Realists And Idealists

I recently ordered a copy of The Strange Death Of Europe, by Douglas Murray. It arrived yesterday. And I’ve read the Introduction, which starts with the words:

Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide. Whether the European people choose to go along with this is, naturally, another matter.

Those words could pretty well summarise the growing political divide within Europe, between on the one hand the European political elites, and on the other hand the ordinary people of Europe.

The book is subtitled Immigration, Identity, Islam, and so I suppose that the rest of the book is about those things. But I haven’t read the rest of the book yet. The first paragraph of the book was quite thought-provoking enough.

And one of the thoughts that it provoked was that Europe already has committed suicide. It’s past history. It did so in two world wars: WW1 and WW2. Prior to those wars, Europe was a global superpower, and had been one for about 500 years. After those wars, Europe ceased to be any sort of superpower at all in a world that was divided between the USA on one hand, and the Soviet Union (and Red China) on the other. For the past 70+ years, global politics has been all about the confrontation of these new main players. And actually it still is. It’s not people like Theresa May or Emmanuel Macron or Angela Merkel who matter in our present world: it’s people like Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Any thoughts to the contrary are delusional.

And therein lies the origin of the identity crisis of the European political elite. They are the scions of a once-rich and once-powerful European aristocracy. They used to be somebodies, but now they’re nobodies. They’re the bankrupt descendants of kings and dukes and earls, living in one or two rooms of grand palaces that have fallen into ruin, because they can no longer afford their maintenance, no longer afford to to employ an army of housekeepers and chefs and butlers and gardeners.

Such things have happened before. It’s what happened after the fall of the western Roman empire circa 500 AD. Rome fell into ruin when there ceased to be tribute and taxation flowing into it from its empire. The Colosseum and the Circus Maximus and the imperial palace on the Palatine hill fell into ruin.

Ever since that time, Europeans have been dreaming of reconstructing that empire. Charlemagne had a go at it. The Holy Roman Empire had a stab at it. Napoleon took a shot at it. Hitler did too. The current European Union is the latest try.

But the European Union remains what it has been for the past 70+ years: an outpost of the US global empire which emerged post WW2. It’s what goes on in Washington that really matters in Europe, not what’s said in London or Berlin or Paris. European leaders have been getting above themselves in recent years. They’ve started to imagine that, with the EU, they’ve managed to recover an empire, and with it their former standing in the world. Take this headline in the Independent in 2017:

Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, not Donald Trump

It’s just wishful thinking. Angela Merkel is a nobody. So is Emmanuel Macron. Brussels is full of nobodies trying to be somebodies. And they’re all delusional. They’re all just silly dreamers.

But if the European political elites are delusional, the peoples of Europe are not equally delusional. The peoples of Europe have never been interested in constructing vast political edifices like the Roman empire or the European Union. They just want to put food on the tables, and a roof over their head, and a few dinars or francs or pounds in their pockets. They just want to be able to sit in a pub and drink a pint of beer and smoke a cigarette.

And that’s why the peoples of Europe are beginning to take leave of the delusional European political class and their various increasingly deranged projects – which include mass immigration, a one-size-fits-all euro currency, a European army, wall-to-wall windmills, and draconian smoking bans.

European politics over the next few years is going to see the self-important, delusional European political class getting squeezed between on the one hand a populist US president, and on the other hand growing and multiplying populist political movements everywhere in Europe. It’s already happening. Brexit was an early example of populism in action. The new populist government of Italy is another. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a populist government in France and Germany and Spain. The old political aristocracy of Europe is going to be completely swept away.

The new European political class will be realists rather than idealists like the current bunch of delusional dreamers. They’ll be patriots of their own countries rather than nationalists. They’ll primarily be concerned with the interests of the people who elected them rather than with any global ambitions or schemes. They’ll probably restore their national currencies in place of the euro. And they’ll restore national borders and national armies. And they’ll probably all be global warming sceptics, and so they’ll demolish all the windmills and solar farms. And they’ll stop mass immigration, and start repatriating immigrants.

There isn’t going to be a European Army. That’s another pipedream. US presidents like Donald Trump are not going to allow the appearance of armed forces in Europe that are not under US control. And this is why Trump has just been telling European leaders last week that they’re going to have to pay for the US protection they’ve enjoyed for the past 70 years. They won’t be able to pay for both US protection and a European army.

Political power is going to drain away from Brussels, and return to the nation states of Europe. Brussels will just be somewhere convenient to meet.

I’m cautiously optimistic that the incoming new realist populist political class will also start tearing up smoking bans. If nothing else, many of them – e.g. Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen – are smokers. And the global war on smoking is as deranged and delusional as global warming alarmism or the dream of a New World Order. It would be distinctly odd if smoking bans did not disappear along with all the windmills and solar farms and euros.

As for immigration and Islam and identity, well, it isn’t the first time that Islam has tried to invade Europe. It did so in around 700 AD, shortly after the fall of the western Roman empire. And it had another try about 700 years later, when it got to the gates of Vienna. Every 700 years they have another try, and it never works. It won’t work this time either.

P.S. Tomorrow, Saturday,16 June, is the first anniversary of the launch of the Smoky Drinky Bar, so we’re having a party there  8 pm – midnight UK time. Everyone is invited (except antismokers).

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Is Trump Relaxing The War On Drugs?

This surprised me:

8 June 2018

President Donald Trump told a gaggle of reporters Friday that he will “probably” support efforts by Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to end the federal ban on marijuana in states that have legalized it.

“I support Sen. Gardner,” the president said before departing for the G-7 summit in Canada, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. “I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

President Trump has taken a hard line against drugs. In March, he proposed that the death penalty be made available in prosecutions of drug traffickers.

Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed an Obama-era policy of not enforcing the federal marijuana ban in states that had voted to legalize the drug for medicinal or recreational use, allowing federal prosecutors in each state to use their own discretion.

In response to that decision, Garnder threatened to hold up future nominations for positions in the Department of Justice. He backed down after he said Trump had agreed not to intervene in states that had legalized the drug, and said privately that he would support Garnder’s legislation.

Friday’s statement, however, was the first time Trump had made that support public.

I’m surprised because non-smoking Trump has been sounding more like a classic drug warrior than anything since taking office. So this comes as something of a turnabout.

But Trump is a very street-savvy guy, and probably knows perfectly well that lots of Americans have been smoking grass for much of their lives, while holding down steady jobs and raising families and generally being pillars of society. He probably knows hundreds of them, and has talked to them about it. He’s probably been to countless parties where people have been openly smoking it.

So it looks to me to be a politically astute move to end the federal ban on marijuana. It’ll win him new friends among pot smokers. And new voters as well.

But perhaps this is the Trump modus operandi? You come on strong against something, engage in a lot of sabre-rattling, and then offer a peaceful way out of what looks like an impasse.

It’s what he did with Kim Jung Un. There was a time, back last September or October, when it looked like things were heading towards a nuclear war, as Kim fired missiles over Japan, and detonated nuclear weapons. But now that they’ve just met up in Singapore, it’s all smiles, and people have started to talk about an end to one of the longest-running wars in history – the Korean war -, the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, the normalisation of trade, and the rapid economic development of backward North Korea, and maybe even the unification of North and South Korea.

The economic development of North Korea would be a new gold rush. A complete new infrastructure of roads and railways and airports and industries would need to be set up. Hotels too. And most likely South Korean entrepreneurs would be the biggest winners. But maybe Russia would be a winner as well, since it shares a border with North Korea.

How about doing the same with Cuba, or Venezuela?

He’s winning admirers:

Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said he admires President Donald J. Trump’s hard-nosed way of dealing with European Union (EU) bureaucrats, warning of a betrayal of the Brexit vote unless the UK learns from him.

“I am increasingly admiring of Donald Trump. I have become more and more convinced that there is method in his madness,” said Boris Johnson, the former Conservative Mayor of London, in leaked comments made at a private event.

But going back to the drug war, which looked like it was getting ramped up under the Trump regime, maybe this is Trump at work again: ramp up the war, ramp up the rhetoric, scare the wits out of everybody, and then suddenly step back from the confrontation, and turn into the sweetest of pussycats, to sighs of relief all round.

But if Trump is going to relax the War on Drugs (which is a war that’s been running for as long as the Korean war or the Cold War), will Attorney General Jeff Sessions go along with it?

There are two different views of Sessions in the alt-right media. One view – that of Alex Jones and the folks at Infowars – is that Sessions has been a big disappointment for Trump, ever since he recused himself from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. They say that he’s been pretty much asleep at the wheel, only really getting active to cranking up the War on Drugs again. And they say that both Sessions and Mueller need to be fired, and don’t understand why Trump isn’t doing that.

The other view of Sessions is the one that emerges via the mysterious Q (or QAnon), which is that not only is Jeff Sessions doing exactly what Trump wanted him to do, but so also is Robert Mueller, and what is being played out is a very elaborate game that is designed to take out the US Deep State. The elaborate game plan is to fool the media and the Democrats into thinking that Mueller is going to take down Trump, when all he’s doing is pretending to investigate Trump, while actually gradually widening the investigation into, among other things, the Clinton email scandal, James Comey, and other related scandals. According to Q, a lot of people are soon going to find themselves in military courts, indicted of all sorts of high crimes and misdemeanors, including treason. The Mueller investigation is going to blow up in the faces of the US mainstream media and the Democrats.

I’m cautiously hoping that Q is right, and Alex Jones wrong. But I haven’t a clue what’s really going on.

One last thought: if Trump is going to relax that War on Drugs a little, maybe he can spare a thought for all the smokers who have been drawn into the War on Drugs in recent years, and demonised as much as pot smokers ever were.

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Ellen Judson

A couple of people have posted up a link to an article in the American Thinker. One of them commented:

It goes on with the author debunking smoking bans as irrational and unnecessary and cites a few facts but does not go into detail.

Meantime, 199+ comments suddenly appear and it’s the smoke-haters spewing venom about their rights to clean air and that SHS kills – with some provocative back and forth from anti-smoking ban people.

I read a few of the comments, and the first one I came across was this one from Ellen Judson:

I think, to a large degree, that smokers are responsible for their own lack of acceptance. I used to work in an office (at least 40 years ago) that allowed smoking as most of them at the time did. I had a desk that was next to a woman’s who smoked. When she smoked she did absolutely NOTHING to prevent her smoke from drifting into my space and my face. I hated her guts. I was thrilled when she was moved to another office. If she had been the SLIGHTEST bit aware of how rude she was by blowing her smoke my way I probably wouldn’t have cared that she smoked as it was common everywhere anyway. This kind of thoughtless behavior was probably a main reason that policies, and then laws, against smoking in common areas were established. As far as I’m concerned smokers have nobody but themselves to blame for the anti-smoking laws. Unfortunately, too many of them cared for nobody but themselves when it came to smoking in public.

Was there anything the woman at the other desk could have done to prevent her smoke from drifting into other people’s space? Short of surrounding her desk with an airtight enclosure, I can’t see that there was. What the hell was she supposed to do? Use a fan to blow it away from Ellen Judson – and towards other less deserving people in the office?

And was she “blowing smoke” in Ellen Judson’s direction? Probably not. Smokers just blow smoke in whatever direction they happen to be facing. They very seldom deliberately blow it towards anyone. And even if they do blow it towards anyone, it never gets very far, because exhaled breath is slow-moving, and quickly comes to a stop. It’s not like a cigarette is some sort of blowgun. that can fire aimed projectiles at high speeds towards distant targets.

And was it “thoughtless behavior” on her part? Would thinking have helped in any way? I can’t see how thinking would have prevented the smoke dispersing throughout the room. The only thoughtless thing she’d done, maybe, was to light a cigarette. Maybe she was also thoughtlessly scribbling on a notepad, or thoughtlessly reading a report, or thoughtlessly talking on a telephone, or thoughtlessly wearing perfume, or thoughtlessly wearing a mini-skirt, or thoughtlessly eating a cheeseburger, or thoughtlessly varnishing her fingernails. Are we all supposed to be thinking the whole damn time what effects the things we’re doing might have on other people?

Then she says: “I probably wouldn’t have cared that she smoked as it was common everywhere anyway.” The crime of the woman smoking at the adjacent desk wasn’t that she was smoking: it was that she was blowing smoke in her direction. But this was an imaginary crime, because smokers have no control over smoke once it has escaped from their mouths or the burning tips of their cigarettes.

It’s in the nature of smoke to disperse and spread. It’s also in the nature of odours of every kind to do the same.

In fact it’s in the nature of absolutely everything to disperse and spread. It’s in the nature of heat to disperse and spread. It’s in the nature of light to disperse and spread. It’s in the nature of sound to disperse and spread.

If I sit in a restaurant, thoughtlessly eating fish and chips, and thoughtlessly shaking salt and tomato ketchup over it, and thoughtlessly putting forkfuls of it in my mouth, while thoughtlessly smoking a cigarette, and thoughtlessly drinking a beer, and thoughtlessly reading a newspaper, and thoughtlessly talking to someone else who’s sitting at the same table thoughtlessly doing the exact same things, then everything I’m doing is going affect everyone else in the restaurant. People are going to not only have to put up with clouds of tobacco smoke coming from my table, but also clouds of alcohol vapour from my beer, and a hail of salt and ketchup and fish and chips. And they’ll also have to put up with the din of my voice, and of my knife and fork clattering on my plate, and the loud chomping sounds I make when I eat, and the rustle of my newspaper, and the squeal of my chair legs when I get up to get some apple pie and custard. And they’ll have to avert their eyes if they don’t want to see me doing all those things as well.

And I think that if Ellen Judson was going to complain about her co-worker’s cigarette, then she probably was going to complain about one heck of a lot more. She would have complained about her cheap, cloying perfume. She would have complained about the garish bright pink twin set she wore. She would have complained about her blonde beehive hairstyle. She would have complained about her jingling earrings. She would have complained about her purple lipstick. She would have complained about the mascara dripping from her eyelashes. She would have complained about her silly habit of wrapping the phone cable round her fingers as she talked on the phone. She would have complained about how she always said, “Great! No problem,” every second sentence.

She would probably have complained about everything about her.

Ellen Judson’s real problem was that there was someone else in the room. And she couldn’t help noticing them in countless different ways. And she wished they weren’t there.

And probably the same was true whenever she went anywhere. She wished that the restaurants she went to were all empty. And the trains she rode on. And the hotels she stayed in. And the beaches she sunbathed on. She wished that everywhere she went was her own private space.

But there can be no privacy in public spaces. In public spaces everyone is always helplessly interacting with everyone else. In public life you get to helplessly see and hear and smell and touch everyone else. That’s just how it is. That’s life.

The best thing that people like Ellen Judson could do would be to stay at home in their own safe spaces, where they don’t get to see or hear or smell or touch anyone else, ever.

But instead the world is full of Ellen Judsons. And they’re all busily turning public spaces into their own private property, and imposing their values on everyone else, and driving them all back to their own homes.

And although they demand that everyone else thoughtfully keep them in mind, they never think of anyone else. They don’t give a damn about the smokers they exile to the outdoors: out of sight is out of mind. Although they loudly complain about what other people thoughtlessly do or say in their presence, they never think for one moment what effect they’re having on other people with their multiplying strictures and rules and bans.

And I don’t want to know the Ellen Judsons of the world. I’d always be worried about what they were going to complain about next. I’d never be able to relax in their company, because such people are never companionable. And they’re not companionable because they don’t like company.

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Opulists v. Populists

The Kim-Trump meeting seems to have already been and gone. Ron Paul comments on it:

When President Reagan met with Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, on October 11, 1987, it helped put into motion events that would dramatically change the global system.A line of communication was fully opened with an enemy of decades and substantive issues were on the table. Though the summit was initially reported as a failure, with the two sides unable to sign a final agreement, history now shows us that it was actually a great success that paved the way to the eventual end of the Cold War and a reduction in the threat of a nuclear war.

A year later Gorbachev and Reagan met in Washington to continue the dialogue that had been started and the rest is history. Success began as a “failure.”

We are now facing a similar situation with President Trump’s historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. As with the Reagan/Gorbachev meetings, detractors on all sides seem determined to undermine and belittle the opening of a door to diplomacy and peace.

The neocons demand that North Korea give up all its bargaining chips up front in return for vague promises of better relations with the US. Yet in the post-Libya era no serious person would jump at such an offer. Their biggest fear is that peace may break out and they are doing everything to prevent that from happening. Conflict is their livelihood.

I also find it disheartening that many Democrat opponents of President Trump who rightly cheered President Obama’s efforts to reach a deal with Iran are now condemning Trump for opening the door to diplomacy with North Korea. Did they genuinely support President Obama’s diplomatic efforts with Iran, or did they just prefer the person who happened to occupy the Oval Office at the time?…

There seems to have been a Bilderberg conference that’s just finished. No idea what was said. But then it’s all secret, isn’t it? But it seems the elites are as worried about populism as Jean-Claude Juncker.

According to the group’s official website, the number one topic of conversation at this year’s secretive meeting will be “populism in Europe”.

As I was typing the paragraph above, I generated an interesting typo while typing “populism”. I have to press firmly on my Dell keyboard’s keys, largely the result of about 15 years of cigarette ash inside it, and so I missed of the “p” off  the front, and got “opulism” instead. But it immediately struck me as a very apt word in the context. After all, wasn’t this Bilderberg conference one where the opulists were talking about the populists?

opulentˈɒpjʊl(ə)nt/ adjective

ostentatiously costly and luxurious.
“the opulent comfort of a limousine”
synonyms:
luxurious, sumptuous, palatial, lavishly appointed, lavish, deluxe, rich, lush, luxuriant, splendid, magnificent, grand, grandiose, costly, expensive, fancy;

wealthy.
“his more opulent tenants”
synonyms:
wealthy, rich, affluent, well off, well-to-do, moneyed, cash rich, with deep pockets, prosperous, of means, of substance;

Latin: opulens, opulentem.

So “opulists” are ostentatiously rich people of substance meeting in magnificent grand palaces. Isn’t that what Bilderberg conferences always are?

Also due out on Thursday, the much delayed IG Report, around which rumours have been swirling for months. Fox:

Department of Justice Inspector General (“IG”) Michael Horowitz’s report will finally be made public on Thursday of this week.  After an investigation that’s lasted well over a year, I’m cautiously optimistic that the report will answer many questions about the Federal Bureau of Investigation under former Director James Comey and Acting-Director Andrew McCabe and the Justice Department under former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The Hill:

President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that he thinks former FBI Director James Comey could be prosecuted as a result of a report from the Justice Department’s (DOJ) internal watchdog that is expected to be released next week.

“I think the report of Horowitz, the [inspector general], and the Justice Department will confirm that Comey acted improperly with with regard to the Hillary Clinton investigation,” Giuliani said an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis.

Infowars is going to run a 34-hour marathon broadcast about what it’s billing as The Fall of the Deep State:

Hailing the IG report release, Infowars is hosting a special 34-hour broadcast starting at 8AM CST on June 14 through the 15th at 6PM.

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Rampant Populism

Something I read about a week ago has floated back into mind:

The establishment in Europe must unite to stop “rampant populism” ahead of European Union (EU) Parliament elections next year, Jean-Claude Juncker has said.

It’s a bit mind-boggling really. The President of the European Commission seems to think that  “rampant populism” can not only be stopped, but stopped by this time next year.

I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that “rampant populism” can be stopped at all, never mind by next year. I think “rampant populism” is sweeping, and will continue to sweep, the whole of Europe. It’s a new mood that is taking hold.

These sorts of new mood are always taking hold at one time or other. Back in 1776 there was a new mood of “rampant populism” sweeping Britain’s American colonies. Most likely the British establishment thought it could put a stop to it if it acted with sufficient determination. But in fact it couldn’t, and within a few years there was “rampant populism” in South America as well, and “rampant populism” in France too (which resulted in the French Revolution). These new moods are highly infectious.

And some politicians manage to catch the new mood today. Nigel Farage in Britain. Donald Trump in the USA. Beppe Grillo in Italy. Marine Le Pen in France. They put the new mood into words. They articulate it. They’re ridiculed and hated at first, but they’re riding on a rising tide of opinion. They’re politicians who are listening to ordinary people, and what they say is a reflection of that opinion, and an amplification of it as well.

And what’s true in politics is true of everything else as well. New moods are always sweeping everything. Back in the 1960s, there was a new mood sweeping the world. It came with new musicians like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, who first swept Britain, and then swept America, and then swept the world. And they swept away the old established singers and musicians, like Frank Sinatra and Perry Como and Andy Williams. “They can’t sing!” the establishment complained. But that didn’t matter.

Whether it’s in politics or music or architecture or science, these new moods take hold from time to time, and, since more or less everyone becomes infected, they become unstoppable.

But what’s new and shocking at any one time becomes old and familiar a few years later. Most likely when the Empire State Building was erected in New York City in 1931, it was something new and shocking, and was regarded as an eyesore. But now it’s an iconic must-see, almost the very symbol of NYC. Same with the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1889. What a terrible monstrosity! Parisians probably hated it back then, and couldn’t wait for it to be demolished.

Newness and oldness are always relative to whoever is looking at it. Back in the early 1960s the musical establishment, for me, was Frank Sinatra and co. You heard them on the radio the whole time. You hardly ever heard the new music. It wasn’t approved of. And then, five years later, the Beatles ruled the world. But by then they were becoming all too familiar. They had become the new establishment. How many times can you listen to the saccharine “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” before it becomes tedious? Once? Ten times? One hundred times? Whatever the number might be, there is some number of times something can be seen or heard before it becomes boring and tedious and repetitive. So the Beatles had to keep coming up with new songs, and finally to completely re-invent themselves, if they were to remain at the top. And they couldn’t do it. Within a decade, they’d become past history. They’d become as passé as Perry Como.

Of course there’s a cyclicity to it all. Old things can be rediscovered, and experience a revival. For what is old to one aging set of eyes will seem quite new to another young set of eyes. So the Beatles get rediscovered. And so does Frank Sinatra. And Perry Como.

The EU (or rather the EEC, as it was then) was new and exciting back in the 1950s. It was part of a new mood that was sweeping Europe. But 60 years on it no longer seems new or exciting. It’s become the new establishment. It’s become a huge, unresponsive bureaucracy. It’s become a bit of a monster. And its senior, established politicians have lost touch with ordinary people in exactly the same way as the Beatles and Frank Sinatra lost touch with their fans. They no longer speak for them. Instead, new politicians are appearing who do actually speak for ordinary people. Of course they’re “populists”. What else could they possibly be? And of course they’re regarded as dangerous extremists. They always are seen that way.  And no-one sees them coming:

For all the billions of dollars at his disposal, Soros is also being forced to reckon with limits on his political influence in the United States. He acknowledged that he did not see Trump’s election coming. “Apparently, I was living in my own bubble,” he said.

Well, yes, George, you were. But you weren’t the only one. Your friend Jean-Claude Juncker is still living in one. And so is Angela Merkel and all the rest of them.

The rising tide of “rampant populism” sweeping Europe will keep on rising. And pretty soon the rampant populists will become the new political establishment. And then they in their turn will gradually lose touch with their base. Because that’s the way it always goes with everything.

And one good thing about the current crop of rampant populists is that quite a few of them seem to be smokers. Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen, for example. The new populists are conservatives. They’re trying to conserve traditional cultures that are under threat, very often from radical politicians in the European political establishment. And the pastime of smoking is a tradition. But the EU “project” is an idealistic project. And Tobacco Control is an equally idealistic project. The Green movement is idealistic too. The current change of mood is one of revulsion at all this hectoring, bullying idealism. People have had enough of it.

So I’m hopeful that the current tide of rampant populist conservatism will start to lift or relax or repeal the smoking bans that have appeared in Europe over the past decade or so. Because if the tide is ebbing away for Jean-Claude Juncker and George Soros, it’s also ebbing away for Tobacco Control and the Green movement and global warming alarmism. Because they’re all tied together. They’re all part of the idealistic “rampant populism” of a past era, 50 or 60 years old. They’ll all be swept away together, just like Frank Sinatra and Perry Como and Andy Williams.

Never mind. They’ll all experience a revival one day.

P.S. This Saturday, 16 June, is the first anniversary of the launch of the Smoky Drinky Bar, so we’re having a party there  8 pm – midnight UK time. Everyone is invited.

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Louder Than Words

I’ve been wondering how the G7 conference in Canada went. Occasionally pictures speak louder than words:

You can almost feel the pressure being exerted on Trump (1) by Merkel (6), Macron (7), and May (8). Trump’s folded arms, and Bolton’s (2) crossed hands, and Abe’s folded arms, all indicated determined resistance as the EU leaders press forward, led by Merkel. Larry Kudlow (9) looks like he’s trying to stop the table being pushed forward.

It’s the collective versus the individual. Trump isn’t speaking – Bolton is. And he’s speaking to Macron. Another  photo:

Whatever they’re talking about, they’re not agreeing. They’re not agreeing at all.

The BBC reported that Trump was “isolated”. But I think that it’s EU politicians like Merkel and Macron and May who are becoming isolated. I think they’re all going to be swept away soon.

Whose side is Theresa May on? Look at the photo. She’s standing with Macron and Merkel, leaning forward with them. She’s on their side of the table. So she’s on their side.

The Prime Minister’s approval ratings have plummeted by nearly 17 points in just weeks among Tory Party members, as she stalls on delivering a clean Brexit.

According to James Delingpole, Trump’s getting tired of her:

Dear President Trump,

It is being reported in the UK media that you have grown tired of Prime Minister Theresa May’s “school mistress” tone.

Join the club, Mister President. You only have to put up with her briefly, at events like today’s G7 in Quebec. In Britain we have to endure her pretty much 24/7 and she’s a national embarrassment.

In other news, Breitbart reports that Dutch politician Geert Wilders addressed massive crowds in London, and called for Tommy Robinson to be freed.

But the BBC didn’t mention it at all. I typed it into the search box, but the search came up empty-handed.

So I guess it never happened. Or the BBC had more important things to report on, like Celebrity Come Dancing or something.

I didn’t look, but the BBC probably didn’t mention this either:

Anti-elite Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford has won a landslide victory against the Canadian political establishment beating back the former ruling Liberal Party which have been reduced to so few seats they have lost official party status.

Ford and the Progressive Conservatives (PC) won a total of 76 out of 124 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Thursday forming the first PC majority government in the province since 2003.

The former ruling Liberal Party under leader Kathleen Wynne, a staunch ally of federal Liberal party leader and current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saw a catastrophic collapse at the polls going from 55 out of 101 seats to a mere seven seats which disqualifies them for official party status in the assembly.

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Is It All Connected?

Hawaii:

We haven’t seen anything like this since Hawaii first became a state back in 1959. Kilauea began erupting on May 3rd, and it hasn’t stopped rumbling yet. In fact, authorities are telling us that Hawaii has been struck by “over 12,000 earthquakes” during the last 30 days.

That is an extraordinary amount of shaking, and many are now becoming concerned that fundamental physical changes are happening to the islands. As one USGS official has noted, we have never seen earthquakes happen on the Big Island with this sort of frequency ever before…

Guatemala:

Farm worker Alfonso Castillo, 33, said his village of San Miguel Los Lotes was completely obliterated by what he described as a ‘sea’ of muck that came crashing into homes, inundating people, pets and wildlife.

‘In a matter of three or four minutes the village disappeared,’ he said.

The family holed up in a house that heated up ‘like a boiler’ inside, he said, then made their way onto the roof and then to the upper story of another, concrete home. After a cellphone call to Mr Castillo’s brother, rescuers arrived and took the family to safety.

‘Nobody wants to go back there. My children say they would rather be in the streets,’ he said.

‘There are many people who are helping us, but we have absolutely nothing. We could not get anything out. For us, there is no tomorrow.’ –Daily Mail

Yellowstone:

Yellowstone caldera eruption fears have spiked as the supervolcano’s largest geyser erupted for the eight time.  So far, scientists aren’t certain why the Steamboat geyser continues to erupt, adding to the fears.

After years of silence, Yellowstone’s Steamboat geyser, a better show than Old Faithful, has spewed boiling water hundreds of feet in the air eight times since March.  Steamboat, the tallest geyser in the vast Yellowstone National Park, isn’t reliable at all, unlike the more famous Old Faithful that belches steam with regularity. But the fact is, Steamboat has been more faithful, at least lately, spewing eight times since March 14, after being silent for nearly four years. But that regularity is terrifying and puzzling scientists….

Why now, and is it a sign the giant volcano is waking up?

Scientists don’t know why the Steamboat geyser has become more active, but they still insist that no major eruption is on the horizon. “It is a spectacular geyser,” Michael Poland, the U.S. Geological Survey’s scientist in charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, wrote to CNN in an email. “When it erupts, it generally has very big eruptions.”

Indonesia:

Thousands of travellers to and from Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur have had their flights cancelled, delayed or diverted due to the eruption of Mount Merapi in central Java.

The 9,610ft volcano, the most active in Indonesia, erupted at 7.32am on the morning of Friday 11 May.

Bali:

Mount Agung: 100,000 told to evacuate as Bali volcano spews huge ash cloud

Japan:

A volcano in southern Japan has erupted for the first time in 250 years, blasting clouds of smoke and rocks into the sky.

Authorities have established a no-go zone around Mount Io, a 1,298m (4,258ft) high volcano on the island of Kyushu which last erupted in 1768.

Rome:

Just 65 miles away from Perugia in the Italian capital of Rome, a dormant volcano named Colli Albani is threatening to blow after 36,000 years of inactivity.

Located just 19 miles from Rome, researchers say the volcano is potentially more explosive than Mount Vesuvius, which decimated Pompeii in 79AD.

Scientists thought the monster volcano was “extinct” having never erupted in human history.

But research shows massive quakes CAN bring sleeping volcanoes back to life, sparking fears Rome’s secret volcano could come back – with apocalyptic consequences.

Yesterday (hat tip to VirtualBarman) I was reading Martin Armstrong:

Over the past few decades, there have been several research papers in the scientific press that submit there is a correlation between cosmic-solar radiations and destructive geological events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. On top of this, there are correlations with climate change that kick in where volcanoes throw up ash into the atmosphere which blocks the sun and that sets in motion the global cooling sending the earth back toward an Ice Age.

Also from Armstrong, Kadovar Island:

Another dormant volcano has suddenly awakened erupting in a rather spectacular fashion, spewing lava for the first time in known history. It sent an ash cloud 2.1 kilometers into the sky. This ancient volcano on Kadovar Island, which is northeast of Papua New Guinea, has been dormant throughout human history until January 5th, 2018.  It began to erupt at around noon, local time. The volcanic island is about 24 kilometers from the northern coast of mainland Papua New Guinea.

And in another piece by Armstrong:

Back in the 1980s, I flew to Toronto to do an institutional session. There was an earthquake that hit. I then flew to Vancouver to do another institutional session and another earthquake hit. I then flew to Tokyo and was hit by another earthquake during the session. I then flew to Australia and joked saying this thing was following me. That night, one struck off the coast of Darwin where we were. I then flew to Aukland and was hit again. That is when I met with the Earthquake Research center. I explain what was happening and at that time they said oh no, that is just a coincidence. Several years later they call me and said they were starting to agree it was connected.

The vibrations that move through the earth with each earthquake called seismic waves are far more significant than originally thought. Today, the impact of seismic waves are being studied beyond the local region of the quake.

Pompeii:

New excavations of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii have revealed the skeleton of a man who may have been decapitated by a large stone block as he fled from the catastrophic 79 C.E. eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Possibly hampered by a bone infection, archaeologists think he fled through an alleyway after surviving the first ejections of ash and debris that rained down on the city. He eventually met his demise, they think, when struck by a tumbling block.

Pouring water on it all:

Clive Oppenheimer, professor of volcanology at the University of Cambridge, says there has not been an increase in volcanic activity.

“There have been quite a few eruptions in the news lately, so people question whether there’s an increase in rates of volcanism that we’re seeing just now, and this isn’t really the case,” he said.

“Eruptions are happening all the time – some make the news headlines and others don’t.

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