Turkey, which over the last year could hardly be described as an incubator for civil liberties, has this past year been engulfed in political chaos. It’s reputation which it has tried hard to put forward as a secular, moderate gateway to the east from Europe, and a viable member of the EU, is almost completely in tatters. It currently holds the unpleasant title as the country with the most imprisoned journalists on the planet, it is ranked 154th in the press freedom index, and it has what can only be described as a selective historical memory when it comes to Armenians. This nation has over the past year been involved in what can only be described as a governmental crisis. This crisis, which stems from a corruption probe which has sunk its teeth into the heart of governmental power and authority has threatened various power brokers nation wide. This is an on-going and real tale of political intrigue within one of NATO’s most valued countries; including foreign backers, shoeboxes full of dollars and the constitutional limits of power which keep a leader in check.
Net Neutrality is a bit like economics: it’s something that affects the core of how we interact with the world today but also seems incredibly dull and apparently irrelevant to the majority of people until something gets shaken up. And it just so happens that things were shaken up a couple of weeks back when Tom Wheeler the chairman for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US proposed changes to the future of regulation online. This is something that is being heavily lobbied and supported by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) whilst simultaneously being decried as a death knell for the internet as we know it by the companies of Silicon Valley and a huge amount of people online. Whilst this particular proposal only directly impacts the US, its effects would certainly be felt globally and on top of this there are forces at work attempting to impose similar regulation in Europe.
Professor William Black joins Greg McInerney to talk about his own background in fraud cases in the US and how the US and Europe are dealing with the financial crisis in different ways. As well as austerity in Ireland and Europe and Germany’s role in all of this.
Greg McInerney: This is Greg McInerney here for the meltingpress.com. This is episode three of our Alternative Voices series and we are joined today by Professor Bill Black. Bill is a former bank regulator, a professor of law and economics and also the author of the brilliant book The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Bill thanks so much for joining us today.
With much happening in Ukraine, Venezuela, Turkey, Thailand, the Olympics in Russia, the GSOC scandal here at home and many other relevant and resonating goings-on, a person could be forgiven for not watching the less reported, but equally as poignant, unfolding events from around the globe. As the dust settled for the moment in Kiev and Crimea heated up, another important European story of on-going unrest and turmoil in the small ex-Yugoslavian state of Bosnia-Herzegovina was occurring.
Amid fears of a Kremlin-backed separatist rebellion against Ukraine’s fledgling government, armed men in military uniforms took up positions at two Crimean airports as Ukraine’s interior minister warned of “a direct provocation,” but there was no sign of any violence.
Despite being described as “self-defence squads” by the Russian media, it is probable that these men are at the very least funded and armed by the Kremlin. Western media is of course quick to emphasis Russian involvement but paid very little attention to who was arming and funding pro-European paramilitary squads to date much more violent than Russian-backed militias.
Episode 2 of our “Alternative Voices” interview series, where we talk to people who give us a different perspective on all manner of topics.
Our guest this week is Norman Finkelstein, a scholar of the Israel/Palestine issue and the author of several books including The Holocaust Industry and This Time We Went Too Far: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion. We spoke with Norman about his unique family background, his battles with American academia and the future of the Palestinian people.
Download from Soundcloud
Greg McInerney: Hi guys, this is Greg McInerney here for the MeltingPress.com, this is episode two of our Alternative Voices series. Today we’re joined by Norman Finkelstein who is a scholar of the Israel/Palestine Issue. Norman thanks so much for joining us today.
This is the first episode of our new “Alternative Voices” interview series, where we talk to people who give us a different perspective on all manner of topics.
Our first guest is Professor Michael Hudson, a research professor of economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and the author of two books “The Bubble And Beyond” and “Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy Of American Empire”. He talks to Greg about austerity in Ireland, how US economic policy has affected Ireland, Europe and the rest of the world as well as how the various political parties in Ireland have mishandled the economic crisis.
Without further ado the first episode, along with the transcript and a link to download the episode from soundcloud, is below.
It’s been almost five years since the crash of ’08 catapulted the Irish from their delusions of grandeur into a barren economic wilderness and yet the country still seems perpetually lost. To be frank, it is a depressing place to be. We are a nation without sovereignty. The same technocrats and bankers that gorged the rest of us into famine compose a merry tune for our utterly vapid and inept political class to whistle along to. Political dissent is non-existent, replaced by a communal drizzle of apathy interspersed with occasional phone calls to our own Che Guevara, Joe Duffy. Talk of tightening belts and keeping our heads down usurp more appropriate metaphors containing deck chairs and sinking ships.