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.x

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.