Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart* SPAIN ‘MARCHES FOR DIGNITY’: MASSIVE MARCH AGAINST AUSTERITY
Hundreds of thousands of people have trekked across Spain to protest austerity they claim is destroying their country. Under the banner of “No More Cuts!” the protesters are calling for an end to the Spanish government’s “empty promises.”
Six columns of protesters, some walking; others in trains, cars and buses — each from a different region of Spain — arrived at the outskirts of the city early Saturday before heading for Colon square, carrying banners bearing the slogan M22 or ‘‘Marches for Dignity.’’
By late Saturday afternoon, Madrid’s main boulevard, Paseo del Prado, was completely packed with loud chants against austerity policies and cuts to social programs. […]
* GREEK PRESIDENCY OF THE EU: THE REALITY BEHIND THE PROMO VIDEO
Source ZIN TV.org
* NEOLIBERALISM AS SOCIAL NECROPHILIA: THE CASE OF GREECE
By Panayota Gounari, AthenianVoice
[…]Greece is the most recent and historically unprecedented neoliberal experiment on a global scale. The neoliberal offensive is moving head on in the country and, if Chile “was the laboratory for the early phases, Greece has become the laboratory for an even more fierce implementation.” What we have in place right now in Greece can be best described as the “downsizing of a country” that brings profound changes in its social and economic fabric. Greece’s economy has shrunk by nearly one-third since 2007, and the debt has become unmanageable. Through cut-throat austerity measures, massive privatizations and cuts in the most sensitive sectors of public education and public health, the constant process of de-industrialization and the loss of sovereignty, it looks like “Greece will emerge as a poorer country, with a diminished productive base, with reduced sovereignty, [and] with a political class accustomed to almost neo-colonial forms of supervision.”
I glance through snapshots in the news: grim faces, desperate eyes, angry gazes, frustration, and, most of all, fear. The city of Athens is slowly turning into a cemetery for the living. The transformation of the city, both as a physical and as a symbolic space, is shocking to the eye; as a public space and a habitat for its people, it now gets fragmented into deserted stores “for rent,” broken façades and abandonment apartment windows and balcony doors tightly locked behind iron bars for “extra safety,” carton beds and, along them, homeless people’s possessions: an old dirty blanket, oversized worn out sneakers, plastic flowers, empty water bottles, stale bread. Different parts of the city palpably illustrate a degenerating social fabric, as more Greeks are now joining the ranks of what Zygmunt Bauman has called “human waste”: unemployed, working poor, immigrants, all the outcasts, victims of “economic progress,” preys of rampant neoliberal policies, “casualties,” real victims to what the Greek prime minister has recently called a “success story” on the road to privatization and the wholesale of Greece’s national assets and sovereignty.
Greece is radically and violently transformed into the land field of “wasted lives” in the giant trashcan of global capitalism. Witnessing as I do this novel form of social necrophilia that eats alive every inch of human life, workspace and public space, I cringe at the sound of the words “sacrifice,” “rescue” and making Greece, according to the claims of Greek PM Antonis Samaras, a “success story.” Whose sacrifice and whose rescue? Who succeeds and who loses? Numbers are telling. […]
* TURKEY SET TO BLOCK YOUTUBE MOMENTARILY, AFTER GOOGLE REFUSES TO YANK CLIPS EXPOSING PRIME MINISTER
As was reported earlier, the Turkish premier, embroiled in what increasingly appears a career terminating corruption and embezzlement scandal (it is not exactly clear yet just how involved the CIA is in this particular upcoming government overthrow), blocked Turkey’s access to Twitter last night, hours after vowing to “destroy twitter.” The idiocy of this escalation against dissemination of information in the internet age needs no comment. Well maybe one. This is what we said in our post from this morning:
“since Turkey will certainly not stop at just Twitter, here is what is coming next: “Last week, Erdogan said the country could also block Facebook and YouTube.” It now appears that at least half of this threat is about to materialize because moments ago Google just announced that it would not remove a previously uploaded video, one in which Erdogan tells his son to hide money from investigators (one which can be seen here), and which Erdogan demanded be pulled from Google (seemingly unaware that by doing so he simply made sure that everyone saw it). This means that within days, if not hours, Turkey will likely block Google-owned YouTube, if not Google itself.
Google Inc. has declined Turkish government requests to remove YouTube videos alleging government corruption, people familiar with the matter said, the latest sign of resistance to a crackdown against social media led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish authorities have in recent weeks asked Google to block the videos from YouTube’s Turkish website, the people familiar with the matter said. But amid a national scandal over corruption allegations, Google refused to comply because it believes the requests to be legally invalid, the people added.
Google’s refusal to remove videos raises the specter that Turkey could move to block access to YouTube within the country, after blocking the microblogging service Twitter Inc. late Thursday night. Both sites have been central conduits for allegations of corruption against Mr. Erdogan’s government and faced public threats of a blackout by Mr. Erdogan.
Some people within Google had feared a YouTube blackout could be imminent, after the Twitter takedown, the people familiar with the matter said. “We feel an immediate threat,” one of the people said.
Sadly in Erodgan’s berserk regime, this is not only possible but very probable. […]
* THE NEW COLD WAR “SHIELD”
By Manlio Dinucci, Voltaire
Washington is making hay of its defeat in Ukraine: it is getting the Europeans to cut themselves off economically from Russia and is already imposing on them the expansion of its missile coverage. While the Western media focus on NATO’s narrative of events (the so-called “military annexation” of Crimea), the Alliance is noiselessly deploying its imperial apparatus.
Vice President Joe Biden’s flash visit to Poland and Estonia to ensure that, in the face of “Russia’s shameless incursion” in Ukraine – a country determined to build “a government for the people” (guaranteed by the neo-Nazis  brought to power by the “new Gladio” coup  ) – the United States reiterates its unwavering commitment to comply with Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty on “collective defense.” As Ukraine is now a de facto, but not official, member of NATO, there is always “non-Article 5,” urging members to “execute evolving missions not described under Article 5,” which was promoted by the Italian government of Massimo D’Alema during the NATO war on Yugoslavia in 1999, and later also applied to the wars on Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
To help “NATO emerge from this crisis stronger … than ‘ever’,” the United States repledged its commitment to the “missile defense” of Europe. However, by correlating the “missile defense” to the Ukrainian crisis, Joe Biden gave his game away. Washington had persistently maintained that the U.S. “shield” in Europe is not directed against Russia, but against the threat of Iranian missiles. In Moscow, on the contrary, this was always perceived as an attempt to gain a decisive strategic advantage over Russia: the U.S. could hold it under the threat of a nuclear first strike, relying on the ability of the “shield” to neutralize the retaliation effects  The new plan launched by President Obama, compared with the previous one, provides for a larger number of missiles lined up on Russia’s doorstep. Since they are under U.S. control, no one can find out whether they are interceptors or nuclear missiles. […]
* FROM IRAQ TO UKRAINE: A PATTERN OF DISASTER
By Justin Raimondo, AntiWar.com
[…] In Iraq we used “hard power” to install a regime that is not only tyrannical but also hostile to the US. Today in Ukraine we are deploying “soft power” to ensconce a government that will not only be a financial burden for as far as they eye can see, but which may also turn out not to be as “pro-American” as their effusive neocon cheerleaders would have us believe.
The Svoboda party claims to represent all Ukrainians in the region, and openly talks about a “Greater Ukraine” extending into parts of neighboring countries which may indeed have pockets of Ukrainians. The national-ethnic conflicts that have periodically transformed the map of south-central Europe go back a long way. Once this can of worms is opened there is no putting it back.
Quite aside from that, however, I thought I would never live to see the day when the US State Department whitewashed the neo-Nazi views and heritage of a gang of thugs who had seized power in a violent coup d’etat.
In Iraq, Libya, and Syria, US policymakers empowered radical Islamists of one sort or another. That was bad enough. Today, however, in Ukraine they are empowering the heirs of Adolf Hitler.
How is this not a scandal? […]
Photo by Al Valen under creative commons license