Category: thus far…


newstatesman_logo@2x

We must show Islamophobes that there is no clash of civilizations; just a clash of moral values between decent human beings and mass-murdering lunatics.

Excerpt…

It can be hard not to fall for simplistic narratives fed to us by mainstream media during such times. After all, it seems more convenient to believe that the Paris attacks demonstrate that there is a war between the West and Islam as it provides a relatively straightforward answer to a largely complex problem. However, such rhetoric, whether we realise or not, only strengthens the narrative of IS.

“Attacks like the ones tonight in Paris are committed to purposely trigger an Islamophobic backlash,” writes Nader Atassi, an anti-IS blogger. “That backlash is not an unintended consequence of such attacks; it is part of their logic. Isis wants an Islamophobic backlash because it lends credence to their narrative that there is a war between the West and Islam. By strengthening and emboldening the xenophobic right-wing in Europe, they strengthen their own worldview as well. And the most tragic irony is that the backlash may target refugees who themselves had been fleeing Isis’ reign of terror.”

::: just click New Statesman logo above for this and other pieces, free + in full :::

excerpt of piece by Laila Lalami @ The Nation…

What happened in Paris on November 13 has happened before, in a   shopping district of Beirut on November 12, in the skies over Egypt on October 31, at a cultural center in Turkey on July 20, a beach resort in Tunisia on June 26—and nearly every day in Syria for the last four   years.

The scenario is by now familiar to all of us. News of the killings will appear on television and radio. There will be cries of horror and sorrow, a few hashtags on Twitter, perhaps even a change of avatars on Facebook. Our leaders will make staunch promises to bring the terrorists to justice, while also claiming greater power of surveillance over their citizens. And then life will resume exactly as before.

Except for the victims’ families. For them, time will split into a Before and After. We owe these families, of every race, creed, and nationality, more than sorrow, more than anger. We owe them justice.

We must call to account ISIS, a nihilistic cult of death that sees the world in black and white, with no shades of gray in between.We must call to account Bashar al-Assad, whose response to peaceful protesters in the spring of 2011 was to send water cannons and military tanks to meet them.

We must call to account the governments of the United States, France, Britain, Russia, Iran, and many others, who lent support and succor to tyrant after tyrant in the Middle East and North Africa, and whose interventions appear to create 10 terrorists for every one they kill.

We must call to account George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, whose disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent disbanding of the Iraqi army destabilized the entire region.

Wahhabi ideas have spread throughout the region not because they have any merit—but because they are well funded. We must call to account the Saudi kings—Salman, Abdullah, and Fahd—whose funding of Wahhabi doctrine gave rise to the scourge of Islamic extremism…’

::: click on through here for piece in full + free @ The Nation :::

Facebook sets up safety check for Paris friends

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turnboilexxon

…excerpt from The Tree:

In the first concrete legal action against ExxonMobil’s web of climate lies, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced he will investigate whether the oil giant knowingly misled the public and investors about the dangers of climate change. Last month from InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times revealed that Exxon’s own scientists warned the company’s top leadership that burning fossil fuels causes climate change with potentially “catastrophic” impacts as far back as 1977. Yet despite this warning the company spent decades funneling millions of dollars into groups that dispute or cast doubt on the connection between fossil fuels and climate change. With the dirty tactics of fossil fuel companies well and truly in the open, the ExxonMobil investigation should be a warning shot for other companies that they will no longer be allowed to peddle misinformation and must once and for all wake up to the dampening demand for fossil fuels…

More recent coverage of Exxon Mobil climate change revelations…

Projected impact of the former on Paris Climate Talks?

The New Matilda:

‘Malcolm Turnbull’s Dirty Money Means Oz Won’t Be Taken Seriously At Paris Climate Talks, says 350.org’

Climate advocacy group 350.org has demanded Malcolm Turnbull divest from ExxonMobil, which is under investigation for a climate change cover-up…

::: click here for piece in full @ The New Matilda :::

 


lrb

PATRICK COCKBURN

Russia in Syria

The military balance of power in Syria and Iraq is changing. The Russian air strikes that have been taking place since the end of September are strengthening and raising the morale of the Syrian army, which earlier in the year looked fought out and was on the retreat. With the support of Russian airpower, the army is now on the offensive in and around Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, and is seeking to regain lost territory in Idlib province. Syrian commanders on the ground are reportedly relaying the co-ordinates of between 400 and 800 targets to the Russian air force every day.

::: click here for piece in full + free @ LRB :::

As Mental Health Week 2015 draws to a close, here’s an enaging and succinct short on Mindfulness…

After marathon negotiations in Atlanta, leaders from 12 nations cement pactwhich coalition of critics say will raise the price of essential drugs, drive industrial scale agribusiness, and threaten workers rights

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by Lauren McCauley, staff writer

Amid a last minute scramble, leaders from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries announced Monday that they had reached agreement on a sweeping trade deal, one that critics, including US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, say will slash standards and protections for both consumers and workers—with impacts to be felt across the globe.

The agreement, known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (or TPP), which would tie together as much as 40 percent of the world’s economy, has for nearly 8 years been negotiated in secret. Though details of the compromise were not yet revealed early Monday, critics said that—minutia aside—the global trade pact will certainly be a boon for corporate power…

“TPP is a deal for big business,” said Nick Dearden, director of the UK-based Nick Dearden,Global Justice Now.

“Wall Street and other big corporations have won again. It is time for the rest of us to stop letting multi-national corporations rig the system to pad their profits at our expense.”
– Bernie Sanders

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was also quick to condemn the deal. Saying he was disappointed but not surprised by the “disastrous” agreement, Sanders added: “Wall Street and other big corporations have won again. It is time for the rest of us to stop letting multi-national corporations rig the system to pad their profits at our expense.”

The compromise was reached after five days of round-the-clock negotiations in Atlanta, Georgia. U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly “spent recent days contacting world leaders to seal the deal.”

The negotiations had been extended after talks got stuck over the issue of how long a monopoly period should be allowed on next-generation biotech drugs. The compromise reportedly reached between the U.S. and Australia “is a hybrid that protects companies’ data for five years to eight years,” the New York Times reports, falling short of the 12 years desired by U.S. negotiators…’

::: click on through for this piece in full @ CommonDreams.org :::

abcmentalas

News…

Norman Gunston star on living with anxiety

In quotes: Life on the margins

Using the bush to improve Indigenous mental health

What does 5 years’ solitary confinement do to a person?

Online OCD trial shows promising signs of success

Podsiadly ends AFL career, takes on mental health role

Without a clear plan for all forces in the region working together to stop ISIS, there is a huge risk of inflaming the situation to a point where there is a direct confrontation between Russian forces and American proxies, Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said 01/10/15…

“Australia needs to get our planes out of Syria. We’re only adding to the chaos and confusion, and putting more lives at risk. The Liberal Government couldn’t articulate a strategy or exit plan when this involvement first began, and this mess we’re in is the result.

“There is no clarity around this alliance. Nuclear-armed states with an already strained relationship are proceeding on an ad-hoc basis. Already we’ve seen the consequences of this, with Russian bombs seemingly striking US-backed rebels, not ISIS.

“This is a tinderbox set to explode. Airstrikes from all sides must cease until the anti-ISIS forces have a shared understanding of how they’ll proceed.

“Australia could play a key role in bringing those parties together, instead of participating in uncoordinated airstrikes in Syria.

“It was heartening to see the Labor party highlight the need for a debate about the attacks on Syria. Perhaps next time they’ll give our servicemen and women their due and join the Greens in making this point before our forces are deployed, instead of rubber stamping every Coalition misadventure overseas in an effort to avoid being labelled ‘weak’ on National Security.

Europrivacy

Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, and David Miranda propose new pact for global privacy rights

Two years after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden‘s revelations made global headlines, a new international pact for privacy rights is being launched—the Snowden Treaty, an agreement that would “curtail mass surveillance and protect the rights of whistleblowers.”

“Protecting the right to privacy is vital not just in itself but because it is essential requirement for exercise of freedom of opinion and expression, the most fundamental pillars of democracy,” the drafters—Snowden, journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald, and Greenwald’s partner David Miranda—explain in their proposal, which will be formally introduced at a press conference on Thursday and encourages both individual citizens and global governments to sign up.

The proposal states:

  • We demand for privacy on the internet.
  • We demand that the government grant us the right to privacy in our homes.
  • We demand that the government protect our personal privacy online.

Launched along with the website SnowdenTreaty.org, the pact is officially titled theInternational Treaty on the Right to Privacy, Protection Against Improper Surveillance and Protection of Whistleblowers (pdf).

“Signatories to the treaty will be obliged to enact concrete changes to outlaw mass surveillance. The Treaty would also develop international protections for whistleblowers,” the pact states.

Story in full @ Common Dreams

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News & Views | 09.18.15

Featured…

Refugees Left Stranded As EU Faces ‘Crisis of Political Will’
by Andrea Germanos
“You aren’t going to solve these problems by closing borders.”

News…

‘Foolish and Mean-Spirited’: US House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood
by Deirdre Fulton
Both measures are opposed by women’s health organizations, the White House, and a majority of the American public.
Citing Abuses, US Commission Demands Release of Refugee Families
by Sarah Lazare
The violations are so egregious that all families should be released, detentions reduced, and alternatives to incarceration fostered.
Up 72 Perecent From Just Six Years Ago, Organic Farm Sales Soar
by Nadia Prupis
Americans are increasingly hungry for naturally-grown and healthier foods.
Facing South, Bernie Sanders Ramps Up Outreach in SC and Beyond
by Deirdre Fulton
David is rising against Goliath, with a grassroots campaign meant to increase Sanders’ exposure among minority voters in the Bible Belt and across the South.
According to New IEA Chief, Arctic Drilling Is Stupid Business
by Sarah Lazare
Birol’s statements come amid growing calls to place people and the planet over profit by leaving fossil fuels in the ground.
New Orleans Running ‘Modern Debtors Prison,’ Lawsuit Charges
by Nadia Prupis
Orleans Parish has resurrected unconstitutional “debtors’ prisons” by routinely jailing the region’s poorest residents over their inability to pay court fees and other fines.
more news…

 Views…

Obama’s Fateful Syrian Choice
by Robert Parry
He can either work with Russia’s President Putin to stabilize Syria or he can opt for a confrontation that could lead to an open-ended war.
The Fed Gets It Right. Now Let’s Move to Full Employment
by Isaiah Poole
“The case for raising short-term interest rates is extraordinarily weak. That is not the economy we have today.”
Open Homes, Open Borders: A Dispatch from a German Village Sheltering 400 Refugees
by Melody Ermachild Chavis
There is no end to the long line of human beings underway tonight.
Standing With Ahmed and All Children of Color
by Sonali Kolhatkar
If Obama truly wants America to be great, as his tweet to Ahmed suggests, he can begin by making it a country that treats its Muslim citizens without suspicion.
Resisting the Lure of Intervention
by John Feffer
With each nuclear weapon, jet engine, and space rocket we deploy, we venture further into the Orange Zone, heading blindly, if not boldly, toward the point of no return.
The Republican Foreign Policy Consensus: Lunacy
by Robert Borosage
If you want a president to lead us into constant wars “anywhere in the world,” Republicans have your man.
more views…

Uploaded on Sep 9, 2015 
getup

Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), multinational corporations will be able to sue the Australian Government in secret corporate courts over laws that protect our health, environment and workers’ rights.

Australians voted for the government to run our country in the interests of the public, not corporations. Don’t let them hand sovereignty of our country over to foreign corporations.

Learn more about the TPP here: www.getup.org.au/tpp

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UNHCR’s Global Trends report shows that in 2014 alone 13.9 million became newly displaced – four times the number in 2010. Worldwide there were 19.5 million refugees (up from 16.7 million in 2013), 38.2 million were displaced inside their own countries (up from 33.3 million in 2013), and 1.8 million people were awaiting the outcome of claims for asylum (against 1.2 million in 2013). Alarmingly, over half the world’s refugees are children.

“With huge shortages of funding and wide gaps in the global regime for protecting victims of war, people in need of compassion, aid and refuge are being abandoned,” said Guterres. “For an age of unprecedented mass displacement, we need an unprecedented humanitarian response and a renewed global commitment to tolerance and protection for people fleeing conflict and persecution.”

Syria is the world’s biggest producer of both internally displaced people (7.6 million) and refugees (3.88 million at the end of 2014). Afghanistan (2.59 million) and Somalia (1.1 million) are the next biggest refugee source countries.

Even amid such sharp growth in numbers, the global distribution of refugees remains heavily skewed away from wealthier nations and towards the less wealthy. Almost nine out of every 10 refugees (86 per cent) were in regions and countries considered economically less developed. A full quarter of all refugees were in countries ranking among the UN’s list of Least Developed nations…

The full Global Trends report with this information and more, and including data on individual countries, demographics, numbers of people returning to their countries, and available estimates of stateless population is available at http://www.unhcr.org/2014trends.

lovemetendergreens

Senator Scott Ludlam…

With opposition to the Perth Freight Link mounting, a Senate inquiry underway and the government’s credibility crumbling, it’s time to encourage the three main companies bidding to build this toxic freeway to walk away.

The Perth Freight Link is a $1.6 billion project to construct 14km of freight freeway through our communities and bushland, including the Beeliar Wetlands.

More than 30 separate community groups are fighting to stop this incredibly expensive and unnecessary road from being built.

With mounting opposition and doubt hanging over the project it’s guaranteed that any company involved in the Perth Freight Link will face costly delays and tarnished reputations.

It’s time to let the companies tendering for the contracts know that this is one tender they don’t want to win.

We’ve also produced a series of postcards to send to the tender companies. To request some postcards phone 08 9335 7477 or email aimee.smith@aph.gov.au  with your postal address and the number of cards you can use.

With contracts to build Roe 8 due to be signed in October we must act now and let these companies know their reputation and legacy is at stake if they continue with WA’s most hated project.

A toxic freeway that would cause permanent and irreparable harm…

geatergood

via GreaterGood + logo links on through…

With Australia enduring the mysery of Murdoch-Minion rule, and Fox News launching Bush III out of the US, we believe that now is the time to counter the mendacious mantras of perpetual war, sacred markets and Iraq revisionism with an evidence-based reality check.

To get the ball rolling, here’s a heads up from former CIA analyst, Paul R. Pillar, via Consortiumnews.com…

 

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“Having escaped accountability for the Iraq War disaster, U.S. neocons are urging the use of more military force in the Mideast, in line with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand to block the Iran nuclear deal. From their important perches of power, these war hawks also twist the history of their catastrophic misjudgments…” writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

“Now the Republican presidential candidate who is the front-runner for the nomination among those whose name is not Trump has joined in the promoting of the Iraq War myth.”

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is now a visiting professor at Georgetown University for security studies. 

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…banner above clicks through to podcast…

RECENT ISSUES

30 JULY 2015

The author and pioneering University of Texas psychologist explains how awareness of your own thoughts and feelings can lead you to be kinder toward yourself—and why this self-compassion brings a host of mental and physical health benefits.

More about Kristin Neff.

via GreaterGood

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A former CIA officer described as the latest victim of the Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers has issued a scathing open letter to civil rights groups asking, “Where were you?”…

In the letter published at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jeffrey Sterling, who is black, specifically calls out the NAACP, National Action Network, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and Congressional Black Caucus, writing “I saw you when other black faces were either killed or mistreated.” But, to these civil rights groups, he writes, he is “invisible.”

In a case that relied on circumstantial evidence, Sterling was convicted in January on nine separate felony charges, including seven counts of espionage.

He was given a 42-month sentence in May, which Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and coordinator of whistleblower advocacy organization ExposeFacts.org, described as “the continuation of a war on whistleblowing and journalism, to clamp down on the absolutely essential flow of information for democracy.”

::: click here or banner for piece in full @ CommonDreams :::

艺术界 LEAP 33…

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blurb…

Contemporary art always encompasses various disciplines. As art becomes a central part of mainstream culture in China and elsewhere, our plea is that it can contribute in a subcultural sense—not necessarily as the politically vigilant gadfly it was once imagined to be, but as a challenger of a new type. LEAP 33’s cover package “the Ends of Culture” stems from our observations on subculture. The premise is simple: rather than approaching art through cultural and conceptual matrices, we read it through its objects, artifacts, and images. In this cover package, we provide a cluster of keywords that act as a conduit towards the edge of the cultural imagination; like the catalysts and enzymes that encourage a system to grow from within, we hope to create the conditions for the creation, misinterpretation, disruption, and total collapse of an entire cognitive structure.

In addition to the cover feature’s 43 entries of subcultural keywords, this issue’s middle section includes the inaugural edition of LEAP Forum. LEAP Forum / Venice 2015: New Pavilions for a Global Asia brings together artists, curators, and other participants in projects across Venice—from the international exhibition to the national pavilions and collateral shows—to discuss and explore the rapidly changing state of Asian visual culture in the world today. Also featured are two in-depth artist profiles. Colin Siyuan Chinnery analyzes the ways artist Wang Yin incorporates Chinese avant-garde theater and modern culture into his paintings, drawing up a narrative of contemporary China’s cultural ideology and national memories. Matthew Shen Goodman offers an incisive account of recent Hugo Boss Prize winner Paul Chan’s practice, and his tongue-in-cheek attitude towards the art world.

::: click cover to access :::

inthesetimes

TOP STORIES THIS WEEK

A California judge affirmed that it’s illegal to detain children, and ordered their mothers released, too.

BY JOSEPH SORRENTINO

Attendees at parties across Iowa say that Bernie is “the guy we need right now.”

Andrew Highsmith charts the rise and fall of Flint, a city deserted by industry and divided by segregation.

BY DANIEL HERTZ

The cure for planned Apple-escence.

BY KENDRA PIERRE-LOUIS

The vision of the socialist organizer remains inspiring.

BY MAURICE ISSERMAN

U.S. media commentary on the accord portrays U.S. global military supremacy as natural and desirable.

BY GREGORY SHUPAK

Critics who simply claim that “Coates is no Baldwin” are ignoring what can be a comparison that allows us to understand both writers more deeply.

BY ANDY SEAL

On postwar anti-communist surveillance in Britain.

BY JANE MILLER

Continually policing the ways women talk will further reduce them to silence.

BY MAX BLUMENTHAL

WORKING IN THESE TIMES

As Nabisco Ships 600 Jobs Out of Chicago to Mexico, Maybe It’s Time To Give Up Oreos

Chicago is poised to lose 600 well-paying jobs on the city’s Southwest Side.

BY MARILYN KATZ

RURAL AMERICA

In his new climate encyclical, Pope Francis seeks to rekindle ecological consciousness.

BY DAYTON MARTINDALE

coal

The coal industry’s misleading attempts to brand itself as a poverty fighter continue to unravel, with a new report from Oxfam demonstrating that renewable energy is the easiest, cheapest, and most effective method to give people life-changing energy access. The Powering Up Against Poverty report shows that given its heavy health and climate impacts, coal is an ill-conceived solution to bring power to one billion people around the world and, as 84 per cent of the energy poor live in rural areas, the cost of extending electricity grids to those rural areas is prohibitively expensive. Oxfam has also warned the Australian Government – which has been aggressively parroting coal industry rhetoric – that it is time to end its love affair with coal, as it’s risking not only the global climate, but its economic and political future, given the growing emphasis on renewable energy in China, India, Africa and major economies like the US.

Renewables are the best and only choice to address energy poverty in the developing world. Oxfam notes that four out of five people without electricity live in rural areas that are often not connected to a centralised energy grid. Renewable energy solutions offer them a much more affordable, practical and healthy solution than coal. Coal’s so-called ability to lift them out of poverty is a PR exercise, as the health, climate, and economic consequences that come with coal do far more harm than good. Fossil fuels cost society US$105-$122 per tonne of carbon dioxide – two to nine times their total revenue – according to a University of Cambridge study. Companies like Peabody Energy have a net negative economic contribution to society and, as this becomes clearer, it is little wonder why the transition to clean, renewable energy is picking up steam faster than many imagined.

Climate change is hitting poor communities first and hardest, and coal is the biggest single contribution to climate change.Addressing climate change and reducing poverty go hand in hand. From an energy access point of view, renewables offer the cheapest, fastest, and healthiest way to increase energy access, which is why the world is shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy faster than most had predicted. With its heavy environmental, health and economic impacts, coal is a major threat in the fight against hunger and poverty.

Coal is not “good for humanity”, and it’s not even good for coal companies. The changing energy landscape globally has seen coal giant Peabody Energy’s stock price sink like a stone. The company has lost just over a billion US dollars in three months, making it one of the world’s most high-profile examples of the ongoing death of fossil fuels. It may think that it can save its skin by rebranding itself as a poverty fighter but, as Oxfam notes: coal companies make heavy indirect contributions to climate change and the floods, drought, cyclones and changes to food patterns it brings. They also contribute directly through air pollution problems and displacement of communities as coal mines force them off their land, leaving them with poor access to food and water and struggling to make a living. Simply put, coal companies have no moral argument for poverty alleviation.

::: more @ The Tree :::

adamgoodesgreen

Adam Goodes is a proud Adnyamathanha man. He celebrates his Indigenous culture and calls out racism when he sees it.

We stand with him.

30yearsRSF

Reporters Without Borders is celebrating its 30th birthday...

“These 30 years of struggle could not have been pursued without the community that supports us. We invite you to see how we have defended a cause for 30 years…”

FIND OUT ABOUT YESTERDAY’S AND TODAY’S BATTLES

Right now we are getting constant requests for help from journalists in danger in Burundi, reporters in Syria under attack from both the dictatorship and barbarity, and Saudi bloggers who are jailed without any kind of trial. The needs are enormous and your support is necessary.’

To mark the 800th year of Magna Carta, the Australian Human Rights Commission has released an animation, interactive infographic and teachers resource on the story of our freedom.

Transcript is at https://www.humanrights.gov.au/magnacarta/video/transcript.html

Animation produced by The Explainers.

The 4 millionth refugee flees Syria

On a sweltering day in early July, UNHCR staff at a dusty crossing point on the Turkish border registered the four millionth refugee of the Syrian war. The tragic milestone confirms Syria as the single biggest refugee crisis in a generation, one that has left thousands of families living in desperate poverty with no end to the war in sight.

Read more

15 Year of Australia for UNHCR

ASRCMythBuster

::: simply click pic above for 46 page pdf from

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (Oz) :::

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre Lecture presented by the Vancouver Institute. Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. Naomi Klein is the author of the critically acclaimed #1 international bestsellers, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies which have each been translated into more than 30 languages. She is a contributing editor for Harper’s Magazine, a reporter for Rolling Stone, and a syndicated columnist for The Nation and The Guardian.
Naomi Klein is a member of the board of directors for 350.org, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Her new book is This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (September, 2014). This lecture is co-sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 350.org and Green College.

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For many shy people, online social networking sites have an obvious appeal – a way to socialise without the unpredictable immediacy of a face-to-face encounter. However, a new study finds that people who are socially anxious betray their awkwardness on Facebook, much as they do in the offline world. The researchers Aaron Weidman and Cheri Levinson said their findings could hint at ways for socially anxious people to conceal their nervousness and attract more online friends…

::: just click above to access piece in full @BPS Research Blog, (British Psychological Society) :::

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lmd0715

Current issue: July 2015

Greece and the EU, what next? Russia re-enters the Balkans; Ukraine, inflating old fears of Russia doesn’t help; Mali, rebuilding a nation;South Africa, betrayal of a dream; radical Islam,Christianity of the poor; football, who pays for top clubs? the new Panama scandal; hooked on the Net…:

::: simply click cover to access :::

Sobriety, not austerity — Philippe Descamps

The UN’s Paris climate change conference in November doesn’t hold out much promise. Since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, fossil fuel consumption has gone on growing. The Green Climate Fund launched by the UN in 2011 has attracted only €10bn to date. In 2013 subsidies for fuels responsible for greenhouse gases totalled €400bn worldwide — four times the amount allocated to renewable energy sources.

Any international agreement will fail to keep global warming within 2ºC if governments insist on (…)

Translated by Charles Goulden

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism


Free Inquiry
Spring 2003 
5-11-3

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military – Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism – The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media – Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed – Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts – Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment – Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption – Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections – Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

They Thought They Were Free

 By Milton Mayer

http://www.thirdreich.net/Thought_They_Were_Free_nn4.html

inthesetimes

TOP STORIES THIS WEEK

Sanders’s laser-like focus on inequality is perfectly insync with the nation’s current political climate.

BY THEO ANDERSON

Soon the Right will have to abandon its head-in-the-sand strategy–but its next tactic may be more dangerous.

BY KATE ARONOFF

A hawk’s eye-view of global warming.

BY TODD MILLER AND ALEX DEVOID

Blumenthal offers an unembellished look at the misery on the ground in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

BY BEN LORBER

The New York Times is wrong: consumers eating grapes and mandarin oranges aren’t the ones really guilty of contributing to California’s water shortage.

BY JIM NAURECKAS

Jeb Bush’s Presidential Announcement Was Simultaneously Audacious and Underwhelming

Bush’s presidential campaign announcement was high on the rhetoric. Unfortunately, it was also inconsistent with everything we already know about Jeb Bush.

BY DAVID SIROTA

The activists behind the group are known for pranking big corporate and governmental institutions. Now they have created a tool to help others do the same.

BY MICHAEL PAYNE

The new black comedy about nuclear war misses its target.

BY EILEEN JONES

WORKING IN THESE TIMES

Chicago Charter School Students Say UNO Teacher Was Fired for Union Activism

It’s not every day that students walk out of school to demand the reinstatement of a fired teacher–let alone one they claim was fired for helping unionize the school.

BY CRYSTAL STELLA BECERRIL

RURAL AMERICA

A new bill passed by the North Carolina Senate could prevent evidence of animal cruelty or labor violations on factory farms from ever leaving the workplace.

BY DAYTON MARTINDALE

Glenn Greenwald, best known for his series in “The Guardian” detailing classified information about global surveillance programs based on top-secret documents provided by Edward Snowden, spoke at the University of Utah on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

Occupylogo

gbreef

excerpt from The Tree:

Two reports have undermined the Abbott Government’s rosy claims about the health of Australia’s World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. TheQueensland Auditor-General has released a scathing report on government efforts to improve the reef’s water quality, finding efforts to cut coral-killing runoff have been ineffective, and that information lacked transparency and misleading. A second report, by the Environmental Justice Australia and the US-based Earthjustice, has also found that the Reef’s current state meets as many as six of the eight criteria UNESCO uses in its “in danger” assessments. UNESCO only needs one for an “in danger” listing. Water quality and sediment issues are having a severe impact on the reef, but despite having knowledge of a report contradicting the government’s exaggerated claims of progress tackling these issues for several weeks, Environment Minister Greg Hunt pushed a misleading “report card” to UNESCO.

This move, part of a $218,000 lobbying effort detailed in documents obtained under FOI, resulted in a draft ruling not to list the natural icon as “in danger”, allowing massive coal projects to go ahead –assuming they don’t fall over economically first. The Federal government’s lobbying strategy may have avoided a negative listing for now, but UNESCO’s verdict was still not positive. The future of the reef and the $5 billion it contributes to the economy annually remains under serious threat if Australia keeps trying to export dirty coal to the world. Tourism operators are already being warned to stop using picturesque underwater photos of bright pink and yellow coral, as the reality is declining water quality is now so poor in places tourists cannot swim or snorkel…

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