In the modern global banking system, all banks need a credit line with the central bank in order to be part of the payments system. Choking off that credit line was a form of blackmail the Greek government couldn't refuse.
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is now being charged with treason for exploring the possibility of an alternative payment system in the event of a Greek exit from the euro. The irony of it all was underscored by Raúl Ilargi Meijer, who opined in a July 27th blog:
The fact that these things were taken into consideration doesn't mean Syriza was planning a coup . . . . If you want a coup, look instead at the Troika having wrestled control over Greek domestic finances. That's a coup if you ever saw one. read more
In the still-ongoing debate over sharing it's paramount to realize that sharing and copying was always the natural state, and that restricting of copying is an arbitrary restriction of property rights.
sharing-caringPolitical scientists have this concept called "natural rights". It's a right you have innately, even if there is no law enforcement or indeed any government. Such rights include the right to think freely, the right to use your senses, the right to speak your mind, and the right to hold property (starting with your own body).
In contrast, laws that restrict such rights cannot exist without a government to enforce such laws. This is crucial to understanding what can be considered a starting point for society; if you have a blank slate, what laws and rights exist before you've put the first ink to paper. read more
After two years, the White House on Tuesday responded to a popular petition on its We the People site calling for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to be "immediately issued a full, free, and absolute pardon." More than 167,000 Americans signed the petition. Lisa Monaco, the president's adviser on homeland security and terrorism, responded with an implicit no. She wrote, "Snowden's dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it. If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and -- importantly -- accept the consequences of his actions." read more
The Palestinians are poor. They are powerless. They have no voice or influence in the halls of power. They are demonized. They do not have well-heeled lobbyists doling out campaign contributions and pushing through pro-Palestinian legislation. No presidential candidate is appealing to donors -- as Hillary Clinton did when she sent a letter to media mogul Haim Saban denouncing critics of Israel -- by promising to advance the interests of the Palestinian people. Palestinians, like poor people of color in the United States, are expendable.
...the type of uncritical faith we're taught to have and easily adopt if we're not paying close attention. But then one of his accounting clients, a manager of a Native American casino, ended up in a public business dispute with the tribe that owned it, and the local media extensively covered the dispute.
Because he had much first-hand knowledge of the controversy, he was able to see how many misleading claims and outright factual falsehoods were regularly stated as fact by the media covering that story. And he was both shocked and outraged by it. For the first time, he viscerally understood how easily and often false claims are circulated by respectable media outlets -- whether due to laziness or gullibility or manipulation or malice or the difficulty of understanding complex events. And that personal realization made him much more skeptical in general about what media outlets told him and much more critical in how he assessed and processed it. read more