to be taken anytime during the year in seasonal sectors.” – CNBC […]

READ @ http://www.thedailybell.com/4256/Work-Those-Greeks-Advent-of-Modern-Slavery

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* GREECE 2012 : SOCIAL WORK IN AUSTERITY

By Dora Dimitri Teloni

VIDEO @ http://vimeo.com/39398286

Aug 192012
 

 

Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart

* ‘YOU DON’T KNOW WHO YOU’RE DEALING’: ECUADOR PRESIDENT WARNS BRITAIN OFF ‘GROTESQUE’ THREAT TO STORM EMBASSY OVER JULIAN ASSANGE

By Caroline Grahm, DailyMailOnline

[…] Mr Correa said: ‘The United Kingdom threat would be breaking the law and encroaching on our embassy. I don’t know who they think I am or what they think our government is. But how could they expect us to yield to their threats or cower before them? My friends, they don’t know who they are dealing with.’ […]

READ @ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2190442/You-dont-know-youre-dealing-Ecuador-President-warns-Britain-grotesque-threat-storm-embassy-Julian-Assange.html

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* WE DON’T NEED NO BLOODY TREATIES: BRITIAN BLOWS A FUSE OVER ECUADOR’S ASYLUM GRANT WIKILEAKS’ ASSANGE

By Dave Lindoff, This Can’t Be Happening

The concerted and orchestrated campaign to capture Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and ultimately to hand him over to the tender mercies of a kangaroo court in the US, where he would likely be tried for spying and other possibly capital offenses, continues as Britain threatens the Ecuadoran Embassy with a police assault.

According to the newspaper the Australian, a News Corp. property and Australian flagship of media baron Rupert Murdoch, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino says he and the Ecuadoran ambassador received a written message yesterday from the British Foreign Office warning that Britain might send police to “assault” the country’s embassy and forcibly remove Assange so as to hand him over to Sweden to face questioning on several controversial sexual assault claims made by women there.

Although the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, passed in 1961 and signed by Britain, Sweden and the US, along with nearly every country in the world, clearly grants embassies the status of being considered the official territory of the country represented by the embassy, thus putting them beyond all laws of the host country, Britain is citing a 1987 UK law that states that when a foreign nation ”ceases to use land for the purposes of its mission or exclusively for the purposes of a consular post,” the Vienna Convention no longer applies, and the building is no longer beyond the reach of British police. […]

READ @ http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1283

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* GREECE WOUNDS ME

By Eirene, A Place Called Space

[…] This post is not about all those who have lost their jobs (unemployment has risen to 22.5%  and 52.1% for those aged 17-24), the homeless, the asylum seekers in detention camps, the immigrant workers living 25 in a room, the many who have killed themselves because they could not cope with the dramatic changes in their lives (Greece, which once had the lowest, now has the highest suicide rate in Europe), the young people who have no job and no hope of getting one, or the large families on subsistence levels.

This post is about a middle-class household who are still relatively well-off, who are managing and who have by no means joined the large numbers of those who are in despair. What has happened to this household, whose financial details I have access to, is a demonstration of the drip drip effect of loss of income and gradual reduction of living standards. It also shows how the Greek state responds to its inability and unwillingness to collect taxes by hitting out at every level of society, except for the rich. […]

READ / PHOTOS @ http://a-place-called-space.blogspot.gr/2012/07/greece-wounds-me.html

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* 5 WAYS PRIVATIZATION IS RUINING AMERICA

We spend lifetimes developing community assets, then give them away to a corporation for lifetimes to come.

By Paul Buchheit, AlterNet

[…] The following are a few consequences of this pro-privatization desperation:

1. We spend lifetimes developing community assets, then give them away to a corporation for lifetimes to come.

The infrastructure in our cities has been built up over many years with the sweat and planning of farsighted citizens. Yet the dropoff in tax revenues has prompted careless decisions to balance budgets with big giveaways of public assets that should belong to our children and grandchildren.

In Chicago, the Skyway tollroad was leased to a private company for 99 years, and, in a deal growing in infamy, the management of parking meters was sold to a Morgan Stanley group for 75 years. The proceeds have largely been spent.

The parking meter selloff led to a massive rate increase, while hurting small businesses whose potential customers are unwilling to pay the parking fees. Meanwhile, it has been estimated that the business partnership will make a profit of 80 cents per dollar of revenue, a profit margin larger than that of any of the top 100 companies in the nation. […]

READ @ http://www.alternet.org/economy/5-ways-privatization-ruining-america?paging=off

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* GOP CONSULTANT: KOCH BROTHERS BOUGHT RYAN’S NOMINATION WITH $100 MILLION PROMISE

By Joe Conason, The National Memo

[…] Here is how Stone led his latest post, headlined “The Paul Ryan Selection, “which also delivers an amusing swipe at a certain Fox News analyst:

I’ve waited a few days to lay out my analysis of the selection of Paul Ryan for the VP slot on the Romney ticket. Unlike politicos like Dick Morris who badmouths the selection privately and shills for it publicly, I’ll tell you what I really think. My sources tell me David Koch played a key role in Ryan’s selection and that Koch’s wife Julia had been quietly lobbying for Ryan. The selection was cemented at the July 22nd fundraiser Koch held for Romney at the former’s sumptuous Hamptons estate. Koch pledged $100 million more to C-4 and Super PAC efforts for Romney [in exchange] for Ryan’s selection.

When he mentions “C-4,” of course, Stone is referring to the tax-exempt non-profit groups recognized by the IRS under section 501-C-4 of federal tax law – such as Americans For Prosperity, a group largely backed by the Koch brothers that has so far spent nearly $20 million on this year’s campaign. The C-4 groups, including another known as Crossroads GPS run by Karl Rove, need not disclose their rich donors, while Super PACs do. This year, the right-wing C-4s are outspending all the SuperPACS combined, as Pro Publica reported recently. […]

READ @ http://www.nationalmemo.com/gop-consultant-koch-brothers-bought-ryans-nomination-with-100-million-promise/

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* THE PLAN FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER STUMBLE ON GEOPOLITICAL REALITIES

For four centuries, political leaders have tried to create an international order that governs relationships between nations and prevents wars. While the principle of state sovereignty has yielded results, intergovernmental organizations have mainly reflected the prevailing balance of power. As for the ambitious U.S. New World Order, it is being shattered by new geopolitical realities.

By Imad Fawzi Shueibi, Voltaire

Translation by Roger Lagassé

[…] It is at this time that the disciples of Leo Strauss triumphed in the U.S. with the help of neoconservative journalists. In their view, society is divided into three castes: the wise, the lords and the people. The wise alone possess the truth and reveal only part of it to some politicians (the lords), while the people should submit to their decisions. They have continued to promote their ideas and call for the repeal of the principles of the Treaty of Westphalia, namely respect for state sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs. To enforce Western hegemony, they invoke a “right of humanitarian intervention” and a “responsibility to protect” incumbent upon the wise, executed by the lords, and imposed on the people. Revising the language of the Second World War, they also call for the replacing of “Resistance” by negotiations.

In 1999, the calls of the neoconservatives were relayed to several Western countries including the UK and France. Tony Blair presented the attack on Kosovo by NATO as the first humanitarian war in history. In a speech in Chicago, he argued that the UK did not seek to defend its own self-interest, but rather to promote universal values. His statement was hailed both by Henry Kissinger and by Javier Solana (who was then Secretary General of NATO and not yet of the EU). Soon after, the UN appointed Bernard Kouchner as administrator of Kosovo.

There is no significant difference between the theory of the Straussians and the Nazis. In Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler was already stigmatizing the principle of state sovereignty asserted by the Treaty of Westphalia.

In economic terms, this vision has already triumphed with the IMF, World Bank and WTO. Since their inception, these institutions have sought to interfere in the economic, budgetary and financial policies of states, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Some Arab states have been victims of their advice on economic liberalization, privatization of the public sector and sell-off of natural resources. […]

READ @ http://www.voltairenet.org/The-plan-for-a-New-World-Order

Aug 072012
 

 

Posted by Elena Tiniakou, 99GetSmart

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4: 

Coming Here Soon – Greece, Bust and Broken Part One – BBC 3 Documentary

The world is currently experiencing the worst financial meltdown in living memory, but what is it like to be young and caught up in this crisis, and what lessons can be learned in the UK? To find out, reporter Stacey Dooley travels to Greece, Ireland and Japan, three countries each facing very different and very difficult economic challenges.

Stacey begins her investigation in Greece, where for years successive governments have failed to balance the nation’s books. Crippled with one of the biggest national debts in the world Greece recently needed a multi-billion bailout from Europe to avoid bankruptcy, but to secure this loan the Greek government was forced to implement massive spending cuts and tax hikes. These austerity measures have dramatically affected the lives of young Greeks, leaving more than half unemployed and many more in only part-time or temporary work.

Stacey’s investigation into the Greek situation comes at a crucial time. Still on the brink of going bust the government must decide whether to accept another bailout and introduce even harsher austerity measures, or let the country go bankrupt and leave the Euro.

Her journey begins with a street tour of Athens where she quickly learns how badly affected normal Greeks are as she encounters scavengers, soup kitchens and witnesses a suicide attempt. The woman is one of 700 civil servants working in social housing, but with the government department being shut not only are their jobs under threat, but so too are the lives of the million Greeks who rely on the service.

Stacey’s investigation continues with a look at how new charges for receiving even basic medical help are effectively denying many poor Greeks access to their national health service. She visits the town of Perama where a charity-run clinic now treats sick locals in their hundreds and pays a home visit to a couple facing huge medical bills after the complicated birth of their newborn baby.

Against this backdrop of poverty and desperation many young Greeks are choosing to battle against the government and its austerity measures. Stacey accompanies one recently-formed group, called We Do Not Pay, as they take over an underground station in protest at recent price increases imposed on many public services. But whilst many Greeks are choosing to stay and fight others are opting to give up their dreams of city life, instead fleeing to the country. Stacey travels to the island of Chios to visit two former civil servants who have taken a massive gamble in an attempt to earn a living – risking their family’s entire life savings to set up a snail farm.

Stacey’s investigation reaches its climax on the day politicians decide to vote in favour of a second bailout and a further wave of harsh austerity measures. She attends a massive public demonstration gathered outside parliament that dramatically turns into a violent riot. It offers her a glimpse of how angry and desperate a people can become when pushed to breaking point by economic policies, and it gives an insight into what could happen in the UK if our debt gets any worse.

VIDEOhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SBrJX_zVfI

Jul 122012
 

 

* THIS WORLD

By ghostofzigz, youtube

VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVH9wNUSUAQ

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* SANTA BARBARA BENDITA – NUBERU

Source: youtube

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYXdoXJcGUk&amp

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* ‘SPAIN IS RIDING UP!’ RAGING MINERS INVADE MADRID (PHOTOS / VIDEO)

Source:  RT

Thousands of Spanish miners and their supporters flooded the streets of Madrid in a second day of mass protests, just hours after the country’s leader announced a nationwide tax hike.

Workers marched up the city’s main avenue, wearing hardhats and carrying walking sticks, to protest outside the Industry Ministry.

Many walked for nearly three weeks in the blazing sun before finally reaching Madrid.

The crowd chanted, “Miners, stick it out, Spain is rising up!” as they made their way toward Madrid’s central square on Tuesday.

“We didn’t expect such a big welcome. The fact that people are coming into the street and mobilizing is a good sign,” Roberto Quintas, a miner of 22 years, told AFP. […]

READ / PHOTOS / VIDEO @ http://www.rt.com/news/spanish-madrid-coal-workers-918/

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* IS SPAIN GOING THE WAY OF GREECE?

By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism

[…] The logical path, and the one the Troika is pushing, would be to wipe out equity and haircut sub debt and if need be, the next senior layer of bondholders. But depositors were pressured into buying preference shares and subordinated debt. Reuters reported that62% of bank subordinated debt investors are depositors at the same institution. Hurting small savers will not only be a political disaster, it will generate lawsuits against the banks and will further crimp the economy.

Spain is looking more like its contraction is accelerating, along with its social stresses. How close is it to a Greek style death spiral?

Delusional Economics is worrying along the same lines, with his argument amplified by charts accompanying his current post. As he notes:

Along the way I have warned that Spain suffered from significant macroeconomic challenges that, at the time, appeared unrecognised by the markets. I also provided some analysis that the country’s problems were far greater in magnitude than something than could be fixed by simply lowering government sector deficits:

The private sector accumulated large debts on the back foreign capital inflows leading to a housing bubble. This bubble has since collapsed leaving the private sector in a position of significant wealth loss and indebtedness, the banking system holding significant and growing levels of bad debts and the economy structured around the delivery of a failed industry. […]

READ @ http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/is-spain-going-the-way-of-greece.html

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* DAIRY FARMERS PROTEST IN BRUSSELS AS FARM MINISTERS MEET 

Source: youtube

Several hundred European dairy farmers on Monday staged a protest in Brussels calling for fair milk prices as European agriculture ministers were meeting. About a dozen tractors with farmers mostly from Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands made their way to the Schuman roundabout in the heart of the European quarter.

According to a background note on the ministerial meeting, farm ministers were due to discuss a report produced by the EU’s ‘High Level Group on Milk. The meeting was due to finish after lunch.

The.EU expert group last month drummed up seven recommendations to stabilize the dairy market and ensure a fair income for producers.

The experts last month called on the Commission to draft either guidelines or a legislative proposal covering contractual relations between milk producers and milk processors.

Formal written contracts regarding the price, volume and timing of deliveries of raw milk and the duration of contracts must be further developed, they say.

Member states could make use of these contracts compulsory, the group stresses.
Such ‘contractualisation’ at EU level between producers of agricultural commodities and industry is not currently possible.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsE_SpKtPH8

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* SWISS BANKERS DROP HOLIDAY PLANS ON FEAR OF ARREST

By Martin de Sa’Pinto and Emma Farge, Swiss Info

Browsing glossy brochures in search of an exotic and relaxing summer holiday is the norm for Swiss private bankers at this time of year.

But many will be going no further than the Alps, fretting that Switzerland’s tax disputes with the United States and other nations could leave them open to arrest and extradition if they leave the country and are suspected of aiding tax cheats.

Even secretaries working on U.S. accounts at the banks are reckoned to be at risk, while one banker rang an advice hotline because he was worried about nipping over the French border to buy groceries.

All this comes as Switzerland negotiates to get U.S. probes against 11 banks dropped in return for payment of fines and the transfer of names of thousands of U.S. clients. It also wants a deal to shield the rest of its 300 or so banks from prosecution. […]

READ @ http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Swiss_bankers_drop_holiday_plans_on_fear_of_arrest.html?cid=32907178

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* IS FRAUD THE KEY TO WALL STREET SUCCESS TODAY?

By Edmundo Braverman, Wall Street Oasis

I’m really getting tired of writing about this stuff. I’m serious. It’s really starting to wear on me. Fraud and criminal wrongdoing has become so prevalent on Wall Street over the past decade that no one even bats an eye at it anymore. In fact, 24% of Wall Street execs surveyed by Labaton Sucharow admitted that fraud is now a necessary component of success on the Street. If that statistic doesn’t at least give you pause then you’re probably one of the bad guys.

24 percent. That’s just incredible to me. 70% of those surveyed said that regulators were so incompetent that they provide no deterrent to fraud whatsoever. In other words, there’s a lot of reasons not to commit fraud but a fear of getting caught isn’t one of them. It’s a total free-for-all these days, and every bank on the street seems to be involved at the highest levels – be it the LIBOR scandal, MF Global, yesterday’s news about PFGBest, or any of dozens of other blatant cases of fraud that have gone unpunished over the past five years.

“When misconduct is common and accepted by financial services professionals, the integrity of our entire financial system is at risk,” Jordan Thomas, partner and chairman of Labaton Sucharow’s whistleblower representation practice, said. […]

READ @ http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/is-fraud-the-key-to-wall-street-success-today

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* THE YEARLY COST OF RELIGIOUS TAX EXEMPTIONS $71,000,000,000

By Hemant Mehta, Patheos

We know churches get tax exemptions, but how much money does that actually come out to?

University of Tampa professor Ryan T. Cragun along with students Stephanie Yeager and Desmond Vega ran some calculations and figured out a number:

While some people may be bothered by the fact that there are pastors who live in multimillion dollar homes, this is old news to most. But here is what should bother you about these expensive homes: You are helping to pay for them! You pay for them indirectly, the same way local, state, and federal governments in the United States subsidize religion — to the tune of about $71 billion every year.

So… chump change.

Their article (with a defense of how they calculated the amount) appears in the June/July 2012 issue of Free Inquiry.

“The issue of religious tax preferment is especially relevant now because the number of Americans living outside any religious tradition continues to grow,” said Tom Flynn, Free Inquiry’s editor. “That underscores the unfairness of taxing all Americans to subsidize religious institutions that only some Americans utilize.”[…]

READ @ http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/06/16/the-yearly-cost-of-religious-tax-exemptions-71000000000/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

Feb 142012
 

 

* NIGHTMARE WITHOUT LIMITS

By Arthur Silber, Power of Narrative

I must begin with a reminder. In “The Face of the Killer Who Is Your President,” I excerpted an article by Nick Turse. Here are several passages from Turse’s reporting:

Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done… for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries.

While it’s well known that U.S. Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it’s increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has remained deeply in the shadows.

Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command [SOCOM] spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. “We do a lot of traveling — a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said recently. This global presence — in about 60% of the world’s nations and far larger than previously acknowledged — provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.

SOCOM represents something new in the military. Whereas the late scholar of militarism Chalmers Johnson used to refer to the CIA as “the president’s private army,” today JSOC performs that role, acting as the chief executive’s private assassination squad, and its parent, SOCOM, functions as a new Pentagon power-elite, a secret military within the military possessing domestic power and global reach.

In 120 countries across the globe, troops from Special Operations Command carry out their secret war of high-profile assassinations, low-level targeted killings, capture/kidnap operations, kick-down-the-door night raids, joint operations with foreign forces, and training missions with indigenous partners as part of a shadowy conflict unknown to most Americans. Once “special” for being small, lean, outsider outfits, today they are special for their power, access, influence, and aura. […]

READ @ http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2012/02/nightmare-without-limits.html

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* THE PUSH-BACK IS STARTING IN EUROPE

By gjohnsit, Daily Kos

[…]  Some are considering Romania to be the “canary in the coal mine”.

 Ban warns Eastern European politicians against ignoring the social costs of austerity measures, as citizens begin thinking about distribution of wealth, not only about corruption. He mentions the ongoing protests in the country, which have continued for the last four weeks, highlighting the protesters’ doubts over planned privatization and deregulation reforms and the emergence of a new civil society in the country. Ban sees the beginnings of what he terms a legitimate grass roots left wing movement, in favor of public ownership of national institutions.  These developments, he believes, could lead to the end of the “almost automatic endorsement of the market” and the “old post-communist settlement” in which political parties could count on an “economically liberal and elite civil society.”

We might be witnessing the beginning of the end of the neoliberal groupthink that has dominated the world for the past three decades.

Meanwhile, all eyes are on Greece, where riots have left parts of Athens in ruins, with 48 buildings set ablaze.  The Troubadour beat me to posting that the police union Poasy was threatening to arrest members of Greece’s troika of lenders.

What the Greek people are fully aware of, but the American media usually fails to mention, is that the latest austerity measures for Greece will not be the last. […]

READ @ http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/13/1064299/-The-push-back-is-starting-in-Europe?via=siderec

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* GREECE CALLS FOR ELECTIONS AFTER DEBT RIOTS

Source: Aljazeera

Greece will hold general elections in April, the government has said, hours after parliament voted through tough new austerity measures aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy.

“This government has one to one-and-a-half months left,” Pantelis Kapsis, a government spokesman, told journalists on Monday. “We will finish up in March, and elections will be held in April.”

Lucas Papademos, the Greek prime minister who formed a coalition government in November after the fall of George Papandreou’s socialist administration, had indicated that he did not intend to serve the full two years remaining of parliament’s mandate.

He said that his only aim was to negotiate the write-down of part of Athens’ debt and ensure that it qualified for a new European bailout of $171bn.

While he managed to push through the latest austerity measures, the two main parties each saw more than 20 of their MPs rebel, while the extreme-right LAOS party quit the coalition before the vote.

“The government believes that yesterday’s vote expressed our determination to go forward,” Kapsis said. “The Greek people want us to stay in the euro, and we will do whatever it takes to stay in the euro.”

Referring to European Union demands led by Germany for written pledges by party leaders to carry out the reforms demanded, Kapsis said they “must be given by Wednesday”.

Kapsis admitted that Wednesday’s meeting with European leaders to decide whether to release the new bailout “is going to be a difficult one”. […]

READ and VIDEO @ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/

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* IS GREECE A SACRIFICE OR THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME?

Source: The Daily Bell

Germany’s Carthaginian terms for Greece … The last time Germany needed a bail-out from world creditors, it secured better terms than shattered Greece last week … The austerity policy being forced on Greece by Germany and the eurozone cannot command democratic consent over time. – UK Telegraph/Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Dominant Social Theme: Greece has got to pay.

Free-Market Analysis: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard makes good points in this article on Germany’s attack on Greece, but to us it’s a kind of elite dominant social theme. The idea is to blame Germany’s leaders for intolerable austerity, and Chancelor Angela Merkel in particular. However, from our point of view, Merkel is merely working for larger powers-that-be.

It is the Anglosphere power elite that seeks to build up the EU as part of its focus on creating worldwide governance. And it is this same elite that is causing economic chaos in order to further its plans. Out of chaos … order. […]

READ @ http://www.thedailybell.com/3606/Is-Greece-a-Sacrifice-or-the-Shape-of-Things-to-Come

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* JAMES GRANT EXPLAINS A WORLD WITHOUT THE FEDERAL RESERVE – VIDEO

Source: RT

This is the full episode for “Capital Account,” with Lauren Lyster. European Union leaders met over the weekend to try to save the Eurozone, but solutions still appear transparent. Meanwhile, what could the Eurozone crisis mean for average American investors and do they have the Federal Reserve to thank for being exposed in the first place. Speaking of the Fed, is more QE on the way? We speak to James Grant, founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and acclaimed author. Also as the US goes after Swiss banks for billions of dollars and the names of Americans with secret accounts there, is the US going after the right people to fill its dwindling coffers? And as US President Barack Obama pledges to help underwater American homeowners, some Americans are buying playhouses worth as much as 200 thousand dollars for their kids.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RmF0I2JimRE

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* OCCUPY CHICAGO ADOPTS THE “CHICAGO PRINCIPLE” OF NON-VIOLENCE – VIDEO

Source: youtube.com

The Chicago Principles

• Our solidarity will be based on respect for a political diversity within the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice. As individuals and groups, we may choose to engage in a diversity of tactics and plans of
action but are committed to treating each other with respect and working towards a common goal of peace and justice.

• As we plan our actions and tactics, we will take care to maintain appropriate separations of time and space between divergent tactics.

• We oppose any state repression of dissent, including surveillance, infiltration, disruption, limiting our action to “free speech zones,” and violence, or attempts to divide our movement through the conscious creation of divisions regarding tactics, organization, strategies, and alliances.

• Any debates or criticisms will stay internal to the movement, avoiding any public or media denunciations of fellow activists and events.

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYP_Str434Q&feature=youtu.be

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* THIS HOAX AFFECTS EVERYONE – VIDEO

By Brother Peter Diamond, youtube.com

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OynCgwmD-HM#!

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* CAN WE HAVE A DEMOCRATIC ELECTION?

By Elizabeth Drew, The New York Book of Reviews

Beneath the turbulent political spectacle that has captured so much of the nation’s attention lies a more important question than who will get the Republican nomination, or even who will win in November: Will we have a democratic election this year? Will the presidential election reflect the will of the people? Will it be seen as doing so—and if not, what happens? The combination of broadscale, coordinated efforts underway to manipulate the election and the previously banned unlimited amounts of unaccountable money from private or corporate interests involved in those efforts threatens the democratic process for picking a president. The assumptions underlying that process—that there is a right to vote, that the system for nominating and electing a president is essentially fair—are at serious risk. […]

READ @ http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/feb/23/can-we-have-democratic-election/?pagination=false

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* OHIO LAWMAKERS INTRODUCED 33 BILLS LAST YEAR BASED ON ALEC MODEL LEGISLATION

By Mike Ludwig, Truthout

The American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) influence weighs heavy in the Ohio’s GOP-controlled legislature, where brazen attempts to crush the collective bargaining rights of public workers and change voting rules in favor of Republicans have made national headlines in recent months. Over the past year, Ohio lawmakers introduced 33 bills that are identical to or “appear to contain” elements of the ALEC’s infamous model legislation that promotes a pro-corporate agenda, according to a report released this week by watchdog groups.

At least nine of the 33 bills have passed the State Legislature, including the now-defunct Senate Bill 5, which was poised to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights until Ohioans overwhelmingly voted for a repeal in November.

“At a time when Ohioans are desperate for cooperation … seeking Democrats and Republicans to come together to create jobs to get our economy moving again, far too often we see legislation introduced that does just the opposite,” said Tim Burga, president of the Ohio ALF-CIO. “Far too often, we see the influence of ALEC on the legislation that’s introduced, legislation that is anti-worker, anti-consumer and anti-education, and it really seems like it’s on behalf of the super-wealthy and the investor class.” […]

READ @ http://www.truthout.org/ohio-lawmakers-introduced-33-bills-based-alec-model-legislation/1328711032

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* PRIVATE PRISONS, A SADISTIC SCAM

By Addison Zettas, US Notes

[…] Private prisons like the GEO Group and CCA get contracted to do a wide range of jobs from other corporations and government agencies. The “employees” that GEO and CCA provide are inmates from their penitentiaries who make anywhere from 23 cents to $1.15 per hour.

Of course these “workers” get no benefits, no overtime, and no paid vacations and have no bargaining rights. Companies like CCA and GEO Group profit directly off of providing cheap and, arguably, slave labor.

And, since they’re able to profit so much off of individual prisoners, the more they arrest the greater their returns.

GEO Group made over $11 million by activating 692-beds or inmates, and made $24.6 million by opening a new detention center in Laredo, Texas.

Since we know that these private prisons make money by expanding facilities and imprisoning people, it would only make sense for them to try to pass legislation that would allow them to detain more prisoners and keep them for longer periods of time.

No surprise, that is exactly what’s happening.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is  sponsored by CCA, and was the main lobbyist that argued for the controversial Arizona immigration law, SB 1070. […]

READ and VIDEO @ http://usnotes.net/2012/02/11/private-prisons-a-sadistic-scam/

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* THE WALL STREET CONSPIRACY – TRAILER

Source: youtube.com

The Wall Street Conspiracy explores a pernicious form of fraud called illegal naked short selling that has had an enormous impact on the 2008 collapse of the US economy.

READ @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHsxLhY-EvE&feature=youtu.be

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* MICROWAVE TEST – AN EYE OPENER

Source: Time4theTruth

This I felt was so important that I just had to share it with all of our Avid T4TT viewers.

Is it time to act…? You decide……

Below is a Science fair project presented by a girl in a secondary school in Sussex.

In it she took filtered water and divided it into two parts.

The first part she heated to boiling in a pan on the stove, and the second part she heated to boiling in a microwave.

Then after cooling she used the water to water two identical plants to see if there would be any difference in the growth between the normal boiled water and the water boiled in a microwave. […]Pasted Graphic.tiff

READ and PHOTOS @ http://www.time4thetruth.info/2012/02/microwave-test-eye-opener.html?spref=fb

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* HAVE BEES BECOME CANARIES IN THE COAL MINE? WHY MASSIVE BEE DIEOFFS MAY BE WARNING ABOUT OUR OWN HEALTH

By Jill Richardson, AlterNet

It’s often said that we have bees to thank for one out of every three bites we take of food. In addition to producing honey, honeybees literally criss-cross the United States, pollinating almonds, oranges, melons, blueberries, pumpkins, apples, and more. And while carrots are a biennial root crop that are harvested long before they flower, all carrots are planted from seed, and honeybees pollinate the carrot flowers that produce the seeds. Other species of bees, both social and solitary bees, pollinate other crops. And the populations of all these species of bees are in decline.

The decline of bees has been in the headlines for several years, and theories to explain their deaths abound. But perhaps there is not just one single cause. University of California San Diego professor of biology James Nieh studies foraging, communication and health of bees. “I would say it’s a combination of four factors; pesticides, disease, parasites, and human mismanagement,” says Nieh. Bees might be weakened by having a very low level of exposure to insecticides or fungicides, making them more susceptible if they are attacked by viruses or parasites. “It’s kind of like taking a patient who is not doing so well — very weak, poor diet, exposing them to pathogens, and then throwing more things at them. It’s not surprising that honeybees are not very healthy.”

One class of pesticides, neonicotinoids in particular has received a lot of attention for harming bees. In late 2010, the EPA came under fire from beekeepers and pesticide watchdog organizations. This happened when Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald spoke out about how the EPA allowed clothianidin to be used without any proof it was safe and despite the fact that the EPA’s own scientists believed it “has the potential for toxic risk to honey bees, as well as other pollinators.”

At that time Theobald had reported losing up to 40 percent of his bees, and now, things are looking even worse. “As a business, I think it’s over,” he says. “I think my business is no longer viable. I’ll continue to keep bees as best I can and may be able to pull off a halfway decent crop for another year or two but the trendline is down and over the edge of a cliff and that’s typical of what’s going on nationally.”[…]

READ @ http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/154039

 

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* SCIENTIST FROM INSIDE MONSANTO, THE TRUTH – VIDEO

Source: youtube.com

VIDEO @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxpH9wBt0fM