Catalonia votes for independence

Spain’s north-eastern region of Catalonia finally cast their vote despite all of the resistance from the Spain’s authorities. The non-binding vote went ahead after Spain’s constitutional court ruled out a formal referendum. Almost 2 million people out of the population of 7.5 million could vote and the preliminary result is an overwhelming 80% in favor of vote of independence for Catalonia.

Catalan leader Artur Mas hailed the non-binding poll “a great success” that should pave the way for a formal referendum. Spanish Justice Minister Rafael Catala dismissed the poll as “fruitless and useless”, however. “The government considers this to be a day of political propaganda organized by pro-independence forces and devoid of any kind of democratic validity,” he said in a statement.

Judging from the recent events the region will not be allowed to gain independence in any democratic sort of way. Unfortunately, it is completely unclear whether Catalan are prepared to stand up and fight for their rights with weapon in hand. With the non-equivocal resistance from Spain that may eventually remain the only way though, just like the fight of the Eastern Ukraine for independence showed. It may be hard to imagine a bloody military battle in Spain but a year ago it was impossible to imagine a bloody battle in Ukraine either.

One thing that Spanish government made very clear is that they are not letting the region go. That stands to reason, no country is keen on breaking itself up, so why should they? If Catalonia wishes independence, they will have to fight for it. The economics of politics is such that it must become more expensive for Spain to keep them than to let them go. Is there a peaceful and non-destructive way to do that?

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“Democracy” at work – Scotland’s independence referendum

The people of Scotland voted in a referendum to end Britain’s rule on 18 September 2014… The official result of the referendum is negative, saying that the majority of people voted to stay under the British rule. The event demonstrated clearly that the so-called democracy is just a never-ending farce that has nothing to do with people’s will or interests.

The referendum had a very large turnout – according to official data 85% of people came out to vote. What does that tell us? It tells us that the question of Scotland’s independence was taken to heart and people became politically active. We know that the population usually becomes politically active when they wish to influence the government to make changes and they recognize an opportunity. The population remains largely passive when it finds the status quo agreeable or sees no chance of influencing the situation. The large turnout indicates the rather strong desire of change in the masses although the official result states the opposite.

Note that the preliminary polls, widely publicized by sources like BBC, Bloomberg and others, indicated that the referendum results will be negative with 52 % of population against the independence of Scotland. Under this premise, why would a large part of population suddenly become active? If they wanted to keep the status quo, all they had to do was to stay at home in front of the TV. There is only one explanation: the population became active precisely because they wanted to demonstrate their disagreement with the preliminary results. They all went out and voted because they wanted change and they noted that the change is close, they only need a couple percent to sway the balance. That is the kind of incentive that activates the electorate and causes large turnout: a desire for change and the impression that a single vote may decide the future of the country.

My guess is that the CNN accidentally published partially correct numbers when they announced the preliminary results where the Yes vote achieved 58%. That would be perfectly logical under the circumstances: the preliminary polls show 52% against (that’s what they put on the first line) and the final result was closer to the 58% in favor due to the high turnout of the population activated by the circumstances. I think, Scotland voted positively on their independence but… -->

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Fidel Castro: U.S. decided to settle scores with Russia and China

Cuba’s former president Fidel Castro compared NATO’s recent statements to that of Nazi SS and accused US and its allies of igniting conflicts abroad in an article published in Cuban media. Castro slammed John McCain for backing Israel and accused both of being involved in the creation of ISIS.

Apparently referring to the pressure the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been trying to exert on Moscow in connection with the Ukrainian crisis, which coincides with calls for the ramping up of military budgets of NATO member countries, Cuba’s iconic leader accused Western politicians of hypocrisy and aggression.

“Many people are astonished when they hear the statements made by some European spokesmen for NATO when they speak with the style and face of the Nazi SS,” Castro wrote in a column published in Cuban state media.

The statements of the 88-year-old leader came after NATO announced it will create a 4,000-strong “spearhead” high-readiness force that can be deployed rapidly in eastern Europe and the Baltic states to help protect member nations against potential Russian aggression.

“Adolf Hitler’s greed-based empire went down in history with no more glory than the encouragement provided to NATO’s aggressive and bourgeois governments, which makes them the laughing stock of Europe and the world.”

Castro attacked the West for its “cynicism” and said that it became “a symbol of imperialist policy.”

“The world has seen no respite in recent years, particularly since the European Economic Community, under the strict and unconditional leadership of the United States, decided the time had come to settle scores with what was left of two great nations – Russia and China – that… had carried out the heroic deed of putting an end to the imperialist colonial order imposed on the world by Europe and the United States,” Castro said.

Instead of promoting conflicts, the governments should “introduce more food, build hospitals and schools for the billions of human beings who desperately need them,” the Cuban leader believes.

Castro stressed that Cuba will continue to resist the US, despite the costs to the Cuban economy due to the US embargo, saying that “there is no worse price than capitulating before an enemy who attacks you without any right to do so.”

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Rostislav Ishchenko: “Russia has done all that is possible – and even more”

Rostislav Ishchenko, the most accurate political analyst of Ukraine shares his predictions in an exclusive interview with “The Mirror of the Crimea”, Alexander Dremlyugin, Simferopol, 01.07.2014.

Current Ukraine – a tangle of global strife and internal contradictions. We talk about it with the political scientist, president of the Center for Systems Analysis and Forecasting Rostislav Ischenko. Photos: oko-planet.su.

– More than six months have passed since the beginning of “Euromaidan” protest in Kiev – did the time change your attitude and perhaps understanding of the event or not?

– No, not changed. I originally came from the fact that “maidan” would still be held, but it was being prepared for 2015. It was assumed that Yanukovych will sign an association agreement with the EU, will take on all the negativity associated with the destruction of the economy and the impoverishment of the people (associated with this agreement), lose the election, would not want to leave and will be overthrown in a “popular revolution”, this time losing support even with his reference southeastern electorate. After which Ukraine can be converted into an anti-Russian ram (all the “shale gas” and other “economic” projects have not played any significant role in this, similar to how the pipeline “Nabucco” is already 20 years about to be built and nothing happens). Because Yanukovych refused to sign an association agreement, the plans had to be changed on the fly. Therefore an “overthrow of the tyrant” could not happen but a Nazi revolution was used (the society has accumulated a critical mass of discontent and became the striking force of Nazi militants, with all of the consequences). As a result of this “false start” Ukraine is now in a civil war and, as a state, it has practically ceased to exist.

– “Putin expects Poroshenko to negotiate with terrorists” – that’s what Ukrainian media calls steps towards peace. The parties already agreed on the temporary truce and announced it, but at the same time the Kiev Court approved the arrest of a dozen representatives of the republics, including the Premiere of the Donetsk Republic Alexander Boroday, who is representing South-East in-->

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Ukraine’s new Constitution: no federalization, no language statutes

Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko presented his draft of the new Constitution of Ukraine. He urged deputies to support the project of the Constitution overhaul, because the authorities need something with which they can go into negotiations with the South East.

The draft does not mention federalization and official state status for the Russian language, which is required by the protesters in the Donbass region. As a bait for South East Poroshenko uses so-called “decentralization” rhetoric and the right for local councils to introduce a special status for the Russian language.

“Ukraine was, is and will be a unitary power … It’s the thought of the absolute majority of citizens … There are no discussions and there will be none on the public status of the Russian language,” – Poroshenko said, stressing that recently the number of supporters of the multi-lingual state significantly increased.

However, even such a weak document was categorically not supported by the president’s ruling coalition and sparked protests from allies of Poroshenko in parliament. “First you need to defeat the enemy, then change the Constitution. Any negotiations will lead to the defeat of Ukraine. We would only stagnate the situation in Donbass,”- protested Oleg Lyashko.

Raising the status of the Russian language even at the local level did not suit the head of “Freedom” party Oleg Tyagnibok. He also said that Poroshenko neglected to include provisions for revoking immunity of deputies, the president and judges, and there is no prohibition of communist ideology.

The party “Fatherland” voiced their grievances too. They saw that, despite promises, Poroshenko reserved a significant increase in management roles for his own “siloviki” – he single-handedly would be able to appoint the Prosecutor General, the Heads of State Security Service, National Bank, Foreign Intelligence, Anti-Monopoly Committee.

As a result, the discussion of the draft Constitution was placed on the agenda, but “Freedom” and “Fatherland” promised to prepare their alternative designs of the new Basic Law. The chances of Poroshenko’s proposal being accepted are now slight and we are likely to see a far more nationalistic proposal… -->

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U.S. Condemned Sudan but Hailed Ukraine

The United States on Thursday condemned recent attacks by the Sudanese government’s Rapid Support Forces on civilians in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, saying they have been deliberately targeting schools and hospitals. “The United Sates condemns in the strongest possible terms attacks by the Government of Sudan and its Rapid Support Forces (RSF) against civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said.

In related news, ambassador Daniel B. Baer has announced that “in his inauguration speech, President Poroshenko said that he would “become a President to preserve and strengthen the unity of Ukraine and to ensure lasting peace and guarantee reliable security.”  We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine as they build a unified, independent, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine, a Ukraine which includes Crimea.”

A girl named Polina, 6 years old, killed in Ukraine by government special forces.

Try to explain to me how killing civilians in Sudan is not right but killing civilians in Ukraine is good.

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…not to lose Ukraine to the West.

флаг с пикирующим соколом

What did they expect, precisely?

“Russia has pledged to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. But the dispatch of Russian fighter jets Thursday to patrol borders and drills by some 150,000 Russian troops — almost the entirety of its force in the western part of the country — signaled strong determination not to lose Ukraine to the West.” — AP reports.

I certainly do hope so. Of course, in our strange world all sort of weird things happen, but it would be despicable for Russia to let Ukraine and especially Crimea fall under the rule of Western Europe.

Overall, I am getting stronger and stronger feeling that this whole thing with Ukraine is just a way for the West to shift the attention of Russia from the Middle East, like Syria, Egypt and Iran, towards something more immediate and close. They probably reckon Russia will not be able to deal with several problems at the same time and will concentrate on the problem on its own border rather than far, far away. Pulling Russia into this game will get the West all sorts of political benefits, tie up Russia’s resources, allow manipulation of the country’s perception abroad and so on. Even so, I believe Russia must not abandon Ukraine.… -->

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Privacy, Democracy and Big Data

I read recently two very interesting articles that discuss in depth the current problems with the internet, privacy and democracy implications. I highly recommend reading both:

  • The Real Privacy Problem
  • Three Paradoxes of Big Data

The Internet and the related technologies erode the very fabric of society. They do so quietly, surreptitiously, in little steps. As usual, do not blame the tool, blame those that use it for evil. Although some tools better not have existed in the first place, I feel.… -->

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