Putin’s Fake-News Websites Use Homophobia to Help Le Pen in French Election

Andrew Rettman of the EU Observer writes:

RT Francais, a Kremlin-funded news agency, reported on Friday that Russia could help Le Pen to defend French people against terrorists and migrants.

A pro-Kremlin French-language website, called CrossCheck, also endorsed her anti-immigrant rhetoric by publishing a fake story in February that a north African man had attacked a French priest and that French media had hushed it up.

Other French-language Russian media sources have spread unsubstantiated claims that Le Pen’s pro-EU rival, Emmanuel Macron, had had a gay love affair and that he was controlled either by US banks or by Saudi Arabia.

The EU’s 60th Anniversary

Koolhaas170325
Fictional flag invented by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas in 2002. Never adopted as an official symbol. Was, however, used as a logo of the Austrian EU presidency in 2006.

On this day in 1957, the EU’s six founding countries signed the Treaty of Rome, the beginning of the greatest project for peace and the free market Europe has ever seen. The treaty is now officially celebrated as the birth of the European Union. To mark the anniversary, EU leaders today signed a declaration pledging to work towards:

  1. A safe and secure Europe,
  2. A prosperous and sustainable Europe,
  3. A social Europe, and
  4. A stronger Europe on the global scene.

Peak in Oil Demand

“For some time, there has been speculation about when global oil demand may peak—not because we will run out of oil or prices will spike making oil unaffordable, notions that are now considered passé—but because we won’t be needing as much of the stuff as we thought we would,” Fereidoon Sionshansi of Energy Post reports. “And once the peak is finally reached—whenever that is—demand will begin to drop thereafter, perhaps precipitously.”

I’m an optimist. I think the problem with fossil fuel will solve itself as new technology becomes more efficient. In a near future, no one wants a car running on dirty fuel that makes the air unbreathable.

Hume’s Case for Dialogue

I’m a big fan of dialogue. Much of my favourite literature is written either as plays meant for the stage or as discussions meant for philosophical reflection—or both. (A great, modern example of a combination of the two is Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.) And the Talmudic tradition—a dialogue spanning many generations—is what I like the most about Judaism. But why is dialouge so effectful in some philospical reasoning? Well, in the opening chapter of David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, I found this possible answer:

There are some subjects, however, to which dialogue-writing is peculiarly adapted, and where it is still preferable to the direct and simple method of composition.

Any point of doctrine, which is so obvious that it scarcely admits of dispute, but at the same time so important that it cannot be too often inculcated, seems to require some such method of handling it; where the novelty of the manner may compensate the triteness of the subject; where the vivacity of conversation may enforce the precept; and where the variety of lights, presented by various personages and characters, may appear neither tedious nor redundant.

Any question of philosophy, on the other hand, which is so obscure and uncertain, that human reason can reach no fixed determination with regard to it; if it should be treated at all, seems to lead us naturally into the style of dialogue and conversation. Reasonable men may be allowed to differ, where no one can reasonably be positive. Opposite sentiments, even without any decision, afford an agreeable amusement; and if the subject be curious and interesting, the book carries us, in a manner, into company; and unites the two greatest and purest pleasures of human life, study and society.