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In Effect Sweden’s Economy Is Also Closed

By Paul Craig Roberts • Institute for Political Economy • April 29, 2020

We have been subjected to much nonsensical disinformation that Sweden has kept its economy open and is faring no worse in infections than countries with closed economies and without the economic consequences of closed-downed economies. The fact of the matter is that de facto Sweden’s economy is closed and is doing no better than anyone’s else’s, and its infection rate is still rising.

Sweden closed universities and high schools, banned gatherings of large groups, asked people to avoid non-essential travel, and advised those ill and over 70 to stay at home. Sweden did not require restaurants, bars, and gyms to close, but business is down by 70% as people have avoided the risk. That decline could be larger than in the US where restaurants are permitted to provide takeouts. In Sweden the hotel occupancy rate has dropped from 60% to 10%. Sweden’s economy is “open” only in words.

Despite the alleged “open economy,” economic sentiment indicators fell more in Sweden than in the rest of Europe and the US. The Swedish Riksbank estimates an 11% drop in Swedish GDP from January through April with a number of Swedish economic sectors being “drastically weaker.” This is worse than the 9% decline predicted for the US.

Moreover, closed down Norway, with which Sweden is usually compared, has seen its virus infection rate decline while “open” Sweden’s continues to rise.

This information comes from Bank of America’s Global Research, but I am prevented from reproducing the information. If I include the URL for the report, it opens as “bad request.” So I will describe a bit more of the information. It is distributed as a Merrill Lynch “morning market tidbits,” April 29, 2020.

There is a graph comparing Norwegian and Swedish infection rates. The rates begin together and rise together until the end of the first week in April when the Norwegian rate turns down and the Swedish rate continues to rise. If a line is fitted to the Norwegian data it is an upside down U shape. The line fitted to the Swedish data is a straight line that rises to the right. As of yesterday Sweden’s new cases per million people is a multiple of Norway’s.

In view of these facts, go now and review all of the false claims that Sweden proves the close downs were pointless.

April 29, 2020 Posted by | Economics | | 6 Comments

Deception – Submarines against Olof Palme

thersites | April 22, 2020

Background:

In the early 1980s, Sweden was haunted by several hundred sightings of mysterious submarines, causing much panic in public opinion and greatly embarrassing the non-aligned Social Democrat government led by Olof Palme and its efforts to create detente in Europe.

In 1981, a Soviet submarine had run aground in Swedish territorial waters, and the Soviets consequently got blamed for every subsequent sighting over the nest half decade,

10 years later, high ranking US and British officials causally revealed in interviews that NATO had sent submarines into Swedish waters – with the Swedish Navy High Command being informed of the matter, but with neither the Swedish militar brass nor US/UK/NATO informing the elected Swedish government.

After the assassination of Olof Palme in 1986 and the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, the sightings disappeared – only for the submarines turn up again in 2014, during the New Cold War.

(Director; Dirk Pohlmann)

April 25, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

“Business as Usual” Isn’t Even a Choice

By Anatoly Karlin • Unz Review • April 1, 2020

A few days ago, I joked on Twitter:

The choice isn’t between boomer genocide and an economic collapse.

The choice is between boomer genocide and economic collapse, or producing millions of 5 cent masks and making people wear them.

Reality is, it is only boomer genocide that isn’t a choice.

74% of Americans support a national quarantine, and that even includes 72% of Republicans. In France, there is a near consensus on lockdown at 96%. In Italy it is 94%.

In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro – the only President of a major democratic polity who continues to insist on treating coronavirus as a nothingburger – has been made into a lame duck, his commands ignored by 24 out of Brazil’s 27 governors and even by his own Health Minister.

Meanwhile, as predicted by Ron Unz, Trump has performed a volte face, extending federal social distancing guidelines past Easter up to April 30 and now touts 100,000 deaths as a “good scenario.”

Which is just as well, because as we know see, modern democracies are simply incapable of “powering through” even through what is a fairly low-mortality pandemic in historical terms.

Consequently, the only choices are:

  • Nip it in the bud early on through mass testing-tracing-treatment, border controls, and limited lockdowns, resulting in limited economic damage. [for example]
  • Wait until later, necessitating progressively more massive, longer, and economically ruinous lockdowns. [for example]

So the only correct move is to clamp down close to the start, and to clamp down hard. This is what was done in all the East Asian polities, be they chaotic democracies, city-state technocracies, or Communist single-party states.

Because in the latter scenario, there will eventually come a time when you are simply sidelined by your own underlings and by regional authorities, adding a political crisis on top of a healthcare and economic one.

In my post on Trump’s initial decision, I speculated:

Far out scenario: Blue states may outright defy Trump on abandoning containment measures, in which case they too would be doing starkly better than Red states (unless it also sparks a Constitutional crisis into the bargain).

Well, on that note, here’s a Tweet from California governor Gavin Newsom today. That’s some interesting wording there:

So again, good on Donald Trump to have come to terms with Corona reality and averting what could have become a very dangerous experiment.

This brings us to another interesting question: Will we get a “clean” experiment anywhere?

As per above, I don’t think it’s going to happen in any democracy. Britain backed away from its “herd immunity” idea two weeks ago, on realizing that their models didn’t include a term for ventilator shortages. The Dutch followed soon afterwards. With Sweden’s coronavirus mortality trajectory beginning to radically diverge from those of its Nordic cousins, I believe it is only a matter of time before they go into lockdown as well.

My guess is that our best “hope” – inappropriate as that expression may be – lies in Belarus, which is run by a decidedly non-coronapilled dictator.

April 2, 2020 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics | , , | 2 Comments

Swedish Minister Pushes for ‘Psychological Defence Authority’ to Counter Disinformation

Sputnik – November 18, 2019

The Swedish psychological defence was established in 1954 during the Cold War and later merged with other agencies. Now it may see a revival amid a broader interest in Cold War-era tactics and sentiments.

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist would by his own admission like to see a “psychological defence authority” in place to protect the citizens from foreign disinformation.

This backdrop to the move is the “tremendous activity” taking place in social media, Hultqvist explained to Swedish Radio.

According to him, the internet activity may have the malicious goal of splitting society. And that’s just a taste of what level it can reach in a real crisis situation, he pointed out.

“I think it is important that we get a psychological defence authority in Sweden where you can have a direct channel where you give information from the state power that this is the case in different situations and that people can feel that they can trust,” Peter Hultqvist told Swedish Radio.

Swedish media need to prepare for how they would act if there was a real crisis, for example, if Sweden were to be attacked, Hultqvist stressed.

According to Hultqvist, traditional media must also become better at avoiding situations where their news is being exploited by “hostile forces” tasked with painting a negative picture of Sweden.

The Swedish psychological defence was established in connection with the beginning of the Cold War in 1954. Sweden is currently investigating the possibilities of re-establishing a psychological defence authority after calls from Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. The inquiry is being led by former Security Police Chief Anders Danielsson. The conclusions are to be presented next May, and the new authority is scheduled to commence work in 2022.

In rekindling Cold War-era sentiments, a record 4.8 million copies of the brochure “If Crisis or War Comes” were issued last year. The last time a pamphlet on handling crisis situations and wars was issued was in 1961 at the height of the Cold War, which spurred many questions about the timing of its re-edition.

While concepts such as “troll factory”, “fact resistance” and “online hate” have become fixtures in the Swedish media narrative, a larger emphasis is being put on so-called “source criticism”, with countless fact-checking sites in place to stop both domestic and imported “fake news”. Since 2017, Source Criticism Day has been celebrated on 13 March.

November 18, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | | 1 Comment

Class Issue: Swedish Communist Newspaper Changes Tune on Immigration

Sputnik – October 21, 2019

According to the newspaper’s new editor-in-chief, immigration is not only a right-wing issue, but something that directly affects the working class.

In a marked switch, Proletären (“The Proletarian”), the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, will begin to report on the negative consequences of immigration.

Robert Wettersten, the newspaper’s new editor-in-chief who replaced Jenny Tedjeza after 18 years at the helm, suggested that Proletären’s goal is to “dare to stick out, provoke and ponder the issues that affect the working class anno 2019”.

According to Wettersten, restrictions on the right to strike, which was a relevant issue for many previous generations of left-wingers, is no longer something workers care about. Instead, immigration and integration as well as law and order are at the top of the list among the issues that labour voters consider important.

“Many regard it as a typical right-wing issue, and nothing that a communist labour newspaper should write about. I think that’s wrong. If these are issues that concern workers, then it is our damned duty to take them up in Proletären”, Robert Wettersten said.

Otherwise, he continued, you are “just a working-class newspaper on paper, not in reality”.

“Purely objectively, migration affects most things; labour market, housing situation, municipal finances, equality – you name it! And it is mainly workers and ordinary people who are affected by crime. So this is not an exclusively labour issue, I don’t think so”, Wettersten stressed.

Proletären has been issued by the Communist Party since 1970. A lot of famous Swedes, such as Jan Myrdal, Peter Birro, and Sven Wollter have contributed to the newspaper.

Sweden, a country with long-standing socialist traditions, has not one but two active communist parties, the Communist Party and the Swedish Communist Party, both originating in the 70s. Surprisingly, though, the two are at odds with each other despite formally sticking to Marxism-Leninism, not least over the issue of immigration.

In July 2018, the Swedish Communist Party decided to break all cooperation with the Communist Party, citing the latter’s “development towards opportunism and its adoption of right-wing populism”. Both, however, remain in effect fringe parties with no parliamentary representation.

Owing to the Swedish establishment embracing mass immigration in recent decades, the share of foreign-born has reached 2 million (or 20% of the Swedish population).

October 21, 2019 Posted by | Economics | , | 1 Comment

Sweden’s hunt for Russian sub 5 years ago got its military more cash, but was based on faulty intelligence, new report says

RT | October 9, 2019

The Swedish Navy’s fruitless hunt for a Russian sub was reportedly based on an inconclusive analysis of intelligence which was overstated under pressure from the government. MPs only learned of it after boosting defense spending.

In October 2014, Sweden was gripped by spy fever. People were watching relentlessly as its military was hunting for an elusive Russian mini-sub off Stockholm. The hunters returned empty-handed, but top brass assured the public that it was not for lack of a foreign intrusion. It took months for Swedish officials to acknowledge that the intercepted “Russian submarine distress signal” that triggered the hunt actually came from a local civilian boat. Though some of the failed hunters insisted otherwise.

Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) says some details of how Sweden got into this embarrassment is yet to be revealed and offered information provided by a military insider. According to its source, the analysis of a sound signature, which was touted as definitive evidence of a submarine presence in Swedish waters, was actually preliminary.

“The criteria for a confirmed submarine are rock hard, and they were not fulfilled,” the insider said, explaining that under regular circumstances the military would not go public with such intelligence at all.

SvD’s source suggests that the Swedish military command had been pressured by both the national government and some of its fellow generals to go along with the narrative. Interestingly, when the evidence was properly reviewed and a classified final report into the hunt was compiled in May 2015, nobody rushed to share the conclusions with the Swedish lawmakers.

Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist allegedly waited until September 2015 before reporting to the Swedish Parliament, SvD noted, which conveniently happened after it approved a hefty $700 million hike in defense spending over five years.

If it looks like a ruse to secure extra funding and stir anti-Russian sentiment in a non-NATO nation and swims like a ruse to secure extra funding and stir anti-Russian sentiment in a non-NATO nation, then it’s probably just an honest mistake. No hard feelings.

October 9, 2019 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Washington’s Nord Stream 2 Sanctions May Have Boomerang Effect on US Interests – German Media Reports

By Svetlana Ekimenko – Sputnik – 27.08.2019

The US Congress has moved forward with legislation to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project in defiance of criticism from Washington’s allies in Europe, as the joint venture brings together Russia’s Gazprom, Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie, and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell.

Possible US sanctions against companies involved in the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline could potentially harm US oil and gas projects in the Gulf of Mexico, writes the German business newspaper Handelsblatt.

“From the point of view of Germany, the name of the US proposed sanctions bill, ‘Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act’, is in itself an insolence”, writes the author.

The US is pushing to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2 despite likely consequences that such restrictions may have.

Thus, European companies involved in laying the pipeline and targeted by Washington’s sanctions play a key role in the global energy market.

For a long time, these companies worked in the Gulf of Mexico as subcontractors of the American corporations Chevron and Exxon Mobil, recalls Handelsblatt.

Therefore, if they are included in the sanctions lists, projects in the Gulf of Mexico will be disrupted, since it is impossible to quickly replace such highly specialised firms.

Overall, the US economy views the proposed sanctions against Nord Stream 2 critically, the author points out. Such restrictions would also be likely to harm US gas exporters, prompting European buyers to reduce LNG imports from the United States and increase supplies from other countries.

Proposed US Sanctions on Nord Stream 2

The Nord Stream 2 project has long drawn opposition from a number of countries, with the United States, which is trying to sell more of its own liquefied natural gas to overseas allies, insisting that the project will make Europe dependent on Moscow – claims that Russia has repeatedly rebuffed.

Moscow has insisted that the pipeline project is strictly commercial, ultimately seeking to boost Europe’s energy security.

Nevertheless, in early August, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill on sanctions against companies providing vessels for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

The document prohibits entry into the US for anyone involved in the “sale, lease, provision or assistance in providing” ships for laying Russian offshore pipelines at a depth of 30 metres or more, as well as the freezing of their assets in US jurisdiction.

Companies from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Finland, and Sweden may fall under the sanctions.

The project is being implemented by Nord Stream 2 AG, with Gazprom investing half of the funds, and the remainder being contributed by European partners: Germany’s Uniper and Wintershall, Austria’s OMV, France’s Engie, and Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell.

Germany has been strongly behind Nord Stream 2, emphasizing the commercial focus of the project.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she supported the BDI’s (Federation of German Industries) stance that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline for delivering Russian natural gas to Europe is necessary given the German initiative to stop using nuclear and coal energy.

Austria, which is interested in reliable supplies of fuel, and Norway, whose government owns 30 percent of the shares of Kvaerner, one of the gas pipeline construction contractors, also spoke in favor of the project.

Nord Stream 2 Project

The 745-mile-long (1,200 km) Nord Stream 2 twin pipeline is set to run from Russia to Germany through the territorial waters or exclusive economic zones of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, and Sweden to deliver Russian gas to European consumers.

The completed project will double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream pipeline network, allowing a total of up to 110 billion cubic metres of Russian natural gas to be transported to Western Europe via pipelines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

According to a statement made by project operator Nord Stream 2 AG on 26 August, the pipeline is 75 percent complete.

August 27, 2019 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s time to mull punishment for having & watching ‘terrorist propaganda’ – Swedish security chief

RT | June 29, 2019

The head of Sweden’s Security Service has called on the government to investigate whether it is feasible to punish anyone found with “terrorist propaganda,” arguing that even looking at such materials is an incitement to violence.

Klas Friberg, who leads Säpo, the Swedish security agency responsible for counter-espionage and counter-terrorism, wrote in an op-ed that he and his colleagues work “around the clock” to protect Sweden from terrorism.

Despite their best efforts, the risk of terrorist attacks remains high, Friberg said, partly due to Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS) “Hollywood-like propaganda machine” which produces “gruesome imagery with both living and dead people.”

The security official noted that the materials are used to recruit new supporters, but that Swedish authorities can do nothing to stop the propaganda from spreading because it is not criminal to possess or view these videos and images.

Arguing that “terrorism must be countered in every way,” Friberg called on the government to open an inquiry into whether it should be a punishable offense to handle violent content produced to spread the ideology of Islamic State. He says the legislation would not be radical, drawing a parallel to laws prohibiting the possession of child pornography.

This could help Säpo investigate and prosecute those deemed a threat to Sweden, he said, adding that measures must be taken to ensure that “rights and freedoms” are preserved.

Sweden suffered a terrorist attack in 2017, when an IS supporter rammed a truck into a crowd of people on a busy street in Stockholm, killing five people.

June 29, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , | Leave a comment

Assange Accuser Ridiculed for Proclaiming Teenage Climate Activist New ‘Prophet’

Sputnik – May 27, 2019

According to Anna Ardin, the Swedish deacon who has accused Julian Assange of sexual misconduct, the world must listen to Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome who has risen to international fame and inspired thousands of followers with her “school strike” campaign, claiming that her message comes from God himself.

In her piece in the Christian newspaper Kyrkans Tidning, Anna Ardin, the Swedish woman who has accused Julian Assange of rape, proclaimed celebrity climate activist Greta Thunberg a prophet of our time, just as the biblical characters Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah and Ezekiel once were.

Together with Joakim Kroksson, Equimenical Church deacon Anna Ardin has listed six traits they claim to elevate Greta Thunberg to prophet-like status. The traits include “daring to talk about harsh reality” and “preaching repentance”.

“The point is that we must listen to the message, because the message comes from God. It requires a radical conversion to a fossil (fuel) free life and society,” Ardin and Kroksson wrote, while stressing that the goal of the article was not to hail Greta Thunberg, but her message.

Theologian Stefan Gustavsson, the director of Apologia, a Centre for Christian Apologetics, is critical of his colleages’ reasoning. According to him, a prophet must explicitly claim to be sent by God and convey God’s message and fight sins against God. He also disagrees with the claim that Thunberg faces the same rejection as her biblical “counterparts”, who lived in stark exclusion, unlike Thunberg, who has received a plethora of awards and has even been nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Not a single prophet has received the same global tribute as Greta,” Gustavsson told the Christian newspaper Världen Idag, stressing that Thunberg has the entire establishment behind her.

On social media, Ardin’s stance on Thunberg has triggered even stronger reactions.

Artist, musical producer and former Army of Lovers start turned philosopher Alexander Bard wrote that the same woman accusing Assange of rape proclaiming Greta Thunberg a prophet sent by God was a token of “how utterly mad Sweden has become in 2019”.

“I just left the Swedish church because of that”, another user wrote.

“Insanity knows no borders. Neither does Sweden”, yet another user mused.

Others labelled Anna Ardin unbecoming epithets ranging from “complete nutcase” to “one of the most extreme leftists in Sweden”.

Anna Ardin, who is a self-attributed “radical reformist” and “fighter against ‘Churcharchy'”, is a feminist and an animal rights fighter. In 2010, she claimed that WikiLeaks owner Julian Assange had tampered with a condom during sex with her, essentially forcing her to have unprotected sex. While Assange denied the allegations, an court in England where he then lived, ruled that he should be extradited to Sweden for investigation. In response, Assange sought asylum at London’s Ecuadorian embassy, where he remained until earlier this year.

Greta Thunberg is a teenage Swedish climate activist who rose to international fame for her weekly “school strikes” held outside of the Swedish parliament, as well as doomsday rhetoric of imminent environmental catastrophe. In recent months, her movement has gathered hundreds of thousands of students in over a hundred countries across the globe to follow her example.

Despite her numerous psychological issues, such as Asperger’s and selective mutism and depression, to name a few, she remains a cultural icon in Sweden, where she is known as “Climate Greta” and has been named “woman of the year” by the country’s largest newspapers.

READ MORE:

Church of Sweden Shamed for Hailing Girl With Asperger’s as ‘Jesus’s Successor’

May 27, 2019 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | 1 Comment

British Think Tank Reportedly Offered to Spy on Right-Wing Swedish Politicians

Sputnik – April 23, 2019

Not only has the Institute for Strategic Dialogue smeared a senior Sweden Democrat as a “far-right extremist”, it also offered the Swedish authorities its help in gathering data on him and his associates abroad through “investigative work”.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a British think tank which had previously called for financial sanctions against Sweden’s alternative media, also offered the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) the ability to spy on Sweden’s right-wing politicians, the news outlet Samhällsnytt reported.

Samhällsnytt has gained access to an e-mail from the organisation’s researcher Chloe Colliver, who claimed to have “uncovered links” between the Swedish right-wingers, influencers she labelled “far right” and Hungary, naming anti-immigrant Sweden Democrat Kent Ekeroth as “the most obvious example”.

“To uncover more about these links, we would have had to engage in more offline, investigative journalism work. <…> I believe there would be lots more to uncover in terms of offline links, support and financial backing connecting Hungarian and Swedish far right movements. It was not something we were able to cover ourselves in any detail, but many journalists have started to see a real infrastructure of support built in Hungary to support these kind of international movements, both in elections and outside of elections. Let me know if I can provide any more information on that,” Chloe Colliver wrote, as quoted by Samhällsnytt.

This e-mail, the news outlet claims, is part of a longer correspondence between Colliver and a Swedish MSB official. A few days later, MSB published a report by ISD which proposed sanctions against alternative media outlets which offer substantiated criticism of immigration, such as Samhällsnytt, Fria Tider and Nyheter Idag.

Kent Ekeroth represented the Sweden Democrats in the Swedish parliament between 2010 and 2018, and profiled himself as a staunch opponent of Islam and immigration. During his time as an MP, Ekeroth supported the deportation of criminal immigrants, an idea that has since been adopted by the more radical Alternative for Sweden, which openly markets itself as a “repatriation party”. Ekeroth has since moved to the Hungarian capital Budapest.

“It is extremely serious when authorities receive offers to spy on Swedish politicians abroad. Colliver mentions ‘investigative journalism’ in her email, but she is not a journalist and her organisation is not part of the press. Therefore, it is crystal clear what this is about, political espionage against the opposition under the auspices of MSB. The fact that she repeatedly refers to Swedish politicians as ‘extreme right’ in the e-mail shows that this is an accepted way of communicating with MSB” Kent Ekeroth told Samhällsnytt.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue is a London-based organisation which bills itself as a “think and do tank” poised to tackle the “rising challenges of violent extremism, inter-communal conflict and polarisation” and “empower grassroots networks against hate and extremism”.

MSB is a Swedish state authority that belongs to the Justice Ministry with responsibility for emergency preparedness and civil defence.

The Sweden Democrats are the country’s largest right-wing party, which despite its substantial electoral successes hasn’t been able to elevate any of its MPs to a cabinet-level post due to other parties collaborating to edge it out by forming a “cordon sanitaire”.

READ MORE:

70% of Swedes Lose Confidence in Politicians Amid Weakest Gov’t in Decades

Outrage as Swedish Greens Blame Swedes for Migrants’ Crime, Failure to Integrate

April 23, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | | Leave a comment