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    Thalidomide – not the drug but the government is maldito

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on September 4th, 2017

    In his Press Release dated 10 July 2017 the Registrar to the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg informed the public that on 27 June 2017 a Chamber of three judges had declared the appeal by the “Asociación de Víctimas de la Talidomida de España” (Avite) inadmissible. Avite had commenced a compensation action in the Spanish courts against the maker of thalidomide, the company called Grünenthal. After the case had been rejected by the lower courts and finally by the tribunal supremo, Avite lodged its appeal to the ECHR. Following this ECHR rejection, Avite is organising on 8 and 9 September 2017 a series of activities in support of thalidomide victims in Legorreta (Guipúzcoa).
    http://www.avite.org/actos-en-favor-afectados-de-talidomida-legorreta/

    This is perhaps an opportunity to ask whether Avite should not have commenced its original action against another defendant. I am speaking of the government of Franco and of that of the King of Spain which assumed the former’s debts and obligations.

    It is well known that U.S.A. president John F. Kennedy gave Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey the highest federal civilian service award in 1962. As a bureaucrat at the U.S.A. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), the woman would have prevented thalidomide being marketed in the U.S.A.

    Wikipedia says however that she only joined the F.D.A. in 1960 (thalidomide had been marketed since 1957). Once there, she further delayed thalidomide’s approval. Wikipedia also says that Kelsey is credited SINCE NINETEEN THIRTY-EIGHT with her interest in teratogens – i.e. drugs that cause congenital malformations, that 1938 was the date of the creation of the F.D.A., and that Kelsey managed to be appointed there in 1960.
    Should we not conclude that Kennedy gave an award to the inventor of thalidomide?

    How this can be reconciled with what The Sunday Times of London wrote on 8 February 2009 (reprinted by The Australian under the title “Thalidomide ‘created by Nazis’”) is another question, which somebody should investigate.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/news/thalidomide-created-by-nazis/news-story/0f27e62ebe2540814589eadd47026c1e

    The weekly newspaper wrote that thalidomide was probably one of a number of products developed at Dyhernfurth (a chemical laboratory) or Auschwitz-Monowitz under the leadership of Otto Ambros in the course of nerve gas research, thalidomide actually having been produced as a possible antidote to nerve toxins such as sarin. Grünenthal apparently purchased the trade name of the drug – Contergan – and therefore probably the substance itself, from a French firm, Rhône-Poulenc, which was under Nazi control during the war years.

    Like East-Germany, France banned thalidomide, and in neither of those countries are there any thalidomide victims.

    LEGAL TABLOIDS

    Legal tabloids tell us that thalidomide is an example of the development-risk defence which allows producers to escape liability if they prove that the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time when they put the product into circulation was not such as to enable the existence of a defect to be discovered, as defined at present “a contrario” (“argument based on the contrary”, denoting any proposition that is argued to be correct because it is not disproved by a certain case, says Wikipedia) in article 15(1)(b) of the 1985 EEC Product Liability Directive, formally Council Directive 85/374/EEC dated 25 July 1985 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products.

    Dr. Herman Cousy, Emeritus Professor of Law at the Catholic University of Leuven, demonstrated in 1996 that the thalidomide scandal cannot be considered to be an example of the development-risk defence by saying, on page 163 in note 28 of his paper “The Precautionary Principle: A Status Questionis” published in the “Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance – Issues and Practice”, also available on the website of the “Geneva Association”, l’ “Association Internationale pour l’Etude de l’Economie de l’Assurance”, the leading international think tank of the insurance industry, now at link.springer.com, that:
    “One often cites the Thalidomide (Contergan) case as an example of a development risk situation, although it appears that when thalidomide was placed on the German market, the product had been banned in France. Can it be readily upheld, under such circumstances, that the conditions for a development risk situation were met?”
    https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1057%2Fgpp.1996.10.pdf

    This can easily be reconciled with the fact that thalidomide was developed by Rhône-Poulenc. How Dr Kelsey enters the story, or rather entered it in 1938, must still be investigated. (Thalidomide would have been known in the year 1938 as a cure for Hansen’s Disease. It would have been made by Richardson-Merrill Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio (U.S.A.). Its defects would have been noted in Phoenix, Arizona, (U.S.A.), in a medical journal that year. Kelsey would in those days have recognised these defects.)

    OUTLAW THALIDOMIDE ONCE AND FOR ALL

    West Germany – and the entire European medical profession – knew what it was doing when it did not oppose thalidomide after France had banned it. (The iron curtain had its use. There are no
    thalidomide victims in East Germany.)

    This means that the primary cause of the thalidomide scandal is the fact that after the French government had banned thalidomide, other European governments did not prevent the product being placed on “their” markets, and they did not immediately order the withdrawal of thalidomide from “their” markets once the product appeared there after the French ban.

    The primary cause is opposed to the (Aristotelian) efficient cause of the thalidomide scandal, the tablet. For Aristotle, 25 centuries ago, the efficient cause was the agent who brings about the change. And Aristotle went on to give the example of the sculptor who makes the … statue. Was this example devised 25 centuries ago with thalidomide victims in mind?

    As to the comeback of thalidomide: human nature is such that some individuals who have inside knowledge about the effects of thalidomide will always deliberately and unnoticeably (i.e., without being noticed) cause the serious harm thalidomide can ‘so easily’ cause. They do that precisely because the damage to the mother and to the child is so serious and because they can do that so easily and without being noticed. It may be that ‘in clinical trials’, thalidomide is shown to be effective against many things. But ‘in real life’, it is given to unsuspecting girls – unsuspecting that they are pregnant and/or unsuspecting that thalidomide could harm their foetus.

    I posted my message to the librarian at the philosophy department of the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona (perhaps he will grant me access to the library) at the end of my review of this book
    “The Knowledge of the First Principles in Saint Thomas Aquinas”
    Paperback – 24 February 2015
    by Mary Christine Ugobi-Onyemere (Author)
    on 9 August 2017 on Amazon UK,
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1KN0F84TF3LD7/ref=pe_1572281_66412651_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

    ivocerckel@yahoo.com

    Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

    Lo que está maldito es el gobierno, no la talidomida

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on August 23rd, 2017

    A través de su comunicado del 10 de julio de 2017, el Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos (TEDH) de Estrasburgo informó al público que el 27 de junio de 2017 un comité de tres jueces decidió no admitir a trámite el recurso de apelación de la “Asociación de Víctimas de la Talidomida de España” (Avite). Avite ha presentado en los tribunales españoles un caso de indemnización por daños y perjuicios contra el fabricante de la talidomida, la compañía llamada Grünenthal. Después de que el caso hubier has sido rechazado por los tribunales de primera instancia y finalmente por el Tribunal Supremo, Avite interpuso su recurso de apelación ante el TEDH. Tras este rechazo del TEDH, Avite organiza el 08 y 09 de septiembre de 2017 una serie de actividades de ayuda a las víctimas de la talidomida en Legorreta (Guipúzcoa).
    http://www.avite.org/actos-en-favor-afectados-de-talidomida-legorreta/

    Quizás ahora es el momento de preguntar si Avite no debería haber presentado su caso original contra otro acusado. Estoy hablando del gobierno de Franco y del Rey de España que ha asumido las deudas y obligaciones del primero.

    Es bien sabido que el presidente EE. UU. John F. Kennedy dio a la Dra. Frances Oldham Kelsey el mayor premio del servicio civil federal en 1962. Como funcionaria de la Administración de Medicamentos y Alimentos (Food and Drug Administration, FDA) de EE. UU., esta mujer habría impedido que la talidomida se comercializara en EE. UU. Sin embargo, según la Wikipedia, nose unió a la FDA hasta 1960 (la talidomida se comercializó desde 1957). Una vez allí, retrasó aún más la aprobación de la talidomida. Además, en la Wikipedia también se afirma que Kelsey estaba interesada en los teratógenos, es decir, en los medicamentos que provocan malformaciones congénitas, ya desde 1938, fecha de creación de la FDA, y que Kelsey logró su nombramiento en la misma en 1960.¿No deberíamos concluir que Kennedy premió al inventor de la talidomida?

    Cómo compaginar esta información con lo que el Sunday Times de Londres publicó el 8 de febrero de 2009 (reimpreso por The Australian con el título “Thalidomide ‘created by Nazis’” (“La talidomida, creación de los nazis”) es otra cuestión que alguien debería investigar.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/news/thalidomide-created-by-nazis/news-story/0f27e62ebe2540814589eadd47026c1e

    En dicha publicación semanal se afirmaba que, probablemente, la talidomida fue uno de una serie de productos químicos desarrollados en Dyhernfurth (un laboratorio químico) o en Auschwitz-Monowitz bajo la dirección de Otto Ambros durante una investigación sobre gases neurotóxicos. La talidomida se produciría como antídoto contra toxinas nerviosas como el gas sarín. Al parecer, Grünenthal compró el nombre comercial del fármaco –Contergan– y, posiblemente, la propia sustancia a la empresa francesa Rhône-Poulenc, que estuvo bajo control nazi durante los años de la II Guerra Mundial.

    Al igual que Alemania Oriental, Francia prohibió la talidomida y no hay víctimas del fármaco en ninguno de estos países.

    TABLOIDES SOBRE DERECHO

    Los tabloides sobre derecho afirman que la talidomida es un ejemplo de la defensa contra el riesgo de desarrollo, la cual permite que los productores puedan eludir su responsabilidad si se demuestra que, en el momento en el que pusieron el producto en circulación, los conocimientos técnicos y científicos no permitían detectar la existencia del defecto, tal y como se define en la actualidad como “a contrario” (“argumento basado en el contrario”: según la Wikipedia, cualquier proposición que se considera correcta porque no ha sido refutado por un caso concreto) en el artículo 15(1)(b) de la Directiva CEE de 1985 sobre responsabilidad de productos, formalmente Directiva 85/374/CEE del Consejo, de 25 de julio de 1985, relativa a la aproximación de las disposiciones legales, reglamentarias y administrativas de los estados miembros en materia de responsabilidad por los daños causados por productos defectuosos.

    El profesor Herman Cousy, profesor emérito de la facultad de derecho de la Universidad Católica de Leuven, demostró en 1996 que el escándalo de la talidomida puede considerarse un ejemplo de la defensa contra el riesgo de desarrollo. En la página 163, nota 28, de su ponencia “The Precautionary Principle: A Status Questionis” (“El principio de precaución: el estado de la cuestión”), publicado en “Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance – Issues and Practice”, también disponible en el sitio web “Geneva Association – Association Internationale pour l’Etude de l’Economie de l’Assurance”, el comité de asesoramiento internacional líder de la industria de seguros, ahora en link.springer.com, se afirma que:

    “A menudo se cita el caso Talidomida (Contergan) como ejemplo de una situación de riesgo de desarrollo, aunque parece que cuando se trajo la talidomida al mercado alemán, el producto había sido prohibido en Francia. ¿En tales circunstancias, puede confirmarse fácilmente que las condiciones para una situación de riesgo de desarrollo se cumplieron?”
    https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1057%2Fgpp.1996.10.pdf

    Esto puede ser fácilmente conciliado con el hecho de que la talidomida fue desarrollada por Rhône-Poulenc. Cómo la señora Kelsey entra en la historia o, más bien, como la introducen en 1938, todavía debe ser investigado. (La Taliomida habrías ido conocida en el año 1938 como la cura para la enfermedad de Hansen. Habrías ido creada por Richardson-Merrill Co. en Cincinnati, Ohio (EEUU). Sus defectos habrían sido notados en Phoenix, Arizona, (EEUU), en un diario médico de ese año. En esos días, Kelsey habría reconocido dichos efectos.)

    PROSCRIBIR LA TALIDOMIDA DE UNA VEZ POR TODAS

    Los médicos de Alemania Occidental y de toda Europa sabían lo que estaba haciendo este fármaco cuando no se opusieron a la talidomida después de que Francia lo prohibió. (La cortina de hierro tuvo su uso. El telón de acero tuvo su utilidad: no hay víctimas de la talidomida en Alemania Oriental).

    Esto significa que la causa primordial del escándalo de la talidomida es el hecho de que, después de que el gobierno francés la prohibiera, otros gobiernos europeos no impidieron que el producto se posicionará apareciera en “sus” mercados ni ordenaron la retirada inmediata de la talidomida de “sus” mercados, los mismos una vez que el producto apareció allí después de la prohibición francesa.

    La causa primaria es la opuesta a la causa eficiente (aristotélica) del escándalo de la talidomida, los comprimidos (ya la causa material y final del escándalo). Para Aristóteles, hace 25 siglos, la causa eficiente es el ser en acto que trae consigo el cambio. Y Aristóteles pasó a dar el ejemplo del escultor que hace que la… estatua. ¿Este ejemplo fue ideado hace 25 siglos pensando en las víctimas de la talidomida?

    En cuanto al regreso de la talidomida: la naturaleza humana está constituida de tal forma que algunos individuos que tienen conocimiento sobre los efectos de la talidomida siempre causarán deliberada e imperceptiblemente (es decir, sin ser percibidos) el daño grave que la talidomida causa “tan fácilmente”. Lo hacen precisamente porque el daño que hace a la madre y al niño es muy grave y porque puede hacerse muy fácilmente y sin que nadie lo note. Es posible que “en los ensayos clínicos”, la talidomida haya demostrado ser efectiva contra muchas cosas. Pero, en la vida real, se receta a adolescentes que no saben que están embarazadas y/o que no saben que la talidomida puede dañar al feto.

    He enviado mi mensaje al bibliotecario del Departamento de Filosofía de la Universidad de Navarra, en Pamplona (quizás él me conceda el acceso a la biblioteca) al final de mi reseña del libro
    “The Knowledge of the First Principles in Saint Thomas Aquinas” (El conocimiento de los primeros principios en Santo Tomás de Aquino),
    Paperback – 24 February 2015
    by Mary Christine Ugobi-Onyemere (Author)
    El 09 de agosto de 2017 en Amazon UK.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1KN0F84TF3LD7/ref=pe_1572281_66412651_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

    ivocerckel@yahoo.com

     

    Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

    message to Sept 2017 thalidomiders conference in Legorreta – Update 1

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on August 6th, 2017

    Actos en favor afectados de talidomida en Legorreta
    14 Julio, 2017
    https://www.avite.org/actos-en-favor-afectados-de-talidomida-legorreta/
    SNIP
    Actos en favor afectados de talidomida en Legorreta (Guipúzcoa), donde el ayuntamiento se ha volcado con ellos.
    Ha organizando una serie de actividades en ayuda de los talidomídicos, después del varapalo de la inadmisión de AVITE de su demanda por el Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos de Estrasburgo (TEDH). Motivo que es de agradecer.
    INVITACIÓN
    Programa de actos Pro afectados Talidomida en Legorreta (Guipúzcoa) 8 y 9 septiembre 2017

    Update 1 of 05 August 2017
    I will be landing on Tuesday 05 September 2017 at Terminal 1 in Barcelona at 13h25 from Dubai on Emirates flight number EK 185.pdate 1 of 05 August 201

    My message is in a nutshell:

    That West-Germany – and the whole European medical profession – knew what it was doing when it did not oppose thalidomide after France
    (Rhone-Poulenc. How this links to Frances Oldham Kelsey is another question.)
    had banned it.
    (The iron curtain had its use. No thalidomiders in East-Germany.)

    That my grandfather found evidence that my father, a medical doctor, administered thalidomide on purpose to my mother.

    That the Liège (Southern Low-Countries) tribunal de lo criminal (cour d’assises) acquitted the murderers of a thalidomider born three months after me (I was born 02/1962),

    thereby forcing me 38 years later to flee a place where there is no “active” (???) welfare state
    (Roger Blanpain, reviens, ils sont fous!)
    and where life is cheaper.

    (Ask yourself how many of our colleagues have been killed under the Franco regime – and after that – and are still being killed in places like Brazil. Thalidomide made a come-back (from having never left), you know!)

    Don’t forget that the welfare state needed thalidomide to confirm 15 years after the war, the need for the welfare state, but then goes on to let thalidomiders die (in the sun, thank you, it’s raining season now.)

    My message to the librarian at the philosophy department of the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona (maybe he’ll grant me access to the library) should follow later this week as a review of this book
    The Knowledge of the First Principles in Saint Thomas Aquinas Paperback – 24 Feb 2015
    by Mary Christine Ugobi-Onyemere (Author)

    on Amazon.co.uk
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knowledge-First-Principles-Thomas-Aquinas/dp/3034315686/

    ivocerckel@siquijor.ws

    Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

    Democracy and the August 31 India Summit 2017 of The Economist

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on July 2nd, 2017

    This is a review of the May 04, 2017 hardcover edition of the book “The Retreat of Western Liberalism”, Little, Brown
    http://www.amazon.in/Retreat-Western-Liberalism-Edward-Luce/dp/1408710404

    I tried to post this review as “The book debunks Western democracy once and for all” on Amazon.in. However, as I had forgotten that a review on Amazon may not include URLs, the review was rejected by Amazon.in. I am unable to post it again even without the URLs..

    I tried to copy this review on Amazon.in with the following introduction but he had included two URLs in the introduction so that the review was rejected. The reviewer is unable to post again – without the URL like he does here..

    The gods at Amazon.co.uk where I had posted this review without the introduction
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/customer-reviews/R4J8JY4DSWUIK/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1408710412#R
    have allowed me thanks to my comment to my own review at Amazon.co.uk to post the review on Amazon.in
    http://www.amazon.in/review/R4OWJIJV4474/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=1408710404&channel=detail-glance&nodeID=976389031&store=books

    Thank you Amazon.

    This was thus the title of the review:
    “The book debunks Western democracy once and for all”

    This review refers to the hardcover edition of the book which this reviewer reviewed on Amazon.co.uk without the present introduction relating to the fact that the book is required reading for the delegates at the August 31, 2017 “India Summit 2017”, organised by The Economist.
    https://events.economist.com/events-conferences/asia/india-summit/

    By concentrating on the morality of actions while ignoring the consequences of such actions, the book debunks Western democracy once and for all.

    This book which does not refer to Gandhi’s “satyagraha”, the idea of nonviolent resistance or search for truth through discussion, is essential reading for anyone attending the India Summit 2017 organised by the London-based weekly The Economist newspaper in New Delhi on August 31, 2017.

    This is the same newspaper which on June 24, 2017 criticised the Modi administration for not being enough of a reformer.
    The Summit should be interesting as Minister of Finance, His Excellency Arun Jaitley, is one of the speakers.
    Another subject is of course demonetisation. In his review on this site of the 2016 “The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution”, edited by Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla, and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, the reviewer has shown that demonetisation is null and void.
    http://www.amazon.in/gp/customer-reviews/R13LY542ZU35LK/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0198787332
    Robert Koopman, chief economist and director of the economic research and statistics division at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will participate in a panel: “What must happen now to sustain India’s economic growth trajectory?” The WTO is an organisation which was supposed to be formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods conference which created the IMF and World Bank, says Professor Catherine R. Schenk from Glasgow University in her 2011 book “International Economic Relations since 1945”. In 1971, USA president Nixon repealed Bretton Woods. The WTO was only created in 1995, i.e., at a moment Nixon destroyed the Bretton Woods institutions. What’s the use then of the WTO?
    A 2015 column “A new Bretton Woods – Older multilateral institutions must adjust to new world order, or see more AIIBs, BRICS banks emerge” by Janmejaya Sinha. Chairman Asia Pacific, Boston Consulting Group , called for a new Bretton Woods. If the Modi administration wants to show it has, contrary to what The Economist said in June 2017, the competence of being a reformer, why not take the lead in developing this new Bretton Woods? The Modi project could be submitted to the India-Asean Summit in November 2017 in the Philippines. ASEAN is the Association of South East Asian Nations. The Philippine Star newspaper ran on April 20, 2017 an article under the title “Trump’s attendance in November Asean meet likely”

    But the reason why the book which is hereby being reviewed is required reading for the Summit is that an earlier version of the Programme had a session “The World If: Democracy’s demise”.
    The organisers described this session as:
    “Donald Trump’s victory in the American presidential election came just a few months after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union; these two events have left many people questioning the future of democracy. Critics of India’s economic development often cite China in comparison: Beijing’s single-party approach to running the country is credited for over 20 years of double-digit growth. India, on the other hand, has not fulfilled the great expectations many had at the start of the 1990s. Could democracy be the culprit?
    In this speculative session, we imagine an India that abandons its democratic foundations in favour of single-party rule. Would its people, business and economy be better off by 2050.”
    http://www.economist.com/node/21718334/agenda

     

    WESTERN DEMOCRACY DEBUNKED

    The question of the book which was published in May 2017 is whether the Western way of life and our liberal democratic system can survive the dramatic shift of global power (p. 28) to the East but the author, a journalist at the Financial Times, does not refer to the book “Easternisation” by his colleague Gideon Rachman at the Financial Times, book which was published eight months earlier.

    The inside flap says that the book provides a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to defend them from the multiple onslaughts they face in the coming years. “Enlightenment” is written with a small e. From pp. 24 and 104, it is clear that what is meant here is the Enlightenment with a capital e. The Enlightenment is one of reasons why Modernity was born in the West, says p. 24.
    The author obtained in 1990 an undergraduate degree from New College, Oxford in Politics, Economics and … Philosophy. The main philosopher behind the Enlightenment is Immanuel Kant (1724-1804).

    The book quotes Kant once. On p. 126, the author writes that Rousseau and Kant believed in humanity’s innate moral compass – the popular common sense that was celebrated by Thomas Paine. The index says at the word “democracy” that this is the idealism of Rousseau and Kant concerning … democracy, not concerning the Enlightenment since it is at the word “democracy”. (Or what? It’s the editor/publisher not the author who composes the index?)
    Jean-Jacques was the chap who sent the children he had with his mistress to the orphanage across the street. Please allow this reviewer to pass over JJR’s general will leading to the social contract. (On top of his bphouse.com Honest Money blog, this reviewer has a paper “C’est la faute à Rawls”.)

    Unconsciously, Luce demonstrates the main problem with democracy on p. 126 where he writes that Kant believed in humanity’s innate moral compass – the popular common sense that was celebrated by Thomas Paine. Luce is here referring to Kant’s categorical imperative.
    The categorical imperative (German: “kategorischer Imperativ”) is the central philosophical concept in the deontological moral philosophy of Kant, introduced in Kant’s 1785 “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals”, says Wikipedia.
    In the said work, Kant defined the categorical imperative as:
    “Act only according to that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law”,
    After having given this definition, Kant went on to give us a formulation of the categorical imperative that he thinks is easier to use than the one already given. (J.B. Schneewind, “Autonomy, obligation and virtue: An overview of Kant’s moral philosophy”, in: Paul Guyer, (ed.), “The Cambridge Companion to Kant”, Cambridge UP, 1992. 309 p. 320)
    “So act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature. “

    As Mary Ugobi-Onyemere, IHM, puts it:
    ” […] in Kant, metaphysical principles are like ‘regulative ideas, and moral principles are absolute. With respect to persons, in his ‘categorical imperative’, Kant posits an ‘innate moral duty’ as “species” of first ethical realistic principles. Kant asserts that the fundamental principle of our moral duties is a ‘categorical imperative’. It concentrates on the morality of actions while ignoring the consequences of such actions. This is absolutised since the morality of an action disregards the situation in hand. Kant illustrates the will as operating principle on the basis of subjective volitional principles that he calls ‘maxims’. And so, morality and other rational demands are requirements, which pertain to the maxims that motivate our actions. This proposal in Kant can be contrasted with the Thomistic ‘synderesis’, which is an innate habit.”
    (Mary Christine Ugobi-Onyemere, IHM, “The Knowledge of the First Principles in Saint Thomas Aquinas”, Bern, Peter Lang, 2015, p. 51)

    You don’t believe Mary Ugobi-Onyemere’s interpretation of Kant? Here’s Nobel laureate Friedrich A. von Hayek who copies the Kantian error:
    “It impossible to decide about the justice of any one particular rule of just conduct except within the framework of a whole system of such rules, most of which must for this purpose be regarded as unquestioned; values can always be tested only in terms of other values. The test of the justice of a rule is usually (since Kant) described as that of its ‘universalisability’, i.e., of the possibility of willing that the rules should be applied to all instances that correspond to the conditions stated in it (the ‘categorical imperative’). What this amounts to is that in applying it to any concrete circumstances it will not conflict with any other accepted rules. The test is thus in the last resort one of the compatibility or non-contradictoriness of the whole system of rules, not merely in the logical sense but in the sense that the system of actions which the rules permit will not lead to conflict. ”
    (Hayek, “The Principles of a Liberal Social Order”, paper submitted to the Tokyo meeting of the Mont Pélerin Society, September 1966 and published in: “Il Politico” 31, no. 4 (December 1966): 601–618,
    reprinted in: Chiaki Nishiyama and Kurt R. Leube, (eds.), “The Essence of Hayek”, Stanford University – Hoover Institution Press. 1984, 363-381, p. 371)

    The Kant quote from p. 126 further alleges that the categorical imperative, which Luce defines as humanity’s innate moral compass, corresponds to the popular common sense that was celebrated by Thomas Paine.

    The “Dictionary of American History”, Encyclopedia.com, says that “Common Sense” was a 1776 influential revolutionary pamphlet by Thomas Paine stressing the logic of America’s independence, while avoiding abstract philosophy, favouring instead the ordinary language of artisans and biblical examples to support Paine’s argument. Sideways, the Dictionary adds that Paine’s original title for the tract was “plain truth”.
    The only reference this reviewer found to common sense in the pamphlet is that the pamphlet’s purpose was to examine that connection to and dependence on Great Britain, on the principles of nature and common sense, to see what we have to trust to, if separated, and what we are to expect, if dependent.
    So far, for Paine’s definition of common sense.

    Why not invoke the “common sense” of another USA revolutionary pamphlet, one of a century later, i.e., 1870? The pamphlet is “No Treason – The Constitution of No Authority” where Lysander Spooner writes that if the people of the USA wish to maintain such a government as the Constitution describes, there is no reason in the world why they should not sign the instrument itself, and thus make known their wishes in an open, authentic manner; in such manner as the “common sense” and experience of mankind have shown to be reasonable and necessary in such cases; and in such manner as to make themselves (as they ought to do) individually responsible for the acts of the government. But the people have never been asked to sign it. And the only reason why they have never been asked to sign it, has been that it has been known that they never would sign it; that they were neither such fools nor knaves as they must needs have been to be willing to sign it; that (at least as it has been practically interpreted) it is not what any sensible and honest man wants for himself; nor such as he has any right to impose upon others. It is, to all moral intents and purposes, as destitute of obligations as the compacts which robbers and thieves and pirates enter into with each other, but never sign, end of quote.

    Common sense does not have a value of representation, but it has a value of meaning insofar as it notifies the existence of a reality that it determines by the attitude and conduct that we must take and follow in order to orient and lead us towards the object in question.
    (Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., “Le sens commun : la philosophie de l’être et les formules dogmatiques”(Common sense : the philosophy of being and the dogmatic formulae), Paris, Nouvelle Librairie Nationale, 1922, 3rd rev. ed., pp. 38-39,
    reprinted in 2016 by Editions Nuntiavit in Lourdes, p. 22)

    This means that, contrary to what Kant and Hayek argue, common sense can never give us the rules to be applied without knowing the situation to which the rules have to be applied.

    “Synderesis”, like the correct Greek word, “synesis” (insight) of of which “synderesis” is a bastardisation, which Aquinas did not know, is indeed about naturally grasping the general principles to be applied to any intelligible reality after having in the same natural way grasped the truth in that reality, says Mary Christine Ugobi-Onyemere.

    The Top Customer Review of March 11, 2016 on Amazon.com of the quoted Spooner pamphlet says that if you love Rousseau’s “Social Contract” you will hate this book; for they are emphatically opposed. There’s Jean-Jacques through the backdoor of the orphanage.
    The book which is hereby being reviewed opts p. 104 for Locke’s definition of social contract instead of that of Rousseau (no, instead of that Hobbes, the author says) although on p. 126 the author seems to agree with Rousseau’s “believe in humanity’s innate moral compass” which gives rise to Rousseau’s general will of the people.

    Ivo Cerckel
    ivocerckel@siquijor.ws

    Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

    The Impossibility of the Gold-Standard – A Thomist Perspective

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on June 8th, 2017

    A government’s will is not autonomous and must take reality in account.

    The Kantian categorical imperative upon which the gold standard is based does not take reality into account.

    Kant denies that we can acquire knowledge of “objects in general” through the formal concepts and principles of the understanding.

    ==

    Currency is a value standard. One of the three functions of currency is indeed to be a value standard (measuring tool). Currency allows one to compare the values of the different goods and services through a common measuring unit. (1)

    That’s why the idea arises of linking currency to something of objective value, say silver or gold. Under the gold standard the currency is linked to gold, the currency is linked to money. Gold becomes the standard by which value can be determined.

    As Ludwig von Mises wrote in 1912 concerning the virtues and alleged shortcomings of the gold standard in the German edition of his “The Theory of Money and Credit”:

    “The excellence of the gold standard is to be seen in the fact that it renders the determination of the monetary unit’s purchasing power independent of the policies of governments and political parties. Furthermore, it prevents rulers from eluding the financial and budgetary prerogatives of the representative assemblies. Parliamentary control of finances works only if the government is not in a position to provide for unauthorized expenditures by increasing the circulating amount of fiat money. Viewed in this light, the gold standard appears as an indispensable implement of the body of constitutional guarantees that make the system of representative government function.” (2)

    The period 1870-1914 is considered the heyday of the international gold standard, a monetary system where a country’s currency or paper money has a value directly linked to gold. With the gold standard, countries agreed to convert paper money into a fixed amount of gold. A country that uses the gold standard sets a fixed price for gold and buys and sells gold at that price, says Investopedia.com.

    “The gold standard was based on a legal rule, which was the compulsory formal convertibility, which States recognised with respect to currency. This commitment constituted a “categorical imperative” with constitutional value. The value of the commitment was higher than the value of the current objectives of economic policy”,
    said Professor Michel Aglietta at a 7 November 1996 seminar organised for the centennial of the birthday of Jacques Rueff.  (3)

    This year, 2017, marks the bicentennial of the (the first edition of) David Ricardo’s 1817 book, “On the Principles of Political Economy” in which he wrote that:
    “Experience shows that neither a state nor a bank ever has had the unrestricted power of issuing money without abusing that power; in all states, therefore, the issue of paper money ought to be under some check and control; and none seems so proper for that purpose as that of subjecting the issuers of paper money to the obligation of paying their notes either in gold coin or bullion.” (4)

    As Roland Leuschel and Claus Vogt would write in 2006:
    “The old gold-standard could not change human nature which dictates that no ruler can withstand the pressure to print more receipts than he has gold in reserve. The old gold-standard did moreover not provide for the possibility that an increase of the ounces, kilograms, or tonnes of gold held in reserve would lead to an increase in the currency’s value. Its chief weakness was however that it could be repealed by the politicians.” (5)

    IMMANUEL KANT
    VS
    WHAT HE CALLS THE “ANUS”-PHILOSOPHERS

    I now come to Immanuel Kant (1724- 1804, 1804 is the year Napoleon enacted his Civil Code), the philosopher of the Enlightenment.

    I quoted Professor Aglietta as saying that the commitment of the gold standard by governments constituted a “categorical imperative” with constitutional value.

    The categorical imperative (German: “kategorischer Imperativ”) is the central philosophical concept in the deontological moral philosophy of Kant, introduced in Kant’s 1785 “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals”, says Wikipedia..

    In the said work, Kant defined the categorical imperative as:
    “Act only according to that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law”
    “Handle nur nach derjenigen Maxime, durch die du zugleich wollen kannst, dass sie ein allgemeines Gesetz werde.” (Akad.-Textausgabe 4; 421 / 88)

    After having given this definition, Kant went on to give us a formulation of the categorical imperative that he thinks is easier to use than the one already given. (6)

    “So act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature.”
    “Handle so, als ob die Maxime deiner Handlung durch deinen Willen zum allgemeinen Naturgesetze werden sollte. ‘ (Akad.-Textausgabe 4;421 / 89)

    French Thomist (7) philosopher Jacques Maritain (1882 – 1973) writes that in the 18th Century conception of rights of man, Natural Law was to be deduced from the so-called autonomy of the Will (there is a genuine notion of autonomy, that of St Paul- unfortunately the 18th Century had forgotten it). The rights of the human person were to be based on the claim that man is subject to no law other than that of his own will and freedom.

    And Maritain draws attention to the fact that Kant said in his 1797 book “Metaphysics of Morals” that:
    “Man is subject to no law other than that of his own will.  A person, Kant wrote, is subject to no other laws than those which he (either alone or jointly with others) gives to himself.” VI 223

    “dass eine Person keinen anderen Gesetzen als denen die sie (entweder allein, oder wenigstens zugleich mit anderen) sich selbst giebt, unterworfen ist.”
    https://korpora.zim.uni-duisburg-essen.de/kant/aa06/223.html

    And Maritain continues :
    “In other words, man must obey only himself, as Jean Jacques Rousseau put it, because every measure or regulation springing from the world of nature (and finally from creative wisdom) would destroy at one and the same time his autonomy and his supreme dignity
    “This philosophy built no solid foundations for the rights of the human person, because nothing can be founded on illusion: it compromised and squandered these rights, because it led men to conceive them as rights in themselves divine, hence infinite, escaping every objective measure, denying every limitation imposed upon the claims of ego and ultimately expressing the absolute independence of the of the human subject.” (8)

    As Father Copleston, S.J., points out:
    “Kant does not intend to imply that concrete rules of conduct can be deduced from the categorical imperative in the sense that concrete rules of conduct can be deduced from the categorical imperative in the sense in which the conclusion of a syllogism can be deduced from the premises. The imperative serves not as a premise for deduction by mere analysis, but as a criterion for judging the morality of concrete principles of conduct.” (9)

    Kant and Rousseau reject any measure or regulation derived from the world of nature because regulations originating from the natural order of things destroy the autonomy and supreme dignity of the human person.

    French Thomist philosopher Etienne Gilson (1884 – 1978) would however write: “Perhaps Kant’s ethics are but a Christian ethic cut loose from the Christian metaphysic that justifies it, the still imposing ruins of a temple with undermined foundations.” (10)

    Metaphysics or ontology is the science of being as being, said Aristotle.

    Karl P. Ameriks is an professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He starts his “The critique of metaphysics – Kant and traditional ontology” Chapter in the “Cambridge Companion to Kant” (Cambridge UP, 1992) by saying that Kant’s attitude towards metaphysics and ontology is ambiguous in his Critical work. And he concludes that for Kant to accept a wholly non-rationalist metaphysics would  have involved giving up on the ontological implications of transcendental idealism, something he was not ready to do.

    Kant does not accept any metaphysics. He does not accept that reality imposes limits on our thought. He does not accept that truth is conformity of the intellect to the thing, but he decrees that the thing is whatever the intellect decrees so.

    For Kant, the truth is not out there, but in here.

    For Kant, thinking does not have to take reality in account. And all those who think otherwise are anus-philosophers. (11)

    You see, as Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., explains, in general metaphysics, there are only two positions

    • those who affirm the objectivity of being and of the principle of identity
      (philosophy of being of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas) and its negative formulation, the Principle of Non-Contradiction (PNC). the principle of universal intelligibility (12)
    • those who deny it (philosophy of becoming (Heraclitus and Hegel) and philosophy of the phenomenon (Kant and also the nominalists).

    If being is not the first principle of our intellect, we will never reach being.

    Our intellect starts from being which it knows by its direct act before knowing itself by reflection, as intelligence is only intelligible in relation to being.

    Kant starts by depriving intelligence of its essential relationship to being. He did not understand that all knowledge is verbalised with the verb “o be””é This verb denotes a real, not logical, identity between subject and predicate. (13)

    And Kant went on to set the PNC aside

    In his preface to Kant’s  “Jaesche Logic”, (in: Immanuel Kant, “Lectures on Logic”, Cambridge University Press, 1992, (2004 paperback ed.), 521, pp. 523- 524) J. Michael Young explains how Kant made this setting aside of the PNC possible:

    “[Kant] restricted the use, the validity, of [the PNC] by banishing it from the sphere of metaphysics where dogmatism (sic) sought to make it valid, and restricting it to the merely logical use of reason, as valid only for this use alone.”

    Of course, if the PNC is no longer a metaphysical principle, then it is no longer the first principle of being.

    No longer one of the primary or fundamental elements in human knowledge which serve as the bases for all other truths.

    No longer the judgement which is naturally first (just as BEING is the first notion of our intelligence, implied in any consequent notion), and which is presupposed by all other judgements.

    Thinking can then also be in contradiction to/with reality.

    And one can even advocate the concept of the gold standard, which as David Ricardo pointed out in 1817 does not take reality into account.

    Two hundred years after 1817, it’s about time Ricardo’s wisdom sinks in.

    Ivo Cerckel
    ivocerckel@yahoo.com

    NOTES

    (1)
    Alain de Crombrugghe, “Introduction aux principes de l’ économie  – Choix et decisions économiques”, Brussels, De Boeck, 2016, 2nd ed., p. 84

    [Une des trois fonctions de la monnaie est d’être] un “étalon” de valeur (moyen de mesure)
    La monnaie permet de comparer les valeurs des différents biens et services entre eux grâce à une unité de mesure commune.
    [Gold standard in French is “étalon”-or]

    (2)
    Ludwig von Mises, “Theory of Money and Credit”
    Part Four: “Monetary Reconstruction” Chapter 21. “The Principle of Sound Money” 2. “The Virtues and Alleged Shortcomings of the Gold Standard”

    https://mises.org/system/tdf/From%20Bretton%20Woods%20to%20World%20Inflation%20A%20Study%20of%20Causes%20and%20Consequences_3.pdf?file=1&type=document

    (3)
    Commissariat Général du plan, Editeur scientifique, “Jacques Rueff, Leçons pour notre temps : actes du colloque pour la commémoration du centenaire de sa naissance”, Paris, Economica, 1997, p. 48

    Dr Michel Aglietta is Professor of Economics at the University of Paris X: Nanterre, a scientific counsellor at Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales (CEPII), the main French institute for research into international economics, a member of the University Institute of France.

    The first part of the seminar was devoted to “Money and international monetary system – The relevance (“la pertinence”) of the analysis of Jacques Rueff”. In that part, Aglietta was one of the three members of a round-table under the title “The international monetary system and the gold-standard – Confrontation with the monetary facts”. The report of the round-table starts on p 43. On p. 47 starts the report of the intervention of Dr Aglietta.

    On p. 48, Dr Aglietta is quoted as saying:
    “Létalon-or était un ordre fondé sur une règle de droit, qui était la convertibilité formelle, obligatoire, que les Etats reconnaissaient en ce qui concerne la monnaie. Cette obligation constituait un impératif catégorique à  valeur constitutionnelle. Elle était d’une valeur supérieure aux objectifs courants de la politique économique.”

    “The gold standard was based on a legal rule, which was the compulsory formal convertibility, which States recognised with respect to money. This commitment constituted a categorical imperative with constitutional value. The value of the commitment was higher than the current objectives of economic policy.”

    (4)
    Quoted by
    Henry Hazlitt, “From Bretton Woods to world inflation – A Study of Causes and Consequences”
    Chicago, Regnery Gateway, 1984
    Auburn, Alabama, Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012
    https://mises.org/system/tdf/From%20Bretton%20Woods%20to%20World%20Inflation%20A%20Study%20of%20Causes%20and%20Consequences_3.pdf?file=1&type=document
    pp 170 and 177

    See also
    The Works of David Ricardo
    https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=schLAAAAcAAJ
    p. 215

    (5)
    Roland Leuschel and Claus Vogt, “Das Greenspan Dossier, Wie die US-Notenbank das Weltwährungssystem gefährdet. Oder: Inflation um jeden Preis”, http://www.finanzbuchverlag.de, 2006, 3rd ed., pp. 300 and 304

    (6)
    J.B. Schneewind, “Autonomy, obligation and virtue: An overview of Kant’s moral philosophy”, in: Paul Guyer, (ed.), “The Cambridge Companion to Kant”, Cambridge UP, 1992. 309 p. 320

    (7)
    Thomism refers to the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas.

    (8)
    Jacques Maritain, “Man and the State”, University of Chicago Press, 1951, re-edited Washington, D.C., The Catholic University of America Press, 1998 , pp. 83-84

    Jacques Maritain, “Natural Law – Reflections on Theory and Practice”, edited and introduced by William Sweet, South Bend, Indiana, St. Augustine’s Press, 2001, pp 57-58

    (9)
    Frederick Copleston, S.J., “A History of Philosophy”, Volume VI  “Modern Philosophy -From the French Enlightenment to Kant”, 1960, Section 5 of Chapter XVI “Kant (5)- Morality and religion”

    p. 324 of the Image Books edition.
    https://books.google.co.uk/books?isbn=0826469000

    (10)
    Etienne Gilson, “The Spirit of Medieval Philosophy”, trans. by A. H. C. Downes, New York, Scribners, 1940, (London, Sheed and Ward, 1936), University of Notre Dame Press, 1991, still p. 342.

    (11)
    In his Introduction to his “Jaesche Logic”, Kant writes: “Im 11ten und 12ten Jahrhundert traten die Scholastiker auf; sie erläuterten den Aristoteles und trieben seine Subtilitäten ins Unendliche. Man beschāftigte sich mit nichts als lauter Abstraktionen. Diese scholastische Methode des AFTER=PHILOSOPHIRENS wurde zur Zeit der Reformation verdrängt, und nun gab es Selbstdenker, die sich zu keiner Schule bekannten, sondern die Wahrheit suchten und annahmen, wo sie sie fanden.” (Akad.-Textausgabe, Vol. IX, p. 31
    https://korpora.zim.uni-duisburg-essen.de/kant/aa09/031.html
    (Albert Zimmermann, “Thomas Lesen” (legenda 2) Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 2000, p. 276)

    “In the 11th and 12th centuries the “scholastics” appeared; they elucidated ARISTOTLE and pursued his subtleties to infinity. They occupied themselves with nothing but abstractions. This scholastic method of ANUS -PHILOSOPHISING was pushed aside at the time of the Reformation, and now there were thinkers who thought for themselves, who acknowledged no school, but who instead sought the truth and accepted it where they found it. “

    (12)
    As Garrigou-Lagrange explains in the book quoted in note 13:

    The Principle of Identity (PI) says that being is being, every being is itself, every being is something determined. The principle denotes the ultimate truth of the philosophy of being.

    Everybody uses the Principle of Non-Contradiction (PNC) but its abstract formulation needed Aristotle.

    The principle says:

    • from the LOGICAL point of view: it is impossible that the same attribute ASTSR belongs and does not belong to a thing
    • from the METAPHYSICAL point of view: the same being cannot ASTSR be and not be.

    (ASTSR = at the same time and in the same respect)

    The PI and PNC are not pure logical principles, but they govern reality also.

    (13)
    Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., “Le sens commun : la philosophie de l’être et les formules dogmatiques” (“Common sense : the philosophy of being and the dogmatic formulae”) 1922, 3rd. rev. ed.
    https://archive.org/stream/lesenscommunlaph00garr/lesenscommunlaph00garr_djvu.txt

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    Modi Merkel Putin and Li to end the dollar regime this week

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on May 31st, 2017

    Let’s trade internationally in rupee, ruble, renminbi and euro.

    India fought. 70 years ago against British imperialism. Now India must fight against dollar imperialism of which Arvind Subramanian complained before becoming India’s government chief economic adviser. Britain never caused the harm which the dollar regime is causing.

    The idea behind the fight against British imperialism was that the people could, in exercise of ultimate authority vested in them, create an alternative political structure as an expression of that unfettered play and continual liveliness of free will as a community, which is at the root of all progress. (Sarbani Sen, “The Constitution of India – Popular Sovereignty and Democratic Transformations “, 2015 Fifth impression of the 2010 Oxford India paperback edition, of this book whose hardcover was published in 2010, p. 62)

    Germany’s chancellor Merkel said last week-end that we can no longer rely on the USA.
    http://www.financialexpress.com/world-news/europe-cant-rely-on-us-says-german-chancellor-angela-merkel/690634/

    Russia’s prime minister Putin went therefore on Monday to France’s president Macron at … Versailles, no less.
    http://www.business-standard.com/article/international/emmanuel-macron-vladimir-putin-hold-frank-talks-on-syria-ukraine-117052901667_1.html

    On Tuesday India’s prime minister Narendra Modi went to Germany.

    Today, Wednesday, Modi is in Spain.

    After his Spain visit, India’s Modi will travel tomorrow Thursday June 1 to St Petersburg in Russia.
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/pm-narendra-modi-in-spain/liveblog/58917482.cms

    In St Petersburg, Modi and Putin will have to stamp the rejection of America – and its dollar, of course. Let’s trade internationally in rupee, ruble, renminbi and euro.

    Arvind Subramanian is the current chief economic adviser to the government of India, having taken charge of the position on October 16, 2014 succeeding Raghuram Rajan, says Wikipedia.

    The London-based The Economist newspaper quoted Subramanian on Jun 9, 2016 as complaining in 2014 of “dollar imperialism”.
    http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21700413-which-emerging-markets-are-most-thrall-americas-central-bank-feds

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its dollar regime have been described by some as a tool of neo-colonialism. That is too mild, as 19th-century British or European colonialism, however harsh, never managed to accomplish the extent of devastation and destruction of health and living standards the IMF has done since the 1970s.
    http://bphouse.om/honest_money/freegold-versus-imf/

    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for his part is starting today Wednesday May 31 a three-day visit to Belgium and … Germany.
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-05/28/c_136322698.htm

    Modi said in Germany that India and Germany are ‘made for each other’,
    http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/narendra-modi-in-germany-live-pm-to-meet-chancellor-angela-merkel-german-president-1705033

    Germany’s Merkel who said that we can no longer rely on the USA, will thus have met this week both the Indian and Chinese prime minister while Modi and France’s Macron will have met the Russian prime minister.

    Everything is set up from stamping the end of dollar imperialism.

    Let’s trade internationally in rupee, ruble, renminbi and euro.

    Ivo Cerckel
    ivocerckel@siquijor.ws

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    Indian demonetisation is null and void

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on May 22nd, 2017

    This Presidential power cannot be delegated [to government].

    Moreover, the notification of the decision does not indicate its legal basis.

    1.
    On 8 November 2016, the Government of India announced the demonetisation, the withdrawal of legal tender status of all rupee 500 and eupee 1,000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series.

    In January 2017, President Pranab Mukherjee delivered a speech on why demonetisation is bad news for India.
    (FULL TEXT: President Pranab Mukherjee’s speech on why demonetisation is bad news for India
    New Delhi, January 5, 2017 | UPDATED 01:15 IST
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/president-pranab-mukherjee-demonetisation-pm-modi-indian-economy-pluralistic-economy/1/850502.html

    The blogger has no knowledge of Indian (constitutional) law but this speech seems to mean that demonetisation was not a decision of the President.

    The RBI (Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank) notice dated : Nov 08, 2016 Withdrawal of Legal Tender Status for ? 500 and ? 1000 Notes: RBI Notice Press Release : 2016-2017/1142
    https://rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_PressReleaseDisplay.aspx?prid=38520
    “Government of India vide their Notification no. 2652 dated November 8, 2016 have withdrawn the Legal Tender status of ? 500 and ? 1,000 denominations of banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series issued by the Reserve Bank of India till November 8, 2016.
    This is necessitated to tackle counterfeiting Indian banknotes, to effectively nullify black money hoarded in cash and curb funding of terrorism with fake notes.
    +
    “For more details members of the public may visit RBI website http://www.rbi.org.in and Government web site http://www.finmin.nic.in for further information and details.” END OF QUOTE

    One immediately sees that neither RBI nor the government of India provide the legal
    (as opposed to the factual reasons,
    i.e, as opposed to the tackling of counterfeiting Indian banknotes, the effective nullifying of black money hoarded in cash, the curbing of the funding of terrorism with fake notes)
    which allow “them” (it will appear that this is a power of the President and this power cannot be delegated) to decree the withdrawal of the Legal Tender status of certain denominations of banknotes.

    This means that there is a problem with the motivation of demonetisation.

    Googling for
    “\www.finmin.nic.in demonetisation”
    https://www.google.co.in/#q=www.finmin.nic.in+demonetisation
    leads one of press release with the following letterhead
    ” Government of India
    ” Ministry of Finance
    ” Department of Economic Affairs
    ” *******
    ” Press Release”

    The Office of the President is not being mentioned.

    Disclaimer: the blogger has no knowledge of Indian (constitutional) law.

    2.
    What’s in a name?

    An article “Why demonetisation notification is illegal and violates the Constitution” in the December 11, 2016 Economic Times says that the demonetisation notification is also likely unconstitutional on three counts. First, it violates the constitutional right to property under Article 300A. In Jayantilal v RBI, in the context of the 1978 demonetisation, the Supreme Court held that demonetisation is not merely a regulation of property, as the government is presently arguing, but constitutes compulsory acquisition of a “public debt” owed to the bearer of the notes declared illegal.
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/why-demonetisation-notification-is-illegal-and-violates-the-constitution/articleshow/55916594.cms

    The case is
    Jayantilal Ratanchand Shah vs Reserve Bank Of India & Ors on 9 August, 1996
    Equivalent citations: JT 1996 (7), 681 1996 SCALE (5)741
    https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1199635/

    As he emphasised already, this blogger has no knowledge of Indian (constitutional) law.

    The blogger can however read.

    Oxford University Press timely published in 2016 “The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution”, edited by Sujit Choudhry, Madhav Khosla, and Pratap Bhanu Mehta.

    The blogger then goes searching for this judgment in the said Handbook. The Handbook does not mention the case. This is no critique, not of the Handbook, nor of the Economic Times.

    In a previous life in the Southern Low-Countries, Punjabi refugees helped this blogger practice legal gymnastics and even legal acrobatics.

    The blogger started this section 2.2 by asking “What’s in a name?”

    The “Table of Cases” in the quoted Handbook refers to a case
    Jayantilal Amrit Lal Shodhan vs F.N. Rana And Others on 5 November, 1963
    Equivalent citations: 1964 AIR 648, 1964 SCR (5) 294
    https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1964341/

    the references to case are on pp 318 and 455 of the Handbook, says the “Table of Cases” .

    On p. 318, in Chapter 18 “Executive”, of the Handbook Shubhankar Dam quotes an excerpt from the 1963 judgment which this blogger understands as teaching that the power […] to declare a financial emergency [is not a power] of the Union Government; [ but that this power is] vested in the President under the Constitution and [is] incapable for being delegated or entrusted to any other body.

    Full excerpt
    The power to promulgate Ordinances under Art. 123; to suspend the provisions of Arts. 268 to 279 during an emergency; to declare failure of the Constitutional machinery in States under Art. 356; to declare a financial emergency under Art. 360; to make rules regulating the recruitment and conditions of service of persons appointed to posts and services in connection with the affairs of the Union under Art. 309-to enumerate a few out of the various powers-are not powers of the Union Government; these are powers vested in the President by the Constitution and are incapable of being delegated or entrusted to any other body or authority under Art. 258(1).
    https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1964341/

    3.
    Section 1 has demonstrated that the Office of the President is not being mentioned in the demonetisation notification.

    Section 2 has however demonstrated that the power to order demonetisation is not a power of the Union Government; but this power is vested in the President under the Constitution and is]incapable for being delegated or entrusted to any other body.

    Conclusion: demonetisation is null and void

    Ivo Cerckel
    ivocerckel@yahoo.com

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

    Please President Trump, Repeal the FDA! – Update 1

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on February 7th, 2017

    Thalidomide was marketed since 1957 in West-Germany but never in France.

    Update 1 adds the reason why thalidomide was banned in France.

    Disclaimer: I am a thalidomide monster.

    FDA is the Food and Drug Administration.

    In her 05 February 2017 New York Times article “Trump’s F.D.A. Pick Could Undo Decades of Drug Safeguards”, Katie Thomas says that:
    “Congress toughened the drug approval process in the wake of the worldwide crisis over thalidomide, which caused severe birth defects in babies whose mothers had taken the drug in pregnancy. Since then, the F.D.A. has come to be viewed as the world’s leading watchdog for protecting the safety of food and drugs, a gold standard whose lead other countries often follow.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/05/health/with-fda-vacancy-trump-sees-chance-to-speed-drugs-to-the-market.html?_r=0

    Dr Eileen Cronin tweets
    Trump is taking us back to catastrophe: Deregulating the FDA: Back to thalidomide?
    11:03 am – 7 Feb 2017 GMT+8
    https://twitter.com/CroninMermaid/status/828801363194769413

    The tweet refers to her article two years ago

    Deregulating the FDA: Back to thalidomide?
    By Eileen Cronin, Ph.D. and Lisa Plymate, M.D. – 12/02/15 01:00 PM EST
    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/261742-deregulating-the-fda-back-to-thalidomide#comment-3141297763

    In the article Dr Cronin says:
    “The U.S. tragedy was reduced by the FDA analyst, Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey. Alarmed by the lack of scientific research to support thalidomide’s safety and despite pressure from the drug companies, she delayed approval, demanding more evidence. How many infants were affected in the U.S.”

    As I said eighteen months ago:

    Inventor of Thalidomide Frances Oldham Kelsey Dies
    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on August 9th, 2015
    http://bphouse.com/honest_money/2015/08/09/inventor-of-thalidomide-frances-oldham-kelsey-dies/

    Frances Kelsey, doctor who kept thalidomide out of US, dies aged 101
    +
    Canadian doctor refused to bow to pressure from makers of drug when she worked for the US Food and Drug Administration in the early 1960s
    +
    Associated Press
    Sunday 9 August 2015 02.07 BST
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/09/frances-kelsey-doctor-who-kept-thalidomide-out-of-us-dies-aged-101

    1.
    Thalidomide was definitely known in the year 1938 and [its] defects were noted in Phoenix, AZ (USA) in a medical journal that year. It was known as a cure for Hanson’s Disease and made by [Richardson]-Merrill Co. in [Cincinnati], OH (USA). I don’t know what action was taken, but a young female doctor named Frances Oldham Kersey (or Kelsey) recognized its dangers.
    [by] Theodore, Princeton, WV/USA
    (reaction under From The Times April 4, 2008 Thalidomide: 50 years on victims unite to seek more compensation Nigel Hawkes, Health Editor
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article3671815.ece

    Kelsey was the lady who in 1960 only joined the USofA Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
    Once there, she further delayed thalidomide’s approval (thalidomide was marketed since 1957)
    and was given a Presidential award by USofA president Kennedy for that delay.

    Wikipedia says
    that Kelsey is credited SINCE NINETEEN THIRTY-EIGHT with her interest in teratogens – that is, drugs that cause congenital malformations,
    that 1938 was the date of the creation of the FDA,
    and that Kelsey managed to be appointed there in 1960
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Oldham_Kelsey

    Frances Oldham Kelsey invented thalidomide and was given a Presidential award for this invention by USofA president John F. Kennedy.

    2.
    Thalidomide was marketed since 1957.

    Kelsey was only appointed in the FDA in 1960.

    How can she get (all) the credit for having ‘saved’ the US of A from it?

    3.
    Legal tabloids tell us that thalidomide is an example of the development-risk defence which allows producers to escape liability if they prove that the state of scientific and technical knowledge at the time when they put the product into circulation was not such as to enable the existence of a defect to be discovered, as defined at present “a contrario” (“argument based on the contrary” – denotes any proposition that is argued to be correct because it is not disproven by a certain case, says Wikipedia) in article 15(1)(b) of the 1985 EEC Product Liability Directive, formally Council Directive 85/374/EEC of 25 July 1985 on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning liability for defective products.

    Dr. Herman Cousy, professor emeritus from the law department of the K.U. Leuven,
    has demonstrated in 1996 that the thalidomide scandal cannot be considered to be an example of the development-risk defence
    by saying on p. 163, in note 28,

    of his paper “The Precautionary Principle: A Status Questionis” published in the “Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance – Issues and Practice”, also available on the website of the “Geneva Association”, l’”Association Internationale pour l’Etude de l’Economie de l’Assurance”, the leading international think tank of the insurance industry, that :

    “One often cites the Thalidomide (Contergan) case as an example of a development risk situation, although it appears that when thalidomide was brought onto the German market, the product had been banned in France. Can it be readily upheld, under such circumstances, that the conditions for a development risk situation were fulfilled?”
    https://www.genevaassociation.org/media/231494/ga1996_gp21%2879%29-cousy.pdf

    This means that the primary cause of the thalidomide scandal is the fact that after the French Leviathan had banned thalidomide, other Leviathans, whose main reason for existence would be to “protect” their citizens, did not prevent the product being brought onto “their” markets nor did they immediately order the withdrawal of thalidomide from “their” markets, once the product appeared there after the French ban.

    The primary cause is opposed to the (Aristotelian) efficient of the thalidomide scandal, the tablet.

    For Aristotle, 25 centuries ago, the efficient cause is the being in act who brings about the change. And Aristotle went on to give the example of the sculptor who makes the … statue. Was this example devised 25 centuries ago with thalidomide monsters in mind?

    4.
    Kelsey was Canadian, wasn’t she?

    Why are there victims of thalidomide in Canada?

    END of my 2015 post

    Thalidomide been banned in France because
    as The (London, England) Sunday Times said on 08 February 2009
    ” Grünenthal, the maker of the drug, apparently purchased the trade name of the drug – Contergan – and therefore probably the substance itself, from a French firm, Rhône-Poulenc, which was under Nazi control during the war years,”

    From The Sunday Times
    February 8, 2009
    Thalidomide ‘was created by the Nazis’
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5683577.ece
    Link does no more work
    copied here
    http://www.fourwinds10.net/siterun_data/health/harmful_products/news.php?q=1234215547

    Please President Trump, Repeal the FDA!

    Ivo Cerckel
    ivocerckel@siquijor.ws

    Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem en de hiërarchie van de oorzaken van het populisme

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on December 13th, 2016

    De vreemdelingenangst is de oorzaak die alle andere transcendeert.

    Populisten bestonden reeds voor het uitbreken van de financiële crisis in 2008.

    Het vertrouwen in de euro is niet gebaseerd op het vertrouwen in de elite doch op het vertrouwen dat de gebruikers ervan in elkaar stellen.

    In tegenstelling tot het goud dat de euro in reserve heeft, is de euro niet bedoeld om opgepot te worden.

    In een op 11 december 2016 in Het Financieele Dagblad gepubliceerd interview met datzelfde FD stelt Jeroen Dijsselbloem, minister van Financiën, sinds 2013 voorzitter van de Eurogroep waarin de lidstaten van de eurozone hun fiscaal en economisch beleid coördineren, (PvdA) dat niet de vreemdelingenangst (één), noch de mondialisering (twee), vrijhandel (drie), of nieuwe technologie (vier) de wortels vormen van het huidige populisme in Europa, maar dat de primaire oorzaak daarvan de instabiliteit van de financiële sector (vijf) is.
    https://fd.nl/economie-politiek/1179093/mijn-bemoeienis-met-de-financiele-sector-is-volstrekt-terecht

    Aan Dijsselbloem werd gevraagd:
    “Wat we bedoelen te zeggen is: we zijn acht jaar verder sinds de crisis. Hoe lang blijft de financiële sector de boksbal van politici?”
    Hij antwoordde:
    “Mogelijk haalt Nederland het geld terug, maar de instabiliteit van de financiële sector heeft enorme schade aan de economie in Nederland en de rest van de Westerse wereld aangericht. Het is een van de factoren die de opmars van het populisme in Europa heeft gedreven. Een totale ontwrichting van het vertrouwen van mensen, van pensioenen van mensen, van werkperspectief.”

    Onmiddellijk daarop werd hem door het FD gevraagd:
    “Is de opmars van het populisme niet eerder het gevolg van mondialisering, vrijhandel, nieuwe technologie en vreemdelingenangst?”
    Hij antwoordde:
    “Het is primair de bankensector. Al ben ik wel vatbaar voor uw eerdere argument dat de bankensector niet in isolement is gegroeid maar in een maatschappelijke context waarin iedereen heeft geprofiteerd van de groei van deze sector. ”

    Ook vroeg het FD aan Dijsselbloem:
    “Bent u een moraalridder?”
    De minister antwoordde:
    “Er zit zeker een morele kant aan. Maar ook een klassieke PvdA-kant: hoe houden we de boel bij elkaar. Dat is een verantwoordelijkheid voor de hele elite. Ik voer wel eens gesprekken met bankiers en andere ceo’s over het populisme. Dan zie je in hun ogen: dat is toch een zaak voor politici. Maar als je vertrouwen wilt terugwinnen dan moet je een positie innemen in het maatschappelijk debat. Bankiers zijn onder tafel gekropen, begrijpelijk vanwege de storm. Maar er komt een moment dat ze er weer onder vandaan moeten.”

    Uit zijn antwoord op de vraag naar zijn moraalridderschap blijkt Dijsselbloems definitie van het populisme . Voor hem betekent populisme de inspeling door bepaalde politici op het feit dat de massa het vertrouwen verloren heeft in de elite die de boel moet samenhouden.

    Het komt mij voor dat deze (immorele) boel die voor Dijssenbloem dient samengehouden ook voor hem de beveiliging van het nationale grondgebied (het Rijksgebied?) tegen vreemdelingen omvat.

    Uit de vrijspraak eerder deze maand van Geert Wilders,de populistische politicus bij uitstek door de Haagse rechtbank voor aanzetten tot vreemdelingen-haat
    en zijn schuldigverklaring voor het aanzetten tot discriminatie en groepsdbelediging zonder hem daarvoor een straf op te leggen
    blijkt dat de rechtbank het onderscheid tussen vreemdelingen-angst en vreemdelingen-haat aanvaard heeft.

    Voor Wilders en zijn tengevolge van de Haagse schuldigverklaring immer stijgende aanhang omvat de Dijsselbloemse boel zeker de beveiliging van ’s Lands grondgebied.

    Wilders richtte zijn “Partij voor de Vrijheid” (PVV) onder de naam “Vereniging Groep Wilders op in 2005.
    https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partij_voor_de_Vrijheid

    De instabiliteit van de financiële sector die voor Dijsselbloem de primaire oorzaak is van het populisme kwam pas drie jaar later in 2008 aan het licht.
    Toen, in 2008, begon voor de analysten de huidige financiële crisis.
    Voor deze datum waren er dus volgens Dijsselbloem geen populisten in het land.
    Voor deze datum was Wilders geen populist, stelt Dijsselbloem?

    Nog eens;
    De “primaire” oorzaak van de opmars van dat populisme (van Wilders) is volgens Dijsselbloem niet de vreemdelingen-angst (één), noch de mondialisering (twee), vrijhandel (drie), of nieuwe technologie (vier) maar de instabiliteit van de financiële sector (vijf) die het vertrouwen van mensen, van pensioenen van mensen, van werkperspectief totaal ontwricht heeft. Aangezien de elite deze perspectieven had geboden aan de massa leidt het verlies van het vertrouwen in deze perspectieven tot een verlies van het vertrouwen in deze elite.

    Het vertrouwen in de euro is echter niet gebaseerd op het vertrouwen in de elite doch op het vertrouwen dat de gebruikers van de euro stellen in elkaar (in tegenstelling tot het goud dat de euro in reserve heeft, is de euro niet bedoeld om opgepot te worden), stelde wijlen Wim Duisenberg bij de ontvangst in 2002 van de Karel de Grote prijs voor Aken. (1)

    De “primaire” oorzaak van de opmars van dat populisme (van Wilders) is volgens Dijsselbloem niet de vreemdelingenangst (één), noch de mondialisering (twee), vrijhandel (drie), of nieuwe technologie (vier) maar de instabiliteit van de financiële sector (vijf) die het vertrouwen van mensen, van pensioenen van mensen, van werkperspectief totaal ontwricht heeft, zei ik – al tweemaal.

    Wat is dat een “primaire” oorzaak?

    “Omnis causa primaria plus est influens super causatum suum quam causa universalis secunda.” (“Liber de Causis”)
    “Iedere primaire oorzaak heeft meer invloed op hetgeen het teweeg brengt dan een universele secundaire oorzaak. ” (“Boek der Oorzaken”)

    Het “Liber de Causis” is een pseudo-Aristotelisch geschrift dat in de dertiende en veertiende eeuw behoorde tot de meest geciteerde geschriften.

    In de Middeleeuwen werd het boek ten onrechte aan Aristoteles toegeschreven. Het werd vanuit het Grieks vertaald naar het Arabisch in Bagdad in het Huis der Wijsheid (“Bayt-al-hikmah”) dat vanaf 830 na Christus in Bagdad werkzaam was en waar de vertalers van de tijd waren samengebracht geweest door en betaald werden door het Abbasid regime met het doel de Griekse wijsheid beschikbaar te maken voor de Arabisch –Moslim cultuur.
    http://www.greenville.k12.mi.us/webpages/radclifm/muslim_contributions.cfm?subpage=1784945

    Het was Willem van Moerbeke (1215-1286) die tot de waarheid kwam en ontdekte dat het van de hand van de Neoplatonistische filosoof Proclus (421-485) was.

    Het is de Eerste Stelling van dat Boek die stelt dat
    “Omnis causa primaria plus est influens super causatum suum quam causa universalis secunda.”

    Dit is het grondprincipe van het “Liber de Causis”.
    Het stelt dat hoe transcendenter een oorzaak des te immanenter haar inwerking is.
    In een reeks oorzaken zal dus de eerste en meer verhevene een diepere invloed uitoefenen dan de andere.

    Dit wordt gestaafd door het feit dat, wanneer de inwerking van de secundaire oorzaken ophoudt, de primaire oorzaak nog werkdadig blijft,
    want ze transcendeert de andere oorzaken
    die trouwens zelf van de primaire oorzaak afhangen.
    Dit blijkt hierdoor dat de mens eerst bestaat, dan leeft en tenslotte mens is.

    Het gehele systeem van Proclus steunt op het beginsel dat de immanentie van de oorzakelijkheid evenredig is aan de transcendentie van de oorzaak.
    M.a.w., hoe transcendenter een oozaak, des te immanenter haar invloed.

    Zo is de inwerking van de primaire oorzaak dieper dan die van de secundaire oorzaken
    want haar invloed betreft het ZIJN zelf van een wezen
    en deze invloed blijft duren
    zelfs wanneer die der secundaire oorzaken ophoudt. (2)

    Voor Dijsselbloem is de primaire oorzaak van de opmars van dat populisme niet de vreemdelingenangst (één), noch de mondialisering (twee), vrijhandel (drie), of nieuwe technologie (vier) maar de instabiliteit van de financiële sector (vijf) die het vertrouwen van mensen, van pensioenen van mensen, van werkperspectief totaal ontwricht heeft.

    Oorzaak vijf wordt voor Dijsselbloem de primaire. Dit betekent niet dat oorzaak één de secundaire wordt. Dit betekent wel dat de vier andere mogelijke oorzaken dienen geclasseerd in een rang-orde (classeren is een rang geven) waarbij er een de secundaire, en de drie andere de tertiaire, quartaire en quintaire oorzaken worden.

    Wanneer je probeert om deze rang-orde op te stellen, valt het onmiddellijk op dat oorzaak één (vreemdelingen-angst) van een heel andere orde is dan de drie andere, ttz. dan oorzaken twee, drie en vier. Deze drie anderen behoren tot de financiële-commerciële-technologische rde, daar waar de eerste de angst voor de vreemde mens betreft.

    Oorzaak vijf, door Dijsselbloem gekwalificeerd als de primaire, behoort tot dezelfde orde als de oorzaken twee, drie en vier.

    Indien oorzaak vijf in de rang-orde als de primaire wordt gekwalificeerd, moet dan niet geconcludeerd dat de oorzaken van dezelfde orde als “voorafgaand” moeten gekwalificeerd ten opzichte van oorzaak één?

    Dit zou dan betekenen dat oorzaken twee, drie en vier in een bepaalde rang-orde dienen gekwalificeerd als de secundaire, tertiaire en quartaire oorzaken.

    Dit zou meebrengen dat de vreemdeling-angst de quintaire oorzaak zou zijn.

    Indien je antwoord op de zojuist gestelde vraag ontkennend is, vraag je dan af of deze vreemdelingen-angst niet de oorzaak is die alle andere transcendeert en dus de primaire oorzaak.

    Je antwoorden kunnen misschien nagetrokken bij de rechters in de Haagse rechtbank die Wilders zojuist schuldig verklaarden aan aanzetten tot reemdelingen-angst.

    Ivo Cerckel
    philmigrator@yahoo.com

    NOTEN

    (1)
    Acceptance speech of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen for 2002
    by Dr. Willem F.. Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank,
    Aachen, 9 May 2002
    http://www.ecb.int/press/key/date/2002/html/sp020509.en.html
    UITREKSEL
    What is money? Economists know that money is defined by the functions it performs, as a means of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value. But, just as importantly, money is also defined by the community for whom it performs these functions. Because it is an economic instrument for each of its users, it is also a political and cultural bond between them. Consider this simple fact: we engage in an exchange of goods and services everyday by using money as the means of exchange; and we offer our labour in exchange for money, which, in itself, has no value. We only do this because we believe that we will, in turn, be able to exchange that money for more goods or services. This fact tells us much about the confidence that we place in money itself. And it tells us much more about the confidence that we place in each other.

    Vertaling: Wim Duisenberg speech over de euro
    Frank Knopers 29 januari 2013
    http://marketupdate.nl/nieuws/economie/valutacrisis/vertaling-willem-duisenberg-speech-over-de-euro/
    UITREKSEL
    Wat is geld? Economen weten dat geld wordt gedefinieerd door de functies die het vervult, als een ruilmiddel, een rekeneenheid en als een opslag van waarde. Maar, minstens zo belangrijk, geld wordt ook gedefinieerd door de gemeenschap voor wie ze deze functies uitoefent. Omdat het een economisch instrument is voor al haar gebruikers schept ze onderling ook een politieke en culturele band. Denk aan dit simpele feit: we betrekken ons dagelijkse in een uitwisseling van goederen en diensten waarbij we geld gebruiken als ruilmiddel. We bieden onze arbeid aan in ruil voor geld, dat in zichzelf geen waarde heeft. We doen dit alleen omdat we erop vertrouwen dat we dat geld kunnen gebruiken voor de uitwisseling van goederen en diensten. Dit feit zegt op zichzelf al veel over het vertrouwen dat we leggen in het geld. En het zegt nog meer over het vertrouwen dat wij als mensen in elkaar hebben.

    (2)
    Adriaan Pattin,
    “De hiërarchie van het zijnde in het Liber de Causis”,
    Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 23 (1961), pp. 130-57.

    Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

    Refugee Nation and Paris Attacks

    Posted by Ivo Cerckel on December 3rd, 2015

    THIS BLOG POST IN A NUTSHELL

    The 13 November 2015 Paris Attacks have reinforced European and USA anti-refugee sentiment.

    Jason Buzi, a San Francisco real-estate billionaire, has proposed a “radical solution” to the world’s crisis of refugees who have nowhere to call home: simply create a “Refugee Nation”, new country for refugees to live in.

    Two objections to Refugee Nation:
    States may sell territory, but they don’t and won’t sell sovereignty.
    The Nation might become a dumping ground or prison camp for refugees.

    As to the first objection, one century after the 1919 Versailles Treaty, we can return to the 1803 Louisiana and the 1867 Alaska examples.

    As to the prison-camp objection, what about Greece in early December 2015? Is that not also a prison camp? If Schengen collapses and the Refugee Nation is established in a European enclave as proposed by RT, refugees would not be worse off than Caucasians.

    Fresh from the press:
    Exclusive: leaked document reveals EU plans to suspend Schengen for two years
    Comments by Steve Peers
    Wednesday, 2 December 2015
    http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.be/2015/12/exclusive-leaked-document-reveals-eu.html

    I do immediately concede that more thinking is required about those two objections, about those two quite fundamental problems that make the Refugee Nation model unworkable in its present form, especially about the second objection.

    OUT OF THE NUTSHELL

    There are 59.5 million people around the world who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, too many of whom live in desperate poverty.

    The refugee crisis has triggered political panic in Europe because two migrants who entered the European Union (EU) through Turkey and the Greek island of Leros were involved in the 13 November 2015 Paris Attacks.

    At a EU Summit in Brussels on Sunday 29 November 2015, Turkey promised to help stem the flow of migrants from the Turkish shores into the Greek islands in return for cash, visas and renewed talks on joining the EU in a deal struck that the Turkish prime minister called a “new beginning” for the uneasy neighbours. The only problem is that asylum seekers cannot be recognised as refugee in Turkey, due to the fact that Ankara, the capital of Turkey, has introduced a so-called “temporary protection” system, which does not stipulate that the refugees receive a reliable legal status. (1)

    The deal offers visa-free travel for Turk citizens throughout the Schengen zone, the passport-free travel zone established in 1985, by October 2016, but if the deal fails, said zone will not survive. If the zone does not survive – until October 2016 – , what’s the use of having the right of free travel throughout the zone?

    Fresh from the press:
    Exclusive: leaked document reveals EU plans to suspend Schengen for two years
    Comments by Steve Peers
    Wednesday, 2 December 2015
    http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.be/2015/12/exclusive-leaked-document-reveals-eu.html

    The Guardian reported on 26 November 2015 that France has sought a derogation from the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the state of emergency which it decreed after the Paris Attacks and that human rights groups have warned that this state of emergency could lead to abuses and must be closely monitored. Instances of armed police breaking down front doors with battering rams in the middle of the night, searching homes, handcuffing residents and placing people under house arrest without warrants or judicial oversight have multiplied in the two weeks since the Paris attacks that killed 130 people and injured more than 300. (2)

    Will the inhabitants of France soon be forced to flee the territory of the republic and seek asylum outside that territory?

    The authoritarian tendencies of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
    who on 24 November 2015 shot down a Russian plane
    (to protect supplies of oil from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),
    said Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation which is not a EU member, on 30 November 2015,
    Russia’s defence ministry adding on 02 December 2015 it had proof that Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil stolen from its rightful owners in ISIL-held territory in Syria and Iraq),
    made some EU members reluctant to bow too deeply to Turkey as there are serious concerns about Erdogan government’s respect for democracy and the rule of law. But the EU leaders would have had no other choices but to agree to the 29 November 2015 deal.

    I said in my 21 September 2015 post “Open Borders, now! – Syrian migrants do not qualify for refugee status” that persons fleeing war are not recognised as what in popular speech is called “political refugees” but are tolerated by some Leviathans on humanitarian grounds. It is true that the Convention definition of refugee has been expanded and that these developments are indicative of a widening of the circumstances in which persons may be said to be in need of international protection, but the developments do not constitute formal amendments to the Convention definition.

    And I went on to say that for applicants to the status of “humanitarian refugees”, i.e., “non-UN-Refugee-Convention refugees” or “extra-UN-Refugee Convention refugees”, to be assimilated to and thus to be treated in a similar way as applicants to UN-Refugee-Convention status, it is required that the persons to whom this similar treatment would be accorded are first classified as applicants to humanitarian refugee status and even Germany is no longer accepting this consequence of this classification. I now add that neither will French asylum seekers qualify for refugee status.

    I therefore called in my 21 September 2015 post for open borders and for an end to the EU hypocrisy which says that Syrian migrants as such qualify for refugee status. Under the present legislation, the United Nations 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, (civil-)war refugees, and thus Syrian migrants, as such DO NOT qualify for refugee status, I concluded.
    http://bphouse.com/honest_money/2015/09/21/syrian-migrants-do-not-qualify-for-refugee-status-open-borders-now/

    In order to find an answer to the problem of the 59.5 million people around the world who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, too many of whom live in desperate poverty, Jason Buzi, a San Francisco real-estate billionaire, has proposed this summer (end of July 2015) what he calls a “radical solution” to the world’s crisis of refugees who have nowhere to call home: simply create a new country for them to live in. He wants to create a Refugee Nation, to create a new country to house all the world’s refugees.

    The idea is that if we could give them a state of their own, at least they’d have a place to live in safety and be allowed to live and work like everybody else.

    There is a misconception, says Buzi, that every inch of habitable land on Earth is taken.

    Mr Buzi suggests that a country with uninhabited islands might be willing to let some go for a sum. He talks about countries with small populations that might be willing to let people live with them in exchange for money, such as the Caribbean island state of Dominica.

    There are, he continues, thousands of uninhabited islands that are often available for sale to private individuals. The solution would consist in procuring a single large island, or a series of islands. (3)

    TWO OBJECTIONS

    Professor James C. Hathaway, director of the Programme in Refugee and Asylum Law at the University of Michigan Law School, whom I quoted already in my quoted 21 September 2015 post “Open Borders, now! – Syrian migrants do not qualify for refugee status”, says that there are two quite fundamental problems that make the Refugee Nation model unworkable in its present form. (4)

    ONE
    States may sell territory, but they don’t and won’t sell sovereignty. So the idea that the new ‘home’ could give out real citizenship to those who go there is not viable.

    TWO
    If a country did sell sovereignty, and any refugee could become a citizen, that might create other problems. The Refugee Convention would allow any and every state to force a refugee to go there, the Refugee Nation might become a dumping ground where refugees would face the Gaza-Strip risk, risk which results in refugees being trapped in what are effectively large-scale prison camps, says Hathaway, pointing to Australia, which has leased land on Pacific island nations to house asylum-seekers.

    A related problem is that in a globalised world, given freedom of choice, people ultimately want to choose where they live, and are likely to seek to move to where their friends, family and greatest opportunities lie, adds Professor Alexander Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University.

    ONE AND TWO

    These two quite fundamental problems make the Refugee Nation model unworkable in its present form, says Dr Hathaway.

    AS TO THE FIRST OBJECTION

    The first objection is that states may sell territory, but they don’t and won’t sell sovereignty,

    It is not uncommon in international law that one state cedes a piece of territory to another by treaty, says Prof. Martin Dixon. (5)

    Cession is a process (“une opération”) through which one state renounces to the benefit of or in favour of another to the rights and titles which it enjoyed until then over a given territory
    (“la cession est une opération par laquelle un Etat renonce en faveur d’un autre, aux droits et titres qu’il possédait jusque-là sur un territoire donné”),
    says Prof. Pierre-Marie Dupuy. (6)

    Cession of territory cannot happen or occur without (the) agreement of the population / inhabitants, adds Dupuy. (7)

    In order to circumvent this requirement Buzi wants an inhabited island, i.e., an island without population / inhabitants.
    There is no problem with that.

    Dupuy draws attention to the fact that in the 19th century relationship of the sovereign to the territory was a relationship to assets (“était une relation patrimoniale”). That’s why in those days cession of territory occurred though sale. In 1803 France sold Louisiana to the USA and 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the USA.

    From the eighth decade of the 19th century onward, cession of territory happened or occurred not through sale, but through peace treaties. By the 1871 Treaty of Frankfurt, Alsace–Lorraine was ceded by France to Germany and by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, Alsace-Lorraine was ceded by Germany to France. (8)

    We are now 100 years after the Treaty of Versailles, so we can experiment.

    Buzi wants to buy unpopulated islands. Upon the purchasing of the insular territory, the relationship between Buzi’s organisation and the territory would again be “une relation patrimoniale”. Why not?

    It is true that Prof. Ian Brownlie has drawn attention to the fact that the identification of the five modes of acquisition of territory (occupation, accretion, cession, conquest and prescription) should – in contentious cases – not be used as a substitute for analysis and that it is more important to concentrate on the precise reason why in any given case, a state can be said to have acquired sovereignty over territory. (9)

    But that argument of Brownlie concerns the “ex post” analysis – in contentious cases – which aims at determining whether a state can be said to have acquired sovereignty over territory.

    Here, i.e., in the case of the Refugee Nation, we are concerned with, or rather are performing, an “ex ante” analysis of the acquisition of statehood and thus sovereignty.

    The first objection may hereby have been rebutted.

    AS TO THE SECOND OBJECTION

    The second objection to the creation of a Refugee Nation is that if a country did sell sovereignty, and any refugee could become a citizen, the Refugee Convention would allow any and every state to force a refugee to go there. Hence the Nation would become a dumping ground – and even a prison.

    In early December 2015, Greece also faces the dumping-ground risk. To maintain Schengen, the EU wants to have control on its external borders. Greece, which is indeed not connected to the rest of the Schengen zone, is such a border. As Athens is unable to control this border and is, for reasons of national sovereignty upon which would be infringed by outside support, reluctant to accept outside support to do it more effectively, the EU has warned Greece, says the Financial Times (10), that it faces suspension – even exclusion, says Le Monde (11) – from the zone unless it accepts that support, first all for the registration of refugees. The EU also complains about Athens not having fulfilled its promise to arrange three flights to relocate migrants to other member states. This would be the first time a country would be suspended from Schengen.

    These failings by Greece would make a mockery of all EU efforts to solve the refugee crisis. On the other hand, they confirm the risk of Greece becoming a dumping group for refugees, Le Monde quoting EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker as saying that Schengen is comatose.

    Fresh from the press:
    Exclusive: leaked document reveals EU plans to suspend Schengen for two years
    Comments by Steve Peers
    Wednesday, 2 December 2015
    http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.be/2015/12/exclusive-leaked-document-reveals-eu.html

    The argument of Hathaway’s second objection seems to be that the Refugee Convention is about providing protection to people. People can normally get protection in the state, or in one of the states, of which they have the nationality. And if they cannot benefit from that protection in that state or in one of those states, they can flee and benefit from the protection of the state where they manage to get recognised as a refugee.

    This objection seems to be more serious than the first one.

    Okay, let’s try to handle it this way.

    What is it that we want? What is that our governmental Masters want?

    I drew already attention to the fact that the 29 November 2015 Brussels deal offers visa-free travel for Turkish citizens throughout the Schengen zone by October 2016 – that’s still ten months away from now – , but that if the deal fails, said zone will not survive. And I went on to ask: if the zone does not survive, what’s the use of having the right of free travel throughout the zone?

    There is another contradiction in the position of the Masters of Fortress Europe. These Masters want to crack down on the “lucrative” (what’s the relevance of the fact that it is lucrative?) transport of people (which these Masters qualify as “people smuggling”) over the Greek-Turkish sea border, but they have erected a fence, a Berlin wall, on the Turkish-Greek land border, thereby making it necessary for people who want to cross from Turkey to Greece to use the sea border and its heroic transportation firms.

    This second objection is the prison-camp objection.

    RT, originally Russia Today, a Russian government-funded television network, says that Refugee Nation moots several locations for a new state: on a sparsely inhabited island of Indonesia or Philippines, a newly built island or a European enclave. (12)

    Yes, a European enclave, says RT.

    Now, if Schengen collapses, travel within the Schengen zone will no longer be passport-free.

    If Refugee Nation is established in a European enclave, the prison-camp objection disappears since nobody, not even a Caucasian, will any longer be able to travel in the Schengen zone without a passport. Everybody will be in a prison camp.

    “Bis (ter?) repetita placet”:
    Fresh from the press:
    Exclusive: leaked document reveals EU plans to suspend Schengen for two years
    Comments by Steve Peers
    Wednesday, 2 December 2015
    http://eulawanalysis.blogspot.be/2015/12/exclusive-leaked-document-reveals-eu.html

    I do immediately concede that more thinking is required about those two objections, about those two quite fundamental problems that make the Refugee Nation model unworkable in its present form, especially about the second objection. I hope that this post can be a very small contribution to resolving these problems.

    As Dr Hathaway put it to The Independent, “What I love about [Jason Buzi and his Refugee Nation proposal] is his sense of moral outrage about a problem that could be fixed but no one is fixing.” (13)

    Ivo Cerckel
    ivocerckel@siquijor.ws

    NOTES

    (1)
    EU’s ‘Dirty Deal’ With Turkey on Migrants Draws Flak From German Press
    11:51 30.11.2015
    http://sputniknews.com/world/20151130/1030972345/ankara-refugees-agreement-media.html

    (2)
    France’s state of emergency could lead to abuses, say human rights groups
    Rights groups say vigilance is needed to stop a dragnet approach targeting innocent people and wrongly focusing on general Muslim community
    Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
    Thursday 26 November 2015 17.27 GMT
    Last modified on Thursday 26 November 2015 18.08 GMT
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/26/frances-state-of-emergency-could-lead-to-abuses-human-rights-groups-warn

    (3)
    What should we do with all the refugees? Give them their own country
    A totally new nation could give the Calais thousands – and escapees from warzones across the world – a place they can call home
    By Jason Buzi
    12:28PM BST 31 Jul 2015
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11775692/What-should-we-do-with-all-the-refugees-Give-them-their-own-country.html

    (4)
    This Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Wants To Create A New Country Only For Refugees
    Refugee Nation is a logical, idealistic plan that would likely never, ever work.
    September 21, 2015 | 6:45 AM
    http://www.fastcoexist.com/3051121/this-silicon-valley-entrepreneur-wants-to-create-a-new-country-only-for-refugees

    (5)
    Martin Dixon, “Textbook on International Law”, Mayfield, East Sussex, Blackstone Press Limited, 1993, 2nd ed., section 63.3.3, p. 128

    (6)
    Pierre-Marie Dupuy, “Droit international public”, Paris, Dalloz – Précis Dalloz. 1992, section 42, p. 27
    Cession is a process (“une opération”) through which one state renounces to the benefit of or in favour of another to the rights and titles which it enjoyed until then over a given territory
    (“la cession est une opération par laquelle un Etat renonce en faveur d’un autre, aux droits et titres qu’il possédait jusque-là sur un territoire donné”)

    (7)
    Dupuy, op. cit, section 42, p. 27-28

    (8)
    Dupuy, op. cit., section 42, p. 27

    (9)
    Many of the standard textbooks, and particularly those in English, classify the modes of acquisition in a stereotyped way which reflects the preoccupation of writers in the period before the First World War.
    According to this analysis (if the term is deserved) there are five modes of acquisition –
    occupation, accretion, cession, conquest, and prescription.
    Apart from issues arising from the division and choice of the modes, the whole concept of modes of acquisition is unsound in principle and makes the task of understanding the true position much more difficult. Labels are never a substitute for analysis [Ivo: IN CONTENTIOUS CASES]. The inadequacies of the orthodox approach will perhaps be more apparent when the relevant questions have been examined in the sections which follow, but a few things may be usefully said here. A tribunal will concern itself with proof of the exercise of sovereignty at the critical date or dates, and in doing so will not apply the orthodox analysis to describe its process of decision. The issue of territorial sovereignty, or title, is often complex, and involves the application of various principles of the law to the material facts. The result of this process cannot always be ascribed to any single dominant rule or ‘mode of acquisition’.
    The orthodox analysis does not prepare the student for the interaction of principles of acquiescence and recognition with the other rules.
    Furthermore, a category like ‘cession’ or ‘prescription’ may bring quite distinct situations into unhappy fellowship.
    Lastly, the importance of showing a better right to possess in contentious cases, i.e., of relative title, is obscured if too much credit is given to the five ‘models’.
    […]
    (Ian Brownlie, “Principles of Public International Law”, Oxford University Press, 2008, 7th ed., p. 127)

    Sovereignty is the most excessive form of jurisdiction in international law.
    In general terms, it denotes full and unchallengeable power over a piece of territory and all the persons from time to time therein. (Dixon, op. cit., section 62, p. 123)

    Sovereignty is the prerogative or privilege (“l’apanage” in French) of the state. Its possession entails for its possessor a direct consequence, i.e., that fact of bestowing upon the possessor a corporate identity within the international legal order. This is what is meant when one says that the State possesses an international legal personality.
    La souveraineté constitue l’apanage (“prerogative”, “privilege” in English) de l’Etat.
    Sa possession entraine automatiquement pour son titulaire une conséquence directe. Celle de lui conférer une identité corporative à l’intérieur de l’ordre juridique international. C’est ce qu’on enseigne en disant que l’Etat possède la personnalité juridique internationale.
    (Dupuy, op. cit., section 58)

    (10)
    Greece warned EU will reimpose border controls
    Anger in Europe over Athens’ response to migrant crisis
    yesterday
    by: Alex Barker and Duncan Robinson in Brussels and Kerin Hope in Athens
    https://next.ft.com/content/463dc7a0-982b-11e5-9228-87e603d47bdc

    (11)
    Migrants : l’Europe menace d’exclure la Grèce de l’espace Schengen
    (Bruxelles, bureau européen)
    LE MONDE | 02.12.2015 à 11h45 • Mis à jour le 02.12.2015 à 17h05 | Par Adéa Guillot (Athènes, correspondance), Jean-Pierre Stroobants (Bruxelles, bureau européen) et Cécile Ducourtieux
    http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2015/12/02/la-grece-risque-la-sortie-de-l-espace-schengen_4822232_3214.html

    (12)
    ‘Give them a country’: US tycoon’s novel approach to world refugee crisis
    Published time: 27 Jul, 2015 17:38
    Edited time: 26 Aug, 2015 11:18
    https://www.rt.com/news/310889-refugee-crisis-country-tycoon/

    (13)
    Refugee Nation: A US property mogul’s simple solution to the world’s migration crisis – create a new country for refugees to live in
    Jason Buzi hopes to get some the world’s richest people involved in his plan
    Adam Taylor
    Monday 27 July 2015
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/refugee-nation-a-us-property-moguls-simple-solution-to-the-worlds-migration-crisis-create-a-new-10417235.html

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