Saturday, 4 July 2015

London: "The money laundering capital of the world"

The sad story of what´s in for London:

The reason new money floods to London isn’t necessarily sentimental but pragmatic: London sells itself to the 21st century as, in the words of English satirical magazine Private Eye, “the money laundering capital of the world.” Nowhere is this more striking than in the property market.
“London has become a safe haven for corrupt capital from around the world,” says a new report by Transparency International, “facilitated by the laws which allow UK property to be owned by secret off-shore companies.” In this new order the “proper” English are increasingly becoming the service class. The new English hero of the age is the elite estate agent (they prefer to be known as “property brokers”). You find them in the lobbies of the Park Lane hotels and at the after-parties of art auctions, looking to snag a client and sell off a bit more of London.
But how do the new elite see the English?
At brunch with the wife of a Russian minigarch at a Mayfair club, I noticed one smart young Englishman after another come up to our table to offer his services as a wine merchant, landscape gardener or interior designer. She leaned over to me: “You have to watch the English like a hawk when they come do any work — they’re lazy and always try to rip you off.” It was just the way the English had once talked of their colonial subjects and foreign “help.”
So will this be the future of London? A globalized elite serviced by a class of English butlers, estate agents and money launderers? It’s hard not to notice the historical irony — the nation that once ruled over half the world reduced to being, if not colonized, then at least relegated to second class in the postcodes of its own privilege.

Read the entire article here

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Republicans promise to prevent Obama from wasting taxpayers´ money on Green Climate Fund

"Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries."
Douglas Casey

Thank God there are still some sane people in the US Senate! :

Sen. James Inhofe, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said he would "do everything in my power to prevent $3 billion in taxpayer dollars from going to the Green Climate Fund, where the money will be spent by unelected U.N. bureaucrats to dictate U.S. policy and hinder developing countries' ability to aggressively address the economics of poverty." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office has indicated Republicans would block the funding.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Pope Francis on global warming

Pope Francis seems to think that global warming is a huge problem for humanity. However, it is good to keep this in mind before jumping to any conclusions:

... "what the Pope has to say about humans tackling climate change as a moral issue is about as relevant as Kim Kardashian’s views on the future of the eurozone".

Friday, 12 June 2015

Leslie Gelb as Putin´s useful idiot

Vladimir Putin can still count on a number of useful idiots in the US. Leslie Gelb (former correspondent and columnist, former senior Defense and State Department official) is one of them. In his view the US and Europe are solely to blame for Putin´s aggression in Ukraine. And, indeed, the Baltic states should never have been allowed to join NATO!

Here are a couple of excerpts from Gelb´s latest "research":

Over the course of the 1990s and early 2000s, NATO conferred membership upon much of Eastern Europe. In many cases, this was a sound strategy for the West, Russian resentment notwithstanding. The alliance, however, pushed its advantage provocatively far. It extended its protective wing up to Russia’s borders in the Baltic states.

When some neighbors rejected Russia in favor of the West, Moscow chose force. In Georgia, Russia solidified control over the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. A democratic uprising in Ukraine triggered Russian support for revolts in Ukraine’s eastern provinces and the annexation of Crimea.
At some point over the last quarter century, Washington might have realized that the Kremlin was not going to sit around and wait for the West to determine Russia’s fate. Russia’s leaders countered with what came naturally to them—military power—to ensure they would shape their own future.

"Wait for the West to determine Russia´s fate"?!!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Vladimir Putin: Perfection created by God

Vladimir Putin: Perfection created by God:

And for the final question of the interview, Mr Putin was asked by Fontana: "Is there an action that you most regret in your life, something that you consider a mistake and wouldn't want to repeat ever again?"
According to the paper's report, Mr Putin pondered the question for a short while before his eyes lit up and he replied softly: "I'll be totally frank with you. I cannot recollect anything of the kind. It appears that the Lord built my life in a way that I have nothing to regret."

Friday, 5 June 2015

Canada´s PM Stephen Harper: There is no return for Putin´s Russia to G7

While Barack Obama has been strangely silent on this, Canada´s PM Stephen Harper hits the right note:

"I don't think Russia under Vladimir Putin belongs in the G7. Period," Harper told the Associated Press. "Canada would very, very strongly oppose Putin ever sitting around that table again. It would require consensus to bring Russia back and that consensus will just not happen."
The G7 suspended Russia from the grouping of leading industrialized nations following its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea last March, but has not ruled out a possible return under changed circumstances.
Harper, who is to visit Kyiv for talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk before heading to Bavaria for the G7 summit, said there was no room for conciliation with the Kremlin in light of the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its alleged support of pro-Russia separatists fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine.
"This is a country that has shown a willingness to invade its neighbors, to actually seize territory that does not belong to it, and so I don't think we should take this escalation of a hostile military posture lightly. It needs to be treated seriously," said Harper, whose country is home to more than one million people of Ukrainian heritage.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

"Qatar and Russia shoul be stripped of the World Cup"

Fortunately there are still journalists who are not afraid of telling the truth:

To hell with diplomatic repercussions; every tournament awarded by Fifa must now be re-allocated or boycotted. To do otherwise would be to endorse or condone near-total corruption.
It is unlikely that Vladimir Putin will unashamedly make the opening ceremony to Russia’s 2018 World Cup a celebration of the annexation of Crimea, or an interpretative dance sequence commemorating the supply of surface-to-air military equipment that resulted in the deaths of 298 people when MH17 was shot down. But the event has clearly been purchased for the further glorification of a president more deserving of the attention of the International Court of Justice than the world’s sporting community.