Gates of Vienna News Feed 6/1/2019

The European Commission is advocating that Albania and North Macedonia (formerly Macedonia or FYROM) be admitted to the European Union. Federica Mogherini, the Foreign Affairs Commissioner, said that the two Balkan states have shown that they are ready to become part of the European project.

In other news, the Italian culture ministry has cancelled the lease of Steve Bannon’s organization on a state-owned monastery, due to various contractual violations, including a failure to perform maintenance.

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

Thanks to AF, C. Cantoni, Diana West, Dora, JD, Reader from Chicago, 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.

Financial Crisis
» The Stock Market is Sending a Message to Trump: This is the Wrong Kind of Tech War
 
USA
» Alone
» Congressman Matt Gaetz Assaulted at Town Hall — by His Former Democrat Opponent! — Police Arrest the Woman (Video)
» Crazy People Are Dangerous
» Ex-CIA Officer: Trump in “Historic Battle” With “Treasonous” Deep State
» Facebook Flatly Rejects Shareholder Proposals Calling for Mark Zuckerberg to be Ousted as Board Chair at Annual Meeting
» FBI Rescues More Than 200 Exploited Children in Massive Operation
» Green Policies Turned California a Charred Black
» iPhones Harvest and Transmit Massive Amounts of Data While You Sleep
» Is Jared Kushner a Bilderberg Traitor?
» Lunatic Jumps on Stage, Takes Mic From Kamala Harris at MoveOn Candidate Forum (Video)
» Lyme Disease a Bioweapon Gone Awry? Rep. Chris Smith Pushes Trump to Investigate
» ‘Our Gun Laws in the US Don’t Make Sense’: Obama Blasts Second Amendment in Speech to Brazil Audience
» Police Identify Virginia Beach Shooter, Victims as Death Toll Climbs to 13
» Pro-Trump Female Destroys Justin Amash at Town Hall
» Soros, Wallace Help Bankroll Dark Money Fund Aimed at Midwestern Voters
» Teen Climate Change Campaigner Greta Thunberg to Take Year Off School for US Trip
» The Phony Case for Electric Cars
» The Real Constitutional Crisis: Unaccountable Bureaucracy
» Trump WH Nominates ‘Anti-Gunner’ Chuck Canterbury Jr as Next ATF Director
» Trump to Tell May US Won’t Share Intelligence With UK Because of Huawei — Report
» U.S. Bishops Call for ‘Religious Freedom’ In Face of Persecution
 
Europe and the EU
» Donald Trump Says Next UK PM Should Refuse to Pay £39bn Brexit Bill — ‘Walk Away’
» France is Dead as a Cohesive Judeo-Christian Nation
» France’s MeToo creator on Trial for Defaming Man She Accused
» Italy Revokes Lease for Site of Bannon’s Right-Wing Academy
» Outrage as Eid Al-Fitr Replaces National Day Feast in Swedish Municipality
» Report: Italy’s Communist Regime Conspired Against Trump and the American People
» Salvini Faces a Political Minefield After EU Elections
» Send in Nigel! President Trump Says Farage Should Join Brexit Negotiations — ‘Very Smart’
» Swedish Populists Most Likely to be Threatened and Harassed for Views
» The EU, Not Brexit, Killed British Steel
» Turnout in French Yellow Vest Protests Falls to Lowest Yet
» UK: ‘Brexit Political Revolution is Coming’ Nigel Farage Vows to Smash Two Party System Apart
» UK: Establishment Cover Up? Farage Says Brexit Party ‘Hidden’ In Shock YouGov Poll
» UK: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party Takes the Lead in General Election Poll for the First Time
» UK: Witnessing the Islamic Extremist Hate and Media Smears Against Tommy Robinson
» Why the UK Suddenly is Suffering From a Physician Shortage
 
Balkans
» European Commission Moves to Bring Albania Into EU
 
Middle East
» Exposed: Qatari Funding of Tariq Ramadan, European Islamist Networks
 
South Asia
» Monkey Kills One Person and Injures Nine Others in Nine-Day Rampage Through Indian Town
» Tawang Yields a New Species of Dung Beetle
» Trump to End Trade Privileges for India on June 5
» Trump Declares Trade War on India, Imposes New Tariffs
 
Far East
» Duterte Says He Used to be Gay, But “Cured Himself” When He Met His Wife
» Kim Jong-un Executes His Man in America
» Photographer Releases Never-Before-Seen Tiananmen Protest Photos
» Twitter Bans Chinese Dissidents Days Before Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre
 
Immigration
» “Extreme Vetting” Begins: U.S. Visa Applicants Must Now Turn Over Their Social Media History
» Once Open Sweden Now a Hostile Environment for Muslim Refugees
» ‘Record Number’ of Migrant Boats in English Channel, ‘Home Office Needs to Get a Grip’
» Sweden’s Self-Inflicted Mess
 
Culture Wars
» Lancet Decries Conservative ‘Backlash’ Against Gender Ideology
» Pregnant Illinois Rep: Bill Will Allow Abortion of a ‘Perfectly Healthy’ Baby
» Trump Celebrates LGBT Pride Month, Urges World to Decriminalize Homosexuality
 

The Stock Market is Sending a Message to Trump: This is the Wrong Kind of Tech War

As things stand, America is likely to lose the tech war with China. The stock market should be sending a message to President Trump. U.S. semiconductor stocks are down 20% in the past month, and the broad market has been in freefall for a week. This is a war we can win, by mobilizing American ingenuity to produce technology that will crush the competition. No-one ever won a war by trying to stop someone else from doing something. I’m an Always Trumper, and I want the president to win another term. But he’s risking the U.S. economy and his re-election chances on a poorly-conceived offensive.

Last year we produced just 10% of the world’s semiconductors, down from 25% in 2011 and nearly 100% in the Reagan era. We don’t produce any telecom gear to compete with Huawei’s best-of-breed products (we’re telling our allies to buy from Ericsson and Nokia, who also make their gear in China). We’re trying to stop the Chinese telecom giant from dominating the rollout of a game-changing new technology, but we’ve got no competing product. We might slow Huawei down by banning exports of U.S. technology — although I doubt we will slow it very much — but we can’t stop China from becoming the world’s dominant producer of high-tech products unless we rebuild our own high-tech industry.

The U.S. invented the integrated circuit in the 1950s and perfected CMOS chip manufacturing in the 1970s, making cheap, small, and powerful processors the basis for the modern digital economy. CMOS came out of RCA Labs with Defense Department R&D funding, under the direction of Dr. Henry Kressel, then head of RCA’s electrical engineering research. Last December, Dr. Kressel and I argued in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that the U.S. had to bring chip manufacturing back onshore, despite the enormous cost of doing so.

Just why has the trade war morphed into a tech war?

Telecom hardwire providers serve their national intelligence agencies. It would be naive to imagine that China’s giant Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest provider of telecom equipment, doesn’t have ties to its country’s intelligence service, as American officials allege. I’m sure of this, because that’s exactly what our National Security Agency did with Cisco, formerly America’s premier supplier of Internet routers and related equipment. The NSA installed “back doors” in Cisco equipment according to documents leaked to the public by renegade NSA consultant Edward Snowden. Yes, the NSA knows where your phone is, even when it’s turned off, and when it’s turned on, it can listen to your conversations. Whether it actually does or not is a matter of conjecture.

The U.S. intelligence community has led the charge against Huawei, claiming that if the Chinese company leads the global rollout in fifth-generation mobile broadband, China will be able to eavesdrop on the world. It isn’t quite that simple. The 5G signal is so dense, I am informed, that it permits end-to-end encryption of voice calls as well as data, with an unbreakable degree of complexity. It isn’t so much that China would be able to steal data, but rather that U.S. intelligence would lose its present advantage in signal intelligence.

Much as I fear abuse of power by U.S. intelligence, and suspect “deep state” participation in an attempted coup against President Trump, I want the United States to maintain its advantage in electronic eavesdropping. The problem is that we don’t produce any telecom hardware. Zilch. We used to. Cisco was the market leader, but has pretty much abandoned the hardware business (it makes more money in software).

The U.S. economic expansion is at risk. In April the purchasing managers’ surveys produced by the research organization Markit fell off a cliff. At barely above the 50 mark, they show that almost as many businesses were contracting as were growing. The trade war is partly to blame: Businesses have postponed capital investment until the shape of global supply chains is clear. The Atlanta Fed is now projecting 2nd-quarter growth at just 1.3%, and JP Morgan is predicting 1%. That’s a big drop from the preliminary 3.2% number for the 1st quarter (and that was probably inflated by fluff). Bond yields are in free fall, at their lowest level in 17 months, as investors anticipate economic weakness…[…]

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

Alone

by Diana West

A lot of buzz around AG William Barr’s CBS interview.

Below are a few excerpts, starting with Barr’s alarming-in-his-casual-way comments about Mueller’s start-to-finish dishonest statement this week. I refer to the Special Counsel’s mud-slinging exit-call to Congress to impeach President Trump for non-charges related not to the hoax of Russian collusion with Trump — Mueller’s report took that off the table — but rather related to the hoax of Russian “intereference” in Trump’s election. In both cases, Russia’s alleged role is unproven, and controverting evidence exists that strongly seems to disprove it as alleged, as I have discussed on many occasions. Barr thinks it was “fine.”

“Collusion” aside: Without the smokescreen of “Russian interference” to secure Trump’s election, as the Big Lie continues to this day, the anti-Trump conspirators have nowhere to hide. My own rule of thumb is, Any investigator or official who manages this smokescreen instead of blowing it away by (1) examining the DNC server (2) interviewing former NSA tech director William Binney (3) interviewing WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, now gravely ill in a British prison and under US indictment (4) investigating the murder of DNC official Seth Rich, is showing himself to be part of, or in thrall to, the Deep State conspiracy against President Trump and the American people…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]
 

Congressman Matt Gaetz Assaulted at Town Hall — by His Former Democrat Opponent! — Police Arrest the Woman (Video)

Unhinged leftists surrounded Congressman Matt Gaetz as he was leaving a town hall in Florida on Saturday, with one woman throwing a milkshake at him while her friends shouted the usual chants at him.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Crazy People Are Dangerous

A man who lit himself on fire in front of the White House this week has died, and has been identified as Arnav Gupta, 33. While his motive is unknown, TMZ reports that D.C. police sources say they believe Gupta was under the influence of drugs, including PCP. Gupta grew up in the affluent D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, and attended elite schools, graduating from Landon School for boys in 2004 and Boston University in 2008. When your parents can afford to send you to Landon (tuition $43,560 a year) and BU ($69,668 a year, including room and board), they probably expect you to accomplish great things in life, and it doesn’t seem as if Arnav Gupta was accomplishing much of anything.

Heavy-dot-com reports that Gupta worked a couple of years after college as a coach at Landon School, and recently self-published a rather deranged poem called “Memoirs of a Shadow President.” According to his LinkedIn profile, Gupta had worked five years in “property management” which, if I had to guess, was related to his parents’ business. In short, he was an over-educated loser, a bum, a slacker, a disappointment to his family, and setting himself on fire in front of the White House was an act of desperate madness. Crazy People Are Dangerous.

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

Ex-CIA Officer: Trump in “Historic Battle” With “Treasonous” Deep State

Former CIA Officer and whistleblower Kevin Shipp says what is going on in Washington D.C. with the “treason” against Trump is unlike anything we have ever faced as a nation.

Shipp explains, “This is an historic battle between the President of the United States and what I call the ‘Shadow Government.’

“Some call this the ‘Deep State,’ and that includes the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. President Trump is the first President to stand up against this Shadow Government. They have been spying on Trump since he was a presidential candidate. So, this is huge, it’s historic and nothing like this has ever occurred in any western government…

The Shadow Government has been controlling Congress, controlling the judiciary and controlling the President of the United States. No one has stood up against them until Donald J. Trump. They did not figure on this, and he is not bound to this Shadow Government or their threats. Trump has got them quaking in their boots because they have been engaged in illegal surveillance. They have been engaged in a false counter-intelligence against the Trump campaign, literally planting spies in the Trump campaign.

I can guarantee you they are scrambling like rats trying to get off a ship. Comey points fingers at Clapper, he’s pointing fingers at Comey, there’s Loretta Lynch and on and on. They are scared because if this stuff is declassified, the American people will see what they have done. For some of these people, this amounts to treason. They attempted a coup against a duly elected President of the United States.”

Make no mistake, what happened to President Trump with the “hoax” of Russia collusion was a frame job to try to knock him out of office. Trump has called this “treason,” and when he says this, the mainstream media is silent and won’t report it. Shipp says,

[…]

This is simply a case of spying to get blackmail information against political opponents. It goes back to 2012 and was under the direction of President Obama, according to Shipp. Shipp explains, “This was NSA domestic surveillance, and it’s been going on since before 9/11. It increased after 9/11.”

“What they did, Comey and others like Brennan, they went in and requested information existing already on NSA super computers and used that information to spy on the Trump Campaign…They did spy on Donald Trump, and it was extensive. It was criminal and was existing systems the NSA already had in place…

This leads all the way to Barack Obama and, of course, Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton being the blackmailer extraordinaire and Barack Obama…

They were using this power to intimidate others and probably to blackmail others… that’s exactly what they were doing… They were all engaging in flagrant criminal activity. They all thought the global princess was going to get elected, and all of a sudden—boom. The unthinkable happened for them. Donald Trump was elected, and they freaked out.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Facebook Flatly Rejects Shareholder Proposals Calling for Mark Zuckerberg to be Ousted as Board Chair at Annual Meeting

Facebook’s board of directors uniformly shot down a string of shareholder proposals calling for checks on CEO and board chair Mark Zuckerberg’s power.

Eight shareholder proposals were submitted seeking to challenge Zuckerberg’s control over the board and each of them were rejected during the social media giant’s annual shareholder meeting in Menlo Park, California.

It was widely expected that the proposals would fail, as Zuckerberg has monopoly voting power, controlling 88 percent of Facebook’s shares and therefore giving him approximately 58 percent of the vote.

[Comment: Face-build-your-own-dossier-book.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

FBI Rescues More Than 200 Exploited Children in Massive Operation

The FBI delivered on a massive operation to rescue missing children.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced Wednesday that more than 200 exploited children had been rescued in a massive operation to locate missing youths.

The FBI Atlanta Field Office released a statement confirming that, along with 27 other local, state, and federal law enforcement entities, that 231 missing children had been successfully located in the month of May during Operation Safe Summer.

“From May 1, 2019 to May 24, 2019, 231 missing and/or exploited children were located. The operation’s goal was to combat all forms of child exploitation and make our community safer for our children heading into the summer months. The end of OSS coincided with National Missing Children’s Day, May 25,” the release said.

The statement said that on average, one in seven missing children is a victim of sex trafficking.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Green Policies Turned California a Charred Black

More than half of California’s roughly 105 million acres are owned by the federal and state governments. It is on these sprawling parcels that the wildfires tend to rage before devouring private land, homes, and businesses.

Public lands “have proved far more vulnerable to forest fires than properties owned by private groups,” Hoover Institution scholar Richard Epstein wrote in California’s Forest Fire Tragedy. “Private lands are managed with the goals of conservation and production. The management of public lands has been buffeted by legislative schemes driven by strong ideological commitments.”

The loudest voices assign blame for the fires to man-made climate change. But the human activity primarily responsible for the destructive spread of wildfires is public policy favoring burned timber over harvested timber. While maybe well-intended, laws inspired by the 1970s environmentalist movement, which is determined to make sure saw blades and trees never meet, have stoked the furnaces.

Rep. Tom McClintock, one of the few Republicans remaining in California’s congressional delegation, explained during a House floor speech last fall that “excess timber comes out of the forest one way or the other. It is either carried out, or it burns out. But it comes out.”

When excess timber was harvested in another era, he added, “we had healthy, resilient forests and we had thriving prosperous communities.” Timber sales from federal lands, said McClintock, generated revenue for local California communities and created thousands of jobs.

Given the extensive fire coverage in the media, it would be easy to believe we’re living in unprecedented times. Yet the number of all U.S. wildfires has remained “roughly constant” since the 1970s, a 2015 Reason Foundation policy brief tells us. What has increased, and sharply every year over the past three decades, is the area burned by wildfires. The average size of each wildfire more than doubled over that period.

The report’s author, Julian Morris, says “climatic factors cannot explain the pattern of fires observed over the past century.” Then there has to be another cause. Though it’s politically incorrect to agree with President Trump, he wasn’t wrong when he tweeted about the “gross mismanagement of the forests” being a factor in the fires.

Proper management of forests has to include tree-thinning, though not clear-cutting, and controlled-burns on public lands, as well as the removal of dead, diseased, and already-burned trees, which is oddly not allowed. Those 129 million dead trees in the state that can’t be hauled out are kindling to feed the next fires.

Of course forests aren’t the only acreage burning in California. Fires in Southern California roar through scrub brush, driven by hot Santa Ana winds, especially in areas where the brush has not been appropriately cleared. In many cases, brushy areas are scorched by fires that began in government-controlled forests.

“Wildfires have no boundaries,” Cal Fire Deputy Director Mike Mohler told PRI.

While state and national policymakers have been busy for decades searching out still another source of man-made pollution to eliminate, they have allowed a natural source to grow into a nearly uncontrollable monster. Maybe they’ve been distracted. As California and federal officials have taken “immense” steps “to stop, for example, tailpipe emissions,” says Epstein, both have been slow to rethink logging policy and other management strategies. The result has been a wave of wildfires that have produced far more pollution in California than automobile exhaust.

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

iPhones Harvest and Transmit Massive Amounts of Data While You Sleep

iPhones are surprisingly active in the middle of the night, according to a report by Washington Post Technology writer, Geoffrey Fowler.

iPhone apps passing information in the middle of the night include Microsoft OneDrive, Intuit’s Mint, Nike, Spotify, The Washington Post and IBM’s the Weather Channel. “One app, the crime-alert service Citizen, shared personally identifiable information in violation of its published privacy policy,” Fowler notes.

With the help of privacy firm Disconnect, Fowler encountered over 5,400 trackers in just one week — mostly within apps, that send his information to third party companies. Over the course of a month, the unwanted trackers were on track to upload 1.5 gigabytes of data.

“This is your data. Why should it even leave your phone? Why should it be collected by someone when you don’t know what they’re going to do with it?” said former NSA researcher Patrick Jackson who is currently Disconnect’s chief technology officer. Jackson used special software to analyze Fowler’s iPhone.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Is Jared Kushner a Bilderberg Traitor?

Jared Kushner is heading to Bilderberg and many patriots are worried that, although he is the President’s son-in-law, he will backstab President Trump’s America first agenda. Alex reveals how he feels about Jared visiting this massive globalist meeting.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Lunatic Jumps on Stage, Takes Mic From Kamala Harris at MoveOn Candidate Forum (Video)

This was a major security lapse. Twice! A crazed looking bearded man jumped on stage and took a microphone out of the hands of Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at the MoveOn “Big Ideas” candidate forum in San Francisco Saturday afternoon. Harris was not harmed and left the stage. However it took security several long seconds to hustle the man off as he remained on stage speaking into the mic—and then the security agents took him right to where Harris was hiding off stage!

UPDATE AT END. Man had press credentials and And turns out to be an animal rights activist.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Lyme Disease a Bioweapon Gone Awry? Rep. Chris Smith Pushes Trump to Investigate

It was a sad sight, the mother of a 5-year-old with chronic Lyme disease practically begging for help because no doctor will treat her daughter.

“What can I do about this?” she asked U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, an air of desperation in her voice.

That was the tenor of Wednesday’s Congressional Town Meeting on Lyme and tick-borne diseases. More than 200 people, most of them impacted by Lyme or a related ailment, came to hear Smith and his panel discuss the latest in a long-running battle to get chronic Lyme recognized by the medical establishment. You can hear Smith talk about Lyme disease in the video at the top of this story.

“Massive numbers of people are getting seriously ill from ticks and the federal response to date has been woefully inadequate,” Smith said, later adding, “Never in my 39 years in Congress have I seen such pushback.”

Now Lyme advocates have a new weapon — an explosive book that alleges the epidemic spawned from an American biological warfare experiment gone awry — and Smith, a Republican whose districts stretches across parts of Monmouth, Ocean and Mercer counties, is appealing to President Donald Trump for action.

The book is “Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons” by Stanford University-based science writer Kris Newby. A chronic Lyme sufferer herself, Newby documents how the U.S. military infected ticks with complex, hard-to-detect pathogens in the 1960s. The book’s linchpin is an interview with late scientist Willy Burgdorfer, who did the infecting and references an accidental release of weaponized ticks that might have ignited all of this.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

‘Our Gun Laws in the US Don’t Make Sense’: Obama Blasts Second Amendment in Speech to Brazil Audience

Former US president says gun laws in America allow anyone to get a gun anytime

Obama goes on to say anyone can purchase any type of gun with little to no regulation, and claimed “machine guns” can be bought over the internet.

[comment: More lies from comrade Obama. Communist always seek to disarm the public. Globalists can’t collapse the US economically and impose tyranny until they get the guns out of public hands.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Police Identify Virginia Beach Shooter, Victims as Death Toll Climbs to 13

Police in Virginia Beach have delivered a more complete picture of Friday afternoon’s tragic shooting at a municipal building that has left 13 people dead, including the shooter, and four people injured, including a police officer who was reportedly saved by his bullet-proof vest.

During a Saturday morning news conference, Va. Beach Police Chief James Cervera identified the gunman as DeWayne Craddock, a civil engineer who was a 15-year employee of the city’s public utilities department. Craddock was armed with a .45 caliber handgun, and died after a long gun fight with police. Craddock died after a lengthy shootout with police. The weapon he used had been purchased legally, as Craddock had no criminal record to speak of.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Pro-Trump Female Destroys Justin Amash at Town Hall

Amash receives backlash for supporting Trump impeachment

Justin Amash (R-MI) was met with fierce opposition by a few pro-Trump audience members at a town hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan this week.

Amash earned the ire of Trump supporters after coming out in favor of the president’s impeachment earlier this month, a move which prompted a response by Trump himself.

Another Trump supporter, this time a woman who claimed she’d voted for Amash in every election since 2010, also delivered a fiery rant calling out the RINO for failing to stick by Trump as the going got tough.

“Since that time I’ve changed my position on you,” she told him.

“You have to [be able to] prove that Trump knew that he was guilty of a crime and knowingly tried to obstruct justice based on that, OK? You don’t have proof of that, you don’t have proof of corrupt intent, you don’t.”

“You further know that impeachment would tear this country apart if it went through and he were removed from office. It would cause a political upheaval in this country people in this generation have never seen before, a possible civil war.”

Watch the Trump supporters take Amash to the woodshed:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Soros, Wallace Help Bankroll Dark Money Fund Aimed at Midwestern Voters

Liberal billionaires push money to initiative as Dems ramp up 2020 efforts in region

Liberal billionaires George Soros and Scott Wallace are helping bankroll a new fund hosted by an intricate dark money organization and focused on helping Democrats make inroads with midwestern voters for the 2020 elections.

The deep-pocketed donors moved the money from the Open Society Foundations, Soros’s foundation, and the Wallace Global Fund, Wallace’s foundation, to the newly launched Heartland Fund, a collaborative effort focused on building “power across the divides of the American heartland” as overall Democratic efforts have veered towards the region.

The Heartland Fund recently disbursed $500,000 in its first round of grants to nine left-wing groups and will begin its efforts with organizing and issue advocacy. The initiative is housed at the Windward Fund, which falls under the auspices of Arabella Advisors, a major dark money “fiscal sponsor” network founded by Eric Kessler, a former Bill Clinton appointee.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Teen Climate Change Campaigner Greta Thunberg to Take Year Off School for US Trip

Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg will take a year out of school and travel to the US to continue her campaign to promote environmental protection, RT.com reports.

The teen kicked off the hugely popular ‘school strike’ movement last year for kids to push their elders into taking a serious stand to tackle the devastating effects of climate change and safeguard their future.

Millions of schoolchildren around the world have marched or held events as part of the movement.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

The Phony Case for Electric Cars

In an editorial published last week, Bloomberg (the news site, not the former mayor) declares that the only way cities can “dramatically improve air quality and extend lives shortened by pollution” is to follow the lead of places like Amsterdam and “ban (non-electric) cars.”

“Cities should offer up-front incentives to buy zero-emission cars, for instance, as well as non-financial benefits such as parking vouchers. Higher taxes on petrol and diesel cars — whether via congestion tolls or at the pump — will encourage drivers to switch and offset some of the costs of the transition,” the editorial board says.

They go on, and on, with policy advice, including more public transit options, charging stations, electric taxies and buses and “underground skating pods.”

There’s nothing wrong with underground staking pods, whatever those are, so long as they’re privately funded and operated.

But the entire premise of the Bloomberg editorial is wrong. Flat out wrong. Provably wrong.

The truth is that every city in America has made massive improvements in air quality over the past several decades — progress that was made without any help from electric buses, cars or taxis, and while “gas guzzlers” continued to dominate domestic car sales. Air quality in most places today is above, or well above, the government’s standards for safety.

Don’t believe it? Then go to the official government source for such information: The Environmental Protection Agency. It’s been tracking pollution levels for decades, whether it’s smog, carbon monoxide, or dust. Even in California, smog levels have declined sharply over the years.

[…]

And while pollution levels have been steadily declining, the number of miles driven has vastly increased — it’s up 50% since 1990. What’s more, car buyers have, over these years, been flocking to trucks and SUVs and away from passenger cars.

How is it possible that the air is vastly cleaner? Because new cars are more efficient and less polluting. And as the fleet of cars turns over, air pollution levels steadily decline.

Yet news outlets like Bloomberg continue to peddle the myth that air pollution is terrible and getting worse, and that the only way to clean the air is by taking draconian actions like forcing people into cars they don’t want or modes of transportation that don’t meet their needs.

Worse, they perpetuate the lie that electric cars are zero emission. They aren’t. While the cars themselves don’t emit pollution, the electricity that powers them does. So increasing demand for electricity means more pollution from the power plants — many of which run on coal — that fuel these “zero emission” vehicles.

Even when it comes to fighting climate change, electric cars aren’t necessarily better than their gas-powered brethren.

A report from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute calculated the CO2 emissions from plug-in electrics based on the energy sources used to generate electricity, and then translated that into a miles-per-gallon equivalent.

They found that an electric car recharged by a coal-fired plant produces as much CO2 as a gasoline-powered car that gets 29 miles per gallon. A plug-in recharged by a natural gas-powered plant is like driving a car that gets 58 miles per gallon. Given the energy mix in the U.S., the average plug-in produces as much CO2 as a conventional car that gets 55.4 miles per gallon. […]

[see the charts and links at URL]

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

The Real Constitutional Crisis: Unaccountable Bureaucracy

For the last few weeks, the lemming-like Democrat/Media Complex has been promoting the highly coordinated message that America is in the midst of a “constitutional crisis.” They’re right on the mark, but due to their reflexive hatred of Donald Trump, they’ve picked the wrong target. It isn’t the president who threatens the Constitution. It’s a cadre of unelected, unaccountable, insulated bureaucrats who not only threaten it but have actively trampled it — for years.

An investigation conducted by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), a nonprofit legal organization “that defends Americans’ liberties when threatened by government overreach and abuse,” reveals the enormous implications of unaccountable power-mongering. In the midst of pursuing litigation against the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) labeling of vaping devices and e-cigarettes as tobacco products, and thus subjecting them to regulations that will damage the industry and perhaps adversely impact public health — all of which is antithetical to the FDA’s mission — they discovered a career bureaucrat had signed off on the rule.

The problem? The bureaucrat had no authority whatsoever to do so. “The Constitution’s Appointments Clause requires that rules binding Americans must be issued by ‘officers of the United States’ — i.e., government officials appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, or hired by cabinet secretaries under congressional authorization,” PLF’s legal policy director Clint V. Brown explains. “Such officials are subject to political accountability, which allows them to wield political power such as issuing binding rules.”

By contrast, career bureaucrats are government employees hired through a merit system that is supposed to be immune to political influence in both hiring and firing procedures.

Because of this ruling, PLF decided to look more extensively at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversees the FDA. What they discovered should infuriate every American who supports the Rule of Law and the Constitution: “Looking at all rules issued by HHS from 2001 to 2017, we found that 71 percent of the 2,952 rules we reviewed were unconstitutional,” Brown reveals. “The worst offender within HHS is FDA, where 98 percent of rules are unconstitutional.”

Note first that a single government agency averaged implementing just under 174 rules every year for nearly two decades. Note further that even at the lower rate of 71%, 123 of those rules were unconstitutional. And while Brown notes that many of them are “highly technical’ and aimed at “scientific drug and food development,” others “are significant regulations that carry huge costs and have a substantive impact felt by businesses and consumers.”

Why has this occurred? Because we have a Ruling Class that is more than willing to abdicate responsibility and allow “faceless and unaccountable bureaucrats who never have to answer to the voters or the political process” to run the country. And because of the aforementioned merit system, firing many of these people is virtually impossible, no matter how badly they perform.

Is there any doubt that such a dynamic breeds arrogance?

Brown offers a partial solution to the problem, explaining that Trump could require that “only Senate-confirmed officials sign-off on his administration’s rules.” Yet that presumes those officials will be in charge of promulgating regulations and be beholden to the president should they fail to do his bidding.

Are they? In an effort to bash the president, the Miami Herald asserted that Trump was on the verge of “dumping” (more linguistic coordination) as many as 1,000 illegals per month on the state of Florida. Yet according to the president himself, he had no knowledge of the plan and subsequently killed it. White House and DHS officials characterized it as a “misunderstanding,” while both the Herald and Politico insisted Trump’s “chaotic” immigration policies were to blame.

Were they? Or was this incident indicative of unilateral action undertaken by officials interested in pursuing their own agenda, hoping Trump won’t notice or won’t care?

But Trump does care about immigration policy, and when he did take on the bureaucracy by removing DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph D. “Tex” Alles because they weren’t in alignment with his agenda, The Washington Post characterized it as a “purge” while The New York Times portrayed it as “political bloodletting.”

That would be the same Washington Post and New York Times that both insisted there was no crisis at the border until there was a “new reality” (Post) and we had reached a “breaking point” (Times).

America’s real breaking point? Bureaucratic arrogance — and the lawlessness it engenders — is metastasizing, driven by a 2016 election that didn’t produce the properly “enlightened” results favored by those bureaucrats. “Real coups against democracies rarely are pulled off by jack-booted thugs in sunglasses or fanatical mobs storming the presidential palace,” Victor Davis Hanson writes. “More often, they are the insidious work of supercilious bureaucrats, bought intellectuals, toady journalists, and political activists who falsely project that their target might at some future date do precisely what they are currently planning and doing — and that they are noble patriots, risking their lives, careers, and reputations for all of us, and thus must strike first.”

This evolution of bureaucracy to the point where we have a de facto government-within-a-government was not unforeseen. “The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations,” wrote president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937.

That’s because, as Roosevelt so astutely noted, “the employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress.”

The Pacific Legal Foundation has blown up that long-cultivated fairy tale in no uncertain terms. And even more ominously, it’s not hard to conclude that unconstitutional rules perpetrated by the likes of bureaucrats at HHS might be among the most benign efforts to undermine the will of the American people. Far more brazen abuses of power has already been documented at agencies like the EPA, NSA, and the IRS.

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

Trump WH Nominates ‘Anti-Gunner’ Chuck Canterbury Jr as Next ATF Director

National Association for Gun Rights president Dudley Brown warned Friday that the White House’s pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is an “anti-gunner.”

From the National Association For Gun Rights

Late on Friday afternoon the White House released an official statement that Chuck Canterbury, Jr. was nominated to become the next ATF Director.

Unfortunately, Canterbury has a long history of publicly supporting and endorsing anti-gun policies, anti-gun Supreme Court nominees, and anti-gun high ranking government officials.

In his official capacity as President of the National Fraternal Order of Police, Canterbury has:

  • Supported radical anti-gun Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
  • Supported former Attorney General Eric Holder — Obama’s head honcho who ran the deadly Fast and Furious gun running program.
  • Supported expanding the federal government’s gun registration schemes.

Even more troubling, Canterbury’s FOP is currently lobbying AGAINST Constitutional Carry, even though the vast majority of law enforcement officers support the right to carry.

This is troubling news.

[Comment: Jared Kirchner may have had a hand in this. He and Ivanka have no business in the WH. The American public never voted for those leftists.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Trump to Tell May US Won’t Share Intelligence With UK Because of Huawei — Report

The White House has been lobbying its European allies against granting Huawei access to its networks, claiming the Chinese government wields significant control over the company, despite its denials.

President Donald Trump will reportedly tell Theresa May next week that the United States will stop sharing intelligence with the UK unless London scraps its plans to allow Huawei to build a 5G mobile phone network.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

U.S. Bishops Call for ‘Religious Freedom’ In Face of Persecution

The United States Bishops are calling for prayer and action “in support of religious liberty at home and abroad” during Religious Freedom Week, which will run from June 22 to June 29.

“Catholics face challenges both in our current political climate of polarization and within the Church,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, the chairman of the Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty. “Christian child welfare institutions and Catholics in public life are encountering significant obstacles to their work, while our brothers and sisters in places like Nigeria suffer violent persecution.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Donald Trump Says Next UK PM Should Refuse to Pay £39bn Brexit Bill — ‘Walk Away’

DONALD TRUMP has stated the next Prime Minister should refuse to pay the £39billion Brexit divorce bill if Brussels does not make concessions.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

France is Dead as a Cohesive Judeo-Christian Nation

There was something darkly symbolic about the fire that nearly destroyed the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris on April 15 — the morrow of Palm Sunday — and the fall amid heavy smoke of its 93-metre iron spire. One couldn’t help linking the religious and architectural disaster with a deeper crisis: the passing of France as a distinct country, or at least as the Western, Judeo-Christian nation it had hitherto been presumed to be.

Writing in Causeur the morning after, Hadrien Desuin, a conservative journalist, conveyed some of these feelings as he observed: “Beyond the cathedral’s fire, France itself is burning …We have witnessed the Church’s slow death … and now even the old stones are collapsing… Yes, France may die… That’s what Notre-Dame’s flames tell us.”

Prophesying imminent doom is admittedly as old as civilisation itself. While most such warnings remain merely rhetorical, many others are however validated by ensuing events, from the forebodings of Cassandra of Troy three thousand years ago — as recorded by Homer — to Winston Churchill’s statements in the wake of the Munich accords in 1938.

Regarding France in 2019, it can no longer be denied that a momentous and hazardous transformation, a “Great Switch”, is in the making. Jerôme Fourquet, an analyst for the very mainstream Ifop polling institute, garnered in a book released last February, L’Archipel français (The French Archipelago), a wide range of figures in this respect. According to him, Catholicism, once France’s main religion, is indeed waning. So is, by implication, a traditional view of life, death, family, individual destiny and politics. By the same token, immigrant Muslim communities with completely different outlooks and values are rising within French society at a rapid pace, and getting ever more assertive. L’Archipel français was awarded the 2019 Political Book Prize by a jury comprised of the political editor of thirty leading newspapers and media.

[…]

The most immediate reason for the decline of French Catholicism is a growing shortage of priests and other clergy, a very severe difficulty for a priest-based religion. “There were as many priests, monks and nuns in France in 1950 as at the beginning of the Revolution in 1789: 177,000 against 170,000. Their number fell to 51,500 in 2015.” That is to say to less than one third of the original number.

The turning point, according to Fourquet, was Vatican II: the Ecumenical Council of 1962-65, which undertook drastic reforms in the Church’s life. Priests were requested to forgo much of their traditional authority, and at the same time to stay poor, obedient and celibate. Many of them felt that was too much, and left the Church; likewise, many Catholic seminarians desisted from taking vows. This combined trend — an exit of older priests and a shortage of new priests — accelerated over the years, reducing France’s Catholic parish clergy from 25,203 priests in 1990 to 11,908 in 2015. Half of what is left of the clergy today are old and beyond the age of retirement, a situation “that will lead mechanically to a further decrease in the coming years”. The French Church is relying nowadays on “Southern countries’ priests”, a euphemism for African, Latin American and Asian recruits, to keep a minimum of 7-8,000 parishes operational. Quite a reversal of fortune for a country that in the 19th century provided three quarters of the missionaries who actually founded the African and Asian churches.

[Christianity is moving South and East as Islam moves West…]

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

France’s MeToo creator on Trial for Defaming Man She Accused

The woman who started France’s campaign to encourage women to expose their sexual harassers has appeared in court over allegations of defamation.

Sandra Muller is being sued by Eric Brion, who she named when she created the “#balancetonporc” hashtag.

The TV executive says he flirted with Ms Muller inappropriately on a single occasion, but his portrayal as a predator has ruined his career.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Italy Revokes Lease for Site of Bannon’s Right-Wing Academy

MILAN (Reuters) — Italy’s culture ministry has said it will revoke the lease on a state-owned monastery where a right-wing Roman Catholic institute close to former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon had planned to train political activists.

In a statement on Friday, the ministry said it would revoke the concession on the mountaintop property outside Rome granted to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, citing violations of various contractual obligations including a failure to pay concession fees and do maintenance work.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Outrage as Eid Al-Fitr Replaces National Day Feast in Swedish Municipality

An integration attempt in immigrant-heavy Järfälla municipality has failed, when the Islamic holiday edged out Swedish National Day from the most coveted spot.

Following demands from locals, Järfälla municipality in Greater Stockholm has replaced the National Day celebrations with an Islamic feast in the residential area Söderhöjden, the news outlet Samtiden reported.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Report: Italy’s Communist Regime Conspired Against Trump and the American People

Firing of top Italian spies related to Obama plot to set up President Trump in Hillary email scandal

There could be, however, other interesting developments on this story that the Italian media are keeping totally silent because it involves SpyGate, linked to the total failure of the Russiagate investigation. We all know how they attempted to frame a young Trump staff assistant, George Papadopoulos, through a fake “Russian spy,” called professor Mifisud, and both these figures interestingly enough, revolved around the Link University in Rome, and contacts between the FBI, and other foreign agencies including the Italian ones that participated in a manipulative plot to sabotage President-elect Donald J. Trump.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Salvini Faces a Political Minefield After EU Elections

Since the moment Lega and Five Star Movement entered into a coalition government after 2018’s election, there has been a concerted external campaign to sow dissent between the two coalition members.

It seems a week doesn’t go by where I don’t see a headline saying that the end of the “Italian Government is Nigh” or some such nonsense.

Incessant poll watching, childish gotcha legal challenges and hair-splitting by European ‘journalists’results in continuous speculation about when Lega leader Matteo Salvini will finally get tired of his left-of-center coalition partner and sweep away the government.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Send in Nigel! President Trump Says Farage Should Join Brexit Negotiations — ‘Very Smart’

DONALD TRUMP has sensationally claimed Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage should join EU exit negotiations ahead of his state visit to the UK next week.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Swedish Populists Most Likely to be Threatened and Harassed for Views

A study by polling firm Demoskop has revealed that as many as three in ten Swedish politicians face threats and harassment, but the populist Sweden Democrats are disproportionately targeted.

In the study, Demoskop asked 4,279 municipal politicians across the country, “Have you been subjected to threats or harassment in connection with your political trust assignments during the past year?” and found that 29 per cent of the respondents said they had experienced threats in public or private, physical violence, or vandalism, Dagens Samhälle reports.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

The EU, Not Brexit, Killed British Steel

On 22 May 2019, British Steel announced that they had become insolvent and the company entered receivership with the UK. The explanation provided for this failure is that British Steel is a victim of the UK’s decision to exit the European Union’s bureaucratic fold . On the surface, this appears to be true, as the company stated that orders from the continent have declined due to uncertainty over the exit process that the UK Parliament has dragged out over the past three years. However, if we dig deeper, we find that it was the EU, not the Brexit decision, which killed the company.

If we look at the company’s latest annual report, we find that the company went from a profit of £92 million in FY ending 2017 to a £19 million loss in FY ending 2018. To douse water on the Brexit claims, the company’s revenues actually increased 11% year-over-year. The real problem was the company’s expenses bloated by a tremendous 25% over the same period. The steel production process is energy intensive, so a significant portion of this price increase is related to a sharp spike in energy prices in the UK over late 2017 to early 2018. The second major cost driver is British Steel was no longer able to delay paying for the EU’s mandatory cap-and-trade policy. Under the cap-and-trade system, companies were able to pull forward future credits to pay for current years. British Steel’s future credits ran out in 2018 and were facing a £100 million bill to cover their 2018 charges. This amount represents a full 10% of the company’s annual revenue base and was so large thatthe company requested the British Government to provide a loan to cover the costs as the company only has around £5 million in cash to make such a payment. A good deal of the aforementioned energy price spike is also related to the EU’s cap-and-trade regime becoming more aggressive as it moves into the 2021-2030 phase of the program .

British Steel would have become financially insolvent on 22 May 2019 even had the UK voted to remain in the EU.

Had British Steel not been handed an insane £100 million bill for carbon emissions and who knows how much passed through via the utility bill, the company would be in good shape right now. And people don’t even get to enjoy the feeling that a polluting industry is held in check as the steel purchases will only shift to countries like China, Russia and India, which occupy three of the top four places in global emissions, where there is little concern for emission levels and EU emissions credits have no legal authority.

The Brexit excuse is just a convenient way to latch onto a more visible event as pointing out that EU environmental policy destroyed British Steel would be politically embarrassing to the EU Parliament and UK politicians that would see a domestic cap-and-trade program created after Brexit.

This event is just one of many real world examples of the EU’s destructive centralization policies. The cap-and-trade program and a host of other micromanagement regulatory impositions are a key driver behind the EU’spoor economic performance and terrible employment conditions.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Turnout in French Yellow Vest Protests Falls to Lowest Yet

Yellow Vest demonstrators gathered on Saturday for a 29th straight weekend of protests against police violence and President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms, but turnout was the lowest in more than six months.

Some 1,500 protesters rallied peacefully in Paris, according to the French Interior Ministry, with less than 10,000 protesting nationwide.

The low turnout underscored the decline of a grassroots movement that brought up to 300,000 people to the streets of French towns and cities at its peak in late 2018.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

UK: ‘Brexit Political Revolution is Coming’ Nigel Farage Vows to Smash Two Party System Apart

NIGEL FARAGE has vowed to “smash the two party system apart” — beginning with this week’s by-election in Peterborough.

As his supporters plot to put him in Downing Street after the next election, he was leading a rally in the city ahead of Thursday’s crucial vote. According to friends of Mr Farage, a victory for the Brexit Party in the East Anglian city will cause political tremors around the world, similar to Trump’s shock presidential victory. The Brexit Party leader also said he is ready to meet Donald Trump if the US President still wants to see him on his state visit. He said: “The President has asked to see me, Downing Street don’t want me to meet him but if he asks of course I will go.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Establishment Cover Up? Farage Says Brexit Party ‘Hidden’ In Shock YouGov Poll

The survey placed the determinedly pro-EU Lib Dems on 24 percent — their best showing since 2010 — while the Brexit Party, which topped the European election, was close behind with 22 percent. The Conservatives and Labour were tied on just 19 percent.

Nigel Farage has claimed a bombshell poll showing the Liberal Democrats top has underplayed the Brexit Party surge, as his party was “hidden” from voters in the shock YouGov survey which put it in second place nationally.

Farage dismissed the results as skewed against his party, as those surveyed were initially asked to choose between the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and ‘other’. Only if they chose ‘other’ were they offered the opportunity to opt for Brexit Party.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party Takes the Lead in General Election Poll for the First Time

NIGEL FARAGE’s Brexit Party has topped a general election voting poll for the very first time, according to a new survey.

Mr Farage’s party was the most popular party garnering an impressive 26 percent of the votes which puts it ahead of Labour’s 22 percent. The Opinium poll asked voters how they would cast their ballots at the next Westminster election. The Tories are trailing in third place with just 17 percent of the votes.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Witnessing the Islamic Extremist Hate and Media Smears Against Tommy Robinson

Well, I made it back in one piece. After spending two weeks in the UK covering Tommy Robinson’s MEP campaign, I have a new appreciation for the contrast between Tommy’s supporters and his haters in the media and beyond.

I witnessed hundreds of Muslim rioters pushing back on police during Tommy’s campaign events, but no arrests were made. I was barred by the same police from speaking to even the less violent lefty protesters.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Why the UK Suddenly is Suffering From a Physician Shortage

UK tax policy intended to soak the rich has caused highly specialized physicians and surgeons to retire early, depriving more than a million citizens of their services. A new report details the extent to which progressive taxation has harmed British patients.

The NHS is in a state of perpetual crisis characterized by doctor shortages, long wait times, and rationing. The UK lost 441 general practitioners last year and had 11,576 unfilled vacancies for doctors as of last June.

Closing up Shop But in the last six years, 585 surgical practices have closed down, affecting 1.9 million patients. Last year alone, 138 surgery facilities closed their doors, up from 18 in 2013.

What changed during that time? The Daily Mail explains:

The [British Medical Association] has warned that growing numbers of GPs and consultants are taking early retirement or cutting back on work to avoid hefty pensions taxes which make it uneconomic to continue practising. Retiring GPs often create a domino effect by leaving remaining colleagues with more work, who in turn become demoralised and quit.

The problem has been compounded by the fact that more doctors are now working part-time.

Some members of UK society dismiss anything published in the Daily Mail. However, more socially prestigious outlets confirmed that analysis:

An investigation [in March] by the Financial Times found widespread evidence of consultants refusing to take on extra work to clear patient backlogs fearing extra pay would bust tax allowances on their pensions contributions, triggering five-figure tax bills. …

[T]he Department of Health conceded that around 3,500 consultants and GPs had retired early over the past three years due to pension tax charges.

The NHS pension system is a Byzantine labyrinth of rules and regulations impossible for most people to navigate.

In brief: NHS doctors have no choice about whether, or how much, to contribute to their public pension. Physicians must contribute up to 14.5 percent of procedures deemed “pensionable pay.”

Citizens may also have a private pension plan. But since deposits are tax-deferred, the government slashed the annual limit on contributions from £255,000 in 2010-2011 to £40,000 in 2014-2015. There is also a lifetime pension limit of £1,055,000.

To further complicate matters, a penalty kicks in on anyone earning an “adjusted income” of £150,000 annually—but that amount includes earnings and any growth in the pension plan (which is impossible to foresee).

That can cause doctors to exceed government-mandated caps and see their income taxed at 40 to 45 percent. In some cases, they end up paying the NHS to work.

Doctors respond to these perverse incentives the same way many rational actors would: by closing up shop. All parties agree the UK’s progressive tax policy triggered this cascading medical shortage. Matt Hancock, secretary of state for Health and Social Care, admitted, “This is an unintended consequence of a different tax change made a couple of years ago.” The policy “produced unforeseen consequences, resulting in punitive tax bills for senior doctors who carry out much-needed work,” said NHS Providers. And a spokesman for the BMA blamed “the unintended consequences of changes to the pension taxation rules.”

[…]

Politicians are aware of the problem, but they cannot offer any solutions because of envy. A government insider told The Guardian, “There’s no way any government, not just this one, is going to change the tax system to benefit people who are in the top one percent of earners.” Not even if members of that 1 percent keep the other 99 percent alive.

The government sees only half of the equation: temporary tax revenue and short-term political advantage. A spokesperson for the Treasury confirmed this to the FT, saying that “we do have to get the balance right between encouraging saving and managing government finances, which is why we restrict the tax relief available for the highest earners.”

For the government, it is a simple trade-off of maximizing tax revenue vs. providing “tax relief” to the wealthy.

For half-a-million British patients, the cost is too high and too personal.

Increasing taxes on the wealthiest Brits has harmed them in at least five ways […]

[Envy is the engine of the welfare state… Go to the URL to read the five ways usurial levels of taxation on the rich hurt the rest of us,too.]

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

European Commission Moves to Bring Albania Into EU

The European Commission is pushing for Albania and North Macedonia to be absorbed into the European Union.

“Albania and North Macedonia have shown a strong determination to advance on the EU path and achieved results that are concrete and must be irreversible,” claimed Federica Mogherini, the bloc’s grandiosely titled High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Exposed: Qatari Funding of Tariq Ramadan, European Islamist Networks

Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born Muslim thinker and Oxford academic … was widely held up as an influential religious moderate before his 2017 arrest for rape.

Perhaps it is this image of sage disinterestedness that makes it all the more shocking when a prominent religious voice is found to be on someone’s payroll. But with Ramadan, it should come as less of a surprise. The grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan has long been accused of a pro-Brotherhood agenda by researchers and anti-Brotherhood activists. Now, new research has revealed that Ramadan was being lavishly funded by Qatar, the Brotherhood’s chief patron. Qatar’s powerful state-development organization, the Qatar Foundation, was paying Ramadan for “consulting” to the tune of 35,000 euros a month.

The latest scandal implicating the Islamist ideologue was revealed by a new book, Qatar Papers, by French investigative journalists Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot. Based on extensive bank records the authors received on a USB stick from a whistleblower, the book revealed that Ramadan was on the payroll of the Qatari regime for years. Qatari money would fund his purchase of two swanky apartments in Paris, among other things.

Ramadan’s ties to Qatar are extensive; he was visiting professor at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha, and director of the Qatar Foundation-backed Research Centre for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) in Doha, Qatar. He was also president of the pro-Qtari think tank European Muslim Network (EMN) in Brussels. Furthermore, Ramadan was a member of the Qatari-funded and Muslim-Brotherhood-run International Union of Muslim Scholars, which until recently was headed by the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader” Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

[Now, the rape artist’s con jobs continue to be exposed and he’s persona non grata in Qatar…]

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

Monkey Kills One Person and Injures Nine Others in Nine-Day Rampage Through Indian Town

A monkey has killed a 60-year-old man and injured nine others after going on the rampage through a town in India.

The wild animal has been menacing residents of Badnawar in central India for the last nine days, according to local media.

One man, Nathuram, died of his injuries after apparently being bitten by the monkey. A 15-year-old boy has also been wounded, the Times of India reported.

One source of anger has been the lack of available rabies injections at the local hospital, it is claimed.

After a three-hour search by rescue workers the monkey was finally found and captured.

It comes just days after bizarre footage emerged showing a monkey appearing to take an Indian bank employee hostage by sitting on him.

The terrified worker at the Axis Bank in Nirman Vihar, New Delhi, stood still as the animal sat on his back.

After drawing an audience, the monkey eventually seemed to get bored and jumped off the man’s back and on to the floor.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Tawang Yields a New Species of Dung Beetle

A new species of dung beetle has been discovered in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The species, Enoplotrupes tawangensis, is shining dark blue in colour and, measuring up to 27 mm, is relatively bigger than most of the dung beetles.

The specimens were first collected and studied by two scientists from the Zoological Survey of India: Kailash Chandra and Devanshu Gupta. David Kral, a Czech scientist who is an expert on dung beetles, confirmed that he had in his collection similar specimens from Bhutan, which borders Tawang.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Trump to End Trade Privileges for India on June 5

President Donald Trump said on Friday that the United States would end its preferential trade treatment for India on June 5.

Trump had announced his intention to remove India from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program in early March.

“I have determined that India has not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets,” Trump said in a statement on Friday.

India is the biggest beneficiary of the GSP, which allows preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion from the South Asian nation.

Indian officials have raised the prospect of higher import duties on more than 20 U.S. goods if Trump drops India from the program.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Trump Declares Trade War on India, Imposes New Tariffs

President Trump has a victory present for newly re-elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi — and it’s the economic equivalent of a flaming bag of shit on India’s doorstep.

In his latest act of aggressive protectionism in what has already been an action-packed week, Trump late Friday announced that his administration was terminating India’s designation as a developing nation under a trade program that allowed Indian exporters to ship 2,000 products into the US duty free. The decision to revoke India’s preferential trade status, which mirrors Trump’s decision to revoke Turkey’s status under the program a few weeks back, comes one day after Modi was sworn in for a second term.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Duterte Says He Used to be Gay, But “Cured Himself” When He Met His Wife

Did Philippines President and alleged homophobe Rodrigo Duterte just pull an ‘American Beauty’?

The Philippines strongman, who is notorious for his unfiltered public comments (late last year,he accused “most” Catholic Priests of being closet homosexuals), made an unexpected “admission” during a visit to Japan.

During a speech on Thursday, Duterte outed one of his political opponents as a homosexual, and then he outed himself…

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Kim Jong-un Executes His Man in America

Kim Jong-un has executed his envoy to the U.S. for ‘betraying the supreme leader’ as part of ruthless purge of officials after the dictator’s failed summit with Donald Trump, it has been claimed.

Kim Hyok Chol is said to have been shot by a firing squad in March at Mirim Airport for being ‘won over to the US,’ during nuclear negotiations with Trump.

The top diplomat, who accompanied Kim on his private train ahead of the summit in Vietnam, was one of four senior foreign ministry officials executed at the airfield, a source told South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Photographer Releases Never-Before-Seen Tiananmen Protest Photos

A photographer has for the first time shared photos of the Tiananmen Square protests to commemorate the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

All 2,000 photos were hidden for the past three decades until now.

Photographer Liu Jian hopes that the Chinese people won’t forget about the significance of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and that future generations will learn about its history through his photos.

“Tiananmen Square is still there. People who have experienced the massacre are still alive. But the young Chinese don’t know about it,” Liu told the Chinese-language edition of The Epoch Times on May 7. …

Liu was a 19-year-old university student at the time. As a professional photographer, he took 60 rolls of film of the students’ protest and citizens’ support, and washed them by himself—a process in developing film.

Liu, however, didn’t print the photos and just kept the developed film. But recently, he printed and shared them exclusively with the Chinese-language editions of The Epoch Times and NTD television, a U.S.-based uncensored Chinese media outlet.

While cameras weren’t uncommon in China in 1989, Liu said most of the film of the incident disappeared after the photographers sent them to photo studios for washing and printing, because the Chinese regime forced the studios to hand over any film with images of the protest and massacre.

He said 80 percent of film capturing the Tiananmen Square protests was destroyed by the Chinese regime, making his photos even more precious.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]
 

Twitter Bans Chinese Dissidents Days Before Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre

Not satisfied with silencing Trump supporters because it was Her Turn, Twitter last week banned hundreds, and by some reports thousands of Chinese dissidents from the platform — three days before the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

“Extreme Vetting” Begins: U.S. Visa Applicants Must Now Turn Over Their Social Media History

The Trump administration has implemented a new policy, effective Friday, that asks most US visa applicants to provide information on their use of social media. Even temporary visitors will be required to list their social media identifiers in a drop-down menu, along with other personal information, when applying according to The Hill. Applicants for visas will be given the option to say that they don’t use social media, but if they are found to be lying, they could face “serious immigration consequences”, according to a U.S. Department of State official.

A spokesperson for the Department of State said: “This is a critical step forward in establishing enhanced vetting of foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States. As we’ve seen around the world in recent years, social media can be a major forum for terrorist sentiment and activity. This will be a vital tool to screen out terrorists, public safety threats, and other dangerous individuals from gaining immigration benefits and setting foot on U.S. soil.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Once Open Sweden Now a Hostile Environment for Muslim Refugees

by Rim Hayat Chaif

Currently, two Iraqi asylum seekers Taha and Salah are living in uncertainty, their cases were rejected by Swedish immigration services, “After leaving Iraq, I went to Sweden, but after three years and half I got a rejection on my asylum case” says the 20 year old Taha, to InsideOver.

From “open heart” to “problem”:

Sweden has been well known for its welcoming atmosphere toward refugees. In 2014, the previous Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt made a speech inviting Swedish citizen to open their heart to refugees seeking protection. In 2015, Sweden received 58,802 asylum cases for which 55% were granted asylum according to Swedish immigration service….

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]
 

‘Record Number’ of Migrant Boats in English Channel, ‘Home Office Needs to Get a Grip’

The number of boats transporting illegal migrants to Britain appears to have hit a daily record, with HM Coastguard reporting it has assisted with 13 “incidents” off the Kent coast and a dinghy sighted off East Sussex. The Kent incidents involved nine boats carrying dozens of migrants, according to Sky News — prompting Charlie Elphicke, MP for the Dover and Deal constituency on the frontline of the crisis, to admonish the authorities.

“If confirmed this would be a record number of boats arriving in a single day. This crisis was meant to have been dealt with at Christmas, yet numbers continue to rise,” he tweeted, in reference to Home Secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Sajid Javid having declared already “major incident” in the Channel as the number of boats were beginning to surge over the festive period.

“It looks set to surge to record levels through the Summer. The Home Office needs to get a grip on this crisis,” Elphicke added.

           — Hat tip: Dora [Return to headlines]
 

Sweden’s Self-Inflicted Mess

by Judith Bergman

In the picturesque Swedish university city of Uppsala, 80% of girls do not feel safe in the city center. One 14-year old teenager, who is afraid to reveal her identity, told the Swedish media that she always wears trainers so that she can ‘run faster’ if she is attacked:

“I sat down on a bench and immediately guys came and sat next to me on both sides. Then more guys came and stood in front of me. They began to grab my hair and my legs and said things to me that I did not understand. I became so terrified and told them many times to stop, but they did not listen… Everything is so horrible. This is so wrong. I want to be able to feel safe”, she said about taking the bus home. …

To add to these problems, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström appears to be planning to bring back children of Swedish Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists who are living in refugee camps in Syria. “It is complex and that is why it has taken time to develop a policy and a clear message, but we are working on this every day. I cannot bear to see children faring so badly”, she recently said. In an April 12 Facebook post, Wallström wrote:

“The government is now working intensively to ensure that children with links to Sweden who are in Syria receive the help they need. There should be no doubt that the government does what it can for these children and if possible they should be brought to Sweden. Each case must be handled individually. The children are in different situations, some perhaps orphans, others with parents arrested for acts they committed for ISIS. Identifying Swedes who can have been born in [Syria or Iraq] is difficult. In the largest camp there are about 76,000 people. We are in contact with International Red Cross in the camps. It is of the utmost importance that the children’s situation is handled with legal certainty and with the best interests of the children. International actors, Swedish authorities and Swedish municipalities, who can be recipients of children, must cooperate…”

Unfortunately, the horrific fate of enslaved Yazidi children does not appear to be something that Wallström “cannot bear”. …

According to Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, returning ISIS terrorists have a “right”, as Swedish citizens, to return to Sweden. Löfven claimed that it would be against the Swedish constitution to strip them of their citizenship, but that those who had committed crimes would be prosecuted. Swedish terrorism expert, Magnus Ranstorp, though, has warned Sweden against taking back not only ISIS terrorists, but also their wives and children, who, he said, also pose a security risk:

“The women are not innocent victims, and there is also a large group of ISIS children… From the age of eight or nine, they have been sent to indoctrination camps where they have learned close combat techniques and how to handle weapons. Some of them have learned how to kill… their identities will forever be linked to their time with ISIS, and the fact that they have an ISIS father or an ISIS mother.”

Sweden seems intent on importing even more problems.

           — Hat tip: AF [Return to headlines]
 

Lancet Decries Conservative ‘Backlash’ Against Gender Ideology

The once prestigious Lancet medical journal has launched a series of articles on “gender equality, norms, and health” that denounces a conservative “backlash” against the global LGBTQ agenda.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Pregnant Illinois Rep: Bill Will Allow Abortion of a ‘Perfectly Healthy’ Baby

Before the Illinois House approved a bill on Tuesday that will allow sweeping new measures in favor of abortion, Illinois State Rep. Avery Bourne (R) spoke Tuesday in protest of the bill.

Speaking through tears, the pregnant Bourne criticized advocates of the bill by pointing out that it would allow women to abort a “perfectly healthy” baby.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Trump Celebrates LGBT Pride Month, Urges World to Decriminalize Homosexuality

Trump has frequently been attacked by LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) activists on the left, particularly for his administration’s policies on transgenderism.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

7 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 6/1/2019

  1. Federica Mogherini: Is she 2nd or 3rd generation communist? How loaded is the EU with Marxist bureaucrats, anyway?

  2. “The European Commission is advocating that Albania […] be admitted to the European Union.”

    A muslim majority country that was one of the main per capita supplier of foreigner combatants to the islamic state having its citizens moving freely throughout all the EU.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Zé Manel Tonto :
      “What could possibly go wrong?”

      Federica Mogherini : What are her values? What has she studied? Political Sciences? Islamic hadith and sira? Koran and its noble goals for humanity? Where is she living?

      Puzzle: Two paths wrong or right?

      Why EU and the rest of European traitors invariably choose the wrong path? The path to civil wars and destruction of Europe.

      Not only Albania but it is a miracle that Turkey has not joined yet. Although Turkey is present in every EU meeting and every decision-making. Turkey, which theoretically is not a member, has more cloud and say over the whole EU.

      Europe is possessed . . . is it because they are godless?

      Why are they so passionately perverted? And why their graduation from any university or having finished any faculty: Constitutional expert or any meaningless title.

      What is of value and import is what they do and decide. Not what they say or claim to fight for ideal values. Values that have never existed in humanity and have sprung only in perverted europe. Values like promoting islam and teaching islam and thrusting greatness on ordinary muslims that are underming the west and replacing its native population.

      4- Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in
      North America:
      The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process”
      with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work
      in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the
      16
      Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house
      by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated
      and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without
      this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have
      not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the
      final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for
      those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen
      be equal.

      Hi bint Morgherini are you aware of this :

      https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CSP-Explanatory-Memorandum.pdf

  3. .

    THE OUTSTANDING SIGN THAT YOU LIVE IN A MAD HOUSE

    VIDEO
    ————————————————–

    Försvarsmakten reklamfilm: Kom som du är – 40 sek
    The Swedish Armed Force’s commercial: Come as you are – 40 sec

    57 521 SHOWINGS

    Försvarsmakten https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9013JWZWntBD6Zy9mVJQpA

    Publicerades den 2 maj 2019

    Låt oss utmana din bild av vem som passar i Försvarsmakten
    Let us challenge your image of whom is suitable in the Armed Forces
    https://forsvarsmakten.se/komsomduar

    https://youtu.be/3PysG30UeJQ

    ————————————————–
    approx. translation:

    The Defense Forces:

    come just as you are

    – join the defence forces,

    everyone is equally worthy,

    you who are a feminist,

    or gay,

    you who are born in another country

    COME!

    YOU ARE ALSO READY TO DEFEND EVERYTHING THAT YOU STAND FOR!

    CPME AND JOIN!

    JUST COME AS YOU ARE!
    ————————————————

    Laugh you ruined, Russian spetsnaz!

    https://youtu.be/59ZlKRzoHm0

  4. “Extreme Vetting” Begins: U.S. Visa Applicants Must Now Turn Over Their Social Media History

    In the Far East, this is known as, “opening the kimono”.

    It is also a perfect tool for entrapping surreptitious actors who fail to disclose anything remotely interpretable as adverse. Problems arise when this exact same system is applied domestically for job or loan applications, tax filings, driver’s and business licenses, housing, non-arrest police interrogations, passports and [ahem] visas, medical care, birth certificates, marriages, divorces, farting in anyone’s general direction, and a veritable Sears catalog of once-legitimate daily activities.

    File under: What could possibly go wrong?

    Now, add in proctological levels of intrusive, minute-by-minute scrutiny and Hey Presto! You’ve got Communist China! EUSSR apparatchiks must wet themselves whenever they hear of the latest death-by-interpersonal-transaction-strangulation being fobbed off as Maotown’s “Social Credit” miracle.

    As manifestos have promised since before Marx was born, all it takes is just a few more executions to attain that Millennial utopia.

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