Monday, August 28th, 2017
some might say that ayaan hirsi ali is intolerant and is to blame for hollands’ fall from the disney land of europe to a hotbed of populism and xenophobia. that would only be partially true. as the foundation had already been lain by the success of the homosexual dutch populist pim fortuyn, who was killed by a dutch animal rights activist in the early 00s. given that ayaan hirsi ali is black and coupled with her being a recovering muslim, gives her criticism of the religion a certain weight, which maybe it should not have. why is she an expert on a particular religion? is it because she was raised in it. having grown up attending a christian church, does this make a person an expert on christianity? isn’t that why the clergy exists. at least the ones who actually hold a college degree in religious studies. now ali (not to be confused with mohammad ali) is on a quest to take down the southern poverty law center. the SPLC is a civil right organization that tracks intolerance and hate in the united states. according to her editorial in the new york times, she’s a bit pissed that the SPLC has put her on their hate group list. given that she has the right to say what she wants to about anyone as long as she is not inciting violence, the SPLC has the right to add her to a list of what they perceive as intolerant people. does she have the right to sue them? probably not. but her partner in arms in the UK, according to the BBC’s Hardtalk has decided to pursue this route. the first amendment in the US is not about picking and chosing what you like or don’t like. and as richard cohen says in the Hardtalk interview below, even the alt-right have the right to march in the US because the law allows it. and there are those who believe it is easier to deal with issues that are above ground than those that are below ground and opens up the opportunity of an intellectual debate. whether or not one agrees with the marchers is a completely different issue. the SPLC serves a useful purpose. their website is like a whose who of hate in the US. it is of course the PoV of the people who work at SPLC but they seemingly endeavour to backup their PoV with facts. it is up to the reader to decide whether or not he or she agrees with the SPLC.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
the trump administration brings you the US treasury secretary and producer of suicide squad, steve mnuchin. enough said. mnunchin defends donald trump against alumni from his yale graduating class. we guess the elite schools in the US just ain’t what they used to be.
Saturday, August 19th, 2017
there is really nothing to say about steve bannon. his exit from the white house has been thoroughly covered. in the end despite trump claiming that bannon only turned up at the end of his presidential campaign, ann coultur, bannon, milo (omg we wrote his name, but we won’t write his last name) , breitbart and the originals (which includes katrina pierson, corey lewandowski and mike flynn) made donald trump the candidate –despite the art of the deal trump and the apprentice trump having already existed. they sort of helped define, shape and roundout the donald trump show. notice how we did not include sean spicer and reince in this group. the remaining lackies in the west wing and the administration have no street cred with americans in the midwest, south and mountain time. and they aren’t remotely funny. not even a little bit well, except for kellyanne conway. but steve mnuchin did produce suicide squad. if that’s not funny, what is?
Saturday, July 29th, 2017
reince priebus is out. sean spicer is out. whose next? is this the beginning or the end of the bloodletting? now the US president has surrounded himself exclusively with family, friends and generals. engaging in nepotism and cronyism has always beenat the heart of how donald trump has run his private businesses. it’s like the east european roots of his wives have trumped trump’s north european roots. it’s a playbook straight out of the mafia. having attended a military academy as a child, trump values the leadership abilities of those who have served in the military. despite his having been a draft dodger during the vietnam war. that being said. what makes a good leader? well, vision matters. what also matters is the ability to pick good people and to delegate. what makes a good president? a man (and they usually are men) who can articulate his vision, has the ability to compromise, and the ability to admit when he is wrong. the phrase personal responsibility is a phrase the trump family are not familiar with.
like the head of the (a) mafia clan, trump doesn’t trust anyone unless he feels like he knows him (and it’s usually a him). he values unflinching loyalty and he trusts people with money because in his capitalist mindset rich people are smart and poor people are dumb. it’s not clear how he feels about the middle class. but it will be the middle class who will decide (when they vote in the mid-term elections) whether or not the trump administration is a complete disaster.
the theory about populists is that they cannot govern. they know nothing about creating policies and even less about compromise and diplomacy. according to the hill, donald trump called john mccain the day mccain voted against the repeal of the affordable care act. obviously trump’s ability to persuade rivals hasn’t lived up to anyone’s expectations. we must all remember that about 18 months ago trump berated senator john mccain for having fought in the vietnam war (which trump’s wealthy family helped him avoid) and being imprisoned during the same war. the irony of all ironies, innit?
Friday, July 21st, 2017
this identity movement for young people founded in france expanded to germany in 2012. the italian branch recently raised 100K to charter a ship to enter libyian waters, confront humanitarian aid organizations in the attempt to literally send africans back to africa. the german branch is under surveillance due to their perceived undemocratic leanings. which in turn is maybe justified. recently the group tried to storm the justice building in germany as the members of the identetarians (sp?) protested germany’s new anti-hate speech law.
Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
steve king, united states representative from iowa and also the united states’ future ambassador to the czech republic (now known as czechia we think) thinks programs that help women and poor people should be cut and used to pay for donald trump’s border wall with mexico. is our interpretation accurate? you can tell us. he is correct on some levels. in that welfare programs in the united states were initially created to fight poverty. has it created inter-generational dependency? there is no proof of this. but the majority of people on social welfare in the united states are poor white women –the majority of whom voted for donald trump.
Sunday, July 9th, 2017
trump and his crusty crew of alt right nationalists have got a geography problem. when delivering his speech in warsaw last week to the bussed in props. the US president underscored the achievements of the west. like wikipedia, trump and his speechwriter have a north-western bias. this administration also has a geography problem. poland spent 50 years behind the iron curtain in the USSR. along with other east european countries like the then czechoslavakia and east germany, poland’s history is decidedly tied to this region and the golden age of communism. during this difficult period of wealth redistribution, the only worthwhile achievements from this region were gold medals at the olympics during the golden age of performance enhancing drugs. communism and its inefficiencies left a hard to delete mark on the new EU countries. and these centrally planned societies run by illiberal victor orban-esque dictators destroyed their economies, supressed free speech, pluralism and freedom of expression. the artists who flourished during this time were mostly propagandists and party flunkies.
most of the industries and factories in this region vanished after the berlin wall fell in 1989 due to inefficiencies. and these countries are still trying to catch up with western europe economically, intellectually and emotionally.
Thursday, July 6th, 2017
2 years ago trump descended from the escalators at trump tower in the US city of manhattan to announce his presidency surrounded by people who had allegedly been hired to applaud his speech. fast forward 2 years and a similar situation is about to happen in poland. it is quite a trend now for east european authoritarian politicans to bus in supporters for speeches and rallies possibly out of fear that nobody will show up. but in developing and transitional countries, free food and drinks coupled with complimentary transportation is enough of a bribe to motivate crowds of fawning nationalists to turn up.
but the crowds of demonstrators that await trump this week in hamburg for the G-20 event will not have been bused in by anyone. you can read the hill article here.
Monday, June 26th, 2017
everytime general petraeus appears on a news broadcast, writes an op-ed piece about the US’s foreign policy or testifies before the US congress, a piece of america dies. the reality is that he should have been the next US president. could the US electorate find it in their hearts to forgive a man who made the mistake of getting involved with his biographer given that loads of americans voted for a man wonder woman would beat to a pulp? or would someone call this white male privilege? given that petraeus is clearly a greek name, is he even white really? his balkan heritage (whose history is tied to turkey) could be why he seemingly has a grasp on the chaos of the near east. or are we just reaching?
in the video below petraeus talks about the US’s ongoing presence in Afghanistan. more recently he chastised the current US administration for cutting its state department budget as the trump administration favors more boots on the ground as opposed to preventative measures. who gains from the US putting more troops in subsaharan africa? if the administration fears corruption, nepotism, cronyism and clientelism well then maybe they have a point. but the bush journey into nation building did not make the US more safe. and a greater presence of US military will only aid those who work in the service sectors catering to the military. long-term investment in developing countries is a win-win situation for US businesses and the US and the western world’s longterm security. loads of men in their 20s with no hope and nothing to do surrounding by well armed foreigners doesn’t really seem like either a good short-term or long term solution. it looks more like occupying forces.
Sunday, May 14th, 2017
emmanuel macron becomes france’s president. live on France 24 live in english: