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Ghost Dog

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Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 15,336

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

Nuit debout occupies French cities

Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
Friday 8 April 2016 17.31 BST Last modified on Friday 8 April 2016 22.25 BST


As night fell over Paris, thousands of people sat cross-legged in the vast square at Place de la République, taking turns to pass round a microphone and denounce everything from the dominance of Google to tax evasion or inequality on housing estates.

The debating continued into the early hours of the morning, with soup and sandwiches on hand in the canteen tent and a protest choir singing revolutionary songs. A handful of protesters in tents then bedded down to “occupy” the square for the night before being asked to move on by police just before dawn. But the next morning they returned to set up their protest camp again.

For more than a week, these vast nocturnal protest gatherings – from parents with babies to students, workers, artists and pensioners – have spread across France, rising in number, and are beginning to panic the government.

Called Nuit debout, which loosely means “rise up at night”, the protest movement is increasingly being likened to the Occupy initiative that mobilised hundreds of thousands of people in 2011 or Spain’s Indignados...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/08/nuit-debout-protesters-occupy-french-cities-in-a-revolutionary-call-for-change

Xpost Foreign Affairs

Nice read, thanks, but misses the point. Briefly,

It is the consumptive imperative growth-paradigm of contemporary capitalism as it operates in practice in most of the world today, and from which stems excessive energy demand, that is the overarching problem to be solved.

As an anarcho-environmental-socialist, if you will, I would not necessarily dismiss the use of nuclear fission or fusion electrical energy generation, whatever the degree of central- or decentralisation (mini-generators could be of interest), as part of a system of intelligently-designed, regulated and operated economies.

My point is that everything depends on this re-design and succesful implementation of new kinds of society.

But you say you do not care, ...

I don't care what social system builds nuclear power plants, so long as they are built

... apparantly assuming a priori that business-as-usual must persist, ...

My advocacy of nuclear power is about the crisis in climate change on a world that now holds six and one half billion people, many of whom who have no access to decent living conditions.

... in societies which provide for far from decent living conditions for too many.

Where you mention a preference for integrated public trsnsport systems, however, you do imply some social change.


Well... "public interest for your country..." ?


... Neither the ICIJ nor any of the reporters it’s worked with have made the leaked data public...

... Ryle says that the media organizations have no plans to release the full dataset, WikiLeaks-style, which he argues would expose the sensitive information of innocent private individuals along with the public figures on which the group’s reporting has focused. “We’re not WikiLeaks. We’re trying to show that journalism can be done responsibly,” Ryle says. He says he advised the reporters from all the participating media outlets to “go crazy, but tell us what’s in the public interest for your country.”...

Want to bet?


More at link... Kerry more likely than Sanders? How? Discuss...

"I'm 100% Sure" The US Presidential Campaign Is Being Tampered With


There is a growing recognition of the increasing tail wagging the dog nature of the internet's control over election outcomes.We recently detailed "the hidden persuaders"at work showing how the internet has spawned subtle forms of influence that can flip elections and manipulate everything we say, think and do. Confirming all of this to be chillingly true is Andrés Sepúlveda, who rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal - "I'm 100 percent sure it is."

Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger excerpts a must-read Bloomberg article,

In July 2015, Sepúlveda sat in the small courtyard of the Bunker, poured himself a cup of coffee from a thermos, and took out a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. He says he wants to tell his story because the public doesn’t grasp the power hackers exert over modern elections or the specialized skills needed to stop them. “I worked with presidents, public figures with great power, and did many things with absolutely no regrets because I did it with full conviction and under a clear objective, to end dictatorship and socialist governments in Latin America,” he says. “I have always said that there are two types of politics—what people see and what really makes things happen. I worked in politics that are not seen.”

Rendón, says Sepúlveda, saw that hackers could be completely integrated into a modern political operation, running attack ads, researching the opposition, and finding ways to suppress a foe’s turnout. As for Sepúlveda, his insight was to understand that voters trusted what they thought were spontaneous expressions of real people on social media more than they did experts on television and in newspapers. He knew that accounts could be faked and social media trends fabricated, all relatively cheaply. He wrote a software program, now called Social Media Predator, to manage and direct a virtual army of fake Twitter accounts. The software let him quickly change names, profile pictures, and biographies to fit any need. Eventually, he discovered, he could manipulate the public debate as easily as moving pieces on a chessboard—or, as he puts it, “When I realized that people believe what the Internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything.”

Sepúlveda says he was offered several political jobs in Spain, which he says he turned down because he was too busy. On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal.“I’m 100 percent sure it is,” he says.

– From the excellent Bloomberg article: How to Hack an Election.

It's never too late, in a sense, because we have no alternative

but to seek to live in and adapt to the (changing) environment. But, and it's a big but, to maintain the kinds of (consumption-mad, resource-hungry and environmentally-destructive) societies that have been developed, quite unthinkingly, in what we call the 'rich' world is impossible: it is already too late...

Radical social change is coming, is already happening. I'd say that by the end of the next 7-8-year cycle everyone in this world will be aware, and many more than now will be suffering.

Thanks for the question pscot. I don't want to be a downer: it is healthy to think and feel positively. It is far too late for prevention. There is room for some attempts at mitigation (involving social as well as technical change) but, mid- to long-term, adaptation has to be the name of the game. This will involve radical social, especially in terms of how economies are perceived and operated, change.

Well, if nobody else, I will post this here (April 1):

Exclusive: royal family considering dramatic Brexit intervention

Royals are believed to be willing to risk a potential constitutional crisis to express their anger over the leave campaign...

.. Using outside experts who advised that the intervention would need to be presented by a figure with impeccable European credentials, a strong affinity with the continent and the character to speak out, the family has decided that the move should (be) fronted by Prince Philip.

“He has been hugely impressed by the way the EU stepped in, not just once but several times, to save Greece,” said one official with knowledge of events. “He admires what Tsipras and Varoufakis achieved – in fact he told friends he sees something of his younger self in the charismatic, motorbike-riding, eye-for-the-ladies Varoufakis. Mind you,” added the source, “he also thinks the Greeks would never have got into this mess if the colonels had still been in power.”...

... Remaining questions of strategy are being resolved by an inner circle at the palace. On timing, the date picked for Philip to make a nationwide address is 10 June, crucially just two weeks before the referendum on 23 June. Courtiers have noted the added poignancy of 10 June – it is Philip’s 95th birthday.

On which platform to use, the source said: “We want to avoid that ‘bloody little man’, as Charles called BBC royal reporter Nicholas Witchell.”

Kensington Palace sources say the choice is a tight one between ITV’s news anchor Tom Bradby, who is preferred by Prince William, and Prince Harry’s strong favourites Ant and Dec. Harry argues that the Saturday Night Takeaway presenters would reach a different demographic and be particularly appealing to “people in the north with accents”...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/01/exclusive-royal-family-considering-dramatic-brexit-intervention

Volcanic activity?

... a newly-published study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists reveals that relatively small volcanic eruptions may be mitigating the increases in output of greenhouse gases and slow the rate of global warming by as much as half. In fact, the effect of such volcanic activity may help to explain why the pace of warming has decreased in recent years and fallen short of matching the level predicted by the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere.

The paper, published in the journal Geophysical Review Letters, focused on the effect of the aerosol particles that are pumped into the atmosphere. The scientists used balloons, laser radar, and ground-based measurements to calculate the impact.

The scientists discovered that about a dozen modest-sized eruptions worldwide over the past 15 years may have reduced the warming effect of greenhouse gas emissions by about 0.005 to 0.12 degrees Celsius. Over roughly that same time period, the rate of global warming has slowed, though surface temperatures have continued to rise.

Volcanic eruptions spew sulfur dioxide, which in the atmosphere forms tiny droplets of sulfuric acid — also known as volcanic aerosols, which can block sunlight. While previous studies have noted that effect from small volcanoes, the new study found that the effect is bigger than previously thought...

/... http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/are-volcanic-eruptions-slowing-global-warming-150112.htm

France labour law reforms strikes & protests

Some say French people are warming up ready for another May '68-style Spring...

France was set for a fresh day of protests over labour reforms on Thursday, in yet another challenge for the embattled government of President François Hollande.

The protests led by student groups and labour unions coincide with strikes by air traffic controllers that are expected to cause travel chaos for thousands of passengers...

... Hollande has vowed not to run again if he cannot put a dent in the country's stubbornly high unemployment figures – long stuck at around 10 percent – and hoped the modest labour reforms would encourage firms to hire more people.

But pressure from the street and parliament's back benches caused the government to water down the proposals so that they only apply to large firms.

A recent poll found that 58 percent of the French public still opposed the measures...


Paris commuters along with rail and air passengers around France were facing disruption and delays due to strikes by transport workers on Thursday. Here’s all the latest.

Main details:

Three quarters of Metro services running in Paris
RER and Francilien commuter trains running half of usual services
20 percent of flights cancelled out of Paris Orly airport
Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to see delays rather than cancellations
Nearly 400km of traffic jams on roads around Paris
TGV services and regional TER trains also hit by strike
This useful map shows walking times between Metro stations in Paris
Protests planned around the country against labour reforms
Eiffel Tower closed as workers join strike
Good luck...

... Transport is only one area affected by Thursay's national day of protest against the labour reforms as school pupils and students, hospital workers in Paris, postal workers and members of the press and TV also on strike.

Postal services and TV scheduling will likely be disrupted. While printers also joining the strike means there'll be no copies of French newspapers on Thursday....


Some reform-minded unions have given their support to proposed changes to France’s famously stringent labour laws, but tens of thousands of students and workers took to the streets a week ago, angry over plans to make it easier for struggling companies to fire workers.

Cars were burned in Paris and more than 30 people arrested as protesters clashed with police, who responded with tear gas.

Organisers have threatened an even bigger day of demonstrations on Thursday. Parliament is set to vote on the reforms in late April or early May.


... The bill puts almost all aspects of France’s strictly codified rules on labour relations up for negotiation. Everything from the maximum number of work hours to overtime pay to holidays would be open to scrutiny, but the main focus is on plans to limit the cost of laying off workers.

The government and business leaders say the reforms will encourage companies to give more workers permanent contracts rather than temporary ones, but unions and some on the left of the Socialist Party disagree and instead see a threat to job security.

The proposal technically maintains the 35-hour workweek but allows workers to negotiate longer working schdules, up to 46 hours per week for 16 weeks. In "exceptional circumstances", employees could work up to 60 hours a week.

To allow companies to deal with busy periods, one measure would allow employees to work more than 35 hours without being paid overtime in exchange for more days off. Other measures would relax the rules on layoffs and working from home and at night...


Does this refer to the entire zone China claims?

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