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Author: W R Collier Jr

Fed Meeting Clouded By Discontent

W. R. Collier Jr- OPINION- The annual meeting of the Federal Reserve in Jackson Hole, Wyoming will be overshadowed by a growing discontent with the Federal Reserve itself, and that discontent is fairly widespread. While critics from the left (the government managed market camp) focus mainly on their belief that the Federal Reserve favors and bails out the rich at the expense of the poor, the irony is that for those in the free market camp the Federal Reserve itself is a product of a leftward leaning progressive “economic management from the center” philosophy. In a recent op-ed in...

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Tories Win Upset In UK, Polls Wrong

By Bill Collier- The polls could not have been more wrong. Ed Milliband’s Labour Party and David Cameron’s Tories (Conservative Party) were, according to polls, in an extremely tight race in which the Conservatives were predicted to receive 269 of the 650 seats in Parliament and Labour were expected to receive 246 seats. But, as it turned out, the polls were off by quite a bit. The Tories secured 327 seats, needing a 326 seat majority to form a single Party government or a multi-party majority. The former coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, fell from 56 seats down to 8 seats. Labour received only 232 seats. Most telling was the fact that the UK Independence Party (UKIP) received only one seat, despite doing so well in the European Parliament elections, while the Scottish National Party, an ultra-left Scottish nationalist party, seems to have swept every seat in Scotland, or all but 2, with 56 seats. Other Parties totalled 23 seats. So, for now, Cameron’s Tory government can, and likely will, dispense with its coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats. As a result of the drubbing at the polls, the UKIP’s Nigel Farage, the Liberal Democrat’s Nick Clegg, and Labour’s Ed Milliband have all resigned as the heads of their respective Parties. Milliband had been so confident of victory, with a coalition government which might have included Labour and the Liberal...

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OPINION- The People of Baltimore Are Owed Nothing

I oppose all aid to that city. They did this. They alone must fix it. Anyone who is fed up with the culture of hate and violence that fills that city should leave: they should not ask for or expect one red cent from the state of Maryland or the taxpayers of America to rebuild what they have torn down themselves. They simply do not deserve it.

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The Optics Of The Obama-Castro Meetings

Bill Collier- The meeting with Cuba’s dictator will no doubt leave a bad taste in the mouth of President Obama’s critics and many Cubans, for whom the Castros are synonymous with Hitler or Stalin. The image of the President proudly smiling with glee and talking about how nations should only use pursuasion and nothing more in their dealings with one another is in stark contrast to the scowls and bitter bromides his domestic political opponents feel they endure. It was well beyond “persuasion”, his critics lament, for the IRS (allegedly) to turned loose on the President’s political opponents. Of...

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Slow Motion Russian Coup

Bill Collier- Rumors are trending in Russian blogs and forums that President Putin is being removed from power by a military/intelligence services coup orchestrated by oligarchs who see his chauvenistic policies as being bad for Russia, and their wallets. The mastermind behind the coup may be one Yevgeny Primakov, a prominant billionaire who openly warned Putin at a speech in Moscow’s “Mercury Club” back in Januar of this year against his adventurism. He railed against “nationalism” that looks down on other nations, he stated that Russia needs to stop being the world’s gas station and massively diversify its policies, and he even criticized the war in the Urkraine. Apparently, Russia’s military machine is struggling to keep up the pace of operations, many military men resent the unofficial assignment, their families are asking tough questions, the pro-Russian separatists are performing poorly, and the Ukrainians are holding nothing back. Putin has been out of the public eye and recent photos of him in the Kremlin speaking to a Russian Supreme Court judge may not be as recent as the Kremlin claims. One can hardly say what might happen if Putin is removed “for health reasons” and Medvedev, his hand-picked Prime Minister, resigns. Will Russian policy moderate regarding the Ukraine? A recent report of a working group regarding Kalliningrad (former East Prussia) and giving it greater autonomy runs counter to Putin’s policy...

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The German States of Europe?

German dominance over the EU may or may not be “intentional”, but it is very real in the eyes of many. Bill Collier- Roman Prodi, who was President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004, had been warning people for some time that the European Union was either an alliance of equal, democratic powers, or it is nothing. From its inception, the EU was a constellation of states revolving around Britain, France, and Russia. But the dynamics inside the EU have changed. First, the was Britain’s withdrawal from active participation in the EU.  As the EU is forging more integration between member states, Britain has resisted those changes, including rejecting adopting the Euro. Second, France has become an economic basket case and has fallen behind Germany and Britain economically. Third, with the inclusion of Eastern European states into the EU, the Germans have utilized their physical proximity and their dominance as a trade partner to great effect. The emergence of German predominance in the EU means now that the greatest weight in terms of actual EU direction and policy rests in Berlin, not Brussels. The push for “asuterity” among EU members with economic woes (including Spain, Italy, and Greece) has come straight from Berlin. Angela Merkel’s diplomacy in Minsk with Russia over the Ukraine crisis is the deciding factor in EU policy. The German state is, by American...

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Venezuela Collapse Fuels Peace In Colombia

Bill Collier- Venezuela’s economy is in shambles. This means that the socialist quasi-dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro is in no position to conduct foreign advantures, including providing aid, such as arms and money, to the Fuerza Armada de Revolucion Colombia (FARC). FARC has enjoyed the financial windfalls of drug trafficking, raking in over $2 million per day, and other forms of aid from communist Cuba and socialist Venenzuela. With an army of some 30,000 controlling 16,000 square miles (an area refered to as the “despeje”, FARC could rely on Venezuelan and Cuban technical, military, financial, and even military aid. Hugo Chavez, the deceased Venezuelan President, lobbied heavily to grant FARC legal standing under international law as a “belligerent”, but these efforts were rebuffed. A failing Venezuelan economy, Peru’s rise as the major cocaine exporter (surpassing Colombia), and the falling price of oil coupled with aggresive Venezuelan military action have reduced FARC substantially. Currently it is estimated that only 8,000 fighters remain in FARC ranks, drug revenues may be down by 50%, Cuba is more interested in ending the conflict in Colombia in its bid for reapproachment with the West, and Venezuela is totally distracted by a crumbling economy. Venezuela may be the key factor. While FARC has not always relied on Venezuela, since around 2000, Venezuela had become a key support for the Marxist guerilla army. Over its 50 year...

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Land War Looms In Europe

The Battle for Mariupol Could Spark Greater Land War Bill Collier- The battle for Mariupol has been replayed at least four times since 1941, and it’s about to start into round 5. The players have changed and so has the dynamic. In October of 1941 it was the Germans taking it from the Soviets, in 1943 it was the Soviets taking it from the Germans, in June of 2014 it was a ragtag army of separatists trying to take it from the Ukrainian “Azov Battallion”, in January of 2015 it was a mix of covert Russian and separatist trying again to take it, and now it would appear that Russian Armored and Artillery Regiments are the real force with so-called “New Russian” separatists, and Cosacks, playing a support role. What we see happening now is a total commitment of “serious manpower”, as many as 20,000 Russian troops, entering the region near Mariupol with the intention of seizing this strategic city and rolling up the Ukrainian defenders throughout the eastern half of their country. Depsite pledges by the US and Britain to “guarantee” Ukrainian territory if the Ukrainians gave up nuclear arms (which they did), so far neither the US nor NATO are forthcoming with decisive help. Negotiations and rhetoric and declared cease-fires have failed to change the situation on the ground. Russia wants to create a land bridge to...

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