How I Would Vote in the Greek Referendum

By Joseph Stiglitz
The Guardian

The rising crescendo of bickering and acrimony within Europe might seem to outsiders to be the inevitable result of the bitter endgame playing out between Greece and its creditors. In fact, European leaders are finally beginning to reveal the true nature of the ongoing debt dispute, and the answer is not pleasant: it is about power and democracy much more than money and economics.

Of course, the economics behind the programme that the “troika” (the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) foisted on Greece five years ago has been abysmal, resulting in a 25% decline in the country’s GDP. I can think of no depression, ever, that has been so deliberate and had such catastrophic consequences: Greece’s rate of youth unemployment, for example, now exceeds 60%.

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Volunteers Needed to Halt Efforts to Reinstate Death Penalty

The following is a message from our friends at Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. The pro-capital punishment petition drive to reinstate the death penalty is in full swing. Volunteers are being sought to help get information out to possible petition signers. Nebraskans for Peace wants to help get the word out so we can mobilize our supporters to help in this important effort.

Nebraskans for Public Safety is excited to launch volunteer efforts across the state to educate people about the problems with the death penalty BEFORE they can sign the petition to bring to the ballot an effort to undo our repeal. NADP wants to do our best to help engage our wonderful supporters in this effort. Volunteers can help with things such as petition fraud monitoring and handing out educational materials where petitions gatherers are working. In particular, we really need help in Lincoln. The referendum group is pushing their people all over the city and we need to engage our Lincoln support as quickly as possible. Will you please consider volunteering? Our opposition is working hard, but we’ve got the best volunteers in this state! Let’s get out there and show Nebraskans that repeal of the death penalty was the best decision for our state. To sign up to volunteer, simply follow this link and complete the form. Nebraskans for Public Safety will then contact you to get you set up to volunteer.

And, in case you missed it, be sure to check out this article from the Lincoln Journal Star about the high cost of the death penalty and this article from the Omaha World Herald about how much money Governor Ricketts and his dad have contributed to the referendum campaign so far. We must continue educating Nebraskans that repeal was the best decision for our state. Thanks for your ongoing support!

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Pope Francis, Climate, and Controversy

By Bruce E. Johansen

Pope Francis’ major encyclical (teaching letter) on the environment (focusing on climate change) is not unusual for its scientific content—many individuals and groups have emphasized the serious nature of global warming in hundreds of reports. However, the rollout of this document in June was very notable for the strategy used to publicize it, and distinguished by its large audience: 1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide. The document is also very unusual for its fusion of scientific support with moral persuasion. “I wish to address every person living on this planet,” the Pope wrote.

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Pope Says Weapons Manufacturers Can't Call Themselves Christian

By Philip Pullella

TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.

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Tell the Senate: Vote No on the Pentagon Slush Fund

The following is a message from our friends at Peace Action.

You’ll remember from last week that the annual defense policy setting ritual is happening in the Senate this week and for once there is significant opposition building.

We need to fuel that opposition.

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