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Swedish elections today

by fjallstrom Sat Sep 8th, 2018 at 09:58:27 PM EST

Sweden goes to the polls today. With low unemployment, sinking murder rates and improving school results, if you believe statistics. However, a large portion of population, media and foreign media treats statistics as a foul conspiracy and is intending to make it about how immigration ruined Sweden.

frontpaged - Bjinse

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Theresa May: Dead Women Walking?

by Frank Schnittger Tue Sep 4th, 2018 at 08:37:35 PM EST

Nothing undermines a leader more than having important members of their own side align themselves with the opposition: First Donald Trump rather pointedly remarked that Boris Johnson would make a great Prime Minister. Then Boris Johnson chips in that Theresa May's Chequers proposals represent the white flag of surrender.  Now Rees-Mogg praises Barnier for his charm and remarked that Barnier and Brexiteers are agreed that Theresa May's Chequers proposals are "absolute rubbish.".

How is the poor woman supposed to conduct a negotiation when her own side give such aid and comfort to the enemy? In a normal democracy, Johnson and Rees-Mogg would be excoriated for betraying their own side. But it seems anything goes when it comes to attacking Theresa May. She is the fall girl for a negotiation they are determined to see fail.

Their only problem is how to prevent her from calling a general election if her putative "deal" is voted down in the Commons: A General Election that would quite possibly usher in Jeremy Corbyn into No. 10. So the trick is to undermine her sufficiently to cause her to resign the leadership without going to the Country first. She must not be allowed to clinch a deal on which she could then launch a campaign.

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Trump the Bullshitter

by Oui Tue Sep 4th, 2018 at 07:29:16 AM EST

Troubling ... Donald is no Sitting Bull!

Making America Great Again -  or the downfall of the empire: fiddling while Rome burns.

The greater Middle East sitting on a powder keg.

More below the fold ...

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First Wind, Solar, Battery Utility Scale Energy Installation: Kennedy Energy Park

by gmoke Tue Sep 4th, 2018 at 01:45:59 AM EST

"Kennedy Energy Park is a world-first wind, solar and energy storage facility located in Flinders Shire in central north Queensland [Australia]. The project is owned by Windlab and Eurus. Construction has commenced and it will be generating by late 2018."

43 MW wind from 12 Vestas wind machines (67 meter/ 220 foot blade length)
15MW solar
2 MW/4 MWH battery

Kennedy Energy Park will generate around 210,000 megawatt hours of electricity a year, enough to power  more than 35,000 average Australian homes.


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Went Missing In Norway

by Oui Mon Sep 3rd, 2018 at 05:38:13 AM EST

Missing Person - Rendition?

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Can a no deal Brexit be a good thing?

by Frank Schnittger Sun Sep 2nd, 2018 at 09:29:27 PM EST

Both sides in the Brexit negotiations have been hyping the risk of a no deal Brexit and becoming more explicit in discussing the economic damage it will do. This is to be expected  in the run up to the end of the negotiations, if only to soften up opponents of a deal.

"There is no alternative", Mrs. May can be expected to say if and when negotiators finally come to a deal: The economic consequences of no deal are too awful to contemplate, a point made clear by the publication of the first of 84 studies on the economic impact of a no deal Brexit.

All of this may very well be true, particularly in the short term. But are there longer term benefits to a no deal Brexit than can overcome any short term disadvantages? This is certainly the theory which arch-Brexiteers cling to when opposing the compromises any deal would entail.

They too can be suspected of tactical maneuvering, both to stiffen the resolve of British negotiators to hold out for a better deal, and to absolve themselves of any responsibility when any final, messy, compromise deal is done.

But let us take their objections at face value, for the moment, and examine their claim that a sovereign UK, free of any entanglement with the EU, could be much more successful, economically and politically, on the world stage.

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Revealed: Steele A Tool of FBI and CIA for Years

by Oui Sun Sep 2nd, 2018 at 12:20:12 AM EST

Corruption at the highest levels in Washington DC ... why I'm NOT surprised ... FBI and IC :)

American media are lapdogs of political elites | De Volkskrant - July 27, 2016 | [Dutch]

FBI Agents tried to flip Russian oligarch Deripaska to get to Trump | The New York Times |

In the estimation of American officials, Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin, has faced credible accusations of extortion, bribery and even murder.

They also thought he might make a good source.

Between 2014 and 2016, the F.B.I. and the Justice Department unsuccessfully tried to turn Mr. Deripaska into an informant.

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Pakistan Warming Up Ties with Iran

by Oui Sat Sep 1st, 2018 at 02:50:14 AM EST

This is a major news story. Ever since the 9/11 attacks on America, Pakistan has carried the brunt of US harsh war policy in the AfPak region. The ties with the US has deteriorated ever since, also under the Obama administration. Harsh criticism by president Trump and threats has separated the two nations even further. In the meantime US relations with Saudi Arabia has created a new alliance with Israel to the detriment of the Palestinian people and its UNRWA refugees.

US confirms end to funding for UN Palestinian refugees | The Guardian |

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The aftermath of Pope Francis' visit to Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Mon Aug 27th, 2018 at 11:29:30 AM EST

Much lower than expected crowds show up for Pope Francis' Mass

Pope Francis' visit to Ireland, just concluded, was very different to that of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in 1979, but it is very difficult to gauge it's significance in the immediate aftermath. The visit was dominated by the clerical child sexual abuse and cover-up scandals, and other scandals concerning Church run mother-and-baby homes, forced adoptions, and forced labour in Magdalen laundries. Pope Francis referred to these scandals in all four of his speeches and begged forgiveness for the Church's part in them.

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John McCain - Let's Not Forget

by Oui Sun Aug 26th, 2018 at 07:41:25 AM EST

Called by political foes (Democrats) and allies (Republicans) a friend and true American patriot.

A man of POOR judgment from participating in bombing North Vietnam as a Navy pilot under guidance from his father the Admiral and Commander of the Navy Fleet to the Keating Five as a politician.

McCain reached the age of 81 a lived a life that could have made a difference for America as a nation. His views and staunch support for the US military and an aggressive foreign policy did all but wreck the lives of many soldiers and "enemies" in war.

In the past twelve months I have lost dear friends due to the deadly disease. All of them not able to come to fulfillment of their young lives at age 24 - age 30 and a mother of a young family at age 45 just a week ago. There is no room for tears by  the passing of John McCain, a friend from Sarah Palin to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama amongst many.

Democrats have placed highest honor on John McCain as well as Henry Kissinger ... what choices do American voters have, really?

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May Concedes Negotiation Task

by Oui Wed Aug 22nd, 2018 at 07:56:27 AM EST

Stepping out of bounds with one-on-one talks with a few European counterparts before her holiday ... didn't lead to any advance.

PM May leaves negotiations where it belongs ... with Raab by Barnier in Brussels! Pressure cooker talks ... it's gonna be mighty difficult to get any clear deal before the transition period kicks in. EU wins another round.

But May can always follow friend Trump's advice: sue! Although I wonder if anyone should ever take his advice seriously looking at his predicament. Sinking deeper and deeper. Not a great partner to be tied down with to save Great Britain on trade and tariffs.

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May's Summer Summit Diplomacy

by Frank Schnittger Thu Aug 23rd, 2018 at 11:09:27 AM EST

Oui has an excellent diary up on the lack of progress made by May's summer diplomatic offensive trying to reset the Brexit negotiations and make her already "dead in the water" Chequers strategy the basis for future discussions. May managed to achieve an opening negotiating position 18 months too late, only to have it thrashed by her own side before she could even bring it to Europe.

In terms of a coherent negotiating strategy, May also got her timing all wrong. Having given Barnier his negotiating brief, European leaders were hardly going to undermine the Brussels negotiating process by overruling current EU negotiating positions.

Getting an agreed negotiating position among 27 nations and other significant actors is actually a considerable (if unsung) achievement: Why would EU leaders want to unravel all of that and throw their side of the negotiation into utter confusion, possibly precipitating Barnier's resignation, and playing into classic UK divide and conquer tactics?

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US Foreign Policy and CIA Masters

by Oui Sun Aug 19th, 2018 at 08:46:07 PM EST

US supplied bomb that killed 40 children on Yemen school bus | The Guardian |

The bomb dropped on a school bus in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition warplane was sold to Riyadh by the US, according to reports based on analysis of the debris.

The 9 August attack killed 40 boys aged from six to 11 who were being taken on a school trip. Eleven adults also died and local authorities said 79 people were wounded, 56 of them children. CNN reported that the weapon used was a 227kg laser-guided bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of many thousands sold to Saudi Arabia as part of billions of dollars of weapons exports.

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Pope Francis' visit to Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Fri Aug 17th, 2018 at 03:50:40 PM EST

Pope Francis is visiting Ireland on 25th. August for the World Meeting of families in what is the first Papal visit to Ireland since Pope John Paul II made a triumphal visit drawing massive crowds in 1979. The event will be a fitting barometer of how much Ireland has changed in the meantime.

Much smaller crowds are expected this time around, and his visit has become mired in controversy. First the World Meeting of Families removed all mention of "non traditional families" from all promotional material, and then there were doubts expressed whether he would have time to meet with survivors of clerical abuse in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Even now it seems most unlikely he will meet with some of the more outspoken critics of the Catholic church such as Clerical abuse survivor Colm O'Gorman, or former President Mary McAleese - who was recent banned from speaking at a conference in the Vatican - which prompted the conference organizers to move the conference to just outside the Vatican.

The timing is also unfortunate, coming so soon after the successful referendum campaigns to legalize same sex marriage and to permit abortion in Ireland.

To cap it all, a grand Jury in Pennsylvania has just issued a report which accused hundreds of priests of abusing thousands of children in just 6 dioceses within Pennsylvania and Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston and Chair of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children,has just cancelled his attendance with the Pope in order to deal with a new crisis of seminarian abuse at one of his seminaries.

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Makkah Siege of 1979 - Turning Point in Saudi Arabia

by Oui Sun Aug 12th, 2018 at 09:22:33 AM EST

Pleasantly surprised by a four parts documentary on the history of the Middle East on Dutch television. Instead of the usual political propaganda, some excellent Arabists to narrate the story of Abdul Nasser from the Suez Crisis of 1956 - the War with Israel in 1967 up to the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1979).

During the secular leadership of Nasser in Egypt during the 1950s, his effort to create equality for the masses through a Arab socialism with land reform got him much praise. Nasser gave people hope of independence from foreign influence. President Dwight Eisenhower played an important role during the Suez Crisis to make clear to the British and French that the era of their empires ended after World War II.

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Israel Lobby is Leading in Attack on Corbyn

by Oui Sat Aug 11th, 2018 at 11:00:32 AM EST

Well, my instinct and analysis wasn't far besides the truth ...

War On BDS, Progressive Left Under Attack
Gaza Politics: Controlling a Sustained Depravity

Article published on August 8th:

The Israel lobby is leading a witch hunt against Corbyn. It has to stop | Middle East Eye | by Richard Silverstein

Britain seems to be going through a period of ritual flagellation. The Labour Party is tearing itself apart in order to assuage charges of anti-Semitism that seem to rain down on it from all sides.

    In order to understand the true motivation
    behind Labour's anti-Semitism charges, it's
    important to focus less on the actual charges
    and more on the organisations making them

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After 35 Years, Iran Liquidates MKO Terrorist near Amsterdam

by Oui Fri Aug 10th, 2018 at 07:01:05 PM EST

The historical event of a savage bombing inside Iran's new leadership after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. The Pahlavi monarchy was ousted, kept in power for decades by foreign states: USA, UK and Israel (Mossad trained the Savak secret police). The occupation of the U.S. Embassy and hostage taking uncovered top secrets detrimental to both the CIA and Mossad. How the Reagan administration managed to make a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to keep the hostages imprisoned until after the presidential election of 1980 is one of the secrets of the "deep state" - Pentagon and IC (27 units).

In addition to the deal with Iran, delivering spare-parts needed to keep the Western purchased fighter planes in the air, the CIA used the proceeds to fund the right-wing extremists in Central America: El Salvador and Nicaragua. The military goods were delivered to Iran through emissaries of Israel.

Rear Adm. John M. Poindexter, the President's former national security adviser, testified that he had approved diversion of the profits to the contras without ever telling President Reagan or anyone else.  

'The Buck Stops Here' | The New York Times - July 1987 |

A list of America's dirty wars with special forces training in Fort Bragg in the techniques of torture and effective guerrilla warfare.

Ten of the Most Lethal CIA Interventions in Latin America  | TeleSur |

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My Learning About Victor Klemperer

by Oui Thu Aug 9th, 2018 at 08:13:14 PM EST

    "What is there that embodies the democratic, the German, the humane ideal?"
    Klemperer asked himself in his diary. For his own life, of course, he already
    knew the answer: it lay in the tireless curiosity, the questioning, the generous
    standards of debate of his heroes Voltaire and Montesquieu and of the other
    thinkers of the Enlightenment.

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Notes on The Language of the Third Reich

by gmoke Tue Aug 7th, 2018 at 06:56:25 PM EST

I first learned of Victor Klemperer's The Language of the Third Reich in a column Mike Godwin of Godwin's Law ("As an online discussion continues, the probability of a comparison to Hitler or to Nazis approaches one") wrote in June 2018 in the LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-godwin-godwins-law-20180624-story.html).

Godwin quoted Klemperer on how, at the beginning of the Nazi regime, he "was still so used to living in a state governed by the rule of law" that he couldn't imagine the horrors yet to come. "Regardless of how much worse it was going to get," he added, "everything which was later to emerge in terms of National Socialist attitudes, actions and language was already apparent in embryonic form in these first months."  Klemperer was, by training, a philologist, the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is a combination of literary criticism, history, and linguistics, and kept a diary throughout the Third Reich which I've always meant to read.

This is a good introduction to Klemperer and seems to be very apt in these days when the public discourse is full of misinformation, propaganda, and outright downright lies. Klemperer classified the language of the Third Reich as LTI [Lingua Tertii Imperii].  Very interesting book which I'm still digesting.  Thanks Mike Godwin.

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White-washing Osama, Saudi Favorite Son

by Oui Fri Aug 3rd, 2018 at 06:59:48 PM EST

I'm truly stunned a quality paper The Guardian claims to be, to have published major article about Osama Bin Laden that is so poorly researched. The holes in the story you can easily drive a truck through them. It irritates me enormously.

I will return to write about the shortcomings, please don't refrain from making your very own comments about the last three decades of Wahhabist inspired and funded terror across the globe. Saudi Arabia under crown prince Salman looking for easy scape goats? The terror spreads and the Yemen expedition sows further discord and division. Saudi Arabia now in close alliance with the UAE, Kuwait, Israel, United Kingdom and the United States.

US mercenaries have made a home in Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest part of the Emirates. Abu Dhabi joined the neoconservatives of the Republican party to defeat Hillary in 2016. Under the radar, or just a narrative the media doesn't write about because US and UK intelligence are pointing fingers at Putin and Russia.

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News and Views

 17 - 23 September 2018

by Bjinse - Sep 18, 55 comments

Your take on this week's news

 3 - 9 September 2018

by Bjinse - Sep 2, 158 comments

Your take on this week's news

 September Open Thread

by Bjinse - Sep 2, 22 comments

I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet thread

Occasional Series
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