Full transcript of the Yanis Varoufakis | Noam Chomsky NYPL discussion


Insightful and enlightening commentary on the real workings of the EU from the visionary economist Yanis Varoufakis, former Finance Minister of Greece.

Yanis Varoufakis

The full transcript of my discussion with Noam Chomsky at the New York Public Library (26th April 2016) was just sent to me by Kelly Patrick Gerling. I thank him profusely. Here it is, just below the video window

April 26, 2016, LIVE from the New York Public Library, http://www.nypl.org/live, Celeste Bartos Forum

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Good evening, we don’t have anyone to introduce us, so I’ve been asked to kick off by saying firstly that isn’t this wonderful that we are all here just to subvert the notion that nothing good can come out of the public sector? (laughter) Noam.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the fact that I’m here, barely, actually has a relationship to that comment. I came from Boston, my wife and I came from Boston, it took seven hours, and any society that hasn’t been smashed by neoliberal policies of the kind you describe, it would have taken maybe an hour…

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Average Weekend in #Mauritania


No Political Prisoners
Yesterday, I read (and shared) an interview with Mauritania’s Aziz, in which he boasted that there are no political prisoners in Mauritania – he was only able to do that because of the very recent release of the political activist and abolitionist  Biram Dah Obeid, of course.

No Terror Protection Payola
He also denied reports from Pakistan, where it is claimed they discovered documents outlining a deal with AQ, and said Mauritania had not handed over any money in exchange for protection from terrorist attacks. He also said he’d asked the US, and the US denied all knowledge. Further, he said all terrorism actors were in jail, sentenced to death, and none had been released, except those who repented after serving their sentence. (Quite how a person can repent after serving a death sentence was not explained.) However, some of us recall that a small group of suspected terrorist sympathisers repented, were released, and each given a large cash payment, using money from the US government.


No Daylight Robbery
Today, there are reports of the first attempted “armed robbery” on a bank in Mauritania.  We’re being told the motive was ideological, because the perpetrators claimed the National Bank of Mauritania  (BNM) was guilty of usury, and the leader of the 4-man group had a beard. Their “attack” involved arrived at closing time saying they had money they wanted to deposit. At some point, knives and a gun were produced, and a warning shot fired into the air. They were apparently foiled by the bank’s unarmed security with the help of plucky bystanders, and then arrested by the police. I will not be surprised if this is subsequently used as evidence of a resurgence of terrorism. What will forever remain a mystery is how robbing a bank is in any way an appropriate response or remedy for usury.

Refuge Without Respite


Even here at the Western tip of the Sahara, there are refugees from Syria. At least, this is their claim when they knock at the door with sorrowful faces. Most often they are older women, their black garb streaked with white desert dust. Piercing dark eyes, once and forever their best feature, plead with you for charity.
They almost sing their tale of murdered husband, lost child – so often told it has become their signature tune in this “land of a million poets.”
I grab a small note, anxiety rising in my throat, and thrust it into the tiny outstreched hand with a sypathetic squeeze. I want them to go quickly. Before they suspect that I’m British. Before they can sense my humiliation and anguish over my country’s action and inaction. Before the sorrow can change its tune.


Photo: @YaronGlazer

Why Can’t Individuals Aid Refugees?


Ever wonder why we, as individual citizens or families, aren’t able to invite individual refugees or families to come and live in (relative) safety with us if we wish?

There might be many reasons but here’s my list for starters:

1. Population control. Even as statisticians bemoan our plummeting birthrate, governments are geared to prevent any unplanned increase in population. Especially adult population,  because more adults means more demand for public services and jobs.

2. In some regions of the world, refugees are treated like a natural resource which, crammed into filthy, inadequate camps like so much livestock, provide a source of income from NGOs and political prestige for corrupt governments.

3. Refugee camps are frequently cited in articles being used to hide and/or recruit operatives for false flag ops, and as places to store weapons and supplies. Government agents posing as aid workers reportedly use refugee camps as listening posts and meeting points.

These reasons alone are sufficient to prevent an agency such as UNHCR from creating a global matching service to connect those who want to help with those who need it. You might think perhaps Google or Facebook could do it. But I doubt they’d be allowed to.

See also
Is shunning refugees the answer to terror? – CNN.com

News from Iran – Week 26 – 2014

Reza Shahabi

Prisoners’ News


  • Hamed Ahmadi, death row prisoner on hunger strike, transferred to hospital for stomach bleeding.
  • Mansour Arvand, death row prisoner, transferred from Urmiah prison to an unknown location.
  • Dr. Kamran Ayazi transferred from Evin to Rejaei Shahr.
  • Shahram Chinian-Miandoab transferred to solitary in Rejaei Shahr.
  • Dr. Latif Hasani, on hunger strike since May 10th, transferred to hospital and then to Evin.
  • Behnam Irani, Christian priest recently converted, transferred from Alborz Intelligence detention center to Rejaei Shahr.
  • Mehdi Khazali moved from Evin to Rejaei Shahr.
  • Kasra Nouri transferred back from Adel Abad prison to Nezam prison.



  • Sivan Hosseinpour, Kurdish photographer and cartoonist, arrested at home in Mahabad.
  • Bahman Khaleghi, Azeri activist, begins serving his 6 months sentence in Tabriz.
  • Majid Moghadam arrested during 5th memorial at Neda Agha-Soltan grave and released the day after.
  • Hojatoleslam Seyed Hamid Mahdavi-Eghdam begins serving his sentence in Tabriz prison.
  • Mamousta Abdol-Salam Golnavaz, Kurdish cleric, summoned to clerical court in Tabriz and arrested ; released the day after because of protests
  • Behnam Mousivand arrested during 5th memorial at Neda Agha-Soltan’s grave and released the day after.
  • Afshin Nadimi, Kurdish rights activist, begins serving his 6 years sentence in Sanandaj prison.
  • Reyhaneh Tabatabaei, journalist, begins serving her 6 months sentence in Evin.
  • Female football fans arrested and released after president’s intervention.



  • Leva Khanjani freed at the end of her sentence.
  • Amir Khorram released on furlough.


D-Other News

  • Reza Akbari-Monfared on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.
  • Mohammad Banazadeh-Amirkhizi on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.
  • Dr. Asghar Ghotan on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.
  • Afshin Heiratian on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.
  • Khaled Herdani on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.
  • Saleh Kohandel on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.
  • Mohammad-Ali (Pirouz) Mansouri on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.
  • Ali Moezi banned from all visits.
  • Ali Salanpour on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.
  • Shahrokh Zamani on hunger strike in Rejaei Shahr to support Reza Shahabi.


News of injustice in Iran

  • Mashallah Shamsolvaezin, journalist, banned from leaving the country.
  • 5 hangings in Birjand prison.
  • 8 hangings in Rasht on Monday.
  • 2 hangings Rejaei Shahr on Wednesday.
  • 11 hangings in Ghezel-Hesar on Thursday.


University – Culture

  • Shahr e Sokhteh inscribed in Unesco World Heritage list.
  • Two paintings by Iranian poet Sohrab Sepehri sold for over $1 million in Tehran auction.
  • Iranian students blocked from UK Stem courses by Kaplan due to US sanctions.
  • Islamic Association of Shiraz University of Technology reopens after 4 years



  • Tehranis celebrate great match of Team Melli against Argentina on the street.
  • Retired steel workers protest withheld pension payments.
  • Reporters strike at national broadcaster in Ardebil for unpaid wages.
  • Miners protest to keep company private and they stop privatisation.


Iran abroad

  • Zarif meets Sudanese minister of development in Tehran.
  • French parliamentary delegation visits Iranian Majlis.
  • Iran operates drones from former American base in Iraq.


Iran Economics

  • Turkey sells 200 tons of secret gold to Iran.
  • India makes $550m oil payment to Iran.


Iran Politics

  • Iranian police launches new campaign to seize satellite dishes.
  • Gholamali Jafarzadeh, a member of Iran’s planning and Budget Commission calls for Ahmadinejad’s prosecution.
  • 75% of provincial governors replaced last year.
  • Vasectomy punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison.
  • Health Minister challenges law against birth control.



  • Iran is getting ready for its best year of tourism in a generation.
  • Iranian pilgrims captured by ISIS released, back to country.
  • Iran has the highest cancer rate because of contaminated gasoline.


As usual, list of political prisoners in Iran: http://hyperactivist.info/ipr.html

Please help us to keep it updated