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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,622

Journal Archives

Greece Austerity Diet Risks 1930s-Style Depression


(Bloomberg) Greece is spiraling into the kind of decline the U.S. and Germany endured during the Great Depression, showing the scale of the challenge involved in attempting to regain competitiveness through austerity.

The economy shrank 18.4 percent in the past four years and the International Monetary Fund forecasts it will contract another 4 percent in 2013 as Greece struggles to reduce debt in exchange for its $300 billion rescue programs. That’s the biggest cumulative loss of output of a developed-country economy in at least three decades, coming within spitting distance of the 27 percent drop in the U.S. economy between 1929 and 1933, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington.

“Austerity has been destroying tax revenue and therefore thwarting the intended effect,” said Charles Dumas, chairman of Lombard Street Research, a London-based consulting firm. “There’s no avoiding austerity, though, because these people have no borrowing power. The deficits are there.”

Greece’s restructured bonds have benefitted amid speculation that creditors are poised to release more bailout funds. Greek bonds maturing in 2023, which yielded more than 30 percent at the end of May, now yield about 16.4 percent. The next block of aid is slated to total 31 billion euros ($40.5 billion), mostly to recapitalize the nation’s banks. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-22/greece-austerity-diet-risks-1930s-style-depression-euro-credit.html



Chris Hedges: McGovern: He Never Sold His Soul


from truthdig:



McGovern: He Never Sold His Soul

Posted on Oct 21, 2012
By Chris Hedges


In the summer of 1972, when I was 15, I persuaded my parents to let me ride my bike down to the local George McGovern headquarters every morning to work on his campaign. McGovern, who died early Sunday morning in South Dakota at the age of 90, embodied the core values I had been taught to cherish. My father, a World War II veteran like McGovern, had taken my younger sister and me to protests in support of the civil rights movement and against the Vietnam War. He taught us to stand up for human decency and honesty, no matter the cost. He told us that the definitions of business and politics, the categories of winners and losers, of the powerful and the powerless, of the rich and the poor, are meaningless if the price for admission requires that you sell your soul. And he told us something that the whole country, many years later, now knows: that George McGovern was a good man.

McGovern, even before he ran for president, held heroic stature for us. In 1970 he attached to a military procurement bill the McGovern-Hatfield Amendment, which would have required, through a cutoff of funding, a withdrawal of all American forces from Indochina. The amendment did not pass, although the majority of Americans supported it. McGovern denounced on the Senate floor the politicians who, by refusing to support the amendment, prolonged the war. We instantly understood the words he spoke. They were the words of a preacher.

“Every senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to an early grave,” he said. “This chamber reeks of blood. Every senator here is partly responsible for that human wreckage at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval (hospitals) and all across our land—young men without legs, or arms, or genitals, or faces or hopes. There are not very many of these blasted and broken boys who think this war is a glorious adventure. Do not talk to them about bugging out, or national honor or courage. It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being shed. But we are responsible for those young men and their lives and their hopes. And if we do not end this damnable war those young men will some day curse us for our pitiful willingness to let the Executive carry the burden that the Constitution places on us.”

McGovern’s moral condemnation was greeted in the chamber with stunned silence. When one senator told McGovern he was personally offended by his remarks, McGovern answered: “That’s what I meant to do.” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/mcgovern_he_never_sold_his_soul_20121021/



Lance Armstrong’s Wall of Silence Fell Rider by Rider


NYT:



By JULIET MACUR
Published: October 20, 2012


Floyd Landis, the cyclist who had denied doping for years despite being stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for failing a drug test, went to a lunch meeting in April 2010 with the director of the Tour of California cycling race.

As they sat down at a table at the Farm of Beverly Hills restaurant in Los Angeles, Landis placed a tape recorder between them and pressed record.

Landis finally wanted to tell the truth: He had doped through most of his professional career. He was recording his confessions so he would later have proof that he had blown the whistle on the sport.

“How do you expect people to believe you when you lied for so long?” Andrew Messick, the race director, asked Landis. “Have you told your mother? Have you told Travis Tygart?” ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/sports/how-armstrongs-wall-fell-one-rider-at-a-time.html?ref=sports&_r=0



Density in Toronto: Portrait of a community growing up — fast





from the Toronto Star:


Wendy Gillis
Staff Reporter


You can see a lot from the floor-to-ceiling windows in Jonathan Careless’ 39th story downtown condo: North York, Pearson airport, the Niagara Escarpment — and the mind-boggling number of people who live in a compact space in the sky just like his.

“I look right at my neighbours,” he said, motioning at the vertical city lit up in the night, row after row of tiny living rooms and kitchens visible in the CityPlace condos that surround him. “I can see them come home and make dinner.”

Thirteen thousand people call these soaring glass buildings along the waterfront near the Rogers Centre home. By 2018, 18,000 will live in 10,000 units in 25 buildings, making their homes and their lives on top of one another.

This is stacked living — where you have 850 square feet to your name and 700 neighbours in one building. Backyard? Try balcony. And the trip from your condo to the lobby can be a commute of its own, thanks to stop after stop at floors that reach 49 storeys. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1274608--density-in-toronto-portrait-of-a-community-growing-up-fast



Push to decriminalize small amounts of weed in Detroit finds little opposition


from the Detroit Metro Times:



The non-campaign for Proposal M
Push to decriminalize small amounts of weed in Detroit finds little opposition

By Larry Gabriel
Published: October 17, 2012


Maybe anti-Proposal M forces were out this past weekend campaigning. Maybe they're crashing the phones on radio talk shows this week. Maybe, with less than three weeks before the election, they got loudspeakers and made their voices heard. Well, that's what Lawrence Kenyatta, co-chair of the advocacy committee at the Partnership for a Drug Free Detroit, hoped would happen.

"We are going to step our game up so that we will be prepared to educate Detroiters on the negative effects this will have on the city of Detroit," says Kenyatta. "It's an all-hands-on-deck call to action that will basically consist of soldiers who are in treatment facilities. We're mobilizing our troops."

The Partnership opposed the little-known Detroit medical marijuana law that passed in 2004. Whatever effort they put forth this year will be done by volunteers. Kenyatta says they are fighting on a "very low budget" — basically contributions from "prevention providers" as they call themselves.

Proposal M, which would allow the possession and use of as much as 1 ounce of marijuana by adults 21-and-over on private property in Detroit, is on the Nov. 6 ballot. There is nothing in the proposal about where adults can procure marijuana, but there doesn't seem to be much lack of access to the currently illegal substance. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://metrotimes.com/mmj/the-non-campaign-for-proposal-m-1.1388941



Shane Bauer: Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons.


from Mother Jones:



Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons.
We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why.

—By Shane Bauer


IT'S BEEN SEVEN MONTHS since I've been inside a prison cell. Now I'm back, sort of. The experience is eerily like my dreams, where I am a prisoner in another man's cell. Like the cell I go back to in my sleep, this one is built for solitary confinement. I'm taking intermittent, heaving breaths, like I can't get enough air. This still happens to me from time to time, especially in tight spaces. At a little over 11 by 7 feet, this cell is smaller than any I've ever inhabited. You can't pace in it.

Like in my dreams, I case the space for the means of staying sane. Is there a TV to watch, a book to read, a round object to toss? The pathetic artifacts of this inmate's life remind me of objects that were once everything to me: a stack of books, a handmade chessboard, a few scattered pieces of artwork taped to the concrete, a family photo, large manila envelopes full of letters. I know that these things are his world.

"So when you're in Iran and in solitary confinement," asks my guide, Lieutenant Chris Acosta, "was it different?" His tone makes clear that he believes an Iranian prison to be a bad place.

He's right about that. After being apprehended on the Iran-Iraq border, Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal, and I were held in Evin Prison's isolation ward for political prisoners. Sarah remained there for 13 months, Josh and I for 26 months. We were held incommunicado. We never knew when, or if, we would get out. We didn't go to trial for two years. When we did we had no way to speak to a lawyer and no means of contesting the charges against us, which included espionage. The alleged evidence the court held was "confidential." ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/solitary-confinement-shane-bauer



Density in Toronto: Portrait of a community growing up — fast




from the Toronto Star:


Wendy Gillis
Staff Reporter


You can see a lot from the floor-to-ceiling windows in Jonathan Careless’ 39th story downtown condo: North York, Pearson airport, the Niagara Escarpment — and the mind-boggling number of people who live in a compact space in the sky just like his.

“I look right at my neighbours,” he said, motioning at the vertical city lit up in the night, row after row of tiny living rooms and kitchens visible in the CityPlace condos that surround him. “I can see them come home and make dinner.”

Thirteen thousand people call these soaring glass buildings along the waterfront near the Rogers Centre home. By 2018, 18,000 will live in 10,000 units in 25 buildings, making their homes and their lives on top of one another.

This is stacked living — where you have 850 square feet to your name and 700 neighbours in one building. Backyard? Try balcony. And the trip from your condo to the lobby can be a commute of its own, thanks to stop after stop at floors that reach 49 storeys. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1274608--density-in-toronto-portrait-of-a-community-growing-up-fast



Controlling the Corporation conference, featuring Chris Hedges, Dean Baker, Mary Bottari etc......





Published on Oct 10, 2012 by haamedhosseini

Occupy the Future -- Actions Christopher Hedges -- TruthDig columnist Kevin Zeese -- Organizer of the National Occupation of Washington, DC Dean Baker -- Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research Mary Bottari -- Center for Media and Democracy Carl Mayer -- Mayer Law Group



Bill Moyers: Matt Taibbi and Chrystia Freeland on the One Percent’s Power and Privileges


https://


Matt Taibbi and Chrystia Freeland on the One Percent’s Power and Privileges
October 19, 2012


The One Percent is not only increasing their share of wealth — they’re using it to spread millions among political candidates who serve their interests. Example: Goldman Sachs, which gave more money than any other major American corporation to Barack Obama in 2008, is switching alliances this year; their employees have given $900,000 both to Mitt Romney’s campaign and to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Why? Because, says the Wall Street Journal, the Goldman Sachs gang felt betrayed by President Obama’s modest attempts at financial reform.

To discuss how the super-rich have willfully confused their self-interest with America’s interest, Bill is joined by Rolling Stone magazine’s Matt Taibbi, who regularly shines his spotlight on scandals involving big business and government, and journalist Chrystia Freeland, author of the new book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.

“We have this community of rich people who genuinely believe that they are the wealth creators and they should get every advantage and break,” Taibbi tells Bill. “Whereas everybody else is a parasite and they’re living off of them”

Freeland adds, “You know, 2008 is not so long ago, and already, the anti-regulation chorus is so strong. How dare they have the gall to actually argue that too much regulation of American financial services is what is killing the economy?”


http://billmoyers.com/segment/matt-taibbi-and-chrystia-freeland-on-the-one-percents-power-and-privileges/


A Poverty of Empathy: The GOP’s social welfare philosophy dates back to 1818


from In These Times:



A Poverty of Empathy
The GOP’s social welfare philosophy dates back to 1818.

BY Maggie Garb


In 1818, the Society for the Prevention of Pauperism, New York’s first anti-poverty organization, issued a report advocating the need to relieve “the community from the pecuniary exactions, the multiplied exactions, and threatening dangers” associated with paupers.

These middle-class worthies were alarmed at the cost of heating the almshouse in winter, the appearance of women and children scavenging for coal and food scraps along city streets, and the able-bodied men left idle by a serious economic downturn. The report listed the causes of urban poverty: intemperance in drinking, idleness, “want of economy,” gambling, pawnbrokers and “imprudent and hasty marriages.”

Nowhere in the 20-page document did the authors mention the twin burdens of urban laboring people: low wages and few jobs. Instead, the report framed poverty as a moral failure, arguing that the “habits and vices” of the poor need to be remade. The Society later suggested installing a running wheel in the poor house—a massive machine combining the grueling monotony of a hamster wheel and a Stairmaster—to train the poor in the discipline of work.

The Society’s report brings to mind Mitt Romney’s comment about the 47 percent: “My job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/14034/a_poverty_of_empathy



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