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Watch: Guy Verhofstadt implicitly calls for EU army capable of carrying out similar strikes on Syria

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Verhofstadt calls it “a weakness” that sovereign member states of the European Union can pursue their own foreign policy, separate from the EU. For whom? Not for the member states, so surely it is a weakness for the EU. Verhofstadt would rather have it be the EU that “shoots missiles” and is more than willing to take away member states’ sovereignty in order to be the one that does the shooting. One cannot accuse Verhofstadt of not being open about this.
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    German cities plagued by violent ‘Lebanese clans’, many members registered as depending on state welfare benefits

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The list of offences committed by members of these clans is long: robbery, theft, bodily harm, threats, protection rackets, drugs trafficking, illegal possession of firearms, right up to murder. In many areas, the clans control the streets, with critics going as far as to speak of ‘no-go areas’. Meanwhile, many of the criminal members are officially registered as depending on benefits (Hartz IV).
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    As much as we’d want to believe POLITICO’s claim that “sexual harassment runs rampant” at the EU Institute for Gender Equality, it’s a bit hyperbolic

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The impression that is strongest, after reading the article, is that of one or two anonymous interns have been hit hard by things that happened to them. What happened to them, doesn’t become completely clear. What does become clear, is that Politico can’t really prove its – repeated – accusations of a ‘culture of sexual harassment’. It proves inappropriate behaviour took place, just as well as it proves that this behaviour wasn’t accepted.
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    Belgian Integration expert Montasser AlDe’emeh: “Europe is importing a civil war”

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “On a lot of the schools I visit in Brussels, a majority is Muslim: 70, 80, in a few years 100%. Those children, they have to protect us in the future. They will also become police officers. Is that a reassuring thought? In view of the lack of critical thought characterising many of them, the mentality of segregation of the adults they live among, the irrational fears, poured into their ears by imams and preachers, the lack of empathy for those of different faiths? Those children, they might live here physically, but mentally they often live in Medieval structures.”
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    Summary: Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation Part 8 – The Light of Experience in The Netherlands

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Clark explains that he is in Holland because he thinks the Dutch Republic is the first country to profit from a civilisational shift: “the revolution that replaced Divine Authority by experience, experiment and observation.” His characterisation of this revolution as the changing of the question ‘is it God’s will?’ into ‘does it work?’ or even ‘does it pay?’, is at least easy to remember.
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    Belgian Army ridiculed for plan catering to ‘homesick’ recruits by abolishing obligatory stay at barracks

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The Belgian Ministry of Defence is considering to drop the obligation to stay at barracks during military training. It calls it a “meeting the needs of the modern soldier halfway”, because one in six recruits doesn’t finish training. Allegedly because they miss the free life, family and friends too much.
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    EU claims it’s the biggest donor to Developmental Aid, but conflates Member States’ own contributions and internal spending on refugees

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • So we have a supra-national organisation broadly claiming the accomplishments of its member states as its own. Using, it might be added, not its effectiveness, but spending as ‘claim to fame’, which is the worst possible measurement. Then we are confronted by a Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development who seems unsure about the meaning of a decrease in ODA. Who, in reaction to this, blindly insists “we need to do more”.
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    European Parliament planning stuff again, including “inter-religious dialogue focussing on persecution of non-believers”

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Last, but not least, there is an interesting case of “phrasing!” going on. Based on initiatives (PDF) dating back to 1994, the EU has engaged in “regular meetings” between EU institutions and “European churches, religious associations and non-confessional organisations.” However, “this time the inter-religious dialogue will focus on the issue of discrimination and  around the world.”
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    Summary: Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation Part 7 – Grandeur and Obedience in early 16th century Rome

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Clark returns to the grandeur of early 16th century Rome. The Reformation and subsequent Wars of Religion, whose devastating effect on Western Europe Clark describes in passing naturally had their impact on Rome. Part 7 is dedicated to the extraordinary resilience and ability shown by Catholicism to bounce back from a seemingly desperate position. And the situation was bad. As Clark describes it, Rome had been humiliated: “The city had been sacked and burnt, the people of Northern Europe were heretics, the Turks were threatening Vienna.”
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    Germany: Group of 15 young men of “Southern appearance” leaves trail of assaults, 20 y/o woman hit in face with glass bottle

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Again, the assailants used violence against passers-by, completely unprovoked. One of the perpetrators tried to extinguish a burning cigarette on the face of a 20-year-old woman, who luckily was able to avert the attack. One of the other men hit her in the face with a glass bottle instead. Another friend of the original victims, herself a 21-year-old, was thrown to the ground, injuring her hand and head.
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    Kurdish delegation to Élysée claims France will send Special Forces to protect Mabij city from Erdogan

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • However, it should be stressed that these are unofficial reports. The official press release by the Elysée makes no mention of the sending of ground forces. Le Parisien writes that:

    “In the aftermath of these announcements, Paris on Friday denied military reinforcements” and assures that there will be no new ground operation in Northern Syria, outside of the international anti-Daesh coalition.”

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