Soyprise Soyprise

Just when you thought they soyrendered… The trade relationship between the United States and Europe is improving, German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner said on Saturday, but there is no guarantee the bloc will buy the quantity of soybeans that Washington expects.

Soy

U.S. President Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, struck a surprise deal on Wednesday that ended the risk of an immediate trade war between the two powers.

After the talks, Trump highlighted benefits for U.S. farmers. “The European Union is going to start, almost immediately, to buy a lot of soybeans,” he told reporters.

Kloeckner, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, said the amount of soy Europe will import is yet to be determined.

“Will we be able to do whatever President Trump wishes for? I don’t know. Let’s see whether this will be the case or not,” she said.

Soy its back to the drawing board, folks. We’ve got another European insoyrection on our hands. Yup, another resoygence of European protectionism. But if they want a trade war then their destruction is assoyed. We’ll see who has the better chance of soyvival.

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Europeans Submerge Emerging Technology

Yet again. Just in case. You never know. Better safe than sorry. This wasn’t developed here in Europe, after all…

Genfood

The European Court of Justice has ruled that altering living things using the relatively new technique of genome editing counts as genetic engineering.

And genetic engineering, as we all know, is a very, very, very bad thing. We don’t know WHY that is but we do know THAT it is because that is what we have been fed. No, not the genetically modified foods, the media-modified information. Or disinformation, if you prefer. Turn on your local state TV channel if you don’t believe me. They’ll show you. Sort of.

Scientists hope this emerging technology could be used, for example, to develop crop varieties that are resistant to pests, or that produce large yields under challenging climatic conditions. They are also hoping to use it to correct genetic diseases in humans.

“The classification of genome-edited organisms as falling under the GMO Directive could slam the door shut on this revolutionary technology. This is a backward step, not progress.”

“Explosive Narcissism And Vulgar Capitalism”

Are bad things, I guess. What the people over at Spiegel Online really want is vulgar narcissism and explosive capitalism, I assume.

Trump

I could only read a paragraph or two of this little gem because… I dunno. Try reading it yourself and see. But the just of it is, I believe, that Donald Trump is really, really bad and it’s high time for Europe to start doing more for itself. Knock yourself out on that one, folks.

More than half of Germans think Europe can defend itself without military backing from the United States, a poll showed on Monday, less than two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said he could withdraw support.

German Of The Day: Alarmbereitschaft

That means “alarm preparedness.” And you have just been placed in it. Or on red alert, if you prefer.

Bannon

Isn’t that sophisticated imagery? Get it? Really subtle. Or subliminal or something.

“Trumps ex-strategist wants to support Europe’s right” – Bannon is moving to Europe to set up The Movement, a populist foundation to rival George Soros and spark a right-wing revolt across the continent.

This “movement,” you see, is obviously no different than Adolf Hitler’s movement a few years back and all forces of Goodness and Niceness must be placed in Alarmbereitschaft immediately to ensure that they are and remain alarmed, or at least be prepared for alarm or red alert or whatever (with the emphasis on red). You know, like this guy here? No fifty shades of gray here, folks. It’s all perfectly black and white. Or brown, actually. So are you finally alarmed now? Me, neither.

Steve Bannon, der frühere Chefstratege von US-Präsident Donald Trump, will eine Stiftung gründen, die rechtspopulistische Bewegungen in Europa stärkt. Die Organisation mit dem Namen “The Movement” werde ihren Hauptsitz in Brüssel haben, berichtete das US-Nachrichtenportal The Daily Beast unter Berufung auf Bannon. Vor der Europawahl im Mai 2019 werde sie zehn Mitarbeiter einstellen.

Germany Is So Wunderbar

As we all know, or are at least that’s what we’re told time and time again. But it is a country that presents us as in US/the NATO allience with, well, a bit of a challenge.

NATO

NATO’s 21st-century problem is not the United States, which provides a large percentage of its wherewithal, but Germany. As the most populous and most affluent of European nations, Germany still insidiously dominates Europe as it has since its inception in 1871.

Berlin sends ultimatums to the indebted Southern European nations. Berlin alone tries to dictate immigration policy for the European Union. Berlin establishes the tough conditions under which the United Kingdom can exit the European Union. And when Berlin decides it will not pony up the promised 2 percent of GDP for its NATO contribution, other laggard countries follow its example. Only six of the 29 NATO members (other than the U.S.) so far have met their promised assessments…

This is the NATO that Trump inherited and that he tried to shake up with his customary art-of-the-deal antics. Trump may be loud and uncouth, but his argument that NATO countries need to pay more money for their shared alliance’s self-defense is sound. If successful, it would lead to a stronger NATO.

In contrast, German Chancellor Angela Merkel sounds customarily professional and diplomatic as she continues to weaken the alliance and pursue German commercial and financial interests at the expense of fellow NATO members.

One Million Dollars!

No, wait a second. I mean… Five billion dollars!

One million dollars

The European Union hit Alphabet Inc.’s Google with a record antitrust fine of €4.34 billion ($5.06 billion) and ordered changes to its business that could loosen the company’s grip on its biggest growth engine: mobile phones.

In the EU’s sharpest rebuke yet to the power of a handful of tech giants, the bloc’s antitrust regulator found Wednesday that Google had abused the dominance of its Android operating system, which runs more than 80% of the world’s smartphones, to promote and entrench its own mobile apps and services, particularly the company’s search engine…

As part of the decision, the EU ordered Google to cease requirements that push phone makers to pre-install Google’s web browser Chrome, make Google the default search engine on their phones, and offer payments for exclusively pre-installing Search.

“Today’s decision rejects the business model that supports Android, which has created more choice for everyone, not less.”

It’s Like Pulling Teeth

To get this woman to do anything, I mean.

Merkel

Angela Merkel’s friends and enemies lined up in Berlin on Friday morning to defend and attack the chancellor after she stayed up for hours with EU leaders in Brussels hammering out a common European Union plan on keeping out more asylum-seekers.

The ultimate question was whether Merkel had found a deal satisfactory enough to appease her Bavarian allies. The Christian Social Union (CSU) precipitated a government coalition crisis in the past few weeks by insisting that asylum-seekers who had already registered in other countries be turned away at the German border.

“It is the result of a debate in Germany that the migration issue is finally being addressed more strongly at an EU level.”

Alle CSU-Forderungen hat der EU-Gipfel nicht erfüllt. Dennoch gehen die Beschlüsse so weit in Richtung Abschottung, dass selbst Kanzler Kurz zufrieden ist. Ein Erfolg ist die Einigung, weil Europa auf gemeinsame Lösungen setzt.

What’s Wrong With The SPD?

First they roll out a foreign minister who talks tough to Russia and then they provide a finance minister who has trouble spending other people’s money.

Scholz

Damn. Maybe I could become a social democrat (bourgeois socialist), too.

Germany’s new Social Democrat finance minister, Olaf Scholz, is frustrating both key ally France and his own struggling center-left party by adopting the same fiscal rigor as his conservative predecessor, Wolfgang Schaeuble.

During his first two months as treasury chief of Europe’s largest economy, Scholz has committed to a continued goal of no new debt and limited public spending.

“We act pragmatically and properly – and do not worship a fetish (of fiscal conservatism).”

Coming This Fall?

The Fall of the German Empire.

Empire

The third German empire is a different animal altogether. Repudiating both militarism and racist mysticism, it has been built slowly and painstakingly across three generations, in cooperation with other powers (including its old enemies the French), using a mix of democratic and bureaucratic means. Today Germany bestrides its Continent, but German power is wielded softly, indirectly, implicitly — and when the fist is required, it takes the form of fiscal ultimatums, not military bluster or racial irredentism.

But still the system is effectively imperial in many ways, with power brokers in Berlin and Brussels wielding not-exactly-democratic authority over a polyglot, multiethnic, multireligious sprawl of semi-sovereign nation-states. And thinking about the European Union this way, as a Germanic empire as well as a liberal-cosmopolitan project, is a helpful way of understanding how it might ultimately fall…

Sounds great. Stay tuned or something. Netflix, right?

A Life Sentence?

Nice try. A life sentence in Germany means fifteen years.

Shameful

This is rather, well, lasch, don’t you think? That means feeble, listless, lame. And shameful, too.

An asylum seeker has been jailed for life for the rape and murder of a woman in Germany in a case that fuelled tensions over the influx of migrants.

Hussein Khavari, who claimed to be Afghan, admitted to attacking student Maria Ladenburger, 19, in October 2016 in the south-western city of Freiburg.

After his arrest, it emerged that he had already been convicted to 10 years in jail in Greece in 2014 for attempted murder after pushing a woman off a cliff. But he was freed in October 2015 due to overcrowded prisons.

He fled via Austria to Germany, where he arrived with no documents a month later, claiming he was 17 years old… But during the trial evidence emerged suggesting that he was in fact from Iran and could be as old as 32.

Ein Urteil, das die Gesellschaft stabilisiert.