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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: 16,678

About Me

A Brit many years in Spain, Catalunya, Baleares, Canarias. Cooperative member. Geography. Ecology. Cartography. Software. Sound Recording. Music Production. Languages & Literature. History.

Journal Archives

France to insist on a 'two-year' extension to allow Brexit re-evaluation

... Bruno Bonnell, who is a member of Emanuel Macron’s party, said France would insist on a lengthier time limit to the UK’s exit in order to avoid repeated crises every three months.

“I think that our president has been really clear. Even the last time the UK requested it, it is really the dead-end limit – after the 31 October the game is over,” Mr Bonnell said. “Now if – and this door was open before – if we’re talking about a long delay like maybe a couple of years, to re-evaluate the whole Brexit situation in light of the truth… because the bottom line is what people are realising is that they have been lied to.”

He continued: “What should have been harmless for the UK and simple to set up and we see after two years of heavy negotiation we still have no agreement, so there comes a time when you need to put a stick in the ground.” ...


(UK) Queen approves law seeking to block October 31 no-deal Brexit

... The step, known as Royal Assent, is effectively a rubber-stamp from the monarch for the law which passed through parliament last week despite opposition from the government. The Royal Assent was announced in parliament’s upper chamber, the House of Lords.


Reuters does not describe the circumstances, convocation of Privy Council or whatever, in which the rubber stamp was applied.

Our path to an ecological civilisation: Alternative money and markets

( Long article at The Conversation: A globalised solar-powered future is wholly unrealistic – and our economy is the reason why )

... To curb the relentless growth of value – at the expense of the biosphere and the global poor – we must create an economy that can restrain itself. Much of the discussion on climate change suggests that we are on a battlefield, confronting evil people who want to obstruct our path to an ecological civilisation. But the concept of capitalism tends to mystify how we are all caught in a game defined by the logic of our own constructions – as if there was an abstract “system” and its morally despicable proponents to blame. Rather than see the very design of the money game as the real antagonist, our call to arms tends to be directed at the players who have had best luck with the dice.

I would instead argue that the ultimate obstruction is not a question of human morality but of our common faith in what Marx called “money fetishism”. We collectively delegate responsibility for our future to a mindless human invention – what Karl Polanyi called all-purpose money, the peculiar idea that anything can be exchanged for anything else. The aggregate logic of this relatively recent idea is precisely what is usually called “capitalism”. It defines the strategies of corporations, politicians, and citizens alike. All want their money assets to grow. The logic of the global money game obviously does not provide enough incentives to invest in renewables. It generates greed, obscene and rising inequalities, violence, and environmental degradation, including climate change. But mainstream economics appears to have more faith in setting this logic free than ever. Given the way the economy is now organised, it does not see an alternative to obeying the logic of the globalised market...

... So the first thing we should redesign are the economic ideas that brought fossil-fueled technology into existence and continue to perpetuate it. “Capitalism” ultimately refers to the artefact or idea of all-purpose money, which most of us take for granted as being something about which we do not have a choice. But we do, and this must be recognised. Since the 19th century, all-purpose money has obscured the unequal resource flows of colonialism by making them seem reciprocal: money has served as a veil that mystifies exploitation by representing it as fair exchange. Economists today reproduce this 19th-century mystification, using a vocabulary that has proven useless in challenging global problems of justice and sustainability. The policies designed to protect the environment and promote global justice have not curbed the insidious logic of all-purpose money – which is to increase environmental degradation as well as economic inequalities.

In order to see that all-purpose money is indeed the fundamental problem, we need to see that there are alternative ways of designing money and markets. Like the rules in a board game, they are human constructions and can, in principle, be redesigned. In order to accomplish economic “degrowth” and curb the treadmill of capital accumulation, we must transform the systemic logic of money itself. National authorities might establish a complementary currency, alongside regular money, that is distributed as a universal basic income but that can only be used to buy goods and services that are produced within a given radius from the point of purchase. This is not “local money” in the sense of LETS or the Bristol Pound – which in effect do nothing to impede the expansion of the global market – but a genuine spanner in the wheel of globalisation. With local money you can buy goods produced on the other side of the planet, as long as you buy it in a local store. What I am suggesting is special money that can only be used to buy goods produced locally. This would help decrease demand for global transports – a major source of greenhouse gas emissions – while increasing local diversity and resilience and encouraging community integration. It would no longer make low wages and lax environmental legislation competitive advantages in world trade, as is currently the case...


UK: 'It's time to f*** s*** up,' extremists threaten


Far-right groups are threatening to riot over Brexit amid warnings that some of Boris Johnson’s language is “calling to” nationalists. The Metropolitan Police said it was “ready to share resources across the country” if disorder breaks out at protests planned for Saturday... The protests were organised amid a surge in anger over parliament’s moves to prevent a no-deal Brexit with a bill that was approved by the House of Lords on Friday. Extremists using numerous far-right channels on the encrypted Telegram messaging app calling MPs who backed the bill “traitors” and “scum” while planning rallies...

... Senior police officers have been calling for politicians and other political figures to avoid worsening tensions with inflammatory language. Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, issued a warning over the “incredibly febrile atmosphere”. “If you’re in a position where you know you’re going to be listened to, you need to be very careful about the language you are using so it doesn’t end up with consequences that weren’t intended,” he urged...

... Experts said the prime minister and some other pro-Brexit politicians were “using the language of the far right” and playing into extremist narratives. Chloe Colliver, who leads the digital research unit at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue think-tank, said that by using the phrase “surrender bill” and positioning himself as enacting the “will of the people”, Mr Johnson was “calling successfully to a nationalist interpretation of the Brexit debate”. “It seems very purposeful to me and it really harks back to the Second World War nostalgia in this debate, which plays powerfully to the far right and nationalist groups,” she told The Independent...

... Mr Johnson is currently receiving substantial support from key far-right figures, including former Britain First leader Jayda Fransen, who praised him for “purging the traitors” in his party and called on others to fall behind him. The operators of Tommy Robinson’s official Telegram channel called on people to “back Boris”, while supporters shared memes depicting him as Winston Churchill. Ms Colliver warned that if the far right feel Mr Johnson is “in their corner”, it may reduce unrest in the short term but make them feel that their ideals have mainstream support. She said the political stalemate over Brexit was undermining faith in democratic processes, and being “used to channel violent undemocratic objectives to a newly broad and receptive audience in the UK.” ...

I see, thanks.

(I'd like to see the UK's (and the Spanish) Monarchy replaced by a Chief elected and empowered but constrained in this way!)

Article VII. Executive, SECTION 1. The executive power shall be vested in a Principal Chief, who shall be styled “The Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation”. The Principal Chief shall hold office for a term of four (4) years. No person having been elected to the office of Principal Chief in two (2) consecutive elections shall be eligible to file for the office of Principal Chief in the election next following his or her second term of office. The Principal Chief shall be elected by the registered voters on the same day and in the same manner, except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, as they shall respectively vote for members of the Council in the year 2003 and every four years thereafter...
Article VI. Legislative, Section 10. Every enactment which shall have been approved by a majority of the members in attendance at the Council shall, before it becomes effective be presented to the Principal Chief, who may approve the enactment by signing it; if not, the Principal Chief shall return it with objections to the Council, which shall enter the objections in the Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds (2/3) of the entire council shall agree to pass the enactment, it shall become fully effective and operational notwithstanding the objections of veto of the Principal Chief. In all such cases, the vote of the Council shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting shall be entered on the Council's Journal. If any enactment shall not be returned by the Principal Chief within five (5) days (Sundays and holidays excepted) after it shall have been presented, the same shall be law in like manner as if approved by the Principal Chief.
SECTION 12. In accordance with Article 12 of the Treaty with the Cherokees, dated November 28, 1785 (Treaty of Hopewell), and Article 7 of the Treaty with the Cherokees dated December 29, 1835 (Treaty of New Echota), there shall be created the office of Delegate to the United States House of Representatives, appointed by the Principal Chief and confirmed by the Council. The Delegate shall be a citizen of the Nation and upon recognition by the United States shall be seated in accordance with federal law. The Delegate shall endeavor to participate in congressional activities and shall at all times advocate the best interests of the Cherokee People...

I want a pro-Remain socialist and liberal and green coalition government

of national unity (with perhaps Caroline Lucas as PM and hopefully including the SNP) that will unilaterally Revoke Art. 50, as the European Court has said it can, thus remaining in the EU. The UK can then participate in the EU's political processes pushing policiy alternatives such as to Macron's neoliberalism (having duly aplogised for the UK's prior role in also promoting the same, and other 'sins'). I would also want this government to conduct root and branch constitutional and electoral reform in the UK.

Macron tempted to veto Brexit delay


Emmanuel Macron will be strongly tempted to veto another delay to Brexit because of the “deteriorating situation” in the UK, a former top French diplomat is warning...

... “The situation of the UK as a member state becomes every day more awkward and strained,” the former French ambassador to the EU warned. Mr Sellal did not rule out a French veto – if, as expected, the prime minister is legally forced to request one – saying the UK was failing to present “a credible acceptable alternative” to the deal it had rejected.

Arguing Mr Macron would require “a sufficient level of trust”, he told BBC Radio 4: “Maybe what is missing today is this trust about the way your country sees its future with the European Union... In this regard, I believe that the situation has been deteriorating. It is very difficult to have the necessary trust that could justify a new examination of a new date.”

If France did veto an extension, the UK would crash out of the EU on 31 October, unless parliament suddenly approved the divorce deal – or revoked Article 50 altogether...

Here's context the BBC fails to report:

(But see BBC report at DU thread: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142363830 )

Iran to develop nuclear centrifuges as US dismisses French plan to ease tension

The US state department has shrugged off a French initiative aimed at defusing tensions with Iran, and stepped up economic pressure once more, offering a reward for information that helps disrupt Iranian oil smuggling. A few hours later, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said that the country would expand its development work on new centrifuges for enriching uranium, in a third phased step away from compliance with a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, likely to escalate the standoff with the US even further.

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, had sought to mediate in the standoff, and tried at last month’s G7 in Biarritz to persuade Donald Trump to accept a confidence-building proposal, by which Iran would return to compliance with the 2015 deal in return for partial relief from US oil sanctions, and a $15bn credit line to finance oil sales. Trump responded positively in Biarritz, suggesting he would accept the scheme if the US did not have to contribute to the credit line.

However, on Wednesday, the state department’s special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, called into question the very existence of the French proposal. Asked about the initiative on Wednesday, Hook said: “There is no concrete proposal. We have no idea if there will be one. So we’re not going to comment on something that doesn’t exist.” Hook announced a ratcheting up of the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, offering a $15m reward for anyone offering information that led to the disruption of oil smuggling the US says is being carried out by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The state department also imposed sanctions on 16 entities and 10 individuals it accused of being part of an IRGC network smuggling oil to the Assad regime in Syria and Hezbullah in Lebanon, “and other terrorist actors”.

As he was making the announcement, the Financial Times reported that Hook had personally emailed the captain of a tanker carrying Iranian oil, and offered him millions of dollars if he would steer the ship, the Grace 1, to a country where it could be impounded. According to the account, which was confirmed by the state department, the first email was sent 11 days after the ship (now renamed the Adrian Darya 1) was released by Gibraltar, where it was temporarily held on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria. “With this money you can have any life you wish and be well-off in old age,” Hook, the head of the state department’s Iran Action Group, emailed the ship’s captain, . It warned him: “If you choose not to take this easy path, life will be much harder for you.” After the captain did not respond, he was placed under US treasury sanctions. Hook emailed or texted “roughly a dozen” captains in recent months to cajole or scare them out of helping Iran evade oil sanctions...


Hook, Line and Sinker: The State Department's Iran Hand Steps Up the Pressure on Tehran
September 4, by Matthew Petti
NEW: Brian Hook is taking a swipe at the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Does he want to bring Iran to the table or overthrow its government?

As President Donald Trump inches towards a meeting with Iran’s leaders, his own secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, is sprinting towards de-recognizing the country’s government. Brian Hook, the State Department’s Special Representative on Iran, announced unprecedented diplomatic moves against the Iranian government today, putting the Iranian military on par with renegade militias in the Middle East. Meanwhile, he attempted to walk back Trump’s earlier statements, discounting the possibility of a high-level meeting in the near future...

... The move may suggest that the State Department no longer considers the Islamic Republic the legitimate government of Iran. “Today’s announcement is historic. It’s the first time that the United States has offered a reward for information that disrupts a government entity's financial operations,” Hook explained. “We’ve taken this step because the IRGC operates more like a terrorist organization than it does a government.” ...

... “You want to see continued depreciation of the rial relative to the dollar on the unofficial market. You want to see sustained stagflation of the Iranian economy. You want to make sure GDP continues to go down,” Taleblu said, explaining the goals of maximum pressure, which he believes will force Iran to negotiate. “You want to see sustained macroeconomic contraction.” ...


France pushes $15 billion credit line plan for Iran, if U.S. allows it

PARIS/DUBAI (Reuters) - France has proposed offering Iran about $15 billion (12 billion pounds) in credit lines until year-end if Tehran comes fully back into compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal, a move that hinges on Washington not blocking it, Western and Iranian sources said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said talks on the credit arrangement, which would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues, were continuing, but U.S. approval would be crucial. The idea is “to exchange a credit line guaranteed by oil in return for, one, a return to the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal)...and two, security in the Gulf and the opening of negotiations on regional security and a post-2025 (nuclear programme),” le Drian told reporters. “All this (pre)supposes that President Trump issues waivers.”

European leaders have struggled to dampen brewing confrontation between Tehran and Washington since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, which assures Iran access to world trade in return for curbs on its nuclear programme...


Iranian tanker Adrian Darya 1 goes dark off Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 at the centre of a dispute between Tehran and Western powers appears to have turned off its transponder in the Mediterranean west of Syria, Refinitiv ship-tracking data showed on Tuesday.

The tanker which is loaded with Iranian crude oil, sent its last signal giving its position between Cyprus and Syria sailing north at 15:53 GMT on Monday, the data showed...

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