15/10?17: Calling Brussels from Austria: Change Is Badly Needed in Europe

Austria just became a *new* flashpoint of European politics that can be best described as a slow steady slide into reappraisal of the decades-long love affair with liberalism.
In summary: the People’s Party (OVP) has 31.4 percent of the vote, a gain of more than 7 percentage points from the 2013 election; the Freedom Party had 27.4 percent (a jump on 20.51 percent in 2013), and the Social Democratic Party, which governed in coalition with People’s Party until today, had 26.7 percent (virtually unchanged on 26.82 percent in 2013).
The People’s Party is best described as Centre-Right with a leaning Right when it comes to issues of immigration. Current Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, the leader of the People’s Party is a charismatic 31-year old populist. He has driven his party further toward the Right position in recent months, as elections neared, and away from his post-2013 governing coalition partners, the Social Democrats. Kurz is, broadly-speaking a pro-EU candidate, with strong preference for more autonomy to member states. He is clearly not a Brussels-style Federalist.

This post was published at True Economics on Monday, October 16, 2017.

Meet The 31-Year-Old Austrian Anti-Immigrant Who Just Became The World’s Youngest Leader

As discussed earlier, Austria’s young conservative star, Sebastian Kurz, is now assured of becoming the country’s next leader, projections of Sunday’s parliamentary election result showed, but his party is far short of a majority and is likely to seek a coalition with the resurgent far right.
To his supporters, Kurz is Austria’s Macron: a one-man political phenomenon who is the only thing standing between the country’s resurgent nationalists and power. But to his detractors he is the Austrian Trump, who has hijacked one of the country’s two main parties and refashioned it in his own image. His critics say he is only holding the populists back by adopting their anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.
By taking a hard line on immigration that commingled his campaign with that of the Freedom Party (FPO), 31-year old Foreign Minister Kurz managed to propel his People’s Party to first place and draw some support away from an FPO buoyed by Europe’s migration crisis. Both parties increased their share of the vote from the last parliamentary election in 2013, marking a sharp shift to the right. Chancellor Christian Kern’s Social Democrats were in a close race with the FPO for second place.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2017.

Reflections on a World Gone Mad and Pushing Back against Neocolonialist Thuggery

The following is an interview with ANDRE VLTCHEK by ALESSANDRO BIANCCHI, Chief Editor of the Italian political magazine Anti-Diplomatico:
ALESSANDRO BIANCHI: Self-determination of peoples and respect for the borders and sovereignty of a country. This is of the most complicated issue for international law. How can it be articulated for the case of Catalonia?
ANDRE VLTCHEK: Personally, I’m not very enthusiastic about smaller nations forming their own states, particularly those in the West, where they would, after gaining ‘independence’, remain in the alliances that are oppressing and plundering the entire world: like NATO or the European Union.
Clearly, the breaking of the great country of Yugoslavia into small pieces was a hostile, evil design by the West, and particularly of Germany and Austria. The dissolution of Czechoslovakia after the so-called ‘Velvet Revolution’ was a total idiocy.
But Catalonia (or Basque Country), if it became independent, would become one of the richest parts of Europe. I don’t think it would have any great positive or negative impact on the rest of the world. As an internationalist, I don’t really care if they are separate from Spain or not, or whether they are even richer than they already are, as I care much more about what is happening in places such as Afghanistan, Venezuela or North Korea.
READ MORE

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 14, 2017.

Meet The 31-Year-Old Austrian Anti-Immigrant Set To Become The World’s Youngest Leader

The front runner in Austria’s Sunday election ended his campaign with a familiar message : Sebastian Kurz pledged to make Austria great again. He is set to become the world’s youngest leader, ahead of France’s Emmanuel Macron, who is 39… oh and North Korea’s 34-year-old Kim Jong-un, of course.
‘I want to put Austria back on top,’ he told an adoring crowd in Wiener Neustadt according to the Telegraph. ‘I want to provide security and order, because the Austrian people deserve it.’
***
Austrians are voting Sunday in the country’s National Council elections, where according to recent polls the country’s 6.4 million voters are likely to ditch the current coalition in favor of a new government backed by anti-immigration nationalists and headed by a 31-year-old Millennial.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2017.

Austria’s Burka Ban Causes An Arrest Of Man Dressed As Shark

A man dressed as a shark was arrested in Austria and officials cited the countries Burka ban. The man was working as a mascot for a McShark electronics store in Vienna when the arrest occurred.
New restrictions came into effect in Austria at the beginning of the month banning the wearing of the full Islamic veil and other items concealing the face in public places and buildings. This ban extends to medical masks and scarves as well, making the shark costume an obvious ‘no-go.’ The restrictions are aimed at ‘ensuring the cohesion of society in an open society,’ according to officials, and violations will be punished with a fine of up to 150. Even though the wording of the law was meant to be religiously-neutral, there is still a grey area in which Austrians appear to be exploiting in order to make a point.
When the police saw the young man in the shark costume, he was asked to remove it. The employee protested saying he was ‘just doing his job,’ so the police arrested him and slapped him with a fine. Apparently, the man in the shark suit was reported to police by a member of the public who wanted to make a point of the new piece of legislation. The McShark electronics company is now reviewing its policy on using mascots to ensure they comply with the new law.

This post was published at shtfplan on October 9th, 2017.

Pat Buchanan: “America Has No Divinely-Mandated Mission To Democratize Mankind”

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,
If a U. S. president calls an adversary ‘Rocket Man … on a mission to suicide,’ and warns his nation may be ‘totally destroyed,’ other ideas in his speech will tend to get lost.
Which is unfortunate.
For buried in Donald Trump’s address is a clarion call to reject transnationalism and to re-embrace a world of sovereign nation-states that cherish their independence and unique identities.
Western man has engaged in this great quarrel since Woodrow Wilson declared America would fight in the Great War, not for any selfish interests, but ‘to make the world safe for democracy.’
Our imperialist allies, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, regarded this as self-righteous claptrap and proceeded to rip apart Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Ottoman Empire and to feast on their colonies.
After World War II, Jean Monnet, father of the EU, wanted Europe’s nations to yield up their sovereignty and form a federal union like the USA.
Europe’s nations would slowly sink and dissolve in a single polity that would mark a giant leap forward toward world government – Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s ‘Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.’
Charles De Gaulle lead the resistance, calling for ‘a Europe of nation-states from the Atlantic to the Urals.’
For 50 years, the Gaullists were in constant retreat. The Germans especially, given their past, seemed desirous of losing their national identity and disappearing inside the new Europe.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.

The Austrian Solution: Austria Issues 100 Year Sovereign Bond

Sadly, Congress has absolutely no controls on the willing to spend money and promise entitlements to borrowers. Spending is a runaway trend in Washington DC.
Much of this spending is entitlement spending, such as Medicaid and Medicare.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 12, 2017.

WHAT TBP MEANS TO ME

With all the turmoil in the last few weeks over websites, censorship, free speech, and leftist tech corporations banning sites they don’t like, I thought it would be a good time to clarify my vision and purpose for The Burning Platform. First, TBP is not an alt-right, white supremacist or pro-nazi website. I also don’t consider it a pro-Republican website. It’s been built by being anti lots of stuff. I don’t want to be part of any group that would have me as a member.
My philosophy is practical libertarian. I want to be left alone to live my life as I choose. I don’t care how others live their lives. The less government, the better. The purpose of our military is to protect our country from invasion, not policing the world. The Austrian School of economics makes the most sense to me. Keynesian economists are either liars or brain damaged. I’m a strict Constitutionalist. I despise Wall Street bankers, the Federal Reserve, liberal politicians, GOP establishment politicians, neo-cons, fake news corporate media, the military industrial complex, government apparatchiks, the surveillance state, and the Deep State oligarchs.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on August 24, 2017.

Germany Government Trying to Cover-up Continuing Refugee Crisis Before Election

It should come as no surprise that the Merkel government has been trying to hide the extent of the ongoing refugee crisis in Germany. The Merkel government appears to be trying to keep police surveillance of border controls top secret. Despite the fact that Merkel did close the Balkan route into Germany, the federal police continue to report there is a ‘high number of migrants’ entering Germany through the border with Austria. The migration to Germany is continuing. Back in 2015, Merkel boldly said Germany could accommodate 500,000 migrants annually for the next several years, and that $6.6 billion had been set aside for costs related to processing and accommodating them. Germany and Sweden give the refugees the most money for just coming there. Refugees in Germany receive up to 346 per month from the state, in Sweden, the monthly allowance is up to 224. In Britain, the equivalent sum is 217. This is why Germany is the number one destination. This is money to them that was often a one-year’s wage in a single month plus room and board.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 10, 2017.

Italy Threatens EU With “Nuclear Option”: Give 200,000 Migrants EU Visas, Sending Them North

Two weeks after Italy reacted with anger to Austria’s deployment of troops and armored vehicles to the border between the two nations, while reactivating border controls at the Brenner Pass over concerns that Italy will be unable to handle the roughly 85,000 migrants and refugees who have entered the country so far in 2017, the Italian government has threatened to retaliate in way that assures an imminent migrant crisis as well as an escalation of tensions between the two EU nations.
According to The Times, an Italian minister and a senator have threatened to issue temporary EU visas to thousands of migrants in an effort to “resolve” Italy’s escalating migrant and refugee crisis, which would then allow the refugees to travel north. The move, which has been described as a ‘nuclear option,’ would allow the nearly 200,000 migrants currently stranded in Italy, to travel across Europe using a Brussels directive loophole.
Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister, is livid that the rest of Europe has refused to take its fair share of migrants and that they have closed ports to rescue ships as the number of refugees attempting the treacherous crossing from Libya to the Continent has surged.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 15, 2017.

Austria Using Troops to Stop Refugee Migration

The vast wave of economic migrants claiming to be refugees that include many countries, not simply Syria, is tearing Europe apart. These people are given everything for free, nothing like any immigrant who came to the USA. This has had a tendency to reduce the incentive to work. They need not find a job to survive. They survive on the state alone and at levels of 80%+ of what they would earn in wages.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 8, 2017.

Washington And Berlin On A Collision Course

Authored by Pepe Escobar via Counterpunch.org,
The Russia sanctions bill that passed the US Senate by 98:2 on June 15 is a bombshell; it directly demonizes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, under the Baltic Sea, which is bound to double Gazprom’s energy capacity to supply gas to Europe.
The 9.5 billion euro pipeline is being financed by five companies; Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall; Austria’s OMV; France’s Engie; and Anglo-Dutch Shell. All these majors operate in Russia, and have, or will establish, pipeline contracts with Gazprom.
In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern stressed that, ‘Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America’; ‘instruments for political sanctions should not be tied to economic interests’; and the whole thing heralds a ‘new and very negative quality in European-American relations’.
An oil trader in the Gulf bluntly told me, ‘the new sanctions against Russia basically amount to telling the EU to buy expensive US gas instead of cheap Russian gas. So the Germans and the Austrians basically told the Americans to buzz off.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 7, 2017.

Did You Feel The Shift With China, Russia & The US? – Episode 1324b

The following video was published by X22Report on Jul 5, 2017
People around the country are now making fun of CNN and are creating memes. Kathy Griffin was questioned for over an hour by the secret service. Austria brings armored vehicles to the border to stop an influx of refugees. US and South Korea hold drills after NK fires a missile. Trump calls an emergency UN Security Council meeting. Nikki Haley says the US will use force if it needs to. China and Russia are now taking control of the situation, they have created and plan to deal with NK, this does not sit well with the deep state, they want war. The Syrian forces are moving into central Syria and eradicating the IS. China and Russia want an impartial investigation into the chemical weapons attack. Russia is getting ready to release the terminator in Syria.

Italy Furious After Austria Deploys Troops, Armored Vehicles To Border

1:53 PM
An angry Italy summoned Austria’s ambassador after the government in Vienna announced it was ready to re-introduce border controls and deploy troops and armored vehicles along the border to block any migrant influx out of Italy. Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil told Kronen Zeitung daily that troops could go to the Brenner Pass and that four Pandur armoured personnel carriers had been sent to the Tyrol region with 750 troops were on standby.
‘We need to prepare for the migration development in Italy, and I expect very promptly that border controls will have to be activated and assistance requested,’ Hans Peter Doskozil told the online edition of the Krone daily, adding that a military deployment at the busy Alpine pass would be “indispensable if the influx into Italy [across the Mediterranean] does not diminish”. While Austria has border checks with Hungary and Slovenia, elsewhere – such as on the border with Italy – it adheres to the EU open borders system.
Doskozil explained that ‘these are not battle tanks. These are armored vehicles without weapons which could block roads. These were already used during the refugee crisis 201/16 at the Spielfeld border crossing [with Slovenia],’ just in case Italy got the impression that its northern neighbor was preparing to invade.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 4, 2017.

Washington and Berlin on a Collision Course — Pepe Escobar

The Russia sanctions bill that passed the U.S. Senate by 98:2 on June 15 is a bombshell; it directly demonizes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, under the Baltic Sea, which is bound to double Gazprom’s energy capacity to supply gas to Europe.
The 9.5 billion pipeline is being financed by five companies; Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall; Austria’s OMV; France’s Engie; and Anglo-Dutch Shell. All these majors operate in Russia, and have, or will establish, pipeline contracts with Gazprom.
In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern stressed that, ‘Europe’s energy supply is a matter for Europe, not the United States of America’; ‘instruments for political sanctions should not be tied to economic interests’; and the whole thing heralds a ‘new and very negative quality in European-American relations’.
An oil trader in the Gulf bluntly told me, ‘the new sanctions against Russia basically amount to telling the E.U. to buy expensive U.S. gas instead of cheap Russian gas. So the Germans and the Austrians basically told the Americans to buzz off.’

This post was published at Sputnik News

The Saudi-Qatar Rift Has Elements Of World War Potential

The First and the Second World War were the culmination of rivalries that go as far back as over a thousand years, when Charlemagne subjugated the Saxon tribes inhabiting modern Germany, and creating the Carolingian Empire. The political successors of Franks, France, and Saxons, the latter morphing into the Holy Roman Empire, then Prussia, then Germany, would continue to fight border wars until the bloodiest of them all, World War 2, inflicted enough destruction to both to force them to give up military means for the reciprocal arrangements.
The First World War was triggered by a regional episode, the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand, by Serb nationalists that put in motion the alliance of the German world, Austria and Prussia against the British, French and Russian one. Just like the two world wars in Europe were triggered by a single event, so can long standing, unresolved rivalries for power and influence over the Middle East result in the mother of all wars.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia have collaborated in the recent years to overthrow the Assad presidency in Syria and replace it with a Sunni Muslim leader that would allow the creation of a pipeline from Qatar to Europe, for the benefit of the Gulf countries.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 3, 2017.

Here’s an Easy Way to Add Some Market Competition Back in Healthcare

It is widely acknowledged that healthcare in the United States is the most expensive in the world. Per capita expenditures are roughly double that of other major economies. Some will argue that you get what you pay for, but the quality of care in the US is usually ranked as mediocre. This combination of high cost and poor performance resulted in a recent ranking of the U. S. in last place among major industrialized countries:
The U. S. ranks last of 11 nations overall. Findings in this report confirm many of those in the earlier four editions of Mirror, Mirror, with the U. S. still ranking last on indicators of efficiency, equity, and outcomes.
Some people are hopeful that full implementation of the Affordable Care Act will eventually reduce cost and improve outcomes. Austrian-school economists, however, continue to argue that the U. S. healthcare system will continue to face some combination of higher costs and rationing of services because of the ACA and that virtually all aspects of mainstream healthcare are government monopolies, including doctors, drugs, and hospitals. In fact, some people believe we are heading to a disaster in healthcare while others feel we are destined for a national healthcare system.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 3, 2017.

House Republicans Block Russia Sanctions Bill

After recruiting Trump, the KGB and Moscow have clearly also managed to make all House Republicans their puppets, because the Senate bill that passed last week and slapped new sanctions on Russia (but really was meant to block the production on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia and which Germany, Austria and France all said is a provocation by the US and would prompt retaliation) just hit a major stumbling block in the House.
At least that’s our interpretation of tomorrow’s CNN “hot take.”
Shortly after House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas said that House leaders concluded that the legislation, S. 722, violated the origination clause of the Constitution, which requires legislation that raises revenue to originate in the House, and would require amendments, Democrats immediately accused the GOP of delaying tactics and “covering” for the Russian agent in the White House.
‘House Republicans are considering using a procedural excuse to hide what they’re really doing: covering for a president who has been far too soft on Russia,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said in a statement. ‘The Senate passed this bill on a strong bipartisan vote of 98-2, sending a powerful message to President Trump that he should not lift sanctions on Russia.’
And, if the House does pass it, a huge diplomatic scandal would erupt only not between the US and Russia, but Washington and its European allies who have slammed this latest intervention by the US in European affairs… a scandal which the Democrats would also promptly blame on Trump.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.