Thursday 23rd of September 2021

the G7 is dead, isn't it?...


A viral photo of Angela Merkel and other world leaders standing over a seated Donald Trump at Friday’s G7 summit has been given the meme treatment on social media, with Twitter users quick to liken the image to everything from renaissance art to a scene from the Apprentice.

The G7 summit, which brought together world leaders from Germany, Japan, Canada, the US, Italy, France and the UK, was held in Charlevoix, Quebec, in Canada, over the weekend. This year’s summit had a particular focus on trade.

However, the enduring image from the summit was one in which divisions between the group were clear. The German chancellor’s office posted the striking picture to Instagram on Saturday with the caption: “Day two of the G7 summit in Canada: spontaneous meeting between two working sessions.”

The photograph, which was taken by the German cabinet’s official photographer Jesco Denze, was quickly singled out for its uncanny resemblance to a classical painting.


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Picture at top, Gus Rembrandt's version...

trump a petulant bully who has lost his toys...

The United States and Canada have swung sharply towards a diplomatic and trade crisis as top White House advisers lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a day after US President Donald Trump called him "very dishonest and weak".

Key points:
  • Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he was backing out of the joint communique
  • Mr Trump said he might double down on import tariffs by hitting the sensitive auto industry
  • Larry Kudlow accused Justin Trudeau of betraying Mr Trump with "polarising" statements on trade policy


The spat drew in Germany and France, who sharply criticised Mr Trump's decision to abruptly withdraw his support for a Group of Seven communique hammered out at a Canadian summit on Saturday (local time), accusing him of destroying trust and acting inconsistently.


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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lambasted the US President Donald Trump’s decision to renege on the G7 joint statement. She also said that Europe will not let itself be "deceived" again.

Merkel described Trump’s decision to withdraw his approval of the joint communique following the G7 summit in Canada as a “sobering experience.” She also praised the joint statement itself as a “laboriously negotiated” document. “The withdrawal by tweet is, of course, sobering and a bit depressing as well,” she told Germany's Anne Will talk show on Sunday evening.

“I don’t think that inflammatory language makes things better. Sometimes it seems that the American president thinks that only one side wins and everyone else loses,” Merkel said, apparently speaking about Trump’s verbal attacks against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. She also praised Trudeau by saying that she is glad that he is “on the EU’s side.”


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same shit as before, minus the nice wrapping...

The demise of the West. The end of the postwar world order. The beginning of a new era. There are lots of dramatic claims making the rounds to describe what exactly U.S. President Donald Trump is currently up to. And all of them are both correct and incorrect at the same time.

The debacle at the G-7 clearly shows that the real problem with Donald Trump's policies is Donald Trump himself. There is no rhyme or reason to his actions aside from the desire -- the need -- to be the best, the most important, the biggest. The collapse of the West and the destruction of alliances that have held up for decades are merely the side effects of this unprecedented ego trip.

At the G-7 summit, Trump treated America's oldest friends as though they were enemies. At the same time, he fawns over Russian President Vladimir Putin and calls dictators such as North Korea's Kim Jong Un "very honorable." He sees the reflection of himself in such men. He does what he wants. Agreements with partners, the rules of the international order: None of that holds water with Trump.

Trump wants complete control and can't stand being contradicted. He always has to have the first word and the last. Indeed, it was far from surprising that he sought to impose his own agenda (the trade conflict and Russia) on the summit. The tweet he sent from his plane out of Canada, in which he revoked his support for the summit statement, was merely a logical result of his egomania. It's always just me, me, me.

Trump's crude view of the world, his image of an America that has allegedly been exploited and fleeced for years, follows from this conceit. Because Trump thinks he is the greatest and relies only on his gut feelings, he is immune to rational arguments. He only considers his own instincts and thoughts to the exclusion of all else, even though they are based on a lack of knowledge and prejudice.


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When will the Europeans wake up to the fact the USA has been playing them for fools since after WWII?...


What Trump is serving for dinner, is the same shit as before, minus the nice wrapping... It's quite interesting to see the story of Roland Garros and his meeting with de Gaulle... De Gaulle rejected the Yanks because he knew they were duplicitous and ill-intended. Nothing has changed except for many years, the smelly picture was hidden in gift-wrapped tinsel that contained shit. Remember the subprime event that led to the GFC? If this was not planned to ruin Europe deliberately, it did the job anyway. Remember the bombing of some countries like Libya and Syria? All these have led to a "refugee" crisis in Europe. If this was not planned to ruin Europe or make it divide and sweat, it did the job very well nonetheless of belittling Europe.

The wrapping then with the previous tenants of the White Shit House, was the "democracy", "freedom", fight evil mantras.

But all this was bully shit, including the wrapping... 


the death of capitalism?

From our former professor of economics at Sydney University:


Donald Trump’s early departure, and his subsequent refusal to endorse the G7 communique, has thrown the mainstream press into an apoplexy reflecting a deeper incomprehension of our unfolding global reality.

In a bid to mix toughness with humour, Emmanuel Macron had quipped that the G7 might become the … G6. That’s absurd, not least because without the United States, capitalism as we know it (let alone the pitiful G7 gatherings) would disappear from the planet’s face.

There is, of course, little doubt that with Trump in the White House there is an awful lot we should be angst-ridden about. However, the establishment’s reaction to the president’s shenanigans, in the United States and in Europe, is perhaps an even greater worry for progressives, replete as it is with dangerous wishful thinking and copious miscalculation. 

Some put their faith in the Mueller investigation, assuming that Mike Pence would be kinder to them as president. Others are holding their breath until 2020, refusing to consider the possibility of a second term. What they all fail to grasp is the very real tectonic shifts underpinning Trump’s uncouth antics.

The Trump administration is building up a substantial economic momentum domestically. First, he passed income and corporate tax cuts that the establishment Republicans could not have imagined even in their wildest dreams a few years ago. But this was not all. Behind the scenes, Trump astonished Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat’s leader in the House of Representatives, by approving every single social program that she asked of him. As a result, the federal government is running the largest budget deficit in America’s history when the rate of unemployment is less than 4%. 

Whatever one thinks of this president, he is giving money away not only to the richest, who of course get the most, but also to many poor people. With demonstrably strong employment, especially among African American workers, inflation under control and the stock market still buoyant, Donald Trump has his home front covered as he travels to foreign lands to confront friends and foes.

The US anti-Trump establishment prays that markets will punish his profligacy. This is precisely what would have happened if America were any other country. With a fiscal deficit expected to reach $804bn 2018 and $981bn in 2019, and with the government expected to borrow $2.34tn in the next 18 months, the exchange rate would be crashing and interest rates would be going through the roof. Except that the US is not any other country. 

As its central bank, the Fed, winds down its quantitative easing program by selling off its stock of accumulated assets to the private sector, investors need dollars to buy them. This causes the number of dollars available to investors to shrink by up to $50bn a month. Add to this the dollars German and Chinese capitalists need to buy US government bonds (in a bid to park their profits somewhere safe) and you begin to see why Trump believes he will not be punished by a run either on the dollar or on government bonds. 

Armed with the exorbitant privilege that owning the dollar presses affords him, Trump then takes a look at the trade flows with the rest of the G7 and comes to an inescapable conclusion: he cannot possibly lose a trade war against countries that have such high surpluses with the US (eg Germany, Italy, China), or which (like Canada) will catch pneumonia the moment the American economy catches the common cold.

None of this is new. Richard Nixon also confronted Europe’s establishment in 1971 while Ronald Reagan brutally squeezed the Japanese in 1985. Even the language was not less uncivilised – recall the summary of the Nixon administration’s attitude in the inimitable words of John Connally: “My philosophy is that all foreigners are out to screw us, and it’s our job to screw them first.” Today’s US aggression toward its allies is distinguished from those episodes in two ways.

First, since the 2008 collapse of Wall Street, and despite the subsequent re-floating of the financial sector, Wall Street and the US domestic economy can no longer do what they were doing before 2008: that is, absorb the net exports of European and Asian factories through a trade surplus financed by an equivalent influx of US-bound foreign profits. This failure is the underlying cause of the current global economic and political instability. 

Second, unlike in the 1970s, Europe’s decade of mishandling the euro crisis has seen to it that the Franco-German establishment is now disunited and on the run – with xenophobic, anti-European nationalists taking over governments.

Trump takes one look at all this and concludes that, if the US can no longer stabilise global capitalism, he might as well blow up existing multilateral conventions and build from scratch a new global order resembling a wheel, with America its hub and all other powers its spokes – an arrangement of bilateral deals that ensures the US will always be the largest partner in each, and thus be able to exact a pound of flesh through divide and rule tactics.

Can the EU create a “Europe First” anti-Trump alliance, perhaps involving China? The answer has been given already, following Trump’s annulment of the Iran nuclear deal. Within minutes of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that European companies would stay in Iran, every single German corporation announced it was pulling out, prioritising the fat tax cuts Trump was offering them within the United States.

In conclusion, we have good reason to be appalled by Trump: he is winning against a European establishment that wallows in perfect ignorance of the forces undermining it and paving the ground for appalling developments. The onus falls on progressives in continental Europe, in the UK, and in the United States, to put on the agenda an Internationalist New Deal – and to win elections campaigning on it.

In my rare optimistic moments, I imagine an alliance of Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and our Democracy in Europe Movement, DiEM25, giving the Nationalist International led by Trump a run for its money. A few years ago, a Trump triumph in the US, Europe and beyond sounded even more farfetched than this. It is worth a try.



If Trump wants to blow up the world order, who will stop him?

Varoufakis was born in Athens in 1961 and attended Moraitis School before moving to the United Kingdom, where he studied mathematics at the University of Essex before attaining a postgraduate degree in mathematical statistics at University of Birmingham and a PhD in economics at Essex. He began a career in academic economics, teaching at the universities of Essex, East Anglia and Cambridge between 1982 and 1988. Following Margaret Thatcher's third election victory in 1987, Varoufakis left the UK and moved to Australia, where he taught at the University of Sydney until 2000. He returned to Greece that year to teach at the University of Athens, where he led a doctoral program and was promoted to full professor in 2005. Following this, Varoufakis had periods of advising George Papandreou and working as the economist-in-residence for Valve Corporation before moving to the United States to teach at the University of Texas at Austin. Varoufakis has published a number of texts on economics and game theory, such as The Global Minotaur.


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if you did not understand Yanis Varoufakis above...



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Michael Hudson, born March 14, 1939, is an American economist, professor of economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City and a researcher at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College, former Wall Street analyst, political consultant, commentator and journalist. He is a contributor to The Hudson Report, a weekly economic and financial news podcast produced by Left Out.

Hudson graduated from the University of Chicago (B.A., 1959) and New York University (MA, 1965, PhD, 1968) and worked as a balance of payment economist in Chase Manhattan Bank (1964-1968). He was assistant professor of economics at the New School for Social Research1969-1972, and 1980-90s worked for various governmental and non-governmental organizations as an economic consultant.

Hudson devoted his entire scientific career to the study of debt: both domestic (loans, mortgages, interest payments) and external. In his works he consistently advocates the idea that loans and exponentially growing debts that outstrip profits from the economy of the "real" sphere are disastrous for both the government and the people of the borrowing state: they wash money (going to payments to usurers and rentiers) from turnover, not leaving them to buy goods and services, and thus lead to "debt deflation" of the economy. Hudson notes that the existing economic theory (in particular, the Chicago School of economics) is in the service of rentiers and financiers and has developed a special language designed to create the impression that the current status quo has no alternative. In a false theory, the parasitic encumbrances of a real economy, instead of being deducted in accounting, add up as an "addition to GDP" (Gross Domestic Product), and are presented as "productive." Hudson sees consumer protection, state support of infrastructure projects and taxation of parasitic rentier sectors of the economy instead of taxing workers as a continuation of the line of classical economists today.


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meanwhile, on the other side of the geopolitical world...

This year’s G7 summit in Canada took place almost simultaneously with the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders in China’s Qingdao. But while the heads of the Group of Seven found themselves in a series of economic and political disputes, the SCO states managed to strengthen their bond.

The streets of Qingdao are not as busy as usual: most businesses in the Eastern Chinese coastal city are closed and residents have received paid vacations. Those who chose to stay in town during this year's two-day SCO leaders' meeting had the chance to go to large shopping malls, which remained open or spend time with their families in Qingdao's parks and squares.

READ MORE: SCO States Rule Out Warfare in Resolving Syrian Crisis — Summit Declaration

Right in front of the local administration building, there is a huge logo of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and slogans written in three languages — Chinese, Russian and English. The sign quickly became a popular spot for family photo-ops.



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no more exorbitant free lunches with chopsticks?...



Anticipating the usual sneering response from the Atlanticist financial crowd, i.e., China cannot and will not dump the dollar since that would mean a big hit on those dollars and Treasuries that China already holds; they would do well to note MacLeod’s observation that ‘China’s priorities are changing, and the outlook for the dollar has become a less urgent priority.’ Quite so.

History moves on, with new political and economic cleavages and fusions emerging together with an increasing momentum in the decline of the post-1945 World Order. How long will the rest of the world put up with the free lunch of the global dollar or the protection racket that is NATO is a matter of conjecture. Unquestionably, however, these two pillars of the Anglo-Zionist empire look to be increasingly unstable  and frankly parasitic.

We shall wait, and we shall see.


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the european kicked an own goal...

Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt is a former Belgian PM, now politician who has served as the Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Belgium since 2009. He is the leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe(ALDE) and is the European Parliament's representative in the Brexit negotiations. He advocates a federal Europe.

He writes simplistically about the European problems:

The postwar liberal world order risks being torn up before our very eyes. Confronted with Donald Trump and his stupidities, a Russia which is successfully injecting chaos into the west and a China seemingly happy to sit back and await its turn at the top table, the people of Europe have some fundamental decisions to make.

Do we want to inhabit a continent founded on a respect for liberal democracy, the rule of law and a humane approach to migration? Or do we cede to the populists promoting fear over hope and division over unity? Brexit aside, the people of Britain will face these great challenges and their consequences, too.

Take migration, the primary issue EU leaders are tackling at their summit this week. Europeans may reel in horror at the consequences of Trump’s immigration policy, epitomised by children fleeing violence in Guatemala being separated from their parents, perhaps never to be reunited. We are right to be horrified, because it is a disgrace. But are Europeans handling the challenge of migration any more effectively?

Here, Mr Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt, you have a problem which has been induced by other dudes than Trump and Putin. It’s easy facile and wrong to say: “confronted with Donald Trump and his stupidities, a Russia which is successfully injecting chaos into the west” but totally inaccurate.

What you are confronted with is the stupid policies and wars started long ago, but to talk of modern times, more precisely by Bush senior, continued by Clinton, Bush Junior, Obama himself with the help of Sarkozy. Sarkozy did far more damage to Europe than the supposed influence of Trump and Putin. 

Yes, 34,361 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe since 1993. 

But let’s not forget that most of these drowned since the destruction of Libya in 2011 by NATO and by the Western push of the “Arab Spring” in Syria since 2009 — a spring which of course was inspired by the Sunni Saudis to eliminate their “enemies” the Shias in the whole Middle East.

Europe at this level has to BLAME ITSELF for having let the problem being created by their BLIND alliance with the USA

So all in all in order to solve this migration problem in Europe, the Europeans need to do more for peace in the Middle East and stop bombing anything that “they don’t like”… They don’t even have to “love” Assad, but recognise that he is the legitimate leader of a legitimate country.

The European, should Guy Maurice Marie Louise Verhofstadt view be the prevalent one, are stupid and they should put a "sock in it”.

Gus lesson for today is "start some serious relationship with Russia and work your own way without the USA. Trump is giving you the push, like an adult bird is pushing a young one to learn how to fly. It’s nature 101… take the opportunity and don’t threaten anyone — especially Russia. Recognising Crimea as Russian and recognising the independence of East Ukraine would be a good start. 

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trump hates german sausage and french onions...

Although the trade tensions between the key allies, Washington and Brussels, seem to have calmed down since the US president put his plans to introduce new import taxes on European cars, his grudge against the bloc has not apparently died out.

US President Donald Trump has lashed out at the European Union, saying they “rip us off on trade, and we protect them with military”. POTUS rated the EU’s policies towards the US as worse than China’s while he was speaking to participants at the conservative Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit.

“European Union is worse to us on trade than China… You know, a lot of us come from the European Union.  We come from Europe — our grandparents, our great-grandparents.  So you think, ‘Oh, isn’t that nice?’  Except, they kill us — the European Union.  It was formed in order to beat us economically, and yet we protect them with NATO”, he lamented during his rant on several foreign and domestic issues.

Trump accused the EU of “not paying their bills” for the protection the US ensured, and boasted that he “got them to pay” $100 billion in contrast to his predecessors.

“They rip us off on trade.  They have trade barriers that make it impossible for certain groups, like farmers and others, to go in.  They rip us on trade, and then we protect them and they rip us on that too.  And they don’t pay their bills.  Other than that, it’s a wonderful deal”, he noted, saying his administration is “getting it straightened out”. 

He took particular aim at Germany, branding it “the biggest offender”, and slammed it for spending too little on defence and failing to meet NATO’s 2-percent-target while the US share is 4.3 percent. 

“Germany doesn’t want to pay. They’re supposed to pay 2 percent. They’re paying 1 percent. And I say, ‘You got to pay, Angela.  You got to pay, Angela.  Please pay, Angela’”, Trump recalled about his negotiations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The World Trade Organisation has also received its fair share of criticism from Trump, who said it has been “a horrible thing for us” and “built China”. 

Accusing other presidents of having done nothing, Trump insisted that China is not only now paying “billions and billions of dollars”, meaning the higher import tariffs but also “wants to make a deal badly”.


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only hubris in the veins...

The Climate Action Network (RAC), which federates several associations including WWF and Alternatiba, has announced that it renounced to take part in the G7 summit in Biarritz. It accuses the Elysee of "keeping [NGOs] away from the summit"

Emmanuel Macron will receive Friday representatives of the non-governmental sector, on the eve of the opening of the G7 in Biarritz, that many NGOs have decided to boycott, regretting to be left "out" from the summit.

The Elysee Palace said it "really regret" that thirty NGOs, gathered within the Climate Action Network (RAC), have announced their refusal to go to the summit that opens Saturday in the Basque city.

"The door remains open" and "our desire to fully involve non-governmental sectors remains whole," assured the presidency. It then announced that the press center, where the many expected journalists will work, would eventually be open to more NGOs as they demanded.

The RAC, which brings together 32 national and local associations, including Greenpeace, the LPO, Oxfam France and Secours Catholique, denounced the Elysée's decision to "limit the number of NGO accreditations" and "keep them 'away from the top'. "The government only deigns to grant a quota of 25 accreditations for NGOs, against nearly a hundred in previous years," says the RAC, which regrets "an attack on the freedom of expression of the non-governmental sector." The Elysee indicates that a space has been made available to NGOs in Biarritz.

The presidency also highlights the organization of a day of "dialogue" which is to be held Friday, from 10:00 to 18:00, at the Elysee where the meetings will follow one another to discuss gender equality, the fight against inequalities or climate protection, which are the main themes put forward by France for the G7. Emmanuel Macron will participate to "collect the recommendations" of these associative actors and "concretize the launch of a number of initiatives," said the Elysee.

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"G-7 members, see you in two days to talk about this emergency," said President of the Republic

President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday night that the ongoing fires in the Amazon were an "international crisis" and made an appointment to the G7 members to "talk about this emergency" at the summit in Biarritz this weekend.

"Our house burns, literally, the Amazon, the lung of our planet that produces 20% of our oxygen, is on fire, it's an international crisis, G7 members, see you in two days to talk about this emergency ", wrote the French head of state on Twitter, referring in particular to the sentence pronounced in 2002 by his predecessor Jacques Chirac: " Our house burns and we look elsewhere ".


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Translations by Jules Letambour.


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macron in the wrong fire....

Across social media, people are sharing images of fires raging through the Amazon rainforest accompanied by cries for immediate action from world leaders. Emmanuel Macron answered, but with a misleading, old photo.

An image shared by the French president’s Twitter account purports to show the wildfires currently incinerating vast swaths of the Amazon rainforest, dubbed by many as the’ lungs of the Earth’. Macron called on the G7 leaders to prioritize the Amazon fires at this weekend’s summit. 

However, as it turns out, the image Macron shared during his Twitter call-to-arms was taken in the Amazon by photographer Loren McIntyre, who was working for National Geographic at the time. However, McIntyre died at the age of 86 in May 2003, so the photograph is, at the very least, 16 years old.

Macron was quickly rebuked for his “sensationalist tone” by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who accused the French leader of trying “to take advantage of what is a domestic Brazilian issue and of other Amazonian countries for personal political gain.” 


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International pressure may be the only way to stop the Brazilian government from taking a “suicide” path in the Amazon, one of the country’s most respected scientists has said, as the world’s biggest rainforest continues to be ravaged by thousands of deliberate fires.

The large number of conflagrations – set illegally to clear and prepare land for crops, cattle and property speculation – has prompted the state of Amazonas to declare an emergency, created giant smoke clouds that have drifted hundreds of miles, and sparked international concerns about the destruction of an essential carbon sink.


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exacerbating inequality...

The Group of Seven, comprising some of the world’s richest nations, has pledged to fight global inequality but, often times does the opposite, only exacerbating the problem, international charity Oxfam told RT.

The leaders of the so-called G7 states – the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – are set to meet over the weekend in the French city of Biarritz on the Atlantic coast. The gathering’s host, President Emmanuel Macron, warned about the “crisis of inequality” plaguing the world.

However, the Group of Seven has in some cases made the problem worse, Jon Date, the head of government relations at Oxfam, a global poverty-fighting charity, told RT.

We found that actually, in a number of areas, the [G7] countries are fueling rather than reducing inequality.

The governments in these countries are “promoting a ‘shareholder first’ business model that does not suit the needs of workers and many people in developing countries on a low income,” Date said. The G7 leaders also exacerbate the situation by failing to adopt a wealth tax and tackle climate change, he noted.


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As leaders of countries that control 40 percent of the world’s GDP gather at a French resort to discuss economic inequality and other issues they consider pressing, the rest of the world wonders if the G7 still has a purpose.

Much has changed since the first meeting of six industrialized countries, back in 1975, convened to address the oil crisis and financial turmoil of the time. The Franco-German initiative brought on board the US, UK, Japan and Italy. Canada joined in 1976, and Russia in 1998 (only to be suspended in 2014).

 The seven countries involved account for ten percent of the world’s population, but 40 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Not only is the wealth gap between the G7 and the rest of humanity vast, but the chasm between the rich and the poor in those countries is the greatest it has been in over half a century. Yet “inequality” is one of the top issues on the agenda of this year’s summit in Biarritz, France.



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all is best in the bestest of the moribund world....

As leaders of the world’s seven most developed countries descended on Biarritz for their annual summit, there was more disagreement than harmony among the group, and more petty squabbling than in a soap opera.

Trade tension, environmental anxiety, tech taxes and Brexit woes have cast a shadow over the meeting in France so that  European Council President Donald Tusk predicted a “difficult test of unity and solidarity.”

French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump jabbed at each other even before the American touched down on French soil. Macron urged world leaders to follow France’s example and impose a digital tax on Silicon Valley tech companies, which he said on Wednesday “are not contributing to the common good.” Trump took offense, and threatened on Friday to tax “their wine like they’ve never seen before” in response.

Nevertheless, both leaders appeared all smiles after a lunch on Saturday. Trump brushed off their earlier spat, saying “every once in a while we go at it a little bit.” Still, the joviality is unlikely to soften Trump up to accepting Macron’s plan to save the Iran nuclear deal that would involve negotiating with the Islamic Republic and allowing it to sell its oil.

Trump and Macron’s beef was not the only fictitious trade issue on display, with the US president arriving in France shortly after announcing an additional five percent tariff on $550 billion worth of Chinese imports and “ordering” American companies to leave China. The other G7 leaders have long opposed Trump’s mercantilism, and the addition of new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not change the balance.

Johnson promised to lecture Trump on his trade dispute with Beijing, which he said could potentially cause a “downturn in the global economy.” Nevertheless, Johnson will have to tread carefully, as the UK will soon be seeking a trade deal of its own with the US, should Brexit proceed as planned on October 31.

Johnson also slammed Macron for his own trade tiff with Brazil. Accusing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of lying about his efforts to tackle climate change, Macron promised to place the burning Amazon rainforest at the top of his agenda for the weekend, and threatened to veto a trade deal between the EU and the Mercosur bloc that includes several South American countries.

With the deal 20 years in the making, Johnson told reporters on Saturday that “There are all sorts of people who will take any excuse at all to interfere with trade and to frustrate trade deals and I don’t want to see that.” The previous evening, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that blocking the deal - which would also affect Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay - was “not the appropriate answer.”

On Brexit, Johnson was the subject of snide remarks from Donald Tusk, who said he hoped “Prime Minister Johnson will not like to go down in history as ‘Mr. no-deal,’” should the UK exit the union without any sort of trade agreement, as the British leader has said he would be willing to do. In a kind of ‘I know you are but what am I?’ response Johnson quipped that “if Donald Tusk does not want to go down as ‘Mr No Deal’ Brexit then that point should be borne in mind too.”

Last year’s summit in Canada ended in disarray, as President Trump withdrew his signature from the joint communique traditionally issued by the leaders at the end of the weekend. Macron’s decision to forego the communique this year speaks to the discord within the group. Which of course begs the question: if the world’s seven most advanced democracies cannot agree on such a bland and perfunctory statement, then why go through the process at all?



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for trump, the survival of the planet is a "niche" agenda...

Squabbles have erupted among G7 nations as leaders gathered for an annual summit, exposing sharp differences on global trade, Britain's exit from the EU and how to respond to the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

Key points
  • Emmanuel Macron sets agenda for G7 on defending democracy, gender equality, education and the environment
  • But European Council President says it is getting "increasingly" hard to find common ground
  • Police use water cannons, tear gas to disperse protesters as G7 tackles divide on approach to Amazon fires


French President Emmanuel Macron, the summit host, planned the three-day meeting in the Atlantic seaside resort of Biarritz as a chance to unite a group of wealthy countries that have struggled in recent years to speak with one voice.

Mr Macron set an agenda for the group — France, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — that included the defence of democracy, gender equality, education and the environment. He invited Asian, African and Latin American leaders to join them for a global push on these issues.

But two US officials said President Donald Trump's delegation was irked that Mr Macron had skewed the focus of the meeting to "niche issues" at the expense of the global economy, which many leaders worry is slowing sharply and at risk of slipping into recession.

In a bleak assessment of relations between once-close allies, European Council President Donald Tusk said it was getting "increasingly" hard to find common ground.

"This is another G7 summit which will be a difficult test of unity and solidarity of the free world and its leaders," he told reporters ahead of the meeting.


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déjeuner sur le pouce...

US President Donald Trump's friendship with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron proved to be indeed special after the two heads of state held an impromptu lunch ahead of the G7 summit in Biarritz, France this week. Not everyone in the US administration was, however, happy about Macron's déjeuner invitation, multiple reports suggest.

Senior aides to Donald Trump have privately accused the G7 summit host and French president, Emmanuel Macron, of trying to antagonise the United States and isolate POTUS by focusing on "niche issues", such as climate change, The New York Times reported.

Just hours after slamming the French president for "foolishness" over a decision to impose taxes on US digital companies operating in France and warning of tariffs on French wine imports, Trump lavished praise on what he called a "very good relationship" with Macron.

The two presidents met for a last-minute lunch ahead of the summit, held in the French city of Biarritz on 24-26 August, on an oceanfront terrace at the Hotel du Palais that White House aides reportedly didn't have any idea about - something which allegedly sparked controversy among Trump's entourage.

The New York Times reported that senior administration officials were convinced that Macron sought to "play his domestic audience" by pushing for climate change, income and gender equality, amid continued Yellow Vests protests in the country. The American side purportedly expected France to focus more on national security and a potential recession.

According to the NYT, some of Trump's aides have voiced concerns that Trump was "hurting" the economy and was doing "lasting damage to his own prospects for re-election".


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"Déjeuner sur le pouce?" Jules Letambour says it means : "Lunch on the hop"... 


return to sicko-fascism...

The coronavirus pandemic can only be considered beaten once everyone in the world has been immunized against Covid-19, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after she'd met with the G7 leaders at a virtual summit on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Merkel said she had stressed in her remarks to the group that the "pandemic is not over until all people in the world have been vaccinated," adding: "Everyone must participate."

"The [coronavirus] pandemic in particular has shown how much we are diverging from one another, worldwide."

On Friday the head of the EU's executive body, Ursula von der Leyen, said that the bloc would put up €100 million ($121 million) to fund the Covid-19 vaccine rollout in Africa.

The Commission president said the EU would be helping to "ramp up" manufacturing capacity across the continent under vaccine-licensing agreements, as well as buying equipment and training staff.

The 27-nation bloc has also said it will double its contributions to the vaccine-sharing Covax facility, to a billion euro.

Germany, meanwhile, will contribute €1.5 billion to global efforts against the pandemic, and the G7 as a whole will contribute €10.3 billion, some of which will go towards Covax.

Covax is the World Health Organization (WHO)-backed initiative to try and ensure equitable access to a vaccine between the world's more developed economies and poorer nations.


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And then came Covid-22, the Bubonic plague, the Opportunistic-flu-23, the Avian/Pig/Human-Combo-25, the flesh-eating-E-bola-27, AnthraxLab-whenever, G-7-sickodisease, etc...


The horse has bolted, but we're still inside the barn fiddling with the straws...

the new old greed...


By Colin Todhunter


Sold under the pretence of a quest for optimising well-being and ‘happiness’, capitalism thrives on the exploitation of peoples and the environment. What really matters is the strive to maintain viable profit margins.

The prevailing economic system demands ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption and needs a certain level of annual GDP growth for large firms to make sufficient profit.

But at some point, markets become saturated, demand rates fall and overproduction and overaccumulation of capital becomes a problem. In response, we have seen credit markets expand and personal debt increase to maintain consumer demand as workers’ wages have been squeezed, financial and real estate speculation rise (new investment markets), stock buybacks and massive bailouts and subsidies (public money to maintain the viability of private capital) and an expansion of militarism (a major driving force for many sectors of the economy).

We have also witnessed systems of production abroad being displaced for global corporations to then capture and expand markets in foreign countries.


Much of what is outlined above is inherent to capitalism. But the 1980s was a crucial period that helped set the framework for where we find ourselves today.

Remember when the cult of the individual was centre stage? It formed part of the Reagan-Thatcher rhetoric of the ‘new normal’ of 1980s neoliberalism.

In the UK, the running down of welfare provision was justified by government-media rhetoric about “individual responsibility”, reducing the role of the state and the need to “stand on your own two feet”. The selling off of public assets to profiteering corporations was sold to the masses on the basis of market efficiency and ‘freedom of choice’.

The state provision of welfare, education, health services and the role of the public sector was relentlessly undermined by neoliberal dogma and the creed that the market (global corporations) constituted the best method for supplying human needs.

Thatcher’s stated mission was to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit by rolling back the ‘nanny state’. She wasted little time in crushing the power of the trade unions and privatising key state assets.

Despite her rhetoric, she did not actually reduce the role of the state. She used its machinery differently, on behalf of business. Neither did she unleash the ‘spirit of entrepreneurialism’. Economic growth rates under her were similar as in the 1970s, but a concentration of ownership occurred and levels of inequality rocketed.

Margaret Thatcher was well trained in perception management, manipulating certain strands of latent populist sentiment and prejudice. Her free market, anti-big-government platitudes were passed off to a section of the public that was all too eager to embrace them as a proxy for remedying all that was wrong with Britain. For many, what were once regarded as the extreme social and economic policies of the right became entrenched as the common sense of the age.

Thatcher’s policies destroyed a fifth of Britain’s industrial base in just two years alone. The service sector, finance and banking were heralded as the new drivers of the economy, as much of Britain’s manufacturing sector was out-sourced to cheap labour economies.

Under Thatcher, employees’ share of national income was slashed from 65% to 53%. Long gone are many of the relatively well-paid manufacturing jobs that helped build and sustain the economy. In their place, the country has witnessed the imposition of a low taxation regime and low-paid and insecure ‘service sector’ jobs (no-contract work, macjobs, call centre jobs – many of which soon went abroad) as well as a real estate bubble, credit card debt and student debt, which helped to keep the economy afloat.

However, ultimately, what Thatcher did was – despite her rhetoric of helping small-scale businesses and wrapping herself in the national flag – facilitate the globalisation process by opening the British economy to international capital flows and allowing free rein for global finance and transnational corporations.

Referring back to the beginning of this article, it is clear whose happiness and well-being counts most and whose does not matter at all as detailed by David Rothkopf in his 2008 book Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making.

Members of the superclass belong to the megacorporation – interlocked, policy-building elites of the world and come from the highest echelons of finance, industry, the military, government and other shadow elites. These are the people whose interests Margaret Thatcher was serving.

These people set the agendas at the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg, G-7, G-20, NATO, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.

And let us not forget the various key think tanks and policy-making arenas like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institute and Chatham House as well as the World Economic Forum (WEF), where sections of the global elite forge policies and strategies and pass them to their political handmaidens.

Driven by the vision of its influential executive chairman Klaus Schwab, the WEF is a major driving force for the dystopian ‘great reset’, a tectonic shift that intends to change how we live, work and interact with each other.


The great reset envisages a transformation of capitalism, resulting in permanent restrictions on fundamental liberties and mass surveillance as livelihoods and entire sectors are sacrificed to boost the monopoly and hegemony of pharmaceutical corporations, high-tech/big data giants, Amazon, Google, major global chains, the digital payments sector, biotech concerns, etc.

Under the cover of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, the great reset is being rolled out under the guise of a ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ in which smaller enterprises are to be driven to bankruptcy or bought up by monopolies. Economies are being ‘restructured’ and many jobs and roles will be carried out by AI-driven technology.

The WEF says the public will ‘rent’ everything they require: stripping the right of ownership under the guise of a ‘green economy’ underpinned by the rhetoric of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘climate emergency’.

At the same time new (‘green product’) markets are being created and, on the back of COVID, fresh opportunities for profit extraction are opening up abroad. 

For instance, World Bank Group President David Malpass has stated that poorer countries will be ‘helped’ to get back on their feet after the various lockdowns that have been implemented in response to the Covid-19 crisis. This ‘help’ will be on condition that neoliberal reforms and the undermining of public services are implemented and become further embedded.

Just a month into the COVID crisis, the IMF and World Bank were already facing a deluge of aid requests from developing countries. Scores of countries were asking for bailouts and loans. Ideal cover for rebooting the global economy via a debt crisis and the subsequent privatisation of national assets and the further ‘structural adjustment’ of economies.

Many people waste no time in referring to this as some kind of ‘Marxist’ or ‘communist’ takeover of the planet because a tiny elite will be dictating policies. This has nothing to do with Marxism. An authoritarian capitalist elite – supported by their political technocrats – aims to secure even greater control of the global economy. It will no longer be a (loosely labelled) ‘capitalism’ based on ‘free’ markets and competition (not that those concepts ever really withstood proper scrutiny). 

Economies will be monopolised by global players, not least e-commerce platforms run by the likes of Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, Google and their multi-billionaire owners.

Essential (for capitalism) new markets will also be created through the ‘financialisation’ and ownership of all aspects of nature, which is to be colonised, commodified and traded under the fraudulent notion of protecting the environment.

The so-called ‘green economy’ will fit in with the notion of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘climate emergency’. A bunch of billionaires and their platforms will control every aspect of the value chain. Of course, they themselves will not reduce their own consumption or get rid of their personal jets, expensive vehicles, numerous exclusive homes or ditch their resource gobbling lifestyles. Reduced consumption is meant only for the masses.

They will not only control and own data about consumption but also control and own data on production, logistics, who needs what, when they need it, who should produce it, who should move it and when it should be moved. Independent enterprises will disappear or become incorporated into the platforms acting as subservient cogs. Elected representatives will be mere technocratic overseers of these platforms and the artificial intelligence tools that plan and determine all of the above.

The lockdowns and restrictions we have seen since March 2020 have helped boost the bottom line of global chains and the e-commerce giants and have cemented their dominance. Many small and medium-size independent enterprises have been pushed towards bankruptcy. At the same time, fundamental rights have been eradicated under COVID19 government measures.

Politicians in countries throughout the world have been using the rhetoric of the WEF’s great reset, talking of the need to ‘build back better’ for the ‘new normal’. They are all on point. Hardly a coincidence. Essential to this ‘new normal’ is the compulsion to remove individual liberties and personal freedoms given that, in the ‘green new normal’, unfettered consumption will no longer be an option for the bulk of the population.

It has long been the case that a significant part of the working class has been deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ – three decades ago, such people were sacrificed on the altar of neo-liberalism. They lost their jobs due to automation and offshoring. They have had to rely on meagre state welfare and run-down public services.

But what we are now seeing is the possibility of hundreds of millions around the world being robbed of their livelihoods. Forget about the benign-sounding ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and its promised techno-utopia. What we are witnessing right now seems to be a major restructuring of capitalist economies.

With AI and advanced automation of production, distribution and service provision (3D printing/manufacturing, drone technology, driverless vehicles, lab grown food, farmerless farms, robotics, etc), a mass labour force – and therefore mass education, mass welfare, mass healthcare provision and entire systems that were in place to reproduce labour for capitalist economic activity – will no longer be required. As economic activity is restructured, labour’s relationship to capital is being transformed.

In a reorganised system that no longer needs to sell the virtues of excessive individualism (consumerism), the levels of political and civil rights and freedoms we have been used to will not be tolerated.

Neoliberalism might have reached its logical conclusion (for now). Making trade unions toothless, beating down wages to create unimaginable levels of inequality and (via the dismantling of Bretton Woods) affording private capital so much freedom to secure profit and political clout under the guise of ‘globalisation’ would inevitably lead to one outcome.

A concentration of wealth, power, ownership and control at the top with large sections of the population on state-controlled universal basic income and everyone subjected to the discipline of an emerging biosecurity surveillance state designed to curtail liberties ranging from freedom of movement and assembly to political protest and free speech.

Perception management is of course vital for pushing through all of this. Rhetoric about ‘liberty’ and ‘individual responsibility’ worked a treat in the 1980s to help bring about a massive heist of wealth. This time, it is a public health scare and ‘collective responsibility’ as part of a strategy to help move towards near-monopolistic control over economies by a handful of global players.

And the perception of freedom is also being managed. Once vaccinated many will begin to feel free. Freer than under lockdown. But not really free at all.



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the greed new deal...


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