Archive for July, 2012


“There is growing evidence that how we act is often influenced more by what we think others think than what we think ourselves. Before the Gulf War, for instance, most Americans were against invasion, most Americans thought that other Americans were for the war, and the latter rather than the former led them to accept the invasion without overt dissent.”

Steve Reicher  (University of St Andrews) & Alex Haslam (University of Exeter): excerpt of letter published in the July 2012 issue of the Psychologist (British Psychological Society).

 Belarus has now vowed to hold accountable those involved in parachuting teddy bears from a Swedish plane with slogans of human rights into the country, after initially denying their existence. Now there are fears for young journalist Anton Suryapin. Andrei Aliaksandrau reports for the Index on Censorship, (26/07/12):

Belarus has finally admitted the flight of a small Swedish plane that parachuted teddy bears into the country (as reported by Index on Censorship) did happen. The authorities had previously denied the incident had taken place, in spite of video evidence. President Lukashenko promised today that “the ones to blame will be punished”. He did not mention, though, if Anton Suryapin, a journalist who has been detained as a result of the case, will be among those appointed to be “to blame”.

Suryapin, 20, is being held at the KGB detention centre in Minsk for posting pictures of the bears on his website. Around 1,000 “plush paratroopers” were parachuted over Belarus earlier in July from a plane flown from Lithuania by members of Swedish advertising agency Studio Total; each of the toys held a small poster with slogans in support of human rights and the freedom of expression in the country. The government has allegedly accused the journalist of assisting the breach of the state border.

“This case demonstrates that Belarus remains one of the most hostile media environments on earth, where law enforcement is used to silence free voices,” Index on Censorship said in a statement today.

Index on Censorship also called on the authorities of Belarus to immediately release Anton Suryapin and return his professional equipment confiscated by the KGB.

There is little information on the development of the case. According to the Belarusian law, the prosecution has 10 days to bring official criminal charges to a suspect. As the 10-day limit on detention without charge has passed, it may mean official criminal charges have been brought against the young journalist.

Andrei Aliaksandrau is Index on Censorship’s Belarus and OSCE Programme Officer

 

1. “What, me rich?”

2. “It’s Great That Some Women Don’t Have a  Choice”

3. a challenging student life…“Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time,”

4. “Unzip Mitt” (sic)

5. “Enough of you people.”

source: Alternet

Hey Milt, sir, howdeedoodlee?

4th quater earnings wayyyy off. We needta work harder and smarter, Larry. Harder and smarter.

Milt, sir, iya, I have a kinda neat proposal to realise your direction….implement immediate cessation of discretionary leezure time at plant C.

Keep talkin, keep talkin Larry. I’m kinda…

And, and in addition to the cessation of discretionary leezure, we can enhance the plant C iSlave diet with MOERP…

MOERP?

motiv-ation-al optimum efficiency  realisation powder…

Motivational opti…powder….for the iSlave function enhancement?

Sir, Milt, sir…heck, that’s affirmative.

Pop me the topline on current iSlave time and motion…

Yesssir, Milt sir…presto pronto…

Opinion: Bailed-out banks facilitate $21tn offshore cash hoard

July 23rd, 2012 | by  | Published in All StoriesViews from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (+ another  jfreos pic)

Investigative economist James Henry exhaustively trawled through financial information held by the IMF, World Bank, Bank for International Settlements, central banks and national treasuries to come up with the most definitive report ever written on the super-rich and offshore wealth.

Henry’s Price of Offshore Revisted report, commissioned by Tax Justice Network, shows:

– between $21 trillion and $32 trillion of financial assets is owned by High Net Worth Individuals in tax havens. This does not include real estate, art or jewels.

– a conservative 3% return on that $21tn taxed at 30% would generate $189bn – a figure easily eclipsing what OECD industrialised nations spend on overseas development aid.

– the top 50 private banks collectively managed more than $12.1tn in cross-border invested assets for private clients, including their trusts. This is up from $5.4tn in 2005.

– fewer than 10 million members of the global super-rich have amassed a $21tn offshore fortune. Of these, less than 100,000 people worldwide own $9.8tn of wealth held offshore.

Accompanying the Price of Offshore Revisited is a separate paper (which I co-wrote). It reveals that data used by individual countries to assess the gap between rich and poor is inaccurate. And as a result, inequality is far more extreme than policymakers realise. This is because economists calculating inequality fail to include the vast majority of offshore cash in their findings. So the wealthy are far better off than the studies suggest.

In Inequality: you don’t know the half of it, eight of the world’s leading economists were asked whether offshore wealth was largely excluded from inequality studies. Ranging from the World Bank’s acting chief economist to academics at the Paris School of Economics and the Brookings Institute in the US, they all confirmed this was the case.

45878034

Click above to view new and fabo vimeo short of Earth from space – (we’re working on the embed view).

“We used to think that climate worked like a dial – slow to heat up and slow to cool down – but we’ve since learned that it can also act like a switch.”

Laurence C Smith, Professor of Earth and Space sciences, UCLA.

Stanford professor and IDEO founder – David Kelley’s extraOrdinary talk on self-efficacy (Bandura) and creativity…

Climate change very slow but real. So far all cures worse than disease. Shale gas huge breakthrough for US. Half carbon of coal and oil.

(via the aptly named Twitter)

“You can’t fake spring coming earlier, or trees growing higher up on mountains, or glaciers retreating for kilometres up valleys, or shrinking ice cover in the Arctic, or birds changing their migration times, or permafrost melting in Alaska, or the tropics ex- panding, or ice shelves on the Antarctic peninsula breaking up, or peak river flow occurring earlier in summer because of earlier snowmelt, or sea level rising faster and faster, or any of the thousands of similar examples. … put all the data from around the world together, and you have overwhelming evidence of a long-term warming trend.”

Michael le Page, New Scientist

Quoted in ‘Climate Factsheets’ Public Interest Research Centre (UK) (click to access)

Mott Rimney?

Mett Rimnoy?

Ok, let’s just call the fucker “Mitt Romney”.

 

The latest disgraceful episode of sex crimes against children by Catholic priests and their covering up and inaction by the church hierarchy including Cardinal Pell, has again failed to awaken police, courts or legislators to the need to bring churches in Australia under the rule of law.

How many more atrocities against children will be allowed because politicians are too afraid to take on the mainstream religions which happily involve themselves in sexual politics being debated in our parliaments yet call for separation of powers to enable them to keep their criminal behaviour hidden from the public view?

It is not only the Taliban who continue to carry on practices and prejudices that belong to the Dark Ages of human history. The Christian Churches continue to discriminate against women and homosexuals in ways that are considered to be unlawful and a breach of human rights by our national laws and conventions.

What other organisations are allowed to prevent women from attaining the highest levels of office, or in the case of the Catholic Church, any level of office.  The same discrimination applies to homosexuals who are even denied the right of full participation as lay members of the church.

Thank goodness they don’t practice female circumcision.

The question needs to be asked, what constitutes a church? Is it a hierarchy of priests or is it the body of worshippers? After all did not Christ say, “Do not set your-self up and call yourself father”

I cannot think of any other organisation that can insist that its workers, paid or unpaid, must be male and must not be married. If priests are not workers, what is their status and to whom must they answer?

This leads to more questions such as, does the state have the constitutional power to force the church to conform to the laws of the state? And who is responsible for ensuring compliance?

The practice or doctrine of forced chastity on young men wanting to be priests is cruel, stupid and abhorrent, and to my mind sets in place a dangerous set of circumstances for both the psychological health of young priests and the safety of children in their care. 

For the many lives lost and for the many brutalised children, the Australian Government must summon the courage to end the appalling criminal homophobic and inhumane practices of the Christian Churches in this country.

Their criminal behaviour, cover-ups and contempt for state law rivals the outlaw bikie gangs that seek to be a law unto them-selves.

 

 

 

 

 

“Throughout the world now there is a gradual movement towards seeking a more compassionate way of living. Although we’ve learned that we can build efficient systems, cut our costs and do things increasingly cheaply, this is not a very pleasant way to live. We can end up in an efficient world that is uninhabitable – except for the relatively few wealthy.”

Professor Paul Gilbert, University of Derby and director of Derbyshire Mental Health Trust (UK)

“In a stalled economy, in a period of public discontent, in a dead heat less than five months out, Romney is primed for a victory in November. But it won’t come by default.” (the Caucasian, 13/6/12)

Ben Harridan filed his copy. Heck, he was breathless. He had such a warm, almost euphoric sensation as he dispatched. This business of his felt good again…darn good. “Rootin’ for Mitt! Mitt Romney USA…and all the way!” he exclaimed.

As is his usual custom upon concluding a significant piece, he ripped the lid off his tupperware container with his right hand and high fived his freshly ironed pair of socks. “rock ‘n roll”, Janette…Janette, get me…get me Turk Thrust. Ya know…Turk in the Romney camp…

“Turk, Turk it’s Ben here. Ben Harridan calling from Oz…”

Ben. Ben! Buddy. Ben, howarya?

“Tip top, Turk. Tip top.”

Greyate, Benn. Now, what can we dooo fir ya?

“Splashed with “Romney primed for victory”

Good boy, Ben. Heck, ma freyend, we won’t forget ya…

“Do you think MR will see my piece, Turk? Will he, will he…will he?…”

Will he? well, ….

(TBC)

Appearing on The Julian Assange Show late June 2012,  alongside renowned linguist and political theorist Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali argues that the “infectious” Arab Spring has spread to the US and Russia, and is still underway. Criticising the “extreme centre”, a political consensus of centrist neoliberal orthodoxy that destroys political diversity and opposition, Ali talks about how the speed and flair of the Arab Spring caught everyone, from dictators and their sponsors to the Western media, by surprise.

Banks and insurers are are severely under-performing when it comes to transparency, according to a report from anti-corruption NGO Transparency International.

‘Transparency in Corporate Reporting: Assessing the World’s Largest Companies’, published today, examines the policies of  the 105 largest, publicly-traded companies around the world.

Companies were awarded a score between 0 and 10, with 0 being the least transparent.Financial institutions scored a very low 2.3 on Transparency International’s country-by-country reporting.

13 of the 24 financial institutions disclosed no information at all on a country-by-county basis, and six disclosed almost nothing.

Banks also scored badly on reporting on their anti-corruption policies, compared to the other industry groups:

Amongst the 24 financial institutions assessed by the NGO is UK bank Barclays. The bank, which scored 4.0 overall, has recently been at the centre of the Libor rate-fixing scandal. They are ranked 71st out of the 105 companies.

Ship of Fools

The human race was dying out

No one left to scream and shout

People walking on the moon

Smog gonna get you pretty soon

Ship of fools, ship of fools. Ship of fools, ship of fools…

(Jim Morrison)

 A Journey From the Higgs Bosun to Extinction:

This week the media exultantly praised the brilliant scientific work that has resulted in the finding of  the elusive “God Particle” or the Higgs Bosun. The Australian media is also trumpeting their own success at undermining the equally brilliant scientific work of climate scientists in making us aware that by failing to deal with man made global warming we are on the path to our own extinction.

According to recent polls, Australians who once strongly supported government action on climate change now oppose a tax that has been put on carbon emissions into the atmosphere. This is despite the tax being imposed on only the largest emitters of carbon, and despite householders being compensated for cost rises caused by the tax.

It also disregards the strong probability that the early embracing of low carbon technology will put more money in the pockets of Australians than by continuing on our current high carbon pathway.

To achieve these negative polls the mainstream media has lent their support to the deceitful campaigns of shock jocks and avaricious coal barons aimed at denigrating the findings of climate scientists. These findings show that we are already locked into damaging and highly expensive levels of climate change.

While denying the science, they studiously ignore the economic analysis that shows that a carbon tax is the cheapest and most effective method of reducing carbon related climate change.

Disregarding the rapid increase in plant an animal extinctions which point to to our own demise, the media focus on short term impacts and the cost of the tax on consumers, and selected businesses that are high energy users. In doing so they only look at one side of the climate balance sheet.

To balance the ledger, here are just a few of the massive costs of not dealing with the human related causes of climate change:

In reducing carbon emissions we also reduce the health bill from the health impacts of toxic pollutants billowing out of industrial chimneys.

In Europe this cost is estimated to be at least 102-169 billion Euro’s per annum. Furthermore only 2% of the facilities cause 50% of this health cost and these are the same type opf facilities targeted by Australia’s carbon tax. In the USA, air pollutants are estimated to reduce agricultural output by 4% per annum.

According to CSIRO, the human health cost is estimated at between A$3 billion and A$5.3 billion every year, and annual damage to materials, property and buildings is between A$3 billion and A$5 billion – one per cent of gross domestic profit (GDP). 

The savings on avoiding adverse health impacts from pollution alone outweighs the cost of the carbon tax on the economy.

A rise in floods and other extreme weather events like those experienced across Australia has resulted in massive infrastructure damage that costs billions of dollars in crop losses and mineral production. Thousands of houses and their furnishings have been destroyed and as a result insurance premiums have risen massively.

Conversely extreme heat is causing more intense and more damaging bushfires than have occurred in the recorded past. As with the floods, many houses and lives were lost in bushfires, and again the cost was in the billions.

The result in the more frequent swings between El Niño and La Niña oceanic oscillations has been accompanied by an emerging pattern of major floods followed by years of extreme drought. This has caused havoc with horticulture and agriculture and with native vegetation and fauna. Even marine species are at threat with the warming of the ocean, the changes in ocean currents and the acidification of the marine environment.

In fact our whole ecosystem is teetering on the brink of a major collapse. To add to this massive problem for humanity their is a twenty to thirty year lag time in the conversion of CO2 in the atmosphere to a change in the climate.

The current impacts of global warming was caused by the CO2 levels of twenty years ago. With our current CO2 output, global warming will be significantly worse in twenty years time even if we reduced our emissions right now. But if we do not make a  massive change there is a very bleak future for our grandchildren.

As Chief Seattle is reported to have said:

“Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned.  Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then will you find that money can not be eaten.”

While the enlightened continue to seek out the God particle, the ship of fools is sailing on a high wind. Blinded to the truth by the high priests of greed and selfishness they speed on to oblivion. Will you join them?

Greg Sheridan in the current Weakened Caucasian:

“ONE of the main reasons the Gillard government is so unsuccessful in selling its carbon tax is that its overall narrative is so utterly dishonest.”

Greg Sheridan has great insight into “utterly dishonest” narratives, as he himself pitches bullshit for a living. He was cheerleader for the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq; an obsequious apologist for the likes of Bliar, Cheney and George Dubya Bush too. There’s obviously a dollar or two in spouting such craven tripe, and he probably keeps an eager eye on Woopert’s twitter rants for inspiration. 

The National Indigenous Radio Service Limited (NIRS) is a national service provided from a hub station residing in Brisbane. It networks material for Indigenous media organisations that don’t have the staffing or capital requirements to provide a 24-hour high quality broadcast to their audience.

For over three decades, NIRS has provided a radio programming and media marketing service for over 140 Indigenous community radio stations.  We continue to deliver 24 hours of programming each day throughout all major metropolitan, regional and, perhaps most importantly, remote communities.

NIRS strives to provide a range of voices for Indigenous communities via a schedule of various radio programs, supported by a national satellite service. It is argued the NIRS satellite footprint is the largest in the southern hemisphere.

Here at the interpretOr, we’ve now added NIRS to our friend & links menu – or,  simply clickthrough here – great NIRS site features include live streaming and a weekly news review podcast.

Retirees Occupy Community Center in Berlin (der spiegel)

The building was once used by the Stasi, East Germany’s dreaded secret police. But, more recently, it has served as a popular activity center for seniors in a high-rent neighborhood. When local authorities decided to shut it down and sell it, retirees adopted a classic Berlin tactic: squatting. And they’re determined to win.

please click here to continue reading this story…

Romney people upset at me! Of course I want him to win, save us from socialism, etc but should listen to good advice and get stuck in!

(via the aptly named Twitter)

“In 1949, shortly after Israel’s War of Independence, the Hebrew writer S. Yizhar published a story that became an instant classic. “Khirbet Khizeh” is a fictionalized account of the destruction of a Palestinian village and the expulsion of all its inhabitants by Israeli soldiers in the course of the war. The narrator, a soldier in the unit that carries out the order, is sickened by what is being done to the innocent villagers. Sixty-three years have passed since Yizhar wrote “Khirbet Khizeh.” I wish I could say that what he described was an ugly exception and that such actions don’t happen any more. This week I find myself in Susya, in the South Hebron hills, whose inhabitants, if the Israeli Civil Administration gets its way, will be, quite literally, cast into the desert…”

story continues here at the New York Review of Books (please click)

stOlen…

A conversation with Nelson, on a Freo street corner:

“See that dog over there? Tied up for fuckin’ ages. The owner’s left ‘im. Hours! If ‘e comes back, I’ll thump ‘im.”

“I remember a dog on a beach, sometime in Asia. It was staked in the water so that it’d be half up to its ears at high tide. I shouted at the owner, he ran towards me and screamed…”

“If I was a dog, would you save me? ….Ma…dad chopped half his leg after he was taken away.        8 kids in our family. All gone. So where you from?”

“England”

“We was there. Brighton, Gloucester – real cold. An’ we went to South Africa.”

“God, what was that like?”

“My last name Nelson. Special in Africa….Ain’t nothing goin to happen to you here. You’re on sacred land.”

Current issue: July 2012

Egypt in transition; Libya’s election; EuropeGerman fears; Norway a year on; who really rules Mexico? the Kazakhs speak out; China, where your iPad is made; Ecuador’s environmental misstep; special report, the cult of tourismLondon’s summer of celebration…and more…

click here for stories   (freely avail. in English  from Le Monde)

Le Monde diplomatique is a crusading voice in journalism with especially good foreign coverage”

William Dalrymple 

(South Asia correspondent of the New Statesman)

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