AfD Representatives Accused of Being Nazis, Yet Again

I wish I didn’t have to post this video. It’s necessary, but I know it will serve as chum in the water for the Jew-haters out there. And I know I’ll have to mercilessly squelch the Jew-fight that will inevitably try to germinate in the comments. Ah, well — so it must be.

The story concerns the reaction of representatives of the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) in the Landtag (state legislature) of Bavaria, when they were yet again publicly identified as Nazis. The speaker who smeared them as such was the chairperson of the Council of Jews in Germany

This is annoying for a couple of reasons. First of all, it slanders the AfD — they are not at all anti-Semitic, and never have been. They are probably less anti-Semitic than the average German, and certainly far less anti-Semitic than the Greens and the Socialists, who manifest Jew-hatred frequently, especially in their alliance with Muslims.

The second reason is this woman’s obdurate refusal to consider the greatest danger to Jews in Germany, which is Islam. What does she think the situation will be like for German Jews twenty or thirty years from now, when Muslims rule the roost?

In this the Jews of Germany join the atheists, the feminists, and the gays in their insistence on keeping their heads in the sand about what Islam intends for them.

Many thanks to Nash Montana for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Here’s the accompanying article from Politically Incorrect, also translated by Nash:

Bavaria: AfD Representatives Walk Out after Hate Speech

A veritable scandal unfolded Wednesday in the Bavarian Landtag [state parliament]. There, a commemoration service for the victims of National Socialism took place, to which the current president of the Israelite religious community for Munich and Upper Bavaria and the current chairperson of the Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, was invited as a guest speaker. But Knobloch did not use her speech to address growing anti-Semitism in Germany by Muslim migrants; she used the opportunity to attack the AfD.

First Knobloch moved the AfD and its representatives close to right-wing extremism, then she accused them of belittling of National Socialism, and she also accused them of rejecting Democracy. Then she denied the AfD Constitutional conformity, when she said: “This so-called Alternative for Germany is building their foundation on hate and exclusion, which has — not just in my opinion — no standing on the base of a democratic constitution.”

Clumsy Holocaust Comparison

The president of the Israelite religious community carried it to an extreme when she indirectly considered the possibility of a new holocaust in connection with the AfD. She said: “It is the responsibility of all of us that the unimaginable can never be repeated.” That was the moment when the AfD representatives, including Katrin Ebner-Steiner, had enough, got up and left the room. Only when Knobloch’s speech came to an end did the representatives return. Naturally this incident is blamed on the AfD in the media. Regardless of Knobloch’s clumsy verbal attacks and belittlement at an official NS Commemoration ceremony.

Ebner-Steiner: Knobloch’s Speech Passage About the AfD Was Hostile

“We do not have to let ourselves be treated in such a disrespectful manner, void of all objectivity. We are sad to realize that Frau Knobloch has chosen to engage in this uncalled-for way of arguing.” But, she adds, they are also optimistic that the relationship could relax a little bit with the representative of the Jewish community in the long run, once she’s actually met the representatives of the AfD personally.

“The derogatory way in which the hostile speech was formulated by Knobloch about the AfD was absolutely uncalled-for during the commemoration ceremony, and we do not accept being called a party whose platform is based on hate and exclusion, and that it is anti-constitutional,” emphasizes Ebner-Steiner. It is, after all, especially the AfD that sees itself as a violence-free party of law and a defender of democracy. Opposing accusations were an expression of “party-political-motivated contempt for an uncomfortable political competitor.”

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The Death Rattle of Identity Politics?

UPDATE, edited.

There is a gofundme collection site to pay for protection for the kids who are being threatened, particularly Nicholas Sandmann. The amount of money raised to pay expenses for security will determine how long the boys will have protection. From the page:

…threats to Nick and his family are in the thousands to the point where Covington Catholic school disabled incoming calls and canceled school. This boy was a target and I am calling for Americans to help funding for his security and well-being.

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Dr. Turley thinks the attacks on Covington Catholic spells the end for identity politics. This is his most recent video on the subject of the Covington boys.

As I said in his comment section, he was right to point to 1984‘s felony, “facecrime”. That’s what the loony lefties, who often descend to 1984 dystopian levels, are claiming the boys committed.

However, the loons are sprouting ‘leaders’ like Occasional Cortex and Elizabeth 1/392% Native American Warren. They make Bernie Sanders look sane but their “popularity” numbers are YUUGE. Never misunderestimate stupidity.

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Here’s the Covington School’s choir singing a by-now classic anthem. At my request, her brother sang this at my daughter Shelagh’s funeral. It always moves me, no matter which verses are chosen.

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All Hail the Europe of Regions!

The trans-nationalists who run the European Union intend to abolish the nation states of Europe. To accomplish their purpose, they need to erode, weaken, limit, and ultimately eliminate the traditional cultures of the member states.

Bringing in millions of alien and hostile immigrants is obviously one strategy to serve that purpose. But other means are being used. One of these is to impose a new structure of “regions” within Europe, and then treat them as the component units of the new administrative regime in Brussels.

The map of the NUTS regional classification system (yes, it seems nuts to me, too) gives an overview of the way the member states have been divided up into regions, which do not always coincide with traditional provinces, counties, departments, states, etc. The plan is to group these regions together across national boundaries where it seems economically and administratively useful to the mandarins in Brussels. For example, before Brexit put a spanner in the works, the managerial superstate proposed a super-region that would include parts of the Low Countries, Denmark, Northern England, and Scotland. In other words, a division that made sense for bureaucratic reasons, but ignored the distinct nations and cultures caught up in the regional web. And, not incidentally, an arrangement that would further weaken the nation states involved.

The treaty that was just signed in Aix-la-Chapelle / Aachen is the latest iteration of the above process. An MEP named Bernard Monot (formerly of the Front National, now a member of the Debout-la-France party) is onto their game, and calls it out in the first part of this video. The second part shows the grand official ceremonial process in Aachen, where Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel got all lovey-dovey for the cameras.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

By the way: the regions covered by the treaty seem to include FR4 in France and DEA and DEB in Germany (see the wiki for further information).

Note: This video is a composite of two separate clips. The transcript below is in two sections, each of which has the times from the original clips.

Video transcript:

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Justice for Pamela

Many thanks to FouseSquawk for translating this follow-up from Il Giornale to the horrific murder in Macerata last January. The alleged perp was a member of what has been called the “Nigerian cannibal mafia”:

The uncle of Pamela accuses the parish priest: “The church paid for Oseghale’s house”

According to the uncle of Pamela, and lawyer for the Mastropietro family, for three months, a parish of Macerata paid the rent of an apartment for Innocent Oseghale, where the 18-year-old (native of Rome) was killed and dismembered

by Cristina Verdi
January 21, 2019

It is still wrapped in mystery, the death of Pamela Mastropietro. On February 13 the trial against Innocent Oseghale, the principal suspect in the death of the young girl, will open in court.

But today there are still many obscure points in the matter.

Marco Valerio Verni, Pamela’s uncle and lawyer for the Mastropietro family, lists them in an interview given to Affaritaliani. Beginning with the support offered by a parish of Villa Potenza, a small municipality of Macerata, to Oseghale, who at the time had already been convicted for drug offenses. According to the reconstruction by the lawyer, the Nigerian, already excluded from the refugee protection program after being caught dealing, and awaiting expulsion from our country, had been identified by the parish priest as a person in need of help. Because of this, for three consecutive months, funds were collected for Oseghale and his companion, Michela Pettinari, €450, which served to pay the rent for the apartment where they lived.

On January 14 a year ago, to celebrate the migrants’ day, Oseghale actually went up to the pulpit to read the pastoral letter written by Pope Francis, and the church community donated a basket with blankets and groceries to him. Only two weeks later, in that same apartment paid for with the money of the faithful, he is believed to have consummated one of the most atrocious crimes of recent years. “This perhaps explains the truly indifferent behavior of the bishop of Macerata and the silence of the church in that horrible matter,” said the lawyer for the young girl, remembering how the bishop of the Marche [state in Italy] didn’t even get involved to bless the stone memorial placed at the scene where the dismembered body of the 19-year-old was discovered.

Pamela’s uncle has moreover denounced the “strong pressures” in the investigation. “I had recently requested access to the apartment of the horrors with my advisers: I was refused,” charged the lawyer for the young girl, interviewed by Affaritaliani. Moreover, it is not clear, continued Verni, “how Pamela could have taken opiates in the two months preceding her death” despite being kept in the community. Also the doubts regarding the traces of DNA of an unknown person found in both trolleys. Circumstances that lead a person to think that Oseghale didn’t do all this alone. But there is also another shadow in this matter. That which concerns the fate of a diary that Pamela was writing to tell her difficult story. A manuscript which, complains the uncle of the victim, has never been found. And which, perhaps, hides inside elements useful to discover the truth of that tragic January 30.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/23/2019

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, the president of the National Assembly, has been sworn in as interim president of Venezuela, theoretically replacing the dictator Nicolas Maduro. President Trump recognized Mr. Guaido as the legitimate head of state, prompting Mr. Maduro to cut diplomatic relations with the USA and expel American diplomats from the country. There has been violence in the streets as supporters of the opposition demonstrate against the regime, with some military units reportedly mutinying against Mr. Maduro.

In other news, four young men in upstate New York were arrested on charges of planning an attack with explosives and firearms on Islamberg, the headquarters of the Muslims of America and Jamaat ul-Fuqra.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Insubria, JD, LA, Reader from Chicago, Whup T. Due, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

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Ireland’s Ruination by Cultural Tsunami

This article follows “A Million Parasites for Ireland” and “The Crushing of Irish Culture: It Has Been Decided” by the same author. The bold type emphasis is the author’s; items in italics and brackets in the text are his interpolated observations.

Ireland’s Ruination by Cultural Tsunami

By Michael Copeland
January 18,2019

Ireland’s Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, said:

“….we want to reshape Ireland over the next two decades”.

A spokesman explains [at 0.10]:

“We want to attempt to double the size of all of the cities, in population terms, outside of Dublin.”

Social engineering

“Ireland” in Varadkar’s statement is not the land, or the buildings: it is the people. He and his colleagues want — that is what he said — to “reshape” the population with a million extra people, mostly imported foreigners. This is social engineering from above. The people, of course, were never asked. They are not the ones that want this. The “we”, in Varadkar’s phrase, are the politicians. It is politicians who want to inflict this cultural tsunami on the native Irish, population 4.7m, in the only land they have, which will overpower and destroy Irish culture. Cultures are, after all, fragile.

Varadkar says:

“Why do we need a plan? We need a plan because in 20 years’ time there’ll be an extra million people living in Ireland.”

There will be an extra million people living in Ireland. There we are. Just like that: all perfectly straightforward. Varadkar says so. They will simply arrive. Oh yes?


The video, “Ireland 2040 — Our Plan”, offers no reason for importing half a million non-Irish. Varadkar is not atoning for Ireland’s colonial record, for there is not one. The “project” is not being promoted as humanitarian help for “refugees”, nor as bringing in more workers — to an economy that already has 6.7% unemployment. The voice-over cites “climate change”, and “energy needs”, neither of which is helped by a million extra consumers. Varadkar appears in the video giving cheerful upbeat spin. Only platitudes are offered:

“to build a better society… a plan to make Ireland a country that reflects the best of who we are and what we aspire to.”

This “better society” turns out to be a society with fewer Irish in it. Significantly and most revealingly there is not a single mention of encouraging young Irish adults to have more children, or to create tax support for families. No, this project is not about Irish native families. The material is all about new arrivals from other cultures, by no means all compatible, and some openly hostile.

“All over Ireland today … we have diverse communities … that bring colour and vitality….”
— David Stanton, Minister for Equality, Immigration and Integration

The unavoidable suspicion is that this waffle disguises undisclosed compliance with some Merkel-type quota imposed from outside, by the dictatorial EU or the sinister UN, or the background banksters. This would fit with the Coudenhove-Kalergi plan to make Europe’s people a mixed-race Afro-Eurasian blend, eliminating national differences, and leading to the brave new Utopian EUSSR. It fits, too, with the manifesto of Communist Altiero Spinelli, whose name is over the doorway to the EU Parliament. Merkel and others laid EU-coloured flowers at his tomb. Spinelli wrote of abolishing private property, and having a European army to help impose the dictates of the central administration. Sounds familiar?

Project Ireland 2040

“Project Ireland 2040 emphasises social outcomes and values (population dilution and replacement) ahead of economic targets. It prioritises the wellbeing of all of our people (a give-away phrase), wherever they live and whatever their background (Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan, you name it).”

The project includes awesome bureaucratic prose that lets the cat out of the totalitarian bag.

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Meet the New Government — Same as the Old Government

Four months ago a general election was held in Sweden. The major parties lost ground, and Sverigedemokraterna — the Sweden Democrats — posted big gains.

For four months the larger parties met and discussed and negotiated with only one purpose in mind: to keep the Sweden Democrats out of any coalition government. Any combination of parties would have been acceptable, as long as Sverigedemokraterna was not included. That’s because SD opposes mass immigration and Islamization, which is considered an absolutely unacceptable and forbidden political position in Modern Multicultural Sweden.

Two days ago a deal was finally struck, and a government was formed: a coalition of the Social Democrats with the Greens. That’s exactly the same as the previous government that was formed in 2014. The only difference is that the two parties fared so poorly in the election that the new government is a minority one — 116 seats out of 349 in parliament, slightly less than one-third of the total.

It’s one of the weakest minority governments in Swedish history, but at least it doesn’t have any of those evil Nazi WAYCIST Sweden Democrats in it!

The video below shows the first speech given in parliament by Jimmie Åkesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, after the new government was installed. Many thanks to Kronans Martell for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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A Line of Horrors in Berlin

Last weekend a demonstration was staged in Berlin to speak out on behalf of Germans who have been slaughtered by migrants since 2015, or who have been traumatized by cultural enrichment in other ways.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for translating the video below, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling. The translator includes these introductory notes:

An event called the “Line of Horrors” was organized in Berlin on Saturday January 19th memorializing all the victims of migrant crime since 2015. It took place at 11:30am in front of the federal chancellery.

The woman reading victims’ stories is Brigitte Poisson. The other man speaking is named Jürgen Richert.

The man being interviewed at the beginning goes by the name Robert V., a.k.a. Robert Einzelfall (“Isolated Incidents”).

More information about the Line of Horrors:

A note from the translator:

“Und Täglich Grüsst der EINZELFALL” is a reference to the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. The title of the movie in German (rough translation) is “The groundhog says hello every day.” So… “The Isolated Incident says hello every day”

Video transcript:

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Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/22/2019

A Polish legislator has invited the “MAGA hat boys” from Covington High School in Kentucky to address the Polish Parliament. The students were wrongfully vilified for allegedly being antagonistic and disrespectful at the Lincoln Memorial to a Native American drummer named Nathan Phillips, a.k.a. “Tom-Tom McCoot”, by major American media outlets.

In other news, according to sources in the British government, Queen Elizabeth may be asked to block any parliamentary legislation intended to prevent the implementation of Brexit.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Insubria, JD, Reader from Chicago, SS, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

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Are There Still Swiss People in Switzerland?

Many thanks to Nash Montana for translating this essay from Politically Incorrect:

Are there still Swiss people in Switzerland?

Most Germans, including politicians, don’t know a thing about Switzerland. They think of rich people at Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse, a.k.a. the “Million-Dollar Mile” [That’s slang for the Bahnhofstrasse — translator]. They think of evil bankers with big fat bank vaults for German tax-evaders, they think of hillbilly “Alpöhi” [Heidi’s grandfather in the story “Heidi” — translator], they think of uneducated goat herders like Peter and naïve Heidis, they think of nasty “Schweizermacher”, immigration officials, [The word “Schweizermacher”, “Swissmakers”, is based on an infuriating propaganda “comedy” from 1978 that portrayed two particularly nasty government immigration officials harassing the poor Africans swarming into Switzerland in the ‘70s and ‘80s — translator], and they think of a quixotic population that voted for the ban on minarets.

A small portion of Germans dreams of Swiss citizen-ballot voting. But if only everything were just like that.

The reality is that Swiss banks have long practiced the self-abnegation crawl in front of tax collectors of foreign countries, and that they sell out their clients to blackmailing US administrations or SPD administrations.

The results of citizens’ voting ballots that are disliked are levered out by the elites in politics and justice, they grovel in front of other nations, and they are jubilant when an EU court or some UN organization has the last word. And also there’s no lack of rampaging leftists.

Meanwhile, half of the citizens in Switzerland are now foreigners. Tendency rising. Here’s a few quotations from an article of the WELTWOCHE from Jan 9, 2019:

At the beginning of data acquisition in the year 1926 almost 100% of the 200,000 migrants were reported to possess only Swiss citizenship. 2016 we see a completely different picture: of the 775,000 Swiss citizens who live in another country, 570,000 had one or more passports. That’s a share of about ¾.

Similarly steep is the share of passport holders inside Switzerland; actually it progressed extremely rapidly. In 1996 Switzerland counted 236,000 people with dual citizenship. twenty years later this number has risen to 900,000. This means that dual citizens are the fastest-growing part of the population.

The composition of the population living in Switzerland is therefore being downright plowed up, and even more so when you look at the growth in the numbers of asylum seekers and migrants.

1950 saw 285,000 asylum seekers in Switzerland; in 2016 the number increased to 2.1 million. The absolute number has increased sevenfold since the end of the war. The share of asylum seekers in Switzerland rose from 5% to 25%.

If you add the number of asylum seekers/migrants with dual citizenship (which also comprise 25%) together with the share of asylum seekers/migrants, it becomes painfully clear that the Swiss citizens with simple one-passport citizenship only make up 50% of the entire citizenry of Switzerland.

Germany is not quite there yet, but they are moving in that direction. How will Switzerland digest this development? Many of these asylum seekers/migrants are working. The social state is still able to whitewash these tears in the fabric. Still.

Brigitte Barèges: “Mass Immigration Has to be Ended”

The following video is an excerpt from President Emmanuel Macron’s much-ballyhooed “national debate” that he convened to try to defuse the anger expressed as the Yellow Vest movement.

Brigitte Barèges is the mayor of Montauban in southern France. In this clip Ms. Barèges, addressing President Macron, expresses her doubleplus ungood opinions about French immigration policy and the negative aspects of cultural enrichment in France.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

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A Franc Discussion

Luigi Di Maio is the leader of the 5-Star Movement in Italy and Deputy Prime Minister in the current Italian government (in coalition with the Lega Nord).

Mr. Di Maio caused an uproar yesterday when he accused France of engaging in neo-colonialism in Africa by manipulating a regional currency known as the CFA. His remarks to the press on the subject may be seen in this video (switch on the closed-caption setting to see the English translation).

Giorgia Meloni is the leader of the anti-immigration party Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy) and a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. The Brothers are not part of the current governing coalition in Italy, but they are long-time allies of the Lega Nord and take similar positions on most political issues.

In the following video Ms. Meloni makes the same accusations about French colonialism and the CFA. Many thanks to FouseSquawk for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Below are excerpts from the Wikipedia entry on the CFA:

The CFA franc (in French: franc CFA …, or colloquially franc) is the name of two currencies, the West African CFA franc, used in eight West African countries, and the Central African CFA franc, used in six Central African countries. Both currencies are guaranteed by the French treasury. Although separate, the two CFA franc currencies have awlays [sic] been at parity and are effectively interchangeable. The ISO currency codes are XAF for the Central African CFA franc and XOF for the West African CFA franc.

Both CFA francs have a fixed exchange rate to the euro: 100 CFA francs = 1 former French (nouveau) franc = 0.152449 euro; or 1 € = 6.55957 FRF = 655.957 CFA francs exactly.

So if the CFA is pegged to the euro, that means the institutions of the EU, and in particular the European Central Bank, are the effective controllers of the currency. Since all the countries involved are francophone, and the two major players in the EU are France and Germany, that makes France the de facto manager of monetary policy in fourteen African countries.

Furthermore, the “colonial” aspect of Mr. Di Maio’s assertions is reflected in the history of the CFA acronym, which has remained the same even as the ostensible meaning of its component letters has changed:

Between 1945 and 1958, CFA stood for Colonies françaises d’Afrique (“French colonies of Africa”); then for Communauté française d’Afrique (“French Community of Africa”) between 1958 (establishment of the French Fifth Republic) and the independence of these African countries at the beginning of the 1960s. Since independence, CFA is taken to mean Communauté Financière Africaine (African Financial Community), but in actual use, the term can have two meanings…

The following article from ANSA discusses the official French reaction to Mr. Di Maio’s remarks:

Italy Envoy Called to French Foreign Ministry Over Di Maio

Africa remarks ‘hostile and without cause’

(ANSA) — Rome, January 21 — Italian Ambassador to France Teresa Castaldo was summoned to the French foreign ministry Monday over remarks Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio made over alleged French policy in Africa, diplomatic sources told ANSA.

French diplomatic sources told ANSA Monday that Di Maio’s remarks were “hostile and without cause given the partnership between France and Italy in the European Union.” They said “they must be read in a context of Italian internal politics”.

Castaldo was summoned by the cabinet chief of French European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau over remarks Di Maio made at a rally Sunday, French media said.

The head of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), who is also labour and economy minister, said “if today people are leaving Africa is it because some European countries, with France in the lead, have never stopped colonizing tens of African States”.

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Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/21/2019

Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has announced plans to admit more than a million immigrants to Canada over the next three years. Meanwhile, French authorities have erected a ten-foot Trump-style wall near Calais around part of the approach to the Chunnel, to keep migrants from swarming lorries on their way to the UK.

In other news, all 26 of the governor’s proposed gun-control laws have been voted down by the Virginia state legislature.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to Insubria, MB, Reader from Chicago, SS, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

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Pipeline to Disaster

Last Friday a gasoline pipeline in central Mexico exploded, creating a huge fireball. The official death toll keeps rising; as of this writing it is listed as 91. Dozens more people were injured.

The blast was caused by the illegal tapping of the pipeline by fuel thieves, who are known in Mexico as huachicoleros. The practice is a common one, and this is not the first such explosion, simply the deadliest.

As I read the earliest reports about the explosion, a question occurred to me: We have gasoline pipelines in the USA — why don’t things like this happen here? I’m certain there are plenty of unscrupulous down-on-their luck rural entrepreneurs who would consider pipeline-tapping as a career, but they don’t seem to take it up (or not in enough numbers to draw media attention, anyway).

Before examining this larger question, let’s consider some of the details about Friday’s explosion and the practice of pipeline theft in Mexico.

I’ve been reading a lot of articles since the story broke, but didn’t hang on to most of the URLs, so much of what I write here will be unsourced. However, this article from MSN is information-rich, and will serve as a good start for those who want to look into the incident. For further details, do an Internet search on “Tlahuelilpan pipeline explosion” — that will turn up plenty of stories.

The petroleum industry in Mexico is state-run, and the company that manages the pipelines is called PEMEX. The gasoline pipeline along which the explosion occurred runs from Tuxpan on the Gulf coast to Mexico City, making a hard left at Tlahuelilpan in Hidalgo State before continuing to the capital.

The pipeline had been tapped previously more than once at the location in Tlahuelilpan. Whenever that kind of thing happens, PEMEX rigs a patch over the breach and continues pumping. Such patches are easier to tap than an unmarred pipe, so the same spots tend to be used over and over again.

The normal practice is to make a fairly small hole so that the flow of gasoline is not excessive and can be readily utilized. However, on the afternoon before the explosion, one of the fuel thieves became impatient and jammed a piece of rebar into the hole to enlarge it, causing a veritable gusher to spout up twenty feet into the air. In videos of the festive occasion the gasoline plume looks like Old Faithful.

Hundreds of people swarmed the site, carrying large plastic containers to collect the gasoline from the ditch around the pipe. It was not the most intelligent thing to do — the air in the immediate vicinity of the geyser was a dense mass of gasoline vapor, awaiting only a tiny spark to trigger a conflagration.

Which is exactly what happened later that evening. Some reports theorize that the synthetic fabric of the clothes worn by the poor people tapping the pipe generated enough static electricity to create the necessary spark. In any case, without any warning a tremendous fireball exploded over and among the crowd.

The moment of the explosion was captured by someone who had been using an infrared-sensitive video camera to record the night’s festivities. Then, in full living color, you can watch the huge plume of smoke and orange flames rise into the night sky while subsidiary fires spread rapidly at ground level. There appear to be little fireballs rushing away from the center of the blast, but when you look closely, you’ll find that they’re people running away from the explosion. Their clothes, arms, legs, and torsos are engulfed in flame. You can also see people try to extinguish some of the human torches that have collapsed onto the ground. (No, I’m not going to embed the video here; it’s too graphic. But you can find it easily with a YouTube search. And those videos are just the ones that YouTube didn’t pull down — imagine what the others must be like.)

The gasoline vapor was so thick before the explosion that some people passed out, overcome by the fumes. One report says a nearby soldier pulled an unconscious man out of the gasoline-filled ditch and dragged him to safety. Some of the survivors reported that they realized the danger of explosion and hurried out of the area before it was too late.

Such was the Tlahuelilpan pipeline explosion on January 18, 2019. Photos from the following morning show the scorched pipeline and nearby field, with neatly-arranged rows of bodies covered by white sheets.

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Illegal pipeline-tapping in Mexico has become a growth industry over the past decade. PEMEX’s pipes are laid shallowly, so that digging down two or three feet will expose the pipe. Local entrepreneurs make the tap, with the support of nearby residents who participate in the collection and sale of illicit gasoline.

The graph below uses data from a useful paper (PDF) published by the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in 2017. I found the total number of taps for 2017, but the statistics for 2018 are only available through October. In the latter case I extrapolated the total for 12 months and then appended the numbers for both years to the data set to produce this graphic:

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