1. Shane Jones is stepping down before the election to take a job as Pacific Economic Ambassador, for which he was ‘shoulder-tapped’ by Foreign Minister (& Nat.) Murray McCully, raising all sorts of questions.

    It does seem a little cosy, especially after it was revealed that Hekia Parata’s husband helped fund his bid for the Labour leadership. It all goes to reinforce the impression, that after all, he’s just a closet Tory.

    Many pundits are claiming that this is terrible for Labour, & sure, he’s a heavy hitter, but he too often bats for the wrong team. Labour will be better off without him weighting them down and causing that distinct rightward list that keeps them going in circles, and gives the appearance that they are, if not rudderless, at least disorientated.

     
  2. charlestoniancharm:

    cakeslut0:

    Beautiful.

    These are awesome

    (Source: sugaryumyum, via thrillingtales)

     
  3. america-wakiewakie:

    World Bank Wants Water Privatized, Despite Risk | Al Jazeera

    Humans can survive weeks without food, but only days without water — in some conditions, only hours. It may sound clichéd, but it’s no hyperbole: Water is life. So what happens when private companies control the spigot? Evidence from water privatization projects around the world paints a pretty clear picture — public health is at stake.

    In the run-up to its annual spring meeting this month, the World Bank Group, which offers loans, advice and other resources to developing countries, held four days of dialogues in Washington, D.C. Civil society groups from around the world and World Bank Group staff convened to discuss many topics. Water was high on the list.

    It’s hard to think of a more important topic. We face a global water crisis, made worse by the warming temperatures of climate change. A quarter of the world’s people don’t have sufficient access to clean drinking water, and more people die every year from waterborne illnesses — such as cholera and typhoid fever — than from all forms of violence, including war, combined. Every hour, the United Nations estimates, 240 babies die from unsafe water.

    The World Bank Group pushes privatization as a key solution to the water crisis. It is the largest funder of water management in the developing world, with loans and financing channeled through the group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). Since the 1980s, the IFC has been promoting these water projects as part of a broader set of privatization policies, with loans and financing tied to enacting austerity measures designed to shrink the state, from the telecom industry to water utilities.

    But international advocacy and civil society groups point to the pockmarked record of private-sector water projects and are calling on the World Bank Group to end support for private water.

    In the decades since the IFC’s initial push, we have seen the results of water privatization: It doesn’t work. Water is not like telecommunications or transportation. You could tolerate crappy phone service, but have faulty pipes connecting to your municipal water and you’re in real trouble. Water is exceptional.

    (Read Full Text) (Photo Credit: ZME Science)

    (via sabelmouse)

     
  4. (Source: iguanamouth, via dakotapuma)

     

  5. "You can’t say “I don’t do politics”, because silence is a political statement."
    — Tariq Ramadan (via slightlybemused)

    (Source: uniteforpalestine, via sex-drugs-and-electoral-rolls)

     
  6.  

  7. nerdloveandlolz:

    babyfants:

     

    click the link to see the rest, it’s GOLD

    (via mulattoalbinomosquitolibido)

     

  8. saccharinandsour:

    So my understanding is that the reason Atheists don’t believe in God, and the reason why Agnostic-Atheists lean towards there being no God, is because there is no conclusive proof that God exists.

    I respect and understand that.

    Except…I know Atheists and Agnostic-…

     

  9. fraserarchitecture:

    "Announced by the soft chiming of a handbell and the high, keening wail of an unknown visitor, 9,000 bills wafted serenely through the New York Gugenheim’s rotunda on Saturday in a colorful, surprisingly beautiful protest against the deplorable labor rights of workers building the museum’s newest addition on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi."

    As children, and later as idealistic architecture students, we learnt about about the slaves who built the pyramids under terrible conditions; & the rampant, unsustainable inequality that enabled the construction of, and was so perfectly symbolised by, the Sun King’s palace at Versailles. Far less did we learn about, and far less do we now talk about, those great buildings now, in our own time, that are built with indentured labour, again in dreadful conditions; and/or sequester material resource in displays of wealth & status.

    We gloss over this grim subject, shrug it off as a ‘foreign’ problem, as we rush to praise or critique the buildings themselves. We all know the architects names, and envy them their opportunity; but we know nothing of the workers who built them, the locals displaced, the homeless left unhoused whilst resource is expended in beautiful stadia & galleries accessible only to a global few - we do not know their stories.

    Closer to home: at one end of the market, houses so large, so many roomed, we have to invent singular uses for each silk-lined room. At the other end, cramped boxes built out of match-sticks, resentfully compliant with minimum standards. Try critiquing this - you will be told, with a shrug, not to bite the hand that feeds you…

    So, is architecture just for the 1%? Or, as professionals bound to a standard of ethical behaviour, is it not our duty to loudly & stridently call out the system that allows, even encourages this poverty of compassion?

     

  10. "

    I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life. I can perhaps offer some insight from that perspective. There are many similar social issues related to access to equal opportunity that we find in the black community, as well as the community of women in a white male dominate society…

    When I look at — throughout my life — I’ve known that I wanted to do astrophysics since I was 9 years old…I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expressions of these ambitions. All I can say is, the fact that I wanted to be a scientist, an astrophysicist was hands down the path of most resistance through the forces of society.

    Anytime I expressed this interest, teachers would say, ‘Oh, don’t you wanna be an athlete?’ I want to become someone that was outside of the paradigm of expectations of the people in power. Fortunately, my depth of interest of the universe was so deep and so fuel enriched that everyone of these curve balls that I was thrown, and fences built in front of me, and hills that I had to climb, I just reach for more fuel, and I just kept going.

    Now, here I am, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I wanna look behind me and say, ‘Where are the others who might have been this,’ and they’re not there! …I happened to survive and others did not simply because of forces of society that prevented it at every turn. At every turn.

    …My life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks, when you don’t find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today.

    So before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation.

    "
    — 

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson in response to a question posed by Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Security and Harvard University President

    "What’s up with chicks and science?"

    Are there genetic differences between men and women, explain why more men are in science.

    (via magnius159)

    (via theolduvaigorge)