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Archive for the ‘europe’ Category

The end of the Euro will be bloody, but inevitable

Posted by E on March 22, 2013

cyprus-banksCyprus bank queue

By now you’ve all heard about the latest European Union bailout conditions in Cyprus, and how banks froze all accounts in preparation to spring upon all individuals who hold money in Cyprus-based banks up to a 10% forceable deduction (6.75% for accounts totalling under 100,000 euros).

That is, if you hold money in a Cypriot bank, you will unequivocably lose up to 10% of it, no ifs, ands or buts. Why is this happening? For the good of the people, of course. Because Germany is holding your bailout hostage, and without doing as the Germans say and forking over your savings, you may have to drop out of the EU (which so many would consider a blessing). So with friends like Merkel/IMF, who needs enemies? Why bother invading a country anymore, when all you need to spread across Europe is to employ the aggressive tactics of a backalley money lender slash loan shark. The thing is, Merkel and her entourage at the IMF had originally demanded that Cyprus withhold all funds over 100,000 euros, but that was seen as too radical.

The euro will fall, of course. The question is, when – and I am of the opinion that it won’t be soon enough. Not soon enough to avoid more bloody riots in the streets, money being stolen out of the accounts of Cypriot, then Italian, then Spanish citizens — and rest assured, this move is inevitable, just as a rabid animal will thrash and attack anyone in its path rather than go crawl under a bush and just die, before succombing to its illness.

But the thing is, it won’t just fall because the Euro is an unsustainable fantasy and a neverending black hole. Not just because Germany’s domination brings more than a few ugly memories in mind of their invasion and dominance of so many other nations in WW2 (although there is no more need for armies these days; economical blackmail and entire countries taken hostage by their own EU-prostrating, always-deferring, fearful goverments is the de rigueur manner in which to conquer a nation these days).

What happened in Cyprus this week is unparalleled. It is the canary in a mine that signals the end of the European Union itself. Who wants to be bullied and controlled by the IMF, told how many hours they will need to work until age 70, have their pensions taken away and the money in their bank accounts confiscated? The EU is supposed to be a place of enlightenment, not a reincarnation of communist, stalinism, or fascism.

The Rubicon has been crossed; a domino effect has been set in motion by this unprecedented move and it will lead to a bloody, chaotic dissolution. We all must understand that even if Cyprus and Greece exit the EU in an orderly fashion, the sieve is fundamentally cracked and nothing can patch the irreversable damage that the EU model has done not only to people’s lives, but to the future relations between countries.

I’ve said this before, and I will say it forever more — people don’t want this. At the grassroots level, when you talk to the average Spaniard and Italian national in the street, even the average Romanian (who wanted to be in the EU probably more than anyone else) they all shake their heads. Nobody wants this imposed upon them; everybody dreams of the times when the lira and the peseta contributed to a better quality of life. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and this is why everybody embraced the concept of the European Union with such zest, but after a decade of destruction to their quality of life, the rose-tinted glasses have come off.

People will begin to withdraw their moneys out of banks and going back to the old communist/socialist/wartime ways of hiding it in mattresses, converting it into gold, hiding it in a hole in their backyard, in a flower pot,  under a floorboard or a crack in the drywall. The Russian mafiosos who stored approximately 20% of all Cypriot bank withholdings will now inevitably withdraw all their profits en masse. The downward spiral of losses will further shake up the country, and fire up similarly-disadvantaged citizens of countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy to follow the same desperate measures to protect their savings. Both those with meager incomes and the billionaires will all take these measures, taking out funds in unparalleled amounts (the billionaires will, of course, store the rest of their assets in offshore accounts on some Caribbean island or another).

The diminishing funds in actual banks will speed up the inevitable. It will be ugly and many people will suffer unimaginable consequences, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Euro will soon take its rightful place in the annals of history as the worst failed experiment in the history of the European continent. Let’s just hope they don’t take the rest of the world down with them.

cyprus woman

Posted in europe, news, politics, revolution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Norway’s attacks – debunking the terrorist myth

Posted by E on July 23, 2011

Since September 11, 2001, most people’s image of a terrorist has been that of an extremely religious, Muslim, bearded man with a burning hatred for the West. The reality of home-grown, white extremist groups and fringe left or right-wing nutcases has been relegated to the dusty corners of our consciousness. Despite the Oklahoma City bombing, despite the skinheads who marched on the streets of Toronto and London, Molotov cocktails in hand, Swastika banners in hand, we refuse to believe that a terrorist could be one of our own – not a Muslim, not a brown-skinned immigrant, but someone born and raised here.

Today Norway struggles with a momentous tragedy in its history – the bombing of a government building in Oslo and a savage massacre that took the lives of at least 80 youths in a Labour Party youth camp. The suspect – an Aryan-looking, blond and blue-eyed killer, well-known for his links to right-wing extremists, according to AFP sources.

We continue to have a heads-under-the-sand mentality in North America – that right-wing fanaticism doesn’t exist anymore, that violent skinheads and neo-fascists have been relegated to a harmless, inactive status, merely losers on Jerry Springer who garner a few laughs with their Klan-totting robes, but not much more a threat than that. And certainly NOT the types of people who can mobilize like Al-Queda, who can recruit alienated youth and train them to hate, and to kill.

When I was sixteen years old, I experienced first-hand the recruitment tactics of such a group. I witnessed more than a sixteen-year old should witness, and I testified against some very prominent neo-Nazis in open court. When the dust cleared, it became known that the white supremacist group I was being hunted by had been co-founded by an agent provocateur of the Canadian Intelligence Security Service (CSIS), our version of the CIA.

This man was provided funds to sustain this group, many of whose members travelled to Libya to meet with Moammar Gaddafi, who was at the time in the process of connecting various terrorist groups from across the world, funding and giving them access to secret training camps in the desert.

 

The fact that a government agent would have a hand in not only establishing, but fuelling a radical white supremacist group, provoked a temporary outrage in the Canadian public, but not a lasting drive for change. Within a few years, the entire story was forgotten. The former agent provocateur was relocated to another province, given a massive house in the suburbs and a generous allowance for another three years. For what amounts to teaching violent neo-Nazis how to terrorize innocent civilians, and how to smuggle guns over the border from the US. A government report came out that basically acknowledged that Operation Governor had been compromised by an “overzealous” source who might have gone “a little too far”, but nothing was ever done to bring those responsible to justice.

In fact, when I submitted my book for publication over the past year, comments ranged from the flippant to the entirely dismissive, as in the editor from Canada’s Douglas & McIntyre, who sent this rejection note: “I just feel like the issue of white supremacy has had its day, and it would take something more current for a book on this to break out.”

Just tonight, Norway’s Prime Minister, faltering before the press, answered the question “Is right-wing extremism a problem in this country?” with a wishful self-denying “No, we don’t have a big problem with right-wing extremists.” What? That’s after 92+ people have been murdered by a neo-fascist. But in his head, like in publishers and most journalists’ minds, when a Muslim kills, it’s an organized plot. When a neo-fascist kills, it’s one lone, crazy gunman. Nothing to really worry ourselves about.

To the establishment, terrorists have to be Islamic fundamentalists. Even if a Timothy McVeigh or Anders Behring Breivik pops up every few years and takes the lives of hundreds or thousands of people in the process. The fallacy of thought behind editorial boards and mass media is dismissive and shockingly small-minded. The reality is, even if a lone gunman is behind a massacre, there is an entire ideology of hatred behind him.

I suppose that soon I’ll have to list my book on Kindle, since there seem to be no interested publishers in New York who want to buy a novel based on this stuff (but they’d easily offer a million bucks to Kim Kardashian or Casey Anthony for a ghost-written memoir). I owe it to people to put this book out. I’ve received funding from Ontario and Canada arts councils for this project, and there are many of us who I believe it’s an important book since it depicts the step-by-step process of indoctrination of young people into radical terrorist groups.

But traditional publishers do not see my book as “commercial enough” (St Martins / Minotaur). Beyond the disappointment I have in the system, I genuinely wonder what Douglas & McIntyre, Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins have to say tonight. I wonder if they really think a terrorist must have a Muslim face. That the subject of radical right-wingers is passé. Because if they do, they are very, very wrong. And Norway is paying the price for such a flawed assumption.

Posted in canada, commentary, crime, culture, europe, freedom, germany, literature, news, politics, press, publishing, war, writer, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

I miss Europe…..

Posted by E on June 10, 2010

London, May 2010

I know I said it before, but still…exploding volcanoes, euro crashing, Greek riots, the EU splitting up, and least of all, those airport shut-downs…what else could go wrong in Europe this summer?

And yet this is where part of my heart lies. Where I’ve been most alive.

Like everybody born in one place and reared in another, my feet straddle two continents, and it seems like I am never whole. Yes, I know that what you call your “home” ought to reside within you, but there are still moments when I viscerally sense the absence of springtime in Canada, where I gaze up at the trees and almost expect to see white, pink and purple flowers in bloom…but there are only leaves. Vibrantly green, beautiful leaves, but nothing like the kaleidoscopic burst of petals and pastels I remember from my childhood.

Do you ever feel like you want to be in two places at once? It’s like that early morning moment when you’ve just woken up but you’re not altogether sure which world is real – the one of dreams and longing, or the one that protrudes, weed-like, through traffic and ashphalt?

Posted in belonging, europe, life, london, longing, thoughts, travel, writer, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »