halialkers: (Default)
[personal profile] halialkers
So, as was recently shown, North Korea has indeed developed ICBMs that give it the capacity now to strike US soil, specifically Alaska (not that there'd be anything of actual value beyond wildlife lost if they did).
Iraq and North Korea: Axis of Idiotic US fixations  )

Context in all its morbid and even hilarious irony  )

The Cold War repeated as farce )

Of such morbid irony is the whim of reality, which unlike fiction needs no pretense of consistency or event A logically and neatly following from a cause that would indicate that this event could become that one.


dreamville_bg: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamville_bg

EU's hypocrisy has come to the fore once more, what with the recent outcry from a number of Central and East European countries against the double standards in many products, and not just food products, that are being sold at one quality in West Europe, while its lesser quality versions are being dumped onto "second-hand", "New" Europe for the same price or even more:

"Bulgaria and Romania have joined an outcry against multinational food companies, accused of selling lower quality products in Eastern Europe compared to those offered in the Western supermarkets."
Source: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bulgaria-romania-join-outcry-against-varying-food-quality-in-the-eu-03-07-2017

In a nutshell, the same product, produced by the same company, advertised in the same way and supposedly being produced in the same manner with the same ingredients, has turned out to be quite different in, say, Germany, Austria and France on one side, and Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania on the other.

Read more... )
fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi
The world has gone crazy about electric cars these days, it seems. At least the wealthier part of the world. They promise to provide a more technologically advanced future, and they're widely perceived to be much more eco-friendly than any other means of transportation.

Of course, electric cars do have some issues of their own, too. These are several. The biggest one is the long time it takes to re-charge the batteries, given the current level of technologies. Then, the relatively short distance a car could run with one charging. This would eventually be solved by improving the capacity of the batteries. But, because producing the batteries takes energy, it's important to do it in an energy-efficient way, and drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels in the process. Because it's not like producing batteries for electric cars does not leave a significant carbon imprint.

http://www.ivl.se/english/startpage/top-menu/pressroom/press-releases/press-releases---arkiv/2017-06-21-new-report-highlights-climate-footprint-of-electric-car-battery-production.html

This is where the above study comes, which attempts to give a broader and more detailed picture of the whole process. It was done by IVL, a Swedish institute of ecology research, by the behest of the Swedish transportation administration.

Read more... )
johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/03/theresa-may-report-foreign-funding-extremists-saudi-arabia


Most of us who have been following the information about where the funding for Islamic fundamentalist terrorism originates have a pretty good guess as to what is in this report. What is also interesting is the way Saudi Arabia has tried to blame Qatar for as much terrorist funding as it can, somehow trying to link Qatar and even Al Jazeera to both Iranian sponsored terrorism and ISIS, in a move designed to deflect attention, no doubt.

Of course 45, in his recent trip to Saudi, bought this line; not having a good relationship with intelligence agencies liable to give him better information, or even having an especially good relationship with intelligence per se.

But is sitting on this report the classic case of conflict of interest?

Muslim folk are a minority of under 4% in the U.K., the vast majority of whom are law-abiding and decent. These are folk who don't deserve to be targetted by xenophobes. However, it appears our government would prefer that than actually expose where the money to fund terrorism is coming from in case it disrupts income stream to our arms manufacturers, or alienates a business partner with deep pockets, lots of oil, and a fundamentalist creed and mentality.

As a nation the U.K. has, of late, really embraced the concept of conflict of interest. It is becoming as British English as queuing. This joins Brexit as another massive stupidity we can ascribe to years of educational underfunding, which is surely the greatest conflict of interest a democracy can exhibit. I mean it's not as if we don't know where the money comes from, but sitting on the report which confirms it, for diplomatic reasons, exposes ordinary Muslims to obloquy and xenophobic attack.
abomvubuso: (...I COULD MURDER A CURRY.)
[personal profile] abomvubuso
All right folks, because it's a new month now, we should keep our tradition with the Monthly Topic. The one you guys chose for July was:

Conflict of Interest

Now this could get tricky...



Details on the subject )

And since free DW accounts can't create polls, we're going to have our poll for the August topic in the form of a simple list. All you need to do is list the topics you choose out of the list:

Poll for August )

Exodus.

1/7/17 12:00
[identity profile] abomvubuso.livejournal.com
https://v.dreamwidth.org/10920353/2729172

Hi there, folks! It's official. The day has come for the exodus. As announced here a couple weeks ago, Talk Politics will now be moving to DreamWidth, along with all its members, posts, comments and all activity. The new place is here:


Most of us are already on DW, and we'll be ceasing all activity on LJ and moving there completely from now on. Those who haven't registered to DW can do it HERE.

There's also a very simple way to import all your LJ to DW.

It's been 8 and a half years since the inception of this community. Now, 22 months, 7,425 posts and more than half a million comments later, we'll be coming to our new home. Greener pastures await! And it'll all be fun'n'joy, no doubt! :)

I hope you'll re-join us there, and we'll all keep having these awesome political discussions of ours!

Cheers,
The staff
[identity profile] luzribeiro.livejournal.com
Last Friday offtopic on LJ's version of TP, heh!

Anyway... Here's the latest fad on the Internet. And it takes years to make. Or rather just a minute, plus an old photo of yours with your friends or family...

Five guys take same photo for 30 years

Before vs After )
[identity profile] nairiporter.livejournal.com
Hundreds of men, captured in raids against Al Qaeda extremists, have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in South Yemen, where torture and abuse is the norm and people are subjected to horrible forms of "interrogation", AP reports:

In Yemen's secret prisons, UAE tortures and US interrogates

One of the most shocking examples is the so called "grilling", where the subject is strapped to a "spit" as if to be baked alive, and they are rotated over a ring of fire.

AP's investigation has documented at least 18 illegal prisons in South Yemen that are run by the UAE or allied Yemeni forces, created and trained by the UAE. The reporters are citing testimony of former inmates and their families, lawyers and human-rights activists, and Yemeni military personnel.

These prisons were concealed, inaccessible to the local government, which gets aid from the UAE in its civil war against the rebels. The secret prisons are located in military bases, ports and one airport, in private houses and even in a night-club. Some inmates were transferred by air to an UAE base at the other side of the Red Sea, in Eritrea, Yemeni minister of the interior Hussain Arab said.

Read more... )
[identity profile] ddstory.livejournal.com
One of the problems with America is that EVERYTHING is for profit. Some services like health, public schools, and prisons should be provided by the state. There is simply no other way. Trickle-down economics and the invisible hand of the infallible free market does not work here (not to mention that it's bullshit).

The US has inferior healthcare that delivers inferior health for 3 times the price of other systems. No one wants to admit it. Everyone wants to make money by exploiting the weak, sick and elderly. FOX tells the ignorant that it is great and they believe it. It is a sad spectacle.

And this extends to other spheres of social life. The US healthcare is one of the most expensive in the world, sure. So much for market efficiencies. But take a look at schools. Public schools serve crap lunches to kids because big corporations lobby hard for these contracts. So your kid's health is secondary to corporate profits. The prison system is overflowing because it pays to have lots of people in jail. It's good for business. It seems that private corporations are extremely good at billing the government insane amounts of money for the crappy services they provide. What should operate as a free market economy is lost to private networks and good old cronyism - because after all, it's just taxpayers' money!

Corporate greed cannot come before the well-being of your citizens. This will only weaken the entire society over time. It was Mahatma Ghandi who said "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members". And it's true. Because whenever the social and economic gaps in a society widen beyond a certain critical point, major upheaval follows.

But of course politicians don't care about that. As long as they keep filling their pockets, it's all birds and roses.
[identity profile] mahnmut.livejournal.com
...And perhaps for a reason. Maybe not exactly the right reason on this instance, but the reason we all want to believe we should be freaking out for. Do bear with me.

See, LJ seemed to have stopped working for some folks yesterday - I mean, they appeared to be blocked away from their own journals and the communities they were members in. Some suspected Putin's long hand had finally moved in to silence dissenting voices, or quash constructive pluralist debate and critical thought. Because his minions must be everywhere around the networks, sniffing and listening, and reporting back to their masters whenever someone says something bad about Dear Leader and the beautiful utopian new world he's building for us all. Maybe so.

Putin may kill us, but not just yet )
[identity profile] abomvubuso.livejournal.com
A new financial crisis may be coming up in the emerging economies that could cause much more damage than 2008 - that is what a World Bank report says after having analysed the international transactions of the central banks of most major economies.

The dark forecast mostly causes concern about fast developing markets such as China, which the experts are showing signs of over-heating. And there is also the problem of backdoor local borrowing, which helps increase debt. They remind of the situation in the US and UK just before the 2008 crisis. Now these new problems could send the whole economy into another downward spiral for a few years. The central banks may find themselves compelled to abruptly raise the interest rates to fight inflation, which would otherwise suffocate economic growth.

China's rising debt, and Trump's promise of economic protectionism are the main causes for concern. Right now, China's debt is 166% of the GDP, which is double its size from a decade ago. The debt in other countries in the Asian-Pacific region is also rising - Thailand and Hong Kong for example.

The global economy is still recovering from the global crisis and the euro crisis from 2008-2010. In both cases, the systematic problems were caused by disproportionately large debt-to-GDP ratios, and this situation looks likely to repeat soon again.
[identity profile] luvdovz.livejournal.com
There was a recent media forum in Bonn, Germany, where the main topic was the way Russia has increased its influence in Europe through the media and the Internet. The Russian media working abroad have recently gained a lot of success in manipulating the public opinion, and not just in the former Soviet republics or the former Soviet satellites in East Europe, but also in the West. Fake news is now everywhere, and the difference from the yellow press sort of news that we all know and have learned to hate to love, it's now all being directed and focused with a purpose.

It`s not just about directly meddling into elections )
[identity profile] luvdovz.livejournal.com
This story is weird on so many levels... Really, what does the right-wing hate more right now, gays or Muslims? And what does the left love more? Decisions, decisions...

Sweden far-right plans gay parade in mainly Muslim area
Anti-racist group plans counter-rally against "provocative" parade condemned by Stockholm Pride and LGBT activists.
[identity profile] airiefairie.livejournal.com
When George Marshall, Truman's secretary of state and former commander in chief of the US army visited Harvard to receive his honorary title in June 1047, the decision wasn't deemed too important by the press. The historians say his hosts at the university didn't know what he would say in his speech. But that speech marked the beginning of changes of enormous scale across post-war Europe. Within a single short paragraph, Marshall described the devastation in Europe and said it was logical that America would do whatever it takes to help restore the economic health of the world, because without a stable economy there could be no peace and stability anywhere. That day is considered the birthday of the Marshall Plan.

http://marshallfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/47.06.05-George-C.-Marshall-at-Harvard-300x269.jpg

Read more... )
[identity profile] dreamville-bg.livejournal.com
Changes in Cuba policy could adversely impact Trump's hotel competitors

Details )

...So is Trump using his office to target competitors, or are the competitors just impacted by a decision that was not intended to target competitors, but increase sanctions in general?

The first would be criminal, but the second would only be political, if Trump's order was against Cuba alone and not intended to harm competition to his own business. I'm sure there will be plenty of answers for both reasons, depending on which side of the aisle you are on.

I'd say it smells more like a political move, but of course he'd have no hesitation to hurt his competitors in the meantime, either. I mean, Trump needs a win. He's been doing poorly lately and needs something. And what's better for him than to undo some stuff Obama did? Hoorah! Making America great again! His base eats that up. So this is something he can easily accomplish, move some headlines (and tweets) around, get people talking of something other than Russia. And hey, the fact that it hurts his competitors is a bonus.

So objectively I'd say he likely wasn't motivated to do this because it hurt his competitors, but he likely also just thinks of it as two birds one stone sort of thing. What say you?
[identity profile] luzribeiro.livejournal.com
Just a brief question.

When a bunch of Muslim radicals plunge a truck into a crowd of random people in a street, then start shooting at people or stabbing them with knives, that's terrorism, right?

So how come when a Christian British native plunges a truck into a crowd of random Muslim people in front of a mosque, then attacks them with a knife, that's hate crime and a revenge?

Where does this semantic difference come from? Same question about the reactions. In the former case, we hear "Let's not jump to conclusions" and "Let's not paint all Muslims with the same brush", and "This has nothing to do with Islam". But now we hear nothing of the sort, after the Finsbury Park attack?

How, who and what radicalized that father of several children who until yesterday used to just go to work, look after his family, and probably spend a couple hours with his pals in the local pub watching Premiership football on a daily basis? What caused him to go and massacre people he doesn't know, and then sit in the police van on his way to jail and smile back at the watching journalists, as if he had just won the lottery? "A job well done", he says. How's he NOT a terrorist?

Is there a double standard here, or am I perhaps just reading too much into this?
[identity profile] dreamville-bg.livejournal.com
Montenegro's official joining of NATO has prompted threats of "retaliatory action" from Russia. A couple of weeks ago the former Yugoslav republic became the 29th member state. The prime minister Markovic signed the joining protocol with US deputy secretary of state Thomas Shannon. Then Markovic met with president Trump and his VP, Pence. The latter stated that all countries are free to choose their allies without interference from third countries, obviously meaning Russia.

The Kremlin's response was short to follow. They interpreted this move as hostile, and the Russians said they retained their right to take reciprocal measures, which is of course a thinly veiled threat. Their diplomats said in politics, just as in physics, any action is met with a corresponding counter-action.

Read more... )
johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
Some chap drove a van at Muslims. Apparently he was captured alive and intact by some of the Muslim chaps there, and then passed on to the police.

This is the very definition of law-abiding on the part of the Muslim chaps who caught this murderer in the act. Now I'm not suggesting that lots of English people wouldn't do the same, after all, the chap that mudered Jo Cox so foully lived to get his day in court. But right now, when tensions are high, and all sorts of different folks' tempers are flaring over many different sorts of incident, this strikes me as a chink of light in this gloom.

Now, does the panel think that if a similar incident happened in their polity, the perp would be handed over intact to the fuzz? (If that's the '70's word I'm looking for.)

You see, when folk go on about Muslims this and Muslims that, I think of the Muslims I've met. I would say that fundamentalist Muslims, Christians, Hindus, or Jews, are pretty appalling almost without exception. I'm happy to take up rhetorical arms against IS or the Christian extreme right just as much as I would against David Duke or Pat Buchanan, however, most religious folk aren't abortion clinic bombing terrorists or fools bent on a fatuous notion of a glorious suicide which has been sold to them by the religious equivalent of a banker selling shoddy derivatives to the innocent and naive.

But the ordinary chaps hand the murderer over to the police,

Credits & Style Info


Talk Politics.
A place to discuss politics without egomaniacal mods

https://v.dreamwidth.org/10920353/2729172

MONTHLY TOPIC:

Conflict of Interest


DAILY QUOTE:

It's said that "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." Sadly most people think being outraged is the point, and the paying attention part is optional.
(garote)

July 2017

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