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Firing on Protesters: Will Macron’s New Tactics Against the Yellow Vests Make Simmering Pot Boil Over? 

Genevieve Legay | Yellow Vest

Firing on Protesters: Will Macron’s New Tactics Against the Yellow Vests Make Simmering Pot Boil Over? 

France stands at a crossroads, with the Macron government attempting to drag the country in a new direction and a disunited and leaderless movement attempting to reverse this change. The outcome of this battle will shape the course of Western Europe’s largest country for decades to come.

NICE, FRANCE — A 73-year-old activist is the latest casualty of French President Emmanuel Macron’s crackdown on the Gilets Jaunes protest movement. Geneviève Legay of the anti-globalization group Attac had her skull fractured by police in Nice as they charged at her during the nineteenth consecutive week of protests against the president’s unpopular austerity and tax policies. The feminist campaigner and grandmother was carrying a rainbow flag marked “peace” as she was attacked, in what her family calls “willful violence” in an official complaint.

The embattled president went after Legay, currently in serious condition in the hospital, lecturing her on her “irresponsibility” for being in a “prohibited” area, claiming that, “when one is fragile and risks being shoved, one does not go to places that are declared off-limits and one does not put oneself in that kind of situation,” adding that he wished her “a speedy recovery…and perhaps a kind of wisdom.”

Macron’s comments have been received by many as a calculated addition of insult to injury. Leftist presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon claimed Legay did not need his lessons in wisdom while Nicolas Dupont-Aignan of the right-wing Stand Up France group derided Macron’s “arrogance” and “inhumanity.”

The origins of the Gilet Jaunes

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Icebergs and bankers

Icebergs and bankers 

On Saturday March 16, tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of Paris demanding action on climate change.  At the same time and not far away, a group of gilets jaunes protestors were demonstrating, sometimes violently, against the economic policies of President Macron—one of which increased the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. This was intended to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from the transport sector and help France meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement.  

Something is wrong here.  Both groups of protesters agree that climate change is a problem that needs to be urgently tackled, but they disagree vehemently about how this should be done. 

Pricing carbon is a delicate instrument that needs to be wielded with care. Either Macron doesn’t understand this or doesn’t care. Either way his policies to reduce carbon emissions are incredibly cack-handed.

Increasing taxes that push up the price of gasoline and diesel fuel is likely to be unpopular almost everywhere that people drive vehicles, and where agricultural produce and goods are delivered by road.  Which is to say just about everywhere in North America and Europe.

There is only one way to sweeten this bitter pill and that is to make carbon pricing revenue neutral. Households are compensated for the additional costs they will incur paying for fuel, and receive a modest annual payment–ideally in advance. 

End of the month, end of world. Same people responsable, same fight

In some places, communities will swallow this pill and grin and bear it.  But this requires a widespread understanding of the urgency of climate action and a willingness to pay the price of being a polluter–which in fact is what all of us who operate a gasoline or diesel vehicle actually are.  But in many jurisdictions, and obviously in France, an increase in the price of fuel is going to be met with strong resistance.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

10 reasons the Gilets Jaunes are the real deal

10 reasons the Gilets Jaunes are the real deal

Image soiurce here.

We live in a world where democracy is a threat and freedom is a punishment, where you can’t tell a turd from a diamond, where 5G is trumpeted even as it threatens to kill us, where the prevailing ethos is buyer-beware and where anyone against warmongering and eternal war is smeared and painted as a monster.

Who do you believe? All the things you felt certain about Democracy, liberty, the right to free speech, television news, all these things are not only being undermined, in reality, they are being thrown in your face. Democracy in the Nazi-controlled Ukraine, moderate jihadi rebels, no democracy in Russia or Venezuela, despite the fingerprint tests on voters and the voting booth cameras, and this voice saying they’re fair elections and a dozen saying what about France isn’t that democracy and twenty other voices say they’re not and right-wing groups going off in the streets and chemicals in your food and forgetting to turn your wi-fi laden house on before you rush to another meeting or charge your phone, and, and…well…I got lost just writing it.

Keeping you busy, that’s what Neo-Liberalist empire does, and amidst it all, you’re meant to be an active citizen stuffed with social capital, capable of an opinion on any topic at the drop of the hat.

Ontological security, everybody needs it, but right now it’s in short supply especially in big metropolitan cities. No wonder people are confused and afraid, walking backwards into the future, stuck knee-deep in mud dreaming that somehow, through some miracle, everything will, “Please!”, return to normal.

So amidst this Tower of Babble, let’s resolve one conundrum for you.

Here are ten reasons the Gilets Jaunes (unlike US sponsored colour revolutions) are the real deal, by which I mean the direct expression of the people of France.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Survival Guide For 2019

A Survival Guide For 2019

How to safely navigate the ‘Year Of Instability’ 

As the first month of the year concludes, it’s becoming clear that 2019 will be a very different kind of year.

The near-decade of ‘recovery’ following the Great Financial Crisis enjoyed a stability and tranquility that suddenly evaporated at the end of 2018.

Here in 2019, instability reigns.

The world’s central banks are absolutely panicking. After last year’s bursting of the Everything Bubble, their coordinated plans for Quantitative Tightening have been summarily thrown out the window. Suddenly, no chairman can prove himself too dovish.

Jerome Powell, the supposed hardliner among them, completely capitulated in the wake of the recent -15% tantrum in stocks, which, as Sven Henrich colorfully quipped, proved what we suspected all along:

The global tsunami of liquidity (i.e. thin-air money printing) released by the central banking cartel has been the defining trend of the past decade. It has driven, directly or indirectly, more world events than any other factor.

And one of its more notorious legacies is the massive disparity and wealth and income resulting from its favoring of the top 0.1% over everyone else. The mega-rich have seen their assets skyrocket in value, while the masses have been mercilessly squeezed between similarly rising costs of living and stagnant wages.

How have the tone-deaf politicians responded? With tax breaks for their Establishment masters and new taxes imposed on the public. As a result, populist ire is catching fire in an accelerating number of countries, which the authorities are anxious to suppress by all means to prevent it from conflagrating further — most visibly demonstrated right now by the French government’s increasingly jack-booted attempts to quash the Yellow Vest protests:

Meanwhile, two other principal drivers of the past decade’s ‘prosperity’ are also suddenly in jeopardy.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Venezuelan Coup and Gilets Jaunes: Great-Power Politics In a Multipolar World Order

The Venezuelan Coup and Gilets Jaunes: Great-Power Politics In a Multipolar World Order

The Venezuelan Coup and Gilets Jaunes: Great-Power Politics In a Multipolar World Order

The protests seen in France and the interference in the domestic politics of Venezuela highlight Western double standards, which stand in contrast to the respect for international law maintained by China, India and Russia. 

In France on November 17, 2018, hundreds of thousands of citizens, angered by the diminishing quality of their lives, the social iniquity in the country, and the widening gap between rich and poor, took to the streets in protest. The protests can easily be encapsulated in the following slogan: “We the people against you the elite.” 

This slogan has been a recurring theme throughout the West over the last three years, shaking up the British establishment with the pro-Brexit vote, discombobulating the United States with Trump’s victory, overturning Italy with the Lega/Five-Star government, and bringing Merkel’s star crashing down in Germany. Now it is the turn of Macron and France, one of the least popular leaders in the world, leading his country into chaos, with peaceful protests drawing a bloody response from the authorities following ten weeks of unceasing demonstrations. 

In Venezuela, Western elites would like us to believe that the situation is worse than in France in terms of public order, but that is simply a lie. It is a media creation based on misinformation and censorship. In Europe, the mainstream media has stopped showing images of the protests in France, as if to smother information about it, preferring to portray an image of France that belies the chaos in which it has been immersed for every weekend over the last few months. 

In Caracas, the right-wing, pro-American and anti-Communist opposition continues the same campaign based on lies and violence as it has customarily conducted following its electoral defeats at the hands of the Bolivarian revolution.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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