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German Supreme Court rules mandatory vaccination is constitutionally justified

The Naked Emperor’s Newsletter | May 19, 2022

Judges in Germany’s top court clearly haven’t looked at the data produced in multiple countries, showing the vaccinated being more likely to catch coronavirus.

In a press release today, the court announced that a case, challenging the obligation to provide evidence of vaccination, had been unsuccessful. The complainants said that the mandates violated their fundamental rights.

Whilst the initial vaccine mandate for all adults was rejected earlier in the year, it was still implemented for healthcare workers in March. This meant that all healthcare workers had to provide proof of full vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a small number of medical exemptions. If employees did not provide proof, the health department was to be notified immediately and the individual banned from entering the workplace.

One of the reasons for the case being unsuccessful, given in the judgment, was that interference with the right to physical integrity is constitutionally justified. Basically, the protection of vulnerable people is more important than an individual’s fundamental right.

The judgement admits that COVID-19 is mild for most people but can be fatal for the elderly and vulnerable who also don’t respond well to vaccination. They say that at the time the law was passed, a clear scientific majority assumed that vaccinated and recovered people were less likely to become infected and therefore transmit the virus. It was also assumed that vaccinated people were less infectious and for a shorter amount of time. According to the judgement, expert third parties largely agree that vaccine effectiveness will continue to exist, albeit at a reduced level.

Comically, the judgement states that there is no justification for compulsory vaccination enforced by the state but instead the decision should be down to the individual – they can choose to either give up their previous job or consent to the impairment of their physical integrity. Why thank you, Master, for providing me with two terrible choices. But, every cloud and all that, I suppose it is better than being pinned down and vaccinated. Well, until you can’t pay your rent or buy food for your children and have to steal a cardboard box to sleep on in the street.

Fortunately, the judges concluded that it is ok to breach an individual’s fundamental rights because serious side effects or serious consequences induced by the administration of the vaccine are very rare. And, in any case, they are continuously monitoring and evaluating them. They say that the very low probability of serious consequences of vaccination contrasts with the significantly higher probability of damage to vulnerable people.

They conclude, that the further development of the pandemic, after the law was passed, has not changed anything. Nor have any new developments or better insights.

So there you have it. An individual’s rights can be overhauled if a majority of experts conclude you are a danger to a small group of people. Whilst I can understand and appreciate the need to protect the elderly and vulnerable, this shouldn’t be used as a pretext to remove people’s basic rights.

The majority of health care workers want to protect the elderly and vulnerable, that’s why they do the jobs they do. If they are ill or test positive, they aren’t going to deliberately go and infect someone who is likely to die from Covid – they aren’t pyschos (unlike some of the individual’s making these laws).

Furthermore, the science clearly doesn’t back up what they are saying. You are more likely to catch Covid if you are vaccinated and your viral load is similar, if not the same. There may be evidence showing that you are not as infectious for as long but there also may be evidence showing you can have Covid but aren’t testing positive.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach welcomed the ruling saying that “the state is obliged to protect vulnerable groups”. He is now off for a meeting with other G7 ministers, despite being in contact with the US health secretary, a day before testing positive for Covid. Rules for thee, not for me.

Clearly, the battle to retain one’s basic rights is still not over in many parts of the world. And if it isn’t completely squashed now, you can be sure it will return everywhere with a vengeance, come the winter.

May 19, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | 1 Comment

Ukraine War

BY ISRAEL SHAMIR • UNZ REVIEW • MAY 14, 2022

The immediate beginning of the trouble was a Geneva summit between two presidents that apparently went wrong. We don’t know what went wrong. The pro-Western Russian officials ran away to Georgia and Israel; they are being replaced by anti-Western officials. This East-West break will not be reversed with ease.

Russians are very similar to Ukrainians. Both are stubborn fighters. Throughout the 20th century they chose different strategies: Russians became internationalists, Ukrainians preferred nationalism. The Ukrainian nationalism was anti-Russian, while Russians harbored no negative feeling towards Ukrainians. It was natural for Ukrainians to flirt with anti-Russian powers. Yet when Ukrainian officials began to declare themselves NATO allies, even the most international Russians became alarmed.

Both Rome’s Pope and Noam Chomsky were capable of understanding the immediate casus belli behind Ukraine: NATO had barked at Putin’s door, and he reacted. In December 2021 Putin diplomatically proposed that NATO withdraw to its mid-1990’s line, and moreover he suggested that peaceful discussion about NATO’s borders might prevent future conflict. Putin proposed an international agreement on NATO’s borders, a political solution that everyone could agree on. This proposal was disregarded with nonchalance; NATO refused to discuss the idea. Putin was rightfully irritated. Further attempts to argue across the West/East divide weren’t successful. The West declined Putin’s politics. And the war began.

NATO began shipping in armaments and ammunition, and deployed their spies. Their intelligence gathering allowed them to sink a big Russian ship named Moscow. They provided the coordinates in real-time for Russian ships and planes. From the very beginning it was clear that Russia fights NATO more than Ukrainians, who they consider to be brothers. This wartime pathos was quite an unexpected development. Putin had always been known as a soft leader; he refused to be drawn into wars. Russia has avoided war for many years under Putin’s rule; and generations of Russians have become used to a peaceful and prosperous life. Suddenly, by circumstances beyond their control, they have been switched to life under war and sanctions.

Fortunately for everyone, the war in Ukraine has practically dried up. The Ukrainian leadership desperately begs for UN help to keep the war going, as if the Azov Battalion and the rest of the violent, cruel, thuggish militants need to be paid to shoot people. US Democrats have drafted a nearly $40 billion Ukraine War aid package, which was recently single-handedly blocked by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. The Ukraine War has become a political football in the USA. Both the Neocons on the right and the Neoliberals on the left hope to ride this war into Congress.In hindsight there were plenty of warnings. Russians were blocked from the Olympic games by an international conspiracy of blatant hypocrisy. Russian athletes were accused of doping. Now, Western athletes also use doping, but they know how to get around the rules. The Norwegians claimed they have asthma, and they need special performance-enhancing drugs to heal it. The Americans had excuses of their own, and so did the athletes of many other nations. Russian RUSADA man Mr. Grigori Rodchenkov was bribed by the US to deliver proof of Russian doping. The Russians claim the evidence was falsified. In any case the Russian official defected westward, in a step unseen since the Cold War. Russia was tagged as a pariah throughout the games; she was not allowed to play her national anthem nor display her flag. Russians have been persecuted by the Olympic establishment for generations. There is an undeclared war against Russian athletes; here is the full story. The pattern is undeniable. Russian athletes are routinely penalized for activities that other nations practice with impunity. This has to stop.

Russians are unhappy with war as a solution for the Ukraine crisis. They speak of “betrayal”, and that means the political steam behind the offensive is getting thin. Instead, Russians think they can derail the NATO war and the international sanctions by judiciously withholding Europe’s gas and oil. The Arab Oil Embargo brought the US to its knees in the 1970’s using just that strategy. NATO exists to fight wars; bringing war to NATO simply feeds it. The only way to defeat NATO is to starve it. Russia has great quantities of oil, gas and wheat. She produces aluminum, iron, coal, steel, titanium and cheap electricity. The Russian economy has been called “bulletproof” because of its ability to withstand geopolitical shocks.

How exactly are sanctions hurting Russia? Banking freezes are simply pushing Russia into the waiting arms of China, which literally has an unlimited need for Russian energy and commodities. The US Petrodollar is on the cusp of being denominated in Roubles. Stories of boycotts by Twitter, Facebook and Pornhub underscore the ludicrous nature of Western sanctions. “EU blacklists Abramovich, targets energy, luxury sectors…” It seems that only Russia’s Jewish Mafia will be hurt by the international sanctions. The efficacy of Western sanctions is being wildly exaggerated by the Western media and the implacable coming of winter has always been a harbinger of Russian victory. As Biden says, “It will be a very Dark Winter.”

Germany needs Russian energy. It always has. It always will. There is simply no other option for Germany. As the home base of NATO, Germany is in a unique position to forge a lasting peace with Russia. Germans might benefit greatly from increased trade to the East along such routes as the China-Europe Railway Express, but they remain choked by their old millstones. The business of war is no longer profitable. The big players are now supplying China with everything it needs to manufacture the world’s wealth, and Russia is in a unique position to be a major producer. The rest of Europe is also conveniently located to benefit from the new Chinese empire, if they could only cease squabbling long enough to draw a profit. The dying Anglo-American empire is the only entity that profits from division along the Eurasian continent.

May 15, 2022 Posted by | Economics | , , , | 2 Comments

Ukraine and Western Geopolitical Mythology

eugyppius – May 12, 2022

A long time ago, everybody understood that war was an armed and violent enterprise undertaken by soldiers to achieve specific objectives. One was expected to hate the enemy and his goals, but even the most egregious jingoists were clear that the enemy had goals, and that their side did too. Now that Europe faces its most significant armed conflict since 1945, we are discouraged from understanding war in this way. The dominant message is that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a bluntly evil thing, which the evil Vladimir Putin is perpetrating for vague evil expansionist purposes, or because he is crazy, or both. To judge from press reports, war is no longer something that soldiers wage, in battles, at the front; instead, it is an undifferentiated atrocity wrought upon civilians at home. For every sloppy, low-resolution piece the media publish on the strategic situation in Donbas, there are ten about mourning parents of fallen soldiers, about refugees, about air strikes on schools, about subway bomb shelters, about alleged war crimes against civilians.

I’m not saying that war isn’t violent, or that civilian casualties don’t matter. I’m saying that you can’t understand what is happening in this war as a mere series of atrocities, and I’m also saying that press narratives of Russian war crimes are a monumental hypocrisy. They proceed from the American empire, which since World War II has demonstrated ruthless, near-total indifference to the civilian victims of their air campaigns. What’s happening in the Ukraine is nothing compared to the brutal shock and awe tactics that killed hundreds of thousands of ordinary people in Iraq.

Recasting every global conflict as a 1940s morality play of genocidal evildoer vs. all that is righteous and good, is very dangerous. It has created a groundswell of popular demand for escalation against a nuclear-armed power, which the political actors themselves don’t always seem prudent enough to resist. Some Anglosphere politicians have taken this hysteria as permission to indulge their dangerous fantasies of regime change in Russia, while the intelligence services encourage still further escalation, by leaking stories about their role in helping the Ukrainians kill Russian generals and sink the Moskva. I’m not a geopolitical analyst, so I can’t realistically evaluate the risk of escalation, but I know that people massively underestimate the likelihood of rare catastrophic outcomes, and that nuclear war heads the list of both rare and catastrophic. To the extent the empire underestimates the risk, it will keep pushing.

If 1945 moralising has encouraged some British and American leaders to reprise their role as conquerors in Europe, it is increasingly inspiring German politicians to cultivate corresponding period fantasies of defeat and deindustrialisation. As I type these words, our Minister of Economic Affairs is assuring us that we can get through the coming winter just fine without Russian gas; two days ago, our Foreign Minister pledged in Kiew that Germany will end its dependence on Russian energy forever. The worst case scenario is that they actually do this. The more likely scenario, is that Russian oil and gas are merely laundered through third countries, so that we can appear virtuous while continuing our imports at considerable mark-up. That might stave off catastrophe, but it will also make millions of Germans drastically poorer and it won’t hurt Russia.

The politics of this war are the most bizarre thing I have ever seen. It is very strange indeed to be called a right-wing extremist in Germany for having pro-Russian sympathies. It is even stranger, for someone who is periodically accused of being a Nazi – despite totally disavowing National Socialism – to read editorials in mainstream newspapers insisting that the Azov battalion are not actually Neo-Nazis, even though this is what they claim to be. In the early days of the war, at the height of pro-Ukraine hysteria, a major German retailer was even caught selling the Azov flag in their online shop, complete with the Sonnenrad and the Wolfsangel. All of this confirms my long-running thesis, that the empire is firmly post-political. It employs political forms purely as a matter of expedience; its only real principles are expansion, assimilation and atomised consumerism.

Russia could lose, but they’re not losing right now. If they were, the New York Times wouldn’t be running articles with headlines like “Ukraine War’s Geographic Reality: Russia Has Seized Much of the East”. The danger is what happens next, when it becomes clear to all and sundry that the slow, grinding destruction of the Ukrainian army by Russian artillery is continuing apace, despite sanctions and weapons deliveries.

It has been a long, long time since the last major war – a much greater interval than Europe has ever seen before, thanks to nuclear deterrence. But the energies, ambitions and hatreds that cause war, and that war alone can dissipate, have been building under the surface this whole time, unabated. Sooner or later they will burst forth. The chances that this happens now, are not zero.

May 13, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia | , | Leave a comment

German industry faces economic ruin with ‘highly dangerous’ gas ban

Free West Media | May 10, 2022

BERLIN – A study by the German Hans Böckler Foundation has now calculated that the gross domestic product (GDP) could collapse by up to twelve percent within the first year if Russian gas supplies were to end immediately. It is the latest doomsday prediction for Germany’s industry.

Industrial production would fall by 114 to 286 billion euros. This alone would lead to a GDP slump of three to eight percent, which would be increased by another two to four percent because the higher energy prices reduce the financial scope of consumers for other expenditures.

According to the study author Professor Tom Krebs from the University of Mannheim, a gas supply ban would only be manageable from 2025 onwards if other sources were available.

In addition, Krebs warned of so-called “cascade effects” that could also affect sectors that are less dependent on natural gas and threatened to “drastically” increase the economic damage. He also drew attention to the fact that the German economy is still under severe stress after the 2009 financial crisis, the 2020 Corona pandemic and due to self-inflicted climate change pressure. Since the expected price shocks for energy and food would have to be borne primarily by poorer households, “social tensions could intensify”.

The warnings of the study correspond exactly to what other experts have said: The former EON boss Johannes Teyssen had described a ban on Russian energy supplies as “highly dangerous” just last week.

Teyssen does not consider the suggestions of taking cold showers made by Economics Minister Robert Habeck and Federal Network Agency boss Klaus Müller to make any sense: “If it were about that and it could be regulated, then we would have done it a long time ago.”

In fact, it is “really about an extensive collapse of the basic industrial structure that needs natural gas and the entire value chain behind it”. One has to understand how it works. Supply bottlenecks would arise in other industries if large energy companies were no longer able to produce anything.

The general manager of the chemical industry association, Wolfgang Große Entrup, also issued almost identical warnings at the beginning of April. In the event of a short-term, unlimited stop in the supply of Russian gas, “a severe recession and a massive loss of jobs” must be expected. It is “frequently massively underestimated” that other branches of industry such as agriculture, construction, food, automobiles or electronics would then also be badly hit. For the loss of natural gas there is “no short-term replacement option”.

Yet these industry heavyweights are totally ignored by EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, and the irresponsible demands of the Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk or “Fridays-for-Future” activist Luisa Neubauer, goading Germany into an economic catastrophe, the consequences of which must be shouldered by ordinary citizens – and not by the privileged, wealthy or state-appointed authors of the measures.

“You hear so little about Gretl, the little climate siren from Sweden. No screaming ‘how dare you’, no shouting on our streets, the blond braided one has dedicated herself to inner emigration. The Fridays for Future sect, the radical arm of the eco-socialists, plays the ostrich. The hip Greta has fallen silent in the face of the honorable rearmament of the Western arms industry,” noted Austrian politician Gerald Grosz.

“Yes, the good girl believes that the F16 flies on an e-battery on its way to the Ukraine. Or does she believe that the atomic bombs are powered by solar panels and that only ‘organic makes you beautiful’ soybeans grow after the impact. And the artillery pieces move on rapeseed oil?”

May 10, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Qatar, Germany in deadlock on LNG supply deal

Samizdat – May 10, 2022

Germany and Qatar have failed to reach an agreement regarding long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contracts, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing people close to the talks.

According to the outlet, Berlin will not agree to Qatar’s demand to sign deals for a duration of at least 20 years. Despite seeking to end its reliance on Russian natural gas amid the situation in Ukraine, Berlin reportedly views this timeframe as contradicting its plan to slash carbon emissions by 88% by 2040.

“The issue of LNG contract length potentially putting Germany’s decarbonization targets at risk is part of the ongoing discussions with Qatar,” one of the sources told Reuters, noting that Germany is not the only nation eager to secure LNG supplies from Qatar.

Qatar also wants to contractually prevent Germany from rerouting the LNG deliveries to other European states, and this measure is not welcome by the EU, the sources said.

One of the sources told the publication that the LNG deal between Qatar and Germany “is not expected to happen soon.”

Qatar is the world’s largest LNG supplier. Major German power producer RWE already has a deal with Qatargas dating back to 2016 for 1.1 million tons of LNG annually until the end of 2023. RWE officials, as well as representatives from another German utility, Uniper, and German Economy Minister Robert Habeck visited Qatar in March to secure additional volumes of LNG supplies, but have not agreed on a long-term deal so far.

The delegation is set to return to Qatar later this month to resume negotiations, according to Reuters sources. They claim that Germany aims to reach a two-way partnership with Qatar, exchanging additional LNG supply contracts for assistance from German firms in the Qatari move toward sustainability.

“There needs to be a gentlemen’s agreement between the Qataris and German companies, that LNG should only be the first step in a longer collaboration between the two countries,” an unnamed German industry source said.

May 10, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment

Germany warns of global famine

Samizdat | May 9, 2022

The world is about to face an acute food crisis due to skyrocketing food prices, German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Svenja Schulze told the Bild newspaper on Saturday, warning about a looming famine not seen since World War II. The minister has named the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine as its causes.

“The situation is highly dramatic,” the minister told the German tabloid in a late Saturday interview, adding that, according to the UN World Food Program, “more than 300 million people” are already suffering from acute hunger and the UN has to “constantly revise” this data upwards.

Food prices around the world have grown by a third and have reached “record levels,” Schulze has warned, adding that the “bitter message is that we are facing the worst famine since World War II,” which could see “millions” die.

In its May 6 statement, the World Food Program has warned that “44 million people around the world are marching towards starvation” because Ukrainian grain cannot reach them, and called for the Black Sea ports to be opened so that this grain could be delivered to the needy.

Minister Schulze was quick to blame Moscow for the development by accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “waging a war through hunger.” She claimed that Russia had “stolen grain from Ukraine” and is now taking advantage of nations depending on Russian and Ukrainian agricultural products by supposedly offering food only to those, who are “unequivocally pro-Russian.”

The minister has also claimed that the fact that 40 nations that are “home to half of the world’s population” did not condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine was supposedly a result of their “vulnerability to food blackmail.” She didn’t offer any specific evidence to support this statement, though.

At the same time, she did admit that some nations’ focus on green energy has contributed to the food shortage as well. Germany in particular should stop using food as fuel, she has suggested. Up to 4% of the so-called biofuel in Germany is made from food and animal feed, she said, adding that “it needs to be reduced to zero, and not just in Germany but potentially internationally.”

Germany “pours 2.7 billion liters of fuel [made] from vegetable oils into car tanks every year,” she pointed out, adding that this alone amounts to “almost a half of Ukraine’s sunflower oil production.”

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has prompted fears of global grain shortages as wheat prices soared to multiple-year highs in March. Both Russia and Ukraine are major wheat suppliers, accounting for some 30% of global exports.

In mid-April, however, German Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir insisted that supplying Kiev with “more effective” weaponry was precisely what would have helped the world to avoid the supposedly looming “global famine.” Ozdemir, a member of the strongly pro-US/NATO Alliance 90/The Greens party, also accused Moscow of “starvation strategy” at that time.

His position appears to be quite different from at least two groups of German public figures, politicians and celebrities, who have called on Chancellor Olaf Scholz to stop arms supplies to Ukraine and to focus on a speedy diplomatic solution instead.

Continued arms deliveries would only prolong the suffering of Ukrainians as well as risk potentially devastating consequences, ranging from a possible global war to a “catastrophic” impact on global health and climate change, the co-authors of two open letters have warned. Berlin has not reacted to any of the letters so far.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Progressive Hypocrite | | 4 Comments

Details emerge about ‘explosive device’ at Russian media site in Germany

Samizdat | May 7, 2022

An improvised explosive device (IED) discovered late on Friday on the grounds of a Berlin compound that houses journalists from Russia’s RIA Novosti and Sputnik Germany media outlets, had been stuffed into a remote basement ventilation shaft, Sergey Feoktistov, editor-in-chief of Sputnik Germany, has said.

According to the journalist, the device had been found by sheer accident when the Russian journalists and their family members had been clearing dirt and removing glass shards after a window at the compound had been smashed by a bottle in another suspected attack.

The center’s residents and Russian media office staff at first thought it was a mock-up device designed to just scare them, the editor-in-chief admitted, adding that the device even appeared to be somewhat “comic” at first.

“What put us on alert was that it was hidden,” Feoktistov explained. The IED was found at a relatively “remote” area not frequented by staff members, he said, adding that people at the compound usually do not check the basement ventilation shafts.

Now, after the police have confirmed to him it was a real IED, Feoktistov believes it could have caused some serious damage to the area. “Should it have gone off, there would have been a major blaze,” the editor-in-chief said, adding that it “was planted not to just intimidate us.”

The bomb, which appeared to be a jerry can wrapped in duct tape with visible wires protruding out of it and filled with a “mixture of petrol and oil,” had been placed in such a way that all that flammable liquid would get into the basement in case of an explosion, Feoktistov explained.

The police are also treating the incident seriously, he said, adding that large police forces, including sappers, regional and federal criminal police, had been deployed to the scene. According to Feoktistov, the officers called it an improvised “incendiary bomb” during a conversation with him. Police have not made any official statements relating to the incident so far.

According to Feoktistov, it is not the first instance in which the compound for Russian journalists and their families has been attacked. The residence has been pelted with bottles and eggs and its walls have been sprayed with offensive graffiti in Russian, the editor-in-chief has said, adding that the compound residents have filed between five and seven complaints with the police over such incidents.

No suspects have so far been identified in this case, Feoktistov has said, adding that, according to him, it could be almost “anyone.” The Berlin police has remained tight-lipped on the incident, only telling local media that the officers had carried out an “investigation” at the site.

May 7, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

India, Germany cogitate on Ukraine

Germany to send fifty Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine to fight Russia
BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | MAY 3, 2022

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s short visit to Germany pegged on the Indian-German Intergovernmental Commission meeting in Berlin on Monday inevitably came to focus on the Ukraine crisis. The western media would have loved to grill Modi on India’s reluctance to criticise Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. But German hosts thoughtfully skipped the customary Q&A after the joint appearance of Modi and Chancellor Olaf Scholz before the press. 

India’s prudence is self-evident as much as Germany’s zealousness to flaunt its condemnation of Russia. Modi and Scholz are sailing in different boats. Modi draws flak for being a “strongman” who views the Ukraine crisis through the prism of India’s interests, while also taking a principled stance, whereas, Scholz carries the burden of vacuous moralising.

Scholz must prove constantly that he is indeed a loyal ally of President Biden and is by no means a “pacifist.” (To get a hang of Scholz’s predicament, read Spiegel’s maddening interview with him, here — alternatively annoying, infuriating, taunting, affronting and goading.)    

Modi can afford to be nonchalant because he is clearheaded about where Indian interests lie — its strategic autonomy in a highly unpredictable international environment. But Scholz is nervous as a mouse because German interests are caught up betwixt the crosscurrents of European politics and the NATO’s epochal struggle to bring Russia down on its knees. 

Modi is well ensconced in power while Scholz heads a precarious coalition of disparate partners. Modi could witness Scholz and his foreign minister Annalena Baerbock speaking in two different voices on Russia. Baerbock insisted that Russian forces should vacate Ukrainian soil before Western sanctions can be lifted, but Scholz toned down saying that the lifting of Western sanctions is linked to Russia and Ukraine reaching an agreement. 

Germany is a divided house when it comes to Russia ties. On the contrary, aside the clutch of noisy American lobbyists operating in India, the Indian public at large recognises the centrality of India’s friendly relations with Russia. 

India gets the space to manoeuvre, as Russia is excessively indulgent towards Delhi’ stance, which is, quintessentially, neither to support nor to oppose Moscow’s intervention — something  like Professor Godbole in the EM Forster novel A Passage to India, a Brahman Hindu who is very spiritual and reluctant to become involved in human affairs. 

Scholz who is new to international diplomacy could have learnt a thing or two from UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s recent visit to India. Johnson put Ukraine on the back burner and focused on the agenda of “Global Britain” to create his country’s post-Brexit pathway in India’s vast market. 

That said, Scholz has done remarkably well in getting the US off his back over sanctions against gas supplies from Russia. Germany’s dependence on Russian supplies of oil and gas (and coal) has been heavy and the Americans accept it as a reality. The point is, Germany and Russia have had a dense relationship and the Ukraine crisis comes in handy for Washington to try to redefine the parameters within which German-Russian relations will work in future. 

In India’s case, if Washington dared to bully the Modi government, it was largely because in the post-Cold War era, under successive Congress governments, India’s relations with Russia got atrophied to such an extent that Americans convinced themselves that it was a conscious Indian policy direction dictated by the compulsions of the “Washington Consensus,” which has been a beacon light for India’s past leaderships. Unsurprisingly, the Biden Administration misjudged that Modi too must be fair game.

But the core difference between the German and Indian predicament is that while German industry is a stakeholder in the relationship with Russia, India’s corporate houses, for reasons best known to them, sidestep the Russian turf in deference to the US wish. Thus, Washington has powerful Indian lobbyists and, therefore, the Modi government’s audacity to pursue an independent policy toward Russia becomes commendable. 

The chances are that Germany may pick up the threads of its relationship with Russia once the Ukraine conflict ends. In the chronicle of the “German Question” in European history, Russia had the role of a balancer, mostly. But there is a deep economic and political crisis waiting to erupt in Germany and how it pans out is crucial.

The rising inflation and the dramatic fall in living standards is souring the German mood, as the debris from Ukraine falls on it. So far, an estimated 5 million Ukrainian refugees have entered Europe. This figure is expected to double in a near future.

Meanwhile, the looming food crisis will also put tens of millions of people in Africa or the Middle East on the verge of starvation fuelling in turn large scale migration to Europe. Such migration will inevitably bring the dregs of Ukrainian society into Germany, which means that organised crime, human trafficking, illegal drug distribution and transnational crime, etc. will increase. Make no mistake that the Ukrainian mafia will introduce a new vicious culture of crime as it begins to dominate the European streets.

All in all, a fine balance has been struck during Modi’s visit. The joint statement conceded the host country’s prerogative to reiterate its “strong condemnation of the unlawful and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine by Russian Forces.” But it formed a “stand alone” statement of a solitary sentence, which helps signal India’s distancing from it. Germany joined India’s call for an “immediate cessation of hostilities,” although Berlin just announced a major transfer of offensive weaponry to Ukraine as part of the US-led “coalition of the willing” and implicitly acquiesces with the Biden administration’s aggressive agenda of “weakening Russia” militarily.

Significantly, the sombre mood in Germany got reflected in the joint statement. The Indo-German economic relations are far below potential and will remain so. CNN carried a grim report in the weekend that not only is German economy heading into a recession but it may suffer “structural damage” that will make recovery a drawn-out process. 

Clearly, behind the German rhetoric today, the fact remains that Berlin’s intelligence apparatus played a dubious role in Ukraine by navigating the ascendancy of the neo-Nazi forces to usurp power in Kiev in the coup in February 2014. This controversial past is now further complicated by Berlin fuelling the conflict by despatching tanks into Ukraine, which was after all the invasion route of Nazi Germany. 

When it comes to Ukraine, Germany doesn’t make good company for India. We have a transparent record and with great honesty and integrity, Modi could forewarn , with Scholz listening, that “there will be no winning party in this war, everyone will suffer.”    

May 3, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 2 Comments

Following the Science is Impossible and Stupid

Institutional science follows politics; it will always endorse central regime policies

eugyppius | April 30, 2022

During the pandemic, Germany closed schools on a wider scale and for a longer duration than most other places in the civilised world. I was recently reminded of how our government came to embrace these extreme policies. The story is very revealing:

It began with the strange decision of state media to elevate Christian Drosten at Berlin Charité to national prominence, by granting him the Coronavirus Update podcast on 26 February 2020. The WHO had just endorsed lockdowns two days before, and various countries were acquiring new Corona tsars – random virus wizards who would become the face of containment policy to panicking domestic audiences. Every day, Drosten’s banal podcast interviews were reported breathlessly across the German media, as if they meant anything.

It’s important to remember that Drosten is a virologist. He’s not a statistician, and for what it’s worth, he’s not a public health expert either. He studies how very small proteins work and how they interact with human cells. Nevertheless, Drosten had (or claimed to have) a wide range of opinions on matters outside of his field, including the question of whether closing schools would slow down SARS-2.

At first, Drosten said that he didn’t think this would accomplish very much. Like everyone else of his ilk, he had an early history of saying basically correct and sensible things before he went crazy. On 11 March 2020, he went home and read this paper on Nonpharmaceutical Interventions Implemented by US Cities During the 1918–1919 Influenza Pandemic. It wasn’t his field; his assessment of its analysis is worth no more than mine or yours. But after reading it, he decided that actually closing schools would be a great idea, especially when used in combination with other interventions, such as banning mass gatherings. This was wind in the sails of hystericists like Markus Söder, minister president of Bavaria. And so we closed our schools, and our kids endured months of social isolation and mental anguish, because Drosten read a thing and had a brilliant idea.

But, that’s only the official story. It may be vastly worse than that. I really doubt, for example, that Drosten’s ridiculous podcast was a spontaneous programming idea by Norddeutscher Rundfunk. I suspect, instead, that there’s a reason lockdowns and Corona tsars went together in those early days. Primary was the political or bureaucratic decision to do all this crazy stuff, in the absence of any evidence aside from some dodgy numbers out of Wuhan. Thus the genius smart guys who run our institutions had to find celebrity virus astrologers, who could become the public face of novel policies and provide a simulacrum of science for the politicians to pretend they were following. It’s even odds, whether Drosten really did change his mind because of a paper he read one night; or whether it was rather the political or bureaucratic faction behind Drosten that changed their minds and gave him a paper or two to read.

Science isn’t some objective reasonable force outside of politics. Scientists spend most of their careers chasing government grant funding, and fighting for appointments and promotions in government-funded university systems. Science follows politics, and nobody knows this as much as the disingenuous politicians who claim that their policies are subordinate to scientific findings.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 1 Comment

Germany to supply Ukraine with heavy weaponry

Samizdat | April 26, 2022

The German government has given the green light for the delivery of self-propelled anti-aircraft guns to Ukraine, the country’s Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said on Tuesday.

Speaking at US-hosted defense talks at the American airbase Ramstein in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state, Lambrecht said that the leadership in Berlin made the decision on Monday. She emphasized that Germany was “determined to help the Ukrainian people with unified resolve in this existential emergency.”

The minister explained that “Ukraine will order” hardware from German manufacturers and “Germany will pay.” Berlin would earmark some 2 billion euros to that end, Lambrecht added.

The armored vehicles in question are Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, which were decommissioned by the German military back in 2010. Designed to take out cruise missiles and aircraft, Gepards can also be used against targets on the ground. As many as 50 heavy vehicles could reportedly be delivered to Ukraine. Defense firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann will now refurbish the equipment before transferring it on to Kiev, Germany’s dpa news agency reported. It is, however, not known when exactly Ukraine can expect delivery of the anti-aircraft systems.

Lambrecht also announced that Berlin “has initiated a swap scheme with our partners in eastern Europe” that is ensuring that “Ukraine is quickly obtaining heavy weaponry that doesn’t require lengthy training.” But, according to the minister, Germany could do a lot more in this respect.

On top of that, Berlin will be cooperating with the US and the Netherlands when it comes to providing training to Ukrainian troops on German soil in the use of various artillery systems.

Lambrecht made the announcements during a meeting of defense ministers from 40 countries hosted by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, several German outlets reported that Germany’s Rheinmetall arms manufacturer was prepared to sell 88 decommissioned Leopard tanks, as well as ammunition, spare parts and tools to repair the hardware. Training on the equipment would also be provided to Ukrainian troops. The company was awaiting the German government’s approval, the media said at the time.

Moscow has repeatedly condemned NATO arms supplies to Kiev, saying they only destabilize the situation on the ground and hamper the prospect for peace. It also warned that any equipment deliveries will be considered a legitimate military target for the Russian forces once they cross into Ukrainian territory.

“NATO is essentially going to war with Russia through a proxy and arming that proxy. War means war,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said on Monday.

April 26, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 3 Comments

Christian Drosten, Karl Lauterbach try to block Health Ministry committee set to evaluate lockdowns and other containment measures

Health minister Karl Lauterbach caught maskless on a train
eugyppius | April 25, 2022

In March 2021, the German Bundestag ordered the Ministry of Health to set up an expert committee to evaluate the effectiveness of containment measures in Germany, from lockdowns to masks. They required this committee to complete their evaluation by 30 June 2022, and to publish a report before the end of September.

The committee finally convened on 22 April via video conference, delayed apparently because communicating with Karl Lauterbach’s ministry has been a huge problem. In the hours after that meeting, the committee chair notified its members that he had finally heard from Lauterbach. The health minister had raised the idea of extending the evaluation deadline to 31 December, and suggested that the committee mandate might end up being redefined.

As Welt explains, Christian Drosten had previously voiced staunch opposition to the project of investigating the efficacy of containment measures:

… [A]n internal virtual meeting in March, Charité virologist Christian Drosten argued against individually evaluating the containment measures. In a nine-minute speech, he said there was too little data, it was too early for such a study, and one could end up “in hot water,” according to WELT information. In view of this intervention from Drosten, who has been one of the most important advisers to political decision-makers since the start of the pandemic, the committee turned to the Ministry of Health for further instructions.

Nothing came of that meeting; the committee had a mandate from the Bundestag, the legal force of which does not rest upon Drosten’s feelings.

When Welt asked the health ministry to comment on the latest delays, a Lauterbach spokesman said the experts don’t have sufficient data, and that the ministry is in discussions with the Bundestag about how to handle this. He even denied that there would be any delay in the committee’s work, which is plainly a lie, because Welt has documents and off-the-record statements from committee members to the opposite effect. One such member even complained to their reporter that “It shows great disrespect to try to withdraw our mandate to evaluate containment measures after so many hours of work.”

We are asked to believe that containment measures have been super successful in the past, and that they remain an important tool for future waves. Lauterbach himself has promised the return of containment in the Fall, because he did not get his vaccine mandate. At the same time, nobody must be permitted to evaluate the efficacy of these allegedly crucial measures. We can’t be allowed to know which ones work and which ones don’t. That would be dangerous somehow, even for an expert committee. In fact it would be so dangerous, that Christian Drosten, the public face of mass containment in Germany, felt compelled to deliver a secret lecture warning against any such evaluative process.

What’s really galling about all this, isn’t that they’re lying, but that they’re terrible at it.

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

German businesses note impact of skyrocketing energy costs

Samizdat | April 25, 2022

About 40% of German companies have already felt the consequences of the rapid rise in energy prices over the past several weeks, a survey by the Ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich published on Monday has found.

The survey covered 1,100 German enterprises, 950 of which were family owned. As many companies surveyed have long-term supply contracts, not all respondents said they felt hefty price increases so far. However, a quarter of the firms surveyed said they expect their energy costs to spike in the second half of this year, while another quarter believe it will happen in 2023. The survey also showed that almost 90% of businesses are likely to raise prices to counter the skyrocketing energy costs, and three-quarters of the companies intend to invest more in energy efficiency.

Some 11% of the firms are considering the possibility of completely abandoning energy-intensive business areas, and 14% are studying the possibility of cutting their staff. Still, only a small percentage of the surveyed companies want to move their offices abroad.

“We need a policy that corrects this distortion of competition and stops skyrocketing energy prices,” Professor Rainer Kirchdörfer, one of the experts behind the survey, said, referring to the fact that Germany had significantly lost its competitiveness in energy policy even before the current energy crisis, brought about by the events in Ukraine.

Energy prices soared last month, after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which triggered a flood of Western economic sanctions against Moscow, though the measures stopped just short of an embargo on Russian crude oil and natural gas. Russia retaliated by introducing a new ruble-based payment mechanism for its natural gas, hinting at the possibility that other energy exports might follow.

According to the German news agency DPA, citing data from the Verivox online platform, the increase in energy prices will inevitably lead to a significant increase in electricity prices for private consumers in Germany this year. Electricity suppliers in the country, responsible for roughly 13 million households, have already announced an increase in tariffs in April, May and June by an average 19.5%. Growth in gas prices is expected to be even greater, at about 42.3%.

According to Verivox, if a household paid an average of €1,171 ($1,258) for electricity per year prior to the Ukraine crisis, with the current costs it will have to pay some €1,737 ($1,867). The situation is even worse with natural gas: a household that paid €1,184 ($1,272) for gas annually in April last year would pay €2,787 ($2,995) at current prices, which equals to an increase of 135%.

The EU pledged to end its dependence on Russian energy earlier this month, despite importing roughly 40% of its gas and 30% of its oil from the country. However, experts and politicians within the bloc have warned that banning Russian energy imports could only lead to further price spikes, as it would be impossible to find an alternative quickly enough.

April 25, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | | 1 Comment