davidmarsden + on   124

SYRPER UNDER ATTACK AGAIN; APOLOGIES TO READERS
Dear Syrpers, as Ziad and many other at the Syrper community have mentioned, the attack did take place last night in Damascus area, missiles launched by US/UK/France from few boats but mostly by jets that took off from Jordan, UAE and Cyrpus. The results so far:

– 97 cruise missiles launched, 90 were intercepted by the Syria air defenses (remember Israhell said they destroyed 50% of Syria’s air defenses 2 months ago ?, they must be pissing all over their beds right now). You herd that right 90 out of 97 were shot down and/or jammed.
– 3 civilians were killed by a jammed Uk missile.
– 1 Israhelli UAV was shot down, it was trying to check on the aftermath.
– The only hits (7 it seems) were:
Empty base west of Homs Province, near Qalamoun.
Two missiles were jammed away from targets and hit a residential area (3 fatalities above).
Direct hit on an ex-depot near Harsta suburb (was it the coordinates of the terrorists CW main depot ?).

Aftermath of this major fiasco:
1) Russia just announced plans to supply Syria with S300 and maybe S400 for their own air defense. Should they keep this going, it will be a MAJOR loss for Israhell.
2) UK regime launched a illegal attack without the approval from the upper house, a crime on British law.
3) The fiasco was so serious that many countries will think twice on either buying US/UK/French junk weapons (Syria used 1970’s to defend against almost 100 modern cruise missiles….).
4) The east of Syria is now a fair game for the Syrian Army and allies to strike for.
5) President, and now the newest and best global Bad Ass, went to work this morning (Bund broke this news), driving his car without security and walking like the hero he is.

All in one, the US/UK/France are now the newest global joke, the lost all credibility, expect Trump, May and Macaroni to few a pressure to resign bigger than their ego, they are toast.
The ME is now Russia’s for the taking.

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april 2018 by davidmarsden
SYRPER UNDER ATTACK AGAIN; APOLOGIES TO READERS
idiocracy, just checked BBC (British intelligence) website (I don’t watch TV, stopped years back) and read this:

“Firstly, the Assad regime has effectively won its war ”

MD: The Brits (BBC) say this was to stop chemical attacks but accept that Assad has won and state no desire to overthrow him.

‘Stopping chemical attacks’ is really code for ‘we want our operatives back’.

“President Assad may not control all of Syrian territory. But backed by Russia and Iran, there is nobody that can really stand against him. It is shortages of manpower, equipment and capacity that prevent him re-establishing wider control.”

MD: Basically Russia and Iran have defeated the West, Assad can’t be overthrown.

“President Trump’s rhetoric suggested a major military strike against the Assad regime. In the event what has taken place falls far short of that.”

MD: Yes idiocracy you seem to be right, even the BBC (Brits) are admitting these strikes were pretty useless.

“The three targets hit were chosen both for their central role in the chemical weapons programme but also because the risk of collateral damage was smallest.”

MD: The Yanks toned it down and didn’t go for any major high value target, proving Idiocracy right.

The article is: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43764344

The rest of the article is typical BBC B.S. unclear, convoluted and not saying anything susbtantive other than banal propaganda, but the basic message is:

“These strikes weren’t much, nothing much will change, Assad has won”.

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april 2018 by davidmarsden
The Grenfell tragedy is a direct result of the Tories’ openly declared war on health and safety | Pride's Purge
The Grenfell Tower tragedy was NOT an accident.

Health & safety was DELIBERATELY IGNORED to save money.

And ignoring health and safety at Grenfell was not a one-off case.

Since they came to power, the Tories and their friends in the right-wing tabloids have DEMONISED what they call the “health and safety monster”, because it harms the ability of private companies to make a profit.

Watch this video of David Cameron in 2012, openly DECLARING WAR on health and safety, and after you’ve watched the video, share it so people can see why we have to in turn declare war on a culture that puts our children’s lives at risk for the sake of profit:

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

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june 2017 by davidmarsden
Reflections on the counter-revolution in France | OffGuardian
by Frank, with apologies to Edmund Burke for the paraphrase One of the more significant features of the recent French Presidential election was the widespread predictability of the outcome. It was taken for granted that the establishment, cardboard cut-out, hologram candidate – Macron – representing the alt-centre, would win the final electoral contest against Madame Le Pen by a comfortable margin; and so it turned out, Macron winning by 66% to Le Pen’s 34% of votes cast. Okay, there was a widespread abstention amounting to 25% of the registered electorate, a 10% spoliation of ballot papers, and, in addition, tactical voting against Le Pen in the second-round run-off. This left about 25% of the French electorate, those overwhelmingly petit-bourgeois and miscellaneous air-heads, who voted for Marcon rather than against Le Pen, but who had scant ideas of what Macron’s programme for France would entail. This wasn’t surprising, however, since he was simply a continuity candidate who offered nothing remotely significant in policy terms other than more of the same. So, a candidate who has not … via Reflections on the counter-revolution in France
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may 2017 by davidmarsden
Karma Nabulsi · Don’t Go to the Doctor: Snitching on Students · LRB 18 May 2017
The British government’s Prevent programme, clumsy and laughable on so many levels, is extraordinarily efficient on others. It divides Muslims (practising or not) from the rest of society; black or brown or immigrant or refugee from the white majority. Once you start seeing everyday behaviour as having the potential to draw people into terrorism, you’re inside the problem. via Karma Nabulsi: Snitching on Students
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may 2017 by davidmarsden
A multi-level analysis of the US cruise missile attack on Syria and its consequences | OffGuardian
by The Saker, 11 April 2017 The latest US cruise missile attack on the Syrian airbase is an extremely important event in so many ways that it is important to examine it in some detail.  I will try to do this today with the hope to be able to shed some light on a rather bizarre attack which will nevertheless have profound consequences.  But first, let’s begin by looking at what actually happened. The pretext: I don’t think that anybody seriously believes that Assad or anybody else in the Syrian government really ordered a chemical weapons attack on anybody.  To believe that it would require you to find the following sequence logical: first, Assad pretty much wins the war against Daesh which is in full retreat.  Then, the US declares that overthrowing Assad is not a priority anymore (up to here this is all factual and true).  Then, Assad decides to use weapons he does not have.  He decides to bomb a location with no military value, but with lots of kids and cameras.  Then, … via A multi-level analysis of the US cruise missile attack on Syria and its consequences
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april 2017 by davidmarsden
The Western media refute their own lies on Syria | OffGuardian
by Michel Chossudovsky, 7 April 2017, globalresearch.ca The Western media refute their own lies. Not only do they confirm that the Pentagon has been training the terrorists in the use of chemical weapons, they also acknowledge the existence of a not so secret “US-backed plan to launch a chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime”  London’s Daily Mail in a 2013 article confirmed the existence of an Anglo-American project endorsed by the White House (with the assistance of Qatar) to wage a chemical weapons attack on Syria and place the blame of Bashar Al Assad. The following Mail Online article was published and subsequently removed. Note the contradictory discourse: “Obama issued warning to Syrian president Bashar al Assad”, “White House gave green light to chemical weapons attack”. This Mail Online report published in January 2013 was subsequently removed from Mail Online. For further details click here The Pentagon’s Training of  “Rebels” (aka Al Qaeda Terrorists) in the Use of Chemical Weapons CNN accuses Bashar Al Assad of killing his own people while … via The Western media refute their own lies on Syria
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april 2017 by davidmarsden
BBC redacts article on Idlib to hide unwelcome facts | OffGuardian
The push for “action” following the alleged chemical attack in Idlib, Syria is reaching fever pitch. Indeed, it may already have had disastrous consequences. The spokespeople for power that are the Western press consider the case against the Assad regime air-tight. Absent any forensic, or even circumstantial, evidence the mainstream media have resorted to simple arguments from authority looks of bewilderment. The trouble is “authority” doesn’t seem have any cohesion in this matter – so the press have carefully chosen who they will listen to…and who they will remove from their websites. Col. Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is the favored voice of “reason” on these matters, he has dismissed any idea other than a deliberate attack by the Syrian government as “fanciful”. And has been cited everywhere from Channel 4, to the Daily Mail to the Guardian, to the BBC. He is universally credited as a “chemical weapons expert” who works as the director of “Medics Under Fire”….but that’s not his only job, just his most recent. He was originally in the British army, filling an … via BBC redacts article on Idlib to hide unwelcome facts
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april 2017 by davidmarsden
Obama’s Musings on False Narratives and Fake Stories | OffGuardian
by Glen Ford, The Black Agenda Report People no longer believe the fake “news” and bogus narratives issued by the ruling class and its corporate and military misinformation specialists. President Obama traveled to Berlin last [month] to browbeat Europeans on why they should continue to play junior partners in Washington’s quest for full spectrum global domination, but kept returning to his post-election obsession: the existential threat posed by “fake news” on social media. It was as if the realization had just dawned on the lame duck president, that his own powers to create “facts” and manufacture “news” out of thin air would soon be gone.  Without the Clintons in the White House to continue the neoliberal project, history might conclude that the First Black President’s only enduring legacy was…that he was the first Black president. It’s a question of who gets to decide what’s “fake” or not. Obama fears that what he calls “fake” news begets fake history, which begets the fall of western civilization as the rulers would like people to imagine it. Fake … via Obama’s Musings on False Narratives and Fake Stories
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december 2016 by davidmarsden
Something Happened | More Crows than Eagles
You know, there’s a post idea that’s been kicking around for a while in my head about the “again” part of Trump’s slogan. I mean, there are people who long for the fifties and sixties, and the Official Answer is usually that they miss an all-white homogenous world. But they also miss (or only miss- not all these people are white) jobs where you could sign on after high school with a strong back and a good alarm clock and expect to own a house by the time you were thirty, or banks where you could get a meaningful small business loan without venture capital, or heck, neighbors who didn’t have to relocate away from you (and their kids away from your kids) every couple years when the economy changed. Can’t we have that and civil rights? I don’t think Trump will bring any of that back, but when the knee-jerk response to any kind of nostalgia, even the Piketty-esque kind, is to assume the worst about people’s fantasies makes it very hard to talk about actual negative changes in American life.

I also worry that democrats are ceding the “brand” on anti-globalisation and populism, saying essentially “we can’t win on Trump’s territory, lets be the pro-sweatshop, pro-(sub)urban, college-degree-required party!” Then they really will lose me for good.

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november 2016 by davidmarsden
Something Happened | More Crows than Eagles
I’d love to see that article. The web could always use more nuance.

The part about people needing to relocate is an understated problem, I think. It’s hard to keep friends these days, and we’re losing our sense of community. It’s a big casualty of modern life.

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november 2016 by davidmarsden
[FIX] Screen Resolution not Fitting Your Monitor After installing Non-Free Nvidia Driver on Ubuntu/Linux Mint
In this tutorial, we will see how to fix screen resolution after installing the non-free Nvidia driver ( Nvidia restricted driver). This fix only applies to Nvidia graphics cards running the non-free Nvidia driver, it will helps you set the correct screen resolution that fits your monitor. This tutorial is for users of Ubuntu 16.10/16.04 and Linux Mint 18 or older. Getting Started Open the

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november 2016 by davidmarsden
Brian Eno on basic income | The Zero Room
From an item in this weeks reading (transcription supplied there):

Basic income, Higher education

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october 2016 by davidmarsden
It’s fine to put a price on life, as long as it’s fair | New Scientist
Your life might feel pricelsss to you and your loved ones, but society needs to know its value via It’s fine to put a price on life, as long as it’s fair
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october 2016 by davidmarsden
Morning Star :: The dead-eyed phone trance of the sardine on the commuter train | The Peoples Daily
James Walsh culture matters via The dead-eyed phone trance of the sardine on the commuter train
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october 2016 by davidmarsden
European physicists cast doubt on the official version of 9/11
For the last fifteen years, a number of experts, bought and paid for by the US Federal government, have been affirming that the collapse of the Twin Towers and Building 7 of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001, are attributable to the crash of two commercial airliners into the first two towers. The highly prestigious European Physical Society does not agree. In its magazine European Physics News, it has just published an article by Steven Jones, Robert Korol, Anthony Szamboti and (...) via European physicists cast doubt on the official version of 9/11
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september 2016 by davidmarsden
Lessons Learned | More Crows than Eagles
I think we should go further with your point on the necessity of exchange value, but think this might need to wait for another post or something. However, I don’t want to influence your topic choice so I’ll dubiously take up that mantle and try to write one myself. We’re on the same side: hopefully you see my point (although given the mass of quotes I’d understand if it was missed) as to the emphasis on independence versus freedom: one can be inefficient yet independent, or efficient yet wholly dependant. It’s a golden cage, as they say.

As always, a TLP quote:

http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2012/10/whos_afraid_of_lil_wayne.html

“It’s very difficult/impossible to raise a kid to be in the system, yet teach him also to fight against that system ‘sometimes.’ That was one of the problems with OWS, you can’t shut down Wall Street if you have two credit cards in your back pocket. The only way to do this is if you try, on purpose, to raise your kid to be a little bit sociopathic. I realize that this seems like strange advice coming from a psychiatrist, but I’m not a very good psychiatrist. Also, I drink.”

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september 2016 by davidmarsden
Lessons Learned | More Crows than Eagles
Huh. I want to reply to a lot of what you’re saying in fairly particulate detail, but I recognize that isn’t the point. While I fall into your “liberal” category with regards to debt financing (as long as the US is the reserve currency of the world, the rules don’t apply to us- which is absolutely insane but mechanistically legit) I actually would actually take the conservative bitterness a bit farther. I’ve been personally working over my understanding of what “corruption” actually is, and I’m not sure its even a definable thing.

For instance, if you go to a country, and the police pull you over and demand twenty bucks not to arrest you, that’s corrupt. If they smash your taillight and tell you to get a replacement, and the only garage in town is owned by the policeman’s brother, that’s corrupt. No problem.

However, I had this bizarre idea two weeks ago: there is a chance that my state will legalize, or at least expand the production of, industrial hemp. Maybe. I realized I could set up a processing plant for kenaf (which will grow here, though not well) and a co-op to help farmers buy seeds and harvesting equipment, and theoretically I could do it all with investment money from a few of the local bigwigs, including some with political connections. The market for kenaf fiber isn’t very big, but it would bring in some income and, if industrial hemp were ever legalized, the equipment- from the co-op to the harvesters to the fiber processing- would require only a few adjustments to be usable for hemp, for which there is an enormous and lucrative market. My first thought was that having local bigwigs as investors would help get the required DEA licensure etc, but actually depending on who they were, it might actually tilt the table towards legalizing hemp in the first place.

Is that corrupt? It seems so, but its also basic business practice, no? In fact, this is essentially *how* the system seems to work, all the way down to getting the local distribution franchise for a given seed company. A truly non-corrupt economy wouldn’t include the idea of “its who you know” or even “networking”- is that even likely?

That’s how bitter I am. And no kenaf processing plant for me, either. Feel free to take my idea and make a zillion dollars

A

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august 2016 by davidmarsden
Feedback: It’s sheer madness to give up on MAD, says May | New Scientist
Plus: eating for your 800th birthday, Pope pokes nuns on Facebook, the origins of cucumber time, your age in elephant years, and more via Feedback: It’s sheer madness to give up on MAD, says May
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august 2016 by davidmarsden
ORGANIZED RAGE: Echoes of attacks on Corbyn: The Clinton camp sent out emails to media that Sanders supporters engaged in acts of violence
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august 2016 by davidmarsden
On the Lost Art of Intellectual Honesty - Craig Murray
I remain strongly opposed to Brexit. However, I feel obliged to state, purely as a matter of intellectual honesty, that if the UK leaves the EU, even if it has no special trade deal and is merely subject to WTO terms, the fall in value of sterling already due to Brexit would give its goods a comparative advantage over the pre-referendum position even when the EU tariffs are applied. I say that in response to some of the apocalyptic comment around matter of fact remarks by the EU trade commissioner.

It is unfortunate that political debate in the UK has descended to such a debased intellectual level. If you support a position, you are not ever to admit there are any counter arguments on any aspects of that position which might have the remotest intellectual validity. Thus, in the EU referendum campaign, Leavers painted the EU as a dastardly organisation bent on evil and controlling everybody’s lives, and Remainers portrayed it as an earthly paradise to which the alternative was eternal damnation and plagues of affliction. One of the arguments the Blairites use against Corbyn is that he had the temerity to employ nuance and intellectual honesty in discussing the EU. Intellectual honesty is certainly not something Tony Blair ever employed.

Politics has become a branch of PR. It is just about selling. The party, candidate or policy you are selling must be portrayed as the absolute epitome of excellence, with no flaws whatsoever. Political discourse has therefore become juvenile. It is about expensively dressed, well groomed salesmen with perfect teeth. Thought is positively frowned upon.

The post On the Lost Art of Intellectual Honesty appeared first on Craig Murray.

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july 2016 by davidmarsden
Lessons Learned | More Crows than Eagles
I think we need more of Roger Williams’ attitudes towards individual freedom of conscience. Williams is one of the most admirable people in American history, but sadly very few Americans know about him. Williams was devoutly Christian, and left no doubts that he believed that Christianity was the way to salvation. But he believed just as strongly that each person had the right to choose, and he would vigorously defend what he would see as your right to make the wrong choice. Both the I’m-morally-superior-because-I-believe religious types and the I’m-intellectually-superior-because-I-don’t-believe atheists need a time out. If religious faith gives your life purpose and meaning, good for you. If you would rather know than believe, and you find purpose through other avenues, good for you.

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june 2016 by davidmarsden
Unnecessariat | More Crows than Eagles
Excellent story here and I like this comment. I just read this the other day and you might find it interesting as well:

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/08/16/burdens/

“There is something else I’ve never said, because it’s too deeply tied in with my own politics, and not something I would expect anybody else to understand.

And that is: humans don’t owe society anything. We were here first.

If my patient, the one with the brain damage, were back in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptedness, in a nice tribe with Dunbar’s number of people, there would be no problem.

Maybe his cognitive problems would make him a slightly less proficient hunter than someone else, but whatever, he could always gather.

Maybe his emotional control problems would give him a little bit of a handicap in tribal politics, but he wouldn’t get arrested for making a scene, he wouldn’t get fired for not sucking up to his boss enough, he wouldn’t be forced to live in a tiny apartment with people he didn’t necessarily like who were constantly getting on his nerves. He might get in a fight and end up with a spear through his gut, but in that case his problems would be over anyway.

Otherwise he could just hang out and live in a cave and gather roots and berries and maybe hunt buffalo and participate in the appropriate tribal bonding rituals like everyone else.

But society came and paved over the place where all the roots and berry plants grew and killed the buffalo and dynamited the caves and declared the tribal bonding rituals Problematic. This increased productivity by about a zillion times, so most people ended up better off. The only ones who didn’t were the ones who for some reason couldn’t participate in it.

(if you’re one of those people who sees red every time someone mentions evolution or cavemen, imagine him as a dockworker a hundred years ago, or a peasant farmer a thousand)”

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june 2016 by davidmarsden
Longform: Body on the Moor by Jon Manel
Why did a man travel 200 miles to die in a national park?

Jon Manel | BBC | Jun 2016

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june 2016 by davidmarsden
Unnecessariat | More Crows than Eagles
I’ve been thinking about this argument, which I think is very evocative, but no so sure I agree. I’m sure you’re familiar with the “capitalism is a pyramid scheme” idea http://www.blog.ryanhay.es/wp-content/uploads/GI4-PYRAMID-1024×683.jpg and while I think it’s oversimplified (and, of course, debatable), I think it illustrates something crucial, which is that any type of person at the precariat level or below is incredibly vulnerable to corporations. Poor people often eat poorly (corporate food), smoke (Big Tobacco), are targets of predatory lending and credit debt, are fodder for the military-industrial complex (a type of corporation), etc. Corporations are very interested in the very poor, because, like the image shows, they hold up the whole pyramid. To be truly superfluous to corporations would be to be at a level in the pyramid at which one has some defenses against corporations (ie doesn’t need credit, has better food, can evade considering military service, etc). As BoingBoing summarized your post, “Below the precariat is the unnecessariat, people who are a liability to the modern economic consensus, whom no corporation has any use for, except as a source of revenue from predatory loans, government subsidized “training” programs, and private prisons.” I don’t think the “unnecessariat” is a liability to the economy, but in fact a key component of it. Private prisons are big business. Gov’t subsidized training programs are sometimes really helpful to people (I work in this field). I understand the demographic you’re describing, but I think “unnecessariat” is a misleading name, as this strata of society is actually extremely necessary to capitalism. I understand that at its lowest levels of the pyramid, this strata can be more of a burden to society overall than they contribute. Perhaps that is what we’re talking about here. As harsh as it is, this strata is a kind of “burdencariat.” But I would still argue that, whatever we call it, this strata is extremely important to corporations. Even the incarcerated have been victimized by telephone companies charging exorbitant rates to use the phone in prisons to call loved ones. There may exist a strata that is an “unnecessariat”, but I think that occurs at either the extreme top or extreme bottom of the pyramid. Anything in between is fair game and in corporations’ crosshairs.

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june 2016 by davidmarsden
Unnecessariat | More Crows than Eagles
There is abundance in this country — if we are all willing to share the chairs we have hidden away. Why are we hoarding chairs? It’s really not about capitalism. It’s a spiritual malady that plagues those extremely privileged few who have no boundaries when it comes to “how much is enough”.

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may 2016 by davidmarsden
Can you catch up on missed sleep? | New Scientist
Skipping sleep can hurt both body and mind, but there are ways to make amends via Can you catch up on missed sleep?
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may 2016 by davidmarsden
Unnecessariat | More Crows than Eagles
As I understand it, when Canada experimented with UBI in the 1970s, the only ones who quit working were the mothers with kids under school age. What science fiction predicts is a lot more creativity and productive hobby businesses. People will work — but it doesn’t have to be for money. People work very hard at things like learning to play a musical instrument, even with no expectation of monetary gain. People are generally happier working for themselves or their community than for a “boss”. Very few people are really seriously lazy — and most of them are teens and grow out of it.
Again, I suggest worker owned, democratically run businesses so that income is distributed where it is produced. And “job ecology” — business for the sake of jobs rather than just profit. (We are working on an invention, probably will be on the market early next year, and we think that eventually we will franchise the factories to be run as worker-owned businesses. Small factories all over the world, source a lot of stuff locally, local jobs. Small factories are doable because of modern technology — small computer guided machines, parts programmed in — we are coming out the other side of the wave that made technology make big companies more efficient than small ones.)
I’d also like to see a website with suggestions for businesses that are needed but don’t exist — we keep coming up with ideas for things that should be available but aren’t. (this morning it was a mini fork lift for small shops, because we live in an area where many properties include a shop, and things need to be lifted. )

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may 2016 by davidmarsden
What is Paleolithic Art?: How to decode the shadows on the wall | New Scientist
Why did early humans cover caves with vivid images? Watching the great mind of Jean Clottes make sense of it all is a rare joy via What is Paleolithic Art?: How to decode the shadows on the wall
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may 2016 by davidmarsden
Longform: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in '72 by Hunter S. Thompson
“One afternoon about three days ago the Editorial Enforcement Detail from the Rolling Stone office showed up at my door, with no warning, and loaded about 40 pounds of supplies into the room: two cases of Mexican beer, four quarts of gin, a dozen grapefruits, and enough speed to alter the outcome of six Super Bowls. There was also a big Selectric typewriter, two reams of paper, a face-cord of oak firewood and three tape recorders – in case the situation got so desperate that I might finally have to resort to verbal composition.”

Hunter S. Thompson | Rolling Stone | Jul 1973

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may 2016 by davidmarsden
The war on tax | The Naked Mole Rat
Tax avoidance is an arms race. If we spend more on collection, corporations will spend more on avoidance, and we’ll waste money on an unwinnable war against better accountants.  That’s the argument. But if it was a real arms race, … Continue reading → via The war on tax
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april 2016 by davidmarsden
The Surveillance State Should Be Targeted on Cows - Craig Murray
British citizens are now watched by Big Brother more closely than any other people in the world. All activity by British people on the web or on the phone is now monitored and stored. The British government employs more secret police – GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and SO15 – per head of population than Russia. Let me repeat that. The British have more secret police per head of population than Russia. British people are watched on closed circuit television more often than any other people in the world. Under the Prevent programme, “radicals” like me can only speak in universities under monitoring so intense and conditions so onerous that organisers give up, as I can personally witness.

The Prevent strategy provides for informants in every governmental institution who report any expressions of dissent. The UK has effective levels of surveillance – and a far higher volume of intelligence reports on their own citizens – than were ever achieved by the Stasi in Eastern Germany.

But of course, it is all “essential” to protect the citizens from the “threat” of Islamic terrorism, which is a fundamental threat to our existence, right?

So how big a threat is Islamic terrorism?

Since 2000, 57 people have been killed in the UK by Islamic terrorism.
Since 2000, 74 people have been killed in the UK by cattle.
So cows are actually a more potent threat to our personal society that terrorism.

Or more seriously – since 2000, 15,612 people have been murdered in the UK. Of whom only 57 were murdered by terrorists. You have in fact almost a 300 times greater chance of being murdered by someone else than by a terrorist. Indeed you have over 200 times a greater chance of being murdered by your partner, a family member or a close friend, than a terrorist.

The surveillance state has fundamentally changed society in response to a “threat” which is statistically miniscule.

It has greatly increased the power of the state, at a time when the state is both facilitating and protecting the greatest growth in wealth inequality in human history.

That is not a coincidence.

The post The Surveillance State Should Be Targeted on Cows appeared first on Craig Murray.

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april 2016 by davidmarsden
Submission on Social Security 2016
In partnership with Ekklesia the Centre for Welfare Reform made a submission to the UK Liberal Democrats policy review on social security. via Submission on Social Security 2016
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april 2016 by davidmarsden
Centre seeks Parliamentary Inquiry on Social Care |
The Centre for Welfare Reform and its allies are recommending the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health launches an inquiry into social care in the UK. via Centre seeks Parliamentary Inquiry on Social Care
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april 2016 by davidmarsden
CoolTan Arts Report on Personal Budgets
Alison Vine of CoolTan Arts explores the practice of personal budgets as it impacts on small voluntary sector organisations. via CoolTan Arts Report on Personal Budgets
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april 2016 by davidmarsden
Why I Keep Banging on about Citizenship
Simon Duffy summarises the conclusion of his philosophical essay Citizenship and the Welfare State and what it means in practice. via Why I Keep Banging on About Citizenship
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march 2016 by davidmarsden
Five tips on organising an event for older people | Social Care Network | The Guardian
Events are moments for residents to enjoy. Award-winning activities and volunteers coordinator Tamara Juckes shares her advice on making sure they are a success

1 Get to know your participants

Activities form an important part of an older person’s care and to get maximum impact from them, they should be tailored to the group’s needs or interests. It is therefore essential to understand what the people attending like (and dislike).

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february 2016 by davidmarsden
http://priceonomics.com/how-a-basket-on-wheels-revolutionized-grocery/
The shopping cart was one of the greatest developments in the history of merchandising — and the story of its invention is almost as good.

#

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february 2016 by davidmarsden
We Need to Rewrite the Textbook on How to Teach Teachers | Big Think
Neurobonkers about 21 hours ago We need to completely rewrite the textbooks on how to teach teachers. That’s according to a new report just published by the… via We Need to Rewrite the Textbook on How to Teach Teachers | Big Think
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february 2016 by davidmarsden
Jeff Buckley Tackles Dylan On Unreleased Cover - Baeble Music
When you write about and listen to new music on a daily basis as I do, it's easy to become jaded and detached. Upon seeing that there was 'new' Jeff Buckley music being released, I was somewhat skeptical. After feeling betrayed by Kurt Cobain's Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings and the countless other half-assed posthumous albums that have been released in recent years, let's just say I went in somewhat skeptical. Never has my initial reaction been so wrong. The song, a cover of Bob via Jeff Buckley Tackles Dylan On Unreleased Cover
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january 2016 by davidmarsden
On Fish and Failure | More Crows than Eagles
This was a section of the Monster Theology post that really didn’t fit. But, its interesting, so I’m letting it stand alone.

The “golden age” of Peru, by some tellings, was the nineteenth century, when the country exported phosphate-rich guano from the Chincha islands by the ton, essentially fueling the global growth in agriculture that happened during this time. Why the Chinchas were covered in acres of guano is actually fairly simple- the Humboldt current brought in so many fish, for so many centuries, that seabirds nesting there could eat and poop without too much pressure from predators or their own population. When the guano was gone, Peru began exporting the fish directly, harvesting anchovies on the order of ten million tons per year, mostly for export. What wasn’t eaten by humans- and much wasn’t- was processed as a protein supplement for animal feed, it was that cheap.

Then, in 1972, el Nino redirected the Humboldt current. Anchovies went from twelve million tons to two million tons in a singe year. Seabirds and the export industry starved.

The problem wasn’t just economic, it was agricultural. Through an odd coincidence, the anchovies collapsed right when Earl Butz called for an end to commodity reserves and the growth of “hedge-row to hedge-row” farming. Farmers stepped in to replace the fish meal in their cattle feed with soybean meal, and by the time anchovy stocks began to recover (they have since collapsed, again) soybean acreage had nearly doubled in the US. In Brazil and Argentina, quickly becoming beef powerhouses, the increase was even more dramatic than this.

I wonder, sometimes, and I recognize that I have very little to go on here besides speculation, but I wonder whether that shift, from meat raised on fish meal to meat raised on soybean meal, might not have something to do with the weird trends in bad health seen beginning in the eighties and especially into the nineties. It might also explain the difference between the observations of Weston Price (who died in 1948, remember, back when cows ate grass) and the recent studies conducted by the WHO.

But of course, el Nino is nothing new. Neither, it turns out, is the sudden and tragic collapse of a civilization brought about by the failure of fisheries off the coast of Peru. See that little sculpture at the top of this interlude? Turns out the Moche- and plenty others- may have been taken out by el Nino as well.

via On Fish and Failure
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january 2016 by davidmarsden
Dr. Pies on the Dearth of Civility
On December 3, 2015, Ronald Pies, MD, published Campus Protests, Narcissism, and the Dearth of Civility on Psychiatric Times. The article is subtitled:  What can we do, as a society, to reduce the levels of incivility and narcissism that appear to be on the rise? Here are some quotes: “…I believe we are witnessing the […] via Dr. Pies on the Dearth of Civility
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january 2016 by davidmarsden
The War on Terror: it's time to end the violence - Counterfire
Remove all Western military from the region and stop backing the most reactionary leaders; these should be first steps to solving the crisis, writes Chris Nineham

via The War on Terror: it's time to end the violence
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november 2015 by davidmarsden
VersoBooks.com
The attacks on Paris last Friday, 13th November, have prompted a predictable response: bombs abroad and a further restriction of civil liberties at home, not to mention a ratcheting up of Islamophobia. Sebastian Budgen analyses the wisdom of this approach.This is perhaps the moment to take a step back to review the brilliance of West's counterrorist strategy, which we can than admire in all its strategic and tactical coherence:

1) Combat the bombing and random murder of civilians with the bombing and random murder of civilians;

2) Combat the attacks on civil liberties and freedoms with attacks on civil liberties and freedoms;

3) Combat the jihadists' attempts to promote the perception of two irreconcilable and antagonistic camps - Islam and the West - with the promotion of the perception that there are two irreconcilable and antagonistic camps - namely Islam and the West;

4) Combat the jihadists' propaganda regarding the rampant Islamophobia in the West by promoting rampant Islamophobia in the West;

5) Combat the propagation of a reactionary form of political Islam by doing business deals and constructing political alliances with those states most implicated in the propagation of the most reactionary forms of political Islam.

6) Combat the perception that Western powers act like neocolonial and self-interested powers by supporting the most authoritarian, corrupt and venal states by supporting the most authoritarian, corrupt and venal states in a neocolonial and self-interested manner;

7) Combat Daesh's projection of itself as a legitimate state that is at war with the western powers by declaring that the western powers are at war with a state known as ISIS;

8) Combat Daesh's propaganda that the West is a decadent, soulless and projectless zone characterised only by its attachment to sybaritic and hedonist activities by putting forward the defence of sybaritic and hedonist activities as the characteristic feature that distinguishes the West from Daesh.

9) Combat the jihadists' claim that reformist Islamist currents are naive if they believe they can come to power through elections, by supporting a coup against a reformist Islamist president who came to power through elections;

10) Combat the radical Islamists' fake anti-Zionism which draws its strength from the argument that the West maintains a double standard on Israel by showering it with money and arms regardless of the treatment of the Palestinians by maintaining a double standard on Israel by showering it with money and arms regardless of the treatment of the Palestinian.

Put like that, what could possibly go wrong?

via The war must go on... Sebastian Budgen on the West's strategy after Paris
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november 2015 by davidmarsden
A Few Thoughts on Anarchism | Anarchist Writers
This year, 2015, marks the 175th anniversary of the publication of Proudhon’s seminal What is Property?. While opponents had hurled the label “anarchist” at those more radical than themselves during both the English and French revolutions, Proudhon was the first to embrace the name and proclaim themselves an anarchist.

read more
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november 2015 by davidmarsden
Five years on from Millbank, who are the real vandals? - Counterfire
Des Freedman argues that the government’s new green paper signals an even more deregulated, profit-driven HE sector

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november 2015 by davidmarsden
More on the Chemical Imbalance Theory
On October 23, 2015, Jeffrey Lacasse, PhD, and Jonathon Leo, PhD, published an interesting article on Florida State University’s DigiNole Commons.  The title is Antidepressants and the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression: A Reflection and Update on the Discourse.  Dr. Lacasse is assistant professor in the College of Social Work at Florida State University; Dr. […] via More on the Chemical Imbalance Theory
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november 2015 by davidmarsden
Longform: From the Longform Archive: Writers on Writing
From Our Archive: Writers on Writing

Didion, Orwell, Nabokov, Murakami and 20 more writers on how they work. [Link] via From the Longform Archive: Writers on Writing
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october 2015 by davidmarsden
Suffragette: on the side of the rebels - Counterfire
Suffragette is a compelling and moving portrayal of the courage of ordinary women who dared to challenge the power of the British state

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october 2015 by davidmarsden
Hacker Public Radio ~ The Technology Community Podcast Network
The MicrobeLog overview: https://gitlab.com/microbelog/manifest hpr1726 :: 15 Excuses not to Record a show for HPR: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1726 I think I've pretty much had to fight excuses 5, 7, 10 and 12. :-) via HPR1876: MicrobeLog, or: On Shaving Yaks and Doing Things
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october 2015 by davidmarsden
http://www.vox.com/2015/9/2/9248801/extreme-poverty-2-dollars
In early 2011, 1.5 million American households, including 3 million children, were living on less than $2 in cash per person per day. Half of those households didn’t have access to in-kind benefits like food stamps. How do families making $2 per person per day get by? How do they get housing and food?

#

via Selling Plasma To Survive: How Over A Million American Families Live On $2 Per Day
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september 2015 by davidmarsden
“Our raison d’etre is based on dissent – dissent from a policy that endorses destitution.” | National Coalition of Independent Action
We hear a lot from service providers about how they have no alternative but bend to government and state policies or risk going out of business. But another way is possible. Those of us who went to the recent NCIA meeting in Sheffield were lucky enough to hear Gina Clayton talk about the work of … Continue reading

via “Our raison d’etre is based on dissent – dissent from a policy that endorses destitution.”
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august 2015 by davidmarsden
Danger of default on Government Olympic debt to communities as campaigners mark ‘three year anniversary of shame’ | Games Monitor
News Release
For immediate release [12/8/2015]

Danger of default on Government Olympic debt to communities as campaigners mark ‘three year anniversary of shame’

Three years on from the end of London 2012 and £425 million in raided lottery cash owed to charities and communities across the UK has not been repaid, and the new Government has gone silent on the issue.

read more

via Danger of default on Government Olympic debt to communities as campaigners mark ‘three year anniversary of shame’
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august 2015 by davidmarsden
Craig Murray » Blog Archive » The Embargo on the Truth About the Iranian Arms Embargo
The corporate media in both the UK and US are attempting to portray the Iranian desire to have the arms embargo lifted, as a new and extraneous demand that could torpedo the nuclear deal. This is an entirely false portrayal.

The issue has been included in the talks since, quite literally, the very first Iranian position document. And there is a reason for that. It is absolutely part and parcel of the issue and in no way extraneous to it. If there were any real journalists employed by the corporate media, that is obvious right on the face of UN Security Council Resolution 1747 of 2007 which imposed the arms embargo. The sole and exclusive reason given for the arms embargo is Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme. And it specifically states that, once the nuclear proliferation issue is resolved, the embargo will be lifted.

Paragraph 13 reads:

(b) that it shall terminate the measures specified in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
and 12 of resolution 1737 (2006) as well as in paragraphs 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 above as
soon as it determines, following receipt of the report referred to in paragraph 12
above, that Iran has fully complied with its obligations under the relevant
resolutions of the Security Council and met the requirements of the IAEA Board of
Governors, as confirmed by the IAEA Board;

It is the United States, not Iran, which is introducing extraneous factors, banging on about Yemen, Iran and Hezbollah, which are nowhere mentioned in the Security Council Resolutions.

The way this is being reported in the media is the exact opposite of the truth. The United States is attempting to welch on a deal which was not only open, but forms the very text of the security council resolution. None of the BBC’s highly paid analysts, reporters, or guest commenters is capable of noting this basic fact.

via The Embargo on the Truth About the Iranian Arms Embargo
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july 2015 by davidmarsden
Just what do we have to do to start a proper debate on immigration? | Nathaniel Tapley
The good thing about UKIP is they’ll talk about the things no other politician will talk about. They’re not afraid to discuss the elephant in the room. Finally, they’ve got the politicians talking about immigration.

In 2002, when David Blunkett called for the Sangatte refugee camp to be closed because of people trying to cross the Channel, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2003, when David Blunkett said our school were being “swamped” with immigrants, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2004, when Jack Straw said he felt uncomfortable when recent immigrants wore the veil to constituency surgeries, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2005, when the Conservative Party had a general election poster that said “It’s not racist to want a cap on immigration”, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2006, when John Reid said the immigration service was not “fit for purpose” we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2008, when Jacqui Smith said that immigrants would have to pass a citizenship test before being allowed to stay, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2009, when Gordon Brown promised “British jobs for British people” we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2010, when David Cameron campaigned on the basis of an upper limit to immigration, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
From 2011 to 2015, when Nigel Farage appeared on Question Time 13 times, we just weren’t talking about immigration.

Now – FINALLY – we can at last start talking about immigration. Thanks, UKIP…

via Just what do we have to do to start a proper debate on immigration?
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june 2015 by davidmarsden
Closing the College of Social Work is yet another attack on the profession | Social Care Network | The Guardian
Social work is becoming less independent as the government pursues its own agenda

The closure of the College of Social Work is being presented by the government as a business decision made on the basis of the college’s failure to balance the books. Social workers, on the other hand, see the denial of contracts and further funding to the college as symbolic of a much deeper ideological struggle with the government and a weakening and restructuring of the profession. Meanwhile, for service users and carers, the college’s closure – along with cuts to welfare spending, local services and social care budgets – is more likely to feel like another attack on some of the most powerless people in society.

Related: Profession in shock as the College of Social Work forced to close

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june 2015 by davidmarsden
Michael Rosen: Ted Hughes on children writing poems, and on not letting words kill each other...
This post is about Ted Hughes writing about writing poetry.It comes from his book 'Poetry in the Making' published by Faber in 1967 but were originally broadcast on BBC Schools Radio programmes 'Listening and Writing'.Along with five other poets, we've been looking at the book, writing poems inspired by the book, and, in my case, visiting the BBC written archives at Caversham to see how Ted Hughes and the BBC wrote to each other. The three  programmes will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 starting on the third Sunday of July and then they'll be up on iPlayer. In the current climate, good writing has been infected by the idea that it starts from single 'good' words. I don't believe this. Occasionally it starts from 'sequences of words' - that is, things we hear or read that bounce round our heads. To get good writing, I believe we have to do a mix of thinking about the experiences we've had, reading widely and often, and having space and time to write what we want to write. Ted Hughes suggested that in order to write a poem about, say, an animal, we should 'look at it, touch it, smell it, listen to it, turn' ourselves into it. 'When you do this, the words look after themselves, like magic.' Or, later: '…The minute you flinch, take your mind off this thing, and begin to look at the words nd worry about them…then your worry goes into them and they set about killing each other.'Again, '…after telling yourself you are going to use any old word that comes into your head so long as it seems right at the moment of writing it down, you will surprise yourself.. You will read back through what you have written and you will get a shock. You will have captured a spirit, a creature.'  via Ted Hughes on children writing poems, and on not letting words kill each other...
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june 2015 by davidmarsden
Without a strong business case, councils risk wasting money on internet of things | Public Leaders Network | The Guardian
From social care to pollution, new technology could create big savings for councils – but only if security and privacy concerns are addressed early

“Your weight is 69.3kg. You’ve lost a little bit,” says Shirley, 67, peering at the scales that her husband Malcolm, 68, is standing on.

Malcolm and Shirley live in Kent. Both have significant health issues, and need carers to come to their home twice a day. The scales have been adapted to transmit today’s weight reading wirelessly to their computer, and – because the couple has agreed to share their data – it immediately shows up on the system of their domiciliary care provider.

Continue reading... via Without a strong business case, councils risk wasting money on internet of things
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june 2015 by davidmarsden
On Therapy as Social Control | Unsafe Spaces
I was reading an interesting article in the Medical Humanities journal, about use of psychological therapies to “help” unemployed people find work. The article, rightly in my view, points out that such therapies are on very dubious ethical ground. There’s a view out there, which I think is utterly erroneous, that therapy and psychiatry can […] via On Therapy as Social Control
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june 2015 by davidmarsden
Poverty, Wealth and the Future | More Crows than Eagles
Any thoughts on where we can look for non-fiction narratives of living through a collapse?

LikeLike

via Comment on Poverty, Wealth and the Future by shyconoclast
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may 2015 by davidmarsden
Craig Murray » Blog Archive » Illegitimate Government: News Blackout on London Protest
The almost total blackout on broadcast media of the police attack on the popular protest by thousands outside Downing Street – with 30 injured and 17 arrests – is in stark contrast to the wall to wall coverage of the staged fake “riot” in Glasgow in which 6 people were slightly rude to Jim Murphy with no arrests and no injuries.

Thanks to the UK’s appalling electoral system, we now have a seriously right wing government with absolute power from an absolute parliamentary majority, but which 63% of voters voted against, and which was supported by only 23% of those eligible to vote. Many of the 38% who did not vote at all, were not apathetic but actively disgusted by a corrupt political system which offers little meaningful choice in most of the UK.

Legitimacy is a different question to legality. The government is undoubtedly legal under the current rotten system, but its legitimacy is a different question entirely. Legitimacy lies on the popular consent of the governed. With an extreme government supported by only 23% of the population, actively planning to inflict actual harm on many more than 23% of the population, there are legitimate philosophical questions to be asked about the right of the government to rule. With so many, particularly but not exclusively young people, now reading sources like this one and not being enthralled by the mainstream media, today’s protest is but a start.

via Illegitimate Government: News Blackout on London Protest
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may 2015 by davidmarsden
Devastating impact of cuts on disabled people |
A letter published in The Guardian 1st May 2015. via Devastating impact of cuts on disabled people
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may 2015 by davidmarsden
Hello Barbie : The Creepy Doll That Spies on Kids ... and their Parents - The Vigilant Citizen
Mattel’s latest doll Hello Barbie dialogs with children, records their answers and sends the information back to a database via [...]

The post Hello Barbie : The Creepy Doll That Spies on Kids … and their Parents appeared first on The Vigilant Citizen.

via Hello Barbie : The Creepy Doll That Spies on Kids … and their Parents
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march 2015 by davidmarsden
Jailing those who fail to act on child abuse won’t stop another Rotherham | Simon Jenkins | Comment is free | The Guardian
The government’s plan to criminalise social workers, teachers and care staff if they turn a blind eye to child abuse will only result in defensive practice

Should you go to prison if you don’t do your job properly? That is the concept behind the government’s new regime for teachers, social workers, police and council staff dealing with young people. If they ignore cases of child sex grooming, they are tolerating what the prime minister bizarrely calls “a national threat”. They are guilty of “wilful neglect” and should go to jail “for up to five years”. In this grim Dutch auction, Labour’s Yvette Cooper says David Cameron “does not go far enough.”

Cameron is right to publicise the scale of neglect among officials in the Rotherham and Oxfordshire cases. Terrible abuse of young people passed under the scanner of local control. It did so largely because it involved intimate relationships between teenagers and their families, neighbours, carers and ethnic communities. Criminalising not the abuse but anyone who might have known about it must fall foul of the law of unintended consequences.

Related: Jail those who turn a blind eye to child abuse, says Cameron

Continue reading... via Jailing those who fail to act on child abuse won’t stop another Rotherham
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march 2015 by davidmarsden
hidden experience: Mary Midgley on owls
I am occasionally posting excerpts from my ongoing book project on owls and UFO abduction. 

Mary Beatrice Midgley, moral philosopher

In her memoir, Owl of Minerva, British author and philosopher Mary Midgley wrote:

I have borrowed the owl for my title from Hegel, who is well known to have remarked that, ‘the owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.’ This is a potent and mysterious symbol that might have various meanings. But the thought for which I want to use it as that of wisdom, and therefore philosophy, comes into its own when things become dark and difficult rather than clear and straightforward. That—it seems to me—is why it is so important… 

Midgley goes on to lament that too many thinkers only want to attend to what is clear, and they turn their backs on things that are dark and doubtful. She is eager to look beyond the brightly lit successes of science, and instead explore the dark  landscapes of meaning and thought. 

It seems to me that we have here the old story of the man who keeps looking for his car keys under the same lamp-post. Someone asks him, ‘Is that where you dropped them?’ ‘No,’ he replies, ‘but it’s a much easier place to look.’

That analogy plays out in the realm of UFO research, with the pragmatic investigator staying only under the brightly lit lamp-post, while the core of the mystery is off in the darkness. Midgley looks to the owl as guide into this shadow realm.

Owls, being associated with the night, are used in many cultures as symbols for two things—first for death, and second, rather differently, for wisdom. Going into the dark brings danger. But, if you have to go out, then surely it is wise to have with you a creature that can penetrate the darkness.

The owl, by this interpretation, is a companion for any traveler stepping off the path and entering the darkest part of the forest. One should expect the owl to show up, either symbolically or literally, whenever a seeker digs into the deepest mysteries. If this plays out to it’s fullest, the screen memory of a four foot tall owl might mean the observer is being told that their journey is difficult rather than clear and straightforward.

_______________________________________________

Mary Beatrice Midgley is an English moral philosopher. She was a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Newcastle University and is known for her work on science, ethics and animal rights. She is 95 years old.

_______________________________________________

via Mary Midgley on owls
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february 2015 by davidmarsden
David Hepworth's blog: More thoughts on Bob Dylan from last night's Word In Your Ear
We gathered at the Islington last night for a Word In Your Ear evening to mark the release of Bob Dylan's new album "Shadows In The Night.
Our guests were Sid Griffin and Barb Jungr. Sid writes books as well as plays music. His new one's Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes. Barb has made a specialty of interpreting Dylan's songs. Her new one's Hard Rain - The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen.
It was fifty years since "Subterranean Homesick Blues", forty since "Blood On The Tracks", thirty since he put his vocal on USA For Africa's "We Are The World", twenty since "MTV Unplugged" and ten since the release of "No Direction Home".
Woke up this morning with a few new thoughts about Bob Dylan to add to the pile I've accumulated over the last fifty plus years. Such as? Such as the fact that Dylan is above all an American musician gives him something in common with Frank Sinatra that we tend to underestimate. He wears the same jacket on the covers of "Blonde On Blonde", "John Wesley Harding" and "Nashville Skyline". Because he only gives as much of himself as he wants to give, even people who have worked with him for years don't really know him. He has adapted his singing and playing style over the years like a pitcher who can no longer throw the ball the same way he did when he was younger. In the summer that everyone else in popular music was producing extravagant records like "Sgt Pepper", "Disraeli Gears", "Axis: Bold As Love" and "The Who Sell Out", albums that prided themselves on throwing in entire consignments of kitchen sinks, he went to Nashville and in three sessions recorded "John Wesley Harding", probably the most austere album of the decade.
Anyway, we enjoyed it and the audience seemed to. We finished with a strictly light-hearted picture quiz featuring real-life characters who are referenced in Bob Dylan's songs. The last one was Paul Revere's horse. It was all over by nine fifteen. I'm thinking of getting that translated into Latin and made into a motto.
A podcast will be out there in due course. If you want to make sure you don't miss it, sign up here. via More thoughts on Bob Dylan from last night's Word In Your Ear
IFTTT  More  thoughts  on  Bob  Dylan  from  last  night's  Word  In  Your  Ear 
february 2015 by davidmarsden
On holding your nose to vote Labour
egg-miliband_2643705c.jpg

As the 2015 General Election looms ever closer, more and more media commentary is going to be dedicated to who people should vote for. Rather than talking generally about the problems and limitations of representative democracy, this is the first of several posts looking at and debunking specific 'tactical voting' strategies from an anti-electoral perspective.

read more

via On holding your nose to vote Labour
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january 2015 by davidmarsden
A brief thought on disability in A Theory of Everything | arbitrary constant
To the cinema to watch A Theory of Everything.

The perspective on disability the film brought was, I thought, excellent. It explicitly included reference to the impact Professor Hawking’s impairment had on his life and the people around him. From a practical view it showed the adjustments the Hawkings had to make in their lives, and the importance of good support that came from a range of different people.

Most satisfyingly, the film clearly captures the fact that Professor Hawking realised his ambitions and what he was capable of irrespective of the barriers – physical, attitudinal, practical – that could have prevented this.

This is perhaps best demonstrated in the sequence following his pneumonia in Bordeaux. A doctor proposes a tracheotomy, meaning Professor Hawking will not be able to speak; feeling that Professor Hawking may not survive a journey back home the doctor asks Jane Hawking to consider ending her husband’s life. Jane refuses and instead finds a way that means Professor Hawking can communicate in a different way. Eventually, of course, he speaks using a synthesized voice – something probably as closely associated with him as black holes.

Without necessarily recognising it, A Theory of Everything provides one of the best representations of the Social Model of Disability I can remember seeing.

(From a film point of view, I think Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking are fantastic. If the Best Actor awards are a straight fight between Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch (for his role as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game) then Redmayne should win hands down. Put simply: Redmayne is Hawking, whereas Cumberbatch is Cumberbatch being Turing.)

Filed under: Equality, Film, Science & Technology Tagged: A Theory of Everything, disability, film, Jane Hawking, physics, Stephen Hawking via A brief thought on disability in A Theory of Everything
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january 2015 by davidmarsden
Document Moved
Not your free speech, buddy.

 

 

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via AlterNet Comics: Jen Sorensen on the Muslim Catch-22
IFTTT  AlterNet  Comics:  Jen  Sorensen  on  the  Muslim  Catch-22 
january 2015 by davidmarsden
David Bromwich · Working the Dark Side: On the Uses of Torture · LRB 8 January 2015
A week before the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA, a Staten Island grand jury chose not to return an indictment for the police killing of Eric Garner – a large black man standing on the sidewalk of a street in New York City. The attention of millions had been transfixed by a video that showed the fatal attempt to arrest Garner. Looking on wearily as he saw the police approach, Garner told a cop that he was doing nothing wrong, in fact he had just broken up a street fight (which was why the police were called). via David Bromwich: On the Uses of Torture
IFTTT  David  Bromwich:  On  the  Uses  of  Torture 
december 2014 by davidmarsden
hidden experience: chalk art on a quiet street in Brooklyn
Street art in Brooklyn

I borrowed some chalk from Charlotte, the 11 year old daughter of my friends in Brooklyn. I then went down to the street to do something I hadn't done since 1982. I traced the shadow of a fire hydrant with a white outline on the cement of the sidewalk.

I did this same thing on the street right outside my dorm when I was a freshman at NYU, I traced the shadows cast by the streetlights with white chalk. Curiously, Anne, the mother of Charlotte, also lived in the same dormitory on East 10th street. At that time I worked hard and did most of the shadows along the entire north side of the block.
To get a really good effect you need a bright light without any other lights interfering. This fire hydrant was perfect, and I spent less than a minute bent over on the sidewalk.
I was a little embarrassed to be doing this, and I was glad there weren't may people around. I saw what i assumed to be a mother and daughter waling towards me just as i was finishing the outline. At that point I crossed the street and started outlining the shadow of a lamp post.
When I looked back, the mother and daughter were standing next to a door of a brownstone close to the hydrant I had used for this little sidewalk adornment. They were both watching me. The street was dark, and they were poorly lit, and it felt a bit eerie. Not knowing what to do, I timidly waved hello. They both waved back with a kind of sweet happy energy.
Later that night, probably close to midnight, I walked back to my friends apartment. I stood on the stoop and before opening the door I looked across the street to the hydrant I had outlined a few hours earlier. There was a young Asian woman standing there staring at the shadow and chalk outline. A moment later she reached into her pocket, pulled out her phone and took a picture.
_______________________________________________________

via chalk art on a quiet street in Brooklyn
IFTTT  chalk  art  on  a  quiet  street  in  Brooklyn 
october 2014 by davidmarsden
Michael Rosen: Teacher (on Facebook) comments on exam regime
"I'm a primary school teacher, a parent and a child of the 80s Thatcher education.
I've seen with my own eyes how schools have changed for the worst. I've been battered by a system, I refuse to bow down to. I've watched children drilled for exams, in tears with their confidence in tatters as early as 7; children that are unable to develop the stamina to read whole texts as they're force fed 'extracts' which meet some assessment focus somewhere; children that are merely dots on a graph expected to move in a linear fashion towards a meaningless one dimensional exam that teaches them no self worth or life skills.
I've watched my own children suffer the same, and eagerly wait for the day that they leave and have hopefully survived the 'education' system that is imposed upon them, rather geared towards them as whole human beings.
It's a sad, sad tragedy. I remain in my job to fight it. To give richness, creativity, opportunity, thinking skills, resilience and self confidence that will provide that love of learning that our system sadly now overlooks.
There are some schools and teachers that still do it but we are fighting a battle and a tide that is becoming harder and harder and to be quite frank, it frightens me." via Teacher (on Facebook) comments on exam regime
IFTTT  Teacher  (on  Facebook)  comments  on  exam  regime 
september 2014 by davidmarsden
‘UNFINISHED BUSINESS’ NOW AVAILABLE AS e-book or on mobile | Ian Bone
Top work Stephen Dickenson…………..

The link for the mobi version is http://bit.ly/1vI2UL9

The link for the epub version is http://bit.ly/W5sR8a

via ‘UNFINISHED BUSINESS’ NOW AVAILABLE AS e-book or on mobile
IFTTT  ‘UNFINISHED  BUSINESS’  NOW  AVAILABLE  AS  e-book  or  on  mobile 
september 2014 by davidmarsden
The Warsaw Ghetto and the assault on Gaza - is there anything in the comparison? | Anarchist Writers
The text below is translated from the poster at the centre of this image of the destruction of Gaza by the Israeli state. But it refers not to this horror but another in 1943 when the Nazis crushed the Warsaw ghetto, wiping out the poorly armed organised resistance that operated out of a warren of bunkers & sewers hidden beneath the ghetto. This poster was by one of the armed factions that defended the Ghetto, the Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB)

 

All people are brothers;
Yellow, brown, black, and white.
Talk of peoples, colors, races -
Is all a made-up story

read more
via The Warsaw Ghetto and the assault on Gaza - is there anything in the comparison?
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august 2014 by davidmarsden
ClubOrlov: German Stunner: “West is on the Wrong Path”
Gabor Steingart, the the publisher of Germany’s leading financial newspaper Handelsblatt, just let loose with an editorial directly challenging Washington's idiotic anti-Russian policies.
The appearance of this document is very timely: just yesterday Russia unleashed the first round of counter-sanctions, banning the import of foodstuffs from the US and the EU. These counter-sanctions are cleverly designed to cause pain in proportion to the level of anti-Russian activity of the country in question; thus, the three Baltic countries, which are virulently anti-Russian in spite of having large Russian populations and surviving largely through trade with Russia, face staggering losses, followed by equally anti-Russian Poland, followed by the rest of the EU, including poor Greece, which is friendly to Russia and should be considered collateral damage. The greatest beneficiaries of these sanctions are all those countries that opposed (11) or abstained (58) when the UN voted to condemn Russia's annexation of Crimea: they get to leapfrog over EU and US economically by exporting foodstuffs to Russia. Russia's consumers and Russia's agricultural sector are also among the winners: Russians will eat healthier food, with no GMO contamination, while profits that used to flow to the US and the EU will now be invested in domestic agriculture, making Russia more self-sufficient in food and aiding in the development of rural districts. Another clever element to these sanctions is that farmers tend to be politically vocal and influential. I see tractors clogging the streets of Europe's capitals and dumptruck-loads of manure decorating the steps of government buildings before too long.
As to his diagnosis of Obama's true motivation, I think he has it wrong. It's not all about pleasing the Tea Party. They, and American voters in general, are irrelevant, it makes no difference who gets elected, and Obama's policies are not Obama's. There is a deeper reason why the oligarchs who own and operate the country formerly known as America are currently attempting to enlarge every problem they see, be it stoking civil war in Ukraine or provoking ISIS into attacking Americans: they are desperate to avoid a scenario where the US collapses on its own, with no external enemy to blame. Not only would it be just too humiliating, but also the population, suddenly brought out of its stupor, might turn on those actually responsible rather than helplessly blame some foreign scapegoat. Putin has to fit the bill, reality be damned.

Read more » via German Stunner: “West is on the Wrong Path”
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august 2014 by davidmarsden
ClubOrlov: Some facts on flight MH17
Finally, here are some facts. In spite of most of the “evidence” offered by the Ukrainians or the US being either a forgery or missing altogether, it's looking like the Ukrainian military shot down the plane in a coordinated attack. The black box recordings, the air traffic control records, the satellite surveillance photos—where are they? They have been hidden away. Why? Because they don't support the narrative that “it's all Putin's fault”?

via Some facts on flight MH17
IFTTT  Some  facts  on  flight  MH17 
august 2014 by davidmarsden
Longform: The Bull on the Mountain by Oliver Sacks
A hike gone terribly wrong.

Oliver Sacks | New York Review of Books | Jun 1984

[Full Story] via The Bull on the Mountain
IFTTT  The  Bull  on  Mountain 
july 2014 by davidmarsden
Some unfashionable opinions on the Glastonbury Festival | The Not So Big Society
Over the past week, this blog has been rather quiet. This isn’t because I’ve dropped off the ends of the Earth – not quite, anyway. I’ve been volunteering at the Glastonbury Festival with the Oxfam Stewards, who raise money for charity by helping to run festivals across the UK, and who I can’t recommend enough. […] via Some unfashionable opinions on the Glastonbury Festival
IFTTT  Some  unfashionable  opinions  on  the  Glastonbury  Festival 
july 2014 by davidmarsden
BBC Sport - World Cup 2014: BBC Sport montage music on Spotify playlist
BBC Sport and BBC Playlister team up to make all World Cup music from programmes available on a playlist. via World Cup music now on Playlister
IFTTT  World  Cup  music  now  on  Playlister 
june 2014 by davidmarsden
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