Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning. Enjoy the weekend with family and friends.

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63 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Liza says:

    Tuesday, July 7, 2015
    Economist Richard Wolff on Roots of Greek Crisis, Debt Relief & Rise of Anti-Capitalism in Europe

    AMY GOODMAN: Richard Wolff, Germany clearly is controlling this situation, of any country. Why do they want to crush Greece? Or do they?

    RICHARD WOLFF: I think the Germans face a choice. They’re worried that as the richest country, as the country that controls the situation, and as a country that historically has benefited from the very thing that Greece now wants, which they don’t want to give to the Greeks, that they face the risk that if they crush Greece, it will produce the reaction Paul has described. On the other hand, they will send a message to the Spanish, to the Italians, to the Portuguese and others, who are basically in a very similar situation, only they’re much larger, and the Germans are therefore afraid they’ll have to bail out all of Europe. They can’t afford it. They’re terrified. On the other hand, if they don’t cut a deal with Greece, then they face the possibility of left-wing governments in these other countries and a whole transformation, and they’re choosing between them.

    The irony here, the historical irony, is something I think we need to understand. Back in 1953, the Germans, with a very crushed economy—in that case, because of the Great Depression and the fact that they lost World War II—went to the United States, France and Britain and said, “We can’t join you as a bulwark against the Soviet Union unless you relieve us of our enormous debts, which are hampering our ability to grow.” Across 1953, they had meetings in London. When those meetings concluded, with the so-called London Agreement, here’s what Germany got from the United States, France and Britain: 50 percent of their outstanding debt, which was very high, was erased, and the other 50 percent of their debt was stretched out over 30 years. In effect, Germany got the relief of all of its basic indebtedness, based on two world wars that they were held accountable for, and that enabled them to have the so-called Wirtschaftswunder, the economic miracle that happened. They now refuse to give to Greece what they got. They refuse to allow Greece to have the chance to solve its economic problems just the way Germany asked for and got.
    (This next discussion is a “what if” about Greece leaving the European Union.)

    RICHARD WOLFF: Well, basically, what the Greeks would achieve if they left the European Union is they would revert to their own currency. They could go back to the drachma, which was their currency before, or a new one. And once they control their own currency, they can also control the relative worth of that currency, relative to others. If that currency becomes much, much cheaper relative to the euro, which is what will happen, then everything priced in that local currency will appear very cheap to people with dollars or people with euros. And suddenly a Greek vacation will become much cheaper than a vacation anywhere else. Greek olive oil will outprice everybody else’s. And that has traditionally been the way that a country blocked into this dead end crawls its way out of that dead end. It’s painful, but they at least have the prospect that their goods will become very attractive around the world, what they have to sell, and they’ll begin to recoup.
    The reason they want to go more and more in that direction is that the austerity imposed on them since 2010 has given them lots of suffering with no improvement, with no chance to get out of it, therefore they were choosing between a proven dead end and a difficult strategy, but one that has in the past worked and might in the end work again here, especially if leaving the euro meant they could also cancel their debts, with or without the approval of their creditors, the way the Germans arranged it. But if they had less debt and a cheaper drachma as their own currency, that’s a strategy that at least has a chance, whereas what they were in was endless promises that it will eventually work, that never came true.

    AMY GOODMAN: What exactly is happening there, when you say the pain they are now feeling in Greece? What is the pain? And what do you see the future looking like if they do pull out of the eurozone? How will their economy be shaped?

    RICHARD WOLFF: Well, they’re being squeezed by 25 percent or more unemployment, by a cutback in public sector, which is the largest part of their economy, of about 40 percent since 2010, drop in their actual wage. Businesses are closing because they can’t solve the payments problem … So you have a general disintegration that has been worse in Greece than in any other country. That’s why they keep saying, “We’ve been the ones who have borne the brunt of all of this. And don’t make us do more. That’s unjust and not solidarity with the rest of Europe.” So, they’re struggling to keep their pensioners having enough to live, to prevent, for example, the continued exodus. They have lost tens of thousands of young Greek citizens, who were educated at the expense of the Greek economy and are now taking what they’ve learned to go to other countries and work and be productive over there. A country like Greece, which is small to begin with, can’t keep hemorrhaging its best and brightest young people at the same time that everybody else’s salary is collapsing. This is an economy that—where you have to look for a metaphor, go back to the depths of the Depression in the 1930s, when we had comparable kinds of situation of desperate people and rampant poverty. They want out of that, because, otherwise, they face an indefinite future of this kind of behavior.

    AMY GOODMAN: What happens to the rich people in Greece? And what about the issue of taxes?
    RICHARD WOLFF: Well, you know, that’s the unspoken but real story behind all of this, because the more the Europeans squeeze the Greeks, with a left-wing government, that government, especially strengthened by that referendum now, has to sooner or later—and Paul referred to this—go after the wealth that’s there in order to solve some of these problems. They should have done that a long time ago, but they never had a leftist government with a mindset to do it. Now they do. And that’s the great danger, that you’re converting a problem of European disequilibrium and inequality into a real class struggle between the mass of the Greek people, on the one hand, and the one place where wealth exists inside Greece, among the rich and the corporations, to help them solve a problem. So you’ve converted a European problem into a class struggle. And if Syriza can pull that off, the message sent to the comparable groups in every other European country is a staggering reconception of what the future of Europe may look like, where the words “anti-capitalism” become a unifying slogan for people across that continent. Merkel’s great danger is that in pushing as hard as she has, she may reap a whirlwind of results.

    AMY GOODMAN: Is she aware of this?

    RICHARD WOLFF: I’m sure she must be, although they are so caught up. The Germans are victims of their own propaganda. They converted an economic crisis into a nationalist, we-versus-them mentality—we, Germans who work hard, against the Greeks, who don’t. Reminded me of nothing so much as Mr. Romney’s unfortunate remark in the last campaign where he divided Americans into the 47 percent moochers and the 53 percent who work hard, trying to get the 53 percent to believe they were carrying the other 47. That’s what the Germans have done. “We Germans work very hard, and we’re carrying these lazy Greeks.” This—put aside the questionable issue of whether the Germans ought to play such a nationalist card, given their history, but this is a way of solidifying opposition to what’s going on, and this is a very, very dangerous track. But she may be trapped by it.

    • Liza says:

      So this interview was after the referendum and before Greece accepted a deal (that goes before their Parliament) that perpetuates the austerity.

      But I thought this economist, Richard Wolff, was interesting because he talked about Germany being in charge as the dominant financial nation and DENYING to Greece the very thing that they received after WWII, the debt relief and aid that enabled them to grow their economy. Then he talks about how German nationalism has been fired up by propaganda and doesn’t this just beg the question I’ve been asking, “Why in the blazing hell would western Europe allow Germany to become dominant, financially or otherwise?” Wolff actually goes there by saying, “given their history.”

      This is about so much more than debt relief.

      • Ametia says:

        Thank you for this, Liza. I’ve been asking what were Chancelor Merkel’s thoughts on Greece when this first hit. Well now we’re finding out.

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Well, all of you might want to take a look at this which Bree Newsome tweeted about:

    “This 1970s high school history book taught the most insane things about slavery”

    Sample page:

    • Liza says:

      Didn’t know that. Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the EJI. She certainly picked the right guy to support. Bless her.

  3. rikyrah says:

    from TOD:

    #thisisacoup – updates on greece

    By Liberal Librarian

    As most of you know, I was hoping for a “Yes” vote in the Greek referendum, especially as the proposal which the Tsipras government put forth this week encompassed most of the demands which Greece’s creditors had been making.

    The Syriza proposals were approved by the creditors, and sent to the Eurozone finance ministers. And then Germany got in the act.

    In an act of suicidal hubris, Germany is demanding nothing short of humiliation for Greece. Even though I had hoped for a Yes vote, this petty revenge is unbelievable from a country which plunged Europe into two World Wars. It is Germany’s gambit to establish the EU as merely a Greater German Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    Here is where we stand at the moment.

  4. Ametia says:

    The “Moynihan Report”: 50 years of Racist Poverty-Shaming
    July 11, 2015 • Susan Greenbaum

    ebates about poverty play out over a heavy sub-text of race. Competing theories assign blame either to moral and cognitive deficiencies of poor people themselves, or to greedy over-lords who unjustly exploit and suppress workers and their families. The class politics are obvious, but arguing the essential unfitness of poor people is aided immeasurably by the rhetoric and logic of racism. If made of somewhat different stuff and recognized as lesser peoples, then both exploitation and the misery they experience seem defensible, or at least unavoidable. Science defeated the hard racial argument in the middle of last century when geneticists determined that race is a biological fiction. But the concept of culture offered a workaround that retained the utility of race by substituting ethnicity. The shift to culture, instead of hard-wired traits, has appealed to liberal “third way” reform thinkers as well as those on the right, forging an odd alliance who find common ground in the hagiography of Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Michelle Obama catches matinee of ‘Kinky Boots’ on Broadway with Sasha and Malia

    First Lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters brought their dancing shoes to the Saturday matinee of the hit Broadway show “Kinky Boots.”

    The First Family, despite the efforts of Secret Service agents to get them to leave, danced and clapped in the aisles after the curtain fell at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, tweeted playwright Harvey Fierstein.

    The family was joined by Michelle Obama’s mother Marian Robinson.

    After the show, the First Lady penned the cast a letter apologizing for not making it backstage to thank them personally.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Another problem with Trump isn’t just the Presidential race. It’s the SENATE in 2016:

    Latinos in Senate Races and The Electoral Map for 2016

    Posted on April 1, 2015 by admin

    Unlike the 2014 Mid-term Election — where in eight states with close Senate races, just 4.7% of eligible voters on average were Latinos, and Among those states, Latinos made up less than 5% of eligible voters in six states — in 2016, five Senate races will be in states with large Hispanic voting blocs where Hispanics are over 20% of eligible voters and between 15% to 20% share of total state turnout; and three of those five states will help pick the next president through the Electoral College Map.

  7. rikyrah says:

    GOP must destroy Donald Trump before he destroys them. It may already be too late
    Trump is the latest Joseph McCarthy or George Wallace. The GOP must excise the poison. History says they won’t

    Slightly hunched over and surrounded by a forest of “Jeb!” signs and shouting supporters, Jeb Bush was pressed by a reporter about the bigoted, race-baiting comments made by leading GOP candidate, hotel mogul and kitsch peddler Donald Trump. Jeb, seeming like he did not particularly relish the chance to answer this question, remarked, “I don’t assume that he thinks that every Mexican crossing the border is a rapist.”

    Bush was holding back and making excuses. Surely the Trump stunt, Bush figured, was meant to “inflame and incite and draw attention, which seems to be the organizing principle of his campaign.” The coiffed king of bad taste did not represent the Republican Party, said Bush. But is that really true? Republican Party renegades can always tack to the far right. It pays to do so.

    Trump has been polling amazingly well. Apparently his comments about drug-smuggling Mexicans, anchor babies, rapists and jobless chiselers have helped him with the crimson-red base of the party. Many major news polls place him second — some even in first. He and his swooped coif have a strong chance of appearing in the first TV debates scheduled for Aug. 6.

    Where is the outrage from other GOP candidates? Some respond to Trump’s bomb throwing with little more than a shrug of the shoulders. Others express the kind of dissatisfaction a suburbanite might register at crabgrass on the neighbor’s lawn. Said Republican candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, “I’m not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans.” In fact, the senator commented, “I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration.”

  8. rikyrah says:



    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    They’re taking his name & statues down but is every situation giving his money back to him since its dirty money? #BillCosby

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    I’m saying ppl don’t even recall Cosby in pajamas Cigar w Hef at Playboy Mansion 70s parties. Wtf ? Usa folk believed in Huxtable character.

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    I wasn’t defending anything but I ain’t naive either nor was I a kid in the 80s swept totally by a TV show. I’d already watched Cosby in 60s

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    Question do some of yall start stop listening to Marvin Gaye records because of drug addiction? Attempted murder? Wife Abuse? Pedophilia?

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    A lotta your favorites did some wild Sht in the 80s & 90s you followed. Start turning in your headphones & keep walking by Vitamin Water ?

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    .@SugaJam @ebenus_supremus What’s Goin On in 1971 questioned a lotta bulsht ,we didn’t hold Marvin Gaye’s contradictions against him did we?

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    All I know when I came in the biz in the 80s ALL I heard was wild a times in 60s70s Hollywood.The 80s was too. Heard it all,watched from far

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    Dee Barnes been talking for years, how many of you masses gave a damn about her?Was it too far back in the day? It aint stop your headphones

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    Black women been reporting abuse for 100 years.Now it’s woven in the cultural everyday talk.I think black women’s total voices are obscured

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    Fkn stupid USA. My own father is 77 why would I listen watch a TV actor as a father figure?We have to look real people in eyes & not images

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    A public figure can only be someone you pick qualities from and add to you, if chosen. Eat what’s edible leave the bones where they may..

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    No way Im defending Cosby.But this wiping history out wit a swoop is akin to Nazi book burning.Context is everything.PhilSpector still plays

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    I remember a lotta cats in the 70s at parties wanting to lace a girls drink. I was like are you kidding me. Game was offering Coke.Yeah wtf?

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    One thing about being older you less apt to fall for some bulsht story you read when you seen it live yourself.And have context at all times

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    A lotta cats will tell you back in the day sht, but if they was high & drunk expect them to forget sht. I watched listened & drove em home

    Chuck D ✔ @MrChuckD
    Only encounter w BCosby,was at Apollo talking to rappers,mainly WillSmith.About traps etc,money.I listened far in corner radically w respect

    • Ametia says:

      Like I said, Cosby’s not running around killing black people and burning black churches, so, you know….

    • Liza says:

      I was beginning to wonder if I am just wicked and evil because I have no interest in these accusations against Bill Cosby.

      Yemen is disintegrating. There is a massive amount of instability in the Mideast – Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc…Greece is failing economically, soon to be followed by Spain, then perhaps Portugal and Italy and who knows after that? Here at home we’ve got militarized police killing and maiming whoever they want to, mostly black men and women.

      So, tell me again, why am I supposed to get riled up about Bill Cosby and whatever he did decades ago that wasn’t reported but is suddenly something I need to be concerned about? Sorry, I lack the energy.

      • Ametia says:

        Let’s break it down for them, Liza.

        What’s wicked & evil are the media’s tactics of distract, deflect, destroy.

        There was only so much of reporting on white supremacist, Dylann Roof & the system that bred him to lock, load & massacre 9 innocent church-going black people, the burning of black churches, Or the up tick of police brutality and killings of blacks by white officers, the media can allow.

        The narrative had to change. Now they are duck-tailing off that nasty, ugly, Trump about ‘ilegal immigrants.’

      • rikyrah says:

        Plus all those unanswered questions about Roof.

  9. vitaminlover says:

    Happy Sunday, ladies.

  10. Ametia says:

    Harper Lee’s new novel “Go Set A Watchman” to be released tomorrow.

    Apparently, Atticus Finch is not kindly portrayed in this novel.

  11. Ametia says:

    Photo gallery: “Thunder and Enlightening,” mural is unveiled in Liberty City | Sat., July 11, 2015

    Some 300 people gathered Saturday to see the mural by Liberty City-based artist Addonis Parker unveiled on the branch of the nation’s largest black-owned bank.

    Read more here:

  12. rikyrah says:

    about to watch the new Monster High selection with Peanut…..

    yeah,it’s her choice

  13. Ametia says:

    Djokovich defeats Federer

  14. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh


    THE WATCHDOGS: Key figure a ‘conduit’ for ousted CPS CEO, former Rahm aide says


    Gary Solomon, whose company’s $20.5 million, no-bid contract is at the center of a federal investigation that cost former Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett her job, pushed for her hiring and then regularly communicated with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’’s top education adviser on Byrd-Bennett’s behalf, emails obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.

    Solomon’s emails to Beth Swanson, Emanuel’s then-deputy chief of staff for education issues, were so frequent that Swanson described him in an interview Friday as “Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s conduit — an extension of her team who pushed for her hiring.”

    “When I would ask Barbara for information, she would have Gary send it,” said Swanson, who left City Hall last year for a post with the Joyce Foundation.

    The Emanuel administration has tried to distance itself from Solomon and the lucrative deal that CPS gave his SUPES Academy consulting firm soon after Byrd-Bennett, a former SUPES employee, got the top schools job in October 2012.

  15. Ametia says:

    And this LOSER, right here

  16. Ametia says:


    • Liza says:

      No Lindsey darlin’, Trump is not a wrecking ball, Trump is your mirror. How can LG be such an a$$ and have no idea how people perceive him? Lives in a bubble, undoubtedly, and emerges only to make idiotic statements to the media.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Richard Prince
    Radio host #WarrenBallentine sentenced to 3 years’ probation, 300 hrs of community service, restitution of $140,940.

    • Ametia says:

      Now this scene right here is what I call a LIVING HISTORY experience.

      Yet we have states like Texas revising their text books to wipe out SLAVERY, etc.

  18. rikyrah says:


    once again, thanks for being our Twitter warrior!

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  20. Ametia says:

    Reposting here too. That’s a big racket, Jamie. LMBAO

  21. Ametia says:

    Is anyone going to see this movie? MHP had a panel discussion on it this morning.

    • Liza says:

      Hillary decided. Hillary decided that this time out she is going to be the champion of the people. Please disregard all of her prior campaigns and actions.

  22. Ametia says:
  23. Ametia says:

    Sun., Jul. 12, 2015 9:00 a.m.
    Iran nuclear deal expected today

    Negotiators are expected to reach a provisional agreement on a historic deal that would curb the country’s atomic program in return for sanctions relief, the Associated Press reported.

  24. Ametia says:

    Oh Happy Day! :-) Have a Blessed Sunday, Everyyone.

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