Croatia’s Debt Trick #croatia

Reset the Debt

Once again the Press has it all wrong. Even Amy Goodman was struggling to get her head around this week’s debt forgiveness by Croatia of its poorest 60,000 citizens. Once again Revolution and Beer has the scope and the true analysis of the story. It was an ill-conceived effort by Croatia’s Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic to boost the southern European nation out of a crippling recession deepened by the Global Financial Crisis. As a predominantly service-based economy full recovery, at least in the near term, remains doubtful.

The gesture is a short-term reprieve for those making less than about $200 monthly. The average monthly salary in Croatia is about $1200. That represents predominately penshioners who would have been unlikely to pay back any debts any way. Croatia’s economics woes are far too complex to be solved or even affected to any notable degree by this debt-forgiveness effort. Currently the nation maintains an average unemployment rate of close to 20 %, but among men and women 25 years old and younger, a growing segment of the country, that number skyrockets to 45%. 18% of the population lives in poverty

Personal debt, predominately to meet basic survival needs has reached epidemic levels. In 2013 outstanding debt for 322,000 people whose accounts were blocked due to unpaid bills reached nearly $6billion USD. The population of Croatia is about 4 million.

Don’t be fooled, Croatia’s debt forgiveness for its poorest 60,000, under current conditions, will land most back in the debt-survival cycle. Not until there is system international economic reforms will there be any true relief for the poor, and for nations struggling with mounting debt, such as Croatia, Greece and Spain. Croatia’s debt forevivess gesture is a splash of cold water to an sick patient. It may bring the patient around for a moment, but it definitely is not a cure.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “Shoot Down: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Ferguson, the FBI and the Media’s Dangerous turn towards Violence

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fbi-warns-ferguson-decision-lead-violence-extremist-protesters/story?id=26980624

The media, ahead of the verdict of whether or not to indict Officer Darrel Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown has taken a dangerous turn. That turn, in the view of many concerned Americans risks a perversion of the First Amendment by nakedly enflaming tensions, creating terror among civilians and seeking to directly affect events rather than report on or reflect them. Worse, there is growing evidence that the government, in particular the FBI and law enforcement are acting in collusion, or sympathy with the corporate Press; the endgame, a Boston-bombing style assault on civil liberties.

Rightwing hosts and so-called journalists (re: propagandists) like Breitbart and others purposely skewed and obtusely reframed dissent by activists and residents nationwide as looming violence. Their reporting, which largely targets white demographics seemed specifically intended to accomplish three fundamental points: Encourage gun sales, drive a stronger rightwing agenda and to undermine voices on the Left, particularly at a time when key issues like the XL Keystone pipeline, Net Neutrality and Trans Pacific Partnership are being decided. Republicans, while losing the pipeline vote in the Senate yesterday by a single vote, while reintroduce the bill in January when their chances are better for a victory in both houses.

Statements by activists regarding efforts to protest and rally, pursuant to their fundamental constitutional right were repeatedly skewed and reframed by the media as violent and threatening. There was no effort for balance, no counterpoint and no effort at correction. The strategy was clear, frighten the American people. But that has been the tactic of the rightwing media, except that the Left also made no effort to counter message with the truth, or by bringing activist and protest voices to the airwaves. That media message worked in tandem with deliberately inflammatory and irresponsible statements by the FBI. An FBI bulletin to law enforcement, and distributed widely by the media read in part:

“The announcement of the grand jury’s decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure…This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities…Those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed…The FBI assesses those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures.”

There have long been allegations that law enforcement agent provocateurs have infiltrated peaceful protests around the country to undermine protected public dissent for political and economic purposes. Those economic reasons always protect specific corporate interests outside the law and the wishes of the vast majority of Americans.

In the aftermath of the Boston marathon bombing, and the subsequent manhunt for a single suspect constitutional rights at all levels were brazenly violated in martial-law style house to house searches, with residents ordered from homes at gunpoint, and an entire American city locked down. There was virtually no reaction and no civil right inquiries following Boston. It is alleged that Boston was a convenient experiment for mass public control by law enforcement. Spying and data collection on a mass scale against activists and civilians alike continued and expanded greatly in the time since Boston. The media was a key partner in that effort.

Ferguson is the next major step in a broader effort to roll back civil liberties and exercise greater control over dissent and citizen activism. With Boston the media had to play catch-up to the government. Here they are, or seem to be working in a dangerous partnership. In the next article I will tell you the endgame for this effort, who is behind it and why it is structured this way…


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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The Price of Gas: Bigger than you think

James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma is now the new chair of the Senate Environmental Committee. That’s sort of like making Adolph Eichmann manager of a Kosher food company. What does that have to do with the price of gas? I’m getting to that.

First, before you think the current low price of gas is a good thing, you should know why. There are a lot of forces right now struggling over the price of a barrel of crude oil. A collapse in the price of oil is dangerous to global piece, and the world is precariously at the brink of just that. For example, in a previous article Brian and I discussed the superpower struggle over Crimean and Ukrainian gas and oil reserves, and how that contributed to the shootdown by pro-Russian rebels of Malaysian Air Flight 17, killing all 298 aboard. Russia’s still fairly rudimentary economy is almost exclusively based on oil. To keep his nation running comfortably Russian President Putin needs the cost per barrel to be just around $110. You may have read about massive Russian air incursions over Europe. Putin is attempting to sway the crude oil market and drive the price up by maintaining tensions. That’s a dangerous game. So is the potential collapse of the Russian economy, or massive unrest. One of the Obama administration’s strategies has been to manipulate the market and drive the cost of oil down to punish Russia for its actions in Ukraine. And you thought that it was all about the dictates of the marketplace guiding the cost of oil and gas. Bless your heart.

But wait, there’s more! The Saudis have been glutting the market with oil to drop the price as well. Why? Two reasons. ISIS is selling so much cheap oil on the blackmarket that legitimate markets are feeling the sting. One of the biggest buyers of ISIS illegal oil is our friends, and NATO and European Union member, Turkey. In my opinion for that and their pro-ISIS belligerence with the Kurds, Turkey should be expelled by the EU and NATO and face punishing sanctions. The other pressure on the Saudis is Fracking in the US and Canada of that filthy, polluting tar sands crude. The Saudi’s goal by lowering the price of oil is to make it far too expansive for Frackers and tar sands producers.

The benefit, it might appear is for consumers. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of the US economy. When the price of gas drops, the ability to spend by consumers goes up, although it appeared that the debt burdened US consumer, with stagnate wages might have exceeded its debt to income ratio, as spending dropped .2% in September. The concentration of wealth system strangling the economy currently creates a false market. It creates consumer puppets who are merely cash machines to government coffers and ever more wealthy corporations. They do not want you to have any control over the marketplace or economy, but only to remain manipulated for their profit. In that system the consumer has no control.

The good news is that the working class needs time to adjust to lower energy prices, and that might become evident in the October figures, although the price of gas was inching up going into November. If they rebound to August and early September levels any consumer gain would be lost. The slow bleeding of high transportation costs would continue apace for working class and poor families.

The first important thing to realize about the US economy, indeed the world economy, is that it is not structured around any particular economic theory, and no universal marketplace ideal. The economy of the world is a mad patchwork of cobbled together ideas, emotions and trust levels, all broadly bound by a complex set of assumptions. But at the end of all that one thing is universal, and that is the basic notion that if consumers have more money, they will generally buy more stuff. If fuel costs are low enough then the money consumers might otherwise spend on energy needs is diverted and spread throughout the economy.

The more of that income that is discretionary, that is not going directly to survival needs, the more power resides with the consumer. That is the reason behind the wealth disparity in America. It is by design. With less money moving freely in the engine of the economy, debt is increased and those who control the assets control the consumer. But because we know that when prices are lower, spending goes up, and when gas prices are lower that the economy improves, why not extend that argument, and take it to the logical conclusion. The key lies in energy, and the American consumer has power to drive down the costs of energy. That would also directly assail the economic hegemony of the 1%. Here’s how.

Despite dramatic improvements in solar and wind power, 85% of America’s energy consumption comes from fossil fuel. Agricultural production eats up most of that, through wasteful manufacture of artificial fertilizers and pesticides, and in canning. Simply eating fresh vegetables, locally sourcing as little as a 1/3 of your vegetables and cutting meat consumption by 10%, or about 18 pounds of meat per year, would lower your medical costs, help the environment, spur local economic growth and force greater efficiency in the market. Nationally, savings in health care from a cleaner economy are estimated at almost $100 billion annually. An enormous amount of energy is wasted in packaging, processing and storing food.

James Inhofe has openly expressed his disdain for hybrid and electric cars. But Inhofe is bought and paid for by major corporate donors, including big oil. He works for the 1%-ers who want you to be a faceless, manipulated consumer. By switching to or supporting hybrid and electric cars the gas and oil royalty of the country and the world would finally be deposed, and once again we would have some say in the marketplace instead of mere victims, or fish swimming against an ever increasing current of manipulation, control and corruption. Just a thought…


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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The obvious Burger King joke in the whole corporate tax dodge thing

Everyone missed the obvious Burger King joke in the whole corporate tax dodge thing. A new rant from the FILTHY PUNDIT(He ought to have his mouth washed out with soap) Politics, way over the %$#@ing top!………………..I’ll get to that in a minute, but first a shout out to economist Stephen Moore at the Rightwing propaganda mill, Heritage Foundation. In their fevered perversion of truth about corporate tax rates in the United States Moore once again proved that his economics degree must have come wrapped in a whopper. Burger King is buying Canadian Donut chain Tim Horton’s and may take its HQ to Canada to lessen their tax burden but not have to pay for the privilege of getting wealthy in America or contributing to the financial health of the nation. The corporate tax rate is just a few % above Canada’s, but the effective AVERAGE tax rate is up North is about 20%. Burger King essentially gets to lay off half most of their accountants. Most US Corporations pay little or no tax directly, costing about 17 billion to taxpayers. We pissed away $60 billion in Russian trade sanctions, but the tax inversion scam is a quickening trend in a backdoor attack against the average working class and poor people. It’s a drain to keep rich fucks even fucking richer. In fact, subsidies, gifts and tax forgiveness in 2014 alone, nationwide will amount to more than ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. Walgreens, much to Moore’s chagrin, rethought a move to Switzerland in a tax inversion scheme to save $4 billion. When Sen. Dick Durbin reminded Walgreens that they were free to move to save $4 billion on the tax side, they’d lose $15.7 billion in Medicaid and Medicare subsidies. For the brilliant Mr. Moore, that’s called math. Truth is, the pressure is building strongly against corporate giveaways by the public. FOX news says it’s all about the marketplace and profits, and the market should decide, then why the fuck are they getting government money or help or credit in any fucking way? Sink or swim, bitches! That’s the marketplace, right? Instead the US bought and paid for gov. gives money to profitable companies? Right! As for Burger King? Here’s the joke. The downside of Burger King buying Canadian donut giant Tim Horton’s means that nobody will be able to find a Tim Horton’s either!

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Obama’s “I have a Yawn” Speech

Full transcript of Obama’s speech.

obama-yawns-570-550x362
Really? The first Black president in America’s history, speaking on the 50th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights march on Washington delivers a speech characterized by a notable lack of energy and perhaps interest. And given the record of this nation, and the revival of institutionalized, statistically-excused, and even overt racism, this speech might have been a rallying call to the work yet to be done, and the progress imperiled.

In glaring monotone, one could almost make the case that his words were weighted with the guilt of supporting a system marked by injustice and the deepening, systemic inequality supposedly eschewed in the very founding documents of our nation. Perhaps that is a natural arc for those who come to issues of race and injustice as more an observer than a victim. Certainly Obama, as he has sincerely indicated, has been the target of racism; but he has also had a more privileged perspective by virtue of a mixed race and opportunities in life not afforded to many in the African American community are still burdened with today.

At times the President seemed to come alive, finding moments of realization about the struggle continuing among too many in the minority communities of this nation. There was none of the noble and resistant exaltation of King’s speech on that spot 50 years earlier. There was no accounting of the progress or lack of progress of the dream King heralded and demanded. Instead, in a rambling and rarely evocative late-term speech that did little to celebrate the anniversary, nor decry injustices yet to be corrected Obama still seemed to stand more on policy than purpose.

We have entered a new era in race relations, but one that could hardly be described as post-racial. Instead there are those who would learn from the past to sharpen and polish their racism and racially divisive attitudes. They argue with the deepest sincerity using statistics to validate horribly racist policies such as stop and frisk law, racial profiling and crime as a means of evading the larger culture’s complicity, abandonment and responsibility in issues directly impacting, impeding and damaging the black community.

Pound the lectern, Mr. President. Rage at those injustices because that is what is needed. You are a leader whose responsibility is to lead this nation. But you are also a black man, and your/our-brothers and sisters remain in bondage as deeply as they did on that August day in 1963 when an unassuming reverend responded to a call to tell us about “the dream.” Can we rightly say that dream has been fulfilled or realized as schools close, black neighborhoods bear the brunt of economic downturns first and more acutely, and when guns from a white dominated gun industry magically proliferate among black neighborhoods due to lack of adequate and reasonable policy?

This nation still blames the symptoms of racial and economic inequality and injustice while lauding the cancer of greed and racism.

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Revolution and Beer TV Show 3: Who’s Paying Their Share

On Saturday March 30th, we gathered with a much larger and very boisterous crowd at Leadway Bar and Grill, 5233 N. Damen. Joining us for the taping of our 3rd TV show were David Hatch from the People’s Lobby, Kristi Sanford from A Just harvest, Toby Chow from Fair economy Illinois, and Michaela Lovegood from IIRON. We had an awesome time discussing corporate tax cheats and the politicians you love them in Illinois–over beer of course.

Don’t forget to sign the Fair Economy Illinois’ petition for The Illinois Corporate Tax Disclosure and Responsibility Act (HB3627 link below.)
http://www.faireconomyillinois.org/close-illinois-corporate-tax-loopholes/

This is a simple piece of legislation that provides for transparency. It asks that all publicly traded corporations disclose the amount of corporate income taxes they pay to the State of Illinois. These corporations’ taxes would be disclosed to the general public via the Internet a full 2 years after the fact.

Special thanks again to Sandra J Alvillar .AGAIN for the beautiful photography. Extra special thanks to Frank, Bianca, and Valentina for the incredible hospitality at Leadway Bar & Grill.

Repeat on Wednesday June 19 at 2:30 P.M.

Time: 7:30-8:00 p.m. Tuesdays, & 2:30-3:00 p.m. Wednesdays
Chicago Cable Channel: 19
Filmed in Chicago
Topics covered: Lots of important stuff
Fueled by: Good beer, good food, and people power

This series runs every Tuesday, at 7:30 p.m., through the month of June. We’ll have updates on what shows follow, an what the schedule will be as we near the end of the month.

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