Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Buddies Or Enemies??

        Anarchist and leftists, buddies or enemies, in the final analysis, we are enemies. Anarchists stand against the forming of any state, leftists want to recreate the state, with them in control. History tells us that where leftists win, anarchists are murdered, we stand on different sides of the barricades. Anarchists fight for freedom, leftists fight for dictatorship, albeit, dictatorship of the proletariat, which is the illusion to disguise what is still an authoritarian institution. There can be no illusions, no matter who controls the state apparatus will control the people, and the basis of anarchist principles is the fact that we believe that people should not be controlled.
        There are those who say put our differences aside to fight the common enemy, capitalism, So who are our common enemies? Anarchists see the co-joined twins of capitalism and the state as the enemy. We wish to destroy the state and all its controlling and repressive apparatus, along with capitalism, the leftists want to reconstitute the state and shape it so that they are in control of all the institutions and repressive apparatus. But somehow we are to believe that it will be a kinder controlling apparatus. Rather than trying to come together in some sort of quasi friendship, we should be making clear our differences and where we stand on all issues. Only by highlighting our differences will we be able to convince anyone with a left leaning view, that our vision of the future is the only one that will free us from those co-joined twins, capitalism and the controlling and repressive institutions of the state, and lead to freedom.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Some Thoughts On Trump.

 
       I don't as a rule write about individual leaders, I view them all just as necessary cogs in the capitalist juggernaut, assistants to the financial Mafia, get rid of that economic system and the leaders will probably disappear with the system. I am, however, a great admirer of Frankie Boyle, a Glasgow comedian, I love his style of humour, and his outspoken manner, and though he is expert at making people laugh, he also makes people think, and he is not afraid to make his views known. This latest piece by him sums up a lot of what most of us are thinking.
        It’s impossible to imagine what it’s like to be killed in a nuclear explosion, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I think it will probably involve being blasted over quite a large distance, and at a surprising height, while simultaneously having all your skin burnt off. I know we think of it as being an instant death, but there’s every chance that there will be a few seconds where you’ll be sailing out of your local school catchment area, at a height of about a hundred feet or so, as some sort of screaming skeleton. Maybe you will get to see your family melt before the blast picks you up, and your final memory will be of their faces devolving into cubism. Or maybe it’s more like being smashed to pieces by a wave of rubble. After all those years of driving into town to go to work, or go shopping, your city centre will finally be coming to you, moving at several thousand miles an hour, and hotter than Venus in July.
        Donald Trump got himself into yet another war of words with North Korea after they test fired a missile that went over Japan. In a war of words you do not want to be on Trump’s side: a man who speaks like he’s on shuffle and has a smaller vocabulary than an upturned calculator. It’s incredible to see the US take the moral high ground about, of all things, nuking Japan. Bear in mind that Japan is a country that specialises in wooden buildings with paper walls. It’s odd to think that as millions of people hunkered down in their paper houses during a potential nuclear attack, they were still safer than the many thousands of people in the UK living in high rise social housing.
Trump is like a fat bee bashing around inside a greenhouse repeatedly failing to understand why the world doesn’t work as he thought it did. The chances of this unrepentant lunatic starting World War III are surely very high. Often, when I hear Trump talk even the most egregious garbage about wanting to strip people of their healthcare, or exile children, I’m actually just glad that he’s talking about the future, weighing his words like I would those of a possible suicide.
This is a man who obsesses over winning, and uses success as his single metric for evaluating humanity, who has become the key player in a game which it is impossible too win. Who would win in an all out conflict with North Korea? My best guess is a guy in Tokyo who knows how to catch and roast rats, who owns a shopping trolley and has the entrepreneurial flair to get out into the smoking rubble of his city and begin trading his rodents on sticks for essential items. A UN expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations told the media that Trumps latest intervention on sanctions was, ‘an exceedingly silly thing to say’. We can only assume he’s had that statement prepared for the last two years and since writing it has thought about pressing the send button a couple of hundred times a day.
          Trump isn’t a military man, and salutes troops in a way that makes Benny Hill look like Stalin. I hate the way that “draft dodger’ is thrown at Trump as an insult. I mean, if you want to insult a guy who looks like God twisted some haemorrhoids into a balloon animal, why pick one of the few moments that he behaved rationally? Some take comfort in the fact that a triumvirate of US generals have essentially annexed military policy. In many ways, the concentration of power into the hands of Generals Mattis, Kelly and McMaster is the only thing worse than Trump.
           It’s impossible to have been in an institution like the US army your whole life without having internalised a worldview that believes complex international relationships are best handled through the medium of high explosives. In their own way, their worldview will be as limited as those priests who live in the catacombs under the Vatican who can see in the dark and have five hundred words for a child’s bottom. The US military view is one that sees existence as a permanent war for resources. A huge reason for elite climate change denial is that it collapses the American worldview. If you allow that climate change is real, the war for resources is two dying men in a locked room fighting over a live hand-grenade. It’s also a worldview of permanent escalation. In the aftermath of a college shooting, we always laugh at the wing-nut who calls for more guns on campus. Yet that’s actually a pretty tight metaphor for US foreign policy, one where the US is both the wing-nut, and the shooter.
          If I might make one suggestion to the North Koreans, please don’t drop bombs indiscriminately upon the USA. There are specific targets you should hit that would upset the President the most and, luckily for your bombing crews, they’ve all got his name written on them in fifty foot high letters.

Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Sunday, 17 September 2017

PFI, Private Fiddling Initiatives.


         In this greed driven capitalist system the financial Mafia and the moguls of the corporate juggernaut have refined the numerous ways they can steal from the public purse, of course with the unstinting assistance from their minders, the state apparatus. They work hand in glove with each other to further the plunder of that public purse.
       The capitalist greed merchants start their grand theft by first managing us, the ordinary people, to "work" for them in producing tremendous wealth, then let us lick the droppings from the cats saucer, then they move on to getting us to pay rip-off prices for the merchandise we produced.
       Of course there are other ways they dip their hands into the public cash machine. One of those devious rip-off schemes is the Public Finance Initiatives, (PFI). This is the con-trick of getting public bodies to engage in projects where the financial Mafia fund the infra structure of our NHS and other public institutions. Then, in theory, the infra structure becomes the property of that institution. In the UK this con-scheme started about 20 years ago, with a push from the corporate friendly State. Today, these public bodies now owe a staggering £300 billion in PFI debt. Our public institutions are in hock to the financial Mafia to that mouth dropping £300 billion, that's debt that you and I will have to pay the vampires from our taxes.
         Our NHS is sinking under a totally engineered, state and corporate greed burden. Between 1997 and 2007 approximately 90% of capital investment in the NHS was PFI. The result is that today the NHS is cracking at the seams from lack of funding, yet it has to pay out to private companies a staggering £2 billion per year. £2 billion of our cash that could be improving the service to the people, is flowing into the bank accounts of private companies. Will it end, well not likely, as by the time that the infrastructure is paid off, it will need upgrading, repairing or replacing, and so the merry-go-round continues, shovelling our cash into the pockets of the vampire squid, the corporate world. It is a brilliant scheme for transferring public money to private bank accounts, and let's not talk about the quality of some of those PFI built infrastructures, that's another story.
       If you are foolish enough to want to continue this plunder of the public purse, then stay with the present greed driven corrupt system of capitalism. If on the other hand you would like to live on a society that sees to the needs of all our people, without the rip-off from greed driven power mongers, parasites and vultures, then you have to look at demolishing this man made economic system of exploitation and corruption. Stop appealing to the parasites, to be a little more kind to you, and to give you a little more of the wealth that you created, they don't understand that language. 
        Only the ordinary people can create a society that looks after the ordinary people, only when we control our communities and our work places, can we hope to create that better world. Forget that middle class approach of petitioning for improvements, within the parameters capitalist system, forget the pointless appealing for reform, where some extra crumbs come you way. Forget a bigger crust, take over the bakery.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Solidarity Has No Borders.


         Prisons have no place in a civilised society, solidarity has no borders. From Act For Freedom Now, an appeal from Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross:


      Since October 2015, Bloomington Anarchist Black Cross (https://bloomingtonabc.noblogs.org/) has been providing consistent monthly funds to anarchist prisoners throughout the United States via our Anarchist Prisoner War Fund. We are now asking for help keeping this project going strong into the future. We have specifically chosen comrades who were receiving very little money or support from the outside, who have no familial support, or who were otherwise in need of monetary aid. These funds have been essential when some comrades did stints in solitary due to activities surrounding the September 9th prison strike, aiding their survival in the most oppressive conditions. We also emphasize support for rebellious prisoners who have maintained the struggle behind the walls. We want to make it clear to our comrades in prison and those taking action on the outside that they can continue to struggle without fear of abandonment if they are caught.
           Currently, we provide $40 each month to five anarchist prisoners:
Michael Kimble, a gay, Black anarchist and long-time prison rebel imprisoned for the self-defense killing of a racist homophobe. Sean Swain, an anarchist prison rebel in Ohio. Eric King, an anarchist doing 10 years for attempting to firebomb a Congressman’s office in solidarity with the Ferguson rebellion. Jennifer Gann, an anarchist trans woman and long-time prison rebel in California. Andy H., a local anarchist comrade in prison for assaulting a cop. In addition, we have sent substantial amounts of money to other comrades and projects on a temporary basis: Casey Brezik, the Cleveland 4, Marius Mason, prison rebels facing repression for organizing and revolt, an anarchist social space in Malaysia in need of repairs after a fire, and imprisoned fighters of other social struggles. 
      Thus far, we have raised this ourselves through fundraising, exclusively through the support of local friends and comrades. This constant need for funds means our other efforts (two prison zine distros, a monthly anti-prison info night, letter writing events, a widely-distributed prison newsletter, correspondence and visits with our imprisoned comrades, sending monthly packages of zines and books to anarchist prisoners, maintaining anarchist infrastructure in Bloomington, etc) sometimes have to take a backseat. We live in a small town, and the pool of people willing to give money to anarchist prisoners isn’t large. In an effort to alleviate this, we’re asking people elsewhere to help us keep the War Fund going.
      All money sent to us will go directly to imprisoned comrades: consistently to those on our list, and periodically to others who need it. If we can meet our goal, we will begin sending consistent funds to additional imprisoned comrades. We thank anyone who donates, and we carry forth the promise of expanding and deepening our efforts to set our comrades free and destroy the prison society that keeps us all confined.
Solidarity,
Bloomington ABC
Donate here: https://www.fundedjustice.com/abcbloomington
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Friday, 15 September 2017

Relying On The Greedy, And Expecting The Impossible.

           Today in the UK, like most other countries, the people are complaining about the collapsing eduction system, teachers leaving in droves, lots off sick with stress, and the profession unable to recruit new staff. So the populace appeals to the powers that be, to sort it out, more funding, better conditions, etc. The same applies to the health service and other social services, it's all falling down. My analysis is that nothing will be done under the present system. In this profit driven world, production has rapidly improved in efficiency, no longer do they need labour intensive factories. So much of production is automated, we the labouring classes are, according to the capitalist system, becoming superfluous to requirements. The masters of the capitalist system, who control our world, the financial Mafia, and the corporate juggernauts, no longer require a large educated skilled workforce, so why bother educating the redundant masses, the middle and upper middle class, through their private education system, will supply enough skilled labour, the uneducated mob can fill the menial jobs on zero hours contracts and crap wages. So what if society descends into squabbling mobs fighting among themselves for the available crap jobs and lousy wages, if they accept that, then they will accept an inadequate health service. So what if it descends into mob rule with the ordinary people fighting each other, the powers that be would be happy with that, at least we would not be fighting the powerful and the wealthy. Of course the establishment will always have their surveillance and  militarised police to protect the powerful and the wealthy. Don't expect a profit driven system to care and provide for those it no longer needs.
From Pissarro's Turpitudes Sociales, Drunkards.

         So if you are looking to see a decent education system, and a health service that serves the people, you will have to look at the destruction of the present economic system. Going with cap in hand to the lords of the profit world, and asking, could they please not take so much profit out of the system for their own personal use, and spend a bit more on us, you are going to be sadly disappointed. Only when we grasp the fact that capitalism cannot be reformed into a caring compassionate system, and it has to be totally demolished and replaced by a system based on the needs of all our people, only then will we be able to build a society that is fair, just and caring.
From Pissarro's Turpitudes Sociales, Fight for Life.
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Culture Of Possessions.

        A video of a short interview with Frank Zappa, where he speaks some truths about the USA, I lifted it from arrezafe. 
        Yes our culture is the story of our history, and that is very important, it is who we are, but sadly in today's "culture" the only thing that seems to matter is power. Instead of a varied vibrant culture being the  object of admiration, acquisition of wealth is the dominant force, with power the desired possession. With the economic system of capitalism, how else could it be? Its foundation is money and its accumulation, this permeates its way though every fibre of society, shapes our value structures and governs our quality of life. Until we remove that rotten foundation in our society, it will continue to pursue happiness and satisfaction in the shape of the latest shiny production, and continue to kneel at the alter of the shiny car, the big house, and the latest Apple watch.

Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Usual UK Political Ballerinas Ignorance And Arrogance.

         I found this article to be a little breath of fresh air, in the midst of all the brexit fog, illusion and delusion our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media pours out. It is by Paul Walsh and is taken from Ceasefire:


       For Siegfried Sassoon, the frontline was the one place he could get away from the war. For the UK government, the Brexit negotiations are the one place they can get away from Brexit, as this is where their strategy of ignorance is deployed, a strategy which has turned these negotiations into something resembling an out-of-control drinking game — with round after round of insults, half-truths, and accusations — rather than the most important political and economic event in a generation. The process has descended into rhetorical trench warfare.
       So when UK leaders compare the process to a divorce they have a point, of sorts. There are important decisions to make, there are bills to settle, and worse still, lawyers to pay. Yet when a couple divorces, splitting the dog and car in half, divvying up the CDs and tallying up the tablecloths, they tend not to argue about what divorce means as a concept, as a phenomenon, and as a thing. Although there may be an emotional war, there’s no epistemological gulf to bridge. A divorce — messy, soft, hard or amicable — means a separation and a reckoning for both parties.
       Divorce means divorce. And we know this because we have dictionaries and Google. Just imagine the confusion otherwise. Divorce loses its meaning in a sudden freak accident, and one person is taking out cardboard boxes to the car (‘I’m leaving you!’), while the other flicks through travel brochures (‘How about a European River Cruise this year?’) You’d have two people living in two different semantic spheres, each with a completely different understanding of reality and events. Sounds familiar?
         This semantic dementia explains how the UK government, like a modern Miss Havisham, has morphed into a person avoiding the pressures of a real breakup; someone who prefers to wallow in the warm nectar of the past, the nostalgia of yesteryear — a nostalgia that can, in English minds ever susceptible to flickering daydreams of Empire, inflate to unmanageable proportions and like a balloon, just float away.
       This is the misty, nostalgic dream-world of the jilted lover; stranger still, the jilted lover who campaigned for the separation, voted for the breakup, yet who is dumb-founded by the reckoning. This is magical thinking, denial thinking, and the stuff of dreams.
And in that other dream-world of Alice in Wonderland, at the end of a race in which everyone runs in circles, whichever way they like, for however long they like, the Dodo announces: ‘Everybody has won and all must have prizes.’
        And so maybe the Dodo and the ardent Brexiteers are right. Maybe there will be prizes for all after Brexit. Control over immigration. Sovereignty. New trading relationships and new ties. New opportunities. New neighbours! (Who will become, inevitably, good friends.) Why can’t we have a ‘global Britain’ and a leaner, fitter EU?
         Yet as this divorce of separate semantic spheres spins out; as the pound keeps sinking, prices keep rising, and the economy splutters, it’s unclear whether the prize is worth the risk.
And the questions to ask are these: Are you ready to be taken ‘over the top’ by the Brexit officer class of Boris Johnson and co? Are the blithe reassurances and Cheshire cat grin of David Davies, Michael Gove’s invitation to “take back the billions we give to the EU […] squandered on grand parliamentary buildings and bureaucratic follies”, and Liam Fox’s promise of the “glorious joy of free trade” really enough? Or is this officer class simply deluded?
        Perhaps when thinking of the coming Brexit journey, we might heed the words of soldiers serving in the real trenches of Ypres, a hundred years ago: “This farce promises to be a great success and a long run is expected.”
        So be warned. As we fight across a no man’s land of our own making, the distant goal of national strength regained may turn out, on closer inspection, to be mere post-imperial frailty in disguise. And somewhere between now and March 2019, the UK government will realise that the rhetorical trenches from which they fire, and in which they hide, offer no escape from a Brexit reality growing more dangerous and absurd by the day.

Paul Walsh is a teacher, writer, and precarious worker. He writes mainly on grassroots politics, social movements, and neoliberalism. Find him on twitter:@josipa74
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk

Women, Knowledge, Peace And Freedom.

      Glasgow is fortunate to have The Glasgow Women's Library, a unique resource in the UK, born 21st September 1991, from humble beginnings in a shop front in the Garnethill district of Glasgow it has grown into the only  Accredited Museum dedicated to women’s history in the whole of the UK and a designated ‘Recognised Collection of National Significance.’ Over this period it has been involved in various outreach events, on its own and in conjunction with other like minded organisations. One such event is organised for September 30th as a joint affair between the Scottish branch of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and The Glasgow Women's Library.

         Can you please distribute this notice to women who may be interested?
         Scottish branch of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom have linked up with Glasgow Women's Library to bring you an event focusing on the Peace Crusades in Glasgow & Manchester.
Not all women were in favour of war in 1914-1918. Many were participants in the Women's Peace Crusades.
        The event will take place on Saturday afternoon, 1.30-3.30 on 30 September 2017, at Glasgow Women's Library.

All women are welcome to attend this free event.
 Details: HERE:
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Climate Deniers, Rabid Capitalist And God People.

 
        I'm sure that in that part of the world we call America, there are a lot of intelligent, rational people, but what comes across is, it is a land of  climate deniers, Christian fundamentalists, and rabid capitalists. I know we have them here in this country, as other countries do, it just seems that they are the voice of America. From what we get over here, they appear to be a people of dreamers living in a fog of illusion, depending on God and capitalism to sort things out for them. Yes I know, we have them also, but ours appear to be a minority and seem a little less vociferous.
       This article from Bella Caladonia puts it rather well.
       Bill McKibben of 350 informs us that “5.6 million Floridians have been told to evacuate, making it by far the largest mass movement of people in American history. Hot new world.” Meanwhile Trumps environmental chief Scott Pruitt tells us that “now is not the time” for discussion about climate change, even amid record-breaking hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Katia.

        The above photograph could be the defining image of our time.
        When Florida gun owner Ryon Edwards Florida posted a Facebook event to encourage others to ‘shoot the storm’ and fire their guns at Hurricane Irma, 46,000 people responded.
      In an outburst of irony he explained: “I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself. It has become something a little out of my control.”
     It’s been well documented that whilst the medias attention has turned to the crisis in America far more deadly events are unfolding in Asia, but there’s a reason we are focused on America and the Caribbean.
       As the Floridians golf through carnage, the storms are descending on the epicentre of ignorance, the dead centre of denialism, a Mar a Lago endgame.
      What club would you choose for the end of the world?
      But as a new study asserts that 50% of temperature increases and 32% of sea level rise was caused by just 90 companies. The New Republic suggests we start naming hurricanes “after Exxon, and Chevron, not Harvey and Irma”.
     “Specifically, the study asserts that the 90 largest carbon producers—including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil—have cumulatively caused up to 50 percent of the increase in global mean surface temperature since 1880, and up to 32 percent of global sea level rise. Investor-owned companies like BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil have caused 16 percent of the global average temperature increases and 11 percent of the global sea level rise, the study says.
      The study “demonstrates, strictly speaking, causal responsibility” for the worst impacts of sea level rise and temperature increases, Oxford University political science professor Henry Shue wrote in accompanying commentary for the study.”
      So as the hurricanes descend it’s obvious that the problem isn’t just climate change, it’s Capitalism.
      And that’s one of the reasons – other than Western-centric news filters – that the focus is on America.
      It’s easy enough to defy reality as you bunker-down (pun intended) to the abstract notion of climate crisis. It’s rather more difficult as the storms are laying waste to your golf club.
      If NOW is not the time – when is?
The denialism has layers.
       The first, the outright lies of the deluded or the compromised: ‘This isn’t happening.’ The second the idea that ‘sustainability’ and a growth agenda can fix this. The third that capitalism is reformable.
       The first and second have been widely debunked exposed and ridiculed, The third is now in play.
       The delusional behaviour is stark in America – suffering under a (well armed) combination of Trumpism, turbo-capitalism and Christian fundamentalism, but it exists everywhere.
       This from the Dark Mountain’s new collection of essays Walking on Lava:

The stakes are in the meadow … the fields are overgrown
The winds of change are blowin’ through the place I’ve called home
They’re digging at the edges to build the power line
Same old story … but now the story’s mine […]
It all began 300 years before
What story is beginning
If this one is no more?

– Railroad Earth, ‘Lone Croft Farewell’

“It has become something a little out of my control.”
Visit ann arky's home at www.radicalglasgow.me.uk  

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Converting Natural Events To Human Disasters.

       Natural storms, escalated to human disasters with the help of human activity. The recent storms, Harvey Imra, Jose, show up the folly of human activity as we tarmac the planet, and build extensively on flood plains, in the belief that everything will be OK. After all, we are superior beings in control of the planet!!!
     An interesting article which highlights the glaring flaws in the capitalist system which puts greed for profit above rationalism and compassion, and shows that the system is cruelly loaded in favour of the big corporations. It is taken form the magazine Dissent.
                An aerial view of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, August 31
          Weather creates storms. It’s people who turn them into disasters, as this summer has made all too clear—from Texas and Louisiana, facing the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, to India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, where monsoon floods have killed more than 1,400 people in a single month.
         In the United States, Harvey presents perhaps the starkest illustration since Hurricane Sandy of the kinds of disasters we are capable of concocting. And as with all such extreme weather events, the slow disaster most directly precipitating this immediate one is climate change, making storms and floods more frequent and fearsome than they otherwise would have been.
       Unless you deny climate change exists outright—as several members of the Trump administration do—it’s hard to argue that there isn’t something at least a little unnatural about Harvey. Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann argues that the storm surge from Harvey was seven inches higher than it would have been just a few decades ago thanks to sea level rise. Harvey benefited from hotter-than-average temperatures in the waters where it brewed: average sea surface temperatures in the Gulf have risen about 0.5 degrees Celsius in recent decades, and as Harvey approached in August, stood at up to 4°C above average. “Not only are the surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico unusually warm right now,” Mann wrote, “but there is a deep layer of warm water that Harvey was able to feed upon when it intensified at near record pace as it neared the coast.” As a result, Houston is now dealing with the aftermath of the third “500-year flood” the city has experienced in the last three years.
          Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, meanwhile, called it “opportunistic” and “misplaced” to talk about climate change in the storm’s wake, telling Breitbart radio that, “to look at things like this and to talk about a cause and effect really isn’t helping the people of Texas right now.” Worth mentioning, too, is that Pruitt has spent the better part of his tenure as EPA director trying to peel back regulations that would cap greenhouse gas emissions. He’s currently gearing up for a government-funded Red Team-Blue Team debate on the reality of climate change—with help from the Heartland Institute, a climate-denying think tank copiously funded by the oil and gas industries.
         Even if Pruitt is right and tides aren’t rising, Harvey still would have hit the Gulf harder than it should have. Storms happen all the time in nature, from solar flares to Martian dust storms. No one would care much if a hurricane of Harvey’s scale struck some unpopulated stretch of land or spun out to sea. The difference when they hit places like Houston—the nation’s fourth most populous city—is that people do live there, and that those people are organized in particular ways: by racism and capitalism and any number of other structuring forces in society, themselves sharing a web of connections to one another.
       In the case of Houston itself: The Magnolia City has long been heralded by libertarians as a kind of case study for no-holds-barred development, un-zoned and untainted by regulations and—by extension—a playground for enterprising real estate moguls. As a ProPublica and Texas Tribune report last year found, there have been 7,000 residential buildings constructed in floodplains since hurricane Katrina. From 1996 to 2011, Harris County (containing the wider Houston area) has also seen a 25 percent increase in the amount of impermeable—that is, paved—surfaces, which displaced absorbent wetlands and prairie grass that help provide a buffer against runoff. That development not only puts more people and property in harm’s way, but drives up the cost of dealing with disasters.
        While developers have been able to move about Houston at will, the same can’t be said for its residents. Houston alone is home to an estimated 575,000 undocumented immigrants, the third most of any metro area after New York and Los Angeles. As thousands began to evacuate, the Border Patrol announced that it would keep its checkpoints in the Rio Grande Valley open so long as the highways also remained open. This left undocumented Texans in Harvey’s path with an unbelievably cruel choice as the storm approached: try to ride it out, or risk deportation. Had it not been temporarily blocked via court order, this past Friday would also have seen the implementation of SB 4, one of the country’s most draconian anti-immigrant laws. Now, many of those attempting to rebuild their lives post-Harvey will also have to deal with the White House’s decision today to rescind DACA, which protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who arrived to the United States as children.
          There’s nothing natural, either, about the fact that Harvey’s floods inundated thirteen of Texas’s forty-one Superfund sites that are still awaiting clean-up, sites whose toxic contents now threaten their neighbors. A group of AP journalists visited storm-impacted sites around Houston before EPA inspectors, whose spokespeople claimed the sites were inaccessible. Long-term, the administration seems posed to make a bad situation even worse. Trump proposed a 30 percent cut to the EPA’s Superfund cleanup fund in his March budget blueprint, extending the George W. Bush administration’s doctrine that the polluters responsible for creating such sites should no longer have to contribute to cleaning them up.
         Some of those same polluters are at the root of yet another kind of disaster unfolding in Southeast Texas. Storm damage has resulted in an emissions spike from the area’s oil and chemical refineries, which spat out 2,700 extra tons of pollution because of storm damage, and still more from preventative shut-downs. Beginning Thursday, chemical fires at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, about twenty-five miles from downtown Houston, sent a plume of noxious black smoke billowing over the area. The fires lasted through the weekend, as International Business Times reported that the company had successfully lobbied Republicans to block relevant safety regulations—despite being fully aware of the risks.
         A broader analysis from the Center For Biological Diversity has found that Harvey has so far triggered the release of an estimated 1 million pounds of harmful substances from the area’s sixty petroleum plants. On top of storm damage, then, Texans—particularly the low-income communities of color clustered around oil and chemical operations—now face a mounting public health crisis. And that’s without mentioning the risk of infectious diseases carried by sewage and other waste contaminating floodwaters.
          It’s not very many people who create these man-made disasters. That catastrophic weather events are growing more common and severe is owed—in large part—to the 100 companies that have spit 71 percent of carbon emissions into the atmosphere since 1988, including many of those with hubs in Texas. Then there are developers who’ve taken advantage of lax zoning laws, and the members of the GOP eager to gut the budgets of the programs and agencies tasked with helping both prevent and recover from some of the storms’ worst impacts.
          So if the response on the ground to the crisis in Houston has been defined by a sense of collective solidarity—of neighbors helping neighbors—the precipitating causes of that crisis are undoubtedly a product of wealthy elites.
          Like climate change itself, Harvey’s horrors can’t be broken down to any one cause, be it rising warm tides or greedy developers or austerity-addled politicians. Yet what’s most foreboding about the prospect of an increasingly climate-changed reality is that all of those things which are already making life unlivable for so many will get muddled with the new ecological normal of our hotter, wetter world: immigration authorities threatening to deport people as they try to get out of harm’s way; capital swooping in after waters subside for a fresh round of land speculation; a hollowed-out public sphere, growing less nimble with every passing budget negotiation.
         Even a socialist America would have to deal with bad weather, and probably a lot more of it given the level of warming we’re already on track to experience. How we respond to that weather—and prevent more of it from happening than needs to—will mean the difference between a changed climate and an altogether meaner one.

Kate Aronoff is co-host of Dissent’s Hot & Bothered podcast on the politics of climate change and a writing fellow at In These Times.
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Thursday, 7 September 2017

Merchants Of Death, War Profiteers, DSEI.

        The increased sabre rattling between the West and North Korea, could almost be seen as a publicity stunt for the coming exhibition/fair/sales drive, of man's incredible means of self destruction. I refer of course to the arms industry's mega sales drive which takes place in London, Monday September 11th. to Friday September 15th. when DSEI is in town. All the latest instruments of repression and destruction will be on show. State representatives, security executives and despots, will all be there, saliva dripping from their mouths as the view the latest devices from the madhouse of the arms industry, instruments with which to consolidate, or increase their power. DSEI, Defence and Security Equipment International, should be renamed War and Repression Equipment International, WREI.
      The arms industry is a massive slice of the profit making corporate juggernaut, it makes its money from death and destruction, and will almost certainly be rubbing their hands in delight at any escalation of a conflict into the insanity of war. After all, business is business, and they are in the business of selling military hardware, and without wars and conflicts their business might slow down.
       The arms industry has nothing to do with defence nor safety, it is all about power and wealth and the securing these aspects for the powerful and the wealthy. It is an industry of obscenity, where countries spend billions of tax payers money under the misnomer of "defence". The UK's "defence budget"  is approximately £45 billion annually, a large slice of this so called "defence budget" is spent in places like Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, countries that at no time threatened to attack our country. Each of these countries now lie in ruins, millions of ordinary people displaced, hundreds of thousands dead, and many more maimed and traumatised. All done with "defence budgets".
       We the ordinary people, pay through our taxes, for the ability of the powerful and obscenely wealthy to hold onto that power and wealth. We also pay in blood, when these power mongers decide to expand their power, and the arms industry is always there handing them weapons of ever greater destructive power. It is a vicious circle based on greed, wars feed the arms industry, the arms industry feeds wars. Perhaps if things were properly named people would be more aware of their purposes. The "defence budgets" should be re-named the "war budgets", and the arms industry should be re-named, the "War Promotion Industry"

       Of course this exhibition of money making, destructive war machinery will not go unhampered, as there are thousand of people who will be there to protest against this inhuman obscenity. However, let's not forget, the arms industry and capitalism are inseparable, and to get rid of one, we have to destroy both.


         Anti-war activists have begun a week of protests in east London in an effort to stop weapons and military equipment arriving at Britain’s biggest arms fair.
         The biennial Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI), which bills itself as “the world leading event” for buyers and sellers of military equipment, begins next week at the ExCeL centre in Docklands.
          More than 34,000 visitors are expected to attend the arms fair, including delegations from regimes accused of human rights abuses such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as well as representatives of the world’s 10 biggest arms companies.
         Keynote speakers include Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, and Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, as well as the chiefs of staff of the British armed forces.
         Thousands of protesters are expected to take action outside the the ExCeL centre throughout the week, with blockades, actions and demonstrations outside all main entrances in an effort to hamper exhibitors from setting up their stands for the four-day event, which opens on 12 September.
           Protests on each day will have a different focus, from nuclear weapons to arms to Israel to free movement for people rather than weapons. Opponents to the fair say that some of the world’s most oppressive regimes are represented among buyers.
          On Monday, protesters were demonstrating against arms to Israel. By 3pm, police had already made six arrests, according to Kat Hobbs of Campaign Against the Arms Trade.
Read the full article HERE:

       DSEI 2017 is at: ExCeL London, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1XL
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Monday, 4 September 2017

Extremism, A Weapon Of The State.


       In keeping with the previous post, this article in support of all prisoners, from Contra Info:

    Multiform combat against global tyranny, irreducibility to the advance of state terrorism
      In Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Paraguay, Greece, Turkey, Syria, USA, Venezuela, Germany, Poland, Russia, India or China – as in Portugal or any other part of the world – the order is to attack by all means those who resist, relentlessly pursuing all combatants, imprisoning them, torturing them, killing them if they deem it necessary. The dogs of Power receive the salary to that, the laws are adapted to legitimize the crimes of state terrorism, all crimes of capitalism. Capitalism, in all nuances, feeds on these situations while the peoples remain inert, terrified or dormant, ignoring to what extent their inaction reinforces the implementation of fascism that is tried to install everywhere.
      We are against all frontiers, against all forms of power, of subordination, against all forms of capitalism. We could appeal in particular to the solidarity with comrade Santiago Maldonado, disappeared by the police in Argentina (when he was in solidarity with the dignified struggle of the Mapuche people) – or with all the other anarchists who struggle daily around the world for the destruction of this system, for freedom, risking their lives, inside and outside prisons – however, we consider that the only way to defend your freedom and life is to take care of our freedom and our own life, each of us. This is the memory that must prevail.
Multiform combat against global tyranny, irreducibility to the advance of state terrorism.
The passion for freedom is stronger than all prisons!

Some anarchists
August 24, 2017

in pdf here
in Portuguese, Spanish, German
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Freedom Is Born Through Struggle.

       Those who confront the injustices of this greed driven capitalist system, openly and head on, often pay a high price. For some the price is their life, others it is being locked up in the various states' cages of repression. All deserve our unending solidarity, if our aim is to build a world of fairness for all our people. The state will not relinquish its authoritarian power willing, it will never offer the people freedom, it will not fade away quietly. It will fiercely attempt to crush all and any flowering of freedom and self determination, it can only survive by our subservience, our freedom and justice can only blossom from its ruins.

       The Vrije Bond from Amsterdam, has started an own initative of solidarity, to support the comrade, sentenced to 2 years an 7 months in Hamburg for having participated in the protest against the G20 summit in July.
Money is desperately needed and could be transferred to the following bank account:
VB SOLIDARITEITSFONDS IBAN: NL80INGB0005495473 BIC/Swift: INGBNL2A Key Word : G20

Please spread this information!
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Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Organised Anarchists.

       It should be obvious to any observer of the present economic system that rules this world, that it can't be reformed. Capitalism can't be converted into a caring compassionate, system that sees to the needs of all our people. Its basis is self gain based on the exploitation of others, others are there to be profited from, not cared for. So running to a ballot box putting down your mark, against a chosen party disciple, will not bring about the compassionate capitalism you hope for, nor will petitioning the political ballerinas that hold the reins of power because of that ballot paper. 
      The creation of that better world for all, must take place outside the rules of capitalism, and outside the legislation of the capitalist minders, the state. The change has to happen among the people, by the people, in their communities and workplaces, in spite of, and in opposition to, the structures created by this enslaving economic system. We have no rules, we create structures and strategies as we develop, our needs will determine the shape of our new society, after we have built a bonfire of all the rules and legislations that bind us as units of profit, and as subservient units of the state.

       This from: 
In the New York Times, Niki Kitsantonis writes, “It may seem paradoxical, but Greece’s anarchists are organizing like never before.”
No. Anarchists – the sensible ones, at least – are not against organization. They are against rule – against ruling and against being ruled. Merriam-Webster explains the derivation of the word: “Medieval Latin anarchia, from Greek, from anarchos having no ruler, from an- + archos ruler.”
True, as the dictionary editors note, “anarchy” and “anarchism” are sometimes used to mean something like “absence or denial of any authority or established order” or simply “absence of order.” But rational political theorists and even activists don’t advocate pure disorder; they advocate the absence of rule, which they define as the absence of government.
So what is it that these Greek anarchists are organizing for? Well, in fact, the focus of the article is on how anarchists are supplying the services that the Greek state is not providing:
Seven years of austerity policies and a more recent refugee crisis have left the government with fewer and fewer resources, offering citizens less and less. Many have lost faith. Some who never had faith in the first place are taking matters into their own hands, to the chagrin of the authorities….
Whatever the means, since 2008 scores of “self-managing social centers” have mushroomed across Greece, financed by private donations and the proceeds from regularly scheduled concerts, exhibitions and on-site bars, most of which are open to the public. There are now around 250 nationwide.
Some activists have focused on food and medicine handouts as poverty has deepened and public services have collapsed.
In recent months, anarchists and leftist groups have trained special energy on housing refugees who flooded into Greece in 2015 and who have been bottled up in the country since the European Union and Balkan nations tightened their borders. Some 3,000 of these refugees now live in 15 abandoned buildings that have been taken over by anarchists in the capital.
One part of Athens seems to have been a self-governing, but not state-governed, territory for some time. Some sources say Exarchia has existed since as early as 1870. The name presumably comes from “ex-,” out of, away from, and of course “archos,” ruler.
In Athens, the anarchists’ epicenter remains the bohemian neighborhood of Exarchia, where the killing of a teenager by a police officer in 2008 set off two weeks of rioting, helped reinvigorate the movement and produced several guerrilla groups that led to a revival of domestic terrorism in Greece.
The police and the authorities tread lightly in the area.
The police have recently raided some buildings illegally occupied by anarchists, called squats, in Athens, in the northern city of Thessaloniki and on the island of Lesbos, a gateway for hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past two years….
The anarchists say their squats are a humane alternative to the state-run camps now filled with more than 60,000 migrants and asylum seekers. Human rights groups have broadly condemned the camps as squalid and unsafe.
In Exarchia, one of the squats includes a former state secondary school that was abandoned because of structural problems. Established last spring with the help of anarchists, the squat is now home to some 250 refugees, mostly from Syria, who have set up a chicken coop on the roof. Many more refugees are on a “waiting list” for other occupied buildings.
The squats function as self-organized communities, independent from the state and nongovernmental organizations, said Lauren Lapidge, 28, a British social activist who came to Greece in 2015 at the peak of the refugee crisis and is actively involved with several occupied buildings.
“They are living organisms: Kids go to school, some were born in the squat, we’ve had weddings inside,” she said.
There’s really nothing paradoxical about anarchists setting up institutions and communities outside the state to provide needed goods and services. The Greek anarchists probably don’t see businesses as part of that non-state society, though libertarian anarchists and anarcho-capitalists do.
What is paradoxical, as I wrote five years ago, is Greek “anarchists” who object to the state reducing its size, scope, and power by cutting back on taxes and transfer payments. Anarchists who organize voluntarily to achieve common purposes are just living their philosophy.
This piece originally published at Cato@liberty
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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Expropriation.



         Wouldn't it be nice if supermarkets were places where you picked up the necessities of life, instead of places where you are obliged to spend the crap wages you get from your lousy job, all so that you are a unit of profit for this insane, unjust, unequal, crap economic system. 
This from Act For Freedom Now:
      Expropriation of OK super market, in Exarhia – Athens
        Few days ago we decided to join the operations that are taking place around the area of Exarchia contributing as we want and we can to liberate our neighborhood from the presence of the capitalist super markets…. But at the same time we understand and we like all the attacks by our comrades. Against the suppression that we feel every day on our skin or in a psychological way..from the mercenaries of the state, so called police. Against the gentrification of the area by luxury and expensive cafeterias etc..
       We perceive Exarchia as a revolutionary field of resistance and we think that is unacceptable and a big contradiction to compromise with this situation.We are hostile to every form that is feeding capitalism. The gentrification is here..is an indirect attack to corrupt,infiltrate and poison the characteristics of this area.. It happened many times, in many places in the past.. An example is Plaza de Sol in Madrid.. A square that from instructional environment turned into a lifestyle meeting point.
       So stop the invasion of our squats, of our neighborhood and open your fucking capitalist spots somewhere else, or we will be every time more active in the resistance.


FREEDOM FOR PANAGIOTIS Z.
FREEDOM FOR OUR COMRADES IN PRISON
GET THE FUCK OUT FROM EXARCHIA
Source



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