June 24th, 2017


The Rich are Going Mad and the Peasants Had Enough

Cities to Recliam Back their Democracy While the Rich Keeps Playing with Their Toys.

#FearlessCities Notes: Democracy from the Bottom Up: Municipalism and other Stories

Notes from a panel at the Fearless Cities conference, June 10th. See introduction post here.

Hosted by Barcelona en Comú. Born in the heat of 15M. Our common goals are beyond political parties. We’re talking about an alliance of cities. Imagining a different world. Deregulated international free market exceeds the capacity of municipalities, especially housing. Transition from representative to participatory politics. New economic models.
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America’s Rich Are Completely Losing Touch With Reality — and That’s a Really Bad Sign

The divide between wealthy and working class has grown wider each year since the last financial crisis, but this disconnect is about much more than just money or politics. The super-rich, in particular, have become completely detached from the everyday problems facing millions of their fellow citizens. Instead of recognizing the urgency of the current situation and contributing to solutions that help empower all members of society, the focus for many has shifted toward simply indulging in the present moment and increasing luxury. This kind of self-centered worldview has emerged throughout history and typically thrives most when decadent empires start to crumble.
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McDonald's hits all-time high as Wall Street cheers replacement of cashiers with kiosks
Cowen says McDonald's will upgrade 2,500 restaurants to its "Experience of the Future" technology by year-end, which includes digital ordering kiosks.
The firm raises its rating on McDonald's to outperform from market perform and price target for the shares to $180 from $142.
Same store sales estimate for 2018 raised to 3 percent from 2 percent.

McDonald's shares hit an all-time high on Tuesday as Wall Street expects sales to increase from new digital ordering kiosks that will replace cashiers in 2,500 restaurants.
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aristocats three kittens

Centrist Democrats are now the great defenders of social justice? Please.

The left half of the American political spectrum is in the middle of a big fight between the left and the center-left, which will surely get more intense as the midterms approach. Much of the battle, writes Franklin Foer in a very long piece at The Atlantic, will be between economic issues and social justice ones: "Two of the party’s largest concerns — race and class — reside in an increasing state of tension, a tension that will grow as the party turns toward the next presidential election."

This way of framing things is utterly mistaken, both on the history and on the policy merits. There is no trade-off between race — or any other social justice issue — and class. This is an idea the center-left invented to beat back the leftist challenge to their dominance of the Democratic Party.

To see why, let's review some history.

Before about 2015, everyone knew that it was the left, broadly speaking, that was in favor of more aggressive policy to achieve social justice. It was leftist academics, activists, and politicians that decried racist mass incarceration, sexism, abuse of immigrants, oppression of LGBT people, and so on.
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Turkey to stop teaching evolution in secondary schools as part of new national curriculum

Education official says students too young to understand 'controversial subject'

Evolution will no longer be taught in Turkish secondary schools after being described as a “controversial subject” by the government.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has personally approved the change, which will be part of a new national curriculum being published later this month.

The head of the education ministry’s curriculum board, Alpaslan Durmuş, said a section on Darwinism would be cut from biology classes from 2019.

“We have excluded controversial subjects for students at an age unable yet to understand the issues’ scientific background,” he told a seminar in Ankara, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

“As the students at ninth grade are not endowed with antecedents to discuss the ‘Origin of Life and Evolution’ section in biology classes, this section will be delayed until undergraduate study.”

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From January:

Turkey’s deputy PM calls theory of evolution ‘archaic and disproven’

The theory of evolution is an “archaic and decayed” theory, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has claimed, as debate continues over evolution’s lessened significance in Turkey’s new draft national curriculum.

“Scientifically, the theory of evolution is already an archaic and disproven theory. There is no such rule that this theory must be taught. Perhaps it might be brought to the agenda as one of the theories,” Kurtulmuş said in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk on Jan. 29.
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Turkey bans Istanbul Pride, organizers vow to march anyway

ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkish authorities announced Saturday they will not allow the Istanbul Pride march to take place on Sunday - the third year in a row the celebration has been banned. The move prompted criticism from rights groups and fears of possible violence, as Pride organizers said they would defy the ban.

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