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Professional politicians: the gravediggers of democracy

We haven’t had a democracy for a long time – Part 6

This installment of the series of articles critical of democracy by Allensbach political scientist and science journalist Wolfgang J. Koschnick deals with the fact that most politicians today are professional politicians. The representatives of the political parties in the parliaments have set themselves up as a state within the state and have transformed the state into a party state. This power cartel decides on everything that goes on in the state: on the national debt, on education and health care, on taxes and duties, on the location of courts and on the construction of roads. Almost imperceptibly, the party state has developed into a monopoly of power that has completely alienated itself from the people – who are, after all, the constitutional sovereign.

Part 5: A form of mild functionary dictatorship

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Trump rejects aid package and demands significantly more helicopter money

Trump rejects aid package and calls for significantly more helicopter money

But he has now vetoed the defense budget as well, blocking more than $1.6 trillion for the time being

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump pardons convicted felons from his circle, such as former head of his campaign team Paul Manafort, who is now avoiding a multi-year prison sentence for multiple counts of financial fraud. In addition, he is trying to block key projects in the U.S.

The acting president pardoned his confidant Roger Stone, who was sentenced to more than three years in prison for making false statements and obstructing justice. Trump had already suspended his punishment in the context of the Russia affair in the summer anyway. The father of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is also among 49 people close to him who have been convicted in court and whom Trump has now quickly pardoned before he leaves office. Including child killers in the case of the four Blackwater soldiers who massacred 14 civilians, including two children, in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad in 2007.

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The new saudi crown prince: fun, neoliberalism and wars

the new saudi crown prince: fun, neoliberalism and wars

Mohammed bin Salman (May 2015). Image: US Department of Defense / public domain

Mohammed Bin Salman and the Danger of Overreaching

The BND was not comfortable with the prince. At the end of 2015, an assessment by Germany’s foreign intelligence service made the rounds in the media: The concentration of economic and political power on the deputy crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman harbors the danger of "latent danger (…) that he overreaches in trying to establish himself in the succession to the throne during his father’s lifetime".

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Obama amends gun law without congress

Private sales become subject to licensing

The White House today announced several legal decrees changing the law on weapons. Such decrees can be ied by the U.S. president without the approval of the two chambers of parliament. However, they are often of limited duration, because successors in office can repeal the regulations just as quickly and without approval.

One of the executive orders extends the requirement to vet gun purchasers to non-commercial gun sellers. Such private gun sellers will also need a permit in the future. In practice, this will affect sales over the Internet and at gun shows, among other things. The databases used to check gun buyers will contain more data, which will also be provided by the state authorities – for example, on diseases or domestic violence.

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“Responsibility to protect”, libya and neo-colonialism

Fayiz as-Saraj, the "internationally recognized" Prime Minister and Head of State of Libya can hardly control the capital Tripoli and is an adversary of Chalifa Haftar. Picture: pm.gov.ly

How Libya, after massive lies allegedly about "human rights" in a "Democracy" The country was supposed to be bombed, then disintegrated in chaos and colonial powers are fighting bitterly for the country’s place in the world

The fact that in 2011, after massive lies and war propaganda, NATO not only launched a bombing war under the pretext of a "No-fly zone" The fact that the wars of aggression that led to the destruction of the state with jihadists and special forces, presumably the disappearance of gold2 and the surrender of chaos to terrorists and militias, are the result of the lies that have been used again and again, most recently in Syria, to wage wars of aggression by terrorists and militias "Responsibility to protect", in English: Responsability to Protect – or abbreviated "R2P" -, to be justified.

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Turkey: attempted coup and danger of civil war?

turkey: attempted coup and danger of civil war?

Erdogan supporters occupy the squares. Image

What about democracy and the rule of law – and what would a civil war mean for the EU??

The sigh of relief lasted only briefly over the weekend when it became clear that the coup attempt in Turkey had failed and the danger of a military dictatorship had been averted. But now the country seems to be on the edge of the abyss. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is conducting an unprecedented purge, eliminating critics and opponents at all levels of government. How did it come to this? What is the current situation? Is Turkey threatened by a civil war??

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Sweden: use of military to fight gang crime?

sweden: use of military to fight gang crime?

The Swedish social democratic head of government Stefan Lofven. Image: Tore Sætre/CC BY-SA-4.0

In the election year, the Swedes’ fear of crime grows, the parties, driven by the right-wing Sweden Democrats, turn up the heat as with the refugee policy

Fear of crime is growing in Sweden. According to a just-released survey by the National Council for Crime Prevention (Brå), 29 percent say they are concerned about crime in Sweden. In 2016, 25 percent said this (though now it’s only back to where it was in 2006, when the poll first took place). At the same time, trust in the legal system, the police and the public prosecutors is declining.

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Russia-germany: economic expansion in the opposite direction

Russia-Germany: economic expansion in the opposite direction

Symbol image: CC0

The Russian Torgservis chain wants to roll up the German discount market

Since the early 1990s, German discount chains such as Aldi and Lidl have been expanding into Central and Eastern Europe. Now a Russian chain wants to do business on the German market and participate in "over a hundred locations" to open stores in Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: Torgservis.

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Behind the scenes of iran’s power elite, things continue to cook

Arrested Protesters Released, Prisons Closed, Criticism of Ahmadinejad Increases

It is clear that there are many players and factions and that it is by no means a closed system, as it was often simplified in the past. As a kind of concession to the opposition movement, it can certainly be seen that the supreme spiritual leader Kahmenei, who has presumably shown himself to be too one-sided by his quick ousting of Ahmadinejad and the correctness of the election, at least liked to keep a prison in Tehran where participants in the protests were held. It does not meet the required standards. He obviously also wants this to be understood as a sign that "fair" Khamenei, after all, tried to push the rule of law to the fore from the very beginning. He had ordered, it was said by the National Security Council, that no injustice should be done.

Presumably, Khamenei’s close ties with Ahmadinejad have now become a burden after all, following conflicts deep into the conservative camp when the de facto president, as one might say in reference to Honduras, appointed his son-in-law Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie as first vice president. One hung up on the fact that this was unwanted, because he had spoken once of Israelis as the Iranian friends, presumably the clannishness went too far for many. Parliament is debating a bill to limit the number of vice-presidents and convert their positions to ministers in order to bring them more under parliamentary control.