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Index December 2013

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2013-12-01: Billions from Beijing: Africans Divided over Chinese Presence, Part 1;
2013-12-02: Iceland thumbs nose at international opposition …;
2013-12-03: The Sirius Film;
2013-12-04: Hope in the Age of Looming Authoritarianism;
2013-12-05: Feeding the Bubble: Is the Next Crash Brewing? Part 1;
2013-12-06: leftists at work;
2013-12-06: Eröffnungskeynote BCM;
2013-12-07: Egypt: Protesting the protest law;
2013-12-08: World Trade Organization WTO salvages historic $1 trillion trade deal;
2013-12-09: The Syrian War in Context;
2013-12-10: Lyon’s Festival of Lights pays tribute to Mandela;
2013-12-11: Cartel Power: Megabanks Gain Ground Despite Fines, Part 1;
2013-12-12: Launching the Socialist Register 2014;
2013-12-13: The Secret History of How Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa;
2013-12-14: The Volcker rule: More questions than answers;
2013-12-15: Egypt: With it or not;
2013-12-16: Are we witnessing an open source finance revolution?
2013-12-17: Silicon Valley’s red-carpet night for scientists;
2013-12-18: Inside America: Louisiana’s profitable prisons;
2013-12-19: An Open Letter to the People of Brazil;
2013-12-20: Canada’s Profitability and Stagnation Puzzle;
2013-12-21: Globalization: The Fast Track To Nowhere;
2013-12-22: Laying the foundation for blatant fascism in the U.S.;
2013-12-23: some music;
2013-12-24: The Fossil Fuel Wars in British Columbia and Canada;
2013-12-25: Victims No Longer: Spain’s Anti-Eviction Movement;
2013-12-26: Aliens, love – where are they?
2013-12-27: a bit of pleasure;
2013-12-28: Pride and Prejudice;
2013-12-29: What’s So Funny About Racism? Germany’s New Minority Comics;
2013-12-30: Together, a new South Africa is possible;
2013-12-31: links on my dashboard;
2013-12-31: Chaos Communication Congress: Hacker aller Länder, vereinigt euch.

All articles sorted chronologically.

Chaos Communication Congress: Hacker aller Länder, vereinigt euch

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Im Feuilleton der Frankfurter Allgemeinen, von KATRIN RÖNICKE, Hamburg, 30. Dezember 2013.

Wikileaks-Gründer Julian Assange ruft die Hacker-Gemeinde auf, in Geheimdienste und andere Organisationen zu gehen, Informationen zu sammeln und sie zu verraten. „Wir sind eine Klasse“ – wie die Industriearbeiter sie einst gewesen seien.  Continue Reading…

liens-links on my dashboard

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the 100th monkey/singe/Affe – story:

Together, a new South Africa is possible

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Democratic Left Front salutes the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa special national congress: Together, a new South Africa is possible – Published on, by the Democratic Front South Africa, Dec 23, 2013.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal – There is a spectre haunting the ruling class and government in South Africa: it is the radical anti-capitalist movement that the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa NUMSA has given birth to at its historic special national congress held last week. The Democratic Left Front DLF congratulates NUMSA for this congress that united metalworkers in spite of the sustained attempts to divide NUMSA … // Continue Reading…

What’s So Funny About Racism? Germany’s New Minority Comics, Part 1

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Alexander Kühn, December 27, 2013 (Photo Gallery).

A new generation of comedians with foreign roots are shining an irreverent light on the prejudices they encounter in Germany. But when it comes to the integration debate, do their brash, cliché-rife performances do more harm than good? … //

… A New Wave of Minority Comedy: … // Continue Reading…

Pride and Prejudice

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(BBC Mini Series 1980), uploaded by ClassicalFilmLibrary, May 24, 2013;

a bit of pleasure

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Aliens, love – where are they?

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Watch this video, 16.37 min, on TEDtalk, with John Hodgman, filmed Feb 2008, posted on Oct 2008.

Humorist John Hodgman rambles through a new story about aliens, physics, time, space and the way all of these somehow contribute to a sweet, perfect memory of falling in love. John Hodgman is a writer, humorist, geek celebrity, former professional literary agent and expert on all world knowledge. He was the bumbling PC in Apple’s long-running “I’m a Mac; I’m a PC” ad campaign … (full bio).   Continue Reading…

Victims No Longer: Spain’s Anti-Eviction Movement

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The Movement of Mortgage Victims is one of Spain’s strongest movements. Carlos Delclós talks to PAH organizer Elvi Mármol about the key to their success – Published on Roarmag.org, by Carlos Delclós, December 20, 2013.

The story of Spain’s economic, social and political crisis is one about property, need and value. And at the heart of that story lies a question that is familiar to the point of cliché: what makes a house a home? It may sound trivial, but in a country where families are sleeping in the street, entire building blocks are devoid of residents, and housing remains out of reach for major swathes of the population (despite the ubiquity of “For Sale” signs in the urban landscape), it is a question that remains largely unanswered by policymakers.   Continue Reading…

The Fossil Fuel Wars in British Columbia and Canada

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Published on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin No. 915, by Roger Annis, December 23, 2013.

The fossil fuel industry offensive in British Columbia and across Canada is proceeding relentlessly. This is a report from some of the key fronts of the fossil fuel wars.

Tar Sands: … //

… Natural Gas Fracking: … // Continue Reading…

some music

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uploaded by  NCIFiRestArter:

Laying the foundation for blatant fascism in the U.S.

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Published on Intrepid Report, by Larry Pinkney, December 20, 2013:

When corporations and government become, in actuality, intertwined as one entity, the end result is fascism. This is the precise reality in the United States in this 21st century, and it has spread like a cancer throughout this nation … //

… Banksters are liars, manipulators, and international corporate gangsters:   Continue Reading…

Globalization: The Fast Track To Nowhere

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Published on Global, by Colin Todhunter, Dec 19, 2013.

Modern culture is an advocate of speed. From urban planning and transport systems, to the food industry and beyond, ‘fast living’ cuts deep and affects almost every aspect of life.

In terms of distances, things today are more spread out yet are more interconnected than in the past. This interconnectedness has had the effect of shrinking even the largest of distances and is ably assisted by digital communications technology and rapid transit systems. Airports and metro transport links are being extended or built, huge concrete flyovers cut through neighbourhoods and separate communities from one another and employment is being centralised in out of town business parks or city centre office blocks. Speed of communications and transport narrows the distances.   Continue Reading…

Canada’s Profitability and Stagnation Puzzle

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Published on The Bullet, Socialist Project’s E-Bulletin No. 912, by Michal Rozworski, December 18, 2013.

The Puzzle Defined: Most developed economies continue to experience fall-out from the financial crisis of 2007-08. The Eurozone has been most ravaged, but the U.S. and UK have not fared much better. After the initial rebound from the most severe crisis, growth in many economies has been decelerating to the point that some are once again contracting in real terms. At the same time, unemployment remains high – hitting record levels among youth in Europe for example – real incomes are flat for the vast majority, inequality is on the rise and austerity programs targeted at social services are eating further into living standards.  Continue Reading…

LIVE – Putin’s marathon media conference

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09 h MEZ – on Russia Today RT, translated in english.

An Open Letter to the People of Brazil

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Published on ZNet (first on Folha De S. Paulo), by Edward Snowden, December 17, 2013.

Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera.

I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and what we say.   Continue Reading…

Inside America: Louisiana’s profitable prisons

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Published on Le Monde diplomatique, english edition, by Maxim Robin, December 2013.

The number of people in US prisons fell in 2012 by around 30,000, the third consecutive fall in as many years: budget difficulties mean that states can no longer afford incarceration for every offence, and at local level Republicans and Democrats are, unusually, unanimous on the need to decongest prisons. In California — which accounted for half of the fall in 2012 — and Texas, there is a drive to reduce sentences and find alternative punishments.   Continue Reading…

Silicon Valley’s red-carpet night for scientists

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Published on SFgate, by James Temple, Dec 14, 2013.

Silicon Valley staged its take on the Oscars last week, hosting a black-tie affair that felt every bit like the Hollywood variety – except that you’ve probably never heard of any of the winners.

And that was kind of the point.   Continue Reading…

Are we witnessing an open source finance revolution?

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Financial democracy requires bypassing large unaccountable institutions and reconnecting people to the reality of their money — by producing it ourselves – Published on, by Brett Scott, December 11, 2013.

In 2012, in celebration of Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, I suggested that we securitize the Queen, using her as collateral for UK government borrowing. I thought she would support this modest proposal because royalty have long been financial innovators. Indeed, what were the old medieval armies but a blunt financial instrument? Monarchs invested resources into them in order to extract dividends from conquered peoples who did not want to be bludgeoned to death … // Continue Reading…

Egypt: With it or not

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Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Mohamed Abdel-Baky, Dec 10, 2013.

During a rally held in Minya governorate, Nour Youssef, a member of the Social Democratic Party, urged his village to vote “yes” on the draft constitution.

The crowds shouted, “viva Egypt, bread, freedom and social justice”, repeating the 25 January 25 Revolution slogan.   Continue Reading…

The Volcker rule: More questions than answers

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A push to make America’s banks safer creates new uncertainties – Published on The Economist, Dec 14, 2013.

The 37 words inserted into the 848-page Dodd-Frank law overhauling the regulation of America’s financial institutions seemed innocent enough. Lawmakers wanted regulators to come up with strictures that would prevent banks from gambling with deposits insured by the federal government. The resulting rule, named after a prominent proponent, Paul Volcker, a former head of the Federal Reserve, prohibits banks from “proprietary trading”, meaning transactions conducted purely for their own gain, rather than to serve clients. On December 10th five different regulatory agencies approved the Volcker rule; it will come into force, awkwardly enough, on April 1st.  Continue Reading…

The Secret History of How Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa

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Watch this video: The Secret History of How Cuba Helped End Apartheid in South Africa, 50.27 min, on Democracy Now, December 11, 2013.

As the world focuses on Tuesday’s historic handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro, we look back at the pivotal role Cuba played in ending apartheid and why Castro was one of only five world leaders invited to speak at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. In the words of Mandela, the Cubans ‘destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor … [and] inspired the fighting masses of South Africa.’  Continue Reading…

Launching the Socialist Register 2014

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Watch this video: Registering Class, 17.28 min, published on Socialist, Nov 24, 2013:

The 50th volume of the Socialist Register is dedicated to the theme of ‘registering class’ in light of the spread and deepening of capitalist social relations around the globe. Today’s economic crisis has been deployed to extend the class struggle from above while many resistances have been explicitly cast in terms of class struggles from below. This volume addresses how capitalist classes are reorganizing as well as the structure and composition of working classes in the 21st century …; Continue Reading…

Cartel Power: Megabanks Gain Ground Despite Fines, Part 1

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Published on Spiegel Online International, by Sven Böll, Martin Hesse, Christoph Pauly and Anne Seith, Dec 10, 2013 (Photo Gallery).

Authorities around the world are taking action against large banks for questionable practices including collusion and rate manipulation, but the power of these financial institutions continues to grow. Germany’s Deutsche Bank in particular finds itself under fire.   Continue Reading…

Lyon’s Festival of Lights pays tribute to Mandela

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Published on Euronews, Dec 7, 2013.

As the dark nights draw in, the French city of Lyon provides a little light relief. The annual Fête des Lumières held over four days in December is an electricity-sapping feast for the eyes.   Continue Reading…