Archive for the ‘international politics’ Category

re-imagining the future of the EU

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

it’s 2035. 10 years prior (that would make it 2025), the 6 west balkan countries located in south east europe have joined their balkan brothers and sisters from greece, bulgaria, croatia, slovenia and romania to be part of the european union. 16 years prior, the united kingdom had officially exited the EU. the whole so-called brexit process took almost 3 years to organize and then it took another 5 years to kick out all of the bloody foreigners who weren’t smart enough to pass the UK citizenship test in order to stay in. during this time, julian assange dies on an exercise machine in the mexico embassy in london as ecuador kicked him out and cancelled his passport many years prior.

then in 2024 the UK had a third referendum on the european union and almost 65% of the population voted to re-join the union. but france vetoed their application. as did the federal republic of germany and the new german democratic-socialist republic of germany. in 2019 germany officially voted to re-divide the country as the previous incarnation wasn’t working out as one had hoped. in 2020 the visegrad group briefly expanded from poland, the czech republic and slovakia to include austria. but then chancelor sebastian kurz decided he was tired of being forced to eat refurbished chocolate and hang out with short, old, men in H&M suits from countries he would never voluntarily visit with his long suffering pitbull affectionately called h.c. strache.

this is the end of part 1 in our on-going imaginary series about the imaginary future of and the balkanization of the european union.


trump only trusts generals and family

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

like the african dictators trevor noah (the daily show) likes to compare the donald with. the US president only trusts family members, generals and members of his tribe (whatever that means). perhaps he respects generals because he attended a military academy as a kid and was a draft dodger as an adult. who knows. but apparently, one reason that trump the pseudo-afro-slavic dictator (see czech republic and poland) with autocratic tendencies has not filled the ambassadorship for south korea is presumably because he cannot deal with critical feedback-like most c-list celebrities and autocrats (see hungary’s viktor orban). the trump administration cancelled victor cha’s nomination. according to US News and World Report the presumed nominee to become the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, had been notified that he is no longer under consideration by the White House. Cha’s nomination collapsed after he privately opposed the Trump administration’s consideration of a preventative, limited military strike against North Korea – referred to as a “bloody nose” strike – and to the administration’s threats to end a bilateral trade deal with South Korea. the end result is that south korea has been ambassador-less for now, more than 12 months. and we are now privy to very scary information about how the united states wants to possibly handle north korea. the word preventative harks back to 2002 and 2003 when george w. bush (aka bush II) was making a (misleading) case for invading iraq (aka the never ending war).

is poland falling off a cliff

Sunday, February 4th, 2018

and/or wandering around in mud? yesterday, poland’s new prime minister released this video defending poland’s upper and lower houses of parliament passing a law (waiting to be signed) that would make it illegal to say the phrase polish concentration camps–a phrase once used by  a US president.

yesterday we discovered this video via a YouTube advertisement on the website spiegel online. the prime minister mateusz morawiecki speaks in english. perhaps this is a mistake. during the yugoslavian wars, the losing side (there were many of them, but by this you know what we mean) made the mistake of speaking to the world media in english. then when they went on trial for war crimes the men (yes, they were all men) they were unable to claim that the translator made a grave mistake. but unless we are mistaken (which we have been in the past), the president of poland signs bills into laws. so where is andrzej duda? it this like the where’s waldo game? also, we have another question. is this the same country where local businessmen once considered mowing down the auschwitz concentration camp to build a shopping mall? given that the recently deceased founder of Ikea was out-ed as a former fascist, perhaps the mall would have housed an Ikea. someone at ablogaboutwhatever claims to have read about this in the 90s–not Ikea, but the planned shopping mall. but we have since only been able to uncover articles which indicate that the location was planned for across the street from auschwitz. and our sort of source now is Wikipedia–which we all know suffers from male/western/northern hemispheric bias.



china is not a democracy

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

but tawain–whose UN seat was given to china in the 1970s, is. the UK public service media channel the bbc reports on the oppression of religious minorities in the xinjiang province which was peviously majority uighur until china started moving han chinese there to dilute the uighurs to minority status.

clown leaves italy’s populist party

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

beppe brillo, who founded the 5 Star Movement has apparently left the party. the comedian, who our colleague here at a blog about whatever likes to refer to as a clown has not actually officially announced that he has left the 5 Star Movement. like populists worldwide nobody ever does anything the way it is supposed to be done. and this almost 2 months before the elections in italy. some think he is leaving the party as he would rather devote his attention to his upcoming comedy tour. as a bit of a background, one of the main obsessions of the 5 Star Movement is that the robots are coming to overtake humanity.

marvel film director offers trump 100K for real medical exam

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

james gunn, director of the marvel superhero movie Guardians of the Galaxy is offering to give the US president’s charity 100K (in USD) if trump will step on an accurate scale. he argues that trump cannot possibly weigh 239 pounds (108 kg) and gives visual proof.

brussels follows rwanda

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

rwanda, contrary to what the US president (that would be donald trump) might think, is one of the cleanest countries in the world. in 2008, this landlocked country on the african continent decided to ban plastic bags. a bit like how singapore’s government decided to piss westerners off by outlawing chewing gum in 1992. now it looks like the EU is following rwanda’s example. In 2017 kenya also banned the use of plastic bags.

tom cotton vs chris christie

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

the united states senator from arkansas bet his career on trump this weekend, by denying that the US president said that more than 1.2B people live in shit hole countries. given that initially he could not remember what trump said. then he suddenly remembered that trump did not call haiti, el salvador and 55 african countries shithole nations. eric eriksen (sp?) founder of the red state website told website that he has personally spoken with people (aka friends of trump who leak stuff) who said trump called them to brag about his shit hole comment as he thought it would play well to his base.

in 2016 following the new hampshire presidential primary, the then new jersey governor chris christie put his reputation on the line, backed donald trump (because he hated jeb bush and marco rubio so much) and helped him win the republican primaries and the election. in the end, all he got was, well nothing. like most people who over the years have done business with the trump family. no cabinet position. nothing.

foreign money in european politics

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

should foreigners be allowed to donate money to dutch and EU politicians? is this a form of buying influence? according to a dutch newspaper, american david horowitz and his far right foundation have donated at least 150K to the dutch politican geert wilders. in most western countries politicians are not allowed to accept gifts over a certain amount that is more like 30 or 100 euros and not 150K.

austria closing loop-hole for EU migrants

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

yesterday the new austrian chancellor, 31-year-old sebastian kurz from the center-right FPOe party held one of his first official press conferences as austria’s chancellor. alongside him was his vice-chancellor, hans-christian strache  (aka HC strache) from the far-right FPOe party. kurz announced that the government was closing the loophole on european union migrants taking advantage of austria’s family friendly child benefits (Kindergeld) program that offers 300 EUR per month per child as an encouragement for austrian women to squeeze out more children. apparently one of the unintended consequences has seen an increase in people from the former USSR countries moving to the tiny alpine country with a population of around 8.4M, take a low paying job and collect child benefits for their kids located in a country where the median monthly income can be as low as 400 – 500 EUR per month before taxes.  apparently this so-called abuse was a concern for brexiteers as well. according to chancellor kurz austria will save over 100M EUR per year by closing this loophole. while HC strache claims the savings are more like 140M EUR. there is always a question of once these savings accrue, what will the country do with it? kurz has asserted that the savings will be used to help those who are financially vulnerable in austria.

during the press conference, kurz let the  strache announce the more controversial side of their plans. which included strache defending his announcement that he’d like to place refugee in barracks (presumably in military ones) and give them curfews. kurz addressed a question from the media regarding new plans for austria’s unemployment insurance. he said that his aim is to allow those who have paid in the longest, to be able to draw from the program the longest, which would benefit older workers who might be unemployed. below are 2 videos. 1 is yesterday’s press conference. 2 is a video documentary about the rise of the populist right in austria.