One Small Step For Europe

One giant leap for Europe-kind?

Migrants

An operation in which an Italian towboat rescued more than 100 people in the Mediterranean and returned them to Libya may have been in breach of international law, the United Nations has said.

According to the Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms, the Asso 28, an oil rig support vessel, rescued 108 people from international waters on Monday and took them to Libya, their country of departure.

Die “Asso 28” hat Migranten in Seenot an Bord genommen – und nicht nach Italien gebracht, sondern zurück nach Libyen. Die Regierung in Rom jubelt, doch die Aktion war vermutlich illegal.

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Social Democrats Using The F-Word Again

You know, Fascism? As in everybody I don’t agree with is Hitler?

Schulz

Whenever other folks see things differently than they do (this time it’s Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini who is hard on migration) the Enlighted Left get all excited and squirrly. German Social Democrats are no different here.

This time it was Martin Schulz (remember the Schulz Effect?) who did the name-calling, labelling Salvini’s views “near-Fascism.” Italians and Fascism fit particularly well together, see? Today’s Italian politicians, is the implication, are “radical authoritarian ultranationals, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.” Like breath in and out slowly a few times and take a chill pill already, Martin.

„Was wir erleben, ist eine Brutalisierung der politischen Sprache, bei der jede Form der Solidarität, des Respekts und der Würde zerstört wird. Das bedeutet das Ende der Demokratie.“

Meet The New Crisis

Same as the old crisis. So like what, me worry?

Crisis

“I think there is no need to talk about a euro crisis,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said after Italian voters defeated the referendum on constitutional amendments. “I think we should see the situation in Italy with a certain calmness. That is how democratic and constitutional processes work in the member states. The Italians have decided, that is to be respected. They will make the best of it.”

I admire his serenity (Greece, Brexit, Italy…). And I’d also like to know what kind of tranquilizers this guy is on.

Die Lage in Italien heute besser als vor zwei Jahren.

Elfmeterhelden

Eleven Meter Heroes“?*

Germany

I’m there, dude. I just hope this flick is half as good as Attack of the 50-Foot Woman.

Woman

Germany had to negotiate the equal-longest penalty shootout in Euros history but they finally managed to overcome Italy in a competitive game to set up a last-four clash against hosts France or Iceland.

*Penalty kick heroes.

Germans Outraged Again Sort Of

In a way. Stunned at Austria’s latest plan to put up another yucky border (the Italian one this time) to keep refugees from entering Austria (and thus Germany), German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decried the awful plan, calling it “mistaken” and “anachronistic.”

Merkel

And you can hardly even tell that she is secretly thrilled to death about the Austrians saving her political behind once again, thus allowing her preach from the moral high ground way up north in Berlin another day.

The narrow Brenner Pass has become a point of contention between Italy and Austria, as Rome has long complained that parts of northern Europe were allowing southern European nations to bear the brunt of sheltering and taking care of asylum-seekers.

I’ll Bash Germany With The Best Of Them

But… How is it that its critics blame Germany for the high unemployment, declining living standards, and riots to their South?

Germany

If this were a football game, the referee should call unnecessary roughness for piling on Germany. The American Left led by Paul Krugman (The Harm Germany Does and Those Depressing Germans) excoriates Germany for forcing austerity on the rest of Europe. The U.S. Treasury and others (no newcomer to spending) demands that miserly Germany spend more to pull the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) out of their economic doldrums…

I interpret the liberals’ German bashing as having an entirely different motivation – their inherent dislike of economic success… In the liberal mind set, success must be equally shared. If one person, company, or country is better off, it must be at the expense of those who are less well off. We need to even things out in their zero-sum world.

PS: And I’m going to go even further out on the limb tonight defending Germany by predicting that they will finally – after 19 encounters? –  beat Italy.

Time For Another European Lecture About Inhumanity?

When it comes to that dreadful, awful and inhuman Mexico-United States border fence, I mean?

Wall

Not right now? OK, I understand. There must be more important news items to cover at the moment. But I’m sure we’ll be hearing from you in the future again.

The Mexico–United States barrier – also known in the United States as The Border Fence, Rotted Fence or Border Wall – is a collection of several barriers, designed to prevent illegal movement across the Mexico–United States border.

It Takes One To Know One

Clown

“Clearly a clown with a testosterone boost” himself, hapless Social Democrat chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrueck just got his dinner invitation cancelled by visiting Italian President Giorgio Napolitano after calling former premier Silvio Berlusconi and comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo “clowns.” Which they are, of course. But that’s the point. I think.

Speaking of clowns, Germany, never forget that we Americans have a right to be stupid – and that we exercise this right regularly. At least when we’re big important non-elected government officials we do. No matter where we are. No matter what country we happen to be visiting. Imaginary or not.

“The reason is, that’s freedom, freedom of speech. In America you have a right to be stupid — if you want to be.”

Friedman’s Prophecy

I don’t believe in prophets. I’m very skeptical when it comes to economists of all flavors, too.

But when looking around at what’s going on here in Europe these days and considering how even the Spiegel itself now warns us about investors preparing for the euro collapse, I can’t help but wonder if Milton Friedman didn’t have a functioning crystal ball after all.

“There is no historical precedent for such an arrangement (the euro). It involves each country’s giving up power over its internal monetary policy to an entity not under its political control. Such a system has economic advantages and disadvantages, but I believe that its real Achilles heel will prove to be political; that a system under which the political and currency boundaries do not match is bound to prove unstable.”