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Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Europe Has Lost The Energy War

Posted by M. C. on August 2, 2022

Is Russia weaponising the flow of gas in its tug of war with Europe? Of course it is. But Europeans started this game.

Tyler Durden's Photo

BY TYLER DURDEN

Authored by Thomas Fazi via UnHerd.com,

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/europe-has-lost-energy-war

After a decade of financial austerity, is Europe now on the brink of a new age of energy austerity? The city of Hanover has recently introduced strict energy-saving rules that include cutting off the hot water in public buildings, swimming pools, sports halls and gyms, banning mobile air conditioners, fan heaters or radiators, switching off public fountains, and stopping illuminating major buildings such as the town hall at night.

Meanwhile, several countries across Europe are considering dimming or switching off public lights, and even adopting “energy curfews”with early closures for businesses and public offices. And more drastic measures are under consideration — including gas rationing for energy-intensive industries such as steel and agriculture.

These measures are part of an EU-wide Gas Demand Reduction Plan, ominously titled Save Gas for a Safe Winter, to reduce gas use in Europe by 15% until next spring. Among the proposals is a provision that officials in Brussels impose fines for non-compliance if they decide the crisis is escalating dangerously.

All of this comes amid growing fears that dwindling Russian gas supplies may plunge Europe into an energy crisis this winter. Overall, Russian gas exports to the EU are at about a third of last year’s levels, falling steadily since the invasion of Ukraine. While several European countries have been reducing their Russian gas imports, Russia itself has been reducing gas flows to Europe through Nord Stream 1, the continent’s biggest pipeline, citing mainly technical issues. Just the other day, citing equipment repair, Russia announced yet another reduction in the amount of natural gas flowing through Nord Stream 1, which is now operating at only 20% capacity.

This has caused natural gas spot prices to surge to levels not seen since early March; they are now almost 10 times higher than they were two years ago. In most countries, electricity prices have risen accordingly. Soaring energy prices are already fuelling record inflation — currently close to 9% and rising in the EU — squeezing people’s spending power, plunging thousands into poverty, and placing a huge burden on industry.

This is especially true for Germany, which is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas imports. Indeed, the country’s industrial production has been contracting for over three months. Astonishingly, 16% of industrial German companies have reduced production or partially stopped their activities due to rising energy prices. This helps explain why last month Germany became the first country to escalate its warning over gas supplies to the “alert level”.

The combined effect of rising prices, lagging demand (both internally and abroad, as China goes back into lockdown) and falling production and investment is already causing economic growth on the continent to grind to a halt. While institutions such as the European Commission and the IMF, despite significant downward revisions, still predict real GDP in the EU to be around 2.5% this year, several analysts consider even these far-from-rosy predictions to be overly optimistic. Carsten Brzeski, Chief Eurozone Economist at ING bank, for example, foresees a recession at the end of the year as high prices sap purchasing power.

To make matters worse, the ECB’s recent decision to raise interest rates will do little or nothing to curb inflation caused by supply-side factors, but will almost certainly further depress economic activity, making it harder for states to mobilise resources needed to cushion the effects of the energy crisis. And as for the ECB’s recently launched Transmission Protection Instrument (TPI), aimed at helping countries in financial distress, it may only be activated for those countries judged to be “fiscally sustainable” (a questionable concept in itself), even though the current polycrisis is inevitably bound to put a strain on the public finances of European countries.

Furthermore, even though the EU has sensibly — for once! — proposed to keep the EU’s fiscal rules suspended for another year, several countries, led by Germany, have announced their intention to embrace austerity once again. “For Germany, it’s clear: we will not make use of the general escape clause,” said the German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, arguing that the priority now had to be fighting inflation. “We will return to the debt brake. We have to stop the addiction to ever more indebtedness.” For this, he added, “we have to get out of our expansionary fiscal policies, and out of the debts, so that the central bank has the space to fight inflation with its means”.

In other words, Germany seems intent on once again plunging the continent even deeper into recession through utterly self-defeating austerity, just as it did in the wake of the financial crisis. Europe is already heading for a stagflationary scenario — a situation where high inflation is associated with low or negative growth. Austerity would simply make a bad situation even worse.

If things are bad now, however, it goes without saying that a further decrease in Russian gas flows, which still account for 40% of the EU’s gas imports — not to mention a full stop — would have utterly catastrophic consequences, especially if that were to happen during the winter, when demand for gas it at its highest. Energy, after all, is literally the lifeblood of the economy. It’s what keeps our houses lit and warm (or cool), and our cars, industries, supermarkets and electronic gadgets running. Without it, civilisation literally comes to a halt.

This is why if Europe’s energy supplies are unable to meet demand, the consequences would be almost unimaginable:

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The Mandates Are Leaving Europe. Is Freedom Winning? –

Posted by M. C. on February 15, 2022

But the little choices we make everyday matter. Do we report heterodox-thinking friends, family, and coworkers the way DHS wants us to? Or do we support each other? Do we “just go with the flow,” or do we continue to speak out about infringements on our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Do we spend our time zoning out in front of a screen or learning skills that will help us become assets to our communities?  

https://www.theorganicprepper.com/mandates-leaving-europe/

Joanna Miller

Joy reigned in my house this past week as one child’s school lifted its mask mandates. At the same time, frustration ensued when another child was uninvited to an event due to her jab status. My little neck of the country can’t seem to decide if it’s going to ditch restrictions or double down. Situational awareness is vital to prepping, and yet it’s hard to tell what’s going on. 

Maybe if we look at which governments are taking what kind of measures around the world, we will see trends that can better inform us in the United States.  

What mandates do we see in Europe?

Many of the European countries have announced that they will move forward treating Covid as just another endemic disease. Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic have all started lifting Covid-related restrictions, such as limits on gatherings and requiring Covid Passes to enter certain venues. Italy, Finland, Ireland, France, and Lithuania are easing many requirements. 

Most of these countries plan to be as close to “normal” as possible by March. The United Kingdom has lifted work-from-home requirements, mandatory masking, and requiring Covid Passes to enter venues.

Let’s look at some of these countries a little more closely.

Denmark was the first country in the European Union to scrap restrictions. Denmark never tried to mandate the jab, though 78% of the population voluntarily received it. Their government officials have stated that they do not want to force their population to do anything because they do not want to lose the trust of the people. 

Considering that they are letting go of their restrictions, the Danish people’s trust seems well-placed.

On February 3, Sweden also announced that they were ending the use of their Covid Passes. Sweden had been notoriously (or inspiringly, depending on how you look at it) reluctant to shut down when the rest of the world did. How did the Swedes fare? Did they all die for their refusal to place their population on house arrest?

Well, as of February 5, 2022, the Swedes have approximately 1592 deaths per million due to Covid, while the Americans have approximately 2707 deaths per million. Yep, our lockdowns that destroyed small businesses everywhere were totally worth it. . .

And, like the Danes, the Swedes never mandated jabs, though their country achieved over 70% compliance voluntarily. Interestingly, Sweden has not recommended jabs for children. They simply decided the experimental jabs were not worth the risk to children. Like the Danish government, the Swedish government gives the impression that it is genuinely trying to do what’s best for its citizens.  

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom had the second-worst Covid-related death toll in Europe, surpassed only by Russia. Like the United States, the UK has its own influential pharmaceutical giant in its Wellcome Trust. Not surprisingly, the Brits were subjected to much of the same fear-mongering and almost comically overblown death projections we Americans have been. 

We’ve got Tony Fauci; they’ve got Neil Ferguson from the Imperial College, whose models in 2020 have been proven wrong by a factor of about ten. And yet, at the end of January, the Brits decided that Omicron had peaked and that they were ready to open up, too.

Are we seeing minor victories with the dropping of mandates?

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Back To The Unspeakable: Europe Locks Down ‘Unclean’ Unvaxxed

Posted by M. C. on November 18, 2021

Across Europe, from Germany to Italy, governments are placing millions under house arrest for the “crime” of not being “fully” vaccinated. While there is no public health justification for the move – we know from experts such as the CDC Director that the vaxxed continue to spread the virus – there is a distinct punitive intent. Those who do not follow the orders – as irrational as the orders – are to be denied basic human rights. Haven’t we seen this movie before?

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Russophobia Absurdity… As Russian Gas Rescues Europe’s Energy Crisis — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2021

Europe’s energy crisis and Russia’s readiness to alleviate vividly demonstrates a fundamental win-win partnership. That reality has become so obvious that objections to the relationship look increasingly irrational and ridiculous from their congenital Russophobia.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/10/08/russophobia-absurdity-as-russian-gas-rescues-europe-energy-crisis/

https://player.vimeo.com/video/628191705?h=21e18affda
Europe’s energy crisis and Russia’s readiness to alleviate vividly demonstrates a fundamental win-win partnership.

Russophobia and geopolitical cynicism know no bounds among certain Western politicians and media commentators. Thankfully, however, such a negative mindset is increasingly exposed for its ridiculous irrationality.

This week as Europe’s energy crisis broke new records in terms of soaring consumer prices, Russian President Vladimir Putin stepped in with a promise to increase exports of natural gas. The news had an immediate calming effect on Europe’s energy markets which saw prices whipsawing to lower levels.

Rather than simply greeting the development as a positive move, there were predictably sinister comments from some quarters. Russia was accused in Western media of “holding Europe hostage” over the continent’s energy crisis and using its vast supply of natural gas as a “geopolitical weapon”.

Jake Sullivan, the United States national security advisor to President Biden, told the BBC that Moscow was “exploiting” Europe’s energy crunch.

This is an overwrought, convoluted way of interpreting what is normal economic interplay of supply and demand. But the irrationality betrays an obdurate mindset of Russophobia that is untenable. If politicians and experts are so possessed of such foolish bigotry then their assessments on the subject and much else besides are hopelessly unreliable.

Europe’s current energy crisis and market turmoil have nothing to do with Russia as a primary factor. The pent-up demand after a year of economic quiescence due to the coronavirus pandemic, the low storage of natural gas by European countries due to government policies, the switch to renewable energy sources not being able to meet demand, and the approach of winter – have all compounded the overall supply of gas. This has, in turn, caused benchmark prices for the fuel and other forms of energy to skyrocket. Gas prices are up more than five-fold. What has that got to do with Russia? Nothing, at least in causality.

Russia is historically Europe’s biggest supplier of natural gas. It accounts for about 40 percent of the continent’s consumption. As President Putin pointed out this week, Russia’s state-owned Gazprom has met all its contractual deliveries of natural gas to Europe.

The allegation from some quarters that Russia is withholding gas supplies to Europe in order to exert political pressure on Europe is a baseless lie that stems from anti-Russia prejudice and propaganda.

The fact is Europe is faced with an energy crisis – partly of its own making – and Russia is able to alleviate it by increasing its already substantial supply of natural gas. What is there to complicate about a straightforward economic relation?

This week saw a technical step being completed for the opening of the new Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany and the rest of Europe. The new pipeline will greatly expand the existing flow of Russia gas to the European Union. German regulatory authorities are reviewing the new supply route and it may take a few months for delivery to become operational. The ball is in the EU’s court. If Europe wants more Russian gas that is its prerogative. How is that supposed to be Russia holding someone hostage? The slander is not only insulting, it is moronic.

Russia has proven to be a reliable supplier of energy to the rest of Europe over several decades, including during the former Cold War period when Western ideologues demonised the Soviet Union as an “evil empire”. Russia presently is ready to meet increased demand with a new supply route under the Baltic Sea while also honouring existing contracts for overland transit. The notion that Ukraine will lose out on transit fees is groundless as Moscow has repeatedly stated it will honour existing contracts with Ukraine up to 2024. Russia is not obligated to keep paying transit fees indefinitely if logistically more efficient supply routes are innovated. That is a reasonable exercise of Russia’s or any nation’s sovereign right.

The main obstacle to improving efficiency in energy trade between Russia and Europe is the negative political attitude of certain European politicians and successive American governments. Washington and its European surrogates have been playing anachronistic Cold War politics with a matter of vital interest for the whole of Europe. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline should have been completed over a year ago but was not only because of U.S. sanctions and the negative attitude of eastern European states. The irony is that the detrimental impact of Europe’s energy crisis on households and industries is attributable to the irrational objection by Washington and certain anti-Russian European states towards Russia as a natural strategic partner with Europe. Yet these culprits persist in their perversely pejorative mindset towards Russia, accusing the latter of wielding energy trade like a geopolitical weapon.

It is the United States that is cynically using Europe’s energy market as a geopolitical weapon with a view to selling its own expensive and environmentally dirty liquified natural gas. There is also a bigger ideological aspect to all this skulduggery. If Russia and Europe were permitted to develop their naturally mutual partnership in energy trade the consequence would undermine the contrived propaganda construct of Russia as a “threat” to European security. That construct is vital to maintain for the purpose of promoting the U.S.-led NATO military alliance and lucrative American weapons sales to Europe. It is also vital for Washington’s hegemonic influence over European allies by polarising relations with Russia.

Europe’s energy crisis and Russia’s readiness to alleviate vividly demonstrates a fundamental win-win partnership. That reality has become so obvious that objections to the relationship look increasingly irrational and ridiculous from their congenital Russophobia.

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A Rude Awakening Coming To Europe | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on November 21, 2020

No matter how things turn out stateside, Europe is in a fix.  America will not — cannot — be Europe’s savior.  The Cold War days are over.  Europe’s fundamental problems are of its own making.  Until the people of Europe, particularly Western Europe, can loosen the death grip the leftist elite and bureaucrats have on their countries, the continent will continue to languish

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/rude-awakening-coming-europe

Profile picture for user Tyler Durden

by Tyler Durden

Authored by Peter Skurkiss via AmericanThinker.com,

The European ruling class is salivating over the prospects of a Harris/Biden presidency.  The bureaucrats who run the European Union and the globalists behind them are cocksure that with Donald Trump gone, things will return to the comfortable pre-Trump days.  Daddy Yankee will again uncomplainingly throw a protective blanket of security over Europe and in his benevolence turn a blind eye to the unfair trade arrangements that benefit Europe so.

There are two problems with this view.  

First, it’s far from certain that Joe Biden will be sworn in as president in January.  As more and more evidence mounts of Democrat election fraud and vote-stealing, that prospect dims.  The mere possibility that Donald Trump will continue as president is not even considered in Europe.  The “ever so smart” European elite believe all they’ve been told by their fellow American globalists and from their consumption of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN.  Accordingly, they are clueless. 

Secondly, even should Biden become president, he will not be able to restore to good old days that Europe longs for…and needs.  

Take the matter of defense.  

As president, Trump made it acceptable not just to issue objections to Europe about its freeloading, but to actually start doing something about it, something none of his predecessors had the moxie to do.  Adding fuel to American anger toward Europe has been the E.U.’s propensity to anoint itself as the moral leader of the West and try to shape U.S. foreign policy from that vantage point.  The unstated but clear European message to America was “you do the work, and we’ll sit back and tell you what to do and how to do it.”

Trump gave voice to what the average American long thought about Europe.  That genie is not going back into the bottle.  Plus, irrespective of Biden’s personal feelings toward Europe, geopolitical reality will demand a de-emphasis on both European needs and Middle Eastern engagements.  This is because a true pivot toward Asia is needed to counter the rise of communist China.  At least Emmanuel Macron of France realizes all this, which is why he is persistent in trying to gain support for an all-European army.  So far, his calls are falling on deaf ears. 

As it is with defense, so it is with trade.  

The current trade arrangements are heavily tilted in Europe’s favor.  This is a remnant of the Cold War.  Trump or no Trump, these trade understandings and treaties are not sustainable in this day and age.  The best Europe can expect from a Harris/Biden administration is that its trade deals with the U.S. will be rectified at a slower pace than Trump would do.  That’s another thing that will surprise the European elite.

One seemingly bright spot from Europe’s perspective should Biden get into the White House is that the Democrats will do considerable damage to the U.S. economy with tax increases, green environmental nonsense, and likely more lockdowns.  This would bring America closer to Europe’s sclerotic state.  But before Europe celebrates, it should realize that a weakened America would be even less willing than it is now to finance Europe’s defense and to tolerate unfair trade deals. 

No matter how things turn out stateside, Europe is in a fix.  America will not — cannot — be Europe’s savior.  The Cold War days are over.  Europe’s fundamental problems are of its own making.  Until the people of Europe, particularly Western Europe, can loosen the death grip the leftist elite and bureaucrats have on their countries, the continent will continue to languish.

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Who’s Next to Fail in the Post-COVID World?

Posted by M. C. on April 1, 2020

Europe’s troubles are multiplying because the basic premise of how to fight this virus and the deflation it is engendering is functionally flawed. More money dropped from helicopters isn’t the solution.

Freeing Europe from the euro is.

And then there won’t be enough credit in the world to keep the engine of the world from sputtering and dying. That’s when real leadership is needed.

https://tomluongo.me/2020/03/30/whos-next-engine-world-failure/

As much as I hate to invoke The Ayn Rand lest I give off the impression I’m some kind of Objectivist, which I am most certainly not, the engine of the world is coming to a halt.

Money velocity has been falling for years. It is now cratering as we hide in our homes from a bug that eventually we will all have to reconcile with. Credit is the engine of the world of today.

It is the gas which fuels the engine of the world.

COVID-19 has cratered the global economy exposing the internal rot within our hyper-financialized global economy as nothing more than a pyramid of Ponzi schemes…

… piling credit on top of credit until there are no more greater fools to sell the new debt to.

That’s the system we have. And it is collapsing precisely because the world is situated at the point where there is little more productive capacity to monetize and pull that capital from the future to fund the new debt.

It won’t matter if we replace this system with pure helicopter money without debt as the Modern Monetary Theory proponents argue. We’re already doing a version of this by having the central banks buy debt they never intend to sell on the open market. So, the debt itself is without value. The money printed from those bonds is as much scrip as if the bond had never been issued.

But the time lost by people in pursuit of uneconomic ends by mispricing risk and servicing debt they are legally obligated to service is real.

The engine is sputtering as trillions are printed to kick it back over one more time. But the gas has too much ethanol in it. There’s not enough air.

The engine is dying.

And it can no longer outrun the abyss swallowing the world staring back at us saying, “Thanks for the snack, those frackers and restaurants are tasty, but I’m still hungry. Who’s next?”

I’ve been very clear that Europe is the next big meal for the Abyss.

In the end, a home builder here, an over-leveraged bank there are nice. These are but apéritifs in the grand scheme of things. They are like sugar to a starving child, revving it up but not fulfilling its real needs.

Europe’s troubles are multiplying because the basic premise of how to fight this virus and the deflation it is engendering is functionally flawed. More money dropped from helicopters isn’t the solution.

Freeing Europe from the euro is.

And it will set Italy in the post-COVID-19 world at odds completely with the rest of Europe.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard adds more color to what happened at last week’s meeting of EU national leaders in which both sides of the fiscal divide dug in their heels.

Dutch premier Mark Rutte has become the spokesman for the hardliners – giving political cover to Germany – categorically ruling out emergency “coronabonds” or other forms of debt mutualisation. “It would bring the eurozone into a different realm. You would cross the Rubicon into a eurozone that is more of a transfer union,” he said. “We are against it, but it’s not just us, and I cannot foresee any circumstances in which we would change that position.”

Enrico Letta, Italy’s former-premier and an ardent EU integrationist, accused the Netherlands of leading the pack of “irresponsibles” and trying to “replace the United Kingdom in the role of ‘Doctor No’”. The reflexive use of the UK as a rhetorical foil evades of the true issue. It was not London that blocked moves to fiscal union over the last decade; it was Germany.

Pritchard brings up the spectre of Lega’s Matteo Salvini coming back into the picture, especially as the mood sours among even the most ardent Euro-integrationists like Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Merkel is hiding behind her quarantine and letting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte speak for her. And that is driving the Italians to the point of no return.

Giuseppe Conte’s government is at a loss to fight the virus. It was ignored by the EU when it asked for help it paid for when this began. As Pritchard points out, what purpose does the EU serve when it won’t act to help a member in need as it is supposed to do?

The answer is the EU’s purpose is to be obeyed.

Italy’s two ways out of this mess is leaving the euro or forcing the northern bloc to cry uncle. But that has to occur within the prospect of removing so many internal roadblocks to Italian economic growth, starting with the euro but entailing much wider reforms, which are most definitely not on the post-Keynesian/MMT technocrats’ agenda.

Italy’s debt numbers are a large part of the hunger of the Abyss and no amount of blackmail by them and France will get Germany to go along with bailing them out.

I discussed these issues and more at length with Alexander Mercouris of The Duran in this series of videos we recorded over the weekend (here, here, and here) in which we tie Europe’s collapse to all the other things we’re experiencing in the world right now.

Most EU economies are fundamentally hampered by the ossified bureaucracy of the EU which is an over-layer of domestic bureaucracies.

And, as such, these national systems are barely capable of acting in a coordinated manner normally, no less with the EU enforcing its fiefdoms at the same time in the face of overwhelming strain.

In all situations the primary objective of all organizations is survival. All else is secondary.

The more credible the threat the more extreme their response.

They will dig in to protect against that threat rather then fulfill their stated mission. In the case of the EU that means using this crisis as the excuse to force fiscal integration and monetary reform on those that don’t want it as a means to survive.

Because in a crisis period there is no time for such luxuries as national sovereignty. There isn’t any reflection that the organization itself is the source of the problem. The organization is a default setting.

And now both sides of the fiscal debate are seeing the other for what they are and the result will most likely be an irreparable fracturing of the European Union.

Italy has now seen the true face of the EU. Conte has now tried histrionics to get his bailout, which won’t actually solve anything, because he’s aligned with the Euro-integrationists. What his country needs is a new currency and different leadership.

But he’s held onto power because his opposition would have already broken with the EU.

Like the obsequious worm that he is, instead of doing the right thing, issuing mini-BOTs, to free up domestic liquidity issues, Conte is looking at putting up the whole of the Italian government’s holdings as collateral against new debt to pay for stimulus of Einsteinian proportions.

This is the ultimate sellout of Italy to the EU. As a proposal it is the ultimate betrayal of the Italian people. These buildings and infrastructure are their legacy and they will be sold as collateral to loan sharks as opposed to reclaiming their national dignity.

There is no market for these bonds. So,who will buy them? The ECB.

Who then owns all of this property, ultimately?

The ECB and therefore the EU.

This is a proposal designed for Merkel to take back to home to the Bundestag and sell to the German people. If they bail out Italy, they will get something in return for their risk.

It’ll be just like they did with Greece in 2015, except then it was Germany forcing this upon them rather than the satrap Italian government offering themselves up like lambs.

But even with this desperation attempt to find buyers for their debt, Italy is facing a bleak future without serious reform.

And the odds are about equal at this point as to whether Germany or Italy breaks the EU. Because neither side can live with the other under the other’s terms.

At it’s core, however, this fight is a symbolic one over the continued belief that government can provide the solutions to our problems rather than being the source of them in the first place.

Socialized markets with bureaucratic controls are incapable of reacting in real time to swiftly changing conditions. No amount of helicopter money will change that. No amount of taxation as social engineering tool will create preferred outcomes.

Because remember when you advocate for things like that, you’re putting in charge of those taxes the same people who are mismanaging them now. Our governments aren’t staffed and run by angels. These are the same misinformed, mal-educated, biased, myopic, flawed people as everyone else.

In short, they are human.

And they have the same pretense to knowledge everyone else does. And they will make the same mistakes as everyone else. Under the pressure of outrunning the Abyss the character of the people in charge of the money reveals itself.

All that does is create the false signal of stability while perpetuating systems that are wholly inadequate to the job. COVID-19 has exposed them ruthlessly.

And still the Abyss stares back, like an implacable kidnapper, demanding its payday. Because there is no escaping the it.

So, while you can chuck funny money in there for as long as you want it doesn’t create value. It doesn’t produce sustainable outcomes. It produces theft and graft, it extends the grift, bails out the unproductive and punishes those that honestly went about their business.

Digging holes and filling them in doesn’t produce wealth anymore than breaking a window stimulates aggregate demand for glass.

It just creates an accounting fiction which costs twice as much as having not dug the hole or broken the window in the first place. It may delay the Abyss from swallowing you until tomorrow.

Until, of course, you run out of time.

And then there won’t be enough credit in the world to keep the engine of the world from sputtering and dying. That’s when real leadership is needed.

Be seeing you

 

 

 

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Everything you know about Europe is wrong – UnHerd

Posted by M. C. on January 23, 2020

https://unherd.com/2020/01/both-brexiteers-and-remainers-know-nothing-about-europe/

BY

The apocryphal newspaper headline — “fog in the channel, continent isolated” — famously said something about the British mindset. It’s hardly surprising that we are insular — we are literally an island after all — but this insularity is something that curiously crosses all barriers in British social and political life, whether of Left or Right, middle or working class, and on almost every issue.

This is true even for British liberals who, reeling since the night of 23 June, 2016, have made the continent a sort of spiritual home as they’ve become alienated from their countrymen.

Right-thinking Britons see their country as an embarrassment sliding towards populism, a sad contrast to the moral superpower that is Germany and France under centrist leader Emmanuel Macron. Yet the Continent of the Anglo liberal imagination is as unreal as the supposed nostalgic Britain of yesteryear loved by Leavers.

 

Italy

Britain, many people fear, is moving away from the European dream and towards fascism. It’s such an established meme that even the most recent BBC Agatha Christie adaptation was a thinly-veiled analogy about 1930s fascism and Brexit.

Yet people keep on coming to this Nazi hellhole, with the fabled “Brexodus” of migrants leaving the country actually seeing an extra 212,000 people arriving last year, and with record numbers of foreign students, too.

The fascist Brexit Britain theory is held among a minority of Remainers because they’re measuring the country by a theoretical ideal rather than comparing it to other — real — countries. So while the hate crime “surge” following the referendum mostly involved very minor incidents, Italy saw a number of openly racist murders during the late 2010s.

Whether they’re connected or not, Italy has also had a populist Right-wing government in power for most of the past four years, and the Lega may well return — at around 33% in the polls, it is by some distance the most popular party. Italian politics has been, as long as anyone can remember, chaotic and unstable, which makes me wonder if Mary Beard’s Italian colleagues who make her feel “embarrassed” about Brexit have been paying attention to their own country.

 

France

A central theme of fascism is a love of violence against ideological opponents, and so a visitor from outer space with a vague understanding of our human political philosophy would probably conclude that there was only one fascist state in the EU — France, where the brutality of the police is on a scale that would be unfathomable in England.

Among the recent victims of the gleefully violent French police is a teenager who lost an eye in Strasbourg and an elderly woman in Marseilles who died from her injuries after being hit by a rubber bullet. Just this month prosecutors launched a probe after a video appeared to show a policeman firing point-blank at protestors with a riot control gun.

France is quite far down from Britain in the Freedom International rating, and treats minorities like Roma in a way that would do more than embarrass liberal Brits.

Right-wingers often complain that the horrific behaviour of the French police towards the gilets jaunes has received scant coverage in the BBC; certainly if Hungary or Poland treated their citizens like that, I’m pretty sure it would be on our news more. But then France has always been a politically violent country.

The last mass murder of protesters in England occurred in 1819, when 18 people were killed by authorities in Manchester; in France police in Paris killed up to three hundred unarmed protesters in 1961.

Had anything even vaguely comparable happened during the US Civil Rights era it would have been the subject of about 500 films and even my children in an English primary school would now be learning about it now. But then Anglo liberals are fascinated with the Anglo world; not so much by the continent.

France is different to England, in some ways far more traditional; for example, the same-sex marriage campaign there was opposed by enormous protests, while, like many continental countries, it has a 12-week limit for abortion, when even talk of a 20 weeks-limit would have the Anglo commentariat dressing up in those Handmaid’s Tale outfits.

Germany Read the rest of this entry »

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The Noose Tightens Around the EU’s Neck

Posted by M. C. on December 14, 2018

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/12/12/noose-tightens-around-eu-neck.html

TOM LUONGO

Last weekend’s protests across France may have done far more damage than just smashed windows and stolen iPhones. The depth of French anger at the neoliberal globalist policies of President Emmanuel Macron has finally been heard.

And Macron’s response may be exactly the thing needed to destroy what is left of imperial Europe’s credibility.

Macron’s handling of these protests have been nothing short of abysmal. He began November the darling of the globalist set I like to call The Davos Crowd, excoriating any sense of national pride, likening it to terrorism.

He also called for the creation of a Grand Army of the EU and pushed hard for banking federalization to consolidate power under Brussels over the currency, the true Achilles’ heel of the EU itself.

Then a planned tax hike on diesel fuel, which was sold to the French as a way to combat global warming, as part of the EU’s unquenchable desire to tilt at climate windmills, erupted in a nation-wide peaceful protest…

And now, after two weekends of violence and having scrapped the diesel tax, Macron emerges from his bunker to reaffirm France’s commitment to cracking down on the violence. But at the same time, as reported by Zerohedge, he’s calling for significant tax cuts and welfare spending.

Macron – whose approval rating is at an all time low, says he has asked his government to increase wages by 100 euros per month beginning in January as part of a series of new measures to be released in detail on Tuesday. He also announced that overtime hours won’t be subject to payroll tax, and that his administration will scrap a tax hike on poor and low-income retirees. Furthermore, Macron asked companies to pay end-of-year bonuses which won’t be taxed, and will suspend a CSG levy on pensions below 2,000 euros per month.

Macron also said that immigration “must be debated” as well, as anti-immigrant sentiment has spread throughout Europe.

Correct me if I’m wrong but France is already running a budget deficit that defies EU regulations. So, how is Macron going to pay for these programs and cuts?

Does Brussels even care?

No, they don’t because Macron is one of theirs so anything that can save his government from extinction will be tolerated. But what this move by Macron signifies is how close the Yellow Vests are to winning, because there’s no way these kinds of things would be on the table if the political winds hadn’t shifted far enough to leave him badly exposed…

I note that Marine Le Pen has kept her mouth mostly shut while this is going on allowing the tempest to gather strength on its own. It’s been more than a week since she called for the French parliament to be dissolved for the first time in 20 years.

And, in my mind, that’s a very good thing. Le Pen is a divisive figure and by her staying out of this it doesn’t give the compliant European media any chance to link these protests to her and ‘far-right’ and ‘alt-right’ she’s supposed to occupy.

Instead they’ve had nothing at all to focus on but the protests themselves while test-marketing a tired “Russia hacked muh protest” narrative without proof or cause…

And that’s exactly where the EU and Macron are now. Every action they take to try and hold this dysfunctional and tyrannical union together is only tightening the noose around their necks and hastening their eventual demise.

The more they struggle to maintain control in one place the more they empower their enemies in another.

The little Dutch Boy in Brussels is running out of fingers.

Be seeing you

vene social

Is that Sean Penn?

 

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What Can Be Done? — Paul Craig Roberts – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on May 2, 2018

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/04/30/can-done-paul-craig-roberts/

Paul Craig Roberts

It is up to Europe whether or not the Earth dies in nuclear Armageddon.

European governments do not realize their potential to save the world from Washington’s aggression, because the western Europeans are accustomed to being Washington’s vassal states since the end of World War 2, and the eastern and central Europeans have accepted Washington’s vassalage since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Vassalage pays well if all the costs are not counted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is America Still a Nation? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 5, 2017

https://lewrockwell.com/2017/07/patrick-j-buchanan/america-still-nation/

Watching our Lilliputians tearing down statues and monuments, renaming buildings and streets, rewriting history books to replace heroes and historical truths with the doings of ciphers, are we disassembling the nation we once were?

“One loves in proportion to the sacrifices that one has committed and the troubles that one has suffered,” writes Renan, “One loves the house that one has built and that one passes on.”

Are we passing on the house we inherited — or observing its demolition?

It appears we are headed the same place the Europe of our youth is going. The paths are converging. 

Be seeing you

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