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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, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 13,711

About Me

(Brit gone native).

Journal Archives

.


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/



http://www.france24.com/en/breaking/20140323-france-far-right-front-national-party-wins-historical-support-several-large-cities-nationwide-local-/

... 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.

Excellent.



... 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

"Should the English have a say on Scottish independence?" (Asks Roger Scruton).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26173128

In all the complex changes leading to the Scottish bid for independence the English have never been consulted. The process has been conducted as though we had no right to an opinion in the matter. It was all about Scotland, and how to respond to Scottish nationalism. ... When the Czechs and the Slovaks achieved their amicable divorce it was by mutual agreement between elected politicians. What is so different about Scotland, that it decides everything for itself? ...

<long snip>

... The effect of the Scottish Parliament ... was not only to ensure that the Scots would govern themselves, but also to make it more likely that they would continue to govern the English. The Labour Party did not want to lose those Scottish MPs, since it was thanks to them, and to the Scottish vote, that the Labour Party had achieved such a large majority in Westminster. Scots were disproportionately represented in the cabinets of both Blair and Brown. Tony Blair was born and partly educated in Scotland, and owed his position in the Labour hierarchy in part to the networks that had grown in that country.

Elections to the Scottish Parliament show that the Scots have shifted their allegiance from Labour to the SNP. But they still want the English to be governed by the Labour Party. Hence they vote to place Labour politicians, whom they don't particularly want at home, in Westminster.

As a result of this the English, who have voted Conservative more often than Labour in post-war elections, have to accept a block vote of Labour members of parliament sent to Westminster by the Scots. The process that brought this about was one in which the Scots themselves were given the final say, in a referendum from which the English were excluded. In other words the process of devolution can be seen as a piece of gerrymandering, the effect of which has been to secure a Labour bias in the Westminster Parliament, while allowing the Scots to govern themselves in whatever way they choose.

And the process continues. In response to Alex Salmond's bid for independence the people of Scotland have been granted another referendum. But again the people of England have been deprived of a say. Why is this? Are we part of the union or not? Or are the politicians afraid that we would vote the wrong way? And what is the wrong way? What way should we English vote, given that the present arrangement gives two votes to the Scots for every vote given to the English? Should we not vote for our independence, given that we risk being governed from a country that already regulates its own affairs, and has no clear commitment to ours? ...

<snip>

/Much More + many comments... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26173128

Meanwhile, at Asia's arms bazaar...

... Many of the uniformed officers from Asia's militaries who are visiting the biennial Singapore Airshow make a beeline for the aircraft.

For the most part, the Poseidon is a Boeing 737, the world's most commonly seen passenger jet. But first looks can be deceiving - this plane can be fitted with torpedoes, depth charges and anti-ship missiles. Inside are packed some of the world's most advanced avionics, radars and sensors, making it the only long-range marine patrol aircraft that can hunt and destroy submarines.

"When you want the best long-range anti-submarine warfare aircraft in that class, we have the product that's most developed," said Chris Raymond, an executive vice president in Boeing's defence, space and security division.

Defence analysts say maritime surveillance is the most pressing security need in East and Southeast Asia, made up of predominantly littoral states. Rival maritime claims that have pitted China, which has one of the world's fastest growing militaries, against Japan and other Asian nations have made the South and East China Seas dangerous flashpoints.

Piracy and smuggling are also rife in the region. And natural disasters strike with depressing regularity, leading to a need for search and rescue aircraft.

"Maritime patrol is the buzzword at the moment, especially in Singapore," said Gareth Jennings, an aviation expert at IHS Jane's...

/... http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/02/12/uk-airshow-singapore-defence-surveillanc-idUKBREA1B04F20140212

... and "capitalism’s inherent dynamic ... threatens democratic societies":

Nothing new about these propositions for what I'd call the 'anarchist' left.

... Now define more clearly what a 'democratic society' should or could look like...
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