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Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Without Comment: Gun Ownership in Germany

February 23, 2013 1 comment

Germany is at No.4 on licenced gun-ownership numbers..

Germany's Gun Population  |  Image source & courtesy - spiegel.de

Germany’s Gun Population | Image source & courtesy – spiegel.de

Germany’s National Firearms Register, which came into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, recently published its first statistics. A total of 5.4 million legal weapons are registered with private owners in the country. The most are registered in the state of Bavaria (1.1 million), followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (1 million) and Baden-Württemberg (700,000). Approximately 550 German authorities submitted data. The introduction of the register is broadly seen as a political reaction to killing sprees in Erfurt in 2002 and Winnenden in 2009. Moreover, the European Union has stipulated that all member states must launch central firearms registers by the end of 2014. Germany has the fourth highest per capita number of legal firearms, lower than the United States, Switzerland and Finland — but higher than Mexico, South Africa and Russia. Germany’s largest police union, the GdP, estimates there are up to 20 million illegal firearms in Germany.

via Information Graphic: Gun Ownership in Germany – SPIEGEL ONLINE.`

 

Problem With Europe

June 9, 2012 1 comment

US think tanks and experts are making the worst assessments of Europe and the Euro. Can they be believed?

Can the attempted Euro-dollar duopoly work?  |  Cartoonist R.J. Matson of Roll Call; source & courtesy - Politicalcartoons.com / msnbc.msn.com  |  Click for image.

Can the attempted Euro-dollar duopoly work? | Cartoonist R.J. Matson of Roll Call; source & courtesy – Politicalcartoons.com / msnbc.msn.com | Click for image.

In the last five hundred years, Europeans have fought with each other and the rest of the world. Over slaves, gold, coffee and sugar, religion and territory, seas and rivers.

In short, everything.

The European Union is a classic example of an organization built around a “win-win” economic logic. The idea of the EU’s founding fathers was that economic cooperation and shared prosperity would create a positive political dynamic. And for 50 years it worked beautifully. But that win-win logic has gone into reverse. Instead of feeling stronger together, EU countries increasingly worry they are pulling each other down. The result is a surge in political tensions inside Europe and, in particular, an outbreak of anti-German sentiment.

This has global implications; for one, America’s pivot to Asia is posited on the idea that Europe will no longer require attention — a premise I somehow doubt. (via The Rise or Fall of the American Empire – By Robert Kagan, Gideon Rachman, and Daniel W. Drezner | Foreign Policy).

Gideon Rachman, the author of the extract above, has made a career by being paranoid about the future of the West. He sees an enemy of the West under every bed. Fact is the West is its own worst enemy.

Looking at the crisis in EU and the USA, could Gideon Rachman be right.

Just this time around?


European gold: Sold? Pledged! Safe.

December 25, 2011 Leave a comment

A socialist Europe is deep in debt – but still has substantial gold reserves with various central banks. At least as per official records.

24 types of Statism. Currency mismanagement is part of Statist systems |  Popular cartoon based on original by Barry Deutsch; modification source and author not known  |  Click for original Barry Deutsch cartoon.

24 types of Statism. Currency mismanagement is part of Statist systems | Popular cartoon based on original by Barry Deutsch; modification source and author not known | Click for original Barry Deutsch cartoon.

Printing presses – all systems go

As Governments across the world, print more and more money, the 20th century idea of Trustworthy State is on its last legs. Increasingly, the (undeserved) trust that the State enjoyed with the masses in the 20th century, is now close to breaking point.

We may very soon see a situation, where people will accept only gold – and no paper currency. The entire structure of 20th century monetary system after WWII, was built on paper. In the last 60 years, people (except a few) have gradually forgotten the link between gold as a store of value.

A memory lapse of a link that is too important to forget.

Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. |  Cartoonist - Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy - townhall.com  |  Click for larger source image.Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. |  Cartoonist - Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy - townhall.com  |  Click for larger source image.

Currency mismanagement is dead. Long live currency manipulation. | Cartoonist – Michael Ramirez in April 16th 2009; source & courtesy – townhall.com | Click for larger source image.

Few people realize it, but Italy holds the world’s fourth biggest stockpile of gold, at 2,452 tonnes. That’s even more than France, and more than twice as much as China.

Only the U.S., Germany and the International Monetary Fund hold more.

The question here is whether some of the troubled European countries — such as Italy and France — are going to have to start selling off the national gold pile to meet their bills.

Some wonder if they already have.

Italy’s gold has a street value of about $123 billion — easily enough to cover this year’s $80 billion budget shortfall. Portugal’s $19 billion in bullion more than covers its $13 billion deficit. France has $122 billion worth of bullion, enough to make a massive dent in its $150 billion deficit.

Meanwhile, look at the people who actually have a lot of money — namely, the Chinese. I continue to suspect that, sooner or later, China is going to move some of its massive $3 trillion-plus reserves into gold, the only currency that no other country controls. At the moment, the richest Western countries, including the United States, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, hold between 60% and 80% of their entire reserves in gold.

The figure for China: Less than 2%. No, that isn’t a misprint.

When that bullion changes hands, it may be the moment when power shifts from the rulers of yesterday to the rulers of tomorrow. This is what happened a century ago, when plenty of that French, German and British gold ended up in the hands of the United States.

In the very short term, this may keep downward pressure on gold. The people who hold the world’s gold at the moment need cash, and may have to sell.

In the medium to longer term, it ought to be bullish. (via Will the Europeans have to sell their gold? – Portfolio Insights by Brett Arends – MarketWatch).


WWII Propaganda: 70 years later

October 31, 2011 2 comments

Ceaseless propaganda – the one weapon that the Desert Bloc never tires of using. 70 years after the start of WWII, the propaganda continues.

At least this Nazi was correct about Churchill. The caption: “I am the friend of all the small countries!” Winston Churchill removes his mask. A standard Nazi propaganda argument was that England used smaller nations, tossing them aside when they were no longer useful.  Source and courtesy : bytwerk.com). Click for larger image.

At least this Nazi was correct about Churchill. The caption: “I am the friend of all the small countries!” Winston Churchill removes his mask. A standard Nazi propaganda argument was that England used smaller nations, tossing them aside when they were no longer useful. Source and courtesy : bytwerk.com). Click for larger image.

Trade wars are, perhaps, the most serious threats to the global economic order. Because of that, they are also the least likely. So, while the current rumblings in Beijing and Washington may lead to increased frictions, even economically ignorant politicians will not do anything drastic.

Both Germany and Japan tried in the 1930s to limit unemployment and political vulnerability by maximising domestic production and restricting imports. But, since World War II, economic activity has increasingly crossed political borders. (via Mutually assured destruction).

Is this plain ignorance?

Given that Reuters is a British news agency, the propaganda motive can never be discounted. The author forgets that Germany, home of the automobile (inventors of petrol and diesel engines, and the motor car itself), Italy and Japan were significantly industrialized countries before WWII. These countries were shut out of colonial markets with high tariff barriers by Britain and France.

In India

Even after crippling tariffs, industry from Germany, Italy and Japan was able to stand up to British and French products. For instance during the Great Depression, the British Raj imposed a towering 75% duty on Japanese mill cloth to India – which was becoming highly popular. In turn the Japanese stopped buying cotton from India. British mills made a killing by then buying Indian cotton at throwaway prices.

What of the Lees-Mody Pact?

While the Churchill Norman extraction of gold continued to bleed the Indian peasant, such trade barriers further damaged the Indian economy. Edward Hadas surely knows this.

Why this propaganda – 70 years after the start of WWII?

The shadow of oil

Middle East Politics (from Coming apart, coming together By Edward R. Kantowicz; Page 165; courtesy - books.google.com). Click to go to source.

Middle East Politics (from Coming apart, coming together By Edward R. Kantowicz; Page 165; courtesy - books.google.com). Click to go to source.

Is the USA like Britain was a hundred years ago? (Caroon courtesy - mpg50.com.). Click for larger image.

Is Pax Americana like Britain was a hundred years ago? (Cartoon courtesy - mpg50.com.). Click for larger image.

Fat and lazy

Between 1875-1935, Britain was dependent on India for gunpowder, on USA and Iran for  oil, on Malaya and India for rubber. British economy had grown fat and uncompetitive – unlike Italian, German and Japanese economies.

Even though Britain won WWII, their economy was a lost cause. Though Germany, Italy and Japan were losers, with their economy in shambles, they could make a brilliant recovery and vastly out-compete Britain.

The story of Middle East oil is similar for USA and West. The Welfare State, built on a diet of cheap oil, easy dollars,  is now too expensive for the West to sustain. The above book extract gives an excellent snapshot of the oil industry in the 20th century.

And the shadow of oil on the 21st century.

Now Germany too admits they cannot manage diversity

November 2, 2010 2 comments

When the West wanted cheap labour, they changed laws. With economic stagnation they no longer need immi-grunts.

Behind the facade of liberalism, progress, democracy, is good ole bigotry. (Cartoonist-Ann Telnaes; courtesy-cartoonistgroup.com.). Click for larger image.

Behind the facade of liberalism, progress, democracy, is good ole bigotry. (Cartoonist-Ann Telnaes; courtesy-cartoonistgroup.com.). Click for larger image.

West does not need immi-grunts – for now

Aserious problem is that many believe that the Western world is about freedom, choice, individual rights, et al. After all Kasab wants to go to Yumm-rika! When the West wanted cheap labour from the Rest of the World they changed laws – and made a charade of change. During the Great Recession, with economic stagnation – they no longer need immi-grunts.

Has the West changed? Look at the religious profile across Europe.

Protestant Britain has less than 10% Catholics. Catholic France and Italy have less than 10% Protestants. The West today has the lowest levels of diversity – ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity. And makes the most noise about freedom and human rights.

Rise of German right

Angela Merkel of German Christian Democrat CDU Party claimed that multiculturalism had failed. Muslims have not integrated into German society as much as expected.

Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society has “utterly failed”, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, adding fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam polarising her conservative camp.

Speaking to a meeting of young members of her Christian Democrats (CDU), Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.

“This (multicultural) approach has failed, utterly failed,” Merkel told the meeting in Potsdam, south of Berlin.

Merkel faces pressure from within her CDU to take a tougher line on immigrants who don’t show a willingness to adapt to German society and her comments appeared intended to pacify her critics. She said too little had been required of immigrants in the past and repeated her usual line that they should learn German in order to get by in school and have opportunities on the labour market. (read more via German multiculturalism has failed, says Chancellor Angela Merkel – The Times of India).

Thius is what assimilation, proselytization, melting pot, et al mean - finally and really. (Cartoonist - Ron Tandberg; courtesy - theage.com.au; date February 24, 2006.). Click for larger image.

This is what assimilation, integration, proselytization, melting pot, et al mean – finally and really. (Cartoonist – Ron Tandberg; courtesy – theage.com.au; date February 24, 2006.). Click for larger image.

Interestingly, Thilo Sarrazin, the man who is leading the Charge of the Right Brigade, is himself a descendant of Saracens –  Muslims. The current situation in Germany (and also in Europe) is captured by this report.

Ever since the release this summer of a polemical book by a former finance senator and central banker arguing that Germany is being “dumbed down” by “over-breeding” foreigners, the country has been gripped by a fierce immigration debate that has seen the chancellor, Angela Merkel, enter the fray. Thilo Sarrazin’s Deutschland Schafft Sich Ab (Germany is Digging its Own Grave) has sold more than a million copies and led to 20% of Germans saying that they would consider voting for a Sarrazin party.

Häusler described the fact that the push for Germany’s far right is coming from the small neighbouring republic of Austria as “history repeating itself as farce”.

“Austria’s political culture has developed differently from that of Germany’s,” he said, because Germany underwent a postwar denazification process that Austria was largely spared. “You have been able to say things on the Austrian political stage that would not have been acceptable in Germany,” he added.

Nurhan Solkan, general secretary of the Central Council of Muslims, said: “Personally, it scares me. The inhibitions towards voicing your opinion about Muslims are fast breaking down. Nowadays I only need to park my car slightly badly for an old lady to come up to me and shout that I’d better go home to wherever I came from.” (read more via German far right emerges from shadows to join Cologne campaign against mosque | World news | The Observer).

Is this waht they were trying to hide. (Cartoon titled-The Melting Point of the Melting Pot By O'Farrell, The Illawarra Mercury, Australia - 1/25/2007 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

Is this what they were trying to hide. (Cartoon titled-The Melting Point of the Melting Pot By O’Farrell, The Illawarra Mercury, Australia – 1/25/2007 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

Europe dons heavy armor

Sarkozy, is a part of the French vanguard to deport “700 members of the Roma Gypsy minority, to Romania and Bulgaria, as part of its controversial crackdown on communities officials hold responsible for criminal activity.” Why could the French State not prosecute these 700 Roma Gypsy responsible for whatever crimes that the French authorities claim they have committed.

Sarkozy has encouraged French law-makers to prescribe dress-codes for the French. Sarkozy’s laws sez ‘no burqa’ for French Muslims. The French feel let down because “immigrants were supposed to blend harmoniously into society and not exist in separate communities” – and they did not. Sarkozy and the EU are playing out a charade over a fine for this deportation – and later apologize. Like the many false apologies, made or not made, after the genocide of Jews, Native Americans, or the Roma Gypsies or the Australian aborigines, and then get on with life.

Italy cheers for Berlusconi who is willing to take global frowns on the finger-printing of Roma Gypsies.

The Swiss want the State to determine the shape of Muslim mosques. No minarets on mosques, say the Swiss. Millions of Swiss have voted against having a third mosque in Switzerland with minarets.

The Danes want to pay Muslims to leave Denmark. Britain has imprisoned thousands of Muslims. Hundreds of thousands of people have been arrested in Britain to build a DNA data-bank – ostensibly to help in criminal identification.

Multiculturalism is Canada’s greatest mistake, but if it is any consolation, it is every western country’s greatest mistake. And now some of them are paying a terrible price.

In its ideological insistence on the equal value of all cultures other than ours (ours being the sole inferior one), multiculturalism’s main “accomplishment” has been to instill self-loathing in heritage Canadians, a sense of responsibility-free entitlement in identity groups, and the suffocation of critical diversity in the public form.

Even though Canada was a colony itself, and had never indulged in imperialism of any kind, Canadians were informed they must share in the blame because of their religious, racial and cultural association with former colonialists. (read more via Barbara Kay: Multiculturalism was Canada’s biggest mistake – Full Comment).

With token presence of Native Americans, Eskimos, Aborigines, Maoris, the West has become pioneers instead of invaders, genocidal regimes, racist bigots! (Cartoon titled-Maori Add Colour to National Party List By Chris Slane, New Zealand - 9/2/2005 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

With token presence of Native Americans, Eskimos, Aborigines, Maoris, the West has become pioneers instead of invaders, genocidal regimes, racist bigots! (Cartoon titled-Maori Add Colour to National Party List By Chris Slane, New Zealand – 9/2/2005 12.00.00 AM; courtesy-caglecartoons.com.). Click for larger image.

What does this mean

These statistics is about persecution and bias. Like after 9/11 in the US, more than 200 attacks occurred in the US on 500,000 Sikhs in a US population of 30 crores (300 million). I am not even counting attacks on ‘guilty’ Arabs and other Muslims.

Truly, like a Canadian commented on a multiculturalism debate

we’re not immigrants, we’re pioneers who made this country. Do you understand that? You didn’t immigrate to a stone age culture dominated by aboriginals in Canada or the USA. The society created by pioneers from Britain and also that created the modern Indian state. Your land was a mess and is only united by the British law, customs and good government. Same as Canada.

The aboriginals were savages and prehistoric, we tamed them! My only regret was that we didn’t fully assimilate them and destroy their past. (read more via Multiculturalism: Canada’s Biggest Mistake? | The Langar Hall).

When people start believing in propaganda, (reminds me of maya), it is a matter to worry about!


Hitler car to be used for Nepal palace tourists

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment
Hitler in his own Mercedes Benz Photograph by - Archive photo, Popperfoto/Getty Images; Courtesy - Montreal Gazzette

Hitler in his own Mercedes Benz Photograph by - Archive photo, Popperfoto/Getty Images; Courtesy - Montreal Gazzette

A car said to have been a gift from Adolf Hitler to a Nepalese king will be repaired and used to drive visitors around the grounds of a palace museum, a government official said on Thursday.

The 1939 Mercedes-Benz was presented by the Nazi leader to King Tribhuvan, grandfather of Nepal’s last King Gyanendra, deposed two years ago. (via Hitler car to be used for Nepal palace tourists).

Ernst Schäfer, leader of the Nazi expedition to Tibet in 1938. (Picture courtesy - channel4.com)

Ernst Schäfer, leader of the Nazi expedition to Tibet in 1938. (Picture courtesy - channel4.com)

German activities in Indian border areas

Why would Hitler send a car as a gift to the King of Nepal?

Behind that is an interesting history of manoeuvrings by European powers in Asia. The Tibetan kingdom, sought to counter-balance the British and the Chinese power, by increasing Japanese-German presence. Result – German activity in the Nepal, Sikkim and Tibet region was significant in the 1920-1940 period.

Dr.R.Wilhelm Filchner was an early German traveller in Tibet, China and North West India in 1903-195. Filchener’s second expedition, in 1924 took longer, covered greater distances with more complications. Albert Von Le Coq’s (the German version of Auriel Stein) book in 1928 covered North-West India, Tiber, North-East China, Eastern Iran region. Paul Dahlke, set up the Buddhistisches Haus at Berlin in 1924.

Religion and Occult

There is a certain amount of mysticism and occult elements also. Theodore Illion (German writer of a strange traveller’s account titled Darkness Over Tibet) wrote of mystics in underground cities, who would help the Aryans to conquer and rule the world. The names of Friedrick Krohn and Karl Haushofer are also related to this genre.

In 1920, Friedrick Krohn, a member of the Thule Society, suggested the Hakenkreutz, a symbol used by the Thule Society, to Adolf Hitler for the nascent Nazi Party. An unlikely theory by French researchers Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier that it was Karl Haushofer (a Tibeto-phile from Germany), close to Rudolf Hess and also knew Hitler, who contributed to the idea of Hakenkreuz, the Nazi swastika. The Hakenkreuz was being used by the Nazi Party before Hitler met Haushofer.

Tibetan moves

It is known that Hitler sent his scientific advisors for studies to Tibet (via Sikkim). These were anthropological studies and culture studies. During Hitler’s short reign, a German expedition went to Tibet (at Tibet’s invitation), led by Ernst Schäfer, included Bruno Berger, H.A. Lettow, (from the Himmler’s SS group), Heinrich Harrer’s travels during WWII have become famous with Seven Years in Tibet film with Brad Pitt.

Hitler’s interest in Nepal, Tibet and Sikkim underscored the importance of the British possession of India in world affairs at that time.

And not Hitler’s occult, religious and racial beliefs.

Hitler’s secret friend: Sayajirao Gaekwad

August 20, 2010 11 comments
Hitler's friend Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad (TOI Photo)

Hitler's friend Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad (TOI Photo)

Gaekwad even signed a secret pact with Hitler to get his support for India’s freedom. It was known as the Baroda-Berlin Pact.

Gaekwad’s personal assistant Vishnu Nene was sent to Germany to arrange the meeting. “Gaekwad believed an enemy’s enemy is a friend. So, he decided to join hands with Hitler,” says Dr Damodar Nene, who has written a new biography of Gaekwad and gives details of the pact. He is Vishnu Nene’s son. The book, ‘Sayajirao Gaekwad Chi Biography’ has been published by Ved Gandharva publishers of Pune. (via Hitler’s secret friend: Sayajirao Gaekwad – Vadodara – City – The Times of India).

Wishful thinking

For the past few days, after reading this post, I have been trying to corroborate this story. Apart from one small stray reference, there was nothing that I could find. This one reference was a a few lines from a 1972 biography which is linked here.

The fact that the good doctors, father Dr.Vishnu Nene and son Dr.Damodar Nene said nothing from 1936 upto 2010 makes this possibly only a claim. Or after August 15th, 1947 when the raj-gharana of Baroda had lost their kingdom and the threat of British reprisals was gone.

And they had everything to gain by making this claim.

Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, III By V. K. Chavda |National Book Trust, India| sole distributors, Thomson Press (India), 1972 - Baroda - 147 pages

From Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, III By V. K. Chavda |National Book Trust, India| sole distributors, Thomson Press (India), 1972 - Baroda - 147 pages. Click for a larger image.

Baroda has very little ice

A claim that may be based on thin ice. What little ice, one get can in Vadodara.

The fact that this claim coincides with a book publication, (books have to be sold, you see) and from the Vadodara edition of TOI (newspapers also have to be sold) makes this story, again, a candidate for collusion. What could I find about the Baroda-Berlin Pact?

Nothing. Yes. That is right. Nil. Zero. Zilch. 零. Nul. Null. μηδέν. ゼロ. нул. cero.

Foresighted Sayaji Rao Gaekwad knew there would be WWII

The other thing.

Apart from a paranoid Churchill, who would have imagined in 1936, that Britain would actually fight a war with Germany. In 1936, as the Berlin Olympics progressed, even Britain did not know there would be a WWII. Remember even the USA, joined the war against Germany and Japan, only after it was forced to. After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941.

Forget Britain!

Even Hitler did not know there would be WWII. Or even a war with Britain. Hitler’s entire calculation after his successful campaign in Czechoslovakia (March 1939) was that Britain (under Chamberlain) would not go to war with Germany. While attacking Poland (September 1939) and other countries Hitler gambled that Britain would not declare war. Does it seem likely that Hitler would reveal his deepest, darkest plans to an ‘irrelevant’ Indian king? In 1936!

When neither Britain nor Germany knew there would be WWII.

Did Netaji Bose deserve this? Click for larger image.

Did Netaji Bose deserve this? Click for larger image.

Did the poor king deserve such a biography

Sayaji Rao Gaekwad is respected by many for many reasons. I would not like to assess him in any way, for sheer lack of material with me. Assuming he is respect-worthy, he does not deserve a biographer like the good doctor Nene.

Neither does Subhash Chandra Bose deserve this. A great leader, obfuscated in his own country, his legacy is now being plagiarized by incompetent hacks.

Between historians who hide real history, and ‘writers’ who proclaim history, without a base, Indian history, not surprisingly, has not got out of the sorry Colonial-Congress rut.

What a shame!

The G20 lacks legitimacy

Obama's media management 

The spirit of the Congress of Vienna, where great powers assembled to effectively govern the world, has no place in the contemporary international community. The G20 is sorely lacking in legitimacy and must change. 

A number of countries that have been central to international cooperation in the past, including Norway and the Nordic countries, are excluded from direct membership. Low-income countries and the continent of Africa are almost entirely without the needed representation. 

As the response to the financial crisis showed, there is value in having an effective, smaller forum of nations, equipped to act quickly when necessary. But, within that framework, there are simple ways to make the G20 more representative of the world it influences. (via The G20 lacks legitimacy). 

It is every man for himself

Caught in a vicious downward spiral, Europe is at a loss. Britain is moaning about the demise of its special relationship with the USA. Sarkozy is off to the US, to mend fences with the Americans. At Copenhagen, while the BASIC countries were negotiating a ‘deal’ with the USA, European countries were sitting out. Waiting for the Big Boys to finish their talks. Japan, China, Korea – along with the USA and India are meeting at Seoul in June to create a strategic oil reserve, against possible supply shocks. To be shuttered out like this, is an unfamiliar experience to Europe. 

The Norwegian appeal for inclusion in G20 is to be seen in light of the above reality. 

That man with a tan – Obama

Obama has been stressing that EU needs to get its act together and speak in a common voice. The days when 6-12 European countries walked onto centre-stage, are over, seemingly. And Norway is one such victim of the changed circumstances. 

The Greek crisis is stressing the weak links between European States. A ‘suspected’ withdrawal by Germany from the EMU would devastate Europe – and EU. Should the EU collapse, the Nordic countries would be shut out from many global forum. 

And it is this fear that fuels Norway’s plea for G20 membership!. 

In the doghouse

After a Nobel .. a grateful Obama was the least that Europe expected ...

After a Nobel .. a grateful Obama was the least that Europe expected ...

 

But it was not Obama who put European principalities (Norway, ruled by a king, is too small to be called country) in the doghouse. It started when George Bush railroaded Europe into Iraq and Afghanistan. And excluded the habitual European attendees from G20 – like Norway. 

On Dec 10th, 2009, President Barack Obama landed in Oslo, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize – an annual ‘price’ that is 

“decided by a secretive five-strong committee appointed by the Norwegian parliament. All current members are former politicians drawn from Norway’s four biggest parties. It is chaired by Thorbjørn Jagland, a former Norwegian prime minister.” 

It was noted that

“Worldwide astonishment greeted the decision yesterday to give Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. The U.S. President has been in office for less than nine months, has yet to score a major foreign policy success. He had not even known he was among the record 205 nominations. The deadline for submitting candidates had come just 12 days after he entered the White House.” 

At the airport, he was welcomed by the “Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Kaci Kullmann Five, deputy chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.” In his acceptance speech, Obama admitted that maybe there were “more deserving” candidates. Was the Nobel price in anticipation of a Nordic inclusion in G20? For turning a more benign American eye towards Europe? 

Norway raised its claim for G20 membership, the Financial Times wrote 

a month before Barack Obama, the US president, visits Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  Jonas Gahr Store proposed that members of the Nordic Council – Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – could share a rotating seat together with the Baltic states and possibly Poland. 

Spain and the Netherlands have managed to secure invitations to all three summits since the financial crisis without being official members. But others such as Poland, Belgium and the Nordic countries have been excluded. 

So much for Norway’s Nobel price. 

The legitimacy of G20

Jonas Gahr Støre is stressing about the ‘legitimacy’ of the G20 group. If the G20 is indeed illegitimate, then in that case, Shri Støre, you should ask for disbanding the G20! Not make a desperate plea for inclusion into the G20. Will an illegitimate forum become legitimate by Nordic Norway’s inclusion? 

That reminds me. Norway was one of the ‘moving’ spirits’ behind the Copenhagen Circus on climate change. This Copenhagen Circus sought to impose a rule of Western NGOs on poor countries of the world.  Faceless NGOs, without accountability to anyone, were able to bring global political leadership, to the very brink of an agreement. How legitimate was that Shri Støre? 

Støre’s logic somehow escapes me. 

Norway- One Great Power

Media is falling over themselves - courting Obama

Media is falling over themselves - courting Obama

 

Shri Støre invokes the hoary spirit of the “Congress of Vienna, where great powers assembled to effectively govern the world” . Now, by what logic do ‘Great Powers’ derive legitimacy to govern the world? By Norway’s inclusion? 

Shri Jonas Gahr Støre has sent out copies of the same PR material, to Malaysia (published in the New Straits Times), in Canada (published in the Ottawa Citizen), and in the (as per the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway) in The Straits Times (Manila, the Philippines), 6 April 2010 – Al Hayat, 7 April 2010. 

Norway’s economy

God has been kind to Norway! Instead of thanking God for His kindness, for underground  wealth – and for natural beauty above the ground. Instead, Norway wants to be ‘recognized’ as a ‘Great Power’! 

Norway’s claim to fame is oil. Some 12%-15% of Norway’s  GDP is oil. A significant part of Norway’s wealth is “raw products mined and processed in Norway include iron ore, lead concentrates, titanium, iron pyrites, coal, zinc, and copper.” Is Norway’s claim to be a ‘Great Power” based on something buried underground! 

15% of Norway’s GDP is Tourism! With more than 1,1oo hotels and nearly 1,000 registered campsites, with picturesque coastline and fjords plus a number of well-known ski resorts. By the way, Norway’s population is about 45 lakhs – 4.5 million. 

Manufacturing accounts for an awesome, jaw-dropping 1 percent of Norway’s annual GDP. 

The world must listen to

Norway’s population is lesser than Haiti! If there is one country that the world needs to hear clearly and audibly, it is Haiti. Compared to Norway, Haiti has a far superior claim to be a Great Power. Single-handedly responsible for forcing the West to abandon slavery, Haiti has been a victim of Western vindictiveness. It is time that the world listened to Haiti. And for Norway to keep quiet! 

And be grateful to God!

Fears of German exit from EMU

EU's having a difficult time!

EU's having a difficult time!

weak states cannot easily leave EMU because they would pay a stiff penalty in higher rates, would be stuck with euro debt contracts, and might need controls to stem capital flight. It is a different calculus for Germany, which would see lower rates and might view EMU exit as the only way to ensure monetary stability.”Obviously, we have not reached the end game yet. However, with the latest developments, such a break-up scenario has clearly become more likely. The risk is far from negligible and the consequences for financial markets would be very severe. Investors ignore the break-up risk at their peril,” he said. (via Morgan Stanley fears German exit from EMU – Telegraph).

How many Euro-currencies …

A super-dense, power-currency, union between France, Germany, Italy and UK may have a chance of survival. At least, Joachim Starbatty, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Tübingen, seriously proposes that Germany withdraw from the EMU. In which case what happens to the Euro? Will it become a 2nd-class currency of the Euro-zone?Will Europe splinter into another 20 currencies?

Idle minds?

Turning the clock back, to recreate a German Deutschmarks, surely the Germans realize, is the last resort. A en flambé Europe  may justify such a last step. Europe is at least a few decades away from such a situation. Unless the gentle decline of Europe gathers significant pace, such thinking will be defeatist. Europe has invested too much and gone too far down the road to turn back. In a stressed financial sector, mandates are difficult and far in between.

One way to draw attention is to give out such reports.

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