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Midnight in Brussels: The Austerity Junta and Savaging Greece

Defaults are difficult.  But even more so is austerity.
— Joseph E. Stiglitz and Martin Guzman, Huffington Post, June 30, 2015

British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Denis Healey, spoke about how an attack by his conservative counterpart Geoffrey Howe was akin to “being savaged by a dead sheep”. Unfortunately for Greece, whose government did not repay the 1.6 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund owed to it at the appointed hour, such savaging has gone beyond deceased sheep.

Richard Quest on CNN was his characteristic self, howling in Athens about the passage of time and the unprecedented nature of a developed state …

Greek Referendum on IMF Ultimatum

This is a test. Will the internationalist banksters force extraction of their ill-gotten interest payments to bail out their reckless derivative trades gone wrong, or will a sovereign country abandon the chains of financial elite coercion and renounce their IMF and ECB debt? Make no mistake about it, Greece has lived high on the hog for decades and has serious internal problems. There is no free ride. However, the pain from the coming default is necessary to shed the yoke of a failed European Union construct.

So when “Greece Invokes Nuclear Option: Tsipras Calls For Referendum” ordinary peoples in every …

With Another Approach, We Would Have a Deal with Iran Today

There could have been a deal with Iran today – to the benefit of everybody – if the nuclear issue had been approached in a fair, principled and visionary manner from Day One.

If there will be no deal later, one of the most important possible agreements in contemporary international history will have been lost, the risk of war will increase and the Iranians will suffer. And the United States and the EU (here France and Germany) will move further down in terms of relative global power and up in terms of self-isolation.

On the day of no deal, perhaps the Five …

Report from the Pvt. Manning Contingent at SF Pride, June 2015

Sunday, June 28th started out cloudy, as one might expect in San Francisco, but the sun eventually came out, making it a good day for the Gay Pride event — and a good day to honor Whistleblower Chelsea Manning.  There was to be a parade, and one of the units would be the Pvt. Manning Contingent.

The meet up place was near the Embarcadero BART station, a couple blocks south of Market Street.  I got there at about noon.  Several dozen people were there for our contingent, more coming.  There was a pile of signs, and several banners, the one …

The Hijacking of the Marianne by “The Pirates of the Mediterranean”

Piracy:  The practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea.
— Oxford English Dictionary

The “international community” is, it would seem, remarkably selective over piracy.

Concern over Somali pirates was such that foreign Navies were sent to protect shipping in international waters. In one incident three alleged pirates were killed and a Somali teenager spirited away to the US to be tried, whilst eleven others were sent for trial in Kenya.

However, in the early hours of the morning (local time) of June 29th, three Israeli Navy ships intercepted and hijacked a Swedish flagged ship, the Marianne av Göteborg on route to Gaza …

A Greek Tragedy That Can Only Be Ended by Greece Leaving the Euro

Have the people of Greece been singled out for particularly harsh punishment by its international creditors for daring to elect Syriza? Are they being used as a warning to other countries not to emulate Greece? The economic argument for demanding more cuts and austerity no longer makes any sense.

Austerity has caused Greek GDP to shrink by 25%, with unemployment now standing at 26%, youth unemployment at 50%. The human misery behind these statistics has seen the suicide rate increase by 35.5%. Greece is now a country where 49% of the population relies on the pension of an elderly …

Church-run Schools in Israel Face “Death Sentence”

Israel is seeking to bring dozens of church-run schools under government control, a move that community leaders have warned will curb the last vestiges of educational freedom for the country’s large Palestinian minority.

Most of the 47 schools, which are among the highest-achieving in Israel, were established by Christian orders more than 100 years ago, before Israel’s creation in 1948.

Today, they are among the few independent schools catering to Israel’s community of 1.5 million Palestinian citizens, who make up one-fifth of the population. The schools are attended by about 33,000 children – some 5 percent of the Palestinian school-age population – …

Crony Capitalists Decide TPP Terms

Paul Samuelson, serving as advisor to Presidents Kennedy and LBJ, was the first American to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He said the ultimate goal of economic science is to improve the living conditions of people in their everyday life. That goal should be an easy one to put into practice in a modern economy, but it is immediately beset with problems in the twenty-first century.

I’m sure, given a more nation-centric era, Samuelson envisioned the context of his goal to be national in scope. But currently, how would you separate the national versus the global, considering …

Before the Dawn

Each year, throughout the Muslim world, believers participate in the month-long Ramadan fast. Here in Kabul, where I’m a guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, our household awakens at 2:15 a.m. to prepare a simple meal before the fast begins at about 3:00 a.m.  I like the easy companionship we feel, seated on the floor, sharing our food.  Friday, the day off, is household clean-up day, and it seemed a bit odd, to be sweeping and washing floors in the pre-dawn hours, but we tended to various tasks and then caught a nap before heading over to meet the early bird …

“It’s Not Polite to Say Nigger in Public….”

Racism, we are not cured of it. And, and, and it’s not just a matter of, uh, it not being polite to say nigger in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination. Societies don’t, overnight, completely erase everything that happened two to three hundred years prior.

— President Obama, June 22, on Marc Maron podcast

This piece will end with a brief personal experience I had recently, an experience that illuminates what the President is saying and raises the question …

Is Fukushima Getting Worse?

The Fukushima multiple nuclear disasters continue spewing out hot stuff like there’s no tomorrow. By all appearances, it is getting worse, out-of-control nuclear meltdowns.

On June 19th TEPCO reported the highest-ever readings of strontium-90 outside of the Fukushima plant ports. The readings were 1,000,000 Bq/m3 of strontium-90 at two locations near water intakes for Reactors 3 and 4. TEPCO has not been able to explain the spike up in readings. The prior highest readings were 700,000 Bq/m3.

Strontium-90 is a byproduct of nuclear reactors or during the explosion of nuclear weapons; e.g., it is considered the most dangerous component of radioactive …

JVP, BDS, and Jewish Liberal Terror

Following my expose of the JVP campaign against the great American patriot Alison Weir, I was approached by Berta Schwartz, an American JVP activist. Berta is obviously a pseudo name. As with Ned Rozenberg, our dissident Liberal Jews are fearful of their ‘progressive’ synagogues. Expressing their thoughts in the open may lead to their social exclusion and even excommunication. While orthodox Jews are fearful of God, our Liberal Jewish are actually terrorised by their friends.  Before publishing this interview Berta asked me to hide her name and disguise the location of her JVP chapter. I followed her request.

Berta Schwartz: …

Love Wins! Lessons from the Movement for Marriage Equality

Wow. For a brief moment I am feeling such gratitude for our Supreme Court—well, at least for five justices of the court! This is a time to celebrate. Gay and lesbian couples are finally recognized for their commitment to love their partners just as any heterosexual couple does. What an amazing moment of honoring and respecting people who choose love and commitment. What an amazing moment of honoring the sanctity of marriage. I am overcome with joy and celebration.

With this decision, the Supreme Court made it clear once and for all that anyone who loves another person can marry …

“Address Your Remarks to Downing Street”

George Orwell once wrote:

I really don’t know which is more stinking, the Sunday Times or The Observer. I go from one to the other like an invalid turning from side to side in bed and getting no comfort which ever way he turns.

The competition remains fierce, but the Sunday Times edged marginally ahead with a recent front-page exclusive that stank to truly celestial heights. As we noted in our previous alert, the Sunday Times dramatically claimed that Russia and China had ‘cracked …

The Canadian Precedent and the Bishop’s Dilemma

The Perps on the Jury

Once upon a time – along about 1889 – in far-off Canada, the Federal Government enlisted the support of the three major church organizations, Catholic, Anglican and plain vanilla Protestant (later known as the United Church of Canada), in the Christian endeavor of bringing 150,000 Indian kiddies out of the darkness of their pagan life and into the joys of Christendom. They (the kids) were transported lovingly by the RCMP as truant officers, placed in 140 brand new schools run by kindly nuns, priests and tender loving pastors and members of the Ladies Aid, who taught …

Why No Guggenheim Museums?

From all the countries in the world I have lived, in 2014 I chose Finland as my permanent residence for the sole reason of its high level of social welfare politics. A country, that became famous for its egalitarian society, where every citizen enjoys a good life quality.

Everyday more, Finland is succumbing to the worldwide trend of trickledown economics, allowing private wealthy individuals to take over our society, transforming the welfare into a “corporate-fare”, misleading with the white collar people’s promise.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is at the top of the list with its schemes, conveniently labeled as a non …

Red Badge of Bigotry

Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an article about the Confederate flag, “What This Cruel War Was Over,” that was recently published in The Atlantic. Mr. Coates explains exactly what the Confederate flag stands for by quoting from the original documents of and proclamations by the people who first wrapped themselves in that flag, and he continues with similar statements by Confederate flag adherents up to modern times. These quotes make for powerful reading.

The Confederate flag is an emblem of white supremacy bigotry, and its continued use along with all Confederate monuments and names of public places and facilities is …

When is Free Speech Unfree?

When it involves Australia's Abbott Government

Let’s get a few things straight. Australia, thin-lipped conformist society that it is, possesses minimal freedoms on that marked concept of liberal democracy called freedom of speech. For those who laud the Racial Discrimination Act, free speech is more than a racial matter. For those who think there is some implied right to communicate on political matters, free speech is more than politics. At its core is the value, not of tolerance, but tolerating intolerance. At best, Australian free speech is an bite size entrée dressed up as a weighty main meal.

Nasty, unpleasant and vicious …

The Human Experiment is Probably Coming to an End

Given the many known and unknown threats that humanity already poses to the biosphere, given the likelihood that, thanks to unforeseen technological advances, the number of these threats is sure to grow, and given the fact that humanity is for the most part governed by fools, ignoramuses, swindlers, and irresponsible psychopaths, the probability of human extinction within the next 200 years is worrisomely high. Our only hope is a least-cost revolution aimed at establishing a genuinely democratic political system.

Confederate Flag Debate While Merchants of Death USA Corp Elite Burn Us Down

Paul Robeson was right to say fighting against American imperialism is as just as the resistance fighting against Hitler

How is it that the states are burning and bankrupting while bankrolling the elite, the Mafioso thugs of the One-One Percent and their Merchants of Death Facilitators? We talk about the confederate flag and how many millions more will be homeless and near penniless in this country, thanks to USA of Corporate Inc.? I’ve seen this message in the state of Washington many times since moving here in 2001. How many times did these pig politicians fail to pass a budget? Dozens!

Dear Caregivers:
As many of you have heard in the news the Washington State Legislature has not yet completed its