Showing posts from May 16, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. *RON*]

Trump revealed intelligence secrets to Russians in Oval Office: officials, Reuters [THE Trump story today, being flogged in a thousand versions]
The People vs. The Student Loan Industry, Truthout
Obstruction of Justice Getting Closer All the Time, Mother Jones
Donald Trump has no idea what health insurance costs, Vox
China, India to Reach Climate Goals Years Early, as U.S. Likely to Fall Far Short, Inside Climate News
Rumored pick for USDA science post sparks criticism, E&E News [He's a political talk-show host with no scientific background whatsoever]

Exclusive - Indonesian Islamist leader says ethnic Chinese wealth is next target

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[This kind of Us versus Them treatment is nothing new for Overseas Chinese, who have a knack for getting themselves intensely disliked by locals. But this is part of an increasing global trend toward "me and mine" - fragmentation and protectionism along racial, ethnic, and class lines - that is tearing the world apart. *RON*]
Tom Allard & Agustinus Beo Da Costa, Reuters, 12 May 2017
The leader of a powerful Indonesian Islamist organisation that led the push to jail Jakarta's Christian governor has laid out plans for a new, racially charged campaign targeting economic inequality and foreign investment.

In a rare interview, Bachtiar Nasir said the wealth of Indonesia's ethnic Chinese minority was a problem and advocated an affirmative action programme for native Indonesians, comments that could stoke tensions already running high in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation.

"It seems they do not become more generous,…

Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures

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[How do you raise awareness about population explosion? One group thought that the simplest way would be to show people. Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot is available to buy. *RON*]

Global Development Professionals Network, The Guardian, 1 April 2017

Waves of humanity
Sprawling Mexico City rolls across the landscape, displacing every scrap of natural habitat ‘If our species had started with just two people at the time of the earliest agricultural practices some 10,000 years ago, and increased by one percent per year, today humanity would be a solid ball of flesh many thousand light years in diameter, and expanding with a radial velocity that, neglecting relativity, would be many times faster than the speed of light.’ Gabor Zovanyi

Photograph: Pablo Lopez Luz

Oil spill fire
Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico‘We must realise that not only does every area have a limited carrying c…

6 Places Resisting Fear With Compassionate Defiance

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[Indignant news stories about racist rallies and such-like actually promulgates the notion that 'people' are only thinking about immigrants and refugees in one way. We need more broad-based public exposure to the truth that other people are already looking at the world in other ways. Sanctuary city policies can only go so far. The real job of creating welcome and safety falls to ordinary people. *RON*]
Lornet Turnbull, Yes! Magazine, 11 May 2017

1. Going door to door for Muslims

On the day President Trump’s first travel ban took effect in January, dozens of volunteers, many of them Jewish, went door to door in neighbourhoods around Oakland, California, soliciting support for Muslims. Canvass organisers with Jewish Voice for Peace had armed them with a script to engage people and advice not to argue. They were to ask homeowners and storekeepers to post signs in their windows: “We stand with our Muslim, Arab, and immigrant neighbours.”

It was …

Netflix and Bill Nye Are Saving Science—30 Minutes at a Time

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[An important reason why extremists win is by suppressing evidence and reason and replacing it with ideological sloganeering. At least get your grandchildren to watch. With Netflix's ascendancy and the way it’s changing viewing habits, "Bill Nye Saves the World" may be a huge opportunity for science education. *RON*]
Mark Rahner, Yes! Magazine, 8 May 2017

Whether or not Bill Nye actually saves the world, he’s established a beachhead with his new Netflix series.
This week, the EPA is dismissing half of its Board of Scientific Counselors.

If I believed in the paranormal, I’d say the timing of Bill Nye Saves The World was spooky: Its 13 episodes dropped on April 21, smack amid the worldwide March for Science and the People’s Climate March—both massive reactions to the Trump administration’s war on science.

Not merely spooky, though. More like timely, urgently necessary, and mostly well-done.

If not hyperbolic, the title of the show is an e…

Macron and Merkel pledge to work on 'road map' of reforms for EU

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[It's true enough that Merkel and Macron need to grab onto this as an opportunity, but this is still just a battle between neoliberals and far rightists. *RON*]
AP, 15 May 2017
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have pledged to work closely together to draw up a "roadmap" of reforms for the European Union.

The pair said they are both prepared even to implement treaty changes if needed.

The two met in Berlin on Mr Macron's first full day in office, which started with him naming 46-year-old Edouard Philippe as his new prime minister.

Mrs Merkel called Mr Macron's visit an honour and a sign of the deep friendship between the two European powerhouses.

"We each represent the interests of our own countries, but the interests of Germany are naturally closely tied to the interests of France," Mrs Merkel said.

She added that she hoped for a "new dynamism" in German-French relations, …