Government aid to fossil fuel projects

Governments gave 20% more in overseas aid funding to fossil fuel projects over the last two years than to programmes to cut the air pollution they cause, according to an analysis from the Clean Air Fund. Air pollution kills more people than HIV/Aids, malaria, and tuberculosis combined, but just 1% of global development aid is …

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Verdict on Brexit – and the current British government

Some things are almost beyond parody. Lord Frost says the government will hire an external adviser to identify post-Brexit opportunities. We have high hopes of outside input into this process,” he says. The government of the United Kingdom, almost five years after the Brexit referendum, wants help on identifying post-Brexit opportunities!  The natural response to …

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Religion and our divided society

From 1937 to 1998 church membership in the US remained relatively constant, hovering at about 70%. But over the past two decades, that percentage has dropped to less than 50%, the sharpest recorded decline in American history. Meanwhile the atheists, agnostics and those claiming no religion, have grown to represent a quarter of the population. …

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Critical.Race Theory

The American Right has discovered a new bogeyman,“Critical Race Theory” (CRT). A set of concepts first developed by legal scholars in the 1970s, CRT essentially holds that US racism is systemic, that key institutions are rooted in white supremacy, and that racial dynamics are the outcome of complex social systems. It’s a toxic theory, say …

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Verdict on the current British government. (Part 1)

“Instead of a cabinet, there is a potentate. The traditional structures still exist, but as tributes to an obsolescent way of governing.” There are still secretaries of state, but they now have “little bearing on real power, which swirls in an unstable vortex of advisers and officials vying for proximity to Boris Johnson’s throne”. Behr …

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On “ craven” corporations

GB News is a new U.K. news channel based upon Fox News in America. It has been boycotted by numerous British companies and organizations.  The right- wing conservative Daily Telegraph published the following: “The GB News boycott is a turning point: big business must end its woke campaigning or it may not survive the backlash. …

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Learning from the American South

“U.K voter ID plan will “undo progress” The government’s plan for mandatory photo ID at elections risks disproportionately hitting older, disabled and homeless voters who are less likely to have such documents, campaigners have alleged. There have been warnings that “decades of democratic progress” could be undone by the measure because more than two million …

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A fine mess you have got us into ( No.1)

Some things are almost beyond parody. Lord Frost says the (British) government will hire an external adviser to identify post-Brexit opportunities.  “We have high hopes of outside input into this process,” he says. The government of the United Kingdom, almost five years after the Brexit referendum, wants help on identifying post-Brexit opportunities!  (Truly! Ed) The …

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Update on the EU and the post-Brexit 1 UK

Far from finally turning the page on five long years of Brexit acrimony, the European parliament’s overwhelming vote to approve the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement is set to open a whole new chapter of potential disputes. Commission president Ursula von der Leyen referred pointedly to the “possibility for unilateral remedial measures” in the agreement, …

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Migrating to an empty continent?

This is the perspective of a native American: “Recently, Rick Santorum repeated a widely held myth of US exceptionalism. “We came here and created a blank slate, we birthed a nation from nothing,” the former US senator and CNN commentator told the rightwing Young America’s Foundation’s summit. “It was born of the people who came …

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White supremacy

The distribution of white supremacist propaganda nearly doubled across the US in 2020, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which recorded 5,125 incidents of racist, antisemitic and other hateful messages, averaging around 14 cases a day. This compared with 2,724 in 2019. My reaction : Firstly, we are all human beings. Secondly, there is nothing inherently …

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If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em.

Since the 2020 election, state legislatures have introduced more than 250(!) anti-voter bills particularly targeting Black and Brown voters. Millions of dollars in political spending from big donors and wealthy special interests — often spent anonymously — are tilting (have tilted?) the balance of our democracy towards special interests. Meanwhile, partisan and racial gerrymandering is …

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Once granted a certain power, politicians seldom give it up

“Have we crossed a line in surrendering freedoms? Having locked down the country for the best part of a year and suspended basic civil liberties once, we are far more likely to do it again. We have crossed a line and it will stay crossed. “Ensuring that the powers the government has granted itself are …

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Statehood for the District of Columbia

It is unacceptable that the 712,000 people who live in DC should have no representation in Congress. In South Dakota ( population 892,000) the idea of DC being made a State of the Union was recently rejected because, I quote, it is “incredibly smaller than any other state in geography. The major economic activity is …

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