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17 - 23 April 2017

by Bjinse Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:00:36 PM EST

Your take on this week's news


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by Bjinse on Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:01:04 PM EST
Meanwhile, in Germany: Petry out of AfD lead for not being far-right enough.

Cologne unites against fractured AfD - DW

A tense, divided party had little they were able to decide on - except what they wouldn't decide on: namely, the fate of alleged neo-Nazi Björn Höcke, and co-chair Frauke Petry's strategy for the future.

The latter dealt a crushing blow to Petry, who of late has tried subtly to make the AfD a more "realistic choice for German voters." The majority decision not to debate her strategy was a rejection of Petry and a clear choice to follow the more far-right voices in the party. Even as she opened the conference, to both claps and boos, an exhausted-looking Petry already had tears in her eyes.

She promptly made good on her promise to step back from the forefront of the AfD, despite being its most recognizable face ahead of key elections. Calling the decision to deny her plan for the party's future a "mistake," she said it was time that "others should lead" but that she would remain an active party member.

Germany's anti-immigrant AfD party picks top candidates - DW

Delegates to the widely-protested congress in Cologne of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party chose Gauland and Weidel Sunday after Petry failed on Saturday to moderate the party's role. Gauland is widely regarded as the AfD's lead tactician and advocate of right-wing nationalism.

The 600 delegates voted by 67.7 percent to endorse Potsdam-based Gauland, 76, who once had various roles in Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat (CDU) party, especially in Hesse in the late-80s, and Weidel from the AfD's Baden-Württemberg branch.

by Bernard on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 07:27:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by generic on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 02:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She has serious competition from the US.
The U.S. is considering extending its ban on laptops in aircraft cabins to include Europe and Britain, the Times of London reported Tuesday citing "several informed sources".

President Donald Trump's administration introduced rules last month to place devices larger than a mobile phone in the hold of a plane. The restrictions were aimed at mainly U.S.-bound flights from the Middle East.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Apr 26th, 2017 at 09:43:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbynism or barbarism, part II | Idiot Joy Showland -
Since then things have become immeasurably worse, but that's not why I'm voting for Labour. Britain is not just sliding into fascism; we've landed. This has become a deeply ugly place. Our Prime Minister - gurning, grimacing, parochial,  incompetent, rhadmanthine, segmented, arachnid, and inhuman; the Daily Mail letters page given chitinous flesh; a zealous ideologue for the doctrines of smallness and stupidity and dumbfuck blithering hatred; a vicar's daughter distilling all the common-sense peevishness and resentment from the dingy grog of the English national spirit; a leader who doesn't so much impose austerity as embody it, in every word or gesture that seeks to foreclose on all possibilities and draw the furthest boundaries of the sunlit world no further your respectable lace curtains - instructs the public to give her more power, to paint over a divided country with a false unity in Parliament, so she can exercise her supreme will. The loyal Tory press responds with terrifying outbursts against all enemies: `Hang The Lot,' `Boil The Traitors Alive,' `Insert The Pear Of Anguish Into The Anuses Of Our Enemies So That They May Be Disembowelled From Within,' `Readers Agree: It's Time To Crush The Heads Of The Remoaners Under A Large Millstone,' `Where Are Our Common-Sense Torture Kennels In Which The People We Don't Like Are Torn Apart Shred By Shred By Starving Dogs?' All the anti-establishment energies that fuelled the Brexit vote have been effortlessly consumed by the administration: the people had their say, and (given that this is all out of the Schmittian playbook) they will only get to have it once; now it's the role of power to implement it, and the will of the people as refracted through this government is for total centralised power with anything that could be called political extinguished. This is fascism: a simple, easy, descriptive term for what it is we're living under.
by generic on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 02:35:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbynism or barbarism, part II | Idiot Joy Showland -
Corbyn stands for a refusal to accept something that's just not quite as bad as the alternative. Corbynism means not just electing the least fascist, the least liberal, the least racist, and the least sexist. The Labour right, the Tories, the Lib Dems, and Ukip are all partisans of a restricted imagination and a penny-pinching common sense; Corbynism the possibility of something actually good, the possibility of a way out. It points beyond itself.  Jeremy Corbyn did something quietly incredible, and which has nothing to do with his actual performance as Labour leader: he acted as the signifier that brought together a collectivity, he formed a point of unity for everyone who wanted a radical and transformative social change, even if they didn't agree on what it should look like or how to bring it about. He gave the left a space to assert itself openly in British politics, in surprising numbers. This - the collective, not the man - is what's important, and what's feared, and what our enemies are desperate to crush.

After all, it wasn't meant to be like this. There is a programme now for Western politics: it's what we saw last year in the United States, and what's unfolding right now in France. Wets versus Nazis, the collapsing liberal order against the embodiment of its own internal collapse, reiterated over and over again in every country, politics as a looping gif, the juddering replay at the end of the world. No hope, no possibility, this or the abyss. The radical left still has a role to play: its role is to lose. You thought you could have something better, and it turns out that you can't: now choose. Centrists are obsessed by the idea that radicals secretly prefer the fascists to themselves; as soon as the hope for anything better is extinguished they demand that everyone on the left loudly announce how much they prefer the status quo to the remaining alternative. We have to pick sides in what is essentially a family squabble among reactionaries. Isn't Hillary Clinton better than Donald Trump? Isn't Mark Rutte better than Geert Wilders? Isn't Emmanuel Macron better than Marine Le Pen?

by generic on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 02:44:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:01:19 PM EST
Juicero CEO Begs You: Do NOT Squeeze Our Juice Bags [Updated] -
This week saw the latest chapter in the utterly wonderful saga of Juicero, the $400 juice machine maker that attracted $120 million in venture capital funding. On Wednesday, a bombshell Bloomberg report exposed the secret that threatened to ruin the company: You can get almost exactly the same juice without the company's expensive press by squeezing their damn bags yourself with the hands God gave you.
by generic on Fri Apr 21st, 2017 at 05:12:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why don't they try suing a few customers for violating the terms of the license?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Apr 21st, 2017 at 05:43:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When the Internet of Things is fully deployed, all vegetables will be genetically modified to feature broadband connectivity. This will allow the owners of the intellectual property they embody to protect their rights against misuse by purchasers (sorry, licence holders).

Because vegetables are a thing.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 21st, 2017 at 05:44:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
John Redwood demonstrates his keen understanding of UK-EU economic interdependence and calls on Britons to manifest economic patriotism:
You do not have to buy German or French cars. There is a good choice of models, prices & specifications available from  UK car factories.
by Gag Halfrunt on Fri Apr 21st, 2017 at 12:17:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm afraid that John Redwood isn't really the sharpest blade in the drawer. The sort of slightly dim product of an unimportant private school who has been indulged far beyond their competence to fulfil administrative duties of little importance who are increasingly found on the backwoods benches of the Conservative party.

Occasionally, as now, one of them may become Prime Minister.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Apr 21st, 2017 at 03:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:01:36 PM EST
by generic on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 01:05:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
although these days an awful lot of people seem to be able to do a convincing pastiche of it

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 05:07:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:02:15 PM EST
Oil's rally has faltered after three straight weekly gains on expectations the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will extend its supply reductions. Prices dropped 3.8 percent on Wednesday after government data showed U.S. production rose for a ninth straight week, even as stockpiles continued to decline from a record. U.S. explorers added 5 oil rigs this week to cap the longest stretch of gains since 2011, Baker Hughes Inc. data show.

Oil Falls Below $50 as Surging U.S. Output Undermines OPEC Cuts

because US wildcaters didn't learn the first time around: piling in at the top of the market leads nowhere but down. KSA owns them. Russia owns the rest.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 05:35:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:02:32 PM EST
Whale's eye view

In a new study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Oregon State University in March, scientists in remote Antarctica have attached cameras with speedometers and suction cups to the backs of minke and humpback whales.
by Zwackus on Wed Apr 19th, 2017 at 11:43:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The world's greenest island

At the outset of an interview with a Dutch journalist, Søren Hermansen apologizes for being tired. He's just returned to Denmark from a 21-day trip to Australia, where he gave 15 lectures and attended numerous other events. The reporter asks Mr. Hermansen how the Australians discovered him, a community leader on a Danish island half the size of Martha's Vineyard that's home to just 3,750 people and a few shaggy sheep. "I'm famous," says Hermansen, adding that he isn't boasting, it's just a statement of fact.

Hermansen and his tiny island of Samsø have become recognized around the world for attaining energy independence. The island met this goal 10 years ago using a mix of wind, solar, and biomass, and now it's working toward one of the utopian goals of environmentalists everywhere - eliminating all fossil fuels, by 2030.

The story of how a relatively poor island where many of the locals considered environmentalism a bourgeois pastime became one of the planet's purest examples of sustainability has captivated people from Sydney to Seattle who hope that their communities might follow a similar path. Today the Samsø Energy Academy, created to coordinate and promote the island's energy work, receives more annual visitors than there are inhabitants on the island.

by Zwackus on Wed Apr 19th, 2017 at 11:51:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:02:54 PM EST
Belgian lands prize role of hermit in Austrian Alps

A divorced, Trabant-driving Belgian has beaten 50 competitors to land the coveted post of - hermit.

Stan Vanuytrecht will have no heating, running water or pay at the Saalfelden hermitage in the Austrian Alps.

It has had a hermit for all of its 350 years and the local mayor said Mr Vanuytrecht "radiated calm".

by Zwackus on Wed Apr 19th, 2017 at 11:51:50 AM EST
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by Bernard on Sat Apr 22nd, 2017 at 06:57:04 PM EST
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I dislike that last poster because a religionist can say it about the existence of their god with equal conviction.

I prefer "it can be demonstrated and repeated" instead of "it's true"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Apr 23rd, 2017 at 05:07:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:03:10 PM EST

NY Mayor John Purroy Mitchel says any teacher who doesn't sign a pledge to teach children the duty of "loyal obedience and patriotic service" should be fired.
[...]
Meanwhile, Theodore Roosevelt, realizing that the War Department has been stalling and evading his request to lead a division to France immediately if not sooner (Rough Riders II: This Time It's Personal), has been secretly lobbying Congress to end-run the White House veto. TR has also been offered a commission in the New York National Guard. He says he might accept if the other thing falls through.

Today -100: April 19, 1917: Of loyal obedience and patriotic service, selective service, churches, and lenses

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Apr 19th, 2017 at 04:45:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Mon Apr 17th, 2017 at 10:03:25 PM EST
Or really read the whole thing.
by generic on Tue Apr 25th, 2017 at 02:47:07 PM EST


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