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Der Spiegel’s shocking anti-Trump cover is shameful

Der Spiegel’s cover – implicitly comparing Donald Trump to an ISIS style Jihadi who has beheaded the Statue of Liberty – is shocking and wrong.

Alexander Mercouris

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Back in October, after the British magazine The Economist published an edition with a grotesquely hideous cover picture of Vladimir Putin, I wrote that The Economist had disgraced Britain and itself.

I am sorry to say that the cover of Der Spiegel’s latest edition – showing Donald Trump beheading the Statue of Liberty – is as deplorable and wrong.

Even those who think Donald Trump’s ‘travel ban’ Executive Order – the legality of which will now be decided by the US’s federal courts – is wrong must agree that this cover – representing Trump as some sort of crazed ISIS style Jihadi – goes grotesquely too far.

Firstly this cover debases the actual barbarism of the victims of Jihadism in the Middle East.

Donald Trump and his officials have not beheaded a single individual, and nor are they likely to.  The Jihadis Der Spiegel is comparing Donald Trump to have beheaded numberless thousands of individuals, the vast majority of whom were innocent victims.

To compare even indirectly and in a cartoon cover Donald Trump’s ‘travel ban’ Executive Order with the murderous barbarism of ISIS and of other Jihadis is not merely ridiculous; it is also deeply offensive.

Secondly, what makes this implicit connection between the ‘travel ban’ Executive Order and Middle East Jihadism even more offensive is that the ‘travel ban’ is intended to prevent precisely the sort of murderous Jihadi terrorists the Der Spiegel cover implicitly compares Donald Trump to from entering the US, and causing mayhem there.

There is a case for saying that the approach is wrong, and that there are other ways of protecting Americans from Jihadi terrorism than the ‘travel ban’, and that the ‘travel ban’ is so wrong in principle that it should not be enacted even if it achieves its purpose.   However there is no case for putting the ‘travel ban’ – however implicitly – on the same level as the Jihadis it is targeting.

Thirdly, even the implicit claim in the cover – that Donald Trump is supposedly reversing the US’s traditional welcome to overseas visitors – is historically wrong.

The US has been steadily tightening its border controls since the Immigration Act of 1917 and the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, and even before.  The ‘travel ban’ Executive Order – with the temporary restrictions it imposes on entry to the US from seven designated Middle East countries – hardly comes close to having the effect of those Acts.

The days when the US opened its door to everyone – in the words of the famous poem by Emma Lazarus of 1883 on the base of the Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” – are long gone.

As it happens anyone who tries to enter the US with a foreign passport knows how tough US border controls can be.

The Der Spiegel cover is in fact a sign of the hysteria and hyperbole that has developed around the person of Donald Trump.  If things are not yet quite as bad as they have been with the Western media’s coverage of Putin, it shows that they are heading in the same direction.

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Terry Ross
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Terry Ross

What happens when more world leaders are elected which do not follow the classic Liberal interventionist model of Obama? Will a “Le Pen” or “Fillon” get the same treatment? What happens if there is an upset in the Netherlands? or Italy or Germany? Will Der Spiegel run out of extreme cover ideas?

Andrew Earl
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Andrew Earl

narrow mindedness is a typical german trait.

Edward
Guest
Edward

Germany is an occupied country. It is occupied by the jews. “Der Spiegel” is owned by jews. Need I say more?

Steve Roman
Guest
Steve Roman

Seriously? Do you people not see the threat of a new fascist order that Trump represents? Anyone with any sense at all can appreciate that the selection of seven Goldman-Sachs alumni to run the economy is a direct betrayal of the majority of his constituents. The pending introduction of laws in several Republican-governed states allowing suppression of peaceful protest using violent reprisal methods should be a clue to this sociopathic oligarch’s intentions.

gl_ben
Guest
gl_ben

I was kind of starting to have some respect for the German people after refusing to visit the place when living in the UK years ago, but then Merkel came along….
Wish I could feel better about current events – NeoZionists/ultra-fundamentalists caught in a delusion of grandeur taking us all down.

Edward
Guest
Edward

Merkel is a sow with lipstick on.

xxxfiles
Guest
xxxfiles

“As it happens anyone who tries to enter the US with a foreign passport knows how tough US border controls can be.”

I use my Canadian passport once, maybe twice, a week to cross the border just across the bridge from where I live. So do many others. Never a problem.

Bit of a an over-generalization, innit?

Terry Ross
Guest
Terry Ross

Aren’t Canadians just northern Americans who like the cold, play hockey and speak with a strange dialect?

Isabella Jones
Guest
Isabella Jones

Yes, my reaction. Canadians celebrate “trick or treat” and many other purely American behaviours. It’s not the independent entity it likes to think itself. However, I – entering America merely as an “in transit” passenger on an Australian passport, had to be fingerprinted. My daughter also “transiting” American on an Australian passport, into Ecuador to visit me was pulled out of a line-up and grilled in a separate room for 20 minutes about why she was going to see me and what our relationship is. So yes – you can get given a hard time by American border guards. Much… Read more »

xxxfiles
Guest
xxxfiles

Not at all. Canadians have a comprehensive health care service, accessible to all.

(Another difference is that we don’t have Madonna, Hylton or Clooney….Or the Clinton Newspeak Network.)

🙂

Terry Ross
Guest
Terry Ross

Most people around he world assume Canadians are Americans. Perhaps when Canadians travel they should wear something patriotic like a Justn Trudeau badge so they won’t be mistaken as Yanks. 😉
BTW: Seems those celebs are having a hard time finding the Canadian border. I thought Rosie O’Donnell would be there for sure.

xxxfiles
Guest
xxxfiles

We’re considering building a wall for the likes of her….

(And btw, It’s Justin Sinclair; he’s not his father’s son but his mother’s: flighty, shallow and image-conscious)

seby
Guest
seby

“Donald Trump’s predecessors, Bush and Obama, paved the way for
President Chito’s persecution of people from Syria, Libya, Yemen, Sudan,
Somalia, Iran, and Iraq, all of which “have been attacked with military
action, proxy wars and sanctions.”

Trump simply continues a U.S. policy that “makes countries
unlivable and then tells fleeing victims that the door is shut.”
Anti-Trumpism is grossly inadequate. The whole system is evil —
Democrats included.”

barbara lee
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barbara lee

Check out the Feb 3 cover of the Irish rag Village. They ask if it is ok to kill President Trump then answer their own question with “Why not?”
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2779038/anger-after-left-leaning-village-magazine-donald-trump-cover-shows-president-in-a-guns-sights-captioned-why-not/
Absolutely shameful.

Stavros Hadjiyiannis
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Stavros Hadjiyiannis

Simply astonishing how self-righteous, degenerate and intolerant the Euro-Left is…

seby
Guest
seby

The Irish have a problem with orange.

Stavros Hadjiyiannis
Guest
Stavros Hadjiyiannis

Trump is no fan of the EU (on which Germany is wholly dependent on) and may even be willing to undermine it. Surely the comments made by Ted Malloch are pointing towards that direction. Moreover, Trump’s willingness to cut some kind of deal with Russia, so that US power can be diverted to other fronts, is nothing but sending shivers down the spines of Eurocrats everywhere. The greatest thing about Trump, is that he has indirectly forced the EU (and the vast majority of its member-states) to come somewhat clean about their burning hatred of Russia. These developments are nothing… Read more »

seby
Guest
seby

Believe me Europe and Russia will be partnering up in the future, not sure when. Just some melanomas to be removed from the relationship, including the cartel called EU. The US empire game has run its course. Praise the peacemakers! rump is not one of them.

JNDillard
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JNDillard

Remember context. The US is a huge trading partner of the EU; it also derives considerable income from the many military bases the US has in Germany. Expect serious economic blow-back.

seby
Guest
seby

US should probably send back the Statue of Liberty to France.

2150dalek
Guest
2150dalek

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AntiMSM Bias
Guest
AntiMSM Bias

The German nation is still plagued by guilt with its Nazi past. Their leftist news media, which is mostly run by government appointees, always look for the slightest reason to attack western democracy, as if to show the world that Germany is on a higher moral ground than their former conquerer and latter-day protector, the U.S.A. As an American citizen living in Germany for the past five years, I can assure you that the German people as a whole remain just as bigoted, smug, and intolerant as their past reputation. The only difference is that Merkel’s government and their MSM… Read more »

Bente Petersen
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Bente Petersen

Spiegel must have some NAZIs on their board of directors…

Edward
Guest
Edward

“Der Spiegel” reeks of jew. That is their level of intellectual advancement – the Hibaru.

David Earl
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David Earl

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David Earl
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David Earl

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Macron pisses off Merkel as he tries to sabotage Nord Stream 2 pipeline (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 177.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss an EU compromise for Nord Stream 2 where EU member states, the EU Parliament, and its Commission will give the bloc more oversight on gas pipelines, with one caveat…the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia will not be threatened by the new regulations in the agreement.

Macron pushed hard to have the new regulations include (and derail) Nord Stream 2, an action which annoyed Angela Merkel, who eventually got her way and delivered another blow to Macron’s failing French presidency.

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Via The Express UK

Angela Merkel hit back at Emmanuel Macron over Russia and Germany’s pipeline project, declaring it would “not be a one-sided dependency”. The German Chancellor explained that Germany will expand its gas terminals with “liquified gas”. Speaking at a press conference, Ms Merkel declared: “Do we become dependent on Russia because of this second gas pipeline? I say no, if we diversify. Germany will expand its gas terminals with liquefied gas.

“This means that we do not want to depend only on Russia, but Russia was a source of gas in the Cold War and will remain one.

“But it would not be one-sided dependency.”

Via DW

The EU parliament and its Council are set to adopt new regulations on gas pipelines connecting the bloc members with non-EU countries, the EU Commission announced early on Wednesday.

The upcoming directive is based on a compromise between EU member states and EU officials in Brussels. The bloc leaders agreed to tighten Brussels’ oversight of gas delivery and expand its rules to all pipelines plugging into the EU’s gas distribution network.

“The new rules ensure that… everyone interested in selling gas to Europe must respect European energy law,” EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said in a statement.

For example, owners of pipelines linking EU and non-EU countries would also be required to allow access for their competitors. Brussels would also have more power regarding transparency and tariff regulations.

Russian ambassador slams US

Brussels has repeatedly expressed concern over the controversial Nord Stream 2 project which would deliver Russian gas directly to Germany through a pipeline under the Baltic Sea. Many EU states oppose the mammoth project, and the US claims it would allow Moscow to tighten its grip on the EU’s energy policy.

Berlin has insisted that the pipeline is a “purely economic” issue.

Speaking to Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung daily, Russian ambassador to Berlin, Sergey Nechayev, slammed the US’ opposition as an attempt to “push its competition aside” and clear the way for American suppliers of liquefied gas.

“It’s hard to believe that a country that is destroying the rules of free and fair trade, that is imposing import tariffs on its competition, that is flying slogans like ‘America First’ on its flags and often threatens biggest European concerns with illegal sanctions, is now really concerned about European interests,” the Russian envoy said in remarks published in German on Wednesday.

Last week, France unexpectedly rebelled against the project, but Berlin and Paris soon reached a compromise. Thanks to their agreement, the latest deal is not expected to impede the ongoing construction of Nord Stream 2.

Citing sources from negotiators’ circles, German public broadcaster ARD reported that the deal left room for Germany to approve exceptions from the EU-wide rules.

According to the EU Commission, however, exceptions are “only possible under strict procedures in which the Commission plays a decisive role.”

The Gazprom-backed pipeline is set to be completed by the end of the year.

 

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UK Defence Secretary looking for a fight with both China and Russia (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 87.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s idea to deploy hard power against China and Russia, starting with plans to send Britain’s new aircraft carrier to the tense sea routes in the South China Sea.

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“Britain’s Gavin Williamson places Russia & China on notice, I’m not joking,” authored by John Wight, via RT

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson is itching for conflict with Russia and China. He’s not mad. Not even slightly. But he is stupid. Very.

Unlike former fireplace salesman Gavin Williamson, I am no military expert. But then you do not need to be one to understand that while Britain going to war with Russia and China might work as a video game, the real thing would be an exceedingly bad idea.

So why then in a speech delivered to the Royal United Services Institute in London, did Mr Williamson’s argument on the feasibility of the real thing elicit applause rather than the shrieks of horror and demands he be sacked forthwith it should have? This is a serious question, by the way. It is one that cuts through British establishment verbiage to reveal a country ruled not by the sober and doughty political heavyweights of years gone by, but by foaming fanatics in expensive suits

Placing to one side for a moment the insanity of the very concept of Britain deploying hard power against Russia and/or China, the prospect of fighting a war against two designated enemies at the same time is a recipe for disaster. Not satisfied with that, though, Mr Williamson is actually contemplating a conflict with three different enemies at the same time – i.e. against Russia, China, and the millions of people in Britain his government is currently waging war against under the rubric of austerity.

“Today, Russia is resurgent,” Mr Williamson said, “rebuilding its military arsenal and seeking to bring the independent countries of the former Soviet Union, like Georgia and Ukraine, back into its orbit.”

For Mr Williamson and his ilk a resurgent Russia is a bad thing. Much better in their eyes if Russia, after the Soviet era in the 1990s, had remained on its knees as a free market desert; its state institutions in a state of near collapse and tens of millions of its citizens in the grip of immiseration. Yes, because in that scenario Western ideologues like him would have had free rein to rampage around the world as they saw fit, setting fire to country after country on the perverse grounds of ‘saving them’ for democracy.

As it is, he and his still managed to squeeze in a considerable amount of carnage and chaos in the years it did take Russia to recover. The indictment reads as follows: Yugoslavia destroyed; Afghanistan turned upside down; Iraq pushed into the abyss; Libya sent to hell.

By the time they turned their attention to Syria, intent on exploiting an Arab Spring that NATO in Libya transformed into an Arab Winter, Russia had recovered and was able to intervene. It did so in concert with the Syrian Arab Army, Iran and Hezbollah to save the day – much to the evident chagrin of those who, like Gavin Williamson, prefer to see countries in ashes rather than independent of Western hegemony.

As to the facile nonsense about Russia trying to bring Georgia and Ukraine back into its orbit, both countries happen to share a border with Russia and both countries, in recent years, have been used by the UK and its allies as cat’s paws with the eastward expansion of NATO in mind.

It gets worse though: “The Alliance must develop its ability to handle the kind of provocations that Russia is throwing at us. Such action from Russia must come at a cost.”

“Provocations,” the man said. Since British troops have been taking part in exercises on Russia’s doorstep, not the other way round, one wonders if Gavin Williamson wrote this speech while inebriated.

It is Russia that has been on the receiving end of repeated provocations from NATO member states such as the UK in recent times, and it is Russia that has been forced to respond to protect its own security and that of its people where necessary. Furthermore, not only in Russia but everywhere, including the UK, people understand that when you have political leaders intoxicated by their own national myths and propaganda to such an extent as Britain’s Defence Secretary, danger ensues.

The most enduring of those national myths where London is concerned is that the British Empire was a force for good rather than a vast criminal enterprise, that Britain and America won the Second World War together alone, that Iraq had WMDs, and that international law and international brigandage really are one and the same thing.

Perhaps the most preposterous section of the speech came when Mr Williamson tried to fashion a connection between Brexit and Britain’s military strength: “Brexit has brought us to a moment. A great moment in our history. A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality, and increase our mass.”

Reading this, you can almost hear Churchill turning in his grave. Britain’s wartime prime minister had such as Gavin Williamson in mind when he famously said, “He has all the virtues I dislike, and none of the vices I admire.”

Mr Williamson obviously misread the memo talking up not the opportunity for increased conflict with China after Brexit but trade.

This was not a speech it was a linguistic car crash, one that will forever command an honoured place in compendiums of the worst political speeches ever made. As for Gavin Williamson, just as no responsible parent would ever dream of putting an 10-year old behind the wheel of car to drive unsupervised, no responsible British government would ever appoint a man like him as its Defence Secretary.

In years past, he would have struggled to find employment polishing the brass plate outside the building.

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The Birth Of A Monster

The banking establishment welcomed the Fed with open arms. What gives?

The Duran

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Authored by David Howden via The Mises Institute:


The Federal Reserve’s doors have been open for “business” for one hundred years. In explaining the creation of this money-making machine (pun intended – the Fed remits nearly $100 bn. in profits each year to Congress) most people fall into one of two camps.

Those inclined to view the Fed as a helpful institution, fostering financial stability in a world of error-prone capitalists, explain the creation of the Fed as a natural and healthy outgrowth of the troubled National Banking System. How helpful the Fed has been is questionable at best, and in a recent book edited by Joe Salerno and me — The Fed at One Hundred — various contributors outline many (though by no means all) of the Fed’s shortcomings over the past century.

Others, mostly those with a skeptical view of the Fed, treat its creation as an exercise in secretive government meddling (as in G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature from Jekyll Island) or crony capitalism run amok (as in Murray Rothbard’s The Case Against the Fed).

In my own chapter in The Fed at One Hundred I find sympathies with both groups (you can download the chapter pdf here). The actual creation of the Fed is a tragically beautiful case study in closed-door Congressional deals and big banking’s ultimate victory over the American public. Neither of these facts emerged from nowhere, however. The fateful events that transpired in 1910 on Jekyll Island were the evolutionary outcome of over fifty years of government meddling in money. As such, the Fed is a natural (though terribly unfortunate) outgrowth of an ever more flawed and repressive monetary system.

Before the Fed

Allow me to give a brief reverse biographical sketch of the events leading up to the creation of a monster in 1914.

Unlike many controversial laws and policies of the American government — such as the Affordable Care Act, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or the War on Terror — the Federal Reserve Act passed with very little public outcry. Also strange for an industry effectively cartelized, the banking establishment welcomed the Fed with open arms. What gives?

By the early twentieth century, America’s banking system was in a shambles. Fractional-reserve banks faced with “runs” (which didn’t have to be runs with the pandemonium that usually accompanies them, but rather just banks having insufficient cash to meet daily withdrawal requests) frequently suspended cash redemptions or issued claims to “clearinghouse certificates.” These certificates were a money substitute making use of the whole banking system’s reserves held by large clearinghouses.

Both of these “solutions” to the common bank run were illegal as they allowed a bank to redefine the terms of the original deposit contract. This fact notwithstanding, the US government turned a blind eye as the alternative (widespread bank failures) was perceived to be far worse.

The creation of the Fed, the ensuing centralization of reserves, and the creation of a more elastic money supply was welcomed by the government as a way to eliminate those pesky and illegal (yet permitted) banking activities of redemption suspensions and the issuance of clearinghouse certificates. The Fed returned legitimacy to the laws of the land. That is, it addressed the government’s fear that non-enforcement of a law would raise broader questions about the general rule of law.

The Fed provided a quick fix to depositors by reducing cases of suspensions of their accounts. And the banking industry saw the Fed as a way to serve clients better without incurring a cost (fewer bank runs) and at the same time coordinate their activities to expand credit in unison and maximize their own profits.

In short, the Federal Reserve Act had a solution for everyone.

Taking a central role in this story are the private clearinghouses which provided for many of the Fed’s roles before 1914. Indeed, America’s private clearinghouses were viewed as having as many powers as European central banks of the day, and the creation of the Fed was really just an effort to make the illegal practices of the clearinghouses legal by government institutionalization.

Why Did Clearinghouses Have So Much Power?

Throughout the late nineteenth century, clearinghouses used each new banking crisis to introduce a new type of policy, bringing them ever closer in appearance to a central bank. I wouldn’t go so far as to say these are examples of power grabs by the clearinghouses, but rather rational responses to fundamental problems in a troubled American banking system.

When bank runs occurred, the clearinghouse certificate came into use, first in 1857, but confined to the interbank market to economize on reserves. Transactions could be cleared in specie, but lacking sufficient reserves, a troubled bank could make use of the certificates. These certificates were jointly guaranteed by all banks in the clearinghouse system through their pooled reserves. This joint guarantee was welcomed by unstable banks with poor reserve positions, and imposed a cost on more prudently managed banks (as is the case today with deposit insurance). A prudent bank could complain, but if it wanted to use a clearinghouse’s services and reap the cost advantages it had to comply with the reserve-pooling policy.

As the magnitude of the banking crisis intensified, clearinghouses started permitting banks to issue the certificates directly to the public (starting with the Panic of 1873) to further stymie reserve drains. (These issues to the general public amounted to illegal money substitutes, though they were tolerated, as noted above.)

Fractional-Reserve Free Banking and Bust

The year 1857 is a somewhat strange one for these clearinghouse certificates to make their first appearance. It was, after all, a full twenty years into America’s experiment with fractional-reserve free banking. This banking system was able to function stably, especially compared to more regulated periods or central banking regimes. However, the dislocation between deposit and lending activities set in motion a credit-fueled boom that culminated in the Panic of 1857.

This boom and panic has all the makings of an Austrian business cycle. Banks overextended themselves to finance the booming industries during America’s westward advance, primarily the railways. Land speculation was rampant. As realized profits came in under expectations, investors got skittish and withdrew money from banks. Troubled banks turned to the recently established New York Clearing House to promote stability. Certain rights were voluntarily abrogated in return for a guarantee on their solvency.

The original sin of the free-banking period was its fractional-reserve foundation. Without the ability to fund lending activity with their deposit base, banks never would have financed the boom to the extent that it became a destabilizing factor. Westward expansion and investment would still have occurred, though it would have occurred in a sustainable way funded through equity investments and loans. (These types of financing were used, though as is the case today, this occurred less than would be the case given the fractional-reserve banking system’s essentially cost-free funding source: the deposit base.)

In conclusion, the Fed was not birthed from nothing in 1913. The monster was the natural outgrowth of an increasingly troubled banking system. In searching for the original problem that set in motion the events culminating in the creation of the Fed, one must draw attention to the Panic of 1857 as the spark that set in motion ever more destabilizing policies. The Panic itself is a textbook example of an Austrian business cycle, caused by the lending activities of fractional-reserve banks. This original sin of the banking system concluded with the birth of a monster in 1914: The Federal Reserve.

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