Category Archives: America – North

Forgotten History: The Klan vs. Americans of Greek Heritage in an Era of Hate and the Birth of the Ahepa – The Pappas Post

he Klan Grand Dragon of Oregon said in a spirited speech in Atlanta: “The Klan in the western states has a great mission to perform. The rapid growth of the Japanese population and the great influx of foreign laborers, mostly Greeks, is threatening our American institutions; and, Klans in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are actively at work to combat these foreign and un-American influences.”

Probably the most blatant hard-line bullying, almost humorous, occurred in Pensacola, Florida. A Klansman handed a note to a Greek restaurateur which read: “You are an undesirable citizen. You violate the Federal Prohibition Laws and laws of decency and are a running sore on society. Several trains are leaving Pensacola daily. Take your choice but do not take too much time. Sincerely in earnest, KKK.”

via Forgotten History: The Klan vs. Americans of Greek Heritage in an Era of Hate and the Birth of the Ahepa – The Pappas Post

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Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

To put the success into perspective, MacLean points to the fact that Henry Manne, whom Buchanan was instrumental in hiring, created legal programs for law professors and federal judges which could boast that by 1990 two of every five sitting federal judges had participated. “40 percent of the U.S. federal judiciary,” writes MacLean, “had been treated to a Koch-backed curriculum.”

MacLean illustrates that in South America, Buchanan was able to first truly set his ideas in motion by helping a bare-knuckles dictatorship ensure the permanence of much of the radical transformation it inflicted on a country that had been a beacon of social progress. The historian emphasizes that Buchanan’s role in the disastrous Pinochet government of Chile has been underestimated partly because unlike Milton Friedman, who advertised his activities, Buchanan had the shrewdness to keep his involvement quiet. With his guidance, the military junta deployed public choice economics in the creation of a new constitution, which required balanced budgets and thereby prevented the government from spending to meet public needs.

via Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America

When Thousands of Greek Women Arrived as Picture Brides – The Pappas Post

More than a half million Greeks emigrated to the United States between 1880 and 1920— ninety percent of whom were men, creating a demographic nightmare for their future as a community, namely— the lack of women.

As a result, the era of the picture bride was born and thousands of young Greek women were sent to America, many only after having seen their prospective husbands in a photograph that was sent to the village from faraway America by a friend or relative attempting to make the connection, or from a marriage agency set up in the immigrant communities abroad.

It was a dangerous journey for unwed girls, and although some were enthusiastic to leave Greece for the mythical New World, many were forced against their will to leave and begin new lives with stage— often much older— men.

via When Thousands of Greek Women Arrived as Picture Brides – The Pappas Post

Garment Jungle, The Original Trailer – YouTube

via Garment Jungle, The Original Trailer – YouTube

Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.: The Greek Dilemma – YouTube

Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.: The Greek Dilemma

via Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr.: The Greek Dilemma – YouTube

America Is the Richest, and Most Unequal, Nation

The world is awash in personal wealth: $153.2 trillion in total, according to Allianz’s new Global Wealth Report 2015. That’s enough to pay three times the world’s sovereign debt, the debts of each nation. The report, which measured 2014 wealth, found 2014 was the third consecutive year in which global wealth grew more than 7%.

The jump was largely the result of households pumping up their personal savings efforts. The U.S.—with $63.5 trillion in total private wealth—holds the largest amount of any country in the world. But that wealth is unevenly distributed, and nowhere is that more evident than in the U.S., which also has the largest wealth inequality gap of 55 countries studied, according to the report.

via America Is the Richest, and Most Unequal, Nation

Ποιος κυβερνά τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες;

«Υπήρχαν πάντα δύο CIA. Η κανονική, που αναλύει την πραγματικότητα για να ενημερώσει την ηγεσία των ΗΠΑ και η … άλλη, που φτιάχνει την πραγματικότητα που χρειάζεται για να δικαιολογηθεί μια πολιτική».

Ο άνθρωπος που μας τα λέει αυτά δεν είναι τυχαίος. Πρώην ανώτερος αναλυτής της CIA, ο Ray McGovern ήταν ο άνθρωπος που ενημέρωνε πέντε διαδοχικούς Αμερικανούς Προέδρους για αυτά που έπρεπε να γνωρίζουν για το τι έκανε και τι σχεδίαζε η Μόσχα.

Οι ΗΠΑ είναι μια παγκόσμια υπερδύναμη, με τη δυνατότητα να καταστρέψει τον πλανήτη σε μερικές ώρες. Το ποιος ελέγχει πραγματικά το κράτος αυτό, το πως και από ποιόν παίρνονται για παράδειγμα αποφάσεις όπως η επίθεση κατά της Συρίας του Άσαντ ή οι απειλές πολέμου κατά της Βορείου Κορέας τον περασμένο Απρίλιο, είναι ένα θέμα ζωτικής, παγκόσμιας σημασίας.

via Ποιος κυβερνά τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες;

Έγγραφα αποκαλύπτουν πώς το Χόλιγουντ προωθεί τον πόλεμο για λογαριασμό του Πενταγώνου, της CIA και της NSA

Το βιβλίο Σινεμά Εθνικής Ασφάλειας αποκαλύπτει επίσης το πώς υποστηρίχθηκαν και επηρεάστηκαν δεκάδες ταινίες και τηλεοπτικές εκπομπές από τη CIA, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της περιπέτειας Τζέιμς Μποντ: Επιχείρηση Κεραυνός (Thunderball), το θρίλερ του Τομ Κλάνσι, Παιχνίδια Ολέθρου (Patriot Games) και πιο πρόσφατων ταινιών, όπως την Γαμπρός της Συμφοράς (Meet The Parents) και Salt.

Η CIA μάλιστα βοήθησε να γίνει ένα επεισόδιο του Τοπ Σεφ (Top Chef) που φιλοξενήθηκε στο Λάνγκλεϊ, με ειδικό συμμετέχοντα τον τότε διευθυντή της CIA Λεόν Πανέτα, τον οποίον έδειξαν ότι έπρεπε να παραλείψει το επιδόρπιο για να παραβρεθεί σε μια ζωτικής σημασίας επιχείρηση. Ήταν αυτή η σκηνή πραγματική ή ήταν μια δραματική δήλωση για τις κάμερες;

via Έγγραφα αποκαλύπτουν πώς το Χόλιγουντ προωθεί τον πόλεμο για λογαριασμό του Πενταγώνου, της CIA και της NSA –

All the Plenary’s Men – The case against Banksters

The King can do no wrong.”

—William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England

“When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

—Ex-President Richard Nixon, interview with David Frost

The question at bar is why the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to prosecute any too-big-to-fail banks or—more importantly—their bankers, even for admitted crimes.

It’s a crucial question, because after eight straight years of unremitting prosecutorial failure, it looks very much as if a select group of top banks can, in fact, do no wrong. If that’s the case, then our constitutional republic isn’t merely in trouble. It’s dead.

via All the Plenary’s Men – YouTube

US government influence on films and television

The book National Security Cinema: The Shocking New Evidence of Government Control in Hollywood draws on documents acquired by Tom Secker of Spyculture.com and Dr Alford under the Freedom of Information Act which show that US security has worked on over 800 films and 1,000 television shows through bodies such as the Pentagon Entertainment Liaison Office.

For the first time the book shows the political script changes on blockbusting franchises including Iron Man, Transformers and Meet the Parents.

Dr Alford says: “When we first began investigating, there was next to nothing in available scholarship to indicate that the US government had ever interfered with the political direction of movies and television shows, and to suggest this would have been dismissed as a paranoid exaggeration. This work shows that such dismissals are no longer appropriate.”

via US government influence on films and television | University of Bath

Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee held a hearing on Thursday May 18 2017 to evaluate lessons from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) bailout of Greece in 2010 and 2012.

Congressman Andy Barr, chairman of Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee in the US Congress urged the International Monetary Fund to disengage from the Greek program. The United States are the biggest contributor to the IMF.

The Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee held a hearing on Thursday May 18 2017 to evaluate lessons from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) bailout of Greece in 2010 and 2012.

“With Greece’s economy again officially in recession and discussions underway for a third IMF bailout, it is clear from today’s hearing that the IMF’s past efforts to save Greece from insolvency have been unsuccessful and that it needs to learn from those failures,” said Subcommittee Chairman Andy Barr.

“The IMF must focus on its core mission, not provide political cover for Eurozone politicians who refuse to take responsibility for Greece’s debt crisis.”

Key Takeaways from the Hearing:

  • The IMF’s bailout of Greece has politicized the Fund and left the Greek economy in tatters, tarnishing the IMF’s reputation and putting taxpayer dollars at risk.
  • Eurozone officials are using the IMF as a fig leaf to avoid electoral consequences, even though Europe’s own bailout fund possesses ample resources to resolve the Greek crisis on its own.

Congressman Andy Barr  opened a hearing on lessons from the IMF’s bailout of Greece as Chairman of the Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee. The purpose of the hearing is to evaluate the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) financial rescue of Greece, including large “exceptional access” programs approved in 2010 and 2012.

Key Takeaways from the Hearing: The IMF’s bailout of Greece has politicized the Fund and left the Greek economy in tatters, tarnishing the IMF’s reputation and putting taxpayer dollars at risk. Eurozone officials are using the IMF as a fig leaf to avoid electoral consequences, even though Europe’s own bailout fund possesses ample resources to resolve the Greek crisis on its own.

via US Congressman Barr urges IMF to disengage from the Greek program – Keep Talking Greece

Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs

Alabama has been trying on the nickname “New Detroit.” Its burgeoning auto parts industry employs 26,000 workers, who last year earned $1.3 billion in wages. Georgia and Mississippi have similar, though smaller, auto parts sectors. This factory growth, after the long, painful demise of the region’s textile industry, would seem to be just the kind of manufacturing renaissance President Donald Trump and his supporters are looking for.

Except that it also epitomizes the global economy’s race to the bottom. Parts suppliers in the American South compete for low-margin orders against suppliers in Mexico and Asia. They promise delivery schedules they can’t possibly meet and face ruinous penalties if they fall short. Employees work ungodly hours, six or seven days a week, for months on end. Pay is low, turnover is high, training is scant, and safety is an afterthought, usually after someone is badly hurt. Many of the same woes that typify work conditions at contract manufacturers across Asia now bedevil parts plants in the South.

via Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom: Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs – Bloomberg

The Student Loan Crisis Of Older Americans

The vast majority of the older borrowers (73%) took out student loans to finance their children’s and grandchildren’s education. About 210,000 of the 867,000 borrowers who are 65+ owe loans under the Parent PLUS Loan program (current rate: 6.31%), the only federal program that lets parents borrow for the undergraduate education of their kids.

via The Student Loan Crisis Of Older Americans

The Data That Turned the World Upside Down

Trump’s striking inconsistencies, his much-criticized fickleness, and the resulting array of contradictory messages, suddenly turned out to be his great asset: a different message for every voter. The notion that Trump acted like a perfectly opportunistic algorithm following audience reactions is something the mathematician Cathy O’Neil observed in August 2016.

These “dark posts”—sponsored Facebook posts that can only be seen by users with specific profiles—included videos aimed at African-Americans in which Hillary Clinton refers to black men as predators, for example.

“Pretty much every message that Trump put out was data-driven,” Alexander Nix remembers. On the day of the third presidential debate between Trump and Clinton, Trump’s team tested 175,000 different ad variations for his arguments, in order to find the right versions above all via Facebook. The messages differed for the most part only in microscopic details, in order to target the recipients in the optimal psychological way: different headings, colors, captions, with a photo or video. This fine-tuning reaches all the way down to the smallest groups, Nix explained in an interview with us. “We can address villages or apartment blocks in a targeted way. Even individuals.”

In the Miami district of Little Haiti, for instance, Trump’s campaign provided inhabitants with news about the failure of the Clinton Foundation following the earthquake in Haiti, in order to keep them from voting for Hillary Clinton. This was one of the goals: to keep potential Clinton voters (which include wavering left-wingers, African-Americans, and young women) away from the ballot box, to “suppress” their vote, as one senior campaign official told Bloomberg in the weeks before the election. These “dark posts”—sponsored news-feed-style ads in Facebook timelines that can only be seen by users with specific profiles—included videos aimed at African-Americans in which Hillary Clinton refers to black men as predators, for example.

via The Data That Turned the World Upside Down – Motherboard

Meet the weaponized propaganda AI that knows you better than you know yourself

One way they get the information they have is by using a thing called a conversion pixel. You know that stupid social network widget that’s on every web page these days, including this one? It’s designed to let you like and share a page without having to navigate back to Facebook. It also affords incredible mass surveillance opportunities. Every time you visit a web page with a Facebook share widget, you query one of Facebook’s servers for a conversion pixel. Facebook then promptly attempts to phone home with what link you visited, how long you lingered on the page, whether you scrolled down or signed up or bought anything, and whether you chose to Like or share the page, plus the text of whatever comment you might post at the bottom using your Facebook profile. Even if you delete the text and don’t publish the post. Likes already have enough predictive power; between likes and activity, that widget can produce a comprehensive set of metadata on a person’s personality.

via Meet the weaponized propaganda AI that knows you better than you know yourself – ExtremeTech

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

Another couple of clicks and I discover that it receives a large bulk of its funding – more than $10m in the past decade – from a single source, the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. If you follow US politics you may recognise the name. Robert Mercer is the money behind Donald Trump. But then, I will come to learn, Robert Mercer is the money behind an awful lot of things. He was Trump’s single biggest donor. Mercer started backing Ted Cruz, but when he fell out of the presidential race he threw his money – $13.5m of it – behind the Trump campaign.

It’s money he’s made as a result of his career as a brilliant but reclusive computer scientist. He started his career at IBM, where he made what the Association for Computational Linguistics called “revolutionary” breakthroughs in language processing – a science that went on to be key in developing today’s AI – and later became joint CEO of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund that makes its money by using algorithms to model and trade on the financial markets.

via Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media | Politics | The Guardian

Public Banking Policy Project

Public Banking Policy Project

via Commonomics, Growing Our Common Wealth™ – Public Banking Policy Project

Commonomics USA

Commonomics USA
Commonomics USA envisions a world where a Commons-based economy creates economic and ecological security for all.

via Commonomics, Growing Our Common Wealth™ – Home

Σε ιστορικό ρεκόρ το χρέος των αμερικανικών νοικοκυριών

Μετά την κρίση που προκάλεσαν τα ενυπόθηκα δάνεια, οι υποθήκες αντιστοιχούν σε μικρότερο μερίδιο του συνόλου του τραπεζικού δανεισμού, όπως καταγράφεται .

Αναλυτικότερα, τα χρέη ιδιωτών για υποθήκες ανερχόταν το τελευταίο τρίμηνο της περασμένης χρονιάς σε 8,48 τρισεκατομμύρια δολάρια, το χρέος για φοιτητικά δάνεια ανερχόταν σε 1,31 τρισεκ. δολάρια και το ιδιωτικό χρέος για δάνεια και χρηματοδότηση για την αγορά αυτοκινήτων ανήλθε σε 1,16 τρισεκατομμύριο δολάρια.

via Σε ιστορικό ρεκόρ το χρέος των αμερικανικών νοικοκυριών

Clueless in Europe

Schaeuble’s intemperate language illustrates a mindset that is blocking debate of European policy priorities and the economic myths that sustain them. The groupthink was evident as early as 2008, when the financial crisis rendered banks on both sides of the Atlantic desperately in need of capital and short-term loans. Joaquin Almunia, the European commissioner for monetary affairs, portrayed it as a U.S. problem, saying, “We are well-prepared to weather this situation.” Jean-Claude Juncker, who headed the group of euro-area finance ministers, was more belligerent: “We have to be concerned, but a lot less than the Americans, on whom the deficiencies against which we have warned repeatedly are taking bitter revenge.”

The European thinking proved disastrously wrong. In generously restrained words, Bernanke points out that U.S. gross domestic product is 8.9 percent above its pre-crisis level, while euro-area GDP remains 0.8 percent below. He could have added that Schaeuble also warned that the Fed would stoke runaway inflation. The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation remains below its target. The central bank recognized that the real danger was deflation.

via Clueless in Europe – Bloomberg View