Millenials Don’t Have A Monopoly On Caring About The Environment

The problem of tents being dumped after music festivals – most recently at the Reading Festival this past bank holiday – is so prolific, say campaigners, that it demands a response.

One idea is to charge revellers a deposit that will only be returned if they take their tent with them. If it cuts down on waste, then plenty will say it is a good idea. However, what is truly staggering is that such a scheme might be necessary in the first place.

After all, the young people largely responsible for this act of mass littering are of the same generation that is supposedly so fearful of global warming, so despondent about the amount of plastic in our oceans and so aghast at the treatment of the world’s rainforests that it believes we are facing a climate “emergency”.

How did youngsters go from taking part in the Greta Thunberg-inspired school strikes to spending their holidays blighting some of the most glorious corners of the countryside with rubbish?

For older people who are so often the recipients of lectures on how they are destroying the planet, it is somewhat galling. Perhaps environmentally-conscious youngsters could spend some of their time encouraging their peers to mend their own ungreen ways? They might also admit that addressing climate change is an issue that concerns people of all ages, and is not one that pits young versus old in some intergenerational struggle.

You never know, those irresponsible festival-goers who did abandon their tents could even learn something from their parents and grandparents. They might be less keen on punitive green levies and banning beef, but they would never countenance littering.

The Scottish Silliness

Forget what three Buckfast swilling, deep fried Mars Bar scoffing judges in chilly Jockoland said earlier in the week and whatever you have heard about Boris Johnson lying to the Queen (The Queen’s conversations with her Prime Ministers are confidential so nobody knows if Boris lied to our Betty or not, but if he did and anything he advised was illegal her own advisers would have warned her to withhold assent to the prorogation of parliament.

The Scottish court judgement is nothing but a cheap political stunt by a bunch of biased, SNP supporting bent lawyers aimed at giving The Mad Wee Hag Sturgeon ammunition for her next bid to make Scotland independent from the UK and thus the biggest economic basket case in Europe (if Scotland was an independent nation now they would be further up shit creek and even more bereft of paddles than Greece. .

And Boggart Blog is not the only digital news sheet that thinks so. We may be a scurrilous little blog, but look at what the highly respected, subscrioption only web news site for financial professionals, Eurointelligence has to say:

We expect this to be of more significance to the debate over Scottish independence than to Brexit. Legal commentators, including the retired Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption, expect the UK Supreme Court to side with the English ruling rather than the Scottish one.

Advantage Boris who is already one set up because the High Court in England ruled in his favour, as it should, while constitutionally Scottish courts cannot possibly have jurisdiction over the whole of the UK.

Eurointelligence continued:

If the Supreme Court, as we expect, does not intervene on prorogation, that leaves Hilary Benn’s legislation – requiring Johnson to seek an extension to the Art. 50 withdrawal period – as the main tactical approach left for Remainers.

But Johnson has the possibility of launching a legal challenge to Benns law, if he wants to.

The No No Deal law does nothing if such a challenge is upheld (as it should be), but the government team may have better ideas than issuing a challenge as Eurointelligence reports:

The act has been repeatedly and mistakenly described in the British media as “taking no deal off the table”, which illustrates how few journalists have bothered to even read the plain words of its text. Johnson is required by the act to send a letter to the European Council requesting an extension until 31st January 2020. But the act only requires that he send this letter on October 19. Even then, he only has to send the letter if parliament hasn’t agreed to either a deal or a no-deal exit by that date. Both scenarios being explicitly allowed by the legislation. Moreover, it allows Johnson to withdraw the letter if the House of Commons votes in favour of either a withdrawal agreement or of no-deal exit between 19th October and 31st October.
We think the Remainers committed a strategic error. It was a mistake to leave the machinery of government in Johnson’s hands between now and October 31. He will be the only person in the room negotiating and speaking to other heads of government. It also leaves plenty of avenues at his disposal for frustrating an extension request. However watertight Hillary Benn’s legislation might seem, one thing it cannot do is muzzle the prime minister or limit his right to make political statements, both within the House of Commons and at the European Council in October. It also means Johnson now has five more weeks to dominate the UK media agenda, unimpeded by parliamentary questioning thanks to prorogation.

So in the end whatever Remainers do, short of calling a vote of no confidence and forcing an election, which after their idiotic performance over the past few week the opposition will surely lose, they cannot stop no deal. Quite simply, so long as Boris can string things out until 31 October, no deal is the default legal position. All the Remainers antics and the bigoted Jock judges have achieved is to make anything but no deal almost impossible.

Good work, Remainers.

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Yellow Vests Week 43: Tensions Escalate Again As France’s Protests Continue

For the Yellow Vests movement in France, September 7th was billed as a come back from the summer break when there has been a lull in activity. France traditionally comes to a near standstill in August each year as the French head off on their annual vacation, and the protest movement was no exception.

Unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron tried to take political advantage of this distraction to advance one of his many unpopular policies, pension reform plans that will create a single national pension system with higher contributions for individual taxpayers and lower ones for business, thus stoking up the potential for an escalation of protests to the levels witnessed earlier in the year.

Former investment banker Macron is not trusted on the pension issue by 70 percent of the population according to polls and his plan is seen as a ruse to lift the retirement age to 64 from 62 and a continuation of broader policies to tax workers more to pay for the welfare state while cutting taxes for business and wealthy individuals in the name of economic stimulation and competitiveness in the world economy.

The vehicle fuel taxes that triggered the fist protests last year were ostensibly “green” but in effect they served the same purpose of relieving the tax burden on business and shifting it onto the general population.

The notion that business comes before environmental concerns reinforced by word going into the Newsdump Weekend that pesticide use in France will be allowed within distances ranging between 15 and 30 feet of schools and homes.  Environmental activists and the EELV environmentalist party expressing their opposition to the plans. Such policies have destroyed Marcon’s credibility as they contradict his pretence to be heading a ‘green’ government, having made grandiose but unachievable promises to phase out petroleum and diesel vehicles and make France a net zero emissions economy by 2040.

Thousands took to the streets of France to protest today, not in the huge numbers at the height of the movement in the early months, but significantly up on recent weeks.

Demonstrations took place in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Rouen as part of Yellow Vests’ “Act 43” rally. In some cities, particularly Montpellier, the protests turned violent with clashes between the participants and riot police. Violence was also reported in Rouen.

“The demonstrators threw projectiles on the police as protests continued into the night. Summations were made and there was the use of tear gas in response to the throwing of projectiles, the protesters were rejected and returned outside the perimeter,” the sub-prefect of permanence, Jean-Éric Winckler, said as quoted by AFP.

The first blockages Yellow Vests began early in the morning on Saturday, November 17, 2018 in Seine-Maritime.

Yellow Vests protestors in Rouen (picture: http://www.chb44.com )

​In Montpellier, between 1,500 and 3,000 people took part in the rally, with clashes also reported near the city’s station. According to AFP, some of the protesters fired projectiles, prompting the police to use tear gas.

Protestors in Montpellier use umbrellas as makeshift shields (Picture: Daily Mail )

Some incidents and clashes were also reported in Lille, where more than 600 protesters took part in the rally (according to a police source), while the Yellow Vests say the number of demonstrators there stood at 1,500.

Meanwhile, during a rally in Paris, an emblematic figure of the Yellow Vests movement, Éric Drouet, was fined twice “for organizing an undeclared event” and was ordered to leave the perimeter.

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A Fat Crook Rises From The Grave?

Video maker Amazing Polly investigates Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of crooked billionaire Robert Maxwell and long term girlfriend of suicided paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Ghioslaine’s sisters and their family links to other crimes and scandals.

Returning to Epstein-related investigations, I look at Christine and Isabel’s multiple software ventures. I go beyond Magellan and look deeper at the Chili@d/FBI story and bring you some deeper information. more.. There are links here to the NSA, CIA, Intel, Microsoft, Google and many more. I don’t know if back-doors or other vulnerabilities were installed with the software.. but what if they were? – Amazing Polly

Wow this should be fun. Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine’s dear old dad was one of the biggest corporate crooks throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
He finally disapoeared while cruising on his private yacht after the scandal of his plundering his media corporation’s pension funds to finance one of his crooked deals. His body was recovered but pathologists were unable to agree a cause of death.
Could the fact that he had a lot of dirt on the wealthy, powerful people who were at some stage involved in his dodgy schemes have had anything to do with it I wonder?

 

 

Epstein’s Madam’s Lawyer Says ‘Hundreds Of Names’ In Records Dump

We return to the Epstein case today, though the billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein escaped justice by committing suicide while in prison, according to the establishment narrative, thus enabling his many celebrity associates toi heave a sigh of relief in the expectation that in spite of the very unusual circumstances surrounding his suicide, the case would never be heard in court and their names and dirty little secrets would not be revealed in the public domain.

But while conspiracy nuts continue their feeding frenzy about the anmilies in reports of how his death occurred, some diligent people in law enforcement are sifting through material seized from Epstein’s homes after his arrest in June and are finding plenty of evidence on which to build cases against his associates. And some of those associates, it appears, are not prepared to go down alone.

An attorney for Ghislaine Maxwell, a long time partner of Epstein and allegedly his most prolific recruiter of under age girls, told a judge on Wednesday that there are “hundreds” of people named in what is expected to be approximately 2,000 pages of documents ordered unsealed by the federal appeals court in New York, according to Bloomberg.

Epstein and Maxwell together (source: Google )

Jeffrey Pagliuca, lawyer for Maxwell, told U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska Wednesday that the seized materials include an address book containing about 1,000 names. Preska is now considering how to comply with a ruling by the federal appeals court in New York that she must unseal some of the documents. There was no detail at the hearing as to the identity of the people are named in the documents, and they may include women who say they are victims of Epstein, his friends and others. –Bloomberg

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts (Giuffre) and Ghislaine Maxwell (Source: Bloomberg)

According to court filings, Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced medial tycoon Robert Maxwell, is alleged to have hired, supervised and fired household staff, while organizing the visits of dozens of (usually young and untrained,) “massage therapists” to Epstein’s residence where they were ‘introduced’ to his wealthy guests.

In depositions taken in 2009 and 2010 as part of civil lawsuits against Mr. Epstein, household employees said Ms. Maxwell was a central figure in Mr. Epstein’s private life.

Juan Alessi, who said in one of the depositions that he served as the Palm Beach house manager from around 1992 through 2002, described a basket of sex toys in Ms. Maxwell’s bathroom closet. He said he would find them around when he cleaned up after visits from the young women. –WSJ

The document dump stems from a 2015 defamation lawsuit in New York brought by Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Maxwell. Giuffre says Maxwell helped Epstein traffic herself and other underage girls to sex parties at the billionaire pedophile’s many residences. Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing and called Giuffre a liar.

The case was settled in 2017 and the records were sealed – however appeals by the Miami Herald, Harvard Law professor (and former Epstein pal) Alan Dershowitz and right-wing blogger Mike Cernovich were successful in winning the order to release them.

In August 2019, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ordered the partial release of Epstein documents, which revealed that Giuffre said that President Trump was a “good friend of Jeffrey’s,” but that Trump ‘didn’t partake in any sex with any of us,” adding “Donald Trump never flirted with me.”

Epstein was found dead in a cell at a federal holding prison last month after his arrest on child sex-trafficking charges. While the case was dismissed against Epstein, Judge Preska must now consider how to release the sealed records – and from the looks of it, the possibility remains that they may not be released at all. After all there are still a lot of wealthy and influential people who have powerful reasons to want the whole thing swept under the carpet.

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Switzerland: We want deal with UK – had enough of ‘dogmatic’ EU

from The Daily Express

(Now I know some of you will say, “You can#’t believe anything you read in The Express.” Well I heard quite a lot about this from an associate, a Swiss businessman who has quite a lot of involvement trade ministry.)

Bern is hoping to ramp up research with London as its relationship with Brussels starts to disintegrate after their failed talks to strike up a permanent economic deal. Swiss leaders don’t believe “dogmatic” eurocrats are willing budge on their final three demands, making a deal being reached this year highly unlikely. The deadlocked talks have left relationships with Brussels, who blocked EU-based investors from trading on Swiss exchanges, strained over the summer.

Read full story in The Daily Express

 

EU Competition Commissioner: “Google And Facebook Are Sucking Up Data From Every Corner

This blog has always been a strong critic of the way Silicon Valley tech giants have been allowed by governments, in return for their collaboration in mass surveillance projects, to gain control of the internet and then to abuse that position.

Below is the full transcript of speech delivered by Margrethe Vestager pictured below), the European Union Antitrust Chief, held at the Business Forum of the German Ambassadors’ Conference, Berlin, 27 August 2019:

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s a great pleasure, and an honour, to be here with you today. I want to thank Heiko Maas for those kind words, and for inviting me to join you.

I’m especially glad to have the chance to meet with you, who represent Germany’s 230 diplomatic missions around the world, as well as German industry. Because all of us here have an important role to play, to prepare Europe’s economy for the challenges of the future.

And in our working day, or just reading the news headlines, we are very often confronted with the scale of those challenges. Today’s threats to the system of global trade rules pose a serious risk to growth here in Europe, and throughout the world. Brexit remains a major source of uncertainty. We need to make enormous changes to the way we power the world’s economy, to avoid climate change running out of control. And all this is happening at a time when digitisation is transforming our markets – and Europe’s future depends on being, not just an industrial powerhouse, but a digital leader.

Europe’s advantages

Indeed all these challenges can seem daunting. But it is important to remember that Europe has already proved its capacity to take on big challenges. After all, we built the European Union on the ashes of two world wars. And we have just travelled through the biggest financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression.

And we have a good starting point to also face those challenges ahead of us.

Our Single Market gives the best European companies the room they need to grow and succeed. And by keeping that market open for competition, we support the drive for improvement that makes Europe a world leader in innovation. In fact, in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Competitiveness Report, Germany came on top as the world’s most innovative economy, ahead of the United States and Switzerland.

Our international influence gives us the opportunity to shape the world around us in a way that helps to secure our future. As the biggest trading partner for some 80 countries, including the US and China, we have a powerful voice in international trade. And we can use that voice, not just to defend the system of global trade rules, but to make sure those rules provide a level playing field for European business.

Our improving public finances are making it possible for us to invest in the future of Europe – in research and innovation, in skills, in infrastructure.

And – no less importantly – our commitment to the values that built our Europe, to values like freedom and fairness and democracy, gives us the solid foundation we need to shape the digital world. So that digitisation supports people’s freedom and opportunities, instead of undermining them.

Platforms and competition

This is why, in recent years, we’ve been looking very closely at digital platforms. Because those platforms often provide the infrastructure that allows the digital world to work. And that can give them enormous power to affect our lives.

Take Google. Its main platform – the Google search engine – dominates the market for web searches in every country in the single market.

And that’s not the only area where Google is powerful. Some 80% of the world’s smartphones and tablets use Google’s Android operating system, which dominates the market for operating systems that other phone makers can use.

And Google is also an advertising broker in online search advertising. Any company with a search box on its website can turn to Google to find ads that are linked to the things those users search for. And Google dominated this market, too, with more than 70% of the European market between 2006 and 2016.

All these markets are vital to our digital economy. In all of these markets, Google used its power to undermine competition, and keep out innovation.

Tackling self-preferencing

And dealing with these markets has also brought us face to face with the most fundamental questions which digitisation raises.

For instance, many platform businesses act as both player and referee – they run a platform, and also compete with other companies that rely on that platform. There’s an obvious conflict of interest here, an obvious temptation to adjust the way the platform works, to favour their own services ahead of others.

That’s what Google did, when it used the power of its search engine to favour its own comparison shopping service. By doing that, it harmed competition and consumers – which is why we fined the company nearly two and a half billion euros, for breaking the competition rules. And we’re looking right now at whether the same thing may have happened with other parts of Google’s business – like the job search business known as Google for Jobs.

But this is about more than the competition rules. There’s also a broader issue for our societies, of whether we think it’s right for companies like Google and others to have such control over the success or failure of other companies, and be free to use that power in any way they like. If we don’t, then we may find that we need regulation, to make sure that these platforms use their power in a way that’s fair and doesn’t discriminate.

And in the end, the best way to protect our interests – as consumers and as citizens – may be a combination of competition policy and regulation.

The role of data

That also goes for the way that we deal with another fundamental issue in the digital world – the way platforms collect and use data.

Platforms like Google or Facebook collect data from consumers – not just the posts we like on Facebook or the searches we make on Google, but much more unexpected things. Like the Onavo VPN app, which users downloaded to hide their browsing from prying eyes – but which also sent information to Facebook about the apps they used, and the websites they visited.

And those platforms also collect large amounts of data from their business customers, through services like Google Analytics, which track how visitors use their site – but at the same time, those trackers pass data to Google.

So these companies are a bit like one of those robot vacuum cleaners, working their way into every corner of the digital world, and sucking up data. Except, of course, that what they’re collecting isn’t rubbish – it can be a vital way for these companies to outdo their rivals.

The way that these companies collect and use data can undermine competition – and if it does, then we may need to take action, to enforce the competition rules. But once again, we shouldn’t assume that we can deal with all the challenges that digital technology creates for our way of life, just by thinking about how it affects competition. The way companies collect data, the way they use it, the decisions they make about who they share it with – these are all things that can affect competition; but as our world becomes more digital, they’re also choices about how our society works. And making sure that these choices don’t do us harm will have to be a team effort.

International cooperation

Because we do have the power to shape digitisation, in a way that meets the needs of Europe’s economy, and our society. But to do that, we need to work together. And that also means using our influence to build an international environment that helps us reach our goals.

For instance, Europe’s governments need fair international tax rules, so that digitisation doesn’t allow companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

The OECD is leading work to reach an international agreement on taxing digital companies. But we need to help to keep the pressure up, to reach a quick conclusion. That’s why Ursula von der Leyen has made very clear that if there’s no global solution by the end of 2020, the EU should be willing to act alone.

Conclusion

There’s no doubt that Europe has the influence that we need to help us reach our goals. The real issue is whether we can use that influence effectively, to get the best results for Europeans.

That’s why Ursula von der Leyen, in her Political Guidelines, has committed to a coordinated approach to Europe’s external action. And it’s also why Europeans need to work together, at national as well as European level. Because our strength as a Union is multiplied many times over, when we make use of the influence of both Europe and its nations.

In other words, we do have the power to make a difference. We do have the power to make sure that digitisation works for Europe’s people, not against them.

There’s just one condition. We need to work together.

Thank you.

*  *  *

thanks to Sara Carter for putting this into the public domain

 

SaraACarter.com

 

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