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Health Care & Environment
02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]
02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]
02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]
02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]
02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]
News Media Matters
02.16 We Shouldn't Stick Our Heads In The Sand, But We Do It Anyway [26:46 audio; Fear like Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]
02.15 Samantha Bee: Fox News 'soiling themselves over the Green New Deal' [video clips from Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]
02.18 Dictator Trump
02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism
02.13 The Green New Deal offers radical environmental and economic change [For the survival of life on earth, capitalism must be effectively regulated or banned]
02.12 Climate and economic risks 'threaten 2008-style systemic collapse' [Willfull ignorance of Trump, Republicans, corporate-media and corporate-Democrats is steadfast, if not worsening]
02.11 Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else [and the poor will die out like the insects]
International & Futurism
02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]
02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw
Paris When it Sizzles: The French Say No to Fat-Cat Bailouts
Friday, 30 January 2009
On Thursday, an estimated 2.5 million French people came out to tell the government: "We are not going to pay for the greed and corruption of the elite! Find another way!" The contrast to the stunned, herd-like reaction of the American and British publics to their governments' gorging of corrupt oligarchs with no-strings largess could not be more striking.You have to admire the French. The ordinary people there know how to stick up for themselves – instead of meekly bowing down and accepting whatever bitter gruel the elite tries to cram down their throats. And they don't just write a few angry letters (or blog posts!), or send checks to some worthy progressive organization to organize a few mildly admonishing ads or press releases on their behalf. Hell no, they take to the streets, by the millions, they shut things down, they make some noise, they put their time, their jobs, and their bodies on the line.
Yesterday saw another remarkable display of this national trait, as an astonishingly broad spectrum of the French citizenry surged through the streets of Paris to express their outrage at the government's response to the economic crisis. This response has been the usual doling out of billions in public money for the fat cats who caused the crisis, coupled with increasing demands for "sacrifice" from the hoi polloi: less pay, longer hours, fewer benefits, a bleaker life for you and your children while the elite party on.
But on Thursday, an estimated 2.5 million people – blue-collar workers and white-collar professionals, educators and students, doctors and train drivers, native-born and immigrants – came out to tell the government: "We are not going to pay for the greed and corruption of the elite! Find another way!" The contrast to the stunned, herd-like reaction of the American and British publics to their governments' gorging of corrupt oligarchs with no-strings largess could not be more striking.
The outpouring on Thursday was a culmination of discontent toward the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy – known as "the American" not only for his amped-up PR style (and celebrity wife) but even more for his zeal to impose the harsh work regimen and vast social and economic inequalities of the Anglo-American model on France. He was demanding the "sacrifices" noted above long before the economic crisis began, while also constructing an ever-more power-friendly "national security state" along Anglo-American lines. As Agnes Poirier notes in the Guardian:
Sarkozy's government has also been whipping up fears of vast, secret, anarchist cabals, plotting violence and destruction. He has used the same kind of draconian "anti-terrorist" laws that have been adopted by almost all the leading "democracies" of the West to crack down on anyone who opposes the global corporatist-militarist ethos, as this Guardian story from earlier this month illustrates:
It seems that Couptat and his girlfriend -- an archaeologist -- were suspected of involvement in a series of minor vandalism incidents on France's rail lines. And how did the police tie the nefarious pair to these, er, minor incidents?
Ah, but there may have been ever graver sins on Coupat's hands, activities far more germane to his dramatic arrest and extra-judicial incarceration:
They had trod on the sacred Homeland soil -- to protest the righteous expansion of God's own war machine! But wait, there's even more!
But what do the locals say about this alleged author of anonymous pamphlets who was allegedly once seen somewhere near a railway line that was vandalized at some point after he was gone?
It is this spirit – a spirit of defiance and tolerance, with its recognition of a shared humanity and its respect for individual destiny, a spirit stretching across generational, ideological, professional and regional lines – that found such vigorous expression in Paris on Thursday.
I wonder if it's available for export? I know at least two nations of my intimate acquaintance who could damn sure use some of it.
Chris Floyd has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years, working in the United States, Great Britain and Russia for various newspapers, magazines, the U.S. government and Oxford University. Floyd co-founded the blog Empire Burlesque, and is also chief editor of Atlantic Free Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column is republished here with the permission of the author.
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This story was published on January 31, 2009.
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