Global Chaos And Helter Skelter

1 07 2015

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

For many Americans, the world seems upside down or topsy-turvy, and headed for unbelievable—if not unprecedented—chaos, calamity and helter skelter.  This is true economically, militarily, socially, and in countless other ways.  Countries and regions are coming apart at the seams; accepted institutions are attacked; lives are uprooted, or ended in truly savage ways; and little seems sacred or even predictable anymore.  Many lives appear to move at light speed, while others barely move at all.[2]

An unfathomable global economic crash is predicted, unlike anything that we have witnessed in our lifetimes.[3]  The murderous Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has seized portions of Georgia and Ukraine (including Crimea), and may expand his aggression into Europe.[4]  China is flexing its muscles in the Pacific[5]; North Korea continues to be a loose cannon[6]; the Middle East is imploding, with much worse yet to come; and terrorists stalk the world, creating death and destruction.[7]  Human trafficking flourishes, while there are problems with adoptions and illegal immigration.[8]

Accepted views of marriage are being rewritten; and divorces occur too often.[9]  The inmates are running the asylum.  Organized religion is under attack.[10]  America’s history is challenged for being racist, with attempts being made to rewrite it.  Riots have been occurring in American cities, provoked by hoods, thugs and criminals.  So-called man-made “global warming” and “climate change” are being pushed worldwide, even though it is clear that our planet has gone through warming and cooling periods for millions of years.  Also, other natural disasters are occurring.[11]

Americans’ trust in business[12], Congress and our elected officials[13], the law and judiciary[14], the police, government in general—and in the future—are shaken each and every day.  The old “norms” seem to be gone.  Replacing them appears to be anarchy, certainly in the Middle East and Africa, where countries and regions are fragmenting, and order and the value of human lives are in short supply.  Those who stay abreast of the news see barbarism in action, which is all too reminiscent of what is portrayed in Hollywood films.

Yet, whether one is a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent or something else—and regardless of one’s skin color, ethnicity or religious beliefs—there is hope and plenty of it.[15]  We are Americans!

© 2015, Timothy D. Naegele

Bald Eagle and American Flag --- Image by © Ocean/Corbis


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/is-google-becoming-microsoft-or-worse/ (“Is Google Becoming Microsoft Or Worse?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/are-colleges-dinosaurs/ (“Are Colleges Dinosaurs?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/ (“Poverty In America”).  But see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”)

[3] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/will-the-eus-collapse-push-the-world-deeper-into-the-great-depression-ii/ (“Will The EU’s Collapse Push The World Deeper Into The Great Depression II?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/the-great-depression-ii/ (“The Great Depression II?”) and http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html (“Euphoria or the Obama Depression?”) and http://marketshadows.com/2012/05/21/greenspans-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ (“Greenspan’s legacy: more suffering to come”) and http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/173_212/-365185-1.html (“Greenspan’s Fingerprints All Over Enduring Mess”)

[4] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (“Russia’s Putin Is A Killer”)

[5] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”)

[6] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ (“The Next Major War: Korea Again?”)

[7] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/the-madness-of-benjamin-netanyahu/ (“The Madness Of Benjamin Netanyahu”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/ (“Israel’s Senseless Killings And War With Iran”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”)

[8] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/ (“Human Trafficking”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/problems-with-foreign-adoptions/ (“Problems With Foreign Adoptions”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”)

[9] Even the great Alexander is rumored to have been bisexual, inter alia, because those were the mores of the day.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/alexander-the-great/ (“Alexander the Great”)

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/divorces/ (“Divorces”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/ (“Abortions And Autos Kill More In America Than Guns”)

[10] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/the-duggar-family-v-anti-christians/ (“The Duggar Family v. Anti-Christians”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/the-catholic-church-at-a-crossroads/ (“The Catholic Church At A Crossroads”)

[11] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/earthquakes-the-big-one-is-coming-to-at-least-los-angeles/ (“Earthquakes: The Big One Is Coming To At Least Los Angeles”)

[12] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/toyota-and-lexus-vehicles-are-unsafe/ (“Toyota And Lexus Vehicles Are Unsafe”)

[13] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/are-all-tea-partiers-wackos-misfits-and-extremists/ (“Are All Tea Partiers Wackos, Misfits And Extremists?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/sarah-and-todd-palin-the-big-winners/ (“Sarah And Todd Palin: The Big Winners?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (“John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/ (“Washington Is Sick And The American People Know It”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/is-financial-reform-simply-washingtons-latest-boondoggle/ (“Is Financial Reform Simply Washington’s Latest Boondoggle?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (“The Rise Of Independents”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/is-redemption-possible-for-tiger-woods/ (“Is Redemption Possible For Tiger Woods?”); and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/ (“Is Obama The New Nixon?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/are-afghanistan-iraq-and-pakistan-hopeless-and-is-the-spread-of-radical-islam-inevitable-and-is-barack-obama-finished-as-americas-president/ (“Are Afghanistan, Iraq And Pakistan Hopeless, And Is The Spread Of Radical Islam Inevitable, And Is Barack Obama Finished As America’s President?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/the-speech—is-barack-obama-smoking-pot-again/ (“The Speech—Is Barack Obama Smoking Pot Again?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/ (“The End Of Barack Obama”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america’s-second-emperor/ (“Barack Obama: America’s Second Emperor?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/ (“Obama In Afghanistan: Doomed From The Start?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”); but see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/ (“Ariel Sharon Is Missed”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/jefferson-lincoln-and-america/ (“Jefferson, Lincoln And America”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/ulysses-s-grant-an-american-hero/ (“Ulysses S. Grant: An American Hero”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/ansel-adams-has-an-heir/ (“Ansel Adams Has An Heir”)

[14] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-state-bar-of-california-is-lawless-and-a-travesty-and-should-be-abolished/ (“The State Bar Of California Is Lawless And A Travesty, And Should Be Abolished”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/ (“The United States Department of Injustice”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/ (“The American Legal System Is Broken: Can It Be Fixed?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/lawyers-and-internet-scams/ (“Lawyers And Internet Scams”)

[15] See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/ronald-reagan-and-john-f-kennedy-a-question-of-character/ (“Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy: A Question of Character”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)


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103 responses

1 07 2015
engenios

Absolutely correct…up to the very end. The real conclusion is that the true Hope is the Christ. Christ Jesus. The unraveling you write of is very much the written Word being manifest. There is only one Hope left and His Ark is set to Sail. May you and your readers be found on board.

Gary

Liked by 1 person

1 07 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Gary.

The following article is cited in footnotes 2 and 15.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”)

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1 07 2015
Jonathan Buttall

Hello, Timothy. Regarding Global Chaos, I think about these things in the smugness of my retirement and reading. I’ve traveled a lot with my wife including East Asia and (before the failed revolutions) in 5 Middle Eastern countries. Note that I still can’t give “likes” here, so a symbolic one to you and poster engenios.

I see some trends in the chaos. First, there have been two major Sunni Caliphate empires since Mulhammed started his first revolution. The last one was the Ottomans from the 13th to the early 20th century. These empires controlled the Middle East and parts of Europe. The dangerously naive US gov’t and Western media thought we had an “Arab Spring” starting 5 years ago, to create democracy and freedom. Of course, it was just the opposite. It was a strong and well organized attempt to create a third Caliphate Empire. This involves ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and their many allies. Really, they’ve made no secret of it!

Our reckless US support of the MB in Egypt could have ensured success of a Caliphate, but fortunately this was overthrown by General El Sisi. Our removal of a strong (if evil) gov’t in Iraq insured that it will fall to ISIS and likely so will Syria. It’s cruel irony that Israel and the US are arming the very ISIS terrorists in Syria (to overthrow Assad) that insure ISIS will take that over again and essentially bring back the old Caliphate and/or Assyrian Empire. Same mistake in Libya will see it fall to this new empire. The US gov’t claims to be at war with ISIS. In fact, we indirectly created and support them.

Another major trend, and I’m undecided if this is good or bad………..with the end of thousands of years of European empires and the decline of US power (loss of Vietnam war, a string of weak leaders with no war veterans in office from any post WWII war, not keeping up with profound power shifts, etc) combined with the gigantic rise of East Asia while we’re distracted by a declining Russia and a volatile Middle East, the world has shifted from Western Hegemony. My wife and I took an educational tour around China and to a lesser extent, Japan last year. The technology, engineering, architecture and infrastructure, along with such unified cultures astounded us. It appeared vastly advanced over the West………we’ve been too busy sleeping and fighting among ourselves and now we see a changed world.

Anyway, that’s my pontificating for the day. Nice reading your columns as always, Timothy.

Liked by 1 person

1 07 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments.

Sorry about the “Like” button not working for you. As you can see, I have clicked on it with respect to your comments and those of Gary.

I agree with your second and third paragraphs.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3149469/Slaughter-amphitheatre-ISIS-executioners-brutally-shoot-dead-25-Syrian-regime-soldiers-bloodthirsty-crowds-ancient-Palmyra-ruin.html (“Slaughter in the Roman amphitheatre: Horrific moment ISIS child executioners brutally shoot dead 25 Syrian regime soldiers in front of bloodthirsty crowds at ancient Palmyra ruin”)

In your fourth paragraph, you wrote:

My wife and I took an educational tour around China and to a lesser extent, Japan last year. The technology, engineering, architecture and infrastructure, along with such unified cultures astounded us. It appeared vastly advanced over the West………we’ve been too busy sleeping and fighting among ourselves and now we see a changed world.

As I assume you know, China has some very serious problems.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-7169 (“The Coming Chinese Crack-Up”); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7485 (“The World Is Defenseless Against The Next Financial Crisis”)

What is perhaps most interesting is that as the Middle East continues to implode, and as the United States becomes the dominant energy producer in the world once again—and energy independent—China may find that it needs American energy products desperately.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7283 (“US To Launch Blitz Of Gas Exports, Eyes Global Energy Dominance“)

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2 07 2015
smilinjacksez

Right on target Timothy !!!

Liked by 1 person

2 07 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Smilin Jack. 🙂

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8 07 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

9/11-Like Cyberattacks On America?

Internet

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

The New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal have all fallen victim to a series of massive technical glitches within hours of each other.

NYSE has currently halted all trading, for ‘technical reasons’ – but says the problem is an internal one and not the result of a cyberattack.

It comes as tens of thousands of United Airlines passengers were stranded at U.S. airports on Wednesday morning after all of the carrier’s flights were grounded nationwide due to a computer system glitch.

The Wall Street Journal was also left unable to publish after its systems came under attack and has been forced to switch to an alternative site design.

The Homeland Secretary Johnson said the problems were not related to ‘nefarious’ activity.

The White House confirmed that the President was briefed on the issues.

‘At this point there in no indication of malicious actions,’ said spokesman Josh Earnest.

‘NYSE officials have been in contact with homeland security and SEC, and the President has asked to be kept updated.’

The security of federal systems was also addressed.

‘We work aggressively to make sure the defences we have in place reflect the threats we perceive, and that is continually evolving.

‘I can assure you that officials are very vigilant.’

Jane Lute of the Center for Internet Security, who previously worked as part of homeland security, told CNN ‘The episodes may not be related or malicious.

‘We would be looking for signs there are malicious elements here. We would tell people they need to follow good cyber hygiene.’

Computer security expert Graham Cluley warned against people blaming the issue on hackers.

‘My guess is that they turned a piece of equipment off and on again, and got things back to normal,’ he said.

‘Okay, so maybe it was a bit more complicated than that – but in my experience that’s the basic solution for most IT problems.

‘Similarly, the NYSE could be suffering from a technical glitch that has nothing to do with hoody-wearing hackers in the employ of the People’s Liberation Army.

‘Even if it was found that hackers were to blame, attributing an attack to a particular country is *notoriously* difficult. Stay safe folks, and don’t panic.’

The NYSC halt started at 11:32am and was triggered by ‘technical issues,’ the NYSE said in a statement.

‘We’re currently experiencing a technical issue we’re working to resolve as quickly as possible,’ the statement reads, adding that ‘additional information will follow as soon as possible.’

‘We’re doing our utmost to produce a swift resolution & will be providing further updates . . . as quickly as possible,’ it later tweeted.

Soon after it claimed ‘The issue we are experiencing is an internal technical issue and is not the result of a cyber breach.

‘We chose to suspend trading on NYSE to avoid problems arising from our technical issue.’

‘NYSE-listed securities continue to trade unaffected on other market centers.’

It is believed the exchange updated parts of it software last night, and that investigators are focusing on this as a potential cause of the problem.

It is hoped trading could resume at around 2pm this afternoon.

Mark Otto of J. Streicher & Co in New York told Reuters from the NYSE floor.

‘It’s under control. We’re just waiting for word.

‘There’s no sign of panic at all,’

‘We’re waiting to hear word on if there’s going to be a reopening, and when it is or any more details.’

MSNBC claims the FBI is investigating the incidents.

The Department of Homeland Security has also issued a statement about the shutdown, saying there is currently ‘no sign of malicious activity’.

With nothing to buy or sell, traders on the usually frantic stock floor were seen sitting and standing around staring at the blank trading terminals where they usually do business.

The halt comes on the same day that United Airlines flights around the country were grounded due to a nationwide technical issue on their own network.

The Wall Street Journal newspaper’s website homepage has also broken down, and only displays an error message.

Traders on the floor say they were handed out a piece of paper this morning before trading, with a list of ‘possibly problematic’ stocks, according to CNN.

Some of those stocks include Korea Electric Power and American companies like Kate Spade and Nordstrom.

However, it’s unclear if that list has anything to do with the ongoing trading shutdown.

Elsewhere, tens of thousands of United Airlines passengers were stranded at U.S. airports on Wednesday morning after all of the carrier’s flights were grounded nationwide due to a computer system glitch.

At around 8am EST, United requested that all of its planes be prevented from taking off after it suffered from a ‘network connectivity issue’, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Although the airline did not explain the nature of the issue, passengers said its reservation system was ‘down across the board’ – meaning those without hard boarding passes could not check in.

At some airports, United staff were pictured writing out boarding passes for fliers by hand. Shortly before 10am – two hours after the nationwide ground stop began – United resumed its service.

In a statement before the stop was lifted, United spokesman Luke Punzenberger told Bloomberg that the company had experienced a ‘network connectivity issue’ and was ‘working to resolve this’.

‘[We] apologize to our customers for any inconvenience,’ he added.

The computer error caused delays for around 3,500 flights at major U.S. airports before it was resolved, NBC reports. On its website, the FAA says the incident was due to ‘automation issues’.

The glitch does not appear to have affected airborne flights.

Although a FAA advisory, seen by ABC, states that the ground stop began just before 8am EST, it was not reported until 9am – and United did not confirm the incident on Twitter until about 9.40am.

At 9.20am, United’s feeder airlines – such as United Express – were released from the ground stop. However, United flights remained grounded until just before 9:47 a.m, according to CNN Money.

The widespread delays that occurred as a result of the computer glitch could have a snowball effect on flights traveling to hundreds of domestic and international destinations, aviation experts say.

Less that two hours after the error was resolved, the New York Stock Exchange halted all trading, for reasons not yet announced. CNBC reports that the halt was triggered by ‘technical issues’.

On Wednesday morning, passengers were taking to the airline forum flyertalk.com to discuss the United ground stop, with one saying the pilot told them ‘three of four’ computer systems were down.

Another said their plane had headed to the runway to depart, before turning back to the gate.

And a passenger at Port Columbus Airport in Ohio said the gate agent had told them that United’s reservation system, SHARES, was ‘down across the board’, resulting in the nationwide incident.

‘Every flight is delayed at the moment. Rough start to the day,’ the user added.

Indeed, at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, United passengers without a hard copy of their boarding pass were not being allowed to check in for their flights, NBC reports.

Meanwhile, at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois – where around 120 flights reported delays – passenger queues stretched throughout the departure hall, with barely any room to move.

It is the second time in just five weeks that United has grounded all of its U.S. flights due to ‘automation issues’ after the airline suffered a lack of ‘proper dispatch information’ on June 2.

In that instance, the airline’s U.S. planes were prevented from taking off for less than an hour.

In 2012, United switched to a new passenger information computer system that was previously used by merger partner, Continental Airlines – and subsequently suffered a number of systematic issues.

The airline has hubs at San Francisco International Airport and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport.

An investigation into Wednesday’s incident is ongoing.

____

CYBER ATTACK ON US POWER SYSTEM COULD COST $1 TRILLION

A cyber attack which shuts down parts of the United States’ power grid could cost as much as $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, according to a report published on Wednesday.

Company executives are worried about security breaches, but recent surveys suggest they are not convinced about the value or effectiveness of cyber insurance.

The report from the University of Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies and the Lloyd’s of London insurance market outlines a scenario of an electricity blackout that leaves 93 million people in New York City and Washington DC without power.

The scenario, developed by Cambridge, is technologically possible and is assessed to be within the once-in-200-year probability for which insurers should be prepared, the report said.

The hypothetical attack causes a rise in mortality rates as health and safety systems fail, a drop in trade as ports shut down and disruption to transport and infrastructure.

‘The total impact to the U.S. economy is estimated at $243 billion, rising to more than $1 trillion in the most extreme version of the scenario,’ the report said.

The losses come from damage to infrastructure and business supply chains, and are estimated over a five-year time period.

The extreme scenario is built on the greatest loss of power, with 100 generators taken offline, and would lead to insurance industry losses of more than $70 billion, the report added.

There have been 15 suspected cyber attacks on the U.S. electricity grid since 2000, the report said, citing U.S. energy department data.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3153716/New-York-Stock-Exchange-halts-trading.html (“New York Stock Exchange unexpectedly halts ALL trading over ‘technical issue’, two hours after United was forced to ground all its flights nationwide also blaming an unexplained ‘computer glitch’“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/is-google-becoming-microsoft-or-worse/#comment-3305 (“Imagine If The Internet Went Down: Court System Hit With Cyberattack“) and http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/10/katherine-archuleta-quits-opm-director-after-massi/ (“Katherine Archuleta ousted as OPM director after massive data hack“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11754089/Hacker-remotely-crashes-Jeep-from-10-miles-away.html (“Hacker remotely crashes Jeep from 10 miles away“) and http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/06/russia-hacks-pentagon-computers-nbc-citing-sources.html (“Russia hacks Pentagon“) and http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2015/08/06/russians-hacked-joint-chiefs-of-staff.html (“Russians Hacked Joint Chiefs of Staff“)

If the events described above were not part of a coordinated series of cyberattacks—like 9/11 was a series of well-coordinated attacks by terrorists—what is? If not today, then when?

Aside from the risk of a nuclear attack, there is also the risk of a devastating EMP Attack.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7485 (“The World Is Defenseless Against The Next Financial Crisis“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-7486 (“Putin Meets Economic Collapse With Purges, Broken Promises“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-7169 (“The Coming Chinese Crack-Up“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/the-state-bar-of-california-is-lawless-and-a-travesty-and-should-be-abolished/#comment-7016 (“California Is Lawless“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/#comment-6470 (“Nearly 36 million People Are Slaves“)

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11 07 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

The Thought Police Are At It Again

Confederate Flag

The Wall Street Journal has published an article entitled, “The Right Way to Remember the Confederacy,” which is not worth reading but it is nevertheless mentioned here.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-right-way-to-remember-the-confederacy-1436568855

There is NO right or wrong way to remember the Confederacy—which is why the Journal article is so absurd and should not have been published.

It is another example of the Putinesque “thought police” trying to dictate to Americans how to think about racism, global warming and a whole host of other issues.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-7486 (“Putin Meets Economic Collapse With Purges, Broken Promises“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-3036 (“The Global Warming Hoax, And The Great Green Con, Revisited“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7356 (“The Global Green Energy Fad“)

The so-called “progressives”—which they are not—or far-Left Democrats want to shove their beliefs down our throats, which is not working and is falling on deaf ears. More importantly, it is apt to be remembered and reflected in next year’s election results.

Their efforts are the fulfillment of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” where all of the animals were equal until the pigs reigned supreme.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm”)

My first paternal ancestor arrived here from Rottweil, Germany in 1849; and 11 years later, he began serving with the Union Army. I never thought that I would be defending the Confederacy, much less its flag.

However, the Confederacy should be remembered, and its flags should fly proudly—because this is a right that every American has. Indeed, lots of us who have never put up a Confederate flag may do so now.

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/11/confederate-flag-treated-like-fallen-hero.html (“Confederate Flag Treated Like Fallen Hero“) and https://ca.news.yahoo.com/confederate-flag-supporters-rise-defend-embattled-symbol-222059682.html (“Confederate flag supporters rise up to defend embattled symbol“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/confederate-flag-supporters-rally-in-georgia-1438466232 (“Confederate Flag Supporters Rally in Georgia“)

The Leftists and their politicians are trying to mask the fact, and deflect attention from the fact that Hispanics are not rioting. Asians are not rioting. Jews are not rioting. Only the blacks are rioting . . . and then only a small portion of them: the hoods, thugs and criminals who also target elderly and inner-city blacks—and our police.

Racial tensions, hostility and outright hatred exist in America today, in the faces and actions of such hoods, thugs and criminals; and it is creating a reaction of equal or greater magnitude on the part of other Americans.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/#comment-7434 (“Disappointment In Obama Leads Some Blacks To Ask Whether Voting Is Worth It“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-7288 (“Rioting, Looting And Killing By Thugs And Hoods In American Cities“)

Rioter

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22 08 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Heroes . . . And Three Friends [UPDATED]

Three friends

This photo shows three American childhood friends who attended the same Christian high school in California, and who were touring Europe when they stopped a Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist on a train, and instantly became global heroes.

They are, left to right: Oregon National Guard member Alek Skarlatos from Roseburg, Oregon, who had been deployed in Afghanistan; U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone (standing) of Carmichael, California; and Anthony Sadler, a senior at Sacramento State University in California.

Their heroics are described in numerous articles, too many to cite. However, two in the UK’s Daily Mail stand out, which should be read and the videos viewed. An emotional video interview with Sadler’s father, a Baptist pastor, in the second Daily Mail article is especially worth watching.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3207243/True-American-hero-airman-tackled-beat-disarmed-Kalashnikov-wielding-terrorist-French-train-treated-tending-stab-wounds-emerges-hospital-humble-wave.html (“A humble wave from a hero: Wounded US airman who took down AK47-wielding terrorist on French train, then treated others before tending to his own stab wounds emerges from hospital with a smile“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3206977/Spencer-airman-charged-Kalashnikov-wielding-terrorist-Paris-bound-train-hearing-load-gun-toilet.html (“‘Let’s go!’ How hero American airman charged Kalashnikov-wielding terrorist on French train, tackled him and beat him unconscious with the help of his comrade in arms and a friend”); see also http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150822/eu–france-train_attack-5be2fb37d9.html (“3 Americans praised for subduing gunman on European train“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/two-u-s-soldiers-help-subdue-attacker-on-french-train-1440238328 (“[President] Obama spoke with the three Americans and expressed his gratitude”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3208541/Passenger-wrestled-Paris-train-terrorist-servicemen-Briton-disarmed-revealed-American-professor-Hollande-thanks-preventing-carnage.html (“Three Americans and a British grandfather who tackled Paris train terrorist are awarded France’s highest honour for bravery for preventing ‘carnage’ – as first hero passenger is revealed to be a U.S. professor [Mark Moogalian]“) and http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/french-train-attack/french-train-hero-spencer-stone-earns-promotion-staff-sergeant-n455006 (“French Train Hero Spencer Stone Earns Promotion to Staff Sergeant“)

The entertainment news magazine “Extra” has reported:

Before Sunday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers presented personalized Lakers jerseys to the three Americans who thwarted a terrorist attack on a train in France in August.

This past summer, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, and Anthony Sadler tackled a gunman and prevented any fatalities on the train on which they were traveling as tourists. The trio, who saw firsthand what a terrorist attack could look like, chatted with “Extra” about the Paris terror attacks that took place on Friday. Alek commented, “Obviously, we’re just as shocked as anybody, and maybe it may have touched a little bit more of a nerve with us because of what we went through, obviously, and just because you stop one terrorist attack it doesn’t mean they’re going to stop coming anytime soon.”

Spencer shared some advice to those who may be confronted with a similar situation. “You gotta overpower them… They’re always going to pick a place where there is more people than them, so if everyone just has the same goal to rush them and take them down, at least not that many people will get hurt.”

Anthony chimed in, “You gotta act, so we can stop terrorism.” On that note, Spencer added, “We can’t sit down.” Alek reiterated, “You’re going to die anyway, so you might as well give it a shot and get lucky like we did.”

Anthony and Spencer also had messages for the families affected by the tragedy. Sadler said, “To keep hope alive, prayers and thoughts out to them for sure.” Stone added, “Praying for everyone in France and I pray for President Hollande to be making the best decisions he can to deal with the problem and to stay strong.”

See http://extratv.com/2015/11/16/paris-train-attack-heroes-reflect-on-fridays-violence/ (“Paris Train-Attack Heroes Reflect on Friday [the 13th]’s Violence“) (emphasis added)

French flag with black ribbon

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3 09 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Aylan And Galip Kurdi Will Be Remembered [UPDATED]

Aylan and Galip Kurdi

People around the world may not remember their names, but their faces and their fate will be remembered.

In a UK Daily Mail article, it has been reported:

The heartbroken father of two young boys whose bodies washed up on the beach in Turkey watched tearfully as their coffins embarked on their final journey.

Little Aylan, three, and Galip Kurdi, five, were on an overcrowded boat filled with refugees fleeing the war in Syria when it capsized shortly into the crossing to the Greek island of Kos.

Both boys died in the sea alongside their mother, Rehan, while their father Abdullah survived. Today the shattered father watched as the coffins of the family he couldn’t save left the morgue.

Earlier he had described the horrific moment that his family slipped through his fingers as he screamed for help.

Aylan and Galip, who were not wearing life jackets, did not stand a chance when the boat overturned in the dead of night, some 30 minutes after it set off from the holiday resort of Bodrum in Turkey.

All 17 passengers were flung into the Mediterranean, and despite the calm water, Galip and Aylan drowned.

Their lifeless bodies, still clad in tiny T-shirts and shorts, washed up on Ali Hoca Point Beach in Bodrum yesterday.

Mr Kurdi has confirmed to reporters that he was on board the ship with his family but was unable to save them.

He said the boat’s captain panicked due to the high waves and jumped into the sea and fled, leaving him in control of the small craft.

‘I took over and started steering,’ he said. ‘The waves were so high and the boat flipped.’

He told Turkey’s Dogan News Agency: ‘I was holding my wife’s hand, but my children slipped through my hands. We tried to cling to the boat, but it was deflating.

‘It was dark and everyone was screaming.’

Mr Kurdi said his family were trying to get to Canada from Kobane after fleeing to Turkey last year to escape Islamic State extremists.

According to Mr Kurdi’s Facebook page, he was originally from Damascus in Syria. He told Dogan News Agency he had paid human traffickers to take his family to Kos twice before, but both attempts failed.

‘In our first attempt, coastguards captured us in the sea and then they released us. In our second attempt, the organisers did not keep their word and did not bring the boat,’ he said.

It is believed a smuggler told the journey would only take 10 minutes.

Yesterday he identified the bodies of his wife and two sons and waited for their release from the morgue in Mugla, Turkey.

Now he wants to return to Kobane [] to bury his family. A hospital official in Bodrum said the bodies would be flown to Istanbul later today and taken to the Turkish border town of Suruc before reaching their final destination Kobane.

The boys’ aunt has spoken of the moment Mr Kurdi called relatives after the tragedy.

She revealed the family had been refused visas in June to join her in Canada, so instead had taken the fateful decision to risk their lives by paying smugglers to take them to Europe.

‘I heard the news at five o’clock in this morning,’ Vancouver-based Teema Kurdi told National Post.

She said she learned of the tragedy through a telephone call from Ghuson Kurdi, the wife of another brother, Mohammad, who had spoken with the bereaved father.

‘She had got a call from Abdullah, and all he said was, “my wife and two boys are dead”,’ she explained.

The aunt said an application to sponsor the family to go to Canada was rejected in June.

‘I was trying to sponsor them, and I have my friends and my neighbours who helped me with the bank deposits, but we couldn’t get them out, and that is why they went in the boat,’ she added.

Canadian legislator Fin Donnelly told The Canadian Press he had submitted a request on behalf on the boys’ aunt.

Canadian immigration authorities rejected the application, in part because the family did not have exit visas to ease their passage out of Turkey and because of their lack of internationally recognised refugee status, the aunt told the Ottawa Citizen.

In total, 13 passengers – including the Kurdish brothers, their mother Rehan, 35, and another three children – are believed to have died in the tragedy.

According to local reports the boats were part of a flotilla of dinghys that were boarded at an inlet before puttering out to the sea off Akyarlar – the nearest point from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos.

Another dinghy among the flotilla, which was carrying a further 16 refugees to Kos, also capsized.

The fisherman who found the brothers’ bodies told the BBC: ‘I came to the sea and I was scared. My heart is broken.’

Tragically among the dead on that boat was another set of brothers, Zainb Ahmet-Hadi, 11 and his younger brother Hayder, nine.

Their grief-stricken mother Zeynep was pictured being consoled by her surviving daughter Rowad, seven.

According to one passenger, Omer Mohsin, there were 175 people crammed onto 12 boats in the narrow inlet of water.

‘We paid 2,050 euro each,’ said Omer, whose brother Bekir is feared to be among the dead.

‘The boat we boarded is for 10 people, 17 people boarded. It sank almost as soon as we reached the open water – but it was pitchblack – those that couldn’t swim didn’t stand a chance.’

Five Turkish coastguard boats, an air sea rescue helicopter and a spotter plane all raced to the scene at dawn after eye-witness reports of bodies floating in the sea.

The coastguard confirmed that none of the boats had made it to Kos – all turned back to Bodrum.

The dead are among the 2,500 people who have already lost their lives this year while fleeing violence, oppression and poverty and trying to reach Europe by sea.

The route between Bodrum and Kos is one of the shortest from Turkey to the Greek islands. Thousands are attempting the perilous sea crossing despite the risks.

Elsewhere in Europe, hundreds of desperate migrants poured into Budapest’s main railway station this morning after Hungarian police withdrew following a two-day standoff, triggering chaotic scenes.

Crowds stormed a stationary train, cramming children through open windows in the belief they might travel west to Austria and Germany.

Hungary’s main railway operator, however, said there would be no direct trains leaving for western Europe today.

‘Attention please, on Track 8 the train does not depart. Please get off the train,’ the station said over the loudspeakers.

There was no immediate word about why the police withdrew.

More than 2,000 migrants, many of them refugees from conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, had been camped in front of the Keleti Railway Terminus, closed to them by authorities saying European Union rules bar travel by those without valid documents.

And Greece’s coast guard said today it has rescued hundreds of migrants at sea as they attempted to reach Greek islands clandestinely from the nearby Turkish coast.

It picked up 751 people in 19 incidents between yesterday morning and this morning off the coasts of the islands of Lesbos, Samos, Agathonissi, Farmakonissi, Kalymnos and Symi.

In the Czech Republic, authorities will release 230 Syrians who have been detained in migrant centers.

The move comes a day after authorities announced they no longer intended to prevent Syrians who had already claimed asylum in Hungary from traveling via its territory to Germany.

The Czechs had previously detained Syrian migrants, as well as those from other nations, for up to 42 days.

The new policy could allow Syrian migrants to travel more freely to Berlin because the most direct Hungarian trains to Germany’s capital pass through the Czech Republic.

Police spokeswoman Katerina Rendlova says the Syrians have seven days to leave the country.

On Tuesday, tensions flared at Greece’s northern border with Macedonia, where about 1,500 migrants were waiting to cross.

Fights and scuffles broke out near the Greek village of Idomeni after migrants, mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, attempted to rush past Macedonian border police.

Germany, France and the UK have called for a meeting of EU interior and justice ministers in mid-September to work out new responses to the crisis.

While Germany says it expects to receive 800,000 migrants – quadruple last year’s figure – many other EU nations face criticism for failing to commit to housing more asylum seekers.

In comparison, Britain received 25,771 asylum applications in the year ending June 2015, according to the Home Office.

David Cameron today faced intense pressure to show ‘compassion’ and drop his opposition to Britain accepting more refugees as European leaders struggled to contain the crisis on the continent.

The Prime Minister insists that the answer to the problem is not offering refuge to desperate migrants fleeing north Africa.

In a dramatic escalation of the crisis, EU leaders last night abandoned the continent’s commitment to unchecked travel and reintroduced border controls.

With international pressure on the UK to share the burden, Conservative MPs, peers and donors called publicly called on Mr Cameron to offer sanctuary to ‘not hundreds but thousands’ of refugees.

Mr Cameron has also been warned his hopes of overhauling the European Union will be blocked if Britain refuses to accept more refugees from north Africa.

Austria and Germany – key allies in the Prime Minister’s push for change in Brussels – have condemned the UK for not opening the doors to asylum seekers.

They warned Mr Cameron that ‘solidarity is not a one-way street’ and said his hopes of renegotiating EU membership will be scuppered if he behaves like Britain is ‘out of the club’.

_______________________

SMUGGLER REVEALS THE SECRETS OF THE DARK TRADE

Smuggling boat captains today blamed European efforts to slam the door shut on Syrian refugees for the sickening scenes of dead children washed up on Turkish beaches.

He said boat captains, like him, had stopped taking migrants across the Mediterranean because Turkish and Greek coastguards had stepped up patrols and if they are caught they face prison sentences.

This, he explained, had led the migrants into the hands of more unscrupulous people traffickers who would put families into flimsy inflatable boats instead – making the journey much more dangerous.

With no hint of irony or guilt, one told MailOnline: ‘It is impossible to help these people safely. No boat captain will pilot these people to Kos now – the risk is just too great.’

The captain, who asked not to be named, has his own boat offering day cruises and fishing charters to tourists.

‘Over the last few years we’ve had many requests to take refugees over to Kos,’ explained the skipper.

‘These are desperate people looking for a better future for their families. There is no hope of any kind of life under those barbarians,’ he said – referring to the Islamic State that now controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

‘If you are unlucky enough to be near the caliphate you should snatch up your family and run for your lives,’ the captain said.

‘I have spoken to many people who have fled Syria and their stories are so shocking it’s almost unbelievable.’

But while the rest of the world twiddle their thumbs to find a solution to the escalating crisis in Syria, the exodus has turned into a stampede.

‘We have always run routes across to Greece,’ the captain said. ‘But in the last two years it has become crazy. Thousands of people are turning up every day.

‘Unfortunately as the numbers increased so has the publicity both here and in Greece. The waters are constantly patrolled by coastguard and lifeboats from both countries.

‘It’s not so bad for the refugees – if they get picked up by the Greeks they claim asylum. If they’re turned back by the Turks they just bide their time and try again.

‘It’s completely different for the captains. If we get stopped in Turkey our boats are confiscated and we can face six months in jail.

‘If we’re stopped by the Greeks they take it even more seriously and many of my friends have been jailed for five years in Greece for people trafficking.

‘It’s become too big a risk. We aren’t the ones that make the big money. It’s just not worth it anymore.’

The captain added: ‘Most Syrians can’t swim and yet now the organisers are simply picking a couple of the refugees and putting them in charge of these inflatable boats.

‘They have no knowledge of tides or currents. They don’t know how to control the boats or even how many one boat should hold and so it’s no surprise that so many are capsizing.

‘There are no controls, no safety checks. Those little boys yesterday weren’t even wearing life jackets. They had no hope.’

The captain explained that it was mainly Syrian-run gangs that now operate the routes to Greece.

‘They are buying up boats everywhere and anywhere. The cheaper the better because they know it’s a one way trip.

‘They’ve run out of boats locally and are now making daily trips along the coast – even as far as Marmaris, 75 miles away, to find old and cheap boats to buy.

‘Many are just buying inflatable dinghys with a tiny four horse-power engine on the back.

‘They board the refugees at night inland because once they’re on board and in the open water it’s less likely the Turks will stop them because they threaten to capsize themselves – they’re that desperate to reach Europe.

‘The inlets are much calmer and easier to manoeuvre but once on board the organisers simply give them a two minute lesson on operating the boat and disappear.

‘As soon as they reach the open water the problems start. They have no idea how to counter waves and are often tipped out within minutes of reaching the coast.

‘Even if they can manage to struggle back on board it’s unlikely the engine will start again – even if they knew how to do it. It is a disaster waiting to happen and it’s happening every night.

‘Until Europe comes up with a better plan you can expect to see many more babies drowning.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3219553/Terrible-fate-tiny-boy-symbolises-desperation-thousands-Body-drowned-Syrian-refugee-washed-Turkish-beach-family-tried-reach-Europe.html (“The final journey of tragic little boys washed up on a Turkish beach: Mother and sons who died in sea tragedy are taken from morgue after heartbroken father says goodbye to the family he couldn’t save”) (emphasis added; photos and videos omitted); see also http://www.wsj.com/articles/image-of-syrian-boy-washed-up-on-beach-hits-hard-1441282847 (“Image of Drowned Syrian Boy Echoes Around World“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/worldnews/11843440/The-power-of-photography-How-images-have-changed-world-opinions.html (“The power of photography: Images that changed world opinions“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/11847321/Police-officer-who-found-Syrian-toddler-I-prayed-he-was-still-alive.html (“Police officer who found Syrian toddler: ‘I prayed he was still alive'”)

Regardless of what one thinks about migration or immigration, or the wars and chaos around the world, millions of hearts and prayers go out to the bereaved father, Abdullah Kurdi—and to the families of others who have died.

Aylan Kurdi

[Photograph taken by Nilufer Demir of Turkish police Sgt Mehmet Ciplak carrying the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum]

See also http://graphics.wsj.com/migrants-map/ (“Forging Ahead: Migrant Journeys to Europe”—”More than half a million people have crossed from Africa and the Middle East into Europe this year. Here are the major routes they’ve taken and where many have gone”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3424644/Horror-history-repeats-lifeless-child-carried-beach-39-drown-Turkish-coast.html (“Horror as history repeats itself: Another lifeless child is carried off a beach as 39 drown off Turkish coast“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/12132808/Eyewitness-to-migrant-drowning-gives-harrowing-account-of-trying-to-save-Syrian-boy.html (“Eyewitness to migrant drowning gives harrowing account of trying to save Syrian boy”—”A witness to the drowning of at least 39 people, including babies and other young children, off Turkey’s coast recounted the disaster, and says she will never stop hearing their cries for ‘the rest of my life'”)

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27 10 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

EU Death March

Migrants walking

The UK’s Telegraph has reported:

The extraordinary aerial photo of a column of refugees and migrants tramping through the fields of Slovenia may come to symbolise the moment the EU began to fall apart. The irony can be lost on no one: it was in order to prevent such scenes happening again in continental Europe that the alliance was forged in the first place in the late 1950s. Yet here we are more than half a century later facing the prospect of thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands – of displaced people freezing and starving in the grasslands of eastern Europe as winter closes in.

It is hard to comprehend the stupefying naivety of those, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who thought it a good idea to send out an utterly self-serving signal a few weeks ago inviting anyone who could make the journey to head for Europe. This was ostensibly aimed at Syrians who had fled the civil war in their homeland; but the exodus has been swelled by migrants from many other countries looking for a better life – and who can blame them?

Only they are not going to get a better life. Arguably a transit centre in Europe might be preferable to a refugee camp in Jordan or Turkey, though the latter at least has the merit of being close to Syria, where there are finally tentative signs of some political progress being made. But having encouraged people to move, the Europeans are now pulling up the drawbridge because they have found dealing with the influx overwhelming. Where were the preparations? Why were fleets of buses and trains and boats not laid on at the borders of the EU to bring people safely to Germany, which is, after all, where most people are headed?

At an ill-tempered summit in Brussels on Sunday, European leaders belonging to the borderless Schengen area blamed each other for the crisis before finalising a 17-point plan to be foisted upon countries that don’t agree with it. Since the opponents comprise more than a dozen of the 28 member states, the scope for serious disagreement is clear, not least because the process for sharing out migrants was imposed by majority voting. The countries that are in the front-line of this crisis are understandably seething: Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, accused the German chancellor of “moral imperialism”.

This will unleash extremist politics in Europe. In Germany, the anti-immigrant Pegida movement is attracting thousands to its rallies and in France the Front National continues to gain support. Elsewhere, Eurosceptic parties are making inroads. In Portugal, a Syriza-style leftist minority government has taken office opposed to the eurozone’s fiscal rules; and in Poland, the Law and Justice Party is back in power, pledged to oppose any Brussels diktat on migrant quotas. Against this backdrop, which can only darken, Britain has to decide over the next two years whether to remain part of an increasingly unstable organization.

Leaving aside any deal that David Cameron can conjure up to reform Britain’s position in the EU, the advantages of staying in are diminishing rapidly. More to the point, the Prime Minister still seems highly unlikely to get any concessions on the free movement of people within the EU. If anything, the migration crisis has made this less achievable: why would countries forced to take migrants against their wishes agree to let Britain off the hook, even if we are outside the Schengen system? Sooner or later, the million or so new migrants will be allowed to move around Europe and many may want to come here.

In the early stages of this crisis, the rationale ascribed to Germany’s policy was that they need people because of a falling birth rate and dwindling population. Britain, by contrast, is growing rapidly. This will be confirmed by population projections this week which have been circulating in Whitehall and alarming all who have seen them. “They are hair-raising”, said one insider. These figures are produced to help government departments prepare for the number of children who will need schooling, workers who will require transport and sick and infirm who have to be treated and cared for.

The last projections showed the population – now around 64 million – increasing to more than 70 million within 12 years. Yet during the 1970s, planning was predicated upon a static population. Even as recently as 15 years ago, projections were anticipating that the 64 million we have today would not be achieved until 2031, whereupon it would fall. In fact, the population has grown by eight million since 1980 and another 10 million will be added in the next 25 years. Is it any surprise we have too few houses, schools, hospitals and trains to cope?

Labour politicians were fond of saying they could see no limits to immigration or population growth and it is true that, historically, countries where the population declines tend to stagnate. A high birth rate used to be encouraged because a rising population meant more people available to work, and a bigger economy brought greater wealth. But there must come a point where this is no longer true.

If population growth is predominantly fuelled by immigration, then the dependants of new arrivals will be a net cost until they grow up, get work and pay taxes. However, their parents will in time themselves become recipients of the pensions and other age-related benefits which have become the biggest cost on the welfare system. Even with immigration at unprecedented levels, the ratio of working people to those retired has continued to worsen. And while it is possible to point to great unpopulated tracts in the UK, especially in Scotland, where people could live, population growth has a disproportionate impact in London and the South East, because that is where most end up.

This, then, is the context within which Britain’s policy towards the great European migration crisis must be seen. No government staring at these population figures could possibly do what the anarchist idiots besieging St Pancras station’s Eurostar terminal at the weekend demanded and remove all borders. Indeed, on the continent, the era of open frontiers is drawing to a close amid political acrimony and human misery.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/11955742/We-are-seeing-the-last-dying-days-of-open-frontiers-in-Europe.html (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-7653 (“Aylan And Galip Kurdi Will Be Remembered“)

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28 10 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

The Flat Earth Society, Environmental Nazis Are At It Again, Bigtime [UPDATED]

Flat Earth

During the Middle Ages, the myth and cosmological view of the flat Earth—instead of spherical—prevailed in Europe.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_flat_Earth (“Myth of the flat Earth”)

Today, its intellectual equivalent, counterpart and alter ego is that man-made “global warming” or “climate change” exists, and that human beings can do something about it. Today’s “environmental Nazis” cite it as a fact, and try to silence those who believe otherwise. It is Hitler-esque and intolerable, yet it is happening.

Pollution of our oceans, sky and Earth is something that is man made; and steps have been taken for decades to deal with such issues as smog and litter. Great strides have been made.

However, our planet goes through natural cycles, of warming and cooling. It always has; and it will continue long after all of us—and our children, and their offspring—have left this earthly realm.

In another time, the proponents of “global warming” and the “green energy” fad would have been members of the “Flat Earth Society,” and claimed a “consensus” with respect to them too.

The latest and perhaps most important evolution of this bogus issue is discussed by the UK Telegraph‘s International Business Editor in London, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in an article entitled “Fossil fuel companies risk plague of ‘asbestos’ lawsuits as tide turns on climate change”:

Oil, gas and coal companies face the mounting risk of legal damages for alleged climate abuse as global leaders signal an end to business-as-usual and draw up sweeping plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Bank of America has warned.

Investors in the City are increasingly concerned that fossil fuel groups and their insurers are on the wrong side of a powerful historical shift and could be swamped with exhorbitant class-action lawsuits along the lines of tobacco and asbestos litigation in the US.

“It is setting off alarm bells that there could be these long tail risks,” said Abyd Karmali, Bank of America’s head of climate finance.

Mr Karmali said the United Nations’ “COP21” climate summit in Paris in December is likely to be a landmark event that starts to shut the door on parts of the fossil industry. “It is a non-exchangeable, one-way ticket to a low-carbon economy,” he said.

Christiana Figueres, the UN’s top climate official, said 155 countries have already put forward detailed plans covering 88pc of global CO2 emissions, and others are expected to join before the deadline expires.

“It is unstoppable. No amount of lobbying at this point is going to change the direction,” she told a Carbon Tracker forum in London.

Mrs Figueres said the mood has changed entirely since the failed summit in Copenhagen in 2009. This time China is fully on board. “China is already spending more on renewables than any other country. It is going to introduce its own emissions trading scheme in 2017,” she said.

Mrs Figueres said the pledges are not yet enough to cap the rise in average global temperatures to two degrees Centrigrade above pre-industrial levels by 2100 – the “two degree world” deemed the safe limit.

But the Paris accord does promise to “bend” the trajectory to 2.7 degrees and will almost certainly be followed by a series of deals that brings the ultimate target within sight. “We think most countries will be able to over-achieve,” she said.

While the exact contours are still unclear, Paris is likely to sketch a way towards zero net emissions later this century. It implies that most fossil fuel reserves booked by major oil, gas and coal companies can never be burned.

A deal would also send a moral signal with legal ramifications. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank England, warned last month that by those who had suffered losses from climate change may try to bring claims on third-party liability insurance.

He specifically mentioned the parallel of asbestos claims in US courts, which have mounted over the years to $85bn and devastated some Lloyd’s syndicates.

Mr Carney said it would be “premature to draw too close an analogy with climate risks” and acknowledged that previous carbon lawsuits have failed, but he warned that the risk is “significant, uncertain and non-linear”. The UN has already floated ideas on compensation.

It is not hard to imagine who might launch legal claims for climate damage. The leader of the Pacific island of Tuvalu said his nation would be flooded by rising sea levels and would cease to exist by 2050 under current emissions trends, though owners of any low-lying coastal property in the US or the rest of the world might have a claim.

Lord Bourne, Britain’s under-secretary for energy, said at Chatham House this week that Tuvalu’s plight is an international scandal. “We can’t sit back and let it happen,” he said.

While it might be grossly unfair to blame the fossil fuel industry for what was in reality a phase of economic development that drove progress and lifted billions out of poverty, individual companies might get into trouble if internal documents and emails come to light showing that they had knowingly distorted climate risks.

The Prince of Wales told the forum that “climate change is becoming an increasing source of risk to the finance community” and asked whether the time had come for investors to divest from fossil fuels and switch to green alternatives.

“Some investors, such as philanthropic trusts and foundations, will also have to consider whether continuing to invest in high-carbon assets represents a significant conflict to their overall mission and objectives.”

Carbon Tracker, a think tank of former City bankers, said the fundamental risk for the oil, gas and coal industry is that it continues to project a 30pc-50pc increase in fossil fuel use (and implicitly a four degree world) over the next quarter century as if nothing had changed, when global leaders are calling for a cut of 40pc-70pc by 2050.

The conflict is glaring. Fossil companies are in effect discounting the risk that governments will impose a rising carbon tax that gradually renders their business model obsolete.

Anthony Hobley, the group’s chief executive, said these companies still have time to adapt to the new world order and take the lead in renewable energy, storage technology and carbon capture – and some, such as Shell, are doing so – but they cannot avoid the issue. “They face the potential of massive value destruction if they try to fight the transition,” he said.

Mr Hobley said there is a historical graveyard of industries and companies that stuck doggedly to business as usual at key inflexion points. “Incumbents invariably fail to see it coming,” he said.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11958713/Fossil-fuel-companies-risk-plague-of-asbestos-lawsuits-as-tide-turns-on-climate-change.html (emphasis added; charts omitted); see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/globalwarming/11395516/The-fiddling-with-temperature-data-is-the-biggest-science-scandal-ever.html (“The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever”—”When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified”)

What is really frightening is the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris—which begins later this month—and its aftermath.

See, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_United_Nations_Climate_Change_Conference and http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/exxon-mobil-under-investigation-in-new-york-over-climate-statements.html (“Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General“); see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11958916/Paris-climate-deal-to-ignite-a-90-trillion-energy-revolution.html (“Paris climate deal to ignite a $90 trillion energy revolution”—”[T]he energy industry is still banking on ever-rising demand for its products as if nothing has changed”—”[W]hile it might once have been possible for energy companies to dismiss these utterings as empty pieties, to persist now is to trifle with fate”—”A Carbon Tracker forum in the City this week was packed with bankers and fund managers itching to find a way into the biggest investment boom of all time, which is what the Paris accord promises to ignite”—”Technology takes no prisoners. Nor does politics. World leaders have repeatedly stated that they would defend the line of a ‘two degree planet’, and now they are taking the concrete steps to do so. Fossil investors have been warned”) and http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/1101/Antarctica-is-actually-gaining-ice-says-NASA.-Is-global-warming-over (“Antarctica is actually gaining ice, says NASA“) and http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/616937/GLOBAL-COOLING-Decade-long-ice-age-predicted-as-sun-hibernates (“GLOBAL COOLING: Decade long ice age predicted as sun ‘hibernates'”) and http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/617144/Antarctica-not-shrinking-growing-ice-caps-melting (“MELTDOWN MYTH: Antarctic ice growing is just the first EVIDENCE global warming is NOT REAL“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-7777 (“Pumpkins And The Flatulence Of Cows Cause Global Warming“) and http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/259395-union-obama-threw-workers-under-the-bus (“Union: Obama threw workers ‘under the bus’ in Keystone decision“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/11980548/The-obsession-with-global-warming-will-put-the-lights-out-all-over-Britain.html (“The obsession with global warming will put the lights out“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11980840/Fossil-crisis-deepens-as-Exxon-probed-on-climate-cover-up.html (“Fossil crisis deepens as Exxon probed on climate cover-up”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-climate-agenda-behind-the-bacon-scare-1447115536?alg=y (“The Climate Agenda Behind the Bacon Scare“) and http://www.climatedepot.com/2015/11/19/scientists-declare-un-climate-summit-goals-irrational-based-on-nonsense-leading-us-down-a-false-path/ (“Prominent Scientists Declare Climate Claims Ahead of UN Summit ‘Irrational’—‘Based On Nonsense’—‘Leading us down a false path’”) and http://dailycaller.com/2015/11/25/the-new-consensus-97-of-americans-arent-worried-about-global-warming/ (“97 Percent Of Americans Aren’t Worried About Global Warming“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/your-complete-guide-to-the-climate-debate-1448656890 (“[W]orld temperatures . . . have gone up only very slowly, less than half as fast as the scientific consensus predicted in 1990 when the global-warming scare began in earnest. Even with this year’s El Niño-boosted warmth threatening to break records, the world is barely half a degree Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than it was about 35 years ago. Also, it is increasingly clear that the planet was significantly warmer than today several times during the past 10,000 years”—”On a global scale, as scientists keep confirming, there has been no increase in frequency or intensity of storms, floods or droughts, while deaths attributed to such natural disasters have never been fewer, thanks to modern technology and infrastructure. Arctic sea ice has recently melted more in summer than it used to in the 1980s, but Antarctic sea ice has increased, and Antarctica is gaining land-based ice, according to a new study by NASA scientists published in the Journal of Glaciology. Sea level continues its centuries-long slow rise—about a foot a century—with no sign of recent acceleration”—”[A] new study by a leading climate economist, Richard Tol of the University of Sussex, concludes that warming may well bring gains, because carbon dioxide causes crops and wild ecosystems to grow greener and more drought-resistant”—”The latest science on the “sensitivity” of the world’s temperature to a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels (from 0.03% of the air to 0.06%) is also reassuring. Several recent peer-reviewed studies of climate sensitivity based on actual observations, including one published in 2013 in Nature Geoscience with 14 mainstream IPCC authors, conclude that this key measure is much lower—about 30%-50% lower—than the climate models are generally assuming”—”Scientific skeptics are now routinely censored, or threatened with prosecution. One recent survey by Rasmussen Reports shows that 27% of Democrats in the U.S. are in favor of prosecuting climate skeptics. This is the mentality of religious fanaticism, not scientific debate”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/12021394/COP-21-climate-deal-in-Paris-spells-end-of-the-fossil-era.html (“COP-21 climate deal in Paris spells end of the fossil era”—”Much of the fossil industry will go into slow run-off while the new plutocrats will be masters of post-carbon technology”—”[T]he fossil fuel industry of coal, gas, and oil could forfeit $34 trillion in revenues over the next quarter century – a quarter of their income – if the Paris accord is followed by a series of tougher reviews every five years to force down the trajectory of CO2 emissions, as proposed by the United Nations and French officials hosting the talks”—”Most fossil companies would face run-off unless they could reinvent themselves as 21st Century post-carbon leaders, as Shell, Total, and Statoil are already doing”—”Such a scenario would imply the near extinction of the coal industry unless there is a big push for carbon capture and storage. It also implies a near total switch to electric cars, rendering the internal combustion engine obsolete”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/scientists-dispute-2-degree-model-guiding-climate-talks-1448829047 (“Scientists Dispute 2-Degree Model Guiding Climate Talks”—”Many scientists say the benchmark underpinning talks in Paris on climate change is an arbitrary threshold based on tenuous research”—”It emerged from a political agenda, not a scientific analysis”—”Policy makers tend to assume the two-degree target expresses a solid scientific view, but it doesn’t”—”Hell is not going to break loose at two degrees—it will take hundreds of years to unfold”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/12022821/Paris-climate-talks-Through-the-smog-coal-hungry-India-sees-carbon-imperialism-in-the-West.html (“Paris climate talks: . . . coal-hungry India sees ‘carbon imperialism’ in the West”—”Faced with a rapidly growing population, a buoyant but fragile economy blighted by constant power shortages and millions still living in abject poverty, India argues that it cannot simply decide between renewable and non-renewable power – it needs both. So a breakneck dash for coal is taking place across the country, where on average one new mine is opening every month”—”Officials here are quick to point out that it still burns less coal than the US or China”—”This smacks of a ‘carbon imperialism.’ And such imperialism on the part of advanced nations could spell disaster for India and other developing countries”); but see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7249 (“The Environmental Nazis Are At It Again“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-3036 (“The Global Warming Hoax, And The Great Green Con, Revisited“)

Even if all human beings were removed from the Earth, there would still be natural global warming and cooling as there have been for millions of years.

The Western policy elites’ obsession and fanaticism with global warming are threats to civilized life on this planet.

There are infinitesimally greater issues to think about today, such as growing terrorism and the collapse of the global economy, which will affect everyone in the world.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7614 (“Doomsday Clock For Global Market Crash Strikes One Minute To Midnight As Central Banks Lose Control“)

Environmental Nazis

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29 10 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Pumpkins And The Flatulence Of Cows Cause Global Warming

Pumpkin

Yes, if you can believe that: pumpkins are the latest claim from Barack Obama’s Department of Energy:

How scary are your jack-o’-lanterns? Scarier than you think, according to the Energy Department, which claims the holiday squash is responsible for unleashing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Most of the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the U.S. end up in the trash, says the Energy Department’s website, becoming part of the “more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) produced in the United States every year.”

Municipal solid waste decomposes into methane, “a harmful greenhouse gas that plays a part in climate change, with more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide,” Energy says.

Municipal solid waste can be used to harness bioenergy, the Energy Department says, which can help the U.S. become less dependent on carbon-based fuels while limiting stress on landfills by reducing waste. The agency has partnered with industry to develop and test two integrated biorefineries — “facilities capable of efficiently converting plant and waste material into affordable biofuels, biopower and other products.”

Neither of these proposed facilities is operational yet, but someday, all that squishy, orange squash could become clean, green energy.

Until then, happy carving!

See http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/28/pumpkins-cause-climate-change-energy-department/ (emphasis added)

If that is not madness enough, it has been claimed that a planet-wide menace consists of farting and belching cows:

At her farm nestled in the green hills of northwestern France, Marie-Francoise Brizard is helping to curb a planet-wide menace: farting and belching cows implicated in global warming.

So far this year, Brizard says she has cut methane emissions from her herd of 40 Normandy cows that are equivalent to 32 tonnes of climate-changing carbon dioxide.

That is equal to the carbon pollution spewed out in a 470,000-kilometre (292,000-mile) car journey, according to a computer tracker provided to Brizard by a French initiative that promotes lower methane output from farms.

She does it by feeding the cattle more grass but less maize and soy, cutting down on the cattle’s output of methane, which comes mostly from belching but also from flatulence.

Ruminant animals emit methane, a gas that is more than 20 times more efficient than carbon dioxide in trapping the sun’s heat.

Agriculture contributes an estimated 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which the world’s governments hope to curb in a climate pact to be negotiated in a November 30-January 11 conference in Paris.

Methane accounts for 40 percent of farming’s heat-trapping emissions.

As his wife leads the cattle to milking at the 100-hectare (250-acre) farm in Mayenne, a district of the Pays de Loire region, Luc Brizard sets out to sow seeds: alfalfa and other fodder rich in proteins alternating with cereals.

Dried alfalfa allows the couple to feed the cattle in winter without recourse to industrial maize- and soy-based feed which makes up a fifth of the diet of an average herd in France. The cattle also get a small supplement of linseed grown on site.

– ‘Stunning simplicity’ –

Legumes such as alfalfa and oilseeds such as linseed and some beans enrich the milk with Omega-3 fatty acids, which are claimed to have health benefits for humans but which also suppress the bacteria that produce methane. The cows thus emit less of the gas.

Alfalfa crops, rich in nitrogen, help the couple to improve the quality of the soil while their fields lock away carbon.

“The story is almost too good. But it is based on a principle of stunning simplicity: cows are made to eat grass,” said agronomist Pierre Weil, joint founder of the “Bleu-Blanc-Coeur” (Blue-White-Heart) initiative, which promotes food products with higher levels of the valued Omega 3 protein.

The scheme has been certified as a bona fide method of lowering greenhouse gas emissions by the French national institute for agricultural research and by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Under a “business as usual” scenario of greenhouse gas emissions, average global temperatures are predicted to rise by about 4 C (6.4 F) by the end of the century, leading to more droughts, deadly superstorms and higher seas, according the UN’s top science panel.

Methane emissions from cattle can be cut by as much as 65 percent depending on the feed, according to the French initiative, which aims for a more modest reduction of 20 percent so as to achieve the best balance between economic constraints, milk quality and animal health.

– Meagre financial benefits –

Every month, milk produced on the Brizard couple’s farm is analysed to ensure it meets the Bleu Blanc Coeur standards. Savings in greenhouse gas emissions are tracked each month on their computer with an ‘Eco-Methane’ counter.

Not all the 600 French farmers in the Eco-Methane project go as far as the Brizards.

“A farmer who only uses maize can just add a bit of linseed. You don’t have to change everything,” Weil said.

Despite saving on feed purchases, however, the financial benefits are meagre for the Brizard family.

Dairies in the area are not specialised in collecting Blue Blanc Coeur milk, which is available as a separate product in only a dozen dairies across France. So the dairies just pay the basic price and mix it with standard milk.

Despite the tonnes of greenhouse gas that are saved, the farm does not receive any carbon credits either because there is too little demand from businesses or cooperatives to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. Only a dozen farms in the Eco-Methane initiative get extra money this way, though Weil says such contracts may be signed soon with a group of local rural district authorities.

The couple and their four children, hard hit by a slide in milk prices, thus live on the sale of beef, which is also rich in Omega-3 proteins.

But they are not regretting their decision to feed their cattle and soil naturally.

Marie-Francoise’s father, who started out as a battery hen farmer, moved to organic farming in the 1970s.

“One day he told us: ‘I don’t want to sell to others what I would not give to my own children.’ I was 12, that shaped me,” she remembered.

See http://news.yahoo.com/blowing-wind-stop-cow-burps-warming-earth-061428031.html (“Blowing in the wind: how to stop cow burps warming Earth“) (emphasis added)

Wow! Is there anything human beings and other animals do which does not cause so-called “global warming” or “climate change”?

Perhaps it would be best if our planet Earth was uninhabited. Yes, that is facetious, but the “environmental Nazis” are out to change the world; and they will not be satisfied until they do it—even in the process of silencing critics, snuffing out freedom of speech and destroying Capitalism.

Even if all human beings and other animals were removed from the Earth, there would still be natural global warming and cooling as there have been for millions of years.

George Orwell foretold of the latest madness in his “Animal Farm,” where the “Pigs” reigned supreme and were masters over—and subjugated—the other animals. Indeed, “Animal Farm” is alive and well in the United States and throughout the world.

In another time, the proponents of “global warming” and the “green energy” fad would have been members of the “Flat Earth Society,” and claimed a “consensus” with respect to them too.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-7770 (“The Flat Earth Society, Environmental Nazis Are At It Again, Bigtime“)

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18 11 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Doomsday Clock For Global Market Crash Strikes One Minute To Midnight As Central Banks Lose Control [UPDATED]

Global crash

[Note: These comments were published originally on August 17, 2015 (see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7614) and have been updated since then]

The UK’s Telegraph has reported:

When the banking crisis crippled global markets seven years ago, central bankers stepped in as lenders of last resort. Profligate private-sector loans were moved on to the public-sector balance sheet and vast money-printing gave the global economy room to heal.

Time is now rapidly running out. From China to Brazil, the central banks have lost control and at the same time the global economy is grinding to a halt. It is only a matter of time before stock markets collapse under the weight of their lofty expectations and record valuations.

The FTSE 100 has now erased its gains for the year, but there are signs things could get a whole lot worse.

1 – China slowdown

China was the great saviour of the world economy in 2008. The launching of an unprecedented stimulus package sparked an infrastructure investment boom. The voracious demand for commodities to fuel its construction boom dragged along oil- and resource-rich emerging markets.

The Chinese economy has now hit a brick wall. Economic growth has dipped below 7pc for the first time in a quarter of a century, according to official data. That probably means the real economy is far weaker.

The People’s Bank of China has pursued several measures to boost the flagging economy. The rate of borrowing has been slashed during the past 12 months from 6pc to 4.85pc. Opting to devalue the currency was a last resort and signalled the great era of Chinese growth is rapidly approaching its endgame.

Data for exports showed an 8.9pc slump in July from the same period a year before. Analysts expected exports to fall only 0.3pc, so this was a huge miss.

The Chinese housing market is also in a perilous state. House prices have fallen sharply after decades of steady growth. For the millions who stored their wealth in property, it makes for unsettling times.

2 – Commodity collapse

The China slowdown has sent shock waves through commodity markets. The Bloomberg Global Commodity index, which tracks the prices of 22 commodity prices, fell to levels last seen at the beginning of this century.

The oil price is the purest barometer of world growth as it is the fuel that drives nearly all industry and production around the globe.

Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil, has begun falling once again after a brief rally earlier in the year. It is now hovering above multi-year lows at about $50 per barrel.

Iron ore is an essential raw material needed to feed China’s steel mills, and as such is a good gauge of the construction boom.

The benchmark iron ore price has fallen to $56 per tonne, less than half its $140 per tonne level in January 2014.

3 – Resource sector credit crisis

Billions of dollars in loans were raised on global capital markets to fund new mines and oil exploration that was only ever profitable at previous elevated prices.

With oil and metals prices having collapsed, many of these projects are now loss-making. The loans raised to back the projects are now under water and investors may never see any returns.

Nowhere has this been felt more acutely than shale oil and gas drilling in the US. Tumbling oil prices have squeezed the finances of US drillers. Two of the biggest issuers of junk bonds in the past five years, Chesapeake and California Resources, have seen the value of their bonds tumble as panic grips capital markets.

As more debt needs refinancing in future years, there is a risk the contagion will spread rapidly.

4 – Dominoes begin to fall

The great props to the world economy are now beginning to fall. China is going into reverse. And the emerging markets that consumed so many of our products are crippled by currency devaluation. The famed Brics of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, to whom the West was supposed to pass on the torch of economic growth, are in varying states of disarray.

The central banks are rapidly losing control. The Chinese stock market has already crashed and disaster was only averted by the government buying billions of shares. Stock markets in Greece are in turmoil as the economy grinds to a halt and the country flirts with ejection from the eurozone.

Earlier this year, investors flocked to the safe-haven currency of the Swiss franc but as a €1.1 trillion quantitative easing programme devalued the euro, the Swiss central bank was forced to abandon its four-year peg to the euro.

5 – Credit markets roll over

As central banks run out of silver bullets then, credit markets are desperately seeking to reprice risk. The London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), a guide to how worried UK banks are about lending to each other, has been steadily rising during the past 12 months. Part of this process is a healthy return to normal pricing of risk after six years of extraordinary monetary stimulus. However, as the essential transmission systems of lending between banks begin to take the strain, it is quite possible that six years of reliance on central banks for funds has left the credit system unable to cope.

Credit investors are often far better at pricing risk than optimistic equity investors. In the US while the S&P 500 (orange line) continues to soar, the high yield debt market has already begun to fall sharply (white line).

6 – Interest rate shock

Interest rates have been held at emergency lows in the UK and US for around six years. The US is expected to move first, with rates starting to rise from today’s 0pc-0.25pc around the end of the year. Investors have already starting buying dollars in anticipation of a strengthening US currency. UK rate rises are expected to follow shortly after.

7 – Bull market third longest on record

The UK stock market is in its 77th month of a bull market, which began in March 2009. On only two other occasions in history has the market risen for longer. One is in the lead-up to the Great Crash in 1929 and the other before the bursting of the dotcom bubble in the early 2000s.

UK markets have been a beneficiary of the huge balance-sheet expansion in the US. US monetary base, a measure of notes and coins in circulation plus reserves held at the central bank, has more than quadrupled from around $800m to more than $4 trillion since 2008. The stock market has been a direct beneficiary of this money and will struggle now that QE3 has ended.

8 – Overvalued US market

In the US, Professor Robert Shiller’s cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio – or Shiller CAPE – for the S&P 500 stands at 27.2, some 64pc above its historic average of 16.6. On only three occasions since 1882 has it been higher – in 1929, 2000 and 2007.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/11805523/Doomsday-clock-for-global-market-crash-strikes-one-minute-to-midnight-as-central-banks-lose-control.html (charts and graphs omitted; emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7485 (“The World Is Defenseless Against The Next Financial Crisis“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7283 (“US To Launch Blitz Of Gas Exports, Eyes Global Energy Dominance“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11808488/World-shipping-slump-deepens-as-China-retreats.html (“World shipping slump deepens as China retreats”—”[T]he six-year economic expansion may be on its last legs”—”A closely-watched gauge of emerging market currencies has fallen for the eighth week – the longest run of unbroken declines since the beginning of the century – led by the Malaysian Ringgit, the Russian rouble and the Turkish lira”—”The port of Hamburg said trade with Russia collapsed by 36pc, the latest evidence that the rouble crash and deepening recession has forced Russian consumers to cut back drastically on purchases of imported cars and heavy goods”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-lacks-ammo-for-next-economic-crisis-1439865442 (“U.S. Lacks Ammo for Next Economic Crisis”—”The world economy is like an ocean liner without lifeboats”) and http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-5000-yes-it-could-happen-2015-08-21 (“[S]omeone needs to tell the public that there is a plausible scenario in which the U.S. stock market now collapses by another 70% until the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls to about 5,000″—”[A] serious reading of history suggests this week’s sell-off might . . . be the beginning”—”There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that . . . the downward move that first began in 2000 has not ended”) and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-24/nyse-will-suspend-stock-trading-if-s-p-500-index-plunges-7- (“Stock Trading in U.S. Will Pause If S&P 500 Plunges 7%“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/#comment-7646 (“The Surging Ranks Of America’s Ultrapoor“) and http://cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/record-94031000-americans-not-labor-force-participation-rate-stuck-38-year (“Record 94,031,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Stuck at 38-Year Low for 3rd Straight Month“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11874484/Fed-is-riding-the-tail-of-a-dangerous-global-tiger.html (“Fed is riding the tail of a dangerous global tiger“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/eurozone-nears-limits-of-what-monetary-policy-can-do-1442771605 (“Eurozone Nears Limits of What Monetary Policy Can Do“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11898936/World-set-for-emerging-market-mass-default-warns-IMF.html (“World set for emerging market mass default, warns IMF”—”[P]anic in financial markets as liquidity evaporates”) and http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/StreetTalk/Carl-Icahn-fed-Minefield-economy/2015/11/04/id/700572/ (“[T]he Fed has inflated an economic bubble that is poised to burst”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7812 (“Shipping Is Being Hit Hard By The Gathering Global Storm“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/g-20-faces-dwindling-capacity-to-spur-souring-global-growth-1447617488 (“G-20 Faces Dwindling Capacity to Spur Souring Global Growth”—”World leaders are running out of options to revive a sickly global economy”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/12001710/Europe-is-sliding-towards-the-abyss-and-the-terrorists-know-it.html (“Europe is sliding towards the abyss, and the terrorists know it”—”The terrorists have struck just as Europe is at its most vulnerable – economically as well as politically”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-housing-starts-fall-11-in-october-1447853742 (“U.S. Housing Starts Fall 11% in October“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/12001895/Finlands-depression-is-the-final-indictment-of-Europes-monetary-union.html (“Finland’s depression is the final indictment of Europe’s monetary union”—”Finland is sliding deeper into economic depression . . . than the post-Soviet crash of the early 1990s, or the Great Depression of the 1930s”)

As I have written:

Years from now, economic historians may look back at this era and conclude that the world’s central bankers were overwhelmed and Depression-era “safety nets” did not work; and global market forces ultimately determined the depth and duration of the economic meltdown, not the politicians in Washington or anywhere else.

. . .

America and other nations are in uncharted waters; and their politicians may face backlashes from disillusioned and angry constituents that are unprecedented in modern times. Also, the limits of godless secularism and paying homage to the false gods of materialism may become self-evident.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html (“Euphoria or the Obama Depression?“)

One thing is certain: the worst is yet to come. The United States may fare better than other countries, but it will be affected too.

Hold on tight. Things will get very ugly!

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/#comment-7646 (“The Surging Ranks Of America’s Ultrapoor“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-7653 (“Aylan And Galip Kurdi Will Be Remembered“)

. . .

Not factored into any of these comments are the terrorist strikes on Paris, or the immigration issue that is tearing Europe apart.

See, e.g., http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11996678/Paris-terror-attacks-victims-isil-suspects-Syria-arrests-live.html (“Paris attacks: Chaos and fear grips capital after false reports of fresh gunfire send people ‘running for their lives’ – latest news“)

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19 11 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

A Friday The 13th Paris Survivor’s Tale [UPDATED]

French flag with black ribbon

See http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/11/18/paris-attacks-concert-hall-survivors-isobel-bowdery-amaury-baudoin-cooper-intv-ac.cnn (CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviews Isobel Bowdery and Amaury Baudoin—”Paris attack survivor: Felt like the worst horror film”)

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

A South African graduate has shared what was going through her mind as she faced murderous gunmen with hundreds of concert goers at Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Friday.

Isobel Bowdery, 22, posted the emotionally raw status on Facebook to describe her horrific ordeal which is accompanied by a photo of the t-shirt she wore to the concert, stained with blood.

The former Cape Town University student thanks the many strangers that helped her during the night from the man who she credits for saving her life to a couple she heard exchanging loving last words.

In a chilling admission, she said she first thought the gunmen were just an elaborate part of the Eagles of Death Metal show, until they opened fire ‘meticulously’ on the helpless crowd leaving as many 80 people dead on Friday night.

‘Dozens of people were shot right in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue,’ she wrote.

Survivor Sylvain Raballant, 42, said: ‘I turn around and I see two guys with Kalashnikovs. They were dressed normally – jeans and sneakers. At first I thought they were shooting in the air. Then I saw people falling over,’

As the audience gradually understood they were caught in a siege, they tried to make themselves as invisible as possible.

But mobile phones were ringing, quickly followed by shooting. It seemed like every 15 seconds there was another shot, 35-year-old survivor Philippe told AFP.

‘They fired into the crowd and people tried to escape but the attackers said: ‘If you move, we’ll kill you,” he said.

‘I saw three attackers, two of them clearly. One looked like a young guy, with a three-day beard. The other was closely shaved, wearing small eye glasses and some kind of yellow beret. He was also wearing what I took for a bullet-proof vest. It was actually an explosive vest,’ said Loic Wiels, who also made it out of the theatre alive.

Isobel played dead for more than an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless, as she held her breath, trying not to move.

‘As I lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered I love you,’ she said.

She then faced an agonizing 45 minutes separated from her boyfriend, who she believed had died.

But despite the horror, Ms Bowdery vows that the help she received from strangers throughout the night has made her determined to continue to see the good in people.

In a heartbreaking stream of consciousness, the brave survivor pays tribute to the many people who she encountered during the evening and thanks them for helping her believe in a better world.

‘To the man who reassured me and put his life on [the] line to try and cover my brain whilst I whimpered.

‘To the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world.

‘To the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy I loved was dead.

‘To the injured man who I had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself.

‘To the friend who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so I wouldn’t have to wear this blood stained top.’

The young woman hails these strangers as heroes, and says that the luck that allowed her survived means she must shed light on the courageous acts of those that didn’t and to ‘not let those men win’.

The series of co-ordinated terror attacks in Paris have left a total 129 people killed, 352 injured and 99 in critical condition.

As many as 80 people were killed in the attack on the Bataclan concert hall alone which saw gunmen massacre the audience with Kalashnikovs while the kept up to 100 people hostage before police stormed the venue.

. . .

SURVIVOR’S RECOUNTS HORRIFIC ORDEAL

‘You never think it will happen to you. It was just a Friday night at a rock show. The atmosphere was so happy and everyone was dancing and smiling.

And then when the men came through the front entrance and began the shooting, we naively believed it was all part of the show.

It wasn’t just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre.

Dozens of people were shot right in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. In an instant.

Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour, lying among people who could see their loved ones motionless.. Holding my breath, trying to not move, not cry – not giving those men the fear they longed to see.

I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn’t. The people who had been there for the exact same reasons as I – to have a fun Friday night were innocent. This world is cruel. And acts like this are suppose to highlight the depravity of humans and the images of those men circling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life.

The way they meticulously aimed [and] shot people around the standing area I was in the centre of without any consideration for human life. It didn’t feel real. I expected any moment for someone to say it was just a nightmare. But being a survivor of this horror lets me able to shed light on the heroes.

To the man who reassured me and put his life on line to try and cover my brain whilst i whimpered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world, to the police who succeeded in rescuing hundreds of people, to the complete strangers who picked me up from the road and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy [I] loved was dead, to the injured man who [I] had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself, to the woman who opened her doors to the survivors, to the friend who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so I wouldn’t have to wear this blood stained top, to all of you who have sent caring messages of support – you make me believe this world has the potential to be better. To never let this happen again.

But most of this is to the 80 people who were murdered inside that venue, who weren’t as lucky, who didn’t get to wake up today and to all the pain that their friends and families are going through. I am so sorry. There’s nothing that will fix the pain. I feel privileged to be there for their last breaths. And truly believing that I would join them, I promise that their last thoughts were not on the animals who caused all this. It was thinking of the people they loved. As I lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered I love you. Over and over again. reflecting on the highlights of my life.

Wishing that those I love knew just how much, wishing that they knew that no matter what happened to me, to keep believing in the good in people.

To not let those men win.

Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people.

To live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamed about but sadly will now never be able to fulfill.

RIP angels. You will never be forgotten.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3318812/You-never-think-happen-just-Friday-night-rock-Paris-survivor-posts-photo-blood-stained-t-shirt-reveals-played-dead-escape-Bataclan-massacre.html (“‘Dozens of people were shot right in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor’: Paris survivor posts photo of her blood stained T-shirt and reveals she played dead for more than an HOUR in theatre”) (emphasis added)

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4 12 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Global Anger

Helter Skelter

The Wall Street Journal has discussed “How Alienated Youth Fall Prey to the Militant Allure of Islamic State.”

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-alienated-youth-fall-prey-to-the-militant-allure-of-islamic-state-1449205294

Forget the “Allure of [the] Islamic State,” and militant groups of blacks in the U.S. There are plenty of reasons why non-Islamists and non-blacks are drawn to similar groups that advocate the downfall of governments around the world.

In the United States alone, a sizable majority of Americans do not believe in our government. They condemn government in all of its forms, and they are angry, very angry, and justifiably so.

This anger will only grow as economic conditions in the U.S. and globally deteriorate, and as more and more people come to hate government at every level—our corrupt judiciary, Congress . . . and the list goes on and on.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-7614 (“Doomsday Clock For Global Market Crash Strikes One Minute To Midnight As Central Banks Lose Control“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/ (“Global Chaos And Helter Skelter”)

Hold on tight. Global chaos and helter skelter are just around the corner. It will be a “brave new world” in which we live . . .

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4 12 2015
Jonathan Buttall

Good post, Timothy. Reading it, I’m reminded of a book from college long ago, Eric Fromms “Escape from Freedom”. It points out the many times in history people of any country may want to avoid the chaos, sometime corruption and uncertainty of freedom and democracy and pick a dictatorship for it’s certainty, strong leaders and clear rules (“at least the trains ran on time under Mussolini”).

We see this process in the admiration of many Americans for Vladimir Putin. We saw it in the depressed chaos of Weimer Republic Germany when Hitler was elected in 1933. Disturbingly, we see it in a bigoted demagogue and presidential front runner, Donald Trump, who successfully plays on the fears and ignorance of an America overwhelmed by the bad news they read and hear 24/7 from a media industry turned tabloid.

I worked professionally in the helping professions in a long career with thousands of people. Most of the time I feel empathy for the human race. Sometimes, sadly, I have serious doubts of their value.

The world may often hate governmental authority, who are merely human and cannot perform miracles, not being God. They may forget the significance of the fact that all people,everywhere, in all times and places, have rejected one “political” system; Anarchy. Whenever this has appeared, it’s very quickly replaced, often by a dictatorship.

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4 12 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, as always.

We must never forget how Mussolini met his fate, which the murderous Putin may share.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War”)

I have a different take on Donald Trump than you do. Indeed, he may be our next president.

I have worked with many on Capitol Hill, in business and in the law who make him seem like a “choir boy” and a giant, in terms of honesty, ethics, intelligence and accomplishments.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7834 (“The GOP Establishment Neanderthals”)

You noted:

I worked professionally in the helping professions in a long career with thousands of people. Most of the time I feel empathy for the human race. Sometimes, sadly, I have serious doubts of their value.

I appreciate your wisdom.

And yes, I am well aware of what happened in Germany and elsewhere, and of what is happening in Russia now.

It is amazing how George Orwell’s Animal Farm continues to have such relevancy today. He foretold of this madness in the book, where the “Pigs” reigned supreme and were masters over—and subjugated—the other animals.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm”)

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6 12 2015
Richard Hameroff

Timothy, what is the source of the plentiful amount of hope, that you are suggesting, still exists? Please elaborate.

Rick

Liked by 1 person

6 12 2015
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Rick.

Above all else, it is a belief in God.

I am not preaching, but merely expressing my personal views. I believe we are blessed as a people, and that the United States is blessed.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)

Although our “trials and tribulations” in the future may be many, I believe we will survive and flourish.

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18 01 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

America Elects Its Next President [UPDATED]

Helter Skelter

This election cycle is fascinating.

If Hillary Clinton is indicted—which seems to be a growing possibility—it will be “game over” for her candidacy. She will watch from the sidelines, like she did in the general election of 2008.

Then, either Senator Bernie Sanders will be the Democrats’ nominee or Vice President Joe Biden will jump into the race—albeit it may be too late already.

One thing is crystal clear: Hillary Clinton does not have the charm, magnetism, charisma or political appeal of Bill Clinton when he was at the height of his intellectual powers, nor does she compare well with Donald Trump either. She is a sad “retread” of what is wrong with U.S. politics, and she embodies what Americans want to change.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue“); see also http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/trump-biden-would-run-if-clinton-indicted (“Trump: Biden would run if Clinton indicted”)

With respect to the GOP, there are legitimate questions about Senator Ted Cruz’s legal ability to run for the presidency. Even without them, Trump is leading the pack . . . by miles.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural-born-citizen_clause#Ted_Cruz (“Natural-born-citizen clause: Ted Cruz“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/boycott-the-gop-and-ignore-foreign-naysayers/#comment-7996 (“Trump Rises, Hillary Wallows“) and http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/01/20/bob-dole-warns-of-cataclysmic-losses-with-ted-cruz-and-says-donald-trump-would-do-better/ (“Bob Dole Warns of ‘Cataclysmic’ Losses With Ted Cruz, and Says Donald Trump Would Do Better”—”The remarks by Mr. Dole reflect wider unease with Mr. Cruz among members of the Republican establishment, but few leading members of the party have been as candid and cutting”—”Mr. Dole added that he thought it would be harder for Hillary Clinton to defeat Mr. Trump in a general election than Mr. Cruz”) and http://theweek.com/articles/600335/donald-trump-poised-strongest-primary-performance-modern-history (“Donald Trump is poised for the strongest primary performance in modern history”)

Imagine a Sanders-Trump face-off.

While many of us may not agree with Sanders, he is refreshing—like Trump. Both are “authentic,” which is why so many Americans are drawn to them:

(1) America, Bernie Sanders’ Simon & Garfunkel TV ad

(2) Ivanka Trump TV ad

The UK is abuzz with outlandish sentiments to ban Trump from its shores, which are only overshadowed by the movements to withdraw from the EU, and for Scotland to become independent (Trump’s mother was born on the Scottish island of Lewis)—making Britain irrelevant.

Germany and the continent as a whole are cascading toward fragmentation, as it is being asked:

[I]magine 1 billion inhabitants, imagine they all move north.

See http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-18/wef-boss-schwab-warns-commodities-rout-could-spur-more-migration (“Davos Boss Warns Refugee Crisis Could Be Precursor to Something Much Bigger“); see also http://www.wsj.com/articles/welcome-to-the-crisis-economy-where-tumult-reigns-1453154909 (“Welcome to the Crisis Economy, Where Tumult Reigns”—”Myriad sources of anxiety are roiling global financial markets and political capitals: a weakening Chinese economy; collapsing oil prices; escalating tension in the Middle East that has spawned a refugee crisis in Europe; the possibility of financial dislocation as U.S. monetary policy tightens”—”The earthquake that began with the 2008 financial crisis in the U.S. and that later rumbled through Europe has finally shaken China, in turn crippling countries and companies from Africa to South America that prospered feeding Chinese demand”—”[G]eopolitical uncertainty abounds. Conflict in the Middle East—made worse by an increasingly overt proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran—has sent waves of refugees into Europe and fanned fears of terrorism in the West. Movements opposed to political and economic integration have gained ground across much of Europe. Nuclear tests in North Korea and territorial disputes over the South China Sea underscore how Asia is not immune from turmoil”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/europes-new-medieval-map-1452875514 (“Europe’s New Medieval Map”—”As the European Union unravels, the continent is reverting to divisions that go back centuries”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/davos/12108569/World-faces-wave-of-epic-debt-defaults-fears-central-bank-veteran.html (“World faces wave of epic debt defaults”—”Situation worse than it was in 2007, says chairman of the OECD’s review committee”—”The global financial system has become dangerously unstable and faces an avalanche of bankruptcies that will test social and political stability”—”‘Our macroeconomic ammunition to fight downturns is essentially all used up'”—”Europe’s creditors are likely to face some of the biggest haircuts. European banks have already admitted to $1 trillion of non-performing loans: they are heavily exposed to emerging markets and are almost certainly rolling over further bad debts that have never been disclosed.
The European banking system may have to be recapitalized on a scale yet unimagined, and . . . any deposit holder above the guarantee of €100,000 will have to help pay for it”—”[I]t is impossible know what the trigger will be for the next crisis since the global system has lost its anchor and is inherently prone to breakdown”—”[T]he Fed is now in a horrible quandary as it tries to extract itself from QE and right the ship again. ‘It is a debt trap. Things are so bad that there is no right answer. If they raise rates it’ll be nasty. If they don’t raise rates, it just makes matters worse'”—”‘It was always dangerous to rely on central banks to sort out a solvency problem when all they can do is tackle liquidity problems. It is a recipe for disorder, and now we are hitting the limit'”
)

Helter skelter is alive and well.

Global economic, political and social problems are beyond any one person’s ability to create or fix them. Yet, they may be blamed on Barack Obama, among others.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/ (“The Obama Great Depression“)

Any sense of “world order” is coming apart at the seams; and the world is teetering closer to the edge of an economic abyss.

The economists and other bureaucrats at the Fed and other central banks of the world will be helpless; and the myth of their overweening power and omnipotence will be exposed for all to see, like the Emperor with no clothes.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes

It will not be pretty or nice; and it seems to be coming fast.

Just when its full force and fury will hit is anyone’s guess, but it may happen before Barack Obama’s presidency ends.

Then, it will be up to America’s next president to pick up the pieces, which will be a daunting task—especially as Americans and others around the world have lost faith in their governments.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/ (“The Economic Tsunami Continues Its Relentless And Unforgiving Advance Globally“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/ (“Global Chaos And Helter Skelter“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/ (“Is Israel Doomed?“) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/general_lifestyle/january_2016/50_say_race_relations_in_america_getting_worse (Rasmussen Reports: “50% Say Race Relations in America Getting Worse”—”Interestingly, unlike most questions related to race, there isn’t a wide difference of opinion on these questions between blacks and whites”—”Men and women are in general agreement about race relations in America and what the future holds. Adults of all ages agree about the current state of race relations”) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/january_2016/gop_says_government_a_problem_for_democrats_it_s_the_solution (Rasmussen Reports: “GOP Says Government A Problem; For Democrats, It’s the Solution”) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/january_2016/most_voters_are_still_angry (Rasmussen Reports: “Most Voters Are Still Angry”—”A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that two-out-of-three Likely U.S. Voters (67%) are angry at the current policies of the federal government, including 38% who are Very Angry”) and http://humanevents.com/2016/01/20/liberal-and-conservative-media-unite-against-trump/ (Ann Coulter: “Liberal and Conservative Media Unite Against Trump”—”We have never had total war against a candidate like we’re seeing with Donald Trump. All elements of national media are uniting to stop him. Look for a fake Trump scandal to break — probably from a conservative news outlet — right before the Iowa caucus”—”All the stories about Trump being a fraud keep turning out to be the real frauds”—”Looking at what the party has become, I certainly hope he’s not a ‘real Republican.’ I know he’s a real American. Those used to be the same thing”) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/january_2016/81_think_federal_government_is_corrupt (Rasmussen Reports: “81% Think Federal Government is Corrupt”)

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7 02 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Migrant Crisis Spreads [UPDATED]

Migrants walking
[Migrants walking]

The Wall Street Journal has reported:

On a rainy morning, Leila Xider, her husband and their 2-year-old son left the Jungle—a sprawling migrant camp in Calais—to attempt the journey to the U.K. from a nearby town.

Instead, the Iraqi family is now holed up 30 miles north on a swampy patch of land at the edge of Grande-Synthe, a suburb of Dunkirk, where another camp is rapidly mushrooming.

“This is worse than the Jungle,” said the 25-year-old Ms. Xider. But her husband, she says, won’t give up. “We’ve spent all we had to get here.”

Camps such as the one in Grande-Synthe are burgeoning along France’s northern coast, as a heavy police presence in the main port town of Calais forces migrants to seek a different route to reach the U.K. Once there, many believe they will find better economic conditions to start a new life.

Police in the nearby ports of Dunkirk, Le Havre, Dieppe and Belgium’s Zeebrugge say they are facing an unprecedented influx of migrants, who every night try to sneak onto trucks headed for the U.K.

“They try a few times in Calais and if they can’t make it, they try in other ports along the coast,” said Frank Demeester, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in the Belgian town of Bruges.

The situation in Grande-Synthe and other coastal towns is casting a harsh light on France’s failure to find a solution to the migrant crisis in the north of the country. While it has successfully sealed off its border with the U.K. in Calais—building high razor wire fences around the entrance to the channel tunnel and the port, and deploying over a thousand police—the government has done little to prevent the crisis from spreading to neighboring towns.

“We shouldn’t simply move the problem but solve it,” said Bruno Lafosse, chief of staff to the mayor of Dieppe, a hundred miles south of Calais. In December, about 30 migrants stormed the ferry terminal, leaving local police overwhelmed, a first for the quiet port town, said Mr. Lafosse.

Dunkirk border police says they catch close to 500 migrants trying to get to the U.K. by stowing away in trucks every week, compared with just a handful six months ago. It is unclear how many make it to the U.K. undetected.

In the port of Le Havre, 170 miles down the coast, where a few months ago, weeks could go by without police spotting any migrants in the port, about a dozen people hiding in the back of trucks are caught every week, say officials.

“Things here are taking a new turn,” said François Lobit, county police deputy chief.

So far, French and British authorities have focused most of their interactions with migrants on emptying out the Jungle, the camp in Calais that sprawls across windswept dunes on the channel’s French coast, relocating thousands of people to other parts of France and Europe.

British authorities continue to work closely with the French to bolster ports in northern France, a spokeswoman for the U.K. Home Office said. “The message is clear—those in genuine need of protection will find it elsewhere in France,” she said.

French immigration officers have started visiting the camp to persuade refugees to apply for asylum. According to officials, about 500 migrants have been transferred to shelters since October. But many migrants are unwilling to give up on their goal of reaching the U.K.

After three months in Calais, and numerous failed attempts to cross the Channel, Ms. Xiler and her family decided instead to relocate to Grande-Synthe.

“We have been stuck in hell here for a month,” she said.

Police reinforcements have been sent to the camp, but unlike in Calais, the government has done nothing to improve living conditions, alarming local officials and aid organizations.

Grande-Synthe Mayor Damien Carême, initially allowed migrants to stay in his town, setting up basic amenities for them to use.

Until last summer, fewer than 50 migrants camped in a clearing in the woods just outside the city, and mostly went unnoticed. But late last year, as hundreds of migrants—many of them refugees fleeing war in Iraq and Syria—started arriving every week, the small settlement grew into a ramshackle tent village. As winter came, rivers of mud started flowing through the camp, trash piled up, and disease spread.

Mr. Carême turned to the government for help.

“They told me they won’t give me a penny,” he said.

The widespread presence of people smugglers, who charge several thousand euros to sneak migrants past border controls, discouraged French officials from taking any steps to improve living conditions at the camp.

“We aren’t going to set up new facilities so smugglers can charge migrants to use them,” a senior French government official said.

Mr. Carême is now working with the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders to relocate the camp to another part of town. The group, which runs a small clinic in Grande-Synthe, agreed to pay €2 million ($2.24 million) to set up the new camp, while the city will pay another €400,000.

“We’re basically doing the government’s job,” said Michel Janssens, mission head at Doctors Without Borders.

Within a few weeks, the migrants should be transferred to the new, temporary camp, wedged between the highway and the railways, where heated tents and basic amenities will be set up. Doctors Without Borders has started preparing the camp’s residents—both migrants and smugglers—for the move.

But police won’t allow more than 2,500 inside the new settlement.

“I don’t want another Calais,” said Mr. Carême.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/as-french-crack-down-in-calais-migrant-crisis-spreads-to-neighboring-towns-1454864213 (“Migrant Crisis in Calais Spreads to Neighboring French Towns“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-7653 (“Aylan And Galip Kurdi Will Be Remembered“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/#comment-8087 (“Europol: More Than 10,000 Migrant Children Are Missing“)

One’s heart goes out to the migrants who have fled chaos and helter skelter in the Middle East, which will only get far worse as the region continues to implode and disintegrate. Indeed, it may be consumed by unspeakable violence, the likes of which we have not seen during our lifetimes.

Also, Europe’s fabric is being torn asunder by the migrant hoards that are descending on its member countries. At a time when the EU is under attack as being a bureaucratic monstrosity that has outlived its usefulness, the unending influx of migrants may seal its future.

Certainly one must overlay all of this with the global economic tsunami that has been gathering for a long time now, which—when it hits with its full force and fury—may make 2008 seem like a “blip” by comparison.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/#comment-8114 (“WORLD ECONOMY IN DEATH SPIRAL, THE PERFECT STORM OF 2016“)

Not a pretty picture.

For those who argue that the fall of Western Civilization is underway, the response is that it will not fall any more than the United States has fallen as a result of being the world’s only true melting pot—an amalgamation of the peoples of the world.

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9 02 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

WORLD ECONOMY IN DEATH SPIRAL, THE PERFECT STORM OF 2016 [UPDATED]

Grim Reaper

Katy Barnato of CNBC has reported:

The global economy seems trapped in a “death spiral” that could lead to further weakness in oil prices, recession and a serious equity bear market, Citi strategists have warned.

Some analysts — including those at Citi — have turned bearish on the world economy this year, following an equity rout in January and weaker economic data out of China and the U.S.

“The world appears to be trapped in a circular reference death spiral,” Citi strategists led by Jonathan Stubbs said in a report on Thursday.

“Stronger U.S. dollar, weaker oil/commodity prices, weaker world trade/petrodollar liquidity, weaker EM (and global growth)… and repeat. Ad infinitum, this would lead to Oilmageddon, a ‘significant and synchronized’ global recession and a proper modern-day equity bear market.”

Stubbs said that macro strategists at Citi forecast that the dollar would weaken in 2016 and that oil prices were likely bottoming, potentially providing some light at the end of the tunnel.

“The death spiral is in nobody’s interest. Rational behavior, most likely, will prevail,” he said in the report.

Crude oil prices have tumbled by around 70 percent since the middle of 2014, during which time the U.S. dollar has risen by around 20 percent against a basket of currencies.

The world economy grew by 3.1 percent in 2015 and is projected to accelerate to expand by 3.4 percent in 2016 and 3.6 percent in 2017, according to the International Monetary Fund. The forecast reflects expectations of gradual improvement in countries currently in economic distress, notably Brazil, Russia and some in the Middle East.

By contrast, Citi forecasts the world economy will grow by only 2.7 percent in 2016 having cut its outlook last month.

Overall, advanced economies are mostly making a modest recovery, while many emerging market and developing economies are under strain from the rebalancing of the Chinese economy, lower commodity prices and capital outflows.

Stubbs added that policymakers would likely attempt to “regain credibility” in the coming weeks and months.

“This is fundamental to avoiding a proper/full global recession and dangerous disorder across financial markets. The stakes are high, perhaps higher than they have ever been in the post-World War II era,” he said.

Just 151,000 new jobs were created in January in the U.S., in the latest sign that the world’s biggest economy is slowing. Economists are concerned about an industrial or manufacturing recession in the country, following some warnings from companies in earnings seasons and recent weak manufacturing activity and durable goods orders data.

However, some analysts say markets are overegging the prospect of a global slump.

“Many markets are now pricing in a significant probability of recession and when we talk about recession, we’re talking particularly about a U.S. recession. Do you think that is likely or not? To me, the odds are too high; the market is pricing too high a probability,” Myles Bradshaw, the head of global aggregate fixed income at Amundi, told CNBC this week.

See http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/05/citi-world-economy-trapped-in-death-spiral.html (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/ (“The Obama Great Depression“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/#comment-8068 (“The World’s Central Banks Can’t Save Us Anymore“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/#comment-8083 (“The Coming Global Meltdown“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilprices/12143304/Oil-market-spiral-threatens-to-prick-global-debt-bubble-warns-BIS.html (“Oil market spiral threatens to prick global debt bubble, warns BIS”—”The global oil industry is caught in a self-feeding downward spiral as falling prices cause producers to boost output even further in a scramble to service $3 trillion of dollar debt”—”[T]he sheer scale of leverage in the oil and gas industry is amplifying the downturn since companies are attempting to eke out extra production to stay afloat”—”The [Bank for International Settlements] calculates that debt in US dollars outside the United States has surged to $9.8 trillion, a fivefold rise since 2000 and an unprecedented level for the global monetary system as a whole”—”[T]here is now clear evidence that this liquidity is drying up”—”We may be approaching the eye of the storm”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/12138466/when-is-the-next-financial-crash-coming-oil-prices-markets-recession.html (“Debt, defaults, and devaluations: why this market crash is like nothing we’ve seen before”—”A pernicious cycle of collapsing commodities, corporate defaults, and currency wars loom over the global economy. Can anything stop it from unravelling?”—”The real question is always when and how deep the upcoming downturn will be”—”Commodity prices have crashed by two thirds since their peaks in 2014. Oil has borne the brunt of the sell-off, suffering the worst price collapse in modern history. Brent crude has fallen from $115 a barrel in the summer of 2014, to just $27.70 in mid-January”—”[A] confluence of factors – led by oil, but encompassing China, the emerging world, and financial markets – are all brewing to create a perfect storm”—”[T]he current sell-off has seen commodity prices, equities and credit conditions all move in dangerous lockstep”—”Although a 75pc oil price collapse should represent an unmitigated positive for the world’s fuel thirsty consumers, the sheer scale of the price rout is already imperiling the finances of producer nations from Nigeria to Azerbaijan, and is now threatening to unleash a wave of bankruptcies across corporate America. It is the prospect of this vicious feedback loop – where low oil prices create financial tail risks that spill over into the real economy – which could now propel the world into a ‘full blown crisis'”—”[T]he globe’s largest emerging markets have shown signs of deterioration over the last six months”—”[A] tipping point may well be approaching. . . . [A] 20pc decline in stock markets that persists for more than six months, will translate into a decline in consumption of between 0.5pc to 1.0pc. ‘This would be a serious shock. My biggest fear is precisely that the dramatic shift in mood becomes self-fulfilling'”—”2016 is set to see the first wave of corporate bankruptcies in the oil and gas sector. Highly leveraged US shale companies will be the first be picked off. Should escalating defaults have a further depressant effect on oil prices, it could unleash a tidal wave of corporate bankruptcies in the world’s largest economy. Indebtedness is not just the scourge of the US. Globally, the oil and gas industry has issued $1.4 trillion of bonds and taken out a further $1.6 trillion in syndicated loans, driving the sector’s combined debt to $3 trillion, according to the Bank of International Settlements. They warn of an ‘illusion of sustainability’ that could quickly turn toxic as the credit cycle unravels. The question exercising the minds of economists and investors is the extent to which this contagion could metastasize beyond the energy sector, as banks cut off credit access, loans turn bad, and financial conditions enter a critical tightening phase”—”[A] series of other indicators are also flashing red. Global equity markets have endured their worst start to a year since the dotcom crash. To paraphrase Nobel prize-winning US economist Paul Samuelson, Wall Street has predicted nine out of the last five recessions, but the current turbulence has an ominous precedent”—”Macroeconomic indicators from the world’s largest economy are also beginning to turn sour. The US has already fallen prey to a manufacturing collapse. Service sector data for December showed the slowdown is spreading to the dominant driver of economic growth”—”[T]he economy is ‘firing on one cylinder’ with consumers the sole bright spot in an environment of still weak capital investment, and a crippling exchange rate that is hurting exporters and squeezing corporate profits”—”The soaring dollar has put record pressure on China’s exchange rate peg, forcing Beijing to burn through its reserves with interventions amounting to $140bn-a-month in December to protect the renminbi. Meanwhile, China’s capital outflows have accelerated to $676bn, according to the Institute of International Finance”—”A weaker renminbi would unleash a new wave of deflation in an already fragile global environment, and hasten the pressure on emerging market exchange rates as the world’s currency wars would renew apace”—”The lower oil prices fall, the faster buyers are expected to flood back in, with violent upward movements already in evidence”—”[The] world could find itself defenceless against another round of mania, panics or crashes”—”Should the world manage to ride out the perfect storm of 2016, next time round, answers will be difficult to find”) and http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-a-selloff-in-european-banks-is-ominous-2016-02-07 (“Why a selloff in European banks is ominous”—”European banks have been caught in a perfect storm of market turmoil”—”‘The current environment for European banks is very, very bad'”—”The doom-and-gloom outlook for banks comes as the stock market has had an ominous start to the year. East or west, investors ran for the exit in a market marred by panic over tumbling oil prices and signs of sluggishness in China. But for Europe’s banking sector, the new year has started even worse, sending the bank index down 23% year-to-date”—”[I]ts worrisome, because banks are much more important for the credit mechanism in the economy here in Europe than it is in the U.S. There, you have a capital market where it’s easier to issue corporate bonds and get funding outside the commercial banking system. We don’t have that to the same extent in Europe, and therefore [the current weakness] is a little bit scary”)) and http://news.yahoo.com/russia-shuts-down-two-more-banks-093516555.html (“Russia shuts down two more banks“) and http://news.yahoo.com/greek-stock-market-falls-sharply-banking-sector-meltdown-001624353.html (“Greek stock market falls sharply on banking sector meltdown“)

As I have said in comments above, while the United States will not be hit as hard as other countries and regions of the world (e.g., Russia, emerging countries), it will be hurt too.

A “perfect storm” has been gathering for a long time now; and when it hits with its full force and fury, 2008 may seem like a “blip” by comparison.

Hold on tight. Things may get very scary!

Like

9 02 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Why Is America So Angry? [UPDATED]

Donald Trump

The UK’s Telegraph has an fascinating article on this subject, which states:

At a recent debate on the presidential campaign trail, Donald Trump summed up America in 2016.

“I will gladly accept the mantle of anger,” he said. “People are very angry because our country is being run horribly.”

Many people outside the US have struggled to understand the transformation of Mr Trump from billionaire property mogul and television star to perhaps the next Republican presidential nominee.

It happened because, more than any other candidate, he recognised that vast swathes of America are not just annoyed with their government – they are at boiling point.

The bubbling discontent covers a myriad of issues including poverty, border protection and immigration, the mistreatment of military veterans, and spiralling health care costs.

At its heart is a fundamental breakdown of trust in government. For many Americans, Washington seems a long way away populated by venal politicians with their snouts in the trough who have left the rest of the country behind.

Here we examine the anti-establishment backlash behind Mr Trump’s popularity:

Many Americans hate Barack Obama

Two days after he was re-elected in 2012, Mr Obama was at a town hall event in New Orleans. A young boy there asked him: “Why do people hate you?”

Mr Obama later pointed out that: “I was elected president, so not everybody hates me!” But he accepted that “watching TV, it seems that everybody is just getting mad all the time.”

When he moved into the White House seven years ago Mr Obama’s approval rating was 69 per cent.

It has been heading south ever since and currently stands at 48 per cent. At times it has been as low as 38 per cent.

Here are five reasons why:

Washington is “broken”

For presidential candidates of either party, the greatest insult is being labelled “part of the Washington establishment”.

It’s so bad even Hillary Clinton has tried to claim she is “not part of the establishment”. That takes some chutzpah from a former first lady, senator, and secretary of state.

Voters are deeply disillusioned with a perceived elite that runs America but does not understand it. Many voters now see America as a plutocracy rather than a democracy.

According to a CNN/ORC poll in December 2015, an astonishingly high 85 per cent of them disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job, and 75 per cent say they are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed.

A total of 25 per cent say they are “very angry” about the way things are going in the country, 44 per cent are “somewhat angry” and only 14 per cent are “not angry at all”.

Among Trump supporters 97 per cent are dissatisfied with the government, and 91 per cent are “angry”.

Who is to blame? Republicans blame what they see as a partisan president. Democrats blame an intransigent Republican-controlled Congress for refusing to compromise.

According to Phillip K Howard, founder of Common Good, a group that wants to simplify government, Washington has become a “profoundly sick and dysfunctional political culture separated by the Beltway from the rest of the country”.

It has “mutated into a perpetual tug of war where political leaders get up in the morning not trying to do anything constructive but just make the other side look bad.”

Voters are sick of the lot of them.

It’s the (failing) economy, stupid

The politics of anger is being fuelled in parts of America where wages have stagnated, causing Americans who were once in the middle class to sink into the “working poor”.

According to a recent study by the Pew Research Centre, less than half of the population are middle class, down from 61 per cent in 1971.

The median net worth of families today is barely higher than it was 30 years ago.

The decline is not limited to the country’s poorer states such as Mississippi and West Virginia. Even in leafy New England, behind the white picket fences of picturesque homes, poverty is on the rise.

In Exeter, home to the Philips Exeter Academy, the Eton of America, more than 2,000 people in a population of 13,800 are “food insecure”, according to the local Saint Vincent de Paul community centre, and there has been a 177 per cent increase in distribution from food banks in the last two years.

In Manchester, the biggest city in New Hampshire, one in five children is reliant on food banks for nutrition.

The Telegraph visited one of the many food banks in the city, watching as dozens of people – many of whom have jobs and work up to 60-hour weeks – waited patiently for their turn.

“Family homelessness is the fastest growing homelessness in the country. Families are not making it,” said Pati Frew-Waters, executive director of Seacoast Family Promise, a shelter that takes in working families.

“There are jobs available but you can’t make it on the wages they pay. Fast food restaurants will pay just over $7 an hour. You have major companies paying a pittance, truly a pittance.”

Craig Welch, director of the nearby Portsmouth Housing Authority said: “We have about 500 families. Around here there has been no wage appreciation. These folks are working but this is the life of the working poor.”

John Kasich, the Republican presidential candidate, said he had been shocked to discover on the campaign trail how bad life was for some Americans.

“People come to my town halls and they cry,” he said. “Some of these people have traumatic stories and they have nowhere to go. No one is listening to them.”

Billionaires vs. socialism

Donald Trump’s supporters see his billions as insulation against the influence of big donors and lobbyists that are part of the Washington “establishment”.

On the flip side of the coin, voters are also flooding to self-declared socialist Bernie Sanders, who rails against the “billionaire class” and Wall Street, because he also challenges the status quo.

At a rally in Iowa, Mr Sanders, who is running neck and neck with Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential race, asked his audience: “I want to hear: what is it like to live on $10,000 a year social security?”

A woman called Carrie Aldrich stepped forward, took the microphone, and started crying.

“I’ve been living on less than that,” she said. “I can’t pay bills. You’re ashamed all the time. When you can’t buy presents for your children it’s really, really hard.

“I worked three, four, five jobs, always minimum wage. I have a degree, divorced, and it’s just …my parents have to support me. It’s just hard.”

Mr Trump vows to bring prosperity by cutting taxes, negotiating better trade deals, and sending illegal immigrants home.

Mr Sanders says he will do it by raising taxes to pay for increasing the minimum wage, providing healthcare for all, and free college tuition.

Mr Sanders – and his supporters – are just as angry as Mr Trump.

He said recently: “I AM angry. The American people are angry. What’s surprised me going round the country is how far removed the establishment in Washington, and the establishment media, is from real people’s lives and what really matters to them.”

‘Immigrants are taking our jobs and some of them might be terrorists’

The economic insecurity has left many looking for someone to blame.

That has sparked a backlash against immigrants and fuelled a growing xenophobia which found its most high profile outlet in the speeches of Donald Trump.

At Mr Trump’s rallies in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, thousands of miles from Mexico, his pledge to “build a big beautiful wall” on the border regularly gets a huge cheer.

The only thing that gets a bigger cheer is his call to ban Syrian refugees.

Mr Trump says the refugees could have Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) operatives among them, and they could be “the greatest Trojan horse of all time”.

This fear of terrorism increased after the San Bernadino shootings in December last year when an Islamic extremism-inspired couple killed 14 people in a centre in California.

Despite Mr Obama’s calls for gun control, the headlines after the attack focused on the link with Isil, exacerbating a fear in America of the enemy within.

The suspicion of refugees and immigrants is rising amid a demographic shift. By 2040 whites will no longer make up the majority of the American population.

In New Hampshire a white employee in a cigar shop told the Telegraph: “This country was made great by the white American male. When we have 200,000 homeless veterans why are we bringing in refugees? I say, thank you for speaking your mind Trump.”

In one poll 73 per cent of white people said they get angry at least once a day. For Hispanics the figure was 66 per cent and for African-Americans 56 per cent.

Overall, 52 per cent of the country said the idea of the “American dream” no longer holds true, according to an Esquire magazine poll.

‘It’s all the fault of the liberal media’

According to the Pew Research Centre, 65 per cent of Americans believe the national news media has a negative impact on the country.

It’s a sentiment Mr Trump has picked up on, telling his supporters the media is part of “the establishment” that does not care about them.

Halfway through a recent rally in the velvet-curtained Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa, Mr Trump pointed at the journalists who had come to report his speech.

“There is a tremendous dishonesty with these people,” he said. “I thought real estate people were bad, but these guys!”

Such attacks are a regular feature of his events and elicit loud boos from the crowd.

Conservatives remain deeply suspicious of what Sarah Palin once called the “lamestream media”.

Anger, anger, everywhere

Public anger with the governing status quo is not limited to the US. British frustration led to the election of the leftist Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a man who is often compared to Mr Sanders.

In France, the anti-immigration party Front National, also experiencing a surge in support. The Danish People’s Party, Finns in Finland and the Sweden Democrats have similarly flourished in recent elections.

In America, Mr Trump has expertly tapped popular frustration. It remains to be seen if the strength of that anger can carry him to the White House.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/12147570/America-Barack-Obama-Donald-Trump-Why-is-America-so-angry.html (“The American people have had enough and are turning on their government”) (emphasis added; graphs omitted); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/poverty-in-america/#comment-7646 (“The Surging Ranks Of America’s Ultrapoor”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/#comment-8114 (“WORLD ECONOMY IN DEATH SPIRAL, THE PERFECT STORM OF 2016“)

First, Donald Trump and this article are correct. He has tapped into the anger of Americans, which is present in other countries too. The United States is not alone.

Second, there is no question that Barack Obama is hated. Not since the hatred of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon has America witnessed such unbridled hatred of its president.

Part of it is owing to Obama’s racism, which has reignited racism in America. He has been a divider, not a healer, which was foretold in his book “Dreams from My Father” that set forth his core racist beliefs.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Third, the hatred of American government is deep; and rightly so, it reaches all levels of government—from Congress through our dysfunctional and corrupt judiciary.

Donald and Melania Trump
[Melania and Donald Trump]

Like

12 02 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

America’s Wars [UPDATED]

Bald Eagle and American Flag

Patrick J. Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

If you believed America’s longest war, in Afghanistan, was coming to an end, be advised: It is not.

Departing U.S. commander Gen. John Campbell says there will need to be U.S. boots on the ground “for years to come.” Making good on President Obama’s commitment to remove all U.S. forces by next January, said Campbell, “would put the whole mission at risk.”

“Afghanistan has not achieved an enduring level of security and stability that justifies a reduction of our support. . . . 2016 could be no better and possibly worse than 2015.”

Translation: A U.S. withdrawal would risk a Taliban takeover with Kabul becoming the new Saigon and our Afghan friends massacred.

Fifteen years in, and we are stuck.

Nor is America about to end the next longest war in its history: Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter plans to send units of the 101st Airborne back to Iraq to join the 4,000 Americans now fighting there,

“ISIS is a cancer,” says Carter. After we cut out the “parent tumor” in Mosul and Raqqa, we will go after the smaller tumors across the Islamic world.

When can Mosul be retaken? “Certainly not this year,” says the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart.

Vladimir Putin’s plunge into the Syrian civil war with air power appears to have turned the tide in favor of Bashar Assad.

The “moderate” rebels are being driven out of Aleppo and tens of thousands of refugees are streaming toward the Turkish border.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is said to be enraged with the U.S. for collaborating with Syrian Kurds against ISIS and with Obama’s failure to follow through on his dictate — “Assad must go!”

There is thus no end in sight to the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, nor to the U.S.-backed Saudi war in Yemen, where ISIS and al-Qaida have re-arisen in the chaos.

Indeed, the West is mulling over military intervention in Libya to crush ISIS there and halt the refugee flood into Europe.

Yet, despite America’s being tied down in wars from the Maghreb to Afghanistan, not one of these wars were among the three greatest threats identified last summer by Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

“Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security” said Dunford, “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I would have to point to Russia. . . . if you look at their behavior, it’s nothing short of alarming.”

Dunford agreed with John McCain that we ought to provide anti-tank weapons and artillery to Ukraine, for, without it, “they’re not going to be able to protect themselves against Russian aggression.”

But what would we do if Putin responded by sending Russian troops to occupy Mariupol and build a land bridge to Crimea? Send U.S. troops to retake Mariupol? Are we really ready to fight Russia?

The new forces NATO is moving into the Baltic suggests we are.

Undeniably, disputes have arisen between Russia, and Ukraine and Georgia which seceded in 1991, over territory. But, also undeniably, many Russians in the 14 nations that seceded, including the Baltic states, never wanted to leave and wish to rejoin Mother Russia.

How do these tribal and territorial conflicts in the far east of Europe so threaten us that U.S. generals are declaring that “Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security”?

Asked to name other threats to the United States, Gen. Dunford listed them in this order: China, North Korea, ISIS.

But while Beijing is involved in disputes with Hanoi over the Paracels, with the Philippines over the Spratlys, with Japan over the Senkakus — almost all of these being uninhabited rocks and reefs — how does China threaten the United States?

America is creeping ever closer to war with the other two great nuclear powers because we have made their quarrels our quarrels, though at issue are tracts and bits of land of no vital interest to us.

North Korea, which just tested another atomic device and long-range missile, is indeed a threat to us.

But why are U.S. forces still up the DMZ, 62 years after the Korean War? Is South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of the North and twice the population, incapable of defending itself?

Apparently slipping in the rankings as a threat to the United States is that runaway favorite of recent years, Iran.

Last fall, though, Sen. Ted Cruz reassured us that “the single biggest national security threat facing America right now is the threat of a nuclear Iran.”

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded,” wrote James Madison, “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

Perhaps Madison was wrong.

Otherwise, with no end to war on America’s horizon, the prospect of this free republic enduring is, well, doubtful.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/how-republics-perish-124781 (“How Republics Perish“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/#comment-7766 (“American Strength“)

The United States is by far the strongest country in the world, both economically and militarily. However, if the Vietnam War taught us anything—after more than 58,000 Americans were killed there, and more than 300,000 were wounded, not counting the “walking wounded” and suicides after that war—it is that American military might must be used intelligently and responsibly.

The Iraq War taught us similar lessons; and the Afghan War has taught us too.

Each American life that is lost or maimed is precious, and cannot be replaced. The Middle East is a quagmire, and not our fight anymore. The United States is the largest energy producer in the world once again, and essentially energy independent. We do not need the region.

The murderous Putin and Russia are in a death spiral from which they will not recover. They will leave the Middle East in body bags, just as the USSR left Afghanistan in defeat and humiliation—with the Soviet Union collapsing after that.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ (“The Next Major War: Korea Again?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“)

The world is a very dangerous place today, and it will get much worse before things get better. The coming global economic collapse will contribute mightily to chaos and helter skelter, both domestically and globally.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/ (“The Obama Great Depression“)

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27 03 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy. I was actually responding to your article about a U Boat being discovered in Lake Ontario and ended up by an older article. This is fascinating and probably shouldn’t be surprising, given their military technological innovation to this day. The St. Lawrence Seaway, which I last saw in 1999 when I took my family on a vacation to Quebec, is certainly as strategic a waterway as North America has.

Here’s a bit of related irony regarding that German U Boat, and a warning of nuclear dangers. I’m not a fan of either the Israeli or Iranian gov’t and know the history of both, but the following is just factual. I’ve been following the many leaks (intentional, perhaps) of Israels nuclear development and they do have a full Triad.

Germany has built them Dolphin I and Dolphin II diesel powered submarines with Cruise Missiles. Der Spiegal’s investigative reporters did a big story a few years ago in which German gov’t officials admitted they knew that Israel put nuclear warheads on them after delivery. It’s well publicized that Israelis modifications of Cruise Missiles to their “Popeye” versions of it have a proven range of 1800 kilometers. It was also reported in the MSM that their German made subs have been able to get thru the Suez Canal (it wasn’t clear if this was with or without Egyptian permission). In addition, the Dolphin II subs can stay submerged for several months at a time.

While no reporter that I know of has speculated on the implications, the first thing that came to my mind is the picture of Israeli Dolphin II subs in the Persian Gulf near the coast of Iran, hidden away, in case it’s believed Iran has the Bomb, and this would also give them Second Strike Capacity, as we called it during the Cold War. Our many concerns in the world are very real, but they pale in comparison to the possibility of a nuclear exchange or a preemptive nuclear strike in the Middle East. I don’t trust at least half of the nuclear powers in the world.
Thanks as always for your informative articles.

Liked by 1 person

27 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan. Happy Easter to you and your family.

Yes, I posted the comments about the German U-boat and tweeted about it, after the article had been sent to me by a hiking friend. However, like so much on the Web these days (e.g.. fraud, impersonation, phishing), it turned out to be a hoax. The same friend got back to me within hours with a link to Snopes.com.

See http://www.snopes.com/nazi-sub-found-in-great-lakes/ (“[T]he Nazi sub story was entirely fabricated. The article used an unrelated image of a rusting, decommissioned Russian submarine from the Cold War era to illustrate the claim, not a picture of a genuine World War II-era German U-boat. World News Daily Report is a fake news site that regularly publishes wild and sensational false claims to drive social media share-based traffic and generate thereby ad revenues”)

Thus, I pulled both the comments and the tweet; and I apologize to you and others.

Nonetheless, the “fictional” story was important because it underscores how vulnerable we are to attacks by our enemies; and that the recent attacks on Belgium and France could have happened here. Indeed, as 9/11 recedes in the memories of many Americans, we must remember that the attacks on Pearl Harbor came on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941; and that we must remain ever vigilant.

I agree completely with your statement:

Our many concerns in the world are very real, but they pale in comparison to the possibility of a nuclear exchange or a preemptive nuclear strike in the Middle East. I don’t trust at least half of the nuclear powers in the world.

The Middle East is a powder keg, which is apt to become decisively worse. My greatest concern for the safety and well-being of Americans and the United States is an EMP Attack, which could be launched from a barge off our Atlantic or Pacific coasts, or in the Gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”)

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28 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Why Americans Hate Government [UPDATED]

Bald Eagle and American Flag

The Wall Street Journal has an article with this title, which is not worth reading.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-americans-hate-government-1459117724

The Journal‘s editorial board and the GOP “establishment” Neanderthals (e.g., Karl Rove, Bill Kristol, George Will) are out of touch with America.

When everything is said and done, the Murdochs—who own both the Journal and FOX—should dispense with the services of every one of them, in perpetuity.

They have no clues about the depth of the anger that is welling up among Americans of all political stripes—be they supporters of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or the uncommitted.

Given the mounting evidence of Hillary Clinton’s criminality, if she is not indicted, the haters of government are apt to become enraged.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-8525 (“Will Hillary Clinton Fry?“)

Government does not work. Those of us who have served on Capitol Hill and worked with other organs of federal government learned this years ago. State and local governments are every bit as bad, if not worse. The government that governs least truly governs best.

Trump and Sanders have caught the waves of political discontent in this country. But we have not seen anything yet, compared with what is coming.

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17 04 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Trump Is Right Again: Screw The Saudis Who Gave Us 9/11! [UPDATED]

Obama bows to Saudis

The New York Times has reported:

Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.

Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The administration, which argues that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas, has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.

“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and who is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation.

President Obama will arrive in Riyadh on Wednesday for meetings with King Salman and other Saudi officials. It is unclear whether the dispute over the Sept. 11 legislation will be on the agenda for the talks.

A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” But critics have noted that the commission’s narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot.

Those conclusions, contained in 28 pages of the report, still have not been released publicly.

The dispute comes as bipartisan criticism is growing in Congress about Washington’s alliance with Saudi Arabia, for decades a crucial American ally in the Middle East and half of a partnership that once received little scrutiny from lawmakers. Last week, two senators introduced a resolution that would put restrictions on American arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which have expanded during the Obama administration.

Families of the Sept. 11 victims have used the courts to try to hold members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks and charities liable because of what the plaintiffs charged was Saudi financial support for terrorism. These efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts.

The Senate bill is intended to make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil. If the bill were to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president, it could clear a path for the role of the Saudi government to be examined in the Sept. 11 lawsuits.

Obama administration officials counter that weakening the sovereign immunity provisions would put the American government, along with its citizens and corporations, in legal risk abroad because other nations might retaliate with their own legislation. Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate panel in February that the bill, in its current form, would “expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent.”

The bill’s sponsors have said that the legislation is purposely drawn very narrowly — involving only attacks on American soil — to reduce the prospect that other nations might try to fight back.

In a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill on March 4, Anne W. Patterson, an assistant secretary of state, and Andrew Exum, a top Pentagon official on Middle East policy, told staff members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that American troops and civilians could be in legal jeopardy if other nations decide to retaliate and strip Americans of immunity abroad. They also discussed the Saudi threats specifically, laying out the impacts if Saudi Arabia made good on its economic threats.

John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, said in a statement that the administration stands by the victims of terrorism, “especially those who suffered and sacrificed so much on 9/11.”

Edwin M. Truman, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said he thought the Saudis were most likely making an “empty threat.” Selling hundreds of billions of dollars in American assets would not only be technically difficult to pull off, he said, but would also very likely cause global market turmoil for which the Saudis would be blamed.

Moreover, he said, it could destabilize the American dollar — the currency to which the Saudi riyal is pegged.

“The only way they could punish us is by punishing themselves,” Mr. Truman said.

The bill is an anomaly in a Congress fractured by bitter partisanship, especially during an election year. It is sponsored by Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York. It has the support of an unlikely coalition of liberal and conservative senators, including Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, and Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. It passed through the Judiciary Committee in January without dissent.

“As our nation confronts new and expanding terror networks that are targeting our citizens, stopping the funding source for terrorists becomes even more important,” Mr. Cornyn said last month.

The alliance with Saudi Arabia has frayed in recent years as the White House has tried to thaw ties with Iran — Saudi Arabia’s bitter enemy — in the midst of recriminations between American and Saudi officials about the role that both countries should play in the stability of the Middle East.

But the administration has supported Saudi Arabia on other fronts, including providing the country with targeting intelligence and logistical support for its war in Yemen. The Saudi military is flying jets and dropping bombs it bought from the United States — part of the billions of dollars in arms deals that have been negotiated with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf nations during the Obama administration.

The war has been a humanitarian disaster and fueled a resurgence of Al Qaeda in Yemen, leading to the resolution in Congress to put new restrictions on arms deals to the kingdom. Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, one of the resolution’s sponsors and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Congress has been “feckless” in conducting oversight of arms sales, especially those destined for Saudi Arabia.

“My first desire is for our relationship with Saudi Arabia to come with a greater degree of conditionality than it currently does,” he said.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-warns-ofeconomic-fallout-if-congress-passes-9-11-bill.html?_r=0 (“Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/#comment-8654 (“FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON?“)

ALL Saudi assets in the United States should be frozen, and the 28 pages of the report—and other documents relating to the Saudis’ complicity in the attacks on our great nation—must be released immediately.

As many Americans know, there is reason to believe that Franklin D. Roosevelt had advanced warning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, yet did nothing about it.

The American people must know the truth. Donald Trump is correct, again!

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1396 (“Obama Is Bowing Again . . . This Time To The Saudis“)


[Sen. Bob Graham + CIA Robert Baer: 9/11 Saudi Connection, published on September 20, 2015]

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14 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Man Who Choked 8-Year-Old Girl In Women’s Restroom Stokes Alarm Over Transgender Access

Gender Neutral Restroom

Valerie Richardson has reported for the Washington Times:

The attack by a man on an 8-year-old girl in a women’s restroom last week in a Chicago restaurant is raising alarm about opposite-sex access to public facilities in the name of transgender rights.

Police say the man, 33-year-old Reese Hartstirn, entered the women’s room May 7 at Jason’s Deli in Chicago’s South Loop and choked the girl until she passed out.

The girl’s mother, who was in the adjacent stall, heard her daughter’s screams and rescued her, while restaurant patrons held the suspect until police arrived, according to WLS-TV in Chicago.

Opponents of laws allowing opposite-sex public-facility use argue that they increase the danger of such attacks because they allow men, transgender or not, to enter women’s rooms unchallenged.

“I’m sure his intent was innocent,” said Susan Wright in a Friday post on the conservative website RedState. “I’m sure he really felt that he belonged in the women’s restroom and the little girl was somehow oppressing him, which caused the confusion, resulting in his hands ending up around her neck.”

Chicago bans discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. Battles over whether such anti-discrimination ordinances apply to transgender bathroom access have spiked since Houston voters defeated 3-to-1 a so-called “bathroom bill” in November.

The Obama administration released an order Friday banning public schools from denying access to bathrooms, locker rooms and other single-sex facilities. Under the order, a parent must first notify the district that the child’s gender identity “differs from previous representations or records.”

In other situations, no such proof is required. In New York City, for example, Mayor Bill de Blasio last week signed an executive order forbidding municipal employees from asking for proof of gender identity from those using city-owned facilities such as restrooms and showers.

Hartstirn is scheduled to appear in court Monday on charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child, aggravated battery of a child and battery causing bodily harm, as well as aggravated assault of a police officer, according to WLS-TV.

Supporters of transgender rights argue that such attacks are still against the law and that anyone who commits crimes after entering opposite-sex bathrooms remains subject to prosecution.

“You know, a dude who would choke out an eight-year-old girl is probably not the kind of dude who would be dissuaded by the wrong sign on a restroom door,” argued a commenter on RedState.

Others say allowing men to enter women’s rooms is asking for trouble. After a Washington state commission ruled in December that the state’s anti-discrimination law applied to transgender bathroom access, a man drew headlines by undressing in a Seattle women’s public locker room, saying he was allowed to do so.

“It was dangerous before this new bathroom insanity came along,” said another comment. “The guy is a criminal looking for victims. Don’t make it any easier for him!”

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/14/man-who-choked-girl-in-womens-restroom-stokes-alar/ (emphasis added)

First, Barack Obama is a black racist. If you have any doubts whatsoever, please read his book “Dreams from My Father,” which is summarized in the article below, with direct quotes and page cites.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?“)

Second, he is the worst president in U.S. history, and the most divisive. Americans are counting the days, quite literally, until his presidency ends and he never darkens the corridors of the White House again.

Third, are the United States and other countries going to skew time-tested rules to accommodate the “freaks of nature” in this world? Time will tell.

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15 05 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy.

The US uses troops to prop up the brutal Saudi Kingdom still, even though we’re now energy independent. The current reason, however bizarre, is that this slave state (referring to women there) is seen as keeping the Middle East stable. The President should not interfere with the Congressional bill to allow Saudis to be held responsible for 9/11 in court, it’s a great idea.

Democrats who don’t support the bill and interfere with overriding a Presidential veto will probably be attacked by Democratic voters at once in this case, we do remember 9/11. If US assets, which should never have been sold to the Saudis in the first place, are sold, we should simply first confiscate those assets at once. I doubt anyone outside of the Persian Gulf (West coast) would defend the widely hated Saudis and care that we did this. Then, sell those assets to any corporate US bidder and let the Saudis go into extreme Recession.

The Saudis will not stay in power without our troops there (and having them there is treason, I believe). Their economy is greatly weakened due to energy prices and unrest within the Kingdom is near. Americans should welcome this make it clear its what they want, and our troops should be pulled out right away, leaving these butchers to their fate. This is an election year, after all, and Americans will love this.

Your candidate Trump………..if elected, what would he do? Due to Bernie supporters refusing to support Hillary, I admit Trump will likely win.

Nice to write to you as always, Timothy. Our grandson is visiting, and I just learned he’s now registered to vote and wants my advice!………… Jonathan

Liked by 1 person

15 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan, for your comments.

First, I am pleased to hear that your grandson is visiting. Based on your previous comments, I know how important he is. Also, the fact that he wants your political advice is a revelation. Be careful what you say. 🙂

Second, with respect to Saudi Arabia, I am aware of credible reports that the kingdom will not survive, which—if true—mean that there will be vastly more chaos in a region of the world that is coming apart at the seams already.

Third, the only American interest in the region, or so I believe, is to prevent vast economic resources from falling into the hands of our enemies. Europe depends on the region’s oil, which is one of the reasons why we are there at all.

Fourth, regarding the Saudis’ involvement with 9/11 and the ability of Americans to sue, the only constraint that I see involves Americans being sued abroad by citizens of other countries. Once the floodgates are opened, the lawyers of the world will go wild; and there may be no end to the litigation and legal chaos.

Fifth, If one were to make moral judgments about the countries of the region, few if any would pass the test. All “discriminate.”

Sixth, as I stated above in response to your earlier comments:

The Middle East is a powder keg, which is apt to become decisively worse. My greatest concern for the safety and well-being of Americans and the United States is an EMP Attack, which could be launched from a barge off our Atlantic or Pacific coasts, or in the Gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”)

Lastly, enjoy your time with your grandson. Perhaps he will have some good advice for you too. 🙂

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15 05 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for your reply, appreciate it, Timothy.

Liked by 1 person

20 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Terrorist Attacks: Are The Mega-Cruise Ships Next? [UPDATED]

Harmony of the Seas
[Harmony of the Seas]

As these comments are written, searchers are scouring the Mediterranean for wreckage of an Airbus A320, EgyptAir flight MS804, which crashed off the Greek island of Karpathos en route from Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport to Cairo, killing all 66 people on board.

See, e.g., http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/7160744/Pictured-British-victim-of-EgyptAir-flight-MS804-named-as-40-year-old-doctors-son-Richard-Osman.html (“Cockpit battle for life: 66 including Brit dad die after Flight MS804 crashes in sea as fears grow that hijakers fought crew”—”A life-or-death struggle between hijackers and the crew as the plane plummeted from the sky was emerging as the most likely cause”—”‘How long will Egypt live if human lives are so cheap?'”—”Ten crew on board included three sky marshal security staff, who would have been in the thick of any fight”)

The four coordinated terrorist attacks that took place in the United States on September 11, 2001 (or “9/11”), involving four passenger airliners (i.e., American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon; United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania) “claimed the lives of 2,996 people (including the 19 hijackers) and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage and $3 trillion in total costs.”

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks (“September 11 attacks“)

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Harmony of the Seas, made its debut today on its pre-inaugural sailing out of Southampton, England. “[W]ith a passenger capacity of 5,479 guests at double occupancy (it fits 6,780 guests total) and 2,100 crew members, Harmony is now the world’s largest cruise ship.”

See http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/19/travel/harmony-of-the-seas-worlds-biggest-cruise-ship/ (“On board the world’s biggest cruise ship“)

Imagine terrorists targeting such mega-cruise ships—in a much more sophisticated and deadly manner than the USS Cole was targeted in the Yemeni port of Aden—and sinking them, and killing all passengers aboard.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Cole_bombing (“USS Cole bombing”)

Even worse, of course, would be nation-ending EMP or nuclear attacks.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“)

There are a myriad of factors that are triggering and contributing to the Helter Skelter that is described in the article above, which cast a pall over the world today. The economic storm that has been gathering for years now is prominent among them. Its effects may be truly catastrophic.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/ (“The Obama Great Depression“)

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21 05 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Well, Timothy, good timing lol…….we’re taking our grandson on a cruise in a week as a High School graduation present! Anyway, I never worry about terrorism or other disaster as a personal philosophy (when your time is up it’s up), although we’ve traveled to many places where terrorist attacks took place right where we were, before or after we were there. But this is everywhere now.

The monster mega ships…..I’ve always wondered why we’ve been fortunate that no one has attacked them…….terrorists like body count in high profile areas, and a giant ship has tons of people in one densely packed space in isolated spots with little security……..Most of our trips aren’t cruises, but we avoid the supersized ships as it’s annoying to get around them. I’m afraid the mega ships are a perfect target, vulnerable and full of people in poor physical shape who are kind of spoiled. Sports stadiums would be vulnerable too but the crowd there would be tougher, the kind of people who would fight back.

Hillary vs. Trump………..well, our wars provoke most terrorism more than stop terrorism………..Hillary is too pro war and Trump is an unknown factor who seems to know little about other cultures and military matters. but would probably pick people who did know. Traditionally, voters look to Republicans for security and Democrats for economics. I wish we had better choices but it is what it is.

You know, I didn’t vote for Nixon but despite his many faults, he would do very well in today’s climate, a tough hard liner who could make peace with enemies. We didn’t appreciate his accomplishments.

Liked by 1 person

21 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your comments.

I agree completely with everything you have said, except regarding Trump and security. I believe he will protect us, and not be “trigger happy.”

I gave the same gift to my daughter when she graduated from high school. She and a friend had a marvelous cruise through the Caribbean; and we met them when they returned to Miami.

Have a wonderful and safe trip. 🙂

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22 05 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks, Timothy for your good wishes!

I’m pretty much resigned to the likelihood of a Trump Presidency. The Democrats are too divided to win.

Liked by 1 person

22 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan.

The Clintons are so fatally flawed that one hardly knows where to start.

Clearly, the women’s vote is very important; and both Clintons have atrocious records there.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/boycott-the-gop-and-ignore-foreign-naysayers/#comment-8845 (“A MUST READ: Treatment Of Women – Trump v. Clintons”)

If she is not indicted, I believe she will sink of her own dead weight. She is not a “charming rogue,” which is what kept Bill “afloat” long after any other politician would have sunk beneath the waves.

I would like to see Bernie take her out, so the contest becomes Sanders v. Trump. It would be exciting and energized: two very different visions for the future of our country.

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24 05 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy. Bernie would be my first choice to vote for. I was an independent but wasn’t able to vote for him in the AZ primary, which was a disaster, with Independents banned, most polling places shut down on election day and people’s registrations changed without permission. This benefited Hillary and wiped out Bernies chances. So I returned reluctantly to the Democratic party to avoid this again, as I hadn’t missed an election since 1972.

Bernie has been hampered as independents make up a lot of his support and they’ve been banned from half the nations primaries. Also superdelegates are a big thing in the DNC, and are usually party hacks who pick the party favorite.

I don’t really think Bernie can keep his promises, as they would require a Scandinavian style tax rate and Americans seem more adverse to taxes than Europeans do. However, his honesty and non interventionist views, and even handed views vis a vis Israel and Palestine appeal to me. Trump probably not either, as he has no plans for a lot of his proposals. But campaign promises are rarely kept by anyone.

The reason I’m kind of resigned to Trump winning although I’m against his views (okay for us to agree to disagree on him), is that the Democratic party will remain divided so that Hillary will not get enough votes to win.

I don’t believe in the accuracy of polls……..twice a pollster called me to canvass my views. In each case, when they each learned I was an old white man, one just hung up and the other say good bye first! They forget that my demographic is the most likely to vote, and we grew up in the 60s, so aren’t necessary conservative.

A Bernie nomination will be very tough to achieve at this point due to delegates. However, I agree with you that a Bernie vs. Trump contest would make most Americans very happy, and record turnouts to vote would be likely.

Liked by 1 person

24 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan.

Yes, indeed, we can agree to disagree. 🙂

I like Bernie, as I have said before, and hope that he is the Dems’ nominee in the final analysis. I believe he is a good man, albeit far to the left of me.

He is like a nice old Berkeley radical.

I did not vote in 1972 either.

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28 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Zika Crisis: Rio Olympics Should Be Moved Or Postponed [UPDATED]

Zika Crisis and Rio Olympics

This is the title of a BBC News article, which states:

More than 100 leading scientists say the Rio Olympics should be moved or postponed over the Zika outbreak.

The group says new findings about the virus make it “unethical” for the games to go ahead in an open letter to the World Health Organization.

They call on the WHO to revisit its guidance on Zika, which is linked to serious birth defects.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in May it sees no reason to delay or move the games due to Zika.

The outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease began in Brazil a year ago, but now more than 60 countries and territories have continuing transmission.

While Zika’s symptoms are mild, in the letter the experts say it causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and may also cause a rare and sometimes fatal neurological syndrome in adults.

The letter is signed by 150 international scientists, doctors and medical ethicists from such institutions as Oxford University and Harvard and Yale universities in the United States.

They cite the failure of a mosquito-eradication programme in Brazil, and the country’s “weakened” health system as reasons to postpone or move the Olympics in “the name of public health”.

“An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic,” the letter says.

The biggest risk, it adds, is if athletes contracted the virus and returned home to poor countries that had not yet suffered a Zika outbreak.

They also express concern the WHO has a conflict of interest through its partnership with the IOC.

The Rio Olympics take place between 5-21 August.

The WHO, which has declared the Zika virus a global public health emergency, is yet to comment on the letter.

Several public health experts had previously warned that having hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Rio will speed up Zika’s spread and lead to the births of brain-damaged babies.

But on Thursday, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose advice is quoted approvingly in the letter, said the threat did not warrant halting the games.

“There is no public health reason to cancel or delay the Olympics,” Dr Tom Frieden said.

He however urged the US to act more quickly to prevent pregnant women contracting Zika, amid congressional deadlock over the release of $1.9bn (£1.3bn) in funding.

See http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36401150 (emphasis added); see also http://www.bbc.com/sport/golf/36361506 (“Rio 2016: Rory McIlroy may reject Olympics over Zika virus”—”McIlroy said that there is going to be ‘a point in the next couple of years’ where he and fiancee Erica Stoll may think about starting a family. ‘Right now, I’m ready to go but I don’t want anything to affect that,’ he said. . . . He was speaking just hours after securing his first Irish Open title”—”Fiji’s Vijay Singh and Australian Marc Leishman have already pulled out of the Rio Games because of the Zika virus”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/28/who-and-ioc-accused-of-cover-up-over-zika-virus-threat-to-rio-ol/ (“WHO and IOC accused of ‘conflict of interest’ over Zika virus threat to Rio Olympics athletes and fans”—”WHO said yesterday that postponing or moving the Rio Olympics would not stop the further spread of Zika. And it added that the virus will inevitably reach other continents, regardless of whether the Games are staged in Brazil or not”—”In a damning assessment of the relationship between the WHO and the IOC, the letter [signed by 150 international doctors, scientists and researchers] questions whether the UN health agency is able to give a non-biased view of the situation”—”Zika can cause birth defects, including a devastating syndrome known as microcephaly in which babies are born with unusually small heads and brains”) and http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/7183623/Andy-Murray-to-seek-medical-advice-over-Zika-virus-risk-before-confirming-hell-head-to-Rio-for-Olympics.html (“Tennis ace Andy Murray to seek medical advice over Zika risk before confirming he’ll go to Rio for Olympics“) and http://www.ktvz.com/sports/gasol-may-skip-olympics-because-of-zika/39789524 (“Gasol may skip Olympics because of Zika”—”Bulls center said other athletes have said they may not attend”—”‘Some of these athletes are planning to have children in the near future and this could affect them, it could affect the health of their kids and their wives,’ Gasol said at an event in Madrid. ‘Their health should come first'”) and https://www.yahoo.com/news/brazils-rio-state-declares-financial-disaster-games-215847439.html (“Brazil’s Rio state declares financial disaster before Games“)

McIlroy and other athletes may be wise not to attend the Olympics.

Indeed, it may be best to postpone them because of Zika, or shift their location, albeit the latter alternative may be impossible due to the looming starting date of August 5, 2016.

See also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3614551/Zika-expert-warns-Britons-think-twice-trips-Disney-World-virus-set-reach-US.html (“Zika expert warns Britons to ‘think twice’ about trips to Disney World because the virus is set to reach the US”—”Those considering holidays to southern states including Texas, Louisiana and Florida – which contains Miami, Cape Canaveral and the Florida Keys – should look at alternatives, said Professor Jimmy Whitworth of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. There is currently no evidence that mosquitoes on the US mainland are infected with the virus . . . [b]ut Prof Whitworth said he believed the situation could change as the summer heat builds and – with it – the number of mosquitoes. His assessment is backed by US scientists”—”Zika is carried by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito, which has swept the virus throughout South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Transmission is now occurring in Mexico, on the US’s southwestern border, and Cuba in the east, 90 miles from Key West. . . . ‘If you are not pregnant or not thinking of getting pregnant, then I don’t think it is something to worry about,’ he said”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/golf/2016/06/22/rory-mcilroy-pulls-out-of-rio-olympics-due-to-zika-virus-fears/ (“Rory McIlroy pulls out of Rio Olympics due to Zika virus fears“) and http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/list-of-possible-zika-birth-defects-grows-longer/ (“List of Possible Zika Birth Defects Grows Longer”—”[E]ven when Zika-exposed babies are born without microcephaly and appear largely normal at birth they can go on to have health issues including seizures and developmental delays that only become apparent in the weeks and months after birth”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/zika-fears-are-growing-among-women-in-u-s-1467298677 (“Zika Fears Are Growing Among Women in U.S.“) and https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1604764/official-warn-of-rampant-spread-of-head-shrinking-virus-in-us-territory-puerto-rico/ (“Official expects 1 in 4 people to be infected with Zika virus in US territory of Puerto Rico by end of year“)

______

Zika mosquito

About | Zika virus

The most common symptoms of the Zika disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), usually lasting from several days to a week, and most patients don’t need hospitalisation. However the outbreak in Brazil has led to instances of Guillain-Barre syndrome and pregnant women giving birth to babies with birth defects

How it spreads

• Through mosquitoes, which mostly spread the virus during the day

• Through sexual transmission

• Mosquitoes also spread dengue and chikungunya viruses

• There is no vaccine

How to prevent it

• Avoid getting mosquito bites by using insect repellants, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers

• Use air conditioning and/or a window screen to keep mosquitoes outside

• Sleep under a mosquito bed net

• Reduce the number of mosquitoes by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or bucket

Source: UK Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

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10 06 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hello, Timothy. I just read your statement on the Olympic games matter regarding Brazil (we were out of town taking our graduated grandson on a cruise to Mexican beach towns and back, didn’t buy ship Wi Fi).

With scientific organizations on both sides having different opinions, I’d have to defer my own opinion on the games being played there. Brazil historically has been a major sports venue, and Maracana, the gigantic stadium in the photo, has been the world center of Soccer cups. So the political fallout in and out of Brazil would be significant, I don’t think a country ever had to give up an Olympics already being organized there before.

The country has always had a huge income disparity highlighted by major international sporting and entertainment events that occur there. World economists were aghast at the current President, now being impeached, being re-elected despite a dismal record. So the political backdrop under way will probably interact in some unpleasant way with the Olympic and Zika controversy.

We traveled in Brazil in 2006 and saw a local soccer game in Maracana. Their soccer is more violent than our hockey or football and the fans are even scarier than the players.

Liked by 1 person

10 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan. I hope the trip was wonderful! 🙂

Yes, Zika presents some real problems for athletes who are contemplating starting young families, such as Golf’s #3 Rory McIlroy.

As you say, Brazil could be hit very hard by this.

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31 05 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Has Europe Begun To Die?

EU collapses

Patrick J. Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

In his op-ed in The Washington Post, Chris Grayling, leader of the House of Commons, made the case for British withdrawal from the European Union — in terms Americans can understand.

Would you accept, Grayling asks, an American Union of North and South America, its parliament sitting in Panama, with power to impose laws on the United States, and a high court whose decisions overruled those of the U.S. Supreme Court?

Would you accept an American Union that granted all the peoples of Central and South America and Mexico the right to move to, work in, and live in any U.S. state or city, and receive all the taxpayer-provided benefits that U.S. citizens receive?

This is what we are subjected to under the EU, said Grayling.

And as you Americans would never cede your sovereignty or independence to such an overlord regime, why should we?

Downing Street’s reply: Prime Minister David Cameron says leaving the EU could cost Britain a lot of money and a loss of influence in Brussels.

The heart versus the wallet. Freedom versus security.

While Barack Obama, Cameron and Angela Merkel are pulling for Britain to vote to remain in the EU, across Europe, transnationalism is in retreat, and tribalism is rising.

As Britain’s Independence Party and half the Tory Party seek to secede from the EU, the Scottish National Party is preparing a new referendum to bring about Scotland’s secession.

The strongest party in France is the National Front of Marine Le Pen. In Austria’s presidential election, Norbert Hofer of Jorg Haider’s Freedom Party came within an eyelash of becoming the first European nationalist head of state since World War II.

The Euroskeptic Law and Justice Party is in power in Warsaw, as is the Fidesz Party of Viktor Orban in Budapest, and the Swiss People’s Party in Bern. The right-wing Sweden Democrats and Danish People’s Party are growing stronger.

In 2015, Merkel, Time’s Person of the Year, admitted a million Middle East refugees. This year, Merkel flipped and paid a huge bribe to Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan to keep Syrian refugees from crossing the Aegean to the Greek islands and thence into Europe.

In Germany, too, nationalism is resurgent as opposition grows to any new bailouts of the La Dolce Vita nations of Club Med. The populist AfD party has made major strides in German state elections.

While the rightist parties in power and reaching for power are anti-EU, anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant, the secessionist movements roiling Scotland, Spain, Belgium and Italy seek rather the breakup of the old nations of Europe along ethnonational lines.

By enlisting in these parties of the right, what are the peoples of Europe recoiling from and rebelling against? Answer: The beau ideal of progressives — societies and nations that are multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural and multilingual.

Across Europe, the tribalists are rejecting, in a word, diversity.

And what are they seeking?

God-and-country, blood-and-soil people, they want to live with their own kinfolk, their own kind. They do not believe in economics uber alles. And if democracy will not deliver the kind of country and society they wish to live in, then democracy must be trumped by direct action, by secession.

This is the spirit behind Brexit.

The is the spirit that drove the Irish patriots of 1919, who rose against British rule, though they were departing the greatest empire on earth in its moment of supreme glory after the Great War, to begin life among the smallest and poorest countries in all of Europe.

What is happening in Europe today was predictable and predicted.

At the turn of the century, in “The Death of the West,” I wrote,

“Europe has begun to die. The prognosis is grim. Between 2000 and 2050, world population will grow by more than three billion to over nine billion people, but this 50 percent increase in population will come entirely in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as one hundred million people of European stock vanish from the earth.”

Europeans are vanishing, as the peoples of the Maghreb and Middle East, South Asia and the sub-Sahara come to fill the empty spaces left by aging and dying Europeans whose nations once ruled them.

Absent the restoration of border controls across Europe, and warships on permanent station in the Med, can the inexorable invasion be stopped? Or is “The Camp of the Saints” the future of Europe?

An open question. But if the West is to survive as the unique civilization it has been, its nations must reassume control of their destinies and control of their borders.

Britain ought not to go gentle into that good night the EU has prepared for her. And a great leap to freedom can be taken June 23.

Trooping to the polls, the cousins might recall the words of Vera Lynn, 76 years ago, as the Battle of Britain was engaged:

“There’ll always be an England,

“And England shall be free,

“If England means as much to you

“As England means to me.”

See http://buchanan.org/blog/will-always-england-125299 (“Will There Always Be an England?“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-8263 (“The EU And Brexit“)

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13 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

More Un-American Islamophobia And Fear [UPDATED]

American Muslims

In a Wall Street Journal editorial, it is stated:

A young American Muslim pledging allegiance to Islamic State is now responsible for the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. Can we finally drop the illusion that the jihadist fires that burn in the Middle East don’t pose an urgent and deadly threat to the American homeland?

We hope so after the Sunday morning assault on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed at least 51 and wounded 53 as we went to press. The killer was Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, the son of immigrants from Afghanistan who was heard shouting “allahu Akbar” (God is great) as he fired away. Mateen attacked a popular night spot for gays, who are especially loathed in Islamist theology.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and it rarely does so unless it played some role. CNN and others reported that a U.S. official said Mateen made a 911 call during the attack in which he pledged allegiance to Islamic State and mentioned the 2013 Boston marathon bombing.

We’ll learn more about Mateen’s ISIS ties in the days ahead, but it hardly matters to the victims whether the would-be caliphate planned the attack or merely inspired it. As we learned again after December’s murders in San Bernardino, ISIS propaganda over the internet can all too easily reach Muslims alienated from American society. Young men who are second generation immigrants seem to be especially vulnerable to calls for jihad.

The FBI has been focusing more resources on these homegrown threats, and an FBI special agent acknowledged Sunday that Mateen had come to the agency’s attention as a potential risk in 2013 and again in 2014. He was questioned in one instance for having ties to an American suicide bomber. But Mateen was deemed to pose no serious threat and the investigation was closed.

This is reminiscent of the way the FBI misjudged Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who came to its attention after a trip abroad and later with his brother blew up the Boston marathon. The oversight points to how difficult it is in a free society to pinpoint when someone is becoming radicalized enough to kill.

Second-guessing is easy. But one conclusion we’d draw is that the FBI is right to use “sting” operations against Americans who show jihadist leanings on social media or with friends. One way to stop a Mateen before he strikes is to have an undercover agent invite him to take a step toward violence. If he refuses, then he is probably not a threat. If he accepts, then it’s fair to conclude he might have acted on his own eventually.

The political left has begun to criticize these undercover operations in the same way it has attacked surveillance and interrogations. “They’re manufacturing terrorism cases,” Michael German of the anti-antiterror Brennan Center for Justice recently told the New York Times. “These people are five steps away from being a danger to the United States.” Tell that to the families of those killed in the Pulse nightclub, Mr. German.

President Obama could also help if he weren’t so reluctant to acknowledge the domestic danger from ISIS. Mr. Obama did say in his Sunday remarks that this was “an act of terror,” though he still can’t muster the words Islam or jihad or Islamic State. The truest words he uttered were that Orlando “could have been any one of our communities.”

Perhaps he meant gun violence, but his point applies to Islamist terror too. A federal official disclosed that Mateen bought his weapons legally in recent days, and no doubt Democrats will make much of this politically in the coming days. But if the FBI doesn’t identify someone as a terror threat, then basic rights can’t be denied. Mateen was also a licensed security guard, and a determined jihadist will always be able to find firearms.

The distressing truth is that no amount of domestic vigilance can stop every ISIS-inspired act of terror. That’s why the only real solution is to destroy Islamic State in its havens abroad so young Muslims around the world won’t see it as the vanguard of the future.

Part of President Obama’s legacy will be that Islamic State grew so dangerous on his watch, prospering in the political vacuum that was created when he chose to withdraw from Iraq and then do little in Syria. The job of the next President will be to repair the damage done by those two historic mistakes.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/jihad-in-orlando-1465772204 (“Jihad in Orlando“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/ (“Islamophobia Is Un-American“); but see http://buchanan.org/blog/islam-west-irreconcilable-conflict-125343 (“Islam & the West: Irreconcilable Conflict?”—”The more Islamic the West becomes, the less it remains the West”)

This is not a “Mary Poppins” world in which we live.

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities are hated in America and globally—for religious and a whole host of other reasons—and no amount of “political correctness” is going to change that fact.

One can stick one’s head in the sand and deny that such over-arching prejudices exist, but they do. To think otherwise is delusional. On a higher plane, each of us is a child of God, free to pursue our lives and dreams as we see fit. We have free will, to choose our own paths, with which others may not agree.

To take the Islamophobic approach that the Journal has in this editorial—as well as in so many articles by Bret Stephens, in particular—is patently absurd and ignorant. There are 1.8 billion followers of Islam in this world; and to target or stigmatize them is un-American, at the very least.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/#comment-7908 (“The Ugly Face of Islamophobia: Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/#comment-8058 (“More Islamophobia From The Wall Street Journal And Bret Stephens“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/#comment-8012 (“Is The Wall Street Journal Islamophobic?“)

This editorial states:

One way to stop a Mateen before he strikes is to have an undercover agent invite him to take a step toward violence.

Entrapment is illegal in the United States, but the Journal‘s editors do not care.

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13 06 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy.

We’ve had mass murders in the US for perhaps two generations now, many of the early ones being marginalized students killing their teachers and fellow students, starting with a 12 and 14 year old in Arkansas. In my psychology field, the copycat phenomena was very important. Mentally deranged people and adolescents (we can assume many terrorists fall in the first category) will often act when they read about others like them committing mass killings or suicide. Savvy schools (not many of them around) recognize that a student shooting or suicide will lead to more and bring in experts to intervene ahead of time.

In the juvenile facilities I worked in, when a suicide occurred, we would evaluate everyone for suicidal intentions and place precautions on the higher risk ones. Everything else was put aside as this was done. Murders have the same level of copycat behavior, and lone terrorists like the current one are very vulnerable to this influence.

As for the FBI, I’m also reminded that the 9/11 hijackers went to flight school in my own metro area in Arizona on legal visas from Saudi Arabia. A local FBI agent reported them to superiors as being suspicious….for one thing, they took no classes on landing. He was disregarded by his superiors and the rest is horrid history.

I have little confidence in either candidates ability to handle these things. I think one will overreact and the other will under react. I admit this would be a good time for a Reagan kind of leader but we haven’t anyone like that. The current catastrophe will probably aid Trumps campaign.

On a different note in a previous comment of yours, McGovern vs. Nixon was my very first election. I voted for McGovern as I was anti war, knowing he would lose but voting anyway. In my own state elections, our Democrats are of poor material and lazy, while the Republicans are too anti education so I’ve sometimes written in a candidate.
Thanks for all the good ideas in your Blog material! Jonathan.

Liked by 1 person

13 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments as always, Jonathan, and for your kind words.

Yes, all too often those who commit horrendous crimes slip through the cracks and are not dealt with before their acts occur. But as you say, others are anticipated effectively.

It is my belief that no president can “lead” with mental health issues. Perhaps Trump will sensitize Americans to be more alert, but that can be a “double-edged sword” too, as innocent people are subjected to increased scrutiny by their peers.

And yes too, I believe Trump will benefit politically.

I could not vote for McGovern, albeit he was liked by his colleagues in the Senate. He was too far to the left for me, even though I had come to the conclusion that the Vietnam War was hopeless.

I had three chances to vote for Nixon, but never did, although I believe many of his post-presidency foreign policy views were prescient.

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17 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Is Islamic Terror America’s Future? [UPDATED]

Bald Eagle and American Flag

Patrick J. Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

If the cliches hold — nothing succeeds like success, the past is prologue — this generation will not likely see an end to the jihadist terror that was on display at Pulse in Orlando on Sunday.

For terrorism has proven to be among the most cost-effective and successful strategies of war that the world has ever seen.

Consider. The 9/11 attacks involved 19 hijackers willing to crash airliners into four buildings: the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the Capitol.

So doing, those 19 altered the foreign policy of the United States.

They drew the world’s last superpower into wars that have bled and almost bankrupted us, broken a president, and left us mired in half a dozen civil and sectarian conflicts with no exit or end in sight.

As a political terrorist, Osama bin Laden rivals Gavrilo Princip, whose assassination of the Austrian archduke set in train the events that led to the Great War that brought on the downfall of the West.

Consider the success of Islamist terror since 9/11.

As Gerry Seib of The Wall Street Journal notes, in the 15 years since then, just 95 Americans have died in jihadist attacks in the U.S.

Yet, one atrocity in Orlando, where 49 were slaughtered, polarized the nation, brought the presidential candidates to savaging one another, and held a national TV audience spellbound for a week.

The whole world is talking about Orlando.

And what did this victory cost the Islamic State?

Zero. What Omar Mateen did suicide bombers do every day in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, kill dozens of innocent people while shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

Yet compare the returns from this act of Islamist terror in Orlando, to those from similar attacks in Kabul, Baghdad or Damascus.

Any wonder ISIS would implore its followers to strike where they are, inside the U.S., inside Europe, and not come to Syria to die anonymously?

Under siege in Raqqa, Mosul and Fallujah, being bombed and bled as it surrenders the conquered lands of its caliphate, ISIS’ shift in strategy and targeting makes perfect sense.

Consider, now, the triumphs of Islamist terrorism in Europe.

The 2004 Madrid train bombings led to the defeat of a centrist government and rise of a socialist regime that pulled Spanish troops out of Iraq.

The Paris attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan theater strengthened the National Front of Marine Le Pen.

The Beslan massacre of school children in North Ossetia in 2004 led to a consolidation of power by Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

Across Europe, the political impact of Islamist terrorism, though the numbers of dead and wounded have been, measured against the casualties of conventional war, relatively few, has been extraordinary.

Islamist terrorism has helped spawn anti-immigrant parties and “illiberal” regimes. The association of Islamic terror with Muslim immigration and refugees from Syria’s war has helped to drive “Brexit,” the British campaign to secede from the EU.

Islamist attacks have helped propel anti-EU movements and to incite nationalist demands for a recapture of state control of borders and security policy from Brussels.

Obama explains his reluctance to use the term “radical Islamic terror” on his not wishing to validate ISIS’ claim to be the spear point, the fighting arm of the world’s largest religion in fulfilling the mission given to it by Allah — to make the whole world Islamic.

And this is exactly what ISIS has in mind.

By the frequency and ferocity of its attacks, it seeks to displace al-Qaida and other Islamic resistance movements in the eyes of the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, and to be seen by the young as the great liberator of the Islamic world and future conqueror of the West.

The crushing of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of victory in this war, for ISIS is not just an organization but a cause, a movement, an idea.

ISIS believes that by repeatedly wounding and provoking the West, it can reignite a war of civilizations. And though the West is vastly superior in nuclear weapons and conventional arms, economic power and technology, ISIS believes it can gradually drive the West out of the Middle East, as it has already helped to drive the Christians out.

Then, ISIS believes, through mass Muslim migration into a West whose native-born are dying out, Muslims can reoccupy these lands they had almost wholly conquered, until stopped by Charles Martel 14 centuries ago.

For some few Muslims, as we saw at Fort Hood, San Bernardino and Orlando, ISIS offers a dream worth dying for. And as they kill and die for ISIS, they will push America where they are pushing Europe — to the right.

See http://buchanan.org/blog/islamic-terror-americas-future-125352 (emphasis added); see also http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/06/17/obama-admin-pace-issue-one-million-green-cards-migrants-majority-muslim-countries/ (“Obama Admin. On Pace to Issue One Million Green Cards to Migrants from Majority-Muslim Countries“)

Sobering thoughts to ponder, indeed.

Imagine, just imagine, a nation-ending EMP Attack launched from a barge—in the Gulf of Mexico, the Sea of Cortez, or off our Atlantic or Pacific Coasts—consisting of one nuclear warhead attached to a single missile that might shut down much of the country and kill all except 30 million Americans.

This is why it is so vital to elect a president like Donald Trump, who will not cower or fail to arm our military with everything that it needs to fight conventional and asymmetric wars of the present and the future.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“); but see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/ (“Islamophobia Is Un-American“)

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24 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The EU’s Death: Brexit Passes, Trump Elated!

EU collapses

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will resign as prime minister after Britain voted narrowly to leave the European Union.

Mr Cameron tried to reassure businesses around the world that Britain’s economy was fundamentally sound but world markets were thrown into turmoil on Friday after the final vote was announced.

Donald Trump arrived in Scotland on Friday morning and said the British people had ‘taken back their country’ and added: ‘It’s a fantastic thing’.

But Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair said Brexit would have ‘enormous consequences’ and said it was ‘very sad for our country, for Europe, for the world’.

Mr Cameron said he would stay on for three months and New York-born Boris Johnson, who led the ‘leave’ campaign, is the hot favorite to replace him.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney moved to reassure panicking markets this morning after the Pound nose-dived to its lowest level against the US dollar for 31 years, and the FTSE slumped by 8 per cent.

Scottish Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon raised the prospect of a second independence referendum in Scotland within two years, potentially heralding the break-up of the UK, after 62 percent of Scots voted to remain but were outvoted by the English.

Initial polls had the ‘remain’ camp winning by a knife-edge. But the final count saw a narrow victory for ‘leave’ as the nation split 52-48 in favor of becoming the first of the 28 EU member states to request an exit.

The historic result sent the British pound plummeting to a 31-year low, one of its biggest one-day falls in all time, dropping from about $1.50 to below $1.35.

US markets were expected to open down 550 points on Friday morning. Trading in Tokyo was halted after stocks plunged nearly 7 per cent, while South Korea’s Kospi tumbled about 4 per cent. Crude oil prices also took a hit.

More than $137billion was wiped off the FTSE 100 this morning – the biggest fall in UK history – withLondon’s premier index plunging 458 points to 5,880 – down 7.19 per cent – as experts warned of more carnage to come.

The collapse is far greater than Britain suffered after the political crises in 1978, 1992 and 2009.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said they were prepared to deal with the market volatility.

Canadian-born Carney said the bank had ‘engaged in extensive contingency planning’ and he was in close contact with Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz said the EU assembly would hold an emergency session on Tuesday and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said that after ‘the blow’ of Britain voting to leave, the whole European project needed a rethink.

EU President Donald Tusk, from Poland, said it was ‘a historic moment but for sure not a moment for hysterical reactions’.

Tusk, who had earlier warned that Brexit could ‘end Western political civilization’, said on Friday: ‘Today on behalf of the 27 leaders, I can say that we are determined to keep our unity as 27.’

As results poured in, a picture emerged of a sharply divided nation: Strong pro-EU votes in the economic and cultural powerhouse of London and semi-autonomous Scotland were countered by sweeping anti-Establishment sentiment for an exit across the rest of England, from southern seaside towns to rust-belt former industrial powerhouses in the north.

Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), said June 23 should be considered Britain’s ‘Independence Day’.

But in a remark that could prove controversial after pro-Europe MP Jo Cox was shot dead last week, Mr Farage said the country was separating from the EU ‘without a single bullet being fired’.

A key factor in the vote was the migrant crisis which has hit Europe in the last few years but many working class British voters also resented immigrants from EU countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania who they feared were taking ‘their’ jobs.

John Mann, one of the few Labour MPs to support the ‘leave’ campaign, said there had been a split between middle class voters who felt they benefited from EU membership and working class voters who felt the disadvantages – especially migration – outweighed the advantages.

Mr Cameron, who called the referendum to placate the conservative anti-Europe wing of his party, backed the ‘remain’ campaign and was left with no option but to resign after the vote.

In an emotional resignation speech outside the prime minister’s official residence, 10 Downing Street, he said: ‘I held nothing back. I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the EU.

‘I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone – not the future of any single politician including myself.

‘But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.’

Choking back tears, Mr Cameron said he would not depart immediately and would seek to calm the markets over the coming ‘weeks and months’.

But he said a new Prime Minister should be in place for the Conservative Party conference in October.

Boris Johnson, who stepped down last month as Mayor of London, will be the overwhelming favorite to take over.

He is due to make a statement shortly.

One of the repercussions of the vote will be in Scotland, which was out of kilter with England, having overwhelmingly voted to remain.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this morning signalled she will be pressing ahead with plans to stage a second Scottish independence referendum, which could be held within two years.

Prominent Irish nationalist politician Martin Guinness also demanded a referendum on whether Northern Ireland should stay in the UK or unite with the Republic of Ireland, which remains in the EU.

McGuinness, who is Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland, said: ‘The British government now has no democratic mandate to represent the views of the North in any future negotiations with the European Union and I do believe that there is a democratic imperative for a ‘border poll’ to be held’

McGuinness’s party Sinn Fein was the political wing of the now-defunct Irish Republican Army and Brexit has raised fresh fears that the Good Friday Agreement, which ended ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, could unravel.

Last week Ireland’s prime minister Enda Kenny raised the prospect of border controls being reimposed along the border between the Republic and the UK, in Northern Ireland, if British voters opted to pull out of the EU.

Some political analysts say the disaffected voters who opted for ‘leave’ were similar in many respect to those supporting a Donald Trump presidency.

In an op-ed for the LA Times, London School of Economics fellow Brian Klaas and Marcel Dirsus, a lecturer at the University of Kiel in Germany, compared Brexit voters to ‘Trump supporters sporting ‘Make America Great Again’ hats’ who ‘believe they have lost too much for too long’.

‘Their complaint is understandable. But turning inward will only make their problems worse and the world more dangerous. Britain narrowly succumbed to isolationist populism Thursday. Let’s hope Americans don’t make the same mistake by voting for a Trump presidency come November,’ they write.

Speaking at a jubilant Leave.EU rally in central London, Mr Farage said June 23 should go down in history as ‘our independence day’, and called for it to become a national Bank Holiday.

He said on Friday morning Britain needed a ‘Brexit government’.

In a remark that could prove controversial after MP Jo Cox was shot dead last week, Mr Farage said the country was separating from the EU ‘without a single bullet being fired’.

‘Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,’ he said.

‘This, if the predictions now are right, this will be a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people.

‘We have fought against the multinationals, we have fought against the big merchant banks, we have fought against big politics, we have fought against lies, corruption and deceit.

A vote to leave the EU is set to destabilize the 28-nation trading bloc, created from the ashes of World War II to keep the peace in Europe.

It swung in the direction of ‘leave’ after the first results came in from England’s working-class northeast, which showed a smaller-than-expected ‘remain’ win in Newcastle and a bigger-than-expected ‘leave’ vote in nearby Sunderland.

The ‘leave’ side also outperformed expectations in other areas of England, though ‘remain’ was ahead in early Scottish results.

There was better news in London, where the first districts to declare had strong ‘remain’ majorities.

As the polls closed Thursday, UKIP leader Farage set a downbeat tone for the supporters of a British exit — or Brexit — from the EU, telling Sky News television ‘it looks like ‘remain’ will edge it’ in the referendum, sending the pound to a 2016 peak of $1.50.

But he withdrew those comments later, telling reporters at a ‘leave’ party in central London ‘maybe just under half, maybe just over half of the country’ had voted to pull Britain out of the EU.

Pollster Ipsos MORI said a survey conducted on Wednesday and Thursday suggested the ‘remain’ side would win Britain’s EU referendum by a margin of 54 percent to 46 percent.

But on Thursday the firm had released a poll that indicated a 52-48 victory for ‘remain’.

That phone poll of 1,592 people had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. And it proved to be wrong by exactly that margin.

The overseas territory of Gibraltar, off the coast of southern Spain, was the first to report results late Thursday, and as expected the British enclave reported an overwhelming vote for ‘remain’ — 96 percent.

There as elsewhere, turnout appeared high.

Officials in Gibraltar said almost 84 percent of eligible voters turned out to cast ballots; witnesses and reporters elsewhere said turnout was higher than in last year’s general election, which was 66 percent.

High turnout had been expected to boost the ‘remain’ vote, because ‘leave’ supporters are thought to be more motivated. But high turnout in working-class areas that typically have lower tallies also boosted the ‘leave’ vote.

That was certainly the case in Newcastle, a city which had been expected to deliver a resounding victory for ‘remain.’ Instead, the pro-Europe side squeaked by with 50.7 percent of the vote. In Sunderland, 61 percent of voters chose ‘leave,’ a bigger-than expected margin.

Polls had for months suggested a close battle, although the past few days have seen some indication of momentum swinging toward the ‘remain’ side.

At a referendum night party at the London School of Economics, Kevin Featherstone, the head of the European Institute, said the vote should serve as a wake-up call to politicians across the continent.

‘Wider Europe has got to learn the lesson about how to re-engage with ordinary publics,’ he said. ‘We can see across Europe countries which have been … far bigger supporters of the European Union for a number of years starting to have serious doubts.’

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3657605/UK-pound-takes-wild-ride-EU-referendum-results-come-in.html (“David Cameron says he will QUIT as British Prime Minister after voters trigger a political earthquake by backing Brexit in historic referendum which sparked global Black Friday panic“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-8890 (“Has Europe Begun To Die?“)

Good riddance to David Cameron, and long live Brexit!

The EU has become a bureaucratic nightmare, encroaching on everything that moves. Indeed, the Germans lost World War II militarily, but they have achieved a stranglehold over their neighbors through the EU.

Today, Europe is defenseless, a mere shadow of its former self. The EU should be scuttled and replaced by a robust NATO with its member states owning up to their obligations and responsibilities, as Donald Trump has advocated/demanded.

Trump arrives in Scotland

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24 06 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hello, Timothy.

I agree with some of that message, except that I think Trump is an opportunist using it without understanding it…..so let me get my rant on him out of the way and than take a more positive note……….I still think he plays on people’s fears and even used the Orlando shootings as a political attack and campaign fodder, but doesn’t really understand any of the events happening in the US and world……..an anecdote from the US Hispanic press; when he went to Scotland to see about buying land to expand his golfing property, the nearby landowners continued their policy of refusing him. This last visit, they put up Mexican Flags on their property facing his, to insult him.

Trump apparently isn’t very funded at this time for a general campaign, and the GOP has a lot of concerns over this….there may still be dissension at the Convention over freeing delegates. Notice how the usually passive Democrats are now emboldened to defy Paul Ryan with demonstrations in the House now that he gave up his own beliefs to support Trump for party unity? Ryan is less respected now by Republicans, I think. I used to respect him a great deal for his intelligence and maturity and opposition to racism in the ranks.

Anyway, on a note of irony, my wife is a Mexican Immigrant from a middle class, well educated family in Mexico (mostly business owners, a few of whom are wealthy and come to the US for shopping trips; recently we hosted two of them overnight at our home in Arizona).

My wife and I both despise Trumps racism towards Hispanics, but she actually agrees with him about Muslims and immigration! This is also ironic, as we traveled thru 5 ME countries (Israel, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Jordan) in the years before the failed revolutions. However, ME refugees were never vetted here or in Europe, and It’s clear unrestricted immigration (ME refugees, some of whom were terrorists and Eastern Europeans looking for work) and the following terrorist attacks were a major factor in Brexit.

Anyway, it’s done, the UK will go to the conservatives over the next few months as Cameron winds down his career ahead of the transition. The Scots and Northern Ireland may vote again on independence in the next few years so as to stay in the EU and for Northern Ireland, to become part of the Irish Republic. The world will not end. The EU did end thousands of years of European wars, for which they got the Nobel Peace Prize, so a great deal of good came from it. Whether a global economy which the EU is a big part of, is good or bad in the long run, I don’t feel qualified to say.

As my wife and I invest a fair amount in stocks and to a lesser extent, bonds, we are concerned over today’s effect on them……….but our retirement incomes aren’t affected by stock fluctuations (I’m a retired gov’t worker with a pension among other incomes we both have), so it’s all good.

Thanks for your interesting and thoughtful (and provocative, we need that too) essays, Timothy!

Liked by 1 person

24 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan, for your comments and kind words.

First, you wrote:

I think Trump is an opportunist using it without understanding it

This is true of every U.S. Senator and congressperson, and essentially all elected officials in our states and local governments; and it is true of our judiciary from top to bottom.

None of them are saints, or even remotely close. Indeed, some are downright evil.

Second, the rest of your first paragraph describes narrow-minded, petty people. They inhabit our globe.

Third, I have never respected Paul Ryan. He is a politician, pure and simple, who could not even carry his own state of Wisconsin for the Romney-Ryan ticket in 2012. End of story.

Hopefully he is a nice and decent family man. 🙂

Fourth, you have written:

My wife and I both despise Trumps racism towards Hispanics, but she actually agrees with him about Muslims and immigration! This is also ironic, as we traveled thru 5 ME countries (Israel, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Jordan) in the years before the failed revolutions. However, ME refugees were never vetted here or in Europe, and It’s clear unrestricted immigration (ME refugees, some of whom were terrorists and Eastern Europeans looking for work) and the following terrorist attacks were a major factor in Brexit.

I grew up in Southern California, where the Hispanic/Mexican influence is enormous. My favorite foods are Mexican; I love the missions, and spent time in one yesterday; and the titles to property in California show how they were part of old Spanish ranchos.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranchos_of_California#List_of_Spanish_era_concessions

They are wonderful people; and indeed, three of my grandchildren are one-fourth Mexican, stemming from their father’s mother, who grew up in East Los Angeles where she married her Irish sweetheart.

I have listened to all of Trump’s speeches online (see https://www.youtube.com/user/rightsideradio); and he is not a Hispanic racist. He is simply put, an “America firster.”

I had a long-time Irish Love from County Meath; and we lived together on the beach at Malibu, and traveled back and forth to the Emerald Isle. She could not get a Green Card, no matter how hard we tried (e.g., I hired an immigration lawyer).

Ireland had/has a lottery; and on a fluke, her sister tried once and received her Green Card. Thus, the sister could and did work in Malibu, while my Irish Love could not, even though we tentatively lined up a job for her in IT at Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus.

Following the rules seems to get one nowhere, while illegal immigrants flood our shores.

Fifth, my belief is that Boris Johnson will be the UK’s next PM, which may be a refreshing change.

Sixth, on my mother’s side of the family, they are British, Irish and Scots, the first of whom came to America from Bristol, England in 1760. I have visited all three “countries” many times, and would like to see an independent Scotland; the two parts of Ireland united; and possibly Wales become independent too.

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24 06 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for the feedback, Timothy. I’ve been to England three times (the last two with my wife), and spent a day in Wales, but have not been to the other places. I agree it’s now best for Scotland and Northern Ireland to take those steps……….Scotland wants to remain in the EU and Northern Ireland has long been an unfinished solution towards Irish sovereignty. Sorry that you were not able to have your Irish lady become a permanent resident.

An anecdote on immigration contradictions;
We had two nephews from Mexico who lived with us for a year each on a student visa while teens,one after the other. When we took the first one to the local public high school, we offered to show our legal guardianship papers (provided by his mother thru a lawyer who was a family member in Mexico). We also had his VISA. The school accepted him as a student, but said they weren’t allowed to ask for any paperwork as to the legal status of a student, as it was considered discrimination! So, if he had been illegal with no papers, it wouldn’t have mattered……….bizarre.

Liked by 1 person

24 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Jonathan.

I have been to Ireland 12 times, and to England more than that, and to Scotland twice.

My guess is that Scotland will vote for independence, and opt for the EU. My guess too is that the Republic and Northern Ireland will unite, and opt for the EU. What happens with Wales remains to be seen.

The biggest issues for Scotland involve the North Sea oil, and the Trident nuclear facilities at Clyde Naval Base on the west coast of Scotland.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trident_nuclear_programme (“Trident nuclear program me”)

The first times that I was in Ireland, those from the Republic (the southern two-thirds of the island) were often hesitant about going into the north. My Irish Love was.

Times have changed radically, such that the island should be integrated politically and legally.

I agree with your last paragraph; and what my Irish Love and I went through is mentioned in an earlier article.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”)

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24 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Trump Hails Brexit, Which Could Foretell His American Election Victory [UPDATED]

Trump arrives in Scotland

Donald Trump has issued the following statement regarding Brexit:

The people of the United Kingdom have exercised the sacred right of all free peoples. They have declared their independence from the European Union and have voted to reassert control over their own politics, borders and economy. A Trump Administration pledges to strengthen our ties with a free and independent Britain, deepening our bonds in commerce, culture and mutual defense. The whole world is more peaceful and stable when our two countries – and our two peoples – are united together, as they will be under a Trump Administration.

Come November, the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite, and to embrace real change that delivers a government of, by and for the people. I hope America is watching, it will soon be time to believe in America again.

See https://www.donaldjtrump.com/press-releases/donald-j.-trump-statement-regarding-british-referendum-on-e.u.-membership (“DONALD J. TRUMP STATEMENT REGARDING BRITISH REFERENDUM ON E.U. MEMBERSHIP“) (emphasis added)

Also, Katty Kay of the UK’s BBC World News has reported “Five reasons Brexit could signal Trump winning the White House”:

The two most surprising political phenomena of this year have been the rise of Donald Trump and the success of the Leave Europe camp in Britain’s referendum on Brexit.

Few pundits saw either coming (and full disclosure, I include myself here, particularly on Trump) – but we should have and now would be a good chance to make up for past oversight by looking at how the two are linked.

This week, polls suggest, Britain may pull out of the European Union. Opinion polls currently have the 23 June referendum too close to call but the Brexit camp (those in favour of the UK splitting from the EU) has been inching ahead in recent weeks.

Later this year, Americans will decide whether to elect Donald Trump as the 45th US President, or Hillary Clinton.

Opinion polls also suggest this race is close, though with five months to go, those polls aren’t terribly instructive yet. Yet the result next week in Britain could give us some indication of how Americans will vote in November.

Here’s five reasons why.

Angry electorate

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, the leader of the Leave campaign, have tapped into a similar public mood of disgruntlement. On both sides of the Atlantic, a lot of people feel they’ve been handed a bad deal. In the UK, it’s European bureaucrats in Brussels who are to blame. In the US, it’s elected politicians in Washington who are held responsible. Mr Johnson promises Brits a better deal if they throw off the onerous yoke of EU regulations. Mr Trump promises Americans a better deal if they put him in the White House.

Globalisation

The forces of globalisation are causing havoc for European workers as they are for American workers. If you are a white working class man (in particular) the combined effects of immigration, free trade and technology have made your job and your wages less secure. Policy makers in the UK and the US have singularly failed to address these issues in any meaningful way. If the Brexit camp wins next week it could suggest the global anti-globalisation mood (if such a thing is possible) is stronger than we realized.

Immigration

Immigration deserves its own category because it is so critical in both campaigns. Economists argue about the relative impact of immigrants versus robots on wage stagnation – voters don’t care much. They blame immigrants. It’s easier to get mad at a person from Macedonia or Mexico, taking your job than it is to get mad at a piece of technology from Silicon Valley. In both countries, governments haven’t handled immigration well. America tried and failed to implement immigration reform and the country’s Southern border remains porous (though to be fair, more people are using it to go south not north at the moment.) Like its European partner, the British government is caught in the nightmare story that is the European migrant/refugee crisis, with no effective response.

Lost pride

The complicated feeling of having had a bad deal has created an insidious spin off, a sense of broken pride, both national and personal. Working men, in particular, face a world they did not expect, jobs are hard to find and pay badly meaning they often can’t provide single-handedly for their families, as their fathers and grandfathers did. That alone causes a loss of pride. In the US it is also linked to a loss of national pride through a sentiment among Trump supporters that President Obama has diminished the reputation of America by going on what they refer to as his “global apology tour.” For Brits the loss of national pride comes from a feeling that British sovereignty has been given away to Brussels and if we leave the EU, we will be stronger, better, more respected.

Populism

And, finally, populism loves simplicity, especially, it seems, when it’s dressed up with an impressively wacky hair do. Boris Johnson and Donald Trump appeal to the heart not the head, they offer simple solutions in a time of complex problems. It’s an appealing message. Think about the complicated consequences later, the thinking seems to go, for now protesting the status quo feels like a good start.

A victory for Brexit next week by no means guarantees a Trump victory in the autumn. However, if the forces of disgruntlement, nationalism, populism and anti-globalisation are strong enough to force a radical move in the UK, they may be strong enough to force a radical election in America too.

See http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-36564808?SThisFB (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-8981 (“The EU’s Death: Brexit Passes, Trump Elated!“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-8263 (“The EU And Brexit“) and http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/24/alan-greenspan-says-british-break-from-eu-is-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg.html (“Alan Greenspan says British break from EU ‘is just the tip of the iceberg'”—”Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told CNBC on Friday the U.K. vote to leave the European Union ushers in a period that’s even worse than the darkest days of October 1987″—”‘This is the worst period, I recall since I’ve been in public service,’ Greenspan said”—”‘There’s nothing like it, including the crisis — remember October 19th, 1987, when the Dow went down by a record amount 23 percent? That I thought was the bottom of all potential problems. This has a corrosive effect that will not go away'”—”The former Fed chairman said that the root of the ‘British problem is far more widespread.’ He said the result of the referendum will ‘almost surely’ lead to the Scottish National Party trying to ‘resurrect Scottish Independence.’ Greenspan said the ‘euro currency is the immediate problem.’ While the euro and the euro zone were major steps in a movement toward European political integration, ‘it’s failing,’ he said”) and http://www.nysun.com/foreign/magna-carta-moment-emerges-after-vote-on-the-brexit/89633/ (“Britain will regain its political freedom, its autonomous self-government, and its independence from an EU that is spinning out of control under the power of establishment elites, unelected and unaccountable socialist bureaucrats, and a judicial court that is increasingly making legal decisions that replace Britain’s powerful common law. The EU’s tax and regulatory policies, climate-change and welfare spending, and free immigration even in wartime are gradually ruining Europe”—”The business elites told British voters that leaving the EU would lead to economic catastrophe. Well, in England, Main Street defeated the establishment elites by sending a populist message”—”The EU needs Britain more than Britain needs the EU. The London Stock Exchange is one of the most powerful financial centers in the world. Frankfurt will never replace it”—”The American election in November may parallel the British story. Barack Obama, who insulted British voters by campaigning in London against Brexit, is a huge loser. Hillary Clinton will suffer from this. Donald Trump will benefit. . . . [W]atch for a full populist revolt in America this fall”) and http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/683224/END-OF-THE-EU-Germany-France-Austria-Hungary-Finland-Netherlands-Europe-Brexit (“END OF THE EU? Germany warns FIVE more countries could leave Europe after Brexit”—”France, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland and Hungary could leave”)

As Bob Dylan wrote in a song: “The Times They Are a-Changin.”

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Times_They_Are_a-Changin%27_(song)

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27 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Britain Is Sailing Into A Storm With No One At The Wheel

EU fractured

This is the title of an article in the UK’s Economist, which states:

IT WAS a troubling exchange. On live television Faisal Islam, the political editor of SkyNews, was recounting a conversation with a pro-Brexit Conservative MP. “I said to him: ‘Where’s the plan? Can we see the Brexit plan now?’ [The MP replied:] ‘There is no plan. The Leave campaign don’t have a post-Brexit plan. . . . Number 10 should have had a plan.’” The camera cut to Anna Botting, the anchor, horror chasing across her face. For a couple of seconds they were both silent, as the point sunk in. “Don’t know what to say to that, actually,” she replied, looking down at the desk. Then she cut to a commercial break.

Sixty hours have gone by since a puffy-eyed David Cameron appeared outside 10 Downing Street and announced his resignation. The pound has tumbled. Investment decisions have been suspended; already firms talk of moving operations overseas. Britain’s EU commissioner has resigned. Sensitive political acts—the Chilcot report’s publication, decisions on a new London airport runway and the renewal of Britain’s nuclear deterrent—are looming. European leaders are shuttling about the continent meeting and discussing what to do next. Those more sympathetic to Britain are looking for signs from London of how they can usefully influence discussions. At home mounting evidence suggests a spike in racist and xenophobic attacks on immigrants. Scotland is heading for another independence referendum. Northern Ireland’s peace settlement may hang by a thread.

But at the top of British politics, a vacuum yawns wide. The phones are ringing, but no one is picking up.

Mr Cameron has said nothing since Friday morning. George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, has been silent. (This afternoon I texted several of his advisers to ask whether he would make a statement before the markets open tomorrow. As I write this I have received no replies.) The prime minister’s loyalist allies in Westminster and in the media are largely mute.

Apart from ashen-faced, mumbled statements from the Vote Leave headquarters on Friday, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have also ducked the limelight; Mr Johnson is meeting friends and allies today, June 26th, at his house near Oxford in what are believed to be talks about his impending leadership bid. Neither seems to have the foggiest as to what should happen next. Today Mr Gove’s wife committed to Facebook the hope that “clever people” might offer to “lend their advice and expertise.” And Mr Johnson’s sister, Rachel, tweeted: “Everyone keeps saying ‘we are where we are’ but nobody seems to have the slightest clue where that is.

Ordinarily the opposition might take advantage of the vacuum: calling on the government to act, offering its own proposals, venturing a framework. But Labour has turned in on itself, a parade of shadow ministers resigning this afternoon in what seems to be a concerted coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s useless leader. In a meeting tomorrow Tom Watson, the party’s deputy leader, is expected to call on Mr Corbyn to quit. Of the need for stability and leadership following Thursday’s vote the party has little to say.

No one seems capable of stepping forward and offering reassurance. The Leavers, who disagreed on what Brexit should look like, do not think it is their responsibility to set out a path. They reckon that falls to Number 10 (where they have appeared in public, it has mostly been to discard the very pledges on which they won the referendum). Number 10, however, seems to have done little planning for this eventuality. It seems transfixed by the unfolding chaos; reluctant to formulate answers to the Brexiteers’ unanswered questions. As Mr Cameron reportedly told aides on June 24th when explaining his decision to resign: “Why should I do all the hard shit?”

This could go on for a while. The Conservative leadership contest will last until at least early October, perhaps longer. It may be almost as long until Labour has a new chief, and even then he or she may be a caretaker. The new prime minister could call a general election. It might be more than half a year until Britain has a leader capable of addressing the myriad crises now engulfing it.

The country does not have that kind of time. Despite arguments for patience from continental Anglophiles, including Angela Merkel, the insistence that Britain immediately invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, launching exit negotiations that can last no longer than two years, is hardening. Soon it may be a consensus. Britain could be thrust into talks under a lame-duck leader with no clear notion of what Brexit should look like or mandate to negotiate. All against a background of intensifying economic turmoil and increasingly ugly divides on Britain’s streets. The country is sailing into a storm. And no one is at the wheel.

See http://www.economist.com/blogs/bagehot/2016/06/anarchy-uk (emphasis added)

This will get far far worse.

Scotland should split off; and Northern Ireland should join the Republic and form a united Ireland.

Both Scotland and new Ireland should join the EU, which ought to welcome them with open arms.

The UK in crumbling from within; and the monarchy should be booted out of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, with their properties seized for the good of the people—and no compensation paid.

After all, the monarchy bled the people for hundreds of years, and it is “payback time,” similar to what happened to the Russian Czar and his family.

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28 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Did Hitler Win World War II After All?

Adolf Hitler

The UK’s Express has reported:

The foreign ministers of France and Germany are due to reveal a blueprint to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an “ultimatum”.

Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels.

Controversially member states would also lose what few controls they have left over their own borders, including the procedure for admitting and relocating refugees.

The plot has sparked fury and panic in Poland – a traditional ally of Britain in the fight against federalism – after being leaked to Polish news channel TVP Info.

The public broadcaster reports that the bombshell proposal will be presented to a meeting of the Visegrad group of countries – made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia – by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier later today.

Excerpts of the nine-page report were published today as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy met in Berlin for Brexit crisis talks.

In the preamble to the text the two ministers write: “Our countries share a common destiny and a common set of values ??that give rise to an even closer union between our citizens. We will therefore strive for a political union in Europe and invite the next Europeans to participate in this venture.”

The revelations come just days after Britain shook the Brussels establishment by voting to leave the European Union in a move some have predicted could leave to the break-up of the EU.

A number of member states are deeply unhappy about the creeping federalism of the European project with anti-EU sentiments running high in eastern Europe, Scandinavia and France.

Responding to the plot Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski raged: “This is not a good solution, of course, because from the time the EU was invented a lot has changed.

“The mood in European societies is different. Europe and our voters do not want to give the Union over into the hands of technocrats.

“Therefore, I want to talk about this, whether this really is the right recipe right now in the context of a Brexit.”

There are deep divides at the heart of the EU at the moment over how to proceed with the project in light of the Brexit vote.

Some figures have cautioned against trying to force through further political integration, warning that to do so against the wishes of the European people will only fuel further Eurosceptic feeling.

A few weeks before the Brexit vote European Council president Donald Tusk warned that European citizens did not share the enthusiasm of some of their leaders for “a utopia of Europe without conflicting interests and ambitions, a utopia of Europe imposing its own values on the external world, a utopia of Euro-Asian unity”.

He added: “Increasingly louder are those who question the very principle of a united Europe. The spectre of a break-up is haunting Europe and a vision of a federation doesn’t seem to me to be the best answer to it.”

His view was backed up by the leader of the eurozone countries, Dutch politician Jerome Dijsselbloem, who added: “In the eurozone some are pushing for a completion of the monetary union by creating a full political union, a euro area economic government or even a euro budget . . . to me it is obvious.

“We need to strengthen what we have and finish it, but let’s not build more extensions to the European house while it is so unstable.”

Meanwhile Lorenzo Condign, the former director general of Italy’s treasury, has said it is nearly impossible to see Europe opting for more integration at such a time of upheaval.

He said: “It seems difficult to imagine that the rest of the EU will close ranks and move in the direction of greater integration quickly. Simply, there is no political will.

“Indeed, the risk is exactly the opposite – namely that centrifugal forces will prevail and make integration even more difficult.”

But others see the Brexit vote as an opportunity to push ahead with the European elite’s long-cherished dream of creating a United States of Europe.

Spain’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo has called for “more Europe” whilst Italy’s finance minister, Carlo Padoan, is advocating a common budget for the eurozone states.

And Emmanuel Macron, France’s economy minister, wants to go even further and set up a common eurozone treasury which would oversee the permanent transfer of funds from wealthier northern Europe to shore up Mediterranean economies.

See http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/683739/EU-referendum-German-French-European-superstate-Brexit (“European SUPERSTATE to be unveiled: EU nations ‘to be morphed into one’ post-Brexit“)

Adolf Hitler lost World War II militarily. However, in the years that have ensued, has Germany won the war economically, and is it on the verge of producing a European “Superstate” the likes of which Hitler envisioned?

EU Superstate

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28 06 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy.

I was surprised to see this information, it did seem ill timed for such a proposal. I do have skepticism of British tabloids, two of which published this story……….the Express and the Daily Mail. I went thru Google news to look up different sources.

We were last in England in 2009 and I read those papers in the breakfast room of our hotel in Southampton (we were going on a cruise from there, and my wife had suggested arriving a week early to explore West England). I didn’t think too much of the papers. The Politico today seemed to say the EU would ease up on restrictions to calm people down. The Guardian didn’t mention it. However, this excerpt from the BBC on line seemed to clarify;

“The foreign ministers of France and Germany have just authored a discussion paper setting out a blueprint for a “strong Europe in an uncertain world”, with an invitation to other EU countries to join “a political union”.

But their bosses, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande, are wary. Very wary. Of further alienating a Eurosceptic public with suggestions of pooling even more national sovereignty.”

So it seems those ministers, like Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, may have ridiculously overreached in a ill advised manner at the most inopportune time. Stenmeier was a “hawk” to Merkels “dove”.

I agree with your previous statements that there will be more independent movements. Such movements in Europe in the past have failed, but the above discussions from maverick foreign ministers certainly do the EU no favors. Merkel must have been privately furious at the timing and publicity.

As for old Adolph, where ever he is now (chuckling in hell?), I’m reminded of a novel I read and still own, “Fatherland” by Robert Harris (1992), a what if novel describing the world if Germany had won WWII, borrowing on the designs of the late Nazi war criminal, Albert Speer (I read his book, “Inside the Third Reich”, although it censored out his role in the Holocaust, which other sources verified. He has been released from prison after 20 years).
I recommend the Harris novel, although a movie based on it wasn’t that good. Jonathan.

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28 06 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan, for your comments.

Normally I do not give much credence to the Express or other UK tabloids, but I have found the Daily Mail to be quite accurate, and at times much more insightful than the American media including the Wall Street Journal. Indeed, I read selected articles in the Daily Mail at least once a day.

See http://www.naegele.com/links.html (“Links”)

I would like to see the EU and euro disappear, and a reinvigorated NATO reemerge to become the cornerstone of Europe once again, with each country doing its fair share, as Donald Trump has urged.

Albert Speer died in 1981, and I too read his book years ago and was impressed by it. At that time, I was trying to determine what made the German people “tick.”

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Speer

In the final analysis, I concluded that Germans are not monolithic. Northern Germans are often cold and not very friendly, while their southern counterparts are warm and gregarious. The teachings of Martin Luther undergird the north, while Catholicism undergirds the south, which is where my paternal ancestors (and their 16 children) hailed from in 1849 when they arrived in America.

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3 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Brexit: Sovereign Kingdom Or Little England? [UPDATED]

EU without England

This is the title of an article by the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer:

Given their arrogance, pomposity and habitual absurdities, it is hard not to feel a certain satisfaction with the comeuppance that Brexit has delivered to the unaccountable European Union bureaucrats in Brussels.

Nonetheless, we would do well to refrain from smug condescension. Unity is not easy. What began in 1951 as a six-member European Coal and Steel Community was grounded in a larger conception of a united Europe born from the ashes of World War II. Seven decades into the postwar era, Britain wants out and the E.U. is facing an existential crisis.

Yet where were we Americans seven decades into our great experiment in continental confederation, our “more perfect union” contracted under the Constitution of 1787? At Fort Sumter.

The failure of our federal idea gave us civil war and 600,000 dead. And we had the advantage of a common language, common heritage and common memory of heroic revolutionary struggle against a common (British) foe. Europe had none of this. The European project tries to forge the union of dozens of disparate peoples, ethnicities, languages and cultures, amid the searing memories of the two most destructive wars in history fought among and against each other.

The result is the E.U., a great idea badly executed. The founding motive was obvious and noble: to reconcile the combatants of World War II, most especially France and Germany, and create conditions that would ensure there could be no repetition. Onto that was appended the more utopian vision of a continental superstate that would once and for all transcend parochial nationalism.

That vision blew up with Brexit on June 23. But we mustn’t underestimate the significance, and improbability, of the project’s more narrow, but still singular, achievement — peace. It has given Europe the most extended period of internal tranquility since the Roman Empire. (In conjunction, of course, with NATO, which provided Europe with its American umbrella against external threat.)

Not only is there no armed conflict among European states. The very idea is inconceivable. (Fighting among the various nations has been subcontracted to soccer hooligans.) This on a continent where war had been the norm for a millennium.

Give the E.U. its due. Despite its comical faux-national paraphernalia of flag, anthem and useless parliament, it has championed and advanced a transnational idea that has helped curb the nationalist excesses that culminated in two world wars.

Advanced not quite enough, however. Certainly not enough to support its disdainful, often dismissive, treatment of residual nationalisms and their democratic expressions. Despite numerous objections by referendums and parliaments, which it routinely either ignored or circumvented, the E.U. continued its relentless drive for more centralization, more regulation and thus more power for its unelected self.

Such high-handed overriding of popular sentiment could go on only so long. Until June 23, 2016, to be precise.

To be sure, popular sentiment was rather narrowly divided. The most prominent disparity in the British vote was generational. The young, having grown up in the new Europe, are more comfortable with its cosmopolitanism and have come to expect open borders, open commerce and open movement of people. They voted overwhelmingly — by 3 to 1 — to Remain. Leave was mainly the position of an older generation no longer willing to tolerate European assaults on British autonomy and sovereignty.

Understandably so. Here is Britain, inventor of the liberal idea and home to the mother of parliaments, being instructed by a bunch of pastry-eating Brussels bureaucrats on everything from the proper size of pomegranates to the human rights of terrorists.

Widely mentioned, and resented, was the immigration directive to admit other E.U. citizens near-automatically. But what pushed the Leave side over the top was less policy than primacy. Who runs Britain? Amazingly, about half of the laws and regulations that govern British life today come not from Westminster but from Brussels.

Brexit was an assertion of national sovereignty and an attempt, in one fell swoop, to recover it.

There is much to admire in that impulse. But at what cost? Among its casualties may be not just the European project (other exit referendums are already being proposed) but possibly the United Kingdom itself. The Scots are already talking about another vote for independence. And Northern Ireland, which voted to remain in the E.U., might well seek to unite with the Republic.

Talk about a great idea executed badly. In seeking a newly sovereign United Kingdom, the Brits might well find themselves having produced a little England.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/brexit-sovereign-kingdom-or-little-england/2016/06/30/be86e5ba-3ef3-11e6-a66f-aa6c1883b6b1_story.html (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/boycott-the-gop-and-ignore-foreign-naysayers/#comment-8998 (“After Brexit, a Trump Path to Victory“)

First, Britain lost its empire. Now it is losing parts of its little island, with the distinct possibility that Wales will follow Scotland and Northern Ireland out the door.

The Queen and “Royal Family” should be booted out of each of these new countries; and their properties should be seized and converted into public parks.

At least they are likely to avoid the fate of the Russian Czar and his family; and of Putin and his cronies and thugs.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“)

With respect to the EU and euro, Adolf Hitler lost World War II militarily, but Germany won it economically by reason of its control of the EU and euro.

Now the EU must be replaced by a reinvigorated NATO.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-8997 (“Did Hitler Win World War II After All?“)

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4 07 2016
Jonathan Buttall

:Hello, Timothy!

Just read your article. I have lots of somewhat disjointed thoughts on it. In retirement, I’m more than ever a political junkie and history buff (my field before retiring was as a professional counselor with degrees in Psychology at the Masters level; after 36 years, I never think about it anymore and focus on intellectual pursuits that have no relationship to my past profession. Burn out does occur, when one knows its time to call it a day.

Okay, now to Europe. I do think they earned their Nobel peace prize. The EU isn’t perfect, but it did end large wars as you noted, which reached their worst level in the 20th century. Their past aggression I would trace to the massive Sea People’s invasions, mostly Greek, that covered the entire Eastern Mediterranean 3200 years ago. Egypt successfully pushed them away for two generations but the Turks fell at Troy as did the Hittite Empire. I have the impression that some stayed in the temporarily occupied Levant, perhaps giving Philistines (today called Palestinians after the Romans renamed them for political reasons) some Greek ancestry added to their Arabic.

I think some type of union should stay, perhaps NATO (which I don’t have a high opinion of, but it has it’s uses), so Europe doesn’t sink into nationalistic wars again. The Brits always knew the English Channel was the physical and symbolic barrier that saved them in WWII (odd the Romans breached it, but not the WWII Germans). So they were never in all the way, as they avoided the Euro.

The United Kingdom is a politically correct term. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were never really equal to the power and control of England, with only a little bit more autonomy than Eastern Europe had under the Czars and Soviets. Northern Ireland has a place to go, of course, but Scotland may be pushed out of the North Sea oil fields by England if independent. We’ve been thru those fields on a cruise once. I don’t know if I can post a photo of that area here until I send this. If it doesn’t appear, sorry.
IMG_1387-1.jpg

The UK will find resistance to accessing the free market without compromises that that could defeat the purpose of independence (control of immigration, for example). There is publicity saying that promises by the Brexit advocates in the UK were deceptions.

The Globalization of the world economy has detractors on the left as well as the right; Many democrats oppose NAFTA and especially the Trans Pacific Trade Partnership, due to corporate powers overruling our environmental laws as they interfere with profit. Canada has been successfully sued by such interests when they wanted to limit the power of oil companies to engage in certain environmentally destructive activities. or so the Sierra Club informed us (I’m a local officer). Growing up, I remember countries had excellent trade with each other before globilization regulated it world wide.

Finally, I notice the Stock Market quickly recovered a fair amount of losses after a two day Brexit related drop. Perhaps the process of sell high to lock in profits and buy low during the following buying opportunity overrules world events, said without irony. As we invest in stocks (but are diversified with safer assets too), we like to follow this. As for the Brits, the next few years will be in “interesting times”……..which I think was also an old Chinese curse.

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5 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan. A belated Happy 4th to you and your family. 🙂

With respect to your first paragraph, I understand completely. There is so much wrong with the American legal system that when someone told me yesterday that it was no better than Russia, I had to agree. It is truly pathetic, principally because of our judiciary, many or most of whom should be removed from office.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”)

[Note: this article was published in Europe first: http://www.naegele.com/documents/Twill-Naegele-JusticeAndTheLawDoNotMix.pdf]

Second, as you know, the great Alexander controlled the known world; and he was probably the most important figure in history, aside from Jesus, as an article of mine contends.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/alexander-the-great/ (“Alexander the Great”)

Third, as I have written, NATO can be reinvigorated.

Fourth, with respect to your photo, it can be seen if you post a link.

Fifth, if Donald Trump is elected, we may see economic alliances with Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other English-speaking countries, which Obama spurned but others have been advocating for a long time now.

Lastly, I do not believe there is any rhyme or reason to the markets. I concluded years ago that the only people who make money there are those who trade on inside information, or are market makers.

See http://marketshadows.com/2012/05/21/greenspans-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ (“Greenspan’s legacy: more suffering to come”—Interview with Timothy D. Naegele) or http://www.naegele.com/documents/InterviewwithTimothyD.Naegele-ilene–SeekingAlpha.pdf

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6 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Will The West Survive The Century?

Obama smoking pot

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

“Nativism … xenophobia or worse” is behind the triumph of Brexit and the support for Donald Trump, railed President Barack Obama in Ottawa.

Obama believes that resistance to transformational change in the character and identity of countries of the West, from immigration, can only be the product of sick minds or sick hearts.

According to The New York Times, he will spend the last months of his presidency battling “the nativism and nationalism” of Trump and “Britain’s Brexiteers.”

Prediction: Obama will fail. For rising ethnonationalism and militarization of frontiers is baked in the cake, if the West wishes to remain the West.

Behind that prediction lie the startling figures of the U.N.’s “World Population 2015” chart, which just arrived.

Consider but a few of those figures.

Between now and 2050, Europe will lose 32 million people. Not one European nation has a fertility rate — 2.1 children per woman — sufficient to keep it alive. A quarter of all Europeans are 60 or older.

The tribes that created the West are passing away.

Contrast Europe with Africa, just across the Mediterranean.

Between now and 2050, Africa will add 1.3 billion people, to reach 2.4 billion in 2050. Then its population will double again, to 4.4 billion, by 2100.

Only 5 percent of Africans are 60 or older, while 41 percent of Africans are 15 or younger.

Given the tyranny, destitution and disease that afflict Africa, what — other than barriers, border guards and warships — is there to stop tens of millions of young African men from crossing over in coming decades to fill the empty spaces left by dying Europeans?

The Arab-Muslim population of North Africa alone, from the western Sahara and Morocco to Egypt and Sudan, will add 130 million people in 35 years. Egypt will add 60 million, to reach a population of 151 million by 2050.

Yet Egypt will still have only the fifth-highest population of Muslims, behind Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

While impossible to find a Western country with a fertility rate that will prevent its native-born people from dying off, it is difficult to find a Muslim country that does not boast a rising or exploding population.

If the future belongs to the young, it belongs to Asians, Africans and Latin Americans, and it belongs to Islam.

Eastern Europe presents the grimmest picture in Europe.

Between now and 2050, Poland will lose 5 million people; Ukraine almost 10 million; and Russia 15 million. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will see one-sixth of their combined population disappear.

Such losses are comparable to those of World War II.

In percentage terms, Ukraine will suffer most. By midcentury, its population will have shrunk by 21 percent, to 35 million. Is this not a graver matter than whose flag flies over Crimea?

The bleakest prospects belong to Japan, home to some of the most capable, industrious and advanced people on earth.

Between now and 2050, Japan will lose 19 million people and see its population fall to 107 million. A third of the nation is already 60 or older. Only 1 in 7 Japanese are under 16.

Japanese are the oldest people on earth. In coming decades, a large slice of Japan’s population will be working to support health care, pensions and welfare for the aged, infirm and dying.

And the United States?

With Mexico and Central America adding 56 million people in 35 years, either the U.S. secures its southern border or the 11-12 million immigrants here illegally will have millions of new compatriots.

America is already evolving into another country.

Though the U.S. is projected to grow by 67 million people in 35 years, this growth will be wholly among Hispanics, Asians and African-Americans. In each of the past four years, non-Hispanic white Americans have registered more deaths than births.

Between July 2014 and July 2015, the Asian-American population grew by 3.4 percent, and the Hispanic population grew 2.2 percent. The black population was up 1.3 percent. But the white population grew by only 0.1 percent.

White America has begun to die.

Can Obama really believe that amnesty for undocumented immigrants is still in the cards with a Republican Congress scorched by the forces behind Trump?

Can he believe that the right-wing parties proliferating across Europe, which see their nations imperiled by a rising tide of Muslim immigrants and refugees, will pack it in and support the EU’s march to a transnational superstate that controls immigration and borders?

What has been tabled for discussion this year, in Europe and America, is the future of the West as an identifiable civilization to be cherished and defended by the peoples whose ancestors created it.

And Obama’s reverence for Islam notwithstanding, the West remains the greatest civilization of them all.

Belatedly, Western Man appears to have decided to defend the shire, pull up the drawbridge, and man the parapets on the castle walls.

As for Trumpism and the Brexiteers, Mr. President, in the words of Jimmy Durante, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

See http://buchanan.org/blog/will-west-survive-century-125408

Barack Obama is the sickest of sick, racist human beings. If anyone has any doubts whatsoever, please read his book “Dreams from My Father,” which sets forth his core beliefs that undergird his life and presidency.

He grew up in Hawaii and Indonesia, and did not live on the American mainland until he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and then Columbia University in New York City, during which time he admits to being a “druggie.”

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man”)

He is a living and poignant symbol of what is wrong with the West, which—unless spurned and rejected completely—may lead to the West’s decline and disappearance as a great and lasting culture.

Who is a part of the West, and a Westerner? Anyone who embraces its culture, and fights for its future. Today I met three wonderful young men from Egypt who were studying in the States. If they and others like them embrace the West and its future, then they will be Westerners just like me, regardless of their heritage or country of origin.

In some ways that he may not understand fully, Barack Obama hates America and wants to change it forever. Thankfully his presidency is ending, and he will be gone from the White House, never to darken its corridors again.

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9 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Police On High Alert Across America Following Dallas Massacre [UPDATED]

Black racism in America

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

Black Lives Matter protesters have been sprayed with tear gas in Phoenix after a march against police brutality spiraled out of control.

Police also fired bean bag rounds and pepper spray at the protesters, who were seen running away and shielding their eyes.

One image showed a white man holding a Donald Trump ‘Make America Great Again’ placard interrupting the protest on Friday night.

Less than three hours after the demonstration began at 8pm, police declared the protest an ‘unlawful assembly’ and ordered people to leave after objects were thrown at officers, the Arizona Republic reported.

In Rochester, New York, the SWAT team arrived and police arrested 74 protesters who were blocking the streets. One organizer, Ashley Gantt, said they sat down because they did not want any movement to be misinterpreted as violence after the shootings in Dallas.

Other protests were calmer, with an estimated 5,000 people marching peacefully along a highway in Atlanta as they demanded justice for black men killed by police officers in recent days.

There was a heavy police presence at the Atlanta rally as protesters halted traffic, with officers on high alert following Thursday’s massacre in Dallas.

Gunman Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, shot 12 officers and two civilians on a rampage that killed five Dallas cops.

Friday evening’s protest came as police forces across the country braced for any fall-out from the horrific shooting in Texas.

Thousands more people took part in smaller protests across America, with demonstrations in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington, DC.

Also, in Los Angeles, rappers Snoop Dogg and The Game led a peaceful march to the LAPD’s headquarters, where they met with the mayor and police chief and urged improved relations between authorities and minority communities. Protests were also planned in Oakland and San Francisco on Friday night.

In Atlanta, demonstrators flooded the streets and brought traffic to a standstill Friday after gathering at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights near Centennial Olympic Park.

Protesters chanted: ‘Hands up, don’t shoot.’

People protesting police brutality in Dallas on Thursday evening were belting out the same chant when Johnson first opened fire.

Tonight’s protests have been peaceful and no arrests have been made.

The marches are in response to the recent shootings of black men Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were shot by white police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota respectively.

Police chiefs in New York, Washington, D.C, Boston, Las Vegas, St. Louis, and Nassau County have ordered officers to partner up for assignments.

The NYPD’s chief of department James O’Neill said until further notice, officers are banned from responding to calls alone.

‘Effective immediately and until further notice, all uniform members of service are to be assigned in pairs,’ an internal memo from O’Neill says, according to WPIX reporter Myles Miller.

O’Neill added: ‘There will be no solo assignments citywide.’

Washington’s police chief Cathy Lanier ordered officers and supervisors in the capital to also pair up while on duty.

‘Looking at the type of attack that happened in Dallas, a two-man car, a four-man car, a 10-man car, isn’t going to make much of a difference,’ Lanier said, according to the Washington Post.

‘But it makes the officers feel much safer.’

Meanwhile, Cincinnati police spokeswoman Tiffaney Hardy says police will use two-officer patrols throughout the weekend, ‘then we will re-evaluate.’

A police union official says some officers had expressed desire to be in two-officer cars for increased safety.

Boston Police Department tweeted: ‘In light of the tragedy in Dallas and in the best interests of officer safety, all #BPD patrols will be conducted by two-officer units.’

The Las Vegas Police Department said officers will be operating in pairs because of reports of planned protests in cities across the country.

‘Based on reports of protests in several major cities across the US, on-duty #LVMPD officers will be working in pairs until further notice,’ the department tweeted.

In St Louis, Missouri, police chief Sam Dotson said all officers will also be required to wear bulletproof vests.

In a statement, Dotson said late on Thursday night: ‘Due to events unfolding in Dallas, Texas, effective immediately, all on-duty officers will work in pairs until further notice.

‘No police officers, park rangers or mashals will be sent or handle any assignments without a partner.

‘In addition to this, all personnel leaving any of the stations for enforcement activities will be required to wear their ballistic vest.’

He added: ‘Although locally we are not experiencing any civil unrest, this decision is precautionary and is to maximize the safety of officers and our community.’

The Nassau County Police Department officials said that all necessary steps were being taken to ensure the safety of police officers and the public.

In a statement on Friday, the department said: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this heinous act of violence and their families.

‘The NCPD is taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of the public and our police officers.

‘We will intensify patrols in areas of public gatherings and near critical infrastructure.

‘Social media outlets will be intensely monitored and we request the public’s assistance in any way possible to stop threats to public safety.’

Five Dallas police officers were fatally shot and seven others wounded during a protest over the deaths of black men killed by police this week in Louisiana and Minnesota – the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3681287/Police-officers-alert-nationwide-wake-Dallas-shooting.html (“Black Lives Matter protesters sprayed with tear gas in Phoenix as rally spirals out of control and thousands demonstrate against police brutality, with cops on high alert following Dallas massacre“) (emphasis added)

There is a race war underway in the United States that has been spawned in no small part by the black racist Barack Obama, who is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Edward W. Brooke, the first black U.S. Senator following Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead“)

Brooke was an American patriot. Obama is a divisive black racist. If you have any doubts whatsoever that he is a racist, and has been throughout his life, please read his book “Dreams from My Father,” which sets forth his core beliefs in his own words. They are shocking.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Black-on-black crimes have terrorized America’s blacks for decades, striking especially hard at the elderly who are defenseless.

No mercy must be shown to those who perpetrate these and other crimes. “Black Lives Matter” must be snuffed out, and strewn on the dustheap of history, like other terrorist and racist groups before it.

I have been critical of the police ever since I investigated claims of police brutality in Los Angeles during the summer before the Watts Riots.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/Naegele-CivilianComplaintsAgainstthePoliceInLosAngeles.pdf (“Civilian Complaints Against the Police in Los Angeles“)

However, by and large, the police are wonderful, dedicated Americans who conduct themselves professionally and are there when we really need them—whether we are white, black or some other color of the rainbow.

I have only been to Dallas twice in my life, during two summers when I took depositions there. Because of the kindnesses that were shown to me, I have had a warm spot in my heart for Dallas and its people ever since.

Thus, the tragic killings have touched me, as I know they have touched so many other Americans from all walks of life, and of all colors and political persuasions. I grieve with the wonderful people of Dallas over what has happened, and pray for healing to take place, and a lessening of the stain of so much grief.

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9 07 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy. This is a subject where I leave my progressive ways and go “to the Right of Genghis Khan”, as the old joke goes.

In the Nationwide race riots of the summers of 1967 and 1968, major historic events excised out of the media and history books, we called them what they were; Race Riots. Over 100 died in each and cities like Detroit and Newark were effectively destroyed, never recovered, and today have few jobs and only half the population they had before the riots. My father was a small business owner in Newark and looters destroyed his livelihood; he had a small gun behind the register but knew it would be suicide if he used it. He left bankrupt but kept his life.

Today, race riots, violence, snipers and looters are called “protesters” and “demonstrators” by a fearful, corporate owned news media. The Media of the 60s and 70s had actual journalists who were free to tell the truth, whether about violence in the cities or lies about the Vietnam War. The police were right to break up these violence insurrections this week.

About the “shooter” in Dallas…….I don’t believe it was one sniper, not when all those police………and Texas police at that!………were shot. Whenever a riot happens, there are numerous snipers on tops of buildings, lots of look outs on the streets working for them, and organizers behind the scene arranging all this and keeping out of sight. This was a many person job and all but one got away. The police have to know this, it’s impossible they don’t………but the media is clueless as can be.

Trial by comment section and street violence is common, but real Constitutional due process usually finds the police officers, be they White, Black or Hispanic, were innocent and did what was what they had to do.

Michael Brown, the so called “unarmed teenager” was a gigantic adult gang leader under the influence with an ongoing history of violence and robbery. Having worked for many years in the Mental Health and Juvenile Justice field, I know such a person is as dangerous if not more so, than any firearm. Darren Wilson, who saved innocent lives by what he did, was not found guilty of any crime but lost his well deserved career. The parents, who neglected their terror of a son until the funeral, became rich for being the real people responsible for his death.

Well, that’s how I’ve felt about all this since the summer of 1967. Tragically, the police have been portrayed as the bad guys by the media, the Justice Dept and the ignorant masses. In the old days, the National Guard would have been called out for combat duty and know they were in a war zone, and the police would be heroes and martyrs.

Liked by 1 person

9 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments as always, Jonathan.

I am so sorry about what happened to your father.

By the time of those events, I “lived through” JFK’s assassaination (November 22, 1963), the Watts Riots in LA (summer 1965), the “Free Speech Movement” and anti-Vietnam War protests in Berkeley (when I was attending the law school there), and of course the riots in Washington, D.C. following the killing of Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968, when I was an Army officer stationed at the Pentagon).

We may see more of those days ahead. However, this time white America is very angry; and our divisive president has poured fuel on the lingering fires and festering wounds of racial hatred.

Also, the media really does not count anymore. Americans get their news through so many different sources that the “fearful, corporate owned news media” may be on its last legs, and a creature of the past like the horse and buggy.

I agree completely with your comment:

The police were right to break up these violen[t] insurrections this week.

You added:

This was a many person job and all but one got away. The police have to know this, it’s impossible they don’t . . .but the media is clueless as can be.

You may be correct. I do not speculate.

I agree too with what you wrote:

[R]eal Constitutional due process usually finds the police officers, be they White, Black or Hispanic, were innocent and did what was what they had to do.

Lastly, you wrote:

Tragically, the police have been portrayed as the bad guys by the media, the Justice Dept and the ignorant masses. In the old days, the National Guard would have been called out for combat duty and know they were in a war zone, and the police would be heroes and martyrs.

Again, I agree completely.

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9 07 2016
Richard

Nobody is talking about the tragedy of Hilary Clinton being cleared of criminal charges, after the tragic shooting of 12 police officers in Dallas. I always found it odd how one tragedy can alleviate another.

Liked by 1 person

9 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Well said, Rick.

Of course you are correct.

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9 07 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for your very nice reply, Timothy!
Appreciate the response.

Liked by 1 person

24 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The New Normal: Is Helter Skelter Sweeping The World?

Helter Skelter

My article above has predicted rising global chaos and helter skelter, stretching through the end of this decade and beyond.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/ (“Global Chaos And Helter Skelter“)

The Wall Street Journal has echoed this prediction:

First the massacre by truck in Nice, France, then an ax attack on a German train and now a shooting spree in Munich: Over the past 10 days, Western Europe has seen the calm of everyday life shattered by high-profile acts of violence.

The motives and circumstances of each attack were different but the string of violence has officials in the region asking if terrorism is becoming a fact of life that Europe must learn to accept.

The initial assessment by authorities is that Friday’s German attack was committed by Ali David Sonbody, a teenager who was believed to have been in psychiatric care and taken an interest in mass killers including Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing terrorist who killed 77 people in Norway exactly five years before.

If the assessment holds, the Munich attack would be an exception in a year when Islamic State has either directed or inspired most of the terror attacks in Europe.

U.S. and European officials said they were proceeding cautiously because the assessment could change in the days to come. But security officials said the recent string of attacks in both Europe and America show the importance of improving intelligence collection, and improving services and monitoring of people with mental-health issues.

“We are living in fear whether it is from terrorists or [mentally ill] people,” said a U.S. official in Europe. “Whether they are self-radicalized or mentally ill they can terrorize and change peoples lives. We have two problems here, we have to focus on both.”

European security officials say that better intelligence is far more effective at finding a terror network than lone wolf attackers. There is no way, officials say, to foresee and prevent an attack on undefended targets by someone who isn’t known to police or intelligence services.

Hardening the kinds of soft targets struck this month in Europe would require a far greater presence of armed guards, security checks and barriers—steps European officials have so far been reluctant to take.

There is little doubt that the ever-expanding number of threats, not just from jihadist groups but also right wing extremists, have stretched European intelligence agencies and police departments.

Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, this week released a report that noted that last year saw not just a sharp spike in arrests of Islamist radicals, but also an increase in arrests of terrorism suspects tied to ethno-nationalist groups in Europe.

“The general trend is the radicalization of everybody,” said a European security official. “I don’t know how we’re going to stop this.”

U.S. officials say the one thing European intelligence and law-enforcement officials could do quickly is find a mechanism with which to share more intelligence and law enforcement information, and share it more widely.

American officials have been pushing Europe for more intelligence sharing with the U.S.—not simply providing information on terrorists or potential terrorists who are intent on attacking the U.S. but a far broader swath of information.

U.S. officials believe if European officials would share a much greater percentage of information on people they are tracking would allow them to find connections between potentially radicalized individuals or others that pose a threat of conducting mass casualty attacks.

Even attackers who act alone often rely on outside help or contact people about their planned attack.

Some European officials are concerned about depending on American intelligence that many officials believe is overly intrusive.

Jerry Hendrix, a Washington-based security analyst at the Center for a New American Security, said the terror threat in Europe has laid out a stark choice for the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “if Europe is to avoid this being the new normal.”

“Europe, the EU, or NATO, either have to grow up, and grow together with more investment in intelligence and intelligence sharing amongst the member nations, or they are going to have to go back to an era of hard borders and low immigration,” Mr. Hendrix said.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/europeans-question-if-terrorism-is-becoming-a-fact-of-life-1469282722 (“Europeans Question if Violence Is Becoming Fact of Life“) (emphasis added)

Violence will become the new normal, in Europe and the United States and around the world, unless draconian measures are taken to stop it.

This is why Donald Trump’s words and movement are resonating among Americans across the political spectrum: (1) “Reagan Democrats,” (2) the best of the GOP, and of course (3) the all-important Independent bloc of voters who comprise approximately 42 percent of Americans, according to Gallup polling.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-3244 (“Record-High 42 Percent Of Americans Identify As Independents”)

Americans want a real leader, not someone who panders to every group imaginable. This is among the many reasons why Hillary Clinton will be defeated, and Trump will be sworn in as our next president in January.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue”)

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27 07 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hello, Timothy.

I worked in the Psychology field for 36 years with very high risk people; mental health and Juvenile Justice. what does this have to do with the article? The news media has been misreporting for decades on the subject of mass murder and random violence against innocents, and in recent years, the word “terrorist”. It’s not really about politics and only occasionally about terrorist organizations but more often about a psychological process called the copycat factor.

I’m appalled that the psychological profession has failed to educate people about this, but most of them are perhaps too interested in college research or counseling neurotic housewives. Most don’t venture into high risk populations with few resources as I did all those years, so they’re not really learning about the real world.

When a mass killing occurs, the media publicizes it around the clock world wide. They glorify and romanticize the killer, telling their story for weeks on end. This encourages mentally deranged people to do the same to achieve that fame, even in death. This process is also very common in adolescents, who are often unstable as well.

For over 30 years we saw mass school shootings starting with Arkansas done by students who were socially isolated from others. When a suicide or murder is done by a school student, the chances of another skyrockets immediately. A few smart schools suffering this bring in experts to talk to all the students when this happens, but most don’t.

Most Muslims who have committed mass murders in various countries in the last number of years appeared to be clearly mentally ill with no connection to any actual terrorist group. They’re impressionable and can read the news like anyone else, so off they go. Groups like the Islamic state take advantage and claim responsibility, which our political parties and citizens fall for every time. The media reports this supposed connection, uncaring of what this does to our political and cultural system.

Unfortunately, the only solution is restrictions on news reporting, which is likely impossible here, and they won’t self police. They can’t be that stupid about what they’re doing so don’t care. Our candidates are all clueless on what’s going on and use it for election fodder.

The other major factor; Another major cause of all this is that mental health funding has steadily been reduced since the late 1970s at the federal and state level. Most are aware that it’s poorly funded but not the extreme and long term extend of this process. The most dangerous are the ones dependent on gov’t funding for treatment).

Lastly, I’ve probably mentioned I worked professionally in a Juvenile facility my last years in work. Although correctional, many or most had mental health problems and we’re the ones who had funding to treat them. Whenever we had a suicide (which sometimes led to federal lawsuits and more hiring of MH staff), we shut every other activity down and had professionals evaluate every single juvenile state wide in our facilities, putting some on a suicide watch. In a Correctional facility, there are no secrets and word spreads rapidly to already troubled youth with past trauma and psychological issues. We knew there would be copycats, and quickly.

Liked by 1 person

27 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan, for your excellent comments.

Based on what I know—which is obviously far less than your experience in the mental health field—your first full paragraph seems to sum up the present debate, and cut through all of the gibberish that appears in the global media.

Regarding your second full paragraph, you have essentially described the economics “profession” globally. They are like lemmings who follow the leader, and are at best risk averse.

Your third full paragraph warrants repeating:

When a mass killing occurs, the media publicizes it around the clock world wide. They glorify and romanticize the killer, telling their story for weeks on end. This encourages mentally deranged people to do the same to achieve that fame, even in death. This process is also very common in adolescents, who are often unstable as well.

The same is true of your fifth paragraph:

Most Muslims who have committed mass murders in various countries in the last number of years appeared to be clearly mentally ill with no connection to any actual terrorist group. They’re impressionable and can read the news like anyone else, so off they go. Groups like the Islamic state take advantage and claim responsibility, which our political parties and citizens fall for every time. The media reports this supposed connection, uncaring of what this does to our political and cultural system.

You added:

The other major factor; Another major cause of all this is that mental health funding has steadily been reduced since the late 1970s at the federal and state level.

This is particularly true of California where—when he was governor—Ronald Reagan was responsible for turning mental health patients out on the streets. I voted for him as president, but disagree vehemently with what was done in California.

See http://www.nytimes.com/1984/10/30/science/how-release-of-mental-patients-began.html?pagewanted=all (“HOW RELEASE OF MENTAL PATIENTS BEGAN”)

Today, they wander the streets and are drawn to California’s weather; and my guess is they comprise a very large percentage of the State’s homeless community.

Your entire set of comments are important, and should be read and heeded by others. Thank you again for sharing.

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27 07 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks so much, Timothy. That response will give me a boosted ego and a swelled head………..will have to show it to my wife! Keep the interesting information coming, Timothy.

Liked by 1 person

27 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan. Show it to your grandson. 🙂

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28 07 2016
Angelina Molina

Well said Jonathan, you show understanding and knowledge of the subject, The media needs to report the news, but they should stop publicizing the names and faces of the perps, therefore robbing them of the “glory”.

Liked by 1 person

13 08 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

By End of 2016 One In Four Puerto Ricans Will Be Infected By Zika Virus

Zika mosquito

The UK’s Sun has reported:

A HEALTH expert has warned he expects one in four people in the US territory of Puerto Rico to be infected with the Zika virus before the year’s end.

The Caribbean island has reported 1,914 new cases of the disease in the last week, and there are said to be 10,690 cases there altogether.

The island’s Health Secretary Ana Rius has said that of the total cases 1,035 involve pregnant women.

The virus is thought to cause serious birth defects including ‘shrunken heads’ in babies.

Officials say 90 people in Puerto Rico have been hospitalised by the virus.

Roughly 30 of them are said to have been diagnosed with the temporary paralysis condition Guillain-Barre which is linked to the condition.

Brazil has been worst affected by the outbreak which has swept across the Latin America.

The spread of the virus prompted some athletes and golfer Rory McIlroy to pull out of the Rio Olympics.

It is feared the UK could be hit by Zika when Brits travelling to see the games return home.

50 people in Britain have already tested positive for Zika after returning to our shores from abroad.

See https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1604764/official-warn-of-rampant-spread-of-head-shrinking-virus-in-us-territory-puerto-rico/ (“Official expects 1 in 4 people to be infected with Zika virus in US territory of Puerto Rico by end of year“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/#comment-8876 (“Zika Crisis: Rio Olympics Should Be Moved Or Postponed“)

The United States needs to prepare for the tragic spread of Zika.

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17 08 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

The Traitor Obama Hands Over Internet To America’s Enemies

Internet

The Washington Examiner has reported:

The Department of Commerce is set to hand off the final vestiges of American control over the Internet to international authorities in less than two months, officials have confirmed.

The department will finalize the transition effective Oct. 1, Assistant Secretary Lawrence Strickling wrote on Tuesday, barring what he called “any significant impediment.”

The move means the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which is responsible for interpreting numerical addresses on the Web to a readable language, will move from U.S. control to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a multistakeholder body based in Los Angeles that includes countries such as China and Russia.

Critics of the move, most prominently Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, have pointed out the agency could be used by totalitarian governments to shut down the Web around the globe, either in whole or in part.

“The proposal will significantly increase the power of foreign governments over the Internet, expand ICANN’s historical core mission by creating a gateway to content regulation, and embolden [its] leadership to act without any real accountability,” Cruz wrote in a letter sent to Commerce and signed by two fellow Republicans, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.

In the event any facilities are relocated to China, senators noted, they could go in the same building as the agency responsible for censoring that country’s Internet. “We have uncovered that ICANN’s Beijing office is actually located within the same building as the Cyberspace Administration of China, which is the central agency within the Chinese government’s censorship regime,” they wrote, noting that some of the American companies involved with the transition process have already “shown a willingness to acquiesce” to Chinese demands to aid with censorship.

“While this is certainly not illegal, it does raise significant concerns as to the increased influence that governments … as well as the culture of cronyism,” they added.

Opponents similarly made the case that Congress has passed legislation to prohibit the federal government from using tax dollars to allow the transition, and pointed out that the feds are constitutionally prohibited from transferring federal property without approval from Congress. A coalition of 25 advocacy groups including Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Heritage Action sent a letter to Congress making those points last week. A fourth, Americans for Limited Government, joined that letter and issued a separate statement calling for Congress to sue in the event the transfer moves forward.

While those issues could, in theory, lead to a legal challenge being filed in the days following the transfer, the administration has expressed a desire to finish it before the president leaves office, a position that Strickling reiterated.

“This multistakeholder model is the key reason why the Internet has grown and thrived as a dynamic platform for innovation, economic growth and free expression,” Strickling wrote. “We appreciate the hard work and dedication of all the stakeholders involved in this effort and look forward to their continuing engagement.”

See http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/america-to-hand-off-internet-in-under-two-months/article/2599521 (“America to hand off Internet in under two months“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4044 (“RUSSIA AND CHINA PUSH FOR CONTROL OF INTERNET“) and http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Releases/News-Release-View/Article/915216/detainee-transfers-announced?source=GovDelivery (Obama seeks to close Guantanamo: “Detainee Transfers Announced”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-transfers-15-guantanamo-bay-detainees-1471303872 (“U.S. Transfers 15 Guantanamo Bay Detainees“)

Barack Obama is a traitor, and a black racist.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

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9 09 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON: UPDATED

Global crash

The UK Telegraph‘s International Business Editor in London, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, has written:

Large parts of the eurozone are slipping deeper into a deflationary trap despite negative interest rates and one trillion euros of quantitative easing by the European Central Bank, leaving the currency bloc with no safety buffer when the next global recession hits.

The ECB is close to exhausting its ammunition and appears increasingly powerless to do more under the legal constraints of its mandate. It has downgraded its growth forecast for the next two years, citing the uncertainties of Brexit, and admitted that it has little chance of meeting its 2pc inflation target this decade, insisting that it is now up to governments to break out of the vicious circle.

Mario Draghi, the ECB’s president, said there are limits to monetary policy and called on the rest of the eurozone to act “much more decisively” to lift growth, with targeted spending on infrastructure. “It is abundantly clear that Draghi is played out and we’re in the terminal phase of QE. The eurozone needs a quantum leap in the nature of policy and it has to come from fiscal policy,” said sovereign bond strategist Nicholas Spiro.

Mr Draghi dashed hopes for an expansion of the ECB’s monthly €80bn (£60bn) programme of bond purchases, and offered no guidance on whether the scheme would be extended after it expires in March 2017. There was not a discussion on the subject.

“The bar to further ECB action is higher than widely assumed,” said Ben May from Oxford Economics.

The March deadline threatens to become a neuralgic issue for markets given the experience of the US Federal Reserve, which suggests that an abrupt stop in QE stimulus amounts to monetary tightening and can be highly disruptive.

The ECB has pulled out all the stops to reflate the economy yet core inflation has been stuck at or below 1pc for three years. Officials are even more worried about the underlying trends. Data collected by Marchel Alexandrovich at Jefferies shows that the percentage of goods and services in the inflation basket currently rising at less than 1pc has crept up to 58pc.

This is a classic precursor to deflation and suggests that the eurozone is acutely vulnerable to any external shock. The figure has spiked to 67pc in Italy, and is now significantly higher that it was when the ECB launched QE last year.

The eurozone should have reached economic “escape velocity” by now after a potent brew of stimulus starting last year: cheap energy, a cheaper euro, €80bn a month of QE, and the end of fiscal austerity.

Yet all the eurozone has achieved is growth of 0.3pc a quarter. France and Italy have both slowed to a standstill.

The euro’s trade-weighted exchange rate has crept up by 7pc since QE began, and it has continued to rise even since the ECB cut interest rates to minus 0.4pc.

“The euro is far stronger than they want, and stronger than the economy deserves, but they don’t know how to weaken it. This is exactly what happened to the Japanese,” said Hans Redeker, currency chief at Morgan Stanley.

Mr Redeker said the eurozone’s current account surplus – now running at €350bn, or 3.3pc of GDP – is feeding the deflationary dynamic. Since European banks are shrinking their balance sheets and repatriating money to meet capital rules, they cannot recycle the eurozone surplus abroad. This is creating a chronic bias towards a stronger currency.

Work by the International Monetary Fund shows that “lowflation” – even short of deflation – causes to a host of debilitating pathologies. It holds down nominal GDP and makes it even harder to work off high-debt ratios.

In theory, Mr Draghi could resort to even more radical measures but the scope is limited and he is walking through a political minefield. Public trust in the ECB has collapsed in several countries and the mood in Germany has turned toxic. The German banking and insurance lobbies have accused the ECB of destroying their business models with negative rates.

Deutsche Bank’s chief economist David Folkerts-Landau said the ECB had gone beyond the point of diminishing returns and was now itself a threat to the eurozone. “Central bankers can lose the plot. When they do, their mistakes can be catastrophic. After seven years of ever-looser monetary policy there is increasing evidence that following the current dogma risks the long-term stability of the eurozone,” he said.

This is unfair to Mr Draghi. The great macroeconomic errors were made long ago from 2010 to 2012 when drastic austerity and premature rate rises pushed the region into a double-dip recession.

Yet ECB officials confess that they may be close to the “economic lower bound”, where any gains to be eked out from more stimulus are outweighed by poisonous side effects.

The ECB network is running out of assets to buy since it can purchase only in proportion to the size of each national economy, a precaution against backdoor bail-outs of insolvent states.

The eurozone no longer seems to have an activist policy. It is treading water and at the mercy of external forces. The danger is that the next global downturn will strike before the currency bloc has escaped its current malaise and before it has built up any defences against a deflationary shock. Mr Draghi will not be able to rescue them a second time.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/08/ecbs-mario-draghi-has-run-out-of-magic-as-deflation-closes-in/ (“ECB’s Mario Draghi has run out of magic as deflation closes in“) (emphasis added; charts omitted); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/#comment-8654 (“FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON?“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-fed-insider-warns-of-the-risk-of-low-rates-1474196402 (“‘Should prevailing economic conditions change in response to a large negative economic shock, commercial real-estate prices could decline relatively quickly, leading to large losses at leveraged firms,’ [Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren] said in an Aug. 31 speech in Beijing. That, in turn, could trigger a broader economic downturn, he said”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/18/bis-flashes-red-alert-for-a-banking-crisis-in-china/ (“The Bank for International Settlements warned in its quarterly report that China’s ‘credit to GDP gap’ has reached 30.1, the highest to date and in a different league altogether from any other major country tracked by the institution. It is also significantly higher than the scores in East Asia’s speculative boom on 1997 or in the US subprime bubble before the Lehman crisis”—”Outstanding loans have reached $28 trillion, as much as the commercial banking systems of the US and Japan combined. The scale is enough to threaten a worldwide shock if China ever loses control. . . The BIS said there are ample reasons to worry about the health of world’s financial system”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/banks-are-now-too-scared-to-even-make-money-1474277532 (“Banks Are Now Too Scared to Even Make Money“) and https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/condominiums-in-crisis-financial-troubles-put-many-communities-at-risk/2016/09/17/07ba32ac-6972-11e6-ba32-5a4bf5aad4fa_story.html (“Condominiums in crisis: Financial troubles put many communities at risk“) and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-19/that-100-000-painting-bought-to-flip-yours-for-about-20-000 (Art market crash: “That $100,000 Painting Bought to Flip Is Now Worth About $20,000”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/09/13/oil-investment-crashes-to-60-year-low-incubating-next-energy-sho/ (“[Putin’s Russia] is burning through its Reserve Fund to cover a fiscal deficit, drawing down $6bn in August alone. There is only $32bn left”) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/londons-mega-mansion-owners-have-a-tough-time-selling-1476889789 (“London’s Mega-Mansion Owners Have a Tough Time Selling”)

At some point in time—in the not-too-distant future—the bottom will fall out. It is simply a function of time.

The storm clouds have been gathering globally for a long time now; and when the perfect storm hits, an economic tsunami will be unleashed that will roll the world’s financial markets, unlike anything that we have witnessed in our lifetimes.

The Fed and the other central banks will be helpless, and hopeless. One of the great worries in Washington for years is that there would be runs on the uninsured funds, which would be unstoppable, and massive panics would ensue.

Hold on tight. It will not be pretty when it hits; and the destruction of families and their lives, economically, will be unparalleled.

See, e.g., http://www.telegraph.co.uk/investing/funds/largest-property-fund-re-opens-following-investor-panic/ (A sign of things to come: “Largest property fund re-opens following investor panic”)

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11 09 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Hello, Timothy. Although we’ve been investing since about 2009 (not a long time; we were near seniors pushed into stocks from CDs when interest rates were pulled down after the Recession crash). However, we still aren’t experts. I had thought deflation and negative interest rates go hand in hand, but I guess not from the article.

The EU and Eurozone has prevented a continuation of European wars, although it does seem to be unraveling. The loss of national sovereignty, the weakest links in the chain having so much influence, and now the terror cells that opportunistically came in with the sadness of the Syrian Refugees, which indirectly led to Brexit, are pressures that aren’t being stopped.

If the West had left Syria alone to finish it’s civil war, tens of thousands of lives would have been saved and Assad, evil has he is, would have kept out the far more dangerous Islamic state terrorists seeking their third Caliphate empire…………..and thus the refugee crisis and it’s hidden terror cells would not have devastated Turkey, Europe and perhaps soon the US. Refugees are sympathetic but terror cells hidden in them are not. All things are connected to all other things.Brexit seemed tied to lack of control of immigration by EU domination.

But I’m not that expert and am sure I’m missing a few details.

Our grown grandson and middle aged son have both been visiting from out of town. Due to past problems, they haven’t lived together for 5 years, but the family is pulling back together, with our help. We all went to see the film, “Sully” today, great movie about courage and standing up for what’s necessary in an extreme situation

Hope you and yours are doing well, Timothy!

Liked by 1 person

11 09 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, as always.

By and large, I agree with your analysis of the Middle East, and its implosion; and the effects of that on Europe and beyond.

Yes, Brexit is a byproduct, and so too are the anti-immigration forces in the U.S., and the rise of nationalism and of Donald Trump.

Like a pebble dropped into a pond, the ripples extend far and wide, beyond anyone’s imagination.

. . .

I am very pleased that healing seems to be taking place in your family. It does not happen overnight, and great patience, care and love are needed.

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11 09 2016
Jonathan Buttall

Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Timothy, much appreciated!

Jonathan.

Liked by 1 person

1 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Life And Death In Mexico

Rubi

Andrea Noel has written a lengthy but fine and very revealing article in The Daily Beast, which is worth reading:

Fuel shortages, unchecked holiday violence, and an explosive fireworks disaster have blighted these last weeks in Mexico, capping off a year plagued by political corruption scandals, cartel bloodletting, and a plummeting currency value.

Yet Mexico’s political class and media hid almost effortlessly behind one massive smoke screen in the final days of 2016.

Last week, all eyes were on Rubí.

The violence-afflicted country, which two weeks ago solemnly marked one decade in its unending drug war, obsessed about a rural 15-year-old’s birthday party in what may have been the strangest quinceañera in Mexico’s history, and what certainly was the most talked about fiesta of the year.

Last Monday, as many as 60,000 people—including journalists from dozens of news outlets—travelled to the state of San Luis Potosí north of Mexico’s capital to celebrate Rubí Ibarra’s birthday, which was among the top trending stories on Mexican Twitter and YouTube, and dominated the national media’s news coverage.

It started as a joke, a viral meme that made the rounds for weeks, as millions shared Rubí’s father’s open invitation to the quinceañera, a celebration meant to mark Rubí’s passing into womanhood in her tiny, dusty hometown of La Joya, population 143, which survives mainly on the income from goats, beans, sheep, corn, and remittances.

“Everyone is invited,” he said in the video invitation on Dec. 1, sealing his family’s fate. To date there have been more than 4.75 million views.

But what started as a country cruelly mocking the rural birthday girl’s party, soon did a 180 as Mexico became the butt of its own joke.

Politicians and Mexican companies leapt over each other to get in on the meme, ludicrously one-upping each other as the month progressed until last Monday, when the unavoidable, all-consuming party was under way. And while the attention it got obscured dozens of more important news stories, in another sense the country saw nearly everything that is wrong with Mexico unfold in the story of Rubí’s bubbling, bumbling birthday celebration.

***
In the video, Rubí’s father, Crescencio Ibarra, wore a sombrero and announced a 10,000-peso prize—roughly $490— for the winner of an informal horse race. But as viral news of the party and prize spun out of control, so did all reason.

In the event, one participant was trampled to death by another rider’s horse mid-race, and at least one other person was injured in the crowd, reportedly breaking a leg while jumping a fence to reach the festivities.

Rubí’s uncle explained that the now-deceased man had been drinking—likely some of the copiously dispensed tequila provided by sponsors, or the free beer sent by Heineken-brand Tecate, or jello shots courtesy of a Mexico City company, or indeed all of the above.

As for Rubí—the tiara-wearing teenager at the heart of the meme, the face of the trending topic #XVdeRubí—she was at times frightened, concerned, and upset, appearing mostly overwhelmed during the spectacle, which livestreamed on Facebook and multiple YouTube channels.

In days leading up to the party, a video made the rounds showing Rubí’s fraught mother as she explained the jesting cruelty was beginning to affect her. “We never meant for this to get out of control,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes. “It isn’t fair.”

But for weeks prior to the debacle the Mexican media and political sphere did just about everything possible to promote the event—meant to be a family affair—with zero regard for the birthday girl, the public’s best interest, or, apparently, their own reputations.

The cynicism often was grotesque.

***

Mexico State, just a bit south of San Luis Potosí, has the highest femicide rate in the country. Nearly half the women polled reported they were victims of violence last year. But Mexico State Governor Eruviel Ávila personally phoned Rubí’s father, offering the girl and her family an all-expense paid trip to Valle de Bravo, a popular retreat for Mexico City’s most affluent elite.

He then egged on Mexican airline Interjet to pay for the family’s airfare, which it agreed to do, in addition to offering 30 percent off flights to San Luis Potosí so customers could go to the “event of the year.”

As it happened, days after the governor invited Rubí to Valle de Bravo, Mexican senator and Olympic track and field medalist Ana Gabriela Guevara said she was beaten by four men, among them a former Mexico State police officer, on the highway from Valle de Bravo to Mexico City.

The senator was forced to undergo reconstructive surgery after the beating, which left her with broken bones in her face and a black eye.

Governor Ávila (who was criticized last week for showing off hospital beds occupied by patients recovering from a horrific fireworks accident in his state that left 33 people dead) expressed “solidarity” with the beaten senator.

He explained that the owners of the attackers’ vehicle have been identified. But no one has been arrested, in fact, and a judge granted the former police officer legal protection so that he cannot be detained.

Ávila, seemingly so generous to Señorita Ibarra, runs a state that became the first ever to be flagged with a so-called “gender-alert” in 2015, replacing Ciudad Juarez as the Mexican capital of murdered women, with nearly 2,000 killed in the past six years, and counting.

It has been called “a rapist’s paradise” and “hell, for women.” But the bad publicity has put no dent in the trend. Under Governor Eruviel Ávila, the promise of justice remains broken.

The dark crown jewel in Mexico State, with the fifth highest murder rate in the country, and the nation’s highest femicide rate, is Ecatepec de Morelos. And this week, wouldn’t you know, politicians decided finally to do something to help the poor people there.

Following the governor’s gift to Rubí, and in anticipation of a crowd of more than 1.3 million who claimed on Facebook to be “attending” the party, Octavio Martinez Vargas, a politician with the country’s leftist party, set up a tour bus leaving from deadly Ecatepec to San Luis Potosí, so that dozens more could attend Rubí’s vastly overbooked quinceañera.

In nearby Metepec—a city in Mexico State near the site of Senator Ana Gabriela Guevara’s beating—city councilman Jair Garduño Montalvo took to Facebook, to offer Rubí a brand new laptop if his post reached 2,000 likes.

It did not. But Garduño came under heavy criticism as Mexicans dredged through their collective memory of memes and remembered just where they’d heard of this guy before.

Garduño’s brother was a social media celebrity of sorts earlier this year.

In May, a viral video showed several bodyguards beating up a police officer on a Mexico State highway, apparently acting on the orders of a man nearby in a Rolls Royce. That man, #LordRollsRoyce as he’s now known, is this Metepec politician’s millionaire brother. Thanks to the social media pressure and meme fever, Emir Garduño Montalvo is now behind bars, charged with money laundering.

It is unclear if Rubí ever got that promised Garduño laptop. But another social media celeb dubbed “Lady Wuuu” assumed the role of Rubí’s godfather when he appeared with Raquel Bigorra, a television personality on TV Azteca whose station raged an all-out ratings war with Televisa over coverage of Rubí’s birthday party.

These two most important stations in Mexico, TV Azteca and Televisa, “control over 90 percent of the free-to-air television market,” Freedom House noted in 2012 in its Countries at the Crossroads report. This “Mexican media oligopoly has historically shared a close relationship with the government,” the report noted, and this concentration of power “is one of the primary impingements on freedom of expression” in Mexico.

So it came as no surprise that Televisa and TV Azteca offered deafening coverage of the event this week, along with reporters from just about every other national media outlet.

But for the small town of La Joya, San Luis Potosí, whose last census, let us not forget, counted just 143 people, what promised to be an unforgettable event became a logistical nightmare, as tens of thousands prepared to come to the party.

***

Weeks before the the planned festivities the media realized that La Joya is not exactly equipped to take in guests.

Mayor Raúl Castillo Mendoza of Villa de Guadalupe, the municipality that encompasses La Joya, said two weeks before Rubí’s birthday party that the region doesn’t have cell phone coverage, much less Internet. Nor does La Joya have basic infrastructure, like a hospital or sewage system or, in most homes, running water, electricity or paved roads.

“There is one spot where we have WiFi,” he noted of the greater Villa de Guadalupe area. “But it’s a landline with an antenna.”

Mexico’s electrical company offered a temporary solution for Rubí’s party, and Telcel—the telecom company that produced Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim—finally came out to survey the area for future coverage.

Four nearby towns worked together to provide lodging and services for the party’s guests, and the growing fiesta eventually was held on a dry lake bed in the neighboring town of Charcas. (When it was over, guests left behind three-and-a-half tons of beer cans and other debris in a scene reminiscent of Coachella.)

In the end, a Quintana-Roo-based company, Meganet, set up three large antennas and WiFi networks in the area to provide the media and party guests with Internet during the event.

It was the first time the area has ever had Internet access. But for how long?

Meganet representative Carlos Rojas said that maintaining the network after the big fiesta would require a “logistical effort, for electrical services, [and] installation of more antennas.”

So despite the miraculous days for the townspeople who were “surprised to have Internet, and asked that the service be maintained,” it is unlikely that any long-term network will remain now that the meme has died.

***

Rubí, personally, did get quite a few gifts. The governor of San Luis Potosí, Juan Manuel Carreras, actually did give her a computer. Fender gave her a customized electric guitar. Several prominent designers gave her enough dresses to warrant multiple outfit changes throughout the day, and styling for the whole family came courtesy of First Lady Angelica Rivera’s makeup artist.

But other gifts the girl received—valued at well above $50,000 by some estimates—were met with outrage.

One of Mexico’s slimiest mayors, Hilario Ramírez Villanueva—who is known for throwing money of dubious origin into crowds, and for admitting he stole “un poquito” from public coffers in Nayarit—gave Rubí a new bright red Chevy during the party.

“I stole, but just a little bit—because [the city] is so poor,” the San Blas mayor confessed in 2014. “But what I stole with this hand, I gave back to the poor with the other,” he told a laughing crowd.

The mayor also took the time to invite everyone at Rubí’s party to his own birthday party this Friday, while handing Rubí the keys to her new car.

Last year, the mayor celebrated his birthday in February with more than 10,000 guests who drank 1.2 million cans of beer, at a 15-million-peso party—more than $100,000 at last year’s exchange rate—during which he repeatedly exposed a young woman’s underwear, lifting up ++her dress while dancing on stage. Local media later claimed the girl was underage. The mayor also repeatedly has been filmed creepily kissing young women on the mouth.

But when asked about the car at Rubí’s 15th birthday party, the mayor claimed he paid for it with money that he “earns.” His stated salary is less than $2,000 a month, according to the local government transparency website.

Despite Ramírez Villanueva’s rather sordid reputation, he will be a contender for the Nayarit governor seat in 2017. If elected, he’s likely primed to join the ranks in years to come of fugitive Mexican governors.

***

While the birthday spectacle was under way last Monday in San Luis Potosí, sweeping gas shortages hit states across Mexico—including San Luis Potosí, where at least 86 percent of stations were without fuel. (News outlets like Univisión erroneously linked that to Rubí’s birthday party.) In fact, the cost of gasoline is expected to increase 20 percent beginning in January, as market-based prices are introduced following historic but controversial energy reforms in which Mexico’s crippled oil sector is opened for private investment.

Despite being an oil-rich country, Mexico imports well over half of its fuel due to the severe deterioration of its refineries. At least a dozen Mexican states reported fuel shortages last week in a crisis that the national oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, alternately blamed on breaks in the supply chain, measures taken in anticipation of the changes to come in 2017, an increase in need during the holiday season, and organized crime. Pemex, to its credit, did not blame Rubí’s birthday.

In October, Pemex director Carlos Murrieta said that organized oil theft accounts for roughly one billion dollars in missing fuel each year. Chupaductos or oil “duct-suckers” have become a lucrative wing of organized crime groups, which in recent years have sought to diversify their income streams with extortion rackets, human trafficking, and abductions, in addition to more stalwart endeavors like drug trafficking.

Authorities have been playing cat-and-mouse with oil thieves, who latch onto largely unprotected fuel lines, syphoning off fuel by the barrel for sale on the black market. But, as is the case with most criminal ventures in Mexico, it is often the authorities themselves who are found working in collusion.

Dozens of journalists have been killed in Mexico for exposing the link between corrupt officials and organized crime, but at least one, Octavio Rojas Hernández, was murdered just days after reporting on a fugitive police chief’s ties to organized oil theft in 2014.

***

The Mexican press is often brave and embattled, but last week was not its finest moment.

Reporters, talk-show hosts, and the Mexican media at large managed to make themselves an absolute nuisance for Rubí’s family. Her mother quipped that “people from ranches are better behaved than the press people” during the fiesta. And her father called the media covering the party “rude” and “worse than animals.”

“I’m not looking for fame,” Rubí’s father said. “Let it be clear: I have my own job, and say that with honor.”

Still, you could see a certain symbiosis developing.

Crescencio Ibarra, who raises and sells goats for a living, made his political ambitions known this week via a Facebook post from Marco Sifuentes, who runs the national political strategy and marketing company Merkamorfosis. Sifuentes gifted “Rubí’s famous father” and their family with two political campaigns this week.

Rubí’s dad will be running for mayor of Villa de Guadalupe, and her uncle Pedro will run for the mayor of Charcas—where the party was held on Monday.

Sifuentes noted that, “To be the mayor of a less than 10,000-person town [Villa de Guadalupe], you don’t need a doctorate, or to have gone to Harvard, or another university of its size.”

Indeed, in most communities of this size it would be rare to find someone who has graduated from college. “At least in Mexico, it would be very difficult to find someone of that profile,” Sifuentes said, unsure if Rubí’s father or uncle have completed college, or high school, or junior high—not uncommon in a country where the average national dropout age is eight years old.

“That isn’t a requirement for the job,” Sifuentes added. “Maintaining public services in order” would likely be the candidate’s priority, said Sifuentes. “Nothing out of the ordinary—getting good public lighting and paving streets.”

Sifuentes said he pitched the idea to Rubí’s family over the weekend.

Rubí’s dad, it turns out, used to be a city council member in Villa de Guadalupe, a position now also held by Rubí’s 20-year-old sister.

As for La Joya, the less-than-150-person town where the family lives, life returns to normal.

Many of its handful of residents are among the half-million Mexicans who do not have electricity, the 6.4 million who don’t have paved roads, the 47 million who are affected by lack of storm drainage, and the 70 percent (PDF) of Mexicans in rural areas who do not have running water inside their homes.

But what the townspeople do have now—if not basic infrastructure—is the memory of Rubí, Mexico’s most famous quinceañera, looking forlorn in a sea of opportunists and a dusty $2,000 dress.

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/01/how-mexico-s-scumbag-pols-exploited-a-15-year-old-farm-girl-s-fiesta.html (“How Mexico’s Scumbag Pols Exploited a 15-Year-Old Farm Girl’s Fiesta“) (emphasis added)

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2 01 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy. That’s an odd story. Usually, Mexicans in the large cities pay very little attention to the rural areas. Having married into a large Mexican family with members in the US, Mexico and Spain, I’ve been to a number of quinceañeras over the years, but they were never like that. My in laws are mostly the educated classes, business owners and professionals (the kind who bring billions to US border states when they visit to go shopping. We hosted two relatives like that this year in Arizona). One more reason why it’s a good thing the “Wall” is a hoax, it would ruin border state economies.

Different parts of Mexico are either dangerous or benign, people traveling there should research which areas are which. The Mexican state of Sonora (where my relatives mostly live) is mostly safe except one should avoid remote forested areas (drug farms). The states of Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Guerra should be avoided, heavy cartel violence. The State of Mexico (Mexico City) was a top tourist draw, once the biggest city in the world, and we’ve been there numerous times. However, word is that it’s become riskier.

Politicians there under, once again, the PRI party, are cozy with the Cartels. PAN, a conservative party, is anti cartel but recently had a weak leader who lost a war with the cartels. The best president in recent memory was Vicente Fox, a respected PAN leader who was closely connected with Ronald Reagan and successfully reduced corruption under his time in office. The Cartels were less powerful then, however.

We were in Hermosillo, Senora this year, for a family reunion celebrating a matriarchs birthday. This is a calm, safe city that does a lot of business with Arizona, which greatly helps both states economies.

On a different note relating to Mexico and Latin America in general, We were traveling in South America this last November, half of it a cruise, and I had a dental emergency and had a tooth pulled in Columbia. The dentist there was very skilled, did X-Rays, Root Canal (the tooth was too cracked to respond) and extraction for $24 USD. In the US, our dentist would have sent me to two specialists for this and the total cost would be over $600 even with insurance. US dentistry is a scam. I plan to get an implant to replace the tooth this year in the Mexican border city of Nogales, where many Americans flock to get high quality dental work for less money (we have relatives to stay with there, the ones we hosted). My health insurance for medical care is great (retired state employee insurance and medicare), so I get it all in my town of Phoenix. I don’t know why dental insurance is so inadequate. Well, that’s not as exciting as that quinceañera you wrote about, of course.

The Inauguration looms soon…………and hope springs eternal but we’ll see what history has in store for us.

Liked by 1 person

2 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Jonathan, for your interesting and valuable insights.

As you know better than most, there are lots of places in this world, including the United States, which are “dicey.”

Happy New Year to you and your family. 😊

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2 01 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Happy New Years to you and yours as well, Timothy!

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6 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

North Korea And War

Kim Jong Un

Charles Krauthammer has written in the Washington Post:

You can kick the can down the road, but when Kim Jong Un announces, as he did last Sunday, that “we have reached the final stage in preparations to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic rocket,” you are reaching the end of that road.

Since the early 1990s, we have offered every kind of inducement to get North Korea to give up its nuclear program. All failed miserably. Pyongyang managed to extort money, food, oil and commercial nuclear reactors in exchange. But it was all a swindle. North Korea was never going to give up its nukes because it sees them as the ultimate guarantee of regime survival.

The North Koreans believe that nukes confer inviolability. Saddam Hussein was invaded and deposed before he could acquire them. Kim won’t let that happen to him. That’s why Thae Yong Ho, a recent high-level defector, insisted that “As long as Kim Jong Un is in power, North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons, even if it’s offered $1 trillion or $10 trillion in rewards.”

Meanwhile, they have advanced. They’ve already exploded a handful of nuclear bombs. And they’ve twice successfully launched satellites, which means they have the ICBM essentials. If they can miniaturize their weapons to fit on top of the rocket and control reentry, they’ll be able to push a button in Pyongyang and wipe out an American city.

What to do? The options are stark:

(1) Preemptive attack on its missile launching facilities. Doable but reckless. It is the option most likely to trigger an actual war. The North Koreans enjoy both conventional superiority and proximity: a vast army poised at the Demilitarized Zone only 30 miles from Seoul. Americans are not going to fight another land war in Asia.

(2) Shoot down the test ICBM, as advocated by the Wall Street Journal. Assuming we can. Democrats have done their best to abort or slow down anti-missile defenses since Ronald Reagan proposed them in the early 1980s. Even so, we should be able to intercept a single, relatively primitive ICBM of the sort North Korea might be capable of.

Though such a shoot-down would occur nowhere near North Korean soil, it could still very well provoke a military response. Which is why the new administration should issue a clear warning that if such a test missile is launched, we will bring it down. Barack Obama is gone. Such a red line could be a powerful deterrent.

(3) Return tactical U.S. nuclear weapons to South Korea. They were withdrawn in 1991 by George H.W. Bush in the waning days of the Cold War. Gorbachev’s Soviet Union responded in kind. A good idea in general, but not on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang had railed constantly against their presence, but they did act as a deterrent to any contemplated North Korean aggression. Which might make them a useful bargaining chip.

(4) Economic leverage on China, upon which Pyongyang depends for its survival. Donald Trump seems to suggest using trade to pressure China to get North Korea to desist. The problem is that China has shown no evidence of being willing to yield a priceless strategic asset — a wholly dependent client state that acts as a permanent thorn and distraction to U.S. power in the Pacific Rim — because of mere economic pressure.

(5) Strategic leverage on China. We’ve been begging China for decades to halt the North Korean nuclear program. Beijing plays along with sanctions and offers occasional expressions of dismay. Nothing more. There’s one way guaranteed to get its attention. Declare that we would no longer oppose Japan acquiring a nuclear deterrent.

This is a radical step that goes against our general policy of nonproliferation. But the point is to halt proliferation to the infinitely more dangerous regime in North Korea. China is the key. The Chinese have many nightmares, none worse than a nuclear-armed Japan.

The principal strategic challenge facing the United States is the rise of revisionist powers — Russia, China and Iran — striving to expel American influence from their regions. In comparison, the Korean problem is minor, an idiosyncratic relic of the Cold War. North Korea should be a strategic afterthought, like Cuba. And it would be if not for its nukes.

That’s a big if. A wholly unpredictable, highly erratic and often irrational regime is acquiring the capacity to destroy an American city by missile. That’s an urgent problem.

North Korea may be just an unexploded ordnance of a long-concluded Cold War. But we cannot keep assuming it will never go off.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/cold-war-relic-present-day-threat/2017/01/05/623c720e-d384-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html (“Cold War relic, present day threat“) (emphasis added)

Unsettling, if not ominous.

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16 01 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy. I must strongly disagree with Krauthammers bizarre and reckless recommendations. He must be younger than I thought he was, intelligent people who grew up during the Cold War know better. First, once a country is a nuclear power, they can’t be attacked anymore.

How do we know that North Korea doesn’t have second strike capacity and would give us mutually assured Destruction? These concepts saved the world during the 60s and 70s, and I understood these concepts by the time I was 12, a year before the Cuban Missile crisis. Krauthammer’s ignorance is profound and dangerous to us all.

Any attack on North Korea now would lead to the death of millions, maybe tens of millions, in South Korea and Japan, two countries within the range of missiles NK has successfully demonstrated it has which work. The entire US forces there wouldn’t survive either.

Besides, Nuclear powers like India, Pakistan and Israel, countries the US unwisely supports, are far more dangerous and war like than North Korea is. NK is not our problem and never was. The South Koreans are rich and well trained; they don’t need us to protect them nor does Japan.

And…………there is that issue of who the only country was to bomb innocent civilians in urban populated cities, killing hundreds of thousands of non combatants……..The US should bring our troops home from Asia and mind our own business. The 21st century belongs to East Asia, not the West. I’ve seen technology and engineering first hand in Japan and China which makes us look primitive by comparison. Well, that’s my rant for today! LOL

Liked by 1 person

16 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan, for your comments.

Krauthammer is 66, having been born in 1950, or about your age. As the article states, he does not believe we have any good options.

However, he advocates applying leverage to China, which does not want war on the Korean Peninsula.

I am not convinced that the 21st Century will not belong to us. We are still the strongest economy in the world, and potentionally even stronger, with the preeminent military that may get stronger too.

I am reminded of our victory over the USSR, without a shot being fired. This is the path to the future, or so I believe.

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19 01 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for your reply, Timothy. I was very impressed with China when traveling thru it in 2014, so tend to praise its surprising progress. But I respect your opinion.

I didn’t vote for Trump, but am willing to take a wait and see approach. He’s no more controversial than the last two Presidents and we survived them, the good and the bad. I’ll be watching the inauguration….like him or not, it’s history being made.

Best wishes, Jonathan.

Liked by 1 person

19 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thanks again, Jonathan.

Yes, I agree: “[Donald Trump is] no more controversial than the last two Presidents and we survived them, the good and the bad.”

It is American history unfolding before us. 🙂

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15 01 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

The Politically-Correct Billionaire Feld Family Kills America’s Circus

Kenneth Feld and Ringling Bros. circus

The Wall Street Journal has reported (based on an AP article):

After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

The show will close forever in May, the owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus said.

Declining attendance combined with high operating costs, along with changing public tastes and prolonged battles with animal-rights groups all contributed to the show’s demise, company executives said.

“There isn’t any one thing,” said Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment. “This has been a very difficult decision for me and for the entire family.”

The company broke the news to circus employees Saturday night after shows in Orlando and Miami.

Ringling Bros. has two touring circuses this season and will perform 30 shows between now and May. Major stops include Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and Brooklyn. The final shows will be in Providence, R.I., on May 7 and in Uniondale, N.Y., at the Nassau County Coliseum on May 21.

The circus, with its exotic animals, flashy costumes and death-defying acrobats, has been a staple of entertainment in the U.S. since the mid-1800s. Phineas Taylor Barnum made a traveling spectacle of animals and human oddities popular, while the five Ringling brothers performed juggling acts and skits from their home base in Wisconsin. Eventually, they merged and the modern circus was born.

The sprawling troupes traveled around America by train, wowing audiences with the sheer scale of entertainment and exotic animals.

By midcentury, the circus was routine, wholesome family entertainment. But as the 20th century went on, children became less enthralled. Movies, television, videogames and the internet captured young minds.

“The competitor in many ways is time,” said Mr. Feld, adding that transporting the show by rail and other circus quirks—such as providing a traveling school for performers’ children—are throwbacks to another era. “It’s a different model that we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price. So you’ve got all these things working against it.”

The Feld family bought the Ringling circus in 1967. The show was just under three hours then. Today, the show is two hours and seven minutes, with the longest segment—a tiger act—clocking in at 12 minutes.

“Try getting a 3- or 4-year-old today to sit for 12 minutes,” he said.

Feld and his daughter Juliette Feld, who is the company’s chief operating officer, acknowledged another reality that led to the closing: the animals. Ringling has been targeted by activists who say forcing animals to perform is cruel and unnecessary.

In May 2016, after a costly legal battle, the company removed elephants from the shows and sent the animals to live on a conservation farm in Central Florida. The animals had been the symbol of the circus since Barnum brought an Asian elephant named Jumbo to America in 1882.

Attendance has been falling for 10 years, Ms. Feld said, but when the elephants left, there was a dramatic drop in ticket sales. Paradoxically, while many said they didn’t want big animals to perform in circuses, many others refused to attend a circus without them.

“We know now that one of the major reasons people came to Ringling Bros. was getting to see elephants,” she said. “We stand by that decision. We know it was the right decision. This was what audiences wanted to see and it definitely played a major role.”

The Felds say their existing animals—lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, alpacas, kangaroos and llamas—will go to suitable homes. Ms. Feld said the company will continue operating the Center for Elephant Conservation.

Some 500 people perform and work on both touring shows. A handful will be placed in positions with the company’s other, profitable shows—it owns Monster Jam, Disney on Ice and Marvel Live, among other things—but most will be out of a job. Ms. Feld said the company will help employees with job placement and resumes. In some cases where a circus employee lives on the tour railcar, the company will also help with housing relocation.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/ringling-bros-circus-to-close-after-146-years-1484453770 (“Ringling Bros. Circus to Close After 146 Years“)

This is so so sad.

This circus is an American institution. However, it must be noted that there is no attempt to serve the “Flyover states” that just elected our new president, or the West Coast with its better year-around weather. The Feld family should hang their heads in shame.

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is an American icon and institution; and the Feld family members are merely its caretakers, who have exploited their ownership of the circus for their own selfish and self-serving benefits.

The Feld family has taken care of itself, and made billions in the process.

See, e.g., https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Feld (Kenneth Feld’s net worth is estimated at more than $1.8 billion)

They are hurting America, and all of the employees and people who have loved the circus.

Just think about how many kids’ lives have been brightened over the years by this circus and its performers.

See, e.g., http://www.clickorlando.com/news/pictures-ringling-bros-clowns-visit-childrens-hospital (“Pictures: Ringling Bros. clowns visit Florida Hospital for Children“)

I have never been to a circus, including Cirque du Soleil, where the kids were not mesmerized.

Indeed, I was in Las Vegas on business a few years ago, and saw Cirque’s Beatle show, which was brilliant and packed to the rafters, with “kids” large and small.

PETA, which has celebrated this circus’ demise, should be boycotted and put out of business. As one commenter stated:

Those of us that enjoyed the circus have lost a powerful tool to teach children empathy toward great animals.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/ringling-bros-circus-to-close-after-146-years-1484453770

Most of us love animals, but there are far-Left hate groups like PETA and “Blacks Lives Matter,” which have no place in America. Next, pet shops will be targeted and put out of business.

Among other things, they are the environmental Nazis who have been seeking a $34 trillion wealth transfer based on the hoax of man-made “global warming.” In another time, they would have been members of the “Flat Earth Society,” and claimed a consensus with respect to it too. So-called man-made “global warming” is a hoax and “The Great Green Con.”

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming“)

They are a wretched group of people. There is absolutely nothing “progressive” about America’s far-Left. They have seized on the term to mask their criminality and debasement of America.

Fittingly, George Orwell foretold of all this madness in his Animal Farm, where the “Pigs” reigned supreme and were masters over—and subjugated—the other animals.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm”)

The PC bigots are on the East and Left Coasts of the United States. However, the true Americans in the long-neglected “Flyover states” just won the elections, thank God.

Lastly, the Feld family has built their billion-dollar wealth from this circus. Indeed, two years ago, the present generation of Felds moved the circus’ headquarters to Ellenton, Florida and “was given almost $4 million in state and local incentives and grants.”

At that time, it was reported:

The company estimates it will spend $3 billion in Manatee County in the next 20 years in the form of wages, locally bought goods, taxes and other expenses.

See http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/ringling-bros-circus-shifts-winter-home-from-tampa-fairgrounds-to-ellenton/2211705

What happened in the last two years to make the circus’ demise inevitable?

The Felds should be investigated thoroughly, and possibly indicted criminally.

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5 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Cut Off All Federal Funding To Berkeley And Fire The U.C. President! [UPDATED]

Janet Napolitano

Chaos has erupted again on the Berkeley campus, and nothing was done about it by the University of California administration, most notably Barack Obama’s Janet Napolitano who must be fired.

She should not have been hired by the Regents of the University of California in the first place; and she should be fired summarily now.

As Breitbart has reported— in an article by Aaron Klein that was subtitled, “Amid violent protests that prompted the cancellation on Wednesday of Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s speech at the University of California at Berkeley, it is important to recall that UC President Janet Napolitano – former secretary of Homeland Security under President Obama – has been a key player in providing sanctuary to illegal aliens”:

Milo was planning to use his UC Berkeley speech to call for the withdrawal of federal funds from so-called sanctuary campuses, meaning universities that don’t enforce U.S. immigration law.

Breitbart News reported:

Milo and the David Horowitz Freedom Center have teamed up to take down the growing phenomenon of “sanctuary campuses” that shelter illegal immigrants from being deported. Milo will kick start the campaign with a speech at the University of California’s Berkeley campus on February 1, where he, backed by the Freedom Center, will call for the withdrawal of federal grants and the prosecution of university officials who endanger their students with their policies, starting with UC President and former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.

On Tuesday, the East Bay Times reported protesters were gearing up to confront Milo’s kickoff of the campaign against sanctuary campuses.

Last month, Napolitano announced the UC system would continue to defy immigration law despite then President-elect Donald Trump’s expected policies of enforcing such laws.

The Washington Times reported:

The University of California system announced Wednesday that campus police will not undertake joint efforts with any law enforcement agencies to investigate students suspected of breaking federal immigration laws.

Police officers at the UC’s 10 campuses will not contact, detain, question or arrest any individual solely on the basis of immigration status, except as required by law, the school system said in a statement.

“While we still do not know what policies and practices the incoming federal administration may adopt, given the many public pronouncements made during the presidential campaign and its aftermath, we felt it necessary to reaffirm that UC will act upon its deeply held conviction that all members of our community have the right to work, study and live safely and without fear at all UC locations,” Napolitano said in the statement.

The 10-campus UC system admits there are about 2,500 illegal alien students enrolled across the university.

While at the helm of DHS, Napolitano infamously usurped existing immigration law and utilized a memorandum to implement key sections of the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, which Congress repeatedly failed to pass.

Napolitano’s June 2012 memorandum was titled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

As I previously reported, the memorandum called for “prosecutorial discretion” to be used in implementing immigration law for those who fit the following criteria:

*Are under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;

*Arrived to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;

*Continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007, to the present;

*Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, as well as at the time of requesting deferred action

*Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had any lawful immigration status expired on or before June 15, 2012;

*Were in school at the time of application, or have already graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces; and

*Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Earlier, in August 2011, Napolitano announced a two-pronged initiative that prioritized deportations to those deemed by DHS to be the most dangerous illegal aliens instead of focusing on the general illegal population. “This case-by-case approach will enhance public safety,” she said at the time. “Immigration judges will be able to more swiftly adjudicate high-priority cases, such as those involving convicted felons.”

See http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/02/uc-berkley-president-janet-napolitano-played-key-role-providing-sanctuary-illegal-aliens/ (“UC President Janet Napolitano Played Key Role in Providing Sanctuary to Illegal Aliens“) (emphasis added); see also http://www.weeklystandard.com/appeals-court-denies-motion-to-stay-halt-of-trump-executive-order/article/ (The worst federal appellate court in the nation, the Ninth Circuit “Appeals Court Denies Motion Requesting “Immediate Stay” of Ruling Halting Trump Executive Order”) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janet_Napolitano (“Janet Napolitano“)

This is outrageous, but typical of the far-Left that was rejected in elections across the country last November.

The time for talking has ended. Berkeley and Napolitano must become examples.

Also, one must never forget that when Ronald Reagan was California’s Governor, he “cracked heads” on the Berkeley campus, rather than succumb to anarchy. This message needs to be sent again, this time indelibly.

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5 02 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy. I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with some of these observations. First, Trump probably cannot cut off federal funds to a University; http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/02/02/trumps-threat-pull-federal-funding-uc-berkeley-empty-one-experts-say/97401818/.

Regarding Milo Yiannopoulos, he is not a conservative anymore than a communist is a liberal. He’s part of a racially based extremist movement and sexually and racially harassed an actress without any provocation. This is a dangerous and deranged man who belongs in prison, not a college campus. The “Alt Right” movement is just a politically correct term for Neo Nazi, and this is in no way related to conservative politics. Breitbart News is not a conservative publication, but an extremist blog supporting the kind of dangerous hate speech we associate with the KKK or the newer, more sophisticated extremist groups like the National Alliance. This is not conservatism or even remotely related to it. Here is the kind of dangerous activity Milo engages in;
http://college.usatoday.com/2016/07/25/the-whole-leslie-jones-twitter-feud-explained/.

I have given Trump a chance and truly hoped for the best, but in two weeks, he alienated our closest allies and is dangerously close to violating the Constitutional balance of powers and checks and balances. Should he force a well respected (by the Republican party) Federal Judge to be overruled by anyone other than the SCOTUS, than we have moved from a Constitutional Republic to a dictatorship. Should that happen, Trumps time in the White House may be ended by the military and/or the Republican party, terrified as they are of him. They have little courage despite their huge victory this last election, but they made short work of Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House and Evan Mecham, Republican governor of Arizona, when their core principles were violated and corruption became too great.

Many Americans have followed the lead of 1933 Germany, but 7 million dead Germans later, Germany learned their lesson and never let it happen again. Americans seem unknowledgable about history, and many times with our failed and unjustifed wars and now a new tyranny, we continue to pay a terrible price for this and repeat horrific history.

Our founding fathers faced this kind of situation from a foreign tyranny and knew how to handle it. Sadly for America, we are entering the third such existential crisis of our way of life in our relatively short (as nations go) history. And yes, I watched the inauguration because I knew that, for better or worse, history was being made. I knew it might go bad, but I had no idea things would deteriorate at such speed and power.

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6 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Jonathan. You have been a “busy beaver” in the first half of the game on Super Bowl Sunday. 😊

First, in no way have I endorsed Milo, nor do I know much about him. My comments were directed at the thugs who unleashed violence on the Berkeley campus and the U.C. president who let it happen.

I am a Berkeley grad and love the school. I was there when JFK was killed in Dallas, and when the “Free Speech Movement” and the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations engulfed the campus.

Non-student thugs were front and center in the chaos, just as they were the other day. There is no excuse for letting these rabblerousers, or the “Black Lives Matter” thugs, or the Black Panthers before them, act with impunity.

Second, I agree with President Trump’s criticism of the Distrct Judge in Washington, who was biased beyond belief. Also, the Ninth Circuit is the worst appellate court in the federal system.

I have a new article that will be published later this year entitled “America Is Lawless.” It is time to “drain the swamp” with respect to America’s tyrannical judiciary.

Third, we have lived through the “Animal Farm” of the Left and far-Left during the Obama years. Donald Trump is doing exactly what his supporters expected. And no, this is not Nazi Germany or anything close to it.

This is a rebirth of America!

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6 02 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Hi, Timothy, thanks for your response. We can agree to disagree on some things, of course, but I think we were both civil about it. It is worth noting that you weren’t endorsing Milo and I didn’t endorse the violence at Berkeley. I took part in numerous anti war demonstrations during the Vietnam War but there were all peaceful (the ones I was at anyway). The “Animal Farm” reference, I assume, referred to the classic Orwell novel that was a biting satire of the Russian revolution and the new communist dictatorship that didn’t practice what they preached.

Best wishes as always, Jonathan.

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6 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Jonathan.

Yes, we can agree to disagree, civilly. 😊

As a result of ROTC at UCLA, I had been commissioned as an Army officer just before I attended law school at Berkeley. From there, I went to Fort Benning in Georgia (“The Home Of The Infantry”) for training; and then I was assigned to the U.S. Army Element of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, which took me to Washington and later to Capitol Hill.

My parents were very conservative, and revered Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. When I was 11 years old, I attended Harvard School in Los Angeles (now Harvard-Westlake that my mother had attended as a girl), which was an all-boys military school at the time; and I recall being the only student to put an “I Like Ike” sticker on the school bus. The rest of the students seemed to be supporting the Democrat, Adlai Stenson of Illinois.

Years later, after watching friends of mine—including one whom I had met at Fort Benning—get killed in Vietnam, I began to question the war seriously. They were “cannon fodder.” I had become a Democrat because of JFK, but realized that Lyndon Johnson had escalated the war beyond belief, and was hated.

Indeed, I remember bumper stickers on cars in the Washington area that asked: “Where is Lee Harvey Oswald now that we really need him?” The hatred was so intense nationwide that Johnson decided not to run for reelection in 1968.

Fast forward to a Vietnam War postmortem, and a friend in Washington who was exalted among the Washington media elites told me years later that the United States actually won the Vietnam War. However, Congress refused to support the South Vietnamese regime; and thus, it collapsed.

I was against the Iraq War principally because I believed Saddam Hussein had WMDs that he would use against our fine and courageous military forces, just as he had used them against Iranian and Kurdish forces. Like Vietnam, Barack Obama and his Democrats let our hard-fought victories in that war slip away; and now, Iraq and the Middle East have descended into even greater chaos.

Because of America’s overwhelming energy resources, I believe we are very close to being energy independent, and a net exporter of energy products to Europe, the Pacific (including China) and the world. Thus, from a geopolitical strategic perspective, we do not need the Middle East anymore, for anything, and should step back and let the region implode if that is to be its future.

Indeed, I do not believe one American life should be lost in defense of anyone in the region.

Next, yes, I was referring to George Orwell’s superb Animal Farm, where the “Pigs” ultimately became supreme and subjugated the other animals to their rule. This is how I believe America’s Left and far-Left view the rest of our citizens.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm”)

Lastly, the despicable Netanyahu is trying to push us into a war with Iran, just as Israel and its “neocon” surrogates pushed us into the tragic Iraq War, in which thousands of Americans died or were maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted, for nothing.

NEVER AGAIN, even if Israel’s very existence is at stake.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/is-israel-doomed/ (“Is Israel Doomed?”)

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7 02 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Hi again, Timothy. I still don’t know how to log in to give an upvote, as whatever password I may have used once is forgotten and they don’t have the link to make a new one that I’ve found yet.

Thanks for the autobiographical sketch. I was raised in a low middle class area of New Jersey and went to Universities there; Rutgers and Fairleigh Dickenson, and my career was in the Psychology/counseling field. As I worked with poor people or those in mental health or correctional facilities for 36 years, it was dependent on government funding, which lowered every year.

I retired the year of the Recession (two years late in my state; 2010), when most funding was taken away…….I still had my position with state government, but all the lay offs were writing on the wall for those of us who survived, and we retired when eligible for our pensions.

In my youth, I was in a lot of large protests against the Vietnam war in New York City and Florida, which I lived in for two years in my late teens. . I was old enough to vote in 1972, but knew my candidate wouldn’t win against Nixon.

Oddly, I did join the Army National Guard then too. I had taken a year break off college and lost my student deferment, so that seems to be the way to go. So, I was in the Guard for six years, thru the end of college and the beginning of my career. I think it was a good experience; Basic Training is a good way to grow up fast, as I wasn’t a very mature 20 year old.

I married later one and have one grandson. My politics still tends to be mostly progressive, although being a Christian, I oppose Abortion on demand (as opposed to extreme situations). After retirement, I got involved in the Sierra Club and environmental activism again, as a local officer. I’m not as dedicated as I was when young, though.

“I like Ike”…….I was a young child when he ran the second time, the first election I have a memory of. We children would tell each other we would “Vote” for Ike, as he was hugely popular. He was right to warn us about the Military industrial complex but Americans didn’t pay heed. I remember a student in High School wearing the Oswald/LBJ button, which offended me. I didn’t like LBJ, but I found JFK;s assassination when I was 14 to be a very traumatic experience and never want to see that happen again in our country.

I think 9/11 was the only news event that upset me as much in my lifetime (my family visited the new JFK grave a year later in D.C. and I had been inside the Pentagon on an earlier visit as a child, when they allowed visitors inside) along with many trips to the World Trade Center in NYC as an adult living nearby. So I took 9/11 personally having been to the sites of the attacks. In 2004 I took my wife to NYC, as we live in the West and she hadn’t been there, and we visited the area where construction was going on in the 5 story deep hole where the towers had been.

Anyway, have a great week! Jonathan.

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7 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Jonathan.

I had three chances to vote for Richard Nixon, but never voted for him: first, when he ran for California’s governorship, and later when he was elected twice to the presidency.

In hindsight, I believe he was one of America’s better presidents, and a giant in terms of foreign policy. Indeed, his writings and command of global politics after he left the White House are unparalleled.

Yes, he was an awkward person in many ways, and he became embroiled in Watergate, but Lyndon Johnson had a taping system too, and JFK almost brought about a “nuclear winter” because of his incompetence.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (“John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History”)

Nixon was a naval officer and a genuine patriot, but the Left and far-Left targeted him nonstop, just as they are doing with Donald Trump. The difference today is that newspapers are effectively dinosaurs; and with hundreds of cable channels to watch, the “big three” networks are irrelevant. And of course, the Internet, Twitter and other sources are driving the final nails into the coffin of so-called “Mainstream Media.”

I have been on the Web for more than 20 years, and I have not bought a newspaper in more than a decade. I have had countless Apple laptops, which I love; and my smartphone is essentially a mini-computer and fine camera rolled into one.

Your comments about serving in the military are spot on. It is a shame that there is not mandatory national service today, like Israel has, which gives a young person a real sense of belonging, patriotism and being an American. My son did not have to serve, but enrolled in a naval reserve program and became an officer in intelkigence, and I commend him for doing it.

I agree with you about the traumatic effect of JFK’s assassination. Even though I have excoriated him, his assassination stands out in my life as the most “Earth shaking”-event of my time as an American. In a sense, it was my generation’s Pearl Harbor; and I have a real sense of how the Israelis must have felt when Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated, and how the Egyptians must have felt when Anwar Sadat was killed.

And yes you are correct: 9/11 is a close second in contemporary America history. Right or wrong, George W. Bush rallied the country and struck back in Afghanistan, and destroyed the Taliban’s control of that country. The tragedy is that the gains of women there are under siege again; and America’s hard-fought gains in that country and Iraq were “frittered away.”

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8 02 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Good dialogue, Timothy.

Nixon got a lot of attacks….he didn’t handle media well which led to his downfall (Trump could easily win more media over if he engaged them, he shouldn’t make the same mistake). However, Nixon and Kissinger (both people vilified by fellow progressives) were the real heroes in ending the Cold War.

Kissinger, followed by Nixon, both anti communist so able to act from strength, created detente with the Soviet Union and established relations with Mao in China, one of the most ruthless dictators in history. That prevented a nuclear war and the Cold War was minimal from then on. This immense accomplishment made the world safer but most don’t remember it now.

I read the Arizona Republic as a paper, to get local news. The Tea Party mostly runs the state, but I came from New Jersey, with it’s slums, high taxes and low job opportunity, and it’s run by the Mafia (a relative in Civil service there who worked for a high official actually met Carlos Gambino, who was visiting the official, a childhood friend). So, Arizona was the better choice and I’ve now spent more than half of my life here.

My wife and I have traveled thru Egypt on an educational tour for a few weeks and I have an Egyptian facebook friend who updates me. The assassination of Sadat was a profound blow to the country, done by the Muslim Brotherhood (now aligned with ISIS). History repeated itself with the failed revolution a few years ago.

An earlier point from a previous discussion; Saddam Hussein did have WMD…..he gassed 5000 Kurds to death in the North of his country before the war. What happened to that gas seems unknown. There was a rumor it went to Assad in Syria, but that’s doubtful, as Syria was politically aligned with Shiites, Saddam’s greatest enemy. Perhaps the gas went to the “rebels”, likely ISIS terrorists. Jonathan.

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8 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again, Jonathan.

Yes, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger made enormous differences with respect to world peace; and Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush instituted measures that led to the Soviet Union’s collapse and freedom for the people of Eastern Europe.

On my first trip to Europe, I visited East Berlin and walked through “Checkpoint Charlie.” On a later trip, I toured parts of the “Iron Curtain” itself, with ominous and menacing manned guard towers.

On later trips with German friends, we were in Berlin soon after the Wall fell, when Soviet soldiers were selling their uniforms and plumbing from their barracks, and going back to “tent cities” in the USSR. Needless to say, my West German friends and I, and Berliners, were ecstatic.

On one trip, we went to the border where the guard tower had stood, and it was gone, along with the fence separating East Germany from West Germany. Also, the road that had stopped short of the guard tower went right through, as if it had been there for decades. Abandoned East German Trabant automobiles were seen everywhere, which had been replaced with skinny new VWs, bought by the former residents of the DDR.

I agree with your comments about New Jersey and Eqypt.

Regarding Saddam’s arsenal of WMDs that he had used against the Kurds (and Iranians), conventional thinking has been that they went to Syria. However, you may be right that they did not. I doubt though that they have lasted through our conquest of Iraq, until now.

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9 02 2017
Jonathan Buttall

Thanks for sharing those historic moment and observations, Timothy. look forward to your next post. Jonathan.

Liked by 1 person

25 06 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

The Mindless Mess: More Middle East Madness [UPDATED]

Middle East Madness

Charles Krauthammer has written in the Washington Post:

The U.S. shoots down a Syrian fighter-bomber. Iran launches missiles into eastern Syria. Russia threatens to attack coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates. What is going on?

It might appear a mindless mess, but the outlines are clear. The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post-Islamic State phase. It’s the end of the beginning. The parties are maneuvering to shape what comes next.

It’s Europe, 1945, when the war was still raging against Nazi Germany, but everyone already knew the outcome. The maneuvering was largely between the approaching victors — the Soviet Union and the Western democracies — to determine postwar boundaries and spheres of influence.

So it is today in Syria. Everyone knows that the Islamic State is finished. Not that it will disappear as an ideology, insurgency and source of continuing terrorism both in the region and the West. But it will disappear as an independent, organized, territorial entity in the heart of the Middle East.

It is being squeezed out of existence. Its hold on Mosul, its last major redoubt in Iraq, is nearly gone. Raqqa, its stronghold in Syria and de facto capital, is next. When it falls — it is already surrounded on three sides — the caliphate dies.

Much of the fighting today is about who inherits. Take the Syrian jet the United States shot down. It had been attacking a pro-Western Kurdish and Arab force (the Syrian Democratic Forces) not far from Islamic State territory.

Why? Because the Bashar al-Assad regime, backed by Iran, Hezbollah and Russia, having gained the upper hand on the non-jihadist rebels in the Syrian heartland (most notably in Aleppo), feels secure enough to set its sights on eastern Syria. If it hopes to restore its authority over the whole country, it will need to control Raqqa and surrounding Islamic State areas. But the forces near Raqqa are pro-Western and anti-regime. Hence the Syrian fighter-bomber attack.

Hence the U.S. shoot-down. We are protecting our friends. Hence the Russian threats to now target U.S. planes. The Russians are protecting their friends.

On the same day as the shoot-down, Iran launched six surface-to-surface missiles into Syrian territory controlled by the Islamic State. Why? Ostensibly to punish the jihadists for terrorist attacks two weeks ago inside Iran.

Perhaps. But one obvious objective was to demonstrate to Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni Arabs the considerable reach of both Iran’s arms and territorial ambitions.

For Iran, Syria is the key, the central theater of a Shiite-Sunni war for regional hegemony. Iran (which is non-Arab) leads the Shiite side, attended by its Arab auxiliaries — Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Shiite militias in Iraq and the highly penetrated government of Iraq, and Assad’s Alawite regime. (Alawites being a non-Sunni sect, often associated with Shiism.)

Taken together, they comprise a vast arc — the Shiite Crescent — stretching from Iran through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean. If consolidated, it gives the Persians a Mediterranean reach they have not had in 2,300 years.

This alliance operates under the patronage and protection of Russia, which supplies the Iranian-allied side with cash, weapons and, since 2015, air cover from its new bases in Syria.

Arrayed on the other side of the great Muslim civil war are the Sunnis, moderate and Western-allied, led by Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan — with their Great Power patron, the United States, now (post-Obama) back in action.

At stake is consolidation of the Shiite Crescent. It’s already underway. As the Islamic State is driven out of Mosul, Iranian-controlled militias are taking over crucial roads and other strategic assets in western Iraq. Next target: eastern Syria (Raqqa and environs).

Imagine the scenario: a unified Syria under Assad, the ever more pliant client of Iran and Russia; Hezbollah, tip of the Iranian spear, dominant in Lebanon; Iran, the regional arbiter; and Russia, with its Syrian bases, the outside hegemon.

Our preferred outcome is radically different: a loosely federated Syria, partitioned and cantonized, in which Assad might be left in charge of an Alawite rump.

The Iranian-Russian strategy is a nightmare for the entire Sunni Middle East. And for us too. The Pentagon seems bent on preventing it. Hence the cruise missile attack for crossing the chemical red line. Hence the recent fighter-bomber shoot-down.

A reasonable U.S. strategy, given the alternatives. But not without risk. Which is why we need a national debate before we commit too deeply. Perhaps we might squeeze one in amid the national obsession with every James Comey memo-to-self?

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-great-muslim-civil-war–and-us/2017/06/22/80a32be6-56c1-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.83e367592dbe (“The great Muslim civil war — and us“) (emphasis added)

The Middle East is not our fight. It is unwinnable, and should be left to implode. At the behest of the “neocons” and their state sponsor, George W. Bush thrust us into the Iraq War, which his father had avoided.

After the loss of thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars, Iraq has collapsed and the Middle East is a “basket case.” As the United States moves closer to energy independence, we do not need the Middle East anymore, period.

See, e.g., https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-25/trump-to-call-for-u-s-dominance-in-global-energy-production (“Trump to Call for U.S. ‘Dominance’ in Global Energy Production“)

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11 07 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

The Obama-Merkel Vision Of A New World Order Is A Utopian Fantasy And Orwellian [UPDATED]

Animal Farm in America

The efforts of Barack Obama, Germany’s Angela Merkel and others of their ilk are the fulfillment of George Orwell’s timeless Animal Farm, where all of the animals were equal until the Pigs reigned supreme and subjugated the other animals.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm”)

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

At the G-20 in Hamburg, it is said, President Trump was isolated, without support from the other G-20 members, especially on climate change and trade.

Perhaps so. But the crucial question is not whether Trump is alone, but whether he is right. Has Trump read the crisis of the West correctly? Are his warnings valid? Is not the Obama-Merkel vision of a New World Order a utopian fantasy?

At the monument to the patriots of the Warsaw Uprising, Trump cited Poland as exemplar of how a great people behaves in a true national crisis.

Calling the Polish people “the soul of Europe,” he related how, in the Miracle of the Vistula in 1920, Poland, reborn after 12 decades of subjugation, drove back the invading Red Army of Leon Trotsky.

He described the gang rape of Poland by Nazis and Soviets after the Hitler-Stalin pact. He cited the Katyn Forest massacre of the Polish officer corps by Stalin, and the rising of the Polish people against their Nazi occupiers in 1944, as the vulturous legions of Stalin watched from the safe side of the river.

When the Polish Pope, John Paul II, celebrated his first Mass in Victory Square in 1979, said Trump, “a million Polish men, women and children raised their voices in a single prayer. . . . ‘We want God.’ . . . Every Communist in Warsaw must have known that their oppressive system would soon come crashing down.” And so it did.

The crisis of the West today, said Trump, is akin to what Poland faced. For it is about the survival of a civilization, rooted in Christianity, that has made the greatest of all contributions to the ascent of man.

What enabled the Poles to endure was an unshakable belief in and a willingness to fight for who they were — a people of God and country, faith, families, and freedom — with the courage and will to preserve a nation built on the truths of their ancient tribe and Catholic traditions.

Given the threats to the West, from within and without, said Trump, we need such a spirit now. What are those threats?

“The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?

“We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth, but if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive.”

Trump professed confidence in the West’s will to survive. But whether the West still has the character seems an open question.

Across the West, the traditional family has been collapsing for decades. Not one European nation has a birth rate that will enable its people to survive many more generations. Uninvited migrants in the millions have poured in — are pouring in — from Africa and the Middle East. The elite of Europe have been gladly surrendering their national sovereignties to transnational institutions like the EU.

Christianity is more of a dying than a thriving faith on the Old Continent. And as the churches empty out, the mosques are going up. Before our eyes, the West is being remade.

In June, gays and lesbians celebrated in Berlin as the German Parliament voted to approve same-sex marriage.

In Moscow, from May to July, a million Russians stood in lines a mile long to view and venerate a relic of the 4th-century bishop, St. Nicholas, on display in a glass case in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, rebuilt under President Putin.

Liberated from Leninism, Russia returns to the old faith, as Germany returns to Weimar.

At that G-20 gathering in Hamburg, hundreds of criminal thugs went on a three-day rampage — rioting, burning, looting and battling police, some 300 of whom were injured.

Were the autocrats of the G-20 — Xi Jinping of China, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Narendra Modi of India — impressed with the resolute response of Angela Merkel — the media-designated new “Leader of the West” — to mobs rioting in Germany’s second city?

At Harvard, Alexander Solzhenitsyn described what was on display in Hamburg: “A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. … Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite.”

Secularist and hedonist, New Europe worships at the altars of mammon. Handel’s “Messiah” cannot compete with moonwalking Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World.”

Once Europe went out to convert, colonize and Christianize the world. Now the grandchildren of the colonized peoples come to Europe to demand their share of their inheritance from a West besotted with guilt over its past sins that cannot say “No!”

See http://buchanan.org/blog/alone-perhaps-trump-right-127327 (emphasis added)

Donald Trump is leading America away from (1) the false gods of globalism, (2) the Great Green Con of man-made “global warming,” (3) the infanticide of abortions, (4) atheism in America and other countries, (5) borderless countries devoid of meaning or identity, (6) weakness in the face of global threats, and (7) chaos in all of its various manifestations.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/ (“Abortions And Autos Kill More In America Than Guns“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ (“The Next Major War: Korea Again?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/ (“Global Chaos And Helter Skelter“)

Like the Lilliputians who were at first hospitable to Gulliver in Jonathan Swift’s tales, but also wary of the threat that his size posed to them, Republicans like Vice President Mike Pence and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan cannot be trusted. They are not our president’s constituency—the American people are.

He is our first Independent president, and his—and our—”enemies” consist of members of his own party, America’s Left in the form of the Democrats and others, and of course the Leftist media that hates him.

His triumphs are and will be our triumphs.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulliver%27s_Travels (“Gulliver’s Travels“)

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27 07 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

North Korea EMP Threat Advancing Faster Than Expected [UPDATED]

EMP Attack on USA

________

HEADLINE: “N. Korea leader says ‘all US’ within range after missile test”

See https://www.yahoo.com/news/n-korea-launches-another-ballistic-missile-us-160151910.html (“North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un said Pyongyang’s latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile confirmed all the US mainland was within striking range. . . .“); see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4741100/North-Korea-hit-American-cities-experts-claim.html (“Gloating Kim Jong-Un issues ‘stern warning’ to America after another successful nuclear missile test that US experts claim can now hit CHICAGO“) and http://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-korea-tests-missile-that-could-threaten-los-angeles-chicago-or-new-york/ (“North Korea tests missile that could threaten Los Angeles, Chicago or New York“) and https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4186461/north-korea-kim-jong-un-vows-attack-america-donald-trump/ (“‘REVENGE WILL BE THOUSAND FOLD’ North Korea vows to attack America as Kim Jong-un demands ‘justice’ for Donald Trump trying to ‘isolate and stifle’ his country”) and https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-north-korea-talks-while-missiles-are-flying-tillerson-says-1502084784 (“North Korea Says ‘Under No Circumstances’ Will It Negotiate Over Nuclear Weapons“) and http://news.trust.org/item/20170807113624-sgy96 (“North Korea ready to teach U.S. ‘severe lesson’, says U.N. abused its authority“) and https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-now-making-missile-ready-nuclear-weapons-us-analysts-say/2017/08/08/e14b882a-7b6b-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html (“North Korea now making missile-ready nuclear weapons, U.S. analysts say“)

________

Reuters has reported:

U.S. General Mark Milley, the chief of staff of the Army, said on Thursday that North Korea’s July 4 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile showed its capabilities were advancing significantly and faster than many had expected.

Milley, in remarks to the National Press Club in Washington, said there was still time for a non-military solution but also cautioned that “time is running out.” He said: “North Korea is extremely dangerous and more dangerous as the weeks go by.”

See http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-northkorea-army-idUSKBN1AC2V3 (“U.S. general: North Korea ICBM threat advancing faster than expected“) (emphasis added); see also http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/northkorea/2017/07/28/0401000000AEN20170728000200315.html (“N. Korea’s nuclear program will become ‘fait accompli pretty soon’: U.S. official”—”On July 4, Pyongyang successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Alaska and Hawaii”) and https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-prepares-for-a-crisis-along-north-korea-border-1500928838 (“China Prepares for a Crisis Along North Korea Border”—”Chinese authorities have . . . been preparing for North Korean contingencies, including economic collapse, nuclear contamination, or military conflict. . . .”—”Beijing wouldn’t necessarily defend its regime, but is determined to prevent a flood of North Koreans from entering northeastern China and to protect the population there, U.S. and Chinese experts say. Beijing also appears to be enhancing its capability to seize North Korean nuclear sites and occupy a swath of the country’s northern territory if U.S. or South Korean forces start to advance toward the Chinese border, according to those people”) and https://www.defensenews.com/news/pentagon-congress/2017/07/28/pentagon-detects-north-korea-missile-launch/ (“North Korea may have just shown a capability to strike the continental US“)

As I have stated previously:

If anyone thinks that the potentially nation-ending risk to the United States and the American people of a North Korean-launched EMP Attack is a pipe dream, they are living in an alternative universe.

There is every reason to believe that this is Kim Jong-un’s goal; and all steps must be taken to thwart him, including but not limited to his termination.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/#comment-10008 (“North Korea Prepares EMP Catastrophe For America“); see also https://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-thaad-missile-hits-test-target-amid-growing-130132528–sector.html (“U.S. THAAD missile hits test target amid growing pressure from North Korea“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4744612/Key-general-calls-North-Korea-urgent-threat.html (“Top general says the US is ready to use ‘rapid, lethal and overwhelming force’ on North Korea after Kim’s second intercontinental ballistic missile test”—”North Korea on Friday tested a Hwasong-14 for the second time this month, reaching an altitude and distance in the test that defense experts believe indicate the missile could reach the continental United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago. That would leave North Korea only the technical challenge of miniaturizing a nuclear warhead that could withstand reentry in order to back leader Kim Jong Un’s incessant nuclear threats against the US”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4746444/Video-shows-U-S-THAAD-interceptor-test.html (“U.S. THAAD interceptor test shown in new video“) and http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-icbm-missile-launch-vandenberg-20170731-story.html (“U.S. to launch yet another test missile from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base“) and http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/hr-mcmaster-kim-jong-un-should-not-be-sleeping-easily-at-night/article/2630452 (“National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster warned North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un should not be sleeping easily at night and said the evolving situation with the North Koreans constitutes a ‘grave threat’ to the U.S.”) and https://www.infowars.com/black-sky-event-feds-preparing-for-widespread-power-outages-across-u-s/ (“‘Black Sky Event’: Feds Preparing For Widespread Power Outages Across U.S.”)

At a time when both Democrats and some in the GOP are trying to destroy the Trump presidency, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has ambitious plans for us, which will end all of our dreams.

Today, a nation-ending EMP Attack can be launched from North Korea, or from a sub or barge located in the Atlantic or Pacific, or in the Gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez. Our military is partially hardened, but the civilian sector is not.

Only 30 million Americans would survive, which is scary to say the least. This should be the number one issue in Washington and throughout our great nation, instead of the nonstop efforts to cripple or destroy the Trump presidency.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/#comment-10530 (“Democrats And Republicans Are Brain Dead“) and http://buchanan.org/blog/american-empire-worth-price-127455 (“Kim’s credible threat to one day be able to nuke a U.S. city is going to concentrate American minds wonderfully“)

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