Over Easy: Around the World
(Picture courtesy of Herry Lawford at flickr.com.)
Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene. As today you’re hearing from Over There direct, we have a couple of changes, and the computer doesn’t want to reproduce my eggs so we’ll see what picture goes up.
Yesterday I was visiting Kensington Palace, which to my surprise, and Avedon‘s, you can now walk right up to and into, and can use the great spread of castle and grounds as scenery for your dining pleasure. This is a great use of public expenditure, imho, and it was quite wonderful to visit the Serpentine Gallery on the Kensington Gardens grounds also.
Now I see that Buckingham Palace is falling down, in pieces, and realize that the proceeds from all those tourist dollars for the gift shops and tours, and cafes on the grounds, help pay for those lovely ceremonial sweeps. Not the worst way to fund the monarchy.
On a visit to the British Museum, it was a pleasure to view treasures from Nimrud. These are the ones that the Brits took back home with them, which is a little bit overbearing, but I can’t help being relieved that they were not left to be smashed by the religious fanatics that are at war with their own past, and the cultures of the ages.
ISIL needs to be stopped from destroying such accomplishments, ones its own people are proud to have produced.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group says it has destroyed two ancient shrines close to the Syrian city of Palmyra, seized by the armed group a month ago. Photographs posted online appeared to show the shrines, 4km from Palmyra, being blown up and reduced to rubble on Saturday. It was the first reported damage to ancient sites since ISIL captured Palmyra, known as Tadmur in Arabic and famed for its UNESCO-listed Roman ruins. Pictures showed smoke rising from the hilltop tomb of Mohammed Bin Ali, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad’s cousin, Imam Ali.
Success bringing suit against government for its failure to give the governed a decent life may be coming back to the fore, after bringing about civil rights gains in previous history.
…world leaders have failed to protect the most basic of human rights – to exist.
But today, thanks to 886 Dutch citizens who decided to sue their government, all of that may change. We may not have to wait for the politicians to save us – the lawyers may step in instead. In the first successful case of its kind, a judge in the Hague has ruled that the Dutch government’s stance on climate change is illegal and has ordered them to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a hefty 25% within five years.
Coming from RT, this is a bit suspect for its advocacy, but IMF backing of the perilous Ukraine economy is a puzzle.
…despite Ukraine hurtling towards bankruptcy, the IMF remains willing to lend. There may be American background influence through their 17 percent shareholding.At the same time, Ukraine has the advantage of being such a basket case that some structural IMF medicine could deliver measurable improvement. A better organized public sector, with a sound, fair legal framework to promote private property and grassroots commerce could deliver great progress in Ukraine. Underdeveloped Ukraine contrasts with a Greece which zealously guards a dysfunctional post war status quo, wanting to have its cake and eat it, despite Athens’ magic money tree having lost the power to generate cash, let alone bake. The IMF choosing to keep funding Ukraine may have some shady US overtones of influence but at the same time, the Washington based international lender is deploying a pragmatism which sends out a chilling message to Brussels. Even while yet another Europhile European politician leads the development bank, in truth, the IMF has seen through the simply dismal EU track record. True, past performance is no guide to future outcomes as investment small print always attests. However, with nothing but relative decline to show for Europe’s lost decade, the IMF is now decoupling from riding sidesaddle alongside Brussels’ aloof incompetent delusion.