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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 67,261

Journal Archives

Chris Hedges Wins L.A. Press Club’s Top Award for Activism Journalism


Pulitzer Prize winner and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges received the top award in the Activism Journalism category Sunday night at the 2015 Southern California Journalism Awards.

Hedges won for his column “The Last Days of Tomas Young,” about which the judges wrote: “Great journalism should move the reader. Great activist journalism should move the reader to act. Hedges’ piece does just that through the compelling and heartbreaking story of a pain-riddled vet let down by the very country he ultimately gave his life to protect. It’s a cynical piece, and it could devolve into simple antiwar rhetoric—but instead it sharply skewers a VA system that failed to aid the very people it’s meant to serve.”

Young was the author of “The Last Letter,” a message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, published by Truthdig, in which he stated his intention to die.

“There’s tremendous profundity to Chris’ work so well illustrated by this piece,” said Truthdig publisher Zuade Kaufman. “He gives voice to Tomas Young, allowing the Army veteran to speak to so many of the horrors of war, as well as inspiring others to take action.”

“It is a good sign for journalism that Truthdig’s most provocative and courageous columnist is so frequently honored by other members of the profession,” Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer added. ............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/chris_hedges_wins_la_press_clubs_top_award_for_activism_journalism_201506




Trade (cartoon)





http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/trade_20150629


Sixth Great Mass Extinction Event Begins; 2015 on Pace to Become Hottest Year on Record


Sixth Great Mass Extinction Event Begins; 2015 on Pace to Become Hottest Year on Record

Monday, 29 June 2015 00:00
By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Report


At the end of May, a few friends and I opted to climb a couple of the larger volcanoes in Washington State. We started on Mount Adams, a 12,280-foot peak in the southern part of the state.

We were able to drive to the Cold Springs Campground at 5,600 feet, where the climb would begin. This itself was an anomaly for late May, when the dirt road tended to still be covered with snowpack. But not this year, one in which Washington's Gov. Jay Inslee has already declared a statewide drought emergency, given this year's record-low snowpack.

In fact, we hiked up bare earth until around 7,500 feet before we even had to don our crampons (metal spikes that attach to climbing boots to improve traction), itself another anomaly. During a short visit to the Forest Service ranger station the day before, the ranger had informed us that we were already experiencing mid- to late-August conditions, though it wasn't yet June.

A few days later and much further north on Mount Baker, a 10,781-foot glacial-clad volcano not far from the border of Canada, we experienced the same thing. We camped on terra firma at around 5,500 feet, in an area that normally would have found us camping on several feet of snowpack. When we headed up the peak, the route was already in late season (August) conditions. We found ourselves having to navigate around several large open crevasses where snow bridges that had offered access had already collapsed due to rising temperatures and melting snow. ................(more)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/31612-sixth-great-mass-extinction-event-begins-2015-on-pace-to-become-hottest-year-on-record




Recession time bomb ticking faster, louder


Recession time bomb ticking faster, louder
Published: June 29, 2015 10:07 a.m. ET

Americans are unprepared for the trillions they will lose again



by Paul B. Farrell


(MarketWatch) Yes, the clock’s ticking louder, louder, warns the Economist, “only a matter of time before the next recession strikes.” Unfortunately, the “rich world is not ready.” America’s not prepared. You are not ready.

Get it? America’s 95 million investors are at huge risk. Remember the $10 trillion losses in the crash and recession of 2007-2009? The $8 trillion lost after the dot-com technology crash and recession of 2000-2003? This is the third big recession of the century. Yes, America will lose trillions again.

Especially with dead-ahead predictions like Mark Cook’s 4,000-point Dow correction. And Jeremy Grantham’s warning of a 50% crash around election time, with negative stock returns through the first term of the next president, beyond 2020. Starting soon.

Why is America so vulnerable when the next recession hits? Simple: The Fed’s cheap-money giveaway is killing America. When the downturn, correction, crash hits, it will compare to the 2008 crash. The Economist warns: “the world will be in a rotten position to do much about it. Rarely have so many large economies been so ill-equipped to manage a recession,” whatever the trigger.

With today’s near-zero interest rates, our Fed and central banks worldwide have little “wiggle room” to add more monetary stimulus. And even if Congress decided to act on the much needed, highly effective “growth boosting investment in infrastructure,” today’s zero interest makes it impossible “to launch a big fiscal stimulus.” ................(more)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/recession-time-bomb-ticking-faster-louder-2015-06-26?link=mw_home_kiosk




'The idea that Greece partly deserves its fate reflects an order in which wealth trumps democracy'


from the Guardian UK:

The moral crusade against Greece must be opposed
Zoe Williams


The idea that Greece partly deserves its fate reflects an order in which wealth trumps democracy. We should fight a narrative that enfeebles us all


‘This is our political alternative to neoliberalism and to the neoliberal process of European integration: democracy, more democracy and even deeper democracy,” said Alexis Tsipras on 18 January 2014 in a debate organised by the Dutch Socialist party in Amersfoort. Now the moment of deepest democracy looms, as the Greek people go to the polls on Sunday to vote for or against the next round of austerity.

Unfortunately, Sunday’s choice will be between endless austerity and immediate chaos. As comfortable as it is to argue from the sidelines that maybe Grexit in the medium term won’t hurt as much as 30 years’ drag on GDP from swingeing repayments, no sane person wants either. The vision that Syriza swept to power on was that if you spoke truth to the troika plainly and in broad daylight, they would have to acknowledge that austerity was suffocating Greece.

They have acknowledged no such thing. Whatever else one could say about the handling of the crisis, and whatever becomes of the euro, Sunday will be the moment that unstoppable democracy meets immovable supra-democracy. The Eurogroup has already won: the Greek people can vote any way they like – but what they want, they cannot have.

On Saturday the Eurogroup broke with its tradition of unanimity, issuing a petulant statement “supported by all members except the Greek member”. Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, sought legal advice on whether the group was allowed to exclude him, and received the extraordinary reply: “The Eurogroup is an informal group. Thus it is not bound by treaties or written regulations. While unanimity is conventionally adhered to, the Eurogroup president is not bound to explicit rules.” Or, to put it another way: “We never had any accountability in the first place, sucker.” ............(more)

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/28/greece-europe-imf-democracy




Recession time bomb ticking faster, louder


Recession time bomb ticking faster, louder
Published: June 29, 2015 10:07 a.m. ET

Americans are unprepared for the trillions they will lose again



by Paul B. Farrell


(MarketWatch) Yes, the clock’s ticking louder, louder, warns the Economist, “only a matter of time before the next recession strikes.” Unfortunately, the “rich world is not ready.” America’s not prepared. You are not ready.

Get it? America’s 95 million investors are at huge risk. Remember the $10 trillion losses in the crash and recession of 2007-2009? The $8 trillion lost after the dot-com technology crash and recession of 2000-2003? This is the third big recession of the century. Yes, America will lose trillions again.

Especially with dead-ahead predictions like Mark Cook’s 4,000-point Dow correction. And Jeremy Grantham’s warning of a 50% crash around election time, with negative stock returns through the first term of the next president, beyond 2020. Starting soon.

Why is America so vulnerable when the next recession hits? Simple: The Fed’s cheap-money giveaway is killing America. When the downturn, correction, crash hits, it will compare to the 2008 crash. The Economist warns: “the world will be in a rotten position to do much about it. Rarely have so many large economies been so ill-equipped to manage a recession,” whatever the trigger.

With today’s near-zero interest rates, our Fed and central banks worldwide have little “wiggle room” to add more monetary stimulus. And even if Congress decided to act on the much needed, highly effective “growth boosting investment in infrastructure,” today’s zero interest makes it impossible “to launch a big fiscal stimulus.” ................(more)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/recession-time-bomb-ticking-faster-louder-2015-06-26?link=mw_home_kiosk




Athens in the Caribbean?


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/puerto-rico-governor-says-debts-not-payable-report-2015-06-28?dist=lcountdown


Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said that the commonwealth cannot pay its roughly $72 billion in debts, the New York Times reported Sunday. "The debt is not payable," it quoted the governor as saying in an interview. "There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math." The report said Puerto Rico would "probably seek significant concessions from as many as all of the island's creditors," including up to five years of deferred payments.



America’s Got War: Poverty, Drugs, Afghanistan, Iraq, Terror, or How to Make War on Everything


from TomDispatch:


America’s Got War
Poverty, Drugs, Afghanistan, Iraq, Terror, or How to Make War on Everything

By William J. Astore


War on drugs. War on poverty. War in Afghanistan. War in Iraq. War on terror. The biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, is looking at everything as war. When a war mentality takes over, it chooses the weapons and tactics for you. It limits the terms of debate before you even begin. It answers questions before they’re even asked.

When you define something as war, it dictates the use of the military (or militarized police forces, prisons, and other forms of coercion) as the primary instruments of policy. Violence becomes the means of decision, total victory the goal. Anyone who suggests otherwise is labeled a dreamer, an appeaser, or even a traitor.

War, in short, is the great simplifier -- and it may even work when you’re fighting existential military threats (as in World War II). But it doesn’t work when you define every problem as an existential one and then make war on complex societal problems (crime, poverty, drugs) or ideas and religious beliefs (radical Islam).

America’s Omnipresent War Ethos

Consider the Afghan War -- not the one in the 1980s when Washington funneled money and arms to the fundamentalist Mujahideen to inflict on the Soviet Union a Vietnam-style quagmire, but the more recent phase that began soon after 9/11. Keep in mind that what launched it were those attacks by 19 hijackers (15 of whom were Saudi nationals) representing a modest-sized organization lacking the slightest resemblance to a nation, state, or government. There was as well, of course, the fundamentalist Taliban movement that then controlled much of Afghanistan. It had emerged from the rubble of our previous war there and had provided support and sanctuary, though somewhat grudgingly, to Osama bin Laden.

With images of those collapsing towers in New York burned into America’s collective consciousness, the idea that the U.S. might respond with an international “policing” action aimed at taking criminals off the global streets was instantly banished from discussion. What arose in the minds of the Bush administration’s top officials instead was vengeance via a full-scale, global, and generational “war on terror.” Its thoroughly militarized goal was not just to eliminate al-Qaeda but any terror outfits anywhere on Earth, even as the U.S. embarked on a full-fledged experiment in violent nation building in Afghanistan. More than 13 dismal years later, that Afghan War-cum-experiment is ongoing at staggering expense and with the most disappointing of results. ...........(more)

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176016/tomgram%3A_william_astore%2C_%22hi%2C_i%27m_uncle_sam_and_i%27m_a_war-oholic%22/#more





Keiser Report: Bring Austerity to Bankers!




Published on Jun 23, 2015

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, in a double header, discuss the evidence emerging that QE is causing deflation as the wealthy delay consumption to participate, instead, in rapidly rising stock, bond and house prices. They also discuss two reports out - one from the IMF and the other from the OECD - that expanding the finance sector is not possible without causing further economic decline. Only austerity for bankers will do and bashing the finance sector into a smaller, more manageable (and profitable) size will save us.



China stocks enter bear market


(Bloomberg) Chinese stocks tumbled, sending the benchmark index into a bear market, as signs of an exodus by leveraged investors overshadowed the central bank’s effort to revive confidence with an interest-rate cut.

The Shanghai Composite Index dropped 3.3 percent to 4,053.03 at the close, taking declines from its June 12 peak to more than 20 percent. The gauge swung between a loss of 7.6 percent and a gain of 2.5 percent in Monday trading, recording the biggest intraday point move since 1992. A measure of technology stocks sank 7.3 percent to lead declines among industry groups.

The retreat marks an end to the nation’s longest-ever bull market, a rally that’s lured record numbers of individual investors and convinced traders to bet an unprecedented amount of borrowed money on further gains. China’s interest-rate cut, along with assurances from the securities regulator that risks from margin trading are controllable, failed to ease concern that speculators are unwinding their positions.

“Nobody knows when the market will bottom,” said Paul Chan, the Hong Kong-based chief investment officer for Asia ex-Japan at Invesco Ltd. “The unwinding of margin financing makes it very difficult to forecast what the fair valuation is.” ...............(more)

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-29/china-stock-futures-jump-in-singapore-after-rate-cut-yuan-drops



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