Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 01:55 AM
Number of posts: 8,401
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 01:55 AM
Number of posts: 8,401
Nearly four years ago, the German tabloid Bild suggested that, in return for the European Union bailout, Greece should sell off the Acropolis and some islands, including Corfu. Everyone laughed. And yet now it is happening. The International Monetary Fund-led troika has insisted Greece should sell state assets through Taiped (Hellenic Asset Development Fund) – an agency not unlike Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency.
Taiped is selling assets, from a disused mental hospital, a ski slope and a marina to all Greece’s regional airports, the national rail network, the water supply of Thessaloniki, and millions of acres of real estate, including gold mines worth an estimated €10 billion.
Deutsche Telekom acquired the Greek network some years ago and last year Azerbaijan bought the national gas company. The port of Piraeus, a controlling interest in Athens airport and the huge site of the former airport, are all up for grabs, with China doing most of the grabbing.
Last year, the Emir of Qatar purchased a small island within a Natura 2000 zone on which to construct a palace. The island of Elafonisos (on the southern edge of the Peloponnese), with stunning back-to-back beaches and also within a Natura 2000 zone, is listed by the Guardian as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It’s up for sale.
"The government is constantly trying to convey the message that the economy is a success story but in reality that is not the case at all," said prominent leftwing campaigner Petros Constantinou. "The decision to put public buildings up for sale is not just proof that they are nowhere near reaching targets but plain wrong when they could be exploited for public benefit."
The decision to sell off public assets invested with such historic significance has not only angered anti-austerity leftists. It has raised howls of protest from reform-minded conservatives with many wondering whether Greece is finally enacting what Germany's tabloid press has long taunted it to do: sell off its cultural heritage to pay off its monumental debt.
"The rush to sell these assets … raises serious questions whether they are being purposely sold on the cheap in order to speed up the privatisation process," thundered Nikos Xydakis in the conservative daily Kathimerini, lamenting the decision to sell off properties imbued with such symbolic value around the Acropolis. "Will the outrageous proposal put forward by the German magazine Bild suggesting that Greece should sell or rent its island to cut its debt come to pass?" he asked.
I remember posting back in 2011 about the drooling by WSJ about buying newly privatized assets. So, who has benefited from this austerity induced action? Clearly not the Greek public.
Posted by suffragette | Mon Jun 29, 2015, 01:48 PM (0 replies)
Something I have noticed about the Rachel Dolezal story has been the glimpses of family dysfunction in the various articles.
I spent a little time last night exploring these further and can say that the more I dug, the stronger the dysfunction shows. I'm not surprised she would want to disassociate herself from her relatives and past. I think she went too far in doing that and agree with those on DU who have expressed concerns about her co-opting experiences that are not her own and the possible damage from the allegations she has made regarding what she depicts as racist incidents. She may have started down this path with good intentions, but now is enmeshed in a tangled mess of deception.
Why would her parents choose to out her now, after all this time?
One reason might be that they are on opposite sides in a case involving her older brother. An article in the NY Daily News provides some information on that. The article also has an interesting comment from her uncle noting the bond between her and the person she later claimed was her father.
Joshua Dolezal, 39, was charged in 2013 with four felony counts of sex abuse of a victim who was a minor at the time, sources and court records confirmed.
Why the estrangement from her parents and latching on to someone else as her 'real' father.
I wonder how much of this is due to the fundy background of her parents.
Rachel did not have to use bows and arrows to hunt for her own food, Ruthanne said, and she never lived in South Africa or Colorado. Ruthanne said she, Larry and the younger adopted siblings moved to South Africa in 2002, and lived there until 2006. Larry was stationed there as an employee of the faith-based Creation Ministries International.
Creation Ministries International is a creationist organization that spreads its views through missionary work abroad. Apparently, that's why her parents went to South Africa.
The South African office was established in June 2002 in the Cape Town region as a consequence of the vision of Dr Johan Kruger, currently Head of Ministry Outreach, who has a doctorate in zoology. (Prior to 2002, Joshua Gilbert of the Durban region, acted as the South Africa agent for Creation magazine. He continues specialist creation outreach (especially radio) in South Africa and surrounding countries. Joshua currently serves on the Board of CMI–South Africa.) In October 2003 Larry Dolezal joined the ministry as the General Manager. With Larry’s departure in June 2006 to manage the new CMI–USA office, Robert Zins now fills that position as CEO.
The children's page shows a dinosaur frolicking with people and assorted mammals.
This looks to be a book written by her older brother, which gives some insight into how they were raised deep in the fundy beliefs. It also provides a possible glimpse of why their parents adopted the four children.
Down from the Mountaintop: From Belief to Belonging
By Joshua Dolezal
My mother sometimes called me a survivor of the holocaust on the unborn, since I was born after Roe vs Wade. Her distrust of clinicians was so strong I was born at home, without a physician or midwife and only my father and the one witness noted on my birth certificate—Jesus Christ— to see me through.
The information above provides more context for why one of Rachel's adopted brothers would seek emancipation and why she might reach out to protect him. It doesn't explain when or why they chose to depict themselves as mother and son rather than sister and brother. Maybe adoption afforded some legal or financial assistance or maybe expediency? Maybe part of breaking with the past?
CNN tried to reach Rachel Dolezal for comment by emailing and calling her, but was unsuccessful. The Spokane Spokesman-Review. newspaper reported, though, that she has framed the controversy surrounding her racial identity in the context of litigation over guardianship of her adopted brother.
What does come through is someone looking to escape from a family that pushed fundy beliefs onto their children. She seems to have done quite a bit of good along the way in her escape from her past and recreation of herself. Her close connection to and identification with an alternate father figure may have been a large part of that. However, it's one thing to move past that upbringing and another to pretend to an identity that is not hers and to buttress that through misleading people and lying about her race and about malicious events directed toward her because of because of race.
Posted by suffragette | Sun Jun 14, 2015, 04:45 PM (34 replies)
Seeing the news about Landrieu's loss, I keep thinking back to when O'Keefe and his criminal accomplices went to her offices under false pretense and tried to directly access the communications systems there.
As I recall the whole incident was minimized, with them receiving probation and a slap on the wrist. Articles used the terms prank and caper extensively and glossed over any serious intent behind the scheme or possible effects from it. And this at a time of constant security alerts and restrictions nationwide.
There didn't seem to be any attempt made to investigate funding sources or connections for these criminals either. (And later attempts to do this, such as in New York, have been rapidly shut down).
I'm not saying this had a direct impact on this election, but I've always thought there was more to the above situation than was made public.
Posted by suffragette | Sun Dec 7, 2014, 12:53 PM (24 replies)
Environmentalists, western First Nations and BC liberals have been fighting, with protests and now with lawsuits.
Here's a link with several articles about Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline plans and protests:
Here's some info from an article about the expansion of the Kinder Morgan pipeline:
"In my view the NEB hearing process is a rigged game," Eliesen told The Vancouver Observer by the phone. "In the past, there was a more objective evaluation of projects that would come forward...but it's reached a stage where the NEB is not interested in the public interest, and more interested in facilitating the infrastructure for the oil and gas industry."
Eliesen criticized numerous aspects of the NEB's hearing for Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. The Texas-based pipeline giant is applying to expand its existing 60-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline to carry 890,000 barrels of diluted bitumen from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, B.C.
The controversial application has been opposed by both city councils of Burnaby and Vancouver, as well as some citizen groups, due in part to a six-fold increase of oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet that the pipeline expansion will bring.
Eliesen said he was "dismayed" to see that that the NEB has dropped oral cross-examination of proponents, which he said was a "critical" part of oil pipeline hearings in previous years. He also questioned why Kinder Morgan was not required to respond to 2,000 questions submitted by Intervenors, with the NEB rejecting 95 per cent of the queries.
This is a cross border issue:
Their nearly 60,000 people have lived along the coasts of Oregon and Washington State, and in British Columbia, Canada for more than 10,000 years. They are united by language, culture and the Salish Sea.
And now, in addition, they are united in their opposition to oil giant Kinder Morgan’s proposed $5.4 billion expansion of its existing Trans Mountain tar sands oil pipeline, which links the Alberta oil sands fields to a shipping terminal in Burnaby, near Vancouver, B.C. The new pipeline would nearly triple the capacity of the existing pipeline from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000, increasing by sevenfold the number of tankers carrying diluted tar sands bitumen through the Salish Sea in Washington and Canada.
At the proposed coal terminal at the Puget Sound’s Cherry Point site, where herring populations have plummeted, local herring experts associated ship traffic, and the threat of invasive species tagging along with the shipping vessels as risks to the fish, Sightline Daily reported last year.
Approving the pipeline would mean a massive increase in tanker loadings that would put tribal fishers at risk, “not to mention drastically increase the chance of a catastrophic oil spill,” said Glen Gobin, a member of the Tulalip board of directors, to the NEB panel.
I'm in Seattle and the pressure to increase coal trains here is an important issue. I've posted a bit about it before. Here's one from this summer:
Posted by suffragette | Tue Nov 18, 2014, 04:21 AM (2 replies)
Subprime loans: they aren’t just for mortgages anymore. The next big bubble of ill-advised loans to borrowers who can’t pay is coming due. This time, it’s used car dealers reaping the interest and repossessing the cars.
The New York Times reports that subprime auto loans have risen over 130% in the five years since the big financial crisis hit in 2008. Over a quarter of all new auto loans issued in 2013 went to lower-credit borrowers.
The wave of questionable lending is being driven by exactly the same thing that drove the mortgage bubble, according to the NYT: Wall Street firms making a buck on trading packages of bundled loans. These complex bonds then increase the demand (from insurance companies, mutual funds, and financial companies, not from consumers) for more loans, triggering a big cycle.
The subprime loans, meanwhile, come with sky-high interest rates — up to 23%, reports the NYT. They add, “The loans were typically at least twice the size of the value of the used cars purchased, including dozens of battered vehicles with mechanical defects hidden from borrowers.”
Your post is so on point. This is tied to the latest Wall Street plundering. And it's a double hit, since many of the same people who were devastated by the early 2000's Wall Street financial debacle had their credit ratings impacted, so now are being hit by this as well. In the meantime, the same people and their buddies are still cashing on on others' misery.
And similar practices are extending into other arenas- see my post at #216 for more on that.
Posted by suffragette | Sun Nov 9, 2014, 11:59 AM (0 replies)
Other auto repossession technologies have raised data security concerns. In March, The Boston Globe reported that Texas-based company Digital Recognition Network installs automated readers in "spotter cars" around the country that capture images of every license plate they pass. Each picture is sent, along with the time and GPS location at which it was taken, to a database that already contains more than 1.8 billion scans.
Law enforcement has used this technique for decades, but not without its own problems. Boston police suspended their license plate scanning efforts in December 2013 in the wake of news that data on more than 69,000 license plates had been accidentally released.
Subprime borrowers have also been subjected to tracking when purchasing other products with a loan, such as personal computers. In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission charged that several rent-to-own companies had spied on consumers by remotely taking screen shots, tracking computer keystrokes and taking webcam pictures, all without consent. The software, licensed by DesignerWare, also enabled the stores to disable the computer if the renter was late on payment.
Apartments might be another area where technology will begin to play a role when consumers are behind on payments, according to Rotenberg. Electronic lock systems are beginning to be used, and renters could be remotely or automatically locked out of their apartment if they are behind on rent.
Posted by suffragette | Sun Nov 9, 2014, 11:31 AM (1 replies)
Make a case go away.
Last year, Nevada’s Legislature heard testimony from T. Candice Smith, 31, who said she thought she was going to die when her car suddenly shut down, sending her careening across a three-lane Las Vegas highway.
“PassTime has no recognition of our devices shutting off a customer while driving,” Ms. Kirkendall of PassTime said.
In her testimony, Ms. Smith, who reached a confidential settlement with C.A.G., said the device made her feel helpless.
All the companies also say they only do this when payments are missed, yet the same article notes that one person had her car turned off four times even though she had met payments each time. In her case, luckily, her car was not on the road, but one of those times was when she needed to take her daughter to the hospital.
Of course, the last thing these companies want is for any of this to be regulated in any meaningful way.
Posted by suffragette | Sat Nov 8, 2014, 01:17 PM (1 replies)
Younger Jallah and her children were also exposed to Ebola at her mother’s apartment.
But from what I can see, they were not included in the move to quarantine and are instead isolated in their apartment with few resources.
This, after her knowledgeable and conscientious actions led to Duncan’s second visit to the hospital and subsequent diagnosis and admission. Without her actions, this all could have been much worse.
Now she is wondering how she and her husband will provide food and pay rent.
How many people could get through a 21 day unplanned period away from work with no reassurances as to food or rent being taken care of?
These questions and conditions need addressing before more problems occur and seem similar to me to the cleaning and disposal issues, in that we are still unprepared for basic logistics of helping people and keeping this contained.
Good synopsis from Dallas News of report from WAPO about initial situation:
Troh’s daughter Youngor Jallah and her family, who also live in the apartment complex, have also been ordered by county officials to remain behind closed doors until the danger has passed.
Jallah told The Washington Post Thursday she suspected Duncan had Ebola after Texas Health Presbyterian missed warning signs and sent him home last week.
She made Duncan return to the hospital despite his protests on Sunday, she said, and warned paramedics to protect themselves around him.
Jallah even tried to disinfect the apartment where Duncan stayed, she told The Post, long before a hazmat team arrived to finish the job.
Link to the detailed WAPO article referenced above. MAny more details there:
LA Times article from Oct 3rd detailing current situation. Much more info at link:
Jallah and her family have not been ordered to stay indoors, but because Jallah was with Duncan as his illness became critical, she has placed her family under voluntary confinement, hoping to avoid infecting neighbors or schoolmates.
"We don't have no diapers, and we're running out of food," Jallah, 35, said as her children fretted and whirled around the apartment.
Jallah and her husband, Aaron Yah, 43, have been told to stay home from their jobs at nursing homes. Yah said a supervisor told him, "The county already called and said you're not allowed to go to work."
The couple decided they would keep the family inside until the time period for risk of developing Ebola symptoms passed: 21 days. They're doing so out of caution — and because they're not sure what health officials want them to do. They now worry how they'll make ends meet.
Posted by suffragette | Sun Oct 5, 2014, 02:09 PM (9 replies)
US hospitals may be unprepared to safely dispose of the infectious waste generated by any Ebola virus disease patient to arrive unannounced in the country, potentially putting the wider community at risk, biosafety experts said.
Waste management companies are refusing to haul away the soiled sheets and virus-spattered protective gear associated with treating the disease, citing federal guidelines that require Ebola-related waste to be handled in special packaging by people with hazardous materials training, infectious disease and biosafety experts told Reuters.
“At its peak, we were up to 40 bags a day of medical waste, which took a huge tax on our waste management system,” Emory’s Dr Aneesh Mehta told colleagues at a medical meeting earlier this month.
Emory sent staff to Home Depot to buy as many 32-gallon rubber waste containers with lids that they could get their hands on. Emory kept the waste in a special containment area for six days until its Atlanta neighbor, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helped broker an agreement with Stericycle.
Note: this report is from a week ago, so very recent but before the person in Dallas was diagnosed.
Home Depot run for hazardous waste containment gear?
I hope this issue gets addressed quickly as a known nationwide policy because it will be an important component of control here.
Posted by suffragette | Wed Oct 1, 2014, 02:35 AM (18 replies)
MONROVIA, Liberia — Riot police and soldiers acting on their president’s orders used scrap wood and barbed wire to seal 50,000 people inside their Liberian slum Wednesday, trying to contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed 1,350 people and counting across West Africa.
Soldiers repelled the surging crowd with live rounds, driving hundreds of men and boys back into the slum known as West Point. One in the crowd, Shakie Kamara, 15, lay on the ground near the barricade, his right leg apparently wounded by a bullet. “Help me,” pleaded Kamara, who was barefoot and wore a green Philadelphia Eagles T-shirt.
Lt. Col. Abraham Kromah, the national police’s head of operations, arrived a few minutes later. “This is messed up,” he said, looking at the teenager while complaining about the surging crowd. “They injured one of my police officers. That’s not cool. It’s a group of criminals that did this. Look at this child. God in heaven help us.” It was unclear what happened to Kamara.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the death toll is rising most quickly in Liberia, which accounts for at least 576 of the deaths. At least 2,473 people have been sickened across West Africa.
Elsewhere in the article, it notes this is the neighborhood in which an Ebola center was recently raided. It adds new context that the residents in the neighborhood had feared their area was being turned into a "dumping ground for the disease."
It also includes that at least one family of a local official was escorted out, which likely compounds people's fears of how they are being treated differently - flights to safety for those with power and an armed quarantine for those without.
There's no info in the article about how these residents or others in another area placed in quarantine will receive, water, food or health care.
They must be terrified.
edited to add photo and link to additional photos that show conditions there
Posted by suffragette | Thu Aug 21, 2014, 11:19 AM (22 replies)