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The Progressive Economics Forum: Tony Blair and the Corporatization of Social Democracy

Tony Blair, by any sensible yardstick, is a douchebag.

Recently, The Guardian, under the headline “Toxic”, detailed Blair’s “downward spiral”. This included the revelation that he may have been having an affair with Wendi Murdoch, the now ex-wife of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Blair was once good pals with Murdoch and Wendi and is godparent to one of their two children.

Other recent revelations have emerged during the on-going Rebekah Brooks trial over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal playing out in a London courtroom. Brooks was once editor of this Murdoch-owned scandal sheet, which for years hacked (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Tough austerity measures in Greece leave nearly a million people with no access to healthcare, leading to soaring infant mortality, HIV infection and suicide – Europe – World – The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/tough-austerity-measures-in-greece-leave-nearly-a-million-people-with-no-access-to-healthcare-leading-to-soaring-infant-mortality-hiv-infection-and-suicide-9142274.html

Filed under: Austerity, Greece, inequality, Neoliberalism Tagged: Austerity, crisis, Greece, neoliberalism

Parchment in the Fire: Ponzi Austerity: A Definition And An Example – Social Europe Journal

Ponzi Austerity: A Definition And An Example – Social Europe Journal.

For a while now I have been arguing that Europe’s policies for reducing the public debts of fiscally stressed member-states can be described as a Ponzi austerity scheme. In this post I attempt precisely to define ‘Ponzi austerity’.

Ponzi growth

Standard Ponzi schemes are based on a sleight of hand that creates the appearance of a fund whose value grows faster than the value that has come into it. In reality the opposite is true, as the scheme’s operator usually helps himself to some of the incoming capital while (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Maria the ‘mystery’ Roma girl and Madeleine McCann… racist underside of news coverage

Maria posters and headline/Maria’s biological mother Sasha Ruseva

A story from Greece about a four year-old ‘mystery girl’ named Maria has been making headlines in the mainstream media. Maria who is fair-haired was living in the care of a Roma couple who happen to be dark complexioned. This created suspicions in the minds of some that the child may have been abducted.

The ethnic profiling of Maria’s guardians reflects the tabloid stereotype of the Roma, a misleading one. There are in fact many fair-haired Roma, a fact glossed over by outlets that prefer to play up the “Gypsy” stereotype. Nonetheless (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: The left in Greece must rise up against Golden Dawn | Costas Lapavitsas | Comment is free | theguardian.com

The left in Greece must rise up against Golden Dawn | Costas Lapavitsas | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

Greece – and the rise of Golden Dawn – is an extreme parable of what has happened to many developed countries since the global crisis broke out in 2007. The policies of the Greek “rescue” – where the Greek people had no inkling what was afoot until the agreement was signed in 2010, leading to a tremendous spasm of anger – are instantly recognisable, if exceptionally severe. Wages, salaries and pensions have been cut; austerity has been imposed on the (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Government Crackdown on Golden Dawn Won’t Defeat Greek Fascism

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=10812

Costas Lapavitsas on why the state crackdown on Golden Dawn fails to address the basis of their popular support.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Extreme Right, Fascism, Greece

Parchment in the Fire: Greece’s democracy in danger, warns Demos, as Greek reservists call for coup | World news | theguardian.com

Athens riot police fire tear gas at an anti-fascist protest calling for action against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party following a rapper’s murder. Photo: Milos Bicanski/Getty

No country has displayed more of a “backslide in democracy” than Greece, the British thinktank Demos has said in a study highlighting the crisis-plagued country’s slide into economic, social and political disarray.

Released on the same day that judicial authorities ordered an investigation into a blog posting by a group of reservists in the elite special forces calling for a coup d’etat, the study singled out Greece and Hungary for being “the most significant (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Pavlos Fissas’ accused killer Giorgos Roupakias had Golden Dawn links: killing adds fuel to Greek anti-austerity protests

 Top: Killah_P  Beneath: Suspect Giorgos Roupakias in custody and shrine at killing site

On September 17, Greek hip-hop artist Pavlos Fissas aka Killah P was stabbed to death in the Amfiali/Keratsini neighborhood of Piraeus (about 10 miles from downtown Athens). He was ambushed by neo-Nazis linked to the far-right Golden Dawn party. According to eye witnesses about 15 to 20 people were involved in the attack, some wearing military style gear.

Fissas reportedly identified his killer before he lost consciousness. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died. A trucker affiliated with the Golden Dawn, Giorgos (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Greece—1930s redux

When Europe sank into depression in the 1930s, politics polarized. The far right became more appealing to some, the far left to others. One reassured people by harking back to tribal values, the other by insisting nothing would do but to overthrow the system and start afresh.

In hard times, people become frightened and angry, and look for easy answers. Demagogues are ever ready to prey on their

drive-by planet: ‘Into the Fire’ video: targeting of immigrants in Greece by the authorities and Golden Dawn fascists

Into the Fire sends a powerful message about the xenophobia and violence faced by immigrants in Greece struggling to survive against steep odds. A large percentage were driven to seek asylum not as a matter of choice but because of war and other problems in their countries of origin. Many have been forced to live on the street with no legal papers. Too often they are targets of harassment and physical assault, not only by fascist thugs linked to the anti-immigrant Golden Dawn but even in some cases by police who have been filmed either actively participating in attacks on (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Classical Greek Women – Badassery Maxxed.

THIS IS MARRIAGE!!

Thats right!

Permission to be a bad ass. Nod.

He looks back at the guy like, “SEE THAT? SHE SAID YES. YOU’RE SO FUCKED.”

Like, guys. Sparta was so kick ASS sometimes when it came to women. Spartan women were given these small knives so that if their husbands came home and tried to hit them or assault them, they had a weapon within reach. That weapon was for CUTTING THEIR HUSBANDS’ FUCKING FACES so that when he went out in public everyone would know he was an asshole, abusing jerkface and they would publicly shame (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Greeks ask Canadians to help stop Canadian mining corp Eldorado Gold

By: Mining Watch Canada | Press Release

OTTAWA – The situation around Eldorado Gold Corporation’s mining projects in northern Greece is extremely tense. In the face of negative official response to social and environmental concerns from the company, Greek authorities, and even the Canadian Ambassador – a delegation from the affected area has come to ask Canadians for help.

The Canadian government strongly supports extractive resource development in Canada and internationally, where Canadian companies dominate the mining sector. It relies on “host” countries to regulate such operations in the absence of any relevant and binding international regulations. MiningWatch Canada (Read more…)

OPSEU Diablogue: Academics present evidence that austerity really does kill

Ontario is presently entering year two of its austerity program, convinced that it is the only way out of an economic problem that wasn’t even created here. We have previously highlighted economic arguments that suggest austerity creates a self-defeating “fiscal … Continue reading →

drive-by planet: Why Greek opposition to gold mining is justified: Canadian mining practices under scrutiny

Last week in Greece a large demo was held in Thessaloniki to protest a Canadian gold mining project in the Halkidiki region. Around 15,000 took to the streets. They voiced their objections to the mine project and slammed Greek PM Antonis Samaras. Chants included “Junta police, Antonis Samaras” and “Gold isn’t bringing us closer, it is killing us.”

The gold mining project is owned by Hellas Gold (95% Canadian multinational, Eldorado Gold / 5% Aktor, a Greek construction company). Eldorado is also behind other gold, copper and zinc mining operations in the region.

News that Eldorado hopes to get

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: Why Greek opposition to gold mining is justified: Canadian mining practices under scrutiny

bastard.logic: Creeping Fascism Like Woah

Business Insider:

The AP reports that 5,000 Golden Dawn supporters marched past the US Embassy in Athens, chanting anti-Turkish, anti-US and anti-immigrant slogans. The anti-US feeling was prompted by memories of a 1996 territorial dispute between Greece and Turkey that only ended peacefully after the intervention of the US, and led to three Greek navy officers dying in a helicopter crash.

Related: The Indy: How Golden Dawn is nurturing the next generation; Der Spiegel: ‘Golden Dawn’ Fosters Ties with German Neo-Nazis

Filed under: fascism Tagged: Athens, fascism, Golden Dawn, Greece, right-wing, Turkey, US

Eclectic Lip: From housing to plumbing

(originally written Mar 4, 2012. Part of Great Upload of 2013.)

Readers (regular and irregular both) may know that about six years ago, I was quoted in MacLean’s saying Canadian housing was in a bubble. So after six long years of looking very wrong, I was delighted to see the right-wing rag run a cover story proclaiming that Canadian housing is in a bubble! So I’ll dedicate this email to all the stopped clocks out there — twice a day, your time will come!

Like anyone else challenged by a cognitive dissonance between ego

. . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: From housing to plumbing

Eclectic Lip: Homer (not Simpson) and the Kaopectate Kid

The doctor diagnosed young son Leo recently with the stomach flu — which is colloquial shorthand for a condition which isn’t the flu, per se. (The most recent editor of the relevant article on the almighty Wiki agrees!)

The Kaopectate Kid

Our medical professional then suggested we give Leo some Kaopectate to soothe his stomach. So, what is the active ingredient in Kaopectate? Clay. Yes, modern medicine’s 21st-century response to our son’s stomach flu … was for him to eat dirt. (Expert biologists will surely argue that clay isn’t dirt per se, but

. . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: Homer (not Simpson) and the Kaopectate Kid

drive-by planet: November 14 ‘day of action’ against austerity: protests in Greece

Over the past months there have been protests in Spain, Portugal and Greece against government-imposed austerity measures. This week an austerity bill was passed by the governing coalition in Greece despite strong political opposition and protests… . . . → Read More: drive-by planet: November 14 ‘day of action’ against austerity: protests in Greece

The Disaffected Lib: There Are Whistleblowers, Then There’s This Guy

Kostas Vaxevanis has blown the whistle on the rich and powerful in his country and he’s been arrested and hauled into court for it in what could turn into an astonishing showdown in a country that is a powderkeg of pent up resentment just looking for a spark.

Vaxevanis is the editor of a Greek weekly, Hot Doc, that just published the names of what it claims are the 2,000 biggest tax evaders in the country.   He was giving a radio interview when the cops tracked him down and hauled him away.

His defenders say the government is trying

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: There Are Whistleblowers, Then There’s This Guy

The Disaffected Lib: Greek Madness

Austerity-bludgeoned Greece has a society teetering on collapse.  It is a country headed by a government gone mad.

Even as, “doctors in Athens hospitals are handling only emergencies, bus drivers are on strike, schools are still short of textbooks and thousands of state employees are demonstrating against their dismissal,”  Greek leaders talk openly about inking more than ten billion Euros in contracts for warplanes, ships, and other weaponry if the next 80-billion Euros in bailout monies arrives.

The new austerity programme that Greece’s government has announced leaves hardly a Greek unscathed. Unless, that is, he works for

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Greek Madness

The Disaffected Lib: The Chilling Face of Greek Fascism

Greek police officers are warning that the brutal, fascist Golden Dawn movement has infiltrated their ranks.  The Guardian has prepared this disturbing look into Greece’s spreading fascism.

                                                                                             

The Disaffected Lib: Will the Country that Gave the World Democracy, Lose Its Own?

The prime minister of Greece warns his country is on the verge of becoming the next Wiemar Republic.   Antonis Samaras is appealing for funds to fend off the outright collapse of Greek society.

“Greek democracy stands before what is perhaps its greatest challenge,” Samaras told the German business daily Handelsblatt in an interview published hours before the announcement in Berlin that Angela Merkel will fly to Athens next week for the first time since the outbreak of the crisis.

Resorting to highly unusual language for a man who weighs his words carefully, the 61-year-old politician evoked the rise

The Disaffected Lib: A Greek Tragedy -

Its flag looks eerily like Hitler’s swastika.  “It” is the far-right Golden Dawn party that has risen out of the turmoil of Greece’s economic collapse.

And another eerie echo from the past is that Greek police, hard hit by government austerity, are reported to be sending crime victims to Golden Dawn for protection.

…Athenians are being openly directed by police to seek help from the neo-Nazi group, analysts, activists and lawyers say.

In return, a growing number of Greek crime victims have come to see the party, whose symbol bears an uncanny resemblance to the swastika, as a “protector”.

. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: A Greek Tragedy -

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- There wasn’t much doubt from the recent storm of astroturfed Twitter messages that NDP candidate Catherine Fife stood to do well in tomorrow’s Kitchener-Waterloo provincial byelection. But I’m not sure anybody anticipated she’d have a sixteen-point lead over all comers – and the stunning result should offer reason to doubt that vilifying workers (as the McGuinty Libs have done with teachers) is a remotely popular position when there’s a credible alternative on the ballot.

- It takes some effort for anti-environment minister Peter Kent to do worse than his party has done in

. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Canadian Progressive World: London Olympics 2012: What the racist Swiss soccer player said

By now, most of you are aware that a second athlete from Europe has been ejected from the London Olympics for racism. Swill soccer player Michel Morganella got the boot yesterday for posting a racist message on Twitter insulting South Koreans after his team lost 2-1 to South Korea.

But most of the mainstream media isn’t telling us what Morganella actually said. Only the New York Post seems to have the courage to report the exact words he wrote on the micro-blogging site:

“I am going to batter the Koreans, burn them all… bunch of ‘trisos’.”

Last week, Greece expelled triple

. . . → Read More: Canadian Progressive World: London Olympics 2012: What the racist Swiss soccer player said