Germany

NATO (lack of) commitment update

NATO

In 2018 we wrote the following piece on NATO funding after Trump called out those nations who weren’t keeping up with their own self-imposed military spending commitments of 2% of GDP made back in 2006. At the time, only 5 of the 28 member countries outside of the US had met the 2% commitment. Fast forward to today and only 6 countries (ex-US) have achieved it.

Yet the Left is howling that Trump is a hypocrite for looking to move an F-16 squadron, amongst other instalments from sub-2% Germany to Italy – a nation with an even lower commitment –  because he thinks that the Teutons are derelict with respect to their NATO promises. How ironic that German politicians are begging the US to reconsider the move, knowing the boost to the local economy those facilities bring.

What the Trump-hating world doesn’t see with the relocation of forces is that such decisions aren’t solely based on monetary commitments but the strategic implications of new bases, not to mention the approval of the new country to accept US forces on its sovereign territory.

Others are saying this is further evidence of Trump placating Putin. Were that the case, Trump would encourage an extension of the timeline for nations to meet their NATO commitments and recommend the redeployment of those forces to the western-most part of Northern Ireland so as to be the least effective deterrent to Russia.

Given the long-standing arrangement Putin has with Assad, the Russian navy has access to the Meditteranean port of Tartus in Syria. Relocating fighter jets in Italy makes more sense than having them in Germany were a skirmish ever to ensue.

Never mind. Orange man bad.

Colonialism and Comcars

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Senator Mattias Cormann has admitted he was behind the decision to change the colour of our government Comcars – which ferry politicians around – from white to dark grey in order to remove any remnants of our colonial past, which in his words were “a better reflection of a modern, forward-looking Australia.” Forget the fact that most government cars were painted black, including Sir Robert Menzies’ Bentley (above). Might have been better to channel the founder of the Liberal Party as inspiration instead some woke nonsense. Or just let the drivers, who need to clean and maintain the vehicles, choose. 

Seriously though, what % of Australians have ever thought that our white Comcars harked to a colonial past? Best put it to a plebiscite and waste more time. 

Dark Grey? Isn’t that a gloomy hue? Should Aussies prepare for dark days ahead? Truth be told the colour is probably quite representative of where our economy is heading, even without coronavirus.

Interestingly, according to car insurer youi,

Our accident frequency research reveals that dark coloured cars are more likely to be in an accident than lighter coloured cars, likely because they are less visible to other drivers on the road. Grey coloured cars topped the list, followed by black and charcoal.

Who says that politicians don’t make sacrifices for us?

If we study where the proportion of cars coloured in colonial white is highest, perhaps parliament should be spending up big on a reeducation program in Tasmania for their unconscious colonialism. youi claimed,

Tasmania has the highest percentage of white cars at 33.80% versus the national average of 30.45% (silver 19.4%, blue 11.29%)

White cars seem to be connected to toxic masculinity too. Best run a campaign on unconscious sexism if youi is to be believed.

Compared to females, white is more popular for males relative to other colours (34.34% for males, 26.46% for females)

Take it a step further and question how much more Cormann could have done to reduce the racist footprints of colonialism.

Why are we buying cars from a maker that powered the Nazi Luftwaffe, SS and Wehrmacht, based in a nation that at the time was hell-bent on world domination and genocide? If we went for Lexus or Toyota we’d be buying cars built by a country that was also determined to colonize The Pacific. Jaguars or Range Rovers would be off the list, even though the Indians now own the brands. Rolls-Royce & Bentley are German-owned. Italians were colonialists. Maserati, Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo banned. The French? Colonialists. Renault and Peugeot-Citroen are out. The Spanish? Colonialists. No SEATs, although that is owned by the Germans. America? Someone is bound to raise an issue with their CIA operative endorsed post-war military hegemony. So no Caddies, Fords or GM cars, especially after the axing of the Holden brand. China? Buying Haval or Great Wall cars would at the very least cut down on the overall cost of Comcars, especially with the generous 10-yr unlimited kilometre extended warranty.  That is how we cut the budget deficit. 

Maybe we should just buy Volvos. Maybe that way we could appeal to be supporting the home team of climate activist, Greta Thunberg to shore up the youth vote while acknowledging that the Viking hordes of 1000 years ago was far back enough in history to upset anyone today. If we’re lucky, the Swedish Riksbank may consider buying our sovereign debt again

Seriously, haven’t our pollies got anything better to do than conjure up such illogical nonsense like this? Given we’re at this level of discourse, perhaps walking, cycling or public transport would be a better bet for our lawmakers. At the very least it would put them in touch with how commoners live.

German farmers revolt against government schwein

40,000 angry German farmers have blockaded the Unter den Linden with with 8,600 tractors displaying placards which read,

Farmers feed you’, or ‘Without us, you would be hungry, naked, sober’

This was in response to the German government’s new agricultural package. Essentially farmers are upset that officials haven’t consulted them over proposed changes to reduce the use of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers by 20%.

Government studies have targeted farmers for nitrate (from fertilizers) finding its way into groundwater, Farmers admit some of it comes from fertilizer but a lot of it comes from the poor state of wastewater treatment plants.

Farmers rightly see a 20% reduction in fertilizer only reduces yields and impacts income placing more pressure on family run farms to survive.

Where did such legislation come from? Of course. Our old mates in Brussels. The European Court of Justice ruled the German government hadn’t taken strict enough measures on curbing nitrate in the water, opening them up to EU fines. So knee jerk reactions resulted. It gets worse.

Perhaps what the mainstream media failed to notice was an obscure passage tucked in the conclusion of a December 2019 report titled ‘Designing an effective agri-environment-climate policy as part of the post-2020 EU Common Agricultural Policy‘ which said,

Meanwhile Germany should make use of the new design opportunities in its national implementation to gradually shift the CAP away from its focus on income and align it more consistently with objectives that serve the public good, focusing particularly on the environment, climate action and animal welfare.”

Why doesn’t Angela Merkel just cut farmers a cheque and nationalise farming? Or is it better for her to get her ministers to bankrupt these climate change deniers and pick up the scraps and embark on 5 year plans where meat production can be halted? Maybe the best thing for the farmers to do is keep driving east and see how much a Romanian farmer will give for a 2nd hand Klaas tractor.

An open letter to Peter Fitzsimons

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Dear Peter,

It wasn’t so long ago that Fact Not Fiction Media penned an open letter to your lovely wife Lisa after she suggested to newly elected PM Scott Morrison – the man who won the unwinnable election – that he should pick up the phone to NZ PM Jacinda Ardern if he was ever in doubt about policy positions.

Never mind the election results that showed, not only how he managed to ‘unite’ the LNP after the wilderness of the Turnbull Coalition, but his ability to read the pulse of the voters, especially in Queensland. The rest is history.

Never mind the realities that 570,000 Kiwis (11% of their population) choose to live here vs 39,000 Aussies who live there. Can anyone point to the tidal wave of New Zealanders returning to their homeland to embrace the policies pushed by the high priestess of woke? Thought not. Quelle surprise that Australia already outranked her Wellness Budget even before her superior social media skills caused the press to lavish endless praise without lifting a finger to provide context.

So it is with little surprise to read your dig at the British and Tony Abbott after the resounding landslide won by Boris Johnson this week. We get that you don’t like the former Member for Warringah.

Your remark about “Little Britain” is utterly baseless. Did you see sterling rally on the result? Did you see the positive reaction of UK stocks on the FTSE? Financial markets, as you know, echo economic confidence. Not quite sure what bigger endorsement Boris Johnson could have got?

If you let your olfactory senses go wild at the Avenue Rd Cafe over the aroma of the election, it seems way more Brits side with Mr Abbott by that metric. Plenty of Aussies, including me, relish Brexit as a massive opportunity. We’ll get to that. First things first.

Even if we were to indulge your ‘Little Britain’ theory a little further, which part of not being a part of the EU, which presumably is the basis of your negative comment, will the Poms or Aussies miss out on? What adverse externalities would ensue for Australia?

Australia ends up being a winner from Brexit. We already do as much with the UK in bilateral trade than Germany & France combined. Bilateral trade with the UK is 1/3rd that of the Eurozone based on a population 1/8th the size. A strong UK economy is much better for Aussie businesses per capita. They understand this.

Should Aussies celebrate the fact that poverty levels in the EU have ballooned by a further 30m people since 2006? That is right, c.109.2m people (21.7% of the total EU population) live below the poverty line according to Eurostat. No, it is not due to the entry of so many new EU members, many which joined in 2004. Poverty has been a consequence of grossly incompetent centralised control out of Brussels. Yet where is the media on this? Deathly silent.

Eurozone growth has crawled to a trickle. Pent up uncertainty in the UK will now dissipate as the clear majority won by BoJo will allow the free hand of capitalism to turn the financial spigots on. President Trump will have no hesitation in putting an FTA together. A deal with an economy comprising 25% of world GDP is no bad thing. I’m sure ScoMo will oblige 10 Downing St too. Japan will be lining up to make sure Mitsukoshi can stock Fortnum & Mason teas in Ginza. All will be spiffing. Aussies benefit from a stronger UK. Little Britain?

Maybe Brits felt uneasy signing over more sovereign rights to unelected bureaucrats like former EC President Jean-Claude Juncker who was often found stumbling around drunk? Maybe they saw Juncker threatening to cut off voting rights to the Austrians if they democratically voted in a right-wing eurosceptic president was a tad totalitarian? Did you see that 18,500 Austrians signed a petition to tell the EU to respect their nation-state democracy? Therein lies the point. The EU is all for nation-state democracy as long as it aligns with Brussels. Anything else sees reprisals. A mouth-watering prospect no doubt.

Perhaps we might question why Switzerland voted 126-46 to tear up a 24yr standing invite to join the EU? Lukas Reimann of the Swiss People’s Party, who proposed the bill said:

“It is hardly surprising that the EU looks like an ever less attractive club to join. What, after all, is the appeal of joining a club into which the entire world can apparently move?”

Maybe the British saw through the recent EUP announcement of a ‘climate emergency‘ ahead of the COP25 summit? How much faith can the British have when EU MEPs rejected the following amendment of that legislation by 563 votes to 59:

that climate change is one of the many challenges facing humanity and that all states and stakeholders worldwide must do their utmost to measure it scientifically so that policy, and especially spending is based on observable facts and not on apocalyptic fearmongering or unreliable models; emphasises that there is no scientific consensus on what percentage of climate change is anthropogenic and what percentage is natural

Surely this is not a big ask to demand that any decisions are based on fact, not fiction. Yet the EU is no stranger to ludicrous policies.

Who could forget when the EU legislated to heavily fine companies and hand out jail sentences to bottled water companies that claimed their products rehydrate after a 3-yr study? It is probably this type of brainless stupidity that was a swing factor in encouraging Brits to want to jettison from such insanity. All self-inflicted wounds at the hands of the EU, certainly not because British voters somehow lack intelligence.

Could it be that the EU left the UK, not the other way around? Is it possible that the British were plain fed up with the prospect of having even more EU oversight? The idea that the EU thinks that fixing the problems of the EU are best served by having ever more EU regulations.

If Brexit proved anything, it was the idea that the EU has to reform. Unfortunately, the EU seems willfully blind to look in the mirror and admit that is indeed the problem. Now the UK has a strong mandate to leave, the power of populism will only be emboldened among other member states. The more successful Britain shows itself outside the bloc, the more other countries can have the confidence to leave this utter joke of an institution, a close second only to the buffoonery at the UN.

In closing, there is a touch of irony to know that the media beat-up of Trump’s endorsement of BoJo caused a landslide while Obama’s blessing of ‘remain’ ahead of the referendum caused a resounding defeat. We shouldn’t forget that every candidate poor old celebrity Hugh Grant endorsed lost their seats.

Probably because the average Joe and Joanne are the ones living in the real world.

Perhaps your title should have been, “who wants to cling onto the EU?

All the best,

FNF Media

Greta and her mates look to sue carbon polluters, wait for it…

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…on the grounds they are violating their rights as children! No surprises that the UN is buying into this BS and seeking to twist climate change into a children’s rights issue.

It is quite difficult to imagine what crimes steel makers or coal miners have committed in actual law. Never mind realities.

Interestingly the suit is being filed against five countries – Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Turkey. It seeks to compel those nations to forge binding emissions reductions targets. Why not an Australia or America? Or have the adults guiding these children just selected soft targets because even they know suing others will achieve nothing.

Sadly for these kids they need to recognize that lawsuits can drag on for years and years, hardly the sort of rebellion that will expedite the type of action they demand.

Never have adults in a room been more needed to invite rational debate. At the moment it’s a disruptive classroom and these petulant kids need time in school detention and forced to write “I must learn respect”

CM recommends they learn economics quick smart. No point suing Argentina. Its default risk is so high that there would be precious little to pay out. Best just sue Germany and France where most of Argentina’s sovereign debt owners come from.

Albo moves from dumb to dumber

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Oh boy! Here we go again. Adjusting targets to a pointless exercise to an even more irrelevant one, albeit at a massive net cost to all Aussies.
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This is the trend of Australian energy price inflation and manufacturing jobs over the last two decades. Notice anything? A correlation of about 90%. Energy prices go up, manufacturing comes down. We have shed 250,000 manufacturing jobs in the last two decades. Green jobs have not replaced them. Not even 1/10th of the jobs lost as this chart from the ABS shows.
The trend is the same in Denmark, which is an even big renewables user. The correlation is even higher. Denmark has shed 200,000+ jobs following green madness. No green jobs haven’t offset this either.
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Is it a surprise that prices, where more renewable energy is used, are higher than those places that don’t? If it weren’t for the weak $A, these numbers would look even worse.
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Labor leader Anthony Albanese thinks that shifting the focus away from 45% renewable by 2030 to net zero emissions by 2050 is a game-changer. Why can’t these politicians count or look at the experience at home and abroad? What is this obsession to take Australia’s 0.00001345% CO2 contribution to the atmosphere to zero? How many billions more should we spend for absolutely no return? Does he not realise that Australia has the third-highest clean energy spending per capita already? Why all the self-flagellation?

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Our per capita emissions are going down relative to many neighbours. Don’t be fooled by the Europeans either. Biomass (which is as dirty as lignite (brown coal)) gets special dispensation from the EU hacks if a tree is planted for every one burned. So even though the tree that is planted will take at least 50 years to be able to replace what was burnt, fear not, creative stats are ok in Brussels.
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Ahh, but Germany is the country we should all aspire to be, no? Well actually, no. In 2007 Germany forecast that 2020 residential electricity prices would be approximately 16 Eurocents. Today they trade at c.31 Eurocents. Merkel’s policies to phase out all nuke power after the Fukushima disaster. Der Spiegel, a normally left-leaning journal wrote in a two-part series. 

Part 1 – Germany Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

“But the sweeping idea has become bogged down in the details of German reality. The so-called Energiewende, the shift away from nuclear in favour of renewables, the greatest political project undertaken here since Germany’s reunification, is facing failure. In the eight years since Fukushima, none of Germany’s leaders in Berlin have fully thrown themselves into the project, not least the chancellor. Lawmakers have introduced laws, decrees and guidelines, but there is nobody to coordinate the Energiewende, much less speed it up. And all of them are terrified of resistance from the voters, whenever a wind turbine needs to be erected or a new high-voltage transmission line needs to be laid out.”

Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors is even more forthright about the failures. The shift to renewables, the federal auditors say, has cost at least 160 billion euros in the last five years. Meanwhile, the expenditures “are in extreme disproportion to the results, Federal Court of Auditors President Kay Scheller said last fall, although his assessment went largely unheard in the political arena. Scheller is even concerned that voters could soon lose all faith in the government because of this massive failure.

There is also such an irony when these mad green schemes encounter scourge from animal rights groups. Former Green’s leader Bob Brown knows the feeling,

“The bird of prey [red kite], with its elegantly forked tail, enjoys strict protection in Germany…Red kites are migratory, returning from the south in the spring, but they don’t return reliably every year. The mayor would have been happy if the bird had shown up quickly so its flight patterns could be analyzed and plans for the wind park adjusted accordingly. It would have been expensive, but at least construction of the project could finally get underway.

But if the bird doesn’t return, the project must be suspended. Spies has to wait a minimum of five years to see if the creature has plans for the nest after all. Which means the wind park could finally be built in 2024, fully 12 years after the project got underway.”

Part 2 – German Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

An additional factor exacerbating the renewables crisis is the fact that two decades after the enactment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), 20-year guaranteed feed-in tariffs will begin expiring next year for the first wind, solar and biomass facilities. Some of those who installed solar panels back then — often farmers and homeowners — are still receiving 50 cents for every kilowatt-hour they feed into the grid. Today, larger facilities receive just 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The state has redistributed gigantic sums of money, with the EEG directing more than 25 billion euros each year to the operators of renewable energy facilities. But without the subsidies, operating wind turbines and solar parks will hardly be worth it anymore. As is so often the case with such subsidies: They trigger an artificial boom that burns fast and leaves nothing but scorched earth in their wake.

That doesn’t include the 360,000 German households in energy poverty.

As Australia continues to expand the renewables portion of our power grid, the lessons from the Germans couldn’t be clearer – market distortions and misguided investments only lead to marginal results on the back of massive investment to stop something that can’t be controlled. German taxpayers have been swindled and Aussies are sleepwalking down the same path.

So Albo, the solution is simple. Do the math. Read about Germany’s beta testing of renewables and stop this crusade to prevent something that no matter what target you pick, zero will be the output. Just look at the price of energy relative to core CPI since we went renewables mad in 2000. That chart is not a vote winner.

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The only hot air Albo needs to worry about is that emanating from the Labor Party policy room. Drop all of this group think.

Bluescope to expand US plant thanks to cheap energy

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Thanks to Australia’s ridiculous energy prices, Aussie company Bluescope confirmed the expansion of capacity in Ohio. In Feb 2019, the company CEO said, “much cheaper energy in the United States is a major driver of the company’s preparedness to invest in a $1 billion expansion in Ohio.”

Meanwhile, our lawmakers continue to behave as if they’re in control of power generation, pandering to pathetic ideologies instead of realities.

In 2017, Tomago Aluminium reported, “We have to grow to be competitive and to be ahead of the curve, but when the spot price went to $14,000 [per megawatt hour] we had to take that load off. It’s just not sustainable. You can’t smelt at that price. We have had to curtail or modulate the load [on occasions] or we get hammered by the price…We cannot continue to keep paying those prices. We have to find a solution. The prices are crippling”

Well done Australia. Home to the cheapest and best quality energy-producing assets around but saddled with the world’s highest prices. Beholden to being guilt-tripped into reducing CO2 levels that even if we cut to zero would have absolutely no impact on limiting global temperatures.

We only need look to Germany to see how well their renewables plan is working for them. What have the Germans done recently? Favour more electricity production from lignite (brown coal) and biomass which are the two highest emitting power generation bases. Furthermore,

“After the German government decided to reduce subsidies to the solar industry in 2012, the industry nose-dived. By this year, virtually every major German solar producer had gone under as new capacity declined by 90 per cent and new investment by 92 per cent. Some 80,000 workers — 70 per cent of the solar workforce — lost their jobs. Solar power’s market share is shrinking and solar panels, having outlived their usefulness, are being retired without being replaced.

Wind power faces a similar fate. Germany has some 29,000 wind turbines, almost all of which have been benefitting from a 20-year subsidy program that began in 2000. Starting in 2020, when subsidies run out for some 5,700 wind turbines, thousands of them each year will lose government support, making the continued operation of most of them uneconomic based on current market prices. To make matters worse, with many of the turbines failing and becoming uneconomic to maintain, they represent an environmental liability and pose the possibility of abandonment. No funds have been set aside to dispose of the blades, which are unrecyclable, or to remove the turbines’ 3,000-tonne reinforced concrete bases, which reach depths of 20 metres, making them a hazard to the aquifers they pierce.”

Canberra, please note that if you pursue common sense, voters will celebrate a reduction in power prices that current experience proves are NOT going to come through ludicrous renewable energy targets.

When you know time is meaningless

Who knew? Prince Charles has told Commonwealth leaders we have 18 months to do something about the planet.

Which is it? If one were to time an egg by the alarmists we’d end up with a bunch of mush. Yet Greta Thunberg and the Extinction Rebellion (XR) were quick to capitalize on the Prince’s prophecy. 18 months. CM thought 2025 was the XR timeline? IPCC 2030? Please, can we just have some consistency? It’s all too confusing.

Don’t forget CM pointed out XR’s complete own goal citing a 2018 paper that spoke of 2022. So blinded by their excitement to confirm their own bias they overlooked the very content that ratcheted up the hysteria by recording 2025 instead. Sloppy! And they expect us to submit to their demands because supposedly they know best.

So quick to grab any alarmist hope, any date will do it seems. CM is sure if 2018 was cited as the deadline, XR would be all over it.

Unfortunately HRH should speak to his father who has toyed with bringing back a new version of HMY Britannia. Think of all the energy intensity that will go into making that monster.

When will these people finally work to putting forward a coherent strategy rather than espouse anything that might support a cause.

The bigger laugh was that XR Germany has posted that climate change could claim its first victim in the UK by 2045. XR started in England.

So deranged are the country-by-country XR movements that they seem to be trying to outdo each other in the same echo chamber.

New Greta Thunberg bumper stickers on sale

Seems even the peacenik Germans have had enough of Greta Thunberg. Amazon is selling bumper stickers to those motorists sick of being lectured to by a 16yo.

Although await the backlash be the activists getting Amazon to remove the page. It won’t much matter as people will just go direct to source.

€3.99 per sticker. Sold here

Greens leader blames Merkel’s trembling on climate change

It is amazing that the leader of the Greens, Annalena Baerbock, can link Angela Merkel’s trembling health issues to climate change. She eventually retracted the false nature of the claim and apologized.

Let’s hope that Frau Merkel finds a cure to her health issue and makes a speedy recovery without any climate emergency nonsense to be drawn.

Perhaps Baerbock might link CM’s itchy scalp to climate change too? Or is that just from the chlorine in the public swimming pool (which CM might add was pretty warm because it was so cold outside)? Maybe that hangover from CM’s 30th high school reunion two weekends ago was due to the weather? Or did CM just fatally mix the house red with pale ale?