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All posts in "Europe"

Freedom From Bandits

Published August 19, 2016 in Crime , Europe , Society - 0 Comments
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banditsOne thing we take for granted in the modern first world is freedom from bandits. In the US and western Europe, they’re simply not a thing.

This is a huge historical anomaly. We are, of course, familiar with the idea of bandits from watching westerns. But bandits weren’t just an artifact of the wild west. Throughout most of human history, bandits have been the norm, not the exception. Bandits arise whenever a few simple conditions are met.

  1. People travel long distances, out of easy reach of population centers.
  2. The average traveler is defenseless.
  3. Law and order decays, law enforcement becomes lax, or bandits develop an easy way to avoid reprisal.

We very seldom even talk about bandits in the modern world. Yet the contribution our bandit-free culture gives to our culture is enormous. The economy benefits thanks to a reduction in deadweight loss. The people benefit when they don’t live in constant fear. People work harder when they can hold onto their earnings, and they travel farther for trade when the risks are lower.

The benefits are massive.

Unfortunately, our days of being outlaw free may be coming to a close. The news media, and even the “alt news” media, is treating the recent Calais attacks as a migrant issue. They are not entirely wrong. But they’re also missing a huge issue, because what we’re witnessing is the return of banditry to western civilization.

This is bad. It’s really bad.

It’s begun as a migrant issue. We’ve allowed in immigrants from areas of the world where banditry is common. They’ve brought the practice with them. At the same time, law enforcement has gone lax – especially against certain subgroups. When individual law enforcement agents have more to fear from appearing “racist” than they do from allowing bandits to run wild, well, you get more bandits.

But the real problem runs far deeper. If we allow this new wave of banditry to continue unchecked, before long the local ruffians will join in. “Bad boys” aren’t limited to the migrants, you know. Every culture has its share. And the locals will bring better organization, logistics, and armament to the game. Why? Not because westerners are inherently superior at these things. It will be because the locals won’t be migrants who have left everything they own behind to move to a foreign land. They will have friends, family, and support networks. They will have wealth, built over generations. And they will know the land of their fathers inside and out.

Banditry begets more banditry. We must crush it ruthlessly in the gestational phase. The Romans learned this lesson the hard way. The British learned it the hard way. The nations of the west sure seem about to learn it again – the hard way.

Turkey Didn’t Happen in Isolation

Published July 16, 2016 in Europe , World War IV - 0 Comments
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People react near a military vehicle during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey, July 16, 2016.     REUTERS/Tumay Berkin TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

People react near a military vehicle during an attempted coup in Ankara, Turkey, July 16, 2016. REUTERS/Tumay Berkin TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Yesterday’s coup attempt in Turkey didn’t happen in isolation. Turkey has been at the nexus of global geopolitics since the Trojan War nearly three thousand years ago. Its neighbors have always interfered. There’s no reason to believe that this time is any different. Indeed, the fact that Germany reportedly denied Erdogan asylum indicates that larger forces were at play. The Merkel regime has never met a refugee it didn’t love – so why deny entry to this one? More to the point, though, why deny asylum to the leader of a nation thatthe EU has courted for more than a decade?

We all know how Russia has meddled in the Ukraine. But many are less familiar with the US and Western European interference that predated that. Games are afoot. And as I have noted previously, World War is a fact on the ground whether we want it or not. Escalation was inevitable. The coup attempt in Turkey clearly shows that the next phase is upon us. As I predicted early this year, events are accelerating. They will continue to accelerate as this spirals out of control.

There are no longer any good options open to world leaders to prevent a full blown World War – not of the variety that I’ve been calling out. I’m talking about the kind that nobody can any longer pretend is not a true World War. The only options remain are the ones that nobody has the stomach for.

The powder keg isn’t waiting for a spark. We’re not waiting for the fuse to burn. The primer charges are already firing. Expect the bigger explosions to come soon.

#Brexit Bet

Published June 28, 2016 in Economics , Europe , Politics - 0 Comments
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GBP-BrexitBritain won’t be the last to exit the EU – and the next one won’t be overly long in coming, either. Most likely nobody else will exit before Britain’s two year withdrawal period is up. Everyone else will want to watch and see what happens to Britain. But when it turns out not to be the global catastrophe that many have predicted, there are several European nations that have strong incentive to leave.

The PIIGS – Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain are the obvious candidates. In fact, I’m personally surprised that Greece wasn’t the first to go. But with their current economic conditions, they have a good reason to be next. Getting out of the Euro and defaulting on their loans would remove their crippling debt and let them devalue their currency. Both would be painful – extremely painful – in the short run. But in the medium term, that combination would let them get their feet under them again. They can’t do it while they remain in the EU. The other PIIGS are in similar, though less severe, circumstances. If one of them is first, it’ll probably be Greece.

France is another strong contender. Marine Le Pen and the National Front have been gaining ground in France for years already. Brexit is likely to put wind in their sails and strengthen their cause. On top of that, France is… well, it’s French. They’re the ones who withdrew from NATO in 1966… basically because they just didn’t feel like being part of it anymore. It would not be a surprise for them to taunt Europe a second time. As a coworker suggested, they’re likely to wait for the absolute most chaotic possible time to do it – just because they’re French.

The counterintuitive but very plausible contender is Germany. France and Germany were already pulling more than their share to keep the EU afloat. The fifth largest economy in the world just voted to leave the EU. That isn’t going to make it easier for Germany. Merkel is already in trouble. Her popularity is dipping, and a lot of it is anti-EU sentiment. The German nationalists probably don’t have enough vote to claim her chancellorship… this round. But they’re growing just about as fast as the National Front in France.

Which one of these will be next? I’d guess Greece. On the other hand, France is the only one that just might do it before Britain finishes the process. Once again, it would be very French for them to cut a side deal with Britain as part of their mutual exit deals. In short, I think it’s most likely to be one of Greece, France or Germany – but I’m not ready to put money on it.

What I am ready to put money on is that it’s a matter of when and who – not if. Indeed, I already did put money on it. Earlier tonight I bet a steak dinner that ten years from now at least two more nations will have withdrawn from the EU. I’m officially documenting it here for the world to see. Why two? Nobody wants to be the first. But once the process starts, it will accelerate. It’s the nature of these things.

Ukrainian Ceasefire Violated

Published February 19, 2015 in Europe , Military , Politics - 0 Comments
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It took even less time than I expected for us to see the Ukrainian ceasefire violated.

The city of Debaltseve effectively fell to rebel fighters days after the cease-fire was signed last week with the heavy involvement of European leaders.

I’m shocked, shocked to see that Putin signed a cease fire he didn’t intend to live up to.

But U.S. lawmakers say the latest developments only underscore the need for greater involvement by the U.S. and its allies.

Do they want a world war? Because that’s how world wars get started.