Tag Archives: Politics

Murrow vs. McCarthy


Murrow vs. McCarthy

Complete Murrow Speech From Good Night, and Good Luck Evmonk Evmonk: ‘Our history will by what we make it’


Complete Murrow Speech From Good Night, and Good Luck

this pressed for you: read on! Flash – Will latest migrant drama prod Europe into action? – France 24


© Eurokinissi/AFP / by Christian Spillmann | Local residents and rescue workers try to help migrants after their boat sank off the island of Rhodes, Greece, on April 20, 2015

20 April 2015 – 22H05

Will latest migrant drama prod Europe into action?

BRUSSELS (AFP) –

EU nations have long had the recipes for managing migrant flows and sharing out the burden of illegal migration but have lacked the political will for action despite multiple dramas in the Mediterranean, critics say.

“It’s shameful of Europe,” a high-ranking EU official told AFP after a boat carrying more than 700 people — perhaps as many as 1,000 — capsized off Libya days after a series of similar accidents sparked international outrage.

The European Union’s 28 members states had “no more excuses” to avoid action, warned the bloc’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

Amid the anger caused by the Lampedusa disaster of late 2013, in which 366 people drowned off Italy while seeking to reach Europe’s shores, the EU finessed plans to deal with the problem.

The action plan outlined at the time included improving the legal means of migration, combatting people-smugglers, beefing up the cash made available to Frontex, the EU’s frontier control agency, and rewriting the rules on dealing with migrant and refugee arrivals.

There has been no real follow-up however.

“The latest tragedies on the Mediterranean show how urgent it is to agree a share-out of responsibility,” said Cecilia Malmstroem, the EU’s former migration commissioner.

But at a summit on the issue in December 2013, EU leaders merely agreed to “prioritise efforts to stop departures” and show “appropriate solidarity” on dealing with new migrant arrivals.

The EU’s current migrant and refugee regime is set out in what is known as the Dublin II accords. They require that the country of first arrival — most often Italy recently – process migrants as well as asylum requests and be responsible for expelling those whose applications have been rejected.

A European Commission proposal to review the rule in the interests of better burden-sharing was flatly rejected by 24 of the EU’s 28 member states.

Only Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta — on the frontline of the migrant tide — backed the idea.

Malmstroem said European politicians had allowed populist and xenophobic movements to dictate policy and put the emphasis on repatriation.

– ‘Something has to change’ –

Now, public anger and shock over the steadily mounting death toll at sea may force a change.

“These are people like you and me — they’re not cockroaches,” thundered The Times of London, referring to controversial remarks made by a British newspaper columnist that “gunships” should be used on migrant boats to turn them back.

Malmstroem’s successor, Greece’s Dimitris Avramopoulos, is set to introduce a new approach to the problem in May.

Among his initiatives are greater funding for Frontex’s Triton operation monitoring the Mediterranean, new European programmes and facilities to handle incoming migrants, and legal and security rules “for people fleeing conflicts.”

Central to Avramopoulos’ push is his conviction that “something has to change” in the logic of the Dublin II accord, which leaves each country to deal with its individual share of the bloc’s immigration problem, limiting collective measures.

At a March 12 meeting, EU interior ministers looked at ways of stopping would-be migrants from leaving home.

Among these was setting up centres to examine immigration and asylum requests at major departure points in Africa to help stop people from setting out in rickety boats for a perilous journey across the Mediterranean sea.

“The only way to truly change the reality is to address the situation at its roots,” a Commission statement read.

Italy suspended its Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue operation late last year in protest over its rising cost and it was replaced by a smaller and much more restricted EU-led mission called Triton.

The recent flood of migrants and the growing loss of life have put Triton in the spotlight, with EU diplomatic sources saying Monday there was an emerging consensus that it had to get more resources to cope with the growing problem.

EU leaders will hold an emergency summit on the issue on Thursday and will be under intense pressure to come up with concrete proposals.

EU foreign and interior ministers meeting on Monday came up with a 10-point plan for action to be submitted to the leaders at the summit.

by Christian Spillmann

? 2015 AFP

News videos : UK elections – Miliband wins debate as PM Cameron absent

via Flash – Will latest migrant drama prod Europe into action? – France 24.

related Readings:  HERE

1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany


1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany  Added by Alex Lemieux on April 20, 2015.  Saved under Breaking News!, Germany, World  Tags: 1915 Armenian Massacre  1915 Armenian Massacre

1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany Added by Alex Lemieux on April 20, 2015. Saved under Breaking News!, Germany, World Tags: 1915 Armenian Massacre 1915 Armenian Massacre

1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany

Added by Alex Lemieux on April 20, 2015.

Saved under Breaking News!, Germany, World

Tags: 1915 Armenian Massacre

1915 Armenian Massacre

Germany has now reversed its stance to use the term “genocide” to describe the 1915 Armenian massacre when around 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered by Ottoman Turkish forces. The major reversal is crucial due to the fact that Germany is Turkey’s top European Union trading partner. Germany comes after France, Pope Francis, and the European parliament to condemn the violence.

Germany has resisted using the term of genocide even though other European nations have. Though, the government has come under scrutiny from officials to use the word in a resolution. Steffen Seibert, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, stated Germany would support a parliamentary resolution, declaring the 1915 Armenian massacre an example of genocide.

Turkey’s government currently denies that the slaughters constituted genocide. Officials stated there was no organized nation campaign to kill off Armenians and no such other orders from the Ottoman Empire. The word Genocide has not been used by any other nations to avoid upsetting Turkey and trading negotiations.

Originally, the German government refused to use the term due to some concerns of the Herero massacres done in 1904 and 1905 by German forces. This lead to reparation demands in what is now Namibia.

By Alex Lemieux

Source:

The Daily Mail

Photo by Luke Ma – Flickr License

via 1915 Armenian Massacre Now Called a Genocide by Germany.

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today’s holiday: Venezuela Declaration of Independence Day


Venezuela Declaration of Independence Day

Revolutionary struggle against Spanish rule began in Venezuela in 1810. On July 5, 1811, a group of citizens in Caracas became the first in South America to proclaim a formal declaration of independence from Spain. Forces led by Simón Bolívar assured independence in 1821. April 19 is a separate national holiday, known as Declaration of Independence Day, while July 5 is celebrated as Independence Day. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Glenn Seaborg (1912)


Glenn Seaborg (1912)

In 1940, American chemist Glenn Seaborg and his colleagues discovered plutonium. He soon joined the Manhattan Project and was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb, which he unsuccessfully pressed President Truman not to use on civilian targets. In 1951, he and Edwin McMillan shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on transuranium elements. During his lifetime, Seaborg held dozens of patents—among them the only patents ever issued for what? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: The World’s First Space Station Is Launched (1971)


The World’s First Space Station Is Launched (1971)

The world’s first space station, the Soviet Salyut 1, was launched in 1971. The cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 11 spacecraft were the first to enter, remaining aboard for 22 days. By 1982, five more Salyut space stations had been orbited successfully, two of them for military purposes. By rotating the crews regularly, the Soviets were able to staff the stations for extended periods. All the Salyut space stations decayed and are no longer in orbit. What happened to Salyut 1? More… Discuss

MOST READ STORIES, HIGH-PROFILE ROME EXORCIST: ‘ISIS IS SATAN’


MOST READ STORIES - ISIS IS SATAN

MOST READ STORIES – ISIS IS SATAN (CLICK TO ACCESS THE ARTICLE AT CN)


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today’s holiday, Zimbabwe Independence Day


Zimbabwe Independence Day

Like much of Africa, the area that is now Zimbabwe was long controlled by Europeans. In 1922, the 34,000 European settlers chose to become a self-governing British colony, Southern Rhodesia. In 1923, Southern Rhodesia was annexed by the British Crown. A fight for independence took place in the 1970s. An independent constitution was written for Zimbabwe in London in 1979, and independence followed on April 18, 1980. Independence Day is celebrated in every city and district of the nation with political rallies, parades, traditional dances, singing, and fireworks. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Emancipation Day (Washington, D.C.)


Emancipation Day (Washington, D.C.)

In Washington, DC, April 16th is celebrated as Emancipation Day, commemorating the day in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, nine months prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. More than 3,000 slaves were freed under this agreement. Since 2005, the date has been a legal holiday in the District. Events are scheduled throughout the preceding week, and the observance culminates on the 16th in a day of festivities and entertainment, beginning with a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the morning. More… Discuss

Fighting Boko Haram: Chad aims to ‘destroy’ militant group | euronews, world news


Luis Carballo will be online to discuss his experiences in Chad on Thursday at 15:00 CET. He’ll answer your questions in English, Spanish or French so please post them in the live blog at the foot of this page, email them to askluis@scribblelive.com or Tweet them using the hashtag #askeuronewsluis. You can follow Luis on Twitter @granangular.

For more than a decade, the Islamist group Boko Haram had a limited strategy: to create an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria. But now it has spread its terror campaign to neighbouring countries as well.

Chad, Niger and Cameroon have responded with a military alliance which, since January, has been helping the Abuja government.

“What these children have seen, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy.”

In March, Boko Haram signed a deal with ISIL, or the self proclaimed Islamic State. This turned the conflict into an international one, switching on red lights across the region and accelerating a joint offensive.

via Fighting Boko Haram: Chad aims to ‘destroy’ militant group | euronews, world news.

>>>>>>RELATED READING<<<<<<<

>>>>>>RELATED READING<<<<<<<

word: pompous


pompous

Definition: (adjective) Characterized by excessive self-esteem or exaggerated dignity.
Synonyms: overblown, grandiloquent, portentous
Usage: He read the proclamation aloud in a pompous voice, although nobody was paying attention. Discuss.

word: intransigent


intransigent 

Definition: (adjective) Refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising.
Synonyms: adamant, inexorable, adamantine
Usage: My father is an intransigent conservative opposed to every liberal tendency. Discuss.

quotation: Aristotle


We praise a man who feels angry on the right grounds and against the right persons and also in the right manner at the right moment and for the right length of time.

Aristotle (384 BC322 BC) Discuss

today’s birthday: Sukarno (1901)


Sukarno (1901)

Sukarno helped Indonesia win independence from the Netherlands and served as the country’s first president. He attempted to consolidate his multi-island nation and establish a “guided democracy,” with a cabinet representing all political parties. Regional and factional problems, however, led him to dissolve the assembly and assume full dictatorial powers. He proclaimed himself president for life in 1963, but an attempted Communist coup late in 1965 triggered a military takeover by whom? More… Discuss

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word: opprobrium


opprobrium 

Definition: (noun) Disgrace arising from exceedingly shameful conduct; ignominy.
Synonyms: obloquy
Usage: The candidate’s racist comments attracted public opprobrium. Discuss.
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WORD: chagrin


chagrin 

Definition: (noun) A keen feeling of mental unease, as of annoyance or embarrassment, caused by failure, disappointment, or a disconcerting event.
Synonyms: mortification, humiliation
Usage: Much to my chagrin, my rival won the election hands down. Discuss.
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Just a thought: “Democracy should be all inclusive, not almost all exclusive!”


Just a thought: “Democracy should be all inclusive, not almost all exclusive!”

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QUOTATION: Aristotle


All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.

Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Discuss

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Senator Cites ‘Serious Concerns,’ Demands National Quality Forum Records – ProPublica (“WHAT’S AFFORDABLE TO BOVIS, IS NOT AFFORDABLE TO OVIS….BUT THEN BOVIS IS FULLY AWARE…” )


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Senator Cites ‘Serious Concerns,’ Demands National Quality Forum Records – ProPublica.

JUST A THOUGHT: “WHAT’S AFFORDABLE TO BOVIS, IS NOT AFFORDABLE TO OVIS….BUT THEN BOVIS IS FULLY AWARE…” 

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HIDEBOUND


hidebound 

Definition: (adjective) Stubbornly conservative and narrow-minded.
Synonyms: traditionalist
Usage: It is no use trying to reason with your grandfather, he is a hidebound old man who will never understand your position on the matter. Discuss.

 

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS IS FOUNDED (1912)


The African National Congress Is Founded (1912)

The African National Congress (ANC) is a South African political party and black nationalist organization. Founded as the South African Native National Congress in 1912, the ANC began as a nonviolent civil rights group. After government massacres of demonstrators, however, the ANC began carrying out acts of sabotage and guerrilla warfare. As a result, its leaders were exiled, but in 1994, the ANC swept the country’s first elections based on universal suffrage. Who was the ANC’s famous leader? More… Discuss

 

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QUOTATION: Sophocles ABOUT LIVING AND LEARNING (BLOGGING: DOES IT QUALIFY?)


Though a man be wise, it is no shame for him to live and learn.

Sophocles (496 BC-406 BC) Discuss

Today’s Birthday: CHARLTON HESTON (1923?)


Charlton Heston (1923?)

An iconic Hollywood leading man and six-term president of the Screen Actors Guild, Heston distinguished himself as an actor playing larger-than-life heroes in films like The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes, El Cid, and Ben-Hur. The strapping performer also used his sonorous voice to speak out against racism and other political issues of his day. A staunch opponent of gun control, he made what phrase famous at a 2000 National Rifle Association convention? More… Discuss

 

Today’s Birthday: SOPHIA ALEKSEYEVNA (1657)


Sophia Alekseyevna (1657)

Alekseyevna seized power in Russia after the death of her father, Czar Feodor III, and became regent during the minority of her disabled brother, Ivan V, and her half-brother, Peter I. She brutally eliminated her opponents and ruled dictatorially with her lover, Vasily V. Gallitzin. She aspired to be crowned czarina, but lacked support from the nobility and clergy. When it was rumored that she intended to kill Peter to become sole ruler, he overthrew the regency and confined her where? More… Discuss

 

Just a thought: “Give wars a chance….Do not resuscitate!”


Just a thought:  “Give wars a chance….Do not resuscitate!”

Predator Nation on Democracy Now


Predator Nation on Democracy Now

Predator Nation on Democracy Now (Click to follow the smell of money…)

William H. Gates III COL ’77, LLD ’07 Q&A | The Harvard Campaign Launch



Question and answer with Bill Gates at the launch of the Harvard Campaign.

Sanders Theater, September 21, 2013

Read more about The Harvard Campaign athttp://campaign.harvard.edu

 

From Democracy Now: “The Empire President: Jeremy Scahill on Obama’s “Neo-Con” Doctrine of Military Force in U.N. Speech”


From Democracy Now:  “In an address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama openly embraced an aggressive military doctrine backed by previous administrations on using armed force beyond the international norm of self-defense. Obama told the world that the United States is prepared to use its military to defend what he called “our core interests” in the Middle East: U.S. access to oil. “[Obama] basically came out and said the U.S. is an imperialist nation and we’re going to do whatever we need to do to conquer areas [and] take resources from people around the world,” says independent journalist Jeremy Scahill. “It’s a really naked declaration of imperialism … When we look back at Obama’s legacy, this is going to have been a very significant period in U.S. history where the ideals of very radical right-wing forces were solidified. President Obama has been a forceful, fierce defender of empire.”

 

Today’s Birthday: LUISA CÁCERES DE ARISMENDI


Luisa Cáceres de Arismendi (1799)

After Napoleon took control of Spain, Venezuelans seized the chance to revolt against Spanish rule. In 1811, Venezuela declared independence, but an earthquake in 1812 destroyed cities held by the rebels and furthered the cause of the royalists. In 1815, a pregnant Arismendi was captured—one day before her 17th birthday—by Spanish forces hoping to exert pressure on her husband, General Juan Bautista Arismendi, but she refused to renounce the revolution while imprisoned. What happened to her? More…

Democracy Now: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2013


Democracy Now: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2013

Democracy Now -_- September 23, 2013

Democracy Now -_- September 23, 2013

 

Quotation: John Filson about felicity


Felicity, the companion of content, is rather found in our own breasts than in the enjoyment of external things; And I firmly believe it requires but a little philosophy to make a man happy in whatsoever state he is. This consists in a full resignation to the will of Providence.

John Filson (1747-1788)


The Nice Guy

In pop psychology, the nice guy is an adult male who is friendly yet unassertive in relationships with women. He gives emotional support, avoids confrontation, puts others’ needs before his own, and generally treats women well. Despite these good qualities, many women, even those who claim to want a nice guy, actually choose to date men who are less considerate, likely because they are attracted to the overt sexuality of such “jerks.” Who first used the phrase “nice guys finish last”? More…

 

Quotation: Henry David Thoreau about being “men first, and subjects afterwards”!


Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss

 

What’s in a Name: Hussein (from Wikipedia)


 
 
For other uses, see Hussein (disambiguation).
Hussein
Pronunciation Arabic[ħuˈseːn, ħiˈseːn, ħuˈsajn]
Egyptian Arabic: [ħeˈseːn, ħoˈseːn]
Gender Male
Origin
Word/Name Arabic
Meaning Handsome
Other names
Related names Hassan
Look up Hussein in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Hussein (also spelled Husein, Husain, Hussain, Husayin, Hussayin, Huseyin, Husseyin, Huseyn, Hossain,Hossein, or Husseyn) (Arabic: حسین‎, Ḥusayn), is an Arabic name which is the diminutive of Hassan, meaning “good”, “handsome” or “beautiful”. It is commonly given as a male given name, particularly among Shias.[1] In some Persiansources the forms Ḥosayn, Hosayn, or Hossein is used.[2] On the Subcontinent or South Asia, the form used is “Hussain” or “Hossain” in the Bengal region.

 

Just a thought: Privatize Justice? (What a 5,000 years old concept, in the 21 Century!)


Just a thought: Privatize Justice? (What a 5,000 years old concept, in the 21 Century!)

 

Word: SEDITIOUS


seditious 

Definition: (adjective) In opposition to a civil authority or government.
Synonyms: insurgentsubversive
Usage: In an attempt to discourage rebellion, the dictator announced that anyone found in possession of seditious literature would be executed. Discuss.

 

Quotation: George Eliot on communicating feelings


Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings.

George Eliot (1819-1880) Discuss

 

Quotation: Henry David Thoreau about Unjust laws


Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Discuss

 

Nigel Farage confronts Barroso on global warming scam (State of the Union 2013)


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Translations into Italian, French and Polish here:http://www.ukipmeps.org/articles_714_…

European Parliament, Strasbourg, 11 September 2013

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy‘ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament – http://nigelfaragemep.co.uk

With a response from José Manuel Barroso, President of the EU Commission and a cameo appearance by Guy VERHOFSTADT MEP (Belgium), President of the Liberal group (ALDE)

• Debate: State of the Union
Statement by the President of the Commission
[2013/2623(RSP)]

Transcript

Round One

Well, Mr Barroso, not just you but the entire unelected government of Europe and a chance perhaps for our citizens to reflect on where the real power lies in this Union.

I’ve listened to you for nearly ten years – full marks for consistency – you are a man that likes fixed ideology, you probably picked it up when you were a communist or Maoist, or whatever you were, and for the last ten years you’ve pursued euro-federalism combined with an increasing green obsession.

And yes, it’s been good – for bureaucrats, for big businessmen, for landowners, it has not been a bad decade. But it has been a disaster for poor people, unemployed people and those on low wages.

The euro which you believed would give us monetary stability has done the very opposite, it was a misconstruction from the start, and it’s pretty clear that youth unemployment, at nearly 50% across the Mediterranean, is probably nearly double what it would have been as a direct result of the misconstruction that is the euro.

They’re in the wrong currency, but I know that you’ll never ever admit to that, and the euro I think will die a very slow and painful death. But you’re all in denial about that.

But it’s the green agenda that I find really more interesting. You keep telling us that climate change is an absolute top priority, and you’ve been greeted with almost hysteria in this place over the last ten years.

Well, those of us who have been sceptical about this have been mocked, derided, called ‘deniers’.

We’ve argued from the start that the science wasn’t settled, and we’ve argued very strongly that the measures we’re taking to combat what may or may not be a problem are damaging our citizens. 

And we’ve been proved to be right. Tens of millions forced into fuel poverty, manufacturing industry being driven away because of course our competitors in China and in America are going for cheap fossil alternatives and of course wind turbines blighting the landscapes and seascapes of Europe.

And still today you go on about green growth. Well, the consensus is breaking behind you – you know, [Industry] Commissioner Tajani the other day said that actually we face a systematic industrial massacre.

It is time to stop this stupidity and to help you [holds up colour pictures] there is the NASA photograph last August of the northern icecaps. And there is the NASA photograph this year of the icecaps. They increased by 60% in one year. Leading American scientists are now saying we are going into a period of between 15-30 years of global cooling.

We may have made one of the biggest stupidest collective mistakes in history by getting so worrying about global warming. You can reverse this in the next seven or eight months. You can bring down peoples’ taxes. If you don’t, they will vote on it in the European elections of next year.

Round TWO

“Well next year’s European elections will not be contested on the old division lines of left and right and several group leaders have agreed with that today. Frankly that is all irrelevant. 
It will be contested between those of us who believe in national democracy within the nation state; and those who believe that the 28 countries that are part of the EU are better governed by these institutions. That in a sense is what this comes down to.

But Mr Barroso, those of us who believe in national democracy do not want to take us back to the Western Front or 1914. Those of us who believe in national democracy will say to you that it is a healthy assertion of identity. 

But it also shows a deeper understanding of why the problems of Europe were caused in the past. It is democratic nation states in Europe that are stable and will not go to war with each other. 

I will remind people that without the vote in the House of Commons two weeks ago that we would now be at war in Syria. What better proof can there be that nation state democracy can be a force for good. 

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Video source: EbS (European Parliament)
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Nigel Farage lambasts “extreme militarists” during Syria debate (“Arm the rebels? What are you thinking of?”)


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European Parliament, Strasbourg, 11 September 2013

• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the ‘Europe of Freedom and Democracy‘ (EFD) Group in the European Parliament – http://nigelfaragemep.co.uk

Blue card questions:
Charles TANNOCK MEP, Conservative Party, ECR Group
– Ioan Mircea PAŞCU MEP, Socialist Group (S&D)

• Debate: Situation in Syria
Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
[2013/2819(RSP)]

Transcript

I represent a group that is against military action in Syria. We’re against it not because we’re pacifists. We’re against it not because we don’t care about the awful things going on there. 

We’re against because we think there’s some pretty poor thinking going on.

This idea that somehow the rebels are the good guys and Assad are the bad guys really is over-simplifying a situation where of course we know that Al-Qaida have significant representation amongst those rebel groups.

And of course we’ve seen it all before. An endless series of military adventures over the course of the last 10 to fifteen years, one of which of course – notably, in Afghanistan – is still going on and is not achieving any of its original aims.

And I was worried when I heard the Americans telling us to begin with, it was about punishing Assad, and then within a week it was about regime change, a position that I know the noble Baroness herself supports.

We think firing a thousand criuse missiles in is likely to make an unstable situation even worse than it is now.

But of course, Baroness Ashton, in a sense, you’re sitting pretty, because as the highest paid female politician in the world, luckily, you got a non-job. Because the EU, thank goodness, hasn’t yet got a foreign policy, and as a result of that what we saw two weeks ago in the House of Commons was a nation state democracy standing up and saying something. 

And as a direct result of that vote in the House of Commons we have not gone to war in Syria, we have entered a period of negotiations, and Assad has a chance to prove to all of us whether he is a good man or a bad man. Continue reading

Today’s Birthday: JAN MASARYK (1886)


Jan Masaryk (1886)

Masaryk, a diplomat and politician in newly independent Czechoslovakia, was named ambassador to Britain in 1925. Following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, he became foreign minister of the Czech government in exile in London. He supported cooperation with the Soviet Union and maintained his post after the Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1948. Two weeks later, Masaryk was found dead outside his window in the Foreign Ministry. What are the conflicting explanations for his death? More… Discuss

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES (2007)


UN General Assembly Adopts Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007)

Over two decades in the making, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was finally adopted in 2007 despite opposition from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the US. The non-binding declaration prohibits discrimination against the world’s estimated 370 million indigenous people and outlines their rights, among them the rights to culture, identity, language, employment, and education. What were some of the key issues that delayed the drafting and adoption of the declaration? More…Discuss

 

This day in the Yesteryear: SOUTH AFRICAN ANTI-APARTHEID ACTIVIST STEVE BIKO DIES IN POLICE CUSTODY (1977)


South African Anti-Apartheid Activist Steve Biko Dies in Police Custody (1977)

A former medical student, Biko founded the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa in 1968 to combat racism and apartheid. He was officially “banned” by the South African government in 1973 and was arrested several times in the years that followed. Arrested for the last time in 1977, he was tortured and beaten to death in police custody, prompting international protests and a UN arms embargo. Twenty years later, five former policemen admitted killing him. Why were they never prosecuted? More… Discuss

 


“The Real McCoy”

“The real McCoy” is an idiom used to mean “the real thing” or “the genuine article,” but who—or what—was McCoy? The origins of the phrase are hazy. It may have originated as a corruption of the Scottish phrase “the real MacKay.” Alternately, it may have been inspired by the infamous Hatfield and McCoy family feud in the late 19th-century US. Still others trace it back to William McCoy, a Prohibition-era rumrunner who reputedly never watered down his liquor. What are other possible explanations? More… Discuss

 

Godfrey Bloom: The central banks are all at it, counterfeiting money!


Published on Sep 10, 2013

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European Parliament, Strasbourg, 10 September 2013

• Speaker: Godfrey Bloom MEP, UKIP (Yorkshire & Lincolnshire), Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group –http://www.godfreybloommep.co.uk

• Debate: Credit agreements relating to residential property
Report: Antolín Sánchez Presedo (A7-0202/2012)
Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on credit agreements relating to residential property
[COM(2011)0142 – C7-0085/2011 – 2011/0062(COD)]
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
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• Video: EbS (European Parliament)
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EU Member States:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom

 

Quotation: Charles Dickens on liberal education


I have been, as the phrase is, liberally educated, and am fit for nothing.

Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Discuss

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: ATTICA PRISON RIOT: 33 GUARDS TAKEN HOSTAGE (1971)


Attica Prison Riot: 33 Guards Taken Hostage (1971)

Though the US made strides in prison reform in the 20th century, not enough had apparently changed at Attica Correctional Facility by 1971 to appease those confined in the overcrowded New York prison. At the time, inmates got just one “shower” a week and one roll of toilet paper a month. It was against these, and other, conditions that prisoners were protesting when they rioted and took 33 guards hostage. Days later, authorities stormed the prison, killing 39, including how many of the hostages? More… Discuss

 

Barack Obama


Barack Obama

 
 
“Obama” redirects here. For other uses, see Obama (disambiguation).
This article is about the 44th president of the United States. For his father, see Barack Obama, Sr.
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Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama is photographed standing in front of the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office of the White House, December 6, 2012.
44th President of the United States
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 20, 2009
Vice President Joe Biden
Preceded by George W. Bush
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008
Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald
Succeeded by Roland Burris
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 13th District
In office
January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004
Preceded by Alice Palmer
Succeeded by Kwame Raoul
Personal details
Born Barack Hussein Obama II
August 4, 1961 (age 52)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Michelle Robinson (m. 1992)
Children Malia (b. 1998)
Sasha (b. 2001)
Residence White House (official)
Chicago, Illinois (private)
Alma mater Occidental College
Columbia University (B.A.)
Harvard Law School (J.D.)
Profession Community organizer
Lawyer
Constitutional law professor
Author
Religion Christian
Awards Nobel Peace Prize
Signature Barack Obama
Website barackobama.com
This article is part of a series on
Barack Obama

First term


Second term

Barack Hussein Obama II (Listeni/bəˈrɑːk hˈsn ˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in theIllinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and wasinaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prizelaureate. He was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013.

Early in his first term in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his presidency include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010; the Budget Control Act of 2011; and theAmerican Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. In May 2012, he became the first sitting U.S. president to publicly support same-sex marriage and in 2013 his administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

 

John Kerry


 

 
 
For the sixteenth-century English politician, see John Kerry (MP).
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John Kerry
John Kerry official Secretary of State portrait.jpg
68th United States Secretary of State
Incumbent
Assumed office
February 1, 2013
President Barack Obama
Deputy William Joseph Burns
Preceded by Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
January 3, 1985 – February 1, 2013
Preceded by Paul Tsongas
Succeeded by Mo Cowan
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
In office
January 6, 2009 – February 1, 2013
Preceded by Joe Biden
Succeeded by Bob Menendez
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
In office
January 4, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Olympia Snowe
Succeeded by Mary Landrieu
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Kit Bond
Succeeded by Olympia Snowe
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Kit Bond
Succeeded by Kit Bond
66th Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
In office
March 6, 1983 – January 2, 1985
Governor Michael Dukakis
Preceded by Thomas O’Neill
Succeeded by Evelyn Murphy
Personal details
Born John Forbes Kerry
December 11, 1943 (age 69)
AuroraColorado, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Julia Thorne (1970–1988)
Teresa Heinz (1995–present)
Children Alexandra
Vanessa
John (Stepson)
André (Stepson)
Christopher (Stepson)
Alma mater Yale University
Boston College
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature
Website http://state.gov/secretary
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1966–1978
Rank US-O3 insignia.svg Lieutenant
Unit USS Gridley (DLG-21)
Coastal Squadron 1
Commands PCF-44
PCF-94
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Silver Star ribbon.svg Silver Star
Bronze Star ribbon.svg Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart BAR.svg Purple Heart (3)

John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is an American politician who is the 68th and current United States Secretary of State. He served as a United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1985 to 2013, and was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Kerry was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election but lost to incumbent George W. Bush.

The son of an Army Air Corps veteran, Kerry was born in Aurora, Colorado. He attended boarding school inMassachusetts and New Hampshire and went on to graduate from Yale University class of 1966, where he majored inpolitical science and became a member of the Skull and Bones secret society. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1966, and during 1968–1969 served an abbreviated four-month tour of duty in South Vietnam as officer-in-charge (OIC) of aSwift Boat. For that service, he was awarded combat medals that include the Silver StarBronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Securing an early return to the United States, Kerry joined the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in which he served as a nationally recognized spokesman and as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. He appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs where he deemed United States war policy in Vietnam to be the cause of “war crimes.”

After receiving his J.D. from Boston College Law School, Kerry worked as an Assistant District Attorney and co-founded a private firm. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts under Michael Dukakis from 1983 to 1985, where he worked on an early forerunner to the national Clean Air Act. He won a tight Democratic primary in 1984 for the U.S. Senate and was sworn in the following January. On the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he led a series of hearingsfrom 1987 to 1989 which were a precursor to the Iran–Contra affair.

In 2002, Kerry voted to authorize the President “to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein“, but warned that the administration should exhaust its diplomatic avenues before launching war. Kerry based his 2004 presidential campaign on opposition to the Iraq War. He and his running mate Senator John Edwards lost the race, finishing 35electoral votes behind the Republican ticket headed by President George W. Bush (just 19 short of the 270 required for election). Subsequently, he established the Keeping America’s Promise PAC.

Kerry became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, and in 2011 he was appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Having been nominated by President Barack Obama to succeed outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and then confirmed by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 94–3 on January 29, 2013, Kerry assumed the office on February 1, 2013