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Not with a Bang, but a Whimper . . . .

[1]

The “EU Eth­ic”

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s pro­pa­ganda chief, once said [3]: ‘In 50 years’ time nobody will think of nation states.’

NB: Updat­ed on 4/26/2013.

COMMENT: In recent years, we’ve been treat­ed to plen­ty of right-wing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries about “One World Government/New World Order” etc. Inton­ing about the loom­ing apoc­a­lypse in which the Unit­ed Nations would take over the Unit­ed States using Russ­ian troops, guid­ed by secret direc­tions on the back of traf­fic signs, they have gar­nered a sur­pris­ing degree of atten­tion.

Mean­while a very real ero­sion of nation­al sov­er­eign­ty and per­son­al lib­er­ty is tak­ing place under our noses in Europe. In Europe, the nation-state is being forced into obso­les­cence, and there is lit­tle dis­cus­sion of this stag­ger­ing devel­op­ment.

Instead, we are hear­ing about the Boston bomb­ing, gay mar­riage, the sequester, Korea and the “usu­al sus­pects,” the Kar­dashi­an fam­i­ly and the oth­er denizens of the Tabloid Empire.

With the cit­i­zens of Greece hav­ing had the neo-fas­cist LAOS par­ty [4] installed by fiat, cour­tesy of the “troi­ka,” and with the Ger­man gov­ern­ment hav­ing reviewed the Irish bud­get [5] BEFORE that coun­try’s par­lia­ment had seen it, fun­da­men­tal incur­sions on sov­er­eign­ty are becom­ing rou­tine with rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle notice. (Pho­to cred­it at right: TattooArtists.org.)

[6]

Der Siegel makes an ass out of itself

Angela Merkel has for­mal­ly stat­ed that EU mem­bers must sur­ren­der sov­er­eign­ty on fis­cal mat­ters. Qui­et­ly, the EU is turn­ing to con­trol­ling media, while Europol, its police force, has suc­cess­ful­ly tak­en a num­ber of steps that many would see as intru­sive, with lit­tle or no real appli­ca­tion to law enforce­ment.

We find the media com­po­nent of the EU’s reg­u­la­to­ry machin­ery to be par­tic­u­lar­ly omi­nous. Note the recent New York Times sto­ry below, the lat­est in a series of arti­cles that have sur­faced about how des­per­ate things have got­ten in Greece.

Der Spiegel recent­ly float­ed a dis­in­for­ma­tion piece about Ger­mans being poor­er than the cit­i­zens of south­ern Europe. In the future, might we see sto­ries like the Times piece cen­sored, because such things are deemed to be “bad” for aus­ter­i­ty.

There has been much talk of the cur­tail­ing of pri­va­cy and civ­il lib­er­ties in the wake of 9/11. Sov­er­eign nations can–theoretically–reverse course at any time and imple­ment leg­isla­tive and exec­u­tive ini­tia­tives to cor­rect imbal­ances of any kind. 

How would one go about cor­rect­ing the impo­si­tion of anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions by for­eign nations?

Amer­i­cans should be aware of the pos­si­bil­i­ties here. Could a future trade pact between Europe and the U.S. rope Amer­i­ca into the Ger­man straight jack­et?

Oh, and why DID Ger­many just move its gold bul­lion reserves out of Amer­i­can and British vaults? What do they have in mind?

“Merkel Says Euro Mem­bers Must Be Pre­pared to Cede Sov­er­eign­ty” by Noah Barkin; [7] Reuters; 4/22/2013. [7]

EXCERPT: Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel said on Mon­day that euro zone mem­bers must be pre­pared to cede con­trol over cer­tain pol­i­cy domains to Euro­pean insti­tu­tions if the bloc is tru­ly to over­come its debt cri­sis and win back for­eign investors.

Speak­ing at an event host­ed by Deutsche Bank in Berlin along­side Pol­ish Prime Min­is­ter Don­ald Tusk, Merkel also defend­ed her approach to the cri­sis against crit­ics who argue she has put too much empha­sis on aus­ter­i­ty, say­ing Europe must find a way to deliv­er both growth and sol­id finances.

The com­ments came two months before Euro­pean lead­ers are due to gath­er in Brus­sels to dis­cuss mov­ing towards a so-called “fis­cal union.

Expec­ta­tions are low, in part because an eas­ing of the cri­sis has reduced pres­sure on lead­ers to pro­duce a big leap for­ward in inte­gra­tion, but also due to dif­fer­ences between Ger­many and its part­ners, notably France, over the next steps.

“We seem to find com­mon solu­tions when we are star­ing over the abyss,” Merkel said. “But as soon as the pres­sure eas­es, peo­ple say they want to go their own way.

“We need to be ready to accept that Europe has the last word in cer­tain areas. Oth­er­wise we won’t be able to con­tin­ue to build Europe,” she added.
Tusk said it would be “dan­ger­ous” if oth­er coun­tries in Europe felt Ger­many was impos­ing its own eco­nom­ic mod­el across the entire bloc. . . .

“New EU Gestapo Spies on Britons ” by Mary Reynolds; Dai­ly Express; 3/26/2010. [8]

EXCERPT: Europol can access per­son­al infor­ma­tion on any­one – includ­ing their polit­i­cal opin­ions and sex­u­al pref­er­ences – if it sus­pects, right­ly or wrong­ly, that they may be involved in any “prepara­to­ry act” which could lead to crim­i­nal activ­i­ty.

The vague­ness of the Hague-based force’s remit sparked furi­ous protests yes­ter­day with crit­ics warn­ing that the EU snoop­ers threat­en our right to free speech. . . .

. . . . Until Jan­u­ary 1, Europol was a police office fund­ed by var­i­ous states to help tack­le inter­na­tion­al organ­ised crime. But it has been reborn as the offi­cial crim­i­nal intel­li­gence-gath­er­ing arm of the EU and Brus­sels has vast­ly increased its pow­ers.

It can now tar­get more than sim­ply organ­ised crime and the bur­den of proof required to begin mon­i­tor­ing an indi­vid­ual has been down­grad­ed.
Europol has also been absorbed into the EU super­struc­ture, so it will be cen­tral­ly fund­ed, sweep­ing away a key check on its inde­pen­dence.

Cam­paign­ers last night expressed con­cern over the vague list of “seri­ous crimes” which the agency can help inves­ti­gate, which include racism and xeno­pho­bia, envi­ron­men­tal crime and cor­rup­tion. Among per­son­al details that can be gath­ered and stored are “behav­iour­al data” includ­ing “lifestyle and rou­tine; move­ments; places fre­quent­ed”, tax posi­tion and pro­files of DNA and voice.

Where rel­e­vant, Europol will also be able to keep data on a person’s “polit­i­cal opin­ions, reli­gious or philo­soph­i­cal beliefs or trade union mem­ber­ship and data con­cern­ing health or sex life”.

Sean Gabb, direc­tor of the Lib­er­tar­i­an Alliance, warned that it threat­ened our right to free speech.

“It doesn’t sur­prise me that Europol has been hand­ed these rather fright­en­ing pow­ers,” he said. “We now live in a pan-Euro­pean state so it was to be expect­ed that it would have a fed­er­al police force with pow­ers over us.

“There is a real dan­ger that oppo­si­tion to EU poli­cies could make an indi­vid­ual liable to arrest. . . .

“EU Uses Pub­lic Cash to Back Groups that Want to Sti­fle Press Free­dom” by Daniel Mar­tin; Dai­ly Mail [UK]; 4/14/2013. [9]

EXCERPT: Brus­sels is pump­ing mil­lions of pounds of pub­lic mon­ey into groups ded­i­cat­ed to sti­fling a free Press, it emerged yes­ter­day.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is help­ing to fund groups seek­ing state-backed reg­u­la­tion of news­pa­pers, includ­ing key allies of Hugh Grant’s Hacked Off cam­paign.

One – called Medi­a­dem – has a mis­sion state­ment to ‘reclaim a free and inde­pen­dent media’ and is demand­ing tougher sanc­tions than ‘an apol­o­gy or cor­rec­tion’.

The EU has spent £2.3million on the pre­vi­ous­ly unpub­li­cised project.

The com­mis­sion says it wants to be a ‘moral com­pass’ against press mis­con­duct and is seek­ing new nation­al and Europe-wide reg­u­la­to­ry pow­ers against news­pa­pers.

But crit­ics say it is only tak­ing such a stance because of the unfavourable cov­er­age that Euro­pean insti­tu­tions get in the Press.

Philip Davies, a Tory mem­ber of the Cul­ture Select Com­mit­tee, said: ‘Giv­en the scan­dals in the EU and rev­e­la­tions of its mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of fund­ing, it is no sur­prise that Europe wants to restrict the free press which can uncov­er its cor­rup­tion. . . .

“Euro­pean Union Spend­ing Mil­lions to Silence Crit­ics” by Samuel Westrop; The Gate­stone Insti­tute; 4/254/2013. [10]

EXCERPT: Audi­tors have refused to sign off on EU accounts for 18 years in a row, and EU offi­cials have been sacked for expos­ing cor­rup­tion and fraud with­in the vast bureau­cra­cy.

The Euro­pean Union (EU) is pour­ing mil­lions of pounds into orga­ni­za­tions that advo­cate state con­trol of the press. For many, the fund­ing — uncov­ered recent­ly by Tele­graph jour­nal­ist Andrew Gilli­gan — is yet fur­ther evi­dence of the EU’s increas­ing­ly Orwellian, author­i­tar­i­an nature. . . .

. . . . One recip­i­ent of Euro­pean tax­pay­ers’ mon­ey, Medi­a­dem, for exam­ple, has been giv­en 2.3 mil­lion pounds. Medi­a­dem describes its mis­sion as work­ing to “reclaim a free and inde­pen­dent media.” Address­ing the top­i­cal issue of how to restruc­ture the sys­tem of redress for those wrong­ful­ly accused or defamed by news­pa­pers, Medi­a­dem rec­om­mends the “impo­si­tion of sanc­tions beyond an apol­o­gy or cor­rec­tion” and the “co-ordi­na­tion of the jour­nal­is­tic pro­fes­sion at the Euro­pean lev­el.”

Medi­adem’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Dr Crau­furd Smith, has writ­ten, “Lib­er­al con­cep­tions of media free­dom focus on edi­to­r­i­al free­dom for gov­ern­ment inter­fer­ence.... [how­ev­er] states may also be required to take pos­i­tive mea­sures to cur­tail the influ­ence of pow­er­ful eco­nom­ic or polit­i­cal groups.... this entails that nei­ther the media, nor those indi­vid­u­als who own or work for the media, enjoy an absolute right to free­dom of expres­sion.”

This is not the first time the EU has sought to con­trol free­dom of expres­sion. In 2001, the Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice ruled that the EU was allowed to sup­press polit­i­cal crit­i­cism of its insti­tu­tions and of lead­ing fig­ures. The court ruled that the EU was law­ful­ly allowed to pun­ish indi­vid­u­als who “dam­aged the insti­tu­tion’s image and rep­u­ta­tion.”

The Euro­pean Court of Jus­tice is the EU’s high­est court. Its advo­cate gen­er­al, Dama­so Ruiz-Jarabo Colom­er, had pre­vi­ous­ly argued that a book crit­i­ciz­ing EU finan­cial pol­i­cy was akin to extreme blas­phe­my, and thus not pro­tect­ed by free speech laws.

The attack against free­dom of expres­sion has extend­ed to eco­nom­ic infor­ma­tion. In 2011, an EU offi­cial pro­posed a ban on the issu­ing of sov­er­eign cred­it rat­ings for coun­tries in bailout talks. Michel Barnier, a Euro­pean inter­nal mar­ket com­mis­sion­er, said, “I think it’s legit­i­mate to have a spe­cial treat­ment when a coun­try is in nego­ti­a­tion or is cov­ered by an inter­na­tion­al sol­i­dar­i­ty pro­gram with the IMF or a Euro­pean sol­i­dar­i­ty”.

“Ger­mans Poor­er than Cypri­ots” by Bojan Pancevs­ki; Sun­day Times [UK]; 4/21/2013. [10]

EXCERPT: Angela Merkel has come under intense pres­sure ahead of September’s elec­tion over a study that shows Ger­mans are poor­er than the south­ern Euro­peans bailed out in large part by the Ger­man tax­pay­er.

The study, by the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank (ECB), revealed that the aver­age Ger­man house­hold is poor­er than those in coun­tries such as Cyprus, Spain and Greece.

A Ger­man house­hold, accord­ing to the ECB research, has assets of €195,000 (£167,000). That fig­ure is more than three times high­er in Cyprus, the lat­est euro­zone coun­try to receive a bailout, where the aver­age net wealth of house­holds amounts to €671,000 (£575,000).

The news prompt­ed a back­lash in the Ger­man press. The best­selling tabloid Bild ran a series of arti­cles with head­lines such as “Bank­rupt Cypri­ots earn more than Ger­mans!”. . . .

“More Chil­dren in Greece Are Going Hungry“by Liz Alder­man; The New York Times; 4/17/2013. [11]

EXCERPT: As an ele­men­tary school prin­ci­pal, Leonidas Nikas is used to see­ing chil­dren play, laugh and dream about the future. But recent­ly he has seen some­thing alto­gether dif­fer­ent, some­thing he thought was impos­si­ble in Greece: chil­dren pick­ing through school trash cans for food; needy young­sters ask­ing play­mates for left­overs; and an 11-year-old boy, Pan­telis Petrakis, bent over with hunger pains.

“He had eat­en almost noth­ing at home,” Mr. Nikas said, sit­ting in his cramped school office near the port of Piraeus, a work­ing-class sub­urb of Athens, as the sound of a jump rope skit­tered across the play­ground. He con­fronted Pantelis’s par­ents, who were ashamed and embar­rassed but admit­ted that they had not been able to find work for months. Their sav­ings were gone, and they were liv­ing on rations of pas­ta and ketchup.

“Not in my wildest dreams would I expect to see the sit­u­a­tion we are in,” Mr. Nikas said. “We have reached a point where chil­dren in Greece are com­ing to school hun­gry. Today, fam­i­lies have dif­fi­cul­ties not only of employ­ment, but of sur­vival.”

The Greek econ­omy is in free fall, hav­ing shrunk by 20 per­cent in the past five years. The unem­ploy­ment rate is more than 27 per­cent, the high­est in Europe, and 6 of 10 job seek­ers say they have not worked in more than a year. Those dry sta­tis­tics are reshap­ing the lives of Greek fam­i­lies with chil­dren, more of whom are arriv­ing at schools hun­gry or under­fed, even mal­nour­ished, accord­ing to pri­vate groups and the gov­ern­ment itself.

Last year, an esti­mated 10 per­cent of Greek ele­men­tary and mid­dle school stu­dents suf­fered from what pub­lic health pro­fes­sion­als call “food inse­cu­rity,” mean­ing they faced hunger or the risk of it, said Dr. Athena Linos, a pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Athens Med­ical School who also heads a food assis­tance pro­gram at Pro­lep­sis, a non­govern­men­tal pub­lic health group that has stud­ied the sit­u­a­tion. “When it comes to food inse­cu­rity, Greece has now fall­en to the lev­el of some African coun­tries,” she said. . . .