Greek debt suicide sparks Athens protests

Today, in Syntagma square, just next to the Greek parliament, a 77 year old man shot himself in the head. His last words, according to passers-by, were “I don’t want to leave a debt on my children”. Since this morning, people have swarmed around the tree, next to which the man took his own life, leaving notes and silently honoring his memory.

His suicide note reads:

“The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state. And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don’t find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance. I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945”

(Note: Tsolakoglou was the first collaborationist prime minister during Germany’s occupation of Greece during the Second World War and the 77-year-old man compared the currently assigned prime minister Papademos to the traitor Tsolakoglou.)

h/t rebeldog

(Source: mochente)

Haaretz: German Nobel laureate Guenter Grass' new poem: Nuclear Israel is a threat to world peace


Grass publishes a poem criticizing Israel’s role in the Israel-Iran conflict; the poem, called ‘What must be said’ will be published in newspapers around the world on Wednesday.

German Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass published a poem Wednesday in which he said that Israel’s nuclear…

Social Uprooting: Obama is not a "progressive", he's a centrist.


In a speech to the Associated Press today, President Obama today boasted that his signature domestic policies were basically conservative (he labeled them “centrist”): his individual mandate, he said, was pioneered by conservatives and the Heritage Foundation; his cap-and-trade policy was first proposed by Bush 41; federal spending is lower now than it was during any year of the Reagan administration, etc. Even the successes most touted by his supporters — the Detroit bailoutTARPthe withdrawal from Iraq — were started by Bush 43. Obama’s foreign policy and civil liberties assaults also, of course, were largely shared by his predecessor and are frequently praised by the Right.

What is needed most — a strong countervailing force to these policies coming from a place other than the neoconservative Right and corporatist oligarchs — is exactly what is missing. 

Neoliberal Egypt: The hijacked revolution


In case you’ve had a hard time following what’s been going on in Egypt (emphasis mine):

When Egyptians rose up last year, it was not only against tyranny and political repression, but also against the neoliberal economic order - designed by the United States - that has generated hunger, poverty and inequality in Egypt since the 1980s. For most people, these latter concerns were at least as pressing as the former, though they have been completely obscured in the prevailing media discourse. Now the tragedy is that, when it comes to economic policy, Egypt’s new rulers seem set to reproduce more of the same.

Khairat el-Shater - multimillionaire businessman, deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, and likely candidate for prime minister of the coalition government - has been forthright about his economic ideology. He promotes a version of Islam that explicitly valourises free-market capitalism. He has clamped down on dissent among those within the Brotherhood who hold different ideas about how the economy should be run.


The Brotherhood’s new position on economic policy has delighted the United States. US lawmakers have pushed hard since the beginning of the uprising to foster a form of political Islam compatible with US economic interests and the ideology of the Washington Consensus.

Haven’t you heard?  Neoliberalism is the way to go.  If America is doing it, so should everyone else!

(via amodernmanifesto)

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