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Swiss Reject Climate Change With Zoomers and Millennials Leading the Way

Swiss Reject Climate Change With Zoomers and Millennials Leading the Way

A climate change referendum in Switzerland just went down in flames led by 18-34 year old voters.
Switzerland Climate Change Referendum

Swiss Reject Climate Change

Eurointelligence reports Swiss Reject Climate Change

After Switzerland dropped its negotiations with the EU, the country has now rejected a climate-protection law in a referendum. Concretely, they rejected all three parts of the law in separate votes: on CO2, on pesticides, and on drinking water.

We agree with the Swiss journalist Mathieu von Rohr that this failure is not merely important in its own right, but symptomatic for the difficulties facing Green politics in general. It is one thing for people to pretend they support the Green party, especially when it is cool to do so. It is quite another to make actual sacrifices as the Swiss were asked to do.

But what is particularly interesting about this referendum is that the strongest opposition came from young people. 60-70% of the 18-34 year old voted No in the three categories.

Each country is different, but the big yet unanswered question is whether people elsewhere would agree to make personal sacrifices for the greater good. The Swiss referendum tells us we should not take this for granted. The German elections will be the next big test.

Huge Shock

The referendum Failed 51-49. And it took a crushing rejection by Zoomers and millennials to do it.

The BBC comments on the Huge Shock.

A referendum saw voters narrowly reject the government’s plans for a car fuel levy and a tax on air tickets.

The measures were designed to help Switzerland meet targets under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Opponents also pointed out that Switzerland is responsible for only 0.1% of global emissions, and expressed doubts that such policies would help the environment.

The vote, under Switzerland’s system of direct democracy, went 51% against, 49% in favour.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Demise of Democracy

The Demise of Democracy

Leonardo da Vinci Vitruvian man c1510

Leonardo wrote: “Vitruvius, architect, writes in his work on architecture that the measurements of man are distributed in this manner”:

The length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of a man.
From the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of the height of a man.
From below the chin to the top of the head is one-eighth of the height of a man.
From above the chest to the top of the head is one-sixth of the height of a man.
From above the chest to the hairline is one-seventh of the height of a man.
The maximum width of the shoulders is a quarter of the height of a man.
From the breasts to the top of the head is a quarter of the height of a man.
From the elbow to the tip of the hand is a quarter of the height of a man.
From the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of the height of a man.
The length of the hand is one-tenth of the height of a man.
The root of the penis [Il membro virile] is at half the height of a man.
The foot is one-seventh of the height of a man.

It’s almost silly to write anything on Brexit right now, because at right now+1 everything may have changed again. But almost silly is not the same as completely silly. At this point, whatever the outcome will be, it will serve to ridicule the idea and image of the UK as a functioning democracy. Something that ironically all participants in the Kabuki theater claim to be intent on preventing.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Switzerland – A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to spreading Positive Banking News to the World

Switzerland – A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to spreading Positive Banking News to the World

It’s called “Vollgeld Initiative” – in German, meaning more or less “Referendum for Sovereign Money”. What is “Sovereign Money”? – Its money produced only by the Central Bank, by the “Sovereign”, the government, represented by its central bank. Money created in accordance with the needs of the economy, as contrasted to the profit and greed motives of the banking oligarchy – wat it is today; money creation at will, by private banking.

The people of Switzerland are called to vote on 10 June 2018 whether they want to stop the unlimited, unrestrained money-making by the Swiss private banking system, and to return to the “olden days”, when money was made and controlled only by the Central Bank; and this not just in Switzerland, but in most countries around the globe. Switzerland is one of the few sovereign countries within the OECD, and possibly worldwide, that has the Right of Referendum written into her Constitution. With 100,000 valid signatures anybody can raise a referendum to amend or abolish a law, or to create a new one. – This is a huge privilege to Right a Wrong.

Most Swiss and probably most westerners in general don’t even know that the loan or mortgage they get from their bank is no longer backed by the bank’s capital and deposits. How could they? Instead of being told the truth, they are being lied to, even by their own party and politicians. And that in the case of Switzerland, by nobody less than the CEO of the UBS, the largest Swiss bank. Just watch this short video (in German and Italian – 2 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m5ifQV4aIg .

Lying is a felony, hence Mr. Sergio Ermotti, CEO of UBS, should be prosecuted. Unlikely to happen, though. What Mr. Ermotti in essence says in this interview is that loans are backed by deposits. This is directly contradicted by the Swiss National Bank and the German Bundesbank (Central Bank).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Switzerland too Falls Out of Love with the EU

Switzerland too Falls Out of Love with the EU

Did someone say “referendum?”

The EU’s relations with key third-party country Switzerland have sunk to their lowest point in years thanks to a last-minute decision by the European Commission to grant Swiss stock exchanges just one year’s further access to the single market. Switzerland is not a member of the EU but it does have close links to the bloc, having signed 120 bilateral trade agreements with Brussels in the last few decades.

Furious Backlash

“[Access for Switzerland] can be extended provided there is sufficient progress on a common institutional framework,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU commissioner in charge of financial-services policy, just before Christmas. In other words, for Switzerland’s stock exchanges to continue to enjoy full access to the single market, it must accept further integration. By contrast, other foreign exchanges such as those in the US or Hong Kong were given open-ended access.

The decision, which formed part of the EU’s new sweeping MiFID II financial regulations, has triggered a furious backlash from Swiss policymakers. “We are in front of a pile of s***,” thundered Leader of the Social Democrats Christian Levrat. “The relationship with the EU is worse than ever. [Switzerland needs] a serious domestic political debate on the basis of facts.”

Mr Levrat’s comments chime with the views expressed somewhat more diplomatically by the country’s outgoing President Doris Leuthard, who called for a referendum to clarify what sort of future relationship, if any, the country should have with the EU. Some EU member states are putting Switzerland in the same basket as Britain and want to set an example while others see its financial center as a competitive threat that needs to be kept in check, Leuthard complained.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are Our Mideast Wars Forever?

Are Our Mideast Wars Forever?

“The Kurds have no friends but the mountains,” is an old lament. Last week, it must have been very much on Kurdish minds.

As their U.S. allies watched, the Kurdish peshmerga fighters were run out of Kirkuk and all the territory they had captured fighting ISIS alongside the Americans. The Iraqi army that ran them out was trained and armed by the United States.

The U.S. had warned the Kurds against holding the referendum on independence on Sept. 25, which carried with 92 percent. Iran and Turkey had warned against an independent Kurdistan that could be a magnet for Kurdish minorities in their own countries.

But the Iraqi Kurds went ahead. Now they have lost Kirkuk and its oil, and their dream of independence is all but dead.

More troubling for America is the new reality revealed by the rout of the peshmerga. Iraq, which George W. Bush and the neocons were going to fashion into a pro-Western democracy and American ally, appears to be as close to Iran as it is to the United States.

After 4,500 U.S. dead, scores of thousands wounded and a trillion dollars sunk, our 15-year war in Iraq could end with a Shiite-dominated Baghdad aligned with Tehran.

With that grim prospect in mind, Secretary Rex Tillerson said Sunday, “Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against … ISIS is coming to a close … need to go home. Any foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home.”

Tillerson meant Iran’s Quds Force in Iraq should go home, and the Shiite militia in Iraq should be conscripted into the army.

But what if the Baghdad regime of Haider al-Abadi does not agree? What if the Quds Force does not go home to Iran and the Shiite militias that helped retake Kirkuk refuse to enlist in the Iraqi army?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

“It Could Open A Pandora’s Box”: Italy’s 2 Richest Regions Are Voting In Historic Autonomy Referendums

“It Could Open A Pandora’s Box”: Italy’s 2 Richest Regions Are Voting In Historic Autonomy Referendums 

Voters in Italy’s two wealthiest northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto are voting on Sunday in referendums for greater autonomy from Rome, in which a positive outcome could fan regional tensions in Europe at a time when neighboring Spain is cracking down to prevent Catalonia from breaking away.

Lombardy, which includes Milan, and Veneto, which houses the tourist powerhouse Venice, are home to around a quarter of Italy’s population and account for 30% of Italy’s economy, the Eurozone’s third largest. Unlike Catalonia, the consultative votes are only the beginning of a process which could over time lead to powers being devolved from Rome. Also unlike Catalonia, which held an independence referendum on Oct. 1 despite it being ruled unconstitutional, the Italian referendums are within the law. Like Catalonia, however, Lombardy and Veneto complain they pay far more in taxes than they receive.

At its core, today’s vote is about whether taxes collected in the two wealthy regions should be used far more for the benefit of the two regions, or diluted among Italy’s other, poorer regions, especially in the south. Lombardy sends €54 billion more in taxes to Rome than it gets back in public spending. Veneto’s net contribution is 15.5 billion. The two regions would like to roughly halve those contributions – a concession the cash-strapped state, labouring under a mountain of debt, can ill afford.

The two regions are both run by the once openly secessionist Lega Nord, or Northern League party, which hopes that the result will give it a mandate to negotiate better financial deals from Rome.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rajoy Boxed In With Losing Options: Catalonia Suspends Independence Declaration, Posts Guards at Parliament, Seeks Mediation

Rajoy Boxed In With Losing Options: Catalonia Suspends Independence Declaration, Posts Guards at Parliament, Seeks Mediation 

The Catalan parliament met Tuesday afternoon. Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont asked parliament to suspend the effects of Catalonia voting “yes” for independence to hold talks with Spain.

However, Puigdemont still maintains the legality of the October 1 referendum in Catalonia, stating Catalans had “won their right to become an independent country.”

For now, Puigdemont seeks dialogue with Madrid.

Catalonia Suspends Declaration of Independence

The Independent reports Catalonia Suspends Declaration of Independence From Spain

The Catalan government has said it is suspending its declaration of independence from Spain and wants to de-escalate the tension in the country.

Premier Carles Puigdemont made the announcement in a highly-anticipated speech to the regional parliament in Barcelona where he said he would seek to enter into negotiations with the Spanish government to move the case for independence forward.

The Catalan leader maintained the legality of the October 1 referendum in Catalonia, and said Catalans had “won their right to become an independent country” but said he will first seek to open a dialogue with Madrid.

CNBC reports Puigdemont Asks Parliament to Suspend Results of Independence Referendum.

Puigdemont said in a speech Tuesday the current relationship between Catalonia and Spain is unsustainable. He asked for parliament to suspend the effects of Catalonia voting “yes” for independence to hold talks with Spain.

Catalan police have been posted outside parliament in Barcelona, sealing off the grounds to the public.

Delay Move Expected

This move is exactly as many expected. A declaration of independence would have triggered article 155 with Spain sending in military police or army troops.

Last evening Eurointelligence commented:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Catalonia’s Referendum Unmasks Authoritarianism in Spain

Catalonia’s Referendum Unmasks Authoritarianism in Spain

I have long worried about the rise of authoritarianism in the European Union.

The Spanish government’s violent crackdown during the Catalonia referendum on Oct. 1 is the latest crisis to challenge EU institutions. Several member states are facing serious questions about territorial sovereignty. Just look to the Scottish referendum to leave the U.K. and questions opened up by the Brexit vote over the Irish border.

Catalonia experienced a level of police brutality not often seen in developed democracies. More than 800 people were injured, more than 100 of whom were hospitalized. Yet, in a rare televised appearance, King Felipe VI expressed full support for the Spanish government’s actions.

As a scholar of Spanish politics, I fear this creates the possibility for more repression and even the abolition of Catalonia’s autonomy.

Why has the Spanish government reacted with such a severe crackdown? To answer that question, it might useful to go back more than 40 years.

Franco’s legacy

When Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975, pro-democracy forces feared a new military coup. So they carefully crafted Spain’s 1978 Constitution to ensure stability, rather than create a radical change from authoritarianism.

The transition to democracy involved increasing political freedom for groups that had opposed Franco and had been persecuted by his dictatorship. But it also incorporated existing authoritarian groups and officials into the state. They included the Francoist military, the church and state structures that existed during the dictatorship – such as the judiciary, the police and the civil service.

Is Spain in danger of returning to the authoritarian days of the Franco dictatorship?
Zoeken Fotocollectie, Dutch National Archives, CC BY

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Deploys Tanks To Border With Iraqi Kurdistan

Iran Deploys Tanks To Border With Iraqi Kurdistan

Days before last week’s Kurdistan referendum, Iran took steps to isolate and punish the Iraqi Kurdistan region and the government in Erbil (KRG). This included closing Iranian airspace to northern Iraq’s two international airports and sending Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard forces to conduct drills along the northwest border with Kurdistan, but in the early hours of Monday Iran dramatically escalated its military build-up along the border by deploying dozens of tanks supported by artillery – this according to a Kurdish government official and Iranian state television.

The Kurdish official confirmed the tank build-up, saying “The tanks can be seen from the Kurdish side.” And Iranian state TV on Saturday indicated that Iran and Iraq would cooperate in joint drills and the establishment of heightened border security, to the point that Iran would “receive Iraqi forces that are to be stationed at border posts”.


|ian military drill on Kurdistan Region border (Haji Omaran Crossing Border) despite business being conducted as usual.


Iranian government officials had warned just prior to last week’s referendum that, “The republic of Iran has opened its legitimate border gates on the premise of the consent of the federal government of the Iraqi state. If such an event [referendum] happens, these border gates from the perspective of the Islamic Republic of Iran would lose its legitimacy.” It appears Iran is now making good on its threats as it worries that an independent Kurdistan at its border would be a destabilizing force concerning Iran’s own sizable Kurdish minority.

Last week multiple videos and images surfaced in Iranian social media purporting to show Iranian state police and security forces deploying to the Kurdish towns in Iran’s north. Multiple reports indicate pro-Kurdistan demonstrations took place in various Kurdish Iranian towns in response to the Erbil government’s referendum, something strictly banned and thus a rarity in the Islamic Republic.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mariano Rajoy, You are a Disgrace to Spain and the World, Please Resign: Catalonia Has Spoken Loud and Clear

Mariano Rajoy, You are a Disgrace to Spain and the World, Please Resign: Catalonia Has Spoken Loud and Clear

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, the man who said there would not be a vote, now has to face the facts: 90% Voted for Independence.

📊 Resultats del Referèndum de


  • 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted on Sunday voted in favour of independence, according to preliminary results released by the region’s government. The region has 5.3 million voters. Officials said 770,000 votes were lost due to disruption which resulted in polling stations being raided by Spanish police.
  • Carles Puigdemont, Catalan’s leader, announced in a televised statement that the region had earned the right to become an independent state and that results would be passed the region’s parliament in the coming days.

This video of Madrid thugs stomping on people attempting to vote is worth a replay


Catalonia says ‘Yes’ to independence from Spain with %90.09 of the vote. Around 80% of polling stations managed to stay open.


Dear PM Rajoy, Here are the Results

  • Despite the hundreds of thousands of police goons you sent in to stop the vote, a vote did indeed take place.
  • With 90% of the vote in, over 2,020,144 voted for independence.
  • Only 176,565, were against.
  • Your thugs seized another 770,000 ballots, the vast majority of which were undoubtedly in favor of independence.
  • 5.3 million were eligible to vote, and over 50% tried, despite your thug actions.

Dear PM Rajoy, Please Resign

Dear Rajoy, your career is over. Please resign before you are booted out.

But before you go, please take a look at For All the World to See: Police Brutality Videos and Images in Catalonia, then apologize.

Catalan Leader: “We Have Earned The Right To Form An Independent State”

Catalan Leader: “We Have Earned The Right To Form An Independent State”

Though the results of today’s referendum have yet to be announced, separatists in Catalonia are urging the government to declare independence from Spain, citing today’s violent crackdown as the reason. In a rousing speech following the close of voting, Carles Puigdemont, the leader of the Catalan government, said his citizens have earned the right to form an independent state and that the results of the referendum, to be announced shortly, will be sent to the local parliament for ratification.

Though the central government in Spain declared the refendum illegal, and sent federal Civil Guard and National Police forces to try and suppress the vote in a dramatic crackdown that sent shockwaves around the globe, police only managed to shut down a small sliver of polling stations, allowing many in the region of more than 7 million people which has a larger economy than Portugal, to cast ballots.


(1) A vosaltres, que heu ensenyat al món el civisme d’un poble pacífic, que heu resistit vexacions i repressió, us dono les gràcies


In his public remarks, delivered shortly after a speech from Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Puigdemont also said that “with this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form a republic.” He also said that the EU could no longer “continue to look the other way” from human rights violations around the referendum, according to a translation in the Guardian.

“The Spanish government has today written a shameful page in its relationship with Catalonia,” adding that there had been abuses of human rights committed by Spanish police.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Is Fascism”: Shocking Footage Of Spanish Police Firing Rubber Bullets, Brutally Beating Peaceful Voters

“This Is Fascism”: Shocking Footage Of Spanish Police Firing Rubber Bullets, Brutally Beating Peaceful Voters

Update (10:30 am ET): The number of people injured in clashes between pro-independence voters and riot police dispatched to the restive region by the government in Madrid has climbed to 337, including at least 11 police officers, the Daily Star reports.

* * *

Update (10 am ET): In a statement condeming the Spanish government’s efforts to stamp out the “free expression” of the Catalan people, FC Barcelona announced that it will be playing today’s match against Las Palmas, its first of the season, behind closed doors after the Professional Football League refused to postpone it.



* * *

Update (9:15 am ET): So far, Catalonian emergency services says that 91 people have been injured in violent clashes between Catalonians trying to vote in today’s “illegal” independence, according to AFP.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Dark Days Ahead for Catalonia

Dark Days Ahead for Catalonia

It isn’t just about what happens on Sunday; it’s about the ensuing days and weeks.

The next 72 hours could be crucial not only for Catalonia, but also for the rest of Spain and Europe. For now, the cards are overwhelmingly stacked in Madrid’s favor. The central government enjoys the outward support of all European institutions, key Western partners and has the full power of the law on its side as well as the full arsenal of state repression at its disposal.

After confiscating millions of ballot slips and thousands of ballot boxes, and launching what Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has termed the “world’s first Internet War” against Catalonia, freezing telecommunications links, occupying telecoms buildings and censoring hundreds of websites, the Rajoy administration has made it logistically difficult, if not impossible, for the region to hold a credible referendum.

Spain’s constitutional court even went so far as to ask Google to shut down the app that allows Catalans to see where they have to vote on Sunday. Even the two main civil associations behind Catalonia’s push for independence have begun to tamp down expectations, conceding that the police operations have made it “very difficult” to hold a meaningful vote.

Now, all the government in Madrid has to do is sit back, watch and enjoy as the referendum’s organizers struggle to achieve a turnout even close to that of the purely symbolic consultation it held on November 9, 2014. Then, on Monday or Tuesday, Rajoy, with a small dose of humility, can launch political negotiations with Catalonia’s representatives from a position of strength.

But he probably won’t.

The Spanish government’s strategy so far has been to use the full extent of Spanish law to crush each and every attempt by Catalonia’s independence movement and regional government to organize this vote. It’s unlikely to stop now, when it’s winning.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“The Rule of Law Such As Ours” (And as Imposed in Catalonia) 

“The Rule of Law Such As Ours” (And as Imposed in Catalonia) 

Photo by thierry ehrmann

The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, referring to the “illegal” Catalan referendum on independence slated to take place on October 1, opined, “This illegal plan of rupture has no place in a democratic state under the rule of law such as ours.” Not famous for intellectual agility, Mr Rajoy has cack-handedly drawn attention to what his government calls “rule of law”, a key issue in the present situation and one that affects not just Catalonia but the whole of Spain.

The Spanish government is playing hardball. Whatever post-Franco party has been in power, Madrid has always done everything possible to suppress Catalonia’s attempts to claim the right to self-determination but, this time, as October 1 looms, the response against a peaceful citizen movement has been much rougher than anyone imagined, including measures like police and Guardia Civil ships in the harbor, water-cannon trucks roaring along the highways, helicopters clattering overhead, taking control of Catalan finances, raiding the offices of the government’s IT center, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Catalan government offices, detaining fourteen officials, impounding close to ten million ballot papers (so activists took printers into the streets to make off new ones), shutting down websites about the election (swiftly restored with mirror sites), and placing the Catalan police (Mossos) under the command of a colonel from the Guardia Civil (who, from a long lineage of Franco supporters, was charged with torture in 1992).

When Spanish police trained to hunt down terrorists were sent to guard the Catalan Finance Ministry, the Mossos formed a line in front of them, making it clear that they are in charge of security in the streets of Catalonia (as they had honorably and ably proven with the tragedy of the terrorist attack in Barcelona on August 17).

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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