Archive for April, 2017

macedonia proves downside nationalism

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

if you think that nationalism is v.v. good. you might be one who is confusing nationalism with patriotism. yes, you live in a nation-state. and we talk about the different nations around the world. but the word nationalism is tied to ethnicity. it’s the people who sit around thinking that because their blood is macedonian and not (in this case of macedonia) albanian, that they are better. nationalism is about attributing specific –dare we say magical, characteristics to your ethnicity that makes it unique. white is not an ethnicity. so in the former colonies of the united kingdom, for instance, or france, this plays out domestically as racism. a canadian nationalist, if one exists, would be one who thinks that candians have special ethnic attributes but since canadian is a nationality and not an ethnicity one could argue that it’s not possible to be a canadian nationalist. this is of course if one adheres to the 20th century definition of nationalism.

in this instance it has lead to the ruling party in macedonia–in a last ditch effort to hold onto power and cushy jobs, reportedly hiring nationalists to storm storm parliament to keep an albanian from being elected parliament speaker.

at the moment we are talking off the top of our heads, so we will steer clear of insisting that something is a fact. but from what we here at ablogaboutwhatever have read, basically, there was an election and the ruling party was not able to get enough support in parialment to form a government. the opposition parties cobbled together enough support with the center left party in pole position and in the end the albanian minority was part of this coalition. the president (from the ruling party) vetoed this grouping. but the parties moved forward to select a speaker. immediately after electing the first albanian speaker of macedonian parliament, nationalists broke into the parliamentary building and beat up the head of the center left party as well as loads of other people. reportedly this sacking of the parliament was organized and/or encouraged by the former ruling party. some think they are trying to hold onto power due to a corruption scandal that dates back to about 2015. as long as they control parliament (apparently) the members have immunity (apparently).

you can watch the video below. because this is what nationalism looks like. along with videos that provide background information from the FT.com which is a good unbiased source, then there are videos from euronews (which is partially owned by NBC) and a video from aljazeera from march that provides background information about the crisis in macedonia. both of which have their own particular biases. but we think it is good to get information from a variety of sources whenever possible.

marine le pen limits media access to events

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

marine le pen won’t give access to le figaro, le monde, afp and major tv stations like RTL and public TV channels BFMTV (which hosted a presidential debate in the first round of france’s election) and France 24.

is this the hand of steve bannon or former trump flunky corey lewandowski. should foreigners be allowed to destabilize a democracy?

trump by sidelining the traditional press during the primaries such as the washington post has ensured that he will forever receive negative coverage. breitbart carried trump over the finish line without a mandate. it did not have to be that way.

in france there is no alt right movement with pepe le frog memes.  le pen even had trouble getting the needed signatures to place her name on the ballot as no one but bridget bardot publicly admits to supporting front nationale.

as joe scarbourough from msnbc once said, this is an unwinnable fight.

 

right and far right media turn on ivanka

Friday, April 28th, 2017

many many people from the right are turning on ivanka trump – kushner and jared kushner. from alex jones (king of fake news) to rush limbaugh (more of a conservative radio talkshow host). last week infoward devoted an inordinate amount of video footage to detailing how ivanka was in the back pocket of globalists. so this was not triggered by ivanka’s recent visit to berlin (where she was booed by female corporatist globalists). according to politico, 61% of americans disapprove of ivanka and jared kushner being elevated to senior positions in the white house. hell, they the majority most likely would disapprove if those positions were also junior positions. partially because nepotism does not sit well with people from western democracies. donald trump is on the verge of turning the US into an annex of africa. trump may have went out of his way at every corner to mention barack obama’s father’s kenya roots. but maybe someone might want to go out of their way to mention trump’s love of all things slavic and how that particular part of the world, in terms of politics is known for cronyism, nepotisim and clientism. at this moment we would like to link to the urban dictionary’s definition of clientism as it is accurate and incredibly entertaining. we at a blog go out of our way to link to wikipedia as a source, given that wikipedia suffers from all sorts of terrible biases that come from autistic people constantly updating their website.

maybe melania trump and beavis and butthead (aka don jr and eric) are the smart ones in the trump family. better to stay in the background. no one will challenge melania too hard on trump’s behavior or boo her at a gathering, as she has made the choice to follow in the paths of former first ladies michelle obama and laura bush.

mind you, ivanka trump is not the first child to enter the white house as an adult. george w. bush and jeb bush were adults when george the elder became president. how would americans had reacted had the bush children had a political yet non-paid political position in the white house? ivanka, by accepting a political (yet unpaid) position in the white house with a president who is unpopular worldwide has opened herself up to international ridicule. she might think she is helping to humanize her father. but this is not possible anymore. not even goebbels could put a good spin on the trumpster. but shaving off trump’s combover might be the way forward.

even when george w. bush was incredibly unpopular, laura bush and the bush twins came out smelling like roses. in fact, americans now nostalgically remember the bush twins and the preppies in the white house.

did US company whirlpool target macron’s town for shutdown

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

given that the current whirlpool CEO jeff fettig grew up in the US state of indiana and attended the same university as mike pence–the current US vice president and also an indiana native (as well as the state’s former governor), we were wondering if it was a coincidence that whirlpool’s factory in northern france was pegged for closing. and to add insult to injury, it is being moved to poland. which probably isn’t sitting well with theanti-globalist eurosceptics in france.

this announcement by whirlpool was made at the end of january 2017. the plant is located in emmanuel marcon’s hometown amiens. alex jones conspiracy theories anyone? we actually think that it is most likely a coincidence. because at that time it was assumed that marine le pen and francois fillon would take the top 2 spots of the first round of the french presidential elections.do we think mike pence is a devious so-and-so who wants to destroy the european union from within. no. that would be donald trump and steve bannon.

marine accused of 5M EUR fraud by EU

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

the european commission has accused presidential candidate of putting her bodyguard and chief of staff on the payroll for he mep gig in parliament. the initial 300k-ish calculation now looks more like 5M-ish.

trump reverses on nafta

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

after announcing the intention of increasing tariffs on wood imported to the US from canada, the trump administration followed this with an announcement that his administration was laying the groundwork for pulling out of the north american free trade agreement (NAFTA). today the wall street journal reports that the trump administration has announced that it is not pulling out of nafta. since wilbur ross is commerce secretary we are wondering whether he can take credit for the announcement of the pullout or the reversal?

we at a blog about whatever are very much free trade. in the classical liberal (with a small “l”) sense. and we are big fans of adam smith, the father of capitalism who embraced free trade. we believe the term fair trade is a nothing word. laissez-faire capitalism has been a success. it is one reason that when the berlin wall fell in 1989, people from the then west germany did not make a mad dash to the then east germany (GDR).

getting back to nafta. we think that canada did a good thing by allowing visa free travel to canada for mexicans. we would like to see the usa move in a more friendly direction with its south american neighbors. the announcement of the intention to shutdown nafta, drove the pesos down and prompted mexico to announce it would re-think how it dealt jointly with international security issues with the united states. as statistics have proven, the number of mexican citizens emigrating to the usa has dramatically fell between 2009 and 2014. so obviously this reversal pre-dates trump. and the people crossing the mexican boarder are mostly from south american and central america.

jean-marie le pen or bannon

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

on monday jean-marie le pen, the founder of france’s far right front nationale party public aired advice to his daughter. he said that he thought she had not been aggressive enough in the first round of the presidential election. marine le pen claims to have tossed her father out of the front nationale. but days later marine le pen spontaneously shows up at a factory where emmanuel macron, the en marche!’s presidential candidate, was scheduled to speak and meet with union leaders.

it is the same story with le pen. in around about way she is using eastern europe and the european union as a whipping boy. despite her sitting in the european parliament and earning around 85K EURearning around 85K EUR (just under 100K USD) as a base salary, 69K EUR for expenses which is provided to MEPs in a lump payment. if you are from a developed country, this is not a lot of money. especially for a woman who grew up in a castle that is valued at 5M EUR (which she and her sister will inherit) with a wonderful view of paris and lived on the estate until recently.

but who is advising le pen? steve bannon? conspiracy theorists might think that it is no coincidence that loads of inside information leaked about francois fillion around the time steve bannon was on donald trump’s national security councilloads of inside information leaked about francois fillion around the time steve bannon was on donald trump’s national security council at the end of january/beginning of september. how would anyone know that fillion’s wife worked with him all those years and received a salary? the perception is that fillion did something wrong. while during that period it was common for politicians have their spouses work with them and pay them a salary. but the perception of nepotism was something fillion never recovered from. so we are wondering what information bannon has passed on to le pen about emmanuel macron? given that he is only 39 it can’t be much.

even if bannon is serving as an informal adviser to marine le pen, we think that laws for countries worldwide should forbid politicans from hiring foreigners to work on political campaigns. david axelrod, barack obama’s first campaign manager and first chief of staff, worked on david millbrand’s campaign (former labour party candidate in the UK) and theresa may (who has the misfortune of sharing a name with a porn star) is reportedly using barack obama’s second campaign manager to run her spring/summer campaign.

le pen upends macron

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

how exciting is the french presidential election? today marine le pen showed up unannounced to a whirlpool plant in amines (in northern france) while emmanual macron was there meeting with union leaders. le pen walked around taking selfies with the workers while macron met with union leaders. was this a coup. given that the plant is being threatened with being moved to poland, what is most effective is to work directly with the trade unions and with management. macron was effective in later coming out and speaking directly with workers. en marche’s youtube channel has recently posted of macron speaking with the employees and his response to le pen’s attempted disruption.

as you might be able to guess. we are not exactly huge fans of le pen. marine is like a mix of the UK’s corbyn and the US’s ted cruz. in the end one could not buy into ted cruz because everyone knows that most americans think flat taxers are nuts. and with marine le pen, ultimately we know that her call for france to leave the euro would destroy france’s economy and take the world down with it. it would be like what would happen if aliens were to hover over earth with a giant magnet.

anyone whether or the right or left even if he is a sucker for the simple solutions of populists, instinctively knows that if one day poof! the euro is gone and then poof! the franc re-appears–that this slight of hand involves more than just well, magic.

this does not mean we are for emmanuel macron. as we think he’s a plant by france’s socialist party and we are very against socialism. the proof that socialism and wealth re-distribution does not work is seen in the millions of people from the former soviet block countries such as lithuania and poland streaming into the country that produced adam smith. but we recognized that francois hollande and his government made the attempt to losen the screws on the closed labor markets. but french people are very conservative with a small “c” and have angst about losing what is left of what they have. which has led to hollande’s 4% approval rating and him not running for re-election. but more about that later.

ivanka humiliated in berlin

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

now that ivanka has sought to trademark a name that ever other woman in the balkans is named, let’s too stop using trump. ivanka made the fatal mistake of bullying her way into a g20 womens summit meeting in berlin. as she talked about having zero clue about what her status in the white house really was, the head of the IMF, christine lafarge looked on. lafarge, a woman who has fought her way to the heights of power was forced to sit next to a woman who has been given everything by her billionare father. it was a bit approriate that she was also sitting next to a member of the netherland’s monarchy. *this post has been updated with 1 new video as the previous you tube video was turned to private.*

time magazine fake news cuts berlin boos from ivanka video

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

you can find it here.