Archive for February 17th, 2010
De headlines vallen niet eens meer op: val van het kabinet dreigt. Ok. Mooie is vooral dat de PvdA, waar een coalitiepartij normaal gesproken door het CDA gemangeld wordt, opnieuw haar poot stijf houdt, en doet wat ze beloofd heeft.
De meest betrokken bewindslieden kwamen aan het einde van de ochtend bijeen op het Torentje van premier Balkenende. Vicepremier Bos (PvdA) zou hier de harde inzet van zijn partij inbrengen.
Het overleg was tegen één uur afgelopen. Toen Bos naar buiten kwam zei hij: „Wij hebben twee jaar geleden de burger beloofd dat de laatste militair uit Uruzgan verdwijnt. Ik heb hier medegedeeld dat wij van plan zijn ons aan die belofte te houden.” Vicepremier Rouvoet (ChristenUnie) kwam aangedaan en boos naar buiten: „Het zit muurvast.” Zijn partijgenoot, minister Van Middelkoop (Defensie) zei: „We zijn geen millimeter opgeschoten.” Minister Verhagen (Buitenlandse Zaken, CDA) beperkte zich tot de mededeling dat het kabinet vrijdag geen besluit zal nemen.
Some people, especially in the Netherlands, seem to think that Obama will by default get a second term as president. That’s not even a question on their minds. These people, despite everything’s that’s happened the past year, still live in the world of the Obama campaign. I would hold that it is by no means sure that Obama will get a second term, and that he will have to fight very hard to get it.
This probably doesn’t say anything, as there is a huge anti-incumbent mood in the United States right now, but according to a CNN poll, 52 percent of Americans say that Obama does not deserve a second term.
While President Obama is not up for re-election this November, he will be in 2012, if he decides to run for a second term. According to the poll, 44 percent of registered voters say Obama deserves re-election, with 52 percent saying the president does not deserve a second term in office. The survey also indicates that 49 percent of Americans approve of the job Obama’s doing as president, with half of the public disapproving of his job in the White House.
If this doesn’t scare you… The Guardian:
Police in the UK are planning to use unmanned spy drones, controversially deployed in Afghanistan, for the ”routine” monitoring of antisocial motorists, protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers, in a significant expansion of covert state surveillance.
The arms manufacturer BAE Systems, which produces a range of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for war zones, is adapting the military-style planes for a consortium of government agencies led by Kent police.
Documents from the South Coast Partnership, a Home Office-backed project in which Kent police and others are developing a national drone plan with BAE, have been obtained by the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act.
They reveal the partnership intends to begin using the drones in time for the 2012 Olympics. They also indicate that police claims that the technology will be used for maritime surveillance fall well short of their intended use – which could span a range of police activity – and that officers have talked about selling the surveillance data to private companies. A prototype drone equipped with high-powered cameras and sensors is set to take to the skies for test flights later this year.
The Civil Aviation Authority, which regulates UK airspace, has been told by BAE and Kent police that civilian UAVs would “greatly extend” the government’s surveillance capacity and “revolutionise policing”. The CAA is currently reluctant to license UAVs in normal airspace because of the risk of collisions with other aircraft, but adequate “sense and avoid” systems for drones are only a few years away.
And from another article in The Guardian, an unmanned surveillance drone has already been used to arrest a 16-year car thief – illegally.
For Merseyside police, the “eye in the sky” arrest was a landmark moment in policing history. The force had managed to track down and apprehend a teenager who had fled from a presumed stolen Renault Clio, senior officers revealed, by using a remote-controlled flying robot equipped with thermal imaging cameras.
But the attempt to claim credit for the UK’s first arrest using a surveillance drone backfired tonight after it emerged the force itself could face prosecution because officers flew the surveillance aircraft without permission – a criminal offence.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which regulates UK airspace, confirmed it was investigating Merseyside police over the apparently unauthorised use of its drone to pursue the 16-year-old after he fled from a suspected stolen car in Bootle. It is one of three UK forces using the drones.
At Nerdcore, a 5-minute preview of a 3-hour documentary on Kraftwerk and their (huge) influence on electronic music can be found. If you register at Veoh and download a player, you can watch the whole thing.
Here’s a YouTube preview:
As innovative as they are influential, Kraftwerk’s contribution to the development of electronic music since their formation in 1970 remains unsurpassed. Having inspired everyone from Bowie to Coldplay, Siouxsie to Radiohead, this bizarre collective have also proven partly responsible for entire genres to develop – electronica, techno and synth-pop to name but three.
This DVD reviews the career and music of Kraftwerk, from their inception in the late 1960s (as pre-Kraftwerk ensemble Organization), through their most celebrated period in the mid 1970s, and culminating with their resurgence during the 1980s with the popularity of synth-pop and techno. The film further explores how Kraftwerk both fitted in and pulled away from the electronic wing of what is often lazily referred to as ‘Krautrock’. Sparing time also for many of the groups’ contemporaries from the same field, and tracing the unfolding of electronics in German contemporary music generally, this program presents a fascinating story previously untold on film.
Weer een leuk nieuw puntje op de cv van Jan-Peter Balkenende: de enige premier in de Nederlandse geschiedenis die te maken krijgt met een tegen hem persoonlijk gerichte motie van wantrouwen. Ach ja. De vraag is wanneer Balkenende inziet dat zijn legitimiteit als premier tot op het nulpunt is gedaald.
Premier Balkenende heeft vannacht een unieke motie van wantrouwen overleefd. De door GroenLinks, SP, PVV, D66 en Partij voor de Dieren ingediende Kameruitspraak werd met 96 tegen 40 stemmen verworpen.
Het is in de parlementaire geschiedenis van Nederland niet eerder voorgekomen dat een minister-president te maken kreeg met een tegen hem persoonlijk gerichte motie van wantrouwen