MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘China’

Joe Biden’s Demonic Phase | Kunstler

Posted by M. C. on April 17, 2021

Three weeks ago, Ol’ White Joe called Vladimir Putin “a killer.”  This week, Ol’ Joe called Vlad on the phone and suggested a friendly in-person meet-up in some “third country.” In the meantime, Ol’ Joe essayed to send a couple of US warships into the Black Sea to assert America’s interest in Ukraine, the failed state whose American-sponsored failure was engineered in 2014 by Barack Obama’s State Department. Turkey, which controls the narrow entrance to the Black Sea, was notified that two US destroyers would be steaming through its territory. Hours after the announcement, the US called off the ships. Then, hours after Ol’ Joe proffered that summit meeting, his State Department imposed new economic sanctions on Russia and tossed out a dozen or so Russian embassy staff. How’s that for a coherent foreign policy?

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/joe-bidens-demonic-phase/

James Howard Kunstler

Joe Biden’s party must be thinking — if you call it thinking — that being psychotic isn’t enough… it’s time to go demonic! How else to explain the supernatural doings of the folks in charge of things in our nation’s capital. The casual observer might suppose that these things are spinning out of control, but you also have to wonder how much Joe Biden & Company are spinning them that way. Are they looking to start a war, for instance?

Three weeks ago, Ol’ White Joe called Vladimir Putin “a killer.”  This week, Ol’ Joe called Vlad on the phone and suggested a friendly in-person meet-up in some “third country.” In the meantime, Ol’ Joe essayed to send a couple of US warships into the Black Sea to assert America’s interest in Ukraine, the failed state whose American-sponsored failure was engineered in 2014 by Barack Obama’s State Department. Turkey, which controls the narrow entrance to the Black Sea, was notified that two US destroyers would be steaming through its territory. Hours after the announcement, the US called off the ships. Then, hours after Ol’ Joe proffered that summit meeting, his State Department imposed new economic sanctions on Russia and tossed out a dozen or so Russian embassy staff. How’s that for a coherent foreign policy?

What’s going on in Ukraine, anyway? The US and NATO have prompted Ukraine to move troops and tanks toward the ethnically-Russian breakaway Donbass region. Russia countered by massing 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border. Though supplied with Western armaments, Ukraine’s ragtag and incompetent army has no ability to control the Donbass, nor do either NATO and the US have any real will to interfere there with their own troops — the logistics are insane. Mr. Putin’s elegant solution: evacuate the three-plus million Russians stuck in Donbass into Russia — which needs labor — ceding the empty territory to foundering Ukraine — soon to be an ungovernable post-industrial frontier between East and West. For a rich rundown on these matters, read Dmitry Orlov’s mordant disquisition on the subject: Putin’s Ukrainian Judo.

The lesson there is that the US has absolutely nothing to gain from continuing to antagonize Russia, and that the mentally weak Joe Biden is merely projecting the picture of a weakened and confused USA by keeping it up. Of course, a closer read might be that these hijinks are meant to distract from the more serious and consequential breakdown in relations between the US and China, currently engineered by the blundering team of Sec’y of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who went to Alaska recently to tell the Chinese delegation that they were morally unworthy of conducting trade negotiations, thereby torpedoing the trade negotiations that they went to Alaska to conduct. Smooth move fellas.

Unlike Russia, with its eleven time zones, which actually does not want or need any more territory, China is surely making hegemonic moves all over the place, not just around Hong Kong and Taiwan but in Africa and South America, while it strives to build the world’s largest navy, exports gain-of-function viruses, replaces the US in space exploration, and excels at weaponizing computer science. China’s weaknesses are a lack of sufficient domestic oil supply and food, which its current moves aim to correct. It was on its way to turning the US into a raw materials and food-crop colony when Mr. Trump came along and tried to put a stop to that. And now Ol’ Joe has cancelled that remedial action — after being on the receiving end of Chinese financial largesse in four years out-of-office. Nothing to see there, folks, says Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice, while in possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop, with its trove of incriminating memoranda.

On the domestic front, Joe Biden’s government only seeks to turn American life inside-out and upside-down, with the move to make the politics-neutral District of Columbia into a state, strictly to furnish two more senators for the DNC, and to pack the Supreme Court strictly to advantage the same DNC. Those Bills are being rushed through the House committees but something tells me they will die in the Senate. One also must wonder what exactly the rush is all about. I’ll tell you: something is up in the shadows. Something is lurking out there that is going to bring down Ol’ Joe Biden as an illegitimate chief executive. Could be some new non-ignorable evidence of his China grifting activities, or new non-ignorable evidence about the dubious ballot-tally in last November’s election. Could be something else.

Contrary to just about everybody I communicate with, I remain convinced that former US Attorney for Connecticut, now Special Prosecutor John Durham is still putting real cases together, and I suspect that his cases exceed the narrow spotlight of the origin of the Steele dossier, and I expect that indictments will be announced soon in a way that will shock the nation. Just sayin’… though nobody else is….

Meanwhile, the Wokester branch of Joe Biden’s party makes hay with the ambiguous killings of two more criminal suspects-of-color: first, Daunte Wright of Minneapolis, busy ignoring the open warrant out for him in failing to answer a previous warrant for his role in the 2019 aggravated burglary (that is, with a firearm) of a woman. He was out on $100,000 bail, but it was revoked in July 2020 when he got caught in possession of another gun. In the commotion of his resisting arrest, he got shot, tragically for officer Kim Potter, who somehow mistook her handgun for a taser. She is now teed up on a manslaughter case, while the Wright family is teed up for an $XX-million personal injury lawsuit settlement courtesy of ambulance-chaser Ben Crump. The city of Minneapolis is teed up for a municipal auto-da-fé of lootin-burnin-and-riotin in the name of “justice” — and the Derek Chauvin trial has not even concluded.

Secondarily, out comes the chest-cam video of Chicago police officer Eric Stillman shooting thirteen-year-old junior gang-banger Adam Toledo, in possession of a handgun, in a 3 a.m. chase down a West Side alleyway. So, Officer Stillman is teed up for some sort of career-ending action and Chicago is teed up for another round of lootin-burnin-and-riotin — sure to spread to other cities all over the country as the Woke vengeance campaign moves into its Satanic phase.

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Of Two Minds – Is a Cultural Revolution Brewing in America?

Posted by M. C. on April 12, 2021

Cultural revolutions are an expression of disappointment and frustration with corruption and the lack of progress in improving everyday life, frustrations that have no outlet in a regime of self-serving elites who view dissent as treason and/or blasphemy.

https://www.oftwominds.com/blogapr21/US-cultural-rev4-21.html

Charles Hugh Smith

The lesson of China’s Cultural Revolution in my view is that once the lid blows off, everything that was linear (predictable) goes non-linear (unpredictable).

There is a whiff of unease in the air as beneath the cheery veneer of free money for almost everyone, inequality and polarization are rapidly consuming what’s left of common ground in America.

Though there are many systemic differences between China and the U.S., humans in every nation are all still running Wetware 1.0 and so it is instructive to consider what can be learned from China’s Cultural Revolution 1966-1976.

China’s Cultural Revolution was remarkably different from the Party’s military-political victory of 1949. Where the political revolution was managed by the centralized hierarchy of the Communist Party (CCP), the Cultural Revolution quickly morphed from a movement launched by Mao into a decentralized mass movement against all elites, including Party and state elites which had been sacrosanct and untouchable.

The Cultural Revolution is not an approved topic in China today, and that alerts us to its importance.

Although ostensibly launched by Mao (as part of his 1966 purge of Party rivals), the Cultural Revolution very quickly devolved into a decentralized, semi-chaotic movement of Red Guards, students and other groups who shared ideas and programs but who acted quite independent of the Party’s central leadership. (In systems language, semi-chaotic dynamics are emergent properties.)

If you examine Mao’s statements that supposedly launched The Cultural Revolution, you’ll find they’re not much different from his many pronouncements in the 1950s and early 1960s, none of which sparked a violent national upheaval. The Cultural Revolution cannot be traced back to Mao’s control or plans; rather, Mao served as the politically untouchable inspiration for whatever measures the local cadres deemed necessary in terms of advancing (or cleansing) the people’s revolution.

The important point here is that the Cultural Revolution was not controlled by the political authorities, even as they maintained control of the Party and central government hierarchy in Beijing. But this was nothing more than an illusion of control: the forces of the Cultural Revolution had broken free of central command and control, even as the Red Guards expressed their loyalty to Mao and the principles of the Party as the politically approved cover for their rampage.

That’s the irony of Cultural Revolutions: the authorities cannot claim it is a political counter-revolution because the cultural revolutionaries proclaim their loyalty to the ideals and principles the authorities claim to be upholding.

Cultural Revolutions in effect claim the higher ground, eschewing political influence for direct action in the name of furthering the ideals which the authorities have abandoned or betrayed.

Given the fragmentary nature of The Cultural Revolution, the history is equally fragmentary– especially given the official reticence.

A recent academic book, Agents of Disorder: Inside China’s Cultural Revolution, provides granular detail on the fragmented, decentralized, rapidly evolving dynamics of the movement:

“(The author) devoted decades to examining the local records of nearly all of China’s 2,000-plus county-level jurisdictions. He found that factions emerged from the splintering, rather than the congealing, of class-based groups. Small clusters of students, workers, and cadres struggling to respond to Mao’s shifting directives made split-second decisions about whom to align with. Political identities did not shape the conflict; they emerged from it. To explain this process of identity formation, he offers a theory of ‘factions as emergent properties’ and suggests that similar dynamics may characterize social movements everywhere.”

In other words, groups modified their alliances, identities and definitions of “class enemies” on the fly, entirely free of central authorities. Factions splintered, regrouped and splintered again. In the chaos, no one was safe.

Those who lived through The Cultural Revolution are reticent about revealing their experiences. Even in the privacy of their homes in the U.S., their voices become hushed and their reluctance to give voice to their experiences is evident.

The unifying thread in my view is the accused belonged to some “counter-revolutionary” elite –or they were living vestiges of a pre-revolutionary elite (children of the landlord class, professors, etc.)–and it was now open season on all elites, presumed or real.

What generates such spontaneous, self-organizing violence on a national scale? My conclusion is that cultural revolutions result from the suppression of legitimate political expression and the failure of the regime to meet its lofty idealistic goals.

Cultural revolutions are an expression of disappointment and frustration with corruption and the lack of progress in improving everyday life, frustrations that have no outlet in a regime of self-serving elites who view dissent as treason and/or blasphemy.

By 1966, China’s progress since 1949 had been at best uneven, and at worst catastrophic: the Great Leap Forward caused the deaths of millions due to malnutrition and starvation, and other centrally planned programs were equally disastrous for the masses.

Given the quick demise of the Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom movement of open expression, young people realized there was no avenue for dissent within the Party, and no way to express their frustration with the Party’s failure to fulfil its idealistic goals and promises.

When there is no relief valve in the pressure cooker, it’s eventually released in a Cultural Revolution that unleashes all the bottled-up frustrations on elites which are deemed politically vulnerable. These frustrations have no outlet politically because they’re threatening to the status quo.

All these repressed emotions will find some release and expression, and whatever avenues are blocked by authorities will channel the frustrations into whatever is still open.

A Cultural Revolution takes the diversity of individuals and identities and reduces them into an abstraction which gives the masses permission to criticize the abstract class that “deserves” whatever rough justice is being delivered by the Cultural Revolution.

As the book review excerpt noted, the definition of who deserves long overdue justice shifts with the emergent winds, and so those at the head of the Revolution might find themselves identified as an illegitimate elite that must be unseated.

I submit that these conditions exist in the U.S.: the systemic failure of the status quo to deliver on idealized promises and the repression of dissent outside “approved” (i.e. unthreatening to the status quo) boundaries.

What elite can be criticized without drawing the full repressive powers of the central state? What elite will it be politically acceptable to criticize? I submit that “the wealthy” are just such an abstract elite.

To protect itself, a repressive status quo implicitly signals that the masses can release their ire on an abstract elite with indistinct boundaries–a process that will divert the public anger, leaving the Powers That Be still in charge.

But just as in China’s Cultural Revolution, central authorities will quickly lose control of conditions on the ground. They will maintain the illusion of control even as events spiral ever farther from their control. The falcon will no longer hear the falconer.

In other words, once the social pressure cooker valve gives way, then the unleashed forces soon grasp that there are few limits on what they can criticize as long as they do so within an implicitly approved narrative–for example, “the wealthy” hoarded wealth and power and so it is just to claw it back by whatever means are available. Since the government failed to do so, the people will have to do so.

The extreme inequalities of wealth and power that are now the dominant dynamic in America are heating the cultural pressure cooker, and when the pressure can no longer be contained, then being recognized as wealthy will shift very quickly from something desirable to something to avoid at all costs.

The lesson of China’s Cultural Revolution in my view is that once the lid blows off, everything that was linear (predictable) goes non-linear (unpredictable, fragmented, contingent, emergent, prone to extremes, uncontrollable). If America experiences a Cultural Revolution, the outcome won’t lend itself to tidiness or predictability.

To use an analogy from previous blog posts, if the pendulum is pushed to an extreme, when it’s released, it will reach an equivalent extreme (minus a bit of friction) at the opposite end. That could be an unexpected but entirely foreseeable Cultural Revolution.

Those who claim that can’t happen in America are safely outside the pressure cooker, protected by a delusional confidence that since I’m doing great, everyone is doing great. Since real political agency is no longer allowed, then the pressure will find release outside the political system. It’s just Wetware 1.0 running defaults few recognize.

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For What Should We Fight Russia or China? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on April 7, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/04/patrick-j-buchanan/for-what-should-we-fight-russia-or-china/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Last Monday, in a single six-hour period, NATO launched 10 air intercepts to shadow six separate groups of Russian bombers and fighters over the Arctic, North Atlantic, North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea.

Last week also brought reports that Moscow is increasing its troop presence in Crimea and along its borders with Ukraine.

Joe Biden responded. In his first conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden assured him of our “unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression in the Donbass and Crimea.”

Though Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and we have no treaty obligation to fight in its defense, this comes close to a war guarantee. Biden seems to be saying that if it comes to a shooting war between Moscow and Kiev, we will be there on the side of Kiev.

Last week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov answered that if the U.S. sends troops to Ukraine, Russia will respond.

Again, is Biden saying that in the event of a military clash between Ukrainians and Russians in Crimea, Donetsk or Luhansk, the U.S. will intervene militarily on the side of Ukraine?

Such a pledge could put us at war with a nuclear-armed Russia in a region where we have never had vital interests, and without the approval of the only institution authorized to declare war — Congress.

Meanwhile, off Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, which Beijing occupies but Manila claims, China has amassed 220 maritime militia ships.

This huge Chinese flotilla arrived after Secretary of State Anthony Blinken put Beijing on notice that any attack on Philippine planes or ships challenging Beijing’s claim to rocks and reefs of the South China Sea that are in Manila’s exclusive economic zone will be backed by the U.S.

Our 70-year-old mutual security treaty with Manila covers these islets and reefs, said Blinken, though some are already occupied and fortified by China.

Apparently, if Manila uses force to assert its claims and expel the Chinese, then we will fight beside our Philippine allies. This amounts to a war guarantee of the kind that forced the British to declare war on Germany in 1939 over the invasion of Poland.

Two weeks ago, 20 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone in the largest incursion yet by Beijing over the waters between Taiwan and Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. As national security correspondent Bill Gertz writes in today’s Washington Times:

”China is stepping up provocative activities targeting regional American allies in Asia … with an escalating number of military flights around Taiwan and the massing of more than 200 fishing ships near a disputed Philippines reef.

“China also raised tensions with Japan, announcing last week that Tokyo must drop all claims to the disputed Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited island chain that Japan has administered for decades but that Beijing recently claimed as its territory.

“The most serious provocation took place March 29. An exercise by the People’s Liberation Army air force that included 10 warplanes flew into Taiwan’s air defense zone is what analysts say appeared to be a simulated attack on the island. It came just three days after an earlier mass warplane incursion.”

While China appears clear about its aims and claims to virtually all of the islands in the South China Sea and East China Sea as well as Taiwan — it is less clear about its intentions as to when to validate those claims.

As for the U.S., does the present foggy ambiguity as to what we may or may not do as China goes about asserting its claims serve our vital interests in avoiding war with the greatest power on the largest continent on earth?

If red lines are to be laid down, they ought to be laid down by the one constitutional body with the authority to authorize or declare war — Congress. And questions need to be answered to avoid the kinds of miscalculations that led to horrific world wars in the 20th century.

Are the reefs and rocks the Philippines claim in the South China Sea, claims contradicted by China, covered by the U.S. mutual security treaty of 1951? Are we honor-bound to fight China on behalf of the Philippines, if Manila attempts to reclaim islets China occupies?

What is our obligation if China moves to take the Senkakus? Would the United States join Japan in military action to hold or retrieve them?

What, exactly, is our commitment to Taiwan if China attempts to blockade, invade or seize Taiwan’s offshore islands?

John F. Kennedy in the second debate with Richard Nixon in 1960 wrote off Quemoy and Matsu in the Taiwan Strait as indefensible and not worth war with Mao’s China.

With its warnings and threats, China is forcing America to address questions we have been avoiding for about as long as we can.

China is saying that it is not bluffing: These islands are ours!

Time to show our cards.

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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Terminate NATO – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on March 30, 2021

How about just leaving China and Russia alone? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with other nations becoming prosperous? The fact is that NATO should never have been established in the first place. Moreover, the biggest mistake in U.S. history was to convert the federal government to a national-security state. The best thing American could do now is terminate NATO and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

https://www.fff.org/2021/03/19/terminate-nato/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Washington Post has published a long piece calling for NATO to take on a new official enemy — China. The piece is written by Sara Bjerg Moller, an assistant professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. She argues that after 30 years since losing the Soviet Union as its official enemy and struggling to find a replacement to justify its continued existence, a perfect replacement would be China.

I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just put NATO out of its misery and terminate it.

After all, let’s not forget NATO’s original mission: to defend Europe from the possibility of an invasion by the Soviet Union, which had been America’s and Britain’s World War II partner and ally but which had been converted to their official enemy at the end of the war.

But the likelihood of a Soviet invasion of Europe was always nil. The Soviet Union had been decimated by World War II, especially as a result of the German invasion of the country. Even though the invasion was ultimately repelled and Germany was defeated, the Soviet Union’s industrial capacity had been destroyed, not to mention the millions of Russian citizens who had been killed. The last thing the Soviet Union wanted was another war, especially given that the United States possessed nuclear weapons and had shown a willingness to employ them against large cities.

The advocates of a national-security state in the United States, however, needed a new official enemy to replace Nazi Germany, especially to justify the conversion of the U.S. government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, a type of governmental structure with omnipotent, non-reviewable powers. The Soviet Union and “godless communism” fit the bill perfectly. The American people were then inculcated with the notion that there was an international communist conspiracy to take over the United States and the rest of the world that was based in Moscow, Russia.

To convince Americans and western Europeans that the Soviet Union posed a grave threat to them, U.S. officials pointed to the postwar Soviet occupations of Eastern Europe and East Germany as examples of communist aggression. They apparently forgot that President Franklin Roosevelt had delivered such lands into the hands of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who FDR affectionately referred to as his “Uncle Joe,” at their wartime summit in Yalta. Was it really too surprising that Stalin accepted FDR’s gift, especially given that Eastern Europe and East Germany would serve as a buffer against another German invasion of the Soviet Union?

It was within this fervent anti-communist environment that NATO was formed. But in 1989, the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end, which, needless to say, put the U.S. national-security establishment and NATO into a panic. After all, the Cold War was the justification for both of these institutions. With no Cold War, they could both be dismantled.

Instead, the national-security establishment simply went into the Middle East and began poking hornets’ nest, which ultimately brought terrorist retaliation, which in turn brought the “war on terrorism,” another racket that has kept the national-security establishment in high cotton.

Meanwhile, unwilling to let Russia go as an official enemy, NATO began gobbling up former members of the Warsaw Pact, with the aim of placing U.S. troops and missiles ever closer to Russia’s borders and with the hope of provoking a reaction, which ultimately came about in Ukraine.

As Moller argues, however, Russia poses no real threat to Europe and, therefore, cannot be seriously considered to be a justification for NATO. Instead, she argues, it’s time to replace Russia with China, owing to China’s rise as an international powerhouse. The reasoning is classic empire-think: If a nation starts to prosper and rise, it’s best to put it down before it gets too large and powerful.

How about just leaving China and Russia alone? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with other nations becoming prosperous? The fact is that NATO should never have been established in the first place. Moreover, the biggest mistake in U.S. history was to convert the federal government to a national-security state. The best thing American could do now is terminate NATO and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.

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How China Waged A Covert War On The US Using Covid-19

Posted by M. C. on March 26, 2021

China, with the help of the praise of the World Health Organization, helped set the global precedent for authoritarian lockdowns in Wuhan. Then the country basically carried on as normal while the rest of the world damaged their economies.

China emerged stronger, and the West weakened, which was likely the entire plan in the first place.

This is not even discussing the possibility that China created or spread the virus, but rather how China took advantage of the situation to position itself to become the global dominant superpower.

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Terminate NATO – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on March 22, 2021

As Moller argues, however, Russia poses no real threat to Europe and, therefore, cannot be seriously considered to be a justification for NATO. Instead, she argues, it’s time to replace Russia with China, owing to China’s rise as an international powerhouse. The reasoning is classic empire-think: If a nation starts to prosper and rise, it’s best to put it down before it gets too large and powerful.

How about just leaving China and Russia alone? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with other nations becoming prosperous? The fact is that NATO should never have been established in the first place. Moreover, the biggest mistake in U.S. history was to convert the federal government to a national-security state. The best thing American could do now is terminate NATO and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

https://www.fff.org/2021/03/19/terminate-nato/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Washington Post has published a long piece calling for NATO to take on a new official enemy — China. The piece is written by Sara Bjerg Moller, an assistant professor in the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. She argues that after 30 years since losing the Soviet Union as its official enemy and struggling to find a replacement to justify its continued existence, a perfect replacement would be China.

I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just put NATO out of its misery and terminate it.

After all, let’s not forget NATO’s original mission: to defend Europe from the possibility of an invasion by the Soviet Union, which had been America’s and Britain’s World War II partner and ally but which had been converted to their official enemy at the end of the war.

But the likelihood of a Soviet invasion of Europe was always nil. The Soviet Union had been decimated by World War II, especially as a result of the German invasion of the country. Even though the invasion was ultimately repelled and Germany was defeated, the Soviet Union’s industrial capacity had been destroyed, not to mention the millions of Russian citizens who had been killed. The last thing the Soviet Union wanted was another war, especially given that the United States possessed nuclear weapons and had shown a willingness to employ them against large cities.

The advocates of a national-security state in the United States, however, needed a new official enemy to replace Nazi Germany, especially to justify the conversion of the U.S. government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, a type of governmental structure with omnipotent, non-reviewable powers. The Soviet Union and “godless communism” fit the bill perfectly. The American people were then inculcated with the notion that there was an international communist conspiracy to take over the United States and the rest of the world that was based in Moscow, Russia.

To convince Americans and western Europeans that the Soviet Union posed a grave threat to them, U.S. officials pointed to the postwar Soviet occupations of Eastern Europe and East Germany as examples of communist aggression. They apparently forgot that President Franklin Roosevelt had delivered such lands into the hands of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who FDR affectionately referred to as his “Uncle Joe,” at their wartime summit in Yalta. Was it really too surprising that Stalin accepted FDR’s gift, especially given that Eastern Europe and East Germany would serve as a buffer against another German invasion of the Soviet Union?

It was within this fervent anti-communist environment that NATO was formed. But in 1989, the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly came to an end, which, needless to say, put the U.S. national-security establishment and NATO into a panic. After all, the Cold War was the justification for both of these institutions. With no Cold War, they could both be dismantled.

Instead, the national-security establishment simply went into the Middle East and began poking hornets’ nest, which ultimately brought terrorist retaliation, which in turn brought the “war on terrorism,” another racket that has kept the national-security establishment in high cotton.

Meanwhile, unwilling to let Russia go as an official enemy, NATO began gobbling up former members of the Warsaw Pact, with the aim of placing U.S. troops and missiles ever closer to Russia’s borders and with the hope of provoking a reaction, which ultimately came about in Ukraine.

As Moller argues, however, Russia poses no real threat to Europe and, therefore, cannot be seriously considered to be a justification for NATO. Instead, she argues, it’s time to replace Russia with China, owing to China’s rise as an international powerhouse. The reasoning is classic empire-think: If a nation starts to prosper and rise, it’s best to put it down before it gets too large and powerful.

How about just leaving China and Russia alone? What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with other nations becoming prosperous? The fact is that NATO should never have been established in the first place. Moreover, the biggest mistake in U.S. history was to convert the federal government to a national-security state. The best thing American could do now is terminate NATO and restore a limited-government republic to our land.

This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.

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Doug Casey: What If China Restricts The Supply of These Obscure Metals

Posted by M. C. on March 4, 2021

What does Washington consider when implementing it’s mad interventionism?

Fortunately for Washington, lithium is not on the China list.

https://internationalman.com/articles/doug-casey-what-if-china-restricts-the-supply-of-these-obscure-metals/

by Doug Casey

International Man: Rare-earth elements (REEs) were in the news recently. What is the significance of these 17 obscure elements from the periodic table?

Doug Casey: Obscure elements seem to come into public view every few decades, typically during a commodity bull market. I remember the so-called “strategic metals” boom, back in the early 1980s, when everybody went wild about cobalt and tantalum, among other elements. I remember there was a well-known broker in New York who was actually selling 55-gallon drums full of cadmium to naïve clients. There are probably, even now, some poor people with the stuff stored in their garages.

This is a cyclical phenomenon, not unlike what’s happening with stocks like GameStop. It’s mostly a consequence of too much money being printed and lots of it looking for a place to hide.

Now it’s the turn of rare-earth elements. Many readers will recall them from chemistry class. More technically, most of them are also known as lanthanides, in their own row at the bottom of the periodic table. They’re actually not all that rare. Fun fact: Cerium is more common than copper in the earth’s crust. That is indicative of the problem. REEs are generally widely dispersed, but there are relatively few places where deposits are concentrated enough to be considered ore.

Economic deposits of REEs may be somewhat hard to find, but there are scores of known REE resources, not counting the millions of tons of electronic junk that can be recycled for them. But the lack of minable reserves is solvable with higher REE prices. There are also problems in mining, concentrating, and refining that are peculiar to REEs. Mining anything can be messy, of course, but REE’s chemical characteristics make them more of a problem than many minerals. Although, this is nothing that can’t be solved with inputs of capital and technology.

International Man: Rising tensions between the US and China seem to be inevitable. China, which dominates REE production, recently suggested it could restrict supplies to the US. What are the implications of this?

Doug Casey: It’s true that REEs are very important for high-tech electronic applications today and are becoming much more important. But, as I said, deposits exist all over the world, including North America and Australia; the Chinese don’t have a geological monopoly on them.

It’s good to remember there was almost zero REE production until about 1950 because there were simply no uses for them. The REEs are chemically similar—which is why a lot of them occur together in nature—but electrically, they’re each quite unique. This is why they’re so valuable in today’s electronic world.

They’re very important—true—but there’s no reason for a panic, a hysteria, about China currently producing almost all of them. The big problem isn’t scarcity; it’s economics—the Chinese can produce them cheaper. The West doesn’t produce them, mainly because of regulation.

Today, everywhere, trying to put even a simple economic deposit of any mineral into production can take 10 years or more from the discovery. It’s much slower and much more expensive than it once was or should be. That’s true everywhere, but especially in the ecohysteric West. Mining has become a horrible business, not only because of the time value of money but because of environmental and social regulations from a dozen different agencies.

There should be no problem with America having access to locally produced Rare Earth Elements. But various levels of government, buttressed by eco-warriors, Greens, and NGOs, make it either impossible or uneconomic to mine them.

It’s likely to become a bigger problem as time goes on simply because the government is becoming more powerful and more intrusive, making it harder to mine anything, including REEs. Even while REEs are becoming ever more important.

The good news is that, at some point, people will realize that if they want their iPhones, widescreens, electric cars, and a thousand other things, somebody is going to have to mine stuff like Ytterbium and Europium, which they’ve never even heard of before.

International Man: How can anyone else profitably mine REEs when China subsidizes production, doesn’t care about environmental or safety issues, and can flood the market to bankrupt competitors? Can anyone break China’s grip on the market?

Doug Casey: Good question, considering Einstein once said that “After hydrogen, the most common thing in the universe is stupidity.” The main problem comes from our own governments. But it should be a non-problem. If the Chinese won’t sell the stuff or price it exorbitantly, Western users should be able to simply put our own resources into production. If you run a business, you don’t want unreliable suppliers.

But it seems that Americans and Europeans are mostly interested in stuff that’s green, warm, and fuzzy. They don’t want to be bothered with stuff that’s hard and dirty.

On the other hand, the Chinese are concentrating on things that are hard, dirty to mine, and high tech. There’s a serious cultural gap between East Asians and Westerners—and I’m afraid we’re on the wrong side of that divide.

REEs are important for high tech because each of the 92 naturally occurring elements is unique atomically and chemically. If you want technological advancement, you need as many different elements as you can get to make it possible.

International Man: Is there potential to speculate in REE stocks?

Doug Casey: For sure. Higher prices of these obscure elements will solve all problems, so it makes sense to speculate in companies that have deposits of them that might be put into production in the West.

Some stocks of companies that have possibly economic deposits of these obscure elements have done quite well in the last couple of years, but they might do even better in the next few years. There are quite a few that are almost unknown and are very cheap.

Chris Maclntosh does fantastic work finding obscure companies that have potential upside in this area.

Editor’s Note: Legendary speculator Doug Casey is an expert on finding unique opportunities in overlooked markets.

Doug and his team just released a new report on the other opportunities they see coming. Click here to download the PDF now. 

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When Deplorables Become Ungovernables — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2020

A perverse form of blowback is already in effect as informed global citizens may now see, crystal clear, the astonishing depth and reach of Deep State power – the ultimate decider of what happens next in Dystopia Central.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/12/16/when-deplorables-become-ungovernables/

Pepe Escobar

China, Russia and Iran are the top three existential “threats” to the U.S., according to the National Security Strategy. Three features distinguish the top three. They are all sovereign powers. They are under varying degrees of sanctions. And they are the top three nodes of the 21st century’s most important, evolving geopolitical process: Eurasia integration.

What do the three sovereigns see when they examine the dystopia that took over Exceptionalistan?

They see, once again, three – discombobulated – nodes in conflict: the post-historic Pacific and Atlantic coasts; the South – a sort of expanded Dixieland; and the Midwest – what would be the American heartland.

The hyper-modern Pacific-Atlantic nodes congregate high-tech and finance, profit from Pentagon techno-breakthroughs and benefit from the “America rules the waves” ethos that guarantees the global primacy of the U.S. dollar.

The rest of America is largely considered by the Pacific-Atlantic as just a collection of flyover states: the South – which regards itself as the real, authentic America; and the Midwest, largely disciplined and quite practical-minded, squeezed ideologically between the littoral powerhouses and the South.

Superstructure, tough, is key: no matter what happens, whatever the fractures, this remains an Empire, where only a tiny elite, a de facto plutocratic oligarchy, rules.

It would be too schematic, even though essentially correct, to assert that in the presidential election, invisible campaigner Joe Biden represented the Pacific-Atlantic nodes, and Trump represented the whole South. Assuming the election was not fraudulent – and that remains a big “if” – the Midwest eventually swung based on three issues.

  1. Trump, as much as he relied on a sanctions juggernaut, could not bring back manufacturing jobs home. 2. He could not reduce the military footprint across the Greater Middle East. 3. And, before Covid-19, he could not bring down immigration.

Everything that lies ahead points to the irreconcilable – pitting the absolute majority that voted Dem in the Atlantic-Pacific nodes versus the South and a deeply divided Midwest. As much as Biden-Harris is bound to isolate the South even more, their prospects of “pacifying” the Midwest are less than zero.

Whose ground control?

Beyond the raucous altercations on whether the presidential election was fraudulent, these are the key factual points.

  1. A series of rules in mostly swing states were changed, through courts, bypassing state legislatures, without transparence, before the election, paving the way to facilitate fraud schemes.
  2. Biden was de facto coronated by AP, Google and Twitter even before the final, official result, and weeks before the electoral college vote this past Monday.
  3. Every serious, professional audit to determine whether all received and tabulated votes were valid was de facto squashed.

In any Global South latitude where the empire did “interfere” in local elections, color revolution-style, this set of facts would be regarded by scores of imperial officials, in a relentless propaganda blitz, as evidence of a coup.

On the recent Supreme Court ruling, a Deep State intel source told me, “the Supreme Court did not like to see half the country rioting against them, and preferred the decision be made by each state in the House of Representatives. That is the only way to handle this without jeopardizing the union. Even prominent Democrats I know realize that the fix took place. The error was to steal too many votes. This grand theft indicts the whole system, that has always been corrupt.”

Dangers abound. On the propaganda front, for instance, far right nationalists are absolutely convinced that U.S. media can be brought to heel only by occupying the six main offices of the top conglomerates, plus Facebook, Google and Twitter: then you’d have full control of the U.S. propaganda mill.

Another Deep State source, now retired, adds that, “the U.S. Army does not want to intervene as their soldiers may not obey orders.

Many of these far right nationalists were officers in the armed forces. They know where the nuclear missiles and bombers are. There are many in sympathy with them as the U.S. falls apart in lockdowns.”

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s dodgy dealings simply will not be made to vanish from public scrutiny. He’s under four different federal investigations. The recent subpoena amounts to a very serious case pointing to a putative crime family. It’s been conveniently forgotten that Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations

that he forced Ukraine’s chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be fired exactly when he was investigating corruption by Burisma’s founder.

Of course, a massive army of shills will always invoke another army of omniscient and oh so impartial “fact checkers” to hammer the same message: “This is Trump’s version. Courts have said clearly all the evidence is baseless.”

District Attorney William Barr is now out of the picture (see his letter of resignation). Barr is a notorious Daddy Bush asset since the old days – and that means classic Deep State. Barr knew about all federal investigations on Hunter Biden dating back to 2018, covering potential money laundering and bribery.

And still, as the Wall Street Journal delightfully put it, he “worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign”.

A devastating report (Dems: a Republican attack report) has shown how the Biden family was connected to a vast financial network with multiple foreign ramifications.

Then there’s Barr not even daring to say there was enough reason for the Department of Justice to engage in a far-reaching investigation into voting fraud, finally putting to rest all “baseless” conspiracy theories.

Move on. Nothing to see here. Even if an evidence pile-up featured, among other instances, ballot stuffing, backdated ballots, statistical improbabilities, electronic machine tampering, software back doors, affidavits from poll workers, not to mention the by now legendary stopping the vote in the dead of night, with subsequent, huge batches of votes miraculously switching from Trump to Biden.

Once again an omniscient army of oh so impartial “fact checkers” will say everything is baseless.

A perverse blowback

A perverse form of blowback is already in effect as informed global citizens may now see, crystal clear, the astonishing depth and reach of Deep State power – the ultimate decider of what happens next in Dystopia Central.

Both options are dire.

  1. The election stands, even if considered fraudulent by nearly half of U.S. public opinion. To quote that peerless existentialist, The Dude, there’s no rug tying the room together anymore.
  2. Was the election to be somehow overturned before January 20, the Deep State would go Shock and Awe to finish the job.

In either case, The Deplorables will become The Ungovernables.

It gets worse. A possible implosion of the union – with internal convulsions leading to a paroxysm of violence – may even be coupled with an external explosion, as in a miscalculated imperial adventure.

For the Three Sovereigns – Russia, China and Iran – as well as the overwhelming majority of the Global South, the conclusion is inescapable: if the current, sorry spectacle is the best Western liberal “democracy” has to offer, it definitely does not need any enemies or “threats”.

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An Expert Military Analysis of War with China, by Fred Reed – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on December 15, 2020

The said war is discussed either in emotional terms by idiots or in purely naval terms by those familiar with such things, so we hear of the First Island Chain and the Second Island Chain and whose missiles against the other’s missiles and so on. This would be appropriate if we were fighting World War Two again. Which we aren’t. Let’s take a quick-and-dirty look at how such a war might go.

https://www.unz.com/freed/an-expert-military-analysis-of-war-with-china/

Fred Reed

The Correlation of Armed Forces: U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $634.8 billion in 2019. Exports were $163.0 billion; imports were $471.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $308.8 billion in 2019. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $76.7 billion in 2019. Services exports were $56.5 billion; services imports were $20.1 billion. The U.S. services trade surplus with China was $36.4 billion in 2019.

There is talk within the Washingtoniat of a possible war with China. Steve Bannon, who apparently was dropped on his head as a child, actually favors such a war. We hear the usual shoo-the-boobs alarm about how the Chinese are doing something terrible and we must gird our loins and American values and show them what for, bow wow, woof. The danger is that the current game of who-blinks-first in Asian waters might actually provoke a shooting war. You know the kind of thing: One warship refuses to get out of the way of another, a collision ensues, some retard lieutenant who signed up on waivers opens fire, and we’re off and running. It is not a good idea to let children play with matches.

The said war is discussed either in emotional terms by idiots or in purely naval terms by those familiar with such things, so we hear of the First Island Chain and the Second Island Chain and whose missiles against the other’s missiles and so on. This would be appropriate if we were fighting World War Two again. Which we aren’t. Let’s take a quick-and-dirty look at how such a war might go.

To begin the war, America would overestimate itself and underestimate China. This is doctrine in the Pentagon. There is probably a manual on it. Inside the DC Bubble, fern-bar Napoleons would assure us that it would be a short war, a cakewalk, a matter of days, not weeks. You know, like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria. When it turned out that the Chinese had other ideas, among which surrendering was not, and the months dragged on, various fascinating things would happen.

Rand, a thinktank wholly owned by the Pentagon, at least mentally, has wargamed both the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, concluding that the war could be both very long and a loss for America. We no longer live in 1960.

OK, the war: On day one, all the multitudinous American factories in China shut down. Example: Apple loses its factories, products from those factories, and the Chinese market of 1.4 billion consumers. Its stores close. Tim Cook’s gratitude will know no bounds. American auto manufacturers sell googolplexes of cars in China (or at least lots), mostly made in China. Overnight they will lose factories, cars, and Chinese customers. Overall, China buys many more cars than does the US. This analysis, if anything so obvious may be called analysis, can be repeated for industry after industry after industry. Goodbye, business vote.

Within weeks, Walmart’s shelves go bare. Walk down the aisles and read the “Made in” labels. We are not talking only plastic buckets and mops but chain saws, pharmaceuticals, motorcycles, and blood-pressure cuffs. So much for the blue-collar vote. The US buys 472 billion in goods annually from China, high-tech, low-tech, consumer goods, manufacturing components. No more.

China buys over $163 billion annually in American goods: petroleum, semiconductors, airline engines, soybeans, airliners, on and on. No more. It is hard to underestimate the joy this will cause in influential boardrooms. And of course the American workers who would have produced these things for China will be laid off. As electoral politics, this will prove suboptimal.

China produces a great majority of the rare earth elements crucial to the manufacture of electronics, such as semiconductors. No quick substitute is in sight. Just about everything in America uses these, to include the computers that run the electrical systems of cars. Though I haven’t checked, it is quite possible that the computers themselves are made in China. If you want a new and deeper understanding of the word “hostile,” check the influential CEOs of businesses on their second chipless day.

In a real war, it is likely that China, having thought of the foregoing, would (intelligently) destroy Taiwan’s semiconductor fabs, notably those of TSMC, as well as other factories of electronics. This would hardly be difficult since the Taiwan Strait is only a hundred or so miles wide. Losing these industries would be exceedingly painful for the US since its high-end chips come from Taiwan. It would take America years to replace this capacity domestically. Some of the necessary equipment, extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, is not made in America and in any event cannot be stamped out like beer cans.

In America it would quickly be discovered that the country is rather more dependent on China than some might think. If I may make up an example: The automotive industry finds that its sparkplugs come from China. While America could certainly make spark plugs, it turns out that a decade back the industry found that China could make them for forty percent less. In the cooperative commercial world pre-Trump, this was no problem. Not now. So much for sales of cars. And for the jobs of the workers who make them.

I will bet you all my diamond mines in South Africa and cattle lands in Argentina, that if you went through a parts list for, say, Boeing’s airliners, you would find lots of them made in China. Sure, the US could manufacture most of them, eventually. But companies need parts now, not eventually.

The effects on other countries of a large war against China would be catastrophic if not worse. Other countries also get many things, from China or Taiwan, such as semiconductors. Google on “country x largest trading partner.” A strong pattern quickly becomes clear: China is huge in trading with practically everybody. “Everybody” includes Germany, Japan, Australia, Russia, and South America as a whole. The world economy in its entirety would collapse.

How smart would this be? The United States is already in serious trouble, what with a currency rapidly being debased, a sinking middle class, businesses dying of Covid, jobs disappearing abroad, people living paycheck to paycheck, and social unhappiness resulting in continent-wide riots. Do you suppose the public will gladly support an unfathomably stupid war causing an instant, profound, and murderous economic depression? If so, you probably already have a collection of bridges.

This can be inflicted on the entire earth by a half-dozen loons in or circling around the White House unhindered by a worthless Congress. Six loons. Yes, I know, Trump is unlikely deliberately to start a Third world War, even as a publicity stunt. No, the generals in the Pentagon are not nearly stupid enough. (They might even refuse, pointing out that starting a war requires a declaration by Congress.) The problem is that for years America has been, if not actually looking for a fight, at least daring other countries to start one. For example, murdering Iranian officials, pulling out of arms-control treaties, pushing NATO ever closer to Russia, sanctioning countries far beyond anything that can be called a trade war, and playing chicken with China in the South China Sea. Under these circumstances you can get a fight without quite looking for one.

Write Fred at jet.possum@gmail.com. Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion.

Buy Fred’s Splendid Books!

They prevent Covid, cure baldness, and make you more attractive to the opposite sex. You can even read them.

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Project Veritas Video Shows Google Employee Accusing Company of ‘Playing God’

Posted by M. C. on October 20, 2020

James O’Keefe strikes again!

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/10/19/project-veritas-video-shows-google-employee-accusing-company-of-playing-god/

by Breitbart Tech

A new undercover video from investigative journalists at James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas shows a Google employee accusing the company of trying to “play God” with search results and discussing its internal culture of political bias.

In the video, a technical program manager at Google can be heard discussing the tech giant’s often-brazen bias against President Trump and his movement. “Trump says something, misinformation, you’re gonna delete that because it’s illegal under whatever pretext,” he said. “If a Democratic leader says that, then you’re gonna leave it like that, so I’m like, okay, you’re not following one way or the other. You are just plain and simple trying to play God.” In another exchange recorded by the undercover journalist, the employee can be heard discussing Google’s ties to China.  GOOGLER: “I can’t keep doing this. Go and teach Chinese people how to do American jobs and come back and get surveilled on the way.”Journalist: “Were you doing that for Google?GOOGLER: “Google, FitBit. Yeah. Those two companies, primarily.”Journalist: “So, you were going there and working for Google in China?”GOOGLER:“Yeah.”Journalist: “Wow. That’s scary. I’m scared they’re gonna start doing stuff like that here.”GOOGLER: “Yeah. And when you have these candid conversations with your friends who are centrist or Republicans, then you wonder, all of a sudden, like, ‘Oh, I should vote for Trump.’” The Google employee can be heard expressing his dissatisfaction with the “ultra-leftist attitude” at Google, where “your entire existence is questioned.” “When I worked for Caterpillar or Corning, politics didn’t really matter,” he said. “You just do your job and: ‘Let’s make tractors, let’s make glass.’” He also recounted events after the 2016 election, when employees were crying in coridoors and taking days of work because of the outcome. “That kind of stuff — I’m like — are you serious, are you kidding me?” he said.

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