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Wed, 13 Nov 2019
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Che Guevara

Why Extinction Rebellion seems so nuts

extinction rebellion
© Getty
This is an edited version of a short speech Brendan O'Neill gave at the Battle of Ideas festival in London on 3 November 2019.

One of my favourite political events this year was the Battle of Canning Town. This was the moment when Extinction Rebellion decided to send its painfully middle-class agitators to a working-class part of East London early in the morning to lecture and inconvenience people who just wanted to get to work. What could go wrong?

Quite a lot, it turned out. There were many wonderful moments. The two posh greens who climbed on top of a Tube train at Canning Town were mocked and eventually dragged down. A commuter can be heard branding one of the protesters a 'ponytail weirdo'. Elsewhere on the Tube system that day, commuters pointed out that the London Underground is run on electricity and is therefore pretty eco-friendly. 'Are you that fucking stupid?', one asked a smug-looking couple of XR agitators. 'No wonder you can't get jobs...'

Comment: See also:

Yellow Vest

French riot police join Catalan cops dragging independence protesters away from border crossing

Comment: There's nothing like cross-border cooperation to reassure Europeans that the EU is working as it should...

© REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
A man holds an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) in front of French police officers at the AP-7 highway on the French side of the Spanish-French border November 12, 2019.
Catalan independence protesters who blocked a border crossing with France were routed - in some cases physically dragged away - by French riot police working with Catalan police, just a day into a planned three-day protest.

Hundreds of heavily-armored French riot cops descended on La Jonquera border crossing on Tuesday, arresting 18 protesters and reportedly using pepper spray and tear gas to disperse scores more manning a large roadblock spanning both sides of the normally-busy highway. The Catalan autonomous police (Mosses d'Esquadra) have also arrested at least one protester, reportedly for attacking a law enforcement officer.

Video of the police breaking up the protest shows French gendarmes and Catalan autonomous police literally dragging demonstrators away from the barricade, while reports from Figaro and Vanguardia suggest more violent methods were used to disperse protesters who insist theirs was an act of "peaceful civil disobedience."

Comment: The French, of course, have lots of experience dealing with pro-democracy protesters.

See also: And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Kurdistan and Catalonia: The Politics of Self-Determination


Wait, what? Campus newspaper apologizes for DOING JOURNALISM, calls protest coverage 'retraumatizing and invasive'

© Reuters / Jonathan Ernst
A US college newspaper has apologized for photographing and talking to protesters who picketed a speech by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The paper claims that standard journalistic practice hurt their feelings.

Sessions was invited to Northwestern University last week by the College Republicans. Northwestern being an American campus, protesters turned out to heckle Sessions, in particular for his role in implementing President Donald Trump's administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policies last year.

The social justice crowd booing a Republican is nothing new, but the college newspaper, the Daily Northwestern, reported the event dutifully, photographing the protests and texting demonstrators for comment. All standard journalistic practice.

But in the age of 'safe spaces' and 'trigger warnings,' basic journalism school techniques are apparently too much. After some of its reporters shared photos of the protests (as the First Amendment entitles them to do), the paper abruptly pulled the photos on Sunday and issued an apology.

Bizarro Earth

Sci-fi dystopia becomes reality: Sex robots give boot to human prostitutes at Swiss brothel, charging half the price

sex doll
© Global Look Press / Steffen Trumpf 1549
At half the cost of their human counterparts, sex worker robots at a Swiss brothel are becoming the choice of hard-up punters. One expert claims sex with a robo-doll is a fetish among men, just like a preference for leather.

The beautiful and civilized Swiss city of Lucerne is renowned for its setting below snow-capped mountain peaks on the banks of Lake Lucerne, with its medieval architecture, picturesque Altstadt (Old Town) and brothel full of sex robots instead of real prostitutes.

That's right, the nation that brought us cuckoo clocks and Toblerone chocolate has gone hi-tech in the sex industry with Lucerne brothel, Arsenal 51 (I don't know either), introducing 90 Swiss francs ($90) an hour sessions with their sort-of real-looking love mannequins for those punters who fancy a little less conversation, a little more action, as Elvis would put it.


Cops shot couple over 'obviously fake' gun at erotic party despite being told it was a toy, Australian court hears

toy gun
© GlobalLookPress.com / GODONG / Pascal Deloche
An Australian man and woman are suing the state of Victoria after police burst into a swingers club party and shot the pair, despite being told that the gun the man was carrying was a mere prop.

Dale Ewins, then 35, and his former girlfriend Zita Sukys had donned detailed costumes for a 'Saints and Sinners' ball in Melbourne on July 8, 2017. The pair say they were engaged in a sex act at the back of the club when they were suddenly surrounded by heavily-armed police who opened fire on them with non-lethal bullets.

A patron called the cops after seeing Ewins with a gun tucked into his trousers, but security staff told officers when they arrived that they had handled the gun and were sure it was just a toy.


Inartificial intelligence: Russian students win big at 2019 world robotics championship

russia robotics team
© Innopolis University
Russian teams showed off the best of their engineering talent, scoring huge wins at this year's World Robot Olympiad where they competed with teams from 71 countries.

Over 1,100 young talents flocked to Gyor, Hungary for the 2019 World Robot Olympiad (WRO). The organizers encouraged students to generate innovative ideas that "will help save energy, make traffic safer, and improve public transport systems" in the 'smart cities' of the future.

Each team was required to design, construct, and program their robots to solve specific challenges. Points were scored for each completed task, and that's where the Russian teams left most of their rivals in the dust.


EU court rules products from illegal Israeli settlements must be labelled

European court of justice says origin must be identified in decision likely to anger Israel
israeli shipping
Construction work in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev in the occupied West Bank. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

The European Union's top court has ruled that EU countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements on their labels, in a decision welcomed by rights groups but likely to spark anger in Israel.

The European court of justice said: "Foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the state of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin."

Comment: Better yet, boycott anything coming from or owned by Israelis.

Star of David

Israel: Silencing the last voices attempting to prevent abuse of Palestinians

Israeli abuse
© World Bulletin
Israeli soldier headlocks Palestinian boy (with a cast on his arm)
It has been a week of appalling abuses committed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank - little different from the other 2,670 weeks endured by Palestinians since the occupation began in 1967.

The difference this past week was that several entirely unexceptional human rights violations that had been caught on film went viral on social media.

One shows a Palestinian father in the West Bank city of Hebron leading his son by the hand to kindergarten. The pair are stopped by two heavily armed soldiers, there to help enforce the rule of a few hundred illegal Jewish settlers over the city's Palestinian population.

The soldiers scream at the father, repeatedly and violently push him and then grab his throat as they accuse his small son of throwing stones. As the father tries to shield his son from the frightening confrontation, one soldier pulls out his rifle and sticks it in the father's face.


MSM news makes Dems mad as hell, but they just come back for more, poll indicates

Media room
Every day, Democrats are driven to madness by the news they watch, read and listen to. Even their beloved CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times make them hopping mad, a new poll has found.

'Trump derangement syndrome' is a phrase coined by the president's supporters to describe the rage that the mere mention of Donald Trump's name evokes in liberals. However, in the age of Trump, a new poll has found that the news really is driving Democrats batty with rage.

Seventy percent of Democrats or those who lean Democratic told Axios that they read or hear something in the news that makes them angry once a day or more. Compared to five years ago, 74 percent say they're more angry about news than before.

This anger doesn't stop them tuning out, as 48 percent of Democrats say they watch news coverage about politics more often than they did five years ago, compared to 38 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of independents. What's more, 78 percent of them tune in once a day or more to get their fix, even if it infuriates them.

Comment: Pattern Recognition! How to disguise the coup to regime-change America: dumb down its constituents with MSM, pit sides against each other, agitate and foment, then sit back and watch it implode. Have we not learned anything from all the instigated uprisings and theoretical 'leadership beheadings' that are reaching critical mass around the world? There is a global revolution going on. Wake up, America. This includes YOU! The opportunity to reverse course and reunite as a country may already be lost.


Is the 'Mother of all Bubbles' about to pop?

Money Bubs
© bookkeperguy.au
When the New York Federal Reserve began pumping billions of dollars a day into the repurchasing (repo) markets (the market banks use to make short-term loans to each other) in September, they said this would only be necessary for a few weeks. Yet, last Wednesday, almost two months after the Fed's initial intervention, the New York Federal Reserve pumped 62.5 billion dollars into the repo market.

The New York Fed continues these emergency interventions to ensure "cash shortages" among banks don't ever again cause interest rates for overnight loans to rise to over 10 percent, well above the Fed's target rate.

The Federal Reserve's bailout operations have increased its balance sheet by over 200 billion dollars since September. Investment advisor Michael Pento describes the Fed's recent actions as Quantitative Easing (QE) "on steroids."

Comment: See also: