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When a coffee break turns into a modern Greek nightmare

Suicides have become an epidemic in crisis-hit Greece while SYRIZA claims the country is “recovering” and “emerging” from the economic crisis.

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Having stopped off briefly for a coffee break near the Dafni metro station in Athens to catch up with some work e-mails, I noticed a crowd had developed at the entrance to the station for some unknown reason. It was clear the station had closed, but no one initially knew why. What happened next is a microcosm of a society in terminal decline.
Suddenly police, ambulance, and fire crews arrived and the crowd in front had to make way. It was stated someone had fallen on the tracks. No one initially knew the cause or the age of the victim. After more than thirty minutes, a mobile stretcher arrived on wheels and it was positioned eerily at the entrance. It epitomized what happened next. Authorities brought out a black body bag fully wrapped and wheeled it away. It was then revealed that a 75 year old Greek man who had jumped in front of a train.
The mythology that Greece has “turned the corner,” that “development is back,” and that “unemployment has been reduced from 27 percent to 19%,” are words that don’t relate to the human dramas unfolding in front of everyone’s eyes on a daily basis. With the massive expansion of part time work, the destruction of full time employment, and wages that could end up as low as €250 a month, one can understand how easily figures are manipulated.
Quite a few Athenians, the majority of which arrived from the villages in the 1950’s and 1960s, built their houses with cash without the necessity of mortgages or loans from the banking system. When the Great Crash of 2010 arrived, the IMF imposed property taxes. Many families had an ancestral home in a village and possibly one in four had built small holiday homes that were never properly legalized as they were built in designated “forest” or non-planning areas (Editor’s note: for more about the absurdities of Greece’s land and “forest” registry, click here). The irony of this is that one cannot then sell a property of such nature but the government does tax it!

With the massive expansion of part time work, the destruction of full time employment, and wages that could end up as low as €250 a month, one can understand how easily figures are manipulated.

With the collapse in pension payments by at least 50 percent, which has not been reversed by SYRIZA, as originally pledged, but instead has continued, a retired pensioner could end up being liable for two or three property tax payments and and to be placed in the “wealthy” tax bracket (Editor’s note: In Greece, the tax system is such that if one owns property or a car, a certain income level is assumed, even if one is now unemployed or even if the property was inherited). When added all together, the reduction in fixed income could be as high as 70 percent, and without the capacity of reducing overheads or transferring assets to ones children (who have their own problems) many seek the option of suicide.
It is alleged more than 10,000 people have committed suicide in Greece since the onset of the crisis, but many such incidents aren’t registered as such, as suicide is considered to bring shame upon the family. In actuality, the figure could be much closer to 30,000. The most infamous case is that of the pensioner Christos Soulas, who hanged himself in 2012 publicly in Syntagma Square in central Athens.

It was only a few years ago when then-government minister Andreas Loverdos stated on live television that the problem with Greek pensions “is that Greek pensioners live too long.” Taken literally, one understands how a short coffee break turns into a modern Greek nightmare…

When one adds to this the rash of robberies of pensioners inside their homes or on the streets, it is evident that this economic war against the third generation has as an aim to destroy Greek families and break the nation apart. Social justice has been erased from the lexicon of the modern mass media and the political parties that govern. It’s all forecasts and targets with made up figures.
It was only a few years ago when then-government minister Andreas Loverdos stated on live television that the problem with Greek pensions “is that Greek pensioners live too long.” Taken literally, one understands how a short coffee break turns into a modern Greek nightmare…
Originally published on http://imfoccupationgreece.blogspot.gr/2012/04/greek-pensioner-commits-suicide-in.html.

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James Woods Suspended From Twitter Over Satirical Meme That Could “Impact An Election”

James Woods crushes Jack Dorsey: “You are a coward, @Jack.”

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Outspoken conservative actor James Woods was suspended from posting to Twitter over a two-month-old satirical meme which very clearly parodies a Democratic advertisement campaign. While the actor’s tweets are still visible, he is unable to post new content.

The offending tweet from July 20, features three millennial-aged men with “nu-male smiles” and text that reads “We’re making a Woman’s Vote Worth more by staying home.” Above it, Woods writes “Pretty scary that there is a distinct possibility this could be real. Not likely, but in this day and age of absolute liberal insanity, it is at least possible.”

According to screenshots provided by an associate of Woods’, Twitter directed the actor to delete the post on the grounds that it contained “text and imagery that has the potential to be misleading in a way that could impact an election.

In other words, James Woods, who has approximately 1.72 million followers, was suspended because liberals who don’t identify as women might actually take the meme seriously and not vote. 

In a statement released through associate Sara Miller, Woods said “You are a coward, @Jack,” referring to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “There is no free speech for Conservatives on @Twitter.

Earlier this month, Woods opined on the mass-platform ban of Alex Jones, tweeting: ““I’ve never read Alex Jones nor watched any of his video presence on the internet. A friend told me he was an extremist. Believe me that I know nothing about him. That said, I think banning him from the internet is a slippery slope. This is the beginning of real fascism. Trust me.”

Nu-males everywhere non-threateningly smirk at Woods’ bad fortune…

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Another witness named by Ford becomes third person to deny being at party

A woman believed to have been one of five people at a party 35 years ago where Ford claims she was assaulted by Kavanaugh is now the fourth person to deny being at any such party.

The Duran

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Via The Washington Examiner


A witness, reportedly named by Christine Blasey Ford as one of the people at the high school party where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday she was not there.

The attorney for Leland Ingham Keyser told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Keyser does not remember being at the party Ford described as the location of the alleged assault.

“Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” Keyser said in the statement. CNN reported Keyser is a lifelong friend of Ford’s.

Keyser, whom the New York Times reported is one of the people Ford named as being in attendance at the party, is the third witness who has denied knowing about the alleged assault. Mark Judge and Patrick Smyth said earlier this week they did not remember the party in question.

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegation.

The news comes after Ford, through her attorneys, tentatively agreed to testify on Thursday, after days of negotiations over the timing and conditions of her

Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had repeatedly extended deadlines set for Ford’s team on the decision, including three on Friday and one at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Grassley threatened to proceed with a committee vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination Monday if he did not hear from Ford.

“Five times now we [have] granted extension for Dr Ford to decide if she wants to proceed [with] her desire stated one [week] ago that she wants to tell senate her story,” Grassley tweeted Friday. “Dr Ford if u changed ur mind say so so we can move on I want to hear ur testimony. Come to us or we to u.”

The extended discussions have been labeled a delaying tactic by some Republicans.

Ford’s attorneys and Grassley’s aides will reportedly continue negotiations Sunday on the details of the conditions of Ford’s testimony, per the New York Times.

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Was NYT Story About Rosenstein ‘Coup Attempt’ A Setup?

The New York Times is reporting that Rod Rosenstein pushed a plan to record President Trump and invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

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Via Zerohedge


Is the FBI trying to goad President Trump into firing the man in charge of supervising the Mueller probe? That’s what Sean Hannity and a handful of  Trump’s Congressional allies think.

According to a report in Politico, Republicans in Congress are approaching a story about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein attempting to organize a palace coup with extreme caution, despite having twice nearly gathered the votes to remove him in the recent past.

On Friday, the NYT reported a bombshell story alleging that Rosenstein had tried to recruit administration officials to secretly tape conversations with the president in order to help justify removing Trump under the 25th amendment. Rosenstein vehemently denied the story, which was largely based on confidential memos written by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. And others who were reportedly in attendance at meeting between McCabe and Rosenstein said the Deputy AG was being “sarcastic” when he suggested that the president be taped.

Meanwhile, Trump allies including Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz are saying that the story should be treated with suspicion. Jordan and Freedom Caucus leader Mark Meadows once filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. But now, both Meadows and Jordan intend to proceed with caution, telling Politico that he would like to see the memos that the story was based on.

House Freedom Caucus leaders Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, who led a charge to impeach Rosenstein this summer, have said they want to hear from Rosenstein and see documents allegedly describing the comments before they decide what to do.That’s awarded Rosenstein a courtesy they’ve never given him in the past.

“I think Rod needs to come before Congress this week and explain under oath what exactly he said and didn’t say,” Meadows said at the Values Voters Summit Saturday.

The newfound hesitation to oust Rosenstein highlights a cautious approach Trump allies have adopted as the Republican party barrels toward a potential bloodbath in the midterms. Some Republicans fear Trump firing Rosenstein now would only further energize Democrats making the case to voters that the president is corrupt and needs to be reined in by a Democratic House.

[…]

In a Friday interview, Jordan, one of Rosenstein’s fiercest critics in Congress, sidestepped questions about whether the House should revisit Rosenstein’s impeachment or try to hold him in contempt of Congress. Rather, he said, a more focused push to obtain sensitive documents from the Justice Department — which Trump’s allies say would expose anti-Trump bias and corruption the FBI — is the most urgent priority.

“I want to see those memos and evaluate them,” said Jordan, who has clashed publicly with Rosenstein over access to documents and accused him of threatening House Intelligence Committee staffers, an allegation Rosenstein denied.

Politico cites two possible explanations for lawmakers’ hesitation: Republicans are running out of time before members devote themselves full-time to their reelection campaigns. Republicans are worried that the story could have been intentionally planted to provoke Rosenstein’s firing in order to improve Democrats’ chances of retaking the Senate AND the House (Trump actively moving to crush the Mueller probe would be quite the propaganda win for the Dems).

Sean Hannity took this latter theory a step further during his show on Friday evening, where he urged Trump not to fire Rosie and instead insisted that the story could have been a “trap”. He added that he had been told by “multiple sources” that the story was planted by unspecified “enemies of Trump.”

“I have a message for the president tonight,” Hannity said Friday night. “Under zero circumstances should the president fire anybody…the president needs to know it is all a setup.”

Still, a handful of conservative commentators, including Laura Ingraham, urged Trump to fire Rosenstein immediately. And for Trump’s part, he hinted at a rally Friday night in Missouri that he planned to “get rid” of the “lingering stench” at the DOJ, which many interpreted as a hint that his firing is imminent.

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