Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Twitter's Warning to Leftist Leaning Parties

by Oui Wed Nov 13th, 2019 at 02:41:25 PM EST

The Internet is for Western propaganda only ...

Germany needs to ban Hezbollah, US Ambassador Grenell says | DW |

Hezbollah TV channel says Twitter accounts suspended | AFP |

The television station of Lebanon's powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah protested Saturday that most of its Twitter accounts had been suspended.

Al-Manar accused the US-based social media platform of giving in to "political pressures".

"Account suspended," one such Arabic-language account, @almanarnews, read late Saturday.

"There is no place on Twitter for illegal terrorist organisations and violent extremist groups," a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

Continued nelow the fold ...

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Poland Spinning the Shoah - Anti-semitism

by Oui Tue Nov 12th, 2019 at 02:38:55 PM EST

Poland asks Netflix to make changes to Nazi documentary

More below the fold ...

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by Frank Schnittger Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 04:02:49 PM EST

In all the sturm und drang around a no deal or a Boris deal Brexit, it is easy to forget that this is just the prologue. All the Brexit deal does is settle some outstanding details arising out of the UK's departure: It does very little to decide the shape of the future relationship between Great Britain and the EU.

I use the term "Great Britain" advisedly, because the one aspect of the future relationship between the EU and the UK that has been decided in the deal is that N. Ireland, will remain, for all practical purposes, in the Customs Union and Single Market (CUSM) - whatever Boris Johnson might say otherwise.

But for the rest of the UK, aka Great Britain, all options are still on the table - all the way from a no deal trade war, through trading rules dictated by WTO Treaties, to Canada+++ or Norway---; whatever that may mean. As Boris Johnson has demonstrated, it's all about the marketing: His slightly reheated and amended version of May's deal is suddenly acceptable to the hoards of hard-line ERG Brexiteers who voted against her original version three times.

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Pompeo On Tour Sowing Division

by Oui Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 03:58:15 PM EST

Just like his boss, Mike Pompeo is a loyal executioner of extreme rightwing policy. Pompeo has dismantled the art of diplomacy in the State Department and is converting foreign policy to Trump's bullying tactics ..

    It was Mr. Pompeo who helped Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani oust the respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, in April. Both Michael McKinley, a senior adviser to Mr. Pompeo and a four-time ambassador, and Philip T. Reeker, the acting assistant secretary for Europe, testified that they asked State Department leadership to defend Ms. Yovanovitch from false accusations, only to be rejected.

h/t Bernard

Macron referred to NATO as experiencing 'brain death' and the Atlanticist world goes apeshit crazy. Not that anyone has declared NATO obsolete before.

    I hope Macron's remarks do not lead to repair work in NATO HQ.  

    In the 1990s NATO was a walking dead man ... was saved by Article 5 plea from the USA after 9/11 ... fighting a full blown war and never ending "War on Terror" ... NATO regrouped to become proxy to fight wars for American Capitalism and expansion ... creating adversaries to increase weaponry and spending ... not heeding Eisenhower's Cold War warning of the military establishment. Time to rethink priorities to save the planet ... not increasing capacity to destroy our planet. Fortunately nr. 1 world power USA is exposing itself by electing a mad man as president ... the planet on precipice of destruction .. time to rethink European defense and Europe's interest. 😖🍀😄

More below the fold ...

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Spanish election thread

by IdiotSavant Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 06:17:20 AM EST

Spain will go to the polls on Sunday, November 10. Its the second election this year; an earlier one in April saw the Socialists - who had gained power in a confidence vote - gain an easy plurality, then refuse to negotiate a coalition with the left-wing Podemos (which would have allowed them, with the support of a few minor parties and the offered abstention of the Catalan Republican Left, to form a government). Instead, they gambled on new elections and winning a greater share of the vote.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

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City Agriculture - November 7, 2019

by gmoke Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 03:28:25 AM EST

Net Zero plant-filled Singapore pavilion for Dubai's 2020 World Expo

Forest planted in an Austrian stadium as an art piece:  For Forest - the Unending Attraction of Nature

Curator getting death threats from far right because of it

Self-charging solar electric vehicle with air purifying moss interior
inhabitat.com/sono-motors-self-charging-solar-electric-car-will-feature-an-air-purifying-mos s-interior

UK's WWII Dig for Victory campaign, by 1943, most households had their own garden plot, with businesses and public parks also giving land to food growing
Editorial Comment:  The USA Victory Garden campaign produced up to 40% of the fruits and vegetables consumed on the Home Front by the end of just three growing seasons.

Brisbane, Australia growing the largest urban farm network in the world
www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-29/growing-a-vision-of-australias-largest-urban-farm-network/115 53622

Living Pavilion in Annecy, France

ReGen Village - a real estate developer planning to build food and energy self-reliant communities

Editorial Comment:  Davis, CA Village Homes completed in 1982 is an earlier example of a similar idea

Mobile Food Lab in a refurbished bus
www.core77.com/posts/90221/Mobile-Food-Lab-Is-a-Refurbished-Bus-Designed-to-Educate-Students -on-Healthy-and-Sustainable-Eating-Habits

Cities and Circular Economy for Food

Algae wall for water purification
www.indiatimes.com/technology/news/indian-architect-has-created-an-algae-wall-to-purify-poll uted-water-without-harmful-chemicals-377848.html

MIT Media Lab Open Agricultural Initiative closed
Editorial Comment:  MIT should be ashamed of itself for this fraud which may sully the reputation of genuine advanced agricultural research

Saving one of Manila's last urban fields through collective farming
globalvoices.org/2019/11/03/will-collective-farming-by-artists-save-one-of-manilas-remaining -urban-fields

Boris off to a bad start

by Frank Schnittger Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 10:45:29 PM EST

Boris Johnson enters the first day of the official UK general election campaign with an average lead of 11% in the 11 polls published since the House of Commons voted to hold a general election. These poll leads range from 7 to 16% and there is no discernable trend over the past week. Not too bad a start, one would have thought, until one recalls that Theresa May's lead was 19% when she called the 2017 election.

Boris Johnson's campaign launch has also been dogged by no less than three scandals on the opening day of the official campaign:

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Trust In Government Big Loser By Disinformation

by Oui Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 07:44:15 PM EST

Creating chaos in the world is a planner's delight to mould civilization in one's image. What we have seen and experienced during the last four decades, the expansion of capitalism to solve the ills of our world. The designers of this policy have flunked in my perception how the world has changed.

The fact that Western Democracy needs Disinformation to fight "evil" of adversaries we ourselves have fostered, is the ultimate proof of failure.

The armed forces investigate the use of disinformation | Time24 |

More below the fold ...

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DUP under pressure in Northern Ireland Election

by Frank Schnittger Thu Oct 31st, 2019 at 01:28:47 PM EST

Newton Emerson has a very interesting take on how the general election may play out in N. Ireland. The DUP currently hold 10 seats to Sinn Fein's 7, with one independent Unionist.  Essentially Northern Ireland has been re-partitioned East West between unionist and Nationalist representatives with a nationalist enclave in West Belfast.

By Furfur, Brythones - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link


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Turkeys vote for Christmas

by Frank Schnittger Wed Oct 30th, 2019 at 11:29:11 AM EST

And so the turkeys have finally voted for Christmas. The House of Commons has overwhelmingly voted for an election on Boris Johnson's preferred date of 12th. December.

The vote gave Boris Johnson the date he was looking for and there were no amendments to expand the franchise to include EU nationals or 16- and 17-year-olds. But the prime minister is facing the voters with Brexit still not delivered and his pledge to leave the EU by October 31st in shreds.

Some Conservative MPs fear their constituents will punish them for spending five weeks campaigning rather than scrutinising and passing the withdrawal agreement Bill. And all Conservatives are conscious of the electoral mountain they must climb to return to power.

More than 30 seats short of a working majority of 320 as they go into the campaign, the Conservatives expect to lose seats to the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Scotland and to the Liberal Democrats in the southeast and southwest of England. At odds with the DUP over the Brexit deal and with no other potential coalition parties, the Conservatives will need to win a majority if they are to form the next government.

Labour is on 25 per cent in an average of opinion polls, 11 points behind the Conservatives and just 7 per cent ahead of the Liberal Democrats. Labour started the 2017 election campaign polling 25 per cent too, but more than 20 points behind Theresa May's Conservatives.

Corbyn's allies draw comfort from the outcome in 2017, which saw Labour draw almost level with the Conservatives with 40 per cent of the vote. And Labour has more coalition options than the Conservatives, so it does not need a majority or even to emerge as the biggest party to have a chance of forming the government.

On the other hand Corbyn is by far the most unpopular of the party leaders and the Conservatives are targeting Labour-held seats that voted Leave in 2016, particularly in the midlands and northeast England, and in Wales.

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American Cyber Security Cowboys

by Oui Tue Oct 29th, 2019 at 12:06:11 PM EST

Came across this article today ...

    Tiversa dominated an emerging online market
    --before it was accused of fraud, extortion, and
    manipulating the federal government.

A Cybersecurity Firm's Sharp Rise and Stunning Collapse | The New Yorker - Nov. 4, 2019 |

Boback is a storyteller. Words pour out of him in cascades that, depending on the listener, can register as beguiling, slick, questionable, or bullshit. One colleague described him as "very confident, sometimes bordering on cocky." Another told me, "He was a master manipulator. Watching him was like watching van Gogh use oils."

As Boback began marketing his system, he landed a big meeting with lawyers representing the Recording Industry Association of America, but the lawyers said they already had a strategy to combat file sharing: sue the problem into oblivion. Undeterred, he and Hopkins flew to Los Angeles, where they met with Darcy Antonellis, the head of anti-piracy efforts at Warner Bros.

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US Iraq Asset Killed In Idlib

by Oui Sun Oct 27th, 2019 at 09:34:52 AM EST

Baghdadi became a leader while imprisoned during US occupation of Iraq.

His jihadist militia were part of a four-pronged attack on the sovereign state of Syria under cover of the so-called insurgency started in Daraa in 2011, just north of the border from Jordan on the road to Damascus. The southern city of Daraa was called the "Cradle of the Revolution".

Turkey allowed foreign fighters to cross its border at Jisr al-Shughur into Syria, supplied by weapons transported from the Libyan tragedy and funded by ally nation Qatar of the Muslim Brotherhood. This crossing was an important trade route into the Euphrates valley.

Sunni fighters from Lebanon crossed into Syria from the West, indoctrinated by Wahhabism from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for decades. Hariri the son and the Elder were Saudi citizens and proxies for the Sunni cause in a fractured Lebanon.

King Hussein of Jordan joined the cause of Saddam Hussein in 1990 and Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The control of all of the Hashemite's kingdom was his ambition. Jordan wasn't in a position to make such a miscalculation again and Abdullah II permitted the US and British special forces to set up jihadist trainings camps in Northern Jordan. Once Hama and Daraa would fall into the hands of the insurgents, a foothold will make expansion easier.

Once the foreign insurgency was well underway, US and Turkey's NATO partners chipped in with political and military aid from all sides: intelligence, weapons, training, and especially weaponized propaganda.

More below the fold ...

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LQD: U.S. humanitarian concern for Syria

by Cat Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 09:10:35 PM EST

The essay, "Trump & the Turkish Invasion of Northern Syria," challenges a few closely held beliefs in the honor of so-called Atlanticist foreign policies and coordinated military alliances. Domestic controversy regarding tangible and intangible returns from investment in such adventures recurs with somewhat alarming frequency. One may note here that the measure of returns from prosecuting a Global War on Terror in the "Greater Middle East" was from its start undermined by the failure of its leadership to identify reliable foreign agents ("proxies") and reduce or eliminate likely agency problems. The Management of Democratic Forces for The Good of the Planet today are no more astute in sorting sectarian mercenaries from sectarian rivals, genocides from undeclared wars, or civilians from combatants and collaborators than they were 100 years ago or more. For those observers, safely nested thousands of miles from "harm's way," the results are a disheartening testament of Allied commitment to humanitarian relief. For other observers manifest calumny is yet another opportunity to recruit arms (with or without legs), another fighting "round," to recover ground covering marketable resources, profiteering.
[ED. typo at "Atlanticist". 03.11.2019]

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Flynn Hires New Attorney for Get-out of Jail Card

by Oui Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 08:20:44 PM EST

A new attorney as Mike Flynn tries to limit his sentencing before judge Emmit Sullivan. Multiple views on the procedure, need to wait to see how this turns out.

Dallas Attorney Sidney Powell Takes Over Michael Flynn Defense | Texas Lawyer - June 12, 2019 |

    Sidney Powell is author of the new book "Licensed to Lie, Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice." The book's description reads, "Licensed to Lie reveals the strong-arm, illegal, and unethical tactics used by headline-grabbing federal prosecutors in their narcissistic pursuit of power to the highest halls of our government" and focuses on the conduct of the Justice Department during the Enron investigation in the mid-2000s. [Source: The Hill]

Michael Flynn's Deep State Strategy Is Failing in Court. He May Not Care | Mother Jones - Sept. 10, 2019 |

More below the fold ...

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Krugman-Admits-He-Was-Wrong! (Pt. 1?)

by ARGeezer Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 05:56:09 PM EST

Paul Krugman -- finally -- admits he was wrong!  Lars Syll RWER Blog

Paul Krugman has never suffered fools gladly. The Nobel Prize-winning economist rose to international fame--and a coveted space on the New York Times op-ed page--by lacerating his intellectual opponents in the most withering way. In a series of books and articles beginning in the 1990s, Krugman branded just about everybody who questioned the rapid pace of globalization a fool who didn't understand economics very well. "Silly" was a word Krugman used a lot to describe pundits who raised fears of economic competition from other nations, especially China. Don't worry about it, he said: Free trade will have only minor impact on your prosperity.

Now Krugman has come out and admitted, offhandedly, that his own understanding of economics has been seriously deficient as well. In a recent essay titled "What Economists (Including Me) Got Wrong About Globalization," adapted from a forthcoming book on inequality, Krugman writes that he and other mainstream economists "missed a crucial part of the story" in failing to realize that globalization would lead to "hyperglobalization" and huge economic and social upheaval, particularly of the industrial middle class in America. And many of these working-class communities have been hit hard by Chinese competition, which economists made a "major mistake" in underestimating, Krugman says.

Michael Hirsh  -  The Economist

It was quite a "whoops" moment, considering all the ruined American communities and displaced millions of workers we've seen in the interim. And a newly humbled Krugman must consider an even more disturbing idea: Did he and other mainstream economists help put a protectionist populist, Donald Trump, in the White House with a lot of bad advice about free markets?

Too important not to frontpage - Frank Schnittger

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Brexit has broken the UK's democracy

by IdiotSavant Fri Oct 25th, 2019 at 12:20:13 AM EST

The fundamental rule of democracy is that we settle issues by voting (and if you don't get your way, you just keep pushing for another vote). But thanks to Brexit, a large majority of the UK population is now willing to accept political violence:

Voters on both sides of the Brexit divide believe that violence against MPs and members of the public is a "price worth paying" to secure their favoured outcome, a new study has found.

A majority of both Leave and Remain voters would be happy to accept attacks on politicians and violent protests in which members of the public are badly injured if it meant they got Brexit outcome they want, according to a new polls.

Researchers said they were "genuinely shocked" by the findings, which come amid concerns about threats against MPs.

71% of English Leave voters and 58% of Remainers think violence against MPs is now acceptable. They've already had one MP murdered over this, and you'd think that would be a red light. Instead, it seems to have incited public bloodlust. Meanwhile, 69% of Leavers and 59% of Remainers think injuring members of the public is a worthwhile price to pay (it is unclear if they asked the natural followup of "what about a member of your family?")

This is not a sign of a healthy democracy. Instead, it is a sign of own spiralling down into violence and authoritarianism. And no matter which way Brexit goes - and does anybody outside the UK even really care anymore? - the damage to the political system is going to last a long, long time.

So this is what its coming to... Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

Comments >> (20 comments)

My Take A Short Extension, No Election [Update]

by Oui Thu Oct 24th, 2019 at 06:45:23 PM EST


Long Extension, December Election

"quite a turn-around as Jeremy Corbyn meets obligation of promise made"


I have no clue what the EU-27 will decide on Friday, but to extend three months will NOT solve the domestic problems of a dysfunctional House of Commons in a twist with Downing Street 10 and the Boris Brexiteers.

Europe needs to get Brexit done, after long negotiations with Theresa May, her deal blocked by the ERG Group, it's time to get a deal done and start the most difficult trade negotiations. Time for a general election has gone, whatever the outcome, little will change and worst case the UK gets out with no-deal after all.

EU to decide on Brexit extension -- but then what? | DW |

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is waiting on word from the other 27 EU heads of state and government on whether the October 31 Brexit date can be delayed.

"Alas we cannot now know what the EU will do in response to the request from Parliament -- I stress it wasn't my request -- to ask for a delay," Johnson told the House of Commons.

Option 1: Extension, no election, try to finalize deal

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In the Footsteps of Witness Bill Taylor

by Oui Wed Oct 23rd, 2019 at 06:02:05 PM EST

A visual timeline of the events that led up to Trump's fateful phone call | USA Today - Sept. 27, 2019 |

See my first diary - Impeachment: Key Witness Envoy Kurt Volker Resigns - Aug. 28, 2019.

Read the full declassified text of the Trump whistleblower complaint

More below the fold ...

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So what went wrong?

by Frank Schnittger Tue Oct 22nd, 2019 at 10:02:11 AM EST

I am, for my sins, also a moderator of the Irish Rugby Fan forum which is a closed Facebook group with over 23,000 members and dozens of new membership applications every day. If only we had similar numbers here!

Every now and then I post a blog trying to summarise a week-end's play or otherwise editorialise on the going's on in a particular match. Today's post is a requiem for Ireland's underwhelming performance in, and exit at the quarter-final stage from the World Cup taking place in Japan right now.

For family reasons I have had very little time for watching TV or blogging on any topic right now so the post is restricted to Ireland's matches as I have been unable to watch any of the others.

Ireland went into the World Cup ranked, very briefly, at no. 1 in the world, but that was never a realistic assessment of our recent form. Our current ranking of 5th. in the World is probably about right, and not bad for a small country where rugby is the third or fourth most popular sport behind Gaelic Football, Soccer, and perhaps Hurling.

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by Frank Schnittger Sun Oct 20th, 2019 at 10:14:07 PM EST

It is difficult to imagine a more insulting act by a head of government than to send a formal letter on headed notepaper purporting to come from his office and person, but omitting to sign it as a means of authenticating it. And then to send another signed letter saying something quite different.

It is the very essence of duplicity. You are either a democrat taking full responsibility for the acts of your office as mandated by your law and parliament or you are a worthless and untrustworthy operator.

In declining to respond anytime soon, the EU is actually acting with great restraint. It could have returned the unsigned letter to sender requesting due authentication by signature.

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News and Views

 1 - 7 October 2019

by Bjinse - Sep 30, 440 comments

Your take on this week's news

 October Thread

by Bjinse - Sep 30, 75 comments

Let's call the whole thread off

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