Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has announced he will launch a political party in New Zealand to contest next year’s elections, drawing a scornful response from prime minister John Key.
Dotcom said his plans were still embryonic but the yet-to-be-named party would launch on January 20, the second anniversary of an armed police raid on his Auckland mansion which resulted in him being charged with online piracy.
The internet mogul revealed few details of his platform beyond saying he wanted to improve New Zealand’s information technology infrastructure, including “fair internet pricing and no more data caps”.
Comprehension or understanding (intellection) is a psychological process whereby one is able to fully grasp the meaning, or importance, of an idea or concept, and make decisions based on the idea they understand. If a person does adequately understand a simple concept such as a law, and makes decisions contrary to their understanding they are either willfully stupid or consider the law invalid or that it does not apply to them. Most Americans have a fairly good comprehension that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and that the Supreme Court is the arbiter of a law’s constitutionality and thus Constitutional. Republicans claim to be the only political party in America that truly understands the Constitution and the Framers’ intent in writing it, but they have shown that, not only do they lack rudimentary understanding of the document, they are rejecting it on grounds it is invalid according to their ideology.
Shortly after the American people re-elected President Obama to serve a second term, a rash of states appealed to the White House to secede from the Union because they objected to the election’s outcome. When they were not granted permission to rip the United States apart, they immediately began taking steps to shred the Constitution they claim to love and declare they were laws unto themselves by way of nullification.
The same nullification frenzy that led to the American Civil War is spreading through Republican-controlled states where legislators in at least seven states passed laws nullifying federal laws involving firearms. Although Republicans are prone to claim anything President Obama supports is dictatorial overreach regardless he does not pass laws, nullification supporters have taken their outrage to a new level best expressed by Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers who said, “You think that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of any of these laws.
IMHO Banning is a step in the wrong direction, it’s better to let the be open so the public knows who the evil ones are.
Germany took a step towards banning the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) on Wednesday when politicians formally recommended going ahead with hotly disputed legal proceedings as dozens of right-wing party backers boldly demonstrated outside.
Calls for a ban of the NPD, which critics say is inspired by Hitler’s Nazis, have grown since it emerged last year a neo-Nazi cell had waged a racist killing spree over nearly a decade.
But suppressing a political party is an especially controversial act in Germany, haunted by memories of Nazi and communist regimes which silenced dissent. An attempt to ban the NPD in 2003 collapsed because informants high in the party were used as key witnesses.
The interior ministers of Germany’s 16 states announced their recommendation to pursue a ban, which will involve filing a case with the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe.
“We believe we’ve got better evidence against the NPD than in 2003,” Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told a news conference in the Baltic resort of Warnemuende.
“There’s a political risk that we could help revive the fortunes of a party that is already fading,” he said. “Everyone will have to ask: what will the propaganda value of this be for the NPD?”
In January 1933, German conservatives, facing a political deadlock, engineered a way for Adolf Hitler, leader of Germany’s largest political party, to become chancellor, with a predominantly conservative cabinet. They thought he would be their “captive”—the first of many fatal illusions that eased Hitler’s path to power. Soon it was clear that his regime would eliminate all opposition and establish total control over what had been a politically and culturally diverse, if polarized, society. Giving their actions a deceptive veneer of legality, the Nazis enticed most of Germany’s indispensable civil servants to collaborate with them—including teachers, professors, and judges—while relying on terror and murder to intimidate and silence any who resisted. The regime won great popular support, as ceaseless propaganda cunningly exploited the Nazis’ successes at home and abroad.
To oppose such a regime was rare, and to do so in order to protect the sanctity of law and faith was rarer still. We are concerned here with two exceptional men who from the start of the Third Reich opposed the Nazi outrages: the scarcely known lawyer Hans von Dohnanyi and his brother-in-law, the well-known pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Dohnanyi recorded Nazi crimes, helped victims, did his best to sabotage Nazi policies, and eventually helped plot Hitler’s removal; Bonhoeffer fought the Nazis’ efforts to control the German Protestant churches. For both men the regime’s treatment of Jews was of singular importance. Holocaust literature is vast and the literature on German resistance scant, yet the lives and deaths of the two men show us important links between them.
Dohnanyi and Bonhoeffer became close friends, especially after Dohnanyi drew his brother-in-law into active resistance against the regime. And their remarkable family deserves recognition, too, since its principled support was indispensable to their efforts. But Dohnanyi and Bonhoeffer ended in defeat: they were arrested in April 1943 and then murdered, on Hitler’s express orders, just weeks before Hitler’s suicide and Germany’s surrender.1
A man in Greece has been charged with blasphemy after he made fun of a revered monk on his Facebook page. It is thought the arrest was brought due to agitation from the right-wing Golden Dawn political party.
Police allege the unnamed 27-year-old set up a Facebook page referring to the late Elder Paisios by the mocking name Geron Pastitsios, which is a Greek pasta and beef dish. In a screenshot of the Facebook page, which has now been removed from the social network, the monk is shown with a plate of pastitsios in front of him. The monk, who died in 1970, has a large cult following who believe he had some kind of prophetic power.
Are Racists Only in One Political Party? Racial stereotypes are not solely within the purview of the Grand Old Party.
Alex Tabarrok quotes MSNBC’s Chris Hayes:
It is undeniably the case that racist Americans are almost entirely in one political coalition and not the other.
He then summarizes several survey items and finds that both Democrats and Republicans express attitudes that are not favorable to blacks. He concludes:
It is undeniable that some Americans are racist but racists split about evenly across the parties. No party has a monopoly on racists.
I think Tabarrok’s conclusion is closer to the truth that Hayes’s statement. Let me see if I can elaborate this issue in some useful ways.
As a measure of racism—and by no means a perfect one—I will use two different items from the 2008 American National Election Study. Respondents were asked to evaluate whites, blacks, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans on two scales. Each scale was numbered 1 to 7. At one end was the word “intelligent” or “hardworking.” At the other end was “unintelligent” or “lazy.” Respondents gave their answers to these questions with an interviewer present in the room, but on a laptop computer that was not visible to the interviewer. This is obviously intended to mitigate any unwillingness to express unfavorable attitudes toward a group.
Here is how white respondents answered the two scales for blacks:
Martín Quispe Mayta frowns imperiously from behind a desk adorned with portraits of Adolf Hitler, a copy of Mein Kampf, and a collection of toy cars. Draped on the wall behind him is a large red, white and black flag bearing a symbol that looks suspiciously like a swastika.
This is the headquarters of the Andean Peru National Socialism movement, a far-right group that is currently attempting to gather enough signatures to be registered as a political party. Quispe Mayta, the group’s 38-year-old founder, calls himself an admirer of Hitler and openly advocates the expulsion of Peru’s tiny, well-integrated Jewish population.
Fewer than 5,000 Jews live in a country of nearly 30 million people: they seem an unlikely scapegoat in a Peru racked by its own race and class inequalities. Political and economic power remains largely in the hands of a minority white elite while indigenous Peruvians are at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale.
As they gauge voter sentiment in this tight presidential race, pollsters face a big challenge: more and more voters hang up on them.
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So it sounds odd that some pollsters have decided to hang up on more voters.
Yet that is one way survey researchers have adapted to the communications revolution that has upended old methods of measuring which political party is ahead. In the polarized battle between President Obama and Mitt Romney, arcane shifts in polling techniques can have important consequences for the results — and public perceptions of the contest.
Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster, and Peter Hart, his Democratic counterpart, who conduct the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, proved the point in their latest poll, conducted July 18-22, when they increased the proportion of respondents who rely exclusively on cellphones to 30 percent from 25 percent. To home in on them, the pollsters ended calls answered on cellphones if the respondents said they also had landlines.
Their findings affirmed arguments that “cell only” Americans have significantly different, and more Democratic, political views than those with landlines. Over all, the poll showed Mr. Obama leading Mr. Romney by 49 percent to 43 percent — providing a confidence-boosting talking point for Democrats and provoking sharp criticism from Republicans.
Scott Rasmussen, who owns an independent polling firm, approaches the “cell only” problem differently, as he must by law. His Rasmussen Reports conducts surveys through automated dialing, which under Federal Communications Commission rules is permitted for landlines but not cellphones.
So in Mr. Rasmussen’s polls, online interviews account for 15 percent to 20 percent of each survey, which he figures helps him reach the same kinds of voters, especially younger ones, in the “cell only” category. The result he reported the morning of July 25, a few hours after the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was released, was strikingly different: Mr. Romney had 47 percent, and Mr. Obama 44 percent.