The 5th Public Impeachment Hearing – Dr Fiona Hill’s Opening Testimony.

In a strong testimony, Dr. Fiona Hill delivers the truth about what she knew regarding the quid pro quo and how the Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland was at the center of an effort to derive falsehoods about Jo Biden and his son Hunter Biden to favour President Donald Trump in the upcoming 2020 general election.

Brexit, Trump and the Resurgence of Liberalism.

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

2016 was the year of two major events that would change two nations and the world as we knew it. In Britain, just over 50 percent of voters, in a referendum, voted in favour of leaving the European Union. The Vote Leave camp used blatant lies and fear as a tool to persuade people to their side, garnering huge media coverage with their divisive slogans and divisive characters. The Remain side lacked energy, slogans and the characters that would be required to rally the public to their side and keep Britain within the European Project. The main underlying problem for the remain campaign, was it’s refusal to accept how frustrated Britons had become at the EU and how years of austerity had created a hunger for change.

Europe has been rocked by the referendum in Britain and soon enough we will know if a deal is agreed in the House of Commons (British Parliament) as we await Theresa May to put the Brexit Agreement to a vote. An earlier vote was pulled in December 2018 as the Prime Minister did not have enough support within her own party or in Parliament to win. Britain will crash out of Europe on March 29th if a deal is not reached or an extension is not granted. A no deal scenario could be bad news for the European Union and other Global economies and even worst news for the Island of Ireland as a possible hard border could be erected, in breach of the good Friday agreement. The Good Friday Agreement brought peace to the island following decades of the violence in Northern Ireland. This period in Northern Ireland, known as The Troubles is extremely complicated and embedded in the history of those who live there.

On the other side of the pond, in the United States, Donald Trump was elected to the office of President. Trump had beaten Hilary Clinton. Clinton, simply as a name, is one of the most famous political names in the United States. The differences between Trump and Clinton are; Trump lacks the capabilities, knowledge, temperament and political experience that Clinton has. During the 2016 election, Trump lost the popular vote but The United States has a system in which the popular vote means nothing in terms of being elected, therefor Trump won the election because he won enough States which had the most electoral colleges. and reached the magic number of 270.

Trump has imposed tariffs on China and other goods from other nations. He had pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, rescinded on the Iran Nuclear Deal (The JCPOA) and continues to fire staff while also being under the spotlight of special Counsel Robert Mueller for collusion with Russia in the 2016 Presidential campaign. Trump and the Republican Party continue to undo much of what Barack Obama spent his 2 terms implementing. The only thing the Republicans stands for is nominating a sexual predator to the Supreme Court and undoing Obama policies, other than that, they have become the self serving party driving by deep ideology. On the other hand, the Democrats are in disarray, trying to understand themselves and what the heck they represent. The Democrats, like Labour in the UK are divided between the new era of left wing politics as a challenge to the far right and the old centre ground politics that Hilary Clinton and Tony Blair represented. The sooner the Democrats get their house in order the sooner they can be effective in the House of Representatives.

2019 will be a year in which the pendulum swings back, how far? only time will tell. The fight against nationalism and far right extremism is building as the resurgence of a united liberal front is taking place around the globe.

By Jonathan Myers.

Trumpland (No for real this time). 

UPDATED :
Since 2008 and the financial crisis, a lot of people have been jumping between political parties. Going against the traditionally strong and against the establishment. Europe, following the bailouts in the peripheral countries and some central governments, voted right wing. If they voted left wing as the did in Greece, they were forced to implement right wing austerity policies. This had a knock on affect. People no longer took politicians or their parties for what they campaigned on. Trust, or what remained of it, died out.
What we have been witnessing since 2008 is a continuous shaking of the political table. The pieces are yet to settle.
As in Britain, the Tories offered the public a chance to attack the establishment, they diverted the anger from themselves onto the European Project and now what we have is Brexit. The UK has voted to leave the European Project. The question remains, have they solved the underlining problems that caused the anger?? very unlikely. We could now have a more fractured Europe and even a broken up U.K.,
In the United States, Obama ran his 08 campaign on ‘change’. The change he offered was a new America, a fairer America, a more equal America, an America were African Americans would be treated equally (finally). Obama has done a lot but not what the voters wanted. The crash upset the working classes of the United States, it angered the elderly and typically the Republicans wanted ‘their’ country back. When you eliminate money or at least a great chunk of it from the pockets of citizens they become more political, more involved because as individuals, they now have a reason to be involved. Restoration of resources, of pay, health benefits, public services and so on.
Today, a business tycoon, whom encourages racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia and most other phobias has just won the White House. It didn’t happen in the last 18 months but it was a much longer process that began through the 80s and maybe longer. Today is just the result of that process. It was as much of a vote against the establishment than it was a vote for Donald Trump. If the establishment fails to change with society, then society will change the establishment.

American soldiers open letter

I came across this and found it to be one of the best descriptions of America in Iraq.

An open letter from an American soldier to his dad.

We are trying to empower [the Iraqis]
to walk post instead of Marines but the graft has not yet taken. There is something culturally childish
in their understanding of basic Western governance and management that
will require immeasurable education and probably several generations to
overcome if they find it of any interest. That education is, of course,
a choice that they have to make on their own. They are not our people.
Our understanding of their tribal governance and its relationship to
formal civic management is equally naive and charges our frustration.
The problem now is that their every inconvenience has become our
responsibility. They act as if they can not comprehend our sacrifices
and are thus ungrateful for them. The reality is that they can not,
culturally, comprehend our altruism or believe our stated intentions.
Even though it is not their desire to offend, we are insulted and it
bleeds us of affection and tolerance. Liberation will compete with
invasion as our legacy but locally we are ideologically irrelevant. Our
presence is, mostly, only of interest to those who seek to benefit from
our contracts and donations. It is a region of people making alliances,
business deals, friendships and enemies one day at a time without a
real concept of sustainable services, resources, or trust. No future.
Just daily survival as they know it. Family and tribe. Our
contributions may be counted long after we have withdrawn but they will
not recount the names of the fallen. So many now. Each wound will be
absorbed into the quiet sadness that we allow to pass beneath us as a
people and a country. Our loss will have never even occurred to most
people here.

So what news about the new government you may ask. Well the Provisional
Military Governor was replaced by the Transitional Governor who
resigned under threat and was replaced with another Transitional
Governor. He was then replaced by the Emergency Appointed Governor who
was just replaced by the selected Governor chosen by the elected
Provincial Council. He never made a speech or publicized his views,
never debated the other candidates and was not present during the
selection, never making an acceptance speech. He was promptly kidnapped
by a rival tribe while his tribe fought another tribe on the Syrian
border. The recently displaced Emergency Appointed Governor returned in
hopes of regaining the position however, the Deputy Governor is now
serving as the Acting Governor while the actual Selected Governor is in
captivity. But there was an election so democracy is in full bloom I am
to understand.
We are now trying to force the power of decision onto

the elected Provincial Council and the city officials. It is a
difficult thing to keep myself inactive in matters of governance here.
The instinct to impose order and command the requisite discipline in
the Iraqi leadership must be quelled in order to allow sovereign
stewardship to develop at its native pace and in a native form. I fight
myself to remain insignificant in the process. I haven’t the nature for
passive observation. I share the American fascination with action and
it has consistently betrayed us in our foreign policy. Our continued
involvement will continue the state of dependency and our eventual
departure will leave nothing but cosmetic structure here. Iraq will
return to what it is. Our common sense is not common to this people and
that understanding must be given proper respect. I do my best but I
twitch with an urge for the folly of intrusion.