It’s taken a long time, but the International Monetary Fund finally seems to be talking some sense about the beleaguered deficit economies of the eurozone. In a new analysis of continuing imbalances within the single currency area, it pretty much concludes that the situation is hopeless without the sort of eurozone-wide macro economic policies – monetary as well as fiscal – which are specifically rejected by the high command in Berlin. OK, so it doesn’t quite say that, but even so, this will make deeply depressing reading for the struggling economies of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Here’s a taste.
Many additional adjustments are needed to achieve the dual objectives of restoring external balance––that is, a net financial liabilities (NFL) position that is deemed sustainable by market participants––and internal balance, namely sufficiently high and sustainable growth to reduce unemployment to acceptable levels. Given the absence of nominal exchange rates, relative price adjustment needs to come via relative changes in prices and costs: internal devaluations. To the extent that these devaluations are achieved mainly by falling prices in deficit rather than rising prices in surplus economies, they can reduce domestic demand and exacerbate debt overhang problems.
In any case, “under current projections, it will take a long time” for imbalances to correct and these economies to get onto a sustainable footing, a conclusion which gives the lie to repeated claims among some eurozone policymakers that the crisis is now largely over.
#1 — The trouble is that free trade just feels wrong
#2 — ‘Hypocrites!’
#3 — Typewriter sales boom in Germany
#4 — China’s terrifying debt ratios poised to breeze past US levels
#5 — Keeping Spies Out: German Ratchets Up Counterintelligence Measures
How mansion-dwelling, carbon-spewing cutthroat capitalists can still be politically correct.
Then there is the big-money politics — Silicon Valley–style. Liberal Silicon Valley techies don’t like the Koch brothers because of their donations to conservative candidates. But the region’s Steyer brothers give almost as much money to progressive candidates — which is apparently okay because they profess an interest in greening America. The fact that much of the Steyer fortune derived from investing in carbon-spewing coal plants in the former Third World has been more than indulged because of the brothers’ progressive confessions and multi-million-dollar penance.
Does Silicon Valley also practice de facto apartheid?
You might think just that if you counted up the burgeoning prep schools in the valley, charging $30,000 and more per student. The subtext message is that the kids of rich techies should not be slowed down on their own trajectory to influence and riches by the recent immigrants in their midst. Teachers’ unions, multicultural curricula in the schools, bilingualism, and a diverse student body are wonderful — as long as their own kids are somewhere else.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin rejected overtures from True Blood’s producers for a cameo role on the conservative-bashing vampire show. Her instincts proved to be correct after Sunday’s HBO episode in which Republican women were once again demeaned when one of the lead characters said in horror, “Oh my God, I’m a Republi-c*nt.”
Palin told Breitbart News after she heard about the misogynistic episode that she simply wondered, “‘True Blood’ or true gall?”
“The brilliant minds of ‘True Blood’ were brazen enough to ask me to do a cameo on their show, apparently so they could insult a conservative woman in person instead of just all conservative women in general,” Palin told Breitbart News. “Their offer wasn’t presented in any negative way, perhaps to benefit from a surprise factor after the guest appearance. I turned them down anyway.”
Palin also had some choice words for hypocritical Hollywood liberals who often gin up the phony “war on women” rhetoric.
“To producers who throw these deceitfully ‘flattering’ bones that sound fun on the surface, is it really any wonder I don’t accept your offers to participate in your shows?” she said. “Nice try HBO. I’d put any mama grizzly in America against a vampire any day; for only one of them actually exists. The left wants to talk about a ‘war on women’? Keep engaging in your misogynist attacks on women you disagree with and we’ll see who wins your self-inflicted war in the court of decent public opinion.”
Critics at Queen’s Park are calling on the province to lift the veil of secrecy that keeps the public in the dark about investigations into complaints against judges.
“There is something suspicious about the whole process when there isn’t even a report put out to the public,” interim Progressive Conservative Leader Jim Wilson said Monday. “I think the government should be held accountable.”
Wilson’s comments come after a Star investigation into a complaint against a Toronto judge who had been repeatedly admonished, and the system that keeps the vast majority of such complaints under lock and key.
Confidential documents, provided to the Star by an unknown source, detailed how the complaint was handled in secret, and the case closed.
According to the Ontario Judicial Council, which probes complaints against judges, there is a “general order,” permitted under Ontario law, banning the publication of any documents and information relating to complaints that don’t result in a public hearing.
The Star submitted an application to the Judicial Council on Monday to have the materials unsealed.
Leona Aglukkaq, Nunavut’s MP and Canada’s Minister of Environment, had strong words against Greenpeace in her keynote address at the Inuit Circumpolar Council’s general assembly in Inuvik, N.W.T.
“Inuit were victims of misinformation and lies spread by a group that had no regard for their impact on our way of life,” she said of Greenpeace’s campaign against the seal hunt.
She did not specifically mention the issue of seismic testing to look for oil and gas reserves in Nunavut. Greenpeace opposes seismic testing and has been working with Inuit groups in Nunavut who are fighting federally-approved seismic testing off Baffin Island over concerns of the effects the tests would have on marine mammals.
Aglukkaq said Inuit need to stick together and not be manipulated.
Stephen Harper was right. It’s not fashionable today to say that about anything the Prime Minister says or does. It’s especially against the current to praise his foreign policy which, most critics agree, is distinguished only by its unbalanced megaphone style and simplistic good versus evil rhetoric. But how can anyone deny that on Vladimir Putin, Mr. Harper, from the get go, got it right on the money?
Consider the recent record. After Russia orchestrated the absorption of Crimea into the Soviet Union – oops – into Russia, the Prime Minister told a German audience that Mr. Putin was a “throwback” to the USSR. “Unfortunate as it sounds,” Mr. Harper observed, “it’s increasingly apparent to me that the Cold War has never left Vladimir Putin’s mind.” Then the Prime Minister added, “we simply … cannot afford the risk of Europe going back to being a continent where people seize territory … where the bigger military powers are prepared to invade their neighbours or carve off pieces.” The economy was important, he went on, but global security remained Canada’s highest priority.
In April, Mr. Harper spoke out again: “When a major power acts in a way that is so clearly aggressive, militaristic and imperialistic, this represents a significant threat to the peace and stability of the world, and it’s time we all recognized the depth and the seriousness of that threat.” All nations had to be rallied “to understand that peace and stability is being threatened here in a way that has not been threatened since the end of the Cold War.”
You know you’re living in mundo bizarro when Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sounds (and is!) more reasonable than the U.S. secretary of State and the UN secretary general.
But that’s the way it is in this best of all possible worlds with John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon rocketing to Cairo to bring about a ceasefire in the latest Gaza War before Israel does something so rash as finally obliterating the murderous religious psychopaths of Hamas. Heaven forfend!
El-Sisi undoubtedly knows better, as do numerous relatively more silent types like the Saudis and the Jordanians, all — or anyway most — of whom would like to see Hamas and its Muslim Brotherhood-Iran allies brought low, not to mention IS/ISIS and the rest of the mad Sunni branch. The people who live there — the semi-normal ones anyway — know that the Middle East is in serious need of a swamp draining and the only ones capable of doing it are the Israelis. The Americans under Obama are so out to lunch that they might as well be opening a McDonald’s franchise on Alpha Centauri.
Undeterred, John Kerry and Ban Ki-moon will be doing their level best to make sure that doesn’t happen — the swamp draining, that is. So why the urge to preserve Hamas? In Ban’s case he represents an organization so anti-Semitic it makes the Wehrmacht seem like a lost branch of Hadassah. The UN wouldn’t interrupt its endless and relentless anti-Israel attacks if the North Koreans were dropping a hydrogen bomb on Rikers Island.
[Read it all]
One rule for Israel and another for everybody else, evidently appeals to both the UN and the Obama administration. A shameful scheme in Israel’s hour of need.
It is hard to imagine two more unwelcome, uninvited visitors to Israel in the middle of a war against Palestinian terrorists than UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry. But even more unwelcome is that they are working together.
Their common cause is that although Israel has a right of self-defense in theory, Israel ought to be prevented from exercising this right in practice.
Events over the past week have provided an extraordinary demonstration of this reprehensible nexus.
On July 16, 2014, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a report stating: “the Israeli military delivered text messages to virtually all the residents of Ash Shuja’iyya and Az Zaitun neighborhoods in eastern Gaza city, approximately 100,000 people, warning them to leave their homes by 8 am today (16 July), ahead of attacks to be launched in the area.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also made phone calls and distributed leaflets.
OCHA then describes what came next: “Subsequently, the Palestinian Ministry of Interior in Gaza reportedly instructed the residents to…not flee the area.” As a result, OCHA admits: “the vast majority decided to stay.”
This story tells us both that Israel adhered to the Geneva Convention demand of providing “effective advance warning” to civilians and that Hamas violated the rule forbidding parties to “direct the movement of …civilians in order to shield military objectives from attack.”
What was Hamas trying to protect when it used Palestinians as human shields in Shuja’iyya?
#1 — Israeli forces are fighting hard to win their first battle against Hamas, a savage and tenacious enemy
#2 — Little room for wartime dissent in Israeli media
#3 — Hamas uses kidnapping as a strategic tool
#4 — Exclusive: US intelligence source claims Hamas has many more tunnels than Israel says
#5 — Fatah propose Gaza truce followed by 5-day talks
#1 — CNews | Mayor Rob Ford denies he’ll run for his old council seat
TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford says he’s in the mayor’s race right to the finish line and predicts he’s going to win.
#2 — CTV | 20 members of human trafficking ring deported from Canada
The Canadian Border Services Agency has deported 20 individuals linked to the operation of a large human trafficking ring based out of Hamilton, Ont.
#3 — Globe | Toronto police board, councillor stand down in legal feud over chief
A dispute over Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair’s future with the force will no longer be fought in court, after the police board has withdrawn its complaint against one of its own members.
#4 — Postmedia | Russia ‘loaded the gun’ that shot down Malaysian airliner: John Baird
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird ramped up his criticism Monday of Russia — saying it “loaded the gun” used by those who last week shot down a Malaysian civilian jetliner carrying nearly 300 people.
#5 — Sun | No additional money: Ontario tells Metrolinx
TORONTO – Metrolinx will have to come up with the cash to pay an 8.45 per cent wage hike to workers, according to Treasury Board chairman Deb Matthews.
#6 — BBC | ‘Exciting’ drug flushes out HIV
Scientists say they have made an “exciting” step towards curing HIV by forcing the virus out of hiding.
#7 — CNN | UK will establish independent inquiry into death of ex-KGB agent Litvinenko
London (CNN) — The UK Home Office will hold an independent public inquiry into the 2006 death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, it announced Tuesday.
#8 — Fox | 11 parents of Nigeria’s kidnapped girls die from attacks and stress
LAGOS, Nigeria – Nearly a dozen parents of the more than 200 kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls will never see their daughters again.
#9 — DM | Is the data on MH17′s black box USELESS?
Anything contained in the recordings from the black boxes on flight MH17 would be ‘absolutely useless’, experts have told MailOnline.
WT | Putin one-ups Obama, calls for ceasefire and ‘transparent’ probe of Ukraine tragedy
#10 — WT | Israel hits five mosques, sports complex in overnight Gaza strikes
Israel on Tuesday continued to fire back at Hamas terrorists in Gaza, striking overnight five mosques and a sports complex while bringing the death toll to more than 500.