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Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
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"people around the world will no longer accept austerity..while the rich continue to get much richer


Statement on the Election in Greece
Sunday, January 25, 2015

BURLINGTON, Vt., Jan. 25 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after Greece rejected austerity economics and gave a decisive victory to the Syriza party of Alexis Tsipras, the next prime minister:

“The Syriza victory in the Greek elections tell us that people around the world will no longer accept austerity for working families while the rich continue to get much richer. The top 1 percent of the world’s population will soon own more wealth than the bottom 99 percent. This is wrong and unsustainable from a moral, economic and political perspective.”

Media Demonization of Syriza: Pretending that Neoliberalism is Popular and Mainstream

Media Demonization of Syriza: Pretending that Neoliberalism is Popular and Mainstream
Posted on January 26, 2015 by Yves Smith

We’re having two posts on the Greek elections tonight, since the media accounts are so slanted as to merit discussion. The notion that a democratically elected government would put broad social interest over continued, self-destructive sacrifices to financiers and their allies in European governments is so threatening that a large swathe of media outlets seem almost to take visceral offense at the idea. Editors and writers are thus serving as vocal enforcers of keeping the Overton Window locked in its present, far right position.

As Christopher D. Rogers said in comments yesterday:

What the “fuck” does the BBC coverage of the Greek election think it is doing and what bloody Orwellian-double speak western world am I living in?

Before you think one’s language inappropriate please consider this. In its coverage of the momentous events presently taking place in Greece, our bloody wonderful, alleged impartial, BCC reporters are calling Syriza “the radical left Party”. You heard it here folks, Syriza, that 40 years ago would have been to the right of the then UK’s Labour Party, is now a “radical left” organisation, with all the undertones that go with the word “radical.”

Having read quite a lot of Yanis Varoufakis’s output over the past 12 months, I’d hardly call Yanis a radical, nor for that matter would I call Mr. Tsipras radical for those of you who would like to contrast the Syriza election promises with the 1983 Labour Party manifesto that Michael Foot went to the country with, and which Roy Hattersley, who with Neil Kinnock, started the rot to infect that once proud leftwing organisation, referred too as the “longest suicide note ever written. By the way, in 1983 the actual left of the Labour Party wanted our country outside of the then EEC, they wanted to rid our nation of nuclear weapons and turn back the clock on four years of huge social upheaval caused by Thatcher and her monetarist economic prescriptions, what we call today “neoliberalism”.

Whilst I’ve yet to reach 50, in my humble opinion as someone who embodies many principles of the actual left, Syriza is not hot bed of radicalism, and yet the Uk media, much of the European media and obviously your US media are making out that Syriza are a threat not only to Europe, but no doubt the world – which I actually only hope is right, for at long last it seems people are awakening and coming out of the shadows to see the world for what it is and those legacy parties, be they left or right, for what they are. Corporate whores no less.

Needless to say, the BBC is not alone in trying to depict Syriza as extremist: .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/01/media-demonization-syriza-pretending-neoliberalism-popular-mainstream.html

Pan-European Leftist Movement Is Rising: Joe Weisenthal


Published on Jan 26, 2015
Jan. 26 -- Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal examines the potential impact on the rest of Europe from the victory by the anti-austerity Syriza Party in this weekend’s elections in Greece. He speaks on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Greece first, Spain next?

“Syriza, Podemos – venceremos,” chanted Podemos’s Pablo Iglesias into the microphone on Sunday, his voice rising as he hit the last word: we will win. In the packed bleachers of this rally of the party faithful in Valencia, a Greek flag waved as thousands joined in his chant.

Few followed the elections in Greece as closely as Spaniards, many of whom saw in the electoral race a preview of looming elections in their country. As news broke on Sunday that Syriza had ousted the establishment to become the first anti-austerity party to gain power in the eurozone the leader of the far-left Podemos party, Pablo Iglesias, revelled in the news.

“I think that the victory of Syriza will provoke something that’s new in the political panorama of Greece – they’re going to have a real Greek president, not a delegate of Angela Merkel whose interests will rank above those of the country and its people,” he told La Sexta news channel on Sunday night.

Austerity had been dealt a blow by democracy, he said, giving his nascent movement in Spain a foothold that could prove crucial in the coming year as municipal, regional and general elections pit Podemos against the bipartisan political system that has ruled Spain since the death of Franco. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/26/spain-podemos-syriza-victory-greek-elections

Chris Hedges: Killing Ragheads for Jesus

from truthdig

by Chris Hedges

“American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of U.S. society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression. Many Americans, especially white Americans trapped in a stagnant economy and a dysfunctional political system, yearn for the supposed moral renewal and rigid, militarized control the movie venerates. These passions, if realized, will extinguish what is left of our now-anemic open society.

The movie opens with a father and his young son hunting a deer. The boy shoots the animal, drops his rifle and runs to see his kill.

“Get back here,” his father yells. “You don’t ever leave your rifle in the dirt.”

“Yes, sir,” the boy answers.

“That was a helluva shot, son,” the father says. “You got a gift. You gonna make a fine hunter some day.”
The camera cuts to a church interior where a congregation of white Christians—blacks appear in this film as often as in a Woody Allen movie—are listening to a sermon about God’s plan for American Christians. The film’s title character, based on Chris Kyle, who would become the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history, will, it appears from the sermon, be called upon by God to use his “gift” to kill evildoers. The scene shifts to the Kyle family dining room table as the father intones in a Texas twang: “There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. Some people prefer to believe evil doesn’t exist in the world. And if it ever darkened their doorstep they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep. And then you got predators.”


Kyle insisted that every person he shot deserved to die. His inability to be self-reflective allowed him to deny the fact that during the U.S. occupation many, many innocent Iraqis were killed, including some shot by snipers. Snipers are used primarily to sow terror and fear among enemy combatants. And in his denial of reality, something former slaveholders and former Nazis perfected to an art after overseeing their own atrocities, Kyle was able to cling to childish myth rather than examine the darkness of his own soul and his contribution to the war crimes we carried out in Iraq. He justified his killing with a cloying sentimentality about his family, his Christian faith, his fellow SEALs and his nation. But sentimentality is not love. It is not empathy. It is, at its core, about self-pity and self-adulation. That the film, like the book, swings between cruelty and sentimentality is not accidental.


The culture of war banishes the capacity for pity. It glorifies self-sacrifice and death. It sees pain, ritual humiliation and violence as part of an initiation into manhood. Brutal hazing, as Kyle noted in his book, was an integral part of becoming a Navy SEAL. New SEALs would be held down and choked by senior members of the platoon until they passed out. The culture of war idealizes only the warrior. It belittles those who do not exhibit the warrior’s “manly” virtues. It places a premium on obedience and loyalty. It punishes those who engage in independent thought and demands total conformity. It elevates cruelty and killing to a virtue. This culture, once it infects wider society, destroys all that makes the heights of human civilization and democracy possible. The capacity for empathy, the cultivation of wisdom and understanding, the tolerance and respect for difference and even love are ruthlessly crushed. The innate barbarity that war and violence breed is justified by a saccharine sentimentality about the nation, the flag and a perverted Christianity that blesses its armed crusaders. This sentimentality, as Baldwin wrote, masks a terrifying numbness. It fosters an unchecked narcissism. Facts and historical truths, when they do not fit into the mythic vision of the nation and the tribe, are discarded. Dissent becomes treason. All opponents are godless and subhuman. “American Sniper” caters to a deep sickness rippling through our society. It holds up the dangerous belief that we can recover our equilibrium and our lost glory by embracing an American fascism. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/killing_ragheads_for_jesus_20150125

Bill Schuette, mondo asshole

from the metro times:

Schuette continues to fail to come up with argument defending gay marriage ban in guest 'Free Press' column
Posted By Lee DeVito on Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 3:10 PM

The Detroit Free Press gave Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette a guest column on Saturday to defend his decision to uphold Michigan's same-sex marriage ban — and as has been typical of the ongoing saga Schuette once again fails to come up with anything resembling a solid defense.

In fact, Schuette spent his 600 or so words avoiding the topic completely, never once analyzing the constitutionality of Michigan's same-sex marriage ban. In essence his response can be boiled down to "well, that's procedure" — a procedure that has cost his office at least $40,000 so far.

Toward the end the column he briefly mentions that it's "important to always remember that there are good people on both sides of this debate. Democracy is never advanced by demonizing either side." Which is funny, because in last year's same-sex marriage trial — another prime example of Schuette grasping at straws — he enlisted Canadian economist Douglas Allen to deliver closing remarks in support of the ban. When asked if the "consequence of engaging in homosexual acts" would result in "eternal damnation," Allen didn't miss a beat, replying “Without repentance, yes.” (If that's not "demonizing" a side, we're not sure what is.)

The thing is, Schuette seems to be acutely aware of the changing tides. A federal judge recently ruled that the 300 same-sex marriages briefly performed in Michigan must be recognized, and the U.S. Supreme Court has recently decided to hear a Michigan same-sex marriage case — which could help rule the issue of marriage equality nationwide once and for all. In closing, Schuette admits, "... laws can change. Court rulings can be overturned. Both of those events happen every day in America." ..........(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2015/01/25/schuette-continues-to-fail-to-come-up-with-argument-defending-gay-marriage-ban-in-guest-free-press-column

Funny how the party that doesn't think the Greek people should endure ......

* 25 percent unemployment (60 percent for young Greeks)
* 30 percent reduction in wages
* Hundreds of thousands of lost public sector jobs
* 300,000 households (in a country of about 11 million) have no electricity

...... is constantly referred to as "radical", whereas the cabal that imposed these conditions on them is not.

How far down the neoliberal rabbit hole have we fallen?

David Cameron, go Cheney yourself

David Cameron has warned that the victory of a radical anti-austerity party in the Greek elections will “increase economic uncertainty across Europe”, as British left-wingers celebrated.

Some claim the election result, which saw Alexis Tsipras's Syriza party sweep the ruling centre-right New Democracy party from power, will plunge the euro into a fresh crisis. He has promised to renegotiate the terms of Greece's £179bn international bailout deal to strip out clauses requiring the Government implements policies of austerity.

In a message on Twitter, the Prime Minister said: “The Greek election will increase economic uncertainty across Europe. That's why the UK must stick to our plan, delivering security at home.”

However Peter Hain, the shadow Welsh Secretary, said it was a “fantastic Syriza win”. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/greece-elections-david-cameron-warns-of-greater-economic-uncertainty-across-europe--but-russell-brand-says-hed-vote-for-syriza-10001772.html

Exit polls say that the leftist, anti-austerity Syriza party.....

..... wins, and wins big, in Greece, according to my huffpost updates on fb.

Why can't a snowstorm just be a snowstorm? It has to have a name.

[font size="5"]Juno[/font]

I blame the Weather Channel.

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