Sunday, March 31, 2013

Basque National Day 2013: political round-up time

The Aberri Eguna or Basque National Day was decided by the Christian Nationalist Arana brothers a century ago or so to be on this Sunday (what's it's name?), which is, as you probably know, a Christian holiday on the alleged resurrection of their masochistic man-god. As the day is regulated by the Catholic tradition, following the ancient Jewish lunar calendar (or something like that), it has no fixed date. 

Personally I'd rather celebrate the Basque National Day on August 15th, but I fear I am a minority of one on this... but rational persistence tends to win in the long run, so I will keep insisting. I'd also call it Herri Eguna (People's or Nation's Day) instead of Aberri Eguna (Fatherland's Day, aberri being a horrible neologism based more in Sumerian (aba=father) than in Basque (herri=people, nation)). I'm totally revisionist in fact in what regards to the highly questionable Aranist legacy: I'd even change the Basque flag (full of religious and tradition inspired crosses) for almost whatever else, like classical Navarrese flags:

The original Navarrese standard before 1212 did not have any chains but a basic shield design
The Arrano Beltza (black eagle) is known with both yellow and red backgrounds

But well, back to reality, thousands gathered today[es] in the historical Basque capital of Iruñea-Pamplona to demand independence:

Among the hot issues very present in this holiday, it was very present the death yesterday[es] of ETA militant José Manuel López Peña, who, in spite of the long-lasting unilateral truce by the Basque guerrilla, was being held prisoner till his very death at a Paris hospital, sadly illustrating the stubborn path of confrontation no-matter-what chosen by the Spanish and French imperialist regimes. 

In this sense, ETA sent a declaration[eu] in which it mostly cheered the opportunity for Basque independence that they claim to see, while strongly criticizing the French and Spanish states and their growing impositions, as well as the whole Capitalist system. ETA also asks for a wide political platform that includes all independentist sectors (in what I read as a subtle criticism to Sortu's monolithism), while demanding the return home of all political prisoners and refugees, so they can take part in the process of peace and self-determination. 

Asked about the "negative consequences" announced by ETA in a previous communication[es], if the imperialist states persist in their attitude of negation of any kind of peace negotiations, Pernando Barrena (Sortu) suggested that they mean the kind of outcomes like the death of López in prison 1400 km away from home. He said that "the scenario before October 2011 [date in which ETA declared a unilateral perpetual cease-fire] belongs to the past, to disgrace of all those who miss violent confrontation". 

However one wonders if Barrena is not a bit in denial, considering the total immobility of the imperialist camp. 

Another hot issue to which the speakers alluded was the political cul-de-sac of Navarre, where the reactionary unionists of UPN and their beleaguered leader Yolanda Barcina rule in minority after many corruption scandals of earth-shaking proportions have been uncovered. A non-confidence vote is being put forward next Friday[es] with the only aim to force elections and the reactionary forces (UPN+PP) only have 23 of the 50 seats. However it is likely that the centrist unionists of the PSN-PSOE will abstain, keeping the impasse on grounds of "state reasons" that are proving to be highly destructive for Navarre. 

Garaikoetxea and Mintegi
But maybe the hottest issue of all is the new inquisitorial persecution against Laura Mintegi, head of a list (EH Bildu) backed by one third of Western Basque voters, for declaring that the cause of political violence is indeed political. She said[es]:

It cannot be said that I was happily in the homage paid to a victim because absolutely all victims who have died for a political cause (which is not a traffic accident, nor a heart attack, nor a cancer) are a tragedy. And, in addition, all them are avoidable because they have a political origin. 

Of course. 

Happy Basque National Day to all good-hearted people around the World. 

The Neo-Feudal path of ailing Capitalism

When we study the causes behind the French Revolution, we see that they were the following:

1. All effective power was concentrated in the upper classes (castes if you wish), while the bulk of the people had no effective influence in actual government. Almost exactly as today (in spite of all the pretenses of formal "democracy" the effective influence of the mega-rich is all-encompassing: governments, media, etc.)

2. There was a huge problem of public debt, caused by misspending with the wrong priorities: wars and privileges of the elites. Exactly as today.

3. The bulk of taxation fell over the poor, with the rich and hyper-rich getting away with almost no taxes. Exactly as today. 

4. Widespread private taxes hampered the economy to no avail. 

This last aspect appeared to me less important or even non-existent in the modern context, however it seems now obvious that I was blind to reality. While state and regional tolls tend to be abolished, a whole network of new private tolls actually exists and is growing by the moment everywhere. 

Liberal economical blog Naked Capitalism (which is generally a great read in spite of not being revolutionary but just reformist) discusses today this last issue as it is becoming more and more relevant in the USA:

Apparently Obama’s idea of a Holy Week sacrifice is to feed American citizens to rapacious bankers, this time through the device of “public/private partnerships” to support infrastructure spending. Some NC readers were correctly alarmed by a speech by Obama on Friday on using public/private partnerships to fund infrastructure spending. This is not a new idea; Obama first unveiled it in his Statue of the Union address. But it is a singularly bad idea, that is, if you are anyone other than a promoter of or investor in these deals.
As we’ve discussed at length earlier, these schemes are simply exercises in extraction. Investors in mature infrastructure deals expect 15% to 20% returns on their investment. And that also includes the payment of all the (considerable) fees and costs of putting these transactions together. The result is tantamount to selling the family china and then renting it back in order to eat. There is no way that adding unnecessary middlemen with high return expectations improves the results to the public. In fact, the evidence is overwhelmingly the reverse: investors jack up usage fees and skimp on maintenance. And their deals are full of sneaky features to guarantee their returns. For instance, Truthout noted:
Infrastructure privatization contracts are full of “gotcha” terms that require state or local governments to pay the private contractors. For example, now when Chicago does street repairs or closes streets for a festival, it must pay the private parking meter contractor for lost meter fares. Those payments put the contractors in a much better position than the government. It gets payments, even though Chicago did not get fares when it had to close streets…
Highway privatization contracts also often include terms that forbid building “competing” roads or mass transit. Some even require making an existing “competing” road worse. For example, the contract for SR-91 in Southern California prohibited the state from repairing an adjacent public road, creating conditions that put drivers’ safety at risk. A proposed private highway around the northwest part of Denver required that local governments reduce speeds and install speed humps and barriers and narrow lanes on “competing” roads to force drivers to use the privatized road…
Virginia decided to promote carpooling to cut down on pollution, slow highway deterioration and lessen highway and urban congestion. As a result, Virginia must reimburse the private contractor for lost revenues from carpoolers, even though not all of the people in a car would otherwise have driven individually….

(... more at Naked Capitalism).

All this is obviously just a scam and abuse on the citizenry on the purely ideological grounds that such public services must be owned by private actors.

And it's not just highways and parking meters, the reality is that with the Thatcherite obsession with privatization of public services takes their toll on us in just every aspect of life: tap water is private even if the investment is mostly public, we pay that way taxes to private middlemen, electricity is private even if again the investment is mostly public, in Spain at least much of education is private, yet paid by the state, the railroads and buses are private even if again most of the investment is public, parking tolls are private even if it is a public interest measure, highways are private even if they are public services, my local government is spending billions in the High Speed Train (AHT-TAV) even if it will be managed and profited by private actors again. Never mind the once public savings banks, which are being demolished and privatized by the moment, acting in all aspects are merely private ones. Or TV... whose few allowed channels are more and more concentrated in few greedy and power-mongering hands.

Wait and see for even more brutal abuses. This is the decadent madness of ailing Capitalism: a public power which is totally in the hands of the exploiters and rents them for mere peanuts all the stuff we need to live and work, what, in turn, produces a system of generalized abusive private taxes in every aspect of life. We get to pay brutal taxes just for food and they get negative rent payments while they evade all their money to tax heavens and are even allowed to close vital business or move them to other parts of the world without any penalty.

A revolution is much needed.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The scum of Spanish military takes over Catalan streets with a religious pretext

While religious parades of the infamous Spanish Legion (a copy of the French Legion) have been "traditional" in parts of Andalusia, where they have their main bases, in Catalonia they were unheard of... until now. 

In a clear act of fascist defiance against the sovereign People of Catalonia, whole platoons of the Spanish Legion marched with a giant crucifix in the towns of Mataró and Granollers (Catalonia). People who protested their presence were threatened. 

One of course wonders why in a supposedly secular state (??) the military is allowed to take part in sectarian activities like religious parades, very especially in uniform and as such troop units (and not as individuals in civilian clothes). But regardless of that, it is happening, with the obvious complicity of the far-right Spanish Government, with the clear intent of scare Catalans and all other peoples and individuals of the residual Spanish Empire into submission. 

How wrong they are: this only causes anger and realization that we still live under a watered-down version of the Fascist regime. 

An almost anecdotal but nevertheless revealing detail is the fact that at least one of those legionaries wore a small Nazi swastika that became obvious as they rose the Christian idol on their arms:

click to expand

This image was photoshopped by the Diario of Cataluña newspaper but the evidence, originally distributed by Reuters and very clearly visible in this scary video, cannot be hidden. In fact he had not one but two swastikas, the other one maybe partly erased but still visible in the image above.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Biofuel from genetically modified bacteria?

That's what researchers of the University of Georgia claim to have accomplished. The discovery has two elements I do not like, namely genetic modification and that it is still a carbon-based fuel and not the much more environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel, which only generates water as "residue". Still it is interesting to keep track of all the many revolutionary discoveries in the field of energy generation that are mostly being ignored for the time being but that could well, taken together, displace the highly polluting and destructive inefficient economy of the Industrial Era to the museums.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Food poisoned in Navarrese hospital whose kitchen service was recently privatized

The Navarrese hyper-corrupt Spanish Nationalist authorities privatized a couple of months ago the kitchen services at the public hospitals of the Old Kingdom. Since then the anger among patients and acquaintances, as well as among the general public, has been growing, with endless protests in the streets as well as in the media and Internet, as the extremely low quality of food service clearly endangers the health of patients and rations are so small or inedible that relatives are being forced to take their own food to hospital. Even one patient declared himself in hunger strike in protest. 

However the entrenched Barcina government has only insisted that the decision to privatize the service will not be changed and has taken no other measure to tackle the problem. 

The worst is actually happening in the end: one patient is now being treated for infection of Listeria, a bacterium that was detected in the infamous hospital food in recent tests.

Capitalism kills.

Source: Ateak Ireki[es] (includes video of protests).

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nazi violence and intimidation escalates dramatically in Greece - Government, Police accomplices

Two very worrying pieces of information from I Can't Relax in Greece:

Citizens beaten mercilessly by Nazi thugs while police watched passively

A school teacher, Maria Trollou, was beaten mercilessly by Nazi thugs in the island of Paros right in front of a whole squad of riot police who just watched the crime. She believes that the only thing that saved her life then was the intervention of her companion Savvas Mavridis, who was also beaten as result. 

Mavridis and Trollou after the attack
Police watches as Nazi MP N. Mihos threatens a Paros resident

Maria and her companion were taking part in a protest against Nazi propaganda, as a delegation of the terrorist party was holding a political meeting at the otherwise calm island. The demo was first cornered by riot police, who then allowed the Nazis to attack them with total impunity, in yet another case of collaboration among the Nazis and the police forces, almost the same thing in practice. 

Source and more details: I Can't Relax in Greece.

Thugs take over trial of Nazi MP, who is acquitted

In a peculiar intimidation demonstration, a well organized Nazi operation took place on March 7th at the Athens Court of Justice. Dozens of muscular thugs all dressed in black leather and often carrying blunt objects like motorist helmets took over all the seats at the courtroom where the trial against Nazi MP Ilias Kasiriadis took place. He stood accused of attacking the leader of the Communist Party of Greece in a televised debate. 

About 1/3 of the people outside were also Nazi thugs. Rather unsurprisingly Kasiriadis was acquitted.

Among the many irregularities in this "trial" was the fact that police opened the doors of the courtroom half an hour earlier but only allowed in the Nazi thugs. 

Kassiriadis leaves the Court with his "army"

Sources: I can't Relax in Greece, EnetEnglish.

In almost any other place this trial would be null and void and police would be purged, however in Greece we are witnessing a situation similar to what lead Hitler to power in Germany in 1933: a coalition of bourgeois parties, two of which claim to be "socialist", effectively collaborating with the Nazi takeover. The main opposition party SYRIZA is like the KPD, which was extremely strong in popular support but was soon effectively exterminated by the much better organized and funded Nazis. 

In addition to that, the Western elites are clearly supporting a Nazi takeover in Greece. While the Nazi threat is very real, Western media typically inflates the numbers of individuals taking part in the Nazi activities, making 6000 to be 200,000 and stuff like that. 

This danger concerns not just Greece but actually all Europe and is growing by the moment at the same time that the Capitalist economy collapses in the deadly embrace of parasitic banksters. Therefore it's clear that the time of merely nonviolent and political resistance has passed and that much stronger steps must be taken if we want, as we surely do, stop the Nazi threat in Europe.

The situation is dire.

Caterpillar Inc.: enemy of Humankind

In Palestine as in Belgium, the construction vehicles multinational is working against the People with particular belligerance and lack of any scruples.

From Electronic Intifada:

Caterpillar destroys livelihoods in Europe and Palestine

Palestinians pay tribute to Rachel Corrie on the tenth anniversary of her murder — with the aid of a Caterpillar bulldozer. 
(Nedal Eshtayah / APA images)

Like many Palestine solidarity activists, I’ve long regarded Caterpillar as a callous firm. A trip to the Belgian city of Charleroi over the weekend reinforced this view.
Caterpillar recently announced that it is shedding 1,400 jobs from its Charleroi plant. The measure has been presented as “indispensable” for reasons of “competitiveness” by Nicolas Polutnik, the plant’s chief executive. His rationale merits contempt. Caterpillar, which raked in a profit of almost $5.7 billion last year, is lengthening the dole queues in a city where unemployment already exceeds 20 percent.

War against workers

Far from having no other option than to “downsize,” it is waging an ideological war against workers’ rights. As the second largest US employer in the country, Caterpillar plays an active role in the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium. This grouping has seized on the global economic crisis to try and unravel hard-won gains by the country’s labour movement. One of the chamber’s top targets at the moment is automatic wage indexation — a requirement that employers increase their workers’ pay when the cost of living rises.

Caterpillar’s cruel disregard for the firm’s own employees chimes completely with its support for Israeli apartheid. Documents published by the Israeli embassy in Brussels list Caterpillar machines made in Charleroi as being among Belgium’s top exports to Israel.

Brazen dishonesty

Almost two years ago, I confronted Paolo Fellin, a Caterpillar vice-president, over how his company’s bulldozers were being used to destroy Palestinian homes. Fellin replied: “If our products end up in certain parts of the world, then I have no control over that.”

His dishonesty was brazen. Fellin’s area of responsibility included the Middle East, so — unless he was incompetent — he knew a thing or two about Zoko, which acts as Caterpillar’s Israeli dealer. Zoko’s own website has a section dedicated to its work for the Israeli army. The section explicitly states that Zoko has tweaked vehicles so that they can be used for military purposes: the distinctive black, yellow and white Caterpillar logo can be seen on some of the vehicles in question. This amounts to an admission of guilt in facilitating war crimes.

Weapon of occupation

Rachel Corrie is the best known victim of those crimes. It is only correct that we salute her bravery and selflessness on the tenth anniversary of her murder. Caterpillar cannot be allowed evade responsibility for this abominable act. Yes, it was an Israeli soldier who crushed her to death as she tried to stop him from demolishing a home in Gaza. But the Caterpillar bulldozer he was driving had been transformed especially so that it could serve as a weapon of dispossession and occupation.

A decade later, Caterpillar’s vehicles are still being used for those purposes. As Joe Catron reported last week, Israeli troops have ruined farmland inside Gaza — with the aid of Caterpillar bulldozers — over the past few months.

While in Charleroi, I learned that shortly before management announced the job losses, local Palestine solidarity activists had been in contact with trade unionists representing Caterpillar’s workers. Despite the company’s dealings with Israel, the unionists were sympathetic to the Palestine solidarity movement, I was told. That didn’t surprise me: the labour rights movement in Belgium is generally supportive of efforts to dismantle Israeli apartheid.

It is entirely understandable that saving their own jobs is now the top concern of Caterpillar’s workers. But this shouldn’t mean that Palestine solidarity campaigners should stop reaching out to these workers - or those who remain once the management implements its “restructuring plan.”

Caterpillar appears intent on destroying livelihoods in both Europe and Palestine. Taming this corporate monster requires building the broadest possible alliance.

Boycott Caterpillar!

D-Day: Dijsselmbloem Day: laughs, panic or both?

Quite aristocratically the guy, mostly unknown for non-Dutch until yesterday, has four names before his hard-to-spell surname. Jeroen René Victor Anton Dijsselmbloem (pictured) is the Finance Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and acting chairman of the Eurogroup.

And he has a big mouth.

In an interview with Reuters published yesterday that will no doubt go into the history books of the near future, he declared that the nefarious "bail-in" of Cyprus by which banksters' loses go to savers instead than to banksters themselves is a model to follow elsewhere in Europe:

A rescue programme agreed for Cyprus on Monday represents a new template for resolving euro zone banking problems and other countries may have to restructure their banking sectors, the head of the region's finance ministers said.

This declaration has sent all stock markets into confusion, even if, after the Ecofin corrected him, they managed in most cases to avoid loses (Dow Jones lost yesterday 0.44% and Spain's IBEX more than one percentile point today).

European credibility is on the brink, although I must admit that this Jeroen guy has a point: banks must fall. But not this way: they must fall like any regular company in normal bankruptcy, letting the insurance pay the deposits under the €100,000, as is by law, and then the res publica may want to acquire the skeleton of the bank and refloat it as public service banking facility, whose profits would go to social services and other public expenses.

That might work. But the bankster rulers of Europe are not at all concerned about social stability or the cost for commoners. They only care about keeping their profits, and therefore their power, up. That's why banks are being bailed out by the public or by any means necessary in a decadent spiral of financier parasitic Capitalist swan song.

This madness, like the Ancien Régime of Louis XVI, can't keep going for long. A revolution is needed like fresh air in a coal mine.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Brazil: violent eviction of Natives from Aldeia Maracanã to make room for football idiocy

Even if many do not understand it, it is clear that, like the Church historically, Football is the enemy of the People: both are mere brainwashing machines and not at all your friends.

Brazil is making room for the World Cup and that shame of former guerrilleira that is Dilma Rousseff is now playing the game of Capitalism and has no scruples to attack the poor to make room for that spectacle.

I already mentioned how Río plans to demolish whole favelas (slums) to make room for the show. Sadly now I have to mention that the only indigenous neighborhood of all Río, the Aldeia Maracanã, established on the former Museu do Indio, has been violently evicted by police forces in order to make room for the stupid useless stadiums.

Much of the unilateral police violence can be seen at this video by the indefatigable Carlos Latuff (who does not just draw excellent political cartoons but also video-reports, it seems):

Police did not only use physical violence, causing injuries to many, but also other weapons like pepper spray (almost copied from that campus in California months ago) and even sonic weapons, as can be seen and heard in this other video:

The victims of this violence were not only the peaceful resisters but also the journalists who tried to report the incidents. 

More videos can be watched also at Global Voices Online[por] (article by our friend Gabriel Tsavkko García). An English-language shorter article (by another author) can be read at Rio On Watch.

USA: Flatbush rebellion pamphlet

It can be downloaded (PDF) at THIS LINK



Rebellions like the one in Flatbush are happening across the world. In Paris, Oakland, London, and Cairo, rebellions are shaking the system. They’re happening because tens of millions of young people are being denied a future, and they’re angry about it.

For most young people in the U.S. today, there are very few jobs to be found. And those that exist don’t pay enough to cover rent or tuition, let alone raising a family. In some parts of the country, 50% of young black men are unemployed, and those with college degrees are mopping floors to pay their debts. The only choice young people have today is between grueling dead-end jobs at McDonalds, unemployment, prison, or death. And they know it. When adults tell them to “get a job” or “work their way up,” they are smart enough to know it is a lie, and they don’t listen. Some young people try to give their lives meaning by hustling, getting props from their friends, and getting a memorial mural on a brick wall somewhere when they die. This may give them a sense of honor, and a few friends may remember them. But it doesn’t change the larger system that denies the vast majority of people a good life. 

We live in an economic system called capitalism. The situation of young people today is not an accident, but something that’s an inherent part of our society: it happens on purpose. In our society, everyone is caught between unemployment and shitty employment. When we’re unemployed, we have some free time but risk starvation. When we’re employed, we earn a little money but have to sell ourselves to a boss for hours on end. This rat race is what keeps the system moving. The system demands that everyone must work at exhausting jobs and make profi ts for others, or be searching for work, desperate and poor.

Some people think they can escape this rat race if they work hard enough, but the reality is that most people never do. And if they escape it, they have to forget their hood roots, and become the new exploiters of the hood. 

This is why the rebellions will keep coming. NOT because young Black people are uncontrollable, inherently criminal, or fucked up. Rebellions will happen because people rise up against injustice. Because today, a whole generation is being thrown in the garbage, and it is refusing to be forgotten.

Source: Fire Next Time.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

More than 10,000 march in Pamplona for public services

More than 10,000 people demonstrated today in the Navarrese (and historical Basque) capital of Iruñea-Pamplona against the massive plundering of the res publica by the ruling party the, conservative and Spanish Nationalist, Navarrese People's Union (UPN), sustained (actively in the past, passively now) by the, also Spanish Nationalist, Socialist Party (PSN-PSOE).

Two key issues are arising the very legitimate anger of the Navarrese: on one side the institutional robbery of the local savings bank (CAN), which was sold for peanuts to Spanish and the Catalan interests, on the other the privatization in very bad conditions of fundamental services like hospital kitchens, which are offering the worst possible catering short of poison (sugar for diabetics, brown omelets, tiny rations...)

In addition to these there are other also important matters like the robbery by the Catholic Church of many municipal buildings and lands (just by claiming them, they get them assigned by law) or the pocketing of large sums of extra income by political leaders in farcical meetings where they did nothing and which were counted several times.

Also the cuts to social assistance is leaving many unemployed or otherwise marginalized Navarrese deprived of any income.

Source: Ateak Ireki[eu].

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Anonymous hacks Mossad and publishes list of 35,000 spies

As they say, the only safe computer is the unplugged one... and even then...

For what I could track online, hackers under the moniker Anonymous (and more specifically the Turkish group Red Hack and another cell called Sektor 404, according to Russia Today) have taken over the computers of the Zionist spy-terrorist organization Mossad and published them (a couple of multiple links right now floating over the internet: link 1, link 2 - they won't probably last for long but I guess they will be popping around for those really interested to find them as I just did). They also kicked the Zionist computers off the Net for some time:

Update (Apr 4): Kasama has today a documentary/propaganda video on Red Hack (in Turkish but English subtitles are available clicking in the options bar below).

Update (Apr 17): Ali Abuminah at Electronic Intifada claims it's all a hoax and that the data of innocent Palestinians is included in the list. Read more at Electronic Intifada

Important note: I posted yesterday a comment asking for further explanations, because, after all only one anonymous person is the source of Abuminah's hoax claim, while there are other good sources which do claim Red Hack as a real entity with a background, and it has not been published nor answered in any way, what makes me doubt of Abuminah's honesty a bit.

Friday, March 22, 2013

All that is wrong in the Cyprus crisis

Pavlos Agios at In Defense of Marxism, explains from a socialist perspective the Cypriot financial crisis. Some most interesting excerpts:

On the partial defeat of Communist AKEL in the elections:

It was impossible for AKEL to enthuse voters with a programme that keeps Cyprus within the straight-jacket of capitalism, and particularly casino capitalism!


With the announcement of austerity measures as part of a package to re-negotiate the loan with Russia, many just lost faith in the ruling Communist Party. But it is also true that less than 25% of the voters that had supported AKEL in 2008 abandoned it. Many stayed at home not willing to vote for the “solutions” of the Cypriot right wing and not happy with the chauvinist position of the nationalist party (DIKO). 


The result in the second round of voting gave the right-wing DISY, led by Nicos Anastasiades, 57.48% of the vote. The level of abstention (18.42%) was the highest in the history of presidential elections in Cyprus. AKEL's candidate, Stavros Malas, got 42.67%.

On the banking crisis:

Over a year ago the government had to bail out the Laiki Bank (Popular Bank) with over €1.8bn due to the Bank’s greedy policy of buying Greek bonds cheaply that after a few months, and due to the Greek crisis, were worth nothing. The Government should have nationalised the bank paying no compensation and tackling the problem there and then. Accepting the rules of capitalism meant that they had to accept its dynamics and after that, cuts had to be made. So the government started to cut.


Under this – capitalist – system there is no other option. Many will now raise the issue of leaving the euro (and the Eurozone) as a solution but this policy, without the nationalisation of the banking and insurance system, is just calling for a huge reduction in wages, even bigger than that proposed by the Troika.


It seems, however, that none of these lessons have been learnt by the AKEL leadership. Although they correctly voted against the deal, they then advocated a referendum on the country’s euro membership. The solution is not a referendum! They should issue a call to take over the banks under workers’ control!

... full article at IDOM.

UK: citizen campaign to get Blair judged for war crimes

From Al-Jazeera:

London, United Kingdom - It was only as David Cronin saw Tony Blair and his entourage striding towards him that he finally plucked up the courage to go through with his plan to attempt to arrest the former British prime minister over his role in the invasion of Iraq and claim a bounty on his head.
"I walked up to him very briskly and managed to put my hand on his arm and say, 'Mr Blair, this is a citizen's arrest,'" Cronin told Al Jazeera of the 2010 encounter at the European Parliament in Brussels, where he worked as a journalist.

"I didn't have time to say anything else before his bodyguards pushed me away, so I just shouted at him, 'You are guilty of war crimes!' He looked at me for a split-second before I was bundled off. I can only describe it as a look of puzzlement and contempt."

Ten years since British forces joined the US-led assault, many in the UK are more critical than ever of the country's involvement in a conflict documented by the Iraq Body Count database to have killed more than 112,000 civilians.

More than a fifth - 22 percent - of Britons polled by YouGov this month said they believed Blair should be tried as a war criminal for his role in the conflict, which was preceded by massive anti-war demonstrations in London and other cities.

Fifty-three percent said the invasion was wrong, while half said Blair, a key international ally of US President George W Bush, had deliberately misled the British people over the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.

Blair's schedule these days is a closely guarded secret to avoid ambushes by the protesters who stalk his public appearances armed with eggs, shoes and banners reading: "BLIAR". Even his testimony at last year's phone-hacking inquiry was interrupted by an intruder shouting, "This man is a war criminal!"

Online campaign
Cronin, meanwhile, is one of four people to have claimed a reward from an online campaign, Arrest Blair, which offers a share of a bounty pot for each attempted arrest.

Sarkozy investigated on corruption

From Al-Jazeera:

France's former president, Nicholas Sarkozy, has been indicted over claims he accepted thousands of dollars in illegal donations for his election campaign, reports have said.

Sarkozy allegedly took funds from L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, France's richest woman, for his 2007 election campaign.

Lawyer Antoine Gillot told French TV i-Tele that Judge Jean-Michel Gentil in the southwestern city of Bordeaux had placed Sarkozy under investigation, after hours of questioning on Thursday.

Under French law, a formal investigation is the final step before a suspect is accused of a crime.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Token example of how radioactive is japan: the bullet train collects extremely radioactive dust

The Tohoku Shinkansen or bullet train that links Tokyo with Northern Honsu has been found to collect dust that is well above the already extremely lax industrial limit of 8,000 Bq/Kg (before the catastrophe it was 100Bq/kg), so it cannot be disposed by regular means, reports Fukushima Diary.

The train collects this dust most likely as it goes through Fukushima prefecture (map at right), which should be off limits to all normal human activities, in my not-so-humble opinion (following Chernobyl and most basic common-sense criteria).

We live in times of absolute madness. And Japanese even more so.

SYRIZA leader asked to explain program in London visit

In a visit to London, the main leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, explained the catastrophic situation to which the Greek economy has been plunged upon but the public asked for clear answers about the program of the coalition, criticized by some for being too ambiguous and leaning towards bourgeois socialdemocracy.

The first priority of a Syriza government is to abolish all the measures that reduce wages and pensions and gradually restore the minimum wage to pre Memorandum levels and promised to “renegotiate” the Greek loans with the foreign lenders. 

Secondly, the Syriza government will renegotiate the state loans with the Greek and foreign lenders. He also emphasized the importance of solidarity that workers around the world must show towards each other and towards a government of the Left. Lastly, he criticized the policy of the government saying that Samaras' agenda has helped to strengthen the power of neo-Nazis because, according to him, "Samaras's party has some hidden extreme right -supporters".


There were a lot of people who demanded a clearer vision from comrade Tsipras and put the question of socialism to him. His answer was that nobody can move towards Socialism with decrees and laws, but only with the active support of the majority of the people. He recognized that from the first day,  a Syriza government is going to be faced by a difficult period.  The threat of reaction from the ruling class will be overcome with the help of the Greek people.

Tsipras is trying to calm the nerves of the troika by visiting the USA, Germany and talking to a forum of the Karamanlis Foundation. On Friday, he said that he will postpone the socialist measures until the majority of the Greek people would support them. This was a really vague statement!


Diakorgeorgiou strongly criticizes this ambiguity and reminds us about the program of the Communist Tendency of SYRIZA, which is much more clear and radical:

Comrade Tsipras doesn’t seem to understand that if he doesn’t press forward with a socialist programme, the only way of staying in power is by capitulation to the Troika. Any move to abolish the Memoranda without nationalization and workers’ control of the banks and the big corporations will result in the collapse of his government. Tsipras’s speech shows us the urgency of a clearly defined socialist programme, something that our comrades in Syriza are fighting for.
Our comrades of the Initiative for a Communist Tendency of Syriza (see their appeal) are putting forward a clearly defined 10-point Socialist programme for the party:

1) Debt cancellation and immediate abolition of the Memoranda and any measures imposed by them.

2) Heavy taxes on big business and the big wealth.

3) Establishment of workers’ control in companies by elected committees of workers, which in turn, will elect a Nationwide Labour Audit Committee.

4) Nationalization of the banking system and creation of a single state bank, with its managing body composed of a 1/3 of employees in banks, 1/3 of representatives of trade unions and 1/3 of representatives of the government.

5) Nationalization and integration into single entities within each industry of all enterprises in which the state holds even one share of the large firms that are closing, the companies of transport (people or goods), water, energy, telecommunications, mineral wealth, infrastructure and construction, with their management consisting of 1/3 employees of the company, 1/3 consumers-workers (trade unions, etc.) and 1/3 representatives of the government. Creation of a Pan-Hellenic Nationalization and Planning Council of the economy with the participation of the Pan-Hellenic Labour Audit Committee of the working people's organizations (trade unions, professional associations, etc.) and representatives of the government, which will establish a firm basis for the socialization of all major companies in the industry.

6) Nationalization of large landed properties and incentives for the voluntary consolidation of smallholders into cooperatives under state control.

7) Implement in cooperation with the government and Pan-Hellenic Labour Audit Committee a project to ensure a job for every unemployed person, through a program of public infrastructure projects and nationalization and the reduction of working hours as much as it is required in order to share out all available jobs amongst all the workers.

8) Steeply progressive taxation of capital and wealth, direct cost savings from the "freezing" of military spending, the expropriation of church property, and above all, the nationalization program will provide the necessary revenue for an immediate increase in salaries, pensions and allowances within the context of a decent standard of living and the introduction an automatic increase of wage and pensions in line with any increase in the cost of living. Adequate funding of Health, Education, Welfare, Social Security, Culture and Sports.

9) Eradication of the bureaucratic and repressive structures of the existing, bourgeois government and the redesign of the state in a socialist basis with the right to elect and  recall all senior government officials and dignitaries who will be paid the salary of a skilled worker; the exclusion of special repressive forces from labour disputes, putting  the security forces and the army under the democratic control and management of the mass organizations of the workers and the youth; the election of judges by the people and the reform of law in accordance with the interests of working people. For an open discussion by the working people and society of the earliest possible adoption of a Constitution that enshrines the social ownership of the means of production and revolutionary changes in state power.

10) The faithful implementation of this program obviously entails departure from all reactionary, imperialist military alliances like NATO, a conflict with the capitalist EU and its institutions and, inevitably, withdrawal from it. The example of a revolutionary Greece, and an open class appeal to the European workers for a common struggle against capitalism in Europe, for the establishment of the United Socialist States of Europe will disarm imperialism. It would shield the country from external threats and will provide very soon a safe and equitable international position by opening the prospect of pan-European and global victory of socialism.

French minister resigns in corruption case

From Euronews:

A formal investigation has been opened into the former French Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac following allegations he had a secret Swiss bank account.

President Francois Hollande accepted his resignation on Tuesday evening. Suspicions were raised in December when the former plastic surgeon, who is heading a drive to crack down on tax evasion, was accused of holding an account at UBS until the start of 2010 by an investigative reporter.

It was alleged the male voice on a recorded telephone call published online admitting holding the account was Cahuzac’s. That now appears to have been confirmed by a police laboratory.

A formal investigation means prosecutors are able to deploy greater resources, notably in Switzerland, to prove their case.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cyprus rejects Eurogroup demolition plan

The Cypriot Parliament rejected with 36 votes against, 19 abstentions and not a single vote in favor the proposal to raise €5.8 billion of banking capital from depositors, via a special tax. This was the condition imposed by the Eurogroup (meeting of the finance ministers of the Eurozone, with regulatory capacity) to loan €17 billion (or is it just ten?) to the Cypriot banks, some of which are in apparent dire straits. 

In the end, after a very long weekend of meetings, protests, counter-proposals, etc., the bill gathered not one single vote. It is of course unclear how many of those who opposed, let alone abstained, would have voted in favor if they had any hope of victory but it seems that in the end nobody wanted to vote in favor of financial suicide. 

Let the banks fall therefore... as they must.

In a side note, it must be mentioned that at least €4.5 billion were moved out of the country even before the EU's conditions were formally stated. It seems that some depositors had way too good connections. 

Sources: Bloomberg, DWN[de].

Update (Mar 20):

This article at is a very good analysis (from a purely capitalist viewpoint, it must be said) of why this Eurogroup attack against deposits was the equivalent to shooting Cyprus dead. It seems that the survival instinct of Cypriots, including MPs, so often so sheepish, has avoided the worst.

However the threat remains, and dissident (Neokeynesian) economist Y. Varoufakis warns that the next step is likely to be a bailout with conditions similar to Greece, i.e. hitting pensioners and taxpayers instead than account-holders.

This should never be the case, not even under theoretical free-market capitalist conditions: if a bank must fail, so be it. Smaller accounts are 100% insured (to avoid the worst) and the state can always retake the bank as public company for a small cost after due bankruptcy.

However Europe is not anymore a common sense place but a dictatorship of the banksters: they rule the Union and they rule the states and dictate the terms so they always win.

But even that is unsustainable in the short run: things will change one way or another. You can only squeeze a lemon so much, right?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fukushima Daichi has lost power

The Fukushima Daichi reactors, all them in clear meltdown cum China Syndrome since March 2011, only partly slowed by the continuous injection of seawater, have lost power by reasons unknown to TEPCO, the energy giant still in charge. The area is under heavy storm but most importantly for at least three consecutive hours the power could not be restored. 

Some ex-reactors had shown signs of heating in recent weeks and all the information that comes from the epicenter of the worst nuclear catastrophe ever or of its effect around the North Pacific, from Japan to the USA, are very bad. Sadly I can only comment on the matter occasionally. But this lack of power has only happened once before: it was precisely what caused the catastrophe to begin with (yes, it is highly ironical but nuclear power plants need external power to work). Without power the whole refrigeration system stops working and catastrophe ensues. 

Will this be the cause of an accelerated aggravation of the almost unimaginably catastrophic situation of the plant? It may well be the case.

Sources: EneNews, Fukushima Diary, Simply Info.

Quick update (Mar 19 morning): 

Reactors 1, 3 and 4 are still without power, after more than 20 hrs. without power temperature is raising quickly and the most immediate effect is increase on radiation emissions, never really stopped (nor can be, because its proximity to the sea and corresponding water table).

Update (Mar 20): power was finally restored yesterday. They still don't know what went wrong. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"Red Card to Israel": campaing and online petition to kick Zionists out of UEFA

As I have said often, it is an unbearable burden of shame that our bureaucratic-bourgeois elites force us European citizens to share our sport and cultural events with the infamous neonazi Apartheid Regime in Palestine ("Israel"). Things may be evolving for good because irritation with this unacceptable situation of cooperation with Apartheid and Genocide in Palestine is growing by the moment. 

These days there is a campaign to demand that the Zionist Regime be kicked out of UEFA (European football association and related continental tournaments) with the appealing name of Show Israel the Red Card.

The demand is specifically to impede that the UEFA under-21 finals be played in Apartheid territory. It is clearly not the background demand of us all, which is just completely marginalizing the Zionist Terror Regime from all links, cultural, political and economical to Europe (and elsewhere hopefully), pushing it to its eventual collapse as happened with Apartheid South Africa. But it is a beginning. 

So please sign THE PETITION, spread the word and keep pushing for boycott to Apartheid, boycott to Israel. 

More information at Red Card Israel Racism.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Thousands march in Bilbao for a new social and economic model

Some 15,000 Basques have marched today through Bilbao in demand of a new economic and social model and against the Western Basque budget project (so far not looking like getting a Parliament pass and we are already three months overdue). The demo was called by most labor unions (LAB, ELA, ESK, STEE-EILAS, EHNE, Hiru, CGT-LKN and CNT). 

One of the greatest criticisms was the idea of the Government of financing the very contested High Speed Train project, even beyond what it was supposed to pay for initially. The Basque Government is negotiating with Madrid to pay the Spanish Government fraction (which this one does not intend to pay for) from the yearly tribute ("cupo") that we pay to them. Most citizens will agree that there are other priorities than pharaonic projects that serve no real purpose other than filling the pockets of their constructor clients (and their own under the rug). 

Near the end of the march some people organized a sit in before the see of the ruling (in minority) Basque Nationalist Party (right wing) but they were expelled by police with great violence. 

Source: Naiz Info[es].

Cyprus: bank run begins, who's next?

As the new conservative Cypriot government announced a 9.9% tax on deposits exceeding €100,000 and of 6.7% in all other deposits, tax destinied to bail out the rotten banks, citizens rushed to cash machines and bank offices to remove their deposits or at least as much as they can. The bill has not yet bee approved but the President's right-wing party can get majority with the help of the Center-Right DYKOS party. 

The plan was decided by the Eurozone meeting of Finance Ministers, aka Eurogroup, who are obviously out of their minds. In exchange for this self-defeating move, the Eurogroup agreed to a bail-out (for the private banks, not the citizens nor the state) of €17 billion, to which Russia and the IMF could add some €3.5 billions.

It is notable that nothing of this was imposed while Cyprus had a Communist President, probably because Brussels feared that Cyprus might run away "in the wrong direction", i.e. towards increased socialism and out of the Eurozone or the EU altogether.

Anyhow, considering that Cyprus financial system has been working until now as a tax heaven of sorts, this decision seems totally suicidal and ill-thought, being the only logical result that banks end up completely empty. 

Besides the logical worries about Cypriot citizens and Cypriot economy, the true question floating around is who's next?

Refs. Irish Times, Bloomberg, Business Insider, The Automatic Earth.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New York police declares martial law in a Brooklyn neighborhood

The New York Police Department, often accused of racism, gratuitous violence and fascist tendencies, has declared a portion of Flatbush, a largely Afroamerican and Caribbean neighborhood of Brooklyn, "Frozen Zone", what is the police argot equivalent to martial law. More specifically it means that the media are not allowed in and that people can be arrested at whim (for not following police orders in theory but that can be almost anything, especially without media scrutiny).

Kimani Gray
East Flatbush has seen in recent days a rebellion of its people against the brutality of NYPD, so far expressed as peaceful but challenging demonstrations. The trigger was the murder by police agents of Kimani Gray, 16. He was shot between 11 and 16 times. The police account has nothing to do with the version of neutral witnesses, who deny the kid had anything in his hands.

This is of course not the first arbitrary execution by the brutal NY Police Department. Ramarley Graham was also murdered by police agents in his grandmother's bathroom. No firearm was ever found that could support the police story of self-defense.

Shantel Graham was similarly murdered in August after being dragged out of the car by her killers. 

Another unarmed man was killed by police agents the day of his wedding. They shot nothing less than 50 bullets against him. 

The extreme powers of the "stop and frisk" policy allow policemen to behave as Gestapo guards. While crime is allegedly down by 80% since 2002, the forced stop of citizens incidences have raised 700%! Too many of these incidences end with a dead citizen at the hands of the cops, especially in places like Flatbush. 

As The People have raised against this brutality, police intends to quell their protests by means of martial law. 

EU's highest tribunal rules against Spanish foreclosure law

The highest judiciary authority in the European Union, the European Court of Justice (with see in Luxemburg), has ruled that the Spanish law of foreclosures is illegal because it does not give enough guarantee to citizens against abusive clauses in mortgage contracts. The ruling states that:

The Spanish normative, which impedes the judge with competency to declare abusive a clause of a mortgage contract to suspend the foreclosure procedure initiated through another path, is against the Right of the Union.

The Spanish law only allows to bring to court the issue of abusive clauses in mortgages AFTER the foreclosure has been completed. 

The high court has ruled on the question initiated by a mercantile court of Barcelona, which must decide on a demand by a citizen who was evicted by Catalunya Caixa (incidentally one of the Spanish banks "rescued" by EU funds). This citizen was evicted from his home in 2011 after he failed to meet his payments and demands that one of the clauses of the mortgage contract be declared null and therefore the foreclosure and eviction altogether. 

This is likely to cause chaos in the already surrealist Spanish mortgage scam scene. It should also affect the price of housing negatively, what is generally good for citizens and real economy and bad for banksters and their macroeconomic speculative mad dreams. 

It should block or at least delay most foreclosures and evictions, alleviating somewhat the dramatic burden on the shoulders of citizens who bought homes in the peak of the speculative bubble, still not sufficiently deflated. 

The European Court decisions have the highest ranking and overrule any state tribunals.

Source: Elkartzen Bilbo[es].

The Pope has woollen gloves...

The title is from one of the best-known songs of an 80s Punk band from Bilbao which I have not discussed in my mini-series on Basque Punk in this blog. Why I was younger, leaner and did not have a beard yet, Zer Bizio (wordplay between what vice? and restroom in Basque) made us dance with their song Dios ha muerto (God is dead) which began:

The Pope has woolen gloves
and wanks whenever he wants.
And all dumb...

Etc. Most of the lyrics are plain silly but anyhow: everyone to pilgrimage to Larrauri, a forgotten rural corner halfway between Mungia and Bakio... because there's where God died, or so they said. 

Well, after the fumata rosa (oh, ok, it was white, somebody said over here that because of all the cocaine but who knows?) the new Pope, some Bergoglio guy from Buenos Aires, a Jesuit, has been presented by the media as an austere person in contact with the people and blah-blah. 

But as soon as he gets to the throne of my mythical ancestor Pontian*, we begin to know about his dark past. Bergoglio is tainted by his alliance and that of all the Argentine Catholic Church to the terrorist military dictatorship.

(author: Carlos Latuff)
Bergoglio personally has been accused by the priests Olando Yorio and Francisco Jalics of being him the Jude who denounced them and others to the fascist regime, who were hijacked for five months in 1976. Yorio and Jalics were eventually freed but the four catechist women and two of their husbands, surrendered by this Pope were never found. They were surely murdered, thrown from an airplane to the sea or whatever. 

It is interesting to read this report by Horacio Vertbisky at Página 12[es] because it is from more than two years ago and it already predicted the renounce of Ratzinger Z and his retreat to a monastery. Bergoglio apparently had been papabile already in the previous conclave but these kind of reports were sent by email to the cardinals making him hardly eligible.

But some years later The Jesuit, as he calls himself in his own self-biography, makes a comeback in force. Human Rights activist Emilio Mignone said of him however: "what will History say of the shepherds who gave their sheep to the Enemy without defending nor rescue them".

Apparently the two priests were liberated because of the active diplomacy of Mignone with the help of the Vatican, while the Argentine Church and particularly Bergoglio did not lift a finger for them. The other victims of the fascist terror could not be rescued.

Bergoglio denies it all and claims that the priests were random victims of the fascist witch-hunt. Verbitsky instead claims to know better by personal experience including a letter that Bergoglio denies to have written and that he had previously published in his dedicated book "El Silencio" ("The Silence"). The facts also point to the complicity of all the Argentine ecclesiastical hierarchy and very blatantly to the hypocrites of the Jesuit order, including Anselmo Orcoyen.

Lista Informativa Nicragua y Más[es] has more scabrous details. 

Bergoglio with terrorist dictator Videla
Lorenzo Riquelme, now resident in France, affirms that the gang that kidnapped and tortured him in 1976 was based in the principal see of the Jesuits, whose main chief then was Jorge Mario Bergoglio. A priest of the trust of Bergoglio, Martín González, who was military chaplain, took part in those kidnappings. 

Former Jesuit priest Miguel Ignacio Mom Debussy, who was also sponsored by Bergoglio and to whom he was chauffeur, admits that the new Pope told him of the military coup plans beforehand. Bergoglio knew well the putchist project of Admiral Massera, with whom he had many meetings before the coup took place.

Bergoglio's favorite, Father González, now dead, who was often accompanied by two military bodyguards, took part personally in the tortures, playing the role of "good cop" who asked Riquelme to "cooperate". Riquelme, who trusted González from boy scout activities, considers this episode as if my own father betrayed me.

Father Mom Debussy protests the claims of those who say that the new Pope travels on public transport as mere propaganda:

Now they say he travels on bus and subway. In the long decade I was at his service he never went anywhere without his car, not even to nearby neighborhoods just a few blocks away.

He also denounces that he was in deals with the military partly for the sale of a property, eventually bought by the Air Force. Several of the workers of that building were then kidnapped and, when released, fired by Bergoglio. 

Some say that he protected them because he paid them the last salary.

Bergoglio also welcomed fully armed platoons in his Jesuit see. It is legend (legend only?) in the neighborhood that the building is surrounded by mass graves and some have even claimed to see bloodied ghosts. 

The Pope has woolen gloves... but his sins are much worse than mere wanking.

For more detail on the accusations against Bergoglio, the Jesuits and the Argentine Church, see the full report of Verbitsky at Taringa (in Spanish). It is also from two years ago but much more extensive than the article of Página 12, including many key documents.

Update: complementary source (images): Blog do Tsavkko - The Angry Brazilian[por]

Update: Bergoglio knew of the baby-snatching plans of the Argentine dictatorship.

LINyM[es] has even more information today (again by the hand of Horacio Vertbisky) on the true nature of "Pope Francis" (nice alias Satan!). Graciela and Adolfo Yorio, sister and brother of one of the priests that Bergoglio gave to the fascist death squads, Orlando Yorio (see above), laments this election because they says that he is the man to hide the truth. In the words of Adolfo: he is an expert in covering up.

Bergoglio denied to have known of the baby-snatching schemes of the military dictatorship but tribunals (specifically the Federal Oral Court number 6, which judged on this matter years ago), received documents showing that the new Pope knew perfectly about these plans and intervened once (with no results) on request of Pedro Arrupe, then worldwide General Superior of the Jesuit order.

Even José Arancedo, successor of Bergoglio in the bishopric, reported against his predecessor in that trial, providing a document on the meeting between Videla and the bishops Raúl Primatesta, Juan Aramburu y Vicente Zazpe, in which they talked openly on whether to talk openly or not on the murdering of civilians.

Vertbisky reckons he does not know why exactly Bergoglio was elected because the Vatican is so obscure that it is almost impossible to know the details. But he is certain that the new Bishop of Rome is an ersatz (sic in the original Spanish) of Ratzinger and the same ultra-conservative financial speculators he led until February.

Bergoglio's biography, he says, is one of a conservative populist, just like his predecessors Pio XII (Eugenio Pacelli) and John Paul II (Karol Wojtila): someone who talks a lot of the poor but does everything to squeeze them. The same that Pacelli was crucial in consolidating a pro-US Christian-Democrat government in Italy and the same that Wojtila was a battering ram against Socialism in Eastern Europe, he expects Bergoglio to be a tool of US imperialism and global Capitalism against the Latin American rebellion.

* Yes, this is true: mythical medieval Italian aristocratic "truth", just like the Bible, told to me seriously by my grandfather and mother based on the legends of their too-good-to-work ancestors, just like the Bible. Another day I'll tell you about my equally mythical ancestry from Hector of Troy.