* FACING GLOBAL PROTEST, G8 RETREATS
The Group of 8 Summit, a meeting of the governments of the world’s eight largest economies, was supposed to convene in Chicago this May. For months, Occupy Chicago, international anti-war groups, Anonymous, and hundreds of allies have publicly planned to shut it down. Now, only two months before the meeting is scheduled to begin, U.S. President Barack Obama is moving the assembly of over 7,000 leaders from the world’s wealthiest governments to the Camp David presidential compound, located in rural Maryland near Washington, DC, one of the most secure facilities in the world. The Chicago Tribune reports that summit organizers are “stunned” by the news.
Occupiers and allies celebrated the decision with a victory party last night. The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) and Occupy Chicago issued the following statement:
The G8 moving to Camp David represents a major victory for the people of Chicago. The leaders of the 1% are moving because of the overwhelming resistance to the NATO/G8 war and poverty agenda in Chicago. Our city is filled with tens of thousands of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, fighting against the effects of the economic crisis caused by the leaders who would have been gathering here. The communities of Chicago are fighting to save their schools, keep healthcare available, and to defend their jobs from cutbacks that are a hallmark of the governments of the G8.
The city has carried out a campaign to intimidate and vilify protesters, claiming that protests lead to violence. In fact, the main source of violence in the world today is the wars being waged by NATO and the US. “We will march on May 19th to deliver our message: Jobs, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Our Pensions, the Environment: Not War! We and tens of thousands will be in the streets that day for a family friendly rally and march, with cries so loud they will be heard in Camp David and across the globe. We will be in the streets that day to fight for our future, and speak out against the wars and their cutbacks are designed to benefit the 1% at the expense of the 99% of the world.”[…]
* SCARY PROTESTERS CHASE G8 SUMMIT FROM CHICAGO TO CAMP DAVID
Hippies, or should we say “people affected and insulted by the total lack of accountability in the global economic system following its collapse a few years ago,” were all excited about the upcoming G8 Summit of first-world leaders set to take place in Chicago this May. What a great opportunity to yell at terrible people, right? Well now our dear leader, President Obama, has moved the summit to his mountain ranch at Camp David, Maryland, where hippies will be kept miles away and murdered on the Antietam battlefield.
Chicago cops have been “going through extensive extra training for the NATO/G8 summits” recently after “two groups of demonstrators… announced plans to march down Michigan Avenue in the midday hours.” Well, now they only have to worry about the NATO summit, because the silk-trousered G8 flaneurs will be jacking each other off at Camp David, instead. Go get your “Battle for Seattle” on elsewhere, scum! […]
* HR 347 – TRESPASS BILL THREATENS FIRST AMENDMENT
Source: Cenk Uygur, The Young Turks
* THE COST OF AMERICA’S POLICE STATE
Hundreds of billions have been spent to militarize our nation against a terrorism threat that barely exists
By Stephan Salisbury, Salon
At the height of the Occupy Wall Street evictions, it seemed as though some diminutive version of “shock and awe” had stumbled from Baghdad, Iraq, to Oakland, Calif. American police forces had been “militarized,” many commentators worried, as though the firepower and callous tactics on display were anomalies, surprises bursting upon us from nowhere.
There should have been no surprise. Those flash grenades exploding in Oakland and the sound cannons on New York’s streets simply opened small windows onto a national policing landscape long in the process of militarization — a bleak domestic no man’s land marked by tanks and drones, robot bomb detectors, grenade launchers, tasers, and most of all, interlinked video surveillance cameras and information databases growing quietly on unobtrusive server farms everywhere.
The ubiquitous fantasy of “homeland security,” pushed hard by the federal government in the wake of 9/11, has been widely embraced by the public. It has also excited intense weapons- and techno-envy among police departments and municipalities vying for the latest in armor and spy equipment. […]
* SHOCK DOCTRINE UBER ALLES: GERMANY’S NEW GREEK COLONY
By Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque
No Stukas, no stormtroopers, just a few strokes of the pen! Patrick Cockburn reports on the significance of Greece’s final surrender to the German-led blitzkrieg of bankers that has ravaged the cradle of democracy:
Greeks [signed a deal] with the Eurozone leaders [on Tuesday] that will cede much of their country’s independence. Greece will become an economic – and to a large extent a political – colony of Germany and its allies. Berlin will have a say in everything from the choice of prime minister to the types of medicines dispensed by pharmacies.
In return for €230bn, made up of €130bn in fresh loans and €100bn in write-downs on privately held Greek government bonds, Greece is relieved from its immediate debt burden. But the money does not go to the Greek government, still less to the Greek people. It simply leaves them to live off the money they earn. […]
* GREEK AUSTERITY MEASURES VIOLATE HUMAN RIGHTS, UN EXPERT SAYS
Source: UN News Center
[…] “The rights to food, water, adequate housing and work under fair and equitable conditions should not be compromised by the implementation of austerity measures,” he said, urging the Government to “strike a careful balance between austerity and the realization of human rights, taking into account the primacy of States’ human rights obligations.”
Mr. Lumina also called upon the authorities to maintain some fiscal leeway to meet its people’s basic human rights, particularly economic, social and cultural rights.
“Tax rises, public expenditure cuts and privatization measures have to be implemented in such a way that they do not result in unbearable suffering of the people,” he said.
“Debts can only be paid out of income,” Mr. Lumina said. “A shrinking economy cannot generate any revenue and contributes to a reduced capacity to repay the debt. More time should have been allowed for the restructuring measures already in place to work.”
“There will be no lasting solution to the sovereign debt problem if the human rights of the people are not taken into account,” said Mr. Lumina, who serves in an unpaid capacity.
* DEFEND GREEK WORKING PEOPLE AGAINST THE SLANDER OF THE MEDIA
Source: Statement of the March 26th Movement in Defense of Greek Working People
To see article this video is based on visit: http://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/democracy-vs-mythology-the-battle-in-syntagma-square/
* THE NEW MEDITERRANEAN OIL AND GAS BONANZA PART II: RISING ENERGY TENSIONS IN THE AEGEAN-GREECE, TURKEY CYPRUS, SYRIA
By F. William Engdahi, 321Energy
The discovery in late 2010 of the huge natural gas bonanza off Israel’s Mediterranean shores triggered other neighboring countries to look more closely at their own waters. The results revealed that the entire eastern Mediterranean is swimming in huge untapped oil and gas reserves. That discovery is having enormous political, geopolitical as well as economic consequences. It well may have potential military consequences too.
Preliminary exploration has confirmed similarly impressive reserves of gas and oil in the waters off Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and potentially, Syria.
Greek ‘energy Sirtaki’
Not surprisingly, amid its disastrous financial crisis the Greek government began serious exploration for oil and gas. Since then the country has been in a curious kind of a dance with the IMF and EU governments, a kind of “energy Sirtaki” over who will control and ultimately benefit from the huge resource discoveries there. […]
* THE ECONOMIC AND GEOPOLITICAL IMPORTANCE OF EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN GAS FIELDS FOR GREECE AND THE EU
By H.A. Samaras, DefenceGreece.com
“Europe is currently confronted with a unique challenge and a remarkable opportunity! A challenge and opportunity faced also by countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, EU-member and non-EU alike. For the first time ever in Europe’s energy history, the EU is guaranteed an uninterrupted supply of a traditional energy source: The already confirmed and estimated discoveries of substantial hydrocarbon deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean can be complimented by the scientifically estimated deposits within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Greece and in particular those that lie south and southwest of the island of Crete.
The estimated Greek hydrocarbon deposits complete the European energy puzzle as they contribute to a now more than possible (long-term) scenario that envisages an Israel-Cyprus-Greece-Italy pipeline network, dictating a transit route that avoids non-EU countries and thus guaranteeing an uninterrupted energy supply source for the EU, of the EU. […]
* GOLDMAN SECRET GREECE LOAN SHOWS SINNERS
By Nicholas Dunbar and Elisa Martinuzzi
Greece’s secret loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) was a costly mistake from the start.
On the day the 2001 deal was struck, the government owed the bank about 600 million euros more than the 2.8 billion euros it borrowed, said Spyros Papanicolaou, who took over the country’s debt-management agency in 2005. By then, the price of the transaction, a derivative that disguised the loan and that Goldman Sachs persuaded Greece not to test with competitors, had almost doubled to 5.1 billion euros, he said.
Papanicolaou and his predecessor, Christoforos Sardelis, revealing details for the first time of a contract that helped Greece mask its growing sovereign debt to meet European Union requirements, said the country didn’t understand what it was buying and was ill-equipped to judge the risks or costs.
“The Goldman Sachs deal is a very sexy story between two sinners,” Sardelis, who oversaw the swap as head of Greece’s Public Debt Management Agency from 1999 through 2004, said in an interview.
Goldman Sachs’s instant gain on the transaction illustrates the dangers to clients who engage in complex, tailored trades that lack comparable market prices and whose fees aren’t disclosed. Harvard University, Alabama’s Jefferson County and the German city of Pforzheim all have found themselves on the losing end of the one-of-a-kind private deals typically pitched to them by securities firms as means to improve their finances. […]
* SUPERCITIZENS AND SEMISTATES
By David Rothkopf, Foreign Policy
The world is run today by what I call supercitizens — super-empowered global elites that straddle borders, move markets, and make or break politicians. What makes a supercitizen different from you and me? With apologies to Mitt Romney, they’re not actually people; they’re entities designed much like comic book superheroes to have remarkable powers. To begin with, they’re immortal (having the ability to survive the demise of their owners was one reason companies were first created). They operate globally, their scant national ties affording them great flexibility, mobility, and leverage. And of course, they’re made super by virtue of their size: Their resources and influence vastly outstrip those of individual citizens and often entire countries.
In other words, the world’s corporate behemoths really do enjoy powers greater than all but the biggest countries. There are plenty of critics who love to poke holes in flawed comparisons such as those between national GDPs and corporate annual sales, but no matter: There’s a wealth of evidence to show just how vast their reach is. Here are just a few examples. [..]
* GLENN GREENWALD TEARS APART THE PROPAGANDA DRIVING THE INSANE PUSH FOR WAR WITH IRAN
There are similarities in the run up to the Iraq war, but there is also a key difference — this time, the driving force for the push for war with Iran isn’t Washington.
By Joshua Holland, AlterNet
Iran is diplomatically isolated, has a weak and antiquated military relative to Israel and the United States, and its economy is being squeezed hard by international sanctions. The consensus among both American and Israeli intelligence agencies is that an attack on the country would be disastrous, and might lead to a regional nuclear arms race.
But that view seems to have a limited impact on the mainstream discourse surrounding Iran. Last week, Glenn Greenwald, writing on Salon, noted that for months, “Americans have been subjected to this continuous, coordinated, repetitive messaging from israeli officials, amplified through the US media.”
This is generally how the establishment American media conducts the debate over whether to attack Iran: here are Israeli officials explaining why an attack is urgent and why the US must conduct it. Now here are American officials explaining why an attack can wait a little while longer but that it will happen if necessary to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapon.
Greenwald appeared on this week’s AlterNet Radio Hour to discuss the push for war with Iran. The transcript of his interview has been lightly edited for print. NOTE: The radio interview with Glenn starts @ 38:57 […]
* WAR WITH IRAN BY GEORGE GALLOWAY