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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 75,504

Journal Archives

Richard Eskow with Thom Hartmann: Greece vs. Europe...Day of Destiny Approaches

Published on Jun 30, 2015
Richard Eskow, Campaign for America's Future/The Zero Hour, joins Thom. The Greek people - who ran to their ATM machines over the weekend - will vote on Sunday whether they will accept another round of austerity. But Greece's lenders say it's a vote on whether to stay in the Eurozone.

"All of the arguments that have been used to sustain globalism and corporate capitalism are a lie"

Chris Hedges, A Time For Rebellion?
Published on Jun 30, 2015

Chris Hedges interviewed by Joe Chuman about how bad things are and what we should do about it, with particular attention to Wages of Rebellion, Chris's latest book. Advocacy Forum June 30, 2015 of the New York Society For Ethical Culture. Video by Joe Friendly

Puerto Rico's debt crisis

London will try to beat traffic and air pollution with this new electric bus


Brits, rejoice! London’s iconic double-decker buses could get a new green makeover.

On Monday, city officials announced that London will begin test-driving an electric double-decker bus in October. Quartz has the details:

The bus will be built by Chinese firm BYD and will run on the number 16 bus route, which goes from northwest London down into Victoria Station. London has had single-decker electric buses on its streets since 2013, but electric double-deckers had previously been thought to be too difficult to build, due to the challenges in efficiently powering something so large, the Mayor’s office said in a release. But BYD’s new battery technology will apparently be light and cheap enough to run in a double-decker bus.

Brilliant! The plan is part of a commitment London city leaders made earlier this week. “At a global clean bus summit at City Hall in London, 24 cities pledged to roll out 40,000 low-emission buses by the end of the decade,” The Guardian reports. The new launch follows London officials’ efforts to reduce inner-city traffic congestion and lower vehicle emissions. Here’s how the mayor describes the current situation:

(Boris) Johnson, who uses the city’s bike-share system to commute to work most days, told the Guardian that he would welcome the quieter, greener buses on his city’s streets, saying current buses are like “throbbing, belching machines that emit their fumes like wounded war-elephants.”

Sounds like the city has held onto its nickname “The Old Smoke” for a reason. Yikes.

Can you say FUBAR? .... U.S."strategy" in the Middle East

(Truthdig) The United States’ Middle East strategy is in trouble and its policymakers know it. There was an important article in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/04/world/isis-making-political-gains.htmlthis month by Anne Barnard and Tim Arango. It admits that the U.S.’ Iraq/Syria attacks aren’t going well and Islamic State is making “political gains.” It notes that Islamic State took Ramadi and Palmyra “even after nearly 4,000 airstrikes by the American-led coalition and what United States officials say are the deaths of 10,000 ISIS militants.” The Times authors say “Washington is tinkering with tactics and weapons.”

Mostly the writers talk about unnamed “experts” and “analysts.” One of these says that by attacking Islamic State in Syria while doing nothing to stop Syrian President Bashar Assad from bombing Sunni areas that have rebelled, the U.S.-led campaign was driving some Syrians into the militant group’s camp. The U.S. has talked for months about training a force of Syrians, but, the Times writes, “the program is small, with only 90 fighters in the first round of training.” Ninety fighters!

The implication is that the “experts” want the air war to expand, to have the U.S. bomb Assad forces too. This is an embrace of the Saudi strategy that sees Assad/Iran as the main enemy and the slew of Sunni jihadi armies as either allies or a problem to be dealt with later.

It gets worse. Now the “experts” are toying with an alliance with al-Qaida. We’re supposed to put the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center behind us and be ultra-crafty and use one group of fanatics against the other. ...............(more)


Greek Crisis (cartoon)


Protest Is the New Terror: How US Law Enforcement Is Working to Criminalize Dissent

Protest Is the New Terror: How US Law Enforcement Is Working to Criminalize Dissent

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 09:19
By Derek Royden, Occupy.com | News Analysis

It's well established that the FBI surveilled civil rights and other activists from Martin Luther King Jr. to leaders of the National Lawyers Guild as part of its wide ranging COINTELPRO (counter intelligence program) during the 1960s and early 70s. The use of planted news stories, faked communications to create dissension within activist groups, informants to make dubious cases and even assassinations was revealed by a group of activists called the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI, who broke into a bureau office in Media, Pennsylvania, in 1971 and found ample evidence of the agency's misdeeds. This is generally seen as an era of terrible government overreach in the name of fighting "communism."

The problem is that the use of similar tactics has been discovered again and again in the years since. Following the anti-globalization protests of 1999, the 9/11 attacks, and the Occupy protests of 2011, similar strategies, enhanced by modern technology, have been ratcheted up and deployed against an ever-increasing number of activists and political groups of all ideological stripes as part of the even more dubious "wars" on drugs and terrorism.

Part of this is due to the fact that there simply aren't enough real threats of terrorism to justify all the money and toys that have been given to U.S. law enforcement. Add to this the fact that police at all levels seem eager to see potential terrorism in even the mildest forms of dissent and you have a recipe for disaster. In one of the most recent instances, it was revealed that the FBI has been coordinating with local law enforcement to target the Black Lives Matter movement.

Another story, unrelated to current anti-racist organizing, is a bizarre case out of Minneapolis in the lead up to the Republican national convention in 2008. According to the City Pages, a Univ. of Minnesota police officer who was the department's only officer on the local Joint Counter Terrorism Task Force worked with an FBI Special Agent to recruit college students who acted as paid informants at "vegan potlucks" hoping they'd discover activist plans to disrupt the city's upcoming convention. ..............(more)


Joseph Stiglitz: Europe’s war on Greek democracy

by Joseph Stiglitz

NEW YORK (Project Syndicate) — The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors.

In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics.

Of course, the economics behind the program that the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) foisted on Greece five years ago has been abysmal, resulting in a 25% decline in the country’s gross domestic product.

I can think of no depression, ever, that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences: Greece’s rate of youth unemployment, for example, now exceeds 60%. ..................(more)


Campaign logos (cartoon)


Labor for Bernie Kickstarts Effort to Get Unions Behind Sanders With Nearly 2,000 Union Backers

(In These Times) Labor for Bernie, a new nationwide network for union members, announced today the launch of their grassroots movement to push the AFL-CIO and other unaffiliated major labor organizations such as SEIU and the Teamsters toward endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign.

Almost 2,000 union members have signed onto a letter outlining the network’s goals. Labor for Bernie reports that more than a third of these Sanders supporters belong to building trades unions, with 137 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers signees alone. Other unions that showed significant representation in the letter include the Communications Workers of America, American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, Service Employees International Union, International Union of Operating Engineers, United Auto Workers and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

"Labor for Bernie 2016 won’t be a corporate-style, staff-driven, top-down campaign. It will reflect our commitment to creating fundamental change and the urgency of stronger grassroots organizing and political activity,” the letter reads. “We call on labor leaders, union members and working people to unite behind Bernie Sanders for a voice in the presidential political process and to elect the President working families need—a President who will answer to the 99 percent!”

The network’s website includes sample resolutions for rank and file activists hoping to push their locals and state-level federations of labor into endorsing Sanders. Thus far, AFL-CIO state-level federations from Vermont and South Carolina have chosen to do so.

"Bernie is running on a record of real accomplishment for workers, farmers, veterans, and millions of other blue-collar Americans," said Erin McKee, President of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, on the network’s website. ...............(more)


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