The Immense Poverty of a Silent Majority | Greece, and her Melancholic Lack

On December 8, 2014, extensive damages, hundreds of Molotov bombs thrown from building tops, street fights, and looting by hooded men and women took place in Athens.

A regiment of roughly 300 anarchists threw Molotov bombs on the streets of Athens from rooftops. Police, fearing the situation may get out of control resulting in casualties and further damages, did not initiate a violent response. 296 individuals were arrested, and 46 were filed with criminal charges.

In the meantime in Greece corruption reigns supreme, violence and racism have skyrocketed, the few jobs left are shared by the traditional nepotist regime, and ski resorts are filled in >90% capacity by locals; under the cross-eyed gaze of the silent majority.

Police officer on fire after a Molotov bomb lands on him


Police expresses fears of bigger terror hit after Israeli Embassy attack | KATHIMERINI

Hunger striker Romanos and the Dilemma | KATHIMERINI

Socialist party SYRIZA attempts to move Syrian refugees protesting (and living) on Syntagma Square in Athens | KATHIMERINI

Prosecutor refers 32 to court over submarine bribery scandal | TO VIMA

From truth to the other choice | TO VIMA



A Unique Experiment in Governance | Uruguay

[For the past 10 years, Uruguayans have been conducting a left-leaning experiment in economic and social democracy, turning themselves into a Latin American version of Switzerland in the process. Under the leadership of the left-leaning Broad Front party, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports that Uruguay has enjoyed annual economic growth of 5.6 percent since 2004, compared to 1.2 percent annual growth over the last five years in Switzerland. The Swiss have decriminalized marijuana and gay marriage. Uruguay has legalized both. Prostitution is legal in both countries, and each provides universal health care. According to the Happy Planet Index, Uruguay has the same low per capita environmental footprint as Switzerland, with a similarly widespread sense of well-being among its people in spite of significantly lower per capita GDP.

Yet unlike Switzerland, with its highly developed financial services sector and, until recently, safe haven tax policies for global capital, Uruguay has become a prime target for the wrath of multinational corporations and the London bankers who fund them.

In November 2014, Uruguayan voters voiced approval for their government’s policies of social tolerance and public spending on early childhood education, affordable universal health care and social safety net programs by re-electing former president Tabaré Vasquez from the ruling Broad Front party. With support from allied green and radical left parties, Vasquez won a landslide victory against a neoliberal opponent who ran on a platform of slashing public sector spending and opening the nation’s economy to foreign investors. Instead, Vasquez’s return to the presidency in 2015 will extend the Uruguayan social democratic experiment another five years to 2020. London’s neoliberal, supply-side bankers are not amused.

Less than a week after Uruguayan election results were certified, Capital Economics, a London-based financial think tank aligned with British Prime Minister David Cameron’s brand of aggressive neoliberalism, issued an economic report sternly warning that Uruguay is going to face tough economic times after electing another leftist president unless they change their ways.

The leftist economic experiment taking place at the opposite end of the globe in tiny Uruguay is more than the bankers in London can tolerate, never mind that Uruguay, with minimal military expenses, has annual deficits nearly 600 percent lower than the UK as a percent of GDP. From the bankers’ perspective, Uruguay is setting a bad example by taking care of their people instead of catering to global financial speculators.

In this moment, we are all Uruguayans. Their little heralded stand against the emerging model of transnational governance by multinational corporations and global banks is everyone’s battle. A Uruguayan victory at the ICSID tribunal has the potential to set a welcome precedent in favor of local governance versus the kind of transnational order envisioned in agreements such as the TTIP and TPP, yet it is a battle that is being fought on enemy territory. The fact that a sovereign nation trying to protect the health of its people is being forced to defend itself in expensive litigation against the profiteering of a multinational corporation in front of a supranational World Bank tribunal is already far down the wrong path.

For anyone interested in voicing support for Uruguay’s position, contact information for ICSID can be found online. To register support for Uruguay and opposition to the TTIP and TPP within the United States, contact information for the White House and individual senators is available online, while Public Citizen has a portal for registering opposition with House members.]

Read the full article | TruthOut


Law and Disorder in Pine Ridge

[There’s no rhythm to crime here. All hell could be breaking loose before noon and things could be stock-still after midnight. The young toughs are often on horseback and they prefer baseball bats and knives to pistols. Drugs are everywhere— weed, meth, cocaine— but on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, it’s almost exclusively alcohol that gives law enforcement fits.

“They go into detox or a holding cell for 8 hours then get an hour of community service,” said Becky Sotherland, an officer with the tribal police. “Sometimes they’re out before your shift is over, causing trouble.”

Alcohol has been illegal on the reservation since 1889 (aside from a few months in the 1970s) but tribal police say that of the roughly 200,000 calls they receive each year, about 80% are alcohol-related. Sometimes it’s public drunkenness, fights or domestic violence. Drunk driving is a major killer, and community groups say alcoholism contributes to the reservation’s plague-high suicide rate.

The fight to keep the tribe sober may soon be getting tougher. Last summer, tribal members voted to repeal the reservation’s century-old ban on liquor sales and consumption. The repeal won’t likely take effect for some time, as the Tribal Council must write new alcohol-related laws.]

Read the full article | MSNBC


Urgent need for basic supplies for young Lakota in SD

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See details and make a difference | Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation

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Metaphysics of Pregnancy

In a discipline where, even today, white male dominance is the norm, pregnancy is largely absent.

While debates on reproductive ethics abound, the metaphysical questions associated with pregnancy have been largely left on the sidelines by philosophers. Joe Gelonesi talks to a bioethicist who wants to change that, and is seeking funding to examine classical and practical questions.

Read the full article | ABC RN

[The conventional way we have understood the relationship between mother and foetus has been through the metaphor of one discrete piece fitting inside another—which is deeply flawed according to Kingma.

‘The implicit model we have that shines through is what I call the foetal container model, so that the pregnancy is literally a container and in the middle of the container there is a hollow in which sits the foetus—and there is no problematic part-whole relationship. It’s just like putting a bun in the oven that you can take out again.’]



Aesthetics of Abandonment

The 13 Strangest Abandoned Places in Colorado | IMPULCITY


Sense of Entitlement

Peru will seek criminal charges against Greenpeace activists who it says damaged the world-renowned Nazca lines by leaving footprints in the adjacent desert during a publicity stunt.

“It’s a true slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred,” said Luis Jaime Castillo, the deputy culture minister, after the action by the environmental group on Monday, at the famed drawings etched into Peru’s coastal desert, a UN world heritage site.

He said the government was seeking to prevent those responsible from leaving the country while it asks prosecutors to file charges of attacking archaeological monuments, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison.

The activists entered a “strictly prohibited” area beside the figure of a hummingbird, the culture ministry said. They laid big yellow cloth letters reading: “Time for Change! The Future is Renewable.” The message was intended for delegates from 190 countries at the UN climate talks being held in Lima.

Read the full article | The Guardian