Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hundreds of protesters rally outside Christie announcement

Today's Bergen record:  "Hundreds of protesters rally outside Christie announcement" LINK

Kudos to my friend and colleague: Dina Scacchetti and her husband, Tom Beatini!

(edit) "Tom Beatini and his wife, Dina Scacchetti, of Hillsdale are retired teachers with a combined 67 years in the pension fund. But while they are concerned about their retirement, they said the bigger issue is the governor’s stances on public education — promoting charter schools, slashing school funding, and the installation of a 2 percent cap on budget increases and a salary cap for superintendents. “We’re all going to be paying for it for years to come,” Beatini said. (edit) See complete article

Want to help bail out Greece yourself?

Do you want to help bail out Greece yourself?

From: "The State of Greece" Photographic Series 
c. Triada Samaras 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

Yanis Varoufakis’ historic speech on June 27th Can democracy and a monetary union coexist?

As it happened- Yanis Varoufakis' intervention during the 27th June 2015
Posted on June 28, 2015 by yanisv at LINK

"The Eurogroup Meeting of 27th June 2015 will not go down as a proud moment in Europe’s history. Ministers turned down the Greek government’s request that the 
Greek people should be granted a single week during which to deliver a Yes or No answer to the institutions’ proposals – proposals crucial for Greece’s future in the Eurozone. The very idea that a government would consult its people on a problematic proposal put to it by the institutions was treated with incomprehension and often with disdain bordering on contempt. I was even asked: “How do you expect common 
people to understand such complex issues?”. Indeed, democracy did not have a 
good day in yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting! But nor did European institutions. 
After our request was rejected, the Eurogroup President broke with the convention 
of unanimity (issuing a statement without my consent) and even took the dubious 
decision to convene a follow up meeting without the Greek minister, ostensibly to 
discuss the “next steps”.

"Can democracy and a monetary union coexist? Or must one give way? This is the pivotal question that the Eurogroup has decided to answer by placing democracy in the too-hard basket. So far, one hopes.

Intervention by Yanis Varoufakis, 27th June 2015 Eurogroup Meeting

"In our last meeting (25th June) the institutions tabled their final offer to the Greek 
authorities, in response to our proposal for a Staff Level Agreement (SLA) as 
tabled on 22nd June (and signed by Prime Minister Tsipras). After long, careful 
examination, our government decided that, unfortunately, the institutions’ 
proposal could not be accepted. In view of how close we have come to the 30th June 
deadline, the date when the current loan agreement expires, this impasse of 
grave concern to us all and its causes must be thoroughly examined.

"We rejected the institutions’ 25th June proposals because of a variety of 
powerful reasons. The first reason is the combination of austerity and social 
injustice they would impose upon a population devastated already by… 
austerity and social injustice. Even our own SLA proposal (22nd June) 
is austerian, in a bid to placate the institutions and thus come closer to 
an agreement. Only our SLA attempted to shift the burden of this 
renewed austerian onslaught to those more able to afford it – e.g. 
by concentrating on increasing employer contributions to pension 
funds rather than on reducing the lowest of pensions. Nonetheless, 
even our SLA contains many parts that Greek society rejects.

"So, having pushed us hard to accept substantial new austerity, i
n the form of absurdly large primary surpluses (3.5% of GDP 
over the medium term, albeit somewhat lower than the 
unfathomable number agreed to by previous Greek 
governments – i.e. 4.5%), we ended up having to make 
recessionary trade-offs between, on the one hand, higher t
axes/charges in an economy where those who pay their dues 
pay through the nose and, on the other, reductions in 
pensions/benefits in a society already devastated by 
massive cuts in basic income support for the multiplying 
needy...."  (edit)

For complete statement please see:  

Joseph Stiglitz on how the Greek people should vote

Joseph Stiglitz writes at The Guardian on how Greek people should vote:
Courage, wisdom and fortitude to the people of Greece!

Greece is going but where?
Digital Photograph From: "The State of Greece" Photographic Series
c. 2015 Triada Samaras

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Standing at Lake George

I took this photograph standing at the edge of Lake George in the Adirondacks this week.
It is called: "Standing"

Digital Photograph From: "The Lake George" Photographic Series
c. 2015 Triada Samaras

And I guess I should mention: Yes, this was my iPhone 6.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A Must Read! Varoufakis on Greece Proposals to End the Greece Crisis

This is a must read!:

"Greece’s Proposals to End the Crisis: My intervention at Today’s Eurogroup" by Yanis Varoufakis  originally blogged by Yanis Varoufakis

"The only antidote to propaganda and malicious ‘leaks’ is transparency. After so much disinformation on my presentation at the Eurogroup of the Greek government’s position, the only response is to post the precise words uttered within. Read them and judge for yourselves whether the Greek government’s proposals constitute a basis for agreement."

(edit)..."Structural reforms promote growth potential. But mere cutbacks in an economy like Greece’s promote recession. Greece must adjust by introducing genuine reforms. But at the same time, going back to Dr Blanchard’s answer, the institutions need to adjust their definition of growth-enhancing reforms – to acknowledge that parametric cuts and tax hikes are not reforms and that, at least in the case of Greece, they have undermined growth...(edit) (YV

(edit) ...Our proposal on this front is simple, efficient and mutually beneficial. We propose no new monies, not one fresh euro, for our state. Imagine the following three-part agreement to be announced in the next few days...."  (edit)  (YV)   View original blog post

Digital Photograph From: "The State of Greece" Photographic Series
c. 2015 Triada Samaras

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Unfu-k Greece

I found this photograph just now on The Guardian site.

Photo Credit: Paul Hanna/Reuters

Friday, June 12, 2015

Varoufakis: No time for games in Europe!

It is so important when reading about the Greece crisis from afar to be aware of the media manipulation on this topic which has been immense.  Varoufakis explains.

Varoufakis: No time for games in Europe! 

Credit Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Monday, June 1, 2015

"American Promise"

I saw a very thought provoking film at my professional development day at William Paterson University last week. I also met and spoke with the the parents/filmmakers. This film is not without its issues, but I feel it is a MUST SEE!

American Promise