Meanwhile, the world temperatures are rising…….

Verkhoyansk, Russia The highest temperature ever seen in the Arctic circle – 38°C – has been recorded in a town in Siberia. Scientists had previously predicted that the Arctic circle would not experience temperatures like that until 2100. A small town with a population of 1,000, some 3,000 miles east of Moscow, Verkhoyansk is known …

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Police violence Is enabled by massive spending

The Black Lives Matter protest movement shows again why America needs to defund bloated and militarized police departments. The brutal videotaped killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, has pushed Americans to the limit of what they will tolerate from police.  While many of the problems can be laid at the feet …

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A moral catastrophe: not just in the United States

Care England, Britain’s largest representative body for care homes, reckons that by the end of April 7,500 residents may have died of the virus.  But only those who die in hospital after testing positive are included in the statistics. Elderly sufferers, unseen, disregarded, have gone uncounted. Average life expectancy in nursing homes is only two years anyway, …

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Making a dog’s dinner of Brexit?

“The UK’s new start – let’s get going.” That’s the lame slogan unveiled this week to exhort businesses to prepare for Brexit proper in January.   For UK consumers, that “sunny” new start means sky-high phone roaming charges, comprehensive travel insurance to cross the Channel, and the need to visit a vet four months in …

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A little matter of gross hypocrisy

Bet you didn’t know!  The Anti Defamation League (ADL), a self-proclaimed Jewish civil rights group, is the largest non-governmental trainer of police in this country, facilitating an exchange of the worst practices between U.S. police, ICE and FBI, and the Israeli police and military.  This is kept rather quiet, for obvious reasons. The US government gives billions …

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Supreme Court and religion

”In two blows to church-state separation, Justices Breyer and Kagan joined the conservative majority on the Supreme Court in granting even more preferential treatment to religious bodies. In one case, the court gave the green light to religious employers to apply the “ministerial exemption” to pretty much any employee; a teacher is a coach is …

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Corruption on public display

The federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, a massive, multi-billion loan program designed to keep small businesses afloat and retain jobs as part of the CARES Act stimulus package, got a lot of heat for its seemingly opaque application and approval process when it debuted back in March. Now, as reports emerge of multi-million dollar handouts …

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Covid-19 pandemic risks worst global food crisis in decades

The covid-19 pandemic’s impact on hunger around the world could be worse than the calamitous spike in food prices of 2007 and 2008, a leading food security expert warns. Unlike the scarcity of food during the crisis 13 years ago, the big issue this time is the economic downturn hitting the ability of millions of …

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Abortion No. 2

Yesterday I wrote about Tennessee and the attempt to use the corona virus crisis to shut down  abortion services. Tennessee is not the only state determined to end abortion. Other states are using the ruse of declaring abortions “elective”, rather than medical, emergencies.  Texas, Ohio, Iowa, Oklahoma, Alaska and Alabama have issued bans on abortion …

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Abortion

At around 12.30 p.m on Juneteenth, with the doors of the legislature locked to the public, Tennessee passed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion bans, one that would prohibit abortion before many patients even know they are pregnant. It includes medically unnecessary, anti-science restrictions, including some rooted in racism and misogyny. If Tennessee Governor …

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US voting data being traded on the dark web

Data on millions of US voters is being illegally traded on the dark web as the US is gearing up for the 2020 presidential election. The data could be used to attempt to influence voters. The dark web is a part of the internet not searchable using normal means. It is encrypted and visible only through …

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Defund the Pentagon!

“In 1997, the Department of Defense set up the 1033 program as part of the National Defense Authorization Act to provide thousands of domestic police forces with “surplus” equipment of almost every imaginable militarized kind. “Since then, thanks to your tax dollars, it has given away $7.4 billion  worth of such equipment, some of it …

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Start again!

Democracy being sidelined in th US……. Recent events have exposed the inadequacy of the US democratic checks and balances created over200 years ago.  What’s required is a second American revolution  – and a fresh constitutional convention that demolishes anachronisms like the electoral college, makes democracy work for all, and refocuses on constructive global engagement.  (Guardian …

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Following on from yesterday……police budgets.

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local governments are facing unprecedented revenue shortfalls, forcing them to make tough decisions about their 2020-21 budgets. Stunningly, however, police departments across the country are not facing any budget cuts, with many actually receiving budget increases. As we observe police departments deploy tanks, riot gear, tear gas, rubber …

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Don’t defund the police; reduce what you spend on them!

The phrase “defund the police” has quickly gained popularity in the past two weeks, but as this Washington Post piece explains, the term isn’t nearly as radical as it may sound. It isn’t a call to eliminate the police entirely – it is simply meant to draw attention to the outsized funds that police departments …

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Dismantling the nation’s publicly funded schools.

It is common knowledge that the Education Department is run by a multi-millionaire devotee of scrapping everything to do with government if she has the power to do it.  This includes privatizing the public school system, and de facto making education even more of a distant prospect than ever for minorities.  By the way, she …

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Military-style guns – why do they need them?

”Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”  So exclaimed Beto O’Rourke during the recent Democratic primary debate, endorsing the idea of mandatory buy-backs of assault weapons. It has become “the newest purity test” for Democratic candidates, but have they thought about the consequences of enforcing such a policy? “There could be as …

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You should know better than this, Governor

The Democrat governor of New York has a plan for a “Trump-proof” reopening of the Big Apple.  Andrew Cuomo has apparently hired “high-powered consultants” who will scientifically analyse the “key data points” to work out how to free up the region’s economy. And who are these brilliant consultants? McKinsey & Company, of course – a …

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Here we go again- typically British

The scientific evidence that has underpinned No 10’s response to Covid-19 will not be made public until the pandemic ends, the government chief science adviser has told MPs. Sir Patrick Vallance said that the minutes of meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) — the government’s most senior team of expert advisers — …

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The World Economic Forum

The Observer (editorial)  The World Economic Forum’s annual Davos shindig “became a laughing stock a long time ago”, says The Observer newspaper.  All those denunciations of global inequality by “corporate captains clinking champagne glasses” in the snow at shareholders’ expense have long seemed ridiculous. But the penny seems finally to be drop­ping that the game …

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