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'Downward spiral': UK slips to 40th place in press freedom rankings
Journalists in the UK are less free to hold power to account than those working in South Africa, Chile or Lithuania, according to an index of press freedom around the world.
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In the past five years, the UK has slipped 12 places down the index. Rebecca Vincent, RSF’s UK bureau director, said this year’s ranking would have been worse were it not for a general decline in press freedom around the world, making journalists in Britain comparatively better off than those in countries such as Turkey and Syria.
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Among the concerns raised by RSF was the passage of the UK’s “menacing” Investigatory Powers Act last November, which met only token resistance within parliament, despite giving UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world.

RSF said the act was a possible “death sentence” for investigative journalism in Britain, owing to its lack of protections for whistleblowers, journalists and their sources, and that it set a damaging precedent for other countries to follow.
by:DamienGayle  from:TheGuardian  freedom  journalism  censorship  whistleblowing  surveillance  InvestigatoryPowersAct2016  espionage 
3 days ago by owenblacker
Dutch Children Deemed The Happiest In The World By UNICEF | TODAY - YouTube
"According to a recent UNICEF study on well-being, children from the Netherlands are the happiest kids out of 29 of the world’s richest industrialized nations. Reporting for Sunday TODAY, NBC’s Keir Simmons takes a look at what’s behind the statistics."
netherlands  education  children  parenting  sfsh  wellbeing  motivation  howwelern  living  agency  howeteach  parentalleave  careers  work  life  worklifebalance  bikes  biking  freedom  families  familytime 
6 days ago by robertogreco
The United States of Work | New Republic
"how the discipline of work has itself become a form of tyranny, documenting the expansive power that firms now wield over their employees in everything from how they dress to what they tweet"



"both books make a powerful claim: that our lives today are ruled, above all, by work. We can try to convince ourselves that we are free, but as long as we must submit to the increasing authority of our employers and the labor market, we are not. We therefore fancy that we want to work, that work grounds our character, that markets encompass the possible. We are unable to imagine what a full life could be, much less to live one. Even more radically, both books highlight the dramatic and alarming changes that work has undergone over the past century—insisting that, in often unseen ways, the changing nature of work threatens the fundamental ideals of democracy: equality and freedom.

Anderson’s most provocative argument is that large companies, the institutions that employ most workers, amount to a de facto form of government, exerting massive and intrusive power in our daily lives. Unlike the state, these private governments are able to wield power with little oversight, because the executives and boards of directors that rule them are accountable to no one but themselves."



"they use the language of individual liberty to claim that corporations require freedom to treat workers as they like."



"These conditions render long-term employment more palatable than a precarious existence of freelance gigs, which further gives companies license to oppress their employees."



"Indeed, it is only after dismissal for such reasons that many workers learn of the sweeping breadth of at-will employment, the contractual norm that allows American employers to fire workers without warning and without cause, except for reasons explicitly deemed illegal."



"
A weak job market, paired with the increasing precarity of work, means that more and more workers are forced to make their living by stringing together freelance assignments or winning fixed-term contracts, subjecting those workers to even more rules and restrictions. On top of their actual jobs, contractors and temp workers must do the additional work of appearing affable and employable not just on the job, but during their ongoing efforts to secure their next gig. Constantly pitching, writing up applications, and personal branding on social media requires a level of self-censorship, lest a controversial tweet or compromising Facebook photo sink their job prospects."



"from Marx and Hegel to Freud and Lincoln, whose 1859 speech he also quotes. Livingston centers on these thinkers because they all found the connection between work and virtue troubling. Hegel believed that work causes individuals to defer their desires, nurturing a “slave morality.” Marx proposed that “real freedom came after work.” And Freud understood the Protestant work ethic as “the symptom of repression, perhaps even regression.”"



"In today’s economy, the demand for such labor is rising rapidly: “Nine of the twelve fastest-growing fields,” The New York Times reported earlier this year, “are different ways of saying ‘nurse.’” These jobs also happen to be low-paying, emotionally and physically grueling, dirty, hazardous, and shouldered largely by women and immigrants. Regardless of whether employment is virtuous or not, our immediate goal should perhaps be to distribute the burdens of caregiving, since such work is essential to the functioning of society and benefits us all.

A truly work-free world is one that would entail a revolution from our present social organizations. We could no longer conceive of welfare as a last resort—as the “safety net” metaphor implies—but would be forced to treat it as an unremarkable and universal fact of life. This alone would require us to support a massive redistribution of wealth, and to reclaim our political institutions from the big-money interests that are allergic to such changes."



"If we do not have a deliberate politics rooted in universal social justice, then full employment, a basic income, and automation will not liberate us from the degradations of work.

Both Livingston and Anderson reveal how much of our own power we’ve already ceded in making waged work the conduit for our ideals of liberty and morality. The scale and coordination of the institutions we’re up against in the fight for our emancipation is, as Anderson demonstrates, staggering."
work  politics  2017  miyatokumitsu  government  governance  labor  corporatism  liberty  freedom  la  precarity  economics  karlmarx  hegel  abrahamlincoln  digmundfreud  care  caregiving  emotionallabor  caretaking  maintenance  elizabethanderson  jameslivingston 
6 days ago by robertogreco
A More Perfect Absolutism by Michael Hanby | Articles | First Things
At a time when so many of our brothers and sisters elsewhere in the world are dying for the faith, it seems obscene to invoke the specter of martyrdom from within the safety and prosperity of the liberal West. Yet we face an absolutism that poses an unprecedented challenge to Christian faith and witness precisely because technocratic order diffuses its power quietly, almost imperceptibly, without spectacle or responsibility, slowly bleeding its victims by ten thousand bureaucratic paper cuts rather than by the sword or lions in the Colosseum. Not the least of these challenges is the very real possibility that in a world mediated by media, this witness may be visible only to God. If a tree falls in the forest and the New York Times doesn’t hear it, does it make a sound?

Only the truth of Christ, and not religious liberty as liberalism understands it, can finally secure our freedom. We can contemplate that mystery and everything else in its light, for it is now apparent that only by faith in this truth is belief in nature and reason and even truth itself still possible. Or we can turn away. This is Christian freedom. And therein lies the freedom of the Church, which is neither the sum total of the freedom of individuals, nor a gift from the state, but belongs to the very nature of the Church as the sacrament of Christ and the sign of God’s universal intention for humanity. Let us turn then toward the One for whom the world has no use, not only for our own sake and for the coming time of trial, but for the sake of the world. For if freedom from an inhuman technocratic fate depends upon our ability to glimpse a transcendent horizon beyond its immanent necessities, then the renewal of Christian freedom is the key to the future of human freedom as such.
christianity  rights  freedom  technology 
8 days ago by dwalbert
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AMERICA IS BACK, BITCHES‼️💥🇺🇸 woooohoooo💥💥💥🇺🇸🇺🇸
MAGA  Freedom  TrumpsArmy  USArmy  from twitter_favs
16 days ago by nausley

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