By greydogg, 99GetSmart
* MAKING ENDS MEET
By Syndicate Films
The crisis of the capitalist financial system affects people across social classes and across the geography of Europe in similar ways: making a living is becoming more difficult in times of rising unemployment, ruthless neo-liberal flexibilisation of work and dismantling of the welfare state. This also affects housing, mobility, education, healthcare, old age pensions and so forth. Across the board, people experience an increasing precarisation of their everyday lives, which goes hand in hand with feelings of existential insecurity, anxiety and fear.
Spain is amongst the European countries most strongly affected by the austerity policies following the crisis of the global financial markets and the European debt crisis. During the last few years, Spain has seen a series of sectoral strikes, mainly in education and health care. On March 29, 2012, the country saw the second general strike within two years, this time directed against a massive labour market reform destroying job security and doing away with workers rights such as collective bargaining.
People of different generations, with different experiences and political backgrounds converged in protest against the government’s labour reform. During, before and after the strike, we asked people in the Catalan city of Barcelona how the crisis affects them and how they are dealing with it on a personal and a political level. In this video, students, workers, and unemployed who are also artists, activists and demonstrators are talking about fear, insecurity and anxiety in everyday life. However, they also explain how they are developing new models of organizing and protesting. The video includes examples for militant protest, artistic and creative tools for resistance, anti-authoritarian / libertarian networking and micropolitical organizing. This 20 minute long film is part of a militant investigation into tools of resistance against the politics of austerity across Europe.
London, June 2012
VIDEO @ http://vimeo.com/46278378
* FAR-RIGHT PARTY DOLES OUT FOOD TO GREEKS ONLY
Golden Dawn hands out food parcels outside parliament, but makes sure only Greek citizens receive assistance.
Members of the extreme right Golden Dawn party have handed out food parcels outside the Greek parliament, but made sure only Greek citizens received the assistance.
Hundreds stood in line at Athens’ main Syntagma Square on Wednesday, showing IDs proving their citizenship to pick up their food.
Party volunteers dressed in black passed out milk, pasta, potatoes and olive oil in a one-day charity event critics said was meant to soften the image of a party likened by some to neo-Nazi groups.
With poverty and the unemployment rate rising, Golden Dawn has made inroads in the country’s political system with its vehement attacks against traditionally dominant parties and strongly anti-immigrant stance.
Its members have been accused of involvement in attacks against immigrants and some of its senior officials have publicly declared admiration for Adolf Hitler. The party rejects the neo-Nazi label. […]
* CHRIS HAYES ON ELITE FAILURE
Why don’t American oligarchs fear the consequences of their corruption, and how can that be changed?
By Glenn Greenwald, Salon
[…] Yet even in the wake of the oligarch-caused 2008 financial crisis that has spawned extreme levels of sustained suffering around the globe, and even as social unrest emerges in several places in the Western world as a result of this insecurity and sense of outrage and betrayal, the American elite class still seems remarkably free of any such fear. The main reason I was and remain so enthusiastic about the Occupy movement is precisely because something is needed to pose a credible threat of unrest if America’s elite class continues on the same course. Yesterday, New York Magazine published a profile of Jeff Greene, a typically vapid, bombastic American billionaire who has devoted his wealth to piggish, flamboyant personal consumption and yacht parties with Lindsay Lohan, but what struck me was this passage:
But over the past few months, it’s become clear that rich people are very, very afraid. Sometimes it feels like this was the main accomplishment of Occupy Wall Street: a whole lot of tightened sphincters. It’s not a stretch to say many residents of Park Avenue harbor vivid fears of a populist revolt like the one seen in The Dark Knight Rises, in which they cower miserably under their sideboards while ragged hordes plunder the silver.
I see no evidence that “rich people are very, very afraid” — at least not by their actions. And that, to me, is the problem. That fear — a lot more of it — is necessary. Their ability to rope themselves off from the society they are degrading, combined with the para-militarization of domestic police forces (aggressively displayed in response to the Occupy movement and related protests), and the rapidly increasing domestic powers of surveillance and detention (designed to intimidate the citizenry and thus deter and guard against mass protests), have convinced them, I think, that they need not fear any protest movements or social unrest, that America can and will become more and more of a police state to suppress it. An elite class that is free to operate without limits — whether limits imposed by the rule of law or fear of the responses from those harmed by their behavior — is an elite class that will plunder, degrade, and cheat at will, and act endlessly to fortify its own power. […]
READ / AUDIO INTERVIEW @ http://www.salon.com/2012/08/01/chris_hayes_on_elite_failure/
* PLUTOCRACY NOW
Source: Automatic Earth
We could write stacks of books on the prevalence of money in politics and the swarms of lobbyists who descend on Washington every single week, and many people have, but it’s simpler to just focus on the most egregious example of corruption. The most powerful, influential economic policy-making institution in the country, the Federal Reserve (“Fed”), is an unelected body that is completely unaccountable to the people. Well, let’s back up and start with the fact that this institution’s very existence is most likely unconstitutional. Here’s why:
Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states that Congress has the power to “coin money” and “regulate the value thereof”. The Supreme Court has long held that Congress can delegate its legislative powers to Executive agencies as long as it provides an “intelligible principle” to guide the agencies’ action.
We don’t even have to reach the question of whether the Federal Reserve Act sets out an “intelligible principle”, however, because existing precedent states that Congress cannot delegate its powers to private institutions. Schecter Poultry (held “a delegation of its legislative authority to trade or industrial associations…would be utterly inconsistent with the constitutional prerogatives and duties of Congress“). In that case, the Supreme Court struck down parts of FDR’s National Industrial Recovery Act which authorized these private organizations to draft “codes of fair competition” and submit them to the President for approval.
The Fed, by it’s own admission, is an independent entity within the government “having both public purposes, and private aspects”. By “private aspects”, they mean the entire operation is wholly-owned by private member banks, who are paid dividends of 6% each year on their stock. Furthermore, the Fed’s decisions “do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government” and the Fed “does not receive funding appropriated by Congress”. […]
* JOAN VEON – AGENDA 21 PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP PPP CORPORATE FASCISM
Joan Veon discusses the implications of public private partnerships and their impact on society. This is a must watch.