Monday, November 27, 2017

When science entered the policy greenhouse

The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.
These words in the second assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change can now be seen as pivotal in the history of global warming science.
However tentative the wording, this was the first time that an official assessment had made a positive ‘detection’ claim.
The breakthrough was widely celebrated and then used to justify a change of US policy, towards support for binding greenhouse gas emissions targets.

But this came only after protests over what had been done to the IPCC report to make way for this statement. Just days before the US policy change was announced, an op-ed by leading US scientist, Frederick Seitz, described the late removal of sceptical passages as ‘a major deception’, and a ‘disturbing corruption of the peer-review process’, where policymakers and the public had been misled into believing ‘that the scientific evidence shows human activities are causing global warming’.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/24/after-the-catastrophe-signal-when-science-entered-the-policy-greenhouse/

Friday, November 24, 2017

Gore’s Oil Money

"Occidental’s investment in Gore has paid rich dividends. In late 1997 the Vice President championed the Administration’s $3.65 billion sale to the company of the government’s interest in the Elk Hills oilfield in Bakersfield, California, the largest privatization of federal property in US history. On the very day the deal was sealed Gore gave a speech lamenting the growing threat of global warming. Gore also maintains a close friendship with Occidental CEO Ray Irani. In 1996 the latter spent the night in the Lincoln Bedroom. Two days later his company donated $100,000 to the DNC. In 1994 Irani traveled with Commerce Secretary Ron Brown on a trade junket to Russia. Four years later, Irani was invited to a state dinner at the White House for Colombian President Pastrana."
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"Occidental and the Administration are also cooperating in promoting President Clinton’s controversial $1.6 billion package in military aid for Bogotá. (Occidental already pays the Colombian military to keep an army base next to a refinery it runs in the country.) The aid request came in the wake of three reports–from the US State Department, the United Nations and Human Rights Watch–that slammed Pastrana’s government for human rights abuses and for failing to cut ties between the army and paramilitary death squads. According to the Human Rights Watch report, at least seven senior military officials in Colombia who have links to paramilitary units are graduates of the US Army’s School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia.

On February 15 an Occidental vice president, Lawrence Meriage, testified before a House subcommittee in favor of the package, saying that Colombia’s military “lack mobility, equipment and, perhaps most serious, they lack the intelligence-gathering capabilities afforded to their better-funded adversaries.” Meriage took the opportunity to denounce opposition to his company’s Samore project, which he said is limited to “extremists” in Colombia and “several fringe nongovernmental organizations in the US.” The latter–which Meriage didn’t name but which include the Rainforest Action Network and Project Underground–are “de facto allies of the subversive forces that are attacking oil installations, electric power stations and other legitimate business enterprises,” the Occidental executive said.
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Gore has also rebuffed members of his own party who have asked him to support the tribe. On February 22 Representative Cynthia McKinney wrote to Gore and urged him to meet with U’wa leader Perez and to support an immediate suspension of the Samore project. “I am concerned that the operations of oil companies, and in particular Occidental Petroleum, are exacerbating an already explosive situation, with disastrous consequences for the local indigenous people,” she said. “I am contacting you because you have remained silent on this issue despite your strong financial interests and family ties with Occidental.” "

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pathogen levels preceded shifts in gender equality

"It turned out that a decline in levels of infectious disease was the most robust factor predictor of rising gender equality, a finding we were able to replicate in the UK, and in both societies we found evidence that changes in pathogen levels preceded shifts in gender equality "

Penile coital injuries in men decline after circumcision

"Penile coital injuries are one of the suggested mechanisms behind the increased risk of HIV among uncircumcised men. We evaluated the prevalence and correlates of self-reported penile coital injuries in a longitudinal community-based cohort of young (18-24 years old), newly circumcised and uncircumcised men in Western Kenya."

"Self-reported penile coital injuries were common and decreased significantly following circumcision. Improving sexual experience through the removal of a potential source of sexual discomfort may resonate with many men targeted for circumcision services. The role of penile coital injuries in sexual satisfaction, HIV, HSV-2, and as a motivator for seeking circumcision services should be explored further."

Medical male circumcision has health benefits for women, review finds

"male circumcision is associated with decreased risk in women for cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, herpes simplex virus type 2 (the main cause of genital herpes), chlamydia, and syphilis. They also found additional evidence that male circumcision is associated with decreased risk for human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer and genital warts."
"These findings confirm that voluntary medical male circumcision is associated with protection for female partners from diseases that severely impact their health," said the study's first author, Jonathan Grund, from the CDC's Division of Global HIV & TB. "Existing prenatal care services and cervical cancer screening programs already counsel women about staying healthy. If that counseling includes encouraging male partners to get circumcised and referring interested men to these services, it can improve women's health programs and HIV prevention programs simultaneously."

Monday, October 16, 2017

THE ANTI-DEVELOPMENT BANK



"The turning point came when, in the mid 1990s, with the opening up of world capital markets to most developing countries outside Africa, the bank had three choices, as noted by Anne Krueger:

:to downsize and concentrate only on the countries that are truly poor, and phase out activities in middle income countries

:continue to operate in all countries, focusing on the ‘soft issues’ of development, such as the environment, women’s rights, labour rights and the encouragement of NGOs

:to shutdown.


The new President James Wolfensohn chose the second option. I argued in my Reviving the Invisible Hand for the third. The arguments of this paper provide further support for my position. "

Monday, October 9, 2017

First, They Came for the Biologists

https://www.wsj.com/articles/first-...

The revolution on college campuses, which seeks to eradicate individuals and ideas that are considered unsavory, constitutes a hostile takeover by fringe elements on the extreme left. Last spring at the Evergreen State College, where I was a professor for 15 years, the revolution was televised—proudly and intentionally—by the radicals. Opinions not fitting with the currently accepted dogma—that all white people are racist, that questioning policy changes aimed at achieving “equity” is itself an act of white supremacy—would not be tolerated, and those who disagreed were shouted down, hunted, assaulted, even battered. Similar eruptions have happened all over the country.

What may not be obvious from outside academia is that this revolution is an attack on Enlightenment values: reason, inquiry and dissent. Extremists on the left are going after science. Why? Because science seeks truth, and truth isn’t always convenient.

The left has long pointed to deniers of climate change and evolution to demonstrate that over here, science is a core value. But increasingly, that’s patently not true.

The battle on our campuses—and ever more, in K-12 schools, in cubicles and in meetings, and on the streets—is being framed as a battle for equity, but that’s a false front. True, there are real grievances. Gaps between populations exist, for historical and modern reasons that are neither honorable nor acceptable, and they must be addressed. But what is going on at institutions across the country is—yes—a culture war between science and postmodernism. The extreme left has embraced a facile fiction.

Postmodernism, and specifically its offspring, critical race theory, have abandoned rigor and replaced it with “lived experience” as the primary source of knowledge. Little credence is given to the idea of objective reality. Science has long understood that observation can never be perfectly objective, but it also provides the ultimate tool kit with which to distinguish signal from noise—and from bias. Scientists generate complete lists of alternative hypotheses, with testable predictions, and we try to falsify our own cherished ideas.

Science is imperfect: It is slow and methodical, and it makes errors. But it does work. We have microchips, airplanes and streetlights to show for it.

In a meeting with administrators at Evergreen last May, protesters called, on camera, for college president George Bridges to target STEM faculty in particular for “antibias” training, on the theory that scientists are particularly prone to racism. That’s obvious to them because scientists persist in using terms like “genetic” and “phenotype” when discussing humans. Mr. Bridges offers: “[What] we are working towards is, bring ’em in, train ’em, and if they don’t get it, sanction them.”

Despite the benevolent-sounding label, the equity movement is a highly virulent social pathogen, an autoimmune disease of the academy. Diversity offices, the very places that were supposed to address bigotry and harassment, have been weaponized and repurposed to catch and cull all who disagree. And the attack on STEM is no accident. Once scientists are silenced, narratives can be fully unhooked from any expectation that they be put to the test of evidence. Last month, Evergreen made it clear that they wanted two of its scientists gone—my husband, Bret Weinstein, and me, despite our stellar reputations with the students they claimed to be protecting. First, they came for the biologists…

Science has sometimes been used to rationalize both atrocity and inaction in its face. But conflating science with its abuse has become a favorite trope of extremists on the left. It’s a cheap rhetorical trick, and not, dare I say, very logical.

Science creates space for the free exchange of ideas, for discovery, for progress. What has postmodernism done for you lately?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Thatcher told the MET Office and the BBC to focus on "global warming"

The "transition to renewables" started out as British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's greenwashing of her drive to destroy the Miner's Union. She had to do that in order to defeat the union movement in the United Kingdom (UK). The miners could shut down the country on short notice, due to the UK dependence upon coal. Oil was not reliable, since it was controlled by the Arabs who had demonstrated they were prepared to used the "oil weapon." Nuclear energy was very unpopular with the public. Renewables was the only option left. She told the MET Office (The MET Office is the United Kingdom's national weather service.) and the BBC to focus on "global warming." She started the Climate Research Unit (CRU) that was later shown to be secretly creating web sites to combat the sites critical of their research (the Climategate leak). So, the “transition to renewables” can include green washing.

Following the General Election of 1979, most of the incoming Cabinet had been members of the government which lost office in 1974. They blamed the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) for their 1974 defeat. They, therefore, desired an excuse for reducing the UK coal industry and, thus, the NUM’s power. Coal-fired power stations emit CO2 but nuclear power stations don’t. "Global warming" provided an excuse for reducing the UK’s dependence on coal by replacing it with nuclear power. . . . A rational assessment of appropriate policies would include cost/benefit analysis, but imagined risk is not rational. All the proposed responses to the imagined risk of man-made "global warming" would increase starvation and poverty while inhibiting economic development throughout the entire world. And CO2 emissions would not be reduced and may be increased. In practice, politicians are accepting the predictions of climate models as being predictions of the future, and they are acting to change that future. This is similar to the behaviour of people who believe horoscope predictions of future harm so they avoid situations where that harm could happen. 


This programme asserts that the view that "global warming" is man-made was promoted by the British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a means of promoting nuclear power and reducing the impact of strike action in the state-owned coal industry by the National Union of Mineworkers.

M. Strong and Al Gore profited from the trading of carbon certificates on the Chicago Exchange. Trading ceased in 2013 due to inactivity.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Real State of DiEM25

I am posting this here, because it was censored from the DiEM25 Spontaneous Collective (DSC) email list.

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The Real State of DiEM25*

Election information for Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) members



Abstract

The Operating Principles (OPs) of DiEM25 promote factionalism and disenfranchisement.
Reform of the organizational structure is made close to impossible by the OPs.
Contradictions within the organization impede political effectiveness.
A transformation of governance and clarification of objectives is required.
Full transparency of all DiEM25 meetings is essential.
Membership in the democratically structured DiEM25 legal entity must be open to all.
Freedom of expression within DiEM25 must not be impeded.



Organizational Format

A weakness of DiEM25 is that people contribute time and money to an organization in which they do not hold membership. Very high transparency is required at all organizational levels, if manipulation and exploitation are to be avoided with this type of structure. In addition, the selection of leadership representing all factions within the organization is required, if ideological dictatorship is to be avoided. Recent events suggest that these requirements have not been satisfied.

Some suggestions for improvements in DiEM’s founding documents were apparently ignored. The Green Party MEP Sven Giegold was “convinced that the draft manifestos of DiEM25 contain a number of important contradictions and major flaws.” When contradictions are present, arbitrary choices must be made and they tend to flow from the underlying beliefs of the decision makers. Perhaps this is why one DiEM member commented: “DiEM was originally marketed as a platform democracy movement, but it turned out to be a traditional (1960s-80s) intellectual Marxist group.” Giegold also objected to the lack of transparency in the drafting process. This lack of transparency has continued and resulted in serious contradictions. Examination of the documents provided for the registration of the DiEM25 legal entity shows obvious typographical errors. In summary, careful consideration of the foundations for the new association is not in evidence. Many of the problems discussed below are due to a failure to resolve contradictions during the formation of DiEM25.


The election season started with the announcement in Berlin of a new Party Strategy for DiEM25. That is, DiEM25 would form a political party in order to benefit from funding and influence made available to such organizations in many European countries. The Membership has been asked to consider alternative methods that could be used in such a Strategy, including not forming a party at all. However, as a result of this announcement, distribution of the news on social media, including DiEM’s own website, the German, etc. press has reported that a decision to become a party has been made. So, the costs associated with being a political party in the public perception, etc. have already been paid.

The immediate reaction from the Membership was negative with some people leaving DiEM25 after the Berlin event. An Open Letter widely supported by the DiEM25 Spontaneous Collectives (DSCs) was distributed via the DSC-Coordination Mailing List (DSC List). An unclear response from the Coordinating Collective (CC) conceded that more time was needed to consider the decision, but raise a number of other questions. Answers to these questions have not been forthcoming.


The allocation of six votes for six openings is known as Plurality-at-Large voting. Plurality-at-Large voting encourages factionalism: "The block voting system has a number of features which can make it unrepresentative of the voters' intentions. Block voting regularly produces complete landslide majorities for the group of candidates with the highest level of support.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plurality-at-large_voting)

The fact that a faction with 51% of the votes can capture all seats assumes great importance due to the dual organization framework of DiEM25. There is a DiEM25 legal entity under Belgian and European Union law incorporated as an International Non-Profit Making Association (INPMA). The membership of this INPMA consists of the CC members plus Ex Officio members (the Coordinators). The INPMA controls funds and provides communication channels for the Volunteers, who are guided by the Manifesto and Organizing Principles.

While Volunteers may contribute time and money to DiEM25, they have no direct influence on the operation of the legal entity. Volunteers cannot directly propose organizational changes to be voted upon by the Membership. Even under ideal conditions, 49% of the Volunteers can be excluded from organizational influence.


Voting is being carried out with an internally developed system. Members signed up after 1 June 2017 receive this message: “As you have joined after the cut-off date for this election, you will not be able to vote this time around. (We want members to vote only after they have had a chance to be properly informed.)” The second sentence was added after the start of the vote, apparently due to complaints. The resolution was approved by the Validating Council (VC) 21 July 2017. Therefore, it amounted to an ex post facto rule. That is, people who signed up as full members after 1 June 2017 discovered they were excluded from the vote by a decision taken 21 July 2017. Ex post facto laws are typically prohibited, since they can undermine the rule of law. It isn’t clear why those signing up after 1 June 2017 would be less informed, since voting information was made available after 21 July 2017. The reasoning presented to the Validating Council was different: “In order to ensure that possibilities of foul play are kept low the organising principles mention the need for a cut-off date. Given that this is the first time such a vote takes place in our movement, the VC is required to vote on a cut-off date specific to the election commencing on 1 August.” And: “Please note that the cut-off date you vote for will also become the standard cut-off date for future CC votes (i.e. same cut-off date as for those wishing to run for the CC, same date as the opening of the candidacies for the CC, same date as the closing of the candidacies for the CC). With this in mind, which date do you choose for being the cut-off date for members wishing to vote in the CC election:” The CC didn’t offer the option of a separate cutoff date for the current election compared to elections in general. Therefore, the VC could only choose options that resulted in excluding Members after the fact, even though the risk of foul play in this election seems to be extremely low, due to the minimal resources within the organization at this time. So, it appears that a faulty decision was presented to the VC. The easy solution was to explain away the problem instead of modifying the decision and then the voting system.

Elections of this type are typically conducted via Internet voting sites. Such sites are typically a more cost effective solution, since they conduct elections for many organizations and, therefore, can spread development costs widely. As a result of varying demands from organizations, they have highly flexible solutions that are capable of handling special conditions, such as first-time elections. However, the most important advantage of such sites is they are neutral parties with no interest in the outcome, thereby reducing the risk of vote tampering. They also have the resources to make the vote highly secure, auditable, etc. ensuring that no outside party can bias the outcome. Since no voting committee has been setup to organize this vote, people in charge are those with a direct interest in the outcome. This arrangement maximizes the risk of foul play by the leadership.



Transparency

The DiEM25 Manifesto states “Our immediate priority is full transparency in decision-making (e.g., live-streaming of European Council, Ecofin, and Eurogroup meetings, full disclosure of trade negotiation documents, publication of ECB minutes, etc.)” However, the meetings of DiEM’s CC are not live-streamed or even recorded.

When Lorenzo Marsili was asked about video from the CC on his recent Facebook Live, he rejected the idea that there should be full coverage. This is a rejection of Transparency, which is supposed to be our fundamental principle. To make things worse, it is virtually impossible to conclude anything definite from the minutes of the CC meetings.

It is generally assumed that DiEM must demonstrate by its own organizational procedures that full transparency is practical. In any case, a failure to conform to its own demands would lead to them being dismissed as hypocritical. It appears, therefore, that a failure to observe transparency internally is counter to DiEM’s political program. Such a failure also appears to be a violation of Members’ Pledge to not act in contradiction to the Manifesto or Operating Principles.

We are not questioning CC members’ motives. We can explain their behavior as an example of the Iron Law of Oligarchy. It states: Any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy or "Who says organization, says oligarchy." This can explain a rejection of full transparency, but how can the CC continue on a path that undermines DiEM’s objectives? This can be explained by the Iron Law of Institutions: ‘The people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution “fail” while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to "succeed" if that requires them to lose power within the institution.’

The solution to these dangerous tendencies is full transparency, which allows “grassroot” or direct democracy to function. Only the Members can ensure that the leadership conforms to the principles enshrined in the DiEM25 Manifesto and Operating Principles. The CC is the representative body of DiEM25. However, Members are now being ask to vote on the candidates without having access to what actions have been supported by those who previously served. The report from the Berlin meeting stated that members had left DiEM25, due to their feeling that the arrangement had been too “top-down.” Nothing that has been done has corrected this impression. If DiEM25 doesn’t follow its own demands, it could disintegrate as a movement. DiEM25 meetings must be open to all members, unless there are privacy concerns. In such cases, a detailed explanation must be given. The Transparency question has been put to all candidates. The discussion is available both on Facebook and in the DiEM25 Forum.


Non-local DiEM25 Spontaneous Collectives

The lack of transparency was acknowledged in the CC response to an Open Letter from the DiEM25 Spontaneous Collectives (DSCs). It states, “As we did in an earlier email, we acknowledge that the Berlin announcement of the discussions that will lead to our electoral stance should have been preceded with a great deal more deliberation within DiEM25.” The CC’s Response to the Open Letter also rejected the idea of non-local DSCs or long lasting, “institutionalized,” project groups. However, this appears to directly contradict DiEM’s basic idea of a trans-European movement. The response specifically cited the Democracy in DiEM25 (DiD) non-local DSC, which has been both testing new democratic mechanisms and drawing attention to the failures to observe democratic principles. The proposed non-local DSC on Gender Issues has also been inhibited.

The Poland initiative is an example of why we need non-local DSCs. About half-way through the action by the DSCs to support Polish democracy activists, it was announced that the Polish Government had agreed not to take two of the opposed actions. This had little effect, since the only coordination was the DSC List. If there had been an non-local DSC formed on the issue, a decision could have been made not to waste any more time or to reformulate the response to be more effective. Without this, a lot of work was done and nice videos produced, but there was little, if any, political effect.

The rejection of non-local DSCs can be considered another example of the Iron Law of Oligarchy in action. The rejection of DiD was one way to deflect criticism of the oligarchic power that has been assumed by the CC. DiD was earlier refused access to the DSC List. This prevented their criticisms from being distributed. However, the Operating Principles (OPs) allow non-local DSCs: “For most activities, DSCs are best suited for people who live reasonably close to one another.” This says that some activities are not suited to people living close to one another. Therefore, non-local DSCs are permitted. Also: “DSCs must strive to find answers to the question: What do DiEM25 values and principles mean in practice? How can meetings make participants leave the (physical or digital) room feeling enthused rather than alienated?” If people can leave digital rooms, they can be be non-local.


DiEM as a Political Party

The report from the Berlin Meeting (where it was announced that DiEM25 was to form a political party) stated that members had left DiEM25, due to their feeling that the arrangement had been too “top-down.” The Open Letter from the DSCs stated: “Direct participation in the elections was not explicitly part of the DiEM25 Manifesto and would therefore be a major addition to the Manifesto that the membership should vote on according to the rules stated in the Organizing Principles (60% of the votes and a quorum of 50% of the members). The response from the CC did not address this. The following question has been addressed to the candidates: Did the CC violate the OPs in launching the Party issue?


Summary and Conclusion

We have discussed three violations by the CC:

1- DiEM25 demands video streaming from EU bodies, but refuses to stream its own meetings. We can't expect to be taken seriously, if DiEM25 doesn't "Walk its Talk".

2 - The Party issue is revealing because the question of violating the OPs raised in the Open Letter was evaded. The Open Letter was responded to with a statement incomprehensible to many (Fog Index of 17, when a widely understood message should have an Index of 8 or below).

3 - The non-local DSCs ban undermines DiD, the proposed Gender DSC, and responses like the Poland campaign.


The repeated violations suggest that there is a structural problem. One structural problem is that only the CC can recommend a disciplinary action against a Member. Seeing that an overwhelming majority of CC decisions are made by consensus, there is no real possibility to discipline a CC member. So, we have a structure which places the CC members above the law. The OPs specify a governing structure similar to that used by the Chinese Communist Party: “Rule by Law.” That is, the Law is to be obeyed by everyone, but the Communist Party / Central Committee. This can be contrasted with the “Rule of Law” in a democratic system, which requires all to obey the Law.


Transparency is undermined when terms like "Coordinating Collective", etc., are used for what is formally a representative democratic structure, and functionally an oligarchic leadership. Other non-transparent terminology, such as "grassroots democracy,” is not supported by any collaboration with the numerous groups in the EU which are promoting democratization of the European Union. One open letter, around the time of formation of DiEM25, listed “Blockupy International, Altersummit, transnational Agora meetings” among others. This failure to work with these groups suggests that democracy is not a dominant objective of DiEM25.

When DiEM was formed, several published commentaries pointed out that the market for “democracy” organizations in Europe was already full. At that time, the idea of a traditional political party was rejected as ineffective. The failure of the movement strategy to take off has now led to a reversion to that earlier approach. While this might lead to DiEM25 surviving in a few countries, it will not achieve the European-wide objectives.


One objective of DiEM25 is a new constitution for Europe. Sven Giegold offered the following comment in an open letter:
“The Treaties foresee a constitutional assembly (“convention”) but in another composition than you propose. I am convinced that the rule of law is fundamental to build Europe. Europe cannot be constructed successfully through the logic of rupture. Rupture is much more likely to lead to disintegration and conflict between nations. Therefore, all who want to change Europe and its institutions should not vaguely call for a rupture but to use the plentiful options for change which the treaties foresee.”
This comment exposes an underlying potential of DiEM25 as a party promoting a revolutionary transformation of Europe.

Members are leaving DiEM25 and major changes are needed to avoid disintegration.
One solution is a new OP: Any Member can ask the Validating Council to determine if a violation of the OPs or the Manifesto has occurred. Currently, only the CC can refer disciplinary matters to the VC, making them above the law. Rule of Law is the foundation of democratic organization. Functionally, we don’t have that in DiEM25. The CC apparently doesn’t feel it has to even justify its actions, when they appear to violate the OPs. Structurally, it is impossible to make changes in the OPs that would correct the situation, because those changes can only be proposed by the CC. We can’t promote democracy in the EU, if DiEM25 remains an elected autocracy.


Reform of the organizational structure is required. The current OPs make that close to impossible. All members of DiEM25 should be made members of the DiEM25 legal entity. This is the normal way associations are managed. Exclusion of DiEM25 members from their own association doesn’t conform to democratic principles.

From the OPs: “11.7. The decisions of the General Assembly shall be kept by the Secretary General in the minutes’ register, in the Association’s headquarters and they shall be made public.” I can’t find these online. This means that members are making payments to an organization, but can’t observe what the organization is doing, unless they go to “Maison des Associations Internationales”, 40 Rue Washington, 1050 Brussels? This unacceptable situation must be corrected immediately. In addition to violating democratic principles, a failure to make the minutes public may be a violation of Belgium law.

A major strategy change is necessary. Reform of the organizational structure must be followed by a new approach which allows DiEM to take the initiative. Responding to G20 meetings, speeches by EU Leaders, regressive moves by populist leaders in European countries, etc., may be necessary and may raise DiEM’s profile in the media, but doesn’t provide a solution to the current crisis. Today’s technology allows even small organizations to directly implement solutions to what appear to be insolvable problems. For example, could DiEM25 launch an electronic currency that would undermine the austerity paradigm, which has locked Europe into economic stagnation? With a 30% unemployment level in some European countries, there would be plenty of customers for a DiEM25 solution. Thus far, our strategies have assumed that political power is a precondition for economic change. New technologies like Bitcoin make this assumption questionable. If the economic problems of Europe can be solved by direct action, we could well see solutions before 2025.






*The inspiration for the title -
On Sep 9 @ 19:00 – 21:00 DiEM will present:
THE REAL STATE OF THE UNION
The weekend before the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, delivers his official ‘State of the Union’ speech in Strasbourg



David Stodolsky, DSC Copenhagen 1

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The CIA and Me: How I Learned Not to Love Big Brother

Pinchot was a breathtaking beauty who later became President Kennedy’s mistress, making dozens of secret visits to the White House. When she was found shot dead along the banks of a canal in Washington in 1964, the head of CIA counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton, another Yale alumnus, broke into her home in an unsuccessful attempt to secure her diary.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Early Deaths a ‘Silver Lining’ for Corporations

The article states:
“In 2015, the American death rate—the age-adjusted share of Americans dying—rose slightly for the first time since 1999. And over the last two years, at least 12 large companies, from Verizon to General Motors, have said recent slips in mortality improvement have led them to reduce their estimates for how much they could owe retirees by upward of a combined $9.7 billion, according to a Bloomberg analysis of company filings.”


But although, from 1999, other industrial countries continued to see a decline in mortality rates for the middle-aged, the U.S. White non-Hispanic mortality rose by half a percent a year, an increase that is unique, Drs. Case and Deaton reported. 

The crooks have taken over the banking system.

Already in 2004 the FBI said that the American economy was suffering the worst wave of bank fraud in history. Yet there was no prosecution. Essentially in the United States today, financial fraud is de-criminalized. No banker has been sent to jail, despite banks paying hundreds of billions of dollars of fines for financial fraud. These fines are a small portion of what they took illegally. Such paymets are merely a cost of doing business. The English language was expanded to recognize junk loans. Before the financial crash the popular press was using the word “junk mortgages” and “Ninjas”: “No Income, No Jobs, no Assets”. So everybody knew that there was fraud, and the bankers knew they would not go to jail, because Wall Street had become the main campaign contributer to the leading politicians, especially in the Democratic party. The Obama Administration came in basically as representatives of the bank fraudsters. And the fraud continues today. The crooks have taken over the banking system. It is hard for Europeans to realize that that this really has happened in America. The banks have turned into gangsters, which is why already in the 1930s President Roosevelt coined the word “banksters”.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Elevated CO2 often reduces the plants’ demands for other resources,

According to over 3000 scientific publications on the biology of CO2 effects, a broad spectrum of growth responses to CO2 enrichment exists. Since elevated CO2 often reduces the plants’ demands for other resources, CO2 effects on growth do not simply follow Liebig’s law of the minimum. Plants exposed to elevated CO2 need less enzymes (and thus lower quantities of leaf proteins and nitrogen), lose less water (can cope with less soil moisture and often operate at smaller stomata openings) and need less light (because of a shift in the light compensation point for photosynthesis) to reach the equivalent, or even higher photosynthetic rates than plants growing under control conditions with “normal” CO2 concentrations.



Greening of the Earth, 1982–2006*

*Percentage change in foliage cover as revealed by satellite.
Source: R. J. Donohue, M. L. Roderick, T. R. McVicar, and G. D. Farquhar, Impact of CO2  fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments, Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 40, pp. 3031-3035 (2013). 

European Union wastes £165 billion year

As Bjorn Lomborg has pointed out, the European Union will pay £165 billion for its current climate policies each and every year for the next 87 years. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Russia’s state-run media produced over 60 anti-fracking stories

In 2015 alone, the intelligence community found that RT, Russia’s state-run media outlet, produced over 60 anti-fracking stories. “There are a lot of studies that say fracking is dangerous,” one RT segment began, “So why do you think some countries and companies think it’s worth the risk?” RT conveniently left out the fact that over 60 percent of Russian exports are oil and natural gas, and that countries that “risk” fracking would no longer be dependent on the Kremlin. In addition to peddling anti-fracking propaganda in the U.S., Russia is allegedly using an offshore shell company to directly fund American environmental groups. On June 29, Republican representatives Lamar Smith and Randy Weber wrote a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin demanding an investigation into the shell company: 


According to the reports, entities connected to the Russian government are using a shell company registered in Bermuda, Klein Ltd. (Klein), to funnel tens of millions of dollars to a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) private foundation, the Sea Change Foundation (Sea Change). This money appears to move in the form of anonymous donations. Sea Change then passes the money originating in Russia to various U.S. 501(c)(3) organizations such as the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and others. These funds are dispersed as grants that will be used to execute a political agenda driven by Russian entities. The purpose of this circuitous exchange of foreign funds is to shield the source of the money.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449717/anti-fracking-groups-russia-secret-funding-protects-kremlin-interests

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Breastfeeding May Lower Multiple Sclerosis Risks for Mom



Mothers who breastfeed for a total of at least 15 months over one or more pregnancies may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with those who don’t breastfeed at all or do so for up to four months, according to a study published in the July 12, 2017, online issue of Neurology.




“This is another example of a benefit to the mother from breastfeeding,” said study author Annette Langer-Gould, MD, PhD, with Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Other health benefits include a reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart attack.”

Friday, June 2, 2017

U.N. Clean Development Mechanism promotes violence



Land grabs and violence against rural Hondurans have gotten worse since the 1990s. The 2009 military coup gave the large landholders even more flexibility in expelling small landholders from their land. The incentives for doing so also grew with the entry of rich foreign corporations and strong World Bank support. A prominent company called Dinant Corporation, which is owned by one of Honduras’s most powerful men, has been accused of killing over 100 peasants in recent years. Dinant is financed by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, supported by the U.N. Clean Development Mechanism and has links with global corporations like Mazola Oils.

Honduras is not the only country where this is happening. Large corporations have been taking control of rural land in many parts of the world over the last decade. That access is sometimes lawful but other times shadowy, and it is sometimes accompanied by brutal armed conflict against unarmed peasants. Globally, land grabs accelerated in the mid-2000s, putting a large number of smallholders in crisis. Large foreign corporations joined in, and there have been killings and terrorizing of smallholders who fight back.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

2017 report of European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)




ECRI welcomes these positive developments in Denmark. However, despite the progress achieved, some issues give rise to concern.

The country’s criminal, civil and administrative law provisions are still not entirely in line with ECRI’s General Policy Recommendation No. 7 on national legislation to combat racism and racial discrimination.

Racist hate speech, in particular against Muslims, continues to be a problem. Although the authorities have begun to overhaul the data collection mechanism for hate crime incidents in general, it needs to be further improved. Under-reporting of hate speech is a problem that requires urgent attention.

The rising levels of antisemitic violence and hatred, including in social media, are also of concern. During the terror attack in Copenhagen in February 2015, a member of the Jewish community was killed outside the synagogue.

With regard to integration policies, ECRI notes that no wide-ranging reform of the rules for family reunification has taken place, as recommended as a matter of priority in its fourth report. On the contrary, the rules have been further tightened, including an extension of the waiting period for beneficiaries of temporary subsidiary protection before they can normally obtain family reunification to three years, in spite of criticism from international bodies, such as the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

The Danish authorities also introduced, again, a reduced level of social welfare benefits for certain categories of newly-arrived persons in Denmark, including refugees and persons who have been granted subsidiary protection. ECRI had already criticised a similar scheme of differential social welfare standards in the past and is, once more, also worried about the actual amounts, which are widely seen as being too low to facilitate the integration of recipients into Danish society.

In spite of ECRI’s recommendation in its fourth report to tackle the problem of school segregation, there are new developments suggesting that such practices continue.

Bashar al-Assad is protecting his people

Bashar al-Assad is protecting his people

A Danish registered ship regularly delivers NATO weapons for ISIS.

CIA Lies Getting Harder to Believe

American fascists

“The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.”

Friday, May 26, 2017

Capitalise on growing investment interest in environmental markets in the US

Perhaps the most telling and revealing of the world the NPIC (Non-Profit Industrial Complex) wishes us to embrace is the investment firm recommended by 350.org et al: Generation. Under the section “What types of reinvestment exist?, Mutual Funds,” the top two examples listed (four in total) are 1) Generation Investment Management Climate Solutions Fund II and 2) Generation Investment Management Credit Fund.
“We are advocates for Sustainable Capitalism…. The first, which is our principal platform for activity, is a partnership model whereby we collaborate with individuals, organizations, and institutions in our effort to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable form of capitalism. In addition, the Foundation also supports select grant-giving related to the field of Sustainable Capitalism, engagement with the local communities where we operate, and an employee gift-matching program.” — Generation Foundation
Generation is an independent, private, owner-managed partnership with offices in London and New York. The firm was co-founded in 2004 by Al Gore and David Blood. From 1985 to 1999, Blood served in various positions at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. From 1999 to 2003, Blood served as a Co-Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Blood served as a director of Goldman Sachs International. Blood sits on many boards including his director position held at NewForests (“establishes US presence in May 2007 to capitalise on growing investment interest in environmental markets in the US”). Its investment strategies focus on forests, timberland, and environmental markets; “NewForests have a limited number of private accounts clients to develop particular project and policy expertise in reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in other countries.” (REDD and Biomass). Blood also holds a position as director of The Nature Conservancy, the revolving door for Goldman Sachs executives. [Blood’s full bio].
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Video: Ceres lecture featuring Bill McKibben with David Blood:
Generation’s key action is “to accelerate mainstreaming Sustainable Capitalism.” Insight into the coming corporate capture / commodification of the commons via the global implementation of “payments for ecosystem services” (PES) is made clear under the Current Initiatives section where it is stated: “Until there are policies that establish a fair price for widely understood externalities, academics and financial professionals should strive to quantify the impact of stranded assets and analyze the subsequent implications for assessing investment opportunities.” [Emphasis added.]
The top three sectors of focus for Generation are key to how the 21st century is being shaped: 1) Agricultural and Forestry Solutions (think genetic engineering, biomass burning, land grabs, and commodification of forests/REDD 2); Behaviour Change (think Avaaz/Purpose); 3) Bio-based Fuels, Plastics and Chemicals. (See all key sectors of focus that have been publicly disclosed.) (Note that 350.org et al are now publicly campaigning on/promoting the false solution of biofuels.)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Science to retract study on fish and microplastics


Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

“Remarkable” it was ever accepted, says report: Science to retract study on fish and microplastics


Science is retracting a paper about how human pollution is harming fish, after months of questions about the validity of the data.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

If the Left wants to resist the alt-right’s growing power

Criticizing Enlightenment thought has become fashionable across the political spectrum. For the past several decades, more and more academics have called reason into question, especially the sort of rationalist worldview that emerged in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
This is especially true among left-leaning, postmodern, and post-structuralist thinkers. While it seems surprising that someone like Jorjani would come out of a self-consciously progressive department, suspicion of Enlightenment rationalism has become endemic to liberal philosophy programs like the one at Stony Brook.
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One may distill the elements of a right-wing epistemology from these ideas. First, the universe is fundamentally unknowable and mysterious; second, there is no universal human nature, but rather unbridgeable differences between distinct peoples; third, reason itself represents totalitarianism because it blots out essential differences.


Monday, April 3, 2017

The crisis of reproduction


Anger, terrorism, fear:

Left Business Observer: March 2, 2017 - Mark Blyth on neoliberalism and global Trumpism
(the Guardian/Observer article on Mercer and Cambridge Analytica he talks about is here)


Life without Authority: Generational Politics in West Africa
Nigeria has the largest economy on the African continent and is one of the world’s major oil producers. Yet the majority of Nigerians lives in utter poverty and the country is torn by two extremely violent insurgencies. What’s going on? Corruption is only a superficial explanation. More important is a breakdown of state, civic, customary and religious authority – a crisis that leaves the country’s youth in limbo.


The crisis of reproduction:

At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England, women pulled carts loaded with coal in the mines. When their hips were warped to such a degree that they could no longer have children, the owners decided another solution was needed.

We now face a new crisis of reproduction. This time, however, the crisis is not a result of physical distortion, but of symbolic distortion. Existential issues fail to be addressed by outmoded social mythologies. The result is socio-economic breakdowns, such as austerity, that make it impossible for young people to establish families - very visible in South Europe at the moment. When direct economic limitations are not relevant, it is often cultural adaptations based upon the outmoded mythologies that limit reproduction. The dramatic decline in fertility in Japan and Italy are examples of what happens when women are not offered opportunities expected in modern society. Finally, purely ideological offensives such as "global warming" and "terrorism" (greater expenditures on the military industrial complex) are used to convince people that increases in population are undesirable. "Global warming" can be seen as a reversion to Gaianism, a primitive pagan belief. The Chinese "one child" policy was a direct result of the publication of the book "The Population Bomb." Now the country faces a demographic crisis. In the most extreme cases, we have academics researching "zero-growth economics." All of this in the face of space industrialization, which will expand resources available to humanity more than at anytime in history.



Sunday, February 26, 2017

Threat of global warming

The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome.
The real enemy then, is humanity itself
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– Club of Rome,
premier environmental think-tank,
consultants to the United Nations
Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
industrialized civilizations collapse?
Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about
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– Maurice Strong,
founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

“The Atmosphere: Endangered and Endangering”. Mead’s star recruits were climate scare artist Stephen Schneider, population-freak George Woodwell and former AAAS head, John Holdren (currently President Barack Obama’s Science and Technology Czar). All three of them disciples of Malthusian catastrophist Paul Ehrlich, author of the “The Population Bomb”.


Psychologists sued for overseeing the torture of four men, one of whom died

CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel from being deposed in a civil trial against psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. The pair are being sued for overseeing the torture of four men, one of whom died in CIA custody. Haspel was reportedly present at a CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 as interrogators carried out Mitchell and Jessen’s program of waterboarding, beatings, sleep deprivation, starvation and other forms of torture.

Will CIA Torture Victims Finally Have Their Day in Court?

"Evidence of War Crimes" & Level of Brutality That Even Shocked Bush

CIA Torture Methods Caused Long-Term Psychological Harm to Former Prisoners

APA Tells U.S. to Withdraw Psychologists from Nat. Sec. Interrogations

Psychologists Collaborated with CIA & Pentagon May Face Ethics Charges

Monday, February 20, 2017

Saving the world economy from Gaddafi

Some believe it is about protecting civilians, others say it is about oil, but some are convinced intervention in Libya is all about Gaddafi’s plan to introduce the gold dinar, a single African currency made from gold, a true sharing of the wealth.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Nobel Prize winner, was 'too stupid' for science

From the "You can't make this stuff up" dept.

A British scientist whose schoolmasters told him he was too stupid to study the subject has been awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology for his pioneering work on cloning.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

State Department, Amnesty og «soft power»

Suzanne Nossel – fra State Department til Amnesty This shows the subversion of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty Int'l, and PEN American Center by the US State Dept.

Meet the Americans Who Put Together the Coup in Kiev

"If the US State Department's Victoria Nuland had not said "Fuck the EU," few outsiders at the time would have heard of Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, the man on the other end of her famously bugged telephone call. But now Washington's man in Kiev is gaining fame as the face of the CIA-style "destabilization campaign" that brought down Ukraine's monumentally corrupt but legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovych.
"Geoffrey Pyatt is one of these State Department high officials who does what he’s told and fancies himself as a kind of a CIA operator," laughs Ray McGovern, who worked for 27 years as an intelligence analyst for the agency. "It used to be the CIA doing these things," he tells Democracy Now. "I know that for a fact." Now it's the State Department, with its coat-and-tie diplomats, twitter and facebook accounts, and a trick bag of goodies to build support for American policy."

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Horse dung was the crisis of all crises

In 1898, New York hosted the first International urban planning conference.  The agenda was dominated by horse manure, because cities around the world were experiencing the same crisis.  But no solution could be found.  “Stumped by the crisis,” writes Eric Morris, “the urban planning conference declared its work fruitless and broke up in three days instead of the scheduled ten.”  The world had seemingly reached the point where its largest cities could not survive without the horse but couldn’t survive it either.
And then the problem vanished.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Torture has been designed for control by terror

What is revealed is that current torture has been designed and used, not so much for interrogation as the Administration and the media insist, but for control by terror. Further, Iraqi civilian deaths may be deliberate and for the same purpose.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Global Warming promotors support genocide

http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/warmists-are-never-wrong-even-when-supporting-genocide/

ROM
From Quotes on the C3 site
Quote by Club of Rome:
“The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man.”
Quote by John Davis, editor of Earth First! journal:
“Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs.”
Quote by Paul Ehrlich, professor, Stanford University:
“A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer.”
Quote by John Holdren, President Obama’s science czar: 
“There exists ample authority under which population growth could be regulated…It has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.”
Quote by Christopher Manes, a writer for Earth First! journal: 
“The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.”
Quote by Ted Turner, billionaire, founder of CNN and major UN donor, and large CO2 producer:
“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
Quote by David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!: 
“My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
Quote by David Brower, a founder of the Sierra Club: 
“Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
Quote by Club of Rome: “.
..the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million people but less than one billion.”
Quote by Susan Blakemore, a UK Guardian science journalist:
“For the planet’s sake, I hope we have bird flu or some other thing that will reduce the population, because otherwise we’re doomed.”
Quote by Paul Ehrlich, professor, Stanford University: 
“The addition of a temporary sterilant to staple food, or to the water supply. With limited distribution of antidote chemicals, perhaps by lottery”.
Quote by Prince Philip, royal billionaire, married to Queen Elizabeth II, and large CO2 producer:
“I don’t claim to have any special interest in natural history, but as a boy I was made aware of the annual fluctuations in the number of game animals and the need to adjust the cull to the size of the surplus population.”
Quote by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, architect of the new Germanic masterplan, the ‘Great Transformation’:
“When you imagine that if all these 9 billion people claim all these resources, then the earth will explode.”
Quote by Jacques Cousteau, mega-celebrity French scientist:
“In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 per day.”
Quote by UN Commission on Global Biodiversity Assessment:
“A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.”
Quote by John Miller, a NOAA climate scientist:
“I would be remiss, as a scientist who studied this, if I didn’t mention the following two things: The first is that, most importantly, we need to do, as a society, in this country and globally, whatever we can to reduce population”…..”Our whole economic system is based on growth, and growth of our population, and this economic madness has to end.”
Quote by John Davis, editor of Earth First! journal: 
“I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
Quote by Prince Philip, royal billionaire, married to Queen Elizabeth II, and large CO2 producer:
“If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
Quote by Ingrid Newkirk, a former PETA President: 
“The extinction of Homo Sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on Earth – social and environmental.”
Quote by Ted Turner, billionaire, founder of CNN and major UN donor, and large CO2 producer:
“There are too many people, that’s why we have global warming. We have global warming because too many people are using too much stuff.”
Quote by James Lovelock, known as founder of ‘Gaia’ concept:
“The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
Quote by Nina Vsevolod Fedoroff, science advisor to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:
“There are probably already too many people on the planet.”
Quote by Al Gore, former U.S. vice president, mega-millionaire, and large CO2 producer:
“Third world nations are producing too many children too fast…it is time to ignore the controversy over family planning and cut out-of-control population growth…”
Quote by Susan Blakemore, a UK Guardian science journalist:
“Finally, we might decide that civilisation itself is worth preserving. In that case we have to work out what to save and which people would be needed in a drastically reduced population – weighing the value of scientists and musicians against that of politicians, for example.”
Quote by David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!:
“We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight.”
More of the same on the C3 site