The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored — and labeled as terrorists — activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes.
ExxonMobil is the world’s most profitable corporation. Its sales now amount to more than $1bn a day. It makes most of this money from oil, and has more to lose than any other company from efforts to tackle climate change. To safeguard its profits, ExxonMobil needs to sow doubt about whether serious action needs to be taken on climate change. But there are difficulties: it must confront a scientific consensus as strong as that which maintains that smoking causes lung cancer or that HIV causes Aids. So what’s its strategy?
The website Exxonsecrets.org, using data found in the company’s official documents, lists 124 organisations that have taken money from the company or work closely with those that have. These organisations take a consistent line on climate change: that the science is contradictory, the scientists are split, environmentalists are charlatans, liars or lunatics, and if governments took action to prevent global warming, they would be endangering the global economy for no good reason. The findings these organisations dislike are labelled “junk science”. The findings they welcome are labelled “sound science”.
While they have been most effective in the United States, the impacts of the climate-change deniers sponsored by Exxon and Philip Morris have been felt all over the world. I have seen their arguments endlessly repeated in Australia, Canada, India, Russia and the UK. By dominating the media debate on climate change during seven or eight critical years in which urgent international talks should have been taking place, by constantly seeding doubt about the science just as it should have been most persuasive, they have justified the money their sponsors have spent on them many times over. It is fair to say that the professional denial industry has delayed effective global action on climate change by years, just as it helped to delay action against the tobacco companies.
From today’s launch, two hundred of the buses will run in London, because the campaign was originally started as a positive counter-response to the Jesus Said ads running on London buses in June 2008. These ads displayed the URL of a website which stated that non-Christians “will be condemned to everlasting separation from God and then you spend all eternity in torment in hell … Jesus spoke about this as a lake of fire prepared for the devil”. Our rational slogan will hopefully reassure anyone who has been scared by this kind of evangelism.
I found I could only quote this in full, so I’d better just point you to the source.
Former president George HW Bush, father of the outgoing US commander-in-chief, has touted another son, Jeb, for a future presidential bid.
“I’d like to see him run. I’d like to see him be president some day,” the elder Bush, 84, who was the 41st president, told Fox News yesterday.
“I think he’s as qualified and able as anyone I know,” he said in an interview, adding however that “now is not the time” to push another White House run by a member of his famous family dynasty.
The only reasonable explanation must be that all the people known to George HW Bush are incompetent nincompoops.
Italy did for retirement financing what President George W. Bush couldn’t do in the U.S.: It privatized part of its social security system. The timing couldn’t have been worse.
The global market meltdown has created losses for those who agreed to shift their contributions from a government severance payment plan to private funds meant to yield higher returns. Anger is rising both at the state, which promoted the change, and money managers such as UniCredit SpA and Arca Previdenza, which stood to profit.
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s administration is now considering ways to compensate as many as 1.2 million people who made the switch, giving up a fixed return for private plans linked to financial markets. It’s also letting people delay redemptions on retirement funds to avoid losses after Italy’s benchmark stock index fell 50 percent in 2008, destroying 300 billion euros ($423 billion) in wealth.
“The reform didn’t help anyone,” said Gabriele Fava, who heads the Fava & Associati law firm in Milan and writes about labor law. “Not the government, which was hoping everyone would make the switch to take the strain off its coffers, nor the workers who have not resolved the problem of needing a supplement to their social security pensions.”
An airline passenger forced to cover his T-shirt because it displayed Arabic script has been awarded US$240,000 (A$337,000) in compensation, campaigners said Monday.
Raed Jarrar received the pay out on Friday from two US Transportation Security Authority officials and from JetBlue Airways following the August 2006 incident at New York’s JFK Airport, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced.
“The outcome of this case is a victory for free speech and a blow to the discriminatory practice of racial profiling,” said Aden Fine, a lawyer with ACLU.
However draconian these proposals might appear, they are nothing compared to the proposed ‘Section 92′ of the Copyright Amendment Act in New Zealand. Scheduled for introduction at the end of February 2009, the act assumes that any individual simply accused of sharing copyright works on the Internet, is guilty. The punishment for ‘guilty’ is summary disconnection from the Internet. Understandably, this proposal hasn’t been well received by many outside of the entertainment industries. Indeed, RIANZ, New Zealand’s answer to the RIAA, has been a vocal supporter.
All you need is a phone book and some time. They would either have to disconnect the whole country or rethink this utter stupidity.