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Tories continue Facebook ad spree as 'major bugs' block transparency | Technology | The Guardian
Launched in the UK in 2018, the Facebook ad library is a public record of all the adverts related to social issues, elections or politics that have been posted on the site. In March, the social network launched an API – an application programming interface, or set of protocols – for the library, intended to let researchers perform complex analysis on the information contained within.

Instead, researchers found a series of bugs and design flaws that hampered any serious attempt to hold advertisers to account. “Once our technical experts began working with the API we quickly concluded it was unusable,” the foundation said.
facebook  uk  politics  advertising 
july 2019 by juliusbeezer
Why Can't the U.S. Treat Guns as a Public-Health Problem? - The Atlantic
After a deadly shooting, the debate always, it seems, breaks down like this: One side argues for gun control, and the other argues there is no research proving those measures work. There is, in fact, little research into gun violence at all—especially compared to other causes of death in the United States.

The modern origins of the impasse can be traced to 1996, when Congress passed an amendment to a spending bill that forbade the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from using money to “advocate or promote gun control.”

The National Rifle Association had pushed for the amendment, after public-health researchers produced a spate of studies suggesting that, for example, having a gun in the house increased risk of homicide and suicide. It deemed the research politically motivated.
us  research  politics 
july 2019 by juliusbeezer
Nantes. Le muscadet menacé par Donald Trump ? - Nantes.maville.com
Ici, 50 % de la production part à l’exportation, dont environ 30 % vers les États-Unis. Soit entre 10 000 et 30 000 bouteilles. Il faut dire que le muscadet et plus largement les vins de Loire séduisent de plus en plus les Américains.

Les États-Unis sont aujourd’hui le premier importateur de vins de Loire. En 2018, le marché était de 85 831 hectolitres pour une valeur de 67 millions d’euros. C’est le plus grand marché à l’export, affirmait en 2017 la fédération des vins de Nantes. Le marché nord américain (Québec compris) pèse près de 7 millions d’euros pour le seul muscadet. Trois états sont particulièrement concernés et concentrent 80 % des ventes : l’Illinois, New York et la Californie. Les Américains apprécient particulièrement le côté convivial et festif du vin nantais. Et son prix, entre 15 et 20 dollars, soit deux fois moins que le prix moyen d’un vin importé, et au niveau, voire légèrement en dessous des productions américaines.
agriculture  france  us  alcohol  politics 
july 2019 by juliusbeezer
While the planet burns, Ohio's coal industry gets a bailout | Leah C Stokes | Opinion | The Guardian
These companies have spent several million dollars on deceptive advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions to help elect politicians sympathetic to their cause.

In return, these politicians have proven dutiful beneficiaries, working diligently to secure almost a billion dollars of ratepayer subsidies for FirstEnergy and AEP.

As lobbying goes, not a bad return on investment.

This isn’t just happening in Ohio. Utilities across the country are pushing to delay climate action and stall the growth of renewables, which are already a cheaper source of electricity than continuing to operate three-quarters of US coal plants.
climatechange  us  politics  fossil-fuel 
july 2019 by juliusbeezer
Rebel Metropolis | It’s Time to Stop Sharing the Road
Stand your ground.

Liberation theories vary depending on the discipline, but most include language recognizing true emancipation can never come from above, liberation can only be derived from the self. Another major component is addressing the socializing that places normalcy on the state of oppression, or even places blame on the oppressed for their condition. How many times have you read a comment claiming if a cyclist gets killed by a car, it was their own foolish fault for getting in the way? And how many times have you witnessed people calmly appeal to said commenter’s empathy, only to watch them predictably prove they have none?

Even more horrifying, if a driver does in fact kill a person walking or biking, they’ll likely be conditioned to believe they were in fact the victim. A recent Op-Ed in the always anti-bicycle Oregonian by a woman (who previously drove her SUV into a man and killed him) warned people on bikes to watch out – she’s killed before, she just may kill again! Even though no bikes were involved in her lethal act of driving that day, bicycles and the people who ride them are now apparently the target of this woman’s misplaced guilt. Such is the pathology of entitlement that so many drivers adopt.
cycling  road_safety  politics  us 
july 2019 by juliusbeezer
Workers could go home if temperatures hit 30C under new Labour plan - Mirror Online
If the indoor workplace temperature goes over 30C (27C for those doing strenuous work), employers will have to put in place effective temperature controls to help workers keep cool.
These would include measures that many good employers already take: flexible working and travel arrangements, extra breaks, access to water, cooling systems/air conditioning, flexible dress codes or the provision of protective clothing.
uk  politics  climate 
july 2019 by juliusbeezer
Boris Johnson rebuked for his 'unwise' contact with Green during inquiry | London Evening Standard
BORIS Johnson has been reprimanded for his role in the Damian Green affair but escaped an official warning for misconduct.

An independent report commissioned by the London Assembly criticised the Mayor for "extraordinary and unwise" behaviour.

It said that in talking to his friend, the Tory MP Mr Green, after his arrest in connection with a series of leaks from the Home Office, Mr Johnson was risking his actions being "perceived as furthering private interests".

It also concluded that his actions: "Placed him at risk of being called as a witness by either the CPS or defence in any criminal prosecution of Mr Green, to the potential detriment of his office as Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority."

The report, written by solicitor Jonathan Goolden, was commissioned after Len Duvall, the leader of the Labour group on the London Assembly, complained that Mr Johnson had broken the codes of conduct of the MPA and the Greater London Authority.
police  uk  politics 
july 2019 by juliusbeezer
Dave Hill: Things Boris Johnson did as London Mayor that really mattered - OnLondon
But then, in 2013, came his Vision for Cycling and the extraordinary appointment of a journalist supporter, Andrew Gilligan, as “cycling commissioner”.

Gilligan, a fervent convert to pedal power, had no prior experience as a transport planner, but had devoted himself to attacking Livingstone throughout the two mayoral election campaigns that Johnson won. Described by an experienced AM as “one of those people who can’t be wrong”, he oversaw a programme of infrastructure change, including the construction of segregated lanes, which TfL bosses, who’d been aghast at Gilligan’s appointment, regarded as being “railroaded” through in order to furnish Johnson with some sort of legacy. From no modal hierarchy to spending £913 million on privileging cyclists is quite a turnaround, although the cycling demographic – still disproportionately white, male and middle-class despite claims that special infrastructure would diversify it – is not wholly out of line with Johnson’s electoral base. The silence of the former Mayor’s left wing critics on this aspect of his City Hall record has been predictably deafening.

In general, the best things about Johnson’s eight years as Mayor were those he left to competent, experienced people to get on with.
uk  politics 
july 2019 by juliusbeezer
Pourquoi je m’auto-édite sur Amazon – Nicolas Grégoire – Medium
Les éditeurs français sont toujours ravis d’avoir un bon manuscrit. Ils vous accueillent à bras ouverts. Vous invitent à déjeuner au Sélect. Au début, on vous explique qu’il faut prouver tout ce que vous écrivez. Ils appellent ça “la relecture avocat”. Pas de problème, vous avez un dossier en béton.

L’avocat garantit que votre livre ne perdra pas en justice. Et il est EXTRÊMEMENT prudent. Tellement prudent qu’il vous trouve des injures et de la calomnie partout. Votre livre est condamné à devenir un torchon sans âme. Alors vous allez voir ailleurs.
publishing  france  politics  amazon  ebooks 
may 2019 by juliusbeezer
What Will You Say to Your Grandchildren? - EcoWatch
"likelihood" and "inevitability" stand a long way from each other. As Rebecca Solnit points out in Hope in the Dark, hope is not a prognostication. Taking either an optimistic or pessimistic stance on the future can justify a cop-out. An optimist says, "It will turn out fine so I don't need to do anything." A pessimist retorts, "Nothing I do will make a difference so let me not waste my time." Hope, by contrast, is not a matter of estimating the odds. Hope is an active state of mind, a recognition that change is nonlinear, unpredictable, and arises from intentional engagement.

Bendell responds to this version of hope with a comparison to a terminal cancer patient. It would be cruel, he suggests, to tell them to keep hoping, pushing them to "spend their last days in struggle and denial, rather than discovering what might matter after acceptance." This is a false equivalency. A terminal cancer condition has a statistical history, derived from the outcomes of many thousands of similar occurrences. Our current situation is unique. There is no history available of thousands of global civilizations bringing their planetary ecosystems to breaking point. This is the only one we know of, and it would be negligent to give up on it based on a set of projections. If a doctor told your mother, "This cancer is unique and we have no experience of its prognosis. There are things we can try but they might not work," would you advise her to give up and prepare for death? I'm not giving up on Mother Earth that easily.
climatechange  politics  psychology  medicine 
may 2019 by juliusbeezer
As Theresa May loses control over Brexit, her lawyer admits the EU referendum was illegal | The Canary
Prime minister Theresa May has conceded that MPs will have a vote to extend Article 50 and delay Brexit. They will also have a vote to rule out a No Deal scenario.

Despite this Commons pantomime, it’s notable that these concessions come only days after a largely unreported appeal court hearing. During this, May’s legal counsel admitted “the PM is aware” that the Leave campaigns acted unlawfully.
law  Brexit  politics  uk 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
France's Macron leads the way as western elites malevolently confuse anti-Zionism with antisemitism
That trend was consolidated last week when Emmanuel Macron, the centrist French president, went further than simply reiterating his repeated conflation of anti-Zionism and antisemitism. This time he threatened to outlaw anti-Zionism...

Many members of the BDS movement, though not all, are anti-Zionists. A proportion are anti-Zionist Jews.

The movement not only leapfrogs western policy elites’ decades of complicity in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians but highlights the extent of that complicity. That is one reason it is so reviled by those elites.

France has gone furthest so far in this direction, criminalizing BDS as a form of economic discrimination. It thereby conflates a state, Israel, with an ethnic group, Jews – precisely as antisemites do.
politics  france  Israel  Palestine  law  racism 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
One person, one click: is this how to save democracy? | Paolo Gerbaudo | World news | The Guardian
The pioneers of digital democracies were the pirate parties of northern Europe who first broke through in Sweden, Germany and Iceland about a decade ago, using an online decision-making platform called LiquidFeedback. One of its founders, Andreas Nitsche, said the idea was that “empowering the ordinary members would make these parties more responsive to the demands of society”.

More recently, the fiercely anti-establishment M5S and the Spanish leftwing populist party Podemos have led the way. “Ordinary citizens will become protagonists, abandoning the current system of delegate democracy in the hands of politicians,” said the late Gianroberto Casaleggio, who masterminded the M5S digital strategy. Given the discredited status of Italy’s political class, this narrative appealed to many citizens.
politics  italy  spain  internet  socialnetworking 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Liebreich: In Energy and Transportation, Stick it to the Orthodoxy! | Bloomberg NEF
The Orthodoxy Window is maintained by a whole ecosystem of supposed thought-leaders, all trying their hardest to avoid having to think uncomfortable thoughts. Industry bodies trumpeting the world’s vital interest in protecting fossil-fuel- and diesel-engine-producing incumbents; respected analysts who are nothing but oil industry shills; right-wing commentators who talk like libertarians but walk like corporatists; bloggers and Twitterati, whose certainty that the energy and transport sectors can never change is inversely proportional to their knowledge. Pity the general public, correctly wary of wrenching change, threatened by this mob each time they think of peeking outside the Orthodoxy Window...

However, there is much more to do. In too many areas the Orthodoxy Window is still tightly shut. For instance, the majority of people I meet still believe the following: the cost of managing intermittency is prohibitive; demand rebounds to eat all the benefits of energy efficiency; industrial processes are inevitably lumbering, inflexible and fossil-fuel powered; long-distance freight can only be carried by dense liquids; those lacking modern energy services would be better off waiting for a centralized grid, rather than using distributed solutions today; advanced biofuels will never work; the answer to every long-term question is hydrogen; self-driving cars will eat the world; England will never win another football World Cup.
energy  fossil-fuel  renewables  politics  agnotology  economics  oil 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Brexit, the Irish border and the 'battle for the union' - BBC News
The power to call a border poll rests with the Secretary of State Karen Bradley, who could do so at any time if it appears "likely" to her that a majority would vote in favour of it, but earlier this year she said the conditions had not been met.

Kevin Meagher says Brexit makes it much more likely to happen, and that there are other contributing factors too:

Lack of devolved government in NI for almost two years, due to a financial scandal over a green energy scheme
Changing demographics in NI, which could see a Catholic majority by 2021
Liberalisation of Republic of Ireland on social issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion
ireland  Brexit  uk  politics 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Lieux de pouvoir à Paris, une carte qui dérange (Le Monde diplomatique, février 2019)
La mise en ligne en décembre dernier sur le site du Monde diplomatique de la carte des lieux de pouvoir à Paris, initialement parue dans Manière de voir en 2012, a suscité nombre de commentaires apeurés. Publier des données publiques, mais que seuls les initiés vivent intimement : ce travail journalistique a été qualifié d’« irresponsable » par Frédéric Haziza, de « faute professionnelle » par Mohamed Sifaoui, tandis que Caroline Fourest évoquait des « cartes qui incitent au lynchage ».
maps  politics  france 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
I talked to my Leave-voting constituents about Brexit. This is what I learnt
The message is clear. Too many people feel trapped with no way to improve their lives or those of their families.

It may come as a surprise that immigration was barely mentioned by any of my interviewees, although Julie acknowledged it as a factor for some local Brexit voters she knew. She said the nearby Derbyshire town of Shirebrook is now known as “Shirebrookski” because of the high number of Eastern European people who have come over to work in its infamous Sports Direct warehouse and it is now a place that the natives do not consider as a place they would or could work.

Nationally, 41 per cent of 18- 24-year-olds said immigration was too high and 58 per cent of those aged between 25 and 49 said the same, according to Eatwell and Goodwin.

Tony said that he had seen wages for British brickies go down since Eastern European builders have come over and worked for less – even as little as £3 or £5 an hour. He was as concerned for their standard of living as the British natives’ because he said they are living in sub-standard shared accommodation and gang masters line their pockets at their expense. “It is happening all the time and the poor little Poles are getting no money and living in a crappy caravan somewhere,” he said.
politics  uk  Brexit 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Europe’s new Reformation
In England the Reformation was not a doctrinal dispute over theological truth that developed into a political contest. It happened the other way around. It originated as a challenge by Henry VIII against the authority of the church – to be more specific, his desire to annul his marriage to his wife Katherine, despite the pope’s refusal to grant this, and marry another in order to produce a male heir. This escalated into a broader assertion of English sovereignty, most strikingly expressed in parliament’s Act of Appeals in 1533, which laid down “that this realm of England is an empire”.

In other words, England was a legal system unto itself. There could be no appeal to a higher authority. The doctrine of “praemunire”, which had previously applied only to matters of state, now became the law of the land. A wronged woman in Yorkshire could no longer appeal to Rome. England was increasingly separated from the European legal order. At the same time, Henry VIII relentlessly attacked the institutions of the Church, especially through the dissolution of the monasteries.
uk  history  politics  religion  Brexit 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
UK taxpayers to spend at least £24bn cleaning up after oil companies in the North Sea
Taxpayers are liable for the costs of decommissioning in the North Sea through significant tax reliefs granted to oil companies by HMRC, which allows operators to deduct up to 75 per cent of their spending on decommissioning from their tax. This can include reclaiming corporation tax paid since 2002. The government is also liable for the total cost of decommissioning oil rigs owned by operators that go bankrupt, or lack the funds to decommission them themselves.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) told the NAO that the total cost of decommissioning the North Sea’s oil and gas infrastructure could be up to £77bn. HMRC’s current estimate of the cost to the public through tax relief is £24bn, including £12.9bn in repayments of taxes previously collected.
fossil-fuel  oil  politics  tax  uk  environment 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
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 by juliusbeezer
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 by juliusbeezer
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 by juliusbeezer
'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 by juliusbeezer
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 by juliusbeezer
Model Metropolis
Looking to understand how real cities worked, Wright came across a 1969 book by Jay Forrester called Urban Dynamics. Forrester was an electrical engineer who had launched a second career as an expert on computer simulation; Urban Dynamics deployed his simulation methodology to offer a controversial theory of how cities grew and declined. Wright used Forrester’s theories to transform the cities he was designing in his level editor from static maps of buildings and roads into vibrant models of a growing metropolis. Eventually, Wright became convinced that his “guinea-pig city” was an entertaining, open-ended video game. Released in 1989, the game became wildly popular, selling millions of copies, winning dozens of awards, and spawning an entire franchise of successors and dozens of imitators. It was called SimCity.
urban  games  politics 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
Chew the fat with us
The easy way to keep in touch

Hackney LCC's email discussion group

What is it?

A small but growing group of Hackney cyclists (32 as of early March '98) who keep in touch about local cycling-related issues by email.

How do I join?

It's free and easy. Just send an email to borough co-ordinator Douglas Carnall, saying you want to be on the mailing list. He'll copy it to everyone in the group, including you, and we all then update our mailing list. Simple!

At the moment there aren't too many messages, so don't worry about having your mailbox filled up!
Hackney  cycling  politics  internet  email  history 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
The merits of and case for Land Value Taxation | OUPblog
The UK, especially London, has long experienced the kind of property boom that makes prices unaffordable. A recent Confederation of British Industry survey reported that this unaffordability is of great concern to employers. But these booms also mean that the owners of that land are accruing unearned gains which are not being efficiently or equitably taxed. The cost of building or repairing a house is almost the same whether it is in Knightsbridge or Knowsley – it is the land that makes the difference. The value of land comes from the uses to which it is put. The granting of planning permission, for example, increases the value of land, as does the addition of utilities.

The spiralling cost of land in and around London calls to mind the long history of those who have talked up the need to tax land and the inequity of unearned income not being taxed. Smith stated that “both ground-rents and the ordinary rent of land are a species of revenue in which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or attention of his own.”
tax  politics 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
The very short history of 'no deal' Brexit | LSE BREXIT
May was keen to instigate simultaneous talks on withdrawal and free trade, in the hope of settling Brexit quickly. In threatening to turn Britain into a giant tax haven, the Lancaster House speech was a futile attempt to frighten the EU into negotiating both deals at the same time.

The suggestion was quickly consigned to irrelevance. The EU did not blink, instead pointing out that withdrawal had to be agreed before trade talks could begin. There is the legal impossibility of the UK signing a trade deal with current EU members, and the political imperative to ensure that dissenting members understand the consequences of leaving the EU before they start imagining the possible benefits of doing so.

The political bind for May was clear. The EU insisted on an orderly withdrawal before trade talks (which would then ensue during a transitional period). To avoid damaging the Irish economy and jeopardising the Northern Ireland peace process, something like the ‘backstop’ – in case a two-year transition was not long enough – was always going to be necessary.

But May knew this meant she would struggle to get a withdrawal deal through parliament unless she could also offer the sunny uplands of the post-Brexit trade relationship at the same time. Although the leading Brexiters in the Conservative Party are now seemingly content to leave the EU without a withdrawal deal, the irony of Britain’s present predicament is that the Leave campaign’s offer in the 2016 referendum was not ‘no deal’ at all, but rather a very comprehensive free trade deal as an alternative to EU membership.
Brexit  uk  eu  politics 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
There is no left-wing case for Brexit: 21st century socialism requires transnational organization | LSE BREXIT
But those who advocate civic republicanism are understandably frustrated with these propositions. Suppose all this is true, they say. Suppose you want to change transnational institutions. How are you going to do that, if you can’t even sort out your own nation state? How are you going to advance ambitious proposals of state intervention in the economy given the disciplinary neoliberal legal constraints that the EU imposes on its members?...
The left nationalist project collapsed when realising socialism with peaceful means turned into a project of stabilising capitalism. This is not what the founding fathers of social democracy originally intended.
Brexit  politics  eu  uk 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
« Les difficultés des “gilets jaunes” sont la conséquence de cinquante ans de politique d’urbanisme »
Dans le mouvement des « gilets jaunes », une raison essentielle a été insuffisamment pointée, qui sous-tend la plupart des autres. Les difficultés des « gilets jaunes » sont pour une grande part la conséquence de la politique d’urbanisme mise en œuvre dans notre pays depuis cinquante ans. Pour la faire courte, celle-ci a consisté à vider les villages, bourgs et villes petites et moyennes d’une grande partie de leurs habitants et activités au profit de périphéries sans âme et sans vie. Cette politique, à laquelle peu de territoires ont échappé, s’articule autour du triptyque : étalement urbain de l’habitat, centre commercial et voiture individuelle.

L’universitaire Gabriel Dupuy [professeur émérite d’aménagement de l’espace à l’université de Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne] a montré comment l’ensemble des décisions publiques et privées dans le champ de l’urbanisme de ces dernières décennies avaient concouru à la mise en place d’un véritable système de « dépendance automobile » : les investissements publics conséquents réalisés en faveur des voies rapides, rocades, échangeurs et autres giratoires – au détriment de la rénovation d’un réseau ferré vieillissant et du développement d’aménagements cyclables – ont rendu possible et favorisé l’urbanisation périphérique peu dense sous la forme de lotissements de maisons individuelles. Privés de commerces et de services publics, ces quartiers sont insuffisamment peuplés pour permettre leur desserte efficace par des transports en commun, rendant l’usage de l’automobile indispensable. Cercle vicieux conduisant fréquemment à l’acquisition de plusieurs véhicules par ménage.
france  politics  urban  français 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
Mom Lets Her Kids Walk to the Bakery Down the Block. Child Protective Services Tells Her, "Never Again Till They Are 12." - Let Grow
On this day, it was lunchtime and my kids wanted cheese sticks from the bakery. The 7-year-old was excited to go and the 3-year-old decided to tag along and I was like, "Okay." My kids tend to be cautious, so I'm happy when they show a desire for something like that. If I stand on the sidewalk I can see them almost until they enter the bakery, and then I can see them on the way back. They left my sight for about three minutes. How awful, right?

They ran back happily and excited. But then I saw someone following close behind them. It wasn't my neighbor or someone I knew -- it was someone on her lunch break. And when she got close she kind of looked at me and said, "Is everything okay?" And I said, "Yes, I'm watching where they're going. They're practicing their independence."
politics  children  canada 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
How can we break the Brexit deadlock? Ask ancient Athens | James Bridle | Opinion | The Guardian
It’s clear that the blunt instrument of referendums and the sclerotic, corrupt framework of party and electoral politics have contributed greatly to the mess that we find ourselves in today. It is equally evident that viable alternatives exist, and their signal qualities are clear: diversity of representation (produced effectively by sortition), collective education and true participation in the democratic process, which involves not merely having one’s voice heard, but listening to others too. After all, the word “idiot” derives ultimately from the ancient Greek for “private citizen” – that is, one who has no interest in politics, and fails to engage meaningfully with their fellow citizens...
The 99 strangers who proposed radical alternatives to existing political positions in Ireland did not start out as a homogeneous group. The assembly – randomly selected from the entire population, and thus truly representative of it – included those who were anti-abortion, pro-abortion and undecided; those who were fierce advocates for climate-change legislation, and those who rejected the scientific consensus. Yet through a careful and deliberate process of education and debate, it was possible not merely to reach consensus, but also to change minds: to progress, together, towards workable and even radical solutions. Citizens’ assemblies carry the whiff of populism, but they are the opposite of strongman politics. By providing transparency and participation, they are an opportunity for people to actually engage with the messy business of politics, rather than shout and wave flags from the sidelines.
politics  history  democracy  methodology 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Fighting on Twitter? In the UK, You Could Be Arrested for That. - Slog - The Stranger
And failing to be considerate of others in the UK can have serious consequences. In 2016, according to The Times of London, UK police arrested an average of nine people a day for posting content online that someone, somewhere, considered offensive. In all, over 3,300 Brits were detained and questioned in 2016, a 50 percent increase from two years before. And the numbers have likely gone up since then because the government, according to the paper, “announced a national police hub to crack down on hateful material online.”

Of course, what's hateful and what's not is all in the eye of the tweeter. But local police departments seem to be complying with this directive. In September, the official South Yorkshire Police account tweeted, “In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing. Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it.” This tweet was widely mocked; as one tweeter responded: “Non-crime-hate-incidents' is a bit wordy. Might I suggest you condense it. I think 'thought crime' has a nice ring, don’t ya think?”
freedom  politics  uk  humanrights  police 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Problem With Sex Work Is Work: Conner Habib & Dr. Heather Berg in Conversation - CULTURE
Both drugs and sex work are the enemies of waged work. Sex work, especially independent sex work, has historically been a powerful way to escape the wage system. Criminalizing it is a way to make sure that people have to have a boss, or be part of a nuclear family, in order to survive. The drug trade has sometimes worked in the same way, and so there’s a deep connection between the war on sex work and the war on drugs.
sex  work  politics 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
At last, parliament is taking back control of Brexit | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
reviously, in an imminent no-deal scenario, the prime minister would have been obliged only to inform the House of her intentions. Grieve’s amendment, backed by Labour, opens that statement to amendment. In theory, the Commons could put on record its call for a much softer Brexit, or a referendum, or a request in Brussels to extend the article 50 negotiating window, or even a retraction of the article 50 notification. None of those things would have the force of law, so some (presumably deranged) prime minister could ignore them and run at the cliff edge anyway. But the balance of control has shifted. It has been said many times that there is no majority in parliament for an insane course of action, but no one has been able to say how a majority for sanity might constitutionally assert itself. Now a coalition of the reasonable is starting to take shape.
Brexit  uk  politics 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Never before have I seen blind anger like this on the streets of Paris | John Lichfield | Opinion | The Guardian
I’ve lived in France for 22 years and have witnessed street protests by workers, farmers, wine producers, truck drivers, railway employees, university students, sixth-formers, teachers, youths in the multiracial suburbs, chefs, lawyers, doctors and police officers. Yes, even police officers.

I have never seen the kind of wanton destruction that surrounded me on some of the smartest streets of Paris on Saturday – such random, hysterical hatred, directed not just towards the riot police but at shrines to the French republic itself such as the Arc de Triomphe. The 12-hour battle went beyond violent protest, beyond rioting, to the point of insurrection, even civil war.
The aftermath of the gilets jaunes riots in Paris – in pictures

The centre of Paris has not seen violence on this scale since the student and worker rebellion of May 1968. Much of the worst violence in 1968 came from the police.
france  politics  commenting 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Climate Change First Became News 30 Years Ago. Why Haven’t We Fixed It?
Can we name the main culprits? There are almost as many theories and targets as there are advocates of one stripe or another. Among them: lack of basic research funding (I was often in that camp), industry influence on politics, poor media coverage, and doubt-sowing by those invested in fossil fuels or opposed to government intervention. There’s also our “inconvenient mind”—my description for a host of human behavioral traits and social norms that cut against getting climate change right.

For years I thought the answer was like the conclusion in Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express: that all suspects were guilty. But there’s another possibility. Maybe climate change is less an environmental wrong to be set right and more an emerging source of risk—a case of humanity’s planet-scale power outrunning, at least for now, our capacity for containing our momentous impacts. In a 2009 piece called “Puberty on the Scale of a Planet,” I toyed with this notion, suggesting that our species was in a turbulent transition from adolescence to adulthood, resisting admonitions to grow up—with fossil fuels standing in for testosterone.

But the situation is even more tangled. The more I reported in unlit Kenyan slums and Indian villages where people cook on illicit charcoal or hand-gathered twigs, the clearer it became that there’s no single “we” when it comes to energy, nor for vulnerability to climate hazards. The rich “we” can afford to convert to clean energy and cut vulnerability to heat, floods, and more. But the rest of humanity is still struggling to get the basic economic benefits that we’ve gotten from burning fossil fuels.
climatechange  politics  agnotology 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Courtier, ex-journaliste, serveuse... Portraits des huit porte-parole des gilets jaunes - Libération
Marine Charrette-Labadie, 22 ans, serveuse en Corrèze

Elle a organisé plusieurs blocages près de Brive en Corrèze. Interrogée par Marianne sur ses motivations, le 4 novembre, elle explique être «plutôt de gauche», mais ne s’être jamais mobilisée auparavant. Son déclic ? «L’examen de son cas personnel […]. Résidant à Voutezac, petite commune située à 25 kilomètres du restaurant où elle travaille, elle dépense chaque mois près de 200 euros de carburant seulement pour aller travailler», raconte notre confrère.

Depuis le début de son engagement, la jeune femme semble très prise par l’organisation du mouvement. Un investissement qu’elle juge parfois ingrat : «C’est très dur d’être pointés du doigt [sur la proximité avec l’extrême droite, ndlr], injuste même. Nous mettons notre vie entre parenthèses pour dire que nous n’en pouvons plus, qu’il est de plus en plus difficile de vivre… Et pour seule réponse, nous récoltons des insultes», confie-t-elle.
energy  france  politics  driving 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Christophe Guilluy — Wikipédia
Il travaille depuis la fin des années 1990 à l'élaboration d'une nouvelle géographie sociale en tant que consultant indépendant pour les collectivités territoriales.

Ses travaux en géographie sociale abordent les problématiques politiques, sociales et culturelles de la France contemporaine par le prisme du territoire6. Il s'intéresse à l'émergence d'une « France périphérique » s'étendant des marges périurbaines les plus fragiles des grandes villes aux espaces ruraux, en passant par les petites et moyennes villes. Il souligne que c'est maintenant 60 % de la population et trois quarts des nouvelles classes populaires vivant dans cette « France périphérique », à l'écart des villes mondialisées7.

Avec le sociologue Serge Guérin, il a mis en avant les « retraités populaires » pour signifier que la majorité des ménages de retraités est formée d'anciens ouvriers, employés ou petits commerçants qui habitent dans le périurbain et dans des conditions modestes, voire précaires8.

En 2004, son Atlas des nouvelles fractures sociales — coécrit avec Christophe Noyé — et, en 2010, Fractures françaises connaissent un réel succès critique, et plusieurs hommes politiques de droite et de gauche affirment s'inspirer des analyses de ce dernier essai9. Interrogé en mai 2013, Guilluy avance que « la France de la périphérie » se réfugie dans un vote protestataire. Selon lui,

« il n'est pas politiquement correct de dire que la majorité des Français se sent en insécurité face à la mondialisation. L'ouverture des frontières aux biens et aux marchandises, que ce gouvernement ne remet pas en cause, se traduit pour eux par la perte croissante d'emplois industriels et par l'augmentation du nombre d'immigrés. »
france  geography  politics 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
'Italians first': how the populist right became Italy's dominant force | World news | The Guardian
“To understand what has happened in Italy this year,” says Gianfranco Baldini of the University of Bologna, “you have to go back to 2011. That’s when western governments decided to bring down [Muammar] Gaddafi. Libya was of course a dictatorship, but you had someone to deal with. It was inconceivable that Gaddafi would ever have allowed huge numbers of people to travel through Libya to cross to Italy as a means to get to Europe from Africa and the Middle East. So the immigration crisis began there.”

In the same year, Baldini says, the eurozone sovereign debt crisis that followed the 2008 crash was leading to ferocious speculation against Italian government bonds. Italy’s national debt was huge. But as the third-largest economy using the euro, it was too big to fail. Under pressure from Brussels and other European governments, the then prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, resigned and the president, Giorgio Napolitano, a former communist, appointed an unelected “government of experts” headed by the former European commissioner Mario Monti. His brief was to raise taxes, slash public spending and reassure the financial markets. A recession and soaring youth unemployment was the inevitable result of what one critic described as Monti’s “austeritarian” approach.

The technocratic gamble – in effect a suspension of the normal democratic process – had far-reaching consequences. “Both the big parties on the centre left and centre right [Forza Italia and the Democratic party] willingly stepped aside,” says Baldini, “to allow Monti to form this unelected government. That meant that the only real opposition parties left were the Northern League and Five Star. Put together the need to cope with the huge rise in the numbers of migrants and the imposition of austerity in this way and you had a perfect storm in the making.”
italy  politics 
december 2018 by juliusbeezer
Why is populism booming? Today’s tech is partly to blame | Jamie Bartlett | Opinion | The Guardian
populism has two chief characteristics. First, it offers immediate and supposedly obvious answers to complicated problems, which usually blame some other group along the way. Second, it claims to represent the decent but downtrodden “people” against a corrupt and distant elite. This style and narrative can be left- as well as rightwing. Social media provide the perfect platform for both lines of attack.
politics  authoritarianism 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Why we stopped trusting elites | News | The Guardian
What the paper shows is that, where politics comes to be viewed as the domain of “insider” liars, there is a seductive authenticity, even a strange kind of honesty, about the “common knowledge” liar. The rise of highly polished, professional politicians such as Tony Blair and Bill Clinton exacerbated the sense that politics is all about strategic concealment of the truth, something that the Iraq war seemed to confirm as much as anything. Trump or Farage may have a reputation for fabricating things, but they don’t (rightly or wrongly) have a reputation for concealing things, which grants them a form of credibility not available to technocrats or professional politicians.
politics  authoritarianism  agnotology 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Brexit psychology: cognitive styles and their relationship to nationalistic attitudes | LSE BREXIT
Furthermore, Structural Equation Modelling analysis demonstrated that cognitive flexibility and intolerance of ambiguity predicted individuals’ endorsement of authoritarianism, conservatism, and nationalism to a substantial degree (see Figure 3). Individuals who exhibited greater cognitive flexibility and were more tolerant of uncertainty were less likely to support authoritarian, conservative, and nationalistic attitudes. These ideological orientations in turn predicted participants’ attitudes towards Brexit, immigration, and free movement of labour, accounting for 47.6% of the variance in support for Brexit. The results suggest that cognitive thinking styles associated with processing perceptual and linguistic stimuli may also be drawn upon when individuals evaluate political and ideological arguments.
authoritarianism  psychology  uk  politics  Brexit  language 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Populism and the internet – a toxic mix shaping the age of conspiracy theories | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
Sixty per cent of British people, for example, believe at least one conspiracy theory about how the country is run or the veracity of information citizens have been given. Britons who supported Brexit were considerably more likely to give credence to conspiracy theories than those who opposed it. Most worrying of all, though, is that 31% of Leave voters believed that Muslim immigration is part of a wider plot to make Muslims the majority in Britain, a conspiracy theory that originated in French far-right circles and is known as the “great replacement”. The comparable figure for Remain voters was 6%.

How has the internet affected all this? Our research showed that conspiracy theorists were early adopters, in that they perceived the unique usefulness of the early (pre-social media) web for people who believed propositions that would never get past the editorial gatekeepers of mainstream media. So part of the blogosphere was occupied by conspiracy theorists and what one might call conspiracist entrepreneurs: examples include those espousing the “new world order” conspiracy theory, David Icke with his “lizard” theory and Alex Jones with his InfoWars site. These and other sites became key nodes in an infrastructure of conspiracist and far-right discussion that lay beneath the radar of polite society and mainstream media.

This is probably why many people who thought about these things initially dismissed online conspiracism as a politically irrelevant phenomenon. As one cynic put it to me, at least it keeps fanatics in their pyjamas and off the streets.
internet  socialmedia  authoritarianism  uk  politics 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
May's Brexit deal is a humiliation for Britain
The same old dilemma as ever just sits there because the UK is unprepared to have an honest conversation about it. Do you want trade or control? The extent to which you give up one allows you more of the other. But even now, as we lose our status in the world, it is just as unresolved as it ever was. We don't know where the hell we're going.

Instead of acknowledging this, May has just lied and lied and lied. She lied when she said we could make a success of Brexit. She lied when she said we could secure full market access while maintaining full sovereignty. She lied when she said she could get a trade deal before the end of Article 50. She lied when she said there would be no need for transition. She lied when she said it would not need to be extended. She lied when she said Britain might choose between either extension or the backstop. She's lying now when she says this is a good deal for Britain, or that any kind of economic or political success might follow from it, or that it is in the national interest.
Brexit  politics 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country - The New York Times
The group, the local chapter for Americans for Prosperity, which is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes, fanned out and began strategically knocking on doors. Their targets: voters most likely to oppose a local plan to build light-rail trains, a traffic-easing tunnel and new bus routes.

“Do you agree that raising the sales tax to the highest rate in the nation must be stopped?” Samuel Nienow, one of the organizers, asked a startled man who answered the door at his ranch-style home in March. “Can we count on you to vote ‘no’ on the transit plan?”
transport  us  politics 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Matthew and Sarah Elliott: How a UK Power Couple Links US Libertarians and Fossil Fuel Lobbyists to Brexit | DeSmog UK
At the heart of this network lies a little-known power couple, Matthew and Sarah Elliott. Together, the husband and wife team connect senior members of the Leave campaign and groups pushing a libertarian free-market ideology from offices in Westminster’s Tufton Street to major US libertarian lobbyists and funders.

Collectively, the network aims to use Brexit as an opportunity to slash regulations in the UK, paving the way for a wide-ranging US-UK free-trade deal that could have disastrous consequences for the environment.

The current draft withdrawal agreement appears to try and provide some protection for the current level of environmental regulation — at least in principle. But politicians associated with this transatlantic network are lobbying hard for the draft deal to be scrapped, along with those protections.

This DeSmog UK investigation reveals the strength of the ties between Matthew and Sarah Elliott, UK lobbyists and politicians, and US groups with vested interests in fossil fuels keen to profit from deregulation.

It shows how organisations with strong ties to the Koch Brothers and Robert Mercer increased their political activities in the UK immediately before and after the Brexit referendum.
agnotology  politics  uk  us  climatechange 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Macron delusion - spiked
This aloof style of policymaking is also reflected in Macron’s behaviour. Many in France see the president, an Énarque (France’s equivalent to an Oxbridge graduate) and former Rothschild banker, as dismissive of the concerns of ordinary voters. When a pensioner told the president that he only had a small pension, which would be shaved further by Macron’s reforms, Macron responded that France would be better off if people like him just stopped complaining.
france  politics 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Don’t blame the Irish: the Brexit chaos is all about England | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
It is a new thing: the first time in 800 years of Anglo-Irish relations that Ireland has had more clout. No wonder the Brexiters and the British government found it impossible for so long to even recognise this new reality. They operated – and some of them continue to operate – under the old rules, in which the game would be settled between the big powers, and the interests of a small country such as Ireland could be easily shoved aside. The Irish would get a few platitudes about peace but the real deal would be done between London and Berlin...
Yet it has not been like that. In part, this is because of simple arithmetic: Ireland is not isolated, it is part of a bloc of 27 states. There is a basic lesson here for the Brexiters: even a very small country inside the EU has more influence than a much larger country on the outside. In part, too, it is because of basic statecraft. The Irish government and diplomatic service, backed by a near-unanimous consensus in the Dublin parliament, had a very clear sense of where Ireland’s vital national interest lay, and hence of what they needed to achieve.
ireland  eu  uk  politics  Brexit 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian
The problem is political. A fascinating analysis by the social science professor Kevin MacKay contends that oligarchy has been a more fundamental cause of the collapse of civilisations than social complexity or energy demand. Control by oligarchs, he argues, thwarts rational decision-making, because the short-term interests of the elite are radically different to the long-term interests of society. This explains why past civilisations have collapsed “despite possessing the cultural and technological know-how needed to resolve their crises”. Economic elites, which benefit from social dysfunction, block the necessary solutions.
economics  climatechange  politics 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
There is no version of Brexit which will benefit the NHS—only varying degrees of harm - The BMJ
It is likely that there will be provision for doctors and nurses coming to the UK after Brexit, albeit at extra cost and bureaucracy, if the government—as it has indicated—follows the guidance of the Migration Advisory Committee. But the effect on the social care workforce and those who rely on them for care will be particularly significant because of the salary threshold of £30,000.

Just over 5% of the regulated nursing profession, 16% of dentists, 5% of allied health professionals, and around 9% of doctors are from elsewhere within the EEA. We cannot afford to lose or further demoralise those who have given so much to our health service. That so many colleagues now feel unwelcome, as a result of the divisive and xenophobic rhetoric of the last campaign, shames us all.
Brexit  uk  medicine  politics 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
London Calling Brexit: How the rest of the UK views the capital | LSE BREXIT
Firstly, there is the question of overall pride in the capital. Leavers were less likely to express pride in London as capital city of the UK than Remain voters. However, for both groups, a majority of people still said that they were proud of London as a capital. This included 51 per cent in the North of England, and an average of 59% across England only. So whilst there are differences in opinion along Brexit lines, these are far from terminal.
Brexit  London  uk  politics 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Half of white women continue to vote Republican. What's wrong with them? | Moira Donegan | Opinion | The Guardian
But there is something else at play, something more complicated, in white women’s relationship to white patriarchy. White women’s identity places them in a curious position at the intersection of two vectors of privilege and oppression: they are granted structural power by their race, but excluded from it by their sex. In a political system where racism and sexism are both so deeply ingrained, white women must choose to be loyal to either the more powerful aspect of their identity, their race, or to the less powerful, their sex. Some Republican white women might lean into racism not only for racism’s sake, but also as a means of avoiding or denying the realities of how sexist oppression makes them vulnerable.

In her book Right Wing Women, the feminist Andrea Dworkin wrote that conservative women often conform to the dominant ideologies of the men around them as part of a subconscious survival strategy, hoping that their conservatism will spare them from male hatred and violence.
racism  feminism  politics  us  authoritarianism 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
Media Lens - How To Be A Reliable ‘Mainstream’ Journalist
There are certain rules you need to follow as a journalist if you are going to demonstrate to your editors, and the media owners who employ you, that you can be trusted.

For example, if you write about US-Iran relations, you need to ensure that your history book starts in 1979.
journalism  politics  international 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Empty Core of the Trump Mystique | The New Republic
I suppose that if I’m going to define nihilism as a lack of values—or to use Rauschning’s summation of Nazism, a “hostility to the things of the spirit, indifference to truth, indifference to the ethical conceptions of morality, honor, and equity”—I’m obliged to say what I mean by a value. I would call it any kind of allegiance for which you are willing to check your own desires for reasons other than pure self-interest. All values manifest themselves in restraint. You’d like to pitch out all those empty wine bottles, but you recycle them instead. You’re late for a doctor’s appointment but slow down your car so as not to hit a pedestrian crossing the street. (If your sole motivation is not to get gore on your front bumper, that is something else.) Values are by their very nature at odds with the amoral dynamism Rauschning describes; they are what applies the brakes. They also threaten the dynamism of an advanced capitalist economy by daring to suggest that something lower than the sky might be “the limit.” All the nameable avatars of the Almighty Market—pop psychology, digital fundamentalism, addictive consumption, cutthroat competition—are based on the premise that what you want is what you ought to have, and the quicker you can have it the better. By its very operation, the market inclines us away from principled restraint and toward nihilistic abandon...
A sense of radical incredulity, spectacularly typified by Trump’s refusal to believe his own intelligence services, is but one manifestation of the nihilism that brought him to power. What makes him “the real deal” in the eyes of his most ardent admirers is largely his insistence that almost everything else is fake. Like him, they know that the news is fake, the melting ice caps are fake, the purported citizenship of certain voters is fake, science is fake, social justice is fake, the whole notion of truth is fake. Whatever isn’t fake is so relative that it might as well be fake; “true for you,” maybe, but that’s as far as it goes. Among those who call themselves “believers” and are thus at least technically not nihilists, one frequently finds an obsession with apocalypse, a gleeful anticipation of the living end that will destroy the inherent fakery of all things. The social teachings of the Gospels need not trouble the Christian conscience so long as the troubles predicted in Revelation come to pass.
philosophy  authoritarianism  politics  agnotology 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
'Adults in the room': Greens surge across Europe as centre-left flounders | World news | The Guardian
But if the Green wave has come mainly at the expense of traditional centre-left social democratic parties, whose support has plunged across Europe to the point of near wipeout in countries such as France and the Netherlands, the movement also increasingly appeals to substantial numbers of disillusioned centre-right voters.


“They have not had to take the big national decisions around austerity, have not been sullied in the same way as the main centre-right and centre-left parties that are so implicated in the aftermath of that crisis,” said Fabien Escalona, a French political scientist at Sciences Po Grenoble.

Escalona also noted that Green parties appeared to be doing particularly well in relatively prosperous countries, where the effects of austerity had not been felt so severely but where migration had become a major political issue. Elsewhere, a more radical left was more popular, he said.
politics  eu  france  netherlands  germany 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
Long read: how EU membership undermines the left | LSE BREXIT
It is leaving the EU that challenges and disrupts the British state in its contemporary form. Remaining in the EU means not challenging or disrupting the smooth operation of the actually existing political form of capitalist rule in Britain today. The EU is not a foreign superstate that rules over Britain. The EU is a political form through which the British government collaborates with other European governments in order to govern Britain. The other EU member states do the same for their own populations and territories. They collaborate with each other by constitutionalising various restrictions on economic policy, and by making law in intergovernmental forums.

This intergovernmental process means that European governments are more accountable to each other than they are to their domestic legislatures. The capitalist nation states of Europe have been transformed by EU membership into capitalist member states. Brexit represents a serious blow to this form of remote and unaccountable government, the one by which we are actually ruled. This blow is experienced as such by the British state’s political, bureaucratic and academic cadres who have as a result been relentlessly negative about the vote to Leave, and the prospect of implementing it. And it is why the support of so much of the left for Remain is profoundly conservative.
Brexit  politics  uk  international 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
Can Paris Exist Without Gasoline? Its Mayor Thinks So.
Last February, a court nullified the Right Bank closure, citing a flawed process and poor planning. (Hidalgo struck back with a new closure order, this time invoking the need to protect the area’s aesthetic integrity and tourist appeal.) Even the national road safety agency took a tacit swipe at her pro-pedestrian policies last year, launching a sadistic high-tech campaign meant to terrify and humiliate jaywalkers into obedience. Pedestrians who step off the curb against the light were startled by the screech of pre-recorded brakes. A camera registered each person’s oh-God-I’m-going-to-die expression and instantly projected it on a street-corner billboard. (Might the authorities consider a companion program, encouraging drivers to slow down by tossing fake bodies onto their windshields?)
paris  driving  politics 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
How much damage can Saudi Arabia do to the global economy? | World news | The Guardian
He said Riyadh was weighing up 30 measures designed to put pressure on the US if it were to impose sanctions over the disappearance and presumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the country’s Istanbul consulate. These would include an oil production cut that could drive prices from around $80 (£60) a barrel to more than $400, more than double the all-time high of $147.27 reached in 2008.
energy  saudi  us  oil  business  politics 
october 2018 by juliusbeezer
London air pollution is poisoning my son, says campaigner | Environment | The Guardian
Smith said that he first became concerned about the air pollution crisis after his two youngest children – a daughter, 10 months, and Ely, now three – were born prematurely and “on the cusp” of being underweight. His daughter has since suffered serious respiratory problems, and now has medication and medical equipment to help her breathe.

Sitting at his kitchen table, Smith says his wife, a lawyer in central London, travelled to work as usual during both pregnancies, walking along a busy road to the tube. “You can’t attribute these things definitively to air pollution but the more you find out the more you realise the huge damage it is doing to our children’s health,” he said.

The family, who do not own a car, now carefully plan every journey. They avoid main roads, the rush hour and busy bus stops wherever possible. But it is not easy. “There is only so much you can do when in a big city like this. To a certain extent, we have got to accept now that we are doing great damage to our children’s long-term health simply by living here.”
airpollution  London  driving  children  politics 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
What America Still Doesn’t Understand About Fascism
So the disappointed prole turns to fascism to restore precisely the things that capitalism took away from him — what it was impoverishing him of while he wasn’t looking. But that means that he is at the mercy of tribal logic, in all its fearfulness and cowardice and stupidity, too. The rage that should be directed at capitalism is pointed at scapegoats. The anger that should be directed at those above him is aimed below him. The contempt he should have for the rich is turned into scorn of the poor.
politics  authoritarianism  us  capitalism  racism 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Le gouvernement veut faire immatriculer les vélos
revente illicite des cycles", selon l'avant-projet de loi d'orientation des mobilités publié par le sites d'informations Contextele 30 août 2018.

Concrètement, le marquage - "sous une forme lisible, indélébile, inamovible et infalsifiable, en un endroit repérable et visible sans manipulation" précise le texte - devrait concerner seulement les vélos neufs. La technologie, puce ou gravure, sera laissée à la discrétion du constructeur, mais devra être lisible par "capteur optique". L'objectif étant de créer un "fichier national des propriétaires de cycles" pour savoir à qui appartiennent les vélos en circulation.

"Quand vous en achèterez un neuf vous entrerez dans le fichier et quand vous en achèterez un d'occasion, vous aurez une petite formalité administrative à accomplir. Ce sera hyper simple. Cela vous assurera que vous n'achetez pas un vélo volé", précise au HuffPost le député LREM Matthieu Orphelin qui a été l'une des sources d'inspiration du plan vélo.
cycling  france  politics 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Francis Fukuyama: ‘Trump instinctively picks racial themes to drive people on the left crazy’ | Books | The Guardian
“Thymos”... comes from Plato’s Republic. It represents a kind of third way for a soul instinctively divided into two competing impulses – reason and appetite – by Socrates. If the former of those two made us human and the latter kept us animal, thymos fell somewhere in between. Most translations of The Republic suggest its sense for Plato as “passion”. For his purposes, Fukuyama takes it to mean “the seat of judgements of worth”, a kind of eternal status thermostat.

The importance of thymos, he believes, is not only that it has been seriously overlooked by other political theorists. Whereas classical economics tried to explain the world in terms of individuals acting to maximise their financial self-interest, behaviouralists, thinking fast and slow, have proved that our rational capacity is often undermined by more intuitive forces. Perhaps the most powerful of these, Fukuyama insists, is the desire for respect...
“You were told Brexit was clearly going to be very costly for the British economy, therefore it would be irrational to support Brexit,” he says. “But what has been proved is not only that a lot of people voting to leave the EU didn’t care about that, [but] they were actually willing to take a hit in terms of their prosperity. The issues were cultural and they were willing to pay a price, it seems, to have greater control of immigration. In general, the mistake a lot of elites have made is that you can have a politics led by economic rationality divorced from these feelings about national identity.”
philosophy  politics  history  economics  Brexit 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
‘My father’s murder in Algeria shaped my life. That’s why Macron’s apology is so important’ | World news | The Guardian
Official investigations into what went on in France’s former colony were quashed as the state threw a blanket amnesty over atrocities by its forces, and each president found it politically expedient to avoid mentioning the war.

Josette Audin, who never remarried, wrote to each new French leader renewing her appeal for information. Shortly after he was elected in May 2017, Macron called her to say he was willing to do something. On Thursday, the Elysée Palace issued an official statement and the president visited Audin’s home with an apology...
In Algeria, Macron’s mea culpa has been welcomed. In France, academics hope his statement and promise to open official archives will encourage witnesses from the period, protected by the amnesty, to come forward. A historian, Gilles Manceron, said Macron had made a “break with the attitude of denial, silence and lies we’ve long had from the state”.
france  politics  francafrique  algeria  agnotology  history 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
14 ans après la décriminalisation de toutes les drogues, voici la situation du Portugal
La dépénalisation des drogues au Portugal a eu un effet semblable à celui de la psychologie inversée. Comme l’usage n’est plus interdit, on ne perçoit plus de bénéfices à la consommation de la drogue et les personnes sont davantage conscientes des conséquences et dangers éventuels.

D’un point de vue global, la consommation de drogues chez les jeunes de 15 à 24 ans a diminué. Les taux d’infection par le VIH parmi les consommateurs de drogues injectables ont été réduits à un rythme soutenu et le problème est devenu plus facile à gérer qu’au sein de pays ayant des taux élevés. En outre, les décès liés à la consommation de drogues ont sensiblement chuté comme le montre le tableau suivant de Transform Drug Policy Foundation :
drugs  portugal  français  politics 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Hate crimes jump for fourth straight year in largest U.S. cities, study shows - The Washington Post
Crimes motivated by race or ethnicity bias are consistently the most common type of reported hate crime, and African Americans are the most targeted group, representing 23 percent of all hate crimes reported in major cities in 2017. Jews are consistently the most targeted religious group, and represented 19 percent of all hate crimes reported in major cities in 2017...
Nearly 90 percent of the country’s approximately 16,000 law enforcement agencies either choose not to supply data for those FBI statistics, or report no hate crimes in their jurisdictions, which can dramatically skew the data, social scientists say.
racism  us  politics  police  crime 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
ACS Advocates a Consensus Strategy to Prevent Injury, Disability, and Death from Firearms
The ACS COT’s Consensus Strategy views firearm injury and mortality in the larger context of violence toward oneself or others, which is a major cause of unnecessary injury and death in the United States, claiming on average 175 American lives every single day.*

“To reduce death and disability associated with firearm injuries, we have to think about the strategies that cover the entire spectrum of violence-related events: how firearms are stored in the home, recognition that people who are at risk of self-harm or domestic violence should not have access to weapons, and addressing the causes of interpersonal violence. These strategies don’t get a lot of attention. These are not controversial ideas. All are achievable and could make a huge impact in terms of reducing injury, disability, and death,” said Eileen M. Bulger, MD, FACS, Seattle, Wash., current ACS COT Chair.
Violent Intentional Injuries and Deaths Are a Neglected Public Health Crisis

In 2016, the most recent year for which data are available, a firearm was involved in 51 percent (22,938) of suicides and 75 percent (14,415) of homicides. Since 1999 there has been a 17 percent increase in firearm-related intentional injury death rates; over the same time period, there was a 22 percent decrease in traffic-related deaths.*

Since 2014, the ACS COT has been engaged in a firearm-injury prevention consensus-building project that involved surveys of its members and the ACS Board of Regents and Board of Governors, town hall meetings, and outreach to a broad group of stakeholder organizations.
us  politics  deaths  guncontrol  medicine  healthcare  health 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
‘Human impulses run riot’: China’s shocking pace of change | News | The Guardian
These three surges in suicide demonstrate the failure and impotence of legal institutions in China. The public security organs, prosecutorial agencies and courts all stopped functioning at the start of the Cultural Revolution; thereafter, laws existed only in name. Since Mao’s death, a robust legal system has never truly been established and, today, law’s failure manifests itself in two ways. First, the law is strong only on paper: in practice, law tends to be subservient to the power that officials wield. Second, when officials realise they are being investigated and know their position won’t save them, some will choose to die rather than submit to legal sanctions, for officials who believe in power don’t believe in law...
Before, limited by social constraints, people could feel a modicum of freedom only within the family; with the loss of those constraints, that modest freedom which was once so prized now counts for little. Extramarital affairs have become more and more widespread and are no longer a cause for shame. It is commonplace for successful men to keep a mistress, or sometimes multiple mistresses – which people often jokingly compare to a teapot needing at least four or five cups to make a full tea set. In one case I know of, a wealthy businessman bought all 10 flats in the wing of an apartment complex. He installed his legally recognised wife in one flat, and his nine legally unrecognised mistresses in the other flats, one above the other, so that he could select at his pleasure and convenience on which floor of the building he would spend the night.
china  deaths  politics  culture  sex 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Is Colin Kaepernick’s Nike deal activism – or just capitalism? | Ben Carrington and Jules Boykoff | Opinion | The Guardian
Gil Scott-Heron famously noted that the revolution would not be right back after a message, would not go better with Coke, and certainly would not be televised. It now appears, if Nike’s current advertising campaign is to be believed, that the revolution comes embossed with a Swoosh.

On Monday the famously underemployed NFL player Colin Kaepernick tweeted a black and white image of his face, his eyes staring at us, with the words “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” etched over the top. Below sits Nike’s Swoosh. The campaign celebrates the 30th anniversary of arguably the most famous advertising slogan in sports – Just do it. Kaepernick’s deal with Nike will allow him to continue his empowering community and youth activism work, such as his Know Your Rights camp. In this light, Kaepernick might be seen as a modern-day Robin Hood.

But is the Nike-Kaepernick partnership a harbinger of 21st-century activism, or a case study in capitalist co-option?
music  politics  us  capitalism  advertising  spectacle 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Glenn Greenwald, the Bane of Their Resistance | The New Yorker
Greenwald and I talked about his definition of “evidence.” In the case of Russia, he seemed to use the word to mean “proof.” His evidentiary needs in this context could be contrasted with his swift, easy arrival at certainty in many other contexts. Greenwald assured me that Tennys Sandgren “didn’t have a racist bone in his body.” He had recently tweeted that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, was not anti-Semitic, and that suggestions otherwise were “guilt-by-association trash.” It would be truer to say that Corbyn’s record provides some evidence of anti-Semitism, and that supporting him requires a response to that.
politics  journalism 
august 2018 by juliusbeezer
Inside the Daily Stormer’s Style Guide
The style guide is surprisingly fastidious about formatting. Links must not “stretch into the spacing between words.” Images must be exactly three hundred and twenty pixels wide, to avoid anything “aesthetically problematic.” Each post “should be filled with as much visual stimulation as possible,” in order to “appeal to the ADHD culture”; passages from mainstream sources must be unaltered, so that “we can never be accused of ‘fake news’—or delisted by Facebook as such.”

One section is called, simply, “No Such Thing as Too Much Hyperbole.” “Even when a person can say to themselves ‘this is ridiculous,’ they are still affected by it on an emotional level,” the guide says. “Refer to teenagers who get arrested for racist Twitter posts as ‘eternally noble warriors bravely fighting for divine war to protect the blood heritage of our sacred ancestors’. . . . You and anyone reading can say omg corny lol. But it just doesn’t matter to the primitive part of the brain.”
editing  politics  us  internet  socialmedia 
august 2018 by juliusbeezer
Hackney LCC meeting 6th June 2001 – Hackney Cycling Campaign
Patrick reported that ways of taking Cycle Active forward are currently being sought. One possibility is the Finsbury Park Regeneration Scheme might take the project on. Also someone is needed to work on the administration, and it is possible that this could be a paid position.

The project was set up 2 years ago to teach people to ride bicycles and to improve their skills. There is money and equipment for the project to continue, if anyone is willing to take it on.
cycling  Hackney  politics  health  healthcare 
august 2018 by juliusbeezer
Hackney LCC meeting 4th February 1999 – Hackney Cycling Campaign
Douglas reported on health promotion progress. After all the optimism of our bid for Health Action Zone cash to promote cycling for recovering cardiac sufferers, it turns out that there is just £40 grand to support cardiovasculation health promotion in Hackney, most of which is going to support gym-based activities. There is, however, a chance of a small amount of seed money to go towards the training of cycle trainers, which will be better than nothing.
cycling  Hackney  transport  politics  health  healthcare 
august 2018 by juliusbeezer
Our scorched Earth needs voters to put more heat on their politicians | Andrew Rawnsley | Opinion | The Guardian
This is progress. It is not sufficient progress, but it does demonstrate that there are things that can be done to mitigate climate change and there are smarter responses to this threat than burying your overheated head in your sweaty hands...
The international picture has deteriorated. Global warming has been crowded out as a subject energising international leadership and the push to tackle the danger has lost momentum. The Paris climate agreement signed in 2016 was supposed to commit more than 170 countries to measures to hold the increase in the global average temperature to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels. What it lacks is any mechanism for holding the signatories to their promises and not one of the major industrialised nations has published a full and plausible strategy for meeting their targets. A growing number of the scientists of climate change fear that global warming is going to be in excess of 2C. Donald Trump, who dismisses climate change as a hoax made up by the Chinese to hurt US industry, has ripped up the commitments made by his predecessor. American withdrawal is a double disaster.
climatechange  politics  us  uk 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Les « débiles sociaux » – carfree.fr
Le même sénateur qui voulait imposer le casque aux cyclistes en 2016 est aujourd’hui contre la limitation de vitesse à 80 km/heure sur les routes. Hervé Maurey, sénateur centriste de l’Eure et président de la commission de l’aménagement du territoire et du développement durable du Sénat, montre ainsi toute la flexibilité de ses conceptions en matière de sécurité routière. Quand il s’agit des vélos, il faut imposer des mesures contraignantes comme le casque obligatoire, quand il s’agit des automobilistes, imposer le 80 km/heure sur les routes serait « une mesure attentatoire aux libertés« …
france  politics  road_safety  helmetwars 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Over $119bn wiped off Facebook's market cap after growth shock | Technology | The Guardian
More than $119bn (£90.8bn) has been wiped off Facebook’s market value, which includes a $17bn hit to the fortune of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, after the company told investors that user growth had slowed in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Facebook’s shares plunged 19% on Thursday in New York, a day after the Silicon Valley company revealed that 3 million users in Europe had abandoned the social network since the Observer revealed the Cambridge Analytica breach of 87m Facebook profiles and the introduction of strict European Union data protection legislation.

The collapse of Facebook’s share price is the biggest ever one-day drop in a company’s market value. Shares fell to $176, valuing the company at $510bn, a drop of $119bn from a record high of nearly $630bn on Wednesday.
facebook  socialmedia  finance  privacy  politics 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Stockpile food in the event of a no-deal Brexit? Dream on | James Ball | Opinion | The Guardian
It would not. Anyone knowing the very basics of food production – frankly, anyone who has watched an episode of Inside the Factory on the BBC – would know just how difficult it would be for industry to stockpile food. Most UK factories rely on multiple daily deliveries to keep production, which usually runs 24 hours a day, flowing. Within just 18 to 36 hours without deliveries of ingredients, production in almost all of the UK’s food sector (the country’s largest manufacturing sector) would stop.
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Factories couldn’t just step up production before the Brexit date and store the surplus, either. They no longer have much space to store their product: the UK’s highly efficient supply chains work on a “just in time” basis – factories have just enough storage space to manage about a day’s worth of deliveries, as do supermarket depots and the warehouses in the back of stores.

Stockpiling more food would mean industry having to buy or lease vast amounts of extra space, at short notice, and probably at great cost. In practical terms, it would ideally have needed to start spending that money months ago – and it would be serious money. Part of the reason people keep less inventory is that it reduces the amount of money you need to operate. If you increase the amount of stock kept in reserve from a few days’ worth to a few weeks’ worth, businesses across the sector would need five to 10 times the working capital they do now.
food  uk  politics  Brexit 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Why identity politics benefits the right more than the left | Sheri Berman | Opinion | The Guardian
Relatedly, research suggests that calling people racist when they do not see themselves that way is counterproductive. As noted above, while there surely are true bigots, studies show that not all those who exhibit intolerant behavior harbor extreme racial animus. Moreover, as Stanford psychologist Alana Conner notes, if the goal is to diminish intolerance “telling people they’re racist, sexist and xenophobic is going to get you exactly nowhere. It’s such a threatening message. One of the things we know from social psychology is when people feel threatened, they can’t change, they can’t listen.”...
Steve Bannon infamously remarked that he couldn’t “get enough” of the left’s “race-identity politics”. “The longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em ... I want them to talk about race and identity … every day.”

In addition, Americans are more divided socially than they are on the issues; there is significant agreement even on controversial topics like abortion, gun control, immigration and economic policy. Promoting cross-cutting cleavages and diminishing social divisions might therefore help productive policymaking actually occur.
us  politics  authoritarianism  racism 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials - The New York Times
A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.

Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.
breastfeeding  us  politics 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
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