By Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon – The Nation
How governments, NGOs, and conservative think tanks turned the language of human rights on its head.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In their new book, The Human Right to Dominate, Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon trace the way human rights—generally conceived as a counter-hegemonic instrument for righting historical injustices—are being deployed to further subjugate the weak and legitimize domination. What follows is a short adaptation of the first and third chapters.
Paul Krugman* – The New York Times
It’s depressing thinking about Greece these days, so let’s talk about something else, O.K.? Let’s talk, for starters, about Finland, which couldn’t be more different from that corrupt, irresponsible country to the south. Finland is a model European citizen; it has honest government, sound finances and a solid credit rating, which lets it borrow money at incredibly low interest rates.
By Thalif Deen *
UNITED NATIONS, July 2015 (IPS) – When nine African-American worshippers were gunned down by a white supremacist inside a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina last month, there was a sharp division of opinion in the United States whether that murderous act of killing innocent civilians constituted a “hate crime” or an “act of terrorism.”
By Matthew Lynn – MarketWatch
Most countries that tumble out of dysfunctional currency unions are back on their feet very quickly
Another weekend, another Greek knife’s edge. As the markets close ahead of the weekend, they will be prepared for another couple of days of drama in the epic saga of the Greek debt crisis, looking to see whether the country will vote for or against the latest bailout package in a referendum scheduled for Sunday, and whether that in turn is the trigger its final exit from the euro .
By Nora Happel
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 1 2015 (IPS) – U.N. officials, government leaders and civil society actors gathered Tuesday at the German House for a panel discussion on climate change as a “threat-multiplier”.
Joseph E. Stiglitz* / Martin Guzman** – Huffington Post
When, five years ago, Greece’s crisis began, Europe extended a helping hand. But it was far different from the kind of help that one would have wanted, far different from what one might have expected if there was even a bit of humanity, of European solidarity.
William J. Astore – TomDispatch.com.
When you define something as war, violence becomes the only means
War on drugs. War on poverty. War in Afghanistan. War in Iraq. War on terror. The biggest mistake in American policy, foreign and domestic, is looking at everything as war. When a war mentality takes over, it chooses the weapons and tactics for you. It limits the terms of debate before you even begin. It answers questions before they’re even asked.
Greece Over the Brink
Paul Krugman – The New York Times
It has been obvious for some time that the creation of the euro was a terrible mistake. Europe never had the preconditions for a successful single currency — above all, the kind of fiscal and banking union that, for example, ensures that when a housing bubble in Florida bursts, Washington automatically protects seniors against any threat to their medical care or their bank deposits.
(Or how the states will stop the temperature rise of the surface of the earth before reaching the 2C, magically!)
Josep Xercavins Valls (*)
I just participated from the 1st to the 11th of June, in the Bonn Conference of the UNFCCC (the Climate Convention). I did within a delegation from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, which has an observer organization status since 2009 (the year of the failure of Copenhagen).
James Carden – The Nation
NATO defense ministers, meeting in Brussels this week, rushed headlong into a new and potentially more dangerous cold war with Russia by taking the unprecedented decision to station men and matériel directly on Russia’s western border. NATO’s decision, which has no precedent in the history of the last cold war, will only serve to heighten tensions with Russia and may well be the catalyst for ever more violence in the breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine.
By James A. Paul*
NEW YORK, Jun 2015 (IPS) – It is hard to imagine today the public enthusiasm that greeted the founding of the U.N. in 1945. After massive suffering and social collapse resulting from the Second World War, the U.N. seemed almost miraculous – a means at last to build peace, democracy, and a just society on a global scale.
From Rome to Paris: a Call for Strong and Urgent Climate Action
A high-level, international Symposium was held in Rome on 27-29 May to review the realities and risks of climate change, to identify weaknesses in the current negotiating process, to propose policies and measures for rapid and effective climate action and to underline the risks and costs of further delay. The intent is to broaden support for a strong international agreement at the crucial UN Conference on climate, COP 21, which takes place in Paris in November.
By John Scales Avery*
25 June 2015 – Do our Defense Departments really defend us? Absolutely not! Their very title is a lie. The military-industrial complex sells itself by claiming to defend civilians. It justifies vast and crippling budgets by this claim; but it is a fraud. For the military-industrial complex, the only goal is money and power. Civilians like ourselves are just hostages. We are expendable. We are pawns in the power game, the money game.
by Jürgen Haberm* – Süddeutsche Zeitung / Social Europe
The latest judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) casts a harsh light on the flawed construction of a currency union without a political union. In the summer of 2012 all citizens owed Mario Draghi a debt of gratitude for uttering a single sentence that saved them from the disastrous consequences of the threat of an immediate collapse of their currency.
Martin Wolf – Financial Times
Improved technology might end our dependence on the burning of fossil fuels
Every silver lining has a cloud. The technologies that offer human beings comforts and opportunities that would have been unimaginable two centuries ago ultimately depend on an abundance of energy. Fire is the source of that energy. But the burning of fossil fuels, from which we gain so much, also releases the carbon dioxide that threatens to destabilise the climate.
By Sean Buchanan
LONDON, Jun 24 2015 (IPS) – The overwhelming majority of lobby meetings held by European Commissioners and their closest advisors are with representatives of corporate interests, according to an analysis published Jun. 24 by Transparency International (TI).
Marco A. Gandásegui, Jr.* – ALAI
Panama and another fifty countries are engaged in the negotiation of a secret treaty that will put an end to what little is left of democracy and free trade at a world level. North American and European officials advise their counterparts. Everything indicates that this operation is being developed regardless of the laws of the countries involved. At present, the US Congress is legislating to create a juridical framework for the new body. In the case of Panama and the majority of the countries that are taking part in these negotiations, there is no information as to what is being legislated.
By Bill Black* – Naked Capitalism
A New York Times article entitled “Championing Environment, Francis Takes Aim at Global Capitalism” quotes a conventional Harvard economist, Robert N. Stavins. Stavins is enraged by Pope Francis’ position on the environment because the Pope is “opposed to the world economic order.” The rage, unintentionally, reveals why conventional economics is the most dangerous ideology pretending to be a “science.”
Naomi Klein – The Nation
The very idea that we—as atomized individuals—could play a significant part in stabilizing the planet’s climate is objectively nuts.
First of all, a huge congratulations to all the graduates—and to the parents who raised you, and the teachers who guided you. It’s a true privilege to be included in this special day.
Mine is not going to be your average commencement address, for the simple reason that College of the Atlantic is not your average college. I mean, what kind of college lets students vote on their commencement speaker—as if this is their day or something? What’s next? Women choosing whom they are going to marry?
Angelique Chrisafis* – The Guardian
Despite the political tension between Athens and Berlin, both sides of tourist trade say Germans are welcome at Greek resorts
Gazing out over Thessaloniki’s waterfront, Regina Jost, a social worker from Jever, in northern Germany, was on her last day of a week’s holiday discovering Greece’s picturesque northern beaches.