The net is closing in

The European Union, like California, is starting to rein in the ability of the digital platforms to do whatever they want, to whomever they want, for any reason:

New EU regulation came into play at the start of the week that applies to digital storefronts, most notably Apple and Google’s for mobile devices. With the new regulations significantly strengthen the rights of those selling through such marketplaces.

The rules, which you can see here in full if you’re happy to fight through them, or as discussed here by the EGDF’s Jari-Pekka Kaleva on GI.Biz, cover a wide range of ongoing issues that developers have with stores.

Platforms will have to provide 30 days notice to publishers before removing content from stores, allowing them time to appeal or make changes to their software. So no immediate and opaque bans (article 4).

The regulations (in article 5) will force stores to be more transparent in how their ranking systems work, letting publishers understand how ‘trending’ apps are being chosen for instance.

Article 7 follows similar themes, with storefronts having to disclose any ‘differentiated treatment’ it may give one seller of goods over another, which should put paid to any real (or imagined) preferential treatment for larger publishers – or at least make it clear to everyone how and when the playing field isn’t even.

Also, that information, and all the information that publishers receive will have to be written in terms that you can understand. With all terms and conditions to be drafted in ‘plain and intelligible language’.

Armchair lawyers and real lawyers have been discussing various deplatformings as well as the 72 Bears vs Patreon situation. One thing they have repeatedly failed to grasp, however, is that the very clear trend of the legislators is strongly pro-consumer and anti-platform.

Some have questioned why I’m not banned from various platforms when less controversial figures have been. But there is no reason for suspicion as the reason is very straightforward: I live in Europe and any sensible US-based company is very, very hesitant to put itself at the mercy of an anti-US European court given the enthusiasm European courts have repeatedly demonstrated for saddling US tech companies with massive fines.

Never let it be said that the ideological Left is all bad. Their instinctive opposition to corpocracy is the one thing they have on the ideological Right.


The end of the EU is in sight

The Germans have decided that their law takes precedence over what passes for EU “law”:

A ruling by Germany’s constitutional court has sparked serious fears of the unravelling of the European Union.

It’s a delayed judgment from an old fight that has hit the EU at its most vulnerable. A group of German academics, including a former leader of the far-right party Alternative für Deutschland, Bernd Lucke, took a case in 2015 to challenge the bond-buying programme of the European Central Bank (ECB).

They hardly hoped to win, but thought they could make a political point. During the euro zone crisis, as now, the ECB was buying the debt of economically weaker EU countries to bid down their borrowing costs and rescue them from the threat of a debt spiral, and directing national central banks to do likewise.

This is an emergency measure taken to hold the euro zone together when its economic imbalances threaten to tear it apart, but it has long been hated by German conservatives who believe it harms savers and pension funds.

Last week, the German constitutional court unexpectedly sided with them. It ruled that the ECB failed to conduct a “proportionality” analysis of the effect of its bond-buying policies on “public debt, personal savings, pension and retirement schemes, real estate prices and the keeping afloat of economically unviable companies”.

In a pithy 110-page judgment, the court ordered the German central bank to stop buying bonds if the ECB failed to produce such an assessment within three months. This immediately raised fears it could jeopardise current bond-buying efforts, and cause a run on Italian debt.

This is perilous to the euro zone, but not as damaging to the EU as another part of the ruling, which has tugged at a thread that some fear may lead to the unravelling of its very order.

The German court stated that it was free to ignore an earlier ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the issue because “the Court of Justice of the European Union exceeds its judicial mandate”. This is contrary to the concept of the primacy of EU law. Under this precept, if laws of a member state are in conflict with EU law, EU law takes precedence, and the ECJ is the final authority to adjudicate on it. For the European Commission, agreeing to this is what it means to be a member state.

The Germans have effectively declared the EU to be nothing more than a treaty that nation-states can ignore at will. It’s a bit of a surprise, as I would have expected the Italians to be the next to leave the would-be Fourth Reich, with the Hungarians and Poles as dark horses.

The nations are rising at last.


Schools closed in Northern Italy

Sospesi manifestazioni ed eventi. Scuole e musei e cinema chiusi

La Regione Lombardia sta predisponendo un’ordinanza, firmata dal presidente Attilio Fontana di concerto con il ministro della salute Roberto Speranza, valida per tutto il territorio lombardo. Il documento, non appena emanato, sarà trasmesso a tutti i prefetti delle Province lombarde per la tempestiva comunicazione ai sindaci. L’ordinanza sarà efficace fino a un nuovo provvedimento. Tra i provvedimenti previsti sono contemplati: la sospensione di manifestazioni o iniziative di qualsiasi natura, di eventi e di ogni forma di riunione in luogo pubblico o privato, anche di carattere culturale, ludico, sportivo e religioso, anche se svolti in luoghi chiusi aperti al pubblico; sospensione dei servizi educativi dell’infanzia e delle scuole di ogni ordine e grado, nonché della frequenza delle attività scolastiche e di formazione superiore, corsi professionali, master, corsi per le professioni sanitarie e università per gli anziani ad esclusione degli specializzandi e tirocinanti delle professioni sanitarie, salvo le attività formative svolte a distanza; sospensione dei servizi di apertura al pubblico dei musei e degli altri istituti e luoghi della cultura.

To put this into perspective, these actions by the presidents of Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia Romagna, and the Veneto are the equivalent of about 15 US states shutting down their schools, universities, and all public and private events. Contrary to what some people seem to imagine, this isn’t bad news and it doesn’t mean that things are worse in Italy than elsewhere, but rather, demonstrates the willingness of the Italian regional governments to put the interests of the Italian people ahead of the global economy.


The return of Sweden

Swedes are beginning to reconsider their national suicide:

Sweden’s right-wing Sweden Democrats are now neck and neck with the ruling Social Democrats in opinion polls. Though vilified and demonized, the party’s success represents a complete failure of liberalism in the face of reality.

The Sweden Democrats – who were until recently dismissed as a fringe, racist party – are now surging in the polls. A voter survey, commissioned by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper last week, puts the party within 0.2 percentage points of Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s left-wing Social Democrats. Moreover, voters now agree with the party’s policies on nine out of nine issues.

On immigration, 43 percent of voters side with the party and its leader, Jimmie Akesson. Only 15 percent favor Lofven’s policies. Likewise, 31 percent favor Akesson’s position on law and order, compared to 19 percent for Lofven.

The nation is not an idea or some Platonic abstract, the nation is the people. The physical, material human beings who share blood, DNA, language, and culture. If the nation does not survive, the individuals who comprise it will not either.


Avanti Salvini

Matteo Salvini makes his long-awaited move:

Crisi di governo, le dimissioni di Conte: “Il governo finisce qui, Salvini ha seguito interessi personali e di partito”. 

Goverment crisis, the resignation of Prime Minister Conte: “The government is finished here, Salvini has followed his personal ambitions and the interests of his party.

What’s happening here is that the nationalists of La Lega are in a position to take power in the Italian government without their former left-wing allies in the Movimento Cinque Stelle who have been preventing them from dealing conclusively with the migration crisis and the European Union.

So, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who is the most popular man in Italy now due to his forthright nationalism, brought down the government by severing the La Lega-Cinque Stelle alliance with the intention of forcing new elections in October. Rather than try to avoid the elections by putting together a new minority government, Conte elected to resign and end the current government.

The irony, of course, is that Salvini is the one politician who actually cares about the Italian nation. Conte is projecting when he implies that Salvini is only pursuing power for its own sake. And the amusing thing was the way that Salvini responded to Conte’s broadside by kissing the crucifix he was holding in his hand.

I’m not entirely certain what he meant by that, but I suspect it was a gesture intended to echo that of many Italian soccer players when they are substituted for a starter. They reach down, touch the grass, cross themselves, then raise the team badge on the chest of their jersey and kiss it. In other words, Salvini was symbolically saying “you’re done, Conte. It’s my turn now.”


Red flags in Germany

But the German political class just keeps doubling down on immigration:

Mayor of Hockenheim, a city in southwest Germany, was left bloodied and hospitalized after an unknown assailant punched him. One politician has already died, and reports suggest that such attacks are becoming more common.

Dieter Gummer, a member of the left-wing Social Democratic Party, answered his door on Monday evening to find an unfamiliar face outside. The visitor punched the 67-year-old politician in the face, according to police in nearby Ludwigshafen. Gummer fell on the floor and hit his head, requiring treatment in hospital. The culprit fled the scene. The attacker was unknown to the mayor, and is described by police as a man of slim build, around 40 years old, with dark skin. More puzzling is the fact that Gummer is set to retire in August, and anyone disagreeing with his policies will get a chance to vote for his successor.

Police in the southern German town say they’re baffled as to the motive, and are “investigating in all directions.”

However, across Germany, anger and violence against public officials is on the rise. Last year, more than 1,200 threats, criminal insults, and acts of physical violence were committed against officials, Leipzig Mayor Burkhard Jung – who also chairs the German Association of Cities – told a meeting of concerned mayors last week. Nearly all German states have reported yearly increases in violence since at least 2017.

At the meeting, the mayors described how rude comments in public and on social media would progress to action. They told of finding the wheel nuts loosened on their cars, discovering rifle cartridges on their doorsteps, and receiving death threats in their mailboxes.

“The people in my administration are afraid to open their doors,” said one Bavarian mayor, quoted by Der Tagesspiegel. “This cannot be.”

I’m amused by the way they are all affecting to be surprised by the inevitable. What could possibly be the motive when the mayors are aiding and abetting the invasion of the country? It is, indeed, a mystery.

If Deutsche Bank goes down and the Germany economy implodes, all bets are off.


German politician murdered

However, there are currently competing theories concerning the motivation behind what appears to be a politically motivated assassination:

German investigators have revealed that a popular regional political leader found dead in his garden was killed by a bullet fired at close range. They have launched a criminal inquiry into the death of Walter Lübcke, the 65-year-old head of the regional council in the city of Kassel.

Suicide has been ruled out but police say they have no motive…. Lübcke was a leading local member of Mr Bouffier’s ruling centre-right CDU in the central German state, running the authority in one of Hesse’s three regional areas for the past decade.

He came to national prominence in October 2015 when he spoke out in favour of providing accommodation for refugees. Germany had decided to let in Syrians fleeing the civil war, and big numbers of asylum seekers were crossing Germany’s borders on a daily basis.

He reportedly received death threats and was given personal protection after telling a rowdy town hall meeting they had to stand up for Christian values. “Whoever does not support these values can leave this country any time, if he doesn’t agree. This is the freedom of every German,” he said.

It sounds like he may have angered both sides. Based on what they’re reporting, it could be ultras, could be Muslims, could be Antifa. Regardless, it’s almost certainly not going to be the last incident of its kind in Germany, given how many Germans have suffered at the hands of asylum seekers.


Eurocrats call openly for empire

They always intended the European Union to be the EUSSR:

The leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) told CNN that proposals by European populist-patriots to reform the EU and devolve power from Brussels back to the nation-state would mean that the bloc “will die inside.”

“The world is developing into one not of nation states, but of empires. China is an empire. India is an empire. The US is an empire. We need to create a European Union that is capable of defending our interests,” Mr Verhofstadt stated during the interview, speaking to the leftist American news network in what was described as his “spacious” Brussels office.

Mr Verhofstadt, who is also the European Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator, is an avid supporter of greater federalisation of the European Union.

During a Euronews Raw Politics panel last week, the former prime minister of Belgium compared a proposed United States of Europe to the United States of America, saying: “The United States of Europe is a way to organise a common action on the European level by recognising, by guaranteeing the autonomy of the member states.”

Other Eurocrats have also voiced support for a United States of Europe, including former president of the European Parliament and German socialist politician Martin Schulz who called for its formation by 2025.

Fortunately, nationalism is rising across the continent and the various European peoples have no interest in empires, which throughout European history have always been the primary source of bloodshed.


Italy strikes back

George Papadopoulos@GeorgePapa19
The Italian prime minister has suddenly requested resignations from 6 deputy directors of Italian intelligence agencies: DIS, AISI and AISE. This was all after I outed Mifsud in Rome and the president called the Italian prime minister. Italy has flipped and are giving up Brennan.

Curiouser and curiouser. Nationalism rises. The interesting thing is that the news here is all-Salvini all the time now. Conte could arrest half the bureaucracy tomorrow and I’m not sure the media would even notice.


Oui, mais non

The Gilets Jaunes reject Macron’s fake olive branch:

Unrelenting Yellow Vest activists have marched in Paris and other French cities for the 24th straight weekend, just days after Emmanuel Macron tried to placate the protest movement with promises of lower taxes.

The demonstrators who assembled in Paris, Toulouse and Strasbourg on Saturday appear to signal that despite the French president’s recent concessions to the group, the Yellow Vest movement is alive and well.

On Thursday, Macron held the first major press conference of his two-year presidency, in which he announced that he wanted to implement “significant” income tax cuts. The televised conference, however, was not well received among those who have turned out week after week to demonstrate against Macron’s business-friendly austerity measures.

Notice that even France, which is the most civic-nationalist of the European nations, is more aggressively nationalist than the USA. Civic nationalism is literally demoralizing, as it is nothing more than stealth Globalism Lite.