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Showing posts from December, 2017

Εντρεπρενέρ με τα λεφτά του μπαμπά

Ο μύθος του νεαρού, ασυμβίβαστου και ριψοκίνδυνου επιχειρηματία που γνωρίζει την επιτυχία χάρη στη σκληρή δουλειά και (ίσως) κάποια γενετική προδιάθεση στην ανάληψη ρίσκου, κατέρρευσε και επισήμως στο τέλος του 2017. Αν γεννηθείς φτωχός θα πεθάνεις πιθανότατα φτωχός. Και αν γεννηθείς πλούσιος θα κάνεις ό,τι θέλεις.
του Άρη Χατζηστεφάνου
Ο Φίλιπ Αλστον συγκέντρωσε φρικτές εικόνες από το ταξίδι του στις ΗΠΑ. Είδε ανθρώπους με σαπισμένα δόντια, που δεν μπορούσαν να επισκεφθούν έναν οδοντίατρο. Είδε άστεγους και πολίτες που πέθαιναν από ιάσιμες ασθένειες ή απλώς… από τη μόλυνση του περιβάλλοντος.
Ως ειδικός εισηγητής του ΟΗΕ για την Ακραία Φτώχεια και τα Ανθρώπινα Δικαιώματα είχε καθήκον να καταγράψει ότι τουλάχιστον ένας στους οκτώ κατοίκους της πλουσιότερης χώρας του κόσμου ζει κάτω από το όριο της φτώχειας και να παρουσιάσει μερικά παραδείγματα, που θα έκαναν την έκθεσή του λίγο πιο «θελκτική» για τα διεθνή μέσα ενημέρωσης.
Ο Αλστον όμως συμπεριέλαβε και μια φράση που αποτελεί τη χαριστική…

'Election without Lula is fraud': Noam Chomsky and Chico Buarque back former president's candidacy

"Lula is growing in the polls in all scenarios for first and second electoral rounds and can even win without a runoff," the petition reads.
"Election without Lula is fraud" is the manifesto being promoted by intellectuals and artists like Noam Chomsky and Chico Buarque in support of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva's participation in the 2018 presidential elections.
So far, the petition in Change.org has reached over 92,000 signatures.
"The attempt to schedule the date of the trial of Lula's appeal for the 24th of January is empty of legality. It is purely an act of persecution of the most popular Brazilian leader," the manifesto says in its opening paragraph. Jan. 24 marks one year since Lula's deceased wife, Marisa Leticia, suffered a stroke that would eventually lead to her death days later.
In July 2017, Judge Sergio Moro convicted the former president to nine and a half years in prison for the alleged crime …

Puerto Rico: 1M without power 100 days after hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico is now in its 100th day since Category 4 Hurricane Maria struck the island, damaging vast amounts of infrastructure and nearly eliminating its electrical and running water systems.
Though some of these basic necessities have returned to the island, residents who have electricity say that "blackouts are part of life" and are angry that they are still in "recovery mode."
Clear statistics on electricity are hard to obtain on the island, a U.S. "territory." According to several news outlets, one million people are still without electricity. But according to Engineering and Agronomy High School President Pablo Vazquez, only 44 percent of Puerto Rico's nearly three million residents have reliable energy in their homes.
"We had to cancel our Christmas Eve dinner," resident Irma Rivera Aviles told NPR. The vast majority of the population on the predominantly-Catholic island was forced to spend Christmas in the dark.
While infrastructure in a…

“Sellouts in the Room:” Éric Toussaint on the Greek debt crisis and SYRIZA betrayals

For years, throughout the severe economic crisis that has plagued Greece over much of the past decade, the international media and financial press have held Greece up as a striking example of financial folly and mismanagement. Greece’s debt, we have been told, is the product of fiscal irresponsibility, of “lazy” and “unproductive” Greeks living beyond their means and spending recklessly. Moreover, Greece has been chastised for not emerging out of its economic doldrums despite being the recipient of hundreds of billions of euros worth of “free bailout money.” In short, Greece has been presented as an example for other countries to avoid at all costs.
Éric Toussaint, the spokesman of the Brussels-based Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) and scientific director of the Greek Debt Truth Audit Commission, adopts a radically different view.
In an interview that initially aired on Dialogos Radio in December 2017, Toussaint describes the findings of the commission and descr…

Dear Americans: get ready to say goodbye to what is left from your social state!

globinfo freexchange
Since the Dark Ages of the Reagan administration that opened Pandora's box to unleash the destructive forces of neoliberalism and financial capitalism, the US social state has suffered multiple hits to the point that is barely alive in our days.
While working class wages remained almost flat for decades, the social state has been almost eliminated and the American families were being forced into a vicious circle of increased debt to cover even their basic needs.
The main cause of this ugly situation was always the continuous tax breaks in favor of the wealthy elite. Plutocracy was getting richer not only directly through tax cuts, but also by making business and speculation in economic areas that were traditionally provided publicly in previous decades: health, education, housing.
As people were fed up with the classic bipartisan politicians, fully aligned with the neoliberal establishment, Donald Trump came as an unpleasant gift for the elites to fulfill their go…

Venezuela’s Maduro: 2017 was victory over ´oligarchic´ opposition

At a year-end ceremony for Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces, FANB, President Nicolas Maduro highlighted the armed forces’ victories in the last year, adding that in 2018 a “popular defense system for peace” will be launched.
In the last year, Maduro pressed, the forces fully developed their training and operations plan throughout the country, conducting 236 military operations. The country’s defense system, he added, continues to stand against the aggression it faces from the United States.
"The year 2017 was the year of threats of violence and aggression that our country (has never faced) before … a victim of aggression of the right financed by imperialism, like the ones we saw this year with the guarimbas (opposition violence)," he declared.
More:
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Venezuelas-Maduro-2017-was-Victory-Over-Oligarchic-Opposition-20171228-0026.html

Saudi Arabia Killed 68 Yemeni Civilians in Just 1 Day

A United Nations top official said warring sides in Yemen, specially the Saudi-led coalition has no regard for human life.
The top U.N. official in Yemen said Thursday that Saudi-led airstrikes have killed scores of civilians in the past 10 days, including 68 in just one day, in what he called an "absurd war" in which all sides, including Saudi Arabia’s military coalition, show "complete disregard for human life".
"This absurd war ... has only resulted in the destruction of the country and the incommensurate suffering of its people, who are being punished as part of a futile military campaign by both sides," U.N. resident coordinator Jamie McGoldrick said in a statement.
I remind all parties to the conflict, including the Saudi-led coalition, of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law to spare civilians and civilian infrastructure and to always distinguish between civilian and military objects.
Aid organizations, including the United Nations,…

Washington’s pre-war demonization formula is targeting Iran ... again

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s grandiose performance in front of the UN on December 15 should send shivers down the spines of those who remember Colin Powell’s equally disturbing performance in the months leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This is just the beginning of the a new media campaign against Iran with regime change as the end goal.
by Darius Shahtahmasebi
Part 5 - Demonization in tandem with the mainstream media
In 2015, in one of my more curious moments, I analyzed a number of Guardian articles that claimed, without question, that the Houthi rebels leading an insurrection in Yemen were “Iran-backed.” Most of the time, the claim that the Houthi rebels were Iranian-backed was presented without any evidence, though The Guardian occasionally provided a hyperlink for the source.
By further researching into these hyperlinked articles, I found The Guardian was failing to provide evidence that Iran was backing rebels in Yemen – at all. It was merely hyperlinking to other articles…

Why Bitcoin fanatics should actually pray for a CryptoCurrency issued by the BRICS

globinfo freexchange
There were some worrying signs concerning Bitcoin value lately. The problem is not that Bitcoin reached record levels at an exceptionally high price. The problem is that the first significant fluctuations have been observed with high ups and downs.
Recently, the former Greek Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis, described Bitcoin as the "perfect bubble". From Wired:
When I first met Yanis Varoufakis in the summer of 2014, he was a highly respected but relatively obscure economist. Back then, the price of one bitcoin fluctuated around $440. Fast-forward three years and his career has followed a similar trajectory to bitcoin’s valuation. Both have experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, characterised by high-drama and volatility. Varoufakis would be thrust into the limelight as Greece’s finance minister; battling the austerity programme put forward by the Troika and today pursues the lofty ambition of trying to reform Europe. Reaching similar heights, jus…

Trickle-down economics: the biggest fairy tale sold to the working class by the neoliberal regime

globinfo freexchange
Bernie Sanders says one more time until you get it: Ronald Reagan tried it. George W. Bush tried it. Guess what? Cutting taxes for the wealthy DOESN'T WORK.

Well, to be accurate it works perfect for the plutocratic elite, while screws everybody else. Get ready for the destruction of the last remnants of the social state in America.

US lets militants train, mount attacks from its Syrian bases

The US is hosting training camps for militant groups in Syria, including former ISIS fighters who fled from Raqqa, said the head of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, citing data obtained by aerial surveillance.
The US forces have effectively turned their military base near the town of al-Tanf in southeastern Syria into a terrorists’ training camp, Gerasimov said in an interview to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda daily on Wednesday.
According to satellite and other surveillance data, terrorist squads are stationed there. They are effectively training there,” Gerasimov said, when asked about what’s going on at the base.
The general also said the US has been using a refugee camp in northeast Syria, outside the town of Al-Shaddadah in Al-Hasakah province, as a training camp for the remnants of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist group, including those evacuated from Raqqa, and other militants.
This is essentially ISIS,” Gerasimov said. “They change their colors, take diffe…

Οι ΗΠΑ εκπαιδεύουν πρώην μαχητές του ISIS καταγγέλει ο Ρώσος ΑΓΕΕΘΑ

Η Ρωσία διαθέτει φωτογραφικό υλικό και βίντεο από δορυφόρους και drones που αποδεικνύει ότι αμερικανικές δυνάμεις εκπαιδεύουν ισλαμιστές μαχητές που ανήκαν στον ISIS και σήμερα παρουσιάζονται σαν μέλη άλλων οργανώσεων, υποστηρίζει ο αρχηγός γενικού επιτελείου ενόπλων δυνάμεων της Ρωσίας, στρατηγός Βάλερι Γκερασίμοφ.
Μιλώντας στην εφημερίδα Komsomolskaya Pravda, ανέφερε ότι η στρατιωτική βάση των ΗΠΑ στο Τανφ – πέρασμα στρατηγικής σημασίας στα σύνορα της Συρίας με το Ιράκ – «έχει μετατραπεί σε μαύρη τρύπα» καθώς ομάδες ανταρτών δρουν ανενόχλητες.
Ρώσοι αξιωματούχοι είχαν κάνει ανάλογες καταγγελίες στο παρελθόν, τις οποίες διέψευδαν οι ΗΠΑ, σύμφωνα με τις οποίες η βάση αποτελεί προσωρινό κέντρο εκπαίδευσης δυνάμεων που μάχονται τον ISIS.
Σύμφωνα με τον Γκερασίμοφ, οι μαχητές που εκπαιδεύουν οι ΗΠΑ παραμένουν στην ουσία μέλη του ISIS αλλά παρουσιάζονται με ονόματα διαφορετικών οργανώσεων προκειμένου να συνεχίσουν τις προσπάθειες αποσταθεροποίησης της περιοχής.
Πηγή:
https://info-war.gr/i-ipa-…

If Hillary Clinton had won, we’d be even worse

by Ted Rall
What if Hillary Clinton had won 114,000 more votes in four key states? Or, what if she’d picked up the two to three percent of the vote she lost because Bernie Sanders’ supporters sat on their hands on election day? She’d be “Clinton 2” or “Clinton 45” or “the second President Clinton” — and the world would look very different.
In terms of personnel and therefore policy, a Clinton Administration II would look and feel like a mash-up of Obama’s third term and a throwback to figures who populated her husband’s White House during the 1990s. Having moved to the right since Bill’s first term, progressive figures like then-Labor Secretary Robert Reich would be out in the cold. Rahm Emanuel and Timothy Geithner could expect cabinet offers. So could some Bush-era neo-cons like Robert Kagan.
Hillary didn’t promise much change to domestic policy during her campaign. Her biggest proposal was to spend $275 billion on infrastructure, which would have left us $1.3 trillion short of what’s …

Washington’s pre-war demonization formula is targeting Iran ... again

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s grandiose performance in front of the UN on December 15 should send shivers down the spines of those who remember Colin Powell’s equally disturbing performance in the months leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This is just the beginning of the a new media campaign against Iran with regime change as the end goal.
by Darius Shahtahmasebi
Part 4 - The U.S. demonization of Iran
In the meantime, the U.S. needs to do its utmost to garner international support for a war with Iran. The alleged nuclear threat held by Iran has almost completely been taken off the table, in light of the fact that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) formed in 2015 has largely worked to quell any international fears about Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons. The Trump administration is singlehandedly attempting to derail the deal, against the better judgment of even Trump’s most anti-Iranian advisors.
Enter Nikki Haley, Trump’s ambassador to the UN. Haley’s grandiose perfo…

How Clinton, Blair and Obama paved the way for Donald Trump by destroying the idealism of politics

globinfo freexchange
Paul Jay of the Real News spoke with the famous actor Gabriel Byrne in an interesting interview about politics and other issues.
Byrne describes the disappointment of the people when Blair and Obama were elected, as they were expecting a real progressive turn in politics. As Byrne says characteristically, Tony Blair "destroyed the idealism of politics for so many people,":
There was an interesting parallel between British politics and American politics. When Margaret Thatcher was finally voted out of office, Tony Blair arrived, and Tony Blair arrived like a rock star. He was mobbed in the streets, people were saying, "At last, Thatcherism is over. Conservatism is finished, we now have the savior."
What Tony Blair subsequently did, was he betrayed all the ideals of the traditional labor party, he became Thatcher with a different colored tie on him. He destroyed the idealism of politics for so many people, and a similar thing happened here when Obam…

US troops in Afghanistan to ‘increase dramatically’ in 2018

More American troops will be headed to Afghanistan in the new year, the top US general in Kabul told reporters. Increased numbers of US advisers will be backed by combat troops as well.
There are over 1,000 advisers out with Afghan forces at any given time, General John W. Nicholson Jr. told reporters Sunday. “Next year, however, this will increase dramatically.
The new plan for turning the corner in a war the US has fought since 2001 involves deploying more advisers in battle alongside Afghan security forces, Nicholson said. The brigade-size teams “will be backed up by US combat enablers, not only for the protection of our own force, but for support of Afghans as well,” he said.
Two brigade combat teams from the 4th Infantry Division will head out to Afghanistan from Fort Carson, Colorado in the spring, the US military newspaper Stars and Stripes reported. The 6,000 or so troops will spend nine months in Afghanistan, and will be relieving a combat team from the 25th Infantry and anothe…

Russia begins development of Syrian bases to host nuclear warships & warplanes

The Russian Defense Ministry has started work on upgrading the bases in Tartus and Khmeimim in Syria into permanent military centers. Damascus has agreed to host Russian forces for at least 49 more years.
The bases in Tartus and Khmeimim are among a handful of military installations Russia has in foreign nations. Earlier this year, Russia and Syria finalized an agreement regulating the presence of Russian troops in Syria. Khmeimim Airbase, located near Latakia, and the naval site in the port city of Tartus have both been handed over to Russia for 49 years lease-free, and with a condition of automatic extension unless either country chooses to terminate the deal. The Russian parliament ratified the Khmeimim deal in July and the Tartus deal on Tuesday.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported on Tuesday that the details of the deployment and development of the two sites had been authorized by President Vladimir Putin last week. “We have started the process of formation of our permanent for…