position:teacher

  • Jesus is the way – Forthright Magazine
    http://forthright.net/2019/04/18/jesus-the-way

    As we look at the conversation Jesus had with his disciples in the upper room, we can understand some of the frustration they were having. Jesus had been their teacher for a few years. They had travelled around as his pupils, learning from him. But they could feel that something was about to happen. He had washed their feet. He had talked about bread and wine representing his body and blood. And he kept talking about going away.

    #Bible #Jesus


  • » Israeli Settler Kills Palestinian Woman After Ramming Her With Car, Soldiers Shoot And Seriously Injures Teen
    April 18, 2019 6:26 PM Ali Salam - IMEMC News
    https://imemc.org/article/israeli-settler-kills-palestinian-woman-after-ramming-her-with-car-soldiers-s

    A Palestinian woman was killed, earlier Thursday morning, near her home in Teqoua’ town, southeast of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, after being rammed by the car of an illegal colonialist settler. The soldiers later shot and seriously injured a Palestinian teen while handcuffed, when he reportedly attempted to escape.

    The slain Palestinian woman has been identified as Fatima Suleiman , 42.

    According to eyewitnesses, the assailant was driving a large truck when he struck the woman’s car, throwing her out of the vehicle, and then rammed and killed her, before fleeing the scene.

    The slain Palestinian woman was a teacher at the Rashayda School.

    The Israeli Police did come to the scene, but only to remove all security camera footage from a house overlooking the area where the incident took place.

    The incident led to protests as dozens of residents, mainly youngsters, took to the streets, and hurled stones at the Israeli army jeeps, while the soldiers attacked them with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs.

    The soldiers then detained a Palestinian teen, before handcuffing and blindfolding him, and later shot him from a very close range, after he attempted to escape while he was still cuffed and blindfolded.

    The shooting took place following the funeral procession of the Palestinian woman. (...)

    #Palestine_assassinée


  • The Life-Changing Magic of Compounding Knowledge
    https://hackernoon.com/the-life-changing-magic-of-compounding-knowledge-c271ea39ac40?source=rss

    Buffett: Net Worth $82 Billion, Image Credit: investbound.comThe strongest force in the universe is Compound Interest. — Albert EinsteinThe High Probability Route to Becoming a MillionaireWarren Buffett, the so-called Oracle of Omaha is a man who needs no introduction.He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of $82.5 billion, making him the third-wealthiest person in the world.He amassed this fortune by perfecting the value investment philosophy pioneered by his former teacher Benjamin Graham. At its core this involves studying very deeply the annual reports of companies and picking stocks that appear undervalued but, crucially have real potential and pay dividends.Buffett would take these yearly dividends — even though they may often be small —  (...)

    #compounding-knowledge #hackernoon-top-story #education #accelerated-learning #education-technology


  • danah boyd : When Good Intentions Backfire – Data & Society : Points
    https://points.datasociety.net/when-good-intentions-backfire-786fb0dead03

    I find it frustrating to bear witness to good intentions getting manipulated, but it’s even harder to watch how those who are wedded to good intentions are often unwilling to acknowledge this, let alone start imagining how to develop the appropriate antibodies. Too many folks that I love dearly just want to double down on the approaches they’ve taken and the commitments they’ve made. On one hand, I get it — folks’ life-work and identities are caught up in these issues.

    I’ve never met an educator who thinks that the process of educating is easy or formulaic. (Heck, this is why most educators roll their eyes when they hear talk of computerized systems that can educate better than teachers.) So why do we assume that well-intended classroom lessons — or even well-designed curricula — might not play out as we imagine? This isn’t simply about the efficacy of the lesson or the skill of the teacher, but the cultural context in which these conversations occur.

    In many communities in which I’ve done research, the authority of teachers is often questioned. Nowhere is this more painfully visible than when well-intended highly educated (often white) teachers come to teach in poorer communities of color. Yet, how often are pedagogical interventions designed by researchers really taking into account the doubt that students and their parents have of these teachers? And how do we as educators and scholars grapple with how we might have made mistakes?

    From the outside, companies like Facebook and Google seem pretty evil to many people. They’re situated in a capitalist logic that many advocates and progressives despise. They’re opaque and they don’t engage the public in their decision-making processes, even when those decisions have huge implications for what people read and think. They’re extremely powerful and they’ve made a lot of people rich in an environment where financial inequality and instability is front and center. Primarily located in one small part of the country, they also seem like a monolithic beast.

    As a result, it’s not surprising to me that many people assume that engineers and product designers have evil (or at least financially motivated) intentions. There’s an irony here because my experience is the opposite. Most product teams have painfully good intentions, shaped by utopic visions of how the ideal person would interact with the ideal system. Nothing is more painful than sitting through a product design session with design personae that have been plucked from a collection of clichés.

    Most products and features that get released start with good intentions, but they too get munged by the system, framed by marketing plans, and manipulated by users. And then there’s the dance of chaos as companies seek to clean up PR messes (which often involves non-technical actors telling insane fictions about the product), patch bugs to prevent abuse, and throw bandaids on parts of the code that didn’t play out as intended. There’s a reason that no one can tell you exactly how Google’s search engine or Facebook’s news feed works. Sure, the PR folks will tell you that it’s proprietary code. But the ugly truth is that the code has been patched to smithereens to address countless types of manipulation and gamification (e.g., SEO to bots). It’s quaint to read the original “page rank” paper that Brin and Page wrote when they envisioned how a search engine could ideally work. That’s so not how the system works today.

    Powerful actors have always tried to manipulate the news media, especially State actors. This is why the fourth estate is seen as so important in the American context. Yet, the game has changed, in part because of the distributed power of the masses. Social media marketers quickly figured out that manufacturing outrage and spectacle would give them a pathway to attention, attracting news media like bees to honey. Most folks rolled their eyes, watching as monied people played the same games as State actors. But what about the long tail? How do we grapple with the long tail? How should journalists respond to those who are hacking the attention economy?

    In short, I keep thinking that we need more well-intended folks to start thinking like hackers.

    Think just as much about how you build an ideal system as how it might be corrupted, destroyed, manipulated, or gamed. Think about unintended consequences, not simply to stop a bad idea but to build resilience into the model.

    As a developer, I always loved the notion of “extensibility” because it was an ideal of building a system that could take unimagined future development into consideration. Part of why I love the notion is that it’s bloody impossible to implement. Sure, I (poorly) comment my code and build object-oriented structures that would allow for some level of technical flexibility. But, at the end of the day, I’d always end up kicking myself for not imagining a particular use case in my original design and, as a result, doing a lot more band-aiding than I’d like to admit.

    #Hacker #Freaks #Résilience #danah_boyd


  • ‘Where are you from?’ Facing fines and bureaucracy, refugee children in Jordan go undocumented

    Located off the highway in the southern Amman suburbs, the Syrian embassy in Jordan almost looks like it’s made for long waits.

    It’s a quiet day outside, as a group of elderly Syrians wearing traditional keffiyeh scarves sit on a patch of grass next to the sand-colored building smoking cigarettes and passing the time.

    Aside from two flags attached to the roof of the embassy, the steel bars across the windows—shaped in classic Umayyad patterns—are one of the few hints of the otherwise rather anonymous building’s affiliation with Damascus.

    On the wall between the counters, a large bulletin board is plastered with instructions for various civil status procedures: births, marriages and identity cards. Flyers address the “brothers and sisters of the nation” waiting quietly outside.

    But not all Syrians feel welcome here.

    “I feel uncomfortable going to the embassy,” says Bassam al-Karmi, a Syrian refugee in Jordan originally from Deir e-Zor.

    “I can’t control my feelings and might start rambling on about politics and other things,” he explains, adding with a laugh, “I really can’t stand seeing the red [Syrian] flag, either.”

    If possible, al-Karmi says, he avoids approaching the embassy. But when he had his first daughter two years ago, there was no way around it. That’s where he needed to go to register her birth—at least if he wanted her to be recognized as a Syrian national.

    At last week’s international “Brussels III” donor conference, Jordan was commended for its efforts to provide Syrians with legal documentation. The civil status department of Jordan’s Ministry of Interior even maintains a presence in refugee camps, tasked with issuing official birth certificates.

    But acquiring Jordanian documents is only one part of the process. Having them authenticated by the Syrian authorities is a whole other story.

    According to several Syrian refugees in Jordan, bureaucratic procedures, lack of information and high costs are deterring them from registering their children’s births at the Syrian embassy—leaving thousands of Jordanian-born Syrian children without proof of nationality, and some potentially at risk of statelessness.

    When Ahmad Qablan’s second son was born in 2014, one year after the family’s arrival in Jordan, he went through all the procedures and paperwork that were required of him to register them first with the Jordanian authorities and then with the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR.

    When his third son was born, he did the same.

    Even so, years later, neither of them have Syrian documents officially proving their nationality.

    A resident of a refugee camp some 70 kilometers east of the capital, Qablan would have to travel for two and a half hours each way to get Syrian birth certificates for his two sons—by submitting the papers at the Syrian embassy—only to come back again a week later to pick them up.

    But the biggest obstacle to registering, he says, is the fees involved with late registration.

    Even though, as a teacher, Qablan claims to have one of the highest salaries in the camp, the family is only just getting by, he says.

    “Why would I go spend that money at the embassy?”

    If a Syrian child is registered at the embassy later than three months after his or her birth, a $50 fine is added on top of the standard $75 registration fees. For a delay of more than a year, the fine goes up to $100.

    According to al-Karmi, those costs make families postpone the procedure. But the longer they wait, the more expensive it gets. As a result, he and others around him find themselves caught in a spiral of increasing costs.

    “You know the fees will increase,” he says, “but in the end people keep postponing and saying, ‘Maybe there’s another solution’.”

    According to a source from the Syrian embassy, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press, some refugees even choose to send family members across the border to go through the procedures in Syria itself just to save on consular fees.

    Reports: ‘125,000’ Syrian refugee children born in Jordan

    Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising and ensuing conflict, more than 125,000 Syrian children are estimated to have been born on Jordainan soil, according to reports in Jordanian media. However, with many children going unregistered with the Jordanian government, an accurate number can be hard to find.

    UNHCR counts 107,268 children under the age of five in Jordan.

    Even though the Jordanian government has issued nearly 80,000 birth certificates to Syrian children born in Jordan since 2015, experts say that the vast majority of those remain unregistered with the Syrian embassy.

    One of the largest obstacles to registration, according to aid workers and Syrian refugees alike, is a lack of information about the procedures.

    A former Daraa resident, Qasem a-Nizami attempted to navigate registration after the birth of his now three-month-old daughter, but he wasn’t sure of where to start.

    According to a UN source speaking to Syria Direct on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press, there is no coordination between UNHCR and the Syrian embassy.

    However, refugees can consult UNHCR about steps they need to take to register civil status procedures in Jordan.

    After asking around in his community and finally talking to the Jordanian Civil Status Department’s office in Zaatari camp, where he resides—sometimes receiving contradictory information—a-Nizami soon discovered that the procedures were much more complicated than he thought.

    To get a birth certificate at the Syrian embassy, refugees need to present the passport of the mother and father as well as a Jordanian birth certificate and marriage contract validated by the embassy.

    When a-Nizami got married in Syria, his town was under siege, and—like many other Syrians—the couple wasn’t able to access the government civil registries responsible for recording civil status events. Instead, the couple settled with a traditional Islamic marriage, involving a sheikh and witnesses.

    Today, a-Nizami has finally registered his marriage with the Jordanian authorities and is currently waiting to get the papers.

    “I can’t register my daughter until I’m finished with the trouble that I’m going through now,” he says.

    ‘Undocumented children’

    According to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), having valid identity papers is crucial for refugees to access basic rights in a host country like Jordan, and children lacking a Jordanian birth certificate are particularly vulnerable to exploitation, trafficking and child marriage.

    “Undocumented children in Jordan cannot prove their identity, access justice and face difficulties in enjoying rights,” the NRC said in an email to Syria Direct.

    The worst case scenario is that some children end up stateless—and because of Syria’s patrilineal nationality laws, this is particularly a risk for female-headed households unable to prove the nationality of the father.

    But a lack of Syrian documents issued by the country’s embassy also has much more immediate consequences.

    Since the Jaber-Naseeb border crossing between Syria and Jordan reopened for traffic in October after a three-year closure, at least 12,842 Syrians have made the trip across the border, according to the UNHCR.

    Crossing the border, however, either requires a passport or an exit permit issued by the Syrian embassy in Jordan—neither of which can be obtained without Syrian identity documents.

    For years, experts have advocated that the lack of civil documentation could be one of the most significant barriers to the return of Syrian refugees, and as governments, UN bodies and humanitarian organizations increasingly grapple with the infinitely complex question of return, the issue of civil documentation is ever more pressing.

    Last week’s international “Brussels III” donor conference also underlined the need for affordable access to civil documentation for Syrians.

    ‘Cut from the tree of her father’

    While the vast majority of Syrians in neighboring countries surveyed by UNHCR earlier this month have a hope of returning to Syria some day, less than six percent expressed intentions to return within the next year.

    For al-Karmi, the hope of things changing in Syria was part of the reason why he kept postponing registration.

    “I was hoping that by the time we had our first child, maybe Assad would be gone,” he explains.

    And although he eventually registered his first-born daughter, the family’s youngest—who is nine months old—still only has Jordanian documents.

    “For the next child we also thought, ‘Bashar will be gone by then’,” al-Karmi says. “But that didn’t happen.”

    Now, he says, the family is doing what they can to make sure their daughters will grow up identifying with their Syrian roots.

    “She’s been cut from the tree of her father,” he says, explaining how they’ve turned to the internet as the only way of nurturing the children’s ties to family members spread out across the globe.

    “We are currently teaching her to remember the answer to, ‘Where are you from?’ and then responding, ‘I’m from Syria’,” he says.

    “This is the most we can do in exile.”

    But not everyone feels a need to raise their children to feel Syrian.

    Abu Abida al-Hourani, a 28-year-old resident of Jordan’s Zaatari camp, is not even interested in registering his two-and-a-half-year-old son at the Syrian embassy.

    “It’s better to belong to a country that will protect my son and make him feel safe and doesn’t deprive him of the most basic rights,” he explains.

    “How am I supposed to raise my son to feel like he belongs in a country full of killing, displacement and injustice?”

    https://syriadirect.org/news/%E2%80%98where-are-you-from%E2%80%99-facing-fines-and-bureaucracy-refug
    #enfants #mineurs #enfance #Jordanie #réfugiés #réfugiés_syriens #asile #migrations #clandestinisation #certificats_de_naissance #bureaucratie #apatridie


  • David Carpanini - Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Carpanini

    Découvert du lundi matin #art #peinture #david_carpanini

    David Lawrence Carpanini (born 1946) is a British artist, etcher, teacher and printmaker whose drawings, paintings and etchings are mostly concerned with the natural and industrial landscapes of South Wales. He was President of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (1995-2003) and was Professor of Art at the University of Wolverhampton (1992-2000).[1][2]


  • Meet Francis Malofiy, the Philadelphia Lawyer Who Sued Led Zeppelin
    https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/02/11/francis-malofiy-led-zeppelin

    Francis Malofiy may be the most hated man in the Philadelphia legal community. He may also be on the cusp of getting the last laugh on rock’s golden gods.

    #droit_d_auteur #musique #plagiat

    • @sandburg Voillà

      Meet Francis Malofiy, the Philadelphia Lawyer Who Sued Led Zeppelin
      https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/02/11/francis-malofiy-led-zeppelin

      People Laughed When This Philly Lawyer Sued Led Zeppelin. Nobody’s Laughing Now.

      Francis Malofiy may be the most hated man in the Philadelphia legal community. He may also be on the cusp of getting the last laugh on rock’s golden gods.

      By Jonathan Valania· 2/11/2019


      Philadelphia-area attorney Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      The fact that Philadelphia barrister Francis Alexander Malofiy, Esquire, is suing Led Zeppelin over the authorship of “Stairway to Heaven” is, by any objective measure, only the fourth most interesting thing about him. Unfortunately for the reader, and the purposes of this story, the first, second and third most interesting things about Malofiy are bound and gagged in nondisclosure agreements, those legalistic dungeons where the First Amendment goes to die. So let’s start with number four and work our way backward.

      At the risk of stating the obvious, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let the record show that “Stairway to Heaven” is arguably the most famous song in all of rock-and-roll, perhaps in all of popular music. It’s also one of the most lucrative — it’s estimated that the song has netted north of $500 million in sales and royalties since its 1971 release. Malofiy’s lawsuit, cheekily printed in the same druidic font used for the liner notes of the album Led Zeppelin IV, alleges that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant — Zep’s elegantly wasted guitarist/producer/central songwriter and leonine, leather-lunged lead singer, respectively — stole the iconic descending acoustic-guitar arpeggios of the first two minutes of “Stairway” from “Taurus,” a song with a strikingly similar chord pattern by a long-forgotten ’60s band called Spirit. At the conclusion of a stormy, headline-grabbing trial in 2016 that peaked with testimony from Page and Plant, the jury decided in Zep’s favor.

      When the copyright infringement suit was first filed in Philadelphia by Malofiy (pronounced “MAL-uh-fee”) on behalf of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust — which represents the estate of Randy “California” Wolfe, the now-deceased member of Spirit who wrote “Taurus” — people laughed. Mostly at Malofiy. The breathless wall-to-wall media coverage the trial garnered often painted him as a loose-cannon legal beagle, one part Charlie Sheen, one part Johnnie Cochran. “Everybody kind of dismissed me as this brash young lawyer who didn’t really understand copyright law,” he says, well into the wee hours one night back in December, sitting behind a desk stacked four feet high with legal files in the dank, subterranean bunker that is his office.

      Hidden behind an unmarked door on the basement floor of a nondescript office building in Media, the law firm of Francis Alexander LLC is a pretty punk-rock operation. The neighbors are an anger management counselor and a medical marijuana dispensary. “I think of us as pirates sinking big ships,” Malofiy, who’s 41, brags. Given the sheer number of death threats he says he’s received from apoplectic Zep fans, the fact that mysterious cars seem to follow him in the night, and his claim to have found GPS trackers stuck to the bottom of his car, the precise location of his offices remains a closely guarded secret. Failing that, he has a license to carry, and most days, he leaves the house packing a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson.

      While most lawyers are sleeping, Malofiy is working through the night to defeat them, often until sunrise, fueled by an ever-present bottle of grape-flavored Fast Twitch as he chain-chews Wrigley’s Spearmint gum and huffs a never-ending string of Marlboro menthols. We’ve been talking on the record for going on eight hours, and Malofiy shows no signs of fading; in fact, he’s just announced the arrival of his third wind.

      He has a pretty good ‘fuck you’ attitude that comes from an inner confidence. He might have had a little too much early on,” attorney Jim Beasley Jr. says of Malofiy. “If you piss the judge off with your pirate act, the judge can make it difficult for you. Sometimes you could avoid all that by not swinging your pirate sword around.

      Talk turns to the distinctly pro-Zep tenor of the media coverage of the “Stairway” trial. “I was a punch line for jokes,” he says, spitting his gum into a yellow Post-it and banking it into the trash for, like, the 42nd time. Nobody’s laughing now, least of all Page and Plant. Nor, for that matter, is Usher. Back in October, at the conclusion of a dogged seven-year legal battle marked by a bruising string of dismissals and sanctions, Malofiy won a $44 million verdict — one of the largest in Pennsylvania in 2018 — for a Philadelphia songwriter named Daniel Marino who sued his co-writers after being cut out of the songwriting credits and royalties for the song “Bad Girl” from the R&B heartthrob’s 2004 breakout album, Confessions, which sold more than 10 million copies.

      Also, in late September of last year, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Malofiy’s appeal of the 2016 “Stairway to Heaven” verdict and ordered a new trial on the grounds that the court “abused its discretion” when the judge refused to allow Malofiy to play a recording of “Taurus” for the jury. (Members were only allowed to hear an acoustic-guitar rendition played from sheet music.) The retrial is expected to begin in the next year, and Page and Plant, along with bassist John Paul Jones, are again anticipated to take the stand. Copyright experts say Led Zeppelin — which has a long history of ripping off the ancient riffs and carnal incantations of wizened Delta bluesmen and only giving credit when caught — should be worried.

      Malofiy, who calls Zep “the greatest cover band in all of history,” will go to trial armed with reams of expert testimony pinpointing the damning similarities between the two songs — not just the nearly identical and atypical chord pattern, but the shared melodic figurations, choice of key and distinctive voicings. He’ll also show the jury that Page and Plant had ample opportunity to hear “Taurus” when Zep opened for Spirit on their first American tour in 1968, two years before they wrote and recorded “Stairway.”

      “Most big companies rely on the concept of wearing you down, forcing you to do so much work it literally drives you broke,” says Glen Kulik, a heavy-hitter L.A.-based copyright lawyer who signed on as Malofiy’s local counsel when the Zep case was moved to federal court in California. “If you have any chance of standing up to them, it’s going to require an incredible amount of persistence, confidence, and quite a bit of skill as well, and Francis has all those things in spades.” And Kulik would know, having successfully argued a landmark copyright infringement case before the Supreme Court in 2014 that paved the way for the Zeppelin suit.


      Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      Ultimately, Malofiy doesn’t have to prove Led Zeppelin stole Spirit’s song; he just has to convince a jury that’s what happened. Assuming the trial goes forward — and that this time, he’s allowed to play recordings of both songs for the jury — there will be blood. Because contrary to his hard-won rep as a bull in the china shop of civil litigation, Malofiy possesses a switchblade-sharp legal mind, an inexhaustible work ethic, and a relentless, rock-ribbed resolve to absorb more punches than his opponents can throw. He’s a ruthlessly effective courtroom tactician with a collection of six-, seven- and eight-figure verdicts, not to mention the scalps of opposing counsel who underestimated his prowess. “I don’t plink pigeons; I hunt lions and tigers and bears,” he says. The big game he’s targeted in the past decade include deep-pocketed transnational corporations like Volvo (an epic seven-year case that ended in an undisclosed settlement) and Hertz (against whom he won a $100,000 verdict).

      In the arena of civil litigation, where the odds are increasingly stacked against plaintiffs, Malofiy claims to have never lost a jury trial, and that appears to be true. “I have lost twice — in the Zeppelin case and a lawsuit against Volvo — but got both decisions reversed on appeals,” he says, unsheathing a fresh stick of Wrigley’s. “Now, the same people that were asking me for years why I’m doing it are asking me how I did it.”

      If Malofiy prevails in the coming “Stairway” retrial, he’ll completely shatter the Tolkien-esque legend of the song’s immaculate conception — that it was birthed nearly in toto during a mystical retreat at a remote Welsh mountain cottage called Bron-yr-aur, to which many a starry-eyed Zep disciple has made a pilgrimage once upon a midnight clear when the forests echo with laughter. It will be like proving that da Vinci didn’t paint the Mona Lisa, that Michelangelo didn’t sculpt David. Barring a last-minute settlement, many legal and copyright experts predict that Malofiy may well emerge victorious, and credit for the most famous rock song in the world will pass from the self-appointed Golden Gods of Led Zeppelin to some obscure, long-forgotten (and not even very good) West Coast psych band, along with tens of millions in royalties, effectively rewriting the sacred history of rock-and-roll. And the man who will have pulled off this fairly miraculous feat of judicial jujitsu is the enfant terrible of Philadelphia jurisprudence.

      Malofiy hates wearing a suit and tie. Outside the courtroom, he dresses like a rock star masquerading as a lawyer: a crushable black trilby perched at a jaunty angle atop a blue bandana, a collarless black and orange leather Harley jacket, and a pair of beat-to-fuck brown Wesco boots, unlaced. “I’m always in jeans and boots when I meet new clients,” he says. “I warn them up front: ‘If you want a fancy lawyer in a suit, you should go elsewhere.’”

      The barrier to entry for new clients at Francis Alexander LLC is steep, because Malofiy doesn’t take on new cases so much as he adopts new causes. A case has to register on a deeply personal level if he’s going to eat, sleep, and fight to the death for it for the next five to seven years.

      “Lawyers have an ethical responsibility to advocate zealously for their clients,” says attorney Max Kennerly, who’s worked with Malofiy on a number of cases. “But frankly, in this business, a lot of lawyers play the odds and just do a ‘good enough’ job on a bunch of cases. Sometimes they win, and sometimes they lose. Francis really throws himself into his cases.”

      After 10 years of struggle, things finally seem to be breaking Malofiy’s way. Fat checks from cases settled long ago are rolling in, alleviating some fairly crippling cash-flow issues, and big cases just keep falling out of the sky — more than his two-lawyer outfit can field. They need to staff up, stat. Malofiy wants to hire some young bucks fresh out of law school — preferably Temple — as force multipliers in his quest to hold the powerful accountable on behalf of the powerless. “Most kids in law school right now will never see the inside of a courtroom,” he says. “Law schools don’t want to teach you how to change the system; they want to load you up with debt so you have to go do grunt work for some corporate law firm that specializes in maintaining the status quo.”


      Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      Malofiy doesn’t have a website. He doesn’t do social media. He doesn’t trawl the watering holes of the rich and powerful. He doesn’t even have a business card. Thanks to the notoriety and name recognition that came with the Zeppelin trial, new clients chase him. He just got off the phone with a Brooklyn puppet maker who wants him to sue the band Fall Out Boy for alleged misuse of two llamas — Frosty and Royal Tea — that it created. Right now, he’s on a conference call with a trio of British songwriters who want Malofiy to sue the Weeknd for allegedly lifting a key section of their song “I Need to Love” for a track called “A Lonely Night” on his 2016 Starboy album, which has sold more than three million copies to date.

      “Why are you guys calling me?” he asks.

      “We’re looking for an honest person fighting for ordinary working people,” says Billy Smith, one of the Brit songwriters in question. Malofiy clearly likes the sound of that. After thinking it over for a few moments, he tells them he’ll take their case and gives them his standard new-client spiel. “I can’t promise we’ll win, but I can promise I won’t turn yellow when things turn bad. I won’t put my tail between my legs and run,” he says. “If there is any bad news, you will hear it from me first.”

      His teeth have been bothering him for days, and near the end of the call, one of his dental caps comes loose. He spits it out, and it skitters across his desk before he traps it under his palm. Most lawyers would be mortified. Malofiy thinks it’s hilarious. “I got teeth like you people,” he says to the Brits. Everybody laughs.

      Many people mistake Malofiy’s unconventionality as a design flaw when it’s actually a feature. “I think that’s an incredibly important part of what makes him so good as an attorney,” says A.J. Fluehr, 33, Malofiy’s right-hand man, co-counsel and, though eight years his boss’s junior, voice of reason. “Because he’s so unorthodox, I believe it causes a lot of other attorneys to underestimate him and think, ‘Oh, he’s not serious; he doesn’t know what he’s doing.’ All of sudden, there’s a massively serious case against them.”

      Even some of the defense lawyers who’ve done battle with Malofiy begrudgingly acknowledge his chops. “I’ve known Francis for four years now. He is difficult to deal with but a fierce advocate for his clients and his cause,” says Rudolph “Skip” DiMassa, a partner at Duane Morris. “Calling him ‘abrasive’ would be putting it mildly. But he wears it like a badge of honor that he is not like all the other lawyers in town.”

      When I read that and similar assessments from other lawyers back to Malofiy, he chalks them up to blowback for the heresy of Robin Hooding a corrupt status quo. “I have a target on my back because I sue big corporations, politicians, big law firms. Hell, I sued DA Seth Williams,” he says one night at the Irish Pub, as he’s nursing a screwdriver he’ll chase with a root beer. “When you start stepping on toes and suing the wrong people and get a few million shifted from those who have it to those who don’t — that’s where the change happens; that’s where you make a difference. And there is a price you have to pay for that.”

      According to family lore, Francis Malofiy’s maternal grandfather was murdered by Nazis in occupied Greece; his great-grandmother had to cut the body down from a tree and carry it home on the back of a mule. Concurrently, his paternal grandfather was murdered by Nazis in Ukraine, while his father and grandmother were frog-marched to camps in Germany. Some things can never be forgotten or forgiven. That’s why Malofiy is always kicking against the pricks. A slight child, he was often bullied at school, and after a brief experiment with turning the other cheek, he started fighting back. Hard. He recalls the day that a bully was picking on a girl half his size; young Francis cold-cocked him and threw him into a closet door. The kid had to be taken out on a stretcher. After that, the bullies moved on to easier prey. “I was always fighting for the little guy, even back then,” he says.

      In the third grade, friends turned him on to Poison’s Look What the Cat Dragged In and Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, indelibly imprinting the spandexed bikers-and-strippers aesthetic of ’80s hair-metal onto his psyche. He started channeling the energy he once put into beating back bullies into beating the drums. One day in the sixth grade, he came home to tell his dad about a band all the kids were into: “The Led Zeppelins.”

      “He said, ‘No, son, it’s just Led Zeppelin.’”

      “No, I’m pretty sure it’s the Led Zeppelins.”

      So his father, who’d seen the band at the Electric Factory, drove Francis to the record store at the Granite Run Mall, where the clerks set him straight. His father bought the four-cassette Zep box set that had just come out. On the way home, Malofiy heard “Whole Lotta Love” for the first time, and before the song even ended, it was official: Led Zeppelin was his favorite band. When he was in high school, his drum teacher gently broke the news that Zep didn’t exactly, um, write all their own music — that key parts of their iconic songs had been cherry-picked from old, obscure blues recordings. “I said, ‘C’mon, don’t talk shit about Jimmy Page!’” Malofiy recalls. Then his teacher played him the Willie Dixon-penned Muddy Waters track “You Need Love” — which is what “Whole Lotta Love” was called before Zep hijacked the lyrics and the riff and Frankensteined them into the gloriously scuzzy heavy-metal Viking porno movie for the ears we’ve come to know and love. It was hard for Francis to process, and even harder when he was tipped to the uncanny similarity between Spirit’s “Taurus” and “Stairway.” Still, the spell Zep cast over him remained unbroken.


      Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      As a young teenager, he built go-karts, dirt bikes and small-block Chevys. To make spending money for guitars and records, he started buying beater cars, fixing them up, and flipping them for quadruple what he paid for them. He almost didn’t graduate from high school because he’d played hooky too many times, to go fishing or work on cars or play guitar. When he finally got his high-school diploma, he raced home from school to show his mother in his Chevy S-10 lowrider. Tearing ass on the backcountry roads of Media, he blew past a cop who immediately lit up his cherry top and gave pursuit. Soon, one cop car became two, then three, until there were five cars tailing him.

      Much to his parents’ dismay, his run-ins with the law became common. They were never for anything all that serious, just the usual teen-rebel monkeyshines: fighting, speeding, the occasional high-speed car chase. He got a big wake-up call in 1998 when his beloved Uncle Nick — a.k.a. Nicholas “The Greek” Vasiliades — was handed a life sentence for running a high-volume meth lab in a warehouse in Manayunk that supplied the drug networks of the Pagans and the Mafia, as well as for his 50-gun arsenal of illegal weaponry. Malofiy was devastated. “I was going down a bad path,” he says. “My uncle pulled me aside and said, ‘You’re smart enough to do it the right way. You need to step away.’”

      Malofiy took the warning to heart and focused on getting a college education, graduating from Penn State in 2000 with a degree in finance. After college, he went back home to Media and his true loves: cars, girls and heavy metal. With a revolving cast of musicians, he formed multiple go-nowhere suburban hard-rock bands with cringe-y names like Prada G and Sluts ’n Slayers. Unimpressed, his parents urged him to enroll in law school. Eventually he relented, forging this pact: He would go to law school if he: a) could do whatever he wanted with the unfinished basement of his parents’ home (i.e., build a high-end recording-studio-cum-man-cave tricked out with a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom); and b) nobody hassled him about having long hair, rocking out and chasing girls. Deal. Malofiy took the LSATs and scored just south of 160 — hardly off the charts, but good enough to get into Temple, where he found himself drawn to copyright law.

      He graduated from law school in December of 2007 and took the bar exam the following July. On the night of August 16, 2008, he stopped into the Liberty Bar at 22nd and Market with his then-girlfriend. It was crowded, but they found a table in the back. After ordering drinks, they started getting static from a group of three young men in ball caps and white t-shirts. “Three drunken jerkoffs, white privilege out the ass,” says Malofiy. According to Malofiy’s testimony, the trio mocked his bandana and called him “cunt,” “pussy” and a “dirty spic.” (It was summer; Malofiy was tan.) According to Malofiy, at some point the men apologized and the situation seemed defused, but then one of them grabbed Malofiy’s girlfriend’s ass. “I said, ‘That’s it. Follow me out,’ and made for the door,” Malofiy says, but he was blocked by a member of the group. As they stood chest-to-chest, Malofiy says, the man struck him twice. Finally, Malofiy, who boxed in college, unloaded with a right cross that landed squarely on the guy’s left cheekbone, shattering the glass still clenched in Malofiy’s fist.

      The man suffered a deep gash in his cheek that would require 150 stitches and reconstructive surgery. Malofiy nearly severed the tendons in his thumb. Bleeding profusely, he had his girlfriend drive him to the emergency room at Penn Presby to get stitched up and then to Central Detectives to file a criminal complaint.

      Two months later, in October, notice came in the mail that he had passed the bar. His mother was ecstatic and insisted on driving him to the Pittsburgh office of the Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania immediately to obtain his law license rather than wait two weeks for the formal ceremony. When they got home the next day, Malofiy got a call from Central Detectives, who said they had a “body warrant” for his arrest on aggravated assault and related charges stemming from the Liberty Bar fight. The next day, he turned himself in and spent a night in jail awaiting a bail hearing. Had he not gone to Pittsburgh at his mother’s behest, it’s unlikely he’d have gotten his law license with a felony arrest on his record.

      Malofiy’s first case as a newly minted lawyer would involve defending a client staring down decades in prison if convicted: himself. Heeding the maxim that a man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client, Malofiy hired Sam Stretton, one of the most respected criminal defense attorneys in the city. Malofiy took the stand and delivered an impassioned defense of his actions. “He had already hit me twice, blocked my exit-way,” he testified. “I was scared for my safety and my girlfriend’s safety, and his friends had just yelled ‘Fight!’ and came up to me with fists drawn. I thought I had no other option.” The jury found him not guilty on all charges.

      “Welcome to Hogwarts,” Malofiy jokes as he shows me around the vast oak and stained-glass room that houses the law library at the Beasley Firm, possibly the most fearsome and feared personal-injury law firm in the city, where he worked, in an of-counsel capacity, from 2012 to 2014.

      Fresh out of law school and still wet behind the ears, Malofiy showed up one day in search of mentoring. Granted an audience with Jim Beasley Jr., one of the most successful plaintiff’s attorney in the city, Malofiy ended up with a promise of rent-free office space, the phone extension 666, and a commitment to help finance some of the highly ambitious cases he was mounting — a product-liability suit against Volvo, and a breach-of-contract suit, against a marble manufacturer that had screwed his client out of an ownership share, that resulted in a $4.2 million verdict — not to mention the Usher case. “Jim was like, ‘I keep getting calls from defense lawyers saying That kid’s the fucking devil, so you must be doing something right,’” Malofiy recalls.

      During Malofiy’s tenure at Beasley, he took out a controversial full-page ad in this magazine that depicted him crashing through a courtroom in a hot rod, looking every bit James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Many members of Philadelphia’s uptight, buttoned-down legal community thought it was disrespectful. “Everyone was outraged, but I thought it was funny,” says Beasley. “He has a pretty good ‘fuck you’ attitude that comes from an inner confidence. He might have had a little too much of that early on, but I think he’s throttled back a bit. So many of a judge’s decisions are ties and jump-balls that are not reversible, and if you piss the judge off with your pirate act, the judge can make it difficult for you. Sometimes you could avoid all that by not swinging your pirate sword around.”

      Malofiy has learned this the hard way. In 2015, a three-judge panel voted to suspend his license to practice law in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for improper conduct in the Usher case — despite the fact that the special prosecutor recommended what amounted to a slap on the wrist: a reprimand.

      “It’s highly unusual that they would disregard the disciplinary recommendations of the special prosecutor after he has heard the facts,” says Stretton. The matter is currently on appeal before the Third Circuit.

      At Malofiy’s insistence, I’ve been tailing him for the better part of a month: from a big-dollar NDA’d settlement in a judge’s quarters, to a Port Richmond dive bar called Chuckles, to a Bucks County gun shop where he plunked down $1,729 for a handsome Benelli shotgun (a gift for his right-hand man Fluehr), to a back-alley strip bar in Center City and the disused factory under the Commodore Barry Bridge that he’s purchased and plans to renovate into office space, living quarters and a beer garden. I watched him hide his $82,000 Land Rover from the repo man (“It’s all a misunderstanding”) and then, days later, saw a pile of white letter-size envelopes stacked on his desk, each containing what looked to be thousands in cash. What I have come to learn is this: When you write about lawyers, there is so much you can’t write about lawyers.

      Malofiy slowly, methodically and unflinchingly parceled out the most personal details of his backstory — the good, the bad and the ugly — as I incrementally earned his trust. But always on his timetable, not mine. It could be exasperating, but by the end, I discovered the method to his madness: He’d been pacing his revelations as he would a trial presentation. And now we’re reaching the crescendo of his closing argument — the big reveal.


      Francis Malofiy. Photograph by Bryan Sheffield.

      It’s a few clicks shy of midnight at Malofiy’s house in Media on a Sunday night shortly before Christmas. In the morning, he’s jetting off to an auction in London to bid on the Helios recording console that captured “Stairway to Heaven” for the ages. (Malofiy, true to form, won’t confirm that he won or lost the auction.) Though he’s been locked in a nasty four-year legal fight with Led Zeppelin, they’re still his favorite band.

      Malofiy called to insist that I come to his house tonight. “Why? What for?” I demanded. He said he wanted to show me something I could only see there. I begged off, explaining that this article was due in the morning and I already had more than I could use. But he insisted, promising it would be worth my while. He doesn’t disappoint. He tells me to open the freezer. There’s a bottle of Tito’s vodka, an ice tray, and half a lemon on a plate with a yellow plastic knife. “That’s the lemon Robert Plant squeezed into his tea when we deposed him in London back in 2016,” he claims. This is deeply ironic and, if you’re acquainted with the role lemons play in Plant’s legend, cosmically hilarious. One of Led Zeppelin’s most infamous tracks is “The Lemon Song,” a sultry blooze ramble from 1969’s deathless Led Zeppelin II stitched together from pieces of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Killing Floor” and Robert Johnson’s “Travelling Riverside Blues.” (Zep settled a 1972 copyright suit over the Howlin’ Wolf portion of the song.) In the fifth verse, Plant sings:

      Squeeze me baby, till the juice runs down my leg
      The way you squeeze my lemon, ah
      I’m gonna fall right out of bed

      By swiping that lemon rind at the deposition, Malofiy stole Robert Plant’s metaphoric penis the way Prometheus stole fire from the gods. Zep famously invoked the mythic “Hammer of the Gods” from Norse legend. For Jimmy Page, that hammer was his guitar, but for Plant it was his, um, mighty lemon tree.

      Incredible though it may seem, Malofiy says he’s kept the lemon on ice for the past three years and had it in his briefcase like a talisman when he gave oral arguments for what proved to be his successful appeal of the 2016 “Stairway” verdict. He has every intention of taking it to the retrial that will, barring unforeseen developments, commence in the next year.

      “Robert Plant is always going on about his lemon, and at the deposition he made a big deal out of slicing it up and squeezing it into his tea and then sucking on the rind,” he says with a cat-who-ate-the-canary grin. “Jimmy Page famously dabbled in black magic and was always going on about Aleister Crowley, and I said to myself, ‘If they are going to use black magic to try to beat me on technicalities — well, two can play at that game.’”

      Published as “The Devil’s Advocate” in the February 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.


  • 10-year-old writes brilliant poem about dyslexia and it goes viral / Boing Boing
    https://boingboing.net/2019/03/01/10-year-old-writes-brilliant-p.html


    https://twitter.com/Jb5Jane/status/1100809314707611648/photo/1

    As part of a class assignment, his teacher, Jane Broadis, asked the students to write a poem that could be read forwards and backwards. This one “stunned” her, so she posted it on Twitter, which has since gone viral. After you read it, read it again in the reverse direction, not like a palindrome, but line by line.

    Today in Y6 we looked at poems that could be read forwards & backwards. I was stunned by this one written by one of my 10 year olds. Please share - I would love her work to be appreciated further afield. I wonder if it could even find a publisher? pic.twitter.com/tmEQpiRrhq

    — Jane Broadis (@Jb5Jane) February 27, 2019

    Here are some reactions via Twitter:

    Made this grown man cry. I must have read it over twenty times already.

    — James Simporis (@simporis) February 27, 2019

    As the mom of a teen with severe dyslexia, who was told repeatedly in grade school that he would never succeed, please tell the author this is the most insightful and beautiful poem I’ve ever read on the subject. -proud mom to a dyslexic honor student who proved them all wrong

    — Amy Eldridge (@amy_lwb) February 28, 2019

    I am dyslexic. I thought I was stupid. I was called names because I couldn’t read like my peers. Eventually, I realized I am not dumb. I am different and I learn a different way. Hard times come but anyone with dyslexia is capable of ANYTHING. Wonderful poem from a strong kid ❣️

    — Olivia Chan. (@OliviaChan22) February 28, 2019

    Jane, I am in the process of writing a book about dyslexic children and their families! I would love to include this poem in the book!

    — Peggy Webb Hendrix (@PWebbHendrix) February 27, 2019

    #éducation


  • What I learned during a 30-year career as an entrepreneur
    https://hackernoon.com/what-i-learned-during-a-30-year-career-as-an-entrepreneur-4a1404179676?s

    What I learned during a 30-year career as an entrepreneurMy journey as an entrepreneur has been an odyssey I’m stepping away from after 30 years. Entrepreneurs tend to hover between calculated risks and foolhardiness with a greater degree of comfort than most people. During three decades of running a business, I’ve learned as much from failure as success. Failure is often the better teacher. As I look back on founding a company, here are my “birthing” lessons; they’ll apply to new and emerging companies alike.Look before you leap, but leapIn my company’s early years figuring out how to make payroll was often the cause of many a sleepless night. Later as that worry subsided, I personally guaranteed millions of dollars in order to afford the costs of bringing on a big, new client or to acquire (...)


  • Everything is broken
    https://hackernoon.com/everything-is-broken-dd0d9c8d946?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---4

    Everything is BrokenMy old #writing teacher, Tony Earley, lives in a wonderful little house in Nashville on a leafy green street. He has a little hutch out back where he writes. He’s got a couple of kids, a great wife, a nice life.When I last saw him a few years ago a small spark of anger rose up in him as I told him about what I was seeing online.“These folks didn’t earn it,” he said when talking about all of the self-published authors, the bloggers, the writers who got — or aimed for — fame and fortune outside of the traditional publishing world. He, himself, was lucky. He made a name for himself in the heady days just before the rise of the Internet when publishers sent you out on book tours and the printed page was sacrosanct, when a fresh paycheck from a bad job meant a trip to Borders or (...)

    #journalism #hackernoon-top-story #everything-is-broken #media


  • Was Rabi’a Basri – The Single Most Influential Sufi Woman – A Feminist ?
    https://feminisminindia.com/2018/10/10/rabia-basri-sufi-woman-feminist

    Rabi’a Basri is a classical example of how faith and love can set you free. She was the first female Sufi Saint of Islam, Rabia al-Adawiyya, also known as Rabi’a Basri. She made one of the greatest contributions towards the development of Sufism. She was a teacher of women as well as of men; a woman who called no man her master. Her reputation excels that of many Muslim men within the early days of Sufism.

    #soufisme #historicisation #féminisme ?


  • States Are Introducing Bills That Could Prevent Teachers From Advocating for Climate Change - Pacific Standard
    https://psmag.com/news/state-bills-could-prevent-teachers-from-advocating-for-climate-change

    Several states have recently introduced bills that could interfere with the teaching of scientifically founded theories on climate change in public school science curricula.

    A bill in South Dakota would require each school board to adopt a code of ethics that prevents public school elementary and secondary school teachers from advocating “for any issue that is part of a political party platform at the national, state, or local level.” The Arizona legislature introduced a nearly identical bill.

    Virginia legislators proposed a bill with similar language, arguing that some teachers are abusing taxpayer dollars to “speak to captive audiences of students in an attempt to indoctrinate or influence students to adopt specific political and ideological positions on issues of social and political controversy ... under the guise of ’teaching for social justice’ and other sectarian doctrines.”

    In Maine, a comparable bill states that “the rules must require a teacher to provide students with materials supporting both sides of a controversial issue being addressed and to present both sides in a fair-minded, nonpartisan manner.”

    Science education groups are concerned that these bills, if enacted, would limit instruction on anthropogenic climate change, which is a key tenet of state and federal Democratic Party platforms. In the case of Maine, the bill could require teachers to discuss climate change as a disputed theory and present disproven theories for the global rise in temperatures as valid.

    Other states have introduced legislation that singles out the teaching of climate change directly. A bill in Montana takes a public stance on climate change that “reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment; science shows human emissions do not change atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions enough to cause climate change; claims that carbon associated with human activities causes climate change are invalid; and nature, not human activity, causes climate change.” Any educational and informational materials on climate change would be required to include this information.

    Climate change has become an increasingly politicized topic under the Trump administration. The president has publicly denounced its existence, and some federal agencies have removed the phrase “climate change” from webpages and other documents. Yet as global temperatures continue to rise (2018 was the fourth hottest year on record), at least 97 percent of climate experts maintain that “[c]limate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”

    #Education #Climat #Politique_scientifique #Folie


  • Class Act (1992) [WEBRip] [720p] [YTS.AM]
    https://yts.am/movie/class-act-1992#720p

    IMDB Rating: 6.1/10Genre: ComedySize: 852.47 MBRuntime: 1hr 38 minDuncan is a genius straight A student, Blade is juvenile delinquent. But because of a mix up with their school records, everyone thinks each is the other one. Now, Duncan kind of likes the attention from being thought of as a real bad dude, if only the school bully would stop trying to rough him up. And Blade definitely likes being thought of as important instead of as trouble, if only the teacher would stop hitting on him for a date.

    https://yts.am/torrent/download/2E140A571EB6538274141B40677967209139BEA9


  • Mississippians Can Code, Too
    https://hackernoon.com/mississippians-can-code-too-e6b6e0e82831?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---4

    When I was kid, I bought a learning kit from the book fair that taught me about electricity. It showed me how to wire an LED light and make a buzzer. I tried to set a trap to alarm me when somebody came to my room. Around the same time in life, I had a teacher who said I was lousy at math. I’ve avoided anything math or science-related as much as possible ever since.Two things happened this week related to that math aversion. I started an intensive 10-week course to learn software development, with the end goal of finding an entry level job as a software developer. And towards the end of the week, another learning kit arrived in the mail to teach me about circuits and solar electricity.I had a difficult time deciding whether or not to attend the coding class. But my first week of class (...)

    #software-development #learn-to-code #literature #web-development #books


  • The Real Wall Isn’t at the Border. It’s everywhere, and we’re fighting against the wrong one.

    President Trump wants $5.7 billion to build a wall at the southern border of the United States. Nancy Pelosi thinks a wall is “immoral.” The fight over these slats or barriers or bricks shut down the government for more than a month and may do so again if Mr. Trump isn’t satisfied with the way negotiations unfold over the next three weeks.

    But let’s be clear: This is a disagreement about symbolism, not policy. Liberals object less to aggressive border security than to the wall’s xenophobic imagery, while the administration openly revels in its political incorrectness. And when this particular episode is over, we’ll still have been fighting about the wrong thing. It’s true that immigrants will keep trying to cross into the United States and that global migration will almost certainly increase in the coming years as climate change makes parts of the planet uninhabitable. But technology and globalization are complicating the idea of what a border is and where it stands.

    Not long from now, it won’t make sense to think of the border as a line, a wall or even any kind of imposing vertical structure. Tearing down, or refusing to fund, border walls won’t get anyone very far in the broader pursuit of global justice. The borders of the future won’t be as easy to spot, build or demolish as the wall that Mr. Trump is proposing. That’s because they aren’t just going up around countries — they’re going up around us. And they’re taking away our freedom.

    In “The Jungle,” a play about a refugee camp in Calais, France, a Kurdish smuggler named Ali explains that his profession is not responsible for the large numbers of migrants making the dangerous journeys to Europe by sea. “Once, I was the only way a man could ever dream of arriving on your shore,” the smuggler says. But today, migrants can plan out the journeys using their phones. “It is not about this border. It’s the border in here,” Ali says, pointing to his head — “and that is gone, now.”

    President Trump is obsessed with his border wall because technology has freed us from the walls in our heads.

    For people with means and passports, it’s easy to plot exotic itineraries in a flash and book flights with just a glance at a screen. Social feeds are an endless stream of old faces in new places: a carefree colleague feeding elephants in Thailand; a smug college classmate on a “babymoon” in Tahiti; that awful ex hanging off a cliff in Switzerland; a friend’s parents enjoying retirement in New Zealand.

    Likewise, a young person in Sana, Yemen, or Guatemala City might see a sister in Toronto, a neighbor in Phoenix, an aunt in London or a teacher in Berlin, and think that he, too, could start anew. Foreign places are real. Another country is possible.

    If you zoom out enough in Google Earth, you’ll see the lines between nations begin to disappear. Eventually, you’ll be left staring at a unified blue planet. You might even experience a hint of what astronauts have called the “overview effect”: the sense that we are all on “Spaceship Earth,” together. “From space I saw Earth — indescribably beautiful with the scars of national boundaries gone,” recalled Muhammed Faris, a Syrian astronaut, after his 1987 mission to space. In 2012, Mr. Faris fled war-torn Syria for Turkey.

    One’s freedom of movement used to be largely determined by one’s citizenship, national origin and finances. That’s still the case — but increasingly, people are being categorized not just by the color of their passports or their ability to pay for tickets but also by where they’ve been and what they’ve said in the past.
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    This is what is happening on that front already:

    A 2017 executive order barred people from seven countries, including five with Muslim majorities, from entering the country. An older rule put in place during the Obama administration compelled anyone who’d even just visited seven blacklisted nations to obtain additional clearance before traveling to the United States. Even as the Trump administration’s policy has met with legal challenges, it means that the barrier to entering the United States, for many, begins with their data and passport stamps, and is thousands of miles away from this country.

    The Trump administration would also like to make it harder for immigrants who’ve received public assistance to obtain citizenship or permanent residence by redefining what it means to be a “public charge.” If the administration succeeds, it will have moved the border into immigrants’ living rooms, schools and hospital beds.

    The walls of the future go beyond one administration’s policies, though. They are growing up all around us, being built by global technology companies that allow for constant surveillance, data harvesting and the alarming collection of biometric information. In 2017, the United States announced it would be storing the social media profiles of immigrants in their permanent file, ostensibly to prevent Twitter-happy terrorists from slipping in. For years, Customs and Border Protection agents have asked travelers about their social media, too.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said these practices can “chill and deter the free speech and association of immigrants to the United States, as well as the U.S. persons who communicate with them.” In other words, it’s no longer enough to have been born in the right place, at the right time, to the right parents. The trail of bread crumbs you leave could limit your movements.

    It’s possible to get a glimpse of where a digital border might lead from China. Look at its continuing experiment with social-credit scoring, where a slip of the tongue or an unpaid debt could one day jeopardize someone’s ability to board a train or apply for a job. When your keystrokes and text messages become embedded in your legal identity, you create a wall around yourself without meaning to.

    The Berkeley political theorist Wendy Brown diagnoses the tendency to throw up walls as a classic symptom of a nation-state’s looming impotence in the face of globalization — the flashy sports car of what she calls a “waning sovereignty.” In a recent interview for The Nation, Professor Brown told me that walls fulfill a desire for greater sovereign control in times when the concept of “bounded territory itself is in crisis.” They are signifiers of a “loss of a national ‘we’ and national control — all the things we’ve seen erupt in a huge way.”

    Walls are a response to deep existential anxiety, and even if the walls come down, or fail to be built in brick and stone, the world will guarantee us little in the way of freedom, fairness or equality. It makes more sense to think of modern borders as overlapping and concentric circles that change size, shape and texture depending on who — or what — is trying to pass through.
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    It’s far too easy to imagine a situation where our freedom of movement still depends entirely on what has happened to us in the past and what kind of information we’re willing to give up in return. Consider the expedited screening process of the Global Entry Program for traveling to the United States. It’s a shortcut — reserved for people who can get it — that doesn’t do away with borders. It just makes them easier to cross, and therefore less visible.

    That serves the modern nation-state very well. Because in the end, what are borders supposed to protect us from? The answer used to be other states, empires or sovereigns. But today, relatively few land borders exist to physically fend off a neighboring power, and countries even cooperate to police the borders they share. Modern borders exist to control something else: the movement of people. They control us.

    Those are the walls we should be fighting over.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/26/opinion/sunday/border-wall-immigration-trump.html#click=https://t.co/BWNDIXplPK
    #mobile_borders #frontières_mobiles #ligne #ligne_frontalière #frontières #ubiquité


  • Blocked by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    https://hackernoon.com/blocked-by-nassim-nicholas-taleb-f6d7e21ae56?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3-

    In retrospect, I understand why he blocked me. It’s a good learning experience.Blockerhttps://medium.com/media/502d5fdd1dc6c48499cdd02adbddfe4d/hrefhttps://medium.com/media/74c9a3fa0a5993457b625106aff569a6/hrefExperience is the best teacher, and the worst experiences teach the best lessons. — UnknownBlockeebody[data-twttr-rendered="true"] background-color: transparent;.twitter-tweet margin: auto !important;@nntaleb Of course! https://t.co/Js0aeANcFz — @attractfundingfunction notifyResize(height) height = height ? height : document.documentElement.offsetHeight; var resized = false; if (window.donkey && donkey.resize) donkey.resize(height); resized = true;if (parent && parent._resizeIframe) var obj = iframe: window.frameElement, height: height; parent._resizeIframe(obj); resized = true;if (...)


  • La #grève des #enseignants de #Los_Angeles pourrait faire boule de neige | JOCELYNE ZABLIT | États-Unis
    https://www.lapresse.ca/international/etats-unis/201901/14/01-5211014-la-greve-des-enseignants-de-los-angeles-pourrait-faire-boule-de-

    « Nous voici en ce jour pluvieux, dans l’un des pays les plus #riches du monde, dans l’un des États les plus riches du pays, un État aussi bleu (couleur du parti démocrate) que possible - et dans une ville qui regorge de millionnaires  ! - avec des enseignants obligés de faire la grève pour obtenir le minimum pour nos élèves », s’est exclamé Alex Caputo-Pearl, président du syndicat des enseignants de Los Angeles (UTLA), lors d’une conférence de presse.

    « Nous défendons l’essence même de l’#éducation_publique. La question est la suivante : est-ce que nous affamons nos écoles publiques de proximité pour aboutir à leur #privatisation  ? Ou bien est-ce que nous investissons dans ces écoles, pour nos élèves et pour une ville en plein développement  ? », a-t-il ajouté.

    #éloquence #etats-unis

    • The Rapid Victory of the West Virginia Teacher Strike Shows What Happens When Progressives Join the Fight Against School Privatization | naked capitalism
      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/03/rapid-victory-west-virginia-teacher-strike-shows-happens-progressiv

      He concedes, however, there are still unresolved issues in how progressives will coalesce on charters elsewhere. His progressive colleagues in states with lots of charters still feel an urge to not totally reject charters because parents whose children attend the schools are often from marginalized communities. And teachers who work in charters are potential targets for labor unions who want to organize the workers.

      But he finds in places such as West Virginia, and neighboring Virginia and Kentucky, where there are very few or no charters, opposition to the schools is about saving public education. Opponents are quick to point to high-profile charter school scandals in Ohioand Pennsylvaniaas examples of what would befall their states. “It’s been 20 years of experimenting,” he says, “and experiments often fail.”

      Frankenberry’s hope is that the solidarity shown by progressive opposition to school privatization in West Virginia can rub off on his colleagues in states where charters are more abundant. “We’re showing that we’re not going to accept these schools,” he says. “Maybe the progressive organizers in places where they already have them can get inspiration from us to rein charters in.”

      Zuckett foresees opposition to charter schools and voucher programs continuing to be more of a point of contention that progressives will push in their policy positions, and not just in West Virginia. “The fight is on,” he says. “Shame on us if it isn’t.”


  • Pan Am Flight 103 : Robert Mueller’s 30-Year Search for Justice | WIRED
    https://www.wired.com/story/robert-muellers-search-for-justice-for-pan-am-103

    Cet article décrit le rôle de Robert Mueller dans l’enquête historique qui a permis de dissimuler ou de justifier la plupart des batailles de la guerre non déclarée des États Unis contre l’OLP et les pays arabes qui soutenaient la lutte pour un état palestinien.

    Aux États-Unis, en Allemagne et en France le grand public ignore les actes de guerre commis par les États Unis dans cette guerre. Vu dans ce contexte on ne peut que classer le récit de cet article dans la catégorie idéologie et propagande même si les intentions et faits qu’on y apprend sont bien documentés et plausibles.

    Cette perspective transforme le contenu de cet article d’une variation sur un thème connu dans un reportage sur l’état d’âme des dirigeants étatsuniens moins fanatiques que l’équipe du président actuel.

    THIRTY YEARS AGO last Friday, on the darkest day of the year, 31,000 feet above one of the most remote parts of Europe, America suffered its first major terror attack.

    TEN YEARS AGO last Friday, then FBI director Robert Mueller bundled himself in his tan trench coat against the cold December air in Washington, his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck. Sitting on a small stage at Arlington National Cemetery, he scanned the faces arrayed before him—the victims he’d come to know over years, relatives and friends of husbands and wives who would never grow old, college students who would never graduate, business travelers and flight attendants who would never come home.

    Burned into Mueller’s memory were the small items those victims had left behind, items that he’d seen on the shelves of a small wooden warehouse outside Lockerbie, Scotland, a visit he would never forget: A teenager’s single white sneaker, an unworn Syracuse University sweatshirt, the wrapped Christmas gifts that would never be opened, a lonely teddy bear.

    A decade before the attacks of 9/11—attacks that came during Mueller’s second week as FBI director, and that awoke the rest of America to the threats of terrorism—the bombing of Pan Am 103 had impressed upon Mueller a new global threat.

    It had taught him the complexity of responding to international terror attacks, how unprepared the government was to respond to the needs of victims’ families, and how on the global stage justice would always be intertwined with geopolitics. In the intervening years, he had never lost sight of the Lockerbie bombing—known to the FBI by the codename Scotbom—and he had watched the orphaned children from the bombing grow up over the years.

    Nearby in the cemetery stood a memorial cairn made of pink sandstone—a single brick representing each of the victims, the stone mined from a Scottish quarry that the doomed flight passed over just seconds before the bomb ripped its baggage hold apart. The crowd that day had gathered near the cairn in the cold to mark the 20th anniversary of the bombing.

    For a man with an affinity for speaking in prose, not poetry, a man whose staff was accustomed to orders given in crisp sentences as if they were Marines on the battlefield or under cross-examination from a prosecutor in a courtroom, Mueller’s remarks that day soared in a way unlike almost any other speech he’d deliver.

    “There are those who say that time heals all wounds. But you know that not to be true. At its best, time may dull the deepest wounds; it cannot make them disappear,” Mueller told the assembled mourners. “Yet out of the darkness of this day comes a ray of light. The light of unity, of friendship, and of comfort from those who once were strangers and who are now bonded together by a terrible moment in time. The light of shared memories that bring smiles instead of sadness. And the light of hope for better days to come.”

    He talked of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and of inspiration drawn from Lockerbie’s town crest, with its simple motto, “Forward.” He spoke of what was then a two-decade-long quest for justice, of how on windswept Scottish mores and frigid lochs a generation of FBI agents, investigators, and prosecutors had redoubled their dedication to fighting terrorism.

    Mueller closed with a promise: “Today, as we stand here together on this, the darkest of days, we renew that bond. We remember the light these individuals brought to each of you here today. We renew our efforts to bring justice down on those who seek to harm us. We renew our efforts to keep our people safe, and to rid the world of terrorism. We will continue to move forward. But we will never forget.”

    Hand bells tolled for each of the victims as their names were read aloud, 270 names, 270 sets of bells.

    The investigation, though, was not yet closed. Mueller, although he didn’t know it then, wasn’t done with Pan Am 103. Just months after that speech, the case would test his innate sense of justice and morality in a way that few other cases in his career ever have.

    ROBERT S. MUELLER III had returned from a combat tour in Vietnam in the late 1960s and eventually headed to law school at the University of Virginia, part of a path that he hoped would lead him to being an FBI agent. Unable after graduation to get a job in government, he entered private practice in San Francisco, where he found he loved being a lawyer—just not a defense attorney.

    Then—as his wife Ann, a teacher, recounted to me years ago—one morning at their small home, while the two of them made the bed, Mueller complained, “Don’t I deserve to be doing something that makes me happy?” He finally landed a job as an assistant US attorney in San Francisco and stood, for the first time, in court and announced, “Good morning your Honor, I am Robert Mueller appearing on behalf of the United States of America.” It is a moment that young prosecutors often practice beforehand, and for Mueller those words carried enormous weight. He had found the thing that made him happy.

    His family remembers that time in San Francisco as some of their happiest years; the Muellers’ two daughters were young, they loved the Bay Area—and have returned there on annual vacations almost every year since relocating to the East Coast—and Mueller found himself at home as a prosecutor.

    On Friday nights, their routine was that Ann and the two girls would pick Mueller up at Harrington’s Bar & Grill, the city’s oldest Irish pub, not far from the Ferry Building in the Financial District, where he hung out each week with a group of prosecutors, defense attorneys, cops, and agents. (One Christmas, his daughter Cynthia gave him a model of the bar made out of Popsicle sticks.) He balanced that family time against weekends and trainings with the Marines Corps Reserves, where he served for more than a decade, until 1980, eventually rising to be a captain.

    Over the next 15 years, he rose through the ranks of the San Francisco US attorney’s office—an office he would return to lead during the Clinton administration—and then decamped to Massachusetts to work for US attorney William Weld in the 1980s. There, too, he shined and eventually became acting US attorney when Weld departed at the end of the Reagan administration. “You cannot get the words straight arrow out of your head,” Weld told me, speaking of Mueller a decade ago. “The agencies loved him because he knew his stuff. He didn’t try to be elegant or fancy, he just put the cards on the table.”

    In 1989, an old high school classmate, Robert Ross, who was chief of staff to then attorney general Richard Thornburgh, asked Mueller to come down to Washington to help advise Thornburgh. The offer intrigued Mueller. Ann protested the move—their younger daughter Melissa wanted to finish high school in Massachusetts. Ann told her husband, “We can’t possibly do this.” He replied, his eyes twinkling, “You’re right, it’s a terrible time. Well, why don’t we just go down and look at a few houses?” As she told me, “When he wants to do something, he just revisits it again and again.”

    For his first two years at so-called Main Justice in Washington, working under President George H.W. Bush, the family commuted back and forth from Boston to Washington, alternating weekends in each city, to allow Melissa to finish school.

    Washington gave Mueller his first exposure to national politics and cases with geopolitical implications; in September 1990, President Bush nominated him to be assistant attorney general, overseeing the Justice Department’s entire criminal division, which at that time handled all the nation’s terrorism cases as well. Mueller would oversee the prosecution of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, mob boss John Gotti, and the controversial investigation into a vast money laundering scheme run through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, known as the Bank of Crooks and Criminals

    None of his cases in Washington, though, would affect him as much as the bombing of Pan Am 103.

    THE TIME ON the clocks in Lockerbie, Scotland, read 7:04 pm, on December 21, 1988, when the first emergency call came into the local fire brigade, reporting what sounded like a massive boiler explosion. It was technically early evening, but it had been dark for hours already; that far north, on the shortest day of the year, daylight barely stretched to eight hours.

    Soon it became clear something much worse than a boiler explosion had unfolded: Fiery debris pounded the landscape, plunging from the sky and killing 11 Lockerbie residents. As Mike Carnahan told a local TV reporter, “The whole sky was lit up with flames. It was actually raining, liquid fire. You could see several houses on the skyline with the roofs totally off and all you could see was flaming timbers.”

    At 8:45 pm, a farmer found in his field the cockpit of Pan Am 103, a Boeing 747 known as Clipper Maid of the Seas, lying on its side, 15 of its crew dead inside, just some of the 259 passengers and crew killed when a bomb had exploded inside the plane’s cargo hold. The scheduled London to New York flight never even made it out of the UK.

    It had taken just three seconds for the plane to disintegrate in the air, though the wreckage took three long minutes to fall the five miles from the sky to the earth; court testimony later would examine how passengers had still been alive as they fell. Nearly 200 of the passengers were American, including 35 students from Syracuse University returning home from a semester abroad. The attack horrified America, which until then had seen terror touch its shores only occasionally as a hijacking went awry; while the US had weathered the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, attacks almost never targeted civilians.

    The Pan Am 103 bombing seemed squarely aimed at the US, hitting one of its most iconic brands. Pan Am then represented America’s global reach in a way few companies did; the world’s most powerful airline shuttled 19 million passengers a year to more than 160 countries and had ferried the Beatles to their US tour and James Bond around the globe on his cinematic missions. In a moment of hubris a generation before Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the airline had even opened a “waiting list” for the first tourists to travel to outer space. Its New York headquarters, the Pan Am building, was the world’s largest commercial building and its terminal at JFK Airport the biggest in the world.

    The investigation into the bombing of Pan Am 103 began immediately, as police and investigators streamed north from London by the hundreds; chief constable John Boyd, the head of the local police, arrived at the Lockerbie police station by 8:15 pm, and within an hour the first victim had been brought in: A farmer arrived in town with the body of a baby girl who had fallen from the sky. He’d carefully placed her in the front seat of his pickup truck.

    An FBI agent posted in London had raced north too, with the US ambassador, aboard a special US Air Force flight, and at 2 am, when Boyd convened his first senior leadership meeting, he announced, “The FBI is here, and they are fully operational.” By that point, FBI explosives experts were already en route to Scotland aboard an FAA plane; agents would install special secure communications equipment in Lockerbie and remain on site for months.

    Although it quickly became clear that a bomb had targeted Pan Am 103—wreckage showed signs of an explosion and tested positive for PETN and RDX, two key ingredients of the explosive Semtex—the investigation proceeded with frustrating slowness. Pan Am’s records were incomplete, and it took days to even determine the full list of passengers. At the same time, it was the largest crime scene ever investigated—a fact that remains true today.

    Investigators walked 845 square miles, an area 12 times the size of Washington, DC, and searched so thoroughly that they recovered more than 70 packages of airline crackers and ultimately could reconstruct about 85 percent of the fuselage. (Today, the wreckage remains in an English scrapyard.) Constable Boyd, at his first press conference, told the media, “This is a mammoth inquiry.”

    On Christmas Eve, a searcher found a piece of a luggage pallet with signs of obvious scorching, which would indicate the bomb had been in the luggage compartment below the passenger cabin. The evidence was rushed to a special British military lab—one originally created to investigate the Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament and kill King James I in 1605.

    When the explosive tests came back a day later, the British government called the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for combating terrorism, L. Paul Bremer III (who would go on to be President George W. Bush’s viceroy in Baghdad after the 2003 invasion of Iraq), and officially delivered the news that everyone had anticipated: Pan Am 103 had been downed by a bomb.

    Meanwhile, FBI agents fanned out across the country. In New York, special agent Neil Herman—who would later lead the FBI’s counterterrorism office in New York in the run up to 9/11—was tasked with interviewing some of the victims’ families; many of the Syracuse students on board had been from the New York region. One of the mothers he interviewed hadn’t heard from the government in the 10 days since the attack. “It really struck me how ill-equipped we were to deal with this,” Herman told me, years later. “Multiply her by 270 victims and families.” The bombing underscored that the FBI and the US government had a lot to learn in responding and aiding victims in a terror attack.

    INVESTIGATORS MOVED TOWARD piecing together how a bomb could have been placed on board; years before the 9/11 attack, they discounted the idea of a suicide bomber aboard—there had never been a suicide attack on civil aviation at that point—and so focused on one of two theories: The possibility of a “mule,” an innocent passenger duped into carrying a bomb aboard, or an “inside man,” a trusted airport or airline employee who had smuggled the fatal cargo aboard. The initial suspect list stretched to 1,200 names.

    Yet even reconstructing what was on board took an eternity: Evidence pointed to a Japanese manufactured Toshiba cassette recorder as the likely delivery device for the bomb, and then, by the end of January, investigators located pieces of the suitcase that had held the bomb. After determining that it was a Samsonite bag, police and the FBI flew to the company’s headquarters in the United States and narrowed the search further: The bag, they found, was a System 4 Silhouette 4000 model, color “antique-copper,” a case and color made for only three years, 1985 to 1988, and sold only in the Middle East. There were a total of 3,500 such suitcases in circulation.

    By late spring, investigators had identified 14 pieces of luggage inside the target cargo container, known as AVE4041; each bore tell-tale signs of the explosion. Through careful retracing of how luggage moved through the London airport, investigators determined that the bags on the container’s bottom row came from passengers transferring in London. The bags on the second and third row of AVE4041 had been the last bags loaded onto the leg of the flight that began in Frankfurt, before the plane took off for London. None of the baggage had been X-rayed or matched with passengers on board.

    The British lab traced clothing fragments from the wreckage that bore signs of the explosion and thus likely originated in the bomb-carrying suitcase. It was an odd mix: Two herring-bone skirts, men’s pajamas, tartan trousers, and so on. The most promising fragment was a blue infant’s onesie that, after fiber analysis, was conclusively determined to have been inside the explosive case, and had a label saying “Malta Trading Company.” In March, two detectives took off for Malta, where the manufacturer told them that 500 such articles of clothing had been made and most sent to Ireland, while the rest went locally to Maltese outlets and others to continental Europe.

    As they dug deeper, they focused on bag B8849, which appeared to have come off Air Malta Flight 180—Malta to Frankfurt—on December 21, even though there was no record of one of that flight’s 47 passengers transferring to Pan Am 103.

    Investigators located the store in Malta where the suspect clothing had been sold; the British inspector later recorded in his statement, “[Store owner] Anthony Gauci interjected and stated that he could recall selling a pair of the checked trousers, size 34, and three pairs of the pajamas to a male person.” The investigators snapped to attention—after nine months did they finally have a suspect in their sights? “[Gauci] informed me that the man had also purchased the following items: one imitation Harris Tweed jacket; one woolen cardigan; one black umbrella; one blue colored ‘Baby Gro’ with a motif described by the witness as a ‘sheep’s face’ on the front; and one pair of gents’ brown herring-bone material trousers, size 36.”

    Game, set, match. Gauci had perfectly described the clothing fragments found by RARDE technicians to contain traces of explosive. The purchase, Gauci went on to explain, stood out in his mind because the customer—whom Gauci tellingly identified as speaking the “Libyan language”—had entered the store on November 23, 1988, and gathered items without seeming to care about the size, gender, or color of any of it.

    As the investigation painstakingly proceeded into 1989 and 1990, Robert Mueller arrived at Main Justice; the final objects of the Lockerbie search wouldn’t be found until the spring of 1990, just months before Mueller took over as assistant attorney general of the criminal division in September.

    The Justice Department that year was undergoing a series of leadership changes; the deputy attorney general, William Barr, became acting attorney general midyear as Richard Thornburgh stepped down to run for Senate back in his native Pennsylvania. President Bush then nominated Barr to take over as attorney general officially. (Earlier this month Barr was nominated by President Trump to become attorney general once again.)

    The bombing soon became one of the top cases on Mueller’s desk. He met regularly with Richard Marquise, the FBI special agent heading Scotbom. For Mueller, the case became personal; he met with victims’ families and toured the Lockerbie crash site and the investigation’s headquarters. He traveled repeatedly to the United Kingdom for meetings and walked the fields of Lockerbie himself. “The Scots just did a phenomenal job with the crime scene,” he told me, years ago.

    Mueller pushed the investigators forward constantly, getting involved in the investigation at a level that a high-ranking Justice Department official almost never does. Marquise turned to him in one meeting, after yet another set of directions, and sighed, “Geez, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you want to be FBI director.”

    The investigation gradually, carefully, zeroed in on Libya. Agents traced a circuit board used in the bomb to a similar device seized in Africa a couple of years earlier used by Libyan intelligence. An FBI-created database of Maltese immigration records even showed that a man using the same alias as one of those Libyan intelligence officers had departed from Malta on October 19, 1988—just two months before the bombing.

    The circuit board also helped makes sense of an important aspect of the bombing: It controlled a timer, meaning that the bomb was not set off by a barometric trigger that registers altitude. This, in turn, explained why the explosive baggage had lain peacefully in the jet’s hold as it took off and landed repeatedly.

    Tiny letters on the suspect timer said “MEBO.” What was MEBO? In the days before Google, searching for something called “Mebo” required going country to country, company to company. There were no shortcuts. The FBI, MI5, and CIA were, after months of work, able to trace MEBO back to a Swiss company, Meister et Bollier, adding a fifth country to the ever-expanding investigative circle.

    From Meister et Bollier, they learned that the company had provided 20 prototype timers to the Libyan government and the company helped ID their contact as a Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who looked like the sketch of the Maltese clothing shopper. Then, when the FBI looked at its database of Maltese immigration records, they found that Al Megrahi had been present in Malta the day the clothing was purchased.

    Marquise sat down with Robert Mueller and the rest of the prosecutorial team and laid out the latest evidence. Mueller’s orders were clear—he wanted specific suspects and he wanted to bring charges. As he said, “Proceed toward indictment.” Let’s get this case moving.

    IN NOVEMBER 1990, Marquise was placed in charge of all aspects of the investigation and assigned on special duty to the Washington Field Office and moved to a new Scotbom task force. The field offce was located far from the Hoover building, in a run-down neighborhood known by the thoroughly unromantic moniker of Buzzard Point.

    The Scotbom task force had been allotted three tiny windowless rooms with dark wood paneling, which were soon covered floor-to-ceiling with 747 diagrams, crime scene photographs, maps, and other clues. By the door of the office, the team kept two photographs to remind themselves of the stakes: One, a tiny baby shoe recovered from the fields of Lockerbie; the other, a picture of the American flag on the tail of Pan Am 103. This was the first major attack on the US and its civilians. Whoever was responsible couldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    With representatives from a half-dozen countries—the US, Britain, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, France, and Malta—now sitting around the table, putting together a case that met everyone’s evidentiary standards was difficult. “We talked through everything, and everything was always done to the higher standard,” Marquise says. In the US, for instance, the legal standard for a photo array was six photos; in Scotland, though, it was 12. So every photo array in the investigation had 12 photos to ensure that the IDs could be used in a British court.

    The trail of evidence so far was pretty clear, and it all pointed toward Libya. Yet there was still much work to do prior to an indictment. A solid hunch was one thing. Having evidence that would stand up in court and under cross-examination was something else entirely.

    As the case neared an indictment, the international investigators and prosecutors found themselves focusing at their gatherings on the fine print of their respective legal code and engaging in deep, philosophical-seeming debates: “What does murder mean in your statute? Huh? I know what murder means: I kill you. Well, then you start going through the details and the standards are just a little different. It may entail five factors in one country, three in another. Was Megrahi guilty of murder? Depends on the country.”

    At every meeting, the international team danced around the question of where a prosecution would ultimately take place. “Jurisdiction was an eggshell problem,” Marquise says. “It was always there, but no one wanted to talk about it. It was always the elephant in the room.”

    Mueller tried to deflect the debate for as long as possible, arguing there was more investigation to do first. Eventually, though, he argued forcefully that the case should be tried in the US. “I recognize that Scotland has significant equities which support trial of the case in your country,” he said in one meeting. “However, the primary target of this act of terrorism was the United States. The majority of the victims were Americans, and the Pan American aircraft was targeted precisely because it was of United States registry.”

    After one meeting, where the Scots and Americans debated jurisdiction for more than two hours, the group migrated over to the Peasant, a restaurant near the Justice Department, where, in an attempt to foster good spirits, it paid for the visiting Scots. Mueller and the other American officials each had to pay for their own meals.

    Mueller was getting ready to move forward; the federal grand jury would begin work in early September. Prosecutors and other investigators were already preparing background, readying evidence, and piecing together information like the names and nationalities of all the Lockerbie victims so that they could be included in the forthcoming indictment.

    There had never been any doubt in the US that the Pan Am 103 bombing would be handled as a criminal matter, but the case was still closely monitored by the White House and the National Security Council.

    The Reagan administration had been surprised in February 1988 by the indictment on drug charges of its close ally Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and a rule of thumb had been developed: Give the White House a heads up anytime you’re going to indict a foreign agent. “If you tag Libya with Pan Am 103, that’s fair to say it’s going to disrupt our relationship with Libya,” Mueller deadpans. So Mueller would head up to the Cabinet Room at the White House, charts and pictures in hand, to explain to President Bush and his team what Justice had in mind.

    To Mueller, the investigation underscored why such complex investigations needed a law enforcement eye. A few months after the attack, he sat through a CIA briefing pointing toward Syria as the culprit behind the attack. “That’s always struck with me as a lesson in the difference between intelligence and evidence. I always try to remember that,” he told me, back when he was FBI director. “It’s a very good object lesson about hasty action based on intelligence. What if we had gone and attacked Syria based on that initial intelligence? Then, after the attack, it came out that Libya had been behind it? What could we have done?”

    Marquise was the last witness for the federal grand jury on Friday, November 8, 1991. Only in the days leading up to that testimony had prosecutors zeroed in on Megrahi and another Libyan officer, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah; as late as the week of the testimony, they had hoped to pursue additional indictments, yet the evidence wasn’t there to get to a conviction.

    Mueller traveled to London to meet with the Peter Fraser, the lord advocate—Scotland’s top prosecutor—and they agreed to announce indictments simultaneously on November 15, 1991. Who got their hands on the suspects first, well, that was a question for later. The joint indictment, Mueller believed, would benefit both countries. “It adds credibility to both our investigations,” he says.

    That coordinated joint, multi-nation statement and indictment would become a model that the US would deploy more regularly in the years to come, as the US and other western nations have tried to coordinate cyber investigations and indictments against hackers from countries like North Korea, Russia, and Iran.

    To make the stunning announcement against Libya, Mueller joined FBI director William Sessions, DC US attorney Jay Stephens, and attorney general William Barr.

    “We charge that two Libyan officials, acting as operatives of the Libyan intelligence agency, along with other co-conspirators, planted and detonated the bomb that destroyed Pan Am 103,” Barr said. “I have just telephoned some of the families of those murdered on Pan Am 103 to inform them and the organizations of the survivors that this indictment has been returned. Their loss has been ever present in our minds.”

    At the same time, in Scotland, investigators there were announcing the same indictments.

    At the press conference, Barr listed a long set of names to thank—the first one he singled out was Mueller’s. Then, he continued, “This investigation is by no means over. It continues unabated. We will not rest until all those responsible are brought to justice. We have no higher priority.”

    From there, the case would drag on for years. ABC News interviewed the two suspects in Libya later that month; both denied any responsibility for the bombing. Marquise was reassigned within six months; the other investigators moved along too.

    Mueller himself left the administration when Bill Clinton became president, spending an unhappy year in private practice before rejoining the Justice Department to work as a junior homicide prosecutor in DC under then US attorney Eric Holder; Mueller, who had led the nation’s entire criminal division was now working side by side with prosecutors just a few years out of law school, the equivalent of a three-star military general retiring and reenlisting as a second lieutenant. Clinton eventually named Mueller the US attorney in San Francisco, the office where he’d worked as a young attorney in the 1970s.

    THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY of the bombing came and went without any justice. Then, in April 1999, prolonged international negotiations led to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi turning over the two suspects; the international economic sanctions imposed on Libya in the wake of the bombing were taking a toll on his country, and the leader wanted to put the incident behind him.

    The final negotiated agreement said that the two men would be tried by a Scottish court, under Scottish law, in The Hague in the Netherlands. Distinct from the international court there, the three-judge Scottish court would ensure that the men faced justice under the laws of the country where their accused crime had been committed.

    Allowing the Scots to move forward meant some concessions by the US. The big one was taking the death penalty, prohibited in Scotland, off the table. Mueller badly wanted the death penalty. Mueller, like many prosecutors and law enforcement officials, is a strong proponent of capital punishment, but he believes it should be reserved for only egregious crimes. “It has to be especially heinous, and you have to be 100 percent sure he’s guilty,” he says. This case met that criteria. “There’s never closure. If there can’t be closure, there should be justice—both for the victims as well as the society at large,” he says.

    An old US military facility, Kamp Van Zeist, was converted to an elaborate jail and courtroom in The Hague, and the Dutch formally surrendered the two Libyans to Scottish police. The trial began in May 2000. For nine months, the court heard testimony from around the world. In what many observers saw as a political verdict, Al Megrahi was found guilty and Fhimah was found not guilty.

    With barely 24 hours notice, Marquise and victim family members raced from the United States to be in the courtroom to hear the verdict. The morning of the verdict in 2001, Mueller was just days into his tenure as acting deputy US attorney general—filling in for the start of the George W. Bush administration in the department’s No. 2 role as attorney general John Ashcroft got himself situated.

    That day, Mueller awoke early and joined with victims’ families and other officials in Washington, who watched the verdict announcement via a satellite hookup. To him, it was a chance for some closure—but the investigation would go on. As he told the media, “The United States remains vigilant in its pursuit to bring to justice any other individuals who may have been involved in the conspiracy to bring down Pan Am Flight 103.”

    The Scotbom case would leave a deep imprint on Mueller; one of his first actions as FBI director was to recruit Kathryn Turman, who had served as the liaison to the Pan Am 103 victim families during the trial, to head the FBI’s Victim Services Division, helping to elevate the role and responsibility of the FBI in dealing with crime victims.

    JUST MONTHS AFTER that 20th anniversary ceremony with Mueller at Arlington National Cemetery, in the summer of 2009, Scotland released a terminally ill Megrahi from prison after a lengthy appeals process, and sent him back to Libya. The decision was made, the Scottish minister of justice reported, on “compassionate grounds.” Few involved on the US side believed the terrorist deserved compassion. Megrahi was greeted as a hero on the tarmac in Libya—rose petals, cheering crowds. The US consensus remained that he should rot in prison.

    The idea that Megrahi could walk out of prison on “compassionate” ground made a mockery of everything that Mueller had dedicated his life to fighting and doing. Amid a series of tepid official condemnations—President Obama labeled it “highly objectionable”—Mueller fired off a letter to Scottish minister Kenny MacAskill that stood out for its raw pain, anger, and deep sorrow.

    “Over the years I have been a prosecutor, and recently as the Director of the FBI, I have made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors, since only the prosecutor handling the case has all the facts and the law before him in reaching the appropriate decision,” Mueller began. “Your decision to release Megrahi causes me to abandon that practice in this case. I do so because I am familiar with the facts, and the law, having been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991. And I do so because I am outraged at your decision, blithely defended on the grounds of ‘compassion.’”

    That nine months after the 20th anniversary of the bombing, the only person behind bars for the bombing would walk back onto Libyan soil a free man and be greeted with rose petals left Mueller seething.

    “Your action in releasing Megrahi is as inexplicable as it is detrimental to the cause of justice. Indeed your action makes a mockery of the rule of law. Your action gives comfort to terrorists around the world,” Mueller wrote. “You could not have spent much time with the families, certainly not as much time as others involved in the investigation and prosecution. You could not have visited the small wooden warehouse where the personal items of those who perished were gathered for identification—the single sneaker belonging to a teenager; the Syracuse sweatshirt never again to be worn by a college student returning home for the holidays; the toys in a suitcase of a businessman looking forward to spending Christmas with his wife and children.”

    For Mueller, walking the fields of Lockerbie had been walking on hallowed ground. The Scottish decision pained him especially deeply, because of the mission and dedication he and his Scottish counterparts had shared 20 years before. “If all civilized nations join together to apply the rules of law to international terrorists, certainly we will be successful in ridding the world of the scourge of terrorism,” he had written in a perhaps too hopeful private note to the Scottish Lord Advocate in 1990.

    Some 20 years later, in an era when counterterrorism would be a massive, multibillion dollar industry and a buzzword for politicians everywhere, Mueller—betrayed—concluded his letter with a decidedly un-Mueller-like plea, shouted plaintively and hopelessly across the Atlantic: “Where, I ask, is the justice?”

    #USA #Libye #impérialisme #terrorisme #histoire #CIA #idéologie #propagande


  • 430,000 flee Cameroon’s restive Anglophone areas, says group

    An international refugee agency says that more than 430,000 people have fled violence in Cameroon’s restive English-speaking regions and are hiding in rural areas with few resources.

    The Norwegian Refugee Council, one of several humanitarian organizations offering support, said Wednesday it is assisting the displaced by providing shelter and supplies to needy families. David Manan, the Norwegian group’s country director for Cameroon, called for more international aid.

    He said there are too few agencies on the ground to provide the amount of aid needed. He said many people are hiding in the bush.

    Cameroon’s English-speaking separatists have been protesting since 2016 against what they claim is discrimination by the French-speaking majority. Their protests were initially peaceful, but in response to a government crackdown some separatists are waging a violent campaign.

    https://www.thestate.com/news/nation-world/world/article223306000.html
    #Cameroun #Cameroun_anglophone #asile #migrations #réfugiés #COI #IDPs #déplacés_internes

    • Conflict in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions forces 430,000 people to flee

      The number of people displaced as a result of the crisis in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions has spiked to more than 430,000 during the last months. Many people are hiding in the bush with no support, warns the Norwegian Refugee Council.

      “We are deeply worried by the ongoing conflict and the increasing displacement figures. Parties to the conflict must ensure that civilians in the area are protected and are able to safely access life-saving assistance,” said David Manan, Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Cameroon.

      The number of people displaced from their homes in Cameroon’s Anglophone Southwest and Northwest regions and in neighbouring Littoral and West regions has reached 437.000, according to the latest UN estimates.

      NRC is assisting people displaced by this crisis. However, many people are left without any support, as insecurity is hindering organisations from accessing many areas. People are without proper shelter and sanitation facilities, clean water, food and access to medical care.

      “The needs we are witnessing in the Southwest and Northwest regions are alarming and there are too few agencies on the ground to provide the necessary aid due to limited funding. We call for more donors to prioritise this crisis to allow more agencies to respond so that we can stem the rising tide of suffering and displacement,” said Manan.

      “Displaced families who receive our assistance have told us that they share it or give it to their relatives who did not yet receive any assistance and desperately need help. Many people are hiding in the bush with no support, fearing for their lives,” added Manan.

      “This is the first time I am being helped since I fled,” said Annoh, who received essential household items, including materials to build a shelter. “I will share what I have received with my husband who is hiding in the bush. He has nothing but the clothes he was wearing when he fled,” she added.

      NRC is distributing household items, shelter and hygiene kits in Northwest and Southwest regions with support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) and European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).


      https://www.nrc.no/news/2018/december/conflict-in-cameroons-anglophone-regions-forces-430000-people-to-flee

    • A generation of unschooled Cameroonians, another generation of conflict?

      “As we trekked, they kept on telling us that they don’t want us to go to school again,” says 15-year-old Martha Lum, four weeks after being released by the armed gunmen who kidnapped her along with 78 other children and staff members in Cameroon.

      Lum’s story is becoming common across the country’s Northwest and Southwest regions, where the conflict between anglophone separatists and francophone armed forces that’s claimed hundreds of lives has made schools a battlefield.

      Since the anglophone conflict escalated in late 2017, more than 430,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. In May, the UN’s emergency aid coordination body, OCHA, said approximately 42,500 children were out of school. However, local rights groups estimate that number has now increased fourfold following frequent abductions.

      Some 20,000 school-age children now live in the bush. With no learning materials or trained teachers, they have no access to a formal education. Parents and local officials worry that the children could be driven to take up arms, becoming a lost generation that perpetuates the conflict and the humanitarian crisis.

      “Imagine that these children miss school for five or 10 years because of the fighting, hearing the sound of guns every day, and seeing people being killed; what will become of them?” says 45-year-old mother of four *Elizabeth Tamufor.

      “We have been hiding in the bush for more than a year,” she tells IRIN. “I am sure the children have forgotten what they were taught in school. You think in five years they will still be hiding here? They will probably pick up guns and start fighting.”

      The fear of schoolchildren and young students joining the armed separatists is already a reality for some. *Michael, 20, used to be a student before the conflict started. He joined the separatists when his friend was killed by government forces.

      “I replaced books with the gun since then. But I will return to school immediately we achieve our independence,” he says.
      Right from the start

      The roots of Cameroon’s anglophone conflict can be traced back to education. The separatists fighting for independence from French-majority Cameroon say the current school system symbolises the marginalisation of the English language and culture.

      After years of discontent, in November 2016, anglophone teachers began an indefinite strike to protest what they said amounted to systematic discrimination against English-speaking teachers and students. In response, government security forces clamped down on protests, arresting hundreds of demonstrators, including children, killing at least four people and wounding many more.

      This caused widespread anger across the Southwest and Northwest regions, which a year later led to the rise of the armed separatist groups now fighting for independence and a new English-speaking nation called “#Ambazonia”.

      Although the majority of teacher trade unions called off their strike in February 2017, separatists continue to impose curfews and abduct people as a means to push the local population to refrain from sending children back to school.

      As a result, tens of thousands of children haven’t attended school since 2016. Local media is awash with stories of kidnappings of children and teachers who do not comply with the boycott, while rights groups say the disruption of education puts children at risk of exploitation, child labour, recruitment by armed groups, and early marriage.

      “Schools have become targets,” a July 2018 Human Rights Watch report notes. “Either because of these threats, or as a show of solidarity by parents and teachers with the separatist cause, or both, school enrollment levels have dropped precipitously during the crisis.”

      In June, Amnesty International said at least 42 schools had been attacked since February last year. While latest statistics are not available, it is believed that at least 100 separate incidents of school kidnapping have taken place since the separatist movement turned violent in 2017. More than 100 schools have also been torched and at least a dozen teachers killed or wounded, according to Issa Tchiroma, Cameroon’s minister of communication.
      The separatist view

      Speaking to IRIN last month in Bali, a town neighbouring Bamenda – the capital of Northwest region – armed separatist leader *Justin says his group is enforcing the school boycott started by the teacher trade unions.

      “They (teachers) started a strike action to resist the ‘francophonisation’ of the anglophone system of education, and the evil francophone regime arrested and detained their colleagues, shot dead schoolchildren, and you expect us to sit down and watch them killing our people?”

      “We don’t want the schoolchildren of Ambazonia to be part of the corrupt francophone system of education,” he said. “We have designed a new school programme for them which will start as soon as we achieve our independence.“

      *Laba, who controls another group of armed separatists, is more categorical. “When we say no school, we mean no school,” he says emphatically. “We have never and will never kill a student or teacher. We just want them to stay home until we get our independence and begin implementing our own system of education.”

      There are about 20 armed separatist groups across the two English-speaking regions. They operate independently, and separatists have publicly disagreed on the various methods of imposing the school boycott.

      Both Justin and Laba accuse the government of staging “some” of the school abductions in order “to discredit the image of the separatists internationally”. But they also admit that some armed separatist groups are guilty of kidnapping and killing children and teachers.

      “We don’t kidnap schoolchildren,” Justin says. “We just impose curfews to force them to stay home.”

      But for many parents and schoolchildren, staying at home for this long is already having devastating consequences.
      School children in uniforms walk on the street toward camera.

      ‘Everything is different’

      Parents who can afford it have enrolled their children in schools in the French-speaking part of the country – mostly Douala and Yaoundé. But the influx has caused fees to rise in the francophone zones. Tuition fees that normally cost $150 annually have now more than doubled to $350.

      Beyond the costs, parents also need to transport their children from the troubled regions, along a very insecure highway, to apply for enrollment.

      When they get there, success is far from guaranteed. A lot of the francophone schools are now at full capacity and have stopped accepting students from anglophone regions, meaning many children will likely have to stay home for yet another year.

      Those studying in a new environment can also take quite a while to adapt.

      George Muluh, 16, had been at a school in the Southwest region before the conflict but is now attending Government Bilingual High School Deido in Douala.

      “Everything is just different,” he says. “I don’t understand French. The classrooms are overcrowded. The teaching method is different. I am getting more and more confused every day. I just want the conflict to end so I can go back to the Southwest to continue my studies.”

      It might be a long while before George has that opportunity. To the Cameroonian government, the teachers’ grievances have already been solved.

      “The government has employed 1,000 bilingual teachers, allocated two billion CFA ($4 million) to support private education, transferred teachers who could not speak French and redeployed them to French zones. These were the demands of the teachers. What do they want again?” asks Tchiroma, the minister of communication.

      But Sylvester Ngan, from the Teachers Association of Cameroon (TAC), which defends the rights of English-speaking teachers in the country, says most of these measures are cosmetic and don’t solve key issues related to French-only exams and francophone teachers in English schools.
      Leave the children alone

      While the government and teachers’ unions argue about who is right and what education system to implement, the war is ongoing, people are dying, and tens of thousands of children are not in school.

      “No reason can be advanced to justify the unwarranted attacks on children in general and pupils who are seeking to acquire knowledge and skills,” says Jacques Boyer, UNICEF representative in Cameroon. “All children in the regions must be able to go to school in peace.”

      President Paul Biya, 85, who just won another seven-year term after 36 years in power, has ignored calls for an inclusive dialogue to end the conflict. The first related measure he undertook after the October election was the creation of a commission to disarm and reintegrate former armed separatists.

      Cameroonian political analyst Michael Mbah describes the move as “a joke”, saying that a ceasefire and dialogue must precede any serious attempt at disarmament and reintegration.

      Meanwhile, the next year looks bleak for children like Lum whose futures are being decided by a war beyond their control. “I have always wanted to become a medical doctor,” Lum tells IRIN, but she now fears her dream will be shattered by the persistent conflict.

      “Leave the children alone,” says *Raymond, a father of four whose offspring haven’t been able to study for close to two years now.

      “We, parents, cannot afford to raise a generation of illiterates,” he says. “The future of the children is being sacrificed, just like that.”

      *Names changed at the request of the interviewees for security reasons.

      https://www.irinnews.org/news-feature/2018/12/19/cameroon-generation-unschooled-children-could-fuel-long-term-conflict
      #éducation #droit_à_l'éducation #école #scolarisation #enfants #enfance #conflit

    • République d’#Ambazonie

      « Le nom Ambazonia a été préféré à Southern British Cameroons afin de ne pas confondre cette zone avec la région territoriale du sud (Southern Cameroon). Les « autonomistes ambazoniens » avaient à cœur de trouver un nom local afin de bannir « Cameroun » qu’ils considéraient comme le symbole du lourd fardeau de l’héritage colonial. Pour cela, ils ont fouillé dans les livres d’histoire et inventé le nom Ambazonia. Celui-ci dérive d’Ambas, nom donné à la région de l’embouchure du fleuve Wouri. Ce site, en forme de baie, avait alors reçu le nom anglais Baie d’Ambas1. »

      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9publique_d%27Ambazonie


  • DevOps101 : How To Provide #infrastructure To Your #startup In 6 Easy Steps
    https://hackernoon.com/devops101-how-to-provide-infrastructure-to-your-startup-in-6-easy-steps-

    DevOps101: How To Provide Infrastructure To Your Startup In 7 Easy StepsI’m currently a teacher assistant 👨‍💻@ Técnico Lisboa, and I’m working closely with Dr. Professor Rui Cruz 👨‍🏫at the It Infrastructure Management and Administration 🖥, a masters level course @ Técnico Lisboa.Why?My experience as a professor opened my mind on how to use certain tools to achieve goals that me, as a student, want to reach. As a student, I’m responsible for a student’s group, GCE. Our project had some problems: it was very difficult and time-consuming to move from the conceptualization of an idea to its actually delivery.A good, automated infrastructure was the answer to our problem. It allowed saving lots of time and effort, which translated into a better product delivered faster. This technique is meant for the (...)

    #terraform #devops #heroku


  • DevOps101 — First Steps on #terraform: Terraform + OpenStack + #ansible
    https://hackernoon.com/terraform-openstack-ansible-d680ea466e22?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---4

    DevOps101 — First Steps on Terraform: Terraform + OpenStack + AnsibleI’m currently a teacher assistant 👨‍💻@ Técnico Lisboa, and I’m working closely with Dr. Professor Rui Cruz 👨‍🏫at the It Infrastructure Management and Administration 🖥, a masters level course @ Técnico Lisboa.This #tutorial aims to provide you with an introduction to Terraform. Terraform will be leveraging the deployment an infrastructure on OpenStack. Ansible will provision the deployed machines. We will use Vagrant to manage the machine with Terraform and Ansible installed.In DevOps101 — Infrastructure as Code With Vagrant (LAMP Stack), I’ve introduced the Agile #devops movement. It aims to automate work and allow you to launch faster.If you are planning to start a business or side-project, something that you have to take into account is (...)

    #open-source


  • Un sérieux candidat pour le prochain prix #IgNobel :

    “Availability of cookies during an academic course session affects evaluation of teaching”

    “Results from end‐of‐course student evaluations of teaching (SETs) are taken seriously by faculties and form part of a decision base for the recruitment of academic staff, the distribution of funds and changes to curricula. However, there is some doubt as to whether these evaluation instruments accurately measure the quality of course content, teaching and knowledge transfer. We investigated whether the provision of chocolate cookies as a content‐unrelated intervention influences SET results.”

    Methods

    We performed a randomised controlled trial in the setting of a curricular emergency medicine course. [...]

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/medu.13627

    #cookie #sweets #teacher_evaluation #SET

    • OBJECTIVES
      Results from end-of-course student evaluations of teaching (SETs) are taken seriously by faculties and form part of a decision base for the recruitment of academic staff, the distribution of funds and changes to curricula. However, there is some doubt as to whether these evaluation instruments accurately measure the quality of course content, teaching and knowledge transfer.
      We investigated whether the provision of chocolate cookies as a content-unrelated intervention influences SET results.

      METHODS We performed a randomised controlled trial in the setting of a curricular emergency medicine course. Participants were 118 third-year medical students. Participants were randomly allocated into 20 groups, 10 of which had free access to 500 g of chocolate cookies during an emergency medicine course session (cookie group) and 10 of which did not (control group). All groups were taught by the same teachers. Educational content and course material were the same for both groups. After the course, all students were asked to complete a 38-question evaluation form.

      RESULTS A total of 112 students completed the evaluation form. The cookie group evaluated teachers significantly better than the control group (113.4 - 4.9 versus
      109.2 - 7.3; p = 0.001, effect size 0.68). Course material was considered better (10.1 - 2.3 versus 8.4 - 2.8; p = 0.001, effect size 0.66) and summation scores evaluating the course overall were significantly higher (224.5 - 12.5 versus 217.2 - 16.1; p = 0.008, effect size 0.51) in the cookie group.

      CONCLUSIONS The provision of chocolate cookies had a significant effect on course evaluation. These findings question the validity of SETs and their use in making widespread decisions within a faculty.

      Quelques limitations de l’étude, dans la section Discussion

      This study has several limitations. Firstly, the teachers were aware of which groups of students received cookies and had access to cookies themselves. As a result of this, they may have amended their teaching styles to a potentially unnoticed but influential extent. A further limitation is the fact that we have no information on how close the session was to meal and break times for individual students. These factors may also have affected students’ and teachers’ abilities and their assessments of the sessions. Food intake has even been shown to alter judges’ parole and sentencing decisions.[30] Therefore, such ‘ego depletion’ may potentially change an instructor’s performance between sessions.


  • #blockchain explained with Pokemon cards
    https://hackernoon.com/blockchain-explained-with-pokemon-cards-ecdd90e4297a?source=rss----3a814

    Let’s imagine we’re kids again, and we’re sitting in the school playground.We have our Pokemon trading cards out, and decide that we should trade two cards roughly equivalent in value.There’s nothing particularly tricky about this exchange — we both agree that the trade is fair, I give you my card and you give me yours. Nice and easy.Being responsible 10-year-olds, we didn’t need to ask the teacher to supervise the exchange and make sure the cards are traded correctly — it’s obvious who now physically owns each of the trading cards, as they’re now in each of our decks.I can see them. You can see them. We both agree that the trade was successful.That was pretty straightforward — everyone got what they wanted and no tears were shed.But now let’s imagine what would happen if we were trading digital Pokemon  (...)

    #bitcoin #blockchain-pokemon #technology


  • Hunger and survival in Venezuela

    The government continues to deny the existence of a humanitarian crisis, blaming power failures on Venezuela’s proximity to the sun and suggesting people buy gold nuggets and plant medicinal herbs in their gardens to ward off poverty and disease.

    Inflation continues its dizzying ascent. It has reached an eye-watering 800,000 percent and is on target, according to the International Monetary Fund, to surge to 10 million percent next year – driving severe hunger, shortages of basic goods, and accelerating the exodus from the country.

    At least 2.3 million people are estimated to have fled Venezuela since 2015. One in 12 Venezuelans is now thought to have left the country.

    As those abroad build new lives where shelves are laden with food and medicine, many of those IRIN encountered during two weeks of reporting across Venezuela – from the once-thriving fishing and sugar-producing areas of Cumana and Cariaco in the east to once-opulent and wealthy Maracaibo in the west – face a daily battle for survival.

    Residents tell of children starving to death, of forming human chains to block roads to hijack trucks just to get food. They tell of hiding provisions – toilet paper even – in cemeteries, and of concealing their supplies in buckets under layers of trash.​ They tell of being prisoners in their own homes, frightened to leave for fear of looters, who don’t come for their televisions and computers – no one wants those any more – but for basic foodstuffs and medicine.

    While some Venezuelans abroad paper social media with pictures of themselves posing jubilantly in front of powdered milk and shampoo, those who remain grind guava leaves with baking soda to make deodorant, and boil ash from the fire to make soap. It leaves people “itching all day long like gorillas,” says Leidis Vallenilla, explaining how the term violin has become a euphemism for body odour. “We have a whole orchestra here,” she laughs.

    There is pride here, too.

    “The inventive part of us has really been activated,” says Vallenilla.
    The road holds secrets

    Lined with lush foliage and mango trees, dotted with the occasional home, the road from Cumana to Carupano in Venezuela’s eastern state of Sucre winds gently, every now and then rising to give a glimpse of the sea.

    Pilongo – 23-year-old José Gregorio’s nickname, acquired from a cartoon he loved as a baby – leans into the windscreen and squints, staring closely into the verges. He’s looking for vehicles hiding in the bushes, where they wait to ambush cars.

    As the crisis has deepened, so has the threat. This road is a main artery to the east; seemingly bucolic, it is one of the most dangerous in the country.

    Hunger is behind most everything here.

    Hunger was behind the widespread protests that roiled the country in 2015 and precipitated the flight of millions of Venezuelans from the country.

    Then, shortages of essential foodstuffs – milk, butter, sugar, pasta, flour, oil, rice, beef, and chicken – were estimated at 80-90 percent.

    It has only gotten worse since.

    By 2018, according to a report produced by three Venezuelan universities, only one in 10 Venezuelans could afford enough daily food. Hunger has blanketed the country.

    Cumana was once the fourth largest tuna processing town in the world. Nearby, around Caraico and Carupano, was a major sugar-producing area. Not any more. Now, people are starving.

    Government food trucks travel the road carrying President Nicolás Maduro’s signature boxes of subsidised food.

    Named CLAP – after the Spanish acronym for Local Committees for Supply and Production – Maduro rolled them out in 2016 in order, he declared, to circumvent the “economic war” being waged on Venezuela by the United States and his opponents.

    These boxes, the government claims, will feed a family of four for one week. They are supposed to be delivered once a month to all those who have signed up for the “Carnet de la Patria” – a controversial ID card that grants holders access to subsidised food.

    However, according to those who get the CLAP boxes, the food arrives spoiled or past its sell-by date, is nowhere near enough to last even a week, and never comes more than, if you’re lucky, once every six weeks. Around Cumana, seven hours east of the capital Caracas, people say the boxes arrive once every three to four months.

    Pilongo, Vallenilla, and other locals say the trucks still barrel through here daily – in convoys of as many as 40 – laden with precious food and never stopping for angered, hungry people. They recall how people started coating the road with oil so the trucks would skid into a ditch and then everyone would swarm around and loot them.

    “A population which is not well fed become thieves and will steal any food no matter what.”

    When the truck drivers wised up and took a diversion, people got metal strips with sharp teeth and laid them across the other road. Tires would blow out and trucks would still be looted. When the National Guard came and confiscated the metal strips, the community protested that they belonged to them. After a fight, the mayor agreed and returned the strips.

    As hunger grew around the country so did the number of incidents like these, leading Maduro to issue an edict that armed National Guards must accompany the government food trucks. This has given greater license to the much-feared National Guard, who locals accuse of being behind the bodies they say have been turning up on nearby beaches.

    The threat hasn’t stopped people. They just choose different trucks.

    “Malnutrition is the mother of the whole problem,” says Pilingo’s former teacher, Fernando Battisti Garcia, 64, talking from his home in the town of Muelle de Cariaco. “A population which is not well fed become thieves and will steal any food no matter what.”

    People call it “the Maduro diet”.

    “As soon as people see a big truck coming with supplies,” explains Pilingo, “they go into the street – men, women, even children – and stop the truck and take the supplies.”

    It happened just a few days ago, he says, adding that the National Guard has begun searching people’s houses and if they find anything – food, toilet paper, supplies – they take you to jail.

    So people have started hiding the goods in tombs in cemeteries, or lowering them in buckets into water tanks.

    “Everyone is just so desperate,” Pilingo shrugs.

    With their erratic and infrequent delivery of meagre, often spoiled goods, CLAP boxes have done little to address hunger. What they have done, however, is line the pockets – and secure the loyalty – of military and government officials.

    The US treasury estimates as much as 70 percent of the CLAP programme is victim to corruption, while accusations of military and government officials siphoning off millions of dollars and creating a lucrative food trafficking business and thriving black market have led to sanctions and intensifying international scrutiny.

    The CLAP boxes have also succeeded in creating dependency. As inflation continues to spiral upwards and poverty escalates – jumping from 81.8 to 87 percent between 2016 and 2017 – more and more desperate people have become reliant on them to supplement their impoverished diets. In 2018, one in two Venezuelans say CLAP boxes are an “essential” part of their diet, while 83 percent of pro-Maduro voters say that CLAP is their main source of food.
    Malaria and death

    Vallenilla, 60, sits in a folding chair in her shop on the main road passing through Cerezal, a town of 1,000. Dozens of the colourful fabric dolls she makes and sells bob overhead hung from the ceiling, but she admits it has been a long time since she has had any customers.

    It has been a long time too since anyone around here has been able to get any medicine. And it has been even longer since people had enough food.

    “We have lost a lot of kids here to malaria and hepatitis,” says Vallenilla. “You can see people whose eyes and lips have turned orange. But worst of all is malnutrition. Malnourished children are dying here – yes, in my community they are starving to death.

    “The vice-president (Delcy Rodríguez) says there is enough food to feed three countries the size of Venezuela, but the truth is the malnourished kids, the elderly – that is what is real; that is what is the truth.”

    Vallenilla nods across the street where a rail-thin woman is sitting in her doorway. “That woman used to weigh 230 pounds,” she confides. She gestures down the street. “And a woman lost her three-year-old to malnutrition last week, a few streets down….”

    But those women won’t talk about it, says Vallenilla. No one here speaks out, she says. Everyone is scared; scared of losing their CLAP box; scared of the bodies turning up; scared of the repercussions of being identified through the Carnet de la Patria; scared of being reported to Maduro’s security forces; scared full stop.

    “The vice-president (Delcy Rodríguez) says there is enough food to feed three countries the size of Venezuela, but the truth is the malnourished kids, the elderly – that is what is real; that is what is the truth.”

    But Vallenilla isn’t scared. She is angry.

    “About two months ago, malaria was in fashion here – everyone here was trembling from fever,” she seethes, fury rising in her voice. “We had to block the road for two days. We made a trembling chain of people just to force the government to bring us treatment.”

    But even then, the government didn’t bring the full treatment. They brought only half a dose. Half treatments mean malaria will recur. Half treatments risk mosquitos building immunity. Half treatment is the best anyone can hope for these days across Venezuela. And, if they even get that, they can consider themselves lucky.

    “This is why people die,” Vallenilla bellows. “How can you play with people’s health like that? Kids’ health? It is inhuman!

    ‘‘The most sacred thing is your child. Having to put your child in the ground, having your child die? It is the worst thing. How must a mother feel?”

    Her brown eyes glare under the placid smiles of her handmade dolls overhead.

    “I cannot change my feelings – I will not change my feelings for a bone!’ she says. “No matter how many bones they throw to me, I will not be silenced!’

    Vallenilla’s thin neighbour across the street shrinks into the shadows at the sound of the raised voice.

    “This is like a curse, a spell cast on the population,” Vallenilla sighs.
    Electrocution and amputation

    On a sunny Saturday afternoon, there is not a soul to be seen in Cariaco, a town of supposedly 22,000 souls in the east of Venezuela. It is eerily empty. Shops are shuttered and there is no one visible behind the fences barricading the single-storey pastel houses topped with several rows of electrified wires.

    ‘‘You used to be able to walk anywhere, anytime,’’ Pilingo reminisces.

    No more. People are home. They all say they just don’t dare leave their homes for fear they will get broken into when they go out. Vallenilla says she even slaughtered her 17 ducks as she knew they would be taken otherwise.

    The night before, someone had broken into a local house just to steal some clothes.

    “Hunger is taking over in most towns,” Garcia, the former teacher, observes. ‘‘If people have the possibility of one or two meals in a day, they consider it like providence.”

    “People go too long without food,” Leidis concurs. “You can’t blame them looting and hijacking.”

    The consequences are showing up in unexpected ways.

    Music blares from speakers mounted on a flatbed truck as it drives slowly through the small village of Pantonó, leading a young crowd surrounding a wooden coffin hoisted high by the cluster of men carrying it.

    This is the funeral of a 13-year-old boy, a member of the local baseball team who was electrocuted when he tried to go through an electrified fence in the rain – it is thought, to find food.

    There were virtually no cases of electrocution before the crisis, says Dr. Dora Colomenares, a surgeon at University Hospital in Maracaibo. Now it is a common occurrence as people breach electric fences hunting for food, medicine, and electricity sources to wire off to their homes.

    An unprecedented number of children are also arriving at hospital with broken bones. Doctors told IRIN many injuries were hungry children left alone by parents to go out searching day in and day out for food and medicine, even children who had fallen out of fruit trees they had scaled ever higher searching for something to eat.

    This desperation is also reflected in the thriving business of herb selling, as people across the country turn to traditional remedies in the absence of standard medicine.

    Louisa Lopez, 54, the lone vendor in her row, is packing up the medicinal herbs and leaves she sells. Slits of light coming through the corrugated roof dapple the darkness, bouncing off empty stalls in nearby Cariaco market hall.

    Lopez didn’t have this business before the crisis, but when medicine became scarce she anticipated that people would turn to traditional and homemade remedies. After doing her research on the internet, she set up a stall.

    Her instinct has proven spot on. “Business,” she smiles, “is booming.”

    But so is death.

    Needless, pointless, avoidable. Deaths that would have been unimaginable even five years ago.

    One man in Cumana is eager to talk but fearful of losing his job and CLAP box for speaking out. He asks that his real name not be used and steps inside his pastel-coloured home, where a framed photo of a middle-aged man is sat shrine-like under a vase of lilies atop a decorative lace tablecloth on a round table.

    This, he explains, was his uncle “Alberto M” – a chef. He had died two weeks earlier of hypertension and diabetes, a failure of herbal medicine. The man picks up the photo and studies it in silence. His uncle’s warm smile and kind eyes beam back, blissfully unaware of the fate that would needlessly, avoidably befall him.

    “There is a death daily around here,” says the man, placing the photo back on the table before reeling off a list of recent deaths in the neighbourhood: children from malnutrition; a mother and her unborn baby – more failures of herbal medicine – dead from a urine infection; a brother-in-law, shot, his family charges, by the police and whose body washed up on a nearby shore.

    “But,” he says after a long pause, “we don’t even have coffins. The morgue is stacked high with dead bodies as people can’t find coffins.”

    He explains how people have taken to bringing the body home and praying it doesn’t explode – as happened the week before just down the street – before they find a way to bury it.
    Depression and anger

    This endless struggle just to survive exacts a huge emotional toll.

    “You see people who walk around feeling betrayed, with low spirits, sad – many who don’t want to live, because of the issue of food,” says Garcia, shaking this head, his eyes sad.

    “The biggest psychiatric problem in the world is in Venezuela,” says Colomenares, the surgeon in Maracaibo. “Why? Because there are many depressed people, people who have lost hope. Melancholy and all these things mix with the problems the people are already going through, and they don’t know how to cope with it.”

    Yet, as more and more people are driven to the brink, psychiatric wards are closing. The number of people attended to in public psychiatric facilities has dropped from 23,000 to 3,500 and those that are still working have neither food nor medicines, according to a report published by the Cuatro Por Venezuela Foundation in September.

    Suicide has surged throughout the country.

    Official statistics are hard to come by, but a psychiatric nurse at a large eastern hospital whispers in confidence, scared of losing his job for speaking out, that in his ward alone there were 10 suicides between January and July this year. By comparison, in 2017, there were only three or four. Before then, there were virtually none, he says.

    Venezuelan children’s rights group CECODAP released a study that reported an 18 percent rise from 2017 in adolescents committing suicide in 2018, while Bloomberg found there were 131 suicides in Caracas alone in June and July, a large increase on the normal monthly rate.

    Anger is growing at the seeming indifference of Maduro and his government – a government that refuses to acknowledge the scale of death and sickness of its own citizens.

    "How can you not curse the government straight out? This damn government! This damn government!”

    "I insist here there is no humanitarian crisis; there is a war on the country,” Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Constituent Assembly, said last month, before claiming: “Those who speak of humanitarian crisis are the ones who have created war against our country.”

    Over a lunch of thin soup at his mission in the west of Venezuela, Friar Nelson Sandoval describes the scene in the summer when his whole village was overcome by malaria and there was no medicine. “It was like an apocalyptic film where people were so desperate; they were literally in the street having convulsions.”

    He pounds his fist on the table. “How can you not curse the government straight out? How terrible it is when the electricity is out; when you’re hungry and yet food gets spoiled; when you’re tired as you couldn’t sleep as it was too hot? How do you give Mass? How can you not curse the government straight out? This damn government! This damn government!”

    Emails to the government media department and the Minister of Information for comment on the widespread hunger, the hijacking of food trucks, and the lack of medicines were unanswered at time of publication.

    https://www.irinnews.org/special-report/2018/11/21/hunger-and-survival-venezuela
    #survie #crise #Venezuela #faim #alimentation #malnutrition


  • “A #Femifesto for Teaching and Learning Radical Geography”

    The Athena Co-Learning Collective[1] is a group of graduate students and faculty at the University of Georgia who are committed to living and learning differently in the academy and our communities. We came together in the wake of the 2016 election with various needs for community, praxis, and feminist theory in our work and lives. Our purpose is to work together in active resistance to white supremacist heteropatriarchy and toxic masculinist practices that have underpinned knowledge production and instruction at our universities. We seek to engage, share, and learn from a diversity of knowledges, experiences, hopes, and fears as a means to rehumanize our relations and learning communities. We are inspired by the many feminist collectives who have formed inside and outside the academy before us.[2]

    Recently, many decolonial, anti-racist, and feminist scholars have expanded radical geography and related fields to include a greater diversity of thinkers, writers, and activists. Yet, few of these interventions have materialized as changes to the practices of the academy, or even the discipline of geography (de Leeuw and Hunt 2018). In this, our own intervention, we describe the Athena Co-Learning Collective’s efforts to reject the traditional and enduring graduate seminar format and to structure a seminar based instead on intentionally feminist, anti-racist, and decolonial theory, pedagogy, and praxis.[3] Our work begins in the classroom because it is a key location in the perpetuation of hegemonic ways of thinking and doing that have remained largely the same for centuries (Mohanty 2003). We collaboratively craft the content of our shared learning space, and focus on transforming the oppressive social relationships that were laid bare in new ways for many (but not all) the members of our collective in the wake of the Trump election. By centering the ideas of scholars who build theory for liberatory praxis, we can change how we know ourselves and each other, and how we act within these intimate and broader relations. Furthermore, we intentionally create a “collective” (as opposed to a classroom) as a way to name and define our project as something that is intended to be more than a learning experience, but responsive to emotional needs as individuals and in our community.

    As a means of undoing white supremacist heteropatriarchy, we began by undoing the toxic masculinist practices that materially and metaphorically make the traditional graduate seminar space possible. These masculinist performances typically involve one or more “expert” faculty determining the important scholars to read, then overseeing class “discussion” (often structured as debate) where students seek to prove they have learned something (ideally more than their peers). It includes, furthermore, the privileging of totalizing narratives frequently emanating from the work of Eurocentric male scholars (e.g. Marx, Heidegger, Althusser, Foucault); the performance of competitive behavior (i.e. individualized performances that prioritize speaking out loud, debating, correcting); the enactment of microaggressions (i.e. talking over, ignoring, minimizing the contributions of women, queers, and people of color); and the deployment of reductive logics (i.e. finding one thesis or explanation in a text).

    We believe that liberation from white supremacist heteropatriarchy requires that: 1) we conduct ourselves differently in the teaching and learning process with new feminist, anti-racist, and de-colonial practices and agreements; and 2) we give women, POC, queer people, Indigenous people, and other thinkers the same seriousness and focus we might afford the historical objects of our disciplinary canons. To put this into practice, we began our collective with several key principles and goals: to enact non-hierarchical power relations among all in the room (including faculty); to do away with hypercompetitive performativity; to keep realistic workloads and expectations through “slow” scholarship (Mountz et al. 2015), while also recognizing that faculty, across racial identifications, experience very different time and labour pressures that we must collectively be conscious of; to learn with one another to collectively understand the multiple meanings in the texts we read; to create a space to learn free of shaming; to imagine what radical potential can emerge through this work.[4] This begins to constitute what we understand as the rehumanization of our collective efforts to teach and learn.

    Furthermore, by engaging with feminist, Black, Indigenous, Chicana, and decolonial epistemologies and theorists, we learned that we must not deny or artificially tidy up incommensurabilities, conflicting truths, and uncomfortable subjects. In seeking hard boundaries and sharp gulfs between subjects and objects, us and them, fact and fiction, white supremacist heteropatriarchal forms of knowledge production have violently erased difference and replaced it with hierarchy (Gilmore 2002). Therefore, our politics of knowledge production include:

    1) Generating Collective Solidarity: The first step is to relate to one another – and to support each other – as complex human beings embodying a number of subject positions. None of us enters the classroom as only student or only teacher. Rather, we are also parents, children, partners, laborers, survivors, and so on. Feminist, anti-racist, and queer theory is personal to us all. We cannot engage it in a disembodied or individualistic way. This means allowing time and space to discuss personal, emotional, and non-academic issues as part of the learning process. This also includes being honest about why we may not be fully present or prepared for class activities; getting to know one another outside of the classroom; acknowledging how our own experiences shape our understandings of texts and ideas; engaging in hard conversations about difference and disagreement; kindly confronting misogynistic, racist, or homophobic actions or words among one another; “staying with the trouble” (Haraway 2016) and working through the discomfort individually and collectively.

    2) Engaging in Co-Learning Praxis: We make a commitment to learning with and from each other. We learn more when we cooperate, and we gain power through collectivizing the work of learning. Rather than keeping our knowledge and education to ourselves, we share – share accountability for each other’s learning and share our ideas and knowledge with each other. For example, in the context of the seminar, we collectively chose texts to read, generated shared class notes, collaboratively engaged with texts in large and small groups, and wrote final papers as a class based on our collective (not individualistic) engagement with the readings. We frequently revisited and adjusted course expectations, activities, and assignments to support these efforts.

    3) Enacting Our Ideas through Real World Politics: We believe that it is essential to practice applying this knowledge within our real lives. We develop skills and personal practices for confronting sexism, racism, and unquestioned settler futurity in our workplace and in our communities. We advocate for “radical vulnerability” (Nagar 2014) in communication practice to help realize this aspirational goal. This means modeling intentional courage with each other to raise and navigate difficult topics in our shared workspace, establishing group agreements and conflict mediation norms, and accepting that conflict or difference do not render relationships disposable. While we were not always able to fully enact the principles of feminist collective praxis, we committed to the ongoing task of working through the messiness, especially during critical moments of feedback about the class process and politics. We defined success by our ability to create openings and to keep moving forward.

    Given these political commitments, we present the following principles that all scholars (teachers and students) can implement in their own classrooms and relationships to transform teaching and learning practices to rehumanize ourselves, the academy, and society.

    1) Find Promise and Potential in Affirming Ambiguities: Refuse to submit to the myth of the totalizing rigidity of any one concept and the masculine construction of “realness” which attempts to “stabilize meaning” (Rose 1996: 68), and, thereby, to divide. Seek to explore those multiple narratives and spaces on the outskirts – those unruly contradictions and relentlessly rich complexities of socionatural life, of working-class life, of Black life, Mestiza life, Indigenous life, queer life, of lives in solidarity. Gloria Anzaldúa (1987) taught us that we must embrace internal contradictions, incommensurabilities, conflicting truths, and the uncomfortable subjects they might introduce as sites of radical possibility and struggle. Commit to the always ongoing work of fostering spaces where “hybrid” or “mestiza” ways of being in the world can flourish free from the fetters of categorization.

    2) Embrace the Ethical Task of Uncovering “Absented Presences”: Model Katherine McKittrick’s (2006) unapologetic commitment to honoring the geographies, lives, histories, ideas, and languages held by Black, female, Indigenous, Chicana, queer, and other subjugated peoples (see also Anzaldúa 1987; Lugones 2007; Sandoval 2000; Simpson 2014; Tuck and Yang 2012). While women, POC, and queers have been reluctantly admitted to the ivory tower, their historical absence has simultaneously been a presence. The practice of maintaining these absences is one of “death-dealing displacement of difference into hierarchies that organize relations” (Gilmore 2002: 16) and justifies the ongoing presence of white supremacist heteropatriarchy and toxic masculinist practices. Disrupting this means making changes to the spaces of knowledge production to accommodate multiple ways of knowing and being in the world. Claim the absented presences as spaces of legitimation of multiple narratives, non-settler futures, and difference as a life-giving, not death-dealing, way to organize social relations.

    3) Mobilize toward Collective Rehumanization: See and treat each other as full and complex human beings. Work with and through the troubling and uncomfortable moments. Conducting participatory research, honing perfect politics, and even taking to the streets are not enough to rehumanize our theory and practice. It is time to confront how structurally isolating academic labor is, and to value practices of care work, mentorship, conflict mediation, vulnerability, ambiguity, “presenting the absences”, subverting hierarchical social relations, and relationship-building at the “speed of trust” (brown 2017). When you transform your classrooms into “more humanly workable” spaces (McKittrick 2006: xii), the work to transform society becomes more clear.

    What we offer here is an invitation to all teachers and students, but especially to those successful, well-known, and structurally empowered scholars who profess liberatory politics, to re-evaluate your own teaching and learning practices. We, as the Athena Co-Learning Collective, are still learning how to be in the academy as a woman, as a person of color, as working class, as queer identified, as a feminist. Being radically vulnerable together is a constant struggle, sometimes uncertain and messy. It must be a collective enterprise, which prefigures, engages, and speaks across multiple communities, and insists upon the inseparability of knowledge and action to reject the hegemony of white supremacist heteropatriarchy and toxic masculinist practices. Our feminist collective is but one distillation of these commitments; it represents a form of initial rupture, alongside many other ruptures instigated by feminist comrades the world over. The hard labor yet remains: to rend the curtain fully and step out, together, into a new space.

    https://antipodefoundation.org/2018/11/27/a-femifesto-for-teaching-and-learning-radical-geography
    #manifeste #femineste #géographie_radicale #enseignement #géographie #université #résistance #féminisme #vulnérabilité

    The #Athena_Co-Learning_Collective
    https://www.athenacollective.org