Showing posts from July 10, 2015

“Tsipras Has Just Destroyed Greece”

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[Apparently the referendum was a farce. The Greek government has sold out, 110% sold out, to the EU. There is, evidently, not a peep in this about bail-out funds - only austerity cuts and privatization galore. I don't know what this will do to the Greek civil and political situation, but the country and people themselves are screwed economically. *RON*]
By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, 10 July 2015

This post’s headline comes from an assessment by the Australian website MacroBusiness of the proposal that Greece submitted to its creditors in the wee hours of the morning in Europe. Greece has capitulated, offering to implement more stringent austerity terms than those rejected by voters last weekend by a resounding margin in the Greek referendum. We are posting the full text of the Greek proposal at the end of this post.

As MacroBusiness sums up:

This is basically the same proposal as that was just rejected by the Greek people in the referendum…Thi…

Wind power generates 140% of Denmark's electricity demand

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[This is what happens in the rest of the world while the North American oil and gas lobby continues to pay our puppet politicians to solemnly pronounce that this is impossible. Unusually high winds allowed Denmark to meet all of its electricity needs – with plenty to spare for Germany, Norway and Sweden too. *RON*]
Arthur Neslen, The Guardian, 10 July 2015
So much power was produced by Denmark’s windfarms on Thursday that the country was able to meet its domestic electricity demand and export power to Norway, Germany and Sweden.

On an unusually windy day, Denmark found itself producing 116% of its national electricity needs from wind turbines yesterday evening. By 3am on Friday, when electricity demand dropped, that figure had risen to 140%.

Interconnectors allowed 80% of the power surplus to be shared equally between Germany and Norway, which can store it in hydropower systems for use later. Sweden took the remaining fifth of excess power.

We are all (or should be) Greeks now

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[Amen Brother Dobbin! Read the Žižek quote in particular. In fact read the whole thing: Slavoj Žižek on Greece: This is a chance for Europe to awaken. *RON*]
By Murray Dobbin,, 10 July 2015

The temple of neoliberalism and its ideology of social suicide in the interests of the banks has been breached. The hysteria in European capitals (particularly Germany) after the resounding 'No' vote by the people of Greece is entirely appropriate. For decades now developed country governments and their enforcers, the IMF and the World Bank have managed to bamboozle people in country after country, convincing them that up is down and black is white -- that austerity and recession are nirvana --pie in the sky by-and-by.

Until now.

The no vote -- accomplished despite a hysterical campaign of fear by literally the entire Greek and EU media -- is like a bright flash of light, however momentary, revealing the true nature of the conditions imposed b…

Stretchy ends: The shape of income inequality

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[An interesting analysis, using one kind of measure of inequality, which shows that the changes are nearly all at the top and bottom of the income scale. The important point here, in my view, is that researchers need to be transparent in communicating their reasons for selecting one measure of income inequality over another, since they can create quite different pictures. See What Do We Mean When We Talk About Inequality? *RON*]

Richard V. Reeves and Emily Cuddy, Brookings Institute, 9 July 2015

SERIES: Long Memos | Number 11 of 11

Income inequality was once a scholarly backwater. Henry Aaron, our Brookings colleague, once compared monitoring the unchanging statistics to “watching paint dry.” But inequality is now one of the most vivid public, political, and intellectual issues of the day. This is mostly because the facts have changed. In most nations, income gaps have widened, and the United States is no exception. The clamor of the “we are the 99…

Austerity and the Greek Depression

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[IMF keeps waffling back and forth between offering some of the best critiques available of austerity and posting hoo-ha such as Blanchard's post defending their role in the Greek crisis. *RON*]
Paul Krugman, New York Times, 10 July 2015

Olivier Blanchard offers a defense of the IMF’s role in the Greek crisis. Basically, he argues that given the political realities, there was no alternative to requiring that Greece move into primary budget surplus, whatever the cost. This is surely true.

But how big was the cost? I’m with Brad DeLong in being highly puzzled by this assertion:
The decrease in output was indeed much larger than had been forecast. Multipliers were larger than initially assumed. But fiscal consolidation explains only a fraction of the output decline. Output above potential to start, political crises, inconsistent policies, insufficient reforms, Grexit fears, low business confidence, weak banks, all contributed to the outcome. Where…

South Carolina removes Confederate flag from state capitol

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[Good for Governor Haley, but the so-called Battle Flag still has an inordinate amount of support in the South. See also: KKK plans South Carolina rally as Confederate flag debate continues. Since most American will be repelled by this behaviour and not see it as typically American, this shows us how the average Muslim must feel about ISIL. *RON*]
By Harriet McLeod, Reuters, 10 July 2015

South Carolina removed the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds on Friday to chants of "USA, USA!," after three weeks of emotional debate over the banner, a symbol of slavery and racism to many, but of Southern heritage and pride to others.

In a solemn, yet joyful ceremony before a large crowd, an honor guard of white and black state troopers lowered the flag shortly after 10 a.m. (1400 GMT) before a large crowd and live TV cameras.

The relocation of the flag came a little over three weeks after the racially motivated massacre of nine…

'It’s the New Wild West': Alaskans Leery As B.C. Pushes For 10 Mines in Transboundary Salmon Watersheds

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[Both in BC and around the world, Canadian mining companies have some of the worst standards for pollution and human rights violations in existence. And no one loves and coddles the Canadian mining industry more than Christy Clark and Stephen Harper. *RON*]

By Judith Lavoie, DeSmog Blog Canada, 8 July 2015

Long-held perceptions of Canada as a country with strict environmental standards and B.C. as a province that values natural beauty are taking a near-fatal beating in Southeast Alaska, where many now regard Canadians as bad neighbours who are unilaterally making decisions that could threaten the region’s two major economic drivers.

Fishing and tourism — each billion-dollar industries — are the lifeblood of Southeast Alaska, where glaciers sweep down into rivers home to five species of wild salmon and massive snow-covered peaks tower over fertile wetlands.

Tourism accounts for 10,900 jobs in the Alaska Panhandle and salmon fishing employs 7,300 …

Google News Is Better at Collecting Data on Cop Killings than the F.B.I.

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[Tax dollars hard at work! How motivated is the FBI be to be accurate? *RON*]
By Terrell Jermaine StarrAlterNet, 8 July 2015

If you want to keep up with the number of civilians killed by cops at any given moment, setting up an alert on Google News is likely your best bet.

So far, Google News is helping media organizations and independent websites keep better track of police shootings around the country than the FBI. According to the Washington Post, 466 people have been killed by cops this year. The Guardian, which is also keeping track of police killings through it’s own database, has tallied 568.

(A quick note: one reason why the The Guardian’s count is higher than The Post’s is because it counts all police killings, not just shootings. So, a death by chokehold, in the case of Eric Garner, would be counted in The Guardian’s count but not The Post’s.)

The Post and The Guardian are relying on Fatal Encounters and Killed By Police, two independent …