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mother earth

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Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 05:08 PM
Number of posts: 6,002

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Greece in shock as banks shut after snap referendum call (Referendum date: July 5th)

Stunned Greeks faced shuttered banks, long supermarket lines and overwhelming uncertainty on Monday as a breakdown in talks with international lenders plunged their country deep into crisis.

With Greece's bailout expiring on June 30 and an IMF payment falling due at the same time, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pleaded in vain by phone with European officials to extend the program until a referendum on July 5 on its future terms.

The frantic efforts to secure Greece's place within the euro zone followed a dramatic weekend. Tsipras's decision, early on Saturday, to put the aid package to a popular vote took the lenders by surprise and sent Greeks rushing to cash machines.

It also pushed Greece toward defaulting on 1.6 billion euros ($1.77 billion) due to the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday, which would take it closer to an exit from the euro zone. A Greek official confirmed to Reuters that the payment would not be made.


Published on Jun 29, 2015

Stunned Greeks faced shuttered banks, long supermarkets lines and overwhelming uncertainty on Monday as a breakdown in talks between Athens and its international creditors plunged the country deep into crisis.


I'm astounded by the folly and greed of the Troika, they so fear the example of Greece, they put the entire Eurozone at risk, but given Germany's Beggar Thy Neighbor policy, perhaps in time, they will be a huge example of their own folly and greed. I think so...in time they may face more than what they feared, and they will deserve all of it. I initially watched the attached video at the Reuters link, which laughably or ironically, take your pick, was preceded with a Goldman-Sachs commercial. People will watch at the Reuters link, some without a clue as to the role of GS in this crisis...they're still in business, no risk of bankruptcy...they are too big to fail or jail, nations, however, are expendable.

Yanis Varoufakis' Intervention During the 27th June 2015 Eurogroup Meeting & Press Conference After

As it happened – Yanis Varoufakis’ intervention during the 27th June 2015 Eurogroup Meeting

Posted on June 28, 2015 by yanisv

The Eurogroup Meeting of 27th June 2015 will not go down as a proud moment in Europe’s history. Ministers turned down the Greek government’s request that the Greek people should be granted a single week during which to deliver a Yes or No answer to the institutions’ proposals – proposals crucial for Greece’s future in the Eurozone. The very idea that a government would consult its people on a problematic proposal put to it by the institutions was treated with incomprehension and often with disdain bordering on contempt. I was even asked: “How do you expect common people to understand such complex issues?”. Indeed, democracy did not have a good day in yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting! But nor did European institutions. After our request was rejected, the Eurogroup President broke with the convention of unanimity (issuing a statement without my consent) and even took the dubious decision to convene a follow up meeting without the Greek minister, ostensibly to discuss the “next steps”.

Can democracy and a monetary union coexist? Or must one give way? This is the pivotal question that the Eurogroup has decided to answer by placing democracy in the too-hard basket. So far, one hopes.

Continue reading:



Keiser Report: Grexodus, Brexit & Too-Big-To-Fail (E775)

Published on Jun 25, 2015

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss Grexodus, Brexit, Too-Big-To-Fail and how to make activism succeed. In the second half, Max interviews Mike Bonanno of the Yes Men about climate change, activism and more.


All of these episodes of the Keiser Report are important, and entertaining as well.

Keiser Report: IMF failed Greece long before bailout (E776)

Published on Jun 27, 2015

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss forecasts that go wrong and whether or not Christine Lagarde could forecast her way out of a Dominique Strauss Kahn orgy. In the second half, Max interviews Mark O’Byrne about the gold and silver markets, cryptobullion, the confetti masters on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve which is not federal and has no reserves.


As always, good stuff from Max. The numbers have no relevance except to sell, sell, sell, we are fed nothing but lies, Greece is a topic as well.

UK Readies for Massive Protest Against 'Austerity on Steroids', Common Dreams, June 19, 2015

A massive and growing anti-austerity movement will take to the streets of London on Saturday, June 20, with demonstrators demanding "an alternative to austerity and to policies that only benefit those at the top."

Tens of thousands are expected to march from the Bank of England to Parliament Square on Saturday, protesting the conservative government's "nasty, destructive cuts to the things ordinary people care about—the [National Health Service], the welfare state, education and public services."

Organized by The People's Assembly—a politically unaffiliated national campaign against austerity—the demonstration comes in the wake of UK elections in early May that saw the Conservative (Tory) Party seizing the majority of Parliamentary seats and Prime Minister David Cameron sweeping back to power.

"David Cameron and George Osborne can hardly contain their enthusiasm for the torrent of cuts and privatisations they are about to unleash," wrote the Guardian's Seumas Milne on Wednesday. "This is to be austerity on steroids."

In fact, Milne warned, "indefinite austerity, which transfers wealth from public to private and poor to rich, is Osborne’s aim."

But "there’s no necessity to put up with the attacks they’re about to launch on millions of people’s living standards, and every reason to resist them," Milne concluded. "The austerity programme needs to be opposed in parliament, but also with industrial action, demonstrations and local campaigns. That process is already kicking off, with a national anti-austerity march in London this Saturday."

MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/19/uk-readies-massive-protest-against-austerity-steroids

That same poison and the people's response...people everywhere are fed up.

How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt our Finances, Freedom, and Security, Economic Thinking, Janine Wedel

Published on Jun 15, 2015

From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, however divergent their political views, these groups seem united by one thing: outrage over a system of power and influence that only serves the interests of a small number of corrupt elites. Increasingly, protesters on both ends of the political spectrum and the media are using the word “corrupt” to describe an illusory system of power that has shed any accountability to those it was meant to help and govern. In her new book, Janine Wedel, a university professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University and a grantee of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, charts a fast–evolving system of power and influence that is utterly unaccountable to those it is supposed to serve, largely because “we the public” has an information problem. Who is accountable? What are the remedies available to the average citizen?

If there is accountability, it is in places which are not socially represented or publicly accessible. The elites have access to these “silos” of power, because they can connect the dots. The average citizen cannot. As they languish, one thing flourishes: a new, insidious form of corruption practiced by players cutting across boundaries and plying influence with unprecedented ease.

The hallmark of this alarming "new corruption" is the violation of public trust. Professor Wedel takes us far beyond the usual targets: money's corrupting effect on politics, K Street lobbyists, bad–apple politicians who take bribes. While all those are important, the new corruption's sweep is broader and its practitioners, even when they are named, can't be shamed. They believe they can self–police, because their motives are pure and their integrity beyond questioning. And even when their motives are not pure, it doesn’t serve today’s technocrats to rock the boat by punishing these elites. And those guilty of wrongdoing are often in a position to manipulate media and shape the story to make it appear as if they are indeed selfless public servants.

In this new world, academics, Wall Street bankers, lawyers, retired generals, even former Presidents and Prime Ministers exploit their prestige as if it were a commodity, some turning themselves into one–man brands. Think tanks, once the source of sober–minded studies, often now act as bullhorns for the powerful. Wall Street, unbowed by the 2008 crash, remains free to "innovate" us into the next financial disaster after fighting a stealth regulatory battle.

Part of today’s challenge is that the institutions that we grew up with are completely different animals. Even though a bank is still called “a bank”, but it is very different institution than was the case even 15 years ago. Likewise with government. Three-quarters of people who work for “the public sector” today are actually still in the private sector. They work as private contractors or consultants. This places them beyond the scope of proper public scrutiny, and further undermines accountability. Indeed, Wedel notes that the image of the so-called “revolving door” is probably inaccurate these days. The door doesn’t revolve as such, but remains perpetually open to these private elites, changing the latter’s role well beyond what we normally understand government to be.

In the interview, Wedel tries to guide us through this maze. Her message is a very unpalatable one, but it is still the case that a malady, no matter how grave, cannot be repaired without an accurate diagnosis. That diagnosis starts here in Wedel’s profound scholarship and searing insights.


A Green Road - Wealth Distribution In USA - Explanation of 1% Vs 99%

Published on Jun 7, 2014

Infographics on the distribution of wealth in America, highlighting both the inequality and the difference between our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is often not what we think it is.

A Green Road Magazine - Detailing The Science Of Sustainable Health. What benefits seven future generations, and causes no harm?

Varoufakis: Greece’s Proposals to End the Crisis: My intervention at today’s Eurogroup

The only antidote to propaganda and malicious ‘leaks’ is transparency. After so much disinformation on my presentation at the Eurogroup of the Greek government’s position, the only response is to post the precise words uttered within. Read them and judge for yourselves whether the Greek government’s proposals constitute a basis for agreement.


Five months ago, in my very first Eurogroup intervention, I put it to you that the new Greek government faced a dual task:

We had to earn a precious currency without depleting an important capital good.

The precious currency we had to earn was a sense of trust, here, amongst our European partners and within the institutions. To mint that precious currency would necessitate a meaningful reform package and a credible fiscal consolidation plan.

As for the important capital we could not afford to deplete, that was the trust of the Greek people who would have to swing behind any agreed reform program that will end the Greek crisis. The prerequisite for that capital not to be depleted was, and remains, one: tangible hope that the agreement we bring back with us to Athens:
◾is the last to be hammered out under conditions of crisis;
◾comprises a reform package which ends the 6-year-long uninterrupted recession;
◾does not hit the poor savagely like the previous reforms did;
◾renders our debt sustainable thus creating genuine prospects of Greece’s return to the money markets, ending our undignified reliance on our partners to repay the loans we have received from them.

Five months have gone by, the end of the road is nigh, but this finely balancing act has failed to materialize. Yes, at the Brussels Group we have come close. How close? On the fiscal side the positions are truly close, especially for 2015. For 2016 the remaining gap amounts to 0.5% of GDP. We have proposed parametric measures of 2% versus the 2.5% that the institutions insist upon. This 0.5% gap we propose to bridge over by administrative measures. It would be, I submit to you, a major error to allow such a minuscule difference to cause massive damage to the Eurozone’s integrity. Convergence had also been achieved on a wide range of issues.

Nevertheless, I will not deny that our proposals have not instilled in you the trust that you need. And, at the same time, the institutions’ proposals that Mr Juncker conveyed to PM Tsipras cannot engender the hope that our citizens need. Thus, we have come close to an impasse.

At this, the 11th hour, stage of the negotiations, before uncontrollable events take over, we have a moral duty, let alone a political and an economic one, to overcome this impasse. This is no time for recriminations and accusations. European citizens will hold collectively responsible all those of us who failed to strike a viable solution.



LIVE: Yanis Varoufakis holds speech at the Panel session “Greece's future in the EU” in Berlin
Streamed live on Jun 8, 2015
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis will be giving a speech on the crisis in the Eurozone at the Hans-Boeckler foundation on Monday, June 8. Before the speech, Varoufakis met with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble in an unscheduled meeting, arranged due to the intensifying negotiations of Greek debt. Since Syriza's election, Greek authorities and the institutions have been negotiating for five months to unlock the €7.2 billion ($8bn) of rescue funds it needs to pay the IMF. The bailout extension ends on June 30. If Greece fails to meet the deadline, it faces default and exit from the eurozone.


With all of the articles in MSM it is important to weigh the words of the FPM who is involved in the negotiations, as we look for the truth in how this situation plays out. There are issues between nations that are important to understand, as so much that is written publicly leaves all of these issues completely out of the explanation of what has been playing out. Greece has been dealing with much that the masses are not privy to, while much is said about the debt that was incurred, ignoring factors that are involved. Here, an honest explanation is given along with an honest approach to dealing with the crisis.

Importantly he mentions reforms and cuts have been taken (40%), where else is there to make further cuts? The Troika demands seem inhumane and ignorant. The reasons for not being able to acquiesce to the further demands are explained. These issues have not been put into words in what we read about the negotiations. Thanks to Varoufakis, now we can understand, if we had not yet quite grasped this concept. Solid solutions are being put forth, what is needed is spelled out and quite reasonably.

Varoufakis speaks with eloquence as always, presenting heartfelt, intelligent solutions aimed at repaying debt, and desiring never to incur deficits again. He calls for unity, not Grexit. If there is a Grexit the fault will not lie with Syriza. There are about 10 days left for all parties to come to agreement if Grexit is to be avoided, so we stay tuned. An emergency, make or break, summit is to take place on Monday.

The Great Divide with Joseph Stiglitz and Robert Reich

Published on May 22, 2015

(Visit: http://www.uctv.tv/) Economist Joseph Stiglitz and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich reminisce about opposing “corporate welfare” during their days in the Clinton Administration and talk here about problematic trade deals, income inequality and Stiglitz’s new book, “The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them.” Reich and Stiglitz are presented by the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Recorded on 04/29/2015. Series: "Writers" [5/2015] [Public Affairs] [Humanities] [Business] [Education] [Show ID: 29524

NAFTA was a great success? I beg to differ...or perhaps it was successful for the corporations?

Come on, really? We are not living in a bubble. This info is readily available, if you can't see the harm for yourself, or don't want to see it.

Nearly two decades after NAFTA was implemented, the goals and promises of the agreement remain unrealized. In fact, quite the opposite has resulted. NAFTA has been devastating to the U.S. trade deficit and has resulted in massive job losses—particularly in the manufacturing sector. Between 1994 and 2010, U.S. trade deficits with Mexico totaled $97.2 billion and displaced an estimated 682,900 U.S. jobs. Nearly all of the losses were in manufacturing.

Job losses play a role in the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States as well. Since NAFTA began, nearly 300,000 family farms in Mexico have been put out of business. The lack of work is forcing Mexican workers to seek employment and better opportunities elsewhere to support their families. The United States is where they set their sights; the number of Mexicans migrating each year to our country has more than doubled. In 1993, there was an estimated 3.9 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. By 2011, that number exploded to an estimated 23 million.

Illegal immigration is something that will not be fixed unless our government leaders place particular attention on the root causes behind migration to the U.S. This means that if we want any sort of immigration reform, elements of NAFTA are going to have to be readdressed and improved upon, because the failures of the North American Free Trade Agreement have resulted in the job losses, outsourcing, trade deficits, and migration that we are faced with today. If the job outlook continues to remain unfavorable in Mexico, we will continue to see illegal immigrants seeking opportunities here. Renegotiating NAFTA is where real immigration reform must begin.


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