The Calm Before The Storm

AEP in the Telegraph:

There must be an extremely high risk that the Kremlin will defy Western sanctions and launch “asymmetric retaliation” on the ground, overthrowing the post-Cold War settlement altogether.

Markets seem strangely insouciant as the geopolitical order of Europe unravels before their eyes. The US launched economic warfare against Russia a week ago. Europe is just days away from following suit.

You can applaud the actions of the West, or condemn them, but you can hardly ignore them. In the 30 years or so that I have been writing about world affairs and the international economy, I have never seen a more dangerous confluence of circumstances, or more remarkable complacency.

No choice, obviously.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany, Europe’s largest economy which also has strong trade ties with Russia, spoke out strongly in favor of the new EU sanctions against Moscow in an interview published on Saturday.

“After the death of 300 innocent people in the MH17 crash and the disrespectful roaming around the crash site of marauding soldiers, the behavior of Russia leaves us no other choice.” he told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

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26 Responses to The Calm Before The Storm

  1. c777 says:

    They want their war and they will have it.
    Even if they have to present circumstantial evidence off as factual
    However they never got away with the trick in Syria.
    Lets see if the electorates are smart enough on this one to stop it, just like Syria.
    However Russia is a different kettle of fish to Iraq, and Libya altogether.
    They may lose, especially when they are using Ukrainians in their proxy war.

    The whole thing stinks of corruption as usual……….

  2. Bill says:

    No, to me its just business as usual for the globalists. Nothing instils fear in so many than the potential of an immediate war.

    • nisakiman says:

      Yes, I’d agree with that. It will give them the excuse to introduce a whole new raft of restrictions for the sake of ‘security’.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Remember Kofi Anan and his kid making 100s of millions thru the UN food for oil scam!

  3. woohoo02 says:

    Seems to me the US want a leveled,bombed out Europe as they have run their economy into the ground.Nothing better than no competition to give their corporations world domination again!!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      WooHoo your words are admirable. AS it was the ruins of the industrialized world that took 30 years to recover from after ww2 and it lasted until the 1970s and it was then that American factories started shuttering their doors. It took the world 30 years to finally get geared back into production to where they didn’t have to buy from America all the time. They could in effect make what they needed! It helped destroy the unions stranglehold on American factory labor.

  4. garyk30 says:

    Hmmmmm, tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1.


  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Vietnam’s nascent anti-smoking laws flouted by public, manufacturers

    Thanh Nien Daily

    A man smokes at the 115 People’s Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City despite a ban against smoking at public places in Vietnam. Cigarette packs without …

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Public smokers face arrest

    MINISTRY of Health and Child Care has called on the law enforcers to descend on public smoking offenders as the ministry intensifies its crackdown on citizens reluctant to comply with the Public Health Act (Tobacco Control) Regulation 264 of 2002 which prohibits public smoking, deputy director for the department of mental health services and susbtance abuse, Mrs Dorcas Sithole has said.
    Mrs Sithole told Sunday News that the ministry had engaged the Ministry of Home Affairs to descend on people smoking in public places such as public transport, public halls, public gatherings and on the streets.

    She said people smoking in public risk arrest.
    “As the ministry, we have intensified campaigns against public smoking spelling the health impact of use of tobacco. We have engaged the Ministry of Home Affairs to assist us in deterring public smokers.

    “According to the Public Health Act on tobacco, smoking in public places such as public transport, public halls, public gatherings, eating places including on the streets is an offence.

    “All public smokers will be prosecuted. The offence attracts a $500 fine or a custodial sentence not exceeding six months,” she said.
    Home Affairs deputy minister Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi said the police would start enforcing the law as soon as they had completed educating the public.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Oregon Proposes Smoking Ban For All 362 Miles Of Its Coastline

    Salisbury News ⋅ JoeAlbero

    The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has followed up an earlier ban on smoking at most state park properties with this proposal, partly …

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Zimbabwe To Arrest People For Smoking In Public

    Three Men On a Boat ⋅ Three Men On a Boat

    That means no smoking in public transport, public halls, public gatherings … side-note: You want to create incentives for smoke-free establishments.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Survey: Breathing bad air in Beijing like smoking 21 cigarettes

    BEIJING–Spending a day here when smog blankets the city and the air pollution is severe is equivalent to smoking 21 cigarettes, or about a pack a day, according to a survey by a company related to the environmental industry.

    The results of the survey were carried in the Xinmin Weekly, a Chinese magazine.

    Experts are urging the public in China to wear surgical masks because everyone, including children and nonsmokers, are at risk for respiratory problems when severe smog and air pollution settles in over Chinese cities.

    In the survey, a high-ranking official at Yuanda Group, a group of companies that operate windmills, among other facilities, measured air quality levels in many cities with the use of monitoring equipment.

    The survey found that exposure to the poor air quality levels was comparable to lighting up 25 high-tar cigarettes in Guangzhou, 21 cigarettes in Beijing and nine cigarettes in Shanghai and Nanjing, respectively, if readings taken in these cities on a monitoring day were converted to cigarettes in the tar equivalent.

    A professor at Tsinghua University sounded a warning against episodes of high concentrations of PM 2.5, or particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less, suspended in the air.

    “If the air quality index in the form of PM 2.5 concentration hits 300, it would amount to smoking 20 cigarettes a day,” the professor said.

    Particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less can be inhaled deep into the lungs and absorbed into blood vessels, causing asthma, heart disease and increasing the mortality risk.

    In the capital, readings of PM 2.5 topped 300 on at least 15 days in January.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      ACLJ Files Suit Against UCLA After Professor is Fired for Blowing Whistle on Junk Science

      (Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed suit on behalf of Dr. James E. Enstrom, a UCLA research professor who was terminated after he blew the whistle on junk environmental science and scientific misconduct at the University of California (UC).

      “The facts of this case are astounding,” said David French, Senior Counsel of the ACLJ. “UCLA terminated a professor after 35 years of service simply because he exposed the truth about an activist scientific agenda that was not only based in fraud but violated California law for the sake of imposing expensive new environmental regulations on California businesses. UCLA’s actions were so extreme that its own Academic Freedom Committee unanimously expressed its concern about the case.”

      Dr. Enstrom, a research professor in UCLA’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, published important peer-reviewed research demonstrating that fine particulate matter does not kill Californians. Also, Dr. Enstrom assembled detailed evidence that contends powerful UC professors and others have systematically exaggerated the adverse health effects of diesel particulate matter in California, knowing full well that these exaggerations would be used by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to justify draconian diesel vehicle regulations in California. In addition, the complaint argues that he exposed the fact that the lead author of the key CARB Report used to justify the diesel regulations did not have the UC Davis Ph.D. degree that he claimed. Instead, according to the suit, this “scientist” bought a fake Ph.D. for $1,000 from a fictional “Thornhill University.”

      Finally, Dr. Enstrom discovered that several activist members of the CARB Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants have exceeded the legislatively mandated three-year term limits by decades. The suit contends that shortly after Dr. Enstrom revealed this systematic wrongdoing, UCLA not only issued a notice of termination, it denied him any compensation for his work by systematically and wrongfully looting his research fund accounts. Dr. Enstrom worked for more than a year without pay as he in good faith appealed his wrongful termination using UCLA procedures. Ironically enough, the fake “scientist” was only suspended for his misconduct while Dr. Enstrom was terminated for telling the truth.

      “If academic freedom means anything, it should permit a professor to challenge bad science and expose scientific misconduct,” said French. “Yet UCLA appears more committed to a political agenda than to free and open inquiry.” During Dr. Enstrom’s internal appeals, UCLA refused to allow him to present his full case and UCLA officials put forward multiple and ever-changing grounds for his dismissal. “How can we have confidence in the findings of environmental health scientists if they allow politics to trump science?” asked French.

      The lawsuit, filed yesterday in federal court in the central district of California in Los Angeles, names the Regents of UC as well as a number of top UCLA officials as defendants. The suit contends the school violated Dr. Enstrom’s constitutional rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

      The complaint requests the court to declare that the actions taken by UCLA violated Dr. Enstrom’s right to free speech on matters of public concern, along with his due process rights. Further, the suit requests an injunction requiring UCLA to rehire Dr. Enstrom, as well as monetary damages to be determined by a jury.

      The lawsuit and exhibits are posted here.

      Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Asthma: just believing an odor is harmful ‘could trigger airway inflammation’

    For asthmatics, ‘it’s not just what you smell, but also what you think you smell.’…

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      The researchers believe their findings indicate that the effects of fragrances on asthma may be related to the expectation that the odor can cause harm, rather than the odor itself.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Government opens consultation on plain packaging of tobacco

    Thursday 26th June 2014, posted by forest

    Campaigners have urged the government to keep an “open mind” on plain packaging of tobacco following the announcement of a consultation on draft regulations.

    Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest which runs the Hands Off Our Packs campaign, said:

    “Plain packaging is another step towards the infantilisation of Britain.
    “If the consultation is to have any meaning ministers must keep an open mind.
    “The impact of plain packaging on retailers and consumers could be extremely damaging.
    “Evidence suggests that standardised packaging could lead to the UK being flooded with fake cigarettes.
    “A decision to introduce plain packaging must be based on hard evidence that the policy will stop children smoking.
    “Conjecture and subjective opinion are not enough when the risks are so high.”
    Clark said government should also take into account a previous consultation that attracted over 650,000 responses, with over 425,000 people opposed to plain packaging and 238,000 in favour.
    He added:
    “In recent weeks thousands of people have signed a letter to the prime minister urging him to say no to plain packaging.
    “If we live in a democracy the government must take into account the strongly held views of ordinary consumers.”
    Clark urged retailers to support Forest’s No, Prime Minister campaign.
    “Via our website you can write direct to Downing Street and express your opposition to plain packaging. It takes no more than a minute of your time.
    For further comment:Simon Clark 07774 781840

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Plain Packaging Is Failing. Meanwhile Australia Facing Challenges from 5 Countries in the WTO

      The evidence is out and the Australian plain…

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Ukraine attacks Australia’s plain packaging laws

    Ukraine has requested a consultation at the World Trade Organisation on Australia’s plain cigarette packaging law, although the tobacco growing country has n…

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Latest News

    16 July 2014

    Should We Tax Vices?

    Christopher Snowdon, Director of lifestyle economics at the UK Based Institute of Economic Affairs, on the David Packman show discusses taxing people’s lifestyle, as well as the economic sense and morality of such issues. Well worth watching!

    24 June 2014

    WHO intimidates bloggers as experts back vaping

    Back in April, minutes of a November 2013 World Heath Organisation meeting were leaked to the press, showing the WHO’s hand. They’re dealing with preference over evidence as they actively pursue the classification of e-cigarettes – which differ from normal cigarettes by not being cigarettes – as cigarettes. The minutes, which you could not … Read more →

    20 June 2014

    This week in plain packaging: Worst. Policy. Ever. [UPDATE]

    The Australian has been tough on plain packaging since the white (olive green? ugly olive? sorry, drab brown) elephant stomped onto the scene, but this week The Oz has gone into overdrive since revealing the policy has reversed a decades-long decline in (legal) tobacco consumption, driving it up by an extra 59 million cigarettes … Read more →

    21 May 2014

    The Historical Roots of Plain Packaging

    Reading Theodore Dalrymple’s, The Wilder Shores of Marx: Journeys in a Vanishing World, detailing visits to communist countries just prior to their collapse, the following passage, from his visit to Albania, struck me as particularly telling: However it is the printing and design of packaging that is most thoroughly characteristic – pathognomonic, as doctors put t … Read more →

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Plain Packaging Is Failing. Meanwhile Australia Facing Challenges from 5 Countries in the WTO
    Thursday, March 27, 2014 5:03 pm | By Brendan Walsh

    Indonesia was recently granted permission by the World Trade Organization to challenge Australia’s plain packaging law, making Indonesia the fifth country granted permission to challenge Australia’s controversial law. Since December of 2012, cigarette packs have been uniform consisting of green packaging, with white labels. However, while attempts by the Australian government to curb the use of cigarettes are noble, the law breaches trade and intellectual property regulations. The issue at hand is not to argue whether or not smoking is harmful to one’s health, but rather how implementing plain packaging is a compromising intellectual property rights protections, threatening sectors of the economy (included but not limited to the tobacco industry), and harmful to consumers’ health.

    While plain packaging is being debated for legislation in the EU, said countries should be looking at the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of plain packaging prior to passage. In January the Property Rights Alliance’s Executive Director Lorenzo Montanari published a piece regarding the Irish Plain Packaging proposal (Bill 2013) and mentioned how there was little evidence suggesting that Australia’s plain packaging law would reduce smokers. In fact, in 2013 there was a slight increase in tobacco sales.

    Failing to reduce the number of smokers, plain packaging also violates trademark rights of companies to effectively brand and differentiate themselves from competitors. Additionally the plain packaging of cigarettes also has restricting consequences, inhibiting free trade. Therefore, it is no surprise that countries are filing challenges at the WTO against the Australian government.

    As if impeding free trade and compromising trademark and intellectual property rights standards internationally were not enough, there is overwhelming evidence that Australia’s plain packaging crusade has led to a dramatic spike in illicit tobacco sales, further expanding the black market. In January the Property Rights Alliance cited a study by KPMG which estimated the growth in the black market of counterfeit cigarettes was 154% from June 2012 to June 2013 and an increase of counterfeit tobacco consumption to record levels of 13.3% in the same time period.

    Why are counterfeit cigarette sales growing rapidly in Australia? It is quite simple, because the plain packaging law makes all cigarette packs look practically identical, it easier to counterfeit cigarettes. These cigarettes can easily be marketed as legitimate cigarettes to stores and later passed to consumers. Because all packages look similar, there is little way for consumers to know if the cigarettes they are buying are truly legal as well.

    With a rise in counterfeit cigarettes entering the market, the likelihood that consumers will consume them increases as well. The consumption of counterfeit cigarettes simply compounds the health risks associated with smoking because there is no way for consumers to truly know what is in the products they are smoking.

    The evidence is out and the Australian plain packaging law has failed. Not only has the law failed to curb smoking, but it has compromised the trademarks and intellectual property rights of companies internationally. Furthermore, plain packaging has led to an unprecedented rise in black market tobacco sales, which threatens not only the legal tobacco sector internationally, but also endangers the health of consumers consuming the unregulated and potentially more harmful counterfeit cigarettes.

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

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