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Ghost Dog

Profile Information

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

A civil war state of mind... (Toynbee)

... This country that self-identified so smugly as stable, tolerant and moderate, with a crown to symbolise traditions honed down the centuries, is revealed as fissile, fragile and ferociously divided. A constitution that relied on gentlemanly governments’ willingness to bow to parliament has evaporated, blown away now it’s led by a man who doesn’t give a damn for parliamentary sovereignty: taking back control is for him alone. He is ready to destroy anything that threatens his ambition.

MPs will try to stop him proroguing them. Astonishingly, this unelected prime minister has so far only spent one day in the Commons under their scrutiny, and now, after five weeks away, he will face them for just one week before banishing them for an unprecedented further five weeks. They get just one tight week to rise up and rebel, when surely they will vote in great numbers against the prorogation the Speaker calls “a constitutional outrage ... an offence against the democratic process and the rights of parliamentarians as the people’s elected representatives”. Johnson’s riposte will be, “So what?” Their vote has no legal standing...

... This aggressive provocation of parliament widens the great Brexit divide into a civil war state of mind. This is the battleground Johnson seeks – himself as roguish, freewheeling representative of the people’s will, defender of the referendum versus the Westminster establishment and the elite, as represented by MPs elected to parliament. Explosive, dangerous, unresolvable, David Cameron’s reckless, Tory-pleasing referendum cut right through the constitution, and now it lies badly damaged...


When Charles I arrived in the chamber of the House of Commons in January 1642, armed guards in tow, to arrest a group of MPs for treason, it was the speaker who stood in his way. Instead of giving up the so-called traitors, speaker William Lenthall rebuked the King and reasserted the power of the Commons, telling Charles, “I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this House is pleased to direct me.”

The struggle for power between executive and legislature is not a new one. But the possibility of John Bercow taking the lead in the battle to stop Brexit offers the prospect of a modern-day stand-off, every bit as compelling as the one that took place in the months before the Civil War.

... As speaker, Bercow alone can decide what’s permitted by parliamentary precedent, and he’s shown himself willing to ignore precedent entirely and to tear up the rules when needed...

... So now will be the time for Bercow to push the nuclear button. I’m sure he will bend parliamentary procedure – or rip it up, depending on your viewpoint – to allow MPs to pass legislation requiring Johnson to seek an extension to Article 50, using a beefed-up version of the Standing Order 24 procedure, allowing for emergency debates. If there’s a prospect of revoking Article 50 before 31 October, Bercow will ensure that there is time for such a law to pass... In doing so, we would face a constitutional crisis like no other seen in modern times, with a direct stand-off between the elected government on one side, and the speaker, standing for some (but by no means all), of the House of Commons on the other...


The hard environmental and the social science is in.

Many if not most people living in societies dependant on fragile financial and waste-generating just-in-time production, global distribution and frantic consumption processes will be FUCKED, as you put it, but more because of the nature of such societies and all the other environmental damage rather than climate change itself, in my opinion.

Course Change

A change of course now has the tanker, a VLCC (very large crude carrier), previously on course for Suez, now on course to pass North of Cyprus, heading towards Mersin in Turkey, for example.

A US online journal yesterday reported:

...The United States has told all Mediterranean ports not to assist the ship, as the US says the vessel is linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which is deemed as a terrorist organisation in Washington. John Bolton, Donald Trump’s national security advisor, tweeted a few hours ago, “The illicit oil heading to Turkey on the Adrian Darya 1 must not be allowed off-loaded in port or at sea.”

Splash understands US military forces have been practicing taking over the VLCC...


Iran says it has sold oil from tanker released by Gibraltar

Source: Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran has sold the oil from a tanker released by Gibraltar after weeks in the custody of British Royal Marines and the vessel’s owner will decide on its next destination, IRIB news agency quoted an Iranian government spokesman as saying on Monday.

Separately, Tehran - embroiled in a spiralling confrontation with Washington over U.S. sanctions meant to strangle Iranian oil exports - announced that it had deployed a naval destroyer with cruise missiles to help secure Iranian ships.

The Iranian government spokesman did not identify the recipient of the oil carried by the Adrian Darya tanker. After Gibraltar freed the vessel on Aug. 18, the United States said it would take every action it could to prevent it delivering oil to Syria in contravention of U.S. sanctions. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has sold the oil of this ship and now the owner and purchaser of this oil will decide the destination of the cargo,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said.

Refinitiv Eikon shipping data showed on Monday that the tanker was no longer recorded as bound for Turkey, its indicated destination at the weekend. No new destination was given...

Read more: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-iran-tanker-oil/iran-says-it-has-sold-oil-from-tanker-released-by-gibraltar-idUKKCN1VG0OT

Currently South of Crete, heading into the East Mediterranean.

... Iran has deployed its most advanced destroyer Sahand to the Gulf of Aden in a mission aimed at providing security for Iranian vessels in the high seas. Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the chief of staff of the Iranian Army, said the warship is being accompanied by a logistical vessel and the Kharg helicopter carrier on the voyage, IRNA reported on Monday.

The flotilla is the 63rd Iranian naval group to be dispatched on overseas operation, he added, saying the group will be escorting Iranian ships in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf. The mission is Sahand’s maiden long-term voyage. The vessel joined the Navy’s southern fleet last December...


"Hey, something bad's coming, hold on."

... While the stakes were higher in the financial crisis, with global economies on the brink of a depression and unemployment surging, for people in markets it was mostly a one-way trade. The number of parts moving now presents a unique challenge, says Gokhman, with the Federal Reserve inciting hair-trigger swings in banks, bond yields and currency while earnings season knocks stocks like Target Corp. and Macy’s Inc. up and down 10% or 20% a day. Maybe that would be fine if it weren’t for the president, whose Twitter blowups have gotten harder to navigate -- somehow -- as the summer dragged on...

... U.S. stock futures turned positive Monday afternoon in Asia after Trump said on the sidelines of the Group of 7 meeting that China has asked to re-start trade talks, hours after Beijing’s top negotiator publicly called for calm in response to a weekend of tit-for-tat tariff increases.

Friday’s gyrations were a new chapter for many veterans, proof that no blueprint exists. After watching index futures get felled by China’s $75 billion tariff counter-punch, bulls were relieved to see Powell push them back to green with a needle-threading speech at Jackson Hole. Trump summarily lambasted the Fed for doing “NOTHING!,” compared Powell with Xi Jinping and said he’d get back to everyone with a response. Wall Street had no recourse but to sit there as stocks slid almost 3% in the ensuing vacuum. “If I tell you ‘I’m going to punch you,’ that’s not as bad as me telling you, ‘I’m going to hurt you in a way that I’m not even going to tell you about,”’ Steve Chiavarone, a fund manager with Federated Investors, said in an interview. “Hey, something bad’s coming, hold on.”

These aren’t people who oppose everything Trump is doing. “We did need to resolve outstanding issues with China,” says Gokhman, though a coordinated approach with other countries that focused on intellectual property theft would’ve been preferable to a “sporadic” one that risks stymieing capital investment. To Chiavarone, 35, it’s “absolutely a battle worth fighting.” A technological revolution is going on, “and the country that controls the intellectual capital that’s driving that revolution will very likely be the world’s preeminent power,” he said. Still, tactics matter, “and undoubtedly the ratcheting up of tariffs has a negative impact on earnings, sentiment and financial markets.” ...


Something more sinister than just a trade war?

... Chris Weston, head of research at the brokers Pepperstone in Melbourne, said there was a growing belief that Trump was not concerned about the negative impact of his policies on share prices.

“The fact that many are now seeing the division between Xi and Trump as something more sinister than just a trade war has seen [the case] for a global recession increase …”

... Trump’s calls for US businesses to pull out of China would impact their sales and net interest margins, he said, adding another layer of concern. “We are even hearing, at a worst-case-scenario, that the US could restrict China’s access to the financial markets and that is a genuinely scary proposition.”


I see he doesn't need to declare an emergency. Several are already in effect, officially.

The moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—he is able to set aside many of the legal limits on his authority...

For instance, the president can, with the flick of his pen:
· activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States.
· freeze Americans’ bank accounts.
· deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest...

Thirty states of emergency are in effect today—several times more than when the act was passed. Most have been renewed for years on end. And during the 40 years the law has been in place, Congress has not met even once, let alone every six months, to vote on whether to end them.

As a result, the president has access to emergency powers contained in 123 statutory provisions, as recently calculated by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, where I work. These laws address a broad range of matters, from military composition to agricultural exports to public contracts. For the most part, the president is free to use any of them; the National Emergencies Act doesn’t require that the powers invoked relate to the nature of the emergency...

... Next to war powers, economic powers might sound benign, but they are among the president’s most potent legal weapons. All but two of the emergency declarations in effect today were issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or ieepa. Passed in 1977, the law allows the president to declare a national emergency “to deal with any unusual and extraordinary threat”—to national security, foreign policy, or the economy—that “has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States.” The president can then order a range of economic actions to address the threat, including freezing assets and blocking financial transactions in which any foreign nation or foreign national has an interest...


The Act doesn't say anything about who provokes the 'emergency', apparently.

It just says he needs to point to a foreign 'threat 'and declare an emergency; then he can regulate commerce, if unchallenged.

The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), Title II of Pub.L. 95–223, 91 Stat. 1626, enacted October 28, 1977, is a United States federal law authorizing the President to regulate commerce after declaring a national emergency in response to any unusual and extraordinary threat to the United States which has a foreign source.


(Was duplicate above).

Iranian tanker switches destination, heads to Turkey

Source: Reuters

ATHENS (Reuters) - An Iranian tanker at the centre of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran has switched destination and is now heading to Turkey instead of southern Greece, data from real-time ship tracking website MarineTraffic showed on Saturday...

Read more: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-iran-tanker-greece/iranian-tanker-switches-destination-heads-to-turkey-ship-tracking-data-idUKKCN1VE09H?il=0

A convenient location for her purposes:

The ship is, as I write, in the Strait of Sicily approaching Maltese waters:

XPost Foreign Affairs: https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1133&pid=25504

"If the two parts of the United Kingdom are in agreement

that it is in accord with their constitutional arrangement, written or unwritten, Spain would have nothing to say. We would simply maintain that it does not affect us."

Precisely Spain's position, at the moment. And without prejudice regarding the status of Gibraltar (where the local population voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU) and especially those unilaterally-declared 'territorial waters' unmentioned in Utrecht nor in any other Treaty.
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