Music

This page has several hours of YouTube videos of peaceful and serene music distributed over several playlists. Click on “continue reading” to show all playlists. Single click on a playlist to start playing. After that, double click on the playlist to make it full screen. Double click again to change it back. Several of the Continue reading »

Sam Collins – February, 2015

  • Short-term:
    • we remain cautiously bullish
  • Midterm:
    • up
  • Long-term:
    • the long-term trend is bullish

The New Drivers of Europe’s Geopolitics

By George Friedman

For the past two weeks, I have focused on the growing fragmentation of Europe. Two weeks ago, the murders in Paris prompted me to write about the fault line between Europe and the Islamic world. Last week, I wrote about the nationalism that is rising in individual European countries after the European Central Bank was forced to allow national banks to participate in quantitative easing so European nations wouldn’t be forced to bear the debt of other nations. I am focusing on fragmentation partly because it is happening before our eyes, partly because Stratfor has been forecasting this for a long time and partly because my new book on the fragmentation of Europe — Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe — is being released today.

This is the week to speak of the political and social fragmentation within European nations and its impact on Europe as a whole. The coalition of the Radical Left party, known as Syriza, has scored a major victory in Greece. Now the party is forming a ruling coalition and overwhelming the traditional mainstream parties. It is drawing along other left-wing and right-wing parties that are united only in their resistance to the EU’s insistence that austerity is the solution to the ongoing economic crisis that began in 2008.

The European Union, Nationalism and the Crisis of Europe

By George Friedman

Last week, I wrote about the crisis of Islamic radicalism and the problem of European nationalism. This week’s events give me the opportunity to address the question of European nationalism again, this time from the standpoint of the European Union and the European Central Bank, using a term that only an economist could invent: “quantitative easing.”

European media has been flooded for the past week with leaks about the European Central Bank’s forthcoming plan to stimulate the faltering European economy by implementing quantitative easing. First carried by Der Spiegel and then picked up by other media, the story has not been denied by anyone at the bank nor any senior European official. We can therefore call this an official leak, because it lets everyone know what is coming before an official announcement is made later in the week.

The New World Order

This is a theme that has begun to emerge in writings that are appearing on the internet. This article will collect them as we encounter them so that we can analyze them and break them down into their points. This will allow us to create benchmarks against which actual events can be correlated. This is preliminary research from which more organized essays may be written.

A War Between Two Worlds

By George Friedman

The murders of cartoonists who made fun of Islam and of Jews shopping for their Sabbath meals by Islamists in Paris last week have galvanized the world. A galvanized world is always dangerous. Galvanized people can do careless things. It is in the extreme and emotion-laden moments that distance and coolness are most required. I am tempted to howl in rage. It is not my place to do so. My job is to try to dissect the event, place it in context and try to understand what has happened and why. From that, after the rage cools, plans for action can be made. Rage has its place, but actions must be taken with discipline and thought.

I have found that in thinking about things geopolitically, I can cool my own rage and find, if not meaning, at least explanation for events such as these. As it happens, my new book will be published on Jan. 27. Titled Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, it is about the unfolding failure of the great European experiment, the European Union, and the resurgence of European nationalism. It discusses the re-emerging borderlands and flashpoints of Europe and raises the possibility that Europe’s attempt to abolish conflict will fail. I mention this book because one chapter is on the Mediterranean borderland and the very old conflict between Islam and Christianity. Obviously this is a matter I have given some thought to, and I will draw on Flashpoints to begin making sense of the murderers and murdered, when I think of things in this way.

Is Ontario’s Economy Growing?

An op-ed piece in today’s Ottawa Sun by Candice Malcolm of the Canadian Taxpayers federation finally motivated us to tackle an issue we’ve been nibbling at for a while. Candice states: There’s no denying the current strength of Ontario’s economy … And this kicked our contrarian nature into high gear: ‘how does she know that and can it be denied?’ Until we see better data, our take on it based on employment data is that it is not growing. Let’s find out if we’re right.

The Ontario Employment Picture: December, 2014 – Deteriorating

December’s job losses in the Canadian labour market of 89,800 exceeded the 58,400 jobs lost in November. Of this number, 36% were in Ontario which has 39% of Canada’s population. Analysis of the data shows that the public sector is responsible for 56% of the job growth in the province.

The Weather in 2014: Extreme Hysteria but Not Extreme Weather

We have studied tornadoes (Flash Point: A Note on Tornadoes), hurricanes (Flash Point: Hurricanes and Hyperbole), and typhoons (Flash Point: Typhoons in Perspective) in response to the hyperbole over anthropomorphic global warming and climate change and found no evidence of increased activity. With the 2014 data now in, we see how 2014 compared to past years. In addition we address the current “hottest year” hysteria.

Sam Collins – January 2015

  • Short-term:
    • down
  • Midterm:
    • down
  • Long-term:
    • the long-term trend is bullish

Firearm Deaths in the U.S.: the Data

We became aware of a new report today published by the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Davis. Titled The Epidemiology of FirearmViolence in the Twenty-First Century United States, it documents the rate of suicides and homicides in the U.S. by firearms compared to other means of killing.

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