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Greece Surrenders to Troika

February 23rd, 2015

by Stephen Lendman

Instead of renouncing its odious debt and walking away, Athens agreed to pay bankers first, maintain austerity, and let long-suffering Greeks continue taking the hindmost. SYRIZA campaign pledges proved hollow. Pleasing Brussels and Washington matter more. After weeks of negotiations, Greece got what the Wall Street Journal called "a tenuous agreement for a four-month extension of its bailout Friday removing immediate concerns over a potential exit from Europe's currency union but setting the stage for more tense negotiations over the country's financial future."

A Troika statement said:

"Greek authorities commit to refrain from any rollback of measures and unilateral changes to the policies and structural reforms that would negatively impact fiscal targets, economic recovery or financial stability, as assessed by the institutions."

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Tags: greece

Beyond the market-state: decentralising power in a sharing society

February 23rd, 2015

Rajesh Makwana

At a time when governments are failing abysmally to mitigate climate change, reduce inequality or end poverty, the key to creating a more equal and sustainable world is establishing participative forms of political engagement at all levels of society – from the local to the global.

In an era of politics characterised by unconstrained corporate lobbying, a well-oiled ‘revolving door’ between industry and government, and an endless stream of campaign contributions from dirty oil and other lucrative industries, is the long-championed ideal of a truly democratic state now a lost cause? Should concerned citizens and activists turn their attention instead to establishing sustainable economic alternatives within their towns and communities? Or should we all be doing much more to ensure that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth", as Abraham Lincoln once avowed?

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Dailykos's Cover-Up of Obama’s Ukrainian Atrocities

February 22nd, 2015

Eric Zuesse

Generally speaking, the falsely-called ‘liberal’ (some even call it ‘progressive’) website dailykos has ignored President Barack Obama’s coup a year ago in Ukraine, which violently overthrew that country’s unpopular but democratically elected President and replaced him with a racist-fascist (i.e., ideologically nazi) anti-Russian regime. It’s a regime that quickly set to work on a euphemistically called ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ in its far-eastern region Donbass, where the voters had voted 90% for the very same man whom Obama’s State Department and CIA had just overthrown — an ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ that kills its ‘Terrorists’ (i.e., the residents there) en-masse by firebombing, cluster-bombing, and shelling, the cities, towns, and villages, throughout the region. If those people survive and vote in future Ukrainian national elections, the nazi regime that Obama installed will be voted out of power; Obama’s 2014 Ukrainian coup will have been for naught. This is why he demands extermination, doesn’t object to it at all.

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Caracas Mayor Part of US Coup Plot

February 22nd, 2015

by Stephen Lendman


Mayor Antonio Ledezma (aka "the vampire"}

Washington spent 16 years unsuccessfully trying to topple Venezuela's model democracy.

On February 19, London's Guardian published an edited Venezuela Solidarity Campaign statement on its coup plot signed by 70 distinguished figures - including John Pilger and George Galloway.

The unedited version says:

"We the undersigned note with grave concern the announcement of the discovery of a plot to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela in a coup on Thursday February 12."

"Government officials have said the plans included violent attacks on the presidential palace and other government buildings."

"The thwarting of this latest coup attempt comes as leaders of numerous Latin American countries have warned of a similar situation developing in Venezuela to that which preceded the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973, which led to the horrendous dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet."

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Tags: caracas, coup

Swimming with the Sharks: Goldman Sachs, School Districts, and Capital Appreciation Bonds

February 22nd, 2015

by Ellen Brown

The fliers touted new ballfields, science labs and modern classrooms. They didn’t mention the crushing debt or the investment bank that stood to make millions. — Melody Peterson, Orange County Register, February 15, 2013

Remember when Goldman Sachs – dubbed by Matt Taibbi the Vampire Squidsold derivatives to Greece so the government could conceal its debt, then bet against that debt, driving it up? It seems that the ubiquitous investment bank has also put the squeeze on California and its school districts. Not that Goldman was alone in this; but the unscrupulous practices of the bank once called the undisputed king of the municipal bond business epitomize the culture of greed that has ensnared students and future generations in unrepayable debt.

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Russia Bashing Big Lies Persist

February 22nd, 2015

by Stephen Lendman

Washington and go-along presstitute media Big Lies exceed anything in memory throughout the Cold War.

Despite Ukraine's military chief, OSCE monitors, Ukrainian officials inspecting its border areas with Russia, Dutch experts, and French President Francois Hollande concurring on no Russia troops involved in Ukraine, outlandish Big Lies persist.

Hollande's comments are the latest at a joint news conference with Angela Merkel.

He said no evidence shows Russian forces in Ukraine. Putin respects Ukrainian sovereignty.

Moscow intends no military operations against Ukraine. He "does not want to annex Eastern Ukraine" or wage war against any country.

Not according to the Wall Street Journal headlining "US Says More Russian Troops, Weapons Enter Ukraine; Europe Stands By Truce."

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Shrouded in Secrecy and Lies, Dominion Builds Dangerous Gas Facility in Cove Point Neighborhood

February 22nd, 2015

By Margaret Flowers


The Maryland Public Service Commission held a hearing on Feb. 20, 2014, to issue
a permit to Dominion’s proposed facility at Cove Point. Demonstrators gathered at
Baltimore City Hall to protest. Capital News Service photo by Amanda Salvucci.

For decades, there has been a mostly dormant liquefied gas (LNG) import facility in the community of Cove Point on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Southern Maryland. Surrounded by forest on conservation land and across the street from residential homes and neighborhoods, the huge white storage tanks are only visible from the opening at the plant’s entrance. It used to be that locals hardly gave the facility a thought. The area is known for its Calvert Cliffs, where 12-million-year-old fossils from the Miocene Era are plentiful, for its historic light house, beaches, fishing and boating, and for the usual activities of community life.

Life is not so tranquil now. For the past 15 months, Cove Pointers have been learning what it means to live in a sacrifice zone, where corporate profits are more important than public safety and where their legitimate concerns are ignored. Dominion Resources is building a power plant, gas refinery and liquefaction train on the dormant site to import or export liquefied gas depending on whether the highest prices are at home or abroad.

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UN peace coordinator unwelcome by Palestinians

February 22nd, 2015

By Nicola Nasser*

The PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) did not object to the appointment of new UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nikolay Mladenov, although he was described by Tayseer Khaled, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee, as “persona non grata” — not trusted by the Palestinians and nor qualified for the job.

The 15-member UN Security Council unanimously voted to appoint Bulgarian Mladenov, 42, to succeed Holland’s Robert Serry. He would also be the representative of the UN secretary general to the International Quartet (the UN, US, EU and Russia), and personal representative of the UN chief to the PLO (the State of Palestine) and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

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The Assassination of Greece

February 21st, 2015

James Petras

Introduction

The Greek government is currently locked in a life and death struggle with the elite which dominate the banks and political decision-making centers of the European Union. What are at stake are the livelihoods of 11 million Greek workers, employees and small business people and the viability of the European Union. If the ruling Syriza government capitulates to the demands of the EU bankers and agrees to continue the austerity programs, Greece will be condemned to decades of regression, destitution and colonial rule. If Greece decides to resist, and is forced to exit the EU, it will need to repudiate its 270 billion Euro foreign debts, sending the international financial markets crashing and causing the EU to collapse.

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Crimea: Was It Seized by Russia, or Did Russia Block Its Seizure by the U.S.?

February 21st, 2015

Eric Zuesse

Both before and after Crimea left Ukraine and joined Russia in a public referendum on 16 March 2014, the Gallup Organization polled Crimeans on behalf of the U.S. Government, and found them to be extremely pro-Russian and anti-American, and also anti-Ukrainian.(Neither poll was subsequently publicized, because the results of each were the opposite of what the sponsor had wished.) Both polls were done on behalf of the U.S. Government, in order to find Crimeans' attitudes toward the United States and toward Russia, and also toward Ukraine, not only before but also after the planned U.S. coup in Ukraine, which occurred in February 2014 but was actually kicked off on 20 November 2013, the day before Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych publicly announced that Ukraine had received a better economic offer from Russia’s Eurasian Economic Community than from America’s European Union. (The EEC subsequently became the Eurasian Economic Union, now that it was clear that Ukraine was going with the EU.) That decision by Yanukovych in favor of the EEC was mistakenly thought by him to be merely an economic one, and he didn’t know the extent to which the U.S. Government had set up an operation to overthrow him if he didn’t go along with the EU’s offer. (If some of these basic historical facts don’t come through from merely the wikipedia articles alone, that’s because the CIA is among the organizations that edit wikipedia articles, and so wikipedia is unwittingly a . It is especially used for propaganda by the CIA and FBI.)

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