Support the Dominion
Support the Dominion
Today the IMF and Europe agreed to a €130 billion bailout package to Greece.
Greece has been under intense pressure recently. The economic crisis plunged Greece, like many other nations, into tough economic times.
As Greece has maintained consistently high levels of debt over many years, the downturns in their shipping and tourism economies have meant that they have required more and more debt in order to keep paying their bills.
However there has been a catch.
American debt-rating agencies (companies which essentially set out how much it will cost to take out a loan) recently said Greece might not pay back its debts.
Greek Prime-Minster George Papandreou has even stated that Greece is being 'attacked' on purpose.
Speaking in the Guardian he said, "This is an attack on the eurozone by certain other interests, political or financial, and often countries are being used as the weak link, if you like, of the eurozone. We are being targeted, particularly with an ulterior motive or agenda, and of course there is speculation in the world markets."
So few people are lending Greece money. This has made it impossible for Greece to get the loans it needs to keep running the country and pay back the loans it has already taken out.
And the 'shock' of the Greece financial situation is being used to destroy Greece's welfare state in what is being reported as "the most drastic overhaul of a European economy ever attempted."
The lyrics to the song contained in this track are available here:
They Tore Down The Kremlin-- and I wasn't there.
September 20, 2009.
Macdonald John Enoch Stainsby.
I guess I should first explain why I am writing this article. It would not be at all inaccurate to say I'm trying to channel incredibly powerful emotions that have surfaced as a result of a recent short visit to Maerdy, south Wales in the Rhondda Valley. My family roots trace back to the town known as “Little Moscow” from the 1920's on. I have long known of our ties to this community but not the depth of those connections or what impact on me these ties would have.
I began my own personal journey in life that took me to revolutionary conclusions by necessity beginning when I was in high school but not becoming the path that I would take with my life until my early 20's, roughly 13 years ago. My reasons for moving towards the revolutionary transformation of society had almost nothing to do with our family history but were based on my own rational conclusions based on the state of the world. To this day when someone asks me why I'm a self-described revolutionary I still want to reply: “Look around you. Why aren't you?”
Was reading the less-than-stellar analysis of Globe Opinion writer Jeffrey Simpson the other day when I noticed this little gem:
France and Canada are on the same wavelength on issue after issue, including Afghanistan and trade (Canada and the European Union are entering serious talks about a free-trade agreement). They both opposed the invasion of Iraq.
Canada and EU free trade deal? I read a lot of news so I was wondering why I hadn't seen more of this before.
I'm no fan of free trade and think NAFTA should be abolished, but do believe in the benefits of fair trade as long as never-ending growth isn't part of the deal.
Canada's trade has been almost entirely dependent on the US since colonization. Would a free trade agreement with the EU mean less dependence? Would Canadian standards plummet on certain issues? What would the impacts on social justice, the tar sands, mining and other issues be?
Iceland is nearing economic collapse as its second largest bank has been nationalized by the government.
The most free-market of the Nordic countries, it seems as if Iceland has been too heavily involved in the credit markets for the last 15 years. The Guardian reports:
Inflation and interest rates are raging upwards. The krona, Iceland's currency, is in freefall and is rated just above those of Zimbabwe and Turkmenistan. One of the country's three independent banks has been nationalised, another is asking customers for money, and the discredited government and officials from the central bank have been huddled behind closed doors for three days with still no sign of a plan. International banks won't send any more money and supplies of foreign currency are running out.
In a telling turn of events, Iceland has had to get a loan from cash-rich Russia to help stave off collapse. The Prime Minister of Iceland has reportedly stated,
"We have been calling for aid from neighboring countries and have been turned down. In times of crisis, one has to look for new friends."
It was a busy 24 hours for a Norwegian Socialist Finance Minister.
Kristin Halvorsen, the head of the Socialist Left Party in Norway and Finance Minister in the coalition government banned government investment in mining giant Rio Tinto and said George W. Bush "showed good social-democratic tendencies".
Halvorsen was referring to the US governments decision to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Norwegian government, which operates a massive surplus-fund, invested heavily in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and suffered major losses recently as a result.
On the same day, Halvorsen also reported that the same surplus fund would no longer be investing in Rio Tinto due to environmental concerns. "Wal-Mart, British arms manufacturer BAE Systems and US defense firm Lockheed Martin have also been blacklisted" in the past, according to the BBC.
The surplus-fund is Europe's biggest investor and holds nearly 1% of Europe's listed shares.
Ian Sinclair at the Morning Star (the so-called UK's only Socialist Daily) did an interesting interview with "Catherine, a prostitute, dominatrix and activist with the International Union of Sex Workers International Union of Sex Workers (IUSW)."
It's a good read and though definitely controversial to some, it has a good analysis. Excerpt:
"Getting to the nub of their position on prostitution, the IUSW's website argues that "there is nothing inherently exploitative or degrading about consensual sexual behaviour regardless of its motivation." This isn't to say they ignore the darker side of prostitution. "There is abuse and exploitation and rape and coercion. It would be obscene to say that doesn't happen", Catherine admits. But, she argues "the history of the left shows, we didn't go out and rescue the miners, take them away and give them a wash, and say ‘come and do this you will be much happier'. We gave them rights, we gave them bargaining power. And that is the solution to exploitation - to give them rights and resources, not to rescue and redeem them.""
Not even an hour after the declaration was made in Kosovo that it was 'officially' an independent country, people were gathering in the different cities in Serbia. Belgrade and Novi Sad saw the most destruction.
Going around downtown Belgrade in the last few hours one can see packs of men trying to catch up to large groups who are still roaming the city. The Slovakian embassy had all its window's smashed. Many shops and buildings were similarly damaged, cops were hurt, and many journalists were injured. Lots of spray paint went up today, slogans such as 'EU NEVER' and '1389,' referring to the Serbian historic battle in Kosovo where Serbs fought against the Turks, 'protecting the Christian world' and their territories.
The people rioting were members of Obraz, a clerical-Fascist group, and of many various football clubs.
Obraz is accused of the bombing of the Slovakian owned shopping mall Mercator in Belgrade last week. They also demonstrated this week at Kontekst, an art gallery, as it was opening an exhibit that showcased artists from Pristina, Kosovo. The exhibit was shut down and art pieces were destroyed.
Big demonstrations have been called for tomorrow, one at noon at the university, another an hour later called by Activni Centar, a group that has been running a major advertising campaign for the last few months focused upon keeping Kosovo inside Serbia. Thousands are expected.
The government has called for a demonstration at noon on Thursday.
While interesting, the coverage of the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Estonia's web and internet servers (I was wondering why the Postimees website was down for the last two weeks) leaves out some pretty important technical explanations.
Estonia isn't in the news much, but after the government decided to implement a controversial law to move a Soviet memorial to soldiers who died fighting the Nazis, and unearth the bodies of several soldiers buried near the monument--which is referred to in the Estonian press simply as pronkssõdur, or bronze soldier--an international furor has ensued, with German, US, Russian and other governments weighing in.
Upon hearing that Nicholas Sarkozy's Montreal office had been vandalized, I couldn't help but bike over and snap a few photos. They didn't seem to be in much of a hurry to clean things up; they hadn't even taken down the sheets of paper that had been pasted to the window.
Some of the slogans: Sarkozy, sacre ton camp d'ici; Ni en France ni au Canada: pas de patrie pour les fachos; Lutte sans frontière contre le fascisme.
Early descriptions of Mark Mackinnon's new book, The New Cold War received a skeptical reaction from this corner -- to say the least -- and Stefan Christoff's and my critique of his coverage in Lebanon resulted in a bit of a scrap via email.
Rick Salutin has a somewhat sane counterpoint to the Vimy fever that's going around these days.
Dragan Zelenovic, a Bosnian Serb, pleaded guilty to charges of war crimes gruesome war crimes committed during the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. That's well and good, insofar as the claims are true.
But the fact that Serbian war criminals are singled out, while the hundreds, possibly thousands of war criminals that have been backed in various ways or in the employ of the US government are free to do as they please makes the "justice" of such a decision meaningless, and discredits the court.
An interesting analysis of the 'bipartisan' racist political dynamics in France looks at the outta-nowhere centrist candidate François Bayrou vis-a-vis the right-wing and "socialist" candidates, Sarkozy and Royal:
And Bayrou has been making all the right moves. For example, when Sarkozy this week -- in a blatant appeal to Le Pen's electorate -- promised to create a new "Ministry of Immigration and National Identity," Bayrou immediately reacted with a strong denunciation of Sarkozy for "crossing the line" and linking the two concepts in a thinly-veiled racist appeal.
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.