In the ever-popular Star Wars series, the Jedi and the Rebel Alliance are pitted against the Sith and the Galactic Empire, a dictatorship based on "tyranny, xenophobic hatred of non-humans, power projection through brutal and lethal force, and above all else, constant fear," pretending to be the good guys half the time.We intuitively recognize the Rebel Alliance as the good guys and root for them against the Galactic Empire. In the battle between good and evil, most of us would choose good any day, any time.Sadly, in the conduct of international relations between democratic states in the 'the West' or the Western Alliance and the not-so-democratic states in the rest of the world, the governments that purport to represent us appear to choose evil much of the time.Our governments support and arm dictators until they cease to be convenient, then we overthrow them (e.g. Saddam Hussein ). Our governments support democracy and democratic elections until it throws up a party that stands … [Read more...] about The Galactic Empire: Lessons in Geopolitics from a “Galaxy Far, Far Away”
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SummaryNext week will be a committee week in the European Parliament. A few interesting votes and discussions will take place in committee.On Tuesday, the Committee on Legal Affairs (“JURI”) will vote on proposed amendments to the draft Regulation on copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmissions of broadcasting organizations and retransmissions of television and radio programs. On Wednesday, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (“IMCO”) will discuss the issue of “dual-quality food” with the European Commission, and in particular, ways to enforce EU consumer and food rules to ensure that products with the same packaging and brand are sold with ingredients of the same quality throughout the EU.On the same day, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (“ITRE”) will discuss the Cybersecurity package and free flow of non-personal data with EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and … [Read more...] about The Week Ahead in the European Parliament – October 6, 2017
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio is pushing for the government to introduce a minimum wage of nine euros an hour. Di Maio told ministers from his anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) on Monday that the government would “introduce a minimum wage as a priority measure” along with a flat tax and a law on conflicts of interest. In a post on Facebook, he said the measure is “meant for gardeners, drivers, waiters, cooks, pizza makers, night guards, receptionists and many others.” He said the law would “restore dignity to around three million underpaid workers," adding: "It's a law present in many European countries and Italy cannot stand by and watch". Italy is one of a handful of EU countries, including Denmark, Cyprus, Austria and Sweden, that doesn't have a minimum wage law in place. In the European Union, there are 22 states that have minimum wage laws. In those that don't, minimum wages are set by collective bargaining within … [Read more...] about Is Italy about to introduce a minimum wage?