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The Disaffected Lib: The Germans Get It. When Will We?

Sixty per cent of Germans believe that capitalism is the cause of poverty and hunger and that real democracy can’t be realized under that economic system.  It seems they’re not fond of market fundamentalism and neoliberalism.  In fact, they see straight through it.

You might have thought that Germans who live in Europe’s economic powerhouse would be true free market capitalists.  You would be wrong.

The survey found that more than 60 percent of Germans believe there is no genuine democracy in their country because industry has too much political influence and that the voice of the voters plays only (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Germany’s sickly economy | Europe’s World

Germany’s sickly economy | Europe’s World.

Filed under: Austerity, Eurozone crisis Tagged: Eurozone Crisis, German Economy, Germany

Parchment in the Fire: Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis Head to Head with German Counterpart Wolfgang Schauble

Filed under: Austerity, Eurozone crisis Tagged: Eurozone Crisis, Germany, Greece, Syriza

drive-by planet: Die Linke’s Sahra Wagenknecht slams Merkel in Bundestag for being US stooge [video]

In a powerful Bundestag speech, Deputy Chair of the German Die Linke (Left Party), Sahra Wagenknecht, accused Angela Merkel of being an enabler of US interests, to the detriment of Germany and the EU.

Wagenknecht called into question Merkel’s position on “spheres of influence” and international law, citing numerous instances in the course of which Merkel’s great ally the United States has trampled over international law… Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya… to name a few.

The indented excerpts beneath are from Wagenknecht’s speech. They are taken from the English translation that accompanies the video. In your speech in Sydney Ms Merkel (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Why Denmark fears militarization of Arctic islands means Canada could soon control almost all of Hudson’s Bay, and other tall tales

If we just listened to Stephen Harper and the BBC, what a wonderful world this would be! Below: Catherine the Great, USAF Gen. Philip Breedlove.

Last Wednesday, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported in shocked tones on its online news site that “NATO’s top military commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, has warned that Russian ‘militarization’ of the annexed Crimea Peninsula could be used to exert control over the whole Black Sea.”

This story appeared almost word for word on dozens of other Internet news sites originating in Europe, North America, Australia and elsewhere in the word.

U.S. Air Force Gen. (Read more…)

drive-by planet: Some Ukrainian films at Cottbus 24 festival convey ‘a thoroughly dishonest presentation of conditions in the east’

An article in World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) – Distortion and dishonesty: Ukrainian films at the Cottbus Film Festival – critiques some of the Ukrainian films that made it to the screen at this years festival held in Cottbus. This is a city 125 kms southeast of Berlin, close to the border with Poland.

Before addressing the films he chose to critique, writer Stefan Steinberg takes the time at the beginning of the article to include an overview of conditions in Eastern Europe. He notes that while some of the films provide “insight, albeit limited, into the problems of the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Journalist Tired of Unfree Press Pushing War

A German journalist explains how the CIA misused him to manipulate people, to push war.

“Non official cover”

Parchment in the Fire: Germany needs ‘small miracle’ to avoid recession after exports fall by 5.8% | Business | The Guardian

Germany needs ‘small miracle’ to avoid recession after exports fall by 5.8% | Business | The Guardian.


The fall in exports comes as sanctions between Russia and Europe and a flagging economy in the wider eurozone take their toll on Germany. Photograph: Frank Augstein/AP

German exports suffered the biggest monthly fall in more than five and a half years in August, leaving Europe’s largest economy in need of “a small miracle” to avoid recession in the third quarter.

Exports fell by 5.8% compared with July to €92.6bn (£72.8bn). The decrease is the latest sign of (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Five charts that show Germany is heading into recession | Business |

Five charts that show Germany is heading into recession | Business |


Germany is on brink of recession Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Germany is on the brink of recession. Recovery in Europe’s powerhouse went into reverse in the second quarter when the economy shrank by 0.2%.

All the evidence suggests the weakness persisted in the third quarter amid tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine and a flagging recovery in the eurozone economy.

Here are five charts underpinning expectations of a fresh German recession.

Germany’s trade position is deteriorating

German exports fell by 5. (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Germany Now Has Free Tuition

Germany has done something that the rest the developed world should copy: reducing post-secondary tuition fees to zero. Open and accessible education is key to making a richer and more prosperous country – Germany clearly gets this. In these modern times education is more important than ever so it’s really great to see

“We got rid of tuition fees because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of the parents,” Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic, the minister for science and culture in Lower Saxony, said in a statement. Her words were echoed by many in the German government. “Tuition (Read more…)

Parchment in the Fire: Merkel seeks Spanish support for unpopular austerity measures | In English | EL PAÍS

Merkel seeks Spanish support for unpopular austerity measures | In English | EL PAÍS.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel traveled to Spain on Sunday for a two-day trip aimed at securing Spanish support for her austerity policies, now under fire in the European Union.

In return, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is seeking Merkel’s help to place two of his officials in top European positions. Specifically, Rajoy wants former agriculture minister Miguel Arias Cañete to receive a relevant economic portfolio, and current economy minister Luis de Guindos to head the Eurogroup, or gathering of European finance chiefs.

Merkel is currently under (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: BREAKING: German TV Leaks CETA Trade Deal Text

by: Obert Madondo Follow @Obiemad | Published Wed, Aug 13, 2014

The finer details of the controversial and highly secretive Canada-EU trade deal, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), is now available to the Canadian and global publics for much-needed scrutiny.

Germany television show Tagesschau leaked the full text of the deal earlier today.

The full text is available at:

The Council of Canadians is one the leading critics of the CETA deal here in Canada. In a statement posted on the organization’s website earlier, the Council welcome the leak.

“Throughout the process, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how we should take Germany’s rightful concern over investor-state dispute settlement provisions as an opportunity to reevaluate what we expect to accomplish through trade and investment agreements such as CETA.

For further reading…- Peter Clark, Michael Geist and Scott Sinclair discuss Germany’s objections to new trade agreements with Canada and the U.S. in particular, while reminding us why we should be wary of handing undue power to the corporate sector as well. And Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder and Rhea Tamara Hoffmann discuss (PDF) Germany’s past experience with ISDS in detail.- Meanwhile, Patricia Ranald notes that (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Germany stands up for democracy

Finally, someone has said enough to the erosion of democracy brought about by “trade” agreements. From NAFTA to the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union, these agreements have eroded the power of governments in favour of investors.

International agreements are, in themselves, a very good idea, one way of imposing orderly behaviour

Alberta Diary: On the centenary of Gavrilo Princip’s fateful shot in Sarajevo, let’s learn the right lessons from history

Gavrilo Princip under arrest. Below: Princip and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Today is the centenary of the day Gavrilo Princip took his little Belgian pistol to Sarajevo and blew the heir presumptive to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire into history.

As is well known, not long after young Princip caused the demise of Franz Ferdinand, archduke of Austria-Este and royal prince of Hungary and Bohemia, not to mention inspiration for future indie musicians, things went rapidly downhill.

Someone somewhere rolled the dice to score a strategic point or two in the Balkans – one of which, it’s been (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Enough petulant propaganda, please: the hammer of D-Day crushed Hitler on the anvil of Russia

D-Day on Juno Beach: Canadians trudge ashore under a strange colorized sky. Below: The distinguished Canadian military historian, the late Reginald H. Roy.

It’s been 70 years today since our magnificent Canadian soldiers went ashore at Juno Beach in Normandy to play their part the grim and deadly task of sweeping Hitler and his odious empire out of Europe.

But Canadians need to remember, in the context of the present moment in history, that what the landings on June 6, 1944, by 156,000 Canadian, British, American and other Allied soldiers along the beaches of Normandy did was open a second (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Why only politics when we think of democracy?

Conversations about democracy tend to revolve overwhelmingly about politics and government. These topics are rightly at the centre of democratic dialogue as they are the overarching institutions of our society. But if we are to have a thoroughly democratic society, we cannot limit ourselves to democratic government. We need to consider all our institutions.

The workplace, for example, is to

LeDaro: Getting something off her chest

Lucky Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gets an eye-opening experience as he is confronted by a topless demonstrator with a message written on her back during a tour of the Hanover Fair in Hanover, Germany, on April 8. He was accompanied by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.NBC.

I think Putin is having fun and thinking bring on more.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Obama’s NSA is the East German Stasi of our time

German leader flat out states that Obama’s government is little better than the East German Stasi.

“In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.

The German chancellor also told the US president that America’s National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.

Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Germany’s Grand Coalition—a lesson for Canada?

Germany now has a government that represents a solid majority of the German people. With three-quarters of Social Democrat party members voting to join a coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, the chancellor and her cabinet will now be sworn in.

In September’s national election, the Christian Democrats got 41.5 per cent of the vote and the Social Democrats 25.7 per cent. The Grosse

Parchment in the Fire: Merkel’s Victory, Everyone’s Loss: The Burden Of German Mercantilism On Europe

Merkel’s Victory, Everyone’s Loss: The Burden Of German Mercantilism On Europe.

John Weeks

The electoral victory of Angela Merkel brings bad news to the rest of Europe. Without doubt it means the continuation of the national economic policies that have all the other euro zone countries suffering from recession. While the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian allies narrowly missed an absolute majority, the probability that a coalition partner would moderate austerity polices is close to zero.

Filed under: Austerity, Capitalism, Crisis, Europe Tagged: Germany

Things Are Good: German Coal and Gas Power Plants Closing Due to Cheap Renewable Energy

Germany has been so effective in tranisitioning from unsustianble (econmically and environemntally) energy sources to renewable ones that it is uncompetitive to burn fossil fuels for power!

“Due to the continuing boom in solar energy, many power stations throughout the sector and across Europe are no longer profitable to operate,” RWE said in a statement.

“During the first half of 2013, the conventional power generation division’s operating result fell by almost two-thirds. The massive reduction in power station margins is a major factor in this development.”

On Tuesday, E.On said it had shut down or left idle 6,500 (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: How Germany Made a Killing on the Euro-Crisis

Europe’s fiscal crisis has hammered much of the E.U. from Ireland to Britain, Spain, Portugal, France and Greece.  Germany, however, has made out like a bandit.

The collapse of every nation around it made German debt much, much more attractive to investors looking for security.  So much more attractive that Germany saved 41-billion Euros in interest charges.  Sure, Germany put a lot of money into bailouts for countries like Greece but that totalled 599-million Euros to date.

0.6 billion they put out, 41-billion they saved.  That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? 

PostArctica: Christo – Big Air Package

Big Air Package, an indoor installation for the Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, was conceived in 2010 and is on view from March 16 to December 30, 2013. 90 meters high, with a diameter of 50 meters and a volume of 177,000 cubic meters, the work of art is the largest ever inflated envelope without a skeleton.

Below you will find downloadable, high-resolution photographs by Wolfgang Volz, images of preparatory drawings and collages by Christo and HD video footage for non-commercial editorial press usage in conjunction with Big Air Package. By using the images and/or video footage, you agree to be (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: PRISM: Prepared for Exposure

More details are out on PRISM, Tempora, and other illegal spying schemes by the NSA and friendly intelligence agencies, apparently even in Germany.

The NSA even has a special department for such cooperation, the Foreign Affairs Directorate, he says. He also exposes a noteworthy detail about how government decision-makers are protected by these programs. The partnerships are organized in a way so that authorities in other countries can “insulate their political leaders from the backlash” in the event it becomes public “how grievously they’re violating global privacy,” the former NSA employee says.

Interviewer [Jacob A. @ioerror]: Are German authorities or (Read more…)