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Ghost Dog

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 12:59 PM
Number of posts: 14,219

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

Spain's Popular Party leads EP election but small parties real winners

Source: New Europe

... The PP were the most voted for political party taking 26.04 percent of the vote and seeing their representation in the EP drop from 24 to 16 seats, while their share of the votes was 18 percent down from their win in the 2011 General Election which they garnered 44 percent of the votes...

... The PSOE polled just 23.02 percent, three percent less than the PP and around 6 percent down from their 2011 General election showing. The PSOE have won 14 seats in the EP, nine fewer than the 23 they won in 2009...

... Perhaps the standout factor for Sunday's results is that Spain's two major parties polled less than 50 percent of the total vote on a day when minority parties saw their share of the vote increase dramatically. This led some commentators to speculate as to whether this could be the end of the two-party dominance in the country.

The United Left claimed 9.99 percent of the vote and now have six seats in Brussels, four more than in 2009, while the newly formed "Podemos" (We Can) party, a left wing coalition, claimed 7.93 percent of the vote and won five seats. The center-right Union Progress and Democracy went from winning one to four seats.

Read more: http://www.neurope.eu/article/spains-popular-party-leads-ep-election-small-parties-real-winners

My preferred Title: Left,, Green and 'Indignados' parties gain most in Spanish EU election

The United Left is in coalition with Greens in Spain. This is the traditional real left. The new party 'Podemos says it will now, Indignados and Occupy-style (and indeed Chiapas-style), form open discussion circles in every locality on the basis of which to form policy. This is reminiscent of Kropotkin-style political ideas. The UPD's discourse mostly involves criticising the corruption in the two main parties (as do all). There are zero far-right parties with any weight at all in Spanish politics, except of course the PP, or significant sectors of the PP, heir to Franco's Catholic elitist authoritarians, itself.

In Catalonia the Catallan nationalist (seeking independence) ERC-led Left coalition trounced the also nationalist right wing and 'business' party CiU currently governing the Generalitat.

In the Canary Islands a majority voted Left for the first time in a long time, and the United Left and especially Podemos strongly surged.

Similar patterns will doubtless be found throughout the Iberian Peninsula and Islands...

Diclotican: Re. The Orkneys and The Shetlands

So, on reflection extrapolating from your earlier communication, the Danish crown, dominating the whole of Scandinavia at the time, finding itself all-but bankrupt (because largely of warring, I guess), looks around a little further out but still in fact well within the local Scandinavian-influenced world at that time, sees an opportunity to make a deal with the Scottish crown: the loan in cash or whatever easily-negotiable goods in exchange for the Orkneys and the Shetlands (but not eg. the Faröes) on lien.

The deal is struck; Denmark gets paid as agreed and Scotand gets the islands.

The Danish crown does not repay the loan so Scotland keeps the islands.

Fair deal, right? Yeah. Cool.

But hang on a minute.

From a Norwegian point of view, the Danish crown was occupying Norway at the time and sold Norwegian islands to Scotland (Norwegians, doubtless, not being consulted).

Denmarks's domination of Scandinavia did not persist.

Today, the situation established then persists..Regardless of whether the Danish crown had the right or not to sell the islands, obviously for Norwegians there is sentiment there.

As there is obviously sentiment in Scotland.

What in the future, it occurs to me, would be beautiful to see, would be an independent Scottish Republic in perhaps or perhaps not a Union but certainly a Special Relationship with Norway, inside and/or outside the EU.

Your thoughts?

AP's latest on the subject (" trumpeting in the island's official media"):

HAVANA (AP) — Revelations of a secret U.S. government program to set up a cellphone-based social network in Cuba are being trumpeted in the island's official media as proof of Havana's repeated allegations that Washington is waging a "cyber-war" to try to stir up unrest...

... State news agency Prensa Latina recalled a Jan. 1 speech in which President Raul Castro warned of "attempts to subtly introduce platforms for neoliberal thought and for the restoration of neocolonial capitalism."

"Castro's denunciations of the U.S. government's destabilizing attempts against Cuba were corroborated by today's revelation of a plan to push Cuban youth toward the counterrevolution, with the participation of a U.S. agency," Prensa Latina said...

... On the streets of Havana, some echoed their government's complaints about U.S. interference and ZunZuneo.

"Coming from them (the United States), nothing can surprise us anymore," said 25-year-old Claudia Garcia...

/... https://in.news.yahoo.com/cubas-official-media-abuzz-over-secret-twitter-171706964.html


Josefina Vidal, director of U.S. affairs at Cuba's Foreign Ministry, said late Thursday that the ZunZuneo program "shows once again that the United States government has not renounced its plans of subversion against Cuba, which have as their aim the creation of situations of destabilization in our country to create changes in the public order and toward which it continues to devote multimillion-dollar budgets each year."

"The government of the United States must respect international law and the goals and principles of the United Nations charter and, therefore, cease its illegal and clandestine actions against Cuba, which are rejected by the Cuban people and international public opinion," the statement said.

Nice data visualisation.

... The artificial lighting of the distant (North American) planetary horizon is a purely artistic touch, of course. This projection does show the Iberian Peninsula's scale and position nicely, I must say.

Far right expects surge in French local elections

AFP - Voters are most likely to pick their mayors based on local issues that affect them directly in areas such as taxation, security or unemployment, in the first nationwide polls since Francois Hollande was elected as president in 2012.

But there is concern that some Socialist party loyalists, disillusioned by the government's track record as unemployment remains sky-high and the economy stagnates, will not turn out to vote.

Corruption scandals that have affected the main opposition UMP party as well as former president Nicolas Sarkozy could also alienate some centre-right voters.

As such, polls suggest around one in four voters are considering casting their votes for the far-right National Front (FN) in what could be a significant election for the anti-immigration, anti-EU party led by Marine Le Pen...

/... http://www.france24.com/en/20140323-far-right-expects-surge-french-local-elections/


... Le Pen took over the leadership in 2011 and set about broadening the appeal of a party best known for the repeated convictions of her father and party founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, under French laws against holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred.

As well as trying to de-toxify the FN's image, Le Pen has attempted to make it less of a single-issue anti-immigration party by campaigning on unemployment, living costs and crime. Polls and pundits suggest that is prudent, as local elections tend to be decided on such local issues.

Under France's two-round, run-off system, any party that secures 10 percent backing in the first round has the right to present candidates in the second round on March 31.

A strong showing by the FN could see Sarkozy's centre-right UMP eliminated at the first hurdle in some contests, or see the overall right-wing vote divided in three-way run-offs, thereby boosting the Socialists.

/... http://www.france24.com/en/20140323-france-votes-local-elections-paris-mayor-hollande/

China Unveils Urbanization Plan

BEIJING (dpa-AFX) - China unveiled measures to speed urbanization in a bid to provide impetus to economic growth through lifting income and consumption among rural residents.

In its urbanization plan for 2014-2020, the government said Sunday it will reform 'hukou' registration, and improve water safety as well as air quality.

The 'hukou' a complex household registration system discourages rural residents to move and settle in urban areas. Easing controls on residency status will unlock huge income potential and raise domestic demand.

'Domestic demand is the fundamental impetus for China's development, and the greatest potential for expanding domestic demand lies in urbanization,' state news agency Xinhua said citing the plan from China's State Council...

... In an another release, Xinhua said the government will increase funding for railways, civil aviation network and improve connectivity among cities. The regular railways will cover cities with more than 200,000 residents by 2020...

/... http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachrichten-2014-03/29704959-china-unveils-urbanization-plan-020.htm

... It's been a long time coming. A change is gonna come...

... A baby hatch in southern China has been forced to suspend work after hundreds of infants were abandoned, overwhelming the centre, its director says. More than 260 children had been left at the welfare home in Guangzhou since 28 January, director Xu Jiu added...

... China introduced the centres so parents could abandon infants safely rather than leaving them in the streets...

... All the abandoned infants had illnesses, such as cerebral palsy, Down's syndrome and congenital heart disease, the bureau added.

It is thought that many parents abandon ill babies because they fear they cannot afford the medical care required...

/... http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-26607505

I'll be 60 in a few months' time. What's new this time around...

... is that both "evil empires"' politico-military-financial establishments appear to have been recently planning within the context of the idea that the use of (¡sólo la puntita!) so-called 'tactical' or 'mini-' nuclear weapons is conceivable without inevitably shortly thereafter going totally MAD.


... You’d have to be crazy to think that Russia was going to allow the Ukraine, including Crimea, to become part of NATO, and yes, that was the West’s (or rather, America’s) endgame. (The Europeans think the Americans are crazy to be baiting the bear like this. But the Europeans need Russian natural gas.) Russia is no longer the USSR. It is not an existential threat to the West, or even to Europe. It is a corrupt resource state with a big army and nukes which controls a lot of territory, but the idea that it would win a full-on conventional war with America is deranged. All the US is accomplishing here is driving Russia into the country which is actually a danger to American dominance: China...

... Putin thinks the US and the West are Russia’s enemies. He is not wrong...

... Now, Putin is only the most competent Russian leader since perhaps Peter the Great, enjoys greater popularity among his own people than Bush and Obama ever did put together, and is a respected statesman around the world, which, by the way, sees the US as the greatest threat to world peace. Putin's first great initiative, dictatorship of the law, transformed a once lawless Russia into a generally law-abiding state, though slightly too conservative and restrictive for some people's taste. His second great idea, sovereign democracy, made Russia almost completely impervious to Western attempts at political manipulation. Add to that his economic successes (Russians' incomes have doubled repeatedly while US incomes have stagnated) and his foreign policy successes (his government recently prevented a major conflict in Syria, then engineered a rapprochement between the West and Iran) and you can begin to see why he makes US State Department apparatchiks and assorted US neocons absolutely livid with rage. That kind of anger tends to be catchy, and so we find journalists and commentators in the US so wrapped up in their negative feelings towards Putin that they are neglecting to do their job, which is to inform people...

Far out.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Download the original GCHQ .pdf from here: http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1021430/the-art-of-deception-training-for-a-new.pdf
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