You are browsing the archive for 2015 August 06.

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European Union Becomes the Disunited Bailout Union

August 6, 2015 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

The European Project, as it is known, has been treated as an almost sacred process by the continent’s elite. Nothing—certainly neither fiscal responsibility nor popular sovereignty—should be allowed to stand in the way of creating a united Europe like the dominating American republic across the pond.

No doubt European cooperation, which began small before growing into the Common Market and then the European Union, has had beneficial effects. It bound together fractious, warring states in a cooperative enterprise, broke down trade barriers among small and large countries alike, and later drew former Soviet satellites westward.

However, the negatives have become ever more evident. Brussels has aped Washington, D.C., by hosting a growing bureaucracy dedicated to micromanagement and social engineering. Benign national cultures and traditions increasingly are suppressed by a new continental PC. An Eurocratic elite, made up of the usual gaggle of politicians, academics, journalists, businessmen, bureaucrats, and related folk, is determined to create a continental consolidated government irrespective of the desires of European peoples.

The Eurozone crisis has brought the European Project’s failings into bright focus. Europe appears headed for a third bailout of Greece—if borrower and creditors can work out the details, the International Monetary Fund doesn’t walk, the two sides can overcome their pervasive distrust, the Syriza government in Athens doesn’t collapse, and good sense fails to prevail in at least one European capital. Greek investors aren’t optimistic: the Athens stock market fell 16 percent when it reopened Monday after being closed for five weeks. The four biggest banks were down 30 percent, the most allowed by loss limits. Where but in the councils of Europe would so many people believe that the solution to an over-indebted nation unable to pay off its debts is to increase its debt load?

Athens borrowed at German interest rates but spent at Greek speed.”

The Eurocrats always thought big. In 1992 German Chancellor Helmut Kohl predicted “creation of what the founding fathers of modern Europe dreamed of after the war, the United States of Europe.” The Eurocrats drafted a constitution, only to be defeated by voters in both France and the Netherlands. So the Eurocrats turned the document into a treaty, which required a popular vote only in Ireland. Voters there said no, so Brussels insisted on a second vote—which went the “correct” way. As a result, in 2009 the EU added powers, a foreign minister of sorts, and a third “president.” …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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6 Shocking Truths About Cigarettes and the Environment

August 6, 2015 in Blogs

By DoSomething.org

Cigarette butts are the most littered item globally, making them a massive environmental problem.


Cigarette butts are the most littered item globally, making them not only an eyesore, but a massive environmental problem. A new campaign encourages young people to clean up cigarette butts before they have the chance to harm wildlife or leach toxic chemicals into the environment.

DoSomething.org, one of the largest global organizations for young people and social change and truth, the nation's longest running and most successful youth smoking prevention campaign, have teamed up to provide another outlet for teens interested in ending smoking: Get the Filter Out (GTFO).

The teen smoking rate in the United States reached 8 percent last year, down from 23 percent in 2000, making ending tobacco achievable. GTFO offers another way for teens to creatively join, support, and make an impact on the tobacco issue – this generation has the power to #FinishIt altogether.

Here are six shocking truths about cigarettes and the environment:

Young people can sign up for the campaign at: DoSomething.org/GTFO. Registrants will be equipped with a free action kit, bags and gloves to help clean up cigarette butts in their community. By sending in a photo of themselves cleaning up butts, teens can be entered in a drawing to win a $10,000 scholarship from DoSomething.org. The GTFO campaign runs through September 30th.

To learn more about or join the campaign, visit: DoSomething.org/GTFO.

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Source: ALTERNET

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WATCH: Jon Stewart Eviscerates Gimmicky Headlines that Say Stewart 'Eviscerates' Things

August 6, 2015 in Blogs

By Adam Johnson, AlterNet

The world is demonstrably worse


Jon Stewart went meta in his second to last show Wednesday night by targeting hyperbolic headlines that have claimed, over the years, that the Daily Show host had “eviscerated” his opponents. 

“We didn't just eviscerate, we demolished, crushed, we annihilated.” Stewart mocked. “Even one night the Hulk was like, dude, hey, slow down.”

Stewart then detailed all the things he never actually eviscerated, demolished, crushed, or annihilated on the Daily Show. “We are the destroyer of worlds”, Stewart said, mockingly. Noting that Racism, ISIS, Wall Street, and all their other targets were, in fact, as powerful as ever.

“The world is demonstrably worse than when I started” Stewart lamented in a sentiment tinged with a note of sincerity.”Have I caused this?”

No, Jon. In the words of your secret meeting friend Billy Joel, you didn't start the fire but you, no doubt, tried to fight it. 

Watch the clip below:

 

 

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Source: ALTERNET