Sat Jun 14th, 2008 at 09:12:46 AM EST
The first concern is that this could develop into the "Empty Chair" crisis of the 1960's, which stymied European integration for a decade.
The second concern is that "democracy" is being narrowly defined to mean "referendums" and that national parliaments that voted on and ratified the Treaty is "undemocratic." The word "democracy" is a sacred cow where any discussion of "democracy" that is not in favor of "referendums" makes one the equal of Hitler or the Soviet Union.
The public should not be voting on European treaties, and this episode just demonstrates how right the French and Dutch were in changing their ratification process. As we well know, European treaties are often a couple of hundred pages long and are intended to amend the treaties before it. Most in the European public are apathetic to the operation and purpose of European integration and the Union. This means that the Irish electorate has to rely on media coverage, which we know is often skewed in an anti-Europe direction.
Thu May 15th, 2008 at 12:09:18 PM EST
Last fall, I wanted to do a social constructive study of the label "anti-Americanism" and deconstruct the various and numerous meanings of "anti-Americanism." As a social constructivist, I saw that the "anti-Americanism" label has many different meanings and most of those meanings were negative connotations in their definitions. In other words, "anti-Americanism is bad" and the use of this label almost always appeared to be malign a speaker with dictators and despotic regimes: Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Hugo Chavez, and the Soviet Union.
However, the label of "anti-American" was being defined in very broad ways to include legitimate, necessary and good faith criticisms of its American culture, its foreign policy, its actions both domestically and internationally, its government, and the like. It appeared tp me that ANY speech that is critical of America is now labeled "anti-Americanism."
The effects of this broad definition of "anti-Americanism" appeared to not be directed at those that wished America's destruction, but at speakers that had never demonstrated any love for dictators and despotic regimes, those speakers that expressed legitimate and even needed criticism of American foreign policy, its culture, its foreign policy, and its actions. This use of the "anti-Americanism" label appeared to attempt to malign legitimate speakers with legitimate criticisms against American action in legitimate opposition to American actions with the Soviet Union, Communist Cuba and ever al-Qaeda.
Tue Mar 18th, 2008 at 07:58:47 AM EST
There was a great hope for people like me that a greater role for Europe on the international stage after the ratification of the Lisbon treaty would mean Europe drawing the line on international law, especially against the United States. Here, there will not be an argument as to the illegality of "Kosovo independence" for the view of UN Resolution 1244, but the Americans continued willingness to violate international law - and the willingness of some European leaders to place their best interests last in favor of American interests. Kosovo - and the divisions it has caused in Europe are indicative of how much we need to put a stop to American meddling in Europe!
But - the Kosovo debacle being thrust on Europe by the United States and proceeding tampering in the EU presidency indicates that we have a long way to go to ensure real independence for Europe. The Americans continue to take advantage and maintain the chaotic order of international relations for the benefit of the US. There could be real progress in creating some order in the international system, except the Americans would like the international order to remain chaotic, as it is more shapeable to American preferences using the Morgenthau- Machiavellian realist theories and paradigms that dominate American foreign policy.
Europe could have played a role in creating a better legal order, but that potential role has been marred by the Kosovo debacle, including acceptance of the illegal "independence" by most European nations. In the background, we have the revelation of American meddling in the Slovenian EU presidency, in which the American State Department demanded that the "Kosovo independence" and a European Union police mission be a part of the Slovenian agenda for its presidency.
The arm-twisting against European nations to recognize the Kosovo independence declaration was even felt in Italy by the normally pro-Europe Romano Prodi government:
"This was not the Prodi government's preferred outcome until George W. Bush visited Italy and Albania last summer to advocate independence for Kosovo. It looked too difficult to say no to the United States and split with the United Kingdom, France and the Germany, who were more inclined to influence, and not impede, Kosovo's independence while keeping it less than absolute." From: Serbian Ambassador Leaves As Rome Recognises Kosovo- Corriere.
Wed Feb 27th, 2008 at 06:08:15 AM EST
EUobserver article: [Comment] We shall all pay for Kosovo's independence
First of all, let me put a couple of things out front here. There should first be some outrage at the way the Serbian people and the Serbian government are portrayed in Western media. Publications, including the EUobserver, but also the BBC and others, appear to have the tendency to paint "Serbs" as antisocial, criminal throwbacks. The Serbian government is being portrayed as irresponsible and that the inability to control vandalizing mobs is somehow the direct fault of the Serbian government. Second, the "Americans" in Europe's national capitals need to drop their anti-Serb bias and this most especially includes Germany's defense chief Franz Josef Jung's and his irresponsible call to send more troops to "protect Kosovo." The anti-Serb bias and casting the pro-Europe, Serbian government in the image of "Milosevic" could be big part of the problem in the current crisis.
Diary rescue by Migeru
Fri Feb 22nd, 2008 at 03:31:18 PM EST
Article from EUobserver: "Brussels attacks new US security demands"
After selling out some of Europe's data protection standards to Washington, it now seems that the Commission has had enough. Washington's new demands now include travel authorization (what?!) and the more data on air passengers that are flying over, but not stopping, in the US.
"According to the director general, such issues would include the recent US demand to extend the passenger data system to information on air passengers flying over its territory but not landing there. Under the current accord, US security authorities collect 19 pieces of data on European air passengers, except when the travelers are just flying over the US."
Yep, as the US has been pushing with Canada. One Canadian on a messageboard asked about what would happen if "unacceptable passengers" were flying over US airspace from Canada to, say, an island in the Caribbean. "With my charge for pot possession, would the US government scramble F-16 fighters and force my plane down if I try flying to a holiday in the Caribbean?"
"The wishlist includes in-flight security officers aboard transatlantic flights operated by the US airlines, an electronic travel authorisation system as well as an accord to share further data on air passengers and lost and stolen passports."
As one who follows what appears to be increasing data exchanges aimed at travel restriction of various classes of people, I find that the European Commission finally standing up to this is long overdue. In fact, the increase in data exchanges that are aimed at restricting the travel rights of innocent people must eventually become an issue for the United Nations, especially human rights advocates.
Diary rescue by Migeru
Sun Feb 17th, 2008 at 03:36:24 PM EST
YouTube video: Police Caught Throwing Paralyzed Man From Wheelchair
Articles from BBC News:
US police 'dumped paralysed man'
US wheelchair-dump deputy charged
It's my impression that Europeans and the rest of the world seem to think that police abuse is limited to just American minorities in the South. Nope! It is my impression that police abuse by American police is increasing and becoming more wide spread. Also, understanding abusive practice in American prisons and jails leads to a full grasp of the abuse at Abu Ghraib.
There is now the infamous and reveling case of a Brian Sterner, a wheelchair-bound man in Florida who was dumped on his face by and a calm Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy (Tampa), and then frisked on the floor. Deputy Charlette Marshall-Jones' hands then slid along the body of the helpless man, the helpless man's belongings were tossed to the counter in an angry fashion. The "dumping" and dehumanizing frisk on the floor were apparently triggered because Mr. Stener "refused" to "stand up."
Mr Sterner said that when he arrived in the booking office the officers told him to stand up, but he was unable to do so. According to an interview he gave to the Tampa Tribune newspaper, Mr Sterner said that Dep Jones "was irked that I wasn't complying to what she was telling me to do".
"It didn't register with her that she was asking me to do something I can't do."
Sat Jan 26th, 2008 at 03:11:43 PM EST
As a younger person, in the mid-late 1980's I was arrested for some petty offenses...
I have since gone on to work in profession requiring a licence (hairdressing) and served honorably in the military. I have a college education (in criminology, btw), paralegal training, and am going to get my Master's this year. While I was in college I served community service as a mentor with kids in trouble. I serve with youth in my church and I am regarded as a model citizen.
About three years ago, I wanted to take some course work in European community law in Germany. I was told that because of my past life as a hooligan, I could never, ever, in my entire life, be allowed a student permit, or any kind of residency for Germany!