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Home country: Ireland
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Member since: Mon May 23, 2016, 04:42 AM
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Why Little England Brexiteers miss the point of the European Union


When Voltaire suggested that “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him,” he was not denying the existence of God. Or, as some of his followers have argued, cynically putting down religion. On the contrary, the line forms part of a poetic polemic against atheism. And his point is that a God is an imperative to good social order, a necessary foundation of ethics, morality and co-operation: “This sublime system is necessary to man. It is the sacred tie that binds society.”

Which brings me, convinced atheist, somewhat improbably you may think, to Brexit and to the fundamental flaw in the UK’s negotiating position: its inability to come to terms with the reality, pace Voltaire, that, in this age of globalisation and sovereignty-sharing, “If the European Union did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it.”

Or reinvent it by another name, in broadly the same form, a process we are painfully witnessing in Brussels in the Brexit talks, and the reason why the British are finding it so difficult plausibly to explain where they stand.


Take Theresa May’s apparently visceral hatred of the EU’s European Court of Justice (and of the Council of Europe’s European Court of Human Rights – ironically, in no small measure, a creature of British initiatives). The prime minister considers the involvement of foreign judges in ruling on “British” law anathema – so one of the UK red lines consists of no longer having to abide by this court.

But the UK wants to do a trade deal post-Brexit with the EU, and all trade deals now involve some means of judicial arbitration between the parties over disputes of interpretation. So it is inevitable that the UK will have to agree to establish and accept the jurisprudence of an international tribunal staffed in part by “foreign” judges, British judges and, heaven spare us, EU judges. An ECJ by another name.


You don’t have to love the European Union to acknowledge its necessity in some form in the modern age. Yes, it has a democratic deficit. Yes, it appears to work more for business than for ordinary citizens. But Brexiteers’ Little Englander obsession with the idea itself, with its otherness, misses the point.

Link : https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/why-little-england-brexiteers-miss-the-point-of-the-european-union-1.3203765?mode=amp

Sassy Trump

Randi Rhodes did a great segment on her show about Manafort's daughters and

the darknet website leaking of texts between them. I hadn't heard of this before but Politico did a story on it back in March


Manafort’s Ukrainian ‘blood money’ caused qualms, hack suggests

Trump, Yanukovych work concerned the family of Trump’s former campaign chairman, texts appear to show.

Paul Manafort’s family expressed misgivings about the political consultant’s work for both Russia-aligned Ukrainian strongman Viktor Yanukovych and Donald Trump, according to text messages allegedly hacked from one of his daughters' phones.

The texts, posted on a darknet website run by a hacktivist collective, appear to show Manafort’s family fretting about the ethics, safety and consequences of his work for Yanukovych. And they reveal that Manafort’s two daughters regarded their father’s emergence as a key player on Trump’s presidential campaign with a mixture of pride and embarrassment.

In one exchange, daughter Jessica Manafort writes “Im not a trump supporter but i am still proud of dad tho. He is the best at what he does.” Her sister Andrea Manafort responded by referring to their father’s relationship with Trump as “The most dangerous friendship in America,” while in another exchange she called them “a perfect pair” of “power-hungry egomaniacs,” and asserted “the only reason my dad is doing this campaign is for sport. He likes the challenge. It's like an egomaniac's chess game. There's no money motivation.”


In one March 2015 exchange that appears to be between the two sisters, Andrea Manafort seems to suggest that their father bore some responsibility for the deaths of protesters at the hands of police loyal to Yanukovych during a monthslong uprising that started in late 2013.

“Don't fool yourself,” Andrea Manafort wrote. “That money we have is blood money.”

In another hacked exchange a few months later with someone else, Andrea Manafort wrote that her father’s “work and payment in Ukraine is legally questionable.”


In a text exchange in early April, Jessica Manafort tells her sister that her father, who maintained an apartment in Trump Tower, where the campaign is located, seemed to be thriving on the campaign.

“Dad and Trump are literally living in the same building and mom says they go up and down all day long hanging and plotting together,” Jessica Manafort wrote. “Gross,” Andrea Manafort responded, prompting Jessica Manafort to come to their father’s defense.

“Its really amazing opportunity at 67 years old. And he is basically running the campaign now He is so happy,” Jessica Manafort wrote.

When WikiLeaks released a massive tranche of hacked emails from the DNC ahead of Clinton’s nominating convention in late July, Jessica Manafort seemed to assume that it was her father’s doing, texting her sister “Dad is brilliant.” Andrea Manafort responded “Well it wasn't dads doing. It was hackers,” adding “But dad has to be thrilled about this. It's overshadowing the whole convention.”

The segment is on Randi's full Friday show, which is up on Youtube at 1:33:00

Philippe Coutinho hands in transfer request....damn

He's going then.

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary: UK is in denial over impact of Brexit on air travel - BBC Newsnight

Both O'Leary and British Airways' Willie Walsh are in rare agreement, that the UK are going to be in serious trouble if they do not start an Open Skies agreement with the EU asap. Even interviewer Kirsty Wark wanted to talk about Ryanair rather than Brexit.

Here are other interviews he has done on the subject

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