Corbett Report: The Abnormalization of Dissent

James Corbett explains how mainstream media is currently trying to discredit dissent without arguments:

UPDATE:

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German Talkshow Discusses Mainstream Media Bias

Maischberger regarding "Luegenpresse"

An interesting episode of Maischberger on German TV discusses the term “Lügenpresse” (lying media), that is used by many ordinary German citizens these days to describe German mainstream media.

By and large one could say that German politics & media disgust right now reflect exactly what’s been going on in the US about a year and a half ago. German elections are coming up in 2017.

A busdriver on the panel who is also a member of the new anti establishment party AfD, sums it up perfectly at the 12:40 mark:

“Da sehe ich einen grossen Teil Realität, der berichtet wird, selbstverständlich der allergrösste Teil. Was die Sache dann schwieriger macht ist dass auch Halbwahrheiten untergemischt werden, bis hin zu Unwahrheiten. Weiterhin wird dann tendenziell berichtet, und daraus ergibt sich dann letztendlich, dass man das Gefühl hat, dass da eine Meinungsmanipulation stattfindet. Es gibt Menschen, die spüren das vielleicht etwas frueher, es gibt Menschen, die spüren es etwas später, und es gibt Menschen, die spüren es nie.”

Translation:

“I see a lot of reality reported, most of it in fact. What makes it more difficult is the fact that lots of half-truths are being mixed in. Furthermore we see biased reporting, and from that we get the sense that opinion manipulation is occurring. There are some who sense it earlier on, some later, and some never.”

What happened in the US a year and a half ago and moving forward? The US mainstream media, mainstream politicians, and their trigger happy, careless, and overconfident readers didn’t even consider having a moment of pause or reflection. No, instead they happily coronated a widely unpopular establishment candidate, and went on the most embarrassing and disgusting political bullying binges I have ever had to observe in my entire life. And they got precisely the hangover they deserved.

The AfD’s success in the German elections in 2017 will hinge upon the treatment of its supporters and candidates. The more people alienate them, spin, lie, and manipulate, the more successful I expect the AfD to be. Step 1 is already complete: they just happily coronated a widely unpopular establishment candidate.

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Germany Leaving the Euro?

Well, first off: No, that ain’t happening. As much as I wished. At least not until the Euro completely falls apart. No other people consider the Euro their pet project more than German politicians.

Zerohedge posted something about rumors and a clip with a statement from Gregor Gysi, the head of the socialist party in Germany:

What he’s essentially saying is the usual communist nonsense about curbing evil speculation against the currency and in the end he says that “something will be decided on Friday and I have no idea what it’ll be …”.

But hey, there’s nothing better to distract people from the obvious issues than some fun rumors …

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German Parliament Approves Bailout for Greece

As a mere formality the German Bundestag has approved the bailout for Greece, and with that yet another aid package for German banks:

German lawmakers on Friday approved the country’s share of the rescue package for debt-laden Greece after a boisterous debate in which the finance minister told them they had no alternative to the unpopular measure, The Associated Press reported.

The lower house of Parliament voted 390-72, with 139 abstentions, to authorize granting as much as 22.4 billion euros ($28.6 billion) in credit over three years. That is part of a wider 110 billion euro package backed by eurozone members and the International Monetary Fund.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right governing coalition was joined by one of the three opposition parties in approving the aid. Germans dislike the idea of rescuing another country from its financial irresponsibility.

The upper house of parliament, which represents Germany’s 16 states where Merkel’s government also has a majority, was expected to add its approval later Friday.

”We have to make this decision and we have no better alternative,” Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told lawmakers ahead of the vote. ”Any other alternative would be much more expensive for the Germans, would be much more dangerous, would carry much bigger risks.”

Schaeuble said central bankers and the IMF agree ”it would be disastrous to risk … a member of the European currency union, Greece, now becoming insolvent.”

”This is about defending the common European currency as a whole, and with it we are defending the European project,” Schaeuble said.

”The situation is very serious and no one can make out that we are already out of the woods with today’s decision,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. ”What is important now is that we must extinguish the fire so no brush fire spreads in Europe, and we must at the same time fight the cause of the fire.”

Geeez, could these guys at least have the courtesy to come up with some different nonsense than the one they have been feeding us over the past years? All this pathetic and fuzzy nonsense about defending the currency as a whole and how doing nothing is far worse than throwing more money at the problem, blah blah blah … come on people, we’ve heard it before and it’s simply embarrassing! :)

Bailing out Greece is unpopular in Germany, which has Europe’s biggest economy. Merkel long took a tough line on aid, and opponents have accused her of dragging her heels ahead of a regional election this weekend.

Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of the biggest opposition party, charged that Merkel had ”destroyed trust in the credibility of Germany’s European policy.”

Gabriel’s Social Democrats abstained. They had hoped to couple the vote with a call for a tax on financial market transactions — which Schaeuble described as unrealistic, given a lack of international support.

The Greens, also in opposition, voted in favor. But the hard-left Left Party objected to the rescue package on the grounds it would make things worse for Greece.

Left Party lawmaker Gesine Loetzsch described the austerity package to be implemented in Greece as ”brutal” and accused German leaders of doing too little to control markets.

”Speculators are Taliban in pinstripes, and people in our country must be protected from these Taliban,” Ms. Loetzsch said — a remark that drew a rebuke from speaker Norbert Lammert.

… you know how bad things are when the only ones who are remotely making sense are the commies.

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The Failing European Experiment – A Wakeup Call

The NYT writes Germany, Forced to Buoy Greece, Rues Euro Shift:

As Europe edges toward emergency guarantees to stem market panic over one of the most profligate members of the euro bloc, the country that the region turns to for leadership, Germany, is suffering from growing doubts about the European experiment it long championed.

Reluctant German leaders now find themselves forced to help Greece remain solvent, or risk watching markets attack one weak member after the next, from Portugal to Spain to Italy, threatening the stability of the euro, the European currency Germany fought so hard to create.

In a conference call with the finance ministers from the 16 countries that use the euro and the president of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet, officials said that some action had to be taken to calm markets and take pressure off Greece. But what form that rescue would take — be it loans, loan guarantees or a promise to buy Greek government bonds — still had not been decided Wednesday night, ahead of a summit meeting involving all 27 European Union governments on Thursday.

What did appear clear was that Germany, with an assist from France, would have to take the lead. “The Germans are the only ones with deep pockets,” said Daniel Gros, director of the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels. “If it was just Greece, they could consider letting them go down the drain, but it threatens the entire euro zone.”

Berlin has been mostly silent on the matter. That is partly to put pressure on Greece, as civil servants struck there Wednesday to oppose cutbacks that the government has promised in order to rein in its enormous budget deficit.

But a bailout will be politically awkward for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. It is precisely the financial millstone that opponents warned about when Germany gave up its treasured mark, a move that a majority of people here, in contrast to their political leaders, opposed at the time.

“If the German government would just transfer money to Greece, people in Germany would feel their worst fears had come true,” said Thomas Mayer, chief economist at Deutsche Bank.

The role of savior has been thrust upon Germany by default. The euro bloc has myriad rules and regulations intended to avoid the need for prosperous members to rush to the aid of those with weak economies.

But the markets have ignored the rules, fluctuating with unconfirmed reports that the Germans have agreed to rescue the Greeks, which often carry the implicit warning that everyone will suffer if they do not. As the largest European economy with the most fiscal flexibility, Germany is crucial to any euro zone effort to save Greece.

The apprehension in Germany runs much deeper than a single crisis. It comes in the same week that Germany gave up its most cherished title, world export champion, to China, heightening fears of a declining stature and importance globally.

Germany also faces a demographic challenge, managing a population that is not only graying but shrinking. Last month the government announced that the population dropped below 82 million last year for the first time since 1995. That means fewer people trying to pay off a growing national debt, with a projected budget deficit of $118 billion this year.

After Mrs. Merkel’s re-election in September and triumphant turn on the world stage in November for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, her approval ratings have fallen to their lowest levels in more than three years. Criticism of her government over infighting in the governing coalition — mostly over tax cuts and the budget — has risen steadily. She has been noticeably reticent about the crisis in Greece, speaking out far more forcefully on populist issues like tracking down tax dodgers hiding money in Switzerland.

“It’s a conscious decision to keep quiet,” said Jakob von Weizsäcker, an economist at Bruegel, an economic policy research institute in Brussels, who used to work for the economics ministry in Berlin. “In reality, they are thinking about what they could do.”

The pressure was apparent in a harsh statement against the idea of a bailout issued Wednesday by the coalition partners in Mrs. Merkel’s government, the Free Democrats. There should be “no direct financial help for Greece,” the statement said. “It would send the absolutely wrong signal to other euro countries that no country has to strain to save any more.”

But even German opponents of the euro said a bailout appeared likely. Joachim Starbatty, a professor of economics at the University of Tübingen, was one of four professors who sued before the German Constitutional Court in 1998 to stop the formation of the currency union, which the court rejected as “obviously without foundation.”

Professor Starbatty said he believed that Germany would bow to pressure and back measures to protect Greece from market pressure. “Looking at it realistically, I think you’ll see some form of help that isn’t too damaging for the donor countries,” he said.

Peter Bofinger, professor of economics at the University of Würzburg and a member of the German government’s independent council of economic experts, said in its report that last November, the council recommended that the European Union could give guarantees for newly issued government bonds from a country in Greece’s predicament, if it had presented a workable plan for getting its finances in order.

After European governments helped stabilize financial institutions during the crisis, it was necessary to send a signal that they would not be allowed to break the currency union, Professor Bofinger said. “It’s important also for politicians to show, we will not allow you to rock our boat. We did so much to save you, you destroyed yourself almost, but we saved you.”

The truth is very simple: The best that can be done for the people of Greece is to not provide one cent of assistance to its corrupt, bloated, and union-controlled government apparatus. A country’s bailout is like a corporate bailout, only many times worse! From this logically follows that the absolute worst Europe could do to the people of Greece would be to give their rulers any more means to continue their irresponsible policies.

The European Currency Union and the European Union itself are both such gigantic failures that it is already pre-ordained that the entire experiment will go down in flames sooner or later. Now is certainly not that time yet. What we are seeing are just a few more cracks emerging in the structure of the system. The European bureaucrats will come up with some sort of pseudo solution to paper over and patch the Greek problem for now.

But the structural problems remain. Remember, this is not the first time a European country has abused the EU’s lucrative transfer system, and it surely won’t be the last! Portugal, Italy, and Spain are in very similar situations. Almost exactly 1 year ago we had the same debate going on. Back then I wrote:

Consider the European stability treaty dead. One member state after another will violate the requirements. The fact that a bailout of some Euro states by others is discussed, just shows how torn this European Union really is, how severe its imbalances are. With discrepancies like these, it is completely unfeasible to maintain a currency union. (…) Individual responsibility per member state rather than complete collectivism should be aspired. Unfortunately Europe has not been very keen on individual responsibility. In Germany, France, and Italy, all one can hear is rants about “neoliberalism”, “anarchism”, “capitalism on steroids” which supposedly are to blame for the financial crisis.

Even if the Greek government were saved to the detriment of the people it tyrannizes, this won’t be the last time we’ll be having this discussion, and it sure as hell won’t get any better!

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