The War Cycle is in full swing upward since 2014. We have witnessed the invasion of Ukraine, the invasion of Syria, Rocketman in North Korea, and numerous civil uprisings. However, the war also comes with sharply declining economies as political leaders need to point the finger outside their domestic rule to distract their people. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan is also on a power trip and the sharply collapsing currency only puts more pressure on him to start conflicts. That basic incentive has played out with his visit to Greece in December. This was the first time a Turkish leader visited Greece in 65 years. As the Guardian reports, Erdoan shocked Greece by calling for a revision of the Lausanne Treaty of 1923. The Turkish president in Turkey has sharply criticized the opposition for this demand and as always there is the justification for protecting people of Turkish origin living in Greece. Hitler used the same excuse to invade neighbors to defend Germans living on foreign lands.
Talk about insane! This one takes home the trophy! It used to be algebra and geometry were required courses for those students who wished to attend college. They were considered college prep classes. Now, these same classes are considered ‘racist’? Come on people! This is nothing more than political correctness gone amok! A professor at the University of Illinois made the claim that algebra and geometry perpetuate white privilege because ’emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi’ give the impression that math ‘was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans.’ Rochelle Gutierrez’ work ‘focuses on equity issues in mathematics education,’ and worries that evaluations of math skills can perpetuate discrimination against minorities, especially if they do worse than white students. Watch Liz Wheeler, OAN News, set this virtue signaling snowflake straight. Hilarious!
The Greek philosopher Plato was credited with saying, ‘Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.’ Well, since longtime Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons, and his other compatriots have demonstrated they possess a strong sense of principles and justice, perhaps a little justice in the life of the American state is possible – which is no small thing in an age of nearly universal tyranny and injustice. This welcome ray of light became apparent in Las Vegas on Dec. 20 when U. S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial in the current high-profile proceedings involving Cliven, his sons Ryan and Ammon, and Ryan Payne. This prompted members of the Bundy family and dozens of their supporters to leave the courthouse on that Tuesday in a state of elation, even with the presence of protesters who, holding signs that read, ‘Keep your Bundy hands off public lands,’ appeared to be paid agitators for billionaire leftist revolutionary George Soros, as one protestor basically admitted. Back in the spring of 2014, the above-named four defendants – who’ve become emblematic of the plight of Western ranchers resisting heavy-handed federal land controls – were accompanied by other Bundy siblings, and by scores of supporters from across the nation, all of whom gathered near Cliven’s ranch in Clark County, in southern Nevada, to exercise their First and Second Amendment rights.
Authored by Tom Luongo, As she fights for her political life Soon-to-be-ex-Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel will go down swinging against her stiffest political opponents in the European Union, the Poles. *** Merkel and French President Emmanual Macron publicly agreed to back Article 7 proceedings against Poland for refusing to comply with EU immigration quotas and changes to its judicial system. Immigration quotas, I might add, that are becoming harder to defend as the war in Syria is mostly over and the flow of refugees from there has slowed to a trickle. But, those brought in and stranded in camps in Italy and Greece apparently need to go somewhere else. But, no one wants them. And the rest of the EU is trying to bully Poland and the rest of the Visigrad countries – Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – into taking on their ‘fair share.’ The problem with this is that Merkel made this decision unilaterally and foisted it on the rest of the EU.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 19, 2017.
Two years after the European Commission carried out the bidding of German Chancellor Angela Merkel by approving a plan to distribute migrants entering the Schengen area through Greece and Italy evenly across the European Union, the people of Europe have made their displeasure with Merkel’s ‘open door’ policy abundantly clear. Last month, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union suffered its most embarrassing showing in a federal election in decades, allowing a far-right, anti-immigrant party into parliament for the first time since World War II. The Alternative for Germany party’s unexpectedly strong showing fractured the ruling coalition spearheaded by Merkel’s conservatives as her partners, the Social Democrats opted to rebuild in opposition, complicating Merkel’s attempts to form a ruling coalition. In what was widely celebrated by the right as an important public capitulation, Merkel announced that her government would consider implementing a refugee cap of 200,000 (far larger than the cap adopted by the Trump administration). While it’s unclear whether the cap will ultimately become law, the fact that Merkel has publicly acknowledged the failure of open doors was interpreted as a sea change in Europe’s response to the worsening migrant crisis. And now, French President Emmanuel Macron – Merkel’s de facto partner in leading the European project – has himself made a small but important concession to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment in France, which, like many of its neighbors in western Europe, has suffered a horrific string of terror attacks inspired or actively organized by the Islamic State, the South China Morning Post reported. In a wide ranging interview this week, Macron revealed a new policy whereby illegal immigrants who commit crimes in France will face deportation. Presently, being an illegal immigrant in France isn’t a criminal offense. Even without new legislation ‘we can take tougher measures’ and expel illegal immigrants if they commit a crime, ‘whatever it may be,’ Macron said.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 21, 2017.
Across the globe, the spread of right- and left-wing populism and authoritarian politics have shaken the very foundations of democracy. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, a new survey from Pew Research has found that people across the globe are generally unhappy with the functionality of their political systems, though levels of satisfaction with democracy vary hugely between countries. As can be seen from the following infographic which shows a selection of countries from the survey, people in India have tremendous faith in democracy. 79 percent of those polled said they are satisfied with the way democracy is working in India compared to 11 percent who are dissatisfied. Germany also recorded a high level (73 percent) of satisfaction with democracy. In many other developed countries, however, faith is waning. In the United Kingdom and Japan, 47 percent of people are not satisfied with how democracy is working in their countries while in the U. S., that rises to 51 percent. France, South Korea and Brazil all recorded dissatisfaction levels of 65 percent or higher… but Greece tops the charts with only 21% of its citizenry ‘satisfied’ with the weay democracy is working.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 18, 2017.
It is 5 AM in Lisbon, and I am sitting in an airport lounge with wifi, writing this week’s OTB on my iPad, clumsily. GaveKal has written a very candid analysis of the Catalonia vote/debacle, which was a hot topic at the conference where I was speaking – Spain is right next door. There were numerous past and current foreign ministers and other parliamentary leaders here, all very pro-EU, and they were aghast at Rajoy’s heavy-handed response. Howewver, they all agreed that Catalonia could never be recognized as a new country in the EU, as this week’s OTB notes. Allowing Catalonian independence would fuel the flames of the numerous separatist movements all over Europe and disintegrate the movement to a closer EU – something that all here agreed would be a bad thing. Remember, Catalonia is much bigger than Greece – it’s 20% of the Spanish economy and Spain’s strongest region. Not a small deal. But I think the outcome will be a deal like the Basques got – more independence, and they get to keep more of their tax revenue. But the referendum was a great negotiating tactic. And Rajoy, with his clumsy police action, actually gave the separatists the upper hand. I may at some point write a full letter on what I heard at this confernce. There were some very different viewpoints than you hear in the US (even from my close friend George Friedman). When you spend a great deal of time with Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the ECB (who was extraordinarily polite and gracious) and hear him advocate for a stronger European NATO, and hear as well from far-left German Politician Joschka Fischer, who also espoused a hard line against Russia and China and a stronger NATO – almost sounding like Trump – you wonder what rabbit hole you have fallen down. Herr Minister Fischer was however not amused when I pointed out the similarity between his views and Trump’s. He swears he has no interest in ever being a politician again. But his talk, which I oddly found myself agreeing with much of, certainly sounded like a stump speech. My new friend may have protested his reluctance too vigorously. Oddly, the greatest disagreement I stumbled into was with a fellow American who is a friend of Hillary. Which made for a couple very lively dinner debates – which I hoped amused our hosts.
Via KeepTalkingGreece.com, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey no longer needs EU membership. His son Bilal who plays an important role in Turkey’s politics went even further and described the Europeans as ‘gavur’ (indifels). The comments come after 12-year-long accession talks with Brussels grind to a halt. ‘We will not be the side which gives up. To tell the truth, we don’t need EU membership anymore,’ Erdogan said. Turkey’s 12-year-long accession talks have ground to a halt, with the EU especially critical of Ankara’s crackdown following a failed coup last year. Tens of thousands of people including teachers and journalists have been detained.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.
In a democracy, no one should be comforted to hear that generals have imposed discipline on an elected head of state. That was never supposed to happen in the United States. Now it has. *** Among the most enduring political images of the 20th century was the military junta. It was a group of grim-faced officers – usually three – who rose to control a state. The junta would tolerate civilian institutions that agreed to remain subservient, but in the end enforced its own will. As recently as a few decades ago, military juntas ruled important countries including Chile, Argentina, Turkey, and Greece. These days the junta system is making a comeback in, of all places, Washington. Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men: General James Mattis, the secretary of defense; General John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff; and General H. R. McMaster, the national security adviser. They do not put on their ribbons to review military parades or dispatch death squads to kill opponents, as members of old-style juntas did. Yet their emergence reflects a new stage in the erosion of our political norms and the militarization of our foreign policy. Another veil is dropping.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, famous for his imbibition capacity and uttering -not necessarily in that order- the legendary words ‘when it becomes serious, you have to lie’, presented his State of the Union today. Which is of pretty much limited interest because, as Yanis Varoufakis’ book ‘Adults in the Room’ once again confirmed, Juncker is nothing but ventriloquist Angela Merkel’s sock puppet. But of course he had lofty words galore, about how great Europe is doing, and how that provides a window for more Europe, in multiple dimensions. Juncker envisions a European Minister of Finance (Dutch PM Rutte immediately scorned the idea), and he wants to enlarge the EU by inviting more countries in, like Albania, Montenegro and Serbia (but not Turkey!). Juncker had negative things to say about Britain and Brexit, about Poland, Prague and Hungary who don’t want to obey the decree about letting in migrants and refugees, and obviously about Donald Trump: Brussels apparently wants ‘to make our planet great again’. What the likes of Jean-Claude don’t seem to be willing to contemplate, let alone understand or acknowledge, is that the EU is a union of sovereign countries. The meaning of ‘sovereignty’ fully escapes much of the pro-EU crowd. And if they keep that up, it will break the union into pieces.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.
Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute, Although the European Union successfully bribed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year — inducing him to slow the flow of migrants heading through Turkey into Greece — Italy has received almost 100,000 people so far this year. This summer, even more than in previous years, it has become plain that some of the NGOs working in the Mediterranean are acting as something more than intermediaries. Many have in fact been acting as facilitators. This makes the NGOs effectively no more than the benign face of the smuggling networks. Undercover workers have also discovered NGOs handing vessels back to the smugglers’ networks, effectively helping them to continue their criminal enterprise indefinitely. A group that which seeks to oppose Europe’s current self-destructive insane trajectory can now not even source independent financial support. Groups, however, that continue to push Europe along its current trajectory continue to get all the official support they need. In the difference in reaction to these two groups lies a significant part of the story of the ruin of a continent. Sometimes it is in the gap between things that the truth emerges. In recent years Europe has been on the receiving end of one of the most significant migrant crises in history. In 2015, in just a single year, countries such as Germany and Sweden found themselves adding 2% to their respective populations. Although much of the public continue to labour under the misapprehension that those still coming are fleeing the Syrian civil war; in fact, the majority of those now entering Europe are from Africa, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa. Although the European Union successfully bribed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year — inducing him to slow the flow of migrants heading through Turkey into Greece — Italy has received almost 100,000 people so far this year. Spain — which had ducked much of the movement of recent years — now finds itself receiving thousands of people who are sometimes (as in this memorable footage from earlier this month) simply landing on the country’s beaches and running straight into the country. In doing so, they are not only breaking into Europe in a fashion that is illegal, but flouting all the asylum protocols, and other protocols, however inadequate, that are meant to exist.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2017.
The European Commission is offering European consumers the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, which provides for the supply, in particular, of Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas along the Turkey – Greece – Italy route. The project’s potential participants have their own interests, however, and are divided by long-standing antagonisms that are turning the corridor into a military and political delayed-action mine. *** Turkey, which is traditionally reluctant to play by the European Union’s rules, is playing a particular role here. Ankara’s plans to build an Israel – Turkey pipeline are being superimposed on the desire of the Turkish elite to occupy key positions in the development of offshore natural gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, primarily around Cyprus. These plans are unleashing a whole host of problems between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, while, at the same time, affecting the interests of Israel, as well as Egypt and Libya, which are claiming their rights to the continental shelf. The world’s leading oil and gas companies are also pursuing their own economic objectives in the region, the most active of which are the French company Total and the Italian company ENI. The current focus of contention is the offshore Block 11, situated in the territorial waters of Cyprus. Turkey, which is also speaking on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has already sent a frigate, TCG Gkeada, to the region. The frigate’s commander has been ordered to use whatever measures necessary to counteract ‘undesirable’ activity around the continental shelf. But any actions by Nicosia and Athens in support could be deemed ‘undesirable’, since Turkey’s official position is that all the gas resources on Cyprus’ continental shelf belong not only to the Greek Cypriots, but also to the Turkish Cypriots. And by the latter is meant the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 28, 2017.
As tensions soar between Ankara and Berlin, following Germany’s angry response to Erdogan’s call for those of Turkish descent to vote against Merkel, a coincidentally huge wave of refugees has suddenly started appearing on Greek coasts, making some wonder if Erdogan has broken his EU-Immigration deal. *** The last six days have seen over 1,200 refugees and migrants arrive Greece from Turkey. New Arrivals: August 18: 105 August 19: 308 August 20: 136 August 21: 397 August 22: 250 August 23: 174
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 24, 2017.
Solar eclipses have been observed throughout history. As to be expected, they have often been seen as omens along with comets. We hear if the star of Bethlehem that announced the birth of Jesus and the comet that appeared the night Julius Caesar was assassinated, which has been historically recorded on coins proving his divinity. Yet eclipses have also been seen as major markers of events throughout time. There is of course the famous eclipse that marked the Crucifixion of Jesus. The Christian gospels say that the sky was darkened for hours after the crucifixion of Jesus, which historians viewed either as a miracle or a portent of dark times to come. Later historians used astronomy to pinpoint the death of Christ based on this eclipse mention. Some historians tie the crucifixion to a total solar eclipse lasting 1 minute and 59 seconds that occurred in the year 29 AD while others say a second total eclipse, blocking the sun for 4 minutes and 6 seconds, in 33 AD, marked Jesus’ death. In the Vatican Codex, the oldest copy of the Greek Bible speaks of the solar eclipse in the Book of Luke. This is supported by a Greek historian named Phlegon, who also recorded a solar eclipse at the same period. Phlegon wrote a history entitled The Olympiads, in which he records during the rule of Tiberius Caesar a three hour eclipse of the sun. The ellipse of the sun took place at the time of Tiberius Caesar, in whose reign Jesus was crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place.
Around the world, few people trust Russian President Vladimir Putin to do the right thing when it comes to international affairs. A global median of roughly one-in-four (26%) say they have confidence in the Russian leader. However, as KeepTalkingGreece reports, Greeks love the Russian President; much more so in fact than US President Donald Trump. According to a survey conducted by PEW Research Center, only in three countries surveyed do majorities express a favorable opinion of Russia: Vietnam (83%), Greece (64%) and the Philippines (55%).
Doubts about Putin’s handling of foreign policy, however, do not necessarily coincide with perceptions of Russia as a security risk. Across 37 countries, a median of 31% describe Russia’s power and influence as a major threat to their country – identical to the median percentage who say the same about China, and similar to the median share (35%) that sees America’s power and influence as a large threat.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 18, 2017.
The European Refugee Crisis is really completely out of control. The bulk of these people are by no means refugees. You see no women and children here in the boat – only young men. Now Spain is the new target and will overtake Greece as the second-biggest gateway for economic invader entering Europe by sea. The sudden surge in migration to Spain comes following a crackdown on human smuggling along the Libya-Italy sea route, which has been the main entry route to Europe. Africans are migrating to Europe because there is little to do at home. Egypt will grow to 100 million people while Nigeria to soon reach 400 million. Europe will be swallowed up whole as it was when the Roman Empire was subjugated by the Barbarians who crossed the Rhine River.
“The biggest migration movements are still ahead: Africa’s population will double in the next decades. A country like Egypt will grow to 100 million people, Nigeria to 400 million. In our digital age with the internet and mobile phones, everyone knows about our prosperity and lifestyle.” – German Development Minister Gerd Mller. “Young people all have cellphones and they can see what’s happening in other parts of the world, and that acts as a magnet.” – Michael Mller, Director of the United Nations office in Geneva. “If we do not manage to solve the central problems in African countries, ten, 20 or even 30 million immigrants will arrive in the European Union within the next ten years.” – Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament. Spain is on track to overtake Greece as the second-biggest gateway for migrants entering Europe by sea. The sudden surge in migration to Spain comes amid a crackdown on human smuggling along the Libya-Italy sea route, currently the main migrant point of entry to Europe. The westward shift in migration routes from Greece and Italy implies that Spain, situated only ten miles from Africa by sea, may soon find itself at the center of Europe’s migration crisis.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 17, 2017.
The European Union recorded the largest increase in slavery of any world region in 2017, with the arrival of more than 100,000 migrants, many of them extremely vulnerable to exploitation, analysts said on Thursday. As KeepTalkingGreece.com reports, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria are the countries with the most slave labour within the EU. The risk of slave labour in farming, construction and other sectors rose across the region, with 20 of the EU’s 28 member states scoring worse than in 2016 in an annual global slavery index by British analytics company Verisk Maplecroft. ‘The migrant crisis has increased the risk of slavery incidents appearing in company supply chains across Europe,’ said Sam Haynes, senior human rights analyst at Verisk Maplecroft. Globally there are 21 million people in forced labour, including children, in a business worth $150 billion a year, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). The index, which assessed incidents of human trafficking or slavery, as well as laws and law enforcement in 198 countries, ranked Romania, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Bulgaria as the countries with the most slave labour within the EU.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 11, 2017.
One month after the EU’s executive Commission launched legal cases against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for “defaulting on their legal obligations” by refusing to comply with the EU’s refugee quotas (i.e., accept migrants), on Wednesday the three Central European nations suffered another blow after Brussels mounted a legal fightback to force them to comply with EU refugee quotas. The top European Union court’s adviser dismissed a challenge brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the obligatory relocation of refugees across the bloc, as it prepared to sign-off legal suits against the holdout countries. The two states, backed by Poland, wanted the court to annul a 2015 EU scheme to have each member state host a number of refugees to help ease pressure on Greece and Italy, struggling with mass arrivals across the Mediterranean. Supported by Germany, Italy and Brussels, the EU’s ‘relocation’ law has become one of the bloc’s most divisive recent policy initiatives, forced through over the objections of states from eastern and central Europe. The euroskeptic governments in Warsaw and Budapest have refused to take in a single asylum-seeker under the plan (which may explain the lack of terrorist events on their home soil). Slovakia and the Czech Republic have also stalled, citing security concerns after a raft of Islamist attacks in the EU in recent years. Quoted by the FT, the EU’s migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said he regretted the decision of the three member states ‘not to show solidarity and to ignore our repeated calls to participate in this common effort’ adding that none of the responses from Budapest, Warsaw or Prague to the commission ‘justified that they do not implement the relocation decision’.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 27, 2017.