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Video. The European Parliament would like to remind you that you owe your clean drinking water to the EU

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Maybe if the EU had offered any more information on how the “#EUbudget” made sure everyone in the EU had access to clean water, someone could say anything more substantial about the claim. But Monday-intern didn’t. Oh, well. Maybe they think that Monty Python sketch is some sort of bingo card and the EU has to claim everything on it at least once? The aqueduct? Check. Brought peace? Of course they did!
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    Austria: Court rules evidence in 15 y/o girl’s gang-rape case inconclusive. Somali suspect involved in multiple other sexual assaults

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The court decided to attach more importance to the fact that, in the five times she was questioned, the girl was inconsistent. There were some doubts as to the ending of what has happened, whether or not there were two or three men. When it came to passing judgement, the court was stalemated. Two found the accused guilty, two not guilty. The Public Prosecutor answered with a plea of nullity. That means the verdict is not legally binding.
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    Summary: Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation Part 10 – The Smile of Reason

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Clark mentions a “sudden consciousness of feminine qualities,” of which he says

    “I think it absolutely essential to civilisation that the male and female principle be kept in balance. In eighteenth-century France, the influence of women was, on the whole, benevolent; and they were the creators of that curious institution of the eighteenth century, the salon.”

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    European Commission boasts EU supports that “in Dutch city all buses are powered by water”. But there is only one bus and it’s not actually powered by water

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Spectacular news from the European Commission (EC): buses can now be powered by water! Really? Yes! Well, no, of course not. Unless you work the EC twitter account. The tweet has a clip attached which explains that the bus is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Hydrogen is not water, but hey.
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    The European Parliament just presented a sheet on “Online disinformation and the EU’s response”. It’s as useless as you expected

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • On 23 April, the European Parliament think tank published an information sheet on Online disinformation and the EU’s response. And, as one has come to expect whenever the EU tries to be an authority on fake news and disinformation, it’s pretty bad. We are presented with a document that either states the obvious, states things like they are obvious, when it should argue them, or adds ‘supporting links’ to the text that do not actually support the narrative.
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    Sweden: three 17 y/o Somali boys rape 13 y/o girl, spread the recorded video. None are deported

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “The victim has been subjected to various attacks, such as the spreading of rumours, among them accusations on social media that she had not reported the crime to the police. (…) Her daughter has also been exposed, at school and elsewhere, to verbal abuse and physical attack. At night, stones were thrown at the family’s house.”
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    Summary: Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation Part 9 – Art under 17th century French authoritarianism and the German pursuit of happiness 

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The logic of state authoritarianism imposed on all aspects, including and above all the arts, a “certain inhumanity.”

    “It was the work not of craftsmen, but of wonderfully gifted civil servants. As long as it reflects this grand comprehensive system, it is done with superb conviction. (…) [However,] French Classicism was eminently not exportable.”

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    Martin Schulz: “Without a strong EU, the populist will win, and then there will be war”

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “Without a strong Europe, the populists win – and then there will be war. In Germany, it is up to the SPD [Social Democrats] to prevent that. We have, in the coalition agreement, decided on a [new] start for Europe, that [start] must come now. To that start, I want to contribute, in the future as well.”
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    The Economist says “Germany becoming more open and diverse, a model for Europe”. Der Spiegel begs to differ radically 

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “Germany is becoming more diverse, open, informal and hip. (…) Many of the country’s defining traits—its ethnic and cultural homogeneity, conformist and conservative society, and unwillingness to punch its weight in international diplomacy—are suddenly in flux.”
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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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