Archiv: the West

23.01.2021 - 20:07 [ ]

Do people want to be free? Or do they prefer security at any price?

The present emergency has raised a question that we thought was answered: do people value safety more than freedom? The great political argument of the twentieth century between a totalitarianism that promised lifelong protection, and open democracy which took the riskier path of liberty seemed to have been settled when communism collapsed and its Western acolytes, for the most part, gave up the fight. Or at least re-framed their position in a way that could accommodate the winning side.

14.02.2020 - 12:10 [ New York Times ]

Centrists Are the Most Hostile to Democracy, Not Extremists


Respondents who put themselves at the center of the political spectrum are the least supportive of democracy, according to several survey measures. These include views of democracy as the “best political system,” and a more general rating of democratic politics. In both, those in the center have the most critical views of democracy.

Some of the most striking data reflect respondents’ views of elections. Support for “free and fair” elections drops at the center for every single country in the sample. The size of the centrist gap is striking. In the case of the United States, fewer than half of people in the political center view elections as essential.

13.02.2020 - 17:04 [ ]

The death of the centre in European politics

What happens when times change, but parties don’t?

28.12.2019 - 12:40 [ QuickTake by Bloomberg / Twitter ]

The world’s 3 richest people in 2019 have added a total of $231 billion to their fortune over the past decade, according to @wealth.

Here’s how they got here

14.09.2019 - 22:19 [ ]

For Tulsi Gabbard, ‚wasteful‘ foreign policy at root of all other issues

“Every time your local city council member, your state representative, your member of Congress tells you there’s not enough money to make sure we have clean water, there’s not enough money to have quality health care for all … there’s just not enough money to make sure our kids have the tools they need to get the best education possible,” that’s the cost of current foreign policy, said Gabbard, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

In the 18 years since Sept. 11, 2001, taxpayers have spent $6 trillion for the War on Terror, she said. The bill continues to go up at a rate of $4 billion a month for the war in Afghanistan.

14.09.2019 - 19:57 [ Haaretz ]

A Brief History of Bullshit: Why We’ve Learned to Ignore Truth

What happened to Western culture for people to have become oblivious or indifferent to the notion of truth? After all, if liars get away so easily with their lies, it must be because we no longer value truth so dearly.

23.08.2019 - 06:15 [ New York Times ]

Trump Goes Godly

Maybe at night, when he’s alone with nobody but Fox News to keep him company, Trump envisions a future in which all Americans will appreciate how much he’s suffered for their salvation. He does seem to think of himself as something super-special. And if you listen to him answering questions without the help of a teleprompter, there is a tendency to wonder if he’s speaking in tongues.

21.08.2019 - 05:47 [ ]

Trump cancels Denmark trip after PM says Greenland is not for sale

Speaking on Sunday during a trip to Greenland, Mette Frederiksen called purchasing the island, a semi-autonomous Danish territory, “an absurd discussion”.

In a tweet on Tuesday evening, the US president said that since the prime minster had “no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland”, he had decided to postpone their meeting.

08.06.2019 - 10:35 [ WikiLeaks / Twitter ]

Julian Assange. In his own words: Authoritarianism in the West

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15.12.2018 - 12:56 [ Washington Post ]

Israel strengthens its ties with the West’s far right

(12.12.2018) They all seem united in their apparent support for Netanyahu’s government, one that is constantly battling against international isolation in the face of its ongoing occupation of the Palestinian territories.

In recent years, as the governing coalition under Netanyahu drifted further and further to the right, the once-unquestioned bipartisan support for Israel in Washington has started to crack.

16.11.2018 - 06:12 [ New York Times ]

Are You Ready for the Nanoinfluencers?

That is the term (“nanos” for short) used by companies to describe people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media.

Their lack of fame is one of the qualities that make them approachable. When they recommend a shampoo or a lotion or a furniture brand on Instagram, their word seems as genuine as advice from a friend.

Brands enjoy working with them partly because they are easy to deal with.

15.09.2018 - 00:00 [ Press TV ]

Marines hold eight days of drills with militants in southern Syria

The eight days of drills ended this week at the US military outpost in Tanf, located 24 km to the west from the al-Tanf border crossing between Syria and Iraq in Homs Governorate, said Colonel Muhanad al Talaa, the commander of the US-backed Maghawir al Thawra militant group.

14.09.2018 - 20:45 [ Philip Giraldi / ]

Ziel Syrien

Und Netanyahu scheint auch seine Anhänger auf ein bisschen Blutvergießen vorzubereiten. In einer kürzlich abgehaltenen Zeremonie prahlte er damit, dass „die Schwachen abgeschlachtet werden“, während „die Starken“ überleben – „das ist eine Tatsache“. Kommentatoren in Israel stellten fest, dass die Worte sehr nahe an denen von Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf in einem Kapitel lagen, das die historische Unvermeidlichkeit der Herrschaft durch die arische Rasse beschreibt. Sie stellten auch fest, dass Netanyahu, wie Trump, auch einen Krieg braucht, um sich von seinen rechtlichen Problemen zu befreien.

13.09.2018 - 13:32 [ @HadiNasrallah / Twitter ]

„We destroyed America, With a civil aircraft“. „We will slaughter the Shias in Kafraya and Al Foua“. Some of the sectarian and violent slogans chanted by the western-backed „democratic rebels“ in Idlib.

Those are the „children“ @realDonaldTrump and @nikkihaley are trying to save

13.09.2018 - 13:29 [ Rania Khalek ‏/ Twitter ]

It’s the 17th anniversary of 9/11 and the media has honored it by referring to Al Qaeda’s largest affiliate in history in Syria’s idlib as “rebels” and mourning their looming defeat. So weird

13.09.2018 - 13:07 [ John Wight / ]

Who will save us from America? A short discourse on the nightmare of US exceptionalism

When it comes to the state of the nation at home, anyone who believes America is a classless society need only spend half an hour walking around Hollywood, acknowledged epicentre of the American Dream, to realise how wrong they are. For not only will they be assured that there is no society more defined by class than US society, they will be left in little doubt that every minute of a every day a fierce class war is raging with up to now only one side taking all the punches and doing all the bleeding.

Not only in Hollywood but all across America the abandonment of the poor, downtrodden and sick to their fate has and continues to be so brutal that its human consequences given new meaning to the words ‘wretched of the earth’. And this wretched constituency of millions — lacking healthcare, decent housing, jobs, and hope — hardly saw their fortunes improve under Obama, despite the soaring rhetoric about hope and change, etc.

13.09.2018 - 13:01 [ Neil Clark / ]

Libya in chaos seven years after NATO’s ‚liberation‘, but who cares?

Libya remains a lawless land, with rival militias fighting battles in the streets of Tripoli and over 1 million people in need of aid. But the West’s ‚liberal interventionists‘ aren’t interested in the catastrophe they created.

21.08.2018 - 09:58 [ ]

EYE FOR AN EYE: Paralysis, eye gouging and crucifixion – the Medieval and grotesque punishments faced by criminals in Saudi Arabia

Trials are reported to have lasted a day and confessions extracted under torture.

The country has no written penal code and no code of criminal procedure and judicial procedure.

That allows courts wide powers to determine what constitutes a criminal offence and what sentences crimes deserve.

The only means of appeal is directly to the King, who decides whether the condemned lives or dies.

The list of punishments makes for grim reading.

08.08.2018 - 21:09 [ ]

Saudi Arabia crucified a man in Mecca while aggressively calling out Canada over human rights

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia executed a man by crucifixion in the holy city of Mecca on Wednesday, while it was trying to attack Canada on its human rights record.
Saudi Arabia frequently uses capital punishment, which can be issued for crimes like homosexuality or anti-government activities, though crucifixions are rare.