The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Use to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


Quick Takes 7: RICO abuse against activists; Regulating AirBnB & Early Climate Change Flooding


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – September 10, 2023


  1. Curt Kastens

    Just watching a discussion on the Duran with John Mearsheimer, Alexander Mercouris, and Glenn Diesen a Swedish Proffessor. I wonder whether these people are self censoring themselves.
    They note the complete collapse of trust that the Russians now have in anything that the western leaders say due to their failure to live up to past promises. Yet they fail to fully draw this collapse of trust to its logical conclusion.
    The logical conclusion is that a negotiated settlement is not possible no matter how bad either side would like to have one. And I think that there is another factor that plays in to the mix as well. China has to know that it is next in the firing line if there is some sort of ceasefire in the Ukraine. Certianly the Chinese will, at least behind the scenes, be trying to keep the war going.
    Clearly the end game can not be a negotiated peace. Possible end games include, the collapse of the current Russian government, or a Russian victory. It would not be enough for the Russians to claim victory if the completely occupy the Ukraine. No, they would have keep fighting until NATO is disbanded, all US military forces leave Europe, Saarland, Alsace, and Lorraine get turned in to a unifiyed Russian Oblast. England gets turned in to a Russian Oblast. And Rammstein Airbase gets turned in to an Iranian Airbase. Ok neither of these outcomes is likely in the next few years.
    Then there is the possibility that the war ends in a global thermonuclear war when one side thinks that the other side is going to win a decisive victory and the side that is losing still has the capability to launch a nuclear revenge, which by that time may not exist.
    Then there is the possiblity that the war just peters out due to the collapse of industrial civilization world wide due to food shortages caused by crop failures which leads to the collapse of world wide supply chains because workers no longer show up for work. Which makes feeding a large army no longer possible.

    I wonder how many people world wide are lulled to sleep by the thought. If the world’s strongest countries are engaged in waging a war there must still be a possible future worth fighting for. Such people are clearly not very well informed. Is there anything at all worth fightig for at this point? The answer to that question may depend on the age and position of the person that is answering the question.

  2. Curt Kastens

    Another thing that gets totally fallsley reported in western media is the chance that the Ukrainian Offensive of 2023 had at success.
    Many military pundits reported in the past that it would succeed. Some military pundits still claim that it will succeed.
    Yet any person over 22 years of age who is now in any western military or who has ever served in a western military had to know far in advance that the Ukrainians did not stand a chance in hell of succeeding.
    The Ukrainians did not have air supiriorty, nor an advtage in artillery, nor an over all large advantage in numbes. The Ukrainian attack was going to be launched against well prepared defensives that everyone important HAD to know about in advance.
    It is possible to the Ukrainians to gain a local supremecy in numbers by reducing their numbers in other areas. But that has risks of its own as it obviously invites counter attacks in those areas. Both sides should have enough ariel intellegence assets to make it difficult to gain strategic suprise.
    All of this makes me wonder if the average Ukrainian has a lick of sense. These facts alone should be enough to make it clear to all Ukrainians that it is the western leaders that are their diabolical enemies, not Putin or the Russian leadership. It is totally false that Ukrainians were singled out fordeath back in USSR times because they were Ukrainians. But say just for the sake of arguement that such a thing was true. Big deal that was decades ago. It is not the Russians but the western leaders that have been pressuring the Ukrainians to launch an offensive at very high costs with little chance of success. Sending off Ukrainians to die for western corporations is not something that happened decades ago. It is happening today.
    I myself have reached a point that I will be delighted to hear air raid sirens going off here in Germany because the Russians are bombing airfields and munitions and weapons factories here in Germany. Because the German government and those people who continue to support that government have betrayed the spirit of Colonel Stauffenberg who is the spiritual mother of authentic Germans.

  3. StewartM

    Given the topic of how the US “can’t do real things anymore”…

    Littoral combat ships were supposed to launch the Navy into the future. Instead they broke down across the globe and many of their weapons never worked. Now the Navy is getting rid of them. One is less than five years old.

    This, children, is what happens when you put the capitalist class in-charge of companies, and take decision-power away from the engineers and technical people.

  4. GlassHammer

    “take decision-power away from the engineers and technical people.”

    That ship had an army of engineers on the contractor side building and on the Government side assessing the final product. Lack of technical expertise did not doom that project, rushed decisions and unreasonable goals did most of the damage.

    The truth is most great leap forward projects often end up just like this ship, it just a huge gamble that the interoperability of various systems works out and meets spec.

    If you want the DOD to have fewer projects like this one then you want them to engage in iterative design more than they do.

  5. Bill H.

    Boeing is another.

  6. bruce wilder

    Re: Ukraine – I have written before that I follow the War of the Narratives with bewilderment.

    The reporting in western media is generally not reliable and even the most basic facts are unreported or misreported. In a war of attrition, accurate numbers cannot be attached to casualties, equipment losses or stocks. Relative tactical strength in the field is not assessed objectively as all observers and reporters are committed Russophiles or part of the Western Wurlitzer.

    The conflict from 2014 was a European-wide struggle with the Mintz accords never implemented and the sanctions war against Nordstream II, but that aspect of the game became clearer in 2022 with more drastic sanctions, bans on Russian culture and travel, and the destruction of Nordstream II. It is becoming a world war of sorts, with new fronts open in West Africa, resonance building in the U.S. trade war with China and conflict over Taiwan and the South China Sea.

    Back in the Donbass and Crimea and the Black Sea approaches to Odessa and the Danube — not to mention Armenia, Iran and Azerbaijan — it is more difficult to discern a path for either Ukraine or Russia to “win” and force a settlement by force of arms.

    Russia’s cheerleaders look for Putin to reveal superior Russian tactical power in a sudden counter-counter-offensive drawing big red arrows of maneuver across the map of Ukraine as Ukraine military power collapses in exhaustion. In skepticism, I note Russia never managed to evict Ukraine from their positions outside Donetsk City.

    On another level of analysis, I have no source of insight into the political dynamics behind the infamous Wagner mutiny or the assassinations of Wagner’s leadership. Was there a dispute over military strategy with Putin? Surovikin has resurfaced, for what that is worth.

    What has Russia’s military strategy been exactly? For a while they were destroying selected parts of the electrical grid, but not much is heard of that now. For an even longer time they have been eroding AD. They built the defensive belts that have proven Ukraine lacks the punch to accomplish much of anything. Ukraine continues to be able to take pot shots at Kerch and Russian ships and occasionally Moscow buildings.

    But, what’s the desired endpoint? Regime change in Kiev? In Berlin? Which is more likely? In Moscow? In Washington?

  7. Willy

    I worked for a famous weaponsmaker once. There were logical reasons why that company had grown so mighty. But it was nothing like I’d seen in their nationwide ads. Inside, it was a total power dynamics clusterfuck where only the most cunning players and familial relations could get rewarded for anything. Sure, you could always invent a better widget there. But if you weren’t inside with those gaming the system, you’d only increased your odds of finding yourself out on the street. Because you’d just threatened one of them by doing your job.

    It wasn’t hard for me to imagine that every large, complicated human system starts out well enough, with lots of ambitious moxie types, creative problem-solvers, and hardworking believers all over the place all doing their things and being rewarded for it. But over time, and quite sadly, the system increasingly degrades because of basic human corruption reasons to where all the wrong people are getting rewarded and our former heroes just wind up going through the motions to get by another day.

    And so the system in question needs to be destroyed and rebuilt. A reboot, so to speak.

    Hopefully the reboot doesn’t involve something like a bunch of Goths just walking into Rome while the citizenry watches, while a few exasperated elders recall tales of powerful Carthaginian armies roaming the countryside for years unable to penetrate Rome, and wondering why they can’t motivate the ambitious moxie types, creative problem-solvers, and hardworking believers to just do something and get all those black-lipstick weirdoes out of their city.

    Right about now, I’m wondering how the engineers and technical people could’ve kept the capitalist class cronies from completely fucking up their way of life.

  8. Keith in Modesto

    Curt Kastens notes that “a negotiated settlement [to the war between NATO and Russia in the Ukraine] is not possible no matter how bad either side would like to have one,” because of “the complete collapse of trust that the Russians now have in anything that the western leaders say”. He then speculates on possible ways this war could play out to a conclusion — all very interesting and I would love to hear a response from Ian.

    StewartM then links to an article about the colossal failure of the US Navy’s hugely expensive ($100 billion +) littoral combat ship (LCS) program. This ProPublica article has “key takeaways” bullet points right at the top for those of us with little time — very good.

    Having read these comments, I’m led to wonder, surely the governments of Russia and China (and everyone else) must be able to read that ProPublica article and have the resources and knowhow to evaluate it (and other sources)? Surely, they know not just about this LCS program, but the F35 program and other programs that have proven hugely expensive and militarily worthless?

    So, Russia and China must know that the US is a “paper tiger” and probably will just get more “papery” over time. Won’t this also make negotiating more difficult? Why not just wait for the US to get even weaker? Of course, there’s still the wrinkle of the US nuclear arsenal and the danger of a desperate US government resorting to using “tactical nukes” in the battlefield.

    I guess this is why the Doomsday Clock is 90 seconds till midnight.

    I would love to hear Ian’s and other’s thoughts on this.

  9. Chuck Mire

    Refugees, by Brian Bilston

    They have no need of our help
    So do not tell me
    These haggard faces could belong to you or me
    Should life have dealt a different hand
    We need to see them for who they really are
    Chancers and scroungers
    Layabouts and loungers
    With bombs up their sleeves
    Cut-throats and thieves
    They are not
    Welcome here
    We should make them
    Go back to where they came from
    They cannot
    Share our food
    Share our homes
    Share our countries
    Instead let us
    Build a wall to keep them out
    It is not okay to say
    These are people just like us
    A place should only belong to those who are born there
    Do not be so stupid to think that
    The world can be looked at another way

    (now read from bottom to top)

  10. Curt Kastens

    I never bothered to look this up before now. 65% of Russia is permafrost. With the permafrost melting all of the infrastructure built on the permafrost is going to be stressed if not endangered. I imagine that the western leaders have considered that when they chose to go to war with Russia. I can also imagine that these leaders view the immediate problems that a melting permafrost will cause Russia will help the west “win” it war against Russia before the melting permafrost causes humanity to lose its struggle for survival.
    One thing should be certain to everyone. What pundits on many subjects say publically is most likely not at all what they are thinking or saying privately. As I mentioned on an earlier Open Thread, some climatologists have been saying this summer that they have been totally surprised by the fast pace of warming over the past few months. After all the July and August were 1.5° above the 1850 to the 1900 average, which is (deliberately incorrectly) used as the preindustrial average. The previous records from several years ago were only 1.2° of the 1850 to 1900 level.
    But many people who are not climatologists who take part on web sites that I have read over the years have not been at all surprised by these recent climate events.
    So, how could the experts have really been surprised. Are these people really incompetent or were they censoring their public statements?
    Fake economic analysis has been circulated through out the world for decades. Fake medical information, epecially nutritional information has been diseminated for decades. It is easy to prove that this is so because there have been so many contridictory statements in these fields. One persons expert must be another persons fool.
    It is hard to tell who is a dupe and who is a willing executioner of false narratives. But it should be as obvious as hell that any military person making a public statement can not be trusted any more than a banker making an economic statement can.
    This brings back to the war in the Ukraine. Those military pundits cheer leading for an Ukrainian offensive had to know that they were lying.
    That should, but I doubt that it will, force some people to ask, what then was the real motive for the US (western) leadership for pressuring the Ukraine to take the offensive?
    Before someone trys to answer that I think that it is best to establish a bit of background. Do not provide an answer that has anything at all to do with US election cycles. The military leadership of the west clearly does not work for the political leadership. It is clearly the inverse. If the military worked for the politicians it would not have been possible to have a more than 30 year consistent western policy of antagonism towards Russia after the fall of the USSR that was pursued through multiple democratic AND Republican administrations in the US and many different political groupings in power in Europe.
    Ok now back to the more immediate question, why pressure the Ukrainians to go on the offensive?? Western MSM outlets have reported that over 2,000 Russian tanks have been destroyed in this war. They report this number to show Ukrainian success. But an unspoken implication of these reports is that the Russians had 2,000 tanks to lose. Against this Russian tank force the west dolled out a handful of Chieftain tanks and few dozen Leopard tanks to the Ukrainians. The west claimed that they gave the Ukrainians lots of tanks by adding in the French “Tanks”. But these so called tanks were really only moving metal coffins.
    It was absurd to think that the west was giving the Ukraine enough of what it needed to succeed. But the western party line was that the Ukrainians were getting a good deal. They trade their blood for the use of our old equipment.
    The one reason that I can think of for why this lie was so widely perpetraited is the same one that I came up with for the US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is to keep the Ukrainian men of military age to busy to ask the questions that they need to ask themselves to figure out who they are in reality being screwed by. Men who are sitting in a bunker waiting for an attack have more time to ask questions than those advancing towards other men in trenches.
    Military Historians know now that the militaries of both Germany and France had been planning to go to war against each other for decades before it finally happened. Likewise we can rest assured that the western military leadership was planning on dismembering Russia from the first day that the USSR fell. We can also rest assured that the Russian leadership figured this out by 1997 or 1998 at the latest. It seems to me now that plan A for the west was to cause an embarresment to who ever the Russian leader may be when the west decided that the time had come to begin the dismemberment process that would cause a crisis in confidence leading to collapse of the Russian leadership due to the loss of support of the Russian society. The west wants the Russian people to believe that their leadership is so incompetent that the average Russian would be better off as member of a western colonized Russia than under the leadership of their own native rulers. Well Plan A did not go as expected for the west.
    I think plan A for the Russians was something along the lines of once the war starts and there is actually a danger of the war getting out of hand reasonable people in the west will understand the danger that their fellow countrymen pose to the world and these reasonable people will remove the western shitheads from power one way or another. Plan A did not work out for the Russians either. They clearly overestimated the quantity or quality of of reasonable people in western societies.
    This war certainly adds to the speed of climate change with jets flying to and fro all over the planet. But it is not as if the world’s leadership ever had the slightest intention of doing anything about climate change in the first place. After all we in the west have not taken even to most simplest measures to tackle the problem. We do not even turn our city street lights off at night time. Our entire western narrative about who we are and what we are trying to do is a pathetic fake.
    A specific instance of this pathetic fake is that General Milley is reported to have said last fall that it was now the time to strike a deal with the Russians. That is part of a pattern that the west has been pulling for decades. Trying to portray the top military leadership as being reasonable but because they are loyal to the political leadership they do the job that the politcal leadership assigns to them, even though they do not want to. That is a pure crock of shit. It was no doubt General Milley, of the JCS, who sent Boris Johnson to Istanbul in 2022 to sabotage the agreement that the Elenksy and Putin almost came to which would have brought an end to the war.

  11. Curt Kastens

    Planet Pompei Courier
    What is the western plan B?
    I take it for granted that the west will want to keep the war going. But that is not a plan that is a strategic part of a plan. My guess is that the western leaders know that everyone is going to be damaged by climate change in the comming 10 years but that the west will be damaged less than Russia and China are. (As well as Africa) As a result of this expectation I expect that plan B is mostly just to wait for the weather to win the war for the western corporations. I think that it is likely that the west will get directly involved if the Russians seem to be decisively liberating the Ukraine. Though that may depend upon how much public support for Ukraine has evaporated by then. Of course if the Russians continue to try to weaken the NATO power structure after such an unlikely event as a decisive Russian victory NATO will have no choice but to get militarily involved.
    On the other hand Russia’s Plan B does not look to me to be very strong at this point.
    The Russian’s apparent lack of ability to change the map on the ground seems to me to also be grounded in a waiting game. What are the Russians waiting for? Could it be an American Civil War? Such a hope is a pipe dream. There will not be an American Civil War. And if I am wrong about that it will not last more than a week. And not only that it will be a civil war between Arch conservatives/Libertarains on one side and facists on the other. No matter which side wins the desire of western leaders to colonize Russia will not abate. Russia is much much closer for them than the Moon or Mars.
    So things do not look good for Russia, China, and Iran. All this talk about BRICS exansion does not seem all that important to me. These are for the most part very unstable countries that do not even like each other. It will be very difficult to get them ot act in any kind of unifyed manner. Furthermore These countries can not even project power inside of their own borders.
    If I were in Putin’s shoes I would try to widen the war very quickly by launching a massive conventional airstrike on western Europe, even the United States, if that were possible. That might create enough shock an awe in western societies to cause the shitheads to start to lose thier grip on power in some places. If it were technically possible and I was Putin I would launch an attack against the United States that would attempt to take down every bridge across the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri Rivers. But since I do not think that is tecnnically possible Putin would have to be satisfied with a large attack against European military airfields, weapons factories and weapon storage sites.
    Why should the west get to launch attacks on Russia and not be subject to be on the recieving side of any attacks against them? Time is not on Russia’s side. If the Russian leadership waits to long the west will achieve a bloodless victory. Russia can at least make them pay by widening the war. That means that my family and I will suffer as well. But being chained at the waist to the shitheads, in a manner of speaking, I do not have a choice in the matter. I would much rather sink the ship that I and my family are on rather than let it continue to let this ship launch assaults against the world. Besides climate change will sink everyone’s ships of state soon enough anyways.

  12. Z

    Lots of sudden visits to Ukraine by Western leaders: Blinken, Johnson, and Baerbock. Why? IMO, it’s because they are transporting long range missiles, that the Lead Stiff of Weekend at Biden’s apparently is on the brink of approving the use of (which means him/was already has had his strings pulled to do so), on the trains that they are coming in on. These visits are cleared with the Russians so that there are no accidental killing of Western politicians in the course of the war and they are taking full advantage of it.

    Also, the U.S. is going to have some joint military exercises with Ukraine in the Black Sea this week, starting today. Then there is also a lot of talk about Musk refusing to allow Ukraine to use his Starlink systems to bomb Russians naval vessels in Crimea. There has also been repeated, supposedly quixotic, attempts by Ukraine to invade Crimea with small groups from the sea, which I don’t believe. I think they are trying to establish some sort of technology in that area to create a network in which they can accurately aim missiles at the Crimea. I see no reason why small groups of Ukrainian military personnel would be approaching Crimea from the sea when I’d imagine that they have plenty of spies in Crimea to do their dirty work of terrorism.

    So, it’s looking to me like, and this is what the folks at Duran are saying and it makes sense, that the West is looking for a way to force a freeze of the conflict. The hypocrites in the U.S., which is always eager to use starvation as one of its favorite weapons administered via sanctions, are also making noise about food shortages due to Russian refusal to participate in the Black Sea grain deal any longer.

    Expect the Ukraine, through their bosses in the U.S., to try to take out Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Crimea to try to force a frozen conflict so that Russia can’t take Odessa and ruin Larry’s (Who Elected This Fink?) deal he made buying up Ukrainian farmland through Larry’s and Stanley’s Asset Inflation Factory Blackrock by Russia seizing “Ukraine’s” ports as their own and isolate Ukraine as a rump state.

    So, we are entering a very dangerous period here. The U.S., through I Ain’t Blinken, Cookie Monster Nuland, and the Lead Stiff’s puppeteers like Zients and Sweet Auntie Anita Dunn, only know how to escalate and apparently feel so isolated from any consequences that they are quite willing, anxious even, to push the world to the brink of nuclear war in order to continue to get their way and bully control of the world through the U.S. military and the U.S.’s paper dollar games. These always escalating pieces of trash are about to dial things up to 9.5 and dare the Russians to respond.

    Well, grab your cornpops and watch, folks! It has the potential to be the last show you’ll ever see.


  13. bruce wilder

    I had some connections with naval shipbuilding forty years ago and it was dysfunctional then. Maybe the degree of dysfunction has increased, maybe just continued unimpeded.

    I remember an admiral who wanted a real wood burning fireplace on his flagship.

    I remember a ship with diesel engines that got a ten-ton turning gear so sailors could turn and drain non-existent steam turbines.

  14. Curt Kastens

    According to the link below, which is unfortunately in German on the 28th of Feb. (2022 not 2023 I presume) retired US General Kieth Kellog said in the US Congress to the US Representives, the elimination of a strategic US advisary with out the use of US troops is the peak of proffesionalism.

    Yet this German Uboater still has to go out of his way to say that Putin launched an unjust illegal war against the Ukraine.

  15. Curt Kastens

    Ok I forgot to include the link. Here it is. The Generals statement is reported at 10 minutes and 49 seconds in to the video.

  16. Curt Kastens

    I was tempeted to link to a Garland Nixon video about there being no off ramp for the conflict in Ukraine. Garland just devestates the position that the west is defending any kind of principle at all in the Ukrainian conflict other that the principle of what is mine and what is yours is mine too.
    But instead I will link to an ABC video about CIA hush money related to the Corolla Pandemic. I certianly to not assume that this ABC video is a truthful report on facts.
    Just was intellegent people did not need to Symour Hirsch to tell them that it was that US that was behind the Nordstream Pipeline bombings, we do not need ABC or NPR to tell us that the outbreak of the Pandemic was not a natural climate change occurance.
    This virus was beyond any shadow of a doubt deliberately released in to the human population.
    It might have been the Chinese leadership that was behind it. If it was I am sure that those thought that they had a good reason to do so. It might of also been the US MIC leadership that was behind it. If they did do it they no doubt thought that it benifited them.
    There have clearly been so many lies spread about this event that the public’s knowledge of the CONTEXT behind the story has not even scratched the surface.
    Because of this lack of transparency I am not an anti vaxxer. I take no position on vaccanations because the entire story has been so politicied I do not trust anyone’s so called data including those that try to convince people that the vaccanations are more dangerous than the desease.
    I am also not an anti masker. I take the position that wearing a mask is certianly not going to harm you. Unless you undertake an otherwise high risk activity thinking that a surgical mask or even a FPP-2 mask will keep you safe. Yet much of the time I can not say what a high risk activity is. Motorcycle riding while drunk seems to be the easiest choice.

  17. Curt Kastens

    It seems that a person would have to go back all the way to 1972 to find a (Democratic) canidate more qualified to be President of the United States than RFK Jr.
    But is he the real deal? After all if the President of the US does not actually control the MIC but works for the MIC what will he be able to do. I have to wonder, if the Pres, works for the MIC, and the leadership of the two major parties are covert assets of the MIC what are the chances that RFK is acutally going to attempt to bring the MIC back under the control of sane unwarped leadership?
    For transparency’s sake, I did not think that Donald Trump would have a prayer in hell of getting elected President. But just because he did does not mean that he was independent of the MIC. In fact when one looks back on his 4 years in office there is no reason at all to think that he was anything at all other than a MIC puppet.
    No longer being a resident of the US I can not vote in the US elections. But I have seen no reason to vote since 1992 anyways. But if I were still elegible to vote this is the first time that I would actually go out and support someone since then. But if RFK Jr. does manage to win I will not be holding my breath until he brings change that I can believe in. The risk of suffocation would be much to high. Not to mention that even if he has the best of intentions the cards in the deck have all been stacked against him by past human decisions which really do give him the opportunity to do much more than arrainge the deck chairs before the ship of state sinks.

  18. Curt Kastens

    If I were Putin’s advisor he would be getting a really good deal. My costs to the Ruzzian Treasury would be far far less than what ever the costs of his advisors are now.
    On top of that if I had access to the streams of information that flow in to the Russian Intel Services I could probably give better advice as well.
    One thing that I would tell Putin if I had the chance is, the goals for the special military liberation that you announced in Feb. of 2022 have been superceded by events on the ground.
    Russia needs to employ its military to achieve a new set of Goals.
    Those goals would be:
    1. The end of NATO
    2. The arrest and trials of the leadership of all NATO and EU member countries, including military personnel above the rank of Colonel, to include retired military personnel, for support of a terrorist enterprise.
    3. The appointment of reasonable people, such as myself, to supervise all media outlets, public and private, in Europe, for the purpose of denazifing the population, which means to start telling the truth to the european population.
    4. Creating a Rule, no it would not be a treaty, a treaty is an agreement between equal partners, that would state exactly how large of a military each country in Europe is allowed to have.
    The current leadership in Europe has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that it has no interest what so ever in working for the general welfare of the European People. Like in the United States they are a continuing criminal enterprise that accuses their opponents of being thugs in the same way that con men often pretend to be very religous.
    Like what happened to Syria and Iraq after WW 1 the nations of the EU and NATO need to be placed under a trusteeship to guide their developement (OK in reality to steer the collapse that they will undergo due to abrupt climate change which will cause the collapse of global industrial civilization. But I can not admit that publically.) until these nations are prepared to reenter to global society of civilized nations.
    The members of the Board of Trustees will be named by myself, the President of Cuba,
    and Julian Assange. It would be a conflict of interest for any European to name a person to the European Board of Trustees.

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