Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Criticality suspected to have occurred in Fukushima fuel pool

July 5, 2014

ENENews


Gov’t Report: Criticality suspected to have occurred in Fukushima fuel pool — Nuclear chain reaction after massive explosion at Unit 3 compressed fuel together? Concerned about ‘substantial damage’ to fuel (VIDEO)Posted: 04 Jul 2014 03:11 PM PDT

This Time-Lapse Video Of A Star Explosion Is Beyond Beautiful

June 17, 2014

Posted: 06/12/2014 12:38 pm EDT Updated: 06/12/2014 12:59 pm EDT

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The wonders of space never cease to amaze us–or to challenge our ideas about the cosmos.

In the video above, a star 20,000 light-years from Earth explodes, lighting up the surrounding interstellar dust to create a stunning light echo.

The video — a time-lapse of images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope over a four-year period in the 2000s — shows the sudden outburst of star V838 Monocerotis.

What makes this starburst especially awesome is that it remains a puzzle to astronomers. According to the Hubble website, scientists still don’t fully understand why the stellar explosion occurred. Initially, they thought it wasa nova, a relatively common outburst. But now they realize it was something quite different.

From the website:

A typical nova is a normal star that dumps hydrogen onto a compact white-dwarf companion star. The hydrogen piles up until it spontaneously explodes by nuclear fusion — like a titanic hydrogen bomb. This exposes a searing stellar core, which has a temperature of hundreds of thousands of degrees Fahrenheit.

By contrast, V838 Monocerotis did not expel its outer layers. Instead, it grew enormously in size. Its surface temperature dropped to temperatures that were not much hotter than a light bulb. This behavior of ballooning to an immense size, but not losing its outer layers, is very unusual and completely unlike an ordinary nova explosion.

Though the extraordinary video of V383’s outburst has been on the Web for a few years now, it experienced a viral resurgence this week after being resurfaced by Gizmodo.

Hubble has been wowing us with its images since its launch in 1990. Just last week, a breathtaking Hubble image of roughly 10,000 galaxies was released.

Major Victory for Organic Non-GMO Farmers in Southern Oregon

May 24, 2014

An organic farmer in southern Oregon explains his seed growing technique. (photo: AP)
An organic farmer in southern Oregon explains his seed growing technique. (photo: AP)

By Jane Ayers, Reader Supported News

21 May 14

 

ast night’s election results rocked Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley in celebration, as local non-GMO farmers won Measure 15-119, banning all GMOs from the Southern Oregon region of Jackson County. In the adjoining Josephine County, farmers also won their own initiative to ban GMOs.

This precedent-setting outcome makes these counties the first in the state of Oregon, and in the nation, to ban the growing of genetically engineered crops, “despite record-breaking spending by Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, and other chemical giants,” according to Our Family Farm Coalition, one of the local grassroots organizations.

In the Ashland and Medford area, 65.90% of the Rogue Valley voted to ban the GMOs. This percentage amounted to 35,948 votes for the ban on GMOs versus 20,432 votes (34.21%) against the measure, and in favor of GMOs. The financials for the entire campaign showed approximately $400,000 in donations to support the non-GMO farmers, while $1.3 million was donated to oppose the ballot measure.

Organic farmer Chris Hardy, who spearheaded the effort to protect the non-GMO seed in the Rogue Valley, stated this morning: “I have so much gratitude to the citizens of Jackson County who chose to stand with our family farms and businesses across Southern Oregon. Our citizens made the clear decision to stand up and protect the future of non-GMO family farms in this region.”

Hardy, the organic farmer who found the initial plot of GMO sugar beets that threatened local farmers, helped organize a huge grassroots campaign of volunteers who went door to door to educate voters on the plight. He also was part of a group of local farmers who drove eighteen tractors through downtown Medford, Oregon, during the campaign.

Now that the measure has been passed to ban genetically engineered plants in the valley, all GMO plants must be destroyed within twelve months. All the Syngenta-leased plots of GMO sugar beets (which caused the contamination threat) will have to be plowed under or sold within that timeframe.

Elise Higley, who owns a 100-acre organic farm in Jackson County and is campaign director of Our Family Farm Coalition, said today, “Family farmers stood up for our basic right to farm without having our crops contaminated by Monsanto and other chemical giants that own patents on genetically engineered crops.”

She pointed out, “The federal government and state government have twiddled their thumbs as Monsanto and other chemical giants have been allowed to sell a product that spreads onto family farms and can contaminate the seeds we depend on for the next year’s crops.”

Oregon governor John Kitzhaber signed two bills last October that now prohibit any county (or city) enforcement of measures that would regulate areas of agriculture, nursery, flower, or vegetable seeds (or products). However, because of the astute timing and organizing on the part of GMO Free Jackson County, the thousands of local signatures needed for last-minute filings were gathered in time to get the measure to ban GMOs on the county ballot before the State of Oregon’s ruling went into effect.

After the win was announced late last night, Allen Hallmark of Talent, Oregon, stated: “I couldn’t be more pleased and thrilled by the outcome of this election. It was a real victory for the grassroots organization of small farmers and their allies called Our Family Farms Coalition. People of all ages from throughout the county pulled together to win despite the big money that Monsanto and Syngenta poured into the effort to defeat the measure. Our TV stations got rich by running all the opposition’s ads, but our voters could not be bought off.”

Jane Ayers is a stringer with USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, and regular contributor to Reader Supported News. Director of Jane Ayers Media (www.wix.com/ladywriterjane/janeayersmedia), she can be reached atJaneAyersMedia@gmail.com

SEE ALSO: 2 Oregon Counties Ban GMO Crops in Landslide Election Victories

 

The Birth of a Eurasian Century

May 20, 2014
Pepe Escobar
TomDispatch/Op-ed
Published: Monday 19 May 2014
Still, with no endgame in sight, keep your eye on Russia pivoting to Asia, China pivoting across the world, and the BRICS hard at work trying to bring about the new Eurasian Century.
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A specter is haunting Washington, an unnerving vision of a Sino-Russian alliance wedded to an expansive symbiosis of trade and commerce across much of the Eurasian land mass — at the expense of the United States.

And no wonder Washington is anxious.  That alliance is already a done deal in a variety of ways: through the BRICS group of emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Asian counterweight to NATO; inside the G20; and via the 120-member-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). Trade and commerce are just part of the future bargain.  Synergies in the development of new military technologies beckon as well. After Russia’s Star Wars-style, ultra-sophisticated S-500 air defense anti-missile system comes online in 2018, Beijing is sure to want a version of it. Meanwhile, Russia is about to sell dozens of state-of-the-art Sukhoi Su-35 jet fighters to the Chinese as Beijing and Moscow move to seal an aviation-industrial partnership.

This week should provide the first real fireworks in the celebration of a new Eurasian century-in-the-making when Russian President Vladimir Putin drops in on Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.  You remember “Pipelineistan,” all those crucial oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing Eurasia that make up the true circulatory system for the life of the region.  Now, it looks like the ultimate Pipelineistan deal, worth $1 trillion and 10 years in the making, will be inked as well.  In it, the giant, state-controlled Russian energy giant Gazprom will agree to supply the giant state-controlled China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) with 3.75 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas a day for no less than 30 years, starting in 2018. That’s the equivalent of a quarter of Russia’s massive gas exports to all of Europe. China’s current daily gas demand is around 16 billion cubic feet a day, and imports account for 31.6% of total consumption.

Gazprom may still collect the bulk of its profits from Europe, but Asia could turn out to be its Everest. The company will use this mega-deal to boost investment in Eastern Siberia and the whole region will be reconfigured as a privileged gas hub for Japan and South Korea as well. If you want to know why no key country in Asia has been willing to “isolate” Russia in the midst of the Ukrainian crisis — and in defiance of the Obama administration — look no further than Pipelineistan.

Exit the Petrodollar, Enter the Gas-o-Yuan

And then, talking about anxiety in Washington, there’s the fate of the petrodollar to consider, or rather the “thermonuclear” possibility that Moscow and Beijing will agree on payment for the Gazprom-CNPC deal not in petrodollars but in Chinese yuan. One can hardly imagine a more tectonic shift, with Pipelineistan intersecting with a growing Sino-Russian political-economic-energy partnership. Along with it goes the future possibility of a push, led again by China and Russia, toward a new international reserve currency — actually a basket of currencies — that would supersede the dollar (at least in the optimistic dreams of BRICS members).

Right after the potentially game-changing Sino-Russian summit comes a BRICS summit in Brazil in July. That’s when a $100 billion BRICS development bank, announced in 2012, will officially be born as a potential alternative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as a source of project financing for the developing world.

More BRICS cooperation meant to bypass the dollar is reflected in the “Gas-o-yuan,” as in natural gas bought and paid for in Chinese currency. Gazprom is even considering marketing bonds in yuan as part of the financial planning for its expansion. Yuan-backed bonds are already trading in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and most recently Frankfurt.

Nothing could be more sensible for the new Pipelineistan deal than to have it settled in yuan. Beijing would pay Gazprom in that currency (convertible into rubles); Gazprom would accumulate the yuan; and Russia would then buy myriad made-in-China goods and services in yuan convertible into rubles.

It’s common knowledge that banks in Hong Kong, from Standard Chartered to HSBC — as well as others closely linked to China via trade deals — have been diversifying into the yuan, which implies that it could become one of the de facto global reserve currencies even before it’s fully convertible. (Beijing is unofficially working for a fully convertible yuan by 2018.)

The Russia-China gas deal is inextricably tied up with the energy relationship between the European Union (EU) and Russia. After all, the bulk of Russia’s gross domestic product comes from oil and gas sales, as does much of its leverage in the Ukraine crisis. In turn, Germany depends on Russia for a hefty 30% of its natural gas supplies. Yet Washington’s geopolitical imperatives — spiced up with Polish hysteria — have meant pushing Brussels to find ways to “punish” Moscow in the future energy sphere (while not imperiling present day energy relationships).

There’s a consistent rumble in Brussels these days about the possible cancellation of the projected 16 billion euro South Stream pipeline, whose construction is to start in June.  On completion, it would pump yet more Russian natural gas to Europe — in this case, underneath the Black Sea (bypassing Ukraine) to Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Austria.

Bulgaria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have already made it clear that they are firmly opposed to any cancellation.  And cancellation is probably not in the cards.  After all, the only obvious alternative is Caspian Sea gas from Azerbaijan, and that isn’t likely to happen unless the EU can suddenly muster the will and funds for a crash schedule to construct the fabled Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, conceived during the Clinton years expressly to bypass Russia and Iran.

In any case, Azerbaijan doesn’t have enough capacity to supply the levels of natural gas needed, and other actors like Kazakhstan, plagued with infrastructure problems, or unreliable Turkmenistan, which prefers to sell its gas to China, are already largely out of the picture. And don’t forget that South Stream, coupled with subsidiary energy projects, will create a lot of jobs and investment in many of the most economically devastated EU nations.

Nonetheless, such EU threats, however unrealistic, only serve to accelerate Russia’s increasing symbiosis with Asian markets. For Beijing especially, it’s a win-win situation. After all, between energy supplied across seas policed and controlled by the U.S. Navy and steady, stable land routes out of Siberia, it’s no contest.

Pick Your Own Silk Road

Of course, the U.S. dollar remains the top global reserve currency, involving 33% of global foreign exchange holdings at the end of 2013, according to the IMF. It was, however, at 55% in 2000. Nobody knows the percentage in yuan (and Beijing isn’t talking), but the IMF notes that reserves in “other currencies” in emerging markets have been up 400% since 2003.

The Fed is arguably monetizing 70% of the U.S. government debt in an attempt to keep interest rates from heading skywards. Pentagon adviser Jim Rickards, as well as every Hong Kong-based banker, tends to believe that the Fed is bust (though they won’t say it on the record). No one can even imagine the extent of the possible future deluge the U.S. dollar might experience amid a $1.4 quadrillion Mount Ararat of financial derivatives.  Don’t think that this is the death knell of Western capitalism, however, just the faltering of that reigning economic faith, neoliberalism, still the official ideology of the United States, the overwhelming majority of the European Union, and parts of Asia and South America.

As far as what might be called the “authoritarian neoliberalism” of the Middle Kingdom, what’s not to like at the moment? China has proven that there is a result-oriented alternative to the Western “democratic” capitalist model for nations aiming to be successful. It’s building not one, but myriad new Silk Roads, massive webs of high-speed railways, highways, pipelines, ports, and fiber optic networks across huge parts of Eurasia. These include a Southeast Asian road, a Central Asian road, an Indian Ocean “maritime highway” and even a high-speed rail line through Iran and Turkey reaching all the way to Germany.

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In April, when President Xi Jinping visited the city of Duisburg on the Rhine River, with the largest inland harbor in the world and right in the heartland of Germany’s Ruhr steel industry, he made an audacious proposal: a new “economic Silk Road” should be built between China and Europe, on the basis of the Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe railway, which already runs from China to Kazakhstan, then through Russia, Belarus, Poland, and finally Germany. That’s 15 days by train, 20 less than for cargo ships sailing from China’s eastern seaboard. Now that would represent the ultimate geopolitical earthquake in terms of integrating economic growth across Eurasia.

Keep in mind that, if no bubbles burst, China is about to become — and remain — the number one global economic power, a position it enjoyed for 18 of the past 20 centuries. But don’t tell London hagiographers; they still believe that U.S. hegemony will last, well, forever.

Take Me to Cold War 2.0

Despite recent serious financial struggles, the BRICS countries have been consciously working to become a counterforce to the original and — having tossed Russia out in March — once again Group of 7, or G7. They are eager to create a new global architecture to replace the one first imposed in the wake of World War II, and they see themselves as a potential challenge to the exceptionalist and unipolar world that Washington imagines for our future (with itself as the global robocop and NATO as its robo-police force). Historian and imperialist cheerleader Ian Morris, in his book War! What is it Good For?, defines the U.S. as the ultimate “globocop” and “the last best hope of Earth.” If that globocop “wearies of its role,” he writes, “there is no plan B.”

Well, there is a plan BRICS — or so the BRICS nations would like to think, at least. And when the BRICS do act in this spirit on the global stage, they quickly conjure up a curious mix of fear, hysteria, and pugnaciousness in the Washington establishment. Take Christopher Hill as an example. The former assistant secretary of state for East Asia and U.S. ambassador to Iraq is now an advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Group, a consulting firm deeply connected to the White House and the State Department. When Russia was down and out, Hill used to dream of a hegemonic American “new world order.”  Now that the ungrateful Russians have spurned what “the West has been offering” — that is, “special status with NATO, a privileged relationship with the European Union, and partnership in international diplomatic endeavors” — they are, in his view, busy trying to revive the Soviet empire. Translation: if you’re not our vassals, you’re against us.  Welcome to Cold War 2.0.

The Pentagon has its own version of this directed not so much at Russia as at China, which, its think tank on future warfare claims, is already at war with Washington in a number of ways. So if it’s not apocalypse now, it’s Armageddon tomorrow. And it goes without saying that whatever’s going wrong, as the Obama administration very publicly “pivots” to Asia and the American media fills with talk about a revival of Cold War-era “containment policy” in the Pacific, it’s all China’s fault.

Embedded in the mad dash toward Cold War 2.0 are some ludicrous facts-on-the-ground: the U.S. government, with $17.5 trillion in national debt and counting, is contemplating a financial showdown with Russia, the largest global energy producer and a major nuclear power, just as it’s also promoting an economically unsustainable military encirclement of its largest creditor, China.

Russia runs a sizeable trade surplus. Humongous Chinese banks will have no trouble helping Russian banks out if Western funds dry up. In terms of inter-BRICS cooperation, few projects beat a $30 billion oil pipeline in the planning stages that will stretch from Russia to India via Northwest China. Chinese companies are already eagerly discussing the possibility of taking part in the creation of a transport corridor from Russia into Crimea, as well as an airport, shipyard, and liquid natural gas terminal there. And there’s another “thermonuclear” gambit in the making: the birth of a natural gas equivalent to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that would include Russia, Iran, and reportedly disgruntled U.S. ally Qatar.

The (unstated) BRICS long-term plan involves the creation of an alternative economic system featuring a basket of gold-backed currencies that would bypass the present America-centric global financial system. (No wonder Russia and China are amassing as much gold as they can.) The euro — a sound currency backed by large liquid bond markets and huge gold reserves — would be welcomed in as well.

It’s no secret in Hong Kong that the Bank of China has been using a parallel SWIFT network to conduct every kind of trade with Tehran, which is under a heavy U.S. sanctions regime. With Washington wielding Visa and Mastercard as weapons in a growing Cold War-style economic campaign against Russia, Moscow is about to implement an alternative payment and credit card system not controlled by Western finance. An even easier route would be to adopt the Chinese Union Pay system, whose operations have already overtaken American Express in global volume.

I’m Just Pivoting With Myself

No amount of Obama administration “pivoting” to Asia to contain China (and threaten it with U.S. Navy control of the energy sea lanes to that country) is likely to push Beijing far from its Deng Xiaoping-inspired, self-described “peaceful development” strategy meant to turn it into a global powerhouse of trade.  Nor are the forward deployment of U.S. or NATO troops in Eastern Europe or other such Cold-War-ish acts likely to deter Moscow from a careful balancing act: ensuring that Russia’s sphere of influence in Ukraine remains strong without compromising trade and commercial, as well as political, ties with the European Union — above all, with strategic partner Germany. This is Moscow’s Holy Grail; a free-trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok, which (not by accident) is mirrored in China’s dream of a new Silk Road to Germany.

Increasingly wary of Washington, Berlin for its part abhors the notion of Europe being caught in the grips of a Cold War 2.0. German leaders have more important fish to fry, including trying to stabilize a wobbly EU while warding off an economic collapse in southern and central Europe and the advance of ever more extreme rightwing parties.

On the other side of the Atlantic, President Obama and his top officials show every sign of becoming entangled in their own pivoting — to Iran, to China, to Russia’s eastern borderlands, and (under the radar) to Africa. The irony of all these military-first maneuvers is that they are actually helping Moscow, Tehran, and Beijing build up their own strategic depth in Eurasia and elsewhere, as reflected in Syria, or crucially in ever more energy deals. They are also helping cement the growing strategic partnership between China and Iran. The unrelenting Ministry of Truth narrative out of Washington about all these developments now carefully ignores the fact that, without Moscow, the “West” would never have sat down to discuss a final nuclear deal with Iran or gotten a chemical disarmament agreement out of Damascus.

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When the disputes between China and its neighbors in the South China Sea and between that country and Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyou islands meet the Ukraine crisis, the inevitable conclusion will be that both Russia and China consider their borderlands and sea lanes private property and aren’t going to take challenges quietly — be it via NATO expansion, U.S. military encirclement, or missile shields. Neither Beijing nor Moscow is bent on the usual form of imperialist expansion, despite the version of events now being fed to Western publics.  Their “red lines” remain essentially defensive in nature, no matter the bluster sometimes involved in securing them.

Whatever Washington may want or fear or try to prevent, the facts on the ground suggest that, in the years ahead, Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran will only grow closer, slowly but surely creating a new geopolitical axis in Eurasia. Meanwhile, a discombobulated America seems to be aiding and abetting the deconstruction of its own unipolar world order, while offering the BRICS a genuine window of opportunity to try to change the rules of the game.

Russia and China in Pivot Mode

In Washington’s think-tank land, the conviction that the Obama administration should be focused on replaying the Cold War via a new version of containment policy to “limit the development of Russia as a hegemonic power” has taken hold. The recipe: weaponize the neighbors from the Baltic states to Azerbaijan to “contain” Russia. Cold War 2.0 is on because, from the point of view of Washington’s elites, the first one never really left town.

Yet as much as the U.S. may fight the emergence of a multipolar, multi-powered world, economic facts on the ground regularly point to such developments.  The question remains: Will the decline of the hegemon be slow and reasonably dignified, or will the whole world be dragged down with it in what has been called “the Samson option”?

While we watch the spectacle unfold, with no end game in sight, keep in mind that a new force is growing in Eurasia, with the Sino-Russian strategic alliance threatening to dominate its heartland along with great stretches of its inner rim. Now, that’s a nightmare of Mackinderesque proportions from Washington’s point of view.  Think, for instance, of how Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser who became a mentor on global politics to President Obama, would see it.

In his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard, Brzezinski argued that “the struggle for global primacy [would] continue to be played” on the Eurasian “chessboard,” of which “Ukraine was a geopolitical pivot.” “If Moscow regains control over Ukraine,” he wrote at the time, Russia would “automatically regain the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

That remains most of the rationale behind the American imperial containment policy — from Russia’s European “near abroad” to the South China Sea. Still, with no endgame in sight, keep your eye on Russia pivoting to Asia, China pivoting across the world, and the BRICS hard at work trying to bring about the new Eurasian Century.

To see Tom Engelhardt’s response, click here.

We’ve Known for 75 Years Why GM Killing Customers Isn’t Treated as “Real Crime”

May 20, 2014
OpEdNews Op Eds 5/19/2014 at 02:21:59

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From flickr.com/photos/29778206@N04/3044390985/: Renaissance Center / GM World Headquarters
Renaissance Center / GM World Headquarters
(image by RTD Photography)

Reprinted fromneweconomicperspectives.org

The New York Times headline was dominated by a seemingly strong word: “G.M. Is Fined Over Safety and Called a Lawbreaker.”

As I will explain, however, the seeming strength of the label “lawbreaker” is undercut by the rest of the title, the text of the article, and the reality of the Justice Department’s refusal to apply the rule of law to powerful domestic corporations and their controlling officers.

The first discordant note is the word “safety.” The article reports that GM, for the purposes of avoiding the expense of repairing a design defect that endangered the lives of its customers, covered up the defect and caused the death and injury of a number of those customers. The article does not report the (minor) cost of GM fixing its design defect. The article does not report on the number of people who were injured and killed because GM designed a defective ignition system, knowingly hid the defect from its customers and the government, and once it knew that its defective design was injuring and killing its customers GM deliberately covered up the existence of the defect and the cause of the easily avoidable injuries and deaths. The article states that GM was finally required to recall 2.6 million vehicles due to the defective design of the ignition switches.

The second note of weakness in the title is the word “fine.” The only punishment is to the shareholders through a fine against GM. No officer was fined or sanctioned by the government. The article says that the paltry fine against GM was the largest the regulator could impose.

The third note of weakness is not by the NYT, but by the government. The title does not use any of the words used to describe criminal prosecutions against elite corporate officers and corporations. The article does not even ask why the Department of Justice failed to prosecute the GM officers that led this sometimes fatal fraud. Did the safety regulator even make a criminal referral against GM or its (ir)responsible executives?

 

The fourth note of weakness applies to both the paper and the government. There is not a word in the article about the unethical nature of the conduct. It’s horrific to fail to discuss GM’s crimes, but it is beyond obscene to fail to discuss its moral implications. The NYT ran astronger story on GM’s lawyers, but it too avoided any discussion of GM’s crimes or ethics.

Reckless Vehicular Homicide

GM’s actions occurred nationwide, so GM and its officers could be prosecuted under many different state laws. When GM’s customers drive their cars they are subject to prosecution if they violate their state Reckless Vehicular Homicide laws. The common legal definition of “reckless” is: “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others.” (The statutory name, legal standard, and punishment vary among the states). “Willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others” is what the government says GM and its officers and employees exhibited.

The case for calling GM’s behavior “reckless” is far stronger than the typical Reckless Vehicular Homicide case because such cases are typically the product of a single spontaneous act produced by a split second driving “decision” that may not have been consciously planned in any meaningful sense. In GM’s case, its reckless behavior was considered, deliberate, done for the purpose of financial gain for GM and the officers and senior employees involved, and covered up. Indeed, that last element may itself be a state and federal criminal act. GM’s cover up of the defects would allow an aggressive prosecutor to characterize the entire combined activity as aggravated recklessness under some state laws. (The cover up would also greatly increase that punitive damages would be awarded in civil suits against GM by the victims — which is why GM is gearing up ready the sordid American corporate tactic of “strategic bankruptcy” to try to minimize its victims’ recoveries even in the civil context.)

Would murder and maiming by any other name smell as fetid?

We label something a “crime” for important purposes. Crime is very different from tort even though the legal “elements” of the tort and crime are often the same. Often, the only difference is the degree of the burden of persuasion (“beyond a reasonable doubt” v. “the preponderance of the evidence”). Only public prosecutors can bring criminal actions and only criminal convictions can lead to incarceration (with the important exception of “contempt of court”). U.S. defendants in a serious criminal case have a constitutional right to counsel. We give the government the monopoly on bringing criminal cases because it is such a vital responsibility and because we know that vigilantes invariably degenerate into scourge of society. When we treat a wrong as a crime when make a societal declaration that the conduct is so harmful that it must be defined as illegitimate and subject to sanctions that typically include imprisonment.

Edwin Sutherland was right about elite white-collar crime; and he’s still right

This year is the 75th anniversary of Edwin Sutherland’s 1939 Presidential address to the annual meeting of sociologists in which he announced the concept of white-collar crime. My readers will see, in Sutherland’s first paragraph, why his work is so attractive to me.

Economists and most criminologists don’t understand financial crimes

“This paper is concerned with crime in relation to business. The economists are well acquainted with business methods but not accustomed to consider them from the point of view of crime; many sociologists are well acquainted with crime but not accustomed to consider it as expressed in business. This paper is an attempt to integrate these two bodies of knowledge. More accurately stated, it is a comparison of crime in the upper or white-collar class, composed of respectable or at least respected business and professional men, and crime in the lower class, composed of persons of low socioeconomic status.”

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An Introduction to Nonviolence

May 20, 2014
General News 5/18/2014 at 13:20:13

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Excerpted from the book: The Nonviolence Handbook; A Guide for practical action
(forward by Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret))

The Nonviolence Handbook
(image by Berret-Koehler Publishers)
excerpted from chapter 1

The twentieth century left us a double legacy. On the one hand, it was a time of great cruelty and violence; on the other hand, and perhaps from that very crucible of violence, we saw manifestations of a new kind of power–or rather, new uses of an age–old power–that can lead humanity to a far better future. In the years since Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated the power of nonviolence to free India from colonial rule and Martin Luther King Jr. employed it to liberate people of color from some of their oppression in the United States, countless peoples around the world–from Manila to Moscow, Cape Town to Cairo, and in the Occupy movements worldwide–have had varying degrees of success using one or another aspect of nonviolence to loosen the bonds of exploitation and oppression.

The practice of nonviolence touches on something fundamental about human nature, about who we wish to be as individuals or as a people. Gandhi stated simply, “Nonviolence is the law of our species.”1 Dr. Vandana Shiva, a renowned leader of rural resistance in India, said in a recent lecture that if we do not adopt nonviolence we risk compromising our humanity. Likewise, Iraqi Kurdish activist Aram Jamal Sabir said that although nonviolence may be harder and may require greater sacrifice than violence, “at least you don’t lose your humanity in the process.”2

We might contrast this with the appallingly high rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide among today’s American servicemen and women. As one of them told a documentary filmmaker, “I no longer like who I am. I lost my soul in Iraq.” Another told a friend of mine, who was on his way to the Middle East as part of a Christian Peacemaker team, “I am still haunted by the things we did ” I would give anything to be able to go back and undo some of the things we did. But I can’t. But at least I can thank you with all my heart for doing what you do.” Through these words, which are a testimony to human nature, we glimpse both the costs of violating that aspect of our nature and the path toward its redemption.

It is not surprising, therefore, that here and there the significance of nonviolence has begun to be recognized by people looking for a new story of human nature and human destiny, who find themselves searching for a badly needed higher image of humanity. Frankly, our present worldview and the institutions based on that worldview take violence as a norm, and shifting that basis could lead to a leap forward in cultural evolution. It could resolve or show us how to resolve our economic, environmental, personal, and international problems. In short, the full recognition of nonviolence could rewrite the story of human destiny.

However, at this time most people do not understand the dynamics of nonviolence fully, if at all. Few people know its potential or exactly how to use it to liberate themselves and all of us from greed, tyranny, and injustice. Nonviolence may be embedded in our nature, as Gandhi said, but it cannot emerge into our lives and institutions until it is much better understood. Episodes of nonviolence are constantly cropping up, but to use it safely and effectively–and certainly to use it for lasting change–requires knowledge and planning.

Fight, Flight, and the Third Way

 

Nonviolence seems to be rare, even the exception, and its potential–perhaps even its mere possibility–is rigorously ignored by policy makers. Violence, or deliberate harm to another’s person or basic dignity, is so common as to seem ubiquitous, especially when we include, as we should, structural violence–the exploitation or dominance built into a system. But the seeming ubiquity of violence and rarity of nonviolence turns out to have more to do with the way we see the world than with the way the world really is. The way we practiced science until the twentieth century, for instance, tended to emphasize materialism, separateness, and competition, leading to the image of “nature red in tooth and claw.” It is only recently that science has undergone a remarkable shift toward a more balanced vision not only of human nature but also of nature and evolution in general. This development has the greatest significance for nonviolence but has yet to make its way into the prevailing worldview.3

Another reason we are not more aware of instances of nonviolence, and the reason it all too often seems ineffectual or to end up with a disappointing sequel, as in Egypt and Syria, is that modern culture does not prepare us very well to understand a positive, nonmaterial force. Indeed, the word nonviolence itself is part of the problem. Non-violence implies that the real something, the default condition, is violence, and that nonviolence is just its absence–in the same way that many people still think of peace as merely the absence of war. They are turning truth on its head, and artificially limiting our options.

If we are unaware of nonviolence, we will tend to believe that our only response to an attack is to give in or to fight back–the fight-or-flight response. From the perspective of nonviolence, this is really no choice at all. Either approach–passively allowing violence to be used against us (or, for that matter, someone else) or reacting in kind–will only serve to increase the violence. Our real choice is not between these two expressions of violence; instead, it’s the choice that opens when we don’t want to take either approach. Then we want to confront violence with an alternative, with what Andrew Young, citing an old spiritual, called a “way out of no way.”4

Nonviolence offers us a viable, natural third way out of the fight-or-flight conundrum. The twentieth-century discoveries of relativity and quantum reality showed us that nothing is as separate as it seems. Similarly, there is now a good deal of evidence that empathy and cooperation are in fact the dominant forces in evolution, that human beings and other primates are equipped with “mirror neurons” that enable us to share what another is feeling, that self-sacrifice can produce intense rewards in the nervous system–and, of course, that nonviolence is an extremely effective tool for social change.5

Natural as nonviolence may be, however, there is no denying that empathy and care for the well-being of someone who’s against us do not come easily. It can be quite a struggle, but it’s encouraging to remember that this very struggle is the source of nonviolent power. As King put it, “The phrase ‘passive resistance’ often gives the false impression that this is a sort of ‘do-nothing method’ in which the resister quietly and passively accepts evil. But nothing is further from the truth. For while the nonviolent resister is passive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade his opponent that he is wrong.”6

To be angry at injustice and to fear harm are natural human responses. The point is not whether we have the “right” to be frightened or outraged but how we can use that fear or outrage to change a situation most effectively. As a preeminent nonviolence scholar, Gene Sharp, has pointed out, the first thing an oppressed people must do is to overcome the paralyzing fear that has kept them down.7 In Chile, for instance, constitutional means were enough to bring down Augusto Pinochet in 1989 and to end the nation’s long nightmare of military rule, but first they had to overcome their fear, which gave them the creative power for action.

No doubt we will have to undergo this personal struggle against our “natural” feelings many times, but it does eventually become a habit. And when we can express our fear or anger as creative energy, the creative power of nonviolence is in our hands. Emotionally, we are neither running away in fear nor attacking in anger; we are resisting in love. In terms of our conscious intention, we are neither looking to “win” nor afraid of losing; our aim is to grow, if possible, even along with those opposing us.

http://mettacenter.org

Michael N. Nagler is the founder and presidento of the Metta Center for Nonviolence. He cofounded the Peace and Conflict Sutdies Program at UC Berkeley, where is is professor emeritus of classics and comparative literature.
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Workers Will State the Largest Fast Food Strike in 150 Cities

May 12, 2014

BRYCE COVERT
Think Progress/News Report
Published: Sunday 11 May 2014
Thousands of fast food workers will go on strike in 150 cities on May 15, according to Salon’s Josh Eidelson. That will include some cities that haven’t been home to fast food strikes before, such as Philadelphia, Miami, Orlando, and Sacramento.
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Thousands of fast food workers will go on strike in 150 cities on May 15, according to Salon’s Josh Eidelson. That will include some cities that haven’t been home to fast food strikes before, such as Philadelphia, Miami, Orlando, and Sacramento. Organizers also expect hundreds of workers to go on strike in some cities like Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York City. The strikes will be the largest in the industry yet after they hit 100 cities in December and 50 in August last year.

The day will also mark the first spread of fast food labor unrest abroad, as it will include protests in 30 other countries on six continents, many of them targeting McDonald’s. Activists will hold a teach-in outside of the company’s head office in New Zealand and shut down a major location in Belgium during the lunch hour. Protests will crop up in cities from London to Bangkok and countries from India to Nigeria. Then Italian fast food workers in Milan, Rome, and Venice will go on strike the next day.  American fast food workers have been walking out in protest of low wages and poor working conditions since late 2012, when 200 went on strike in New York City in the first strike to ever hit the industry. The demands have remained constant: $15 an hour at minimum and the right to form a union. Since that initial action in New York City, the strikes have quickly spread across the country, starting in the northeast but moving to the midwest and south. Workers also recently filed seven class-action lawsuits against McDonald’s in March alleging a widespread practice of cheating them out of the pay that they are owed. The sector has been booming since the recession, but the median wage is only $8.85. And that’s if they get their full pay. Wage theft of the sort alleged against McDonald’s is widespread in the industry, experienced by nearly 90 percent of workers. While some argue that the jobs are meant as a way for teenagers to earn extra money and gain work experience, workers between the ages of 25 and 54 hold the largest share of fast food jobs, and more than a quarter are supporting a child. Meanwhile, they are not the kind of jobs that give people a leg up toward advancement: while a third of the workforce ends up in managerial, professional, or supervisory jobs, less than 9 percent of fast food employees will make it to supervisor and just 2.2 percent are in managerial, professional, or technical roles.

ABOUT BRYCE COVERT
Bryce Covert is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress. She was previously editor of the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal blog and a senior communications officer. She is also a contributor for The Nation and was previously a contributor for ForbesWoman. Her writing has appeared on The New York Times, The New York Daily News, The Nation, The Atlantic, The American Prospect, and others. She is also a board member of WAM!NYC, the New York Chapter of Women, Action & the Media.

Fueling aviation with hardwoods

May 12, 2014

Date:
May 8, 2014
Source:
Syracuse University
Summary:
A multi-university team has addressed challenges of introducing advanced biofuels in the transportation pool through the concerted development of technology designed to transform lignocellulosic biomass into a jet fuel surrogate via catalytic chemistry. This promising approach highlights the versatility of lignocellulose.

Professor Bond is a team member and lead author of of a summary on the use of technology designed to transform lignocellulosic biomass into a jet fuel surrogate via catalytic chemistry.
Credit: Syracuse University

A key challenge in the biofuels landscape is to get more advanced biofuels — fuels other than corn ethanol and vegetable oil-based biodiesel — into the transportation pool. Utilization of advanced biofuels is stipulated by the Energy Independence and Security Act; however, current production levels lag behind proposed targets. Additionally, certain transportation sectors, such as aviation, are likely to continue to require liquid hydrocarbon fuels in the long term even as light duty transportation shifts to alternative power sources.

A multi-university team lead by George Huber, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has addressed both challenges through the concerted development of technology designed to transform lignocellulosic biomass into a jet fuel surrogate via catalytic chemistry. This promising approach highlights the versatility of lignocellulose as a feedstock and was recently summarized in the journal Energy & Environmental Science by team member and lead author Jesse Q. Bond, Syracuse University Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering.

Lignocellulosic biomass is an abundant natural resource that includes inedible portions of food crops as well as grasses, trees, and other “woody” biomass. According to the United States Department of Energy, the United States could sustainably produce as much as 1.6 billion tons of lignocellulose per year as an industrial feedstock. Lignocellulose can be processed to yield various transportation fuels and commodity chemicals; however, current strategies are not generally cost-competitive with petroleum. Here, Huber’s team presents a comprehensive approach toward streamlining biomass processing for the production of aviation fuels. The proposed technology hinges on efficient production of furfural and levulinic acid from sugars that are commonly present in lignocellulosic biomass. These two compounds are then transformed into a mixture of chemicals that are indistinguishable from the primary components of petroleum-derived aviation fuels.

The technology was demonstrated through a multi-university partnership that brought together expertise in biomass processing, catalyst design, reaction engineering, and process modelling. Economic analysis suggests that, based on the current state of the technology, jet fuel-range hydrocarbons could be produced at a minimum selling price of $4.75 per gallon. The work also identifies primary cost drivers and suggests that increasing efficiency in wastewater treatment and decreasing catalyst costs could reduce that amount to $2.88 per gallon.

“This effort exemplifies the impact of a well-designed collaboration,” said Bond. “As individual researchers, we sometimes focus too narrowly on problems that we can resolve using our own existing skills. Biomass refining is complex, and bio-based aviation fuels are difficult targets. Many of the real roadblocks occur at scarcely-studied research intersections. In our view, the only meaningful way to tackle these challenges is through strategic partnerships, and that is precisely what we’ve done in this program.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Syracuse UniversityNote: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jesse Q. Bond, Aniruddha A. Upadhye, Hakan Olcay, Geoffrey A. Tompsett, Jungho Jae, Rong Xing, David Martin Alonso, Dong Wang, Taiying Zhang, Rajeev Kumar, Andrew Foster, S. Murat Sen, Christos T. Maravelias, Robert Malina, Steven R. H. Barrett, Raul Lobo, Charles E. Wyman, James A. Dumesic, George W. Huber. Production of renewable jet fuel range alkanes and commodity chemicals from integrated catalytic processing of biomassEnergy & Environmental Science, 2014; 7 (4): 1500 DOI: 10.1039/C3EE43846E

Cite This Page:

Syracuse University. “Fueling aviation with hardwoods.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508172306.htm>.

Senate to Take Up Longshot to Regulate Campaign Finance

May 5, 2014

Theodoric Meyer
Propublica/News Investigation
Published: Monday 5 May 2014
The Senate could soon consider a constitutional amendment that would give Congress and states the ability to limit money in politics, possibly reversing the effect of recent Supreme Court rulings. But the amendment doesn’t appear to have the votes to pass.
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In a gesture probably more symbolic than practical, the Senate may soon take up a constitutional amendment to give Congress and states the power to regulate political contributions and spending.

At a Senate Rules Committee hearing Wednesday on the influence of so-called “dark money” groups, nonprofits that don’t have to report their donors for election spending, Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Democrats would soon bring the amendment up for a vote.

The amendment, introduced last year by Sen. Tom Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, would allow Congress to limit contributions and spending by campaigns, as well as by super PACs and dark money groups. States would be allowed to pass their own regulations.

The amendment could be the only way to reverse the impact of Supreme Court decisions that have struck down some limits on contributions by corporations, unions, nonprofits and individuals to both outside groups and, more recently, to political parties.

​”It’s now crystal clear to me that an amendment to the Constitution is necessary to allow meaningful campaign finance rules,” Udall said on Wednesday.

 

The amendment has little chance of passing, however, as it needs the support of 67 senators. Republicans are unlikely to vote for it. Many conservatives see limits on campaign finance as limits on free speech. Conservatives also have benefitted more from the gusher of outside money so far. 

Predictably, the hearing on Wednesday reinforced the sharp divisions between Republicans and Democrats on campaign finance.

​Schumer, Udall and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Democrats on the committee who were at the hearing, called for new campaign finance restrictions. And Sen. Angus King, the Maine independent who led the hearing and who often votes with Democrats, was particularly critical of dark money groups, the social welfare nonprofits and trade associations that can spend money on elections without disclosing their donors.

“In Maine, we have town meetings every spring,” King said. “Nobody’s allowed to go to a Maine town meeting with a bag over their head.”

But Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, the ranking Republican on the committee, spoke out against new regulations as restrictions on free speech, pointing to a plaque he had brought displaying the text of the First Amendment.

“Let’s stop this fool’s errand of speech regulation,” he said.

At issue isn’t simply speech—it’s whether who’s behind that speech should be identified. Disclosure is something that many courts have said is paramount. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, for example, said that corporations, unions and nonprofits could spend unlimited money on outside election ads. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the influx of that money would not corrupt elections because of laws requiring outside groups to disclose their donors.

ProPublica and other news outlets have written extensively, however, about the many ways groups have used to avoid this kind of transparency. In 2012 alone, social welfare nonprofits and trade associations dumped more than $310 million into the election. Who are the donors? Who knows?

As the Center for Responsive Politics reported Wednesday, the 2014 election is so far shaping up to involve more dark money than any election to date. And Democrats are narrowing the gap with Republicans, who have typically spent much more through dark money groups.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the other Republican who attended the hearing Wednesday, addressed the disclosure issue, at least partly. He called for allowing unlimited contributions to candidates followed by immediate disclosure of who gave the money. But Cruz did not say whether he also supported such disclosures by dark money groups.

A slate of campaign finance experts testified before the committee, including former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the dissenting opinion in the Citizens United case before his retirement in 2010 and recently authored a book proposing a constitutional amendment to limit political spending.

In an interview with ProPublica after the hearing, King said he imagined Democrats would try to bring Udall’s amendment to the floor this summer but acknowledged that passing it would be difficult. He said he is more focused on passing legislation to require more campaign finance disclosure.

“I know there are Republicans who are interested in this issue and have expressed it,” he said.

He declined, however, to name them.

Economics For the 99%: This Is What Food and Shelter For All Looks Like

April 21, 2014

STEVE RUSHTON
Occupy.com/News Report
Published: Sunday 20 April 2014
A recent U.K. Parliamentary report highlights that 15 million tons of food is wasted in Britain every year. Indicative of a broader problem, the same report tells how the European union wastes 89 million tons while rich countries dispose of nearly the same amount that all of sub-Saharan Africa is able to grow.
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“Economics of the majority begins with the most fundamental premise: resources lie idle and economics has the task of explaining that idleness, then proposing public policies to end the waste of human skill and productive wealth,” John Weeks asserts in the conclusion to his recently published book, Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy. His approach comprehensively undermines neoclassical economics, which he terms “fakeconomics” – a pseudo-science based on false assumptions, which hold that markets are efficient and resources are never wasted.

In his sharp final section, Weeks alludes to an incomplete project for the 21st century: economics for the 99%. To explore this, specific necessities of life deserve further focus – especially as society continues to waste resources that could alleviate poverty and stop unnecessary deaths. Among the critical points, shelter and food are two human requirements that have hit headlines recently in Britain for being wasted and rotting beyond use.

Free Market Capitalism and the Scale of Food Waste

A recent U.K. Parliamentary report highlights that 15 million tons of food is wasted in Britain every year. Indicative of a broader problem, the same report tells how the European union wastes 89 million tons while rich countries dispose of nearly the same amount that all of sub-Saharan Africa is able to grow.

The United Nations Environment Program suggests a third of all food globally goes to waste. Globally, more than one in 10 people suffer hunger, meaning the scale of free markets’ food waste is not only causing poverty – it actually kills. A disaster whose largest impact is felt on the majority world, it is nonetheless more and more affecting the minority world as inequality spirals. For instance, in Britain, the food crisis has led to church leaders speaking out on continuing austerity policies.

Why is so Much Food Wasted?

 

Reading different mainstream news reactions to the report, blame has been apportioned in part to the supermarkets for selling consumers food they do not need with buy-one-get-one-free offers, and for penalizing growers for undersupplying them; this encourages oversupply. Culpability is also pointed at the food industry itself, which spends billions each year persuading people “what food should look like” so that only aesthetically pleasing food reaches the shelves. 

Legally Enforcing Waste

Anyone who has ever gone “skipping,” or “dumpster diving,” knows that shops regularly throw out masses of perfectly edible food. For some, this is solely a source of nourishment; for others it is an ethical decision to choose “freeganism”. By stopping so much food heading to landfill, you not only leave more for everyone else – but from a climate perspective, you’re helping prevent more methane from rotting food becoming greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet this ecological and socially beneficial solution is criminalized. Locks and chains “protect” the garbage on our streets. There have even been recent cases of police arresting those who want to use the idle produce. In an instance three years ago, it even led to criminal convictions for theft.

A food waste solution based on freegan principles involves shops giving away food to charity feeding projects. A successful example is the Hare Krishna project Food For All. Using donated food, Food For All feeds over 1,000 people per day across London, including homeless people and students. The food combines with other work that aims to empower homeless people, providing opportunities such as music lessons and volunteering opportunities.

But schemes like these are also under attack from UK authorities. Earlier this year, it took a high court ruling to overturn a decision to ban a soup kitchen from the London borough of Waltham Forest Council. That is why, for an economics of the 99%, we need to understand efficiency as not dumping food – rather than making maximum profits on beautifully shaped cucumbers.

Assets or Homes? Empty Buildings in the Free Market

The inefficiency of the market that wastes food echoes in Britain’s empty buildings. In the UK, 870,000 potential homes lie idle with a further 420,000 potential homes in abandoned commercial buildings that could be converted to housing. The owners, of course, have homes that are called investments. Recent revelations show that a third of mansions lay empty in the second most expensive street in Britain.

Its billion-pound plus properties have been shown to be rotting to decay for years, some for decades. These idle resources contribute greatly to Britain’s housing crisis, where not enough affordable homes are available, leading to a sharp increases in homelessness particularly in the capital.

More broadly across society, the reduction in used homes allows higher prices to be charged for potential first time buyers and those who are renting. But the inflating housing bubble also endangers the economy: the latest IMF report tells how Britain’s recovery is based largely on the housing sector, which has been supported by government incentives like mortgage subsidies that have largely been used to buy expensive homes, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Those buying houses as assets include foreign investors, attracted to put money into housing which is seen as a lucrative investment because of the weak taxation on foreign-owned UK property. The Economist reports London house prices rose 11% last year. The same article shows what Weeks might define as fakeconomics anti-logic: The Economist celebrates that the investment is good for the property market despite that it will adversely affect the majority. It propels the fakeconomics myth: that markets benefit people.

There are many measures the government could take to stop homes being used as idle assets. These include a progressive tax on houses or second homes, a mansion tax or a land value tax. Within all these taxes, there is plenty of scope to progressively tax the richest to reduce the inequality in access to housing.

Squatting derelict buildings, like skipping waste food, is one citizen-led solution that immediately utilizes these rotting resources while often providing the homeless a form of shelter, as well as independent community and organizing spaces. Similar to skipping, the UK government has cracked down on the practice; in 2012, it repealed squatters’ rights to recycle residential buildings.

In a report on the impact of the criminalization of squatting in commercial buildings, the campaign group SQUASH presented evidence showing the law to be “undemocratic, unjust, unnecessary and unaffordable.”

Since, there have been moves from other Minsters of Parliament to criminalize all squatting. Interestingly these MPs emerge clearly in the pay of luxury housing developers and property magnets – superrich people who have an interest in keeping buildings empty so as to drive up prices.

Squatting, like skipping, leads toward an economic policy that makes housing for the 99% affordable. Just as society could be directed not to waste food, it makes sense for there to be a maximum time that a property may lay idle before it is given to those in need.

ABOUT STEVE RUSHTON

As well as being involved with Occupy, Steve is currently writing a PhD criticising Neoliberalism from an indigenous perspective. From Southampton, Steve has also provided legal support to Dan Ashman as part of the OccupyLSX legal case—for which judgement will be delivered sometime after Jan. 11.

 
   

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