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'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 
2 days ago 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 
2 days ago 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 
4 days ago 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 
6 days ago 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 
21 days ago 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 
4 weeks ago 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 
4 weeks ago 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 
5 weeks ago 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 
5 weeks ago 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 
5 weeks ago 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 
5 weeks ago 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 
6 weeks ago 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 
6 weeks ago 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 
6 weeks ago 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 
7 weeks ago 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 
10 weeks ago 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 
11 weeks ago 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 
11 weeks ago 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 
12 weeks ago 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 
12 weeks ago 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 
12 weeks ago 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 
12 weeks ago 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
Where Do All the Cyclists Live? | Brooklyn Spoke
This was only the latest example of something that plays out in press coverage all over the country. When it comes to covering the ongoing shift from car dominance to people-powered transportation, “the community” is just shorthand for “people who oppose change.” People who support street redesigns, however, aren’t members of the “community.” They’re merely “bicycle advocates” or “cyclists.”
cycling  politics  us 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
La Ville à Vélo s’affranchit de la subvention de la mairie de Lyon
"Au regard, de ces pratiques inacceptables remettant en cause le principe fondamental d’indépendance des associations, les administrateurs ont décidé à l’unanimité, le 25 juin dernier, de renoncer cette année à la subvention de 1 000 euros attribuée par la Ville de Lyon. Ils suggèrent de la réallouer à une association caritative ou oeuvrant pour la sécurité routière",
cycling  france  politics 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
French MPs criticise 'hasty and ineffective' fake news law | World news | The Guardian
The law aims to identify and stop deliberately false information that is “massively” spread online in the three-month period before an election.

Most criticism has been focused on the section of the law that allows political parties or candidates to complain about an item of allegedly false or implausible information online and a judge will, within 48 hours, rule on it and can block the publication. The judge must decide whether the allegedly false information could determine the course of an election, and whether it has been massively and artificially spread online.
france  news  law  censorship  politics  internet  journalism 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Limitation à 80 km/h : Pierre Chasseray, le lobbyiste qui roule à fond pour 40 millions d'automobilistes
Un "mélange des genres" et une "tribune" qui agacent ses détracteurs. "Pour nous, 40 millions d'automobilistes, c'est un bulldozer médiatique", s'agace un acteur de la prévention routière. Et de surenchérir : "Derrière l'appellation de cette association, on ignore le poids réel du mouvement car ils sont très opaques sur leurs adhérents." L'association, fondée en 2005 par les Automobiles clubs de l'Ouest (ACO), revendique 320 000 adhérents. Mais les membres des ACO sont faits membres d'office de 40 millions d'automobilistes. "Ce sont des adhérents fantômes et il y a des élus parmi les membres des ACO", estime un responsable associatif qui souhaite conserver l'anonymat.

Côté budget, 40 millions d'automobilistes revendique "380 000 euros par an et 150 000 donateurs", confie Pierre Chasseray, qui détaille "100 000 euros de la part des ACO et le reste, ce sont des dons d'entreprises." Provocateur, il fait mine de s'insurger : "Je ne suis pas plein aux as. Malheureusement, je n'ai pas touché un centime au black ou au white de l'industrie automobile."
driving  france  politics 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
The radical lessons of a year reporting on knife crime | Membership | The Guardian
Roughly a decade ago, the UN ranked Scotland as the most violent country in the developed world. Between April 2006 and April 2011, 40 children and teenagers were killed in knife deaths in Scotland; between 2011 and 2016, that figure fell to just eight. Glasgow witnessed the steepest decline – from 15 young people in the five years before 2011, to zero in the five years afterwards...
Scotland is its own place, and not all of this is replicable elsewhere. But it is a demonstration of what can be achieved if the political will is there. One of the big differences between Scotland and London is political: in Scotland, the public-health approach is funded by and answerable to a single democratic authority at Holyrood.
scotland  politics  police  crime 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
La France face au défi de la fracture numérique
À côté de la couverture mobile, l'impossibilité d'accéder à un Internet fixe de qualité constitue aussi un énorme problème pour nombre de villes et villages de l'Hexagone. Au début des années 2010, lorsque Nicolas Sarkozy était au pouvoir, le gouvernement a lancé un vaste programme : le Plan France très haut débit (PTHD). Repris sans grand changement par François Hollande, ce gigantesque chantier à 20 milliards d'euros repose essentiellement sur le déploiement de la fibre optique, qui vise à remplacer le vieux réseau cuivré. In fine, ce programme doit permettre à tous les Français de disposer d'un Internet ultrarapide à l'horizon de 2022. Le problème, c'est que d'ici là de nombreux bourgs, villes et villages devront se débrouiller avec un ADSL à bout de souffle. Ce qui pèse de plus en plus sur la compétitivité économique de nombreux territoires.
internet  politics  france 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Ministerial Resignation Statement - Dr Phillip Lee MP - Caring for Bracknell Constituency
However, as the negotiations are unfolding, two things are becoming clear.

• The practicalities, logistics and implications of leaving the EU are far more complex than was ever envisaged and certainly more complex than the people were told in 2016. The UK is not going to be ready in time, neither is the EU, and both would suffer from a rushed or fudged agreement.

• The outcome that is emerging will be neither fully to leave the EU, nor fully to stay. This is not an outcome for which anyone knowingly voted. In my view, this raises the important principle of legitimacy: I do not believe it would be right for the Government to pursue such a course without a plan to seek a confirmatory mandate for the outcome. And I believe that Parliament should have the power to ask the Government to adjust its course in the best interests of the people whom its Members represent.
Brexit  politics  uk 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Theresa May forced to give MPs single market vote after shock defeat | Politics | The Guardian
A Department for Exiting the European Union spokesperson said: “The referendum was a vote to take control of our borders, laws and money. Ongoing participation in the EEA would mean having to implement new EU legislation automatically and in its entirety without having a say on how it is formulated – and it would also mean continued free movement. We will now consider the implications of this decision.”
politics  uk  Brexit  funny 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
'Be Best': does Melania Trump's oddly named initiative break the laws of grammar? | Media | The Guardian
“Be Best” just so plainly doesn’t hold up to the laws of English grammar, which require that a superlative adjective following an imperative verb be preceded by the definite article “the”. Be good – be better – be the best: that’s the rule. In the 1990s, the British military ran a TV ad campaign that ended with the slogan: “Army soldier: be the best.” Try it without the the. “Army soldier: be best.” It sounds like you’re translating from the Sanskrit.
english  grammar  language  funny  us  politics 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
Secret UK push to weaken EU climate laws 'completely mad' | Environment | The Guardian
Benedek Jávor, the vice chair of the European parliament’s environment committee, told the Guardian: “The UK’s proposal to widen ‘flexibilities’ is completely mad and undermines the principle of additionality, as well as the overall ambition of the energy efficiency directive.”

“This approach would risk failure in our efforts to reach even moderately ambitious overall targets, while the higher – and beneficial targets – that we need to strive for could become lost altogether.”...

The EU’s climate goals for 2020 are a staging post to its more ambitious promise to the Paris conference of a 40% emissions cut by 2030.

Europe is expected to easily achieve this, although its CO2 emissions appear to be rising as economic activity picks up, while energy efficiency gains have gone into reverse.

Eurostat figures released last week showed a 1.8% rise in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in 2017 after a 0.4% fall the year before. Surprisingly though, the UK was the only EU country to reduce its electricity consumption in 2017.
climatechange  energy  politics  eu  uk 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
Extremism pays. That’s why Silicon Valley isn’t shutting it down | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
In the old days, if you wanted to stage a coup, the first thing to do was to capture the TV station. Nowadays all you have to do is to “weaponise” YouTube. After all, its first motto was “broadcast yourself”. Accordingly, if governments of the western world really wanted to cripple these disruptive forces, then shutting down YouTube would be a giant step forward. It wouldn’t prevent other such services springing up, of course, but none would have the power and reach that YouTube’s billion-strong network effect provides.

This doesn’t mean that YouTube’s owner (Google) is hell-bent on furthering extremism of all stripes. It isn’t. All it’s interested in is maximising advertising revenues. And underpinning the implicit logic of its recommender algorithms is evidence that people are drawn to content that is more extreme than what they started with – or perhaps to incendiary content in general.
google  facebook  socialmedia  politics  us 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
How Russia’s rich elite spend their billions in London | World news | The Guardian
a super-rich colony in the heart of the capital. Many maintain ties with Russia and most remain “non-doms” – a dazzling loophole in the British tax system.

Meanwhile Londoners eagerly cater to their needs as butlers and architects, accountants and lawyers, interior designers and private tutors, personal shoppers and family officers. But their most important facilitator has been the UK government itself, which has rolled out the red carpet to a group whose enormous wealth became part of a narrative about a new golden age for the capital.
politics  uk  russia  business 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
The ZAD Will Survive – Zad for ever
The end of the Declaration of Public Utility on the 9th of February turns the status of the ZAD’s lands on its head. Out of the 4077 acres earmarked for the airport, 1111 acres have been been cultivated for a long time by resisting farmers intending to recover their rights, whilst the movement wrenched 667 acres from the management of the Chamber of Agriculture to carry on collective agricultural experiments. 1309 acres of land are temporarily redistributed to farmers who signed an amicable agreement with Vinci [10]. As such, they had been financially compensated and obtained plots of land outside of the zone. Yet they continue to exploit and collect the Common Agricultural Policy on the lands they ceded to Vinci on the zone, thereby having their cake and eating it. The most greedy may, from now on, claim priority on future leases and take advantage of the hard fought over land preserved by the movement to enlarge their farms. Moreover, the former owners who were part of the struggle and who refused any agreement with Vinci will be able to recover their expropriated properties and choose to give it over to conventional use or to a more collective use by bringing them into a common property entity. The battle for the land will therefore be at the heart of this struggle for the months and years to come.
aéroport  nantes  politics  agriculture 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Parkland Shooting May Be a Sea Change Moment for Gun Laws
But the real high comedy has been to watch the conservative intelligentsia embark on a serious fool’s errand—namely, trying to battle with educated teenagers on social media. I mean, don’t any of these people have kids between the ages of 10 and 20?
us  politics 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
Nantes. Une soixantaine de tracteurs ont campé devant la préfecture
Environ 200 exploitants agricoles venus de Loire-Atlantique ont répondu à l’appel de mobilisation nationale de la FNSEA. Les manifestants dénonçaient l’accord entre l’Europe et le marché commun de l’Amérique du Sud.

Peu après 11 h, mercredi 21 février, une soixantaine de tracteurs ont pris place aux abords de la préfecture. La place Du pont Morand a entièrement été bloquée à la circulation automobile. Les organisateurs de la FNSEA, qui réclamaient une entrevue par délégation avec la préfète, ont finalement été reçus par son directeur de cabinet. A 15 h, l’ensemble des manifestants s’apprêtait à dégager les lieux.
agriculture  france  politics  business  nantes 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
La Polytechnique Total | Mondialisation - Centre de Recherche sur la Mondialisation
On obtiendrait un tableau plus juste encore de ce que représente l’intéressé si on rappelait qu’il fut membre de cette espèce d’université virtuelle de la multinationale existant sous l’appellation « Total Professeurs associés ». Il s’agit d’un réseau d’influence formé de professeurs et d’experts appointés par la firme et chargés d’investir le champ de la recherche afin de peser sur les institutions tant en ce qui concerne leurs délibérations que le fondement idéologique qui régit ces réflexions. Pudiquement, dans les termes de Total, cet étrange corps professoral vise à « promouvoir les relations entre le monde pétrolier et les universités ou les grandes écoles grâce à des présentations techniques ou économiques par des professeurs ou experts ». C’est réussi dans le cas de l’École polytechnique de Montréal.

Cela va de pair avec d’autres stratégies de Total, comme la création d’une « marque pédagogique », Planète énergie, censée outiller le personnel d’établissements d’enseignement sur les enjeux du gaz et du pétrole, avec un fort accent mis sur la géologie et une omission presque complète d’enjeux sociaux, historiques ou écologiques. Dans le domaine de la recherche, la firme ne manque pas de financer également comme « experts » des scientifiques tels que Michel Aubier, qui a été condamné en France pour « faux témoignage » après avoir tu ses liens avec la multinationale alors qu’il avait minimisé, auprès de sénateurs en commission, l’impact de la pollution atmosphérique sur la santé. Combien d’entreprises doctorales ou de centres de recherches universitaires ne se trouvent pas ainsi soutenus par la firme ?
conflict_of_interest  oil  scholarly  politics 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
After their attacks on climate science, industrial lobbyists target the scientific evidence on air pollution - Multinationals Observatory
Science under the influence

And obviously, there is the case of Michel Aubier. This eminent respiratory physician cruised the television studios downplaying the dangers of air pollution, only to later reveal that he was also a paid consultant to Total (read our article). In 2012, Aubier published an Académie de médecine report—widely cited by industry—entitled “Impact sanitaire des particules diesel : entre mythe et réalité ?” (The health impacts of diesel particulates: between myth and reality?), that promoted the merits of particle filters. In 2015 he had also testified along the same lines to a senatorial enquiry, claiming that the number of cancers linked to pollution was "extremely few". On both occasions he neglected to mention his pecuniary involvement with a multinational corporation whose primary business is the sale of petrol and diesel. In July 2017 he received a suspended six-month prison sentence and a €50,000 fine for failing to declare this conflict of interest to the Senat when asked.
agnotology  airpollution  air_quality  health  politics  france  us  india  germany  translation  driving  oil 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
BDS is the French exception to international boycotts – Middle East Monitor
Like Israel, France has started to criminalise BDS activities, even though there is a long history of international boycotts; against nuclear tests, for example, or the US invasion of Iraq, and the government in Paris never targeted those calling for such boycotts. Even in France, some calls for boycotts were well-supported; the anti-Apartheid movement against South Africa, for example, and against the military junta in Myanmar when it was in power. So why is France taking this stand against the anti-Israel BDS movement?

According to historian and Middle East expert Dominique Vidal, this can be explained by the size of the Jewish community in France, the largest outside Israel and the US, as well as its large North African community. “Israel-Palestine is thus a sensitive topic,” said Vidal. Indeed, the French government is determined to prevent the conflict from being imported into France. During Israel’s military offensive against Gaza in 2014, this was one of the arguments used to ban any demonstration in Paris in support of the Palestinians. It was, however, swept aside by BDS activist and former co-president of the French Jewish Union for Peace Jean-Guy Grielsamer: “What fuels anti-Semitism is banning BDS,” he countered. “It also assumes that all Jewish people are supporting Israel.” The number of French Jewish activists involved in the BDS movement “is not insignificant,” he added.
france  politics  law  freedom 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
Notre-Dame-des-Landes : comment les Français perçoivent la décision de Macron et Philippe
A l’issue d’une phase de concertation et de débats particulièrement longs, le gouvernement a décidé de mettre un terme au projet de construction d’un nouvel aéroport à Notre-Dame-des-Landes, et prévenu les "zadistes" qu’une évacuation serait effectuée au printemps.

Cette décision a, au vu des nombreux sondages réalisés depuis, été largement saluée par l’opinion. Selon notre propre mesure, 67% des Français l’approuvent, dont 41% "tout à fait". Cette approbation est-elle aussi solide que massive ? Sur quels arguments repose-t-elle ? Quels sont les risques pour le gouvernement dans la gestion de ce dossier – et de dossiers semblables – pour les mois qui viennent ? Afin d’apporter quelques réponses à ces questions, BVA a interrogé les 23 et 24 janvier un échantillon national représentatif de Français sur la motivation de leurs opinions.

Il convient tout d’abord de noter que l’appréciation de cette décision fait l’objet d’un clivage social particulièrement marqué : 76% des CSP+ approuvent la décision, soit près de 20 points de plus que le chiffre enregistré auprès des catégories supérieures. Ce clivage social se double d’un clivage partisan également très net : 78% des sympathisants de gauche approuvent la décision, contre seulement 45% à droite.
aéroport  politics  france 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
New Atheism, Worse Than You Think
Recently though, after realizing that New Atheism is itself a dangerous species of fundamentalism, he became a staunch and vocal critic.

Werleman defines New Atheism as “evangelical atheism,” or, as he emphasizes elsewhere “evangelical anti-theism.” It is the conviction that religion is the leading source of problems around the world, and thus “is an obstacle to creating human perfection and a Western civilization utopia.” Werleman insists, as Hedges did before him, that the New Atheists are “secular fundamentalists.” They display a cultish commitment to science, a childishly simplistic view of religion, a severely bigoted stance toward Islam, and a slavish faith in what they take to be “the beneficent U.S. secular state.”

The book contains 11 chapters. In the first five, Werleman tells the story, in sometimes impressively self-deprecating manner, of his journey from religious indifference to New Atheism to pluralistic accommodationist...
Werleman convincingly demonstrates that the Islam that so troubles the New Atheists, particularly its most popular luminaries, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens, is a cartoonish caricature of the real thing as conceived and practiced by most Muslims; that the motivations of Islamic terrorists are mostly sociopolitical and economic rather than religious; that in its lack of concern for the welfare of Palestinians, in its inability “to see Palestinians beyond their Muslimness,” New Atheism “is a completely illiberal secular ideology”; and that New Atheist discourse provides public relations support for American imperialism and contributes to a climate of fear and resentment leading to increased harassment of and violence against Muslim Americans.
religion  politics  us  scholarly 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
China: a return to the “kingdom of bicycles”? | The BMJ
Hu and Yin discuss the major health and environmental benefits of cycling for transport, but then advocate helmet laws, which have resulted in substantial reductions in cycling, e.g. a 48% drop in numbers of teenage cyclists counted in Melbourne a year after the introduction of the helmet law[16].

The recommendation for helmet legislation seems to be misguided. The most likely outcome is that fewer people will cycle than without the law, leading to lost health and environmental benefits, together with increased injury rates from risk compensation and reduced safety in numbers.
cycling  helmetwars  china  politics 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Peterson unmasks stitch-up of TV interviews
Here is a ideological duel between a sophisticated brand of the libertarian right and a corporate – aka faux – left-liberalism, represented by Newman. The pair, in their commitment to an aggressive individualism within a neoliberal system, have far more in common with each other than they do with a real left. I suspect Peterson would have struggled considerably more to justify his positions had he come up against someone like Noam Chomsky rather than Newman.

Nonetheless, the interview revealed something deeply troubling about what passes today for a news interview, and about the role of journalists. Here were two people talking at each other. This was mostly shadow play, rarely moving beyond shallow ideological posturing.

That is the standard format for news interviews, and one of the main reasons why the news in western democracies is so unenlightening.
journalism  television  media  politics 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Against the Grain by James C Scott review – the beginning of elites, tax, slavery | Books | The Guardian
there was a gap of 4,000 years between the first domestications and the rise of the state. Rather than embracing farming with enthusiasm, communities chose to adopt subsistence strategies that combined hunting and gathering with a low level of domestication and cultivation. It was the best of both worlds: the crops provided an assured fallback while foraging added a welcome variety. But over time, some groups allowed themselves to become increasingly dependent on cultivated grain, and by about 5000BC there were hundreds of agricultural villages scattered around the fertile crescent. As populations grew, new villages colonised the alluvial lands in the valley bottoms and it was from these that the early states began to develop around 3300BC.
food  politics  history  agroecology  agriculture 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Restraining car use is best way to increase cycling in London, says report – On London
Any suggestion that installing segregated lanes might not be the most effective policy or best use of public money risks unleashing the wrath of cycling activism’s most fervent fundamentalists. That, of course, is all the more reason for making one. However, the conclusions of a recent report by London Travelwatch, the capital’s statutory transport users’ watchdog, have not been drawn out of an urge to annoy. On the contrary, they are as scientific as they are salutary.

Its twelve recommendations for encouraging greater use of bicycles are led by measures to restrain and discourage car use rather than by the engineering of cycle-specific infrastructure, important though it considers that to be. A “wider and more sophisticated system of roads pricing” heads its list, followed by reducing car parking facilities where good alternative transport is available, encouraging car-free housing developments, closing roads to through traffic, and various traffic calming initiatives
cycling  driving  politics  London 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
Larzac. Transposable à Notre-Dame-des-Landes ? - France - LeTelegramme.fr
Ainsi naît la Société civile des terres du Larzac (SCTL), une société de gestion collective avec laquelle l'État signait un bail emphytéotique. Bail qui court jusqu'en 2083 et qui a transféré à la société civile la gestion des terres, exception faite du droit de vendre. Parmi ses prérogatives, celle d'attribuer les terres à de nouveaux exploitants, en location. C'est dans ce schéma économique que Marion Renoud-Lias et son compagnon, Romain Debord, ont pu s'installer, il y a deux ans, sur la ferme des Homs, sur la commune de Nant, et se lancer dans la culture de plantes aromatiques. Au milieu de ses rangées de romarin, de lavande, de thym ou de sarriettes, la jeune trentenaire confie que s'il avait fallu racheter l'exploitation, il aurait fallu débourser « 5 à 6 fois » la mise initiale. « Je pense qu'aucune banque ne nous aurait suivis », dit Marion qui paye 1.500 euros par an à la SCTL.
france  agriculture  politics  aéroport 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
'No shame': how the Trump administration granted big oil's wishlist | Business | The Guardian
in a “wishlist” drawn up by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the leading lobby group for US oil and gas companies.

In a document called “comments on specific regulations” sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in May, API highlighted eight key changes it wanted to ease the regulation of air and water pollution. An analysis shows that the EPA has now so far either partially or wholly delivered on six out of these eight key demands within the first year of the Trump administration, which solicited input on government rules from a number of trade groups.
energy  us  politics  climatechange  environment 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Google's true origin partly lies in CIA and NSA research grants for mass surveillance — Quartz
In 1995, one of the first and most promising MDDS grants went to a computer-science research team at Stanford University with a decade-long history of working with NSF and DARPA grants. The primary objective of this grant was “query optimization of very complex queries that are described using the ‘query flocks’ approach.” A second grant—the DARPA-NSF grant most closely associated with Google’s origin—was part of a coordinated effort to build a massive digital library using the internet as its backbone. Both grants funded research by two graduate students who were making rapid advances in web-page ranking, as well as tracking (and making sense of) user queries: future Google cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

The two intelligence-community managers charged with leading the program met regularly with Brin as his research progressed, and he was an author on several other research papers that resulted from this MDDS grant before he and Page left to form Google.

The grants allowed Brin and Page to do their work and contributed to their breakthroughs in web-page ranking and tracking user queries. Brin didn’t work for the intelligence community—or for anyone else. Google had not yet been incorporated. He was just a Stanford researcher taking advantage of the grant provided by the NSA and CIA through the unclassified MDDS program.
google  search  us  politics 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bill McKibben: Winning Slowly Is the Same as Losing - Rolling Stone
But climate change, sadly, isn't a classic contest between two groups of people. It's a negotiation between people on the one hand and physics on the other. And physics doesn't do compromise. Precisely because we've waited so long to take any significant action, physics now demands we move much faster than we want to. Political realism and what you might call "reality realism" are in stark opposition. That's our dilemma.
You could draw it on a graph. The planet's greenhouse-gas emissions are still rising, though more slowly – let's say we manage to top out by 2020. In that case, to meet the planet's goal of holding temperature increases under two degrees Celsius, we have to cut emissions 4.6 percent annually till they go to zero. If we wait till 2025, we have to cut them seven percent annually. If we wait till 2030 – well, it's not even worth putting on the chart. I have to sometimes restrain myself from pointing out how easy it would have been if we'd acted back in the late 1980s, when I was first writing about this – a gradual half a percent a year...
Even much of the money is in place. For $50,000 in insulation, panels and appliances, Mosaic, the biggest solar lender in the country, can make a home run on 100 percent clean energy. "And we can make a zero-down loan, where people save money from Day One," says the company's CEO, Billy Parrish. Mosaic raised $300 million for its last round of bond financing, but it was nearly six times oversubscribed – that is, investors were ready to pony up about $1.8 billion.
climatechange  politics  business  finance 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bitcoin: UK and EU plan crackdown amid crime and tax evasion fears | Technology | The Guardian
The Treasury plans to regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to bring them in line with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial legislation. Traders will be forced to disclose their identities, ending the anonymity that has made the currency attractive for drug dealing and other illegal activities.

Under the EU-wide plan, online platforms where bitcoins are traded will be required to carry out due diligence on customers and report suspicious transactions. The UK government is negotiating amendments to the anti-money-laundering directive to ensure firms’ activities are overseen by national authorities.
bitcoin  eu  uk  politics 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Loire-Atlantique. Projet NDDL : des études qui plombent l'aéroport | Presse Océan
les tensions sur le dossier d’aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes bouclent leur rapport. Ils ne remettront pas leur document ce vendredi comme prévu. Le Premier ministre Édouard Philippe souhaite le réceptionner en personne: or, il part en déplacement en Nouvelle-Calédonie à partir de jeudi, jusqu’au 6 décembre. Le rapport attendra. Mais le Président Macron tranchera la question avant la fin de l’année.
aéroport  politics  france 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Widely used U.S. government database delists cancer journal - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch
readers who are familiar with the guidelines MEDLINE follows when deselecting journals “can draw their own conclusions.”

Here is some background information from MEDLINE:

Journals may be deselected from MEDLINE for various reasons including, but not limited to, extremely late publication patterns, major changes in the scientific quality or editorial process, and changes in ownership or publishers.

Backus added that since she’s worked with MEDLINE over the past few years, only “a handful” of journals have been removed from the index.

It’s not very many. It’s infrequent.

Oncotarget has been on our radar for some time. Besides a handful of retractions that we’ve covered, we’ve obtained emails that show an editor of the journal, Mikhail Blagosklonny, contacted colleagues of Jeffrey Beall at the University of Colorado Denver who had published in Oncotarget in 2015 after Beall added the journal to his (now inactive) list of possibly predatory publications.
sciencepublishing  reputation  beall  indexing  attention  library  politics  us  peerreview 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
La liaison ferroviaire Rennes-Nantes : le train de retard - France 3 Bretagne
Objectif compliqué sur cette fameuse ligne Rennes Nantes, longue de 150 km, alors que la route relie les deux ville en 106 kilomètres. Une différence qui s'explique par la bifurcation historique par Redon. Pour raccourcir ce temps de trajet et proposer un voyage de moins d'une heure, Pour Gérard Lahélec, en charge des transport à la région Bretagne, la solution doit passer par une réflexion globale du réseau SNCF en Bretagne. Pour lui "il faut imaginer un scénario qui soit profitable aux deux régions", en rapprochant à la fois la pointe bretonne et Nantes, de Rennes.
transport  nantes  rennes  france  politics 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Nantes: La mairie annonce des mesures pour la sécurité du Hangar à Bananes et ses alentours
La noyade, il y a un mois, d’un étudiant qui venait de passer une soirée au Hangar à bananes a rouvert le débat de l’insécurité (vols, agressions, chutes en Loire…) régnant sur ce site festif de l’île de Nantes. Une pétition réclamant un renforcement des mesures de sécurité a d’ailleurs connu un joli succès ( 16.200 signatures).

Message reçu puisque la maire de Nantes, Johanna Rolland, a rencontré ce vendredi matin les cinq étudiantes à l’origine de la pétition. Elle a annoncé à cette occasion la mise en place de plusieurs mesures visant à « améliorer la situation ».
nantes  politics 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
For Those Who Don't 'Believe' In 'Conspiracies' Here Are 58 Admitted False Flag Attacks
(31) At the July 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, black-clad thugs were videotaped getting out of police cars, and were seen by an Italian MP carrying “iron bars inside the police station”. Subsequently, senior police officials in Genoa subsequently admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer at the G8 Summit, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(32) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. (Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government; but such a claim is beyond the scope of this discussion. The key point is that the U.S. falsely blamed it on Iraq, when it knew Iraq had nothing to do with it.).
agnotology  politics  police  war  WarCrimes 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Sorry Paul, Spycops Haven't Stopped - Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance
Where does he get this idea from? The Human Rights Act was passed in 1998 and the Macpherson report was published in 1999. Far from ending the era of political policing, they came just as it began a period of expansion.

The second major political policing unit, the National Public Order Intelligence Unit, was founded in 1999 to deploy the likes of Mark Kennedy and extend the worst of the spycops’ abuses. More spycops units were established in the 2000s.

Political policing has not ended. In 2013 HM Inspectorate of Constabulary explained that the old spycops units have been subsumed into the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command (known as SO15)
police  politics  uk  journalism 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Ur-Fascism | by Umberto Eco | The New York Review of Books
I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.
politics  authoritarianism  history 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Don't Use A Pencil: The Key to Brexit's Bots
"The run up to the referendum has seen the rise of the hashtag #usepens which urges people to reject the traditional pencils supplied at polling stations and instead use a pen to mark their cross on the voting paper. The thinking behind this is that it will then be impossible for some unknown hand to use an eraser to rub out your cross and make another mark in the other box," they added.

Thankfully, the principle of every contact leaves a trace applies just as much to social media as it does in the forensic investigation of a crime.

The starting point was an analysis of the three hashtags used in this disinformation campaign, #TakeAPen, #UseAPen, and #UsePens.

Using the date range 01/06/16 to 30/06/16, the results of a trend analysis with Truthy are astonishing and show a tightly focused bot campaign which was targeted at a very specific point in time: the days up to the vote.
politics  twitter  facebook  socialmedia 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Best Speech Yet From Any U.S. President - World Beyond War . . .
“First: Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable–that mankind is doomed–that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade–therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable–and we believe they can do it again.....
“With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor–it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.
war  us  history  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Hurricane Ophelia Hit Ireland Days After Minister Lobbied to Weaken Climate Commitments | DeSmog UK
Ireland is already among the laggards of Europe, being one of only five EU states which is certain to fail to meet its 2020 emissions targets. Unusually, however, Irish transport and agriculture emissions are actually rising sharply, thanks to government policy supporting a rapid expansion of its dairy herd, as well as major ongoing investment in a car-dependent transport infrastructure that has exacerbated urban sprawl.
ireland  climatechange  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Pourquoi la FNSEA est-elle accro au glyphosate ? - Basta !
Pour le comprendre, prenons la direction de Landerneau, en Bretagne. C’est ici que siège Triskalia, la plus grande coopérative agricole de la région. Elle emploie 4800 salariés et fédère 16 000 agriculteurs adhérents, pour 280 sites en Bretagne. Son conseil d’administration est géré par des agriculteurs membres de la FNSEA [2]. En 2016, Triskalia a réalisé un chiffre d’affaires impressionnant, à hauteur de 1,9 milliards d’euros. « Ils vendent des aliments pour le bétail, du lait... mais quand on regarde les bilans annuels, l’activité la plus rentable est la vente de produits phytosanitaires » observe Serge Le Quéau, de l’union régionale Solidaires. La vente de pesticides constitue, avec l’alimentation destinée aux animaux d’élevage, le principal levier de profits de Triskalia, sans commune mesure avec ce que lui rapporte la commercialisation de véritables produits agricoles (lait, céréales, œufs...).
agriculture  france  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
LSE BREXIT – If the UK wants to cut immigration, it must change its model of capitalism
the UK displays features that make it especially dependent on migrant labour. The UK combines the features of a so-called Liberal Market Economy (with low employment protection, a lightly regulated labour market, and a large low-wage sector) and a consumption-led growth model (which depends heavily on domestic household consumption and population growth rather than exports). These institutional features have strengthened demand for migrant workers to compensate for mismatches and imbalances in the socio-economic regime.
uk  work  politics  migrant  immigration 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
One man’s online politics is another man’s poison | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
As a recovering techno-utopian, I still celebrate the empowering aspect of the internet – the way it can give everyone a voice and a platform for their views. But when viewed from inside my “liberal” filter bubble, I am also distressed by the nastiness, untruthfulness and cant that flooded on to the net during the Brexit and US presidential campaigns. I see this abusive torrent as confirming my view that the technology holds up a mirror to human nature and that much of what we see reflected in it is appalling.

One man who feels this sharply is the Harvard scholar Yochai Benkler. His landmark 2006 book The Wealth of Networks celebrated the democratising power of the internet. But his research on the 2016 election campaign confronted him with an uncomfortable truth. “An important part of what happened in this election,” he said afterwards to the New York Times, “is that a marginalised community, with views that were generally excluded, forced their way into the mainstream.”
internet  politics  bubble  socialmedia  us  facebook  google 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Dans le Médoc, on a marché contre les pesticides dans les vignes
« C’est une marche pour venir à la rencontre des personnes exposées » expliquait Marie-Lys Bibeyran, à l’origine de la marche ; « Ce territoire est encore très féodal, avec une toute puissance du milieu viticole : ici le maire et les trois-quarts du conseil municipal sont viticulteurs. Nous demandons juste un vrai débat. » Symboliquement, le rendez-vous a été donné sur le parking de la Cave de vinification Grand Listrac. « De nombreux viticulteurs en font partie, et c’est encore plus difficile d’aborder le sujet des pesticides avec eux, car ils ne sont pas libres de faire ce qu’ils veulent sur leur vigne. Ici ils sont particulièrement réfractaires » selon elle.

Corinne Despreaux est assistante maternelle à Listrac : « Après avoir été enceinte près des vignes, avoir élevé mes enfants près des vignes, maintenant j’accueille les enfants des autres ici ». Elle raconte la cohabitation avec les pesticides dont elle connaît bien l’odeur tenace : « À partir d’avril et jusqu’en septembre-octobre, il y a des traitements tous les 15 jours. Mais si vous habitez à côté des parcelles de plusieurs châteaux, cela fait un passage par quinzaine sur chaque château. »
france  politics  wine  alcohol  agriculture 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Anatoli Sirota. Neo-Marxism. An Attempt at Reformation. Karl Marx, Engels, evolutionary marxism, historical materialism, precapitalist economic formations.
In January 1889, V.I. Vernadskii wrote to his wife from Munich about the '"great truth'' that "Duerer's powerful mind" had expressed in his painting The Four Apostles. '"The dreamer. ... the profound philosopher seeks ... the truth and gives rise to a less profound pupil as an intermediary," who "cannot understand the full essence," but "is closer to life, . . . explains in concrete terms what the other has said,... distorts him, but that is precisely why the masses will understand him: because he will grasp a small piece of the new and combine it with age-old popular beliefs." Beside them stand two figures with the severe countenances not of thinkers but of politicians...

On the other hand, Marx's revolutionary temperament at times overshadowed the scientist's theoretical thinking. Moreover, the revolutionary character of Marx's views was exaggerated in later arbitrary interpretations that arose from the popularization of his works on Engels's insistence. (Yet another splendid confirmation of the "Duerer-Vernadskii law": the pupil is easier to understand, but only because he distorts his teacher.) In order to change, not merely interpret, the world slogans comprehensible to the masses were required. Marx sometimes set out his thoughts in difficult language, Engels tactfully pointed out in his letters to Marx. He called the tone of some of Marx's works "abstractly dialectical."13 remarking sadly that "now the public, even the scholarly public, is completely unaccustomed to this kind of thinking and it is necessary to do whatever is possible to make things easier for it."16
politics  history  writing  funny  art  criticism  marxism 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Outrageous good fortune smiles once again on Theresa May | Andrew Rawnsley | Opinion | The Guardian
For the most exquisitely apposite metaphor for what has happened to her premiership, you couldn’t beat the spectacle of Mrs May gulping water as the stage set fell apart. Yet I contend that she was rather lucky. She was fortunate because everyone focused on the presentational disasters rather than the content of the speech. This was devoid of what her demoralised party required from their leader. She answered the demand for a transformative vision that revived their prospects with a tired idea about the “British Dream”, a tangle of confused arguments and uninspiring, small-bore policy announcements.
politics  uk  attention  spectacle  funny 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Why Facebook is in a hole over data mining | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian
What is intriguing about the Facebook founder is his astonishing blend of high intelligence, naivety and hubris. In February, when it finally began to dawn on him that the election of Donald Trump might tell us something significant and disturbing about the state of the US society, he wrote a lengthy epistle to his 86 million disciples.

“Today,” it began, “I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want?” Ponder that for a moment: note the imperial, hubristic “we” and the implicit assumption that it is possible to build a single world that everyone wants. It comes straight out of the Ladybird book of democracy. The epistle continues in the same vein. “Progress now requires humanity coming together, not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community.” And of course Facebook would provide just such a community: after all, it already has more than 2 billion users, which is significantly more people than there are in China.
politics  us  facebook  funny 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Brexit Blog: The German car industry and Brexit
Whilst the main Brexiter fantasy about the German car industry is that it will enforce a good trade deal, it also figures along with the car industries of other countries in the fantasy that Brexit will not impede inward investment. So, unsurprisingly, they greeted the news that BMW are going to build the electric Mini in the UK with great glee. But that glee was misplaced for several reasons. First, the investment is relatively small in car industry terms, involves no new production line and the main components will be built in Germany. The key issue is where car companies decide to build all-new models. Second, it does not negate the fact that car industry investment has collapsed catastrophically as a result of Brexit, from £1.66billion in 2016 to just £332M in the first half of 2017.

The real point, however, is this. No one ever claimed that Brexit would put an end to investment in the UK, just that it would reduce it. But Brexiters disparaged these and other warnings by a kind of reductio ad absurdum.
uk  politics  Brexit  driving 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Catalan minister confirms parliament meeting, defying court order – POLITICO
Catalan lawmakers will convene on Monday despite the Spanish Constitutional Court’s order to suspend the regional parliament, the region’s head of foreign affairs said Friday.
spain  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Self-determination - Wikipedia
The right of people to self-determination is a cardinal principle in modern international law (commonly regarded as a jus cogens rule), binding, as such, on the United Nations as authoritative interpretation of the Charter's norms.[1][2] It states that a people, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity, have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no interference.
spain  politics  law  catalonia 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Catalan referendum: preliminary results show 90% in favour of independence | World news | The Guardian
Jordi Turull, the Catalan regional government spokesman, told reporters early on Monday morning that 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted Sunday chose yes. He said nearly 8% of voters rejected independence and the rest of the ballots were blank or void. He said 15,000 votes were still being counted.The region has 5.3 million registered voters.

Turull said the number of ballots did not include those confiscated by Spanish police during violent raids which resulted in hundreds of people being injured.
spain  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
‘We are with you Catalunya’ – the revolt in Spain is bigger than flags and language | Paul Mason | Opinion | The Guardian
Though brutal, the Guardia Civil actions on Sunday were calculated: in the selection of riot squads from outside areas, where casual hatred of Catalans is rife; in the targeting of old people and women; and in the pinpoint nature of the interventions, which people on the barricades thought were concentrated on middle-class areas.

There were thousands of riot cops on hand, on ships in the harbour. If Madrid had wanted to, it could have confiscated every ballot box within minutes and, for good measure, jammed the smartphone app the Catalan authorities were using to tally the results against the electoral roll. But prime minister Mariano Rajoy wanted to send a subtler message: let the most fervent separatists have their vote and get their heads broken, while scaring the rest of the population into non-participation, including any waverers.
spain  politics  spectacle 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Hackney cyclist: Converting roundabouts into crossroads
The chair of the Hackney Cycling Campaign at the time of these changes, Trevor Parsons, responded to criticism of this scheme in a local councillors blog defending this scheme, although with some odd comments about a bakery and a pub previously being at this location. Several local residents and users of this junction responded that in their opinion this scheme did not make conditions safer at all.
cycling  road_safety  Hackney  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bike Snob NYC: If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say About Cyclists Then You're Probably An Idiot
Didn't moderate for 10 years because for the most part it was not necessary and I prided myself on keeping an open door.

Started moderating now mainly because of a racist Trump supporter who abused the policy when I mentioned those teens who were arrested for not wearing reflective clothing after they were hit by a driver. (Driver not charged.)

Oh, well, it was a good run. Sign of the times I guess.
commenting  blogs  cycling  racism  us  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
1.5 Climate Action Plan - Mayor's Office of Sustainability
In 2014, the City of New York (the City) committed to reducing its GHG emissions 80 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels (80 x 50). The City's 2016 report, New York City's Roadmap to 80 x 50, used the best available science and state-of the-art analysis to identify strategies in the buildings, energy, waste, and transportation sectors that would achieve 80 x 50 based on current technology.

NYC's progress toward 80 x 50 continues: our air is cleaner, our energy is greener, and we are sending less waste to landfills. Meeting the global carbon budget to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires that the City implement a priority subset of its 80 x 50 strategies by 2020 in order to accelerate GHG reductions. This plan clearly lays out the pace, scale, and impact of actions across the built environment that are necessary to bring NYC's actions in line with the Paris Agreement's 1.5 degree Celsius outcome - and commits the City to lead in the development of a global protocol for carbon neutrality.
climatechange  politics  us 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Scottish independence: the Queen makes rare comment on referendum | Politics | The Guardian
As David Cameron prepares to issue a warning in Scotland that a vote for independence will lead to a permanent split from the UK, campaigners for the union welcomed the Queen's remarks as a reminder of the monumental decision facing voters in Scotland.

The comments by the Queen came as she left Crathie Kirk near her Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire after the Sunday morning service. The Queen told a well-wisher: "Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future."

The Queen's remarks were interpreted by no campaigners as helpful to their cause. They were seen to tally with a warning the prime minister will deliver in Scotland on Monday, on his final visit north of the border before Thursday's vote, that a vote for independence would lead to an irrevocable break with the UK.
IndyRef  law  politics  uk 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People
Another weird consequence of AI is Galactic expansion. I've never understood precisely why, but it's a staple of transhumanist thought. The fate of (trans)humanity must either be leave our planet and colonize the galaxy, or to die out. This is made more urgent knowing other civilizations have made the same choice and might be ahead of us in the space race.

So there's a lot of weird ancillary stuff packed into this assumption of true artificial intelligence.

Religion 2.0

What it really is is a form of religion. People have called a belief in a technological Singularity the "nerd Apocalypse", and it's true.

It's a clever hack, because instead of believing in God at the outset, you imagine yourself building an entity that is functionally identical with God. This way even committed atheists can rationalize their way into the comforts of faith.

The AI has all the attributes of God: it's omnipotent, omniscient, and either benevolent (if you did your array bounds-checking right), or it is the Devil and you are at its mercy.
religion  politics  philosophy  programming 
september 2017 by juliusbeezer
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