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26 November 2016

US: Don't Let Myron Ebell Dismantle the EPA! [Petition]

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The following is an email from Change.org I've received earlier... Definitely worth a read, especially if you live in the US or/and care for the future of this planet.

Stay safe.

Loup Dargent
The Email
Myron Ebell, an outspoken skeptic of climate change, represents a serious threat to the future of global climate change and cooperative efforts to prevent catastrophic and irreversible damage to the health of the planet. 
This article from the New York Times describes Ebell's stance on environmental policy and enumerates many troubling aspects of appointing Ebell to lead the EPA Transition in the Trump Administration. 
Regardless of political affiliation, we as Americans have a responsibility to ourselves, to future generations, and to the rest of the world to work towards a clean and sustainable United States.
It is absolutely critical that our country does not waste four valuable years deregulating fossil fuels and promoting coal mining and fracking. Myron Ebell has said that he would “like to have more funding" to "combat the nonsense put out by the environmental movement.”
This rhetoric reveals a fundamental unwillingness to heed the unanimous warnings of the scientific community that direct and immediate action is necessary to prevent disastrous damage to the stability of the planet.
We must make it clear to Donald Trump and the U.S. Senate that we will not stand for the appointment of such an ill-suited and completely unqualified candidate to lead the EPA Transition. This petition calls for the disqualification of Myron Ebell and anyone he attempts to appoint within the EPA.
Donald Trump: disavow Myon Ebell as a legitimate candidate for the EPA Transition and appoint a qualified candidate.
U.S. Senate: do not confirm Myron Ebell or anyone he nominates to any EPA position. Ebell has proven himself fundamentally unfit for his proposed position, and it is unacceptable to allow him to pursue his reckless agenda.
It is time for the United States to lead the world in a sustainable future. Make your voice heard--this issue is too important to neglect.
Watch this 47-second video if you need a reminder just how much is at stake.
Sign Steve’s petition

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25 November 2016

Jo Cox Murder Reminds Us That Terrorism Comes In Many Forms

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A court drawing of Thomas Mair. PA/Elizabeth Cook
By David Lowe, Liverpool John Moores University

The conviction of Thomas Mair for the murder of the British MP Jo Cox serves as a reminder that terrorism comes in many guises. Mair was tried for murder, rather than terrorism, but the judge in his case made it clear when delivering a whole life sentence that he considered this to be a terrorist murder.

The activities of Islamist groups such as Islamic State and Al Qaeda over the past 15 years have shaped the way we view terrorism. Particularly since the most recent attacks in Paris, Brussels and Nice by Islamic State, many of us tend to more readily associate terrorism with some causes over others. We have come to forget that far-right groups commit acts of terrorism too.

But as Mair’s trial revealed, his political motives were apparent. He owned extreme far-right material and Nazi memorabilia and had visited far-right websites. As he attacked Cox, he shouted “Britain first, this is for Britain”, “Britain will always come first” and Make Britain independent. Cox had been campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Union after the June referendum – a view the far right has always opposed.

This is not an isolated incident inspired by the extreme far right. In June 2015, Zack Davies was convicted of the attempted murder of a Sikh, Sarandev Bhambra. In an unprovoked attack at a supermarket, Davies attempted to decapitate Bhambra. During the attack, Davies shouted racist remarks and had with him a National Action flag.

Formed in 2013, National Action is a Nazi-inspired group that targets mainly disenchanted young people. Its website’s rallying cry is “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”. The organisation glorifies national socialism, Hitler and the Holocaust. The group regularly holds impromptu public meetings around the UK, many of which result in violence, as was seen in February 2016 in Liverpool.

Flowers are laid at a memorial to Jo Cox. PA/Yui Mok

Because of what Mair said when he attacked Cox, the activities of the far-right group Britain First have also come under the spotlight. Although its leader, Paul Golding, was quick to distance the group from Mair’s comments, the group has acquired a para-military image because of the training camps it runs for members and its pledge to take direct action against Islam.

The influence these groups have on people like Mair cannot be overestimated. They are racist, anti-semitic, homophobic and intolerant. Whether they acknowledge it or not, they inspire people to kill and inflict violence on those they see as a threat. It’s also clear from social media that these groups inspire hate crimes. Right-wing trolling has become a startlingly common problem. A particularly striking example is the case of John Nimmo, who sent anti-semitic death threats to Luciana Berger, another Labour MP.

One of his tweets read: “watch your back Jewish scum, regards your friend the Nazi”. The tweet that caused Berger to fear for her own safety was one sent three weeks after Cox’s murder saying she would “get it like Jo Cox”.

Nimmo was convicted of sending malicious communications. And due to the anti-semitic nature of the correspondence, his was classified as a hate crime.

The scale of the problem
The impact of extreme, far-right crime should not be ignored. Figures on cases brought to the attention of the British government’s anti-terrorism programme Prevent suggest that in some regions of the UK, there can be a 50:50 split between people inspired by Islamism and those inspired by the extreme far right.

This might make you wonder why far-right groups are not banned like Islamic State or the various factions of the Irish Republican Army, thereby making them terrorist groups. There is an advantage to not doing this though, as it makes it easier for state agencies to monitor extreme far right groups’ activities and prevents the need for them to go underground.
The British far right has never been a cohesive, united group, which has prevented it from becoming an unmanageable problem. The various organisations involved in extreme right-wing activity have tended to have a fractious relationship, as was seen recently with the decline of the British National Party and the English Defence League.

But that decline has led to the emergence of new hardline groups with more dedicated followers. They may not have terrorist cells like the Provisional IRA during the Irish Troubles, but the far right reminds me of the Ulster Volunteer Force, which tended to carry out assassinations of Roman Catholics. Be it through direct violence on the streets or inspiring hate crime or, as seen with Mair, political assassinations, the danger these groups pose is very real.

The Conversation
About Today's Contributor:
David Lowe, Principal Lecturer in Law, Liverpool John Moores University


This article was originally published on The Conversation

24 November 2016

Canadian Thinker Exposes Core Stupidity In Trump's Political Economy

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Philip McShane (PRNewsFoto/Axial Publishing)
Canadian Philip McShane, twice nominated for the Templeton Prize, boldly confronts the newly elected U.S. president in Profit: The Stupid View of President Donald Trump. His sustained and incisive criticism shines a bright light on foolish views of profit and offers a viable alternative path to American greatness.
"My title was meant to annoy. It might just work. President Trump might see the advantage of getting some of his team to look into this stuff in the serious fashion that I point to at various levels of complexity in this book." (page 71)
The problem of profit and its distribution lurked behind debates between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and then between Clinton and Donald Trump. In his blunt attack on the newly elected president and his perspective on the U.S. economy, McShane identifies a massive needed shift in economic theory and practice. Drawing upon the works of Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) and Bernard Lonergan (1904–1984), he diagnoses a fundamental yet deeply hidden oversight concerning the nature of profit and lays out a timely alternative. McShane shares details about the topic, audience, and scope of his book in an interview: philipmcshane.org/profit-book/Interview with Philip McShane.pdf.
Seemingly directed at President Trump, Profit: The Stupid View of President Donald Trump is in fact addressed to the mass of discontented voters, workers, and citizens. The great benefit of reading this book is that the attentive reader will grasp the key issue missed by Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, and President Trump, as well as Trump's recently appointed advisors. The key issue is also missed by the staid and settled establishment that is the contemporary economics professoriate.
"It is not, then, the rigged system that is the grounding fault but a gross overall stupidity; it is not a matter of some tinkering round the problem of minimum or middle-class wages, but of a massive shift in wages blocked for centuries by a pseudo-scientific economics. Of course, there is a rigging that backs and sustains the pseudo-science, 'a gentlemanly ring that conspires against the public,' 'the gullibility of society in accepting profit as a criterion of satisfactory enterprise.'" (page viii)
For more information about Profit: The Stupid View of President Donald Trump, please visit: philipmcshane.org/profit-book.
Profit: The Stupid View of President Donald Trump (PRNewsFoto/Axial Publishing)
Philip McShane (D.Phil., Oxford University, 1965–68) was trained in mathematical physics, and later studied philosophy, theology, and economics. He has written extensively in diverse areas, including evolutionary theory, linguistics, economics, and methodology. McShane has presented the key issue underlying a transition to sane economics in various countries, including India, Mexico, Korea, Australia, Canada, and the United States.


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22 November 2016

Why Donald Trump Should Read The Wizard Of Oz Before Becoming President

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If he only had a heart. Wikimedia
By Janet Greenlees, Glasgow Caledonian University

Donald Trump may have won the American presidency by promoting himself as the candidate for the common people to overthrow the Washington establishment, but this recent populist surge is certainly not the country’s first. Populists originally threatened to overwhelm American politics in the late 19th century in reaction to changes brought about by industrialisation. They became widely known as the Populist Party.

Concentrated primarily in Midwestern farming communities, starting in Kansas in the 1880s, the Populist Party sought to assert the rights of the farmer. They challenged the railroad companies, bankers and East Coast businessmen who kept agricultural prices low and freight costs high and insisted America remain on the gold standard.

The gold standard had kept interest rates high and caused deflation, combining with the other problems to push farmers into debt. The Populists wanted silver coins to become legal tender to expand the money supply and counteract the deflation. Led by one of America’s greatest orators, William Jennings Bryan, the party became a viable force in American politics in the 1890s, and attracted some urban workers to their movement by promoting an eight-hour work day and restrictions on immigration.

In the congressional elections of 1894, the Populists secured nearly 40% of the votes. Bryan ran in the 1896 presidential election, representing both the Populists and the Democrats and made a famous speech in which he accused the banks of crucifying the farmer on a “cross of gold”. In the end he lost to the Republican candidate, William McKinley, by 95 electoral votes. McKinley’s campaign spent five times as much on the election.


Not in Kansas anymore
The story of this original American populist movement is well told through The Wizard of Oz, written by Lyman Frank Baum in 1900. While the musical and 1939 Hollywood movie ensured it became one of the best-known children’s stories ever written, many people may not be aware of the political allegory behind it.

Oz is a reference to gold, as the abbreviation for “ounce”. Dorothy represents Everyman, the Scarecrow the farmer, the Tin Woodman the industrial worker and the Cowardly Lion is William Jennings Bryan. The Wizard is the president, the Munchkins the “little people” of America and the Yellow Brick Road the gold standard.

Baum’s original. Wikimedia

The story begins with Dorothy and her house being swept away from Kansas to the Land of Oz by a tornado, landing on and killing the Wicked Witch of the East (the coastal bankers and capitalists), who had kept the munchkin people in bondage. Dorothy begins her journey along the Yellow Brick Road wearing magical silver slippers to represent the desire for silver coinage (note that the ruby slippers were introduced for the movie).

Dorothy meets the Tin Woodman who was “rusted solid”, in reference to industrial factories closed during the 1893 depression. But the Tin Woodman’s real problem was he did not have a heart, having been dehumanised by factory work that turned men into machines.
Later Dorothy meets the Scarecrow who is without a brain. Baum believed the farmer lacked the brains to recognise his political interests. While midwestern farmers backed the Populists, many southern rural people did not out of traditional loyalty to the Democrats and racism – this was only decades after the effective end of Reconstruction in 1877. Next Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, who needs courage – Baum is saying William Jennings Bryan had to offer the party more than his loud roar.

Together these friends head for the Emerald City (Washington, DC) in the hope the Wizard of Oz (the president) might be able to help them. But like all politicians, the Wizard plays on their fears – appearing in different forms to each character. To Dorothy he is a disembodied head, to the Woodman a bright ball of fire, to the Lion a predatory beast.

Wizard of Oz (1939). Insomnia Cured Here, CC BY-SA

Soon they discover the Wizard to be a fake – a little old man who likes “making believe”. In other words, the president is only powerful so long as he fools people – and corrupt leaders cannot do this for long. The core of Baum’s message comes when the Scarecrow shouts: “You’re a humbug!

After Dorothy melts the Wicked Witch of the West, who is just as evil as her counterpart in the East, the Wizard flies away in a hot-air balloon to a new life. The Scarecrow is left in charge of Oz and the Tin Woodman rules the East. Yet Baum seems to realise that the Populist dream of farmer and worker gaining power would never materialise because the Cowardly Lion goes back into the forest. And when Dorothy returns to Kansas, she has lost her magical silver shoes – representing the end of the fight for silver coinage.

The Populists recede
The Populists of the 1890s quickly faded after economic prosperity returned under President McKinley. Their anti-immigrant policy was recognised as anti-American, while increasing numbers of people moved to cities and embraced industrialisation. Bryan’s involvement with the Democrats in 1896, who shared the Populists’ views on silver, also saw the parties increasingly become one. Bryan ran again under both nominations in 1900, but by then the Populists were rapidly fading from America’s political scene.

We shouldn’t miss the parallels between the near-miss of the Populists in the 1890s and Trump’s 2016 campaign. Trump pushed for economic, social and political change against the elites, despite running on the Republican ticket. Both movements also played on people’s fears of immigration.

Hail the Donald. EPA

The big difference, of course, is that Trump will make it to the White House. He certainly had a loud roar, but it is hard to know what he will now do. He has not yet offered any substantial plans for the future and his message regularly changed during the campaign. In particular it will be interesting to see if he carries out his immigration policies, especially if they too come to be seen as anti-American in the years ahead.

Either way he would do well to remember the message of the Wizard of Oz. If he was merely fooling the people and does not represent those who voted for him, he may not remain powerful for long. Some other group of friends will be on their way to the Emerald City to declare him a humbug. Some things change, but others stay the same.

The Conversation
About Today's Contributor:
Janet Greenlees, Senior Lecturer in History, Glasgow Caledonian University


This article was originally published on The Conversation.


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21 November 2016

Angela Merkel To Run Again: Why She's The Antithesis Of Donald Trump In A Post-Truth World

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EPA/Kay Nietfeld
By Katharina Karcher, University of Cambridge

Angela Merkel has finally confirmed that she will run for reappointment as German chancellor in the country’s 2017 parliamentary elections. Many have hoped for this moment, despite the setbacks of the past few years. There is a strong sense that the world needs Merkel now more than ever. She has made some unpopular decisions in her 11 years as chancellor but she is, to many, the antithesis of Donald Trump.

Tough times
Chancellorship has been no walk in the park for Merkel of late. In 2015, she upset many supporters of her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), by opening German borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees. To curb the influx, Merkel had to commit to a dirty deal with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan, offering generous EU visa terms for his citizens in exchange for stopping millions of refugees from entering Europe.

The pressure intensified in 2016, when a spate of sexual assaults, apparently committed by migrants, stirred up a significant backlash against the new arrivals.

Merkel’s CDU went on to suffer bitter setbacks in federal elections. And an Islamic State-inspired axe attack by a young man from Afghanistan in Bavaria in July 2016 was seen as evidence that Merkel’s open door refugee policy had failed.

In September 2016, Merkel’s popularity reached a five-year low. No more than 45% of German people were satisfied with her performance. During a public speech on German Unity Day in Dresden, angry protesters drew on Nazi language and called Merkel a “traitor of the people” and demanded her resignation.

On the international stage, the Brexit vote was a huge blow to Merkel and her pro-European course. She now needs to negotiate an exit for Britain without also triggering the demise of the entire EU project.

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, Merkel will have to deal with Donald Trump as president of the United States. After Trump’s election victory, Merkel gave a remarkable speech, offering him close collaboration on the basis that the new American president would respect freedom, democracy and the dignity and worth of all people.

While most other world leaders gave bland statements of half-hearted hope that the president-elect would not see through on his more controversial promises, the German leader was sending a strong signal – and even a challenge.

After the open sexism and racism that characterised Trump’s campaign, it looks like close collaboration is an extremely unlikely scenario. Merkel was effectively saying that standing up to such prejudice was more important to her than relations with the US – although whether she remains true to her principles should she be re-elected is another question.

A sense of responsibility
Given the overwhelming number of problems facing whoever wins in 2017, the easiest decision would have been to let someone else do the job of chancellor. But Merkel isn’t one for easy solutions.

There was little enthusiasm or excitement in her voice as she announced her candidacy, and she openly admitted that standing had been a difficult decision. Although Merkel didn’t mention any names, it was obvious that she wanted to send a message to Trump and right-wing populists in Europe. She emphasised that political decisions need to be based on the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, respect for the law, and the dignity of every human being.

Merkel responds to Trump’s victory.

Following her announcement, Merkel appeared on a talk show and left no doubt that she expected difficult times and an “exhausting and challenging” election campaign. Yet, she added that she felt confident that she could defend these values that hold our society together.

Merkel openly challenges Trump because there is a lot more at stake than Anglo-German relations. Fears grow that in 2017 the right-wing populist Marine Le Pen could become the next French president, and that Europe’s far right will grow further. Against this background, Merkel sees an urgent need to oppose the populism, racism and gender ideology of the extreme right, and this feeling is shared by many Germans.

Can she win?
Merkel’s statement was a manifestation of everything that people love and hate about her. She carefully assesses situations before taking decisions, she is stubbornly committed to Christian values and the European project, she seeks consensus rather than victory, and she displays a striking lack of charisma.

The New York Times has called Merkel the liberal west’s last defender and while she is too smart to get excited about such headlines, she knows that her approach and personality traits have become a rare commodity in the post-truth era of global politics.

Merkel has described herself as a “chancellor for turbulent times” and there is good reason to believe that she could act as an important counterbalance to the charismatic, impulsive, erratic, and polemical President Trump.

Recent polls suggest Merkel’s popularity scores are slowly recovering. Although it is to be expected that some CDU voters will switch to vote for the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AFD), she has a good chance of re-election. She may not win an outright majority, but her party would be able to form a coalition with various other parties, which would leave the CDU in a strong position to push through their candidate for the chancellorship.

The Conversation
About Today's Contributor:
Katharina Karcher, Sutasoma Research Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, University of Cambridge


This article was originally published on The Conversation

20 November 2016

No, This Isn’t The 1930s – But Yes, This Is Fascism

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EPA/Roman Pilipey
By James McDougall, University of Oxford

The spread of fascism in the 1920s was significantly aided by the fact that liberals and mainstream conservatives failed to take it seriously. Instead, they accommodated and normalised it.

The centre right is doing the same today. Brexit, Trump and the far right ascendant across Europe indicate that talk of a right-wing revolutionary moment is not exaggerated. And the French presidential election could be next on the calendar.

The shock felt by status-quo liberals and the anguish experienced on the left are matched only by the satisfaction of those on the extreme right that finally they are winning. The so-called “mature” liberal democracies have long managed to marginalise them. They have long seen themselves as vilified for speaking the common man’s unpalatable truths to out-of-touch elites. Now their champions are taking the political mainstream by storm.

The signs are there if you look for them. EPA

And amid the disbelief, heartbreak, and protest, centre-right politicians and commentators seek to normalise and reassure. They dismiss whingers” and “moaners”. They tell us to “get over it” and brush off talk of a new fascism as unfounded scaremongering.
Even among historians, apparently – as the conservative British writer Niall Ferguson condescended to tell Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis – analogies with the 1930s are made only by the easily confused.

The circumstances of society, the economy and geopolitics are so different, we are told, that today’s right-wing populism cannot be called a fascistic revival. The mainstream centre right assures us that all will be well in the wake of Trump’s election. It did the same after the UK’s EU referendum, even as hate crime figures skyrocketed. Conservative politicians continue to insist that the real news is about the wonderful opportunities ahead.

But that is precisely where the real analogy with Europe in the 1920s and 1930s lies. The circumstances of 2016 are indeed very different to those against which militarised party shock troops fought street battles, and monarchists looked for a strong man to capture popular grievances and save them from Bolshevik revolution.

But historical circumstances, like individuals, are always unique and unrepeatable. The point of comparison is not to suggest that we are living though the 1930s redux. It is to recognise the very strong family resemblance in ideas shared by the early 20th century far right and its mimics today.

Mussolini in 1922. Wikimedia Commons

Discussion of fascism suffers from an excess of definition. That often, ironically, allows far-right groups and their apologists to disavow the label because of some tick-box characteristic which they can be said to lack. But just as we can usefully talk about socialism as a recognisable political tradition without assuming that all socialisms since the 1840s have been cut from one mould, so we can speak of a recognisably fascist style of politics in Europe, the US, Russia and elsewhere. It is united by its espousal of a set of core ideas.

The theatrical machismo, the man or woman “of the people” image, and the deliberately provocative, demagogic sloganeering that impatiently sweeps aside rational, evidence-based argument and the rule-bound negotiation of different perspectives – the substance of democracy, in other words – is only the outward form that this style of politics takes.
More important are its characteristic memes. Fascism brings a masculinist, xenophobic nationalism that claims to “put the people first” while turning them against one another. That is complemented by anti-cosmopolitanism and anti-intellectualism. It denounces global capitalism, blaming ordinary people’s woes on an alien “plutocracy” in a language that is both implicitly anti-Semitic and explicitly anti-immigrant, while offering no real alternative economics. In the US, that was perfectly exemplified in Trump’s closing campaign ad.

Trump’s view of the world.

A view of the world is presented that is centred on fears of “national suicide” and civilisational decline, in which whites are demographically overwhelmed by “inferior” peoples, minorities and immigrants. Today, this is the French far-right’s paranoid fantasy of le grand remplacement. Geopolitics are defined by latent religio-racial war. In the 1930s, this meant a death struggle with communism. Today, it looks to, and feeds abundantly on, Islamist extremism and Islamic State, abusively identified with “Islam” as a whole.

This is a new fascism, or at least near-fascism, and the centre right is dangerously underestimating its potential, exactly as it did 80 years ago. Then, it was conservative anti-communists who believed they could tame and control the extremist fringe. Now, it is mainstream conservatives, facing little electoral challenge from a left in disarray. They fear the drift of their own voters to more muscular, anti-immigrant demagogues on the right. They accordingly espouse the right’s priorities and accommodate its hate speech. They reassure everyone that they have things under control even as the post-Cold War neoliberal order, like the war-damaged bourgeois golden age last century, sinks under them.

The risk, at least for the West, is not a new world war, but merely a poisoned public life, a democracy reduced to the tyranny of tiny majorities who find emotional satisfaction in a violent, resentful rhetoric while their narrowly-elected leaders strip away their rights and persecute their neighbours. That might be quite bad enough.

The Conversation
About Today's Contributor:
James McDougall, Associate Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford


This article was originally published on The Conversation


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18 November 2016

Top 10 Movies, Which Plagiarised Each Other

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Sometimes, while you’re watching a movie, you get a strong feeling that you’ve seen this before somewhere but can’t just put a finger on it.

That might be because you have, sort of. There are so many movies being produced today that it’s become really hard to come up with something original. Sometimes, screenwriters just give up and plagiarize other movies and maybe change a thing or two. Join our plagiarism debate.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 10 movies which plagiarized other movies.
Disturbia

No 1 on our list is the 2007 detective movie starring Shia LaBeouf. It might come as a surprise to some but the movie was sued because of its suspicious similarities to a short story by Cornell Woolrich known as It Had To Be Murder released in 1942.


Both had almost the same plot with only a few minor plot details to separate the two.

A Fistful Of Dollars

This is yet another movie which ripped off a Japanese movie by Akira Kurosawa known as Yojimbo.


After Akira saw the movie, A Fist Full of Dollars, he immediately contacted the director saying it was his movie. He later received an out-of-court settlement.

Lilo and Stitch

While it wasn’t the whole movie that was a plagiarized version of another movie, a very important part of it was downright stolen.


The character Stitch was stolen from a comic from 1987 called Sam and Max by Steve Purcell.

Max was the character which Stitch was based on. Worse of all, it was done without the permission of Steve Purcell.

Ice age

Ice Age was a blockbuster animated movie from 2002 which made a whopping 43 million dollars on its opening weekend alone. Too bad none of it went to Ivy Silberstein.


The little squirrel who is always obsessed with a nut was actually based off a trademarked character by Ivy known as Sqrat. She pitched the character to Fox but was unsuccessful.

Imagine her surprise when she saw her own character in a movie she got nothing from.

Well played Fox, well played.

Titanic

The huge mega-blockbuster from 1997 is actually contains scenes that were blatantly ripped off from another familiar movie you might know as Aladdin (1992).


Several scenes actually contain identical lines and imagery from the cartoon.

No lawsuits were filed though.

Tango and Cash

The action-thriller featuring Sylvester “Rambo” Stallone and Kurt Russel was a shameless plagiarism of the movie Police Story starring Jackie Chan.


Both movies feature an extremely similar plot and scenes which were downright stolen from Police Story.

No wonder Stallone is sometimes called “Sly”. That was some sly handiwork right there.

Ted

Who doesn’t love the foul-mouthed, crack-smoking, adorable teddy bear from the movie Ted? Too bad he wasn’t original.


Ted is actually a rehashed character from a cartoon strip by Lucan Turnbloom known as Clovis the talking bear.

Both teddy bears are identical to the point of them being addicted to alcohol. It couldn’t be clearer.

Family Guy

You never would have guessed that Family Guy’s Stewie Griffin is actually a plagiarized character.


Years before Family Guy came to life, a character extremely similar to Stewie had already been existing in Chris Ware’s novels.

Simple case of stolen character right here. Whether Chris sued and got his share of the cake is unknown to me.

Batman (2008)

Yes. Even Batman is not above plagiarism. You might remember a scene from the movie where the lines: “This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object”.


That sounds like some original writing from the screenwriters. Except that something very similar was mentioned in the movie, Kickboxer 2 in 1991.

It seems we can’t even trust Batman anymore.

Back to the Future

This might not be considered plagiarism but it damn near foots the bill. A similar plot which is: a mad scientist constructs a breakfast-making machine to feel fulfilled, was first introduced in 1967 by a movie called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.


You’ll notice that exact plot in the original Back to the Future movie. Although, several other movies such as Honey, I blew up the kids, The Wrong Trousers, etc. are guilty of the exact same thing.


This article was written by Edusson community.

16 November 2016

Before Trump Can Wreck The Climate...

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Image via Avaaz.org
Dear Avaazers everywhere,

In 67 days, President Trump could go to war with climate action.But governments are at their annual climate summit right now. If we act fast,​ we could get them to lock in progress before he can destroy everything we worked for.

Germany, China, India, Brazil, the climate vulnerable countries, and others are reasserting their commitment to the Paris climate deal. But if enough of us call for it we could get them to urgently lock in the way to zero climate pollution, demand the US keeps its Paris promise, and commit to advance faster towards climate solutions that Trump won't be able to stop.

Let's ask them to make an unequivocal statement for climate action, regardless of what Trump does. Avaaz has staff inside the summit -- let's make this the biggest public call ever to show we will fight like hell for everything we love -- it'll be delivered directly to governments.
Sign the Paris protection petition​,​ and​ share this with everyone!
Trump​ has called climate change a hoax, dismissed the Paris​ ​agreement, and just gave a climate denier with ties to Big Oil the job of determining his environmental policy in the next few months! 

But over 100 countries have signed up and Paris is already in force. Now the world's most vulnerable countries are leading the charge for urgent climate action. Yesterday, Germany announced a bold new plan to radically cut carbon and, crucially, China is shutting down coal and breaking records on renewable energy. India too. 

Trump could pull the US out of the UN climate convention when he comes to power -- and as the world’s largest per capita emitter, that will have huge impact not only on the people of the US, but on all of us. But such a withdrawal is a bureaucratic nightmare that could take years. If enough of us join together now with a roar of NO! we can find ways to stop it, and ensure the rest of the world speeds up if the US slows down. 

We simply can't let this ignorant billionaire destroy the only path to save our planet. Let's go all out now to keep the world on track when Trump takes office
Sign now to get our leaders to recommit to our planet and share this!
Together​,​ we helped make the landmark Paris climate agreement possible. We marched, donated, signed, and called. In the end, we helped push good leaders to be champions and made it difficult for anyone trying to block progress. Paris was always a starting point. We still have a long way to go to save everything we love from climate change. But if we lose it now, this shot at global cooperation is gone. This week we must act. 

With hope,

Loup Dargent
On behalf of Iain, Alice, Pascal, Risalat, Fatima, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team


Image via Avaaz.org

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