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28 February, 2017

The Dems in total denial, completely devoted to the establishment!

It appears that zero lessons learned by the elite of the Democratic Party after its latest defeat from Donald Trump. No matter what's happening around, the DNC establishment simply ignores the scream of the American society for a radical change down to the roots of the Party, away from the lobbyists and the super PACs. The Dems are in total denial. They can't even give a chance to someone that simply supported by Bernie Sanders. From Telesur :

Immediately after Perez won, nine Ellison supporters chanted “power of the people, not big money,” marching out of the room, the Washington Post also reports.

The son of Dominican immigrants is seen by many as an establishment pick. Receiving support from former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Perez supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, and believes the 2016 Democratic Primary was not rigged against Sen. Bernie Sanders.


Perez, who was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, was seen as the preferred choice for Obama and former Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, was backed by progressives within the party, including Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.


Prior to Perez's election, members voted to reject a measure that would have restored a ban on corporate lobbyists donating to the party.

Now, it's more than clear. The Democratic party cannot be transformed to serve clearly the interests of the majority of the American people because IT IS part of the economic, political and media status quo.

Decades of corruption through a 'love affair' with the bankers and the corporate lobbyists, made both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party fundamental components of the establishment's evil mechanism. The mechanism that produces constantly more inequality, more profits for the banking parasites, more poverty for the majority of the American people, more dirty wars with endless deaths, refugees, failed states, complete destruction.

People have been tricked so many times in the past and therefore, naturally, they have completely lost trust to the political duopoly. They have been tricked one more time with the Trump manipulator. Once they will realize that they are victims of one more fraud, the mass movement will be ready to erupt and create an unprecedented political revolution. But it needs to be done out of the bipartisan dictatorship, through the unification of all the available forces of the Left.

It is more than clear that all the real progressives should join forces immediately to form a third political power against the bipartisan establishment. People like Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Tulsi Gabbard, Elizabeth Warren, should form a task force and get ready for the next big battle of 2020, exclusively with the power of the American people.

There should be two main targets: crush the neoliberal establishment, reverse the rise of the dangerous extreme nationalism. With the power of the people, these targets are achievable.

Britain faces great terror threat since 1970s

Britain is facing a level of terrorism threat not seen since the bombings by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in the 1970s, the country's new terrorism watchdog has warned.

Max Hill, named earlier this week as Britain's new independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, warned that so-called Islamic State (IS) terrorists are planning indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians on a scale similar to those perpetrated by the IRA 40 years ago.

Hill, the lawyer tasked with overseeing British laws on terrorism, told the Sunday Telegraph that Islamists were targeting British cities, adding there was an "enormous ongoing risk which none of us can ignore".

He expressed enormous concern at the imminent return of hundreds of British jihadists who have been fighting for the IS in Syria.

He also warned that British teenagers as young as 14 are being radicalized online by extremist videos and hate speech.


Colombia paramilitaries won't stop killing human rights leaders

Communities demand security from the Colombian authorities after yet another activist was murdered in the wake of the peace deal.

Yet another Colombian human rights defender has been murdered after a violent group attacked him in the Cauca region, amid the ongoing outcry by activists over the crisis of fatal violence against social leaders and calls for the government to ensure security and protection from paramilitary groups in the country.

Eider Cuetia Conda, coordinator of organization Campesino Security, died from shots fired to his head in the municipality of Corinto, Cauca. According to local media, hooded men shot several times at Cuetia while he was at a gathering with several of his friends Sunday around 7:30 p.m. local time.

The Human Rights Network of the Colombian Southwest reported the murder of the coordinator in the village of Los Andes, in the north of the department.

"The comrade got several gunshots in the head causing his death," said Deivi Hurtado, coordinator of the Human Rights Network.


Argentine unions announce largest protest since Macri took office

Argentine unions and social organizations, including workers, teachers and women, have called for a mass three-day protest against the government of President Mauricio Macri in what's set to be the largest demonstration against the administration since it took office 15 months ago.

Macri returned Saturday to Argentina from a trip to Spain, where he held meetings with King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and also delivered a speech in Congress. Members of the leftist party Podemos criticized Macri's visit, and one lawmaker greeted him with a shirt demanding the release of Milagro Sala, the Indigenous activist and lawmaker who was dubbed the first "political prisoner" of Macri's administration when she was arrested after a protest in January 2016.

Teachers from all over the country will skip work and strike on March 6 and 7 — the first days of the school year — to protest wage disputes that have not been resolved with the administation. They will also be joined by General Confederation of Labor, or CGT, one of the largest trade unions in the country. Then on March 8, International Women's Day, organizations will join the march to demand respect for women's rights and a stronger fight against femicide in the country.


French Socialist and Left Party candidates fail to reach deal

Melenchon said in a statement that with 50 days to go before the first round, it was impossible for them to sort out some of the issues on which they disagreed.

French Socialist presidential candidate Benoit Hamon and Left Party candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon have failed to agree on a possible alliance in the upcoming presidential election, the two men indicated Sunday.

Their inability to reach a deal appeared to rule out any chance for the left to reach the runoff of the two-round April-May vote and goes against the wishes of 75,000 people who signed an online petition in favor of the alliance.

An Odoxa poll Sunday showed Hamon and Melenchon coming in fourth and fifth in the first round, with about 13 percent and 12 percent respectively. Another poll by Figaro/LCI showed both candidates with almost similar scores.

Hamon, the standard-bearer of the ruling Socialists, and Melenchon met Friday evening, but could not reach an agreement, Hamon told TF1 television Sunday.

Melenchon said in a statement that with 50 days to go before the first round, it was impossible for them to sort out some of the issues on which they disagreed, such as the European Union.

Melenchon was a Socialist leader for 32 years, until he founded the Left Party in 2008, criticizing the neoliberal turn of the Socialist Party.

However, Hamon represents the left wing of the Socialist Party — with a program more aligned with Melenchon's ideas than most Socialist leaders — and surprisingly won the Socialist primaries, therefore opening the door for a potential alliance.

Part of the socialist leadership has announced it would break ranks with the party and endorse independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, a private banker who implemented neoliberal policies, including a very contested labor reform, as the current Socialist government's economy minister.

Macron is seen beating far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the second round of the election in May, the two opinion polls showed.


Hamas rejects Netanyahu's proposal

Islamic Hamas movement rejected on Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal to send international forces to the Gaza Strip, the coastal enclave that Hamas has been ruling since 2007.

Abdulatif al-Qanou, Hamas spokesman in Gaza said in an emailed press statement that sending international forces to the Gaza Strip "is a dangerous matter and it is totally rejected."

Earlier Sunday, the Israeli media reported that Netanyahu made the proposal in a meeting he held with the Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu suggested that the Israeli Army must take control of the West Bank, and, to examine security alternatives in Gaza, having international forces monitor the territory "and deal with the terrorism issues."

Hamas warned that any foreign power or international forces sent to the Gaza Strip "will be treated as an occupation force," adding that "Hamas would never accept another new occupation."

The movement seized control of the coastal enclave in 2007 following weeks of internal fighting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas security forces and his Fatah Party. Division between the two rivals are not over yet.

Al-Qanou said that the idea of sending international forces to the Gaza Strip "is a severe interference into the internal affairs of the enclave," adding "we will forcibly confront it with all out powers whatever the price is."

He stressed that the Palestinian "armed resistance will protect Gaza, which is the cornerstone of resistance and the gate that will lead us to the liberation of the entire occupied Palestinian territories from the Israeli occupation."


Bill Clinton informed about 9/11 during his presidency

CIA Files

The newly released archive of 13 million pages by CIA includes the memo under the title Bin Ladin Preparing To Hijack US Aircraft and Other Attacks, proving that Bill Clinton had already been informed about 9/11-type Al-Qaeda operations.

Key parts:

Reporting suggest Bin Ladin and his allies are preparing for attacks in the US, including an aircraft hijacking to obtain the release of Shaykh Umar Abd al-Rahman, Ramzi Yousef, and Muhammad Sadiq Awda. One source quoted a senior member of the Gama at al-Islamiyya (IG) saying that, as of late October, the IG had completed planning for an operation in the US on behalf of Bin Ladin, but that the operation was on hold. A senior Bin Ladin operative from Saudi Arabia was to visit IG counterparts in the US soon thereafter to discuss options – perhaps including an aircraft hijacking.

IG leader Islambuli in late September was planning to hijack a US airliner during the “next couple of weeks” to free Abd al-Rahman and the other prisoners, according to what may be a different source. The same source late last month said that Bin Ladin might implement plans to hijack US aircraft before the beginning of Ramadan on 20 December and that two members of the operational team had evaded security checks during a recent trial at an unidentified New York airport.

Some members of the Bin Ladin network have received hijack training, according to various sources, but no group directly tied to Bin Ladin's al-Qaida organization has ever carried out an aircraft hijacking. Bin Ladin could be weighing other types of operations against US aircraft.

China warns S.Korea, US over THAAD deployment

Cold War 2.0

China says the United States and South Korea are totally responsible for “any consequences” of their decision to deploy the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system on the Korean Peninsula, warning that Beijing will “resolutely” adopt due measures to protect its own “security interests.

The installation of the US advanced anti-missile system by the Republic of Korea Armed Forces (ROK) “will severely disrupt regional strategic balance, gravely jeopardize the strategic security interests of relevant countries in this region including China, and is not conducive to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a Monday press briefing.

Beijing’s warning came a few hours after the board of South Korea’s Lotte Group, a giant multinational conglomerate, announced that it had approved a land swap with the Seoul that would enable military authorities to deploy the THAAD missile system on an area that is part of a golf course owned by the Lotte International Co Ltd.

In return, the ROK reportedly gave the Lotte Group a state-owned military site in the vicinity of the capital.


Syrian army captures key town from IS in Aleppo


Syrian army captured a key town in northern countryside of Aleppo province on Sunday, following battles with Islamic State (IS) group, according to state news agency SANA.

Capturing the town of Tadef enables the Syrian army to secure transportation routes in eastern Aleppo, and constitute a base for launching attacks and undermining the presence of the IS militants in that part of the province, a general-command of the Syrian army said in a statement.

The town is also located southeast of city al-Bab, which has recently been captured by Turkish forces and allied rebel fighters.

The Syrian army unleashed a wide-scale offensive in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, after succeeding to wrest control over the city of Aleppo last December.

The offensive enabled the military forces to become in control of 600 km east of Aleppo.

Also, the army has laid a siege on the southern rim of al-Bab city, to secure the eastern part of Aleppo city from the IS attacks, or the possible advance of the Turkish-backed rebels.


Demystifying Alexander Nahum Sack and the doctrine of odious debt

Eric Tousaint’s study of the odious debt doctrine

by Eric Toussaint

Part 1

Rarely do people, whether detractors or defenders of the doctrine elaborated by Alexander Sack, take the time to understand the international lawyer’s framework of analysis or his political leanings. Alexander Sack was not a humanist seeking to preserve peoples or nations from the nefarious actions of heads of State or creditors ready, through fraudulent or even criminal means, to plunge the collectivity into what was in fact odious debt. His principal aim was not to bring ethics or morality to international finance. Sack merely wanted to protect creditors’ rights, but he had to mention the important exception to the sacrosanct rule that debt repayment must continue at all costs, i.e. that in certain circumstances creditors have to accept the cancellation of debt owed them, if that debt can be shown to be odious.

Though disparaged by powerful detractors and despite its author’s obvious political limitations, the doctrine of odious debt inspired a series of movements looking to Sack’s work for a means of combating illegitimate, illegal, odious or unsustainable debt.

The two criteria that Sack picked to determine the existence of odious debt that a nation may refuse to repay are both functional and justified. They are: absence of benefit for the population and the complicity of the creditors. Our aim is to go beyond Sack’s doctrine, retaining what is functional, eliminating what is unacceptable from the outset, while integrating elements devolving from social and democratic victories which have found their way into international law since the Second World War. The rule whereby States remain under obligation to repay debts after a change of regime favours creditors and reinforces the dominant international order by trying to prevent States (and peoples) from shaking off the burden of debt. This rule has often been questioned, both in theory, by numerous 19th-century jurists and in practice, by States resorting to unilateral debt repudiation.

The most frequently-quoted part of Sack’s book, the section on odious debt, is sometimes misinterpreted. It runs as follows: “If a despotic regime incurs a debt, not for the needs and in the interests of the State, but to reinforce its tyranny and to put down any resistance on the part of the people, then this debt is deemed odious for the population of the entire State. It is not an obligation of the nation: it is the debt of a regime, a personal debt of the power that incurred it. Consequently, it falls when the power falls.” (p. 157) “The reason why such ‘odious’ debts cannot be considered as incumbent on the State is that they do not fulfil one of the prerequisites of State debts, namely that State debts must be contracted, and the funds that they provide utilised, for the needs and in the interests of the State. The State is not liable for ‘odious’ debts incurred and utilised, with the knowledge of the creditors, for ends which are contrary to the nation’s interests, should that State succeed in ridding itself of the government that had incurred them.” (…) “The creditors have committed a hostile act with regard to the people; they cannot therefore expect a nation freed from a despotic power to take on the ‘odious’ debts, which are personal debts of that power.” (p. 158).

The present study aims to clarify Sack’s position, place the doctrine of odious debt in its original context and see how that doctrine should be developed. As we shall see, the despotic nature of the regime is not a sine qua non condition to determine the odious nature of a debt, that would justify its repudiation. There are two criteria to be met: a debt is odious if it has been incurred against the interests of the population and the creditors were aware of this at the time.

Alexander Nahum Sack (Moscow 1890 – New York 1955), a Russian lawyer who taught in Saint Petersburg then in Paris, is considered to be one of the founders of the doctrine of odious debt. The doctrine, based on a series of precedents in jurisprudence, has come in for a lot of debate. Often disparaged and widely avoided or ignored in university courses, the doctrine of odious debt has nevertheless been the topic of hundreds of articles and dozens of specialized books. The United Nations International Law Commission, the IMF, the World Bank, the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the UN independent expert on the effects of foreign debt and other related international financial obligations of States on the full enjoyment of all human rights, Ecuador’s Commission for the full audit of public debt set up in 2007 by President Rafael Correa, the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt, now known as the Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) and the Greek Debt Truth Commission set up by the president of the Hellenic Parliament in 2015 have published documents, taken a stand and organized seminars on the topic, as debts whose legitimacy and validity may be questioned are constantly under discussion in the field of international relations.

There are also recent academic publications on the subject: Jeff King, The Doctrine of Odious Debt in International Law. A Restatement, University College London, 2016; Stephania Bonilla, Odious Debt: Law-and-Economics Perspectives, Gabler publishers, Wiesbaden, 2011; Michael Waibel, Sovereign Defaults before International Courts and Tribunals, University of Cambridge, 2013; Michael Waibel, Sovereign Defaults before International Courts and Tribunals, University of Cambridge, 2013. Odette Lienau, Rethinking Sovereign Debt: Politics, Reputation, and Legitimacy in Modern Finance, Harvard, 2014; Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, Sabine Michalowski, “Ius Cogens, Transitional Justice and Other Trends of the Debate on Odious Debts: A Response to the World Bank Discussion Paper on Odious Debts” (2009-2010), Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Vol. 48.

It has now been 30 years since I began studying the question, publishing research and taking part in commissions to identify illegitimate, illegal, unsustainable or odious debt. I realized that the arguments developed by Alexander Nahum Sack are little known. Whether among his detractors or those who base their actions on the doctrine elaborated by Sack, people often have inadequate or biased knowledge of the international jurist’s analytical framework or his political leanings. It is very useful to delve further, beyond a few quotes and an over-simplified presentation of his work, as the struggle to combat odious debt may well gain in finesse and strength from such study.

Alexander Sack was not a humanist interested in protecting peoples or nations from the nefarious actions of Heads of State or creditors prepared to plunge the community into debt using fraudulent or even criminal means. His main aim was not to bring ethics or morality to the world of international finance. His aim was to reinforce the international order in place, by ensuring the continuity of debt repayments so that creditors could recover the money they had lent.

Sack touches on the question of odious debt in a work published in Paris in French in 1927. His choice of title is significant: it translates as The Effects of the Transformation of States on their Public Debt and other Financial Obligations: a Legal and Financial Treatise. Sack began by asking himself what would become of debts a State had contracted in the case of a revolution, resulting in a change of regime. Sack states clearly in the first paragraph of the preface, “the Russian revolution of March 1917 incited me to examine the effects of the political transformation of a State on its public debt”. Among the main events that affected him and led him to conduct a close study, figure writ large October 1917 (which he calls a “Bolshevik coup d’état”) and the repudiation of the Tsarist debts by the Bolshevik government in January 1918. He then gradually widened the field of his research to examine various cases of State succession and how obligations which tied the new State or new regime to creditors were affected.

Nicolas Politis, a Greek lawyer and statesman who wrote the introduction to Sack’s work, stresses the breadth of the research undertaken: “It is no exaggeration to say that Mr. Sack has completed the task he set himself with full honours. He has brought together a collection of documents of rare value. (…) He has closely tracked the long list of annexation treaties and debt regulation agreements ratified over the last 150 years and analysed their clauses one by one; he has investigated the legislative, administrative and judicial measures taken to implement them; he has looked up and classified the opinions of all authors to have written on the subject. Finally, he demonstrates, through the use he makes of all this material, an extraordinary grasp of the practical necessities of the law. Thus he explains, down to the last detail, the juridical nature of the succession of debts, borrowers’ obligations and lenders’ rights, the relations between successor States, how they divided debts between them and how they established their shares.” (trans. CADTM)

Not until the end of the published book do we find about fifteen pages, in chapter 4, on odious debt. The preceding 157 pages deal with the transfer of public debt in different situations: conquest (or annexation) of one State by another; the separation of one State from another; the effects of a change of regime resulting from a revolution, etc. I will deal with Sack’s position regarding odious debt later in this article.

Source and references:

[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

27 February, 2017

'Reform': another term brutally raped by the neoliberal authoritarianism

How could you pass specific policies that benefit a small elite while being harmful for the majority? According to a simple principle of propaganda, you give them a good name by using the appropriate term. In the end, the term will take a totally different meaning through the mainstream media brainwash, gaining society's consent, thus becoming a status quo.

In his book The Establishment: And how they get away with it, Owen Jones gives a remarkably accurate description of the violent misrepresentation of the term 'reform' by the neoliberal doctrine. Jones writes:

        Language is a crucial tool in marginalizing political dissent. 'Reform' was a term once associated with the left: the foundation of the National Health Service, for example, could be considered a grand reform. But 'reform' is now often used as a codeword for the sorts of policies advocated by the Establishment, like privatization, unleashing market forces in public services and rolling back the frontiers of the state. In this way, opponents of 'reform' can be depicted as the real reactionaries: stick-in-the-muds who are standing in the way of change.

'Reform' has become one of the most recognizable cliches used by the neoliberal establishment through its dictatorial mechanisms like the IMF, or, the European Commission, for example. According to the Corporate Europe Observatory :

         Since Jean-Claude Juncker took office as President of the European Commission in November 2014, there has been an even greater deregulation push, not just on specific rules and laws which should be scrapped, but on how decisions are made about future laws. Under Juncker, fundamental changes in policy-making are being introduced which will put major obstacles in the way of new regulations aimed at protecting the environment or improving social conditions. It’s an irony that, while dressed-up as reforms to cut bureaucracy and red-tape, these reforms will add to the length, cost, and complexity of the legislative process. And they effectively put the interests of big business in the driving seat.

Greece had the very bad luck to confront IMF, European Commission and ECB (Troika) simultaneously, when the debt crisis erupted in 2010. For seven years now, the Greek society has been brainwashed by the media through the projection of the positions of Troika concerning the 'necessary reforms' that the country should take. The IMF economic hitmen, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists repeat this phrase almost in everyday basis.

The term 'reform' of course, in reality has nothing to do with progress in the frame of the neoliberal 'values'. What they mean by the phrase 'necessary reforms', exclusively, is privatization, destruction of the welfare state, elimination of labor rights in slavery working conditions and looting of public property.

In other words, the term 'reform' today, briefly means the regression towards a modern Feudalism.

Robocop: ο «μπάτσος» του νεοφιλελευθερισμού

Όταν κυκλοφόρησε, πριν από 30 χρόνια, χαρακτηρίστηκε σαν ακόμη μια χολιγουντιανή φούσκα. Φέτος, που ο αμερικανικός κινηματογράφος ζει στους απελπιστικά ξενέρωτους ρυθμούς τού «La La Land», το Robocop φαντάζει σαν ένα εγχειρίδιο μαρξιστικής ανάλυσης για τα δεινά που επιφέρει ο νεοφιλελευθερισμός.

του Άρη Χατζηστεφάνου

«Δεν υπάρχει καλύτερος τρόπος να πραγματοποιήσεις μια κλοπή παρά μέσω της ιδιωτικής επιχειρηματικότητας». Η φράση θα μπορούσε κάλλιστα να αποδοθεί στον ΜακΧίθ, από την «Οπερα της Πεντάρας» του Μπέρτολτ Μπρεχτ. Στην πραγματικότητα είναι ένα από τα δεκάδες «μηνύματα» που μπορεί να εντοπίσει ένας παρατηρητικός θεατής στην ταινία «Robocop», του Πολ Βερχόφεν, που φέτος κλείνει τα τριάντα της χρόνια.

Όπως εξηγούσε και ο πανεπιστημιακός Μίλο Σουίντλερ, αρκετά σημεία από το σενάριο της ταινίας μοιάζουν να έχουν βγει από τα κείμενα του Ντέιβιντ Χάρβεϊ και άλλων μαρξιστών που άσκησαν την πιο σκληρή κριτική στον νεοφιλελευθερισμό.

Η υπόθεση διεξάγεται στο μεταβιομηχανικό Ντιτρόιτ, το οποίο βυθίζεται στην εγκληματικότητα. Λούμπεν στοιχεία του υποκόσμου, τα οποία ελέγχονται υπογείως από μεγαλοστελέχη επιχειρηματικών κολοσσών, λυμαίνονται τις γειτονιές που κάποτε φιλοξενούσαν τους βιομηχανικούς εργάτες.

Το αμερικανικό κράτος αλλά και οι τοπικοί άρχοντες έχουν ιδιωτικοποιήσει την αστυνόμευση, η οποία πέρασε στον έλεγχο ενός γιγαντιαίου ιδιωτικού ομίλου -του Omni Consumer Products (OCP).

Οι αστυνομικοί, οι οποίοι από δημόσιοι υπάλληλοι μετατράπηκαν σε αναλώσιμα στοιχεία της εταιρείας, επιχειρούν να συνδικαλιστούν απειλώντας την εταιρεία με απεργιακές κινητοποιήσεις. Απέναντί τους όμως βρίσκουν τους πρώτους «μπάτσους ρομπότ» OCP, οι οποίοι είναι προγραμματισμένοι να προστατεύουν τα συμφέροντα της εταιρείας.

Η ιδιωτικοποιημένη αστυνομία μετατρέπεται σε ένα εργαλείο των βαρόνων του real estate, οι οποίοι ελέγχοντας ταυτόχρονα και τους εγκληματίες και τους διώκτες τους θέλουν να προχωρήσουν στο gentrification μεγάλων περιοχών του Ντιτρόιτ. Οι συνοικίες όπου κάποτε ζούσαν οι εργάτες πρέπει να εκκενωθούν για να χτιστεί η Delta City -μια Disneyland του νεοφιλελευθερισμού στα πρότυπα του Ντουμπάι.

O Βερχόφεν καταφέρνει να «κρύψει» τη σκληρή κριτική του για το νεοφιλελεύθερο αμόκ του Ρόναλντ Ρέιγκαν σε μια ταινία δράσης και ωμής βίας, στην οποία οι πρωταγωνιστές είναι ταυτόχρονα θύτες αλλά και θύματα μιας πολυεθνικής εταιρείας.

Οι αστυνομικοί είναι την ίδια στιγμή όργανα επιβολής της νέας τάξης πραγμάτων, αλλά και απεργοί που απειλούν τα συμφέροντά της. Και όλη η ιστορία διαδραματίζεται με φόντο τα εγκαταλειμμένα εργοστάσια του Ντιτρόιτ, που μαρτυρούν τη χρηματικοποίηση της αμερικανικής οικονομίας και την εγκατάλειψη ή τη μετεγκατάσταση της βιομηχανικής παραγωγής.

Η ταινία εξηγεί με υποδειγματικό τρόπο το φαινομενικά παράδοξο γεγονός ότι μια εταιρεία αναλαμβάνει τον έλεγχο μιας μη κερδοφόρας δραστηριότητας του Δημοσίου, όπως η αστυνόμευση. Τα ίδια τα στελέχη τής OCP εξηγούν ότι «πάντα ποντάρουν σε αγορές που θεωρούνται μη κερδοφόρες όπως τα νοσοκομεία, οι φυλακές και η εξερεύνηση του Διαστήματος.

«Οι καλές μπίζνες γίνονται εκεί που τις βρίσκεις». Οπως εξηγούσε δηλαδή και ο Ντέιβιντ Χάρβεϊ, «πρωταρχικός στόχος (του νεοφιλελευθερισμού) είναι να δημιουργήσει νέα πεδία συσσώρευσης κεφαλαίου σε τομείς που μέχρι πρότινος δεν ανήκαν στη σφαίρα της κερδοφορίας». Το αποτέλεσμα είναι ότι ιδιωτικοποιώντας μια δημόσια υπηρεσία όπως η αστυνομία, η OCP επιχειρεί να μετατρέψει τον δημόσιο χώρο σε ιδιωτική περιουσία.

Στα 30 χρόνια που πέρασαν από την κυκλοφορία της ταινίας οι περισσότερες από τις «προφητείες» του Βερχόφεν επιβεβαιώθηκαν με τον χειρότερο τρόπο. Ιδιωτικές επιχειρήσεις, όπως η εταιρεία μισθοφόρων Blackwater, ανέλαβαν αρκετές φορές καθήκοντα αστυνόμευσης, με χαρακτηριστικότερο παράδειγμα τη Νέα Ορλεάνη μετά το χτύπημα του τυφώνα Κατρίνα.

Το Ντιτρόιτ πλήρωσε παραδειγματικά το νεοφιλελεύθερο πείραμα με τη χρεοκοπία του, ενώ δεκάδες παρηκμασμένες περιοχές των αμερικανικών μεγαλουπόλεων γνώρισαν τον οδοστρωτήρα τού gentrification. Τα φτωχότερα στρώματα αναγκάζονταν να παραδώσουν τις γειτονιές τους σε ορδές από χίπστερ καθώς δεν μπορούσαν πλέον να πληρώνουν τα δυσθεώρητα ενοίκια που δημιουργούσε η φούσκα της αγοράς ακινήτων.

Άλλες φορές η ζωή τους γινόταν απλώς αβίωτη μέσα σε θύλακες ακραίας εγκληματικότητας, τους οποίους οι κυβερνήτες των Πολιτειών και τα γραφεία του real estate μπορούσαν να ελέγχουν, να δημιουργούν ή να μετακινούν με τη βοήθεια της αστυνομίας.

Αυτό που ίσως δεν μπορούσε να προβλέψει ο Βερχόφεν και οι σεναριογράφοι του «Robocop» είναι ότι η πραγματικότητα δεν θα είχε το happy end μιας χολιγουντιανής παραγωγής. Στην ταινία ο ρομποτο-μπάτσος έχει ανακτήσει τη μνήμη και τη συνείδησή του και αδειάζει το όπλο του στον απεχθή επιχειρηματία που κινεί τα νήματα μέσα στην OCP.

Στην πραγματική ζωή όμως ένας τέτοιος βαρόνος του real estate, που ενηλικιώθηκε επιχειρηματικά στη νεοφιλελεύθερη Αμερική του ρεϊγκανισμού, εξελέγη πρόεδρος των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών. Οι ΗΠΑ ουσιαστικά ιδιωτικοποίησαν όχι μόνο την αστυνόμευση, αλλά ακόμη και την προεδρία της χώρας, προσφέροντας την εξουσία απευθείας στο ιδιωτικό κεφάλαιο χωρίς τις ενοχλητικές διαμεσολαβήσεις του πολιτικού κατεστημένου.

Ίσως γιατί οι ταξικοί πόλεμοι, που με τόση μαεστρία περιέγραψε ο Βερχόφεν, δεν κερδήθηκαν ποτέ από μοναχικούς Robocop.


3,000 local Israelis protest ammonia facility with potential to kill 600K people

Around 3,000 people gathered outside Haifa District Court on Sunday to demand the closure of an ammonia storage facility that is said to be potentially more deadly than five of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima.

Judges in the district court deliberated for around three hours as a crowd of environmental protesters gathered outside.

Middle and high schools around Haifa and nearby towns also went on strike, with all classes cancelled from 8am till noon to allow the students to take part in the protest.

The ammonia tank endangers and threatens hundreds of thousands of citizens living in the Haifa district. I call on all teenagers to ask the hard questions, create a discourse, become actively involved and go and protest for the relocation of the ammonia tank,” said Haifa District Student Council Chairman Noy Krief, as quoted by Ynet.

In an earlier ruling, Haifa’s Court for Local Affairs gave the Haifa Group, the fertilizer producer that operates the tank, until February 22 to remove its chemicals from the facility. Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry also said it would not renew the tank’s permit when it expires on March 1.

After initially saying it would comply with the court’s decision, the company filed a last-minute appeal, accusing Haifa’s authorities of trying to “sow fear among the public,” arguing that its facility is crucial to the local economy and closing it will cost jobs. It was granted a stay until Sunday’s hearing.

The facility was declared a danger to public health after the Technion Institute of Technology published an expert report in January, which said the site had not been properly inspected since it was built 30 years ago. If the ammonia tank was to rupture, for example, as the result of an earthquake or terrorist attack, the released gas could suffocate 16,000 people. This fact was not lost on Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who threatened to launch rockets at Haifa’s ammonia tanks, as well as a nuclear facility in Dimona, should a conflict erupt with Israel.


#7NamesFor7NewPlanets: NASA looks for help naming new discoveries

Following the recent discovery of seven new planets, NASA asked the internet for a helping hand in naming them and #7NamesFor7NewPlanets quickly began trending. Unsurprisingly, the results did not disappoint.

On Wednesday NASA made the huge announcement that they had found seven new planets orbiting a dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1. While that may not be astounding, NASA finds planets all the time, boffins believe that at least three of those could be the right temperature to hold liquid water, meaning that life could exist.

The agency also confirmed that there was no easy method for naming planets outside of our solar system and that's why they turned to the internet for help. Eager netizens were only too willing to have their names, or at least their suggestions, written in the stars.


30 Spanish cities march in solidarity with refugees, against 'Fortress Europe'

In scenes reminiscent of the widespread protests that swept Europe a year ago, human rights groups and social activists marched in 30 cities across Spain to demand that the government do more to help migrants and refugees and end “Fortress Europe.”

United under the hashtags #NoEUFortaleza #NoFortressEU, protesters decried the perceived indifference of the Spanish and other European governments in the face of the refugee and migrant crisis.

The protests come just days after a controversial working paper was leaked in which German authorities proposed relaxing human rights protection for refugees to expedite the deportation process, should Europe witness another influx of asylum seekers and economic migrants.

This is a European initiative that promises to remind our political representatives that the current migration policy is unacceptable and is placing far too many lives at risk. We demand safe passage to Europe,” organizer and activist Javier Baeza told Público.


Up to 800,000 civilians caught in battle zone, West Mosul


Iraqi police commandos have captured two neighborhoods in west Mosul on Sunday amid fierce clashes with Islamic State militants. The advance is ongoing amid UN concerns that the assault could force up to 400,000 civilians to flee, if they manage it.

RUPTLY’s new footage from Mosul shows displaced residents from the western Maamoun district arriving at the government-controlled al-Jadaa camp in Mosul, Sunday, as Iraqi forces push deeper into the city.

About 1,000 civilians, predominantly women and children, left Mosul on Saturday and were taken to humanitarian camps located to the south of the city, according to Reuters.

The Tayaran neighborhood is now under the “full control” of Iraqi forces, Maj-Gen. Haider al-Maturi said Sunday, according to AP. IS militants deployed at least 10 suicide car bombs, but only one of them reached its target. Two policeman were killed and five were wounded, al-Maturi said. Two militants, one of Iraqi decent and one foreigner who speaks Russian, were arrested.

The other neighborhood, Mamun, was “fully liberated” as well, Brig-Gen. Haider Fadhil said, adding that 15 suicide car bombs were deployed, but none of them hit the troops.

Full report:

EU lawmakers call for ‘Federal Union’ of European states

The leaders of the lower chambers of parliament of Germany, Italy, France, and Luxembourg have called for a European “Federal Union” in an open letter published in Italian newspaper La Stampa on Sunday.

In the letter, four representatives of EU governments – Claude Bartolone of the French National Assembly, Laura Boldrini of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Norbert Lammert of the German Bundestag, and Mars Di Bartolomeo of the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies – say that closer cooperation is essential for dealing with problems that no one EU state can tackle on its own, such as immigration, terrorism, and climate change.

Now is the moment to move towards closer political integration — the Federal Union of States with broad powers. We know that the prospect stirs up strong resistance, but the inaction of some cannot be the paralysis of all. Those who believe in European ideals, should be able to give them a new life instead of helplessly observing its slow sunset,” the letter read.

The letter’s authors also warn that the European integration project is currently more at risk than ever before, with high unemployment and immigration problems driving populist and nationalist movements. The EU must also come to grips with the fact that, last June, the United Kingdom decided to leave the union after holding a national referendum, aka Brexit, becoming the first member nation to opt out of the bloc.

On Sunday, a number of EU states, including Germany, France and Italy, called for the UK to pay a hefty price as a “divorce settlement.”



26 February, 2017

Shocking secret ECB report: Grexit would cost more than 1.5 trillion euros!

European debt reaches the amount of 21 trillion euros!

According to recent information from the Greek public TV, Europe is drowning in debt, while Grexit would cost more than 1.5 trillion! The Greek journalists cited some data from a secret ECB report. We present them below translated, as well as the specific part of the video:

The European debt currently reaches the amount of 21 trillion euros. The parametric losses from a potential exit of Greece, or, inability to repay its debt, is more than 1.5 trillion for the whole European system.

Up to 2030, the Greek state, under the current debt situation, will have to pay 322 billion euros, from which, 160 billion are for interest rates (another whole debt). When Greece will (and if) manage to repay this debt, 300 billion more will be left to pay in 2030!

This information gives another reason of why the neoliberal unholy alliance (ECB, IMF, European Commission), wants to keep Greece locked inside the euro currency madhouse, apart from finishing the brutal neoliberal experiment and looting the country.

Furthemore, it highlights the very bad strategy of the Greek PM, Alexis Tsipras, who couldn't see that Greece actually had a strong negotiating position as it could blow up the whole eurozone. As a consequence, he fully retreated to the absurd demands of the euro-hyenas, signing a third catastrophic memorandum in summer 2015.

Tsipras should had listen his then minister of finance, Yanis Varoufakis, who rightly insisted that Greece should show to the ruthless creditors that it is not willing to retreat on their absurd demands and that is ready even to exit the eurozone. Varoufakis described recently how Angela Merkel actually sacrificed Greece to save the Franco-German banks.

Στοιχεία σοκ απόρρητης έκθεσης της ΕΚΤ: το Grexit θα στοίχιζε περισσότερο από 1,5 τρισ. ευρώ!

Το Ευρωπαϊκό χρέος αγγίζει τα 21 τρισ. ευρώ!

Στοιχεία σοκ παρέθεσε ο δημοσιογράφος Σωτήρης Καψώχας από την ΕΡΤ και την εκπομπή της Κατερίνας Ακριβοπούλου, επικαλούμενος απόρρητη έκθεση της Ευρωπαϊκής Κεντρικής Τράπεζας, όσον αφορά το Ευρωπαϊκό χρέος και το κόστος ενός Grexit.


  • Το Ευρωπαϊκό χρέος αυτή τη στιγμή, προσεγγίζει τα 21 τρισ. ευρώ.

  • Οι παραμετρικές απώλειες από μία πιθανή αποχώρηση της Ελλάδας, ή, αδυναμία πληρωμών των δανείων της, ξεπερνάει το 1,5 τρισ. για όλο του Ευρωπαϊκό σύστημα. Αυτό είναι το κόστος του Grexit.

  • Μέχρι το 2030, το Ελληνικό κράτος, αν παραμείνει έτσι το χρέος, θα πρέπει να πληρώσει 322 δισ. ευρώ, εκ των οποίων, τα 160 δισ. είναι τόκοι (άλλο ένα χρέος). Όταν καταφέρει και το αποπληρώσει αυτό το χρέος, τότε θα μείνει υπόλοιπο άλλα 300 δισ. το 2030!

Η πληροφορία αυτή αποκαλύπτει άλλον ένα λόγο που η νεοφιλελεύθερη ανίερη συμμαχία (ΕΚΤ, ΔΝΤ, Κομισιόν) θέλει να κρατήσει την Ελλάδα παγιδευμένη μέσα στον ζουρλομανδύα του ευρώ, πέρα από την ολοκλήρωση του βάρβαρου νεοφιλελεύθερου πειράματος και την λεηλασία της χώρας.

Επιπλέον καταδεικνύει την πολύ κακή στρατηγική του Αλέξη Τσίπρα, ο οποίος υποχώρησε ατάκτως στις παράλογες απαιτήσεις των δανειστών το καλοκαίρι του 2015, υπογράφοντας τρίτο καταστροφικό μνημόνιο. Ο Τσίπρας και η τότε κυβέρνηση δεν διέγνωσαν σωστά την κατάσταση, δηλαδή το γεγονός ότι η Ελλάδα είχε (και έχει ακόμα και τώρα όπως φαίνεται), ένα πολύ ισχυρό διαπραγματευτικό χαρτί, αφού μπορεί να τινάξει την ευρωζώνη στον αέρα. Η μπλόφα του Σόιμπλε και η εγχώρια τρομοκρατία των παπαγάλων στα ιδιωτικά κανάλια της τραπεζομιντιακής χούντας, που ακόμα και τώρα μιλάν για καταστροφή της Ελλάδας αν φύγει από την ευρωζώνη, φαίνεται ότι έπιασαν τόπο.

Αποδεικνύεται σωστή η εκτίμηση ότι ο Τσίπρας έπρεπε να πάει έτοιμος για σύγκρουση με τις ευρω-ύαινες και ότι αυτός έπρεπε να απειλεί με Grexit και όχι να τον απειλεί ο Σόιμπλε. Αυτό το υποστήριξε άλλωστε και ο Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης, γι'αυτό και η εγχώρια τραπεζομιντιακή χούντα κήρυξε ανοιχτό και λυσσαλέο πόλεμο εναντίον του από την πρώτη στιγμή.

Έστω και τώρα, δεν είναι αργά. Η κυβέρνηση πρέπει να ετοιμάσει μυστικά ένα καλά οργανωμένο σχέδιο για Grexit (ούτως ή άλλως πρέπει να το κάνει για παν ενδεχόμενο) και να πάει στις διαπραγματεύσεις δείχνοντας ότι αυτή τη φορά είναι αποφασισμένη για αποχώρηση από τη ζώνη του ευρώ, αν οι σαδιστές της Τρόικα επιμείνουν στην εφαρμογή των νεοφιλελεύθερων καταστροφικών μέτρων.

Scotland ‘seriously considering’ 2nd #indyref in 2018

The Scottish government is seriously thinking about staging a second independence referendum next year, triggering a mixed reaction within the EU.

Charles Grant, an adviser to the Scottish government’s Standing Council on Europe, told Reuters: “The Scottish government is thinking very, very seriously about going for an independence referendum next year.

Grant said that Brexit is the main reason behind Edinburgh’s renewed attempts to make Scotland an independent country.

They feel they have enough emotion and momentum to overcome the economic downsides... the harder the Brexit, the more likely they are to break away,” Grant said.

Scots voted 55 percent to 45 percent in favor of remaining in the UK in a tightly contested September 2014 referendum, but largely opposed the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. In fact, 62 percent of the Scottish population voted for Britain to remain in the EU.

As the British government is increasingly leaning toward “hard Brexit,” which entails the total withdrawal from the European single market and customs union, the ruling Scottish National Party (SNP) has intensified its calls for a second independence vote.

Last October, the Scottish government published a draft bill for the second referendum.


Bitcoin price hits 3-year record, striving to beat 2013 high

The digital currency has reached its three-year high amid mounting expectations that the US Securities and Exchange Commission could soon approve the establishment of first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

As of Friday, Bitcoin was trading at a record high of 1,219.24, according to, which tracks Bitcoin and other currency rates.

The all-time high was $1,230.68, reached on December 4, 2013, according to

The digital currency’s rate came amid speculation that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could approve the establishment of the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund, Reuters reported.


Make America British again? Queen may bring former colony into Commonwealth

As a former British colony, the US could be the next “associate member” of the Commonwealth – thanks to President Donald Trump’s reported love of the UK and Queen Elizabeth II.

The plan, which is reportedly being backed by the Queen, is for the Commonwealth Society to open a branch in the US, according to The Telegraph.

"The UK rather left this treasure in the attic, and forgot about it because people were so glued to Brussels," said Michael Lake, the director of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

The move comes amid efforts to use the Commonwealth as a platform to develop international relations in a number of areas, such as foreign policy and trade.

Lake said that the move had been encouraged by Trump and the ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ – a title given to former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and his followers by UKIP donor Arron Banks.


Germany may find the chance to build a third major pole between a possible refreshed Agglo-American axis and the Sino-Russian bloc, replacing the US hegemony in Europe.

Australia joined 2003 Iraq War solely to boost ties with Bush

The Australian government joined the widely unpopular Iraq War in 2003 – deploying troops, warships, and combat aircraft – solely to boost its relationship with George W. Bush’s White House, a declassified Australian army paper has revealed.

A report, written by Dr. Albert Palazzo of the Australian Army’s Directorate of Army Research and Analysis (DARA) between 2008 and 2011, was accessed by Fairfax Media and cited by the Sydney Morning Herald. DARA is a branch of the Australian Army Headquarters and serves as the Army’s think tank

The 572-page declassified document provides enough evidence to prove that then Prime Minister John Howard joined former US President George W. Bush in invading Iraq only to strengthen Canberra’s ties with Washington.

It also gives insight into how the political decision to enter the unpopular war was made – Howard’s statements about enforcing UN resolutions, combatting global terrorism, and contributing to the post-war reconstruction of Iraq were dismissed in Palazzo’s report as “mandatory rhetoric.”

Eventually, Prime Minister Howard and the then Chief of the Australian Defense Force (ADF) General Peter Cosgrove were unwilling to accept the prospect of high casualties among the soldiers deployed to Iraq.


Maradona calls for unified resistance to Macri

We can’t let him divide us further.”

Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona is calling for unified resistance against President Mauricio Macri’s neo-liberal administration.

All of us united together, we will return to what we once had — that is the slogan we have to have,” Maradona said in a video released Saturday, HispanTV reports.

We can’t let him (Macri) divide us further.

The soccer legend also praised Argentine bank worker and labor leader Sergio Palazzo for his union’s recent wage hike win. The union, La Bancaria, reached a deal with the four major banking corporations, granting workers a retroactive 24-percent salary increase and a one-time bonus payment in November of 2017.

The salary boost is significantly higher than the inflationary ceiling for salary increases in 2017 established by Macri’s right-wing government. La Bancaria represents over 65,000 bank workers across Argentina.

Palazzo, I want to give you a huge hug because you won and because you make us feel closer and closer to what we can achieve,” Maradona also said in the video.

Since taking office in 2015, Macri has rolled back progressive government programs instituted by former presidents Cristina Fernandez and Nestor Kirchner.

Jobs are being cut. Gas and electricity prices are rising. Government institutions are downsizing. Private companies linked to the ruling administration are getting tax cuts.

But Macri’s rollback of social programs implemented by Kirchner’s populist government is also breeding resistance.

Since early February, thousands of Argentines have led daily protests across the country against the “Tarifazo,” the national increase in gas and electricity prices. Armed with pots, pans and whistles, demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Argentine Energy Minister Juan Jose Aranguren and a corruption probe against Macri. Protesters have been hosed down by water cannons, beaten with police nightsticks, and arrested en mass.

Simultaneously, thousands of Argentines have protested alongside 380 printing plant workers who were laid off earlier this year amidst spending cuts. The workers, who are demanding for their jobs to be reinstated, have also been met with violence, facing rubber bullets from police.

Maradona is one of many Argentines who have protested against Macri’s rule.