Dehumanisation is often the starting point of cruelty. Nazis didn’t see Jews as human, that’s how they could throw them into ovens. Slavery in America worked along similar lines, people were treated as cattle because they were labelled “niggers,” a word used to denote someone who was not quite “one of us,” not quite a person. Religions do this kind of thing a lot, in Islam it’s “kuffar”, in Judaism it’s “goyim,” in Christianity it is “heathen.”
In England at the moment the word “troll” is being used by Her Majesty’s Government to do the same. Originally “trolling” referred to a fishing technique where you slowly drag a lure or baited hook from a moving boat. In the old world of forums people would be called out for trying to “troll” for a response to their posts. Now it has become detached from its original meaning and conflated with the trolls of Tolkienesque fantasy.… Read the rest
Is the global economy hitting the limits to growth?
In this talk, Nate Hagens will synthesize the current landscape of global energy, environment and financial risks while offering suggestions on what to do as a hominid living on a full planet. He will raise the question of whether it is possible to degrow our economies with conscious effort before our options are constrained by external forces. After a quick summary of the situation, he will lead a conversation with the audience on appropriate responses to these challenges. Are large climate rallies accomplishing anything? If they aren’t, what is a better plan of action?
THIS JUST IN: “Missouri teen shot by police was two days away from starting college.”
THIS JUST IN: “Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold.”
THIS JUST IN: “Sleeping 7-year-old girl shot in head during no-knock police raid on wrong home.”
We see this shit going on all around us, and we’re enraged, upset, disappointed, and confused by it. We know full well that it’s fueled by race.
We think, “Again? Come on!”
We think, “It’s 2014, for chrissake! What about the civil rights movement?!”
We make sarcastic jokes about the supposed end of racism and how we don’t see color; and then we bicker, ruminate, or go rogue as self-important Facebook activists bent on “intelligently debating” among ourselves as to why that last black man was shot—a common response to what is now a regularly occurring event.
We ask, “Who’s the next black kid to get shot in the face?” Indeed, it’s a miserable state of affairs, one that is surely statistically quantifiable by now.… Read the rest
Not only are some Americans trying to remove books on sex and religion (not to mention evolution) from schools and public libraries, now they’re going after books dealing with poverty and class, reports the Guardian:
… Read the rest
Late last month, for the 32nd year in a row, Banned Books Week was marked across the US. Spearheaded by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom, the annual salute to the freedom to read has become a fixture. It aims to counterbalance perennial challenges to the content of books and efforts to get them banned, usually from schools and libraries.
The ALA collects information on which books are objected to and reports on prominent recurring themes that tend to generate moral or ideological indignation. Subjects such as religion, race, gender, sexuality and allegations of sexually explicit content or offensive language frequently top the list.
More worrying, however, is the recent rise in efforts to get books banned that cover poverty and social class.
If you’re concerned about the future of psychedelic medicines and ethical/sustainable sources, then please support this project by the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council. They are making big strides and can use all our help.
From The Nexian:
With the continued rise in popularity of psychedelic plant medicines, concerns surrounding sustainable harvesting methods and safe administration by practitioners are growing. The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the sustainable and safe use of traditional plants and enriching the communities who work with them.
As we have seen in recent articles, unsustainable harvesting is a growing issue with ayahuasca, mimosa and acacia trees, iboga, peyote, and even sassafras in SE Asia. Quite antithetical to the earth-centered teachings of these plants, these harvesting methods have a devastating impact on the environment.
In order to truly heal with the planet we must not only have these experiences of higher awareness of the biosphere, but put our thoughts into action and become the stewards of nature, not its disease.… Read the rest
Norman Pollack writes at CounterPunch:
… Read the rest
And we thought the cold-blooded planning and execution of armed drone assassination vitiated any claim to moral character, a POTUS swaggering around on Air Force One methodically using drones and air power to destroy civilian targets and, as in the recent attacks on UN schools/shelters in Gaza, countenance—if not encourage-the same among friends and allies (Israel), now it is revealed by Charlie Savage of the New York Times, in an article, “Obama Could Reaffirm a Bush-Era Reading of a Treaty on Torture,” (Oct. 19), that our Nobelist Warrior is exquisitely parsing international treaties to allow for US TORTURE abroad, so long as not on the Homeland. Whether the program of torture or the rationale for its authorization is the greater Evil I leave to the professional philosophers to determine. But from here, America’s vanguard role, already the purveyor of global counterrevolution by all means possible, in this latest chapter of structural-political sadism, smells to high heavens.
Deirdre Fulton writes at Common Dreams:
… Read the rest
A leading Washington, D.C. ethics organization filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday for failing to provide documents regarding oil industry efforts to influence the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Each year, the EPA sets the RFS for how much renewable fuel must be blended into transportation fuel supplies. “The renewable fuel standards are one of EPA’s most important tools for promoting clean air,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) states in its lawsuit (pdf).
CREW claims the EPA has yet to hand over all relevant communications—requested in May 2014 under the Freedom of Information Act—related to the EPA’s most recent RFS proposal, put forth in November 2013. At that point, for the first time since the standards were established, the EPA proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel.
In this video Luke Rudkowski interviews Cecily McMillan at the national day against police brutality.
Via We Are Change
[Editor's note: I went to Cecily's website and found this video of her on Democracy Now. The interview was right after her attack.]
In 2012, an 82-year-old Nun easily broke into one of America’s most secure weapons facilities. In 1982, inspectors discovered that a massive hyper-secure vault used to store nuclear weapons had an unlocked back door next to a public road. In 1997, one of Russia’s top generals claimed that almost a hundred bombs were missing and unaccounted for.
This week, Science Faction takes a look at the jaw-dropping history of Nuclear Security blunders in ‘How Hard Is It To Steal An Atom Bomb?’
(Information is drawn primarily from released Oversight reports and Congressional hearings – Full list of sources at the end)’