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Month: March 2016

Number 422

Number 422 22 March 2016 …there is much fun to be had in collecting other people’s general statements. As James Thurber pointed out, it is not an expensive hobby and the collection requires little upkeep. 22 March, 2016: Simple Questions For Belgium When you admitted thousands of refugees from the violence in The Middle East, What, exactly, did you expect, and why? What will you do to try to prevent more carnage? The Tramp Abroad On The Suicide Bombing In Istanbul I have walked down İstiklal Caddesi (Independence Avenue), the scene of recent carnage, literally dozens of times. Pictures. Article. Senseless killings have been taking place in Turkey in recent months. As I surmised recently, I am inclined to believe that Erdoğan (RTE for short) derailed the peace process with the Kurds to distract attention from other things going on that were a threat to his grip on power. This created a vicious cycle of the police, military units and intelligence agencies attacking the Kurds (primarily the PKK but also sympathizers and total innocents), who have retaliated with suicide bombings. Turkey and the West were also clandestinely supporting the anti al-Assad forces, which then transformed into the ISIS/ISIL. That support has been withdrawn, and now ISIS is even being attacked, so it is now striking back at the easiest target to hit, which is the Turkish civilian population. The...

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Number 421

Number 421 11 March 2016 The continual use of the word Constitution in the English Parliament, shows there is none, and that the whole is merely a form of government without a constitution, and constituting itself with what powers it pleases. The Tramp Abroad On The Crisis In Turkey It appears as if Turkey will be run by an iron-fisted autocrat, or there will be civil war. Both are possible. President Erdoğan (often referred to by his initials, RTE) is trying to kill Turkey’s freedoms of speech and press. Even Abdullah Gül, who was RTE’s erstwhile party “comrade”, confidant and president of Turkey (while RTE was Prime Minister), has criticized these recent actions. Here is a good editorial commenting on the repression imposed by RTE and his party, the AKP. In an “unrelated” — but somehow related — case, two executives of Boydak Holding were detained in a March 4 raid. Meanwhile “social media” and street advertisements are being employed to express opposition to the repression imposed by RTE and his allies. For instance, advertising posters are popping up on the streets of Izmir (a relatively liberal city on the Aegean Coast of Turkey). The theme is, “So, what’s it to you?” Here are three examples of the rhetoric: 1. “I don’t bake pastry (roll out dough), but I do wear a low-cut blouse. What’s it to you?” 2....

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Number 420

Number 420 04 March 2016 The nation that believes every culture is equal must expect new immigrants and new generations of previous immigrants to find little need for patriotism or loyalty. The Harm Done The Unacceptable Candidate According to Commentary (29 February, 2016), Trump has “…embraced torture for its cathartic effects and has endorsed the commitment of war crimes”. He asks Republicans… … to support the Trump conceit that George W. Bush intentionally lied the nation into the Iraq War and declined to prevent the 9/11 attacks. The Party of Trump would be one that supports individual mandates to patronize private companies like health insurers, opposes equitable global commerce, and backs reckless trade wars with its most valued partners. It would be a party that declares Hispanic immigrants rapists and is suspicious of foreign, naturalized, and native-born Muslims. It would be a party that rallies toward a figure that advocates the crushing of dissent, and flirts with political violence toward that end. It would be a party that subtly nods toward rather than disavows anti-Semitism and anti-black bigotry, and which brings those distasteful elements out of the shadows. The situation has unfolded unexpectedly: first, yes, crackpots have long lurked around the GOP, but now it appears as if a majority of nominal Republicans has lost their moral compasses. Second, the Obama administration has evoked widespread voter frustration with its...

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