The pound rises to 1.43 euros for the first time since 2007, so if you’re going on holiday to the eurozone you couldn’t have picked a better time.
Submitted by Paul Craig Roberts,
All of Europe, and insouciant Americans and Canadians as well, are put on notice by Syriza’s surrender to the agents of the One Percent. The message from the collapse of Syriza is that the social welfare system throughout the West will be dismantled.
The Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has agreed to the One Percent’s looting of the Greek people of the advances in social welfare that the Greeks achieved in the post-World War II 20th century. Pensions and health care for the elderly are on the way out. The One Percent needs the money.
The protected Greek islands, ports, water companies, airports, the entire panoply of national patrimony, is to be sold to the One Percent. At bargain prices, of course, but the subsequent water bills will not be bargains.
This is the third round of austerity imposed on Greece, austerity that has required the complicity of the Greeks’ own governments. The austerity agreements serve as a cover for the looting of the Greek people literally of everything. The IMF is one member of the Troika that is imposing the austerity, despite the fact that the IMF’s economists have said that the austerity measures have proven to be a mistake. The Greek economy has been driven down by the austerity. Therefore, Greece’s indebtedness has increased as a burden. Each round of austerity makes the debt less payable.
But when the One Percent is looting, facts are of no interest. The austerity, that is the looting, has gone forward despite the fact that the IMF’s economists cannot justify it.
Greek democracy has proven itself to be impotent. The looting is going forward despite the vote one week ago by the Greek people rejecting it. So what we observe in Alexis Tsipras is an elected prime minister representing not the Greek people but the One Percent.
The One Percent’s sigh of relief has been heard around the world. The last European leftist party, or what passes as leftist, has been brought to heel, just like Britain’s Labour Party, the French Socialist Party, and all the rest.
Without an ideology to sustain it, the European left is dead, just as is the Democratic Party in the US. With the death of these political parties, the people no longer have any voice. A government in which the people have no voice is not a democracy. We can see this clearly in Greece. One week after the Greek people express themselves decisively in a referendum, their government ignores them and accommodates the One Percent.
The American Democratic Party died with jobs offshoring, which destroyed the party’s financial base in the manufacturing unions. The European left died with the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union was a symbol that there existed a socialist alternative to capitalism. The Soviet collapse and “the end of history” deprived the left of an economic program and left the left-wing, at least in America, with “social issues” such as abortion, homosexual marriage, gender equality, and racism, which undermined the left-wing’s traditional support with the working class. Class warfare disappeared in the warfare between heterosexuals and homosexuals, blacks and whites, men and women.
Today with the Western peoples facing re-enserfment and with the world facing nuclear war as a result of the American neoconservatives’ claim to be History’s chosen people entitled to world hegemony, the American left is busy hating the Confederate battle flag.
The collapse of Europe’s last left-wing party, Syrzia, means that unless more determined parties arise in Portugal, Spain, and Italy, the baton passes to the right-wing parties – to Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party, to Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, and to other right-wing parties who stand for nationalism against national extermination in EU membership.
Syriza could not succeed once it failed to nationalize the Greek banks in response to the EU’s determination to make them fail. The Greek One Percent have the banks and the media, and the Greek military shows no sign of standing with the people. What we see here is the impossibility of peaceful change, as Karl Marx and Lenin explained.
Revolutions and fundamental reforms are frustrated or overturned by the One Percent who are left alive. Marx, frustrated by the defeat of the Revolutions of 1848 and instructed by his materialist conception of history, concluded, as did Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot, that leaving the members of the old order alive meant counter-revolution and the return of the people to serfdom. In Latin America every reformist government is vulnerable to overthrow by US economic interests acting in conjunction with the Spanish elites. We see this process underway today in Venezuela and Ecuador.
Duly instructed, Lenin and Mao eliminated the old order. The class holocaust was many times greater than anything the Jews experienced in the Nazi racial holocaust. But there is no memorial to it.
To this day Westerners do not understand why Pol Pot emptied Cambodia’s urban areas. The West dismisses Pol Pot as a psychopath and mass murderer, a psychiatric case, but Pol Pot was simply acting on the supposition that if he permitted representatives of the old order to remain his revolution would be overthrown. To use a legal concept enshrined by the George W. Bush regime, Pol Pot pre-empted counter-revolution by striking in advance of the act and eliminating the class inclined to counter-revolution. The class genocide associated with Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot are the collateral damage of revolution.
The English conservative Edmund Burke said that the path of progress was reform, not revolution. The English elite, although they dragged their heels, accepted reform in place of revolution, thus vindicating Burke. But today with the left so totally defeated, the One Percent does not have to agree to reforms. Compliance with their power is the only alternative.
Greece is only the beginning. Greeks driven out of their country by the collapsed economy, demise of the social welfare system, and extraordinary rate of unemployment will take their poverty to other EU countries. Members of the EU are not bound by national boundaries and can freely emigrate. Closing down the support system in Greece will drive Greeks into the support systems of other EU countries, which will be closed down in turn by the One Percent’s privatizations.
The 21st century Enclosures have begun.
In what is either the best example why one should never believe anything they read on the internet, or just blatant frontrunning of the last QE by a few years, earlier this week a woman from Kingsport, Tennessee was arrested for counterfeiting money. That in itself is not surprising – it was her justification why she did it: she told police that she thought she was doing nothing wrong because she had read online that President Barack Obama made a new law allowing her to print her own money.
Pamela Downs, 45
TimesNews reports that police were called to a local grocery store on Sunday night in regards to a complaint about counterfeit money. When the reporting officer arrived, he spoke with a gas station clerk who said that just prior to the officer’s arrival, a white female had handed him a $5 bill, which he suspected to be counterfeit.
Since the bill had been printed on regular computer paper and each side had been glued together (but was falling apart), the officer immediately recognized the bill as a fake.
The officer spoke with the female, identified as Pamela Downs, 45. After initially responding that she had gotten the fake bill from a gas station, Downs was asked by the officer if her purse could be searched, to which she agreed. Inside her purse, the officer found a $100 which was also counterfeit, according to the report. The bill was printed in black and white and the backside of the bill was upside down.
A couple of receipts from Walmart were also found inside the purse, showing Downs had purchased copy paper and a printer.
At that point she was arrested, and she gave the best money-counterfeiting “defense” we have heard in a long time:
“I don’t give a ****, all these other bitches get to print money so I can too.“
It was not immediately clear which “bitches” she was referring to.
The police then searched the apartment and found several items consistent with being used to print counterfeit currency including paper, scissors, glue and a printer.
Whether China is busy championing trade deals outside of the US dollar, buying up some of the world’s biggest companies, taking over foreign housing markets, or building massive networks of nuclear or wind power grids, it is clear that the country is a world power to be reckoned with. To be considered a true force, China also needs to be able to back up its economic and political might with a top notch military. Today’s infographic compares the armed forces of China with the United States.
click image fir massive legible version
Original graphic by: SCMP
While the rest of the world was paying attention to the sad conclusion of the Greek tragedy now in its third bailout season, the US was focused on a another tragedy playing out in the nation’s heartland when in the latest mass shooting on US soil, 4 marines were killed when a gunman, since identified at Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, a naturalized citizen born in Kuwait, opened fire first at a military recruiting center and then at a Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee in what officials have called a “brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism.”
Incidentally, the shooting took place hours before a jury found James Holmes, who killed 12 people in a Colorado theater shooting in 2012, guilty of murder.
As reported subsequently, the suspect’s mother is originally from Kuwait and his father from Palestine. It is unclear when Abdulazeez came to the United States but for many years he lived with his parents in a two-story home in Hixson, a suburb of Chattanooga. He worked as an intern at Mohawk Industries Inc, a carpet manufacturer, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides power to the area. He most recently worked with Global Trade Express, according to the posted resume.
According to Reuters, the suspect, seen driving an open-top Ford Mustang, is believed to have first gone to a joint military recruiting center in a strip mall and sprayed it with gunfire, riddling the glass facade with bullet holes.
“Everybody was at a standstill and as soon as he pulled away everyone scrambled trying to make sure everyone was OK,” said Erica Wright, who works two doors down from the center.
The gunman then drove off to a Naval Reserve Center about 6 miles away, when around 10:45 am local time, he shot four Marines before being shot and killed in a firefight with police about half an hour later. Three others were wounded in the attacks, including a police officer reported in stable condition and a Marine.
At least three people were wounded in the attacks, including a Marine and a Navy sailor who is in critical condition, according to the hospital. One of those hurt was a police officer who was in stable condition.
According to Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, the rampage was being treated “as an act of domestic terrorism,” adding that no official determination of the nature of the crime had yet been made and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has not ruled anything out.
“While it would be premature to speculate on the motives of the shooter at this time, we will conduct a thorough investigation of this tragedy and provide updates as they are available,” the agency said in a statement.
According to a resume believed to have been posted online by Abdulazeez, he attended high school in a Chattanooga suburb and graduated from the University of Tennessee with an engineering degree.
“I remember him being very creative. He was a very light minded kind of individual. All his videos were always very unique and entertaining,” said Greg Raymond, 28, who worked with Abdulazeez on a high school television program.
With Puerto Rico missing a payment on a bond overnight “due to non-appropriation of funds” but denying that this constitutes anything close to a default, the territory may be about to retake the limelight as Greece is now “fixed.” As MarketWatch reports,
The missed payment could have serious implications for holders of Puerto Rico bonds, “as the signal from breaking a seven-decade streak of bond payments may imply more defaults are looming,” Daniel Hanson, an analyst at Height Securities, said in a note.
Over the past twelve months, the decades-old economic infrastructure that supports global dollar dominance suffered irreparable damage to two of its load-bearing walls.
After a brief “don't fight the PBOC” three days of releveraging, China margin debt declined once again to 4-month lows. An opening pop – as is now ubiquitous has faded in FTSE China A50 futures but CSI-300 futures (which expire today and are this subject to some 'odd' behavior) are holding modest gains, despite a quarter of Chinese stocks remain halted. For those tempted back in to the deep end of global equity risk, we offer what must go down as the Baghdad Bob quote of the year, from the Chairman of HKEX, “China's stock market is the safest in the world.”
Some context on the decline and its massively manipulated bounce (which is now fading fast)…
Tea shop owner Sakis Papatheodorou, who is heavily reliant on imports, says very few Greeks are hopeful about the future.