The Bureau of Counterpropaganda
Cutting through the bullshit.
Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Friday, 23 August 2013
If you read this blog and are unfamiliar with the Green Bans, or if for some reason you've missed seeing Rocking the foundations, you're in for a treat.
I've been trying to track down a copy of this inspiring classic documentary for decades. It doesn't appear to have been available in any format. But just last month one sam wallman posted it on Youtube. Onya, Sam!
The NSWBLF is particularly interesting since construction workers are so typically seen on the liberal left as the epitome of racism and sexism in the working class. Yet this was a union which fought for the right of women to work in the construction industry, which vigorously supported abortion rights and other demands raised by the burgeoning women’s liberation movement and which backed up its support by turning out for marches on these issues.Watch it! I insist!
Long before it became fashionable, the NSWBLF also supported gay rights, went on gay rights marches and used its industrial muscle, for example by placing a ‘pink ban’ on building work at a university where a gay student had been thrown out of a hostel. And in a society in which anti-Aboriginal prejudice was rampant, the union was forthright in its anti-racist politics long before such views became fashionable.
The union also organised on a very democratic basis. There was a high degree of rank and file control, including over all agreements. Most of the officials had worked in the building industry. All officials, even publications editors, had to come from the shop floor, and officials had to return there after six years in full-time positions in the union. Officials’ pay was tied to award rates, an important measure in preventing them from becoming a self-serving elite connected more to the bosses than to the workers they represented.
...Perhaps what the NSWBLF was most known for, however, was ‘green bans’. The construction workers risked their jobs to place bans on indiscriminate development which was tearing down much of inner-city Sydney and evicting working class people from their homes, as well as over-running parks and bush. These campaigns were carried out in conjunction with local residents’ committees, forging an alliance between organised labour and the local community which made it especially hard for the bosses, the state and the media to isolate militants or push through the ‘re-development’ plans.
h/t Linda Kearns via Philip Ferguson via Marxmail
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 09:29
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 17:10
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Last week, I received another email from Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J-Street, 'the political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans'. It seems he's peeved. So what's he got his knickers in a twist about?
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 06:46
Thursday, 11 July 2013
In this morning's Algemeiner,
Zach Pontz reports on a new report compiling unreported reports of
'Violent Attacks Committed Against Jews in Israel'. The report,
reportedly comprising 17 pages, is the work of one Yehudit Tayar,
spokeswoman for Hatzalah Yehudah veShomron ('Judea and Samaria Relief'), 'a volunteer emergency
medical response organization that works along with the IDF and
Israeli security forces throughout Judea, Samaria and the Jordan
Valley'. Accordingly, the 'Jews in Israel' are all located in
'Yehudah and Shomron', aka 'Judea and Samaria', or the occupied West
Bank, as it is known here on Earth.
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 11:24
Sunday, 16 June 2013
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 09:58
Thursday, 13 June 2013
[Note: a few additions, 2013 06 16]
When I first read about the NSA collecting 'metadata' about telephone calls, I thought it was an unconventional use of the term. But on reflection, if you regard the actual substance of a phone call as the data of interest, then the details pertaining to the call are, in fact, metadata.
At another level of analysis, those metadata are themselves data and are only meaningful when viewed in light of their own set of metadata. That is what I think of as metadata.
The record of a telephone call is probably represented as a string of characters. The metadata would specify what they mean. First of all, it would tell you that the unit of enumeration – what each record describes – is a 'Phone call', which would be defined to include or exclude SMSs, MMSs, video calls, etc. If it included more than one type of call, there would be a 'Call type' field with a code indicating what kind of call it was. The first 20 characters of the record, then, might be a sequential call record identifier. The metadata would then specify that the field is named 'Call record id' and comprises 20 numerical characters. There might then be a code for the date of the call, which would tell you that it is an eight character numeric field and link it to a particular time zone. Similarly, the metadata for 'Time of call' would say that the field is four numeric characters and the applicable time zone, and define its content as the time the call is answered (or perhaps when dialling was completed). The next three characters might represent the country code of the originating phone, which would be called, for example, 'Originating country code', be 3 numeric characters long and associated with a table of valid country codes (a classification), linking each with the relevant country; etc. The 'classification' associated with the fields for actual phone numbers would effectively be a reverse telephone directory. Other fields could include codes for the phone towers, satellites and nodes the call passes through, with times, details of the receiving number, and so forth.
The metadata pertaining to survey data would include definitions of the concepts purportedly collected, the wording and sequence of the questions asked to elicit data supporting those concepts, how such data are classified, a definition of the units being measured, the time the data apply to, the sampling methodology, and so forth. So a record in a labour force survey would include data like 'Dwelling id', 'Household number', 'Person number', 'State' or other geographic indicators, 'Sex of person', 'Age of person in years', 'Marital status of person', 'Labour force status of person', 'Hours actually worked by person during reference period', 'Hours usually worked by person', 'Status in employment of person in main job', 'Occupation of person in main job', 'Industry of person in main job', additional comparable fields for second, third, fourth... jobs, 'Duration of unemployment of person', etc. The metadata for records like that would name and define each field, stipulate its length and the type of characters allowed, and associate it with any relevant classification. The classification could be quite simple. A classification of 'Sex of person' might look like this:
Sexwhile classifications of 'Occupation' and 'Industry' fill large tomes. Sometimes, of course, a number is just a number, 'Age in years', for example. But even these can be classified by grouping them into ranges. For the record, it's never a good idea to collect age in ranges, as that can make it impossible to compare the data with other data collected or output in different ranges. So if you are interested in the population aged 18-22 years, for example, and ask respondents whether they are in that range, you could never compare your data with data collected in standard age ranges: 15-19, 20-24... If you're developing a survey, I urge you to collect age last birthday in single years.
Finally, a generalisation like 'The mean number of completed calls originating from phones within the 50 states is 7.8 per day' is not really metadata. It's just another way of presenting the data. The applicable metadata would include definitions of 'Completed call' (including or excluding SMS, etc.) and 'Within the 50 states' (including or excluding diverted calls, global roaming, etc.).
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 13:02
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 18:50
Thursday, 28 February 2013
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 13:13
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 12:55
Saturday, 29 December 2012
This morning I received an email from
Jason Isaacson, the American Jewish Committee's Director of
Government and International Affairs, demanding that I 'stand up to
the threat of a nuclear Iran' by donating to the AJC.
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 12:25
Saturday, 15 December 2012
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 11:13
Monday, 3 December 2012
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 21:50
Sunday, 2 December 2012
This checkpoint is for the passage of Israelis only.
(PHOTO CREDIT: Dudy Tzfati via Roy, TRANSLATION CREDIT: Dudy Tzfati)
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 08:05
Saturday, 1 December 2012
- Palestine can join the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court and file a Complaint with the ICC against the illegal settlements and settlers, who are committing war crimes;
- Palestine can join the Statute for the International Court of Justice, sue Israel at the World Court, and break the illegal siege of Gaza;
- Palestine can join the Law of the Sea Convention and get its fair share of the enormous gas fields lying off the coast of Gaza, thus becoming economically self-sufficient;
- Palestine can become a High Contracting Party to the Four Geneva Conventions [this deals with the laws of war];
- Palestine can join the International Civil Aviation Organization and gain sovereign, legal control over its own airspace;
- Palestine can join the International Telecommunications Union and gain sovereign legal control over its own airwaves, phone lines, bandwidths.
The insidious part of this process is how the PA, conscious of this transformation, continues to speak of the "Palestinian people," which had been reduced through the Oslo accords to those West Bank and Gaza Palestinians it now claims to represent.
- Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967;
- Decides to accord to Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations as the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice;
- Expresses the hope that the Security Council will consider favourably the application submitted on 23 September 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations;
- Affirms its determination to contribute to the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfils the vision of two States: an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security with Israel on the basis of the pre-1967 borders;
- Expresses the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations within the Middle East peace process based on the relevant United Nations resolutions, the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides that resolves all outstanding core issues, namely the Palestine refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, borders, security and water;
- Urges all States, the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination, independence and freedom;
- Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to implement the present resolution and to report to the Assembly within three months on progress made in this regard.
Posted by Ernie Halfdram at 17:01