Earlier this week five cities in Germany saw stabbing attacks on the same day. Several individuals have been hospitalized, and at least two migrants from Iraq and Afghanistan have been declared suspects in connection with the brutal attacks.
This level of violence was once considered a rarity in Germany. However, since the migrant crisis began in 2015, that seems to have all changed.
The first attack happened around 4:40 am on Sunday morning in the city of Cologne following an altercation at a local hookah bar. The dispute escalated, violence broke out, and one of the men ended up stabbing the other multiple times with a sharp object. The victim had to be rushed to the emergency room for surgery so that he didn’t die from loss of blood, the German tabloid Bild reported.
German police later said that they had arrested the 26-year-old man in connection with the case. Apparently, both men were heavily intoxicated at the time of altercation and subsequent knife attack.
Another knife attack occurred in Lower Saxony in the town of Lingren where a 44-year-old woman was dragged from her bicycle by two men who then injured her with a knife. The two thugs were quick to flee the scene after the woman cried out for help. The town of Lingren has a population of just 52,353.
Police in the area have said that they’re investigating the frightening attack as a possible attempted murder. So far, they have been unable to identify the two assailants beyond the victim’s assertion that they were adolescents.
The same day in Nuremberg, another woman, this time only 18-years-old, was attacked around 5 in the morning after a night out with her 21-year-old friends, in what is believed to have been a completely random act of violence. After the young female victim gave police a description of her attacker, they soon arrested a 25-year-old Iraqi asylum seeker in connection with the senseless knife attack.
German police also want a man who has been described as having an Arabic background for another stabbing that took place in Mülheim an der Ruhr. The victim of the knife attack claimed that he had been lured to the place of the attack by an acquaintance where he was then attacked upon his arrival.
The suspect in the fifth knife attack in Frankfurt was only 19-year-old. He called the police and gave himself up after it was alleged that he had taken part in the stabbing of a 22-year-old, along with seven other attackers, which resulted in the victim’s hospitalization.
These five knife attacks come just two months after three women in Nuremberg were stabbed, and a bit over a month after an Afghan migrant killed the unborn child of a pregnant 25-year-old Polish woman after stabbing her repeatedly with a knife.
What is going on in Germany? Why has there been an unprecedented amount of stabbings and sexual assaults in recent years? Could it have anything to do with the two million Middle Eastern and North African migrants that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has let into the country since the migrant crisis began in 2015?
All the hysteria on both sides over President Trump’s decision to provide an intermission in the government shutdown versus border barrier funding is misplaced. This game is not over, and neither side should be calling the outcome.
This was not – at least not yet – a capitulation on the part of the President. As I opined in other commentaries, Trump may have seen this as bringing the shutdown back from the edge of crisis, getting the federal workers pay up to day and appearing to be flexible on portions of the standoff. He could also get his State of the Union Speech rescheduled. If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues to stonewall the wall and refuse to negotiate in good faith, it could leave her and the Democrats in a more vulnerable position in the next round.
On a more ominous note, there have been widespread reports that Trump’s support in the Senate was about to collapse – meaning that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would allow a Continuing Resolution (CR) bill to go for a vote without Trump’s $5.7 billion – and that there were sufficient Republican defectors to override a presidential veto. That may be more wishful thinking on the part of the press than a reality. Despite the reports, no more than one or two senators seemed to be open to bolting on the issue.
Unless Trump had compelling information that he was losing Senate Republicans, he was mistaken to call off the shutdown – even temporarily. Yes, the problems were growing, and the pressure was building, but that is exactly what Trump needed to redirect the pressure onto Pelosi and the House Democrats – and least 19 of the 235 of them to vote with the House Republicans on a bill that included the $5.7 billion Trump requested.
So, what is the path forward for Trump?
The first consideration is what Trump should NOT do. He should not declare a national emergency. He should even stop threatening it. He does not get a clear win out of that because the action itself would be controversial. He would be taking appropriated money from other departments and agencies, and that is a problem. Also, the issue would drag on for some time in the federal courts. It is likely he would win that legal battle at the Supreme Court level, but things would be needlessly chaotic in the interim.
It is not an issue as to whether he has the power to declare a national emergency. He does. Every recent president has declared them – and often for issue far less serious than border security. We are currently living under 31 national declarations of emergency – one going all the way back to President Carter.
If Pelosi & Co. refuse his money for border barriers – the metaphoric wall – Trump essentially has only one choice – let the government shut down again and this time it stays shut until he gets enough Dems to say “uncle.”
Trump was getting closer to that point before he agreed to a short-term reprieve. The chant, “give him his money” was growing in the public and even among left-wingers. Re-opening the government unfortunately put off the day of reckoning and moved things closer to the 2020 election – that period in American politics where nothing rational is likely to happen.
And what about the issue of McConnell and the Senate GOP crumbling? If there desertion of the President is really a possibility, Trump has already lost the battle. In some ways, he may have been better off to let that play out during the shutdown. At least he would not have gotten the blame for caving.
The reason that I believe that enough senators will not actually override a Trump veto is because those that do drop their re-election chances to the low double digits.
So, there ‘tis.
Earlier this week on Tuesday, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, two of continental Europe’s preeminent globalist politicians and cocksure leaders, met in the ancient western German city of Aachen and signed a new Franco-German friendship treaty which Merkel has said ‘’contributes to the creation of a European army’.
The signing of this new treaty solidifies both Macron and Merkel’s firm commitment to globalist ideology and ending the notion of national sovereignty.
During a press conference, the German Chancellor stated that the pact seeks to construct a ‘common military culture’ between to two countries. She also called for the creation of a European Security Council which would act similarly to that of the Security Council of the United Nations. The council would be responsible for streamlining defense policy across the continent.
Macron and Merkel both seem to think that if they can raise a Franco-German-led EU army, that this will somehow protect them against the unrelenting tide of populism coming from the Visegrád countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia), Austria, and now Italy. The two couldn’t be any more mistaken.
Recent polls taken in both Germany and France suggest that the centrist, corporatist, globalist style of government that Merkel and Macron both promote is on its way out.
The people want national populism.
According to an Ifop poll that was taken in September – before the yellow vest protests began to mind you – only 29 percent of French citizens said they support Macron. This number has surely dropped since the yellow vest protests originally commenced in mid-November. In another poll conducted by Ifop, national populist Marine Le Pen from the National Rally party had more popular support than Macron.
So, if Macron and Merkel are going to attempt to raise a Franco-German-led European Army, they had better do it quickly because both leaders will more than likely be gone soon.
During the press conference that went on before the two leaders met behind closed doors, the German Chancellor warned against the rising nationalist sentiment spreading across the European continent.
Last year, Merkel unabashedly stated that ‘nation-states should be willing to give up their sovereignty today’ and this should be carried out in an ‘orderly fashion.’ This statement alone is more than enough to show how disconnected from ordinary people she has become.
This new Franco-German Treaty has drawn harsh criticism from many Western leaders.
US President Donald Trump immediately denounced the idea of creating an EU army. In a tweet, he said, ‘Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China, and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!’
The former leader of UKIP and diehard Brexiteer, Nigel Farage replied to Merkel’s speech, saying her comments only made him happier to be leaving the EU.
Gavin Williamson, British Defense Secretary and member of the Conservative party also denounced Merkel and Macron’s desire for a European army as an ‘absolutely crazy idea’ that would inevitably undermine peace and security on the continent.
A Polish member of the European Parliament, Ryszard Legutko, accused the supposedly center-right Angela Merkel as being identical to leftwing socialist politicians in Germany.
As the pro-globalist governments of France and Germany become increasingly isolated on the European continent, we should only expect their disconnected belligerence to increase until their people dispose of them like the trash that they are.
And as we’ve seen in France with the Mouvement des gilent jaunes (the yellow vest movement), this process is already well underway.
Maduro Orders Overhaul of Venezuela-US Relation After VP Pence Urges Anti-Communist Opposition Movement to Overthrow the Dictator
On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, following a video released by the U.S. Vice President where he expressed support for the Venezuelan anti-communist opposition movement and urged them to overthrow the ‘dictator,’ Maduro ordered a total revision of US-Venezuelan diplomatic relations.
The video was released just a day ahead of planned nationwide mass street demonstrations, organized by the anti-communist opposition led by the leader of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó. In Pence’s videotaped message where he speaks directly to the Venezuelan people, he denounces Maduro as ‘a dictator with no legitimate claim to power’ who has ‘never won the presidency in a free and fair election.’
Pence continued, saying, “The United States supports the courageous decision by Juan Guaidó, the president of National Assembly, to assert that body’s constitutional powers, declare Maduro a usurper and call for the establishment of a transitional government.”
VP Pence explicitly expressed to the 35-year-old anti-communist opposition leader that he and his followers have the support of the United States.
Only a few hours after Pence’s address, Maduro took to state TV and decried the speech as nothing less than flagrant and arrant meddling by the US into Venezuelan internal affairs. Madura added that Pence’s authorization of and support for a coup against him brought US-Venezuelan relations at a historic 200-year low.
Although the U.S. still maintains its embassy in the Venezuelan capital city of Caracas, it has been almost a decade since the two countries have exchanged ambassadors.
Maduro, a former bus driver, began his second term after he was ‘elected’ in May of 2018. The United States, the European Union, and an extensive collection of Latin American countries have referred to the election as illegitimate and a fraud.
Brazil’ newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro has expressed that his government would take any action ‘within the rule of law and democracy’ to oppose Madura’s authoritarian communist government.
Maduro initially assumed the powers and responsibilities of the President following the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013. Since he took control of the country, the socioeconomic status of Venezuela has plunged while crime, hunger, poverty, shortages of medicine, and inflation have all become rampant. The current situation in Venezuela is utterly dismal.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that inflation in the country is set to reach 10 million percent this year. The United Nations (UN) has reported that the number of refugees feeling Venezuela has now reached three million – a staggering figure considering the country is composed of just 30 million. That means 10 percent of the country’s total population has fled to surrounding Latin American states.
After two decades under communist rule, the situation in Venezuela seems to be headed towards some tipping point. When exactly and what that will look like – remains to be seen.
It’s no secret that as the biggest opposition party in the country, right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) poses a massive threat to globalist politicians like Angela Merkel.
This is precisely why earlier this week on Tuesday, Focus Magazine reported that Thomas Haldenwang, the newly installed head of the Verfassungsschutz (BfV), the German secret police, plans to put Alternative for Germany (AfD) under surveillance for purported ‘anti-democratic tendencies.’
Just in November of last year, former head of the BfV, Hans-Georg Maassen, was ousted from the position due to his vocal opposition against domestic intelligence in Germany observing the AfD.
A few months earlier in August, following the murder of two Germans by Middle Eastern migrants in the city of Chemnitz, mass protests against immigration were carried out by German civilians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced the demonstrations, calling them ‘Nazi manhunts,’ a ridiculous claim with zero evidence to back it up.
Massen, head of the BfV at the time, challenged Merkel on this outrageous claim that was of course echoed by the international mainstream press.
You can now begin to see the reason Massen was removed from his position. In true authoritarian fashion, Merkel couldn’t have the head of the domestic intelligence apparatus calling into question her unfounded claims.
The investigation into AfD marks the very first time in German history since World War II that a party seated in the Bundestag (German parliament) has been put under this degree of scrutiny.
After World War II, Germany adopted a new constitution which allows the government to restrict so-called ‘extremist’ ideologies via the monitoring or banning of parties deemed as ‘too extreme.’
In the case that German secret police do officially label the Alternative for Germany party as ‘extremist,’ government employees, teachers, lawyers, and others will be prevented from joining the populist party.
In a recent tweet, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas hinted at the latest report and suggested the ideas of AfD should be challenged instead of being limited or shut down by the government. He wrote, “Observing them won’t solve the problems. Above all, we need to deal with the AfD objectively and politically.”
Regarding the intelligence probe, AfD foreign policy spokesperson, Petr Bystron commented saying, “This is a pure propaganda campaign to smear us. The Verfassungsschutz has been keeping tabs on us for months and published a thousand-page report, which found no evidence whatsoever of any illegal activity. With the European and state elections coming, which promise to be a landslide for the AfD, the ruling parties need some way to attack us. This is the same secret police that has allowed Islamic terrorists to roam freely, such as Anis Amri, who perpetrated the 2016 Christmas market massacre. They are subject to political control by the ruling parties, who now are not hesitating to use them as a political weapon to club their opponents with.”
After narrowly missing the 5% electoral threshold to sit in the German parliament in 2013, four years later in 2017, the AfD successfully secured representation in 14 of the 16 German state parliaments, and became the third-largest party in Germany, laying claim to a total of 94 seats in the federal parliament.
Since 2017, support for populist parties across Europe has only continued to surge. As of today, Italy, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Slovakia all have populist politicians as heads of state and as ruling parties.
Globalist politicians like Merkel in Germany or Macron in France have reason to be afraid. Angela Merkel isn’t dumb. She sees the writing on the wall.
The only way for parties like her own to stay in power is to usurp the democratic process and attenuate the will of the German people.
The irony is that to both usurp the democratic process and limit the will of the German people. She must denounce and investigate the party with ever-increasing public support as anti-democratic.
New tensions have arisen between the United States and Turkey after Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, met with state officials in Ankara on Monday to discuss details about the US withdrawal from Syria.
Tensions first erupted after Bolton said the US retreat was conditional on the safety of US-backed Kurdish fighters – a group who Turkey regards as terrorists.
Bolton traveled to Ankara seeking assurance that when the US pulls its 2,000 troops out of neighboring Syria, the Turkish will not attack Syrian allies of the US on the ground.
What he received instead was a big snub. Turkish President Erdogan, who refused to meet with Bolton personally, said, “No one should expect us to accept or swallow national security adviser Bolton’s comments.” He insisted that there was no need to meet with Bolton when he could speak to Trump at any time on the phone.
Erdogan has insisted repeatedly that his government does not make a distinction between ISIS and the Kurdish YGP, saying, “If they’re terrorists, we will do what necessary no matter where they come from is.”
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has served as the primary proxy ground force for the US intervention inside of Syria.
For a long time now, Turkey has condemned Washington’s military relationship with the Kurdish YPG in Syria because of the group’s ties to the banned Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) in Turkey.
Trump first announced US troop withdrawal in Syria on December 19 after a telephone conversation with Erdogan but has since backpedaled, stating that the removal would be made cautiously over a more extended period.
We all know what that means…
Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Arab, Kurdish, Assyrian/Syriac, Chechen and Turkmen forces who have participated in the Syrian civil war, feel betrayed by the US – calling the withdrawal a “stab in the back.” Without US backing and support, they surely would be demolished by the superior Turkish military.
Inside of the US, officials inside of both Republican and Democratic parties have denounced Trump’s plan to withdraw troops as an unacceptable geopolitical concession to Russia and Iran.
Trump now finds himself in an awkward position as he will be unable to please everyone in this situation.
Recent statements given by top officials from the Trump administration, including John Bolton, have suggested that the illegal presence of the US military in Syria, in some form, will continue for the foreseeable future.
So, the quarter-century of continual war for hegemony over the oil-abundant and religiously fanatic Middle East doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Quite the opposite, as a broader regional and possible global conflict, threatens to erupt.
On Monday night, 66-year-old Frank Magnitz, a state chairman and MP of the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party was savagely beaten, seriously injured, and left for dead by three masked assailants in what’s being called a politically motivated assassination attempt.
Magnitz was reportedly attacked in Bremen’s Goetheplatz as he left a new year reception at Kunsthalle art museum. Police have said that the AfD politician was bludgeoned over the head repeatedly with an unknown object. He was left with a gruesome gash on his forehead along with severe bruising near his right eye.
Prominent members of the AfD have blamed anti-fascist activists for the assault, and have claimed that the violence was a result of “the everyday incitement against the AfD, for the media and politicians of the old parties are responsible.”
On Tuesday, when German police and members from the press spoke with Mr. Magnitz he stated that he had little memory of the events of Monday night.
This attack marks the second attack on the growing right-wing populist party in less than one week. Late last week, AfD’s regional office in Döbeln, a small town in East Germany, was damaged in a suspected bomb explosion. Fortunately, no one was injured in that incident.
German politicians and members of the government from all sides of the political spectrum have condemned the brutal attack.
The speaker of the German parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble, stated, “Violence cannot and should never be a means of political debate. Political debate must be conducted in such a way that it can not give rise to hatred or aggravation, still less violence.”
Jörg Meuthen, the AfD party spokesman, tweeted a photo of Mr. Magnitz lying in his hospital bed unconscious with a gaping head wound.
Another spokesman for the party says that Magnitz remains hospitalized and in serious condition.
In 2017, Alternative for Germany became the first national populist party to enter the national parliament (Bundestag) since the 1960s. The party now occupies 94 seats in the Bundestag and has representatives in every state parliament in the country. The AfD now represents the third largest party in Germany.
Many consider the AfD as a natural ally of our President Donald Trump. They were among the first German parties to congratulate Trump after his 2016 presidential election victory. Like Trump, the AfD platform stresses the need for secure borders, a return to traditional values, and stands up for the well-being of native working class citizens.
Look for AfD to make gains in the European Parliament elections in May of 2019.
On June 9th, 1967, without mercy, a pincer air and sea attack force descended upon an unarmed American naval vessel sailing approximately a dozen miles off of Egypt’s Sinai coast. The name of that vessel was the USS Liberty. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the Israeli assault on the USS Liberty.
The attack occurred during the Six Day War or the 3rd Arab-Israeli war, which was fought between the 5th and 10th of June by Israel and the states of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. The US was formally neutral during this conflict.
If I were a betting man, which I am, I would be willing to bet that you’ve probably never heard anything about this vicious military attack Israel carried out against our nation. Perhaps, you should question why the lying mainstream media hasn’t covered it one bit? Could it be that they would rather have you not know anything about it? The story indeed runs counter to the commonly espoused narrative that Israel is one of our greatest allies.
The Israeli attack on the USS Liberty is among the worst offenses in history against any noncombatant U.S. naval vessel. Unfortunately, the offense remains shrouded in secrecy, and for a good reason. If the American people were to ever find out about what happened on that day, they certainly wouldn’t be willing to give 3.2 billion dollars in aid each year to Israel any longer. Furthermore, Americans might be a little bit more concerned about the number of dual US-Israeli citizens in our congress, mass media and state department.
During the assault which lasted multiple hours, 34 American servicemen were slaughtered, and 173 more were wounded after Israeli torpedo boats and planes pounded the navy intelligence vessel mercilessly. Audio evidence of conversations between Israeli Air Force pilots and their controllers back at base has confirmed without a doubt that Israel knew just sixteen minutes into the attack that the vessel was indeed American. Quite probably, they knew the ship was American before even beginning the attack.
American sailors who attempted to flee the damaged vessel in lifeboats were gunned down by Israeli torpedo boats who circled the area surrounding the Liberty – a war crime as stated in the Geneva convention.
The attack on the USS Liberty represents the single most significant loss of life by the U.S. Intelligence Community and the second deadliest against a U.S. Naval ship since World War II.
So, why did Israel, our supposed ally, do this to us?
Survivors of the attack have long maintained the view that Israel’s primary goal was to wipe out the entire crew and sink the ship as a means of scapegoating blame for the incident onto Egypt, whom they were at war with at the time.
Okay, but why exactly would Israel want its ‘ally’ the U.S. to think that Egypt was responsible for the attack?
The answer is simple and lies in what is known as a ‘false flag’ attack. In attacking the USS Liberty, Israel looked to shift public blame for the incident onto Egypt as a way to provoke President Lyndon Johnson and the U.S. public into declaring war on Israel’s sworn enemy and Egyptian Arab Nationalist, Gamal Abdel Nasser. This was clearly in Israel’s interest.
Following the attack, the Navy Court of Inquiry’s investigation proceedings were held in closed sessions. All survivors who were on board the USS Liberty were given gag orders which forbid them to speak about what they went through on that day.
Retired Admiral Thomas Moorer, a former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairpersons, spent a year investigating the ambush as a part of an independently formed panel which was composed of former military officials and US ambassadors. Admiral Moorer described the attack on the USS Liberty and the political response to it as, “one of the classic all-American cover-ups.”
At a news conference, Moorer asked, “Why would our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own?” Everyone who’s reading this should be pondering the same question.
A former Navy attorney who helped to lead the military investigation of the attack stated that former President Lyndon Johnson along with Robert McNamara, his defense secretary, ordered the that the probe conclude that the event was an accident.
A senior Israeli lead pilot who was ordered to attack the naval vessel held many interviews with former Congressman Paul N. McCloskey where said that he had immediately recognized the Liberty as American and informed headquarters. After being ordered to ignore the American flag and to carry out the attack, he refused and returned to base where he was subsequently arrested. Damning evidence, indeed.
A dual citizen Israeli major who was present in an Israeli war room during the attack said that he heard the pilot’s radio report and that the attacking pilots and those in the war room all knew that they were attacking an American naval vessel. Later the same man recanted his statement after he reportedly received threating phone calls.
An in-depth analysis of the attack which was described as “most detailed and accurate account of the Israeli attack,” was published by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, John Crewsdon in the Chicago Tribune. Just a year later, Crewsdon was fired from the paper after having worked there for 24 years.
Even though Israel apologized for the destructive offensive against the Liberty, it has continuously maintained that misidentification of the ship caused the attack.
Should we believe them?
Well, considering the evidence at hand, wouldn’t it be utterly naïve and silly to do so? With all of this in mind, perhaps it’s time that the US reconsider its cozy relationship with Israel?
To find out more information on the USS Liberty attack, check out “The Day Israel Attacked America,” by award-winning British filmmaker, Richard Belfield.
The populist right and left have united across Europe in a massive revolt against the corrupt neoliberal world order.
Working class Europeans of every political persuasion and age are in revolt. From France to Sweden, the U.K. to Germany, Belgium to the Netherlands, everyday people are taking to the streets to voice their discontent with the present neoliberal system – a corrupt system which has failed them. Similar protests have surfaced in Greece, Serbia, Croatia and to a lesser extent Hungary.
You may be asking yourself just how the present system has failed ordinary people. The better question, and the question you should be asking, however, is how has the current system not failed ordinary people.
Let us begin in France, at the epicenter of this populist revolt against the static,out-of-touch, plutocratic, pro-globalization, pro-EU, banking, media and political elite. Five weeks ago, on November 17th, a hike in fuel taxes served as the catalyst which initially sparked what’s being called ‘Mouvement des gilents jaunes’ or the Yellow Vest Movement. This was the last straw for the tired, overworked, overtaxed, and struggling French working and middle classes.
In the five weeks since the initial protest,Macron, in an effort to quell the month-long revolt, suspended the proposed fuel tax hike, and announced increases in the minimum wage and a tax cut for most pensioners. Despite these concessions, today, thousands of Yellow Vest protestors, old and young, are still out protesting.
So, what exactly are they calling for?
Until just recently, the demands of the Yellow Vest Movement were not entirely clear. That changed three days ago when the Official Charter of the Yellow Vests: 25 Demands to End the Crisis was drafted. The 25 demands are organized into four categories: Economy/Work, Politics, Health and Environment, and Geopolitical.
Among the demands include ending banking monopolies and breaking up ‘too big to fail’ banks, leaving the European Union (Frexit), ending mass immigration, removing globalist ideology from all national educational institutions, breaking up media monopolies, weakening Big Pharma’s influence on healthcare, and banning GMOs.
Alain De Benoist, a prominent French philosopher, academic and political intellectual has described the Yellow Vest Movement as ‘populism in its purest form’. The symbol of the yellow vest embodies this expression of pure populism. But how?
In France, it is obligatory to carry a yellow vest in your car, so practically everyone owns one. There is perhaps no better uniform or article of clothing that can be used to symbolize the worker or proletariat, and thus the populist movement. Think about it. Who are the ones building our bridges,buildings and skyscrapers? Who are the ones fixing the roads we drive on? What about firefighters, airport workers or those who are fixing our telephone and electricity lines? Every one of these essential workers wears a high visibility yellow vest.
And just how have these essential yellow vest worn workers been treated by the ruling neoliberal globalist elite? Aside from being left behind economically, many have been written off as uneducated rednecks, racists,bigots, sexists, homophobic and deplorable. In truth, the neoliberal globalist elite, or the ‘new elite’, absolutely detest those who fall into this sector of society.
Russian philosopher,academic and political analyst, Aleksandr Dugin, echoes this sentiment. He writes, “According to these ‘new elites’, the people and society, in their current state, have no place in this world. Therefore, the typical representative of the ‘new elite’ Hillary Clinton, upset by the success of the right-wing populist Trump, openly insulted ordinary Americans – deplorable, which in meaning means “insignificance.” ‘Deplorable’ have chosen Trump – not because they loved him, but to respond to the ‘globalist witch’ Clinton. The populism of the “yellow vests” – can be viewed as a retaliatory uprising of the people against the elites, who have completely lost their connection with society. The elites have built their own world in which double standards, norms of political correctness, liberal demagogy reign.”
Without a doubt, the concerns which lie at the heart of the yellow vest protests transcend national boundaries. The yellow vests are now being used across Europe to symbolize the people’s discontent with the out-of-touch, corrupt, metropolitan elite. It’s no surprise that similar protests have sprung up all over Europe.
Last week, in London, thousands of pro-Brexit protestors in yellow vests took to the street to express their dissatisfaction with their Prime Minister,Theresa May’s attempt to sabotage the Brexit deal. As it stands, the current ‘Brexit deal’ would mean Britain would remain in the single market and customs union. The country would also be required to obey all current and new EU laws, comply with budget commitments and comply with ECJ judicial oversight. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the current deal would allow the continuation of free movement from other EU states into the country – something Britons clearly do not want. In short, May’s Brexit deal goes against everything Britons voted for in 2016.
Yellow Vest protests have also been seen in Stockholm, Sweden, where demonstrators gathered to peacefully protest the U.N. Migration Pact.
In Brussels, Belgium large amounts of yellow vest demonstrators gathered voice their discontent with current living conditions as well as the U.N. Migration Pact. Protestors have called for the resignation of the Prime Minister. Belgians pay the highest state taxes on diesel in the whole of Europe. Following Belgian yellow vest protestors taking to the streets, Belgian ministers announced fuel prices would not be index-linked from 2019. Despite this concession, and as they did in France, protests have continued.
Although substantially smaller in scope, the cities of Rotterdam and The Hague, in the Netherlands, have also seen yellow vest protests spring up over general dissatisfaction toward the governments’ economic measures. People are simply struggling each month to make ends meet.
On Friday, the 15th of December, thousands of protest took to the streets of the Serbian capital of Belgrade to call for resignation of President Aleksandar Vucic. A substantial contingent of protestors were seen wearing yellow vests.
In the last few days, protests in the Hungarian capital of Budapest erupted over newly enacted labor laws that would allow employers to demand up to 400 hours of overtime from workers. Having been present at the demonstrations in Budapest, I can say that the political complexion of the mass of people protesting did not show much resemblance to protests in France, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands. I only saw but a few demonstrators wearing yellow vests. Furthermore, and unlike the yellow vest protests in Western Europe, the aura of the protests in Hungary was seemingly more left wing, pro-EU,and pro-globalization.
Croatia and Canada have also seen there own smaller yellow vest demonstrations pop up in metropolitan areas.
While it is true that the people from different European nations were originally drawn to the streets for slightly different reasons, there does seem to be a common undercurrent that is driving the majority of these demonstrations – namely discontent over globalist neoliberal policies and governments.
Can this European Spring, which is only in its infancy, result in any lasting change, and if so, can the same spirit of revolution and change spread to other parts of the world? For more info, please check out Occidental Defense
For decades, sex scandals involving Roman Catholic clergy have been rocking the world’s largest Christian religion. What started out as isolated incidents in obscure parishes began to spread horizontally first across America and then across the world. It also spread vertically, embroiling the highest ranks of the Church as either actively engaging in salacious activities or covering them up on a grand scale. The suspicions and accusations stopped just short of the Pope – but that may be changing.
Concern about pedophilia pederasty within the cloistered confines of the institutional Church hierarchy was raised as far back as 1947 by Father Gerald Fitzgerald, whose order, the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete, functioned to aid troubled clergy – priests having difficulties with alcoholism, drug addiction and, most significantly, chastity. Through his work, Fitzgerald became aware of what he described as a growing culture of pederasty in the American Church.
Fitzgerald attempted to persuade bishops and even Pope Paul VI to take action. He recommended that corrupt clergy be removed from interaction with young boys. His concerns were never addressed, and the problem continued to grow.
In the 1970s, it was whispered that the Church was actively recruiting gay seminarians to bolster the declining ranks of the clergy. It was partially that gay recruitment was based on the belief that they would uphold the Church’s ban on clergy marriage. It was later alleged that the recruitment was led by priests and bishops responding to their own predilections. An article in Vanity Fair reported an estimate claiming that 20 to 60 percent of today’s Catholic priests are gay.
In the ensuing years, the Catholic Church suffered a series of scandals, each more serious than the former. In the 1980s, the American Church was again rocked by accusations. More and more victims were coming forward. It was no longer a matter of isolated incidents, the trail of accusations led to cover ups by bishops and cardinals. It was starting to reveal a significant culture within the Church.
The problem was not confined to America. Scandals popped up across the globe – Australia, Canada, Ireland and Chile — just to name a few. Suddenly, the Church was riddled with institutionalized pedophilia and pederasty. The culpability of the Church hierarchy went beyond cover-ups to participation. The sexual misconduct and the creation of sexual groups involved members of the College of Cardinals.
The globalization of the problem led critics to claim that such widespread moral and legal corruption – that the similar cover-up policies around the world – could not have happened without the knowledge and the guidance of the Church leaders in the highest offices in Rome. Supporting that theory was the falling from grace, and from office, of several prominent bishops and cardinals.
The number of bishops and cardinals accused of sexual impropriety stands at 88 from 30 nations. Sixty-four of the accused were cases of pedophilia, with most of those cases being homosexual in nature.
The problem has become so serious that a number of states in Australia passed laws that require priests to report child sexual abuse cases that are heard in confession. The Church is fighting back to protect the long standing “seal of confession” which bans the further revelation of any sin or crime confessed to clergy.
As is often the case, the cover-up becomes as serious a matter as the crime, itself. This has been particularly true for the Catholic Church. Investigators have found a pervasive pattern of ignoring allegations or taking defensive measures, such as moving guilty priests and bishops to new assignments – often where children would be part of their ministry.
For more than 70 years, since Father Fitzgerald first rang the alarm, the problem of pedophilia and pederasty has grown like a cancer in the Church. The number of clergy accused of criminality is in the thousands across the world, the number of known victims is in the tens of thousands. And, it is believed that greater numbers are yet to be discovered.
Despite the growing problem, the College of Cardinals, as an institution, and the Pope have not been dragged into the issue. Up until now, the popes have been perceived as the forces of reform. That assumption may be fading in the face of more facts and testimony.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio (ambassador) in Washington, released a statement in which he claims Pope Francis had not only been advised of specific cases, but that he acted to protect the perpetrators. Viganò elevated the issue to an unprecedented level when he wrote that Pope Francis’ participation in the cover-ups warrants his resignation.
Viganò specifically addressed the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C. Evidence and testimony revealed that he had been having sexual relationships with altar boys and seminarians throughout most of his years in the Church – including as an auxiliary bishop in New York, the bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey and the archbishop of Newark, New Jersey. All these promotions came despite a series of complaints over many years.
Upon learning of his misdeeds, then-Pope Benedict had McCarrick removed from ministry and banned travel. Not only did Pope Francis lift the restrictions on McCarrick, but he took him as an advisor in naming bishops and cardinals, including his own successor, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who has now been embroiled in controversy for covering up McCarrick’s immoral and criminal activities. Wuerl’s appointment was peculiar in that he was not on the list prepared for the Pope. It was Pope Francis’ personal decision based on McCarrick’s recommendation.
Critics within the Church have accused Pope Francis of creating what they call the “lavender Mafia” – a cabal of clergy with liberal views on clergy sexuality, including homosexuality. They are said to include those who both engage in pedophilia or protect those who do.
Though it has not received a lot of news coverage, Pope Francis’ is often dogged by protestors as he travels from country to country. The often carry large photographs of victims. In recent months, more and more protest signs have called for the Pope to resign.
The Pope’s public condemnations of errant clergy tend to only come after there is a major outbreak of news and protests. Critics point to his initial response to the pleas of victims during his trip to South America, when he warned against false accusations. He was confronted by the faithful protesting child sexual abuse by clergy at almost every stop on his tour of Argentina, Chile and Peru. It was only after he was back in Rome and the issue exploded in the media that he reversed himself and apologized to the victims. He has not yet taken any action against the accused.
The Catholic Church may be heading into the most significant institutional moral crisis since the Middle Ages. There are those who believe when all the facts are known, Pope Francis will be forced out of the papacy as a corrupt Pope. That may be a bit too speculative for this moment, but it is increasingly clear that the hems of the papal cassock may not be as pure white as they were once thought to be.