Showing posts from November 30, 2015

You Are More Than 7 Times As Likely To Be Killed By A Right-Wing Extremist Than By Muslim Terrorists

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[Islam-inspired terror attacks “accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.” Meanwhile, “right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities.” The percentage of refugees that are connected to terrorist plots is vanishingly small. *RON*]

By Ian Millhiser, Think Progress, 30 November 2015
Friday afternoon, one week after elected officials all over the country tried to block Syrian refugees from entering their states in an apparent effort to fight terrorism, a white man in Colorado committed what appears to be an act of terrorism in a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Though the details of Robert Lewis Dear’s motives for killing three people in the clinic and injuring nine others are still being revealed, Dear reportedly told law enforcement “no more baby parts,” an apparent reference to heavily edited videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, which numerous politicians…

Northern Ireland law on abortion ruled 'incompatible with human rights'

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["High court judgment in Belfast could lead to women being allowed to have terminations in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, rape and incest." It's certainly a slow process, but the Ayatollahs have gradually been losing ground in Ireland and North Ireland. *RON*]
Henry McDonald, The Guardian, 30 November 2015

A high court judge has ruled that Northern Ireland’s almost outright ban on abortion breaches the human rights of women and girls, including rape victims.

The historic judgment, delivered in Belfast on Monday, could lead to women and girls who are the victims of rape and incest as well those suffering from fatal foetal abnormalities having terminations in Northern Irish hospitals.

At present, under a 19th-century law, local medical teams could be jailed for life for carrying out abortions even in these circumstances. Unlike the rest of the UK, the Abortion Act 1967 has never applied to Northern Ireland and since devolution was…

Two-Thirds of Americans Want U.S. to Join Climate Change Pact

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[Pick one. Merriam-Webster: "DEMOCRACY. 1. a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority." Oxford Dictionaries Online: "A society or system that is governed or controlled by corporations." *RON*]

By Giovani Russonellonov, New York Times, 30 November 2015

A solid majority of Americans say the United States should join an international treaty to limit the impact of global warming, but on this and other climate-related questions, opinion divides sharply along partisan lines, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Two-thirds of Americans support the United States joining a binding international agreement to curb growth of greenhouse gas emissions, but a slim majority of Republicans remain opposed, the poll found. Sixty-three percent of Americans — including a bare majority of Republicans — said they would support domestic policy limiting carbon emissions from power plants.

Public support for internat…

Can we define terror, or should we let terrorism define us?

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[An old one; I don't remember how I came across it. This rather long article makes a rather short point, but an important one: first define your terms. Where terrorism is concerned this matters a great deal, since otherwise we leave it to power-hungry political ideologues to define it for us by default. *RON*]

By K (a nice Kafkaesque touch), International Observatory on Stability & Conflict, 2 November 2014 .

In May 2013, the renowned International Institute for Counter Terrorism, the ICT, held a global workshop of legal scholars, experts, analysts, in order to work toward an international definition of terrorism. Without exception, all panelists worked against the effort led by Dr. Boaz Ganor. In his closing remarks, he lamented the frustrating and sterile experience. “We will never reach the level of counter terrorism efficiency and cooperation that is needed (…) without agreeing on the basic issue. What are we fighting? What is the co…

Donald Trump May Not Be a Fascist, But He is Leading Us Merrily Down That Path

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[Donald Trump's ümwelt would need to take a giant step forward in coherence to quality as fascist: he's simply a hate-filled gas bag in my opinion. But, in this, Neiwert is totally correct: this doesn't mean he's not dangerous. *RON*]

David Neiwert, Orcinus: Spy Hopping the Right, 28 November 2015

People who have studied the extremist right as a historical and sociopolitical phenomenon in depth are acutely aware of a simple truth: America has been very, very lucky so far when it comes to fascistic political movements.

And now, with the arrival of the Donald Trump 2016 phenomenon, that luck may be about to run out.

Nor is this phenomenon just a flash in the pan. Trump is the logical end result of an endless series of assaults on not just American liberalism, but on democratic institutions themselves, by the American right for many years. It is the long-term creep of radicalization of the right come home to roost.

Fascistic element…

How Sharing Economy Harms Workers

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[The so-called "sharing economy" (doesn't it sound nice?) is just another way of saying "union busting." It's one of the many things that's edging society toward ever greater divisiveness. *RON*]

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s blog / LA Progressive, 28 November 2015

In this holiday season it’s especially appropriate to acknowledge how many Americans don’t have steady work.
The so-called “share economy” includes independent contractors, temporary workers, the self-employed, part-timers, freelancers, and free agents. Most file 1099s rather than W2s, for tax purposes.

It’s estimated that in five years over 40 percent of the American labor force will be in such uncertain work; in a decade, most of us.

It’s estimated that in five years over 40 percent of the American labor force will be in such uncertain work; in a decade, most of us.

Pounding the Table, Israeli Officials Malign International Criminal Court

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["If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you don't have the facts or the law, pound the table." See also: Netanyahu suspends diplomatic dialogue with EU. *RON*]

By James Marc Leas, Truthout, 29 November 2015

This is the first installment in a five-part series, "Israel Attacks the International Criminal Court, but Its Arguments Fall Flat."

Within hours of Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announcing that she was initiating a "preliminary examination" into the situation in Palestine, Israeli officials launched an aggressive campaign to undermine the court and the Palestinian Authority (PA). News media reported the following elements of this forceful effort by the Israeli government:

A "public diplomacy campaign to discredit the legitimacy of the ICC's decision to start an inquiry into what the Palesti…

Banned Paris Climate March Turns Violent As Protesters Throw Memorial Candles At Police

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[Looks like they should have permitted a protest. This year, at least, COP evidently doesn't stand for 'climate of peace.' *RON*]
By Louise Ridley, Huffington Post, 29 November 2015

Over 200 people have been arrested in Paris after a climate change protest at the memorial site for the victims of the city's terrorist attacks turned violent, the Associated Press reported.

Protesters clashed with police officers at the Place de la Republique, trampling on top of candles and flowers laid out in memory of the 130 people killed in the wave of attacks in the city two weeks ago.

A planned march in the city was cancelled due to the state of emergency imposed after the 13 November attacks, but police say they identified about 200 or 300 people who violated the ban.

The protests ahead of next week's 2015 Paris Climate Conference began peacefully, but riot police later used tear gas to stop the advance of groups throwing projectiles incl…