Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rugfish and politics: Lisbon Treaty delayed "again"

Rugfish and politics: Lisbon Treaty delayed "again"

A final thought before the Irish Lisbon vote

One thing has always undermined the will of the people in passing legislation they believe to be beneficial: the riders included in the legislation. It's not the issues one votes for as much as it is the terms within the legislation one does not know about.

Irish people (as well as Americans) should be well acquainted with the technique, e.g. propose peace between the Republic and Northern Ireland (who would vote NO on this?); but include other terms which the people of Ireland would not approve of if the issues were voted on separately.

The Patriot Act in the US was passed with glee by a Congress who never read it. All the nasty little caveats in that piece of legislation I do not think have yet been activated. The Treaty of Lisbon is another such manipulation of voters: give the EP more co-decision power (all would say YES), but, turn over national foreign policy and taxing to the EU; or supercede national policing function with a Brussels ordained protocol.

This is a problem in the structure of legislation in a democracy: bills should be brief and transparent enough for all to understand EXACTLY what they are voting for or against. For this reason alone, I will vote NO...to let Brussels know that the democratic approval of the people will only be given to legislation presented in a clear and understandable format.

If these means chopping monster treaties up like Lisbon into bite size pieces; then Brussels had better start figuring out how to do this.

One thing is for sure: the EU will not stand long as a political power without the support of its citizens. Denying referendums to the member states is either very foolish or suicidal.
The union will not stand long as its foundation has a huge crack which Lisbon will not solve: the democratic deficit this treaty creates for all EU citizens.

Revenge of the bees: watch and learn

Feeling powerless and helpless as a single force for change in the world? Think you little input doesn't matter because you are just one person?

Take a lesson from the bees. One bee sting might hurt: many might cause death. The bees have their thing together when it comes to defending their homes. I had thought humans were supposed to be smarter than bees?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jim Corr's letter on Lisbon to Irish Papers

Media censorship on NO opinions to Lisbon are quite shocking and only those who cannot be ignored are printed. I am reprinting this letter from Jim Corr's website (an excellent source for Irish news). I also wrote a letter to the Irish media and not one of the 15 papers I sent it to printed it.

My Lisbon letter to every paper in the country

Now is the time, for all good men and women,
to come to the aid of their Country!

Written by Jim Corr

Saturday, 19 September 2009 20:13

Dear all,

Within the next few weeks, we have coming, the most important vote of our lives. I will outline my main concerns in relation to this 2nd referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

Guarantees: Not worth the paper they're written on. Denmark's stronger protocol promises after their Maastrict no vote have since been over ruled and nullified by the European Court of Justice!

Article 48: The self amending clause or escalator clause. Allows the EU to escalate it's power into new areas WITHOUT coming back to the people for a vote on any changes. So what we have in fact is a treaty that is not set in stone like our own constitution. It is a flexible treaty free to be amended by the EU elite as they wish. This leaves our country and the other individual member states extremely vulnerable! Would you sign a contract on a deal with someone who could legally adjust that contract to favour themselves AFTER you'd signed it ?

Article 2 ECFR: Under Lisbon, The European Charter of Fundamental Rights AND the European Charter of Human Rights become legally binding. Both of those charters are intertwined and will merge.

Article 2 ECFR "Nobody shall be condemned to death, everybody has a right to life" Article 2 protocol 6 of the ECHR which will merge with the ECFR, "A state may make provision for the death penalty in times of war or imminent threat of war". There you have a 'backdoor' whereby the main article can be diluted or negated entirely and this is typical of the deception we will find upon study of the treaty and it's additional charters. Who's to say we are under threat of war, could we trust Tony B'liar who led his nation into war under false pretences and who is in the running to be SELECTED, not elected, as the president of the EU ?

As was stated by our own Charlie McCreevy: 95% of Europeans would vote no to this treaty if given the chance. We the people of this country are their voice, and we owe it to them to make the right decision on Oct. 2nd.

Hasn't the EU been good for Ireland ? We gave the EU 200 Billion worth of our fishing stock. The fishing industry has been decimated as a result. Now our farming industry is under attack, where our farmers are being forced because of EU law to sell milk cheaper than cost, while at the same time becoming ever increasingly crippled under EU bureaucracy. With this pattern in mind would you trust the EU with the Irish economy and our Government ?

I'm all for co-operation with our European neighbours, I just don't want them telling us what to do. I am for co-operation, not domination!

Creeping EU Tip-Toe Totalitarianism: Have you noticed how with each successive EU treaty it has gradually moved from economic integration into political integration ? Watch how civil liberties globally are being incrementally eroded due to this fraudulent 'War of Terror" and now via Phoney Environmentalism. Visit my web-site for more on this.

Is it democracy to keep coming back to the people with the same treaty that we've already voted on ? Is it democracy not to allow the individual member states a referendum on something so crucially important to their futures and the futures of their children's children ? Was it democracy for most individual member states to ratify the treaty against the wishes of the vast majority of their own people even though it was ILLEGAL for them to do so due to We the People of Ireland having already voted this treaty down ?

Where is this progressing towards ? The agenda is World Government, for the many of us that are awake to see, which is clearly outlined in the books written by the elite and their insiders, books they don't count on the general population reading. World Government would not be a bad thing if Angels were going to run it, but the people striving for this are anything but. We are NOT ready for World Government yet, not by a long shot. Again more on this on my web-site.

What this is simply about is POWER going into yet fewer and fewer hands, and those that forget history are doomed to repeat it, because Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely!

This progression MUST be stopped dead in it's tracks, and we can help scupper this agenda by voting NO on the 2nd of October.

There is no question of Ireland being sidelined or pushed out of the EU or the euro-currency if we stand by our No to Lisbon. As Ireland’s EU Commissioner Charlie mccreevy said last December : “There is no provision in the existing treaties to isolate anybody. There is no provision to throw out anybody, unless unanimously all the existing members of the club agreed to throw you out. And I doubt, now or in the future, any Irish Government is going to unanimously agree to throw them selves out.”

Let's be on the right side of history...

God bless you all,

With respect,

Jim Corr




13 Critical Lisbon Treaty Facts - Must Read *

NO to a blank cheque for power

Fear and Loathing in Dublin

NO Pulling ahead

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Verichip stock up %186

VeriChip shares jump after
H1N1 patent license win

Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:21pm EDT


(Reuters) - Shares of VeriChip Corp (CHIP.O) tripled after the
company said it had been granted an exclusive license to two patents, which will help it to develop implantable virus detection systems in humans.

The patents, held by VeriChip partner Receptors LLC, relate to biosensors that can detect the H1N1 and other viruses, and biological threats such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, VeriChip said in a statement.

The technology will combine with VeriChip's implantable radio frequency identification devices
to develop virus triage detection systems. The triage system will provide multiple levels of identification -- the first will identify the agent as virus or non-virus, the second level will classify the virus and alert the user to the presence of pandemic threat viruses and the third level will identify the precise pathogen, VeriChip said in a white paper published May 7, 2009.

Shares of VeriChip were up 186 percent at $3.28 Monday late afternoon trade on Nasdaq. They had touched a year high of $3.43 earlier in the session.

(Reporting by Mansi Dutta in Bangalore; Editing by Mike Miller and Anil D'Silva)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Boston launches flu shot tracking

City to pinpoint areas of
low rates of vaccination

By Stephen Smith Globe Staff
November 21, 2008

Using technology originally developed for mass disasters, Boston disease trackers are embarking on a novel experiment - one of the first in the country - aimed at eventually creating a citywide registry of everyone who has had a flu vaccination.

The resulting vaccination map would allow swift intervention in neighborhoods left vulnerable to the fast-moving respiratory illness. The trial starts this afternoon, when several hundred people are expected to queue up for immunizations at the headquarters of the Boston Public Health Commission.

Each of them will get a bracelet printed with a unique identifier code. Information about the vaccine's recipients, and the shot, will be entered into handheld devices similar to those used by delivery truck drivers.
Read more


Get the vaccine or go to jail
Microchips for bowser; Now for you

Monday, September 21, 2009

English call for a referendum on Lisbon

Lord Tebbit urges David Cameron
to pledge referendum on Lisbon treaty

From The Times
September 15, 2009
Francis Elliott, Deputy Political Editor

Lord Tebbit called on David Cameron yesterday to pledge a referendum on the new EU reform treaty even if it has already been introduced.

The Tory leader is facing increasing pressure to spell out what he will do if, as expected, the Irish vote to ratify the Lisbon treaty just three days before the start of the Conservatives’ annual conference.

A Yes vote next month makes it likely that the treaty will be in force by the general election. Unless Mr Cameron provides activists with a “satisfactory assurance” that he would hold a referendum regardless, he risks losing ground to UKIP, Lord Tebbit said.

The former party chairman said that Mr Cameron should include a commitment to a retrospective referendum in the Conservatives’ next manifesto.
Related Links
He added: “It’s perfectly clear that when David Cameron originally gave his undertaking it was nothing about the Irish vote at all. It was an undertaking that there would be a referendum. End of message. Full stop. And I think the party would expect that he would stick to that undertaking.

“My understanding is that they’ve reneged on that commitment and if the Irish vote Yes and the treaty is ratified throughout the community Mr Cameron’s only commitment is that he will not let the matter rest there. I don’t know what that means.”

The peer, who has come close to expulsion in recent months for his outspoken remarks on Europe, called on Mr Cameron to demand wholesale changes in the EU.

“Mr Cameron must not forget that things which are set out in the election manifesto, if he wins the election, would not be obstructed in the House of Lords. If he comes up with something after the election which was not in the election manifesto, it is quite possible that the House of Lords might turn it down. That is convention.”

Mr Cameron’s senior colleagues concede that the Irish vote poses a “headache” for him before the party’s annual conference in Manchester. He is being urged by some to tackle the issue head-on.

However, a senior Conservative said that Mr Cameron regarded Afghanistan as his most important foreign policy priority and wished to avoid a long-running battle with Brussels.

Czechs won't sign Lisbon even if Irish vote YES

Czech Republic 'planning to delay
signing Lisbon treaty'

(Julien Warnand/EPA)
Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer

September 21, 2009
David Charter in Brussels

EU leaders are said to be furious that the Czech Republic is planning to delay signing the Lisbon treaty for up to six months even if the Irish vote "yes" in their referendum next month.

The country might even try to delay it until after the British general election campaign when a Tory victory would see the question put to voters by David Cameron.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who helped to draw up the treaty after the French and Dutch voted against its predecessor, the EU Constitution, has warned Prague that it faces "consequences" if it does not swiftly follow an Irish "yes" with its own ratification.

The outburst followed a private warning from Jan Fischer, the Czech caretaker Prime Minister, to his EU counterparts over dinner at their summit in Brussels last Thursday, it has emerged.

Related Links
Mr Fischer said that Václav Klaus, the country's unpredictable President, was planning to have a group of loyal senators in the Czech Upper House refer the treaty back to the country's constitutional court for a second time, which could delay ratification for between three and six months.

This would mean that the treaty could still be unratified going into the British general election campaign, expected next April or May. Mr Cameron has pledged that, if the document remained a live issue, even though Britain has completed its own ratification, he would call a referendum on it. This prospect horrifies most EU leaders, given the strong vein of euroscepticism in Britain.

Tensions are already running high among EU leaders over whether the Irish will vote in favour of the treaty on October 2 after a close-run referendum campaign. They are desperate that the momentum of a "yes" is not lost on the eurosceptic Czech and Polish presidents, the final two signatures required for EU ratification.

The treaty further erodes national powers to veto EU decisions, and a Tory government would campaign against it. President Klaus is understood to have told allies that he wants to wait if possible to see if Mr Cameron wins the next election.

Speaking after last Thursday's dinner, Mr Sarkozy said: "I stated clearly that if the Irish say 'yes', there is no question that we will accept to stay in a no-man’s land with a Europe that does not have the institutions to cope with the crisis,” he said.

Asked about what could be done to persuade President Klaus to sign, he added: "It will be necessary to draw the consequences — but those will be the subject of another meeting."

Mr Fischer is acting as caretaker Prime Minister after the Government of Mirek Topolánek fell in the summer and while fresh elections are organised. He has warned privately that he has little control over the country's headstrong President. Speaking to Czech journalists after last week's summit, he admitted: "It is certainly a fact that several government leaders perceive the ratification process in the Czech Republic with a degree of nervousness."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Common Sense about Lisbon

After all the brouhaha on Lisbon, I have come to see what I must do and why. The reasons have been neatly summed up in the article below. I wish I had written it; but, I didn't. It is delightful to have the issues clarified when so much of the Lisbon Treaty seems to depend on confusing the Irish voter.

Three good reasons to spurn Lisbon once again

06 September 2009
By Vincent Browne


The deceivers and manipulators are out again. ‘Ireland Needs Europe,’ a Fianna Fail poster proclaims. ‘Yes to Jobs, Yes to Europe,’ a Fine Gael one declares. ‘It’s simple, I want a strong voice in Europe,’ another poster proclaims.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen was on radio last Wednesday talking about the other EU member states going ahead without us by inaugurating a ‘‘two-speed Europe’’ if we voted No again. ‘‘It’s in Ireland’s interests to be at the core of Europe," he said.

They rage about the disinformation on the No side, the posters from the last time about conscription, abortion and corporation tax. Those messages may have been bogus, but so are the messages this time from the Yes side. What has the Lisbon Treaty to do with whether Ireland needs Europe or not? The phony implication is that, if we vote No again, we will be rejecting not just the treaty, but the European Union. What has the Fine Gael poster ‘Yes to Jobs, Yes to Europe’ to do with the Lisbon Treaty? Again, it is a sham message suggesting that, if we vote No, we will be voting against jobs and against Europe. As for the ‘‘strong voice’’ stuff, surely the exercise of a strong voice would be to voice our opposition to a treaty that is bad for Europe and, therefore, bad for Ireland, too?

On the two-speed threat, it is impossible for the EU to change the rules and opt for an inner core to proceed towards further integration, while leaving an outer core in a slow lane. It cannot be done, not without us voting Yes to a treaty approving it - and would we be daft enough to do that? Let me repeat: it cannot be done. The main point of the Lisbon Treaty was to streamline decision-making in the EU at a time when it was becoming so large that the old decision-making mechanisms were too cumbersome to work effectively - or so it was thought.

There was also a concession to concerns about the democratic nature of the EU. National parliaments were given a role on EU legislation, and the European Parliament was to be given more competence. But we now find, after five years of working with the old rules, that the EU works just fine and those earlier apprehensions were misplaced. As for the democratic issue, the main problem remains. The Council of Ministers, the main decision-making body, remains unaccountable, as all inter-governmental bodies are (which seems to be the point of them).

The changes also proposed the end of the circus of the rotating presidency, whereby every member state gets to hold the EU presidency for six months. There are 27 member states. The system means that every state has to wait 13-and-a-half years to get its six months of power.

There are obvious logistical problems with this, and some states are better at hosting the presidency than others. Also, there was the ‘problem’ of member states attempting to run their own agendas while they held the presidency. It seemed sensible enough to end that and have just a single presidency - a single president of the European Council, who would hold the position for five years. Allied to that was the idea of having just one person representing Europe on foreign affairs.

That seemed like a good idea too, better than having three people - a commissioner; the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (that’s the job Javier Solana holds at present); and the foreign minister of the country that holds the presidency. But these ‘sensible’ ideas have dangers. The rotating presidency, while messy, did decentralise power in the EU from Brussels, and that was a good idea. Any subversion of the ‘official’ agenda is also no bad thing. A five-year president, by definition, would have to be the creature of the large powers (certainly Germany and France) and he or she would pursue their agenda. As for a single foreign minister, expressing a single voice on foreign policy on behalf of the EU - no way, Jose.

If we’d had that at the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, you can bet your bottom euro w e would all have been embroiled up to our necks in that criminal enterprise - not necessarily militarily, but politically. So where is the case for the treaty? It boils down to us not annoying our partners in the EU at a time when we need their forbearance to ensure the European Central Bank continues to give us credit. Not a great case, is it? Is it really true that the ECB would withhold funds from us as a penalty for voting No again? And doesn’t it say something about the case for voting Yes that it degenerates into blackmail and damn all else? I think there are strong reasons to vote No. Among them are the following.

First: this Lisbon Treaty is a con job, deliberately constructed to deprive electorates in other member states from having a say on the changes it proposes. The treaty is essentially a redraft of the EU constitution that was rejected by the people of France and the Netherlands. It was then reformulated in unintelligible mumbo-jumbo to allow governments in these and other member states to argue that there was no need to have the electorates decide; parliamentary endorsement would suffice. Now the Irish electorate is being asked again to vote for a treaty that is unintelligible. On that basis alone, we should vote No.

Secondly: for the first time, the treaty incorporates into the institutional structure of the European Union the European Defence Agency, whose primary role is to assist the European armaments industry to prosper - in other words, to assist in the refinement of the instruments of killing. We are often told by EU fans how the organisation ensured peace in Europe for 50 years. How, then, can the incorporation of the dogs of war into its institutional structure be justified?

Thirdly: the treaty seeks to centralise power in the EU. We should not have that.

(A-fecking-men is what I say.)


I stay up all night reading treaty, quips McCreevy

Friday, September 18, 2009

Intelligence Agencies Say No New Nukes in Iran

Secret updates to White House challenge
European and Israeli assessments.

By Mark Hosenball
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Sep 16, 2009

The U.S. intelligence community is reporting to the White House that Iran has not restarted its nuclear-weapons development program, two counterproliferation officials tell NEWSWEEK. U.S. agencies had previously said that Tehran halted the program in 2003.

The officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said that U.S. intelligence agencies have informed policymakers at the White House and other agencies that the status of Iranian work on development and production of a nuclear bomb has not changed since the formal National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's "Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities" in November 2007. Public portions of that report stated that U.S. intelligence agencies had "high confidence" that, as of early 2003, Iranian military units were pursuing development of a nuclear bomb, but that in the fall of that year Iran "halted its nuclear weapons program." The document said that while U.S. agencies believed the Iranian government "at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons," U.S. intelligence as of mid-2007 still had "moderate confidence" that it had not restarted weapons-development efforts.

One of the two officials said that the Obama administration has now worked out a system in which intelligence agencies provide top policymakers, including the president, with regular updates on intelligence judgments like the conclusions in the 2007 Iran NIE. According to the two officials, the latest update to policymakers has been that as of now—two years after the period covered by the 2007 NIE—U.S. intelligence agencies still believe Iran has not resumed nuclear-weapons development work. "That's the conclusion, but it's one that—like every other—is constantly checked and reassessed, both to take account of new information and to test old assumptions," one of the officials told NEWSWEEK. It is not clear whether U.S. agencies' confidence in this judgment has grown at all since the 2007 statement.

This latest U.S. intelligence-community assessment is potentially controversial for several reasons, not the least of which is that it is at odds with more alarming assessments propounded by key U.S. allies, most notably Israel. Officials of Israel's conservative-led government have been delivering increasingly dire assessments of Iran’s nuclear progress and have leaked shrill threats about a possible Israeli military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright, an atomic-weapons expert who follows Iranian nuclear developments closely, said the U.S. government's current judgments will continue to provoke contention and debate. "People are looking at the same information and reaching different judgments," he said. "Given all the developments in Iran, these assessments are hard to believe with any certainty. Nobody's been able to bring total proof either way."

Israel is not the only American ally that has circulated assessments that contradict the U.S. intelligence conclusion that Iran is not currently pursuing nuclear-bomb development. According to German court documents released earlier this year, Germany's foreign intelligence service, known as the BND, reported in 2008 that “development work on nuclear weapons can be observed in Iran even after 2003."

A European counterproliferation official, who also requested anonymity, said that assessments like the one provided by the BND relied significantly on information collected by German and other intelligence agencies about efforts by suspected Iranian agents and front companies to purchase hardware and technology from Western firms that can be used to design or build nuclear weapons. Such equipment and know-how often has "dual uses"—both peaceful and military applications. But some Iranian purchases have appeared highly suspect. German authorities have been pursuing criminal charges against a German-Iranian businessman who allegedly tried to purchase for Tehran ultrahigh-speed cameras and radiation sensors that are built to withstand extreme heat—equipment that experts believe would be quite useful for nuclear-weapons development, though it could also be used for more benign purposes. The Institute for Science and International Security, run by Albright, recently published a paper on the German investigation.

When it first was made public, the November 2007 NIE was criticized by American and Israeli hardliners for playing up conclusions about Iran's having stopped work on nuclear-weapons development while playing down Iranian advances in its efforts to produce highly enriched uranium, which is the most critical, but difficult to manufacture, element of a primitive nuclear bomb. The NIE said that even though Iran had halted its nuclear-weapons program, it had made "significant progress" during 2007 in installing centrifuges used in uranium enrichment, though U.S. analysts believed that, as a result of technical problems with these machines, Iran probably could not produce enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb before 2010 at the earliest. The Iranians have consistently claimed that they are enriching uranium only for civilian purposes. Low-enriched uranium, which is all that Iran has made so far, is a common fuel for civilian power plants.

U.S. and European counterproliferation experts believe that Iran's centrifuge program has already produced enough low-enriched uranium, an essential precursor to the production of bomb-grade material, to provide feedstock to produce enough highly enriched uranium to make a bomb. However, that is an arduous and technically complicated process. Many U.S. and European experts say that Iran is still experiencing technical problems with centrifuges it would use to produce bomb-grade uranium, which could delay any Iranian bomb program for years.

An Obama administration official says that top policymakers are being told that there is no significant disagreement among U.S. intelligence agencies and experts about the latest assessments regarding Iran's nuclear effort. That may encourage the White House's efforts to continue to try to engage Iran in diplomatic dialogue, including discussion of Iran's nuclear ambitions. A spokesperson for National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair's office, which is responsible for producing NIEs and updates on Iranian nukes, had no comment.

© 2009

Oh oh...Global economic growth will drop like a stone

Protectionism rising despite G-20 vows on trade

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Job market in 2009 - Have a laugh

Where The Hell Is The 2.3 TRILLION???

The irony here of cutting basic public good programs and the Pentagon 'losing' $2.3 TRILLION (yes! with a 'T')is profound, even if it is the elephant in the room of USA political consciousness. Laugh...or you will cry. Better yet, get angry.

3 Minute Video

Swine flu death rate similar to seasonal flu: expert

This story only confirms what many have been saying for months: there is no swine flu pandemic. The media has whipped the public into a terrified frenzy, ordered a billion vaccines (which caused pharmaceutical profits to skyrocket), put people's lives and well-being at risk with unnecessary vaccines, mandated into law codiciles concerning the right of the state to force citizens to get this unnecessary vaccination (the equivalent of martial law and putting FEMA in charge in the US), and indemnified all pharma corps from lawsuits for damage to people
the vaccine might cause
....and well, what do you know?
Turns out swine flu is just another flu, less dangerous that the average seasonal flu.

Are we ready to ask the question: Cui bono?

Swine flu death rate similar
to seasonal flu: expert

Wed Sep 16, 2009
By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The death rate from the pandemic H1N1 swine flu is likely lower than earlier estimates, an expert in infectious diseases said on Wednesday.

New estimates suggest that the death rate compares to a moderate year of seasonal influenza, said Dr Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University.

"It's mildest in kids. That's one of the really good pieces of news in this pandemic," Lipsitch told a meeting of flu experts being held by the U.S. Institute of Medicine.

"Barring any changes in the virus, I think we can say we are in a category 1 pandemic. This has not become clear until fairly recently."

The Pandemic Severity Index set by the U.S. government has five categories of pandemic, with a category 1 being comparable to a seasonal flu epidemic.

Seasonal flu has a death rate of less than 0.1 percent -- but still manages to kill 250,000 to 500,000 people globally every year.

A category 5 pandemic would compare to the 1918 flu pandemic, which had an estimated death rate of 2 percent or more, and would kill tens of million of people.

Lipsitch took information from around the world on how many people had reported they had influenza-like illness, which may or may not actually be influenza; government reports of actual hospitalizations and confirmed deaths.

He came up with a range of mortality from swine flu, from 0.007 percent to 0.045 percent.

Either way, having new information about how many people were infected and did not become severely ill or die makes the pandemic look very mild, he said.

"The news is certainly better than it was in May and even better than it was at the beginning of August," Lipsitch said.

H1N1 swine flu was declared a pandemic in June after flashing around the world in six weeks. Experts all said a true death rate would not be clear for weeks because it is impossible to test every patient and because people with mild cases may never be diagnosed.

This lack of information made the epidemics in various countries and cities look worse at first than they actually were, Lipsitch said. People sick enough to be hospitalized are almost always tested first.

"Yes, there's been hype, but I don't think it's been an outrageous amount of hype," Lipsitch said.

Seasonal flu is usually far worse among the elderly, who make up 90 percent of the deaths every year. In contrast, this flu is attacking younger adults and older children, but they are not dying of it at the same rate as the elderly, Lipsitch said.

(Editing by Eric Beech)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Monday, September 14, 2009

Germany suspends ratification of Lisbon Treaty

Until the appropriate protections of its parliamentary autonomy are put into place.

Lisbon passes German court test


Germany's Constitutional Court has ruled that the EU's Lisbon Treaty is compatible with German law - but has suspended ratification of it.

The court said extra national legislation was needed to ensure that the German parliament participated fully in adopting EU laws.

The controversial treaty is aimed at streamlining EU institutions to improve their efficiency.

A number of German MPs had asked the court to decide against the treaty.

Lisbon faces another big test later this year in the Republic of Ireland, where it will be put to a second referendum. Irish voters rejected the treaty in a referendum a year ago.

The German parliament has already ratified the treaty, but President Horst Koehler has not signed it yet.

The court statement, quoted by the AFP news agency, said Germany's Lisbon ratification document "may not be adopted until the sufficient legal groundwork for parliamentary participation as foreseen in the constitution has been laid".

"If one wanted to summarise this result, one could say: the constitution says 'yes' to the Lisbon Treaty but demands that parliament's right to participation be strengthened at the national level," the court said.

Opponents of the treaty claim it is undemocratic, that it undermines Germany's parliament and hands over too much power to Brussels.

A number of German lawmakers - mostly from the left-wing Linke party - went to court to try to stop the treaty. There was also an MP from a party allied to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.

Parliamentary scrutiny

Most EU member states have ratified the treaty, but the Eurosceptic presidents of the Czech Republic and Poland have not yet signed it, saying they will wait for the decision of Irish voters. The second Irish referendum is expected to happen in early October.
"The heads of state... are glad they didn't have to put the question themselves to their people..."
Charlie McCreevy
EU Internal Market Commissioner

Q&A: Lisbon Treaty
Viewpoints on Lisbon Treaty

The treaty's opponents argue that it is just the defunct EU Constitution repackaged, and say it will undermine national sovereignty. The constitution was rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005.

Officials in Germany's ruling coalition said parliament would vote on the legislation demanded by the court before Germany's general election on 27 September.

German media say the judges want it spelled out in law that parliament will have to vote on any changes to the Lisbon Treaty, or any expansion of EU competencies that impacts on German sovereignty.

Ireland's EU commissioner, Charlie McCreevy, has said the Lisbon Treaty would have been rejected in most EU countries if they had held referendums like in Ireland.
"I think all of the politicians of Europe would have known quite well that if a similar question had been put to their electorate in a referendum the answer in 95 percent of countries would have been 'No' as well," he told a meeting of accountants in Dublin on Friday.
He said EU heads of state were "glad they didn't have to put the question themselves to their people".


German Constitutional Court Lisbon Treaty ruling

French feel gagged by Gov't on Lisbon

Let's see. The French rejected the Lisbon Treaty (Constitutional Treaty) when put to a referendum in 2005. But magically, according to Sarkozy and Merkel, the populace has changed its mind in 2009. This video shows the populace of France not allowed to express their opinions on this important treaty.

I wonder who is telling the truth? The French people, or Nicholas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel? I will vote NO in Ireland on October 2, 2009 to honour all those French people who have voted against the treaty in a referendum and whose voice has been ignored by their political elite.


David Cameron warned by Angela Merkel over Lisbon Treaty

Czech people reject Lisbon Treaty

Hope springs eternal for a better world when people stand up to undemocratic leaders. See what the Czechs think about punishing Ireland for a NO vote on Lisbon.

Czech people reject the idea of punishing Ireland for a NO vote and reject the Lisbon Treaty.

60 minutes: the next wave of US foreclosure misery

It ain't over till its over: and it ain't over by a long shot. After the alt-a and option ARMS loans implode, there awaits the commercial property bubble, credit card bubble and the final big bang of the bail out bubble.

60 Minutes reports on foreclosures in 2009 and 2010.

Part 1

Part 2

People of England call for referendum on Lisbon

And now something for friends from Great Britain: thank God the English have the moxy to stand up to their dictators on the Lisbon Treaty. In the few weeks left until the second Irish vote, I will publish as many articles as possible on the what the PEOPLE of Europe have to say about Lisbon and being prohibited from voting on this massively powerful treaty which gives away unprecedented sovereignity to the EU bureaucracy. Kudos to the spirit of the Brits.

David Cameron under pressure over EU referendum: poll

David Cameron is under pressure to pledge a referendum on the new European “constitution” even if it has already been introduced - after a poll found that the majority of Britons want the chance to express their views.

David Cameron: David Cameron under pressure over EU referendum: poll
The Conservative leader, David Cameron Photo: PA

By Robert Winnett, Deputy Political Editor
14 Sep 2009
The Conservative leader has only pledged a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if it has not yet been ratified across Europe but, if elected, he is now under pressure to hold a retrospective poll if necessary. Labour refuses to hold a referendum under any circumstances.

Ireland, the only country to be blocking the introduction of the treaty, is due to hold a second referendum next month having previously rejected it. However, with Ireland now facing economic difficulties, voters there are expected to be more willing to back the Treaty.

It will then be quickly introduced throughout Europe – before the next general election in this country.

However, today’s poll found that 57 percent of those questioned believe that a future Conservative government should offer a referendum on the ratified treaty, with only 15 percent saying there should be no such vote.

More than forty percent (43 per cent) of those polled said that Britain should leave the EU altogether rather than accept the Lisbon Treaty without a vote.

Twenty-six percent of those questioned said that Britain should accept the Lisbon Treaty rather than leave the union.

The YouGov poll was commissioned to mark the start of a major series in the Telegraph over the next fortnight which will analyse Britain’s relationship with Europe.

There is growing concern over the increasing reach of Europe in the domestic, rather than economic and commercial, affairs of this country. Less than 20 percent of those polled thought that Europe should be integrated further.

Just 13 percent of people polled said they would vote for the treaty in a referendum with 36 percent saying they would vote against. However, 39 percent said they were unsure how to vote.

Gordon Brown has refused to call a referendum on the Treaty despite Labour’s manifesto pledging to call such a vote on a European constitution. Ministers claim that the treaty is not a constitution even though it is virtually identical to the proposed constitution which was previously rejected.

Yesterday, the campaigner who spearheaded the Irish “no” vote against the treaty during the country’s first referendum said that he would help campaign during the new poll. Declan Ganley had previously said he would not take part in the campaign but says he has been “provoked” to intervene.

He believes the treaty will “be sunk” in the referendum on October 2nd, adding it was a “myth” that endorsing the treaty would help Ireland’s economy. He told reporters in Dublin that he was hoping to raise as much as 200,000 euros for advertising against the treaty.


David Cameron warned by Angela Merkel over Lisbon Treaty

US: Despite Slump, U.S. Role as Top Arms Supplier Grows

This story only confirms what many know: the USA exports one thing - war. I am only surprised the article was not more widely read. In case you missed it, here it is. Draw your own conclusions. Cui bono? Is it the average citizen?

US: Despite Slump, U.S. Role
as Top Arms Supplier Grows

by Thom Shanker
New York Times
September 6th, 2009

Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.

The United States signed weapons agreements valued at $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 percent of all business in the global arms bazaar, up significantly from American sales of $25.4 billion the year before.

Italy was a distant second, with $3.7 billion in worldwide weapons sales in 2008, while Russia was third with $3.5 billion in arms sales last year — down considerably from the $10.8 billion in weapons deals signed by Moscow in 2007.

The growth in weapons sales by the United States last year was particularly noticeable against worldwide trends. The value of global arms sales in 2008 was $55.2 billion, a drop of 7.6 percent from 2007 and the lowest total for international weapons agreements since 2005.

The increase in American weapons sales around the world “was attributable not only to major new orders from clients in the Near East and in Asia, but also to the continuation of significant equipment and support services contracts with a broad-based number of U.S. clients globally,” according to the study, titled “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations.”

The annual report was produced by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress. Regarded as the most detailed collection of unclassified global arms sales data available to the general public, it was delivered to the House and Senate on Friday, ready for members’ return from the Labor Day recess.

The overall decline in weapons sales worldwide in 2008 can be explained by the reluctance of many nations to place new arms orders “in the face of the severe international recession,” wrote Richard F. Grimmett, a specialist in international security at the Congressional Research Service and author of the study.

Mr. Grimmett’s report stated that the growth of weapons sales by the United States was “extraordinary” in a time of global recession and resulted from new arms deals as well as the sustained cost of maintenance, upgrades, ammunition and spare parts to nations that bought American weapons in the past.

In the highly competitive global arms market, nations vie for both profit and political influence through weapons sales, in particular to developing nations, which remain “the primary focus of foreign arms sales activity by weapons suppliers,” according to the study.

Weapons sales to developing nations reached $42.2 billion in 2008, only a nominal increase from the $41.1 billion in 2007.

The United States was the leader not only in arms sales worldwide, but also in sales to nations in the developing world, signing $29.6 billion in weapons agreements with these nations, or 70.1 percent of all such deals.

The study found that the larger arms deals concluded by the United States with developing nations last year included a $6.5 billion air defense system for the United Arab Emirates, a $2.1 billion jet fighter deal with Morocco and a $2 billion attack helicopter agreement with Taiwan. Other large weapons agreements were reached between the United States and India, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Korea and Brazil.

Russia was far behind in 2008 with $3.3 billion in weapons sales to the developing world, about 7.8 percent of all such agreements. The report says that while Russia continues to have China and India as its main weapons clients, Russia’s new focus is on arms sales to Latin American nations, in particular to Venezuela.

France was third with $2.5 billion in arms sales to developing nations, or about 5.9 percent of weapons deals with these countries.

The top buyers in the developing world in 2008 were the United Arab Emirates, which signed $9.7 billion in arms deals; Saudi Arabia, which signed $8.7 billion in weapons agreements; and Morocco, with $5.4 billion in arms purchases.

The study uses figures in 2008 dollars, with amounts for previous years adjusted for inflation to give a constant financial measurement.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

100 reasons to vote NO on Lisbon

For myself, I think that reason #100 is compelling: why are citizens of the EU NOT allowed to vote on Lisbon in so many countries? A second compelling reason is that the EU presidency has shoed in Tony Blair or Nicholas Sarkozy as candidates. What would it be like for the Irish to be ruled by either of these two despots without even a vote for two and one half years?

I simply cannot give away the sovereignity of Ireland (or the EU people) by ratifying such a document in its present form. I have highlighted my concerns below. If even one tenth of my concerns are valid...my vote must be NO. Let the EU break this monstrous treaty into parts the people can understand and individually ratify if it wants my vote.

Last time I voted YES....I was wrong. This time I will vote NO.

Ireland’s 100 Reasons to Vote ‘No’ to the Lisbon treaty


1. The European Union has already created massive pockets of unemployment, with countries such as Spain – who have ratified Lisbon – suffering with unemployment rates of 18%. Why should Ireland sign up to a failing European Union?

2. About 450,000 people are unemployed, crushed by cuts, taxes, mortgage payments, on top of public bank-bail-outs and yet, the politicians who brought this upon Ireland are also asking for trust over the Lisbon treaty.

3. MEPs claim up to €1,000,000 in expenses each term, while massive job losses continue on an everyday basis.

4. Ireland remains a full member of the EU without the Lisbon treaty, and is in fact economically and politically better off without the treaty.

5. If Ireland votes No, she will continue to have access to Europe’s single market – the Lisbon treaty is concerned more with intensifying European government, using a constitutional document, which will crush trade, jobs and industry in Ireland .

6. Foreign investment has actually increased since Ireland voted No last year.

7. Under the Lisbon treaty, the EU can levy taxes on Ireland for the first time.

8. 150,000 Irish jobs, at least, are under threat through direct employment in multinational companies. Since Lisbon will interfere in taxation and the low corporate tax rate, those multinationals will simply leave for lands with lower corporate tax rates.

9. Lisbon will not aid the recession – to the contrary, it will make it worse.

10. The Lisbon treaty allows big business to import cheap labour and undercut Irish workers, in much the same way as it has done in labour disputes in the UK and the Nordic countries.

11. The EU has created a programme for Ireland to cut public spending, enforcing tough cuts on ordinary people who are trying to make a living wage in difficult times.
12. As Minister Brian Lenihan has said, massive and uncontrolled immigration of EU labour into Ireland helped to cause the crash. Overseas workers now make up almost 20% of Ireland ’s unemployed.

13. Lisbon hands full control over immigration and asylum policy to the EU, under Article 79, for workers inside and outside the EU – from England to India .

14. EU politicians have falsely assured people that on Lisbon, they are protected from EU changes to the law on abortion, taxation and defence, but those assurances are not part of the Lisbon treaty (Judge Frank Clark, Chairman of the Referendum Commission) and are not EU law – so Lisbon would in fact lead to changes on abortion, taxation and defence.

15. Under the Charter of Fundamental Rights, attached to the treaty, the EU Court will decide on laws relating to abortion, raising children, marriage and euthanasia. It removes the voice of the Irish people on those issues.

16. Lisbon weakens Ireland in the European Union: while countries such as Germany double their voting power to 17%, Ireland ’s voting power will be reduced from 2% to 0.8%. It means Ireland will have no say over key issues.

17. Lisbon would drastically reduce Ireland ’s place in the European Union. It would reduce Ireland ’s representation leaving her completely isolated. There are new provisions to put EU law-making on a pure population size basis, just as in any unitary or federal state. At present, big states have 29 votes each in making EU laws and Ireland has 7 – a ratio of 4 to 1. Under Lisbon , EU laws would be made by a majority of the EU member states as long as they have 65% of the total EU population between them. Instead of the big states having 4 times Ireland’s voting weight, as it is now, this change to a pure population basis would give Germany 20 times Ireland’s weight and France, Britain and Italy 15 times each.

18. Lisbon means that Ireland loses the right to veto harmful measures in over 60 areas. If a proposal comes up that Ireland cannot abide by, it will not have the power to block it, as she will have given up her veto.

19. The treaty is a new European Constitution, which by law, will have superiority over the Irish Constitution. If it is accepted, the Irish people will give up their constitutional rights under the Irish Constitution and be subject to very different constitutional arrangements under the European Constitution.

20. Under Lisbon, Europe assumes a new position over Irish national security: Article 61F pushes for the development of Super-Union cooperative arrangements, under which, the drive towards federalist cooperation is first supported actively by the Union for measures going beyond EU law, and second that such super-Union cooperative agreements will in turn become EU law.

21. Ireland will abandon its traditional criminal justice procedures, since the Lisbon treaty will establish a massive and “fundamental change” to the structure of the European Union: it will abolish the pillar structure and move police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters to the EC treaty, thus enabling Ireland’s police and justice system to be fully subject to Union interference. This will have serious implications bec au se decision-making on police and judicial cooperation would no longer be intergovernmental and it will be subjected to European decisions.

22. European Commission proposals on inheritance law would prevent farmers passing on family farms as a single working unit. If the Lisbon treaty is ratified, that will come into effect.

23. The loss of the state’s veto on trade and services such as health and education in the Lisbon treaty would lead to a significant weakening of the protection for public services.
24. Ireland ’s EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy claimed that that 95% of EU member states would have voted No like Ireland did, had the treaty been put to a vote in other countries.

25. A Yes vote would not only jeopardise farm succession rights but would also lead to a massive influx of Turkish farmers into the European Union.

26. The Lisbon vote is also a vote on Turkish accession. It allows for a country of 75 million people to enter the EU, which would in fact double the number of farmers Ireland has, while also retaining the Common Agricultural Policy budget at existing levels.

27. The Secretary-General of the Commission, who is an Irishwoman, Catherine Day, was instrumental in concealing from the general public the intention of the European Commission to harmonise inheritance and succession law.

28. The European Commission interfered directly throughout Irelands’ referendum process and even through the use of a web-site, particularly with critical comments on the ‘Farmers for No’, a group breaking away from the Irish Farmers’ Association, which is backing a Yes vote.

29. Is a Yes vote not merely a reflection of big finance from companies such as US multinational, Intel, spending several hundred thousand euros backing the Yes campaign?

30. Irish fishermen will continue to having to struggle to survive financially while being forced to dump their catches at sea bec au se of fishing quotas, and have higher operating costs bec au se of the rules under the Common Fisheries Policy.

31. Brussels ’ fishery policies blatantly favour non-EU imports and fleets of larger EU member states.

32. The Lisbon vote is not about being at the heart of Europe or about being good Europeans. It is about the kind of Europe that Ireland wants.

33. Lisbon will be implemented to limit Ireland ’s right to encourage Foreign Direct Investment, interfering in both tax advantages offered to foreign companies as well as conditions on state aid. Given the substantial number of Irish people employed by foreign companies in Ireland , handing over all this power to the EU is a dangerous step for Ireland .

34. Declaration 17 on Primacy, attached to the Lisbon treaty, makes transparent that EU law succeeds Irish law in all existing and new areas covered by the Treaties, giving away and transferring Ireland ’s historic and democratic constitutional rights and freedoms.
35. The increased militarisation of Europe is of great concern to many people who would prefer to see Ireland retain neutrality. In the referendums on Nice , Ireland was assured that a European Army would never happen, but now the basis for a common defence policy and EU battlegroups are in place. Lisbon looks toward a ‘progressive framing of a common Union defence policy’.

36. Pro-life laws will be overruled if Lisbon is passed, as it will only take one court case (such as the D case, funded by the Irish Family Planning Association) to come before the European Court of Justice. The ECJ will overrule on this. The Irish Government will have its hands tied since there would be absolutely nothing it could do to reverse the European decision, or indeed reverse Lisbon .

37. Ireland already has the the Maastricht protocol, drafted to protect Ireland’s pro-life amendment (Article 40.3.3), but this would be knocked down in the European Court, whose heightened powers under the Lisbon treaty would rule over that, or other, protocols, once the Charter of Rights attached to Lisbon came into effect.

38. Lisbon threatens the freedom of conscience, expression and worship. The Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland have already denounced the European Commission’s planned Equal Treatment Directive as “wholly unacceptable” bec au se they said it would force Christians to act against their consciences. The Catholic Bishops say the Directive will result in sharply curtailing the rights of religious liberty and freedom of expression.

39. Voters should reaffirm the decision they had made in the first referendum in June last year because “nothing had changed” in the treaty. People voted for a better deal for Ireland and Europe . Almost 1,000,000 people or 53% of the electorate rejected the Lisbon treaty on June 12th 2008. The Treaty was itself already abandoned by Europe, as the EU Constitution, in 2005, when both France and the Netherlands rejected it in referendums. It is entirely undemocratic.

40. Lisbon expands the range of political situations in which European military forces can intervene. Under Article 28B, Lisbon will represent another grave step towards the federalist vision of a European fighting force.

41. The European Commission’s trade agenda promotes free trade, yet irrespective of the costs to European family farms and rural communities, or the world poorest communities and countries. Lisbon gives the EU exclusive competence over commercial policy, including the negotiating of international trade agreements.

42. Ryanair Chief, Michael O’Leary, provided comments in support of the Lisbon treaty, but Irish voters need to ask themselves, does Ireland really want a Ryanair Europe?

43. A second No vote would strengthen the hand of any Irish government seeking to negotiate a better deal for Ireland and the EU.

44. The Lisbon treaty is the work of Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy, along with Silvio Berlusconi, Jose Manuel Barroso and Nicolas Sarkozy.

45. What would happen to employees of companies such as Waterford Glass or SR Technics, given that the Lisbon treaty imposes restrictions on state aid which might supposedly ‘distort’ the market?

46. Since concerns over Irish neutrality and European militarisation were a key reason for voting No in the first referendum, according to the Irish Times and TNS surveys in May and June 2008, why should the Irish people accept the Lisbon treaty take two?

47. Ireland is voting, in reality, on behalf of 500 million Europeans. Ireland is the only state, out of the 27 EU member states, to have a referendum.

48. The reason why Ireland has a referendum is important: if the treaty is ratified it would transfer powers from the Irish Constitution to the EU and Irish law requires that any changes to the Constitution must be subject to a referendum. The Irish people gained this right bec au se an ordinary Irish citizen, Raymond Crotty, took his case to the Supreme Court in 1986 to guarantee this right, in the case of EU treaties.

49. The Charter rolls back workers’ rights by failing to include a clause requiring the recognitions of trade unions.

50. Ordinary Irish people would be denied their basic rights in the workplace. The ECJ, basing its judgements on the Charter, has recently ruled against Swedish workers’ rights. In the Vaxholm case, the Latvian company Laval wanted to use Latvian workers in Sweden but would not agree to Swedish pay and conditions. Swedish unions opposed this treatment. The Euoprean Court ruled that the union could only act to ensure the Swedish minimum wage was paid and go no further. Other Swedish employment agreements could not be imposed. It puts pressure on Irish workers to move towards minimum wage levels or risk losing their jobs. A No vote to Lisbon can be used to obtain a social Protocol which would outlaw these unjust verdicts of the EU Court .

51. Under the terms of Lisbon , the European judicial body, Eurojust has now had its remits and powers hugely increased, affecting Ireland ’s own power over judicial investigations. The Lisbon treaty introduces an Article which increases Eurojust’s remit and powers. The body’s mandate is also extended into the types of crime it can investigate.

52. Lisbon expressly provides that the European judicial body, Eurojust may have the power and the responsibility to initiate criminal investigations and also the power to initiate prosecutions, even though the prosecution would be conducted by the Irish national authorities, under the supervision of the European Public Prosecutor.

53. The Lisbon treaty provides for the creation of a super-prosecutor, a European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), to combat crimes affecting the financial interests of the Union . It will have the power to order national police forces to initiate investigations. It will assemble all the evidence in favour or against the accused and will be responsible for conducting and coordinating prosecutions. It will have jurisdiction over the Irish enforcement au thorities.

54. The treaty stresses that national parliaments will be under a definite European legal obligation to ensure that they comply with proposals and legislative initiatives in judicial cooperation in criminal policy and police. Is this the future of Irish justice?

55. A new Article under Lisbon proves that whilst the European Union is willing to freely pass on the personal crime-related data of Irish citizens around the 27 member states, it will not allow for sufficient data protection safeguards.
56. A new provision allows the Union to establish super cooperation involving all the member states’ competent authorities, including police, customs and other specialised law enforcement services in relation to the prevention, detection and investigation of criminal offences (Article 69f), above and beyond Irish control over law enforcement.

57. Lisbon confirms the EU commitment to the development of common asylum policy expressly stating on Article 63 that “The Union shall develop a common policy on asylum …”. Since there is no veto power and the measures are adopted through the co-decision procedure, the Irish suffer a reduced influence in not only having a say in the development of an EU common asylum policy, but in being barred from developing its own independent asylum procedures.

58. Lisbon weakens Parliament as it formalises the fact that Irish legislators will be unable to act in a particular area once the European Union has already acted. Since that is the case, Irish parliamentarians will not be able to legislate under key areas specified under Article 2C, such as internal market practices, social policy, economic, social and territorial cohesion, agriculture and fisheries, environment, consumer protection, transport, trans-European networks, energy, areas of freedom, security and justice, common safety concerns in public health matters, research & technological development, international development cooperation and humanitarian aid. What voice will Ireland have to change those polices after Lisbon ? A vast range of activity, which should be under the remit of the Irish Government, will be handed over to EU control.

59. Lisbon threatens higher energy bills, since the basic control of national energy policy is actively transferred from member states to the EU. The new Article 176A specifies the European Union’s massive push toward a harmonised common energy policy. Such a move is bad for Ireland and bad for Europe , and the global marketplace of energy resources. It does nothing to serve in the interests of further liberalisation of the energy market – in fact, anti-competitive measures have been shown to have an obvious effect on increased business costs and consumer bills.

60. Lisbon will threaten Ireland ’s energy security given that Lisbon will have a huge impact on the ability for Ireland to determine its own competitive energy policy. This will prevent it from being able to guarantee flexibility to US contracts and interests in the UK , as it will for any other member state. This will lead to huge instability in (rather than guaranteeing) the security of supply and also insecurities in the foreign policies of both the EU and the US in terms of their cooperation and agreements with oil-rich Middle Eastern countries.

61. The detailed entitlement of rights – embodied in the Articles of the Lisbon treaty and the new Charter of Fundamental Rights – will represent a massive change in the way in which the Irish people are governed and who they are governed by.
62. There is a new definition of European citizenship in the Lisbon treaty which will provide each citizen with a real dual citizenship: Union citizens and citizens of their national states. However, Irish citizens do not trust the European institutions, there is no European demos, nor could the Irish people have loyalty to it, or identify with the creation of a European-wide demos. A Yes vote is a vote against democracy.

63. Irish policy on Iraq , Afghanistan and Kosovo will be transferred to a new European foreign minister. Ireland will not have a say on key foreign policy issues. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy represents a severe danger to an independent Irish foreign policy. He or she will be appointed by the European Council, acting by a qualified majority vote and with the agreement of the President of the Commission. It is an immense threat to the independence of Ireland in determining its own foreign policy, since this treaty essentially creates a European Foreign Minister, claiming to work on Ireland ’s behalf throughout the European Union. Negotations on behalf of the Irish people will be held on the other side of Europe without the slightest involvement of an Irish representative or official.

64. The major role played by the Union itself in the international arena has now been consolidated with the Lisbon treaty, in contrast to Ireland and other member states, whose power on foreign policy is now reduced to a secondary au thority of a subsidiary province.

65. The Lisbon treaty establishes the post of a new EU Foreign Minister, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The new post changes the nature of the relationship between Ireland , the other member states and the EU. Heads of State and Government will no longer represent their countries on the international stage.

66. There will be a new President of Europe, sitting in the European Council – such a substantial transfer of more political power to EU level, through the new President of the European Council eliminates the ability of member states to conduct their own independent foreign policy. The top 2 candidates are Tony Blair and Nicholas Sarkozy - FOR 2 1/2 years!

67. Lisbon places an obligation on member states that they uphold EU “common positions” in UN forums. Ireland will be obliged to present the common foreign policy position as its own position, when attending the UN Security Council. Ireland would be on the UN Security Council primarily to represent the EU’s position, not its own interests.

68. The intention of the European Union to develop a common European army is obvious.

69. Lisbon turns the EU into a global political actor in its own right. It transfers Ireland ’s powers to sign treaties with other states over to the Union . It will allow the Union to increase the role it plays on the international stage and to promote its interests above Ireland ’s values. The Union acquires the right to conclude international agreements. The Union will gain the rights to conclude treaties, to submit claims or to act before an international court, to become a member of an international organisation, and to enjoy certain immunities.

70. Ireland will in fact sign a blank cheque if it gives the go-ahead to the treaty. Lisbon introduces “simplified revision procedures”, meaning that the treaty is self-amending. Ireland will no longer have referendums bec au se amendments will be made without any further need for treaties or ratification procedures. Article 48 (6) has been called the “ratchet cl au se” and allows treaty amendments to be made without the necessity of a new, amending treaty and ratification. The supposed intention of this provision is to simplify the revision of the treaties. It will completely remove the Irish people from their say over Europe . The simplified but wholly undemocratic revision procedures represent a significant increase in the power of the Union, at the expense of Ireland .

71. The Union will further interfere with Irish employment and social policies. It is not a surprise that Ireland records low (and stagnated) growth, since Europe already coordinates a number of economic and employment policies. The agreement to certain provisions in this treaty is to put the opportunities and jobs (now and in the long term) of the Irish people at great risk.

72. The EU will gain powers over controlling Irish industry, health, education, sport, culture, civil protection and tourism. This is an intolerable state of affairs for the Irish people, which will cost the Irish economy billions.

73. Lisbon reduces the meaning of a green passport to a mere symbol. Under the EU’s freedom of movement legislation, Lisbon provides the right for Ireland to adopt provisions concerning passports, identity cards, residence permits and other documents applying to the movement of EU citizens.

74. Lisbon is entirely contrary to Ireland ’s wishes, given that in economic turmoil, when Ireland may have difficulty implementing one-size-fits-all EU legislation, the European Commission now gains the power to immediately impose penalty payments. The European Court of Justice will impose a lump sum on Ireland when she has not implemented a Directive.

75. If Ireland does sign up to Lisbon , it will not then be able to opt-out of super-Union policies which have been developed between a select number of member states. Lisbon demands that a number of member states can work ever-closer in “enhanced cooperation” on a particular policy (based largely on existing Article 10 TEU). If Ireland is not involved in the enhanced cooperation, she will be compelled to adopt the measures as if they were normal Union measures – Ireland will have had no say in the binding nature or the content of the measure.

76. Lisbon really is a blank cheque in more ways than one – one provision allows the Union to create its own powers (beyond the Treaties) in order to pursue Union objectives, under Article 308, so that if the Treaties have not provided the necessary powers for a certain action, the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission can adopt any appropriate measures it feels necessary. Quiet often, they will not be in Ireland ’s interest. Lisbon states that the Commission only has “to draw national Parliaments’ attention to proposals based on this Article”, rather than requiring any form of proper national agreement or consent. Ireland will be writing a blank cheque on policies, it can ill afford to sign up to.

77. How can Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Foreign Minister Brian Cowen have agreed to such a bad deal when they signed up to the EU Constitution in 2004, now repackaged as the Lisbon treaty?

78. Instead of the Irish Government deciding who Ireland ’s Commissioner is, under Lisbon , it will be Germany , France and the United Kingdom deciding. Lisbon results in a shift from a bottom-up process for appointing EU Commissioners to a top-down one that benefits other and larger EU states. The Irish Government’s White Paper ignored that fact. The promise of EU Prime Minister’s or Presidents that every member state will continue to have its own national Commissioner after Lisbon is false.

79. Lisbon , by law, would give the European Union a Constitution in the order of a supranational European federal state. It would be superior to the Irish Constitution and laws in all the areas covered by the Treaties.

80. Lisbon puts the competition rules of the EU market above the right of Irish trade unions to enforce pay standards higher than the minimum for migrant workers – so whilst it reduces the power of Irish labour, it reinforces the power of migrant workers.

81. Those who vote Yes for Lisbon often warn of Ireland ’s isolation in Europe . This is false on every count. The political reality is that if Ireland votes No, the Czech Republic and Poland will, in turn, halt ratification of the treaty, since they are waiting to see what Ireland does. Given the status of legal challenges, Germany may not have ratified the treaty either. The next UK Government, which must be elected by next May, will also introduce a Bill on its first day in office to hold a referendum on Lisbon in the UK and recommend a No vote to it. That will give Ireland ’s fellow neighbours in Northern Ireland the chance to vote on Lisbon too.

82. A No vote on Lisbon would open to a new and genuinely more democratic EU, to be embodied in a new set of arrangements which would repatriate powers back to the member states, as Europe ’s original 2003 Laeken Declaration envisaged, along democratic lines.

83. A No vote would stop the march towards an EU federal superstate that would be run on most undemocratic lines, under the total dominance of the elites of the larger EU states, namely Germany , in tandem with their officials in the Brussels Commission.

84. The European Commission is spending some 1.5 million euros on a spurious information campaign in Ireland , supposedly aimed at giving Irish people more information on the EU, but in fact swaying their votes in the Lisbon referendum re-run on Friday 2 October toward a Yes vote.

85. The European Commission has created a massive bill-board advertising campaign across Ireland, cinema advertising that is directed especially at Irish women and young voters, the holding of meetings and seminars and the use of web-sites. Does Ireland , a free county, support the indoctrination of its youth with political messages?

86. The European Commission’s supposed “information campaign” is programmed to go on into 2010, as if it were an everyday exercise, but its l au nch in Ireland recently was set up to taint and influence the outcome of the Lisbon referendum in Ireland .

87. Those involved in the Yes campaign, such as the Commission itself and Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin writing in the Irish Independent, seem to have given advice under the mistaken impression that a “double majority” of number of member states plus a qualified majority of votes does not exist already for making EC/EU laws, when it actually does. Their statements have thereby concealed the reduction of Ireland ’s voting weight.

88. The European Commission, in supporting the Yes campaign in Ireland, has been wrong to suggest that human rights matters such as inheritance rights for Irish farmers would or could not be affected in a European Union, after it signed up to Lisbon. Farmers’ inheritance rights would be affected.

89. On human rights in general, the Irish people will have their rights set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which along with the treaty, will be made legally binding for EU citizens. This means that all human rights issues would in principle fall within the remit of the European Court of Justice in the immediate future.

90. Ireland ’s ratification of the Lisbon treaty would give the 27 judges of the EU Court of Justice the power to decide sensitive matters over human rights, property rights and inheritance rights for the first time, as a consequence of new EU citizenship, entailing EU citizens’ rights and duties within the new European Union after Lisbon .

91. Czech President Vaclav Kl au s has stated that the treaty would undermine Czech sovereignty, and so refuses to sign it. The same is true of Irish sovereignty. Kl au s later said, in respect of the Irish people, “… the Lisbon treaty is dead, bec au se it was rejected in a referendum in one of the member states.” Irish democracy and sovereignty are paramount. Are the Irish people prepared to give it away?

92. Ireland would have great support if it does say No. For example, Poland ’s President Lech Kaczynski says he will not sign the treaty until it is passed in Ireland .
93. The Government has wrongly claimed it has assurances on important Irish concerns – they are not assured at all and will be pushed through in the distant future without any treaty ratification now. The Irish Government is claiming that the Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 and the promised Protocol incorporating that Decision which is to be attached at some future date, will significantly limit the effect of the treaty of Lisbon on certain provisions of the Irish Constitution and will define what the effects of that treaty are on future Union competence in relation to key Irish assurances. The Decision does not change the Lisbon treaty, as it stands, and it imposes such a restriction on the European Court of Justice in the future without proper treaty ratification now.

94. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 states that the future Protocol “will clarify but not change either the content or the application of the treaty of Lisbon” , but the Lisbon treaty is not yet in force and if the treaty of Lisbon does comes into force, the European Court of Justice would be free to interpret the Irish Decision in the opposite sense – for example, it would insist that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights can affect the articles relating to the right to life, the rights of the family and rights in respect of education set out in the Irish Constitution. A Protocol, even if it is to be attached to some future treaty, indicates that a substantive treaty change is intended (in contrast to say a Declaration, which does not). This dishonesty must be met with a No vote.

95. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 is not a real or legal assurance as the European Court of Justice will rule over the terms of this Decision, that the treaty makes no changes on taxation, for example, unless the member states have agreed to that by a normal treaty ratification process. The Irish Decision is a substantive treaty change requiring re-ratification of the Lisbon treaty.

96. The Irish Decision of the European Council on 19 June 2009 falsely claims to be in Ireland ’s interest by limiting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in relation to specific aspects of the Lisbon treaty, even though the Court is the only legal body competent to decide on the interpretation and application of the Treaties. The Irish people have been deceived on this and should vote No on the basis of this disturbing but substantial confusion.

97. Despite Ireland ’s economic turmoil, the Irish people will be subject to changes and notable increases in direct and indirect taxation, even though false assurances have been made to the contrary. Under Lisbon , Article 311 TFEU would allow the EU to impose its own taxes by unanimous agreement. Article 113 TFEU requires harmonisation of legislation on indirect taxation for a new purpose, “to avoid distortion of competition”, and would enable the European Court of Justice to rule on tax matters accordingly. Any assurances made by the Irish Government on taxation are false and have no legal effect.

98. The Irish Government will be limited in its power over tax measures in difficult economic times because of Lisbon . The treaty asserts, under Protocol No 27 (On the Internal Market and Competition), that the EU could vote down national tax measures if they can be regarded as c au sing distortion of competition on the internal market.

99. Ireland needs obvious constitutional safeguards from Lisbon and cannot sign up until it has achieved them. For example, on 30 June, the German Constitutional Court in judging concerns over the Lisbon treaty has forbidden the German President from signing the treaty until the German Parliament adopted a law which would safeguard the involvement of their Parliament in future EU decision-making. Other EU countries have sought constitutional safeguards. Should Ireland not also reject Lisbon until it can insist upon the protection of its own Parliament, the voice of the Irish people?

100. Democracy.


Pro-Lisbon Factions Get Desperate


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