Monday 24th of February 2020

what's wrong with these people? and I don't mean the naked ones in the upper gallery...


In an article The crisis of democracy and the science of deliberation in Science of 15 Mar 2019, Vol. 363, Issue 6432, pp. 1144-1146, the Science magazine presents a study by many authors on citizen deliberative democracy in which strangely enough, social media is not that bad as some people make out, considering it can help debating ideas. Gus would argue that there are many facets of social "media" that are complexly inane due to the monopolised suppliers of information leading the debate, rather than informing the debate — as well as trolls and nasty idiots hugging the medium to project their anger and ignorance as gospel. But at least the Science mag is trying to tackle the issue of democratic activity from a scientific angle rather than moralistic view point:

That there are more opportunities than ever for citizens to express their views may be, counterintuitively, a problem facing democracy—the sheer quantitative overabundance overloads policymakers and citizens, making it difficult to detect the signal amid the noise. This overload has been accompanied by marked decline in civility and argumentative complexity. 

Uncivil behavior by elites and pathological mass communication reinforce each other. How do we break this vicious cycle? 

Asking elites to behave better is futile so long as there is a public ripe to be polarized and exploited by demagogues and media manipulators. Thus, any response has to involve ordinary citizens; but are they up to the task? 

Social science on “deliberative democracy” offers reasons for optimism about citizens' capacity to avoid polarization and manipulation and to make sound decisions. The real world of democratic politics is currently far from the deliberative ideal, but empirical evidence shows that the gap can be closed.

Declining civility in interactions among elected representatives decreases citizens' trust in democratic institutions. The more polarized (and uncivil) that political environments get, the less citizens listen to the content of messages and the more they follow partisan cues (1) or simply drop out of participating. 

Declining complexity in arguments means a growing mismatch between the simple solutions offered by political leaders and real complex problems. This decline combines with post-truth politics and the displacement of facts and evidence by the felt truth of “cultural cognition,” in which social identity conditions opinion, as seen clearly on climate change.

Here is one of the keywords in the present debates of our governments: global warming (called climate change by some to soften-muddle the concept). Even the Brexit debacle does not come near the importance of global warming and extinction of species. Can deliberative democracy make the right choice of action? We shall see... The article in Science magazine ends on sweet and sour note:

Broader positive deliberative change can come about in several ways. The Irish case shows that faltering trust in government and public disaffection can incentivize governments to engage in citizen deliberation in order to legitimate policy change. 

Alternatively, massive societal protests can induce governments to offer citizen dialogues, as in the case of the “Stuttgart 21” project to rebuild a train station in the central city. These moments can pave the way for sustainable deliberative innovations; the conflicts surrounding Stuttgart 21 led to official guidelines in Baden-Württemberg stipulating that citizen deliberation is compulsory in the context of large infrastructural projects. 

Responding to their failure to either overcome social problems or cope with the negative effects of economic development, governments sometimes constitutionalize (in India) or promote (in China) local deliberative exercises that have the potential to further broad dissemination of deliberative norms.

It is rare that deliberative development happens spontaneously in such cases. The prospects for benign deployment are good to the degree that deliberative scholars and practitioners have established relationships with political leaders and publics—as opposed to being turned to in desperation in a crisis. 

Examples here include the aforementioned Irish constitutional convention and Healthy Democracy Oregon, which runs the review process we described earlier.

The citizenry is quite capable of sound deliberation. But deliberative democratization will not just happen. Much remains to be done in refining the findings of the field and translating them into political practice. 

That political reconstruction itself would ideally be deliberative and democratic, involving social science but also competent citizens and leaders in broad-ranging political renewal.

People can deliver but will they be allowed to? Here in Australia, the polarisation of ideas and confusion is such that though 80 per cent of people did not want a perfectly good stadium to be demolished and replaced by a “new” one, the citizenry got shafted by the (NSW) government nonetheless. And due to other factors bundled with the process of choices, the said rotten government that should have been booted out has been voted back in by the people. 
The said (NSW) government also destroyed the local councils, to bypass the citizens' opposition to some wasteful infrastructure projects — and eliminated consultation altogether, apart from showing vague plans that had no resemblance to the final outcome. You could object till you’d be blue in the face, going to useless meetings and rattling the chandeliers, and I suspect the government took your name down should you protest too loud, and placed you on the black list.

And, will people want to participate at a meeting of 20,000 bods? Nuremberg rally here we come… In the West, individualism is thrown like burley, as a panacea upon the masses, by the elites, in order to avoid exactly that: deliberative associative democracy that would interfere with the elite's political bullshit. In Australia, the media is also part of the con trick, by providing false information or incomplete information, and basically not doing its job. 
The problems of deliberation are numerous. How long can we afford to publicly discuss the issue of "climate change" considering that we’ve been tackling this subject for more than 30 years. On the subject of the war against Saddam, the government lied and the media did not do its job. 
For example in order to save the planet from global warming (or at least reduce the damage), we need to turn to green renewable carbon-neutral energy, thus stop digging fossil fuels. This is rule #1. The why is easy to explain if we pay attention, though there is a mountainous amount of denialist bullshit muddying the acceptance of the real information — which is complicated to say the least. the hard questions that arise next are when and how. The when is also easy to determine though is is less obvious to explain how soon we should act. Now is it. And now to the how:

Considering that our Western economies rely at least on 95 per cent on burning fossil fuels, we have a major problem with conflicting views on how and how not to. Local communities that have been relying on digging coal, one way or the other, have to find alternative employment. Basket weaving has limited appeal. Under this deliberation of what we HAVE TO DO, we could slowly (or fast enough) phase out the existing coal mines, phase out coal power, BUT NOT OPEN NEW ONES SUCH AS ADANI, in Queensland. This mine is ridiculous, but then our governments get delusions about employing people with hard hats for profit… 

So far, we know that most people are against developing a mine like Adani. This makes no sense for the future — but the governments and their counterparts want this “development” (a disaster on the global warming front) as to show the biggest coal mine in the world, meaning the biggest hole in our head. It’s insane.

So, so far, China that we poopoo all the time for not knowing really the way China works (but love it because the Chinese buy our stuff) is ahead of us in deliberative democracy. So is India apparently. Meanwhile, the more informed and intelligent we think we are, the more we become confused, and we don’t know the various levels at which deliberative democracy can be corrupted by its own participants' ignorance.

The more knowledge about issues is essential, such as why we should be favouring public transport versus building tunnels for car traffic — traffic that we should be able to suspect will demand MORE awkward car parks that won’t be able to absorb nor speed up the extra traffic anyway, and this new road system will become obsolete in 30 years, as a full ban on burning fossil fuel comes into effect when the temperature of the planet suddenly jumps three degrees Celsius above our average, in a year. It could happen.

The shit will hit the fan but we don't know when. But we know we should act now. But we won’t unless there is a revolution? Is a revolution, deliberative democracy?

Heads should roll...

Image at top: mischief by Gus Leonisky. Original monkeys by Banksy and latest protest by naked people about Brexit...

there is no they, just us...

Had we put as much effort into preventing environmental catastrophe as we’ve spent on making excuses for inaction, we would have solved it by now. Everywhere I look, I see people engaged in furious attempts to fend off the moral challenge it presents.

The commonest current excuse is this: “I bet those protesters have phones/go on holiday/wear leather shoes.” In other words, we won’t listen to anyone who is not living naked in a barrel, subsisting only on murky water. Of course, if you are living naked in a barrel we will dismiss you too, because you’re a hippie weirdo. Every messenger, and every message they bear, is disqualified on the grounds of either impurity or purity.

As the environmental crisis accelerates, and as protest movements like YouthStrike4Climate and Extinction Rebellion make it harder not to see what we face, people discover more inventive means of shutting their eyes and shedding responsibility. Underlying these excuses is a deep-rooted belief that if we really are in trouble, someone somewhere will come to our rescue: “they” won’t let it happen. But there is no they, just us.


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DCCC strategies for stopping primary challenges...

MARC STEINER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Marc Steiner. Great to have you all with us for our weekly look at the news. In this segment, we are going to tackle what’s happening to progressive politicians in this country. The Right is threatening people with death in some of their tweets and more against several Congresswomen, especially women of color in Congress, which we’ll talk about. But the story that is not being told a lot is about the D.C.C.C., the Democratic campaign committee, that says it is trying to stop progressive politicians from challenging established politicians in primaries. What’s that all about? Well, we’re here once again with Jeff Cohen who is co-founder of, founder of the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, and author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media, and Jacqueline Luqman who is Editor-in-Chief of Luqman Nation and a regular contributor to The Real News. Let’s just jump into this right away. In this piece here that we have, they have a form from the D.C.C.C. that came out that you have to sign if you are going to do any kind of work with the D.C.C.C. or any candidates. In one segment it says and they have to sign this, “I understand the above statement that the D.C.C.C. will not conduct business with nor recommend to any of its targeted campaigns, any consultant that works with an opponent of a sitting member of the House Democratic Caucus. And that’s what they have to sign, threatening vendors and threatening people who are consultants, and more. Jeff Cohen, you’re smiling so go ahead.

JEFF COHEN: This is this is so offensive. Some of the exciting members of Congress, they got in there by challenging incumbents. A.O.C. challenged an incumbent in New York, Ayanna Pressley challenged an incumbent in Massachusetts, Ro Khanna, who’s a great progressive in his second term, he challenged an incumbent. So you have Cheri Bustos, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, telling consultants if they work with these challengers, they won’t be punished, they will be blacklisted. And what’s interesting is Cheri Bustos of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the D.C.C.C) She doesn’t tell consultants, “hey, if you work for the pharmaceutical industry, we won’t give you business. If you work for the oil or coal industries, we won’t give you business. It’s just if you work for a progressive challenger, you won’t get business from the Democratic leadership”. It’s stunning and it’s revealing.

MARC STEINER: So let’s talk about the stunning and revealing issue around this and what this really means. Jacqueline, I’ll start with you and then come back to Jeff here. So what is the dynamic going on here? We understand the corporate control of the party and what happened in the last election in shutting down progressives and shutting down Bernie Sanders during the 2016 election, but Progressives have taken a huge foothold in Democratic Party politics now and they’re pushing hard. So let’s talk about what the two of you think of the internal dynamics and what’s going on here.

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: Well the internal dynamics are that the D.C.C.C. does not want to relinquish power to a bunch of upstart Progressives. That’s really what this is all about. They don’t want to lose the corporate lobbyist money that come in from these incumbent candidates who not all of them, not all of them, but many, too many incumbent House Democrats are very friendly to very large corporate interests. And we know by now– if we don’t, we should– that corporate interests often run counter to the interests of the people. So what’s shocking about this is that the D.C.C.C is trying to keep power in the House. They’re trying to maintain power. They’re also trying to maintain the corporate money flow coming. Not all incumbent House members are aligned with big money corporate interests, but too many are. And if we haven’t learned by now, corporate interests usually run counter to the interest of the people. So what this really means, why this is so shocking to me, is that the D.C.C.C is limiting the exposure for voters of candidates who might be better, who they might like more than the incumbent candidates, who they feel aren’t doing enough for them and certainly aren’t supporting progressive policies. That’s why this is shocking to me, because it looks like the D.C.C.C is limiting the choice of voters.

MARC STEINER: And why do you think, Jeff, they feel a threat?

JEFF COHEN: Because Progressives, especially these young women of color in Congress, are raising hell, becoming popular, have huge social media followings. But I believe it’s important to point out that the Justice Democrats, the Progressives, have just put out an e-mail where they said that the D.C.C.C. in the first quarter of 2019, raised $400,000 or more from corporate lobbyists and bundlers. Jacqueline made an important point. Ninety percent of the Democratic districts are true blue. They’re uncontested; they will always be Democratic. You could run a blue dog in November and the Democrats would win. So if constituents don’t have an opportunity to choose between two candidates in the primary, they have no role in Congressional elections. So it really does shut out the voters and that’s the goal of the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. They are afraid of the voters.

MARC STEINER: So what do you both think this means in terms of the power of the Progressive Movement and where it’s going? There are a lot of Progressives who lost in these primaries, who fought very hard campaigns but lost. A number of them won. You’re seeing a battle take place in the State Senate in New York right now around Cuomo saying he was really upset with people who were running in these primary challenges and want you to oppose them, battles taking place in their Caucus, so this is falling down to the states, as well. Something’s afoot here and I want Jeff really quickly to give your analysis. What do you think is afoot politically, Jeff?

JEFF COHEN: I think that the Progressives are showing that they don’t need the corporate money, that they can get online small donations from lots of donors, and that scares the hell out of the leadership of the Democratic Party, which has relied so heavily on corporate donors. There’s a civil war going on in the Democratic Party and the progressive candidates and politicians are with the base. And the corporate Democrats are increasingly isolated and fearful.

MARC STEINER: Jacqueline?

JACQUELINE LUQMAN: That’s absolutely true. That’s absolutely correct. I can’t add anything to that.

MARC STEINER: Well we’ll stay on top of this story. I think it’s a really important story and look forward to interviewing a lot of people who are involved in the progressive politics in this country to really get into this, to understand the depth of this, and where this can be taking us. We’re here with Jacqueline Luqman and Jeff Cohen. In our next segment, we are going to take a look at the power Steven Miller, the rise of nationalist power inside the Trump administration, and what that means. I’m Marc Steiner here for The Real News Network. Don’t miss the next segment.


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a litmus test ...

Where you stand on Julian Assange is now a litmus test such as has not been seen since the Iraq War, which was itself a litmus test such as had not been seen since the Miners’ Strike. If you are not for us, then you are against us. If you are not one of us, then you are one of them.

Led by Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips, those who have already failed that test have declared their desire to criminalise male heterosexual activity per se, with no defence to that charge, but with the understanding that there would at least ordinarily be no prosecution unless the female party complained. If they took any other view, then they would no more advocate the extradition of Assange to Sweden than they would advocate that an adulterer or a homosexual be extradited to Brunei.

This case has also shed some much-needed light on this country’s scandalously one-sided extradition arrangements with the United States. They can get pretty much anyone from the United Kingdom simply by issuing a demand, while we cannot get anyone at all from them. Those arrangements need to be repealed.

More people have been arrested for reporting the war crimes in Iraq than for having committed them. And do you remember when seven years and millions of pounds were spent chasing the people who had crashed the economy? No, neither do I. The permanent American State, rather than the Administration of the day, is still pursuing the Russiagate hoax even after it has been completely blown out of the water. Carole’s Codswallop is also a small subplot, so to speak, within that, and it is also still being pursued. But Hillary Clinton lost. Remain lost. Get over it.

They have not got over it in the House of Commons. A House comprised mostly of the same people cheered a war in 2015. And that House cheered this, too. It cheered the fact that Assange was going to be extradited to his death. In the words of the indictment, “Wikileaks solicited submissions” even though Assange did not “possess security clearance”. The cheering of this by MPs and by Lobby “journalists” said everything that needed to be said about both of them.

Yet when the Daily Telegraph published the MPs’ expenses, then it published what it knew to be stolen Government information, information for which, in that knowledge, it had paid. The Guardian acquired its American audience, and found itself garlanded with honours, when it reproduced the revelations of Julian Assange. And so on. The likes of The Guardian, The New York Times, Channel 4 News and the BBC swapped sides only when the line became that Wikileaks had had a part in the defeat of Hillary Clinton.

Seen in that context, it is not a coincidence that the previously abandoned rape charge in Sweden looks set to be revived. But so what? Even if Assange were a murderer, then he would be highly unlikely to have murdered as many people as George Bush, or Tony Blair, or David Cameron, or John Howard, to name but a few. There is no evidence against him in Sweden, and what was alleged against him there would not have been illegal almost anywhere else, including here. It has already had to be dropped once. But what if he were indeed guilty of what would have been, after all, a crime where he did it? Again I ask, would we extradite adulterers or homosexuals to Brunei? And there would still be no way of suggesting, either that bad sexual etiquette was worse than the crimes that he had exposed, or that bad sexual etiquette was worse than the exposure of those crimes.

If the claims about Assange’s recent behaviour are true, then he has understandably developed mental health problems. But apparently, it is now acceptable to mock mental health problems, just so long as you are mocking an enemy of the Empire. Meanwhile, not a dicky bird about the $4.2 billion loan to Ecuador from the IMF, but instead a puff piece on Lenín Moreno in The Economist on the very day of Assange’s arrest. The blue ticks are running around Twitter, making this about the supposed uselessness of Jeremy Corbyn, who now has a consistent lead in the polls.

Apart from their desire to be on television instead of Corbyn or Diane Abbott, and apart from their apparent inability to spell correctly the names of other signatories to an attack on Julian Assange, what motivates the likes of Creasy and Phillips? The only lasting legacy of the #MeToo lynch mob will be the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, whose record on any one of torture, Guantánamo Bay, mass surveillance, workers’ rights, consumer protection, environmental responsibility, treaties with Native American tribes, and healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions, ought to have seen him blocked by all Democrats and by enough Republicans. Joe Biden is complicit in war crimes. That, and not anything #MeToo-related, is why he is unfit to become the President of the United States. Sniffing the hair of a white woman is not worse than blowing the head off a brown woman. Although that would come as news to Creasy, Phillips and their co-signatories, whose argument against Assange is more or less exactly that.

The all-women shortlist system, of which Creasy and Phillips are beneficiaries, has done more than anything else to turn the Parliamentary Labour Party from 50 per cent Broad Left in 1994 to 85 per cent Hard Right today. The changes to the British economy since the Callaghan Government’s turn to monetarism in 1977 have turned into the ruling class the public sector middle-class women who dominate the PLP, while the wars waged since 1997 have barely affected them, having largely been waged for explicitly feminist reasons, albeit to no good effect for the women of Afghanistan, and to catastrophic effect for the women of Iraq and Libya.

A position of being anti-industrial at home but pro-war abroad is ridiculous in itself, and bespeaks a total lack of comprehension of how wars are fought. But those MPs are Thatcher’s Daughters, unable to understand the rage against deindustrialisation and against the harvesting of young men in endless, pointless wars, and probably unaware of a growing number of young men’s closely connected discovery for themselves of the various schools of heterodox economics, and of the traditional Great Books that, for ostensibly if questionably feminist reasons, have been excluded from school and university curricula.

It is possible to detect a connected failure to appreciate that life is the geological force that shapes the Earth, and that the emergence of human cognition fundamentally transforms the biosphere, not least by the uniquely human phenomenon of economic growth, so that human mastery of nuclear processes is beginning to create resources through the transmutation of elements, enabling us, among other things, to explore space and to exploit the resources of the Solar System. Instead, Mother Gaia reigns supreme, and we are expected to fight wars for Her even while, under Her petticoats, we shiver and starve in the dark.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.


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the full assange statement...



Note with disgust the "most important stories" on the BBC:


A tear, a scar and a gaping wound ...


Notre Dame bears a fleeting tear but not a permanent scar. The same cannot be said for Brexit-laden Britain where a huge injustice awaits Assange.

A tear, a scar and a gaping wound - the consequences of a week of news culminating in the patrimonial catastrophe experienced by the City of Light, the death throes of Parliamentary democracy in the UK and the question of freedom opened by Assange.

Notre Dame stands firm

Paris wakes up this morning with a tear moistening its face, fortunately far from the scar or gaping wound many feared would be the case. On this Tuesday morning in Holy Week, Notre Dame stands firm, resolute, a Jean d'Arc rising up proudly and defiantly against the morning sky, her message ringing loud and clear "Je reste ici" ("I am here to stay"). Notre Dame, an icon of world cultural heritage and the heart of this unique city, is an example of what matters, what is important, what remains from yesteryear teaching us who we are, where we are from and where we should be going.

As Paris wakes up to find part of its Lady derobed and charred, the city, France and the world come together in a collective embrace, moving on from the shock and sadness as they saw the Noble Lady fighting the flames which would engulf part of her roof and topple her spire. The wave of sympathy rolling around the planet is tangible as funds are gathered for the rebuilding process which Parisians in particular, the French in general and humankind can celebrate together.

This is not the first time that the Gothic Cathedral Notre Dame was assailed, indeed the building was totally vandalized during the French Revolution and turned into a wine cellar but was resurrected by Napoleon I a decade later and regained its importance as a cultural icon of Paris, France and Humanity. Many of the thirteen thousand oak trees felled to form its roof were burnt to cinders on Monday evening but twelve hours later Notre Dame has risen above the flames.

The nuthouse of the British political situation

Across the English Channel, the model of British Parliamentary democracy is learning the lesson of what happens when politicians play around with serious things and misjudge, monumentally, a nation, its people and the consequences of their actions simply because today the political class lives in a crystal ball removed from the reality facing the citizens. Decisions are taken on Excel Sheets, where the bottom line does not reflect the indirect social consequences of policymaking, Pavlovian actions and reactions take place without a shred of planning or thought and shocking levels of ignorance are revealed.

There is no Notre Dame in Westminster, rather a lady flailing around banging her head against a tree countless times, while the traditional opposition has failed to seize the moment and provide what it is supposed to do - provide an Opposition - and now the entire political status quo at the heart of British politics threatens to change, in a revolutionary process bringing into play fringe groups and giving them a stage to be opinionmakers. The Change movement has arisen out of dissatisfied Members of Parliament from both main Parties (Conservative and Labour) who favor a second Referendum, the will of the majority of the British people (and a move which would cancel Brexit according to opinion polls); the Liberal Democrats and Greens, two Parties which have been consistently against Brexit, are set to make massive gains in the forthcoming European Elections in May, while the Scottish National Party (anti-Brexit) should confirm its monumental presence north of the border as its southern neighbor threatens to cancel any benefits of belonging to the voluntary Union which forms the United Kingdom (along with Northern Ireland). This done, Scotland will be poised to make a move back towards full independence, remaining inside the EU, if England makes the mistake of delivering Brexit.

To the right, the United Kingdom Independence Pasrty (UKIP) is now joined by the Brexit Party, launched by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, a trouble-maker who has amazingly been given a voice in British politics for decades and who is allowed to stir up endemic nationalistic tendencies in a very delicate balance of people and cultures which the United Kingdom is. So now people are speaking about seven Parties in Westminster with relevance in England and Wales (leaving the Welsh Nationalists, Plaid Cymru, aside because it is a Party associated with Welsh interests).

The utter ignorance demonstrated by a sizeable portion of the UK electorate is mind-blowing and places in question the validity of a representative Parliamentary system in which people vote for a vague idea at best, for the TV image of the leader of one of the political parties at worst, treating politics like football, belonging to a party and voting for it, just because. Surely, a representative Parliamentary system was supposed to be based upon informed choices made by an electorate which studies the political manifestos and chooses the path they believe in for the next five years. It is not the fault of the electorate that they were misled, lied to and misinformed by those lying about how much more money the UK would have if Brexit was delivered, it is not their fault that the decision to shoot first and think later was delivered by parliament, not the people.

If the Referendum were to be held today, between 58 and 72% of the people would vote Remain, underlying the fact that British politics has created a deep scar which will marr the future face of politics for generations to come.

Moral of the story: Do not expose murder and torture, they'll throw you into jail

Also across the Channel from Notre Dame, we observe the figure of Julian Assange being hauled away to prison. Let us not speak about the law, because those countries working against Assange (the USA and the UK and a handful of chihuahuas) have broken the law countless times in Iraq, and in Libya, acting in direct breach of international law, committing war crimes, murder and torture. When the British hacked into the German Wehrmacht communications code through the Enigma machine during the Second World War, everyone cheered. When Julian Assange tells the world through Wikileaks that American forces (and allies) are committing humanitarian atrocities, we should collectively thank him, not shoot the messenger by throwing him into jail. By doing so, we are sending the message that it is OK to murder, rape, torture and break the law. It is not.

The honey pot or rape trial cases, in Sweden, brought against him, then dropped, now possibly to be reopened, are a separate issue. What we are speaking about here is freedom of expression, freedom of the Press, freedom of Speech, the right to speak out against atrocities, against murder, against torture, and to stand up for fundamental human rights. In short, claiming for the implementation of international law. If Humankind is coming together to celebrate the resurrection of Notre Dame, then it should also be closing ranks around Julian Assange and standing up as one against criminal regimes which use murder and torture as their modus operandi. They have no place in today's world. They know it, we know it and History will judge them for what they are.

This is a planet which wishes to celebrate collective and global universal values of freedom, equality and fraternity, the three precepts which Napoleon stood up for as he gave Notre Dame the dignity she deserved - a message and a lesson for us all. Let us welcome common values of goodness, kindness and sharing cultures, celebrating cultural diversity, helping one another like the brothers and sisters we are, rather than globetrotting, creating wars to sell weapons, using military hardware as a means to enforce national terrorist policies to implement social terrorist strategies of control and going it alone, in an exercise of 1930s-style nationalism.

This is 2019, suppose we acted like it?


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Twitter: @TimothyBHinchey

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monkeys sold for 9.88 million Euros

A Banksy painting entitled “Devolved Parliament” depicting primates conducting business as usual in British Parliament fetched a whopping 9.88 million Euros at an auction ($12.2 million) on Thursday.

The world-famous painting was sold for almost nine times its previous price after a 13-minute bidding war, Sotheby’s auction house announced in a tweet.


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It's definitively worth a lot more...It's the truth!