Belgian bombast licks his lips at the thought of Greek energy contracts….but his lips were sealed when it came to his personal interest in getting rid of Syriza
Boël family links show how Verhofstadt’s energy lobbying triggered régime change in Ukraine
Guy Verhofstadt, the senior MEP who lambasted Alexis Tsipras in Brussels last week, is on the Board of two companies due to gain from Greek energy privatisation…and is paid €190,000 a year by billionaire Nicolas Boël to lobby to that end. He has also been hawkishly anti-Putin over the Ukraine issue, where the Boël dynasty plotted régime change as a means of gaining valuable fracking contracts.
Many of you will doubtless have seen this Youtube vitriol aimed at Tsipras by Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt:
He’s a pretty unpleasant and vindictively sarcastic bloke who wants régime change in Greece more than most. But Verhofstadt’s vomit-inducing mélange of acrimony and sanctimony…
This is the working version of first chapter of an essay “Obstacles and opportunities for ‘sustainable’ commons using Internet”. Please do not quote. The next chapter will be published when it is finished.
Fuzziness about the commons paradigm
A first step in the process towards interdisciplinary research on the commons is cleaning up the terminological fuzziness about them. For historians like Susan Jane Buck Cox and Tine De Moor, and for political economists like Elinor Oström, the commons are well defined as a historical phenomenon or as “Common Pool Resources” and “Institutions of Collective Action”. In many other disciplines the term is used for the air, the seas etc. that are in principle collective property to all creatures living on earth.
Large-scale open access resources such as oceans, the air we are breathing, are, also referred to as “global commons”. This is confusing of course, because what is lacking to the “global commons” is institutionalisation and self-governance, qualities the initial historical commons clearly had and that were analysed in the common pool resources by Elinor Oström. Read More
A battle is raging for the soul of activism. It is a struggle between digital activists, who have adopted the logic of the marketplace, and those organisers who vehemently oppose the marketisation of social change. At stake is the possibility of an emancipatory revolution in our lifetimes.
Occupy is back in London, UK, with a renewed focus on politics and an ambitious vision: to galvanise a mass movement for real democracy and establish a huge People’s Assembly to debate a list of specific demands for radical political reform.
This week, stalwarts of the Occupy Democracy campaign in Britain are continuing to stand their ground in Parliament Square. The heavy-handed police crackdown and evictions may have scuppered much of the plans for peaceful and creative demonstrations, but the re-emergence of the Occupy movement is a welcome sight in an increasingly unequal, stressed and disaffected city of London.
The goal of the new Occupy campaign is laudable and significant: to direct energy from current single issue struggles into “a critical mass that can radically challenge the corrupt unrepresentative [political] system”. Initially staged in solidarity with Hong Kong’s ongoing civil disobedience campaign, the aptly-named #TarpaulinRevolution aimed to galvanise a mass movement for real democracy by transforming the Square into a civic space where activists can re-envision and rethink the fundamentals of our society, not only through protest activity but also with a programme of talks, workshops, community assemblies, music and theatre.
The original call to action makes a compelling case as to why the British political system is unable to deal with the consequences of a social crisis it helped to create. Citing the entrenched problems of the UK’s growing ranks of homeless, hungry and unemployed, it calls on all movements that have opposed the government’s anti-democratic policies to come and join the occupation. “The problem is bigger than the Tories and their austerity program”, it states. “The problem is with our whole democratic system.”
Virtual interview with Edward Snowden on 11/10/2014
“When you say, ‘I have nothing to hide,’ you’re saying, ‘I don’t care about this right.’ You’re saying, ‘I don’t have this right, because I’ve got to the point where I have to justify it.’ The way rights work is, the government has to justify its intrusion into your rights.”
According to Edward Snowden, people who care about their privacy should stay away from popular consumer Internet services like Dropbox, Facebook, and Google.
“We’re talking about encryption. We’re talking about dropping programs that are hostile to privacy. For example, SpiderOak? Get rid of Dropbox, it doesn’t support encryption, it doesn’t protect your private files. And use competitors like SpiderOak, that do the same exact service but they protect the content of what you’re sharing.”
About the government:
“We can have secret programs. You know, the American people don’t have to know the name of every individual that’s under investigation. We don’t need to know the technical details of absolutely every program in the intelligence community. But we do have to know the bare and broad outlines of the powers our government is claiming … and how they affect us and how they affect our relationships overseas. Because if we don’t, we are no longer citizens, we no longer have leaders. We’re subjects, and we have rulers.”
The works of Laura Poitras
Trailer of Citizenfour: Edward Snowden Documentary
You will find the other documantaries of Laura Poitras here