HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » polly7 » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Saskatchewan
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 20,582

Journal Archives

Greek referendum: euro crisis explodes into dramatic climax

By Jérôme Roos
Source: Roarmag.org

The announcement struck like a bombshell.

Tsipras’ spectacular decision late on Friday to fly back to Athens and put the Eurogroup’s final bailout offer to a referendum — with the government advising voters to reject the deal — has stunned friends and foes alike.

Now, with depositors lining up at ATMs to withdraw cash, the Eurogroup refusing to extend the current bailout program, the ECB capping its emergency liquidity assistance for Greek banks, and Greece set to miss a €1.5 billion IMF payment on Tuesday, the long-awaited endgame is finally upon us. After five long and exhausting years, the euro crisis has exploded into its dramatic climax.

Those who now lambast the Greek government for its supposed “recklessness” in calling the referendum are profoundly mistaken. Yes, as I have argued many times before, Tsipras’ and Varoufakis’ belief that they could somehow extract an “honorable compromise” from the creditors was always extremely naive. But in the end it was the creditors’ utter contempt for democracy that pushed Tsipras with his back against the wall, forcing him to sign up to an agreement that they knew would split his ruling party and government.

Deliberately tabling one outrageous proposal after another, the creditors’ intention was clear from the very start: they were never even remotely interested in any positive “deal”; the only thing they would settle for was Syriza’s complete and total surrender — ideally followed by technocratic regime change inside Greece. Paul Krugman was therefore entirely right when he referred to the creditors’ ultimatum as “an act of monstrous folly.

Full article: https://zcomm.org/zcommentary/greek-referendum-euro-crisis-explodes-into-dramatic-climax/

Get your war reparations from Germany, Greece!

Outrageous Attempt at Killing the Deal with Iran

by Jan Oberg / June 25th, 2015

Internal elite power games in Washington are now putting Middle Eastern and global stability and peace at stake.

Here is the latest attempt at killing a deal with Iran that, to the sensitive reader with a minimum of knowledge of foreign policy and of the Iranian civilization, is little but one long argument for warfare on Iran in nobody’s interest – certainly also not in the interest of the citizens of Israel.

Is it just because it is summer time that intellectuals, media commentators and diplomats as well as friends and allies of the US conveniently have generally kept silent at irresponsible statements like this and the many before it?

Don’t they understand that the nuclear issue as such — not proliferation but possession — is humanity’s most important and that Iran has been the object of revengeful harassment since 1953 and punished for years for not having nuclear weapons?

Without a deal with Iran — a negotiated deal where not only Iran but all parties give and take something — the risk becomes very high that yet another devastating war will break out.

A small group of extremist pro-Israeli Iran-haters in the United States have no right to expose the Middle East, Europe and the world to such a risk in the name of an outdated militarist national security thinking.

Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/outrageous-attempt-at-killing-the-deal-with-iran/

Iran has the same right to nuclear energy, medicine etc. that every other nation in the world has. It sits on loads of oil, but lacks the refineries to process it and thus does not have the required energy for its population - exactly the same circumstances as here in Canada. Iran has signed on to the NPT long ago and called for a nuclear-free ME. But .... the west needs and wants war. I wish every warmonger would head over to personally fight ISIS and leave peaceful nations alone, but ........ PNAC! 7 countries in 5 years! They make me sick.

The settlers considered the Native Americans extremely belligerent.

After all, they were on 'their' land and had to be removed, those that didn't agree were killed and often tortured in horrible ways. Defense of their land and settlements was met with extreme measures - don't you agree? But they were definitely considered the bad guys (terrorists), just as the Palestinians objecting to their confinement, loss of land, homes, livelihoods, lives are and have been for so many years.

'Terrorists' wasn't a handy word back then, but absolutely it would have been applied exactly the same way.

Real 'Terrorism' - deliberately attacking civilians and civilian targets in the world's largest open-air prison and all the other goodies they've been subjected to that cause fear and utter hopelessness - just as for any other targeted people in the world.

That is WHY. It's not fucking rocket science.

Dutch citizens just sued their government over inaction on climate change ... and they won.

Cheers and cries of pure joy erupted as the judge handed down the ruling in the world's first ever climate liability suit.

886 Dutch citizens, including teachers, entrepreneurs, grandparents and students united to sue their government for its inaction on climate change. In a decision likely to reverberate across the world, the court ordered the state to reduce emissions by 25% within 5 years to protect its citizens from climate change.

A HUGE congratulations to all involved, including Urgenda, the group that brought the suit on behalf of the citizens.


Published on
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
byCommon Dreams

In Historic Ruling, Dutch Court Says: Climate Action is a Human Right

Hague District Court says Dutch government has a legal duty to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Urgenda Foundation supporters celebrate at the Hague District Court after a historic ruling ordered the Dutch government to slash emissions. (Photo: Chantal Bekker/Urgenda)

In a landmark ruling that many hope establishes a new global precedent for a state's obligation to its citizens in the face of the growing climate crisis, a Dutch court on Wednesday said that the government has a legal duty to reduce carbon emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

The decision came in response to a lawsuit, launched in November 2013 by the Amsterdam-based environmental nonprofit Urgenda Foundation along with 600 Dutch citizens, which argued that the government was violating international human rights law by failing to take sufficient measures to combat rising greenhouse gas emissions.

"The state must do more to avert the imminent danger caused by climate change, also in view of its duty of care to protect and improve the living environment," read a statement from the Hague District Court.

Columnist Nick Meynen, who is one of 10,000 Belgians who on April 27 launched a similar case against their government, explained in a piece published by This Changes Everything on Tuesday: "It’s hard to find any country in the world with climate legislation in place that is in line with what the science requires. Somehow, governments have so far managed to get away with that. But the days of empty promises are over."

Full article: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/06/24/historic-ruling-dutch-court-says-climate-action-human-right

Stop the privatization of Lagos' water

Corporate Accountability International

June 25, 2015

(no link, an email)

As you read this, millions of people in Lagos, Nigeria are faced with the daily task of figuring out how to get safe water. And we're not talking about a few low-income neighborhoods here. A whopping 90 percent of Lagos' 21 million residents don’t have daily access to safe water. Why? One big reason is that for years the World Bank has promoted the privatization of their city's water systems, strong-arming public officials and preventing the development of adequate public systems. It's outrageous.

And the people of Lagos have had enough. Our allies in Nigeria at Environmental Rights Action are leading a powerful movement to challenge corporate water privatizers and demand the human right to water. And we've got their backs. Just weeks from now, water justice activists from around the world are joining our friends in Lagos to set a roadmap that will protect the human right to water not just in Africa's largest city but around the world.

Millions in Lagos rely on costly or unsafe water sources such as poorly regulated wells, partly because the World Bank has pushed for a corporatized water system and prevented truly democratic public solutions from thriving for decades. For many, water arrives not through pipes to their homes, but through shared standpipes, or in jerry cans or cellophane bags. They're often forced to get their water from unknown sources at a markup charged by the few people who have access.

Recently, intense pressure from members like you and the people of Lagos forced the World Bank to back off yet another move toward privatization of the city's water. And this mighty grassroots movement in Lagos -- and around the world -- is making sure the new governor of Lagos commits to public water systems. The momentum is on our side, but we can't let up now.

Nigerian trade unionists push to stop water privatization

In Nigeria, tens of thousands of people are standing together to protect their water from global corporations. With one voice, they have taken up a call: Our Water, Our Right. They have issued a powerful demand for the Lagos government to reject privatization plans.

As mentioned in PSI’s report “Why Public-Private Partnerships don’t work”, which contains a combination of 30 years of research and assesses the PPP experience in both industrialised and developing countries, PPPs have failed to live up to their promise. They are often an expensive and inefficient way of financing infrastructure and services, since they conceal public borrowing, while providing long-term state guarantees for profits to private companies.

Lagosians like Akinbode Oluwafemi, Director of ERA, are rejecting the privatization plans that the World Bank has spent decades paving the way for, because they know the disastrous results of other World Bank-backed projects: Rates are hiked, workers are laid off, and families find it harder than ever to access clean, safe water.

The Nigerian unions said, “It is well past time that we got serious about resolving these problems. Access to clean and safe water and sanitation services is the minimum that we demand of our government. Is this really too much to ask? Is it even credible that, in the 21st century, we can’t ensure universal access to water and sanitation?”

That is why the stakes are so high. The World Bank and the global corporations it supports want Lagos to set the precedent for who controls water in Africa. The privatization of Lagos' water will put millions more lives at risk across the continent and we cannot let that happen.

PSI stands with the people in Lagos to defend their human right to water and sanitation, challenges the government to stand up to corporate water privatizers and supports Lagosians in their fight to keep their water in their own hands


Water Privatisation: A Worldwide Failure?

2015•02•20 John Vidal The Guardian

Like the IFC, most proposed awarding a single giant water company a long concession in return for providing technical expertise and millions of water connections.

But the companies, banks and donors all left, unable to agree with the federal or local authorities how to satisfy corporate demands, raise the billions of pounds inevitably needed, and convince the Nigerian public that international companies would fulfil their contracts and not make unreasonable profits from the sale of what was widely seen as a public resource.

For Orogobeni, his family, and more than 15 million other Lagosians, the impasse means continuing to pay local water suppliers a hefty premium for unsafe water.

About 80% of Lagos’s piped water supplies are thought to be stolen, only 5% of people receive it in their houses, taps are often dry, sanitation is non-existent across much of the metropolis and the hospitals are full of people suffering diarrheal and other water-borne diseases. All that has changed since the IFC’s abortive 1999 plan is that the demand for water has grown due to the arrival of millions more people in the city.

The latest organisation to have failed to negotiate a Lagos water agreement is the IFC — again. The private arm of the World Bank, which has lent more than $75 billion for water and sanitation projects around the world since 1995, has been in secret talks for more than a year with the city’s private water company about funding another possible private-public partnership (PPP) scheme. But this week it categorically stated that negotiations had broken down and were unlikely to resume for years

Where near-universal access to water has been achieved, it has virtually always been through a public commitment.

The rebuff is a blow to the IFC, which has long been the world’s largest funder of global water projects, providing advice for governments and loans for companies to take over and invest in under-resourced water and sanitation systems in developing countries, often as part of a broader set of privatisation policies. According to the IFC’s data, it completed 847 water projects between 1993 and 2013, nearly half of which were in Latin America.

Full article: http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/water-privatisation-a-worldwide-failure

Univision drops Miss USA pageant over Donald Trump's 'insulting remarks' about Latino immigrants

Trump accused Mexicans of bringing drugs, crime and rapists to the U.S. during campaign speech

CBC News Posted: Jun 25, 2015 12:20 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 25, 2015 12:20 PM ET

FILE - In this June 16, 2013 file photo, Donald Trump, left, and Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady pose onstage after Brady won the 2013 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas, Nev. Univision says it is dropping the Miss USA Pageant and says it will cut all business ties with Donald Trump over comments he made about Mexican immigrants. The network said Thursday, June 25, 2015, it will not air the pageant on July 12, as previously scheduled, and has ended its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization due to what it called "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants" by Trump, a part owner. (Jeff Bottari/AP File)

Univision is dropping the Miss USA pageant and says it will cut all business ties with Donald Trump over comments he made about Mexican immigrants.

The network said Thursday it will not air the July pageant and has ended its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which produces the Miss USA pageant, due to what it called "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants" by Trump, a part owner of Miss Universe.

Trump says he was only criticizing U.S. policies concerning Mexico, not its people. He says Univision is in default of a five-year contract.

Miss USA presenter pulled out

Univision's decision is the latest in the fallout over Trump's remarks: On Thursday, Puerto Rican actress and Miss USA presenter Roselyn Sanchez severed her ties with the pageant. And on Wednesday, Colombian singer J Balvin cancelled a planned performance.

Full article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/univision-drops-miss-usa-pageant-over-donald-trump-s-insulting-remarks-about-latino-immigrants-1.3127510

What election rules? U.S.-style attack time comes to Canada

Anonymous donors, no accountability, all fair in the PAC-land of pre-writ electioneering

By Chris Hall, CBC News Posted: Jun 25, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 25, 2015 10:39 AM ET


Canada's electoral laws are intended to limit the influence of big money in campaigns by enforcing strict contribution limits, making the names of all donors public and banning donations from corporations and unions.

But a growing number of third parties are exploiting a loophole in the law that puts no serious restrictions on how much is raised or spent before the campaign officially begins.

Engage Canada was started by two former senior Liberal staffers in Ontario, Don Guy and Dave Gene, and Kathleen Monk, an equally prominent federal NDP strategist. Take my word for it, because you won't find any disclosure of who is behind the group from its website.

On the other side is HarperPAC. The name tells you all you need to know.

The group is a "political action committee" in the U.S. mould and dedicated to re-electing the Harper government.

Full article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/what-election-rules-u-s-style-attack-time-comes-to-canada-1.3126670

Richard Sharp: (comment)

Harper has overwheming corporate support, including the corporate media. Not only do they run the attack ads, 49 of the top 50 English newspapers supported Harper in 2011. The Star endorsed Layton.

Harper has also spent a billion or more in government advertising patting himself on the back. So, it's hardly a level playing field.

harper has exploited every loophole in the system after promising better. "you won't recognize Canada when i'm through with it." was more like a threat.

‘The American Century’ Has Plunged the World Into Crisis

By Conn Hallinan and Leon Wofsy
Source: Foreign Policy in Focus
June 23, 2015

The United States is undergoing a historic transition in our relationship to the rest of the world, but this is neither acknowledged nor reflected in U.S. foreign policy. We still act as if our enormous military power, imperial alliances, and self-perceived moral superiority empower us to set the terms of “world order.”

While this illusion goes back to the end of World War II, it was the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union that signaled the beginning of a self-proclaimed “American Century.” The idea that the United States had “won” the Cold War and now — as the world’s lone superpower — had the right or responsibility to order the world’s affairs led to a series of military adventures. It started with President Bill Clinton’s intervention in the Yugoslav civil war, continued on with George W. Bush’s disastrous invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and can still be seen in the Obama administration’s own misadventures in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and beyond.

In each case, Washington chose war as the answer to enormously complex issues, ignoring the profound consequences for both foreign and domestic policy. Yet the world is very different from the assumptions that drive this impulsive interventionism.

It’s this disconnect that defines the current crisis.

Acknowledging New Realities:

Short Memories and Persistent Delusions:


The Home Front:

Bombs and Business:


Full article: https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-american-century-has-plunged-the-world-into-crisis/

Disclaimer: Again, I freely acknowledge many others should also be included in these articles and titles ...... but seriously, we're destroying the world.

Public Didn’t See Last Two World Wars Coming Either

by David Swanson / June 20th, 2015

Fromkin is giving an accurate description of a war of rich on poor. When the United States attacks Iraq or Syria or Pakistan or Yemen or Somalia or Afghanistan or Libya or Panama or Vietnam, etc., etc., no cooperation is required from the poor nation that is bombed or invaded. There is war because the Pentagon says so, although the form that resistance takes is completely open to choice. But had the nations that Fromkin grants innocence in World Wars One and Two spent the previous decades disarming and practicing respectful diplomacy, aid, cooperation, peacemaking, and establishment of the rule of law, there could not have been the rich-on-rich wars that constitute the worst short-time-period events in human history and have been avoided since 1945. Fromkin traces, as most authors do, Germany’s WWI aggression to its fear of its neighbors. What if those neighbors had been unfearable?

Perhaps they would have been attacked anyway. Iraq and Libya disarmed, in terms of so-called WMDs, and the U.S. attacked them.

Or perhaps they would have been left alone. Most nations that do not threaten their neighbors are not threatened in return.

In any case, there would have been no world wars killing tens of millions of people if there hadn’t been willing partners on both sides. Any war there was would have been one-sided. Any nonviolent resistance would likewise have experienced one-sided suffering. But most of the death and destruction would not have happened.

The United States has pulled out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty and expanded NATO to a dozen new nations, moving right up to the border of Russia. It’s placed troops and weapons on the Russian border. It’s organized a coup in Ukraine and installed a Ukrainian government full of neo-Nazis. It’s lied to its people about Russian invasions and Russian attacks on airplanes. It’s fantasized about its missile-defense system allowing it to attack Russia, or China for that matter, without counter-attack. It’s proposed to put more nukes in Europe aimed at Russia. It’s built bases around the edges of China. It’s trying to militarize Japan again. It’s imposed sanctions on Russia. It’s threatened, mocked, ridiculed, and demonized Russia and its president — and North Korea for good measure. Informed observers warn of the heightened risk of nuclear Armageddon. And most people in the United States haven’t a clue.

Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/public-didnt-see-last-two-world-wars-coming-either/

I think the 'next' war already began with the invasion of Iraq, and every bomb dropped since has just been a continuation of it ... though those nations bombarded with drones and misery haven't actually had 'war' declared upon them. Strange, that. Just bombing by a foreign military - nothing to see here, move along .....

Weeding Roses in Kabul

by Martha Hennessy / June 20th, 2015

Kabul — Outside the windows of the room where I sleep here in Kabul, the Afghan Peace Volunteer (APV) women’s community maintains a small walled garden filled with roses. The community planted tomatoes, cilantro and greens. An apricot tree grows in one corner, a mulberry tree in another. The prayer Afghan Peace Volunteer (APV) call, chanted from a nearby mosque, awakens me just before dawn. Light appears in the sky around four, and soon after, the doves and neighborhood children begin to stir. Normal activities and routines persist here in Afghanistan, despite the decades of war and impoverishment. Military helicopters roar through the skies as sounds generated by ordinary workaday tasks fill the air: the whine of a machine cutting sheet metal mixes with a jingle played by an ice cream cart rolling down the street.

The circumstances are dire for these children. Of the estimated six million child laborers in Afghanistan, 60,000 work in Kabul, competing for meager wages. They sell bread and shine shoes on the streets to support their families so that they may eat. The June 2015 CIA World Fact Book reports that it is impossible to estimate the numbers of children out of school; however, in Afghanistan’s teen and adult population the literacy rate is 38.2%. Among females over age 14, only 24.2% can read and write. How can the street children achieve a better life if they remain illiterate?

Afghanistan’s future could be determined by exploitative corporations eager to profit from trillions of dollars’ worth of resources estimated to lie under its ground. Geopolitical rivalries afflict the country as wealthy transnational elites compete for access to abundant resources. China intends to create high-speed rail from Beijing to Moscow, and has already built significant portions of the “New Silk Routes” which will enable China to access and move materials and products. The rush to continually increase corporate profits lays the groundwork for an intensified cold war between the U.S. and China. What’s more, several recently concluded trade agreements in the region excluded the U.S.

Speaking at Arizona State University’s McCain Institute, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter complained that the U.S. wouldn’t be sidelined. “We already see countries in the region trying to carve up these markets… We must all decide if we are going to let that happen…if we’re going to help boost our exports and our economy…and cement our influence and leadership in the fastest growing region in the world; or if, instead, we’re going to take ourselves out of the game.”

Full article: http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/weeding-roses-in-kabul/

These people stopped mattering to those with power a long, long time ago. Kudos to the APV and other organizations brave and compassionate enough to still try to help.
Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next »