Saturday, February 28, 2009

yeah right

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Notable climate change denier Alexander Cockburn thinks Rumsfeld might be indicted for war crimes. I very much doubt that.

cheap flights to Ireland with a bunch of complete cunts

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From Monsieur Vowl comes this stunning piece of PR, product of the legendary model of corporate sociopathy developed by world-class gobshite, Michael O'Leary. I've only flown with Ryanair once and the entire experience was so sordid and offensive that I swear I will never, ever repeat it. Advertisements on every flat surface in sight, advertisements played at you on televisions that you can't ignore, flight attendants trying to sell you things and now, now, they expect you to pay to use the fucking toilet ! ? ? !

Anyway, bloggers of the world UNITE! Join with us in showering this bunch of goat-felching retards with the abuse they so rightly deserve!

racism in the labour movement

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Lenin reports on the continuing fallout from Gordon Brown's stolen BNP tagline. Some union figures have Done The Right Thing and condemned the overtly nationalist overtones of the "British jobs for British workers" slogan. Others are still trying to defend this casual bigotry. Pricks.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

more bare-faced lies

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Punkscience signed up to a petition on the Downing Street website:
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to resign due to gross financial incompetence in running the British economy.”
Sound reasonable, yesno?

Well, the response has now been posted. Sadly, Gordon Brown has not acquiesced to our perfectly reasonable demands, but his lackeys have seized on this opportunity to add insult to injury by claiming that the government has created:
"an extra £3 billion investment in projects that will protect and create jobs".
Odd how Jonathon Porritt, in a recent discussion of the Green New Deals being pushed into action by governments around the world, observed that:
"In the Pre-Budget Report (when £12.5 billion was given away on VAT), Alistair Darling announced around £3 billion on 'brought-forward' investment, £500 million of which carries some kind of green tag, and about £150 million of which could be seen as new money."
So we see the government simply rebranding existing spending plans as "an extra £3 billion investment". It may help that this spending is brought forward in time but its very, very different to that £3 billion being for new projects- as opposed to rescheduled ones.

The UK government is shit.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

bare faced lies

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Jack Straw. What a cunt.

The comments say it all.


Addition:

Actually, no. This says it all. From Beau Bo D'Or, via Monsieur Keating:



Additional addition:

Septicisle recalls a particularly pertinent quote from Straw to really drive home the above point that he is a dirty, lying little torturous cunt.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grandad arrested, handcuffed and banged up for the night. For writing a message in snow.

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From George's blog comes this sordid tale of 21st century authoritarianism. Surely there are grounds here for a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission?

The Guardian pumps out more police propaganda

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In their third piece of bullshit reporting in less than 6 months the Graun has an article up with the subhead "Middle-class anger at economic crisis could erupt into violence on streets". The article is based on an interview with a senior police oik who says that:

"middle-class individuals who would never have considered joining demonstrations may now seek to vent their anger through protests this year"
This is all well and good and I, for one, will be out there, engaging in my legitimate right to peaceful protest against the collective iniquities of the current bunch of cunts in Westminster and their nepotistic cloud of lackeys. Superintendent David Hartshorn does not stop at merely warning that people will be engaging in political activism for once in their disenfrachised lives. No, he goes on to warn that activists are intent on formenting "public disorder". Well, yes. Surely that's the point of protests?

But it seems that its the Graun hack- one Paul Lewis- who then ices the cake by pointing out that this warning:
"comes in the wake of often violent protests against the handling of the economy across Europe."
Lewis's neat bundling together of examples of peaceful protest, such as the French ones, obstructionism by Greek farmers and clashes with police at a demonstration in Iceland intimates that they are one and the same things- which they are clearly not. Non-violent protests against the fuckyounomic implosion have been held across Europe, and rightly so. The architects of the crisis (the legislators) are the very people meant to be preventing us from the excesses and iniquities of big business. Whilst I clearly sympathise with activists such as those responsible for the Greek protests I cannot endorse violence. These are three quite distinct examples of activism ranging across the spectrum of political acceptability and to imply that they are somehow equivalent is utter hogwash. The fact remains that peaceful protest is still legal (barely). Activists who seek to break the law for the purposes of generating publicity are generally aware of the consequences of their actions and must be prepared to be prosecuted for them. Those who seek harm to others are utterly misguided in their morals (animal rights activists!) and generally not worth the oxygen they consume. Paul Lewis ought to be strung up by his thumbs for a few hours for publishing this scaremongering shite.

Jeremy Leggett: Brimming with rich, fruity awesome

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Jeremy has a CiF article imploring the UK government to initiate a Green New Deal, as frequently advocated on these pages. He deploys some numbers to demonstrate that money invested in such projects generate dosproportionate returns to the initial investment and can stabilise economies in recession whilst simultaneously initiating exactly the large-scale low-carbon development required to prevent runaway climate change.

What's the betting Gordon Brown and the rest of his pseudo-democratic fuckfest completely ignore this suggestion and throw more of our money at the people who caused the crisis? As Jonathon Porritt points out, its not looking too likely, raising the prospect of a massive competition gap in green technology opening up between countries which embrace the concept and those which are run by cunts. Like the UK.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

religious texts violate the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006

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I had this thought whilst reading this document and apparently I'm not the first. The act makes an offence of:

"inciting (or 'stirring up') hatred against a person on the grounds of their religion"

Certainly the koran contains many hateful speeches:

"Jews and Christians are 'cursed', 'apes and swine', servants of Satan, 'unbelieving', and 'evil'. Muslims are informed that they should not becomes friends of Jews or Christians who are 'unjust people' and 'friends of each other' . These 'companions of the flaming fire' are presented as corrupters of Islam who will not rest until Muslims reject Islam and follow them. Despite the apparently varying positions on Jews and Christians found in the Qur'an, it is very clear that it shows them no intrinsic respect, condemns their beliefs, and warns Muslims not to trust or associate with them. At best, Muslims are enjoined to 'pardon them and turn away' (5.13), while at worst they are commanded to 'fight' them 'until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection' (9.29)."
Likewise, the bible contains many hateful passages, often imploring "good" christians to kill unbelievers, homosexuals, adulterers, etc. etc. For example, if your brother, son, daughter, wife or friend tries to get you to worship another god:

"thou shalt surely kill him, thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death"
Deut 13:6-10
Obviously the torah is most of the old testament so there's plenty of shared hatred there. (Has anyone ever considered the delicious irony of christianity and judaism sharing the same magic texts that implore them to murder followers of other cults?)

According to the Wikipedia article, this was pointed out by many critics of the Bill! As a result an amendment was made to the bill during its passage through the Lords that has:
" the effect of limiting the legislation to "A person who uses threatening words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening... if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred". This removed the abusive and insulting concept, and required the intention - and not just the possibility - of stirring up religious hatred."
I still don't see how this exempts any follower of an abrahamic religion in possession of a holy book. What is the act of following a religion, if not an expression of support for its malevolent tenets? The caveat of "intention to stir up religious hatred" reveals the hypocrisy of your average sky-pixie fan (who will obviously deny any such intention) as such a denial directly contradict the tenets of their chosen death-cult.

Ergo, followers of abrahamic religions are, in the eyes of the law, either hate-filled bigots or hypocrites.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

GM genes found in wild corn in Mexico

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This story is remarkable in several ways. Most obviously that, as many GM campaigners observe, plant transgenes can be passed to wild kindred. This is now utterly incontrovertible. But also because of the ugly prospect of the biotech companies deploying their whordes of lawyers, as they have done in the rest of North America, to sue the unfortunates whose crops might be similarly contaminated. What is most distressing is that the scientists driving this technology out into the fields, apparently without any serious consideration of the consequences, have also engineered the retraction of published evidence in one of the world's preeminent scientific publications. Of course, the biotech industry- as with all corporate lobbies- are notorious for their disregard for humanity. The film The World According to Monsanto covered this subject in considerable detail and I urge anyone reading this to watch it (its free!).

GM sucks ass.

Italy: Full of cunts

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Having been in Italy recently, I don't know what else to say in response to this:

"Italy's government has rushed through a decree [that] sets rules for citizen street patrols, in which officials said [sic] retired police and soldiers would play a major role."
"Critics say the measures could effectively legitimise vigilantism and xenophobia."
Clearly, not all Italians. But it has to be getting towards a majority after they re-elected Berlusconi.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Simon Jenkins: "Performance-related pay is called salary."

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"Bonuses should be beneath the dignity of professionals, as bribes should be beneath the dignity of commerce."
Frickin' WORD.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

why Israel's genocidal conduct is illegal- and also not genocide

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Yes, its obvious to you that killing nearly 1,400 people is not in any way moral, legal or justified. Beneath the multiple layers of international law little is clear. Some guy has managed to navigate the murky waters of that discipline and pulled from them a nice, well argued explanation of why the Israeli case for "self defence" is a sack of horse shit.

"Israel's recent actions constitute, under Article 147 of the Fourth [Geneva] Convention, as well as Article 85 of Protocol I and Article 8 of the Rome Statute, grave breaches of international law which entail individual criminal responsibility."

Reza Nasri: Weapons-grade badass.


Addition:

I added the last four words of the title after reading this article, which explains why Israel's conduct is not technically genocide. It is still monstrous and the architects and main perpetrators of the many atrocities committed in Gaza over the years should still be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Noam Chomsky has a lot more to say on the issue and I strongly recommend listening to this talk and the following Q&A to anyone who wishes to see through the mountains and mountains of propaganda, misdirection and media blathering. The transcript is available here.

Noam rules.


Addition:

Thanks to Merrick for this link to John Pilger's take on the latest Israeli atrocities.

John rules too.

UK pseudo-democracy

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A fascinating article on the UK constitutional fuckfest can be found here., written by some bloke called John Jackon. He spins a good yarn.

Blair War Crimes Foundation

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Via Chicken Yoghurt comes this mountain of awesome. Please sign the petition.

Monday, February 16, 2009

George Monbiot is manifestly awesome . . .

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. . . because his work makes scum like Blunkett reveal the true depth of their bitter sociopathy:

"There was a time when this newspaper stood out against the deeply personalised, offensive and ill-informed journalism which was ascribed to tabloid publications.

George Monbiot's scurrilous, unjustified and pathetically spiteful diatribe against Hazel Blears is the kind of lowest form of journalism that is dragging this country into the gutter. What has happened to the standards of journalism, the informed and researched commentary, on which the Guardian once proudly built its name?"
David Blunkett MP
Lab, Sheffield, Brightside


Monbiot deploys evidence and rational argument to assail Blears' voting record and demonstrate that she is a hypocrite and borderline demagogue. So how, David Blunkett, does that comprise a "scurrilous, unjustified and pathetically spiteful diatribe"?

I declare that Blunkett is as much of a sociopathic cockweasel as Blears.

The UK and the US have "actively undermined" international law in the way they fight terrorism

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"Many governments, ignoring the lessons of history, have allowed themselves to be rushed into hasty responses to terrorism that have undermined cherished values and violated human rights.

The result is a serious threat to the integrity of the international human rights legal framework."


Word.

is David Milliband a liar and a defender of torture?

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Apparently.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Punkscience applied for a job . . .

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. . . in algal biofuel research at one of the country's top universities. Lets see if they see fit to wipe their esteemed arses with my application . . .

exaggerating climate change is as scientifically dishonest as denying it

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I've ranted about this sort of thing before. Now a couple of eminent climatologist have called for scientists and journalists to stop misrepresenting climate data by inappropriate analysis of small data sets and suggesting or even stating outright that extreme weather events are the result of climate change.

NI Environment Minister is a climate change denialist!

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Punkscience calls for Sammy Wilson MP to be sacked on account of his ignorance. The little fuckstick can't even understand why his views are a problem.
"Why should I resign? I fulfil all my ministerial obligations in all areas of my department, and the idea that I should resign just because I hold a different view from other people on what is a very controversial topic is nonsense. And it just shows the intolerance of these people if they think I should resign because I have a different opinion."
In other news, Thabo Mbeki's health policies based on his belief that AIDS was not caused by the HIV virus, is thought to have been the direct cause of 300,000 deaths due to his rejection of offers of funding and free antiretroviral drugs.

So just what is the difference between Mbeki's incompetence and Wilson's? Both result in mass deaths of innocents.

the failure of pseudo-democracy

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This CiF article is very, very cool.

Mark Thomas on Thought For The World

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Mark rules.

HBOS: Its all Sir James Crosby's fault

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Its depressing how unsurprising it is that this corporate cockweasel, who oversaw HBOS's massively unfeasible expansion that led to it being taken over by Lloyds group and becoming 43% owned by the taxpayer, is now a "key government economic advisor". He's also deputy chairman of the FSA- the body that is meant to oversee the doings of the financial sector and legislate against irresponsible practice. Talk about inmates running the bloody asylum!

I wonder, when the dust settles, how much he will have been paid for his combined services to fiscal fuckheadery and bureaucratic incompetence? Probably more than I will earn in a lifetime. And the government continue to be utterly oblivious of the growing popular backlash from every failed business and every redundancy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I really hope Hazel Blears cries herself to sleep tonight

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After what George just did to her massively inflated ego I imagine she no longer suffers from any delusions of grandeur about her role in this government.

Fucking WORD.

Monday, February 09, 2009

no, Simon Carr, "revenge" is not the answer- accountability is

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In his Indy article Simon advocates the former. I disagree- revenge is a manifestly malevolent response. We need one that does not seek to harm the bankers further but simply holds them to account. I am happy to pay bankers reasonable bonuses when they have earned them. Not all the bankers in the world acted like irresponsible twats. Obviously the ones that did should suffer Simon's prescribed fate:

"We'll save your firms from bankruptcy but as your new owners we've got new rules. Existing bonus contracts are void. You'll get a utility salary with nothing on top. You won't leave for jobs elsewhere because there aren't jobs elsewhere. And if there are, you won't get them because you'll have a court case pursuing you. Yes, chum, if you bale out we will prosecute you for a) trading while insolvent, b) fraud and/or theft, or c) misfeance. Now unravel these securities and derivatives and get this bank back on its feet."

The ones that didn't, however, need to be respected and encouraged to work to bring the system back to functionality, as prescribed by that last point, although clearly not with bonuses as indecent as the ones handed out over recent years.

My solution demands evidence to ascertain guilt and therefore a system of judgment. As I wrote previously, the unknown prevalence of toxic assets on banks balance sheets is a driver of the current credit clusterfuck. Therefore the banks' accounts must be opened to full government scrutiny and the trading records of their staff too. Only then can you work out which banks are fucked and which managers and traders are responsible. Sound like a lot of work? I wouldn't deny it but justice usually requires exactly that.

snigger

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UK violates Non Proliferation Treaty (again)

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The US and UK are conducting research into new nuclear weapons at the recently privatised weapons lab at Aldermaston in direct contravention of the NPT.

Can we have a round of loud "FUCK YOU"s to everyone's vaguely elected representatives, please?

Thankyou.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

biofuels

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Professor John Pickett FRS:



The Royal Society conducted a review last year of sustainable biofuel technology.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

punkscience: Enemy of the people

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Or so Sir Bernard Ingham, former civil servant, would have you believe.

I'm proud.

I got it from a book by David MacKay called "Sustainable Energy Without The Hot Air" that's currently being deconstructed on Open Democracy. Its awesome. Here's a question:

"If climate change is “a greater threat than terrorism,” should governments criminalize “the gloriļ¬cation of travel” and pass laws against“advocating acts of consumption”?"

Well?

why are Hamas so fucking stupid?

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Is stealing food and blankets from the UN's aid program some Hamas official's idea of how to get back at Israel? I really have to say that this is remarkably ungrateful. The UN is the one governmental organisation that unequivocally supports the Palestinian people, now that even most Arab governments are being coerced into keeping silent over the apartheid and genocide. Despite the US's veto on the security council the UN general council votes overwhelming to support the Palestinians and condemn Israel. The continued rocket firing is another sign of their desperation, although clearly not something that Hamas can control, even if they wanted to. I suppose desperate people do desperate things.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

the politics of UK climate change denial . . .

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. . . and other causes of misanthropy.

Merrick rules. He is seriously, powerfully awesome. I also perceive the words of a new misanthropic principle in the text of his polemic: Number Five can be entitled "Climate change denial is a direct product of pseudo-democracy".

"The politicians have no excuse. There is the famous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a huge United Nations organisation collating information from thousands of scientists around the world. They produce a vast and scientifically rigorous report. There is then a concise 22 page version called Summary For Policymakers. There is, then, no justification for any of these policymakers to be ignorant of the facts or to delay the actions those facts demand.

These people know the science as well as any of us. They know what they’re saying is flawed. They are intelligent and have been debating for years. They are not primarily concerned with finding the truth or being responsible, their main aim is to defend their established position irrespective of what the science or the welfare of the electorate require."

In the absence of democratic control of the government, as is the case in this country, vested interests with sufficient money to purchase influence will dictate policy. This results in fiscal and political environments that favour those interests. If you want to know who they are, look at who has directly benefited the most from the Thatcherite/Nu Labour dichotomy.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Israeli war crimes

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Uri Avnery is a dude.

UK pseudo-democracy

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This is fascinating. I hadn't even heard of SO 14 before. My ignorance is a crime.

"The political significance of SO 14 is not just in the dominance it gives the government over the Commons but also the impotence of the Commons in affecting public discourse about politics. The shift of political debate from the Commons to the TV studios is a function not so much of technology as of SO 14, which keeps the Commons well away from current issues and decisions as long as the government wants it that way.

Worse still, SO 14 contributes to the pervasive feeling that conventional politics, the politics of elections and representation, makes no difference in politics and is irrelevant to what large numbers of people, including many who are deeply interested in politics, worry about."


David Howarth is pretty awesome. Almost as awesome as George.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

guess who wrote "it was no accident that Hitler was a green" in a national newspaper?

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Yes, its your and my favourite rancid stale old rabid shit-gobbler of the year: Melanie Phillips! And she's attacking Jonno's tirade against the overly fecund. Poor work, Mel. Poor, reactionary drivel stuffed with straw men and non sequiturs. Never one to be blinded by facts and evidence, Mel doesn't seem to know- or care- that the modern environmental movement (her hated greens) didn't exist as an ideology before the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. A few years after Hitler's abortive attempt at DIY brain surgery, yes?

I've returned to Mel's article and read it through again. I freely admit that the first time I visited it I read as far as the title quote and no further. Morbid fascination with this woman's detachment from reality forces me to contemplate it once again. Take this phrase:

"Despite the fact that the world's population massively increased and resources expanded to sustain it"
Does anyone else get a stabbing pain in their truth cortex when they read this line? The reference to "resources" sustaining humanity is a ridiculously broad term encompassing things like iridium as well as fresh water. Resource dynamics is just another of those subjects that Mel knows fuck-all about but is somehow allowed to expound on in a National Newspaper.

the only article you ever need to read about the BBC and the Gaza appeal

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Word.

George rules

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"The affiliated trade unions have turned into the government's nodding dogs, continuing to fund the Labour party even as it destroys everything they claim to stand for."

George for Prime Minister!

Monday, February 02, 2009

the FBI and "ecoterrorism"

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From the rich pool of awesome that is Wikileaks comes two remarkable articles produced by the FBI. They both refer to "ecoterrorists"- that shadowy, international anarcho-syndicate responsible for so many deaths and so much destruction across the globe in recent years. The first document, "Tactics Used by Eco-Terrorists to Detect and Thwart Law Enforcement Operations", is somewhat bland as it simply relates the contents of an activist handbook called "Eco-Defense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching" that was written more than 20 years ago by some guy called David Foreman. Its interesting to see how seriously the security services take the advice in the book, detailing a variety of behaviours that might be perceived to be suspicious to a group an undercover officer was attempting to infiltrate.

The second document is far more interesting, very recent and relates, in extraordinary detail, the background to the Earth and Animal Liberation Fronts. Published by the Department of Homeland Security, its title is "Ecoterrorism: Environmental and Animal-Rights Militants in the United States". Any environmentally aware person should read this article, so as to gain an insight into just how far from reality US security policy has now come. They now seem to perceive any individual professing concern for environmental issues to be a potential threat.

"Mainstream organizations with known or possible links to ecoterrorism include the following:
• Greens
• People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
• The Sierra Club
• National Wildlife Federation
• Audubon Society
• Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)
• Friends of the Earth
• Greenpeace
• Earth First!47
• Coalition to Save the Preserve (CSP)
• Environmental Task Force
• The Frogs
• In Defense of Animals
• New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance
• Fund for Animals"

More sinisterly yet, there seems to be no sharp delineation between legitimate protest and intimidation and violence.

"Shared ideology and a willingness to engage in illegal and violent activities in pursuit of environmental and animal protectionism provide independent actors with structural cohesion through a commonality of purpose. After all, any individual willing to take direct action in support of the movement’s overall aim—to counter environmental and animal exploitation—is automatically considered to be part of the movement."
(my emphasis)
Just in case you think I am being something of an apologist for "illegal and violent activities"- irrespective of the good intentions that motivate them, let me offer the definition of "direct action" contained within the document:

"The concept of direct action, as ecoterrorists practice it, is a euphemism for illegal and violent activities designed to halt the destruction of the environment and liberate animals. It is precisely this willingness to engage in illegal acts to further their sociopolitical aims that separates ecoterrorists from mainstream environmentalists and animal protectionists."
Now, irrelevant of the illegality of the crimes in question, the important point here is that "violence" is not a term that applies solely to living things. In US and EU law violence can be done to objects and possessions, thereby potentially criminalising any sort of obstructive or destructive action, as Matthew Harwood made plain in his CiF article:

"The US government's decision to call the ELF a domestic terrorist organisation owes largely to its definition of terrorism, which includes destruction of property, a characteristic out of step with more academic and international definitions of the concept.

The FBI defines terrorism as: "the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."

The British government similarly fetishises property, as attacks on property fulfil the concept of terrorism within the Terrorism Act of 2000. The EU also agrees that attacks on property constitute terrorism."


In direct contradiction, the UN awards attacks upon inert objects no such title.

The document is, quite simply, a pre-emptive case for detention without trial of anyone seen to be involved in any sort of active environmentalism on suspicion of terrorist offences. In case you think I am exaggerating somewhat, John Vidal wrote recently that:

"According to the FBI, "eco-terrorism", or "ecotage", is now the number one domestic terrorism threat in the US, greater than that of rightwing extremists, anti-abortion groups and animal rights organisations, and on a par with al-Qaida."

Yes. You did read that right. The FBI consider ecoterrorists to represent as significant a threat to US security as Al Qaida. At least in the UK and Europe they haven't yet resorted to the US policy of profiling everyone and everything passing through the country as potential meat for a program of arbitrary detention. Seeing as how desperate Brown and his corporate facefuckfest are to emulate every aspect of American policy it can't be long until some coal mining company tires of direct action against their assets and looks to raise their game a notch through some expensive but highly targeted lobbying or some cunning application of anti-harrassment law.

But what really, really makes my blood boil about this whole phenomenon of security services struggling to justify their enormous budgets through the invention of fantastical terrorism "threats" is the mortal insult it represents to the legitimate victims of terrorism. Lets just run over some of the appalling crimes attributed to the ALF listed in the document:

" . . . several Wachovia branches in California were vandalized, and ecoterrorists placed a small incendiary device in one of the bank’s after-hours deposit boxes. Ecoterrorist attacks against Wachovia were not limited to the bank’s facilities; ALF activists claimed responsibility for vandalizing a Wachovia executive’s vehicle in Portland, Oregon. Similarly, ALF activists hacked the web page of LaGrange Capital Management, another investment firm and Huntingdon Life Society shareholder, temporarily depriving three hundred mid-level managers of access to the company’s electronic communications. . . "
Yes, these inhuman monsters went as far as to deprive mid-level technocrats access to their email. SHOCK! HORROR!

In light of the well-documented atrocities committed by US forces or driven by US ideology around the globe this is the lowest insult imaginable to survivors of the plethora of crimes against humanity carried out in the name of US imperialism. Imagine what some raped survivor of the Chilean disappearances would think of this? Or a widow of a victim of the Madrid train bombing or an inhabitant of Omagh?

Henry Porter: Infused with premium-grade awesome.

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"Look coldly at my generation, the one that's has been claiming every sort of entitlement since the Who sang about it, and you realise that we have been criminally irresponsible. We are leaving the people born after 1985 not just with the bills for this economic mess, but we also expect them to pay for an increase in the cost of state pensions for us, a rise of benefits and soaring pensioner health costs, which has been clear in demographic studies for some time. How young people are going to get started in paying for our old age without jobs and with a credit crunch and a frozen property market is anyone's guess.

Consider the political classes of today, the people who clustered round Tony Blair - born a month after me in 1953 - and who have been in charge for more than a decade. What have they done to make politics and the business of Parliament responsive to the widely appreciated needs of this century?

Though there are many well-intentioned politicians, politics probably hasn't been held in such low esteem since the time of the London mob. It simply fails to deliver. Even in the good years, the government spent vast amounts on education and health, but failed to secure a proportionate rise in standards and productivity.

I won't try your patience with my generation's failure on rights and liberty, its casual erosion of the privileges that were passed to us by our parents, or its bewildering ignorance of history, but it is important to understand that at the heart of the deterioration is Parliament and in this sense politics, rather than society, is broken.

Last week, a friend said that what he found so frustrating in the scandal involving peers allegedly offering to influence laws for cash, as well as the apparent immunity of bankers, was the absence of justice. None of the 3,000 offences introduced by Labour apparently caters for lords and multi-millionaires. But this is minor compared with the crisis in the way laws - often designed to serve the political classes of my generation - are drafted and passed without proper scrutiny.

My generation wanted everything - good food, cheap travel, large disposable incomes, luxury and security - and we have had them all, but at a great cost. We knew about climate change a long time ago, yet our government all but ignored it until the Tories made the running. We knew that bankers had not discovered the secret of limitless wealth creation, but we failed to regulate. And now if my children's generation demonstrates, we will deploy a newly equipped and trained riot police to protect us. You see we have been expecting trouble."

Word.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Cameron vs Hutton

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Interesting exchange between these two in the Observer. Cameron's economic proposals also got trashed by economist Paul Krugman in an exchange with Johann. Strong work those two!


Interesting facts here too. Eg:

According to the Bank for International Settlements, foreign assets of UK-owned banks stand at 145% of UK GDP, which is well above the level for other major economies.

Joseph Stiglitz contributes to the issue:

With private rewards so markedly different from social returns, it is no surprise that the pursuit of self-interest (greed) led to such socially destructive consequences.
Stiglitz also had several words of caution, however:
Today, the risk is that the new Keynesian doctrines will be used and abused to serve some of the same interests. Have those who pushed deregulation 10 years ago learned their lesson? Or will they simply push for cosmetic reforms – the minimum required to justify the mega-trillion dollar bail-outs? Has there been a change of heart, or only a change in strategy? After all, in today's context, the pursuit of Keynesian policies looks even more profitable than the pursuit of market fundamentalism!

A decade ago, at the time of the Asian financial crisis, there was much discussion of the need to reform the global financial architecture. Little was done. It is imperative that we not just respond adequately to the current crisis, but that we undertake the long-run reforms that will be necessary if we are to create a more stable, more prosperous and equitable global economy.


All this macroeconomics even drove me to research the difference between monetary and fiscal policy.

Basically, the upshot of all this is that Brown in specific and Labour in general may be fucking useless at running the economy but Cameron and the Tories would be worse. So punkscience would like to remind everyone to vote for anyone BUT Labour and the fucking Tories (and the BNP and other, similar, semi-fascist cunts like the New Party, obviously).


Addition:

More fuckyounomic deconstruction.
Slating the growth obsession.
Keeping Directors in check with more shareholder responsibility.
Guardian editorial on corporate tax avoidance.

James Hansen: "Aviation is not the frontline, concentrate on coal"

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I'm paraphrasing. But that's the gist of his position. Interesting.

right proper wuss-out

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Some guy called Mark Tran has a post on CiF asking people what they think about Jonno's tirade against the world's ever-growing population. He has completely dodged the issue, offering a couple of opinions of other people and no analysis of his own, for which I rightly accused him of cowardice.

Interestingly enough, the CiF article links to a primary report in the Times about Jonno's work, which is remarkably approving in tone.