Posts by author
Vincent van den Born
After 4 days of elections in the EU, the dust has now settled. Despite claims to the contrary, populists have won the elections in the UK, France, Italy and Flanders. Don’t believe the EU Commission hype though: uncritical politics is on the way out. The populists will probably win more with rising numbers of voter turnout.
London-based online news outlet Middle East Eye claims that the UK government is attempting “mind control” of the British population after terrorist attacks. ‘Veteran contingency planners’ are quoted as saying that planning now includes social media campaigns, and ‘grass roots’ responses in order to generate “controlled spontaneity”. In fact, after every terrorist incident in recent years, the government has engineered responses aimed at controlling public reaction.
Dutch police arrest second Syrian refugee suspected of war crimes and acts of terrorism who has been living in the Netherlands on a temporary asylum permit since 2014. Freely admitted to being an Al-Qaida trained and inspired IS-fighter in 2012 interview with The Guardian. Second suspected Jabhat al-Nusra member to have entered the Netherlands in 2014.
Developed and built for a rally in 1939 that never was, the Porsche Type 64 is the first in a long line of Porsche race cars. Bought from the Porsche family in 1949, it was the first proper Porsche sold, and was raced during the 1950’s by forgotten race legend Otto Mathé. Up for auction in August, the prototype Porsche is expected to sell for $20 million.
During this week’s EU ‘presidential’ debate first vice president Timmermans promised to fight violence against women, which is a European problem despite his vice-presidency. Only those under 25 in the Netherlands now seem to trust him. Meanwhile about 50% of Europeans wonder why you would trust the European Parliament in the first place.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reveals attempts by the Ministry of Justice and Safety to obfuscate the amount of crime committed by asylum seekers. It is trying to hide rape, child abuse and murder under the category of ‘other incidents’, with the Ministry of Justice claiming it doesn’t have the full information, but apparently not interested in getting it either.
In a decision mirroring Kennedy’s decision to go to the Moon in the first place, Trump has requested NASA to ‘accelerate’ plans to return to the moon. But that’s not all: “This time, when we go to the Moon, we will stay. And then we will use what we learn on the Moon to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.”
As the ‘yellow vests’-protests continue, regular riot police are seen equipped with firearms. Policemen report firing on innocent protesters and cracking under stress. With politicians wanting a more aggressive stance, is France heading into even more violent clashes?
German magazine Welt raises the possibility of a so-called ‘mosque tax’, analogous to Church tax, to be raised to finance German mosques. Replying to questions, various German states weigh in, all welcoming the possibility to limit foreign financing to reduce “the danger of possible radicalisation.”
The “brainchild” of the EP, the ‘lead candidate method’ is supposed to make the choice of the European Commission president “more democratic and transparent.” So in good EU-fashion, it is actually not a very democratic, not a very transparent and instead a rather convoluted process. If you decide to want to vote for a candidate, there is only have a fairly small chance you can actually vote for him directly. So you have to figure out what national party is part of his EP-group and vote for them. Even though the Spitzenkandidat-method might give the impression you can vote for this candidate, that’s not actually true.
Facebook’s new rules requiring “all advertisers to register in the country where they wish to purchase political advertising,” were waived for the EU elections this month after EU officials complained about “encroachment upon fundamental EU rights and freedoms.” The rules were installed to prevent ‘foreign influence’ on elections.