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Thursday, February 25, 2010

a little inconsistency, here and there

In 2007, the European Parliament deplored the rendition process in Europe, but insisted that it was "not possible to point to secret rendition in" by then, for three years EU-member "Poland." Three years later (a few days ago): it became not only possible, in fact it appears almost easy.

Fascinating.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

EU colonies

Little-known factoid: the EU has 20 colonies (called "associated overseas territories.") What an elegant way to capture 500 years of history in one term: "associated"!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

G-20

According to background info provided by the EU's commission, the G-20's "members [. . .] are the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The European Union is also a member, represented by the rotating Council Presidency and the European Central Bank."

Hm. So, we have a situation in which an integovernmental agency (the G-20) is constituted such that some members--namely: France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom--are represented twice: once as member states of G-20, and once again through their membership in the EU (which is one of the "members" of the G-20). If they they vote by membership, this means the four west European members of G-20 (altogether approximately 5% of humankind) have 5 votes, i.e., a decision making power of 5/20=25% of the total, roughly five times their population share.

Interesting. A significant part of the last chapter of my book is about this, actually. I wonder how they get away with this.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Barroso waxes world-historic

Here is a video exposé (of sorts) of the theme of this book, presented by none other than José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, in two versions: short and long.

cover page of the book

cover page of the book
image used for the cover design by Anannya Dasgupta