— The Erimtan Angle —

Archive for June, 2016

Dawkins and Mehdi Hasan

The well-known atheist Richard Dawkins debates the Al Jazeera journalist Mehdi Hasan, who is clearly out of his depth and apparently unable to imagine a world without purpose or meaning. Published on Jun 21, 2016.

 

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Stupid is as Stupid does: Farage in the U.S.

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‘Once, young conservatives in the US looked across the ocean to Margaret Thatcher. Now the model is Nigel Farage. According to The Guardian, the garrulous chain-smoker has become the model of trans-Atlantic conservativism to many on the right. The Brexit vote was greeted with jubilation by many on the American right. On talk radio, Rush Limbaugh praised the vote as a nation of people rising up against the ruling class and the elites, while Fox TV’s Sean Hannity described the Leave vote as “the British people, in their very polite way, showed Obama their middle finger”. And while Donald Trump vocally endorsed Brexit, many vehement Trump opponents on the American right also did so as well. Ted Cruz called the result “a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to Washington DC that some free nations still wish to preserve their national sovereignty”. As the American right combines long-standing suspicion of big government and growing hawkishness on immigration, the admiration for Farage and UKIP in the US is only likely to grow. Published on Jun 28, 2016′.

Seen from this side of the world. one cannot but be struck by the fact that people across the pond oftentimes, if not all the time, appear to be totally clueless. As such, Mister Farage has been biting the hand that feeds for the past 17 years, pocketing his MEP salary and stashing it away in an offshore tax haven . . . Farage, it turns out, set up a “trust fund in an offshore tax haven which could have enabled him to cut his tax bill. Farage, who previously condemned tax avoiders in a speech to the European parliament, said that he paid a tax adviser to set up the Farage Family Educational Trust 1654 on the Isle of Man”.[1] Apart from being a populist and jingoistic opportunist, Mister Farage also shows himself to be a first class hypocrite at the end of the day.

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And now, Conservatives in the U.S. have apparently discovered this little man as well . . . replacing Maggie Thatcher and rivalling the Drumpf in his appeal to the uninformed and intellectually ill-equipped. This really is a brave new world we live in today . . . Farage to a newspaper that “[m]y financial advisers recommended I did it, to have a trust really for inheritance purposes and I took the advice and I set it up. It was a mistake. I was a completely unsuitable person for it. I am not blaming them, it was my fault. It’s a vehicle that you chuck things in through your life that you don’t need and you build up a trust fund for your children or grandchildren. It was called an educational trust and could have been used for grandchildren’s schools fees, things like that. It was a mistake for three reasons. Firstly, I’m not rich enough to need one and I am never going to be. Secondly, frankly, the world has changed. Things that we thought were absolutely fair practice 10 years, 20 years ago, 30 years ago aren’t any more. Thirdly, it was a mistake because it cost me money. I sent a cheque off to set it up”.[2] In his own words, somebody has thus for years been making the wrong plans for Nigel . . .

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[1] Rajeev Syal, “Nigel Farage admits setting up tax haven trust fund was a mistake” The Guardian (21 June 2013). http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jun/21/nigel-farage-tax-haven-trust-fund-mistake.

[2] Rajeev Syal, “Nigel Farage admits setting up tax haven trust fund was a mistake”.

The Gods of Money

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William Engdahl is an American-German freelance journalist, historian and economic researcher. This lecture is based on Engdahls book The Gods of Money. The dollar financial system of Wall Street was born not at a conference in Bretton Woods New Hampshire in 1944. It was born in the first days of August, 1945 with the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After that point the world was in no doubt who was the power to reckon with. This lecture traces the history of money as an instrument of power; it traces the evolution of that power in the hands of a tiny elite that regards themselves as, quite literally, gods-The Gods of Money. How these gods abused their power and how they systematically set out to control the entire world is the subject. Published on Jun 3, 2014′.

 

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Panama Papers Fallout: Geneva, Switzerland

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More than a week ago now, the NYT‘s Nick Cumming, Bruce and Eric Liptonjune wrote that an “employee of the law firm at the center of the leaks of the Panama Papers, which have revealed offshore wealth held in secretive accounts worldwide, has been arrested here on charges of data theft, one of the employee’s lawyers, Romain Jordan, said on Wednesday [, 15 June 2016] It was not immediately clear what connection, if any, the person might have had with the Panama Papers, a trove of 11.5 million documents from a Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca. A consortium of news organizations began publishing findings from the documents — some dating to the 1970s — in April [2016], and the disclosures have prompted investigations of politicians and other prominent figures around the world. On Wednesday, the Swiss newspaper Le Temps reported that an information technology employee in the Geneva office of Mossack Fonseca had been arrested on suspicion of stealing confidential information. Computer equipment was seized as part of the inquiry, Le Temps reported. Asked about the report, a spokesman for Claudio Mascotto, the chief prosecutor in Geneva, declined to comment. The spokesman said only that the office had opened a criminal investigation based on a complaint filed by Mossack Fonseca. The employee’s name was not made public, and the lawyer did not give his client’s name or provide any detail about him. Le Temps quoted a lawyer for Mossack Fonseca, Thierry Ulmann, as saying: ‘What we know is that the data were removed from his computer in Geneva and that this I.T. worker had full access privileges'”.[1]

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Thierry Ulmann told Le Temps that “[t]he law firm filed a complaint against the worker for illegal removal of data and for violating the confidentiality of the law firm”.[2] The Süddeutsche Zeitung‘s Bastian Obermayer “said on Wednesday [,15 June 2016] that the man arrested in Geneva was not his source who leaked the documents, but left open the possibility that there might be more than one person behind the leaks. In a phone interview, Mr. Obermayer said [furthermore] of the man arrested in Geneva, ‘We can say that it is not the person that we have been in contact with’, a statement he also made on Twitter”.[3] Obermayer then said that “[t]here is still a theoretical possibility that John Doe is many persons, and one of them might be this person”.

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AFP reports that ‘[t]he spokesman for the Geneva’s prosecutor’s office, Henri Della Casa, told AFP that “a criminal case has been opened . . . following a complaint by Mossack Fonseca.” He declined to comment on whether an arrest had been made. News of the detention was first given by the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, which said it had no information on whether the arrested individual was the so-called “John Doe” who has claimed credit for the unprecedented “Panama Papers” leak. Mossack Fonseca said in April [2016] that the leak was the result of a hack that came from foreign servers’.[4]

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[1] Nick Cumming, Bruce and Eric Liptonjune, “Employee of Panama Papers Law Firm, Mossack Fonseca, Is Arrested in Switzerland” New York Times (15 June 2016). http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/16/world/europe/employee-of-panama-papers-law-firm-mossack-fonseca-is-arrested-in-switzerland.html.

[2] Nick Cumming, Bruce and Eric Liptonjune, “Employee of Panama Papers Law Firm, Mossack Fonseca”.

[3] Nick Cumming, Bruce and Eric Liptonjune, “Employee of Panama Papers Law Firm, Mossack Fonseca”.

[4] “‘Panama Papers’ firm demands prosecution of suspect in Switzerland” AFP (18 June 2016). https://www.wort.lu/en/business/mossack-fonseca-panama-papers-firm-demands-prosecution-of-suspect-in-switzerland-5764ed8cac730ff4e7f62200.

#Brexit = #NoMoreUK

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This is another morning after the night before . . . Cameron is gone, having washed his hands and said his goodbyes . . . and here is an opinion worth sharing: an unknown member of the public calling him/herself Teebs wrote on the Guardian webpage that “If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost. Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron. With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership. How? Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor. And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legislation to be torn up and rewritten … the list grew and grew. The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction. The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50? Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders? Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-manoeuvred and check-mated. If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over – Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession … broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act. The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice. When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was “never”. When Michael Gove went on and on about “informal negotiations” … why? why not the formal ones straight away? … he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take. All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign”.[1]

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So, it’s all over now and the UK appears set to leave the EU and will in all likelihood collapse in the next instance, with Scotland, Ulster, and Gibraltar opting to stay in the Union . . .

The EU is nothing but a political fig leaf for the powers that run the show known as Post-Democracy, but at the same time, the Brexit will very likely turn the UK (or rather, England) into Europe’s sole and single island third world nation . . .

Nigel (with or without plans) and Boris and his Johnson will now have to lay in the beds they have made for themselves . . .

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#Brexit = #NoMoreUK

[1] Narjas Zatat, “People are really, really hoping this theory about David Cameron and Brexit is true” The Independent (s,d,). http://indy100.independent.co.uk/article/people-are-really-really-hoping-this-theory-about-david-cameron-and-brexit-is-true–bJhqBql0VZ.

Cihangir Vakası

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‘20.06.2016 – Medya Mahallesi – 1. Bölüm. Konuk: Süleyman Çelebi / DİSK Eski Genel Başkanı – Siyasetçi. (20 Haziran 2016)’.

‘20.06.2016 – Medya Mahallesi – 2. Bölüm. Konuk: Süleyman Çelebi / DİSK Eski Genel Başkanı – Siyasetçi. (20 Haziran 2016)’.

Cihangir’de dünyaca ünlü müzik grubu Radiohead için ‘Velvet Underground Records’ isimli mekanda düzenlenen etkinliğe “Ramazan’da alkol tüketiliyor” gerekçesiyle saldırıan gruptan üç kişi gözaltına alındı.

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John Pilger on the Threat of World War Three

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‘Afshin Rattansi goes underground on the outcome of whoever wins the White House in November. Multi-award winning author and filmmaker John Pilger gives his take on the threat of World War Three as Britain’s defence secretary Michael Fallon jets off to Singapore for the Asian Security Conference where the keynote address will be given by US Defence Secretary Ash Carter. Published on Jun 4, 2016’.

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