Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Athens on Fire: Cars Torched in Fierce Greece Street Battle


Russia Today - Youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs at police on Monday during clashes at a student rally marking two years since the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy that sparked Greece's worst riots in decades. At least five people were injured - including a bystander hit in the face by a flying rock - and more than 40 youths were detained by police. Sporadic violence lasting more than six hours occurred in several parts of central Athens after some 4,000 people marched to parliament to commemorate the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in 2008.

Charles Bukowski's Last 'Muse' Lives With US Author's Ghost

Romain Raynaldy writes for AFP:

The last muse of Charles "Hank" Bukowski, the alcoholic and womanizing US author who used blunt prose to write about society's downtrodden, still lives in the home she shared with her late husband and hopes to turn it into a museum.

"That's exactly like living with a ghost," Linda Lee Bukowski told AFP. "His room is exactly the same. Clothes hanging around, you know, things like that."

Linda Lee is as shy as her late famous husband, but made an effort to speak to strangers at the Huntington Museum in the town of San Marino, just north of Los Angeles, which is holding an exhibit titled, "Charles Bukowski: Poet on the Edge," through February 2011.

Bukowski (1920-1994) was an important figure in 20th-century US literature. "In his poetry and prose, Bukowski used experience, emotion, and imagination, along with violent and sexual imagery, to capture life at its most raw and elemental," reads a description of his work on the museum website.

Bukowski "spoke for the social outcasts -- the drunks, prostitutes, addicts, lay-abouts, and petty criminals -- as well as those who are simply worn down by life."

The Museum bills the exhibit as the "most comprehensive exhibition on the writer ever undertaken" and includes typed scripts of Bukowski?s poems, periodicals with his poetry, and pictures loaned by his widow.

[ ... ]

"He was a shy man, he was an individual who was more reclusive than outgoing and that's why he would tend to drink and overdrink, because it was so much for him to handle the enormous social life. It was wasted time for him.

"He would rather be either at his typewriter or having dinner at Musso and Frank," a landmark eatery billed as the "oldest restaurant in Hollywood."

Bukowski, who grew up and spent most of his life in Los Angeles, rose to fame after a difficult childhood and 14 years working in anonymity at the post office.

He had written poems and short stories all his life, but did not write for a living until age 46, when the editor of Black Sparrow Press offered to pay him 100 dollars a month to focus on writing.

"He never talked with me about his work," his widow said. "He thought it was a bad luck. Once in a while, he would come down at night with a poem, and he would have a drink and he would read it. It was once in a year.

"But in general, he would never show anybody because he thought it would bring bad luck. He would send it immediately to the publisher."

~ more... ~

The Wall Street Pentagon Papers: Biggest Scam In World History Exposed

- Are The Federal Reserve's Crimes Too Big To Comprehend?

By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus

What if the greatest scam ever perpetrated was blatantly exposed, and the US media didn't cover it? Does that mean the scam could keep going? That's what we are about to find out.

I understand the importance of the new WikiLeaks documents. However, we must not let them distract us from the new information the Federal Reserve was forced to release. Even if WikiLeaks reveals documents from inside a large American bank, as huge as that could be, it will most likely pale in comparison to what we just found out from the one-time peek we got into the inner-workings of the Federal Reserve. This is the Wall Street equivalent of the Pentagon Papers.

I've written many reports detailing the crimes of Wall Street during this crisis. The level of fraud, from top to bottom, has been staggering. The lack of accountability and the complete disregard for the rule of law have made me and many of my colleagues extremely cynical and jaded when it comes to new evidence to pile on top of the mountain that we have already gathered. But we must not let our cynicism cloud our vision on the details within this new information.

Just when I thought the banksters couldn't possibly shock me anymore… they did.

We were finally granted the honor and privilege of finding out the specifics, a limited one-time Federal Reserve view, of a secret taxpayer funded "backdoor bailout" by a small group of unelected bankers. This data release reveals "emergency lending programs" that doled out $12.3 TRILLION in taxpayer money - $3.3 trillion in liquidity, $9 trillion in "other financial arrangements."

Wait, what? Did you say $12.3 TRILLION tax dollars were thrown around in secrecy by unelected bankers… and Congress didn't know any of the details?

Yes. The Founding Fathers are rolling over in their graves. The original copy of the Constitution spontaneously burst into flames. The ghost of Tom Paine went running, stark raving mad screaming through the halls of Congress.

The Federal Reserve was secretly throwing around our money in unprecedented fashion, and it wasn't just to the usual suspects like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America, etc.; it was to the entire Global Banking Cartel. To central banks throughout the world: Australia, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, England… To the Fed's foreign primary dealers like Credit Suisse (Switzerland), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Royal Bank of Scotland (U.K.), Barclays (U.K.), BNP Paribas (France)… All their Ponzi players were "gifted." All the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations got their cut.

Talk about the ransacking and burning of Rome! Sayonara American middle class…

If you still had any question as to whether or not the United States is now the world's preeminent banana republic, the final verdict was just delivered and the decision was unanimous. The ayes have it.

Any fairytale notions that we are living in a nation built on the rule of law and of the global economy being based on free market principles has now been exposed as just that, a fairytale. This moment is equivalent to everyone in Vatican City being told, by the Pope, that God is dead.

~ more... ~

U.S. Orders Diplomats to Stop Telling Truth Until Further Notice

Humor from Andy Borowitz:

In the first major policy fallout from the WikiLeaks disclosures, the State Department has ordered all U.S. diplomats to "cease and desist telling the truth until further notice."

"We are working overtime to try to make sure that leaks like these don't happen again," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters. "But until we've got the leaks plugged, it's incumbent on all our diplomats to put on their lying caps."

Secretary Clinton noted that since many US diplomats are major political donors with long careers in the business world, "this shouldn't be a reach for them."

But for those career diplomats who came up through the Foreign Service, the State Department will be holding a series of "truth avoidance seminars," led by executives of Goldman Sachs.

~ more... ~

George Carlin - The American Dream


"You have to be asleep to believe it."

A short excerpt from the video "Life Is Worth Losing" (2005).

'The truth will always win' - Julian Assange writes

In 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia , was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.

WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?

Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.

People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.

If you have read any of the Afghan or Iraq war logs, any of the US embassy cables or any of the stories about the things WikiLeaks has reported, consider how important it is for all media to be able to report these things freely.

WikiLeaks is not the only publisher of the US embassy cables. Other media outlets, including Britain 's The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais in Spain and Der Spiegel in Germany have published the same redacted cables.

Yet it is WikiLeaks, as the co-ordinator of these other groups, that has copped the most vicious attacks and accusations from the US government and its acolytes. I have been accused of treason, even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen. There have been dozens of serious calls in the US for me to be "taken out" by US special forces. Sarah Palin says I should be "hunted down like Osama bin Laden", a Republican bill sits before the US Senate seeking to have me declared a "transnational threat" and disposed of accordingly. An adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister's office has called on national television for me to be assassinated. An American blogger has called for my 20-year-old son, here in Australia, to be kidnapped and harmed for no other reason than to get at me.

~ more... ~

The Power of Nazi Propaganda


From radio and film to newspapers and publishing, the Nazi regime controlled every aspect of German culture from 1933-1945. Through Josef Goebbels' Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, the German state tightly controlled political messaging, promoting deification of the leader—the Führerprinzip—and the demonization of the ubiquitous and duplicitious "racial enemy." A new exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., examines "how the Nazi Party used modern techniques as well as new technologies and carefully crafted messages to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany." Reason.tv's Michael C. Moynihan visited with museum historian and curator Steve Luckert to discuss the role and effectiveness of propaganda in the rise of fascism and what lessons can be drawn from the Nazi experiment in mass manipulation.

~ Source: Reason.tv ~

Digging Into the WikiLeaks Cables

As posted on Slashdot:

A number of readers have sent in new WikiLeaks stories today, many of which focus on the content of the leaked diplomatic cables. The documents showed how the US government bullied and manipulated other countries to gain support for its Copenhagen climate treaty (though behavior from the US wasn't all negative), how copyright negotiations largely meet the expectations of critics like Michael Geist, and how Intelthreatened to move jobs out of Russia if the Russian government didn't loosen encryption regulations. Perhaps the biggest new piece of information is a list of facilities the US considers 'vital to security.' Meanwhile, the drama surrounding WikiLeaks continues; Julian Assange's Swiss bank account has been frozen and the UK hasreceived an arrest warrant for the man himself; the effort to mirror the site has gained support from Pirate Parties in Australia, in the UK and elsewhere; and PayPal was hit with a DDoS for their decision not to accept donations for WikiLeaks.

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