Sunday, October 20, 2019

Hillary in Character

By Rich Kozlovich




Being the psychopath she is....she probably believes it. Yesterday I stumbled across this article, The Clintons’ Greatest Shame: Chelsea is the biological daughter of Webb Hubbell and not Bill Clinton! , which goes way beyond Chelsea's parentage, and even stuns me to the depth of degradation to which this family has stooped.

In the past I've always stayed away from these articles about her parentage because she's not responsible for what her parents did or didn't do. I used to feel sorry for Chelsea being stuck with such parents, I'm sure she had to see and hear things going on no child should be exposed to, but she's now jumped on the Clinton bandwagon.  My sympathy for her plight has waned.

A couple more things in this piece. So many have wondered why the Clinton's and the Bush's were so buddy buddy over the years.  Bush kept his mouth shut about Obama for eight years, yet couldn't help becoming a "Never Trumper",  shooting off his mouth when Trump was running against Hillary, and after.  Well, now I understand, and I now know why I never liked the Bush's - either one of them!  Also, when John McCain was dying he was the vicious obnoxious jerk he's always been. Yet so many thought it was terrible Trump had the nerve to defend himself against this dying "war hero".

Well, McCain was always high smelling and low down. I had forgotten this, but when Chelsea was 13 or so he commented publicly the reason Chelsea was so ugly was because Janet Reno was her father.

What kind of "war hero" would publicly say such a thing about a 13 year old kid?

High smelling and low down!

Finally, and given my views of Bill Clinton this may surprise you, it seems to me that Bill really loves Chelsea as his daughter, and if all that's being said is true, he's to be commended for that!

Every child deserves to be loved by their parents!

Gabbard to Clinton: You Are 'Queen of Warmongers ... Personification of The Rot That Has Sickened' Democrats

By Michael W. Chapman | October 18, 2019

Apparently because Hillary Clinton suggested today that she is being groomed by the Russians to mount a third party run, presidential contender Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) tweeted a sarcastic "thank you" to the former first lady and described her as the "queen of warmongers" and the "personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long."

In a podcast interview earlier today, Clinton said, "I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve [Russia] got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and they’re grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far and that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up because she’s also a Russian asset.”............

"From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation," said Gabbard, a combat veteran who served in Iraq. "We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know -- it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose."

Quote of the Day

Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone. - Frederic Bastiat

Geller Report For October, 20, 2019

Today's Headlines

Cartels fight a round with Mexican army...and win

October 20, 2019 By Silvio Canto, Jr.

For some time, I've been hearing about the cartels' firepower. It makes sense because they have millions of dollars and there are many high-powered rifles on the black market.

We saw it in the last 72 hours in Sinaloa, a Pacific coast state about 880 miles southwest of Dallas, Texas.

This is from news reports:

After being captured by Mexican forces, the Sinaloa cartel managed to wrest El Chappo's [sic] son free from government control with a stunning show of force complete with machine guns and rocket launchers. ............

Given that they were surrounded, the violence was continuing to rise, and there were hostages, the government surrendered and let Guzmán go.............My view is that the government made a mistake. Officials were probably caught by surprise or without sufficient forces to fight the well armed cartels.

Nevertheless, it was horrible to hear cartels claiming a military victory against the Mexican army.

What does President López-Obrador do? I hope he unleashes lots of force and deals a major loss to the cartels, perhaps even capturing El Chapo's son again. If not, we will see more policemen ambushed and trucks set on fire.

The cartels crossed a line in Sinaloa. Mexico must respond........... To Read More

Seeing Some Trees in the Forest of Babble

Clarice Feldman

The hypnotic babble of the media beguiles otherwise intelligent people into believing that Russia colluded with President Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton, that Trump forced Ukraine into investigating Hunter Biden and did something, we can’t say what, to be impeached, and that thousands of poor Kurds are being displaced because we pulled some hundreds of our troops from the Syrian-Turkish border.

Rational, fact-based analysis shows all this to be untrue, but breaking through this hazy thinking is not an easy task. Maybe because that’s the true aim: eradicating reason totally. In chaos the most nutty rule.............. To Read More
 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

When Experts Make Mistakes: 3 Ways to Spot Junk in Science Journals

By Cameron English — October 11, 2019

The popular press regularly botches its science reporting. Not a week goes by without an exaggerated headline about the so-called “vaping epidemic” or a news story erroneously warning that an innocuous pesticide causes cancer.

Fact checking the media's sloppy science journalism is one of my favorite pastimes, but it also prompts an important question: why does the press bungle its science coverage so frequently? Sometimes it's because reporters are gullible, ideological, or have no particular interest in or knowledge of the topic they're covering. But another serious problem is that universities, science journals, and individual experts often get things wrong. The scientific community knows this all too well, as cancer epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat recently explained:
[T]he public and journalists – the consumers of information about health – need to be aware of something that researchers know well – there is no [study] that is so dreadful that it cannot be published somewhere.
If you're a consumer of science news, or just a curious person looking for information on nutrition or medicine, you have to learn how to spot junk science in sources that are typically reliable and evaluate claims made by people who are usually trustworthy. So here are a few guidelines that have helped me separate sound research from misinformation, as both a science writer and a consumer..............To Read More...

Please support the work of the American Council on Science and Health. Your Donations to ACSH Will Be Doubled!

Cartoon of the Day

 

Quote of the Day

Democrats talk but don’t deliver. Democrats threaten — but they have nothing to follow through their threats. Democrats huff and puff and bluff and blow — but in the end, when accountability looms, it’s not the White House walls that fall. It’s impeachment. - Cheryl Chumley, Washington Times

Dr. Strangesсhiff, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Impeachment

October 18, 2019 By Gary Gindler

Who could have guessed that the words of Soviet secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria to Joseph Stalin, "Show me the man, and I will show you the crime," would be strangely embodied in American politics and jurisprudence in the 21st century?  Moreover, according to Dr. Strangesсhiff — congressman, chairman, and commissar — these wonderful words have recently found their way into the U.S. Constitution. Secret impeachment would seem to be a new idea, but the curious Dr. Strangesсhiff borrowed it from the closed Soviet trials of dissidents, "enemies of the people," and other "undesirable elements."

Bravo, comrade Strangesсhiff!  Please, continue the Orange Man trial behind closed doors.  After all, the American people are ecstatic about closed hearings without access by journalists or lawyers.  They are also especially fond of the removal of the president based on an anonymous gossip-monger, or two, or three.  The number of blabbers is not important, since the transcripts of their testimonies will never be published (not because they are not there, but because that is exactly what the intent was).

The impeachment trials by the troika of Strangesсhiff, Loudspeaker, and Jabba-the-Dem take place in the basement of the Lubyanka Capitol.  Citizens of the country are not allowed in the basement trial of their president.  Secret investigation, followed by a secret court, and then...secret execution.  Furthermore, all these actions are in the same basement.  In the 21st century, it is the basement of the Capitol.............To Read More...
 
 

Hillary's email scandal catches 38 in State Department

May face disciplinary action for using unsecured Clinton system for national secrets

Trump campaign threatens to sue CNN

Cites revelations of former employee released by Project Veritas    

By WND Staff  October 18, 2019

President Trump's 2020 re-election campaign is vowing to sue CNN in response to the revelations this week published by Project Veritas that the network's negative coverage of the president is motivated by CEO Jeff Zucker's "personal vendetta" as well as the strong political bias of employees.
Trump attorney Charles J. Harder wrote in a letter to CNN, Zucker, and Executive Vice President David Vigilante that the network's years of anti-Trump coverage break its promise of "excellence in journalism," the Washington Examiner reported...........To Read More....


Mitt Romney: We abandoned an ally

October 18, 2019

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) on Thursday ripped US President Donald Trump over the ceasefire reached in Syria, while calling his decision to withdraw troops “a bloodstain in the annals of American history.” “The announcement today is being portrayed as a victory. It is far from a victory. Serious questions remain about how the decision was reached precipitously to withdraw from Syria and why that decision was reached,” Romney said, according to The Hill.

US Vice President Mike Pence announced earlier on Thursday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to halt Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria for 120 hours in order to allow Kurdish forces known as the YPG to evacuate.

In exchange, Trump will lift the sanctions on Turkey he imposed this week and not impose further sanctions, Pence added...........To Read More...

Mitt beclowns himself.
  • Mitt in 2019: protecting Kurds ‘one of our most sacred duties
  • Mitt in 2007: ‘Kurdish nationalism could destabilize the border with Turkey’
October 18, 2019 By Thomas Lifson

Politician Mitt Romney has joined journalists like Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin in contradicting his previously-espoused positions when President Trump acts on them.
 
Back in 2007 when he was running for president, Romney took to the pages of Foreign Affairs, the journal published by the Council on Foreign Relations, aka Globalism Central, to warn against the danger presented by unthinking American adherence to Kurdish nationalism. Joel Pollak of Breitbart remembered:
 
In an essay for Foreign Policy regarded as a definitive statement of his foreign policy views at the time, Romney warned that “Kurdish nationalism could destabilize the border with Turkey.” ...........Romney was following the familiar diplomatic truism annunciated by 19th century British prime minister Lord Palmerston: “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.”
 
Yet now that President Trump has withdrawn fewer than 50 American troops from an area near the Turkish-Syrian border, suddenly we have a “scared” obligation to the Kurds.......President Trump is clear that he operates on the principle of putting the interests of his nation first, just as every other head of state does, or should do............To Read More
 
My Take - Mitt Romney is like sweat on parts of the body where the sun doesn't shine. Slimy and high smelling?

Trump Syria withdrawal ‘not only appropriate, but overdue,’ foreign policy ‘realists’ say

Washington Times October 18, 2019

The execution has been messy, the bipartisan opposition has been sharp and U.S. adversaries are now scrambling to exploit President Trump’s Syria withdrawal.  But some U.S. foreign policy “realists” are cheering on Mr. Trump’s course change in the Middle East, saying that despite its clumsy implementation, the move cuts through contradictions at the heart of the American policy and puts the onus on regional powers to resolve Syria’s 8-year-old civil war and prevent an Islamic State resurgence there.

“Trump has managed to move in the right direction in the worst possible way,” said Stephen M. Walt, a Harvard scholar. He argues that the hard-to-swallow reality behind the withdrawal is that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s brutal regime has won the civil war.

“The dirty secret is that allowing Bashar Assad to regain all control over Syria is going to solve a number of vexing problems,” Mr. Walt said. “Saying that is a horrible thing because Assad is a war criminal and should be on trial for atrocities.”

That Syrian Kurdish officials, who last week were allied with Washington, were so quickly willing to switch to cooperation with Mr. Assad proves their point, the realists say.

“We live in a world that is not perfect,” said Mr. Walt, adding that Damascus — for better or worse — is in the best position to tamp down, not exacerbate, tension with Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces who have invaded Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria.........To Read More....

My Take - I love these losers who, while complimenting Trump, have to insult him at the same time.  The withdrawl was a "clumsy implementation"?  Really?  Explain this to me.  What would constitute a "graceful" implementation? 

Turkey Agrees to Cease-Fire

Will it stop the bloodshed and help prevent the resurgence of ISIS?

Fri Oct 18, 2019 Joseph Klein  144

President Trump’s critics have regularly blasted his style of diplomacy, in which he combines bad cop, good cop rhetoric with the use of sanctions and tariffs to exert maximum economic pressure on the party he is trying to influence. This style was on display again this past week as President Trump tried to navigate the outbreak of conflict between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds that the president’s critics blame on his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northeast Syria. Before President Trump proceeded with completing the troop withdrawal, he sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly encouraging him to make a good deal with the Kurds while threatening Turkey with economic devastation if it persists with its military operation against the Kurds.

Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo followed up with a visit to Ankara, where they secured an agreement to end the violence for now between Turkey and the Kurds in Syria pending the establishment of an expanded “safe zone” that Turkey has been seeking. While Turkish forces and allied Syrian insurgents halt their offensive, the Syrian Kurd forces would be expected to surrender their positions 20 miles from the Turkey-Syria border. As part of the deal, the U.S. will not put new sanctions in place and end the current sanctions if a real ceasefire endures.

Turkey is referring to the negotiated deal as a “pause,” not a full-fledged “ceasefire.” Vice President Pence used the term “pause” in his own remarks. He declared, “The Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours,” referring to the Syrian Democratic Forces' People Protection Units, a primarily Kurdish militia. “All military operations under operation peace spring will be paused, and operation peace spring will be halted entirely on completion of the withdrawal. Our administration has already been in contact with Syrian defense forces, and we have already begun to facilitate their safe withdrawal from the nearly 20-mile wide safe zone area South of the Turkish border in Syria.” ........To Read More....

Friday, October 18, 2019

Cartoon of the Day, Plus

When LeBron first made it big it was in Cleveland, and my town lauded and praised our home town boy making good.   When he left the first time he was such a jerk.  He spoke so disparagingly about Cleveland, he in effect spit on us. 

When he came back everyone jumped on the LeBron bandwagon, since he was gong to bring a championship to Cleveland.  I said he spit on us as he walked away and as far as I was concerned he was a jerk them and he's a jerk now.

After all the crap he's pulled I hope my fellow Clevelanders see him as I've seen him all these years.

He's contemptible.

As for the rest of the world? LeBron's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week.  Good news for LeBron! He may be making a little bit of money as protesters buy his jersey to burn in effigy......... More

Quote For the Day

In the discharge of my official duty I shall endeavor to be guided by a just and unstrained construction of the Constitution, a careful observance of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the states or to the people, and by a cautious appreciation of those functions which by the Constitution and laws have been especially assigned to the executive branch.  Grover Cleveland
 

Geller Report For October, 18, 2019

Today's Headlines

Tell Me Their Names?

By Rich Kozlovich

Editor's Note: I ran this originally on November 23, 2013, referencing the false Trayvon Martin narrative created by the media. This is just as valid with Michael Brown as it was then with Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin was an aggressive, violent thug, and it seems perfectly clear to me so too was Michael Brown. 

With the insane effort by the current crop of Democrat party misfits running for POTUS, all working to 'victimize' groups in order to generate votes, it's obvious we're in need of a good dose of clarity.  Ergo, I thought it was necessary to publish this again.  RK

For the readers of Paradigms and Demographics this won’t be anything new, but (kudos to Fox) recently Fox News has been running features on a growing problem in the black community called “knockout”. According to black youths its 'just a game’. Interesting game! They pick out a person who is alone or seeming incapable of standing against a young violent thug…or thugs….and beat them senseless. The goal is to do it with one punch, but often times they just beat them to death. Men or women, it doesn’t matter, just so long as they're white.

These punks are nothing but cowardly curs, but they’re all black cowardly curs, so the mainstream media says nothing. Big mouths like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the NAACP leadership, and all the trash talking Hollywood crowd who just thought it was terrible that a thug like Trayvon Martin (whom idiots like Richard Dreyfus started calling ‘a child’) was killed are saying nothing. They are just as silent now as they were when a 13 month old baby was murdered by two black ‘children’, De'Marquise Elkins age 17 and Dominique Lang age 14.  Apparently black ‘children’ really are that dangerous.

By the way -without looking it up - what was that 13 month old child’s name? You don’t know it do you? You know Trayvon Martin’s name, why don’t you know that child’s name? Martin was a criminal and a thug, but you all know his name, and it was presented in such a way to generate sympathy for him. That 13 month old baby really was innocent. He never did one bit of harm to anyone. He wasn’t a criminal, he wasn’t a thug, but most importantly, he was a white baby deliberately murdered by black ‘children’, so little was made of it by the media. If it wasn’t for the internet no one would know about this tragedy. For those who disagree with me, tell me, please – what was that poor child’s name?

Recently an article appeared, entitled, Three “Knockout” Attacks Reported In Philadelphia Area, saying;“knockout” attacks have been reported in several states around the country and now investigators believe three people have been attacked in our area. Police in Lower Merion are investigating two attacks in the area, and Philadelphia detectives are investigating an attack in Northeast Philadelphia. It’s a violent crime that in other parts of the country has proven fatal.”

This article demonstrates the pattern of cowardice displayed by these cowardly black youths. One victim said; “Someone asked me for a cigarette and by the time I got my hands out my pocket I was getting hit by four kids.” He says, “It was hard seeing and I’m still having trouble breathing and swallowing.”

Then, “On October 29th, two black ‘children’ beat “a 63-year-old man who was walking his dog.” “He punched him right in the mouth and knocked him to the ground.” In another case “an elderly man was also attacked when he was mowing his lawn outside of his home.”The victim said some “‘kid’ came up to him and just punching him in the mouth. He ended up laying the street with his lawnmower.” It turns out this ’kid’ “did it on a dare. He said give me five dollars and I’ll knock that guy out.”This elderly man “is now using a cane and a walker to get around. He has had to undergo multiple medical procedures”, and Jesse and his mob, which includes the main stream media, remain silent.

By the way, what was that old man’s name?

There was a recent article in FrontPage.com entitled, Eric Holder, Hate Crimes and Double Standards, by Colin Flaherty, where-in he highlights this national violent out of control racism by blacks against whites, and in some cases against homosexuals.

1. In Brooklyn ten black people surrounded a car, then beat the two white occupants, a husband and wife. They even called them racial names, as in “Get those crackers” and “get that white whore.” All in front of witnesses in the middle of the day. The Brooklyn DA says he will not file hate crime charges.

2. In New Haven, a few days before that, 500 black people attending a party called An All Black Affair,” destroyed property and rioted in a downtown restaurant. Then outside. Then in two more restaurants. Not only are there no hate crime charges, New Haven police did not arrest anyone for anything during these rampages. Race was the central organizing feature of the party — and the riot.

3. A few days before that in St. Paul, a car full of black people robbed and assaulted a white woman. They called her a “white bitch” while holding her down so one of the assailants could urinate on her.

4.A few days before that in Tacoma, a car full of black people shouted racial expletives at two white soldiers. Soon one soldier was dead from a knife. No hate crime charges have been filed.

5. A few days before that in Pittsburgh, a group of black people pulled a white woman from her car, and while beating her, yelled “Shut up white [expletive].” The other said, “Get that white [expletive].”

6. In Iowa – yes Iowa — hordes of black people beat white people in and out of the Iowa State Fair for three nights in a row in 2011. A police report says some of the people involved were chanting “Beat Whitey Night.” It only takes a few magic words to turn a vicious assault into a federal hate crime. And that seems to fit the bill.

Hate crimes? Really? Then why aren't we seeing the Justice Department going after these people under hate crime laws? Holder is still trying to figure out some way to put Zimmerman in jail, so what's different here? These thugs are black; Holder is a vile racist; and the members of the main stream media have sunken to the level of 'sewer trout', except that is an insult to sewers.

By the way. What were all of these people’s names?

Thomas Sowell, on October 24, 2013, wrote an article entitled Early Skirmishes in a Race War” noting that : “officials and media aren’t being honest about the violence.” He first outlines the problem and what is going on and then ends the article with these paragraphs.

“books are emerging that are more clearly a white backlash, in the sense that they attack behavior patterns among contemporary blacks in general. Perhaps the most clearly “backlash” books are those written by Paul Kersey, whose central theme is that whites have created thriving cities, which blacks subsequently took over and ruined. Examples include his books about Birmingham (The Tragic City) and Detroit (Escape from Detroit).

“Kersey even takes a swing at Rush Limbaugh (and at yours truly) for saying that liberal policies destroyed these cities. He says that San Francisco and other cities with liberal policies, but without black demographic and political takeovers, have not been ruined. His books are poorly written, but they raise tough questions.”

“It would be easy to simply dismiss Kersey as a racist. But denouncing him or ignoring him is not refuting him. Refuting requires thought, which has largely been replaced by fashionable buzzwords and catchphrases when it comes to discussions of race.”

“Thought is long overdue. So is honesty.”

One more thing! That 13 month old child’s name was Antonio Santiago.

Germany: Muslim Migrant Beheads Baby

Merkel’s response? Muzzle the media.
 
Robert Spencer

 It happened back in April, although it was reported only in the German media; apparently the English-language media didn’t find it newsworthy that a Muslim migrant beheaded his one-year-old daughter on a Hamburg train platform. But the sheer horror of this incident has been compounded now by Angela Merkel’s government, which has reportedly banned further reporting on the incident. Anything to keep as many Germans as possible ignorant and complacent regarding just how devastating the Muslim migrant influx into Germany really is.

“According to eyewitnesses,” says one news report on this incident, “the 33-year-old suspect, Mourtala Madou, beheaded his one-year-old daughter in front of a horrified crowd of commuters at Jungfernstieg station on Thursday April 12, and then stabbed his German girlfriend, the mother of the child. The suspect allegedly stabbed the infant from behind, while she was sitting in her stroller, and then severed her neck. He then allegedly stabbed his girlfriend in the chest before fleeing the scene, dumping the murder weapon in a train station trash can. He was later arrested…. Eyewitnesses can be heard saying that the suspect cut the babies [sic] head off.”

Police spokesman Timo Zill said the murders were “very targeted”; eyewitnesses described them as an “honor killing.” In beheading the baby, Madou also utilized a form of killing especially favored by Islamic jihadis, heeding the Qur’anic injunction, “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks” (47:4)..........To Read More.....

Why Politicians Aren't Incentivized to Fix Big Problems Like Homelessness

By Alex Berezow — October 10, 2019

Somehow, it's election season again. Although the general election isn't until November 2020, campaigning began in early 2019. Basically, in America, the presidential campaign cycle is roughly two years long. This is insane.

In other countries like Japan or Canada, campaign length is measured in days or weeks, not months or years. The rest of the time, politicians are doing what they were elected to do: govern. They don't spend half of their time in office campaigning about what they plan to do while in office.

It's tempting to speculate that this is a contributing factor to our society's inability to fix big problems. It seems to me that a long campaign season makes American politicians uniquely incentivized not to solve them. It's easier to raise money and scare up enough votes to get elected by promising change rather than actually delivering it.

Consider the following: Most Americans agree that immigration is a good thing, but most also agree that our immigration system needs sweeping changes. Americans are concerned about the size of the national debt. Most Americans want more spending on infrastructure.

Yet, how many of you are willing to bet that we will see a deal on immigration, the national debt, or infrastructure in the next year? Next five years? Next ten years? Ever? I'm certainly not confident. When I was a kid in the 1990s, immigration and the national debt were hot topics. They still are nearly 30 years later.

Will We Ever Fix the Problem of Homelessness?

Perhaps what vexes me the most is our inability to solve the problem of homelessness. In 2018 in the Seattle area, 191 people died on our streets. Public safety and public health have both deteriorated. Infectious disease outbreaks are common, as are fatal drug overdoses. Why do we allow this to continue?

Because, once again, politicians aren't incentivized to solve it. Believe it or not, there is talk about the existence of a "homeless-industrial complex," similar to the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned about. (See this excellent article by Christopher Rufo in City Journal.) In the case of the latter, there was a concern that the military and defense industry were incentivized to advocate for war rather than peace.

Similarly, the homeless-industrial complex is incentivized to not solve the problem of homelessness. In cities like Seattle, self-appointed homeless advocates, who often earn six-figure salaries, wield enormous political power and influence. They support politicians who support them and vice versa. Like war, if homelessness ever goes away, they lose both money and power.

Combine that self-serving interest with our nation's political climate, and that is a nasty recipe for politicians to actually benefit from not solving problems. If people have to die because of inaction, so be it. That's the cost of winning.
Tags: 
homelessness

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CRF Files, Part I: The Future of Korea

by Peter Zeihan and Melissa Taylor on October 17, 2019 @ Zeihan on Geopolitics


This piece is part of the Cutting Room Files, portions of the upcoming Disunited Nations text that were cut for length. Disunited Nations is available for pre-Order now on  Amazon.comHarper Collins, and IndieBound.

When Donald Trump became president, world leaders fell into two broad buckets. The first thought that if the Americans were going to drop the global mantle of leadership, then perhaps there is some space for us. Russia’s Vladimir Putin became more aggressive throughout the Russian near abroad. France’s Emmanuel Macron tried to become the voice of the West. Canada’s Justin Trudeau became a liberal supermodel.

The second were those leaders who weren’t sure the Americans knew what they were doing in electing an isolationist, and thought the best bet was to not rock the boat. This club included Germany’s Angela Merkel, Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull, and Britain’s Theresa May. All and more bet/hoped that Trump would be little more than a hiccup in normal relations. They kept quiet and aimed to not do anything that might annoy the Americans as a whole, so that when Trump left the stage their relations with America could get back to normal.

There was one exception: South Korean President Moon Jae In. Rather than strike out or hunker down, Moon bluntly asked for the terms of a revised trade deal that Trump would approve of.

Moon’s logic was unassailable. Put simply, Moon recognized that he completely lacked leverage, (correctly) calculating that being an eager first volunteer might allow South Korea to walk away without undue sacrifice as the Trump administration looked for an early win. The revised deal’s technical talks took but a few weeks, and the revised KORUS is already implemented.

Good thing too. “Logic” was about all Moon had going for him. Everything about Korea’s success is exclusively because of the Order.

South Korea imports all its oil and natural gas, and its import/export flows are so large that it is the world’s 5th-largest trading power by value despite having a population of only 51 million. As with many of the world’s developed economies, South Korea cannot look internally for greater economic growth; The country’s population has all but peaked and, again like much the rest of the world, faces a rapidly aging demography supported by an ever-smaller working age population.
                            
South Korea’s largest trading partner today is actually China, but that is the beauty of the Order. South Korea can trade with whomever is willing to buy their goods. For now. It all relies on American guarantees that seem to be crumbling.

That’s the numbers and dollars argument. In strategic terms things are far more complicated.

South Korea sits among Japan, China and North Korea and has adversarial relationships with all of them. The only reason South Korea even exists is because American troops ward off the most salient threat to the north, while preventing Japanese and Chinese imperialism. That security guarantee is not easy to maintain:

North Korea believes the best way to beat a Grand Master at chess is to never let them make a first move. Infamously, North Korea has aimed an untold number of pieces of artillery at Seoul, just across the border and home to nearly half the country’s population. In a real war, by the time the first shell lands in Seoul, tens of thousands of others would already be airborne. But this is only one of its many preparations. Turns out that if you dedicate a country’s entire attention span for 70 years to a seething hatred of what’s on the other side, you can accomplish some pretty impressive things, up to and including an effective nuclear deterrent.

South Korea decided to focus instead on ships and trains and petrochemicals and white goods and electronics and computers and cellular tech. South Korea may be able to prevail against North Korea in a knock-down, drag-out fight, but there is no way the South Koreans can K-Pop themselves out of hideous infrastructure damage and mass civilian casualties. Only American forces – massed in and near Seoul and the DMZ – can provide the hitting power to at least partially preempt and mitigate such carnage.

That’s just North Korea. The South Koreans, accurately reading their history and geography, view China and Japan as even more significant security threats. Japan outpopulates South Korea by well over 2:1, China by over 20:1. The navies of either country could wipe the Korean navy from the seas in days. To the south, east, and west, South Korea is surrounded by waters that either Japan or China could dominate given the right push. South Korea’s second city, Busan, is in a particularly vulnerable spot separated from mainland Japan via the Korea Strait, barely more than 100 miles across. Inchon, the western extremity of the Seoul metro region, isn’t much further away from China. And of course, Korean trade links to the wider world are impossible to maintain without both Japanese and Chinese quiescence.

For decades this has all been moot. South Korea, Japan and China were all members of the U.S.-led global Order. The U.S. Navy has ensured peaceful seas and ample trade. Oil, LNG and raw materials flow in, finished goods flow out, and Korea is one of the world’s largest transshipment and manufacturing nodes. So long as the Americans remain involved, Korea’s economic and security problems remain purely theoretical.

But the Americans – left, right and center – want to slim down America’s global position. The Korean deployment is America’s third-largest (after Japan and Germany), and the one that is by far in the trickiest and riskiest strategic position. And that is what keeps Moon’s administration up at night. The Americans are losing interest, and there is no version of a post-Order world where South Korea continues to survive at all – much less as a wealthy, trading nation – unless Seoul can obtain a powerful, dedicated ally.

So it was all Moon could to do cave in trade talks with the American administration on everything. And not just in trade negotiations. The Trump administration is insisting that South Korea compensate the United States for ongoing troop commitments to the tune of at least $5 billion annually. That’s a lot for a country Korea’s size, but honestly it’s a bargain considering what 26,000 American troops can do when they are suitably motivated.

Is caving to the U.S. on trade and defense reimbursement enough to keep the American troops in-country in this post-Order world? No clue. But Moon, correctly, concluded that without conceding to American terms there was no chance whatsoever.

That’s hardly the end of the story.

Seoul, Republic of Korea
                            
First, in the post-Order world, getting a deal with the Americans on trade or troops or whatever is not the end of the negotiations. It is the beginning. Because the Americans no longer have a global strategy or see a national interest in play aside from getting some better market access, keeping the Americans interested requires giving in not once, but every single time they ask for anything.

If the Yanks are displeased with the Koreans’ response, they will leave and there is no guarantee they can be induced to come back. It’s bad business to allow a homeowner that refused to pay for fire insurance to do so after the house catches fire. The Americans can – and will – watch the neighborhood burn. They won’t feel good about it, but they won’t feel all that bad about it either.

Second, the one item in the neighborhood the Americans really do care about – the North Korean nuclear program – is one that they may have found a way to muddle through. The handshake deal Donald Trump appears to have reached with North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un is that the reclusive country can keep their nuclear program so long as they abandon their ICBM program. The Trump administration seems to think it can live with a localized NorK nuclear threat so long as Pyongyang cannot nuke Seattle and beyond. What North Korea “projectiles” that have been launched since the first Trump-Kim summit are of the decidedly short-range sort, and there are at least some indications that North Korea dismantled a significant portion of their long-range missile testing facilities.

In a world where the Americans are blasé about South Korean issues, in a world where Americans no longer consider North Korea a direct threat, the Americans need a lot fewer forces in-theater. That’s great for the Americans…and the ultimate statement of no-interest in South Korea. The Trump administration appears to have handed off the entire North Korean issue to the local powers. And since North Korea already has the capacity to drop a nuke anywhere in South Korea or Japan or in the parts of China that are home to over 80% of the population, the entire region now has to deal with something that has stymied ten American administrations.

Finally, the Koreans have a hideously distasteful choice to make. They must prepare for a world without the Americans and that means they must find a new security guarantor. The menu of options are not encouraging.

While China is currently Korea’s largest trading partner, China is just as dependent upon the Americans as the Koreans for maintaining its economy and security. With the Americans checked out, China’s future will likely mirror its past; that of a broken, impoverished nation completely unable to maintain its own security or even feed its own people. Culturally, China might be Korea’s closest relation, but a long-term partnership will only bring Korea destitution.

In comparison, the future of Japan is bright. It already maintains the world’s second-most-powerful expeditionary navy and is one of the very few countries that has a chance to maintain its supply lines without active American assistance. The “smart” play for the Koreans would be to find a means of inserting themselves into the Japanese sphere of influence. Unfortunately, the politics of such insertion are wretched. The Koreans charge the Japanese with carrying out a cultural genocide during Japan’s 1905-1945 occupation of the Korean peninsula and, so far, have been unwilling to let the past go. Even then, letting that past go would only be the first step to entering Tokyo’s world. Much kowtowing by the proud Koreans would be required.

The third option is for South Korea to become its own defender. That is impossible with conventional weapons, but it just might work if the Koreans build a few dozen nukes to hold everyone at bay. Technically, the obstacles to South Korea becoming a nuclear power are minimal; it could be done in a few months at most. Operationally, however, it would turn South Korea into a regional pariah of the North Korean type and cut the country off from not just global trade, but regional trade (although post-Order that is unlikely to cause the same problems, as much as it is frowned upon today).

Partnership with China might be somewhat comfortable, but it would end with a starvation diet. Partnership with Japan might preserve the Koreans’ standard of living, but it would be politically toxic. Going nuclear might preserve independence, but it would force mass deindustrialization.

For the South Koreans, the future is a land of fear and want.

But that’s not the case for everyone…
 



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The Guardian goes Orwell on climate

Craig Rucker

The U.K. Guardian newspaper has for months been working to change the words we use to discuss climate and environmental issues.  They just published their glossary.

Prominent on the list is The Guardian's formal adoption of the pejorative term "denier" and the elimination of the word "skeptic" to describe people attempting to correct the record on climate.  In the pages of The Guardian, if you have the temerity to point out that sea level has risen a scant 1 to 3 mm per year since before the industrial revolution, that measurements reveal climate computer models run too hot, that a weather event is historically normal, that intermittent wind and solar are inefficient, or that polar bears are thriving up north, you deserve to be lumped in with "holocaust deniers."

Deniers?  Talk about speech as hate!

Guardian Editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, said: We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue. These are the guidelines provided to our journalists and editors to be used in the production of all environment coverage across the Guardian’s website and paper:
  1. “climate emergency” or “climate crisis” to be used instead of “climate change”
  2. “climate science denier” or “climate denier” to be used instead of “climate sceptic”
  3. Use “global heating” not “global warming”
  4. “greenhouse gas emissions” is preferred to “carbon emissions” or “carbon dioxide emissions”
  5. Use “wildlife”, not “biodiversity”
  6. Use “fish populations” instead of “fish stocks”
Didn't climate campaigners just get done insisting we all substitute "climate change" in place of "global warming" to divert attention from all those inconvenient satellites and thermometers recording less warming than they were supposed to?

Paul Chadwick, The Guardian’s readers’ editor, wrote in June:
I support Viner’s direction of travel. She is harnessing the power of language usage to focus minds on an urgent global issue. One challenge for the Guardian and the Observer will be to weigh, in specific journalistic contexts, two sometimes competing aspects of terminology used in public debates: language as description, and language as exhortation.  
CFACT analyst Peter Murphy posted a warning about media complicity in attempts to stifle the global warming debate at CFACT.org:
This is dangerous, and it goes beyond climate issues. It’s bad enough for global warming activists and groups to attempt to silence opposition. A more problematic trend is when it comes from the media itself.
Murphy shared some prominent examples:
  • Chuck Todd, host of the NBC program Meet the Press announced last January he will never have as a guest anyone who questions or challenges global warming.
  • The Los Angeles Times and the magazine Popular Science announced they would no longer publish opposing opinions to global warming orthodoxy.
  • During CNN’s “Town Hall” on climate change with Democratic presidential hopefuls last August, moderators walked in lockstep with the doomsday scenario espoused by the candidates without critical examination.
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., advocated that climate “deniers” be jailed for exercising their free speech rights if they oppose his extreme view of climate change.
George Orwell wrote powerfully about the alteration of language to enforce orthodoxy and censor thought in his masterpiece 1984.  He postulated a language called "Newspeak" that was designed to weed all that troublesome questioning of authority out of the English language.  The novels appendix explains that:
The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc (English Socialism), but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words.

We again remind Chuck Todd, the Guardian and the rest, that Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, not an instruction manual.

For nature and people too,
 
Craig Rucker
President