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Showing posts from August 19, 2017

Today's Trumpery

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The hilarious way a German town turned neo-Nazis against Nazism

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[Hoisted by their own petard. This is such a great idea that it really needs to be spread around. "If only the Führer knew!" :-D *RON*]
Ian Millhiser, Think Progress, 17 August 2017
There isn’t a clear playbook for people who suddenly find their hometown filled with neo-Nazis. They can ignore them and hope they go away quickly. They can protest peacefully, and potentially put their lives on the line against armed and dangerous white supremacists. They can attempt to meet force with force, and risk men like Donald Trump blurring the lines between racist and anti-racist protests.

Three years ago, however, a small German town found a fourth option — you can involuntarily conscript Nazis into anti-Nazism.

Wunsiedel, a town of less than 10,000 people, was once the burial site of Nazi leader Rudolf Hess, former top deputy to Adolf Hitler. Though Hess’ body was exhumed in 2011 and the grave was destroyed, dozens of neo-Nazis still made an ann…

More of B.C. has burned this year than ever before in recorded history

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[With 906,000 hectares burned, the 2017 season smashes a record first set in 1958 — and dwarfs anything the province has ever seen. I heard a radio news report yesterday that some of the most recent fires were set by would-be looters. *RON*]

Tristin Hopper, National Post, 17 August 2017

As of this week, more than 906,000 hectares of British Columbia have been consumed by wildfires since April — easily surpassing any year on record for the province.
And with several more weeks of summer to go, thousands more hectares of brush and forest are expected to fall to the flames before autumn.

“Temperatures should be relatively seasonal going forward, so that’s one silver lining,” Kevin Skrepnek with the B.C. Wildfire Service told the Canadian Press today.

However, high winds and a lack of rain will be keeping forests ablaze for the time being.

A total of 1,030 individual fires have hit B.C. in the last five months — a rough average of seven per day. As of th…

UK publisher pulls scholarly articles from China website at Beijing's request

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["Let's see: freedom of expression and democracy, or make a buck?" The joys of capitalism: zero principles, zero backbone. *RON*]
John Ruwitch and Fanny Potkin, Reuters, 18 August 2017

SHANGHAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Cambridge University Press, one of Britain's most respected academic publishers, has blocked online access in China to hundreds of scholarly articles and book reviews on Chinese affairs after coming under pressure from Beijing.

The articles were published in the China Quarterly, a leading academic journal on Chinese affairs that has been in print since the 1960s, and covered a range of topics deemed politically sensitive by the Chinese government.

The publisher said in a statement on Friday it had complied with an instruction to remove the content so that its other academic and educational materials would remain available in China. It would not proactively censor content, it said.

The list of articles the Chinese gover…

Global stock markets fall after Barcelona terror attack and Trump turmoil

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[There was a brief upward tick in US markets when Bannon was fired, but it didn't last. A measure of market volatility spiked higher, while traditional haven assets including the Japanese yen and gold gained. But see also: Nuclear Fears Wipe $1 Trillion Off Global Stock Markets. *RON*]
Garfield Reynolds, Robert Brand, Bloomberg / The Independent, 18 August 2017

European stocks extended a global slide after terrorists struck a crowded tourist street in Barcelona, exacerbating unease triggered by mounting concerns about dysfunction in President Donald Trump’s administration and US policy paralysis.

Travel and leisure shares led the decline of the Stoxx Europe 600 index along with banks, while industries across the board were caught in the downturn.

Equities fell from Tokyo to Sydney earlier after the S&P 500 Index on Thursday tumbled 1.5 per cent, its second-biggest drop for 2017.

A measure of market volatility spiked higher, while traditiona…

It’s wrong to say we can’t stop this terror tactic

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[I suppose countries can't afford to not be doing mitigation, but it's also an endless game of catch-up as the enemy adopts new and different tactics. Until 2001 who would have thought that anyone would purposefully fly an airplane into a skyscraper? *RON*]

Matthew Parris, The Times, 19 August 2017


Like so many Times readers, I know Las Ramblas in Barcelona well. Like many of you, and with hindsight, I can now see why the jihadists chose it.

As it happens, much of my family live not far away. We go there often. The scene is gay with flower-sellers, stalls, kiosks, street artists, caged birds and performing monkeys. Side-streets like sleeves to left and right of the promenade carry vehicular traffic, shady trees line the way, and between them stretches a wide and crowded central pavement nearly a mile long, down which it would almost be possible to drive a combine harvester, let alone a white van, harvesting in the grimmest sense. And the va…