Some 1500 delegates from the Alternative for Germany Party (AfD) met in Berlin on Sunday to officially launch the organization, openly calling for “orderly dissolution of the euro.” AfD also asks for the return of some sovereignty from the EU to the member states, as well as the introduction of Swiss-style referendums at the federal level. Created by economists and professors dissatisfied with the euro, its members number 7,500 supporters. The party aims to debut in September’s general elections. The party is optimistic about the upcoming elections, “a double digit result is realistic”, party spokesman, Bernd Lucke told the Bild newspaper.“We are an alternative to the euro policies of Mrs. Merkel,” AfD deputy spokeswoman Frauke Petry said last month. “We have the potential to become a major party.”Germany’s established parties have criticized AfD’s platform as populist.“They are advocating something that I consider to be unfounded, dangerous and illusionary,” because this would mean “a return to a traditional-style nation-state” that will hurt Berlin’s export-dependent economy, Jürgen Trittin from the Green Party told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.“The Alternative for Germany has a program for destroying jobs in the German export industry,” Trittin added.The political establishment is also worried that the new anti-euro party will attract voters frustrated by German support for a number of bailouts for debt-ridden eurozone members.All political parties in Germany must receive five percent of the national vote in order to qualify for representation in the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag. …
Salman Rushdie is a man at liberty.The fatwa placed on him by Iran long since having been lifted, the novelist is trying new things, from last year’s memoir “Joseph Anton” to the upcoming film adaptation of “Midnight’s Children,” his Booker Prize-winning novel. Rushdie wrote the script for “Midnight’s Children” along with director Deepa Mehta, and also narrates the film, which is to be released May 3. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t still causing controversy.The fallout from “The Satanic Verses,” which brought the ire of Iran, led to a shooting delay that could have jeopardized the entire film.”Midnight’s Children” isn’t even about Iran — it takes on the story of India’s history, from the moment of independence to the Partition between India and Pakistan — an element that Rushdie claims is the book’s greatest legacy, educating Indian Hindus and Pakistani Muslims about one another.The novel is a massive tome — and it was clearly difficult to winnow down into a film that runs 146 minutes. Rushdie, for decades a literary gadfly, says he was inspired by friends like Kazuo Ishiguro and Gunter Grass. Below, he discusses his influences, whether he’d write about Kashmir, and how the Sri Lankan president saved his film.Continue Reading… …
The Oregon Education Association wants state legislators to
remove the notice on ballot envelopes warning voters of a potential
property tax hike in upcoming elections.
Union officials say the warning, which the law now requires to
be “boldly printed in red,” unfairly singles out property tax
measures and is not needed because the ballots themselves contain
clear information about proposed tax hikes.
That’s a pretty picayune concern for a teachers union, with no
obvious connection to its stated purposes, wouldn’t you say?
Whether or not one thinks it necessary to have that warning,
which was passed by state voters via Measure 50 in 1997. Why might
they care? Maybe so voters who don’t like increased taxes and thus
might not like other political concerns of teachers unions are less
likely to bother to vote?
“They do not want voters to know there is a tax vote on the
ballot because they know if they open it up and look at it, they’re
more likely to vote no,” said conservative tax activist Bill
Sizemore, who wrote the initiative for the tax warning back in the
Naah, says the union. We’re just sayin’ that the ballot doesn’t
need to be just sayin’, you know?
[Union spokeswoman Becca] Uherbelau said the teachers union is
not trying to depress turnout.
“Our history has shown that we have done a lot to increase voter
participation,” she said, noting that the union has frequently
spent money encouraging people to vote in local school levy and
Yes, teachers unions love people to get its people to vote the
way it wants them to vote. ;
Walter Olson. …
Sen. Rand Paul Filibusters, Chicago Cops SWAT the Wrong Place, Venezuela’s Military Digs Hugo’s Chosen Successor: P.M. Links
Sen. Rand Paul is
filibustering the vote on John Brennan’s confirmation as CIA
chief in an attempt to extract explanations from the Obama
administration about its justification for assassinating accused
terrorists outside and inside the United States. And Reason 24/7
Rather than see the European Union’s preferred reforms spurned,
Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Monti
threatens to hold out for another election. Well, that should
Chicago police face a lawsuit after
SWAT raided the wrong house and held grandparents and kids at
gunpoint. Yes, they killed the dog.
Colorado officials want to
collect DNA from people convicted of misdemeanors. Traffic
Venezuela’s Defense Ministry has
thrown its support to Hugo Chavez’s designated successor in the
upcoming election. Not surprisingly, the country’s military isn’t
really supposed to do that. Good luck, folks!
While he was in office, Anne Arundel County, Maryland,
Executive John Leopold maintained a
secret system of 500 surveillance cameras located in county
government buildings. His successor is removing them, which seems
like a nice idea.
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Woody Harrelson gave “Hunger Games” fans something to get excited over, when he revealed that the visuals for the upcoming film “Catching Fire” are simply “staggering.”
Harrelson, who plays Haymitch Abernathy in the series, sat down with MTV News to talk about the big-screen adaptation of “Catching Fire,” the second book in the Suzanne Collins trilogy. When discussing what viewers can expect, Harrelson hinted at some amazing visuals.
“It’s almost impossible to describe, it’s so unusual,” he told MTV of the “staggering” cinematography to come. “Even ice in the glass, even the glasses are not normal glasses. There’s nothing that you’ve seen before. It’s real original, artistic vision. I think people are going to like it.”
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