Culture, politics, science, philosophy.
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The deep Crisis of the West
Threatened at American universities
25.11.2012. At Yale University, you can be prevented from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on your T-shirt. At Tufts, you can be censured for quoting certain passages from the Quran. Welcome to the most authoritarian institution in America: the modern university—”a bizarre, parallel dimension,” as Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, calls it. Mr. Lukianoff, a 38-year-old Stanford Law grad, has spent the past decade fighting free-speech battles on college campuses. The latest was last week at Fordham University, where President Joseph McShane scolded College Republicans for the sin of inviting Ann Coulter to speak. Continue reading Sohrab Ahmari's article about censorship at American universities.
More police sought against foreign gangs
20.11.2012. Switzerland needs 1,500 more police officers to deal with foreign gangs and rising cases of burglaries and thefts, according to the working group of the conference for cantonal justice and police ministers, according to The Local.
Could be censored by the U.N.
20.11.2012. Dozens of countries have had closed-door meetings in preparation for an upcoming worldwide debate over changes to a telecommunications treaty, which threaten to block Internet freedom, according to cnet.com.
Did they sail the Mediterranean?
15.11.2012. Neanderthals and other extinct human lineages might have been ancient mariners, venturing to the Mediterranean islands thousands of years earlier than previously thought. This prehistoric seafaring could shed light on the mental capabilities of these lost relatives of modern humans, researchers say. Continue reading in Live Science.
Its people are being disenfranchised
01.11.2012. With acronyms like EFSF or ESM and mantras that preach that there are no alternatives, such as “If the euro fails, Europe fails”, politicians are undermining Europe’s historical democracy. And they won’t pull through that way, writes German author Hans Magnus Enzensberger in his article The disenfranchisement of Europe. He also writes (link added by HT):
Read the entire article in Der Hauptstadtbrief.
What’s least noted is that the countries of Europe for a long time are no longer ruled by democratically legitimate institutions but by the horde of abbreviations that have usurped them. Where it's going is spelled out by EFSF, ESM, ECB, EBA and IMF. Only experts can puzzle out these acronyms.
Not just that: the who, what and how of decisions in the European Commission and the Euro Group are revealed to insiders only. What all these “facilities” have in common is that they are not mentioned in any Constitution anywhere in the world, and that no voter has the slightest say in their decisions.
The equanimity with which the inhabitants of our small continent have accepted their political ouster seems a little eerie. This may be because it is a historical novelty. Unlike the revolutions, coups d'état and military putsches that European history is so rich in, this is happening to us silently and without violence. No torchlight processions, no parades, no barricades, no tanks. Everything is playing out calmly in the back room.
Abolition of the rule of law
That no heed is paid to treaties surprises no one. Existing rules such as the principle of subsidiarity in the Treaties of Rome or the no-bailout clause from Maastricht are being undermined at will. The principle of Pacta sunt servanda (“Agreements must be kept”) is reduced to an empty phrase dreamed up by some legal fussbudgets of antiquity.
The abolition of the rule of law is proclaimed openly in the ESM treaty. The decisions of the controlling members of this rescue team are effective directly under international law and are not bound to the approval of parliaments. As was customary in the old colonial regimes, they call themselves governors and they are, just like directors, not accountable to the public.
On the contrary, they are expressly sworn to secrecy. This is reminiscent of the Omerta, which is part of the code of honour of the Mafia. Our own Godfathers are beyond any judicial or legislative control. They enjoy a privilege that not even a boss of the Camorra deserves: absolute immunity from criminal prosecution. (It is written down in Articles 32 to 35 of the ESM treaty.)
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