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Showing posts from November 15, 2015

8 ways to defend against terror nonviolently

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[We need to start some place. Everyone except the war mongers loses if we allow hatred and fear to rule the day. *RON*]
George Lakey, Waging Nonviolence, 22 January 2015

One of my most popular courses at Swarthmore College focused on the challenge of how to defend against terrorism, nonviolently. Events now unfolding in France make our course more relevant than ever. (The syllabus was published in “Peace, Justice, and Security Studies: A Curriculum Guide” in 2009.) In fact, the international post-9/11 “war against terror” has been accompanied by increased actual threats of terror almost everywhere.

In the first place, who knew that non-military techniques have, in actual historical cases, reduced the threat of terror?

Our Terrorism Double Standard: After Paris, Let's Stop Blaming Muslims and Take a Hard Look at Ourselves

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[TS Eliot was wrong; so far it looks like the world ends with a bang. The world has become a self-licking ice cream cone. Right-wing exploitation of the carnage, shouts for clamp-downs on immigrants and refugees, the massacres that are being ignored, and the silence surrounding Western culpability in the rise of ISIS. This ongoing cycle of violence nicely meets the political interests of hawks on both sides. *RON*]
By Ben Norton / Salon, AlterNet, 14 November 2015



Anytime there is an attack on civilians in the post-9/11 West, demagogues immediately blame it on Muslims. They frequently lack evidence, but depend on the blunt force of anti-Muslim bigotry to bolster their accusations.

Actual evidence, on the other hand, shows that less than two percent of terrorist attacks from 2009 to 2013 in the E.U. were religiously motivated. In 2013, just one percent of the 152 terrorist attacks were religious in nature; in 2012, less than three percent of the 219…

Why Syrian refugee passport found at Paris attack scene must be treated with caution

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[Illegally obtained Syrian passports are like gold among the crowds who are trying to get into Europe. There are good reasons to wait for the full facts instead of jumping to the conclusion that Isis infiltrators are exploiting Europe’s refugee crisis. *RON*]
Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian, 15 November 2015

One of the most chilling details from the Paris attacks is that the passport of a Syrian refugee was found on or near the body of a dead suicide bomber. The Greek government has subsequently said that someone using the passport was among the refugees who landed in the Greek islands in early October, and the Serbian government says the passport was again used to cross its southern border a few days later.

This development has increased fears of Isis infiltrators among the thousands of desperate refugees arriving in Europe. Allies of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, have voiced security concerns over her open-door policy and one, the Bavaria…

UK becomes only G7 country to increase fossil fuel subsidies

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[Harper had been doing this in spades and the industry has been asking for more and more in face of the downturn. This will be one of the rubber-hits-the-road issues for Trudeau, particularly in light of the upcoming Paris climate talks. The UK Tory government is giving billions in ever increasing handouts to oil and gas majors at the same time as cutting support for clean energy, report reveals. *RON*]
Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 12 November 2015
The UK is alone among G7 nations in dramatically increasing its fossil fuel subsidies, despite an earlier pledge to phase them out, a new report has found.

The revelation will embarrass ministers who want to take a leading role at a crunch UN climate change summit in Paris in December, but who have been sharply cutting support for green energy at home.

The report from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Oil Change International found that as a whole, G20 nations are responsible for $452bn (£…

For Guidance, Would-Be Philanthropists Turn to Peers

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[The common good under a plutocracy. When the state fails you depend on noblesse oblige: because heaven forfend they should ever ask the beneficiaries of their largess. Here's another approach for the failed welfare state for students: simply become a beggar: A US app that lets you raise beer money and 5-a-side fees is blowing up at UK universities. *RON*]

By Paul Sullivan, New York Times, 13 November 2015
TROY WILLIAMS, an entrepreneur in health care technology, had no problem in figuring out the type of philanthropy he wanted to do: to give a small group of students at Brigham Young University the same type of full scholarship that paid his way there some 25 years ago.

“For me, it made such a big difference,” Mr. Williams, 44, said. “That was a moment that made a big impact on me.”

But he struggled, he said, with the logistics of philanthropic giving. He didn’t know how to set up a foundation or how to invest the money to ensure that the f…

Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

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[An old article from June, but well worth remembering at this time. The sectarian terror group was incubated by western states in the first place. More explicitly, see also yesterday's Context for Paris Terror Attack: U.S. and Its Allies C-R-E-A-T-E-D ISIS. And keep this in mind for future reference: Canadian Politicians Urge Trudeau To Continue ISIL Airstrikes (namely interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. *RON*]

Seumas Milne, The Guardian, 3 June 2015

The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions. On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after it became clear British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups the defendant was charged with supporting.

The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid em…