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"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
For nearly three decades, many of the world's largest fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to deceive the public about the realities and risks of climate change.
Their deceptive tactics are now highlighted in this set of seven "deception dossiers"—collections of internal company and trade association documents that have either been leaked to the public, come to light through lawsuits, or been disclosed through Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests.
Each collection provides an illuminating inside look at this coordinated campaign of deception, an effort underwritten by ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, Shell, Peabody Energy, and other members of the fossil fuel industry.
You probably know by now that no normal Americans are allowed to see the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. It’s classified. Even members of Congress can only read it by going to secure reading rooms in the basement of the Capitol.
But here’s what you might not know: you’re not even allowed to know who in Congress has bothered to do this.
"he sighed heavily, and explained that thousands of years ago, tribes of nomadic desert peoples made up God because, being incapable of scientific reasoning due to caveman-like existences, they had no other way of making sense of things like sunshine, rocks and pork-transmitted trichinosis.
“They made it all up, and they were ignorant, unwashed, half-naked pre-historic barbarians,” Leobald said. “So who are you gonna believe: Carl Sagan, and the pantheon of the world’s greatest scientific and intellectual minds, or some guy who measured wealth by how many goats he had?”
Sagan, according to Leobald, is an “astronomer” in a big city far, far away who writes what are known as “books.”
“I just felt like an idiot saying all that nonsense week in, week out. What’s the point of singing hymns of joyous adoration to a fictional entity?” Leobald said.
“Why convene to donate time, money and personal resources to a being which exists only in fabulous legends and mythological ancient texts? If we were to keep doing that, week after week, why, we’d feel ridiculous, wouldn’t we? Plus, we’d look pretty stupid as well. It’d be like talking to a wall, and frankly, I’ve got better things to do with my time. And I sincerely hope all of you do too.” "
“ Israel’s new deputy foreign minister on Thursday delivered a defiant message to the international community, saying that Israel owes no apologies for its policies in the Holy Land and citing religious texts to back her belief that it belongs to the Jewish people. ”— Israel's new deputy foreign minister: 'This land is ours. All of it is ours' | World news | The Guardian
The main argument being squeezed to pulp is that CH was, and is, an inherently racist magazine. That it is staffed by "privileged white men", who either deliberately or like "wanton boys", continuously defecate on a beleaguered minority (French Muslims, whether from the Maghreb or other parts of Africa) while making their jejune barbs. That they've been doing this while ignoring France's history of colonial oppression, and while trying to impose a shallow Enlightenment universalism that blindly feeds into the West's project of re-colonizing Muslim countries.
This is untrue on almost every count. CH has always been run by a kind of fringe leftist-anarchist bunch who are anything but privileged; over the years the team has been a mix of men and women, white and not, straight and gay. And as to constantly attacking an already oppressed minority, Le Monde recently did an infographic of the 523 Charlie Hebdo covers between 2005 and 2015, and the subject breakdown is this: politics - 336 covers, economic and social - 85, sport and others - 42, other subjects - 22, and, finally, religion - 38. Of the 38 covers lampooning religion, Christianity catches it in the neck 21 times, other religions 10 times and Islam a total of 7 times. Leaving that aside for a moment, CH's main targets by far have been the racist, white supremacist Front National led by Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter, and after them a certain Nicolas Sarkozy (remember those 336 political covers). Besides this, CH has made it a point to lampoon the military, oligarchs of every nationality, and capitalism in general. Here's a link that explains in some detail what some of the more startling covers and cartoons mean: http://www.understandingcharliehebdo.com/#theorie-du-genre
All the critics of CH I know, Facebook contacts claiming to be anarchist, artist friends taking on big business, academic friends who so love to drop names of hefty lefty intellectuals, journalists who are assiduous in defending minorities, none of them addresses the major part of CH's output. None of them, not once. Instead, they prefer to put a magnifying glass on about 1.5 per cent of what the magazine has produced in the last decade. They then take this and claim they have a fair fix on CH and its staff. Ten years, 523 issues, but, like some pungent spicing, those 7 covers obviously go a long way.
Late last month, the NSPCC released some startling findings. A tenth of all 12-to-13-year-olds were addicted to porn, it found. One in five had been shocked or upset by the things they'd found online. Twelve per cent had made their own porn.
The findings were widely reported. Immediately afterwards, culture secretary Sajid Javid promised new censorship measures, with a regulator ensuring adult sites have age verification technology to prevent young people accessing porn.
The cycle from research to reporting to promises of legislation was accomplished in the space of a morning. It was a remarkably effective operation.
The only problem was, it was all nonsense. The NSPCC research was hogwash.
Senior UN officials in Jerusalem have been accused of caving in to Israeli pressure to abandon moves to include the state’s armed forces on a UN list of serious violators of children’s rights.
UN officials backed away from recommending that the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) be included on the list following telephone calls from senior Israeli officials. The Israelis allegedly warned of serious consequences if a meeting of UN agencies and NGOs based in Jerusalem to ratify the recommendation went ahead. Within hours, the meeting was cancelled.
“Top officials have buckled under political pressure,” said a UN source. “As a result, a clear message has been given that Israel will not be listed.”
A controversial trade deal being negotiated between the European Union and the United States risks an unacceptable “race to the bottom” on environmental standards, MPs have warned.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could weaken European and UK regulation in areas including genetically modified crops, chemicals in cosmetics and meat treated with growth hormones, as a result of efforts to align standards between the US, where rules are laxer, and the EU.
A report by the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee also suggested it could make it harder to strengthen rules on issues such as animal welfare or climate change – particularly if the deal allows US companies to sue governments for bringing in new regulations that harm their business.
France has blamed a communication "failure" after EurActiv revealed the existence of a letter instructing French MEPs how to vote on the controversial question of ISDS. Paris tried to rectify the error by sending another confidential letter to MEPs on 4 March. EurActiv France reports.
On 26 February, EurActiv France published the contents of a letter advising French MEPs on the official French position on the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.
The letter, from the French Secretariat General for European Affairs (SGAE), was relaxed about the question of international arbitration tribunals, contrary to the harder line previously adopted by the government.
“— Theocracy with a Human Face - Asim Quresh of CAGE : Sam Harris
Pay close attention to how reasonable and benevolent Qureshi sounds in the beginning. For the first 10 minutes or so, he comes off as a fine spokesman for a moderate Islam that has been unfairly stigmatized by Western paranoia. However, once he is asked to denounce the most despicable aspects of shari’ah—Can non-Muslims be taken as slaves? Should women be stoned to death for adultery?—the mask suddenly slips. It is an amazing moment, when shameless guile reaches the precipice of religious superstition: Qureshi is clearly afraid to misrepresent his faith, lest he blaspheme and break trust with all the religious maniacs standing at his back. In the end, he can’t even pretend to have values remotely commensurate with our own. All he can muster is the lamest of dodges: “I’m not a theologian.”
Look again at the dissembling of Qureshi. Listen to all his seemingly sane and balanced talk about the “disenfranchisement” and “unnecessary targeting” of young Muslim men, about “cycles of violence,” and about jihad’s being nothing more than the universal principle of “self-defense.” And then realize that this voice of moderation believes that in a properly constituted caliphate, gays, apostates, blasphemers, and adulterers will be stoned to death, Jews and Christians will be forced to pay a protection tax, and all other non-Muslims will live as slaves. ”
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