Aug 272015
 August 27, 2015  Posted by at 1:34 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Dorothea Lange Arkansas flood refugee family near Memphis, Texas 1937

This is a story I’ve been wanting to write for a while now, at least two full weeks, but haven’t gotten around to because I have my dying mother to attend to. Something I can to an extent approach from a rational point of view, because she has expressed her explicit will to die. But it will of course never be easy, if only because I’ve been close to her all my life even in the 20-odd years I lived thousands of miles away. It’s a thing of the heart.

And so must be, at some moment or another, my dealing with what she goes through, and what I will go through when she finally gets her wish. A wish I would have thought would be reasonably easy to fulfill in a country as supposedly advanced as Holland, but that’s not true. People have to suffer more, long after they’ve signaled they’ve had enough, just to satisfy someone or another’s idea of ethics who has little to no involvement in the situation. Unless they’ve been through endless series of conversations with total strangers who will then decide when it’s time.

The person herself doesn’t have the right to make that decision. Now that I’m witnessing the process in progress, I would recommend everyone buy that pill or that gun well in advance, lest they get subjected to the same kind of self-serving morality nonsense themselves. We may not have the legal right to decide about our own lives, but what law is going to stop us from taking that decision regardless? The craziest expression of this mindless attitude is probably that in countless nations and cultures, suicide is still a punishable offence. My mother is not the suicidal kind; she just wants dignity, and is denied it.

But that’s not the story I wanted to write.

The way I write is that I sit down and let fly, most often inspired by things I’ve read recently. I make some notes, site down and often don’t use even half of those notes. In this case, I’ve taken lots of notes through the weeks, and now don’t know where to start anymore, let alone finish. Nicole (Foss) is a whole different writer: she can do the notes thing, and work on an article, which often turns out to be quite lengthy, for days if not weeks. I guess I just don’t have that kind of attention span. But you know, because we’re so different we work so well together. Because our styles may vary greatly, but we still have the same views, we just express them in different ways.

But that’s not the story I wanted to write either.

I want to say something about the issue of the refugees -never ever again migrants- that are swamping Europe. So much has been said about them, and so much has happened since I made my first notes, but not a soul has put their finger on the sore spot, and the real story. At least not that I’ve seen.

That real story is the painfully woefully inadequate -and I’m being painfully polite here- failure of Brussels and Berlin and Paris in responding to what’s been unfolding. And don’t get me started about London; there’s nothing coming from Britain these days that’s even worth talking about. When you dare talk about a ‘swarm of migrants’, you’re no longer part of the conversation.

And it’s not as if what Europe has perpetrated upon the Greek economy, and the Greek people who depend on it, isn’t enough. It is more than enough. Only, nobody seems to be willing to understand this, to let it sink in to its fullest. But that’s still kind of alright; financial policies are not the EUs biggest failure.

Even if even Varoufakis insists on being part of the EU -albeit a reformed one-. You can’t reform the EU. It’s allergic to any reform that would take even just a few of its powers away. That is embedded in its model. Varoufakis doesn’t sufficiently get this: you can’t any longer just change a few puppets in Brussels. Its alleged democracy is no longer anything but thin and peeling veneer.

It’s like the old Groucho joke, that he wouldn’t want to be part on any club that would have him as a member. It’s exactly that, actually. If you want to survive in Europe, let alone with dignity and values, it cannot be done inside the EU. And the refugee crisis tells us why, even more than the Greek crisis has.

What Brussels lacks most of all is morals, decency and compassion. It is a bureaucracy that has no human values. And this is expressed, in a painful and deadly way, not only in the streets of Athens, though it’s plenty glaringly clear there too, but even more in how the so-called Union “deals with” (that is, it doesn’t) the Mediterranean refugee issue.

We can take a philosophical approach to this, which can be interesting, though it doesn’t change a thing. We can for instance theorize about how a country, a society, a culture, that is hundreds or thousands of years old, and has gone through numerous natural and man-made disasters in its history, like so many in Europe, will have a response formulated for the next batch of mayhem, and on how to deal with those who are the victims of said mayhem.

That is what we see in how Italy and Greece have been trying to deal with the flood of refugees sailing off from Lybia and Turkey towards their shores. Both countries – or at least substantial segments of them – have gone out of their way to save refugees. Then late last year the EU -ostensibly- took over. But the EU has done next to nothing. It has paid lip service only. Which has cost thousands of human lives this year alone. And still nothing happens.

Now, now, some of them are waking up. The EU agency that is supposed to deal with it, Frontex, has announced it’s going to step up efforts to halt refugees from entering Europe. Just like it did when it took over from Italy and Greece, and the main idea was to send in the military to blow up the boats of the ugly and evil people smugglers.

Hungary is building a wall. Macedonia fired tear gas and stun grenades. The Czechs have said they’re going to send in the army. Police dogs and batons have become a common sight wherever the refugees are. Who are forced to walk a thousand miles or more, children and women and everyone. It’s a picture of disgrace. And the disgrace belongs to all of us.

EC head Juncker, after breaking a months long silence on the topic, declared this week that there’s no need for an Immigration Summit. All EU countries need to do is comply with existing regulations. Which, if I may remind you, were ‘agreed’ upon in a time when there was no such thing as the present influx of people.

What Europe should do, or rather should have done, because I guarantee you it’s too late now, is send as many people as needed to make sure people would stop drowning. To make sure the media would stop using the term ‘migrants’. To show Europe cares, and it alleged leaders first of all. To make sure there would be space and provisions for all who undertook the perilous journey, women, children, men, every single one.

Europe instead has only tried to ignore the issue, hoping it would go away by itself. This has cost at least 17,000 lives so far. And they know it. Here is a picture of a 100-meter list of 17,306 migrants who have died attempting to reach Europe, a list which was recently unveiled at the EU Parliament:

They know, and they’ve known for a long time. But still the UN said this week that Greece should do more. Greece? And Juncker says a summit is not needed. Juncker is supposed to be one of the main leaders of Europe. If we didn’t already know before, we now know for sure he’s no leader. Merkel? Haven’t seen her until this week when she said the situation is unworthy of Europe. But if anything, it’s unworthy of Merkel. She’s supposed to be a leader in Europe, and she’s very obviously not.

There’s a huge amount of people in Brussels and various European capitals who are posing as ‘leaders’, and all of them have fallen way short. All of them, Merkel, first, need to shut up and act now. Not tell other nations, or her own co-Germans, that they should be ashamed. Merkel should be ashamed of herself first. And we know that there are elections coming up, but we’re talking about human lives here, for sweet Jesus’s sake. What’s wrong with you, Angela, and all those like you? What part of you guys is even human anymore? Is only your ego left?

The EU, unlike Greece and Italy, has no history, no society, and above all no culture. The way it reacts to the refugee issue tells its entire empty story. All of it. Brussels doesn’t do anything at all in the face of thousands of people drowning. It waits for Greece to deal with the problem, which is obviously far too great for the Greeks to solve by themselves. And besides, the EU a year ago insisted on taking over rescue operations from Rome and Athens. This has brought about a strange and eery and deadly kind of Mexican stand-off.

The EU has already failed, dramatically and irreparably, in this regard. The only help refugees get is from Italy, Greece and private parties. It’s so bad that if Greece would take “full care” of the refugees entering the country -and that’s assuming it could-, there’d be even much less hope of Brussels ever lifting a finger.

In this fashion, the EU doesn’t just leave the refugees to their fate, it uses them as bait, as hostages, in its fight over financial and political power with Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza government. And though of course multiple voices try to lay the blame on Tsipras, that’s not where it belongs. Even if he could, he couldn’t. The only solution is for Greece to get out of the EU(ro) and restore dignity and humanity within its own borders.

For make no mistake, if you elect to remain part of the EU, and you let Juncker and Merkel speak in your name, then the blood of all those needlessly lost lives is also on your hands. That goes for every European citizen as much as it goes for the hapless heartless leaders they have elected.

For one thing, I can’t for the life of me understand why there are not thousands of young Dutch and German and British and French people, organized and all, in Athens, and on the Greek islands. While there are plenty of them there to get a bloody suntan on their “well-deserved vacation” while people are perishing within eyesight, and complain about their holidays being spoiled. Not all of them, I know, but c’mon, get a life! There are people dying every single day, and just because your so-called leaders let them drown doesn’t mean you should too.

Do you even know what “a life” is anymore, either yours or that of someone else? Have you ever known? A life means caring about other people. A life is not trying to make sure your own ass can sit as pretty as it can.

As for finding a solution to the refugee issue, Europe has done nothing to find one. The EU still wants the problem to just go away, and it wants the refugees to just go away. But it won’t and they won’t.

Yes, we have a mass migration on our hands. And these are invariably hard to deal with. But our first priority should always be to approach the people involved with decency and compassion. And that is not happening. We are approaching them with the opposite of decency. With stun grenades and police dogs. And with misleading terminology such as ‘migrants’.

The EU doesn’t seem to have any idea what’s causing the wave of refugees entering ‘its’ territory. When the refugees themselves state “we’re here because you destroyed our countries”, Brussels will simply say that is not true. That kind of admission is way beyond the consciousness of the ‘leadership’. But it’s a denial that won’t get them anywhere.

Meanwhile, this issue, like so many others, is being used as a reason to plea for more EU:

Summer Crisis Tests Europe’s New Nationalisms

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU home affairs commissioner, argued last week [that] the very reach of the migration crisis shows the limits of national solutions. That, he said, puts pressure on governments to agree in Brussels to collective measures – even, he stressed, when they are not popular.

It’s an empty hollow plea. Why agree to give up more sovereignty if Brussels only uses its growing powers to do nothing? Europeans who give in to this kind of thing give up much more than sovereignty; they give up their decency and human values too.

The refugee issue can and will not be solved by the EU, or inside the EU apparatus, at least not in the way it should. Nor will the debt issue for which Greece was merely an ‘early contestant’. The EU structure does not allow for it. Nor does it allow for meaningful change to that structure. It would be good if people start to realize that, before the unholy Union brings more disgrace and misery and death upon its own citizens and on others.

However this is resolved and wherever the refugees end up living, we, all of us, have the obligation to treat them with decency and human kindness in the meantime. We are not.

Home Forums Refugees Expose Europe’s Lack Of Decency

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    Dorothea Lange Arkansas flood refugee family near Memphis, Texas 1937 This is a story I’ve been wanting to write for a while now, at least two full we
    [See the full post at: Refugees Expose Europe’s Lack Of Decency]


    Hard to read, not because of the writing, but because of the content.

    I see dark, very black, times ahead as ever more countries build fences, walls, moats and whatever they believe can stop the inevitable migration from nations depleted by seemingly endless years of western capitalism. Here, in the US, we have “the Donald” leading the way, totally misunderstanding the nature of the influx of “illegals.” He believes that we can keep them out with a fence, and yet with nothing left to return to, all of their resources and capital having been stolen by banksters and assorted capitalists’ imposition of “shock” to their homelands, these refugees will go over, under, around, and eventually through the fences and walls. In the meantime, there will be carnage and death as people who only care about the life of unborn fetuses demonstrate that it is, indeed, only the corporation that is important.

    How apt that the party of capital should find itself headed by Trump.

    risa bear

    I agree with Zap.

    If I were Europe, which I am not, I would look to the CCC model (which helped save my dad’s sharecropper family in the 1930s) and invite all able-bodied and willing refugees to work on infrastructure projects and the like, as well as to form crews to train as first responders and aid workers for typhoons, earthquakes, eruptions, wildfires, floods, pandemics and tsunamis. With a guarantee of care for their families who are integrating into a new society in the meanwhile.

    Imagine crawling out of the wreckage of your flattened village in the Philippines and meeting someone in an orange vest, who says, in effect “Hi, I’m here to clean up and hand you food and water, and I’m originally from Syria, so I Know What You Are Going Through.”

    I’d also be looking into teaching and enabling the Worker-owned Cooperative model, and be thinking about all those abandoned villages in Spain.

    But, I’m not Europe, am I?


    Where is that “refugee” travel agency when you need it?
    Most of the refugees have a destination in their travel plans.
    I don’t think that its the same as your all-inclusive vacation package.


    First, a heartfelt essay. You use “Migrants” at the point where the photo of 17,000 victims is displayed; I’m sure you meant to use “refugees.” You do not mention the USA as the biggest political cause of these desperate refugees. As an American, I’m shocked and shamed by the consequences of my nation’s actions around the globe.


    danb, that was the text that came with the picture.

    Various EU countries are as guilty as the US of what goes on. if only for blindly following.

    We suffer from institutions that ‘govern’ too many people in too large areas. EU, US, IMF, NATO, you name ’em. The kind of power in these institutions draws in the exact wrong kind of people.

    It’s the supranational disease, or the globalization one. The US is kind of supranational too. Too big for democracy to function.


    Ilargi; I’m so sorry about your mother’s situation.

    I’ve been through it with both my parents. My mother’s death was not so bad; there was time for the family to come, and they were prescribing enough morphine for the pain. I actually decreased her morphine, so she was no longer hallucinating, and she could recognize us; that worked well.

    My father was a very different story; and it might possibly be of use in your mother’s case. At the age of 92, he found himself rather permanently hospitalized, with the knowledge all around that there really was nothing more the doctors could do for him.

    His mental function was still solid, however, and he in essence pulled his own plug. He announced to nurses, doctors, and family that as of now, he was refusing all medication, oxygen support; anything. The nurses and doctors are not likely to resort to force to get medication down; and they didn’t want to; they understood. In less than a day, he was gone.

    If there’s anything there your mother could use, I’ll be glad.

    One tactic I found useful in my mother’s case – give orders exactly like you are a senior doctor. They’ll jump to do whatever you direct – and only after ask “who authorized this?” I was shameless; there is no defense against the fait accompli- nurses and orderlies shake their heads and go to the next emergency.


    Raúl, very sorry to hear about your mom. Both my parents are gone and there is nothing really that I can say to help you, other than that I care and my thoughts are with you.

    You’re absolutely right about Europe and N. America. We need to take back our societies and govern ourselves.

    Un abrazo,


    Screw you. Why is it only ever considered OK to invade and change the culture of a country that is caucasian?

    Yes the EU is a P.O.S. No chit!

    But as for the illegal aliens / migrants / invaders……..they should be shipping them immediately back to where they came from. The word needs to get around they need to fix their own culture and not come screwing up someone elses.

    But then we all know you liberals love illegal aliens. You want to topple the vote over to your direction by hook or by crook…..emphasis on crook.

    So in summary go look up “moral vanity” in the dictionary. You will find your picture next to it. SCREW YOU


    As you can see above hard attitudes are hardly just a European problem. As a general thing I doubt that any people at any time or any place in human history have had much tolerance for outsiders moving in. In the US as the frontier ended and the industrial revolution took hold at the same time that Europe was seeing the death throws of monarchies and the old order waves of immigrant flowed to the US and each group in their turn was disliked or hated. Italians, Irish, Germans somewhat, Poles and Slavs and Jews of various origins found themselves subject to dislike to distrust to hatred but the US had no quotas or bans as to the origin of immigrants until 1921. There was a blanket ban on Chinese immigration passed in 1882.

    The current flood into Europe now is chiefly the direct result of the collapse of nations such as Libya, Syria and its vicinity, where the US and NATO decided that regime change was desirable so we helped bring in the bastard cousins of the Saudi version of Islam, jihadis, to do the job. Freeing their people from Qaddafi and Assad so they could enjoy the freedom of anarchy. No surprise they don’ like it.

    In the bigger picture as economies and states devolve more and more people will be on the move. Such is the certain outcome of this time in history and the specific political circumstances in each case can make for satisfying exercises in blame but in the end it’s bound to happen as economies and states devolve. The actors in each place simply playing their parts and in each case the migrants/refugees are going to find precious little succor.

    It needs mention the US has the vast oceans to ward off mass movements in and the steady flow north has already reversed. More Mexicans have left the US than have entered the last 6 years. Not that you could guess it by the latest frenzy about immigration in US politics. Wherein politicians and their fans devote themselves to the symptoms of all the things they can’t or won’t understand about the world now. With the US thus protected from mass movements it actually serves the interests of our elites to have the rest of the world descend into chaos. Spreading chaos is in fact a tactic that has been adopted to keep the US #1. If we can no longer rise in absolute terms or even rise at all then we can help insure all other places decline faster and so we will still be #1.


    Hi Raúl, sorry to hear about your mother. Hope she has as easy leaving from this world as possible.
    Speaking of immigrants or refugees, asylum seekers I can not agree. The ordinary citizens of EU DO NOT HAVE any responsibility for what is happening in Africa or Middle East. Yes we voted for our politicians (who do not do what they should do which is everywhere the same) but I would put full responsibility mainly on US government and NATO. These two organizations should be outlawed. Now we see only the consequence in Mediterranean of what they do every day – killing innocent people and destroying countries. Europe is simply not ready for this amount of people not only by cultural change that is for sure gonna change the Europe but also because of finances. I am Czech citizen but I would like to see our country as it is without hate and racism. I do not want to see my country as France, UK, Holland and other countries are where everyone is pretending that all is ok but around the corner is swearing at muslims, etc. Yes, I am for help to those people but with stopping all the wars and helping them in their own countries to rebuild their homes, factories, agriculture and all of if what our monster armies (we people did not vote for the wars) destroyed.

    Ken Barrows

    A part of this debacle can be laid at the feet of the incompetent Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State during the Libyan campaign of 2011.



    My heart goes out to you in regards to the life journey of your Mother. It is never easy to witness a loved one’s passing.

    The world seems to be suffering from an even greater lack of compassion than usual lately. That is probably to be expected as everything begins to decline. Not a very pleasant future, I’m afraid.

    John Day

    Thank You, Ilargi,
    Dealing with the emotional drain, the compassion, and sometimes anguish, accepting it into one’s heart, is the heroic way.
    Bless you and bless your Mom.


    Whether they are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants depends on the deal they get. I have always wondered why Honduran hurricane refugees or El Salvadorean civil war asylum seekers are still here, in the US, decades after the hurricane or civil war has ended. Not very polite of a guest to whom you offered shelter to decide they will stay in the spare bedroom forever.

    That is the situation Europe faces. These people come with their well rehearsed sob stories claiming ‘asylum’ but everyone knows they are not going to go back to Somalia or Eritrea or Syria or wherever once they get their third world hineys into Sweden or Germany. Better to destroy someone else’s homeland than build your own and these people are world class experts in destroying homelands.


    Automatic Earth Blog summary for all you who want to save some time:

    -1- Globull Warmer. Believe the oil companies fairy tail to create artificial scarcity of their product.

    -2- Open borders / invasions for you white countries because well everyone’s culture but yours matters.

    Won’t be back here on AEB much. You don’t have much to offer at base. I’ve tried reading you for a while but it’s a no go.

    For those of you still wanting to save time I recommend ZeroHedge. And when you see this authors articles syndicated onto ZH …….skip the article.

    Dr. Diablo

    No doubt Lord F is gone, but “only ever considered OK to invade and change the culture of a country that is caucasian?” Um, who invaded and spent Trillions (now no exaggeration) to change the culture and/or borders of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, and to a lesser extent, Serbia, Ukraine, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey (via Kurdistan)? Considering there are 3 million refugees from Syria and Ukraine alone, I think the Caucasians are getting the better half of it. …And after clearly and openly starting it. You can’t really say that the war in Libya didn’t boomerang on Italy and France, both of which gleefully supported destroying all those non-Caucasian countries when it started. If the Caucasians don’t want someone invading and changing their home culture, maybe they shouldn’t spend trillions impoverishing and bombing non-Caucasians worldwide.

    Jenda — you would outlaw the US government? How would you do that? Would we be a failed state with no government, or offer regime change? Nevertheless, point taken.

    All the people from all these countries can take care of themselves, and like most people would proudly stay home and be Syrians, Egyptians, Serbians or whatever, improving their home state one household at a time. Africa more than has means to grow their own food and settle their own business, never bothering outside of their enormous continent, larger than the US, China, and Russia combined. They would. BUT. But other nations come in by force, demand Western/European agricultural methods that don’t work, western cultures that don’t fit, and western economic and political structures that are failed. And it’s not an accident. It destroys these states politically, economically and socially to get cheap chromium, copper, oil, rubber, and other commodities and always has. It’s colonialism or neo-colonialism. Then after robbing them, they ask why they ain’t rich. If you don’t want them on the road as desperate highwaymen, maybe you should rob them and burn their village. Karma is like that; causes have effects, like science.

    What to DO about it is another issue, but at very least we should name the primary cause, because I bet if you stopped bombing and robbing them they WOULD be happy to go back home and stay there, saving Europe a heap of trouble and expense.

    Don’t kill your neighbors. Hey, it’s so easy a caveman could do it.



    1. US government behaves as a criminal organization. Since 2nd WW became the monster of the monsters. There is no need mentioning all US interventions (today more than 50) not only in Americas but Africa, Asia, etc. and it does not have to be a direct intervention with troops. Economic intervention does nearly the same job as troops with guns. Being the US citizen I would probably give up my passport today. (believe me, USA once was an idol of mine 🙂 )

    2. Help to all immigrants, etc. YES, but in their countries. Immediately stop all the wars (specially for USA very difficult to accept since it needs cheap everything) and help to rebuild their countries. Because if not, what number of immigrants can we receive? We (CZ) already have a half a million unemployed people, thousands of homeless, single mothers with kids on state help, etc. How come Brussels is planning practically opening the borders when no strategic plan is made? Schools, hospitals, housing all these things have to be created for these people and from where can we take the finances for that (a middle class tax payer)? Then a cultural differences that are far more difficult to get over. Simply if we do not act quickly to stop immigration in such a levels we will collapse. Sometimes it seems to me all this is planned for some reason: low paid jobs and further impoverishing of middle classes, votes for politicians, destroying nations as we know them, making society weak to be unable to protect itself from corporations and corrupted politicians and many more. Immigration will only speed up the process of collapse that is coming soon I guess, when I see the world of today.

    3. Czechs never had any colonies, never occupied any territories in the last 400 years, never dealt with slaves, never attacked any other country and never did any atrocities towards other populations. We should not feel guilty then in comparison with British, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italians, US, etc. for our past. Because as I hear often what the colonists used to do in the past in their colonies now are receiving in the form of unwanted immigration.


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