Once upon a time, my long-departed grandmother was an actress in silent movies. She was not very famous, but well enough known to attract the attention of the Inland Revenue, Britain’s tax collectors. They were, according to my father, the bane of her life.
Eventually she retired from acting to become a full-time mother to her children. But the demands from the Revenue kept coming. She decided that enough was enough. So she sent a letter to the tax inspector informing him that Miss Stevenson (or whatever her stage name was) was no longer alive, and would they therefore stop sending these tiresome letters to her address? The letters stopped, and she never heard from the Revenue again.
Twenty-five years ago I took a job with rather an eccentric company in Surrey. I say eccentric because not many company owners even in those days would have a large, flea-bitten dog…
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From daily The Independent in Britain:
Edward Snowden revelations: GCHQ ‘using online viruses and honey traps to discredit targets’
Documents released by the American former CIA employee claim that the agency is at the forefront of efforts to develop “offensive” online techniques
Sunday 09 February 2014
Britain’s GCHQ has a covert unit which uses dirty tricks from “honey trap” sexual liaisons to texting anonymous messages to friends and neighbours to discredit targets from hackers to governments, according to the latest leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Documents released by the American former CIA employee claim that the Cheltenham-based intelligence agency is at the forefront of efforts to develop “offensive” online techniques for use against criminals, and individuals and regimes considered to pose a threat to national security.
The revelations on…
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Two new studies from Wake Forest University’s Center for Amazonian Science and Innovation based in Tambopata, Perú reveal profound changes in the lands along the shores of the world’s longest river and the mountains that feed it.
The first study examines the profound and expanding impacts of the quest for gold as forests are felled at an accelerating rate and the land left poisoned by mercury used to extract the precious metal.
From Wake Forest University:
Small-scale gold mining has destroyed more than 170,000 acres of primary rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon in the past five years, according to a new analysis by scientists at Wake Forest University’s Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation (CINCIA).
That’s an area larger than San Francisco and 30 percent more than previously reported.
“The scale of the deforestation is really shocking,” said Luis Fernandez, executive director of CINCIA and research associate professor in the…
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This is a review I wrote in 2013. It might just offer some illumination of how Theresa May’s Team have made such horlicks of the #DementiaTax.
The penultimate paragraph is probably the most important.
The Blunders of our Governments, Anthony King and Ivor Crewe. Oneworld Publications, September 2013.
This is a must read book for anyone interested in British public affairs. It is seminal, not so much for the insight it offers – much of what it says has been said before – but in the way it brings together in one place the list of catastrophic blunders of government and their causes. There is something for everyone with an interest in government and governing here.
Politicians of the right will undoubtedly highlight the failures of government reported in this book and try to position it in the “private good, public bad” narrative of neoliberalism.
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Those who have studied workplace bullying, mobbing, and abuse know very well that these behaviors are often stoked by toxic organizational cultures. Today I emphasized that theme in a presentation at a workplace mental health seminar hosted by The Conference Board (TCB), “a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest.”
I built my remarks around the concept of relational workplace cultures so brilliantly developed by Drs. Linda Hartling and Elizabeth Sparks in their 2002 paper, “Relational-Cultural Practice: Working in a Nonrelational World” (2002), which I’ve referenced on numerous occasions on this blog. (Linda Hartling is the current director of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network.)
According to Hartling and Sparks, a “relational” culture is one that values “growth-fostering relationships, mutual empathy, mutuality, [and] authenticity,” creating qualities of “zest, empowerment, clarity, sense of worth, and a desire for more connection.”
By contrast, three types of…
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