Re: Broads Thread on the Abroad
Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:47 pm
More good stuff from #theresistance
That thing you read when you should be working
“What the Russian soul demands,” says Yekaterina Mamay, “is that there be one strong politician in the country who resembles a czar.”
In Russia’s upcoming presidential election, the 20-year-old student, who knows that journalism in her country is not free, will nonetheless vote to reelect Vladimir Putin.
The US accuses Russia of trying to destabilise Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban. Senior US officials have been saying for months that Moscow is even supplying the militants with weapons.
“By granting same-sex married couples ... access to spousal benefits, which are unique to marriage, the very status of marriage would diminish significantly in the eyes of the public,” one of the judges, Appeal Justice Jeremy Poon, wrote, saying that people might think the government was recognizing gay marriage via a “back door.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel made a forceful pitch for Europe to play a more assertive role in global affairs as U.S. President Donald Trump dismantles the post-World War II order, setting the stage for a potential tense standoff at the Group of Seven summit this week.
Following President Trump’s announcement of a U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran, the United States is set to pursue a “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran whereby it reintroduces stringent economic and financial sanctions.
From the Iranian perspective, the return of U.S. sanctions means a lost opportunity for growth and international engagement, but not an impending economic catastrophe. From a European perspective, sustaining economic exchange with Iran is not about advancing economic gains but rather about consolidating an agreement which is driven by pragmatic security concerns. The shared elements are clear—Iranian and European policymakers alike are principally motivated by a need to salvage the JCPOA and thereby protect their economic sovereignty and autonomy in international relations.
To support these ends, the latest ELN policy brief by Esfandyar Batmanghelidj and Axel Hellman presents a vision of a new banking architecture that could be at the heart of Europe’s package to protect Europe-Iran economic ties. This banking architecture should be designed not to evade US sanctions, but to ensure that those companies that can operate in compliance with U.S. secondary sanctions have access to the necessary banking services.
The design of this architecture should be presented to Tehran not as a “turnkey” initiative that can simply be switched on, but rather as a part of a comprehensive “roadmap” for joint European and Iranian implementation, in pursuit of expanded economic relations.
The architecture should have two main elements:
It should be centered on “gateway banks” – financial institutions which can serve as intermediaries between major Iranian and European commercial banks.
It should be overseen by an “EU-OFAC,” a regulatory authority modeled on the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control, but with a philosophy of operation geared towards facilitation of trade rather than restriction.
EU-OFAC would pursue measures in two domains:
o EU-OFAC would develop common standards, tools, and certification mechanisms for due diligence to enable European businesses and banks to have greater confidence about the compliance of their activities, thus addressing a longstanding issue with the interpretive guidance issued by the United States.
o Drawing on a successful model developed in Germany, EU-OFAC would support collaborative efforts to increase the reliance on and reduce the costs of due diligence among the gateway banks.
o EU-OFAC would also assist European companies in seeking waivers and exemptions from U.S. authorities and act as an interlocutor between European companies and U.S. authorities.
2) Legal Protection:
o EU-OFAC would strengthen EU legal protections for entities engaged in Iran trade and investment by developing guidelines related to a strengthened blocking regulation, creating linkages to laws that underpin the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) and to non-discrimination in the provision of banking services.
Big Susf wrote:Doctor C, interassted to read your thoughts on the situation in Venezuela as you will have a different take then the generic shit spewed. Who is to blame?
Dr_Chimera wrote:Big Susf wrote:Doctor C, interassted to read your thoughts on the situation in Venezuela as you will have a different take then the generic shit spewed. Who is to blame?
I think it's hard to assess Venezuela's economic strategy when we know that they've been sanctioned into oblivion since at least the early 2000s. This is not just a warmed over leftist take, but the basic truth of the matter.
It is very difficult to survive in the world nowadays while giving the US the finger. Venezuela is statist of course, but this is the natural outcome of being constantly attacked, openly and subversively.
One South American socialist who didn't rule with an iron fist, Allende, was defeated very quickly, which means that socialist movements there get fucked in at least two ways: a) suffer a quick and brutal coup, or b) get stuck with a stubborn, stringent nanny state. The US is always creating its own villains and then killing them off one by one. It's a lot like the war on drugs.
Some people would disagree with me on this, but I have a theory that one of the reasons for fascism's rise is the left's inability to effectively differentiate itself from dominant liberal orthodoxy. We have this problem in Canada as well.
Liberals - centrist proponents of mixed economy solutions - are highly resistant to grievance politics and any modes of expression that privilege emotions like frustration and anger about existing social problems. They are often obsessed with being logical, professional, pleasant and generally proper with words. Always careful to not offend, choose their language carefully, play by the rules.
The problem for liberals is that many people hate their buttoned-down style because liberals strike many of them as unsympathetic, often indifferent and unwilling to share in their emotional frustration. Liberal attitudes do not mirror their anger.
Leftists have the same problem. Many voters - pick any country for this - can't even tell the difference between liberal and leftist alternatives to right wing politicians. In spite of starkly different platforms and philosophies, leftism and liberalism remain synonymous in the minds of most people.
Conservatives - as well as extreme right wing nationalists and fascists - are great at using public anger to their advantage. Their proposed solutions will be absurd, but make superficial sense to many ordinary people. It is easy to blame you country's problems on immigrants and people of color and is a convenient outlet.
But does the liberal offer as an outlet for the voter's anger? Unfortunately no. Liberals continue to insist that negative emotions are bad, that smiles are better, that logic wins arguments, that fascists are worth listening to and that their arguments can be defeated by a careful attention to the facts.
If liberals continue to think this way, we will need a leftist alternative that rejects the politics of pleasantry and civility. One of the reasons Bernie Sanders won me over is due to the way he embraces and directs the emotions of disenfranchised voters. He is passionate and focused, and is often clear about the targets of his ire which, instead of the immigrants, are the capitalists and the super rich. He does not discourage the politics of grievance, but channels it in appropriate directions. Corbyn is also good at this, having produced brilliantly made television ads that do an excellent job of acknowledging the frustration of voters.
Liberals everywhere are losing because they don't know how to master the discursive art of politicized anger. I want to see more anger in politics, but targeted intelligently against the actual foes of cultural progress.
Germany’s Angela Merkel will quit as head of her Christian Democratic party after almost two decades, a person familiar with the matter said.
She intends to stay on as chancellor and step down when her current term ends in 2021, the person said, despite a series of political setbacks that have eaten into her authority.
In 2017, former navy officer and Philippine Senator Antonio Trillanes accused Paolo Duterte of involvement in drug smuggling and claimed that the son of President Rodrigo Duterte was linked with the triads, forcing him to testify before the Senate.
Rodrigo Duterte addressed the rivalry between his eldest son, former Davao City Vice-Mayor Paolo "Polong" Duterte, and Senator Antonio Trillanes, making a grim joke about advice he gave Paolo, offering to hold a duel between the two politicians.
"You and Trillanes are enemies so when you meet in Congress, you shoot can shoot each other," the Philippines president suggested. "If you die, I'll bury you. That's how it is," he added.
He also said that Paolo could take his revenge during the election, without clarifying how, as Trillanes is serving his third and final term as senator.
Paolo Duterte recently filed his candidacy for Congress in Davao City’s 1st District. According to the president, his son is running for office "because he was shamed by Trillanes."
In 2017, Trillanes accused Duterte's son of assisting drug smugglers in bringing crystal meth worth some 6.4 billion pesos ($125 million) into the country. Paolo Duterte denied allegations, while his father allegedly said that he had ordered the police to kill his eldest son if the drug trafficking claims were proven.