* “A POLITICAL IMPLOSION”: ANTI-AUSTERITY PARTIES WIN HISTORIC FRENCH AND GREEK ELECTIONS
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Voters in Europe have supported anti-austerity candidates in landmark victories. In France’s presidential election, Francois Hollande was elected as the first Socialist to lead France in 17 years. Greek citizens rejected two parties in parliamentary elections that had pledged to enact harsh international bailout measures. Meanwhile, Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party could enter parliament for the first time. We discuss the change sweeping through Europe with Yanis Varoufakis, professor of economic theory at the University of Athens in Greece.
* ELECTIONS REFLECT EUROPE’S FINANCIAL CRISIS
Stratfor analyst Kristen Cooper examines the results of the French, Greek and German elections and discusses the growing popularity of previously marginalized political parties.
“The traditional political elites are losing control of the system they once dominated.” 12 of the 17 member states of the EMU have seen their governments collapse or been voted out in the last two years.
For more analysis, visit: http://www.Stratfor.com
* GREEK ELECTIONS, THE GOLDEN DAWN AND THE END OF AN ERA!
Lauren speaks with Matina Stevis, reporter for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires from Athens, Greece.
* UN WARNS OF HIGH FOOD PRICES AND SOCIAL UNREST
The ties between the UN, World Bank, the IMF, and central banking schemes have long been established, so its not as if they need to be prophetic in predicting inflation and social crisis; they have engineered it for decades. The fact that they are willing to admit such troubling facts at this time though, is concerning. With the EU on the verge of collapse, and the likelihood of the Fed announcing QE3 this year, I believe we may very well see the UN’s chaotic fruits ripen soon…
The UN Food & Agriculture Organization is asking international lenders to accelerate the release of funds to help poor countries cope with high food costs through subsidies and avert riots, Hiroyuki Konuma, assistant director general at the FAO, said in an interview. […]
* THE PLANT EXPLAINED: A TOUR OF CHICAGO’S AMAZING VERTICAL FARM
Source: Huffington Post
The Plant is a fish hatchery, hydroponic garden, commercial kitchen, and brewery for both beer and kombucha tea. Perhaps best of all, the waste from one part of farm serves as raw material for another, making it a net-zero energy system, according to Arch Daily. Everything is recycled, making it a kind of “green factory.”
A new informational video produced by Today’s Green Minute briefly explains the complex network of relationships that make up the farm’s man-made ecosystem. […]
* THE MOST POWERFUL COMPANY YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF: MEET CME GROUP
By Elizabeth Parisian, Stand Up Chicago!
[…] Like more traditional casinos, CME Group makes its money by taking a cut of each and every bet. For a concise explanation of how derivative exchanges work, check out this clip from Trading Places, evidence that the whole set up is comically absurd. Unfortunately, in real life, it’s not an audience but the CME that’s laughing — all the way to the bank.
And the CME Group has a LOT to laugh about. A lot of money that is. Its profit margin is consistently above 30 percent, making it the most profitable company in Chicago and one of the most profitable companies in the world. It took home nearly $2 billion last year — a remarkable figure for a company with just 2,500 employees.
If you think that earning billions in profits year after year would be enough for CME Group, you’d be wrong. Tragically wrong. Because CME Group has a penchant for padding its already expansive bottom line with public dollars.
Chicagoans are familiar with the company’s $15 million TIF grab a few years back — and were justified in claiming victory when, after months of protest by community and labor groups, CME Group took the unprecedented step of giving the money back. And families across the state are now reeling from the Illinois General Assembly’s recent decision to reward CME Group’s empty threats to relocate with a tax loophole that will take $1 billion out of the state budget over the next ten years, resulting in layoffs and cuts to vital services. […]
* IMAGINE A WORLD IN WHICH POLITICIANS DICTATE TO DOCTORS THAT THEY MUST LIE TO THEIR PATIENTS
By digby, Hullabaloo
Actually you don’t have to. The Kansas House of representative passed this law today:
• Doctors are hereby ordered to tell women that abortion causes breast cancer, which is a damned lie.
• Doctors are also shielded from lawsuits if they withhold critical health information from pregnant women that could cause them to decide to have an abortion. In other words, they don’t have to tell women about the health of the fetus they carry and don’t have to tell women about any problems with the pregnancy. […]
* VOTING FRAUD BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS CAUGHT ON TAPE
Your lawmakers are voting more then once for the same bill. They are actually voting for their buddies and are even blatant enough to cast other lawmakers votes for them when they have their back turned!
* SURVIVING AMERICA’S DECLINE
By Ernest Callenbach, AlterNet
[This document was found on the computer of Ecotopia author Ernest Callenbach (1929-2012) after his death.]
[…] Mutual support. The people who do best at basic survival tasks (we know this experimentally, as well as intuitively) are cooperative, good at teamwork, often altruistic, mindful of the common good. In drastic emergencies like hurricanes or earthquakes, people surprise us by their sacrifices — of food, of shelter, even sometimes of life itself. Those who survive social or economic collapse, or wars, or pandemics, or starvation, will be those who manage scarce resources fairly; hoarders and dominators win only in the short run, and end up dead, exiled, or friendless. So, in every way we can we need to help each other, and our children, learn to be cooperative rather than competitive; to be helpful rather than hurtful; to look out for the communities of which we are a part, and on which we ultimately depend. […] Hope. Children exude hope, even under the most terrible conditions, and that must inspire us as our conditions get worse. Hopeful patients recover better. Hopeful test candidates score better. Hopeful builders construct better buildings. Hopeful parents produce secure and resilient children. In groups, an atmosphere of hope is essential to shared successful effort: “Yes, we can!” is not an empty slogan, but a mantra for people who intend to do something together — whether it is rescuing victims of hurricanes, rebuilding flood-damaged buildings on higher ground, helping wounded people through first aid, or inventing new social structures (perhaps one in which only people are “persons,” not corporations). We cannot know what threats we will face. But ingenuity against adversity is one of our species’ built-in resources. We cope, and faith in our coping capacity is perhaps our biggest resource of all.
Practical skills. With the movement into cities of the U.S. population, and much of the rest of the world’s people, we have had a massive de-skilling in how to do practical tasks. When I was a boy in the country, all of us knew how to build a tree house, or construct a small hut, or raise chickens, or grow beans, or screw pipes together to deliver water. It was a sexist world, of course, so when some of my chums in eighth grade said we wanted to learn girls’ “home ec” skills like making bread or boiling eggs, the teachers were shocked, but we got to do it. There was widespread competence in fixing things — impossible with most modern contrivances, of course, but still reasonable for the basic tools of survival: pots and pans, bicycles, quilts, tents, storage boxes. […]