“So why are the young not taking to the streets (properly; with great purpose, environmental…; should be : fighting for their economic place in the world, and fighting against the unfair and corrupt democracies of the World)? A Neutered Generation – They’re too busy trying to get by, argues Caroline Mortimer, a recent graduate, “We’re aware of the problems of an ageing population. But we can’t think about pensions and buying houses because we’ve got to get an actual job and pay the rent.” She argues that the notion of “respecting your elders” may also have blunted the desire to take on the baby boomers. And there’s still an attitude that young people are “ungrateful”, she believes. “Older people are worried about their own children but not other people’s kids” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21302065 Time to kick arse, “We are currently in the longest depression – with the economy failing to recover to its previous peak level of output” – since before the 1920s http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20617088 And, “Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative Party UK – nick-name, ‘the nasty party’) has insisted he knows what it is like to “live on the breadline”. The comment comes after 250,000 people signed a petition urging Mr Duncan Smith to try living on £53 a week” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22006841 An Exception – Is this the, ‘New Training Ground For Youth in Turkey’ – Arab Spring? “One of Turkey’s big trade union groups is staging a two-day strike to support continuing anti-government protests in a number of cities. The left-wing Kesk trade union confederation, representing some 240,000 workers, accused the government of committing “state terror”. Protests and clashes with police continued into the night on Monday. A second death in the protests has been confirmed by the governor’s office in the southern city of Antakya. Abdullah Comert, 22, a member of the youth wing of the opposition Republican People’s Party, was “seriously wounded… after gunfire from an unidentified person,” the governor’s office said, adding that he died later in hospital” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22762391 And, Brazil, “More than a million people are reported to have taken part in protests in about 100 cities across Brazil, the latest in a wave of anti-government rallies. Violence erupted in many places and an 18-year-old man died when a car drove through a barricade in Sao Paulo state. Protests began more than a week ago over high transport fares but are also highlighting corruption and the cost of next year’s football World Cup” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22992410
“The average middle-income family in Britain is likely to be nearly £1,800 a year worse-off by 2015, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS). Families with two children will see a fall of £34 in their weekly incomes, after adjusting for inflation. A childless couple is likely to lose £1,248 a year, or £24 a week. The IFS also said that over the next three years, less well-off families will be hit harder than those with higher incomes. The cuts in spending power are because incomes are failing to keep pace with inflation, and because of changes to the benefits system” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22765940 And, “A global super-rich elite had at least $21 trillion (£13tn) hidden in secret tax
havens by the end of 2010, according to a major study” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18944097 And, “For £621 billion you could provide education, clean water and basic healthcare for millions of people around the world. That’s why the analysis we just released (which appeared in today’s Financial Times) is so shocking: never-before-seen data exposing plans by world leaders to spend $1 trillion (£621 billion) on nuclear weapons over the next 10 years” And, “Global Gullibility ‘For Dawkins, “Religious gullibility is not only an illustration of, but may be a precursor to, a more global form of gullibility. As he said, if you can believe, “Something as daft as the transubstantiation [then] you can believe anything”, and (witness the story of Doubting Thomas) these people are trained to see that as a virtue” (p. 141). “In other words, training children to accept nonsensical religious notions may predispose them to accept all kinds of other nonsense with a similar blind trust” http://www.stephen-greenspan.com/pdf/samplechapter.pdf “Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference, which is, at least, half infidelity” Edmund Burke (1728-1797). Ref: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8703908.stm “Austerity is the new contagion, spreading across Europe. Today it enveloped Italy, with the government there telling the people to expect “heavy sacrifices”.http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/05/the_contagion_of_austerity.htmlIn pictures: State Opening of Parliament, London, GB, UK.http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/8703427.stm Who owns Britain? This is a critique of both the landowning artistocracy and the Land Registry. Cahill argues that our present system of landownership is of material detriment to the vast majority of homeowners in the UK, while many of the wealthiest landowners in the country pay no rates and actually receive money in the form of grants and subsidies. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Owns-Britain-Ireland-Kevin-Cahill/dp/1841953105/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3 (USA & Europe – not you, for this largemoney matter) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_wealth_fund “In 2012 Prince Charles earned more than £18 million from the Duchy of Cornwall, but how much do we know about this secretive estate? A Channel 4 Dispatches investigation reveals the scale of its hugely profitable property empire and looks at the amount of tax Prince Charles is paying. As the heir to the throne, Prince Charles inherited the Duchy of Cornwall: a vast array of farming, residential and commercial land and properties, as well as a multi-million-pound financial investment portfolio. Each year the duchy helps fund Prince Charles’ princely lifestyle. While the duchy’s public image is one of rolling countryside estates, organic farms and classical architecture and environment, some of its investments tell a rather different story. Reporter Antony Barnett takes a royal tour of some surprising properties that the duchy might prefer you not to know about. With the tax arrangements of wealthy individuals and major corporations making headline news, these Dispatches findings come as Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee prepares to launch its own inquiry into why, unlike other commercial businesses, the duchy does not pay corporation tax or capital gains tax” http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series-132/episode-1 And, https://charleslizzy.com/2010/06/14/the-office-for-budget-responsibility-obr-death-spiral/
The ‘old’ (USA’s), ‘Reds Under The Bed’, scenario – “US intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden has flown out of Hong Kong, the Chinese territory’s government has confirmed. The South China Morning Post quoted “credible sources” as saying he was due to arrive in Moscow on Sunday evening. It said Moscow would not be his final destination. Snowden, an intelligence analyst, fled to Hong Kong in May after revealing details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA)” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-23019414 (“The internet is a tool which contributes to the “progress of humankind as a whole” and should be available to all. In the final document [PDF] presented to the Human Rights Council this week, he concluded that the removal of an individual’s internet access should only take place in “few, exceptional and limited circumstances prescribed by human rights law” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/9509215.stm “Global interconnectedness is lethal against mass religion, nationalism, racism and other destructive memeplexes. Let us connect everybody: they hate it in restrictive regimes” from, Richard Brodie’s, designer of Microsoft Word, ‘learning group’)
Better News, “Dear Charles,
I’ve just come back from the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, and I’ve got some good news. Your campaigning has made real progress towards ending hunger for millions of children.
As part of the IF campaign, your actions made sure that hunger and the issues around it – like malnutrition, tax and land grabs – were on the agenda at the G8. This in itself is a big achievement. While there is still work to be done, we have seen important progress towards a future where every child has enough of the food they need.
On malnutrition: In the run-up to the G8, $4.1 billion was pledged towards ending malnutrition, one of the biggest killers of children worldwide. If delivered in full, this money could save the lives of 1.7 million children and protect a further 20 million from stunting.
On land: For the first time ever, land grabs were on the G8 agenda. World leaders agreed to set up pilot partnerships with developing countries to make buying, selling and owning land fairer.
On tax: All UK tax havens will now have to share information about the companies using them. This will directly benefit poor countries, by making it easier for them to collect the money they are owed – money that can be invested in preventing hunger and malnutrition. G8 leaders also agreed a tax deal that, while leaving some unfinished business, is a step in the right direction for tackling hunger.
Thank you for helping to make this happen. Since January you’ve rallied, emailed, lobbied, tweeted and shouted out loud until David Cameron and G8 leaders had to listen. For the 3 million children who die every year of malnutrition, this could be the turning point. We now need to ensure these promises are kept. We’ll keep you updated.
UNICEF UK Campaigns Team
‘New Humanist’, news letter – ‘Chief Rabbi claims ‘atheism has failed’ – “Last week Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote in The Spectator that ‘future intellectual historians will look back with wonder at the strange phenomenon of seemingly intelligent secularists in the 21st century believing that if they could show that the first chapters of Genesis are not literally true, that the universe is more than 6,000 years old and there might be other explanations for rainbows than as a sign of God’s covenant after the flood, the whole of humanity’s religious beliefs would come tumbling down like a house of cards and we would be left with a serene world of rational non-believers getting on famously with one another.’ He argues that he has not ‘yet found a secular ethic capable of sustaining in the long run a society of strong communities and families on the one hand, altruism, virtue, self-restraint, honour, obligation and trust on the other.’ In comparison, last week we posted the video of Steven Pinker delivering out Voltaire Lecture on his book ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity.’ The lecture focussed on the effect of the civilising process, the advancements of the ideas of the enlightenment, and how Humanism, rational thought and secular philosophies have driven down the level of violence on every measurable scale. From the reduction of the frequency and scale of wars, to universal human rights including women’s rights, LGBT rights, children’s rights, the end of slavery, and even the animal rights movement, it has been secular philosophies and shared human values that are continuing to drive this civilising process. While Chief Rabbi Sacks says he has ‘not yet found a secular ethic capable of sustaining in the long run a society of strong communities and families’ he has either not looked hard enough or is ignoring 25% of the population that has said they have ‘no religion’ and yet manage to live peacefully and happily among their friends, neighbours, colleagues and loved ones” https://charleslizzy.com/2007/09/02/the-prehistoric-mind-how-did-prehistoric-man-think-the-primitive-mind-2/ The Personal Answer – ‘There is also, however, a more personal answer, “Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know, we become insensitive to many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand, induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge, where in fact we have ignorance (conjecture) and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty, in the presence of vivid hopes and fears is painful but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales”.
Devout Nation’s – “UK PM David Cameron said he hoped to find “common ground” but Russia, which has already said it opposes US plans to arm rebels, said on Monday it would not allow a no-fly zone over Syria” (tribal/power madness, chemical weapons & 100,000 dead). Security in Northern Ireland is tight, as ever for the G8, which has been a magnet for protests in the past. A four-mile (6.5km) long, 3m-high metal fence surrounds the golf resort where the summit takes place. Some 8,000 police officers are being deployed for the summit” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22930266 And, “The Turkish government has said it could use the army to end nearly three weeks of unrest by protesters in Istanbul and other cities. The government would use “all its powers” and the armed forces if necessary, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on state-run television. It is the first time the Islamist-rooted ruling party has raised the prospect of deploying the armed forces. The issue is sensitive as the army is seen as a bastion of secularism” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22938860
“Egypt’s state prosecutor has issued an arrest warrant for the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and at least nine other senior figures. Mr Badie is accused of inciting the violence in Cairo on Monday in which more than 50 people were killed. Many Brotherhood members are already in detention and warrants are said to have been been issued for hundreds more” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23256937
“A mouse-sized fossil from China has provided remarkable new insights into the origin of primates. At 55 million years old, it represents the earliest known member of this broad group of animals that includes humans. Scientists have called the diminutive creature Archicebus, which roughly translates as “ancient monkey”. They tell Nature magazine that its skeleton helps explain the branching that occurred at the very base of the primate evolutionary tree. The team puts Archicebus on the line leading to tarsiers, a collection of small arboreal animals now found exclusively in south-east Asia” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22770646
“This summer, the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way is getting ready to feast. A gas cloud three times the size of our planet has strayed within the gravitational reach of our nearest supermassive black hole. And across the globe, telescopes are being trained on the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, some 27,000 light years from Earth, in the expectation of observing this unique cosmic spectacle. For cosmic detectives across the Earth, it is a unique opportunity. For the first time in the history of science, they hope to observe in action the awesome spectacle of a feeding supermassive black hole” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b036bv0z