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Macron slides into authoritarian territory with new “anti-thug” law
Dubbed the “loi anti-casseur”, or “anti-thug law”, the text aims “to reinforce and guarantee law enforcement during protests”.

“Concealing one’s face without a legitimate motive” will, under the anti-thug law, be sanctioned by one year in prison and €15,000 in fines, he said. Anyone arrested will have to prove they had a good reason to be masked. The law also provides that “thugs” who break things will have to pay for them – even if they have not been obliged by a court to do so.

So let’s recap: any protester attending a march would, under this new law, be considered a potential suspect. Covering one’s face at a march (even as protection against tear gas) could result in a prison sentence. Breaking a window or a road sign could result in blacklisting on a list for wanted criminals. And representatives of the French executive branch will have the power to remove a citizen’s right to free assembly for a month, without any prior court decision.
france  politics  authoritarianism  police  law 
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Dunning: "The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club. P…
february 2019
Just who are the gilets jaunes? | World news | The Guardian
n May last year, a young businesswoman of French West Indian origin, Priscillia Ludosky, 31, placed a petition online complaining about the high cost of petrol and diesel in France... She is an unlikely pioneer for a populist movement which is sometimes accused of being racist and far right (as parts of it undoubtedly are).

In October she was contacted by Eric Drouet, a 33-year-old lorry driver, who teamed up with her to promote her original petition. Drouet is a car fanatic, a “petrol head”, but also someone with extremist political tendencies. He is now, many weeks later, probably the most influential figure in the gilets jaunes.
It was Drouet who thought of the idea of a nationwide protest against fuel taxes on 17 November. Someone else had the brilliant PR idea of dressing everyone up in the yellow hi-vis vests that French motorists must by law carry in their cars. Petrol prices rapidly set alight other grievances in rural and outer suburban France, some concrete, some more existential: a lack of public services, the high cost of living, a new tax on some pensions, the fact that Macron had partially abolished a tax on wealth. No one should underestimate the importance of a decision last July to reduce the two-lane speed limit in France from 90kph to 80kph.

This aroused a long-simmering belief in “peripheral France” that the countryside and outer suburbs are somehow subsidising the insolent success of the cities. Speeding fines, in this rural view, are just another way of taxing ploucs or pecnos – yokels or rednecks. There is also a belief that lower and middle France is taxed unfairly in favour of the rich.
france  politics  driving 
february 2019
Twitter
RT : By allowing parking so close to junctions we rob children of sightlines and the freedom to move about our communiti…
february 2019
Dutch extend plans for high-frequency operations | International Railway Journal
TRAINS will connect nine major Dutch cities every 10 minutes by 2040 under plans unveiled by state secretary to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Mrs Stientje van Veldhoven, on February 6.
transport  netherlands 
february 2019
Old notebooks | Notes from a Room
‘I wake up tired of waking up. Lured into another endless day, the last day begun again. There’s something I’ve missed, some fatal flaw in my reasoning that prevents me moving from here to the real vantage point, to real life. I see no path to take. What would it look like? Where would it go? It would end up back here, in dead time.

‘Nothing to say and the guilt of not filling time, that makes you speak to yourself in their words. “Stop inventing little hardships to make yourself look interesting. Get a proper job. Get a life. Get laid.”...
Leafing through another notebook the other day – rarely a good idea – I found this, written a decade ago:

‘Endless work. What’s your real work? You ask the question so often the question itself becomes a form of work. You tunnel through a mountain of other people’s words and smuggle out your own dubious hoard with no destination in sight. Always halfway between your origin and your end.’
writing  blog 
february 2019
Twitter
Yep, I could walk to school unaccompanied from about ag…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : That vehicle could be a lot safer. Close up the sides (include the wheels), l…
february 2019
Twitter
I'd be in favor of much more granular satnav controlled road pricing for…
february 2019
Twitter
Yep agree with that pricing parking appropriately is the w…
february 2019
Why Bradley Wiggins is so wrong: Part One: Sport, Transport and Role Models | Road Danger Reduction Forum
With a love of cycle racing comes an acceptance of crashing. ( Minute remnants of my skin are no doubt lodged in the debris of the Eastway cycle circuit which was destroyed to make way for the Olympic Velodrome). In this year’s Tour de France, of the 45 withdrawals at least 20 were due to sustaining what we classify as “Serious Injury” (SI) That’s about 10% over the three weeks. Although this year may well have been worse than previous ones, this amounts to something like 10% over some 80 hours, equivalent to about 4 months of typical commuting for an urban cycling. As Wiggins’ Team GB team mate David Millar puts it: “Cycling is such a stupid sport. Next time you are in a car travelling at 40mph think about jumping out – naked. That’s what it’s like when we crash. ”
To translate that into London cycling terms, that would result in some 30% of London’s daily cyclists being Seriously Injured every year – about 75,000. Instead there are some 300 – 200 times less. Even allowing for non-reporting, we have a difference of dozens, if not a hundred times less. If we used the (I think less valid) exposure measure of distance, it would still be the case that Tour de France riders are far, far more likely to suffer SIs in conditions where they rarely hit a motor vehicle than people cycling in London.
cycling  sport  London  road_safety 
february 2019
Jeff Bezos Protests Invasion of His Privacy, as Amazon Builds Surveillance State
On Thursday, Bezos published emails in which the Enquirer’s parent company explicitly threatened to publish intimate photographs of Bezos and his mistress, which were apparently exchanged between the two through their iPhones, unless Bezos agreed to a series of demands involving silence about the company’s conduct.

In a perfect world, none of the sexually salacious material the Enquirer was threatening to release would be incriminating or embarrassing to Bezos: it involves consensual sex between adults...
If Bezos were the political victim of surveillance state abuses, it would be scandalous and dangerous. It would also be deeply ironic.

That’s because Amazon, the company that has made Bezos the planet’s richest human being, is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive, militarized and sprawling surveillance state. Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons.
privacy  surveillance  amazon  irony  politics  us 
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Laissez les cyclistes juger sur place et faire leur choix. Si G.…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Looking to cheer up a Friday afternoon with a celebration of Hollywood glamour and bicycles.

First up, Humphrey B…
february 2019
Twitter
Absolutely, always was, still is. And motorized lawless…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Personne ne veut rouler sur qui que ce soit. Mais je réfute absolument l’idée que le caract…
february 2019
Twitter
Road design is one element. Behavior is also crucial. I…
february 2019
Twitter
Interesting to note that the Groningen mayor who brought in the no throu…
february 2019
Twitter
Nantes urban policy is an interesting example. In the centre (where cars are much excluded since 2009…
february 2019
Twitter
Two bus lanes, two cycle lanes, not a car in sight! Pla…
february 2019
Twitter
Pascal Bolo is deputy mayor of Nantes. Quite clear that he's part of the "get off my road onto the crappy cycle pat…
february 2019
Twitter
Well, the problem is, the results are literally set in…
february 2019
Twitter
LOL! Crush the saboteurs! I'm fine with cycling infra as long as I retain my right to ride on the roa…
february 2019
Twitter
I'm out of the office now, but I'll try to post citatio…
february 2019
Twitter
Slower tho'. I'm not against in all circs. Where there'…
february 2019
The Best Technology for Fighting Climate Change Isn't a Technology - Scientific American Blog Network
Yet the international focus on fossil fuels has overshadowed the most powerful and cost-efficient carbon-capture technology the world has yet seen: forests. Recent scientific research confirms that forests and other “natural climate solutions” are absolutely essential in mitigating climate change, thanks to their carbon sequestering and storage capabilities. In fact, natural climate solutions can help us achieve 37 percent of our climate target, even though they currently receive only 2.5 percent of public climate financing.

Forests’ power to store carbon dioxide through the simple process of tree growth is staggering: one tree can store an average of about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in one year. Recent research shows intact forests are capable of storing the equivalent of the carbon dioxide emissions of entire countries such as Peru and Colombia.
agroecology  climatechange 
february 2019
Twitter
Only as far as the next junction. Which will be more co…
february 2019
Twitter
There should be at least two adults present at any give…
february 2019
Twitter
School striker Holly was inspired by Greta Thunberg, who travelled to Davos for 32 hours on trains, as political an…
february 2019
'I feel very angry': the 13-year-old on school strike for climate action | Environment | The Guardian
Holly was inspired by the actions of Greta Thunberg, who in September sat outside the Swedish parliament for three weeks on “school strike”. International interest in her story led to Thunberg going to Davos last month to address world leaders. While she travelled for 32 hours on trains to reach the ski resort, political and business leaders hired 1,500 private jets to get to the summit.
transport  climatechange  politics 
february 2019
Twitter
Sure, the mass safety effect is very real. But you didn…
february 2019
Twitter
Ah, the Netherlands, that cobbled paradise. Not for the motorists tho'. Nice smooth t…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : A thread to save for later.
february 2019
Twitter
RT : I’m really, really angry (and I get sweary then): our village in Kent has received a Community Emergency Plan, tell…
february 2019
Twitter
& that right had to be defended in a case that was not a foregone conclusion: …
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Aspirations to zero car development seem completely toothless across all London boroughs. Here we see the usual pat…
february 2019
Twitter
a) heavy lorries should be heavily restricted in urban environments (man with a red f…
february 2019
Twitter
That is not true. In both the Netherlands and Denmark, if there is a cycle path alongside a road you…
february 2019
Twitter
I have indeed been to the Netherlands many times. (check out the link to my blog in my pinned tweet).…
february 2019
Twitter
👍 As I like to say, if the cycle path is so great, why make it obligatory? (Like they are in the Neth…
february 2019
Twitter
The designs that dog my daily life were mostly implemen…
february 2019
Twitter
Live tweet-fisking of clueless Scottish parliamentarians discussing the proposed national 20mph limit. Thread:
february 2019
Twitter
It is disappointing that you descend into some sort of…
february 2019
Twitter
Quite so. Most lorry drivers mean well I think, and in…
february 2019
Twitter
You're not alone. I've been on the lookout for good quality literature on…
february 2019
Twitter
I'm talking about riding independently here, not superv…
february 2019
Twitter
Oh, they can ride a bike alright. The question is when…
february 2019
Hacker group uses Google Translate to hide phishing sites | ZDNet
The trick isn't complex at all. The idea is that phishing groups send their normal phishing emails, but instead of linking directly to their phishing page's domain, they pass the phishing page URL through Google Translate and use the newly generated Google Translate URL instead.

This Google Translate URL for the phishing page is then used inside the email instead of a direct link to the phishing site.

This means that when users press any buttons or links inside the phishing emails, they're redirected to the Google Translate portal, where the phishing page loads with the regular Google Translate toolbar at the top of the page.
security  google  translation 
february 2019
Twitter
RT : To challenge our popular thinking,
Some volunteer boozers got stinking
And found beer with wine
Feels queer and not…
february 2019
Twitter
I agree that we should certainly continue to use the roads in a vehicular manner (and…
february 2019
Twitter
👍 As I like to say, if the cycle path is so great, why do have to make it obligatory? (Like they are…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : It's surely not unreasonable to wonder whether socking great cargo bikes shouldn't be on the carriage…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : This is phenomenal
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Often invoked - but what philosophical justification, if any, underlies Ockham's Razor?



Are scient…
MindandWorld 
february 2019
Twitter
RT : I'm foolishly excited the paperback and revised version of my book has been published today in the UK. I never imag…
february 2019
Twitter
A 400€/yr Amsterdam resident parking permit underprices onstreet charges (40€/day) by 3200€/year. Regressive policy…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : And as others have pointed out, if you see a cyclist going 30mph on the flat, you should…
february 2019
Trump and Putin have relaunched the arms race. Hug Europe close, Britain | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
Europe might feel a bit unstable these days, but at least it is not a hair-trigger away from nuclear Armageddon. One reason is the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. That deal, signed by Washington and Moscow in 1987, banned missiles with a range of 310 to 3,420 miles. Last week, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the INF, blaming Russian violations. Vladimir Putin reciprocated over the weekend, promising to accelerate development of prohibited weapons. Unless Moscow and Washington unexpectedly rediscover the spirit of detente, the INF treaty is finished. A global monument to the triumph of diplomatic rationality over militaristic paranoia is being pulled down.

The response in Britain has been oddly muted. Politics is mostly taken up by Brexit, but the issues are linked.
nukes  politics  us  russia  eu  uk 
february 2019
Twitter
High time taxi drivers everywhere paid their full environmental costs. London's black cabs would be a good place to…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Why is the Scottish Government giving the world's biggest bomb-maker free business support?
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Don't be fooled, there isn't a bike lane on Collins Street, only a door zone. Don't let the City force you into an…
february 2019
Twitter
BlaBlaCar is big here, so yes (paid car-sharing). Regular hitch-hiking in rural France still…
february 2019
Twitter
That entrenched habits adopted by the majority can continue to hold sway i…
february 2019
Twitter
A bit harsh. Electricity generation is ever more decarbonized for example (follow eg…
february 2019
Twitter
My view is that the industrialized countries, and Britain in particular, have a duty t…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Yes in theory. But the kerbside is full of local private car storage which won't yield. I…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : I think you'll find that climate change and pollution are always someone else's fault.…
february 2019
Twitter
Historically, I guess it's because rich people did it first. My own view is that urban…
february 2019
Twitter
Car owners you try to talk out of their cars usually come up with a trip that wd be di…
february 2019
Twitter
RT : Why do we still allow car ownership in town at all? If the majority can give up cars in town, what makes the minori…
february 2019
Twitter
Pity! Think about getting a tandem, or maybe a cargo bike with a folding bike in the loadspac…
february 2019
Twitter
Such car sharing in Nantes is called Marguerite. My nearest car (with its reserved spa…
february 2019
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