The overriding strategic story in Europe today is the breakdown of Franco-German condominium.
The two great nations have together run the EU on a foundation of equality since the 1950s, always finding some way to bridge the chasm between North and South.
It was stretched a little after France lost Algeria – a French Department, not a colony – and with it lost population parity. But that hardly mattered as long as Germany wished to tuck behind France, usually letting Paris take the lead.
It was stretched a great deal further with the Reunification of Germany, driven home a few years later when a Brandeburg “Ossi” who spoke fluent Russian – but no French – became Chancellor.
The formalities go on. Angela Merkel and François Hollande still meet to celebrate the Élysée Treaty of 1963: “Convinced that the reconciliation of the German people and the French people, ending a centuries-old rivalry, constitutes a historic event which profoundly transforms the relations between the two peoples.
Recognising that a reinforcing of cooperation between the two countries constitutes an indispensable stage on the way to a united Europe, which is the aim of the two peoples … ”
Yet it is a loveless marriage now.
#1 — Autumn statement 2013: George Osborne’s recovery is built on sand
#2 — German Households Face Annual €30 Billion Cost For Green Energy Subsidies
#3 — BoC calls on loan defaulters to pay up
#4 — Greece to auction 1.250 bln euros of 6-month T-bills on Dec.10- debt agency
#5 — Berlin sees progress on banking union
Microsoft Clip Art
Welfare is political. If you are a liberal or a progressive, compassion means giving people enough money and benefits to live without having to work. As a result, the welfare can take away all incentive and motivation to work. With such incentive gone, far too many welfare recipients become welfare-for-life victims, a type of welfare abuse.
If you are a conservative, on the other hand, compassion means providing only enough welfare to cover basic needs temporarily until the person can find another full-time job, work part-time, go back to school or get retrained. As former Premier Mike Harris used to say, the best social assistance is a job. Yet, his government was criticized for getting 100,000 people off welfare between 1995 and 1999.
Well, to hear what a welfare-for-life mindset sounds like, check out the video at Zero Hedge.com. A woman, in her early 30s, named Lucy, calls into KLBJ Radio, an Austin, Texas radio program, about welfare abuse. Right off the bat she says:
“…To all you workers out there preaching morality about those of us who live on welfare… can you really blame us? I get to sit around all day,
visit my friends, smoke weed.. and we are still gonna get paid, on time every month…”
[More at Crux of the Matter....]
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Tagged Sandy Crux
Young people reject Obama’s gamble with their future; they prefer online casinos.
President Obama is back selling his health-care law with the manic intensity of a late-night-infomercial pitchman who knows that if he doesn’t move the product, it could be discontinued.
Here’s Obama aiming his comments at young people this Wednesday: “The product is good. It’s affordable. This is a big deal, to quote Joe Biden. And if you’re a student-body president, set up a conference on campus. If you’re a bartender, have a happy hour.”
But it’s the president who may need a drink after viewing the latest poll numbers on young people’s attitudes towards Obamacare. At the heart of the health-care law is the following premise: Enough young and healthy people will sign up for new health insurance through the government’s excuse for a website to provide enough income for insurance companies so the planned subsidies to older and sicker uninsured people can keep flowing.
#1 — Are We Sick of Him Yet?
#2 — Millennials Abandon Obama and Obamacare
QUEBEC CITY — A judge has ordered a homeowner to fork over $313,000 for selling his house without telling the buyers the previous owners had died in a murder-suicide.
Jean-Guy Mercier was forced to refund the $275,000 purchase price, plus $38,000 in damages.
In October 2012, a young couple thought they had bought their dream home in north-end Quebec City until they met a neighbour.
It was then that they found out what had happened in the basement in August 2010.
Gilles Nadeau, 66, smothered his disabled wife Jeanine Proteau, 76, before hanging himself.
The new buyers were horrified and sued Mercier.
OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s comment that scientists, not politicians, should determine Arctic boundaries is a “weird idea,” says Employment Minister Jason Kenney.
Canada is submitting a claim to the United Nations on our Arctic boundaries — part of a multi-year process to determine sovereignty over the region and who can exploit its potential resource wealth.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper told bureaucrats to redraw the claim to include part of the North Pole — a geographic hot spot that Russia and Denmark are also keen to call their own.
Scientists spent a decade mapping out the seabed for our application to the UN commission tasked with parcelling out the Arctic sovereignty rights.
Their work will bolster Canada’s claim to more than 1.7 square kilometres of new territory.
On Wednesday, Trudeau deferred to science to determine Canada’s Arctic play.
You’ve probably never heard of Heather Mallick, a newspaper columnist who is a legend in her own lunchtime.
She’s hardly a major player in the media and seems to be noticed only when she behaves especially childishly. Which happened again last week when in the Toronto Star she claimed, “Under Stephen Harper, Canada has become a rogue state. This is the politest phrase I can devise for the ratty gun-loving gimme-the-money nation we’re turning into on the international stage.”
The reason for this somewhat suburban attack appeared to be that Canada does not support Washington’s recent deal with Iran, and that this has made the country a pariah.
Really? Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, much of Eastern Europe, much of the world actually, agree with Canada.
EDMONTON — An city man who shot a sow grizzly bear and her cub has been sentenced to five months in jail and ordered to pay $10,000 in fines.
Frank Kucher, 52, was convicted in Hinton, Alta., court of five counts under the Wildlife Act, including two counts of hunting wildlife out of season, two counts of abandoning the carcasses and one count of unlawful possession of wildlife. He is prohibited from hunting for nine years.
The case dates back to October of 2010.
In Alberta, it is against the law to hunt grizzly bears as they are considered a threatened species.
“Alberta Justice and solicitor general takes poaching seriously. This case highlights how Albertans can help protect our fish and wildlife resources by reporting suspicious hunting or fishing activity,” Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Jonathan Denis said.
Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews in an interviewed aired last night about whether Vice President Joe Biden or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would make a better president, President Obama said “not a chance am I going there.”
Then he did.
“Both Hillary and Joe would make outstanding presidents and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents,” Obama said. “They — and I think Joe Biden will go down in history as one of the
best vice presidents ever. And he has been with me at my side in every tough decision that I have made, from going after bin Laden, to dealing with the health care issues, to — you name it, he’s been there.”
Biden has been in Asia this week on a swing through Japan, China and South Korea.
“Hillary, I think, will go down in history as one of the finest secretaries of State we have ever had, and helped to transition us away from a deep hole that we were in when I first came into office, around the world, and to rebuild confidence and trust in the United States,” Obama continued.
“And they’ve got — they’ve got different strengths, but both of them would be outstanding.”
He then continued about “the most important qualities of any president.”
Once in a generation comes a person who changes the direction of his country. And sometimes that person changes the world, as well.
Sometimes you see them grow slowly in front of you, from a distant gleam into a mighty torch. Gandhi went from community activist to father of a nation over a lifetime. Martin Luther King Jr. went from Atlanta preacher to the speech at the Washington monument that changed America, over a decade.
Nelson Mandela went from a nearly forgotten prisoner on Robben Island to the father of South Africa, as a nation of freemen and women, in one moment, on one sunny morning before the whole world. No one who saw it will ever forget the sight of the man his people called ‘Madiba,’ striding out in front of an ecstatic crowd on Feb. 11, 1990.
South Africa was never the same, Africa was never the same. For those of us who had played small roles in winning that day, the world was never the same. His impact was that powerful, that immediate.
#1 — WS | PST bill passes, NDP soften on balancing books
As a contentious provincial sales tax bill finally passed Thursday, the province’s finance minister appeared to soften a pledge to balance the books by 2016-17.
#2 — CTV | Building trust, reconciliation with First Nations key to breaking pipeline impasse: report
VANCOUVER — The federal government must build trust with First Nations communities and address issues outside of billion-dollar projects if they hope to forge ahead with energy developments, says a report from Ottawa’s special envoy dispatched to help resolve an impasse over major oil and gas developments in the West.
#3 — LFP | Up to Blair to bring in another police force to probe Ford: Ont. gov’t
It’s up to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair — not the provincial government — to decide if the Rob Ford investigation should be handed over to another police service, Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur says.
#4 — Global | Canadians mark 24 years since massacre at Montreal’s École Polytechnique
Vigils will be held across Canada Friday to mark the 24th anniversary of the massacre at Montreal’s École Polytechnique.
#5 — WFP | Soldier who was told PTSD will end military career no longer facing discharge
OTTAWA – Master Cpl. Kristian Wolowidnyk is no longer facing an imminent discharge from the Canadian Forces because of his post-traumatic stress disorder.
#6 — BBC | Microsoft disrupts ZeroAccess web fraud botnet
ZeroAccess, one of the world’s largest botnets – a network of computers infected with malware to trigger online fraud – has been disrupted by Microsoft and law enforcement agencies.
#7 — CNN | It’s a winter mess from the Southwest to the Northeast
(CNN) — An Arkansas man was killed late Thursday evening when a tree fell on his camper in that state’s Pope County, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Tommy Jackson said Friday. Jackson said the death was related to the weather, but couldn’t provide details about the weather at the time.
Fox | ‘Ice Friday’ blast bears down on South, Midwest
#8 — Fox | Why Obama can’t use an iPhone
Why can’t President Barack Obama use an iPhone?
#9 — DM | The village that fell into the sea
Devastated residents watched their cliff-top homes disappear into the sea as last night’s tidal surge hit the east coast of Britain.
#10 — WT | New battlefront emerges in war between Republicans, tea party
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s new push to get involved in Republican primaries by defending incumbents against tea party challengers could actually make it easier to unseat them, according to the head of the influential Club for Growth.