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In the end for Chester: When co-option of opposition & protest forces you to imagine different text

Posted by DanielS on Sunday, 23 July 2017 18:01.

The End, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

When false opposition forces you to imagine lyrics/text different than theirs and supply protest lyrics authentic to your interests:

Back in the days before Internet, decades before in fact, we young folks didn’t have much outlet for protest via the media - TV, movies, newspapers and magazines, book publishing (((all controlled))). Music, concerts and festivals were ostensible outlets of protest expression - and even they were so (((controlled))) by pervasive liberalism that I had to change lyrics in my head to de-liberalize them and make them properly aligned to my grievances. Neil Young’s “Alabama” is a classic example of a song that had righteous passion totally misdirected into liberalism. Lynard Skynard noticed it in their song “Sweet Home Alabama”, citing Young and his song “Alabama” directly for criticism. But it wasn’t only they who objected and I could not relate to their southern patriotism either. No, I had my own protest lyrics in mind - lyrics, wouldn’t you know, that I can’t even spell out today, this protest remains so forbidden by the powers-that-be and their do-gooders mulatto supremacist gate keepers: it goes to show HOW FAR we have NOT come in some ways - ridiculously, you can’t even say the N word:

“Alabama”, Neil Young - Lyrics

Oh Alabama N-lover
Banjos playing
through the broken glass
Windows down in Alabama.
See the old folks
tied in white ropes
Hear the banjo.
Don’t it take you down home?


Alabama N-lover, you got
the weight on your shoulders
That’s breaking your back.
Your Cadillac
has got a wheel in the ditch
And a wheel on the track

Oh Alabama N-lover.
Can I see you
and shake your hand.
Make friends down in Alabama.
I’m from a new land
I come to you
and see all this ruin
What are you doing Alabama N-lover?
You got the rest of the union
to help you along
What’s going wrong?

Neil did a bit better with the lyrics to “Southern Man”, particularly in the last stanza, although I don’t think Neil was looking at it from the same angle that I have… that’s my imagination supplying the protest angle once again.

Southern Man, Neil Young – Lyrics
Southern man
Better keep your head
Don’t forget
What your good book said
Southern change
Gonna come at last
Now your crosses
Are burning fast
Southern man

I saw cotton
And I saw black
Tall white mansions
And little shacks.
Southern man
When will you
Pay them back?
I heard screamin’
And bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

Southern man
Better keep your head
Don’t forget
What your good book said
Southern change
Gonna come at last
Now your crosses
Are burning fast
Southern man

Lily Belle,
Your hair is golden brown
I’ve seen your black man
Comin’ round
Swear by God
I’m gonna cut him down!

I heard screamin’
And bullwhips cracking
How long? How long?

Neil Young’s politics are well off the mark; no need to belabor that, but I’d like to caution that anybody trafficking in the emotion of sadness as much as Neil Young has is promoting a neutering kind of propaganda in that very sadness - it’s better to veer in the direction of anger.

Now, a primary outlet for rebellion against political tyranny has been largely co-opted again, this time it is the (((alternative-k*ke er, alternative-right))) that’s doing much of the co-opting.

And unfortunately, they are putting their (((brand))) on to some intelligent text, you might say, protest lyrics text.

I feel the same yearning as co-opted passions and thoughtful consideration could be deployed for our authentic protest, and not for the (((alternative-k*ke))), when I read Melissa Meszaros’ article about the suicide of Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington.

The strikeouts of “alt-rights” and “the left” in one place are strictly my wish and of course not how Melissa wrote the article - as she did, in order to brand it for the (((Alt-Right))). In one place I have to comment where, typical of right wing misguidance, the negative significance and anti stance she registers for the homosexual issue is disproportionate. Everything else remains as she has written it.

Melissa Meszaros

Alt-Right, “What The Alt-Right Can Learn From The Death Of Chester Bennington, 24 July 2017:

Linkin Park touched the millennial generation’s frustrations with modern society like no other band could. For this reason, it’s worth spending a few moments looking into the life of frontman Chester Bennington and seeing what we can learn after his suicide.

Sexually molested from the age of seven, divorced parents, a steady cocktail of drugs from the age of eleven, with alcoholism and depression entering later on — these are the things that framed the childhood of Linkin Park’s frontman Chester Bennington.

Unable to overcome his traumas and subsequent addictions, he chose to use them as a painful source of inspiration in his lyrics. His suicide is unfortunate, especially for his children and wife, and whether we listened personally to the band or not as we were growing up, Linkin Park held a central position representing the millennial generation’s frustrations with life and all the associated mental effects relating to the increase of broken homes and fragmenting communities. The band spoke of problems most of us experienced as teenagers, back when we were confused and distrustful of the direction our supposedly fantastic and free society was heading. Now, as adults in the Alt-Right, with infinitely more resources and knowledge at our fingertips, we are dedicated to overcoming and fixing these issues within ourselves and our societies. But still, for many of us, Linkin Park was the herald awakening millions of teens to the realization that the world is messed-up and it was time to prepare for a long battle. For this reason, I believe it’s worth spending a few moments looking into Bennington’s life of inescapable addiction and seeing what we in the Alt-Right can learn from it.

For me, I remember Linkin Park being the most popular band in my freshman year of high school in Central New Jersey. It was the last year I’d spend in the United States before moving to Hungary with my parents. My friends would carry around the Hybrid Theory CD and hold it reverently during recess while talking about the lyrics. We’d sit with crossed-legs in a circle in the shady corner of a grassy lot while spawns of diversity hollered and beat each other on the nearby basketball courts.

I only got into the band later, for a few months when my father was in the hospital in Hungary, dying from terminal lung cancer. The music is not positive and it does not remind me of a good place. Rather, I envision a constant delirious struggle with myself, getting caught in a loop over thinking various problems and feeling uncertain of ever being able to overcome the odds and live in peace. These are the very thought processes Chester Bennington described himself dealing with, in an interview with 102.7 KIISFM radio in February of this year. After a while, I realized the music was keeping me from moving past my own issues, so I grew out of it.

When it comes to Bennington himself, there are three things worth highlighting. First, there is the molestation by an older male friend. In his own words, Bennington described:

“It escalated from a touchy, curious, ‘what does this thing do’ into full-on, crazy violations. I was getting beaten up and being forced to do things I didn’t want to do. It destroyed my self-confidence. I didn’t want people to think I was gay or that I was lying. It was a horrible experience.”

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Only one person was convicted after the financial meltdown of 2008.

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 12 July 2017 04:53.

Former Goldman-Sachs President (((Henry Paulson))), presided as Chairman of SEC and key decision maker in 2008 meltdown

NPR, “Is The Justice Department Shying Away From Prosecuting Corporations?” 11 July 2017:

TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. In an era of mass incarceration, why was only one top banker convicted after the financial collapse of 2008? My guest Jesse Eisinger tries to answer that question in his new book. Eisinger is an investigative business reporter with ProPublica. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories on questionable Wall Street practices that led to the financial crisis. Lately he’s been writing about the Trump administration’s business and finance practices and policies. We’ll talk about that a little later.

Let’s start with his new book, which is subtitled “Why The Justice Department Fails To Prosecute Executives.” I can’t say the full title of the book because the FCC defines one of the words as indecent. It’s a word that begins with an S. So here’s the best I can do. It’s called “The Chicken S-Word Club.” The chicken word is a barnyard epithet for coward.

Jesse Eisinger, welcome to FRESH AIR. So question number one is, what were you thinking when you wrote a book with a title I can’t say on the radio?

JESSE EISINGER: (Laughter) Thanks so much for having me back. Yes, I should have thought about the interview before I came up with the title. But this comes from a line from Jim Comey. It’s a controversial title in my family. My daughters love it, which means my wife does not. But it actually comes from a speech. Now, you may know and your listeners may know Jim Comey from being recently fired by Donald Trump as FBI director. Before that, back in 2002, he became the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, a role later held by Preet Bharara…

GROSS: Also fired by President Trump.

EISINGER: Also fired - the twofer there. And Comey comes in, and he’s replacing a legend in the office, Mary Jo White, who served as Obama’s SEC head. And he gathered all the hotshots from the Southern District. And the Southern District is the premier office of the Department of Justice. They are 94 offices around the country, U.S. attorneys from all over in every state. And the Department of Justice and - main justice is one of the prestigious units and then the prestige unit for corporate investigations and Wall Street and financial investigations is the Southern District.

Goldman-Sachs and 2008 swamp alumni, Gary Cohn and Steve Mnuchin, drained into the Trump Administration.

And these guys really are the hottest shots, the best of the best of the best. And you know, if you have any doubts about them, you just have to ask them, and they will tell you how good they are. And they think of themselves as the best trial lawyers. And Comey gathers them all together and asks them, how many of you have never lost a case, never had an acquittal or a hung jury? And a bunch of hands shoot up. They’re very proud of their undefeated records. And he says, well, me and my buddies have a name for you guys. You guys are the chicken-blank club. And the hands go back down very fast.

And what was he trying to say there? Well, he was trying to say - and he goes on to explain that the prosecutor’s job - federal prosecutor’s job is not to win - like, win at all costs and preserve an undefeated record. What they’re doing is something more important. They are seeking justice. And to seek justice and ensure justice in this country, you have to take on ambitious cases. You have to raise your sights and look at the most significant wrongdoers in society and focus on them. And you can’t be afraid of losing and avoid those difficult cases if justice calls for taking on the powerful interests.

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Ex-FBI chief Comey tells U.S. senators Trump pressured him on Russia probe

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 23:36.

Reuters, “Ex-FBI chief Comey tells U.S. senators Trump pressured him on Russia probe”, 7 June 2017:

Former FBI Director James Comey said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump asked him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of a probe into Russia’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In written testimony released the day before he appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said Trump told him at a meeting in the White House in February: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

The testimony puts more pressure on Trump, a Republican, whose presidency has been overshadowed by allegations that Moscow helped him win last year’s election.

Some legal experts said Comey’s testimony could strengthen any impeachment case built on obstruction of justice, but U.S. markets shrugged off the news from the testimony for lack of any major disclosures.

To build a criminal obstruction of justice case, federal law requires prosecutors to show that a person acted with “corrupt” intent. It does not matter whether the person succeeds in impeding an investigation.

While a sitting president is very unlikely to face criminal prosecution, obstruction of justice could form the basis for impeachment.

NPR, 7 June 2017: Full text of Comey’s opening statement.


Alt-Right denial fails: Top-Secret NSA Report Shows Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election

Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 06 June 2017 04:28.

The Intercept, “Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election”, 5 June 2017:

Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.

The top-secret National Security Agency document, which was provided anonymously to The Intercept and independently authenticated, analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency about a months-long Russian intelligence cyber effort against elements of the U.S. election and voting infrastructure. The report, dated May 5, 2017, is the most detailed U.S. government account of Russian interference in the election that has yet come to light.

While the document provides a rare window into the NSA’s understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying “raw” intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the document because a single analysis is not necessarily definitive.

       

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‘Western man, stand up for your wives, daughters’, Kate Hopkins tweet investigated as inciting hate

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 00:09.

Diversity Macht Frei, 23 May 2017, Request complied-with by police to investigate Katie Hopkins for inciting racial hatred over tweet:

Hugh Muir thinks she is a peddler of hate and should be subject to laws against it -


It’s time to put an end to classical liberalism.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Friday, 31 March 2017 11:47.

Zebra Crossing Aesthetic v2

Classical liberals make a two-paragraph declaration of obsolescence

No one ever thought that classical liberals would ever get around to actually acknowledging that they are fine with getting you and your family killed by roving bands of Islamic ‘migrants’ who are permanently conducting hijra for the past 1400 years and are always looking for a new location to park their reactionary socio-economic caravan of rampant misogyny, homophobia, mestizaje and genocide, but here it is:

Charles Johnson / FEE.org, ‘Why Free Immigration is a Right’, 30 Mar 2017:

Well good God, of course it is morally wrong for nations to pursue their “self-interest” in anything, and especially in border control policies. People have self-interests that matter, morally; nations do not. Nations are toxic hellholes of false identity and purveyors of monstrous political violence.

Nations are not rational people; they are not free associations or contractual agreements; they are unchosen, coercively assembled collectives, whose interests are typically an abortion of, if not an outright war against, the moral interests of individual people which actually deserve to be cultivated, practiced and respected. For anyone committed to individual liberty, a nations’ “interests” deserve no notice at all except to trample them underfoot.

So, there is that. That happened. A classical liberal man actually wrote those paragraphs, and he was not intoxicated when he wrote them.

That excerpt really is basically a two-paragraph declaration of ideological obsolescence on the part of classical liberalism.

Apparently if you pre-emptively use force so as to prevent your enemies from pillaging your lands and killing your family, that makes you ‘a bad person’ or something. Crucially though, it also happens to make you a winner, which I think is the most important thing.

Separately, Charles Johnson is indeed correct when he says that nations are ‘coercively assembled collectives’ which wage ‘outright war’ against ‘the moral interests of individual people’. The process of state formation is indeed an inherently violent array of actions from which all other actions of the state cannot be extricated, and the law itself is essentially an opinion with guns and detention facilities behind it. That is completely true.

With that said, though. Does anyone actually care?

Literally nobody even cares, so whatever

When asked to choose between the ‘liberty’ to have some individuals make moral choices in complete chaos and uncertainty, versus the ‘monstrous political violence’ of the state which creates stability and guarantees the safe existence of the people from which actual prosperity flows, the people should always choose the state.

Liberty has to be properly understood as not ‘freedom from’, but rather ‘freedom to’. The task of the state is to steer a course that allows for the flourishing of prosperity without undermining the social-economic position of the dominant class which creates and reproduces state power, and without significantly undermining the ethnic composition of the people within the jurisdiction of the state’s territory, as genes are a productive force and as such are a factor in the creation of the prosperity atop which the state subsists.

Talking to the invaders is useless

If someone virtue-signalled to Arabs through enacting lax border policies and then framed it as an act of kindness in the social media domain in the hopes that this would somehow smooth integration (still a stupid idea, of course, as integration is a stupid idea), it would actually be just liberals signalling to other liberals in a de facto echo chamber, because Arabs actually barely find time to read their own Arabic print media much less finding time to read English language in the social media domain. This is a fact that is known among most security consultants and among almost anyone who has ever been involved in Information Operations in Mesopotamia after 2003. ‘The Arab man in the street’ does not read. The Arab guy in the street has a political understanding gleaned from the oral pronouncements of his local Imam, a surface level understanding of current events from Arab language television, and a tangle of mutually contradictory conspiracy theories shared orally or across social media. In the case where social media is used, engagement-rates among Arabs are low, which is to say, they do not actually click links.

Almost 100% of the hearts and minds ‘messaging’ that classical liberal thinktanks who are trying to ‘defend values’ have engaged in, has actually been sent into an echo chamber of Europeans and Americans congratulating each other for crafting increasingly sophisticated narratives which all point toward strategically stupid conclusions which undermine European security.

Meanwhile, the mostly male Arab Muslim migrant wave has been ignoring it all while sitting in an ideological trash dumpster of misogyny and homophobia, as they despise all the progressive gains that have been made in regions of the world other than theirs. They have no respect for any other ethnic group and they believe that it is their mission to demographically infest the whole planet.

Safe beneath the watchful eyes

Without security there can be no real freedom. Most people know this almost instinctively, and that is for example why the United Kingdom’s referendum on membership of the European Union delivered up a ‘Leave’ result.

The British people have displayed a revealed preference for the untrammelled full spectrum dominance of the British security state led by Theresa May and Amber Rudd, rather than a European Union which has fallen under the de facto control of Angela Merkel.

We can conclude from this that the British people enjoy actually winning at counter-terrorism more than they enjoy virtue-signalling to a foaming tide of Arab Muslim ‘migrants’ who can barely find time to read their own Arabic print media much less reading English in the social media domain.

The British people don’t actually believe in classical liberalism. They believe in being real people. And that is a reason for optimism.

Classical liberal ‘freedom’ supposes that individuals can be abstracted from their origins, their environment, the context in which they live and where they exercise their choices, that is to say, abstracted from everything that makes them who they are specifically, and not someone else. It supposes that the individual is always prior to her ends. However, there is nothing that can prove that the individual can apprehend herself as a subject completely free of any allegiance, free of any form of determinism. There is no reason why she would prefer that form of ‘freedom’ over any other social good. Such a conception ignores commitments and attachments to clans or spiritual sects, bonds of blood and soil, long-term economic class interests, and the fact that nations are the deepest and most enduring source of political experience. Classical liberal ‘freedom’ is a purely formal conception, which is completely incapable of capturing the rich tapestry of what a real person is.

The real person seeks ‘love’ and ‘eternity’. ‘Love’ is the wish that someone or something should continue to flourish forever, or at least, that they should ‘get the last word’ in the world before the story of humanity ends. In that sense, love is a desire to pursue victory and create a meaning where there was originally none. When standing alone, the individual is always defeated and approaching death alone is the most final of all defeats. But while death is a threshold which must be crossed and can only be crossed alone, it does not have to be approached alone. If the individual can pool her identity with the group, so that she becomes one with the will of the group as it solves the historical tasks which have been placed before it, then she is all-seeing and all-knowing forever and ever—capable of knowing what she is, and what she can become. She is really free and has attained ‘eternity’. 

Victory becomes attainable. We become the gendarmes who protect the actualisation of eternal love so that others can become part of it. We never die because this empire never dies, as it is constructed not only in the physical domain, but is also fortified in the domain of the mind. As such, we are expected to fight eternally for it. 

We are not afraid of the conflicts that lie ahead and we are not sorry about anything. 

Because love will emerge victorious over terror.

Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.


Dickenhorst Farm Cash Cow

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 04:54.

Reveal News, “White nationalist gets his money from cotton fields – and the government”, By Lance Williams 17 March 2017:

Topics: Accountability

Two weeks after last year’s presidential election, white nationalist Richard Spencer held forth on a cable news show about how white people built America.

“White people ultimately don’t need other races in order to succeed,” he told the audience of the black-oriented program, “NewsOne Now.”

The exchange grew heated as host Roland Martin questioned Spencer’s rhetoric: Didn’t slaves help build America? Wasn’t the nation’s 19th-century economic boom propelled by the slave labor that produced the world’s cotton on Southern plantations?

America’s rise was “not through black people” and “has nothing to do with slavery,” Spencer retorted. “White people could have figured out another way to pick cotton,” he said. “We do it now.”

He is in a position to know. Spencer, along with his mother and sister, are absentee landlords of 5,200 acres of cotton and corn fields in an impoverished, largely African American region of Louisiana, according to records examined by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. The farms, controlled by multiple family-owned businesses, are worth millions: A 1,600-acre parcel sold for $4.3 million in 2012.

The Spencer family’s farms also are subsidized heavily by the federal government. From 2008 through 2015, the Spencers received $2 million in U.S. farm subsidy payments, according to federal data.

USDA farm subsidy payments to Spencer family companies, 2008-2015

Farm Payments

Dickenhorst Farms $1,014,558
Spencer Farms $524,655
Dickenhorst Trust $201,460
Sher-Di-Je Land $165,029
Poor Richard Partnership $98,878
A-Renee Partnership $78,016
Total $2,082,596

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the Environmental Working Group

Although Spencer has attracted extensive media attention as a leader of the so-called alt-right movement – particularly after he drew Nazi salutes at an event celebrating Donald Trump’s election – he never has explained publicly how he supports himself while actively promoting his agenda via conferences and media appearances. The finances of his nonprofit think tank, the National Policy Institute, are a mystery; the organization hasn’t filed a public report since 2013. On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the IRS revoked the institute’s tax-exempt status.

Spencer, 38, is a dropout from a Duke University Ph.D. history program who emerged during the Trump campaign as one of the nation’s most visible white separatist agitators. In his writing, speeches and interviews, he has given an intellectualized explanation for how he came to advocate creating a whites-only “ethno state” in North America. While in graduate school, he has said, he was compelled by critiques of multiculturalism and political correctness and by demographic data indicating that whites are en route to minority status in the United States.

But the Spencer family’s business interests and geographic history suggest a different possible lineage for Richard Spencer’s racist politics. The family’s farm holdings are a legacy of its ties to the Jim Crow South, passed down by Spencer’s grandfather, who built the business during the turbulent civil rights era.

Spencer family land holdings in Louisiana
Farming company Parish Acreage
Dickenhorst Farms Tensas 1,888
Dickenhorst Farms East Carroll 967
Sher-Di-Je Land Tensas 1,186
A-Renee Partners Madison 753
Poor Richard Partnership Franklin 400
Spencer, Sherry Madison 90
Total   5,284

Sources: Louisiana Tax Commission parish tax rolls; parish assessment records

Spencer declined in an interview this week to discuss how much money he personally receives from cotton farming and government subsidies and whether that income funds his political activities.

“I’m not involved in any direct day-to-day running of the business,” he said, later adding: “I’m going to navigate the world as it is, and I’m not going to be a pauper.”

One Spencer family farming company, which holds title to 400 acres of land, is called the Poor Richard Partnership.

In the interview, Spencer also downplayed his family’s influence on his political views, saying, “My parents are very mainstream Episcopalian Republicans in Dallas.”

Although Spencer grew up in an affluent neighborhood of Dallas and now splits his time between Montana and Washington, D.C., his family lived in the South for generations. Records show his mother attended segregated schools as a girl in the small northeast Louisiana city of Monroe. Later, Spencer’s mother inherited farms in northeast Louisiana from her late father. Today, her two children are her business partners.

Spencer’s mother did not respond to an email and voicemails seeking comment for this story. In the past, she has said she does not share her son’s views. In an open letter sent to their local newspaper in December, Spencer’s parents, Sherry and Rand, said that while they love their son, “we are not racists. We have never been racists. We do not endorse the idea of white nationalism.”

The region that is home to the Spencers’ farms has a history of slavery and racism. Through the civil rights era, the Klan targeted black residents there with lynchings, cross burnings and other violence. In Tensas Parish, where the Spencers own 3,000 acres of farmland, blacks didn’t win the right to vote until 1964, according to Elvadus Fields Jr., mayor of the town of St. Joseph.

White supremacist views typically run in the family, said writer and race relations expert Cleo Scott Brown. Feelings of racial superiority often are passed “from generation to generation, because that’s what they believe,” said Brown, whose father – a civil rights leader in East Carroll Parish, where the Spencers own 900 acres of farmland – was shot and wounded during a 1962 voter registration drive, allegedly by a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Agribusiness in the region today is heavily mechanized and provides few jobs. In 2013, CNN reported that East Carroll Parish suffers from the worst income inequality in the nation: The richest 5 percent of residents earned an average of $611,000 per year, 90 times what the poorest 20 percent earned. The parish’s population is 67 percent black.

Ownership of Spencer family farming companies

Farming company

Owners
Dickenhorst Farms Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister
Dickenhorst Trust Dickenhorst Farms (Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister)
Sher-Di-Je Land Dickenhorst Farms (Sherry Spencer, Richard Spencer and sister)
Spencer Farms Sherry Spencer
Poor Richard Partnership Sherry Spencer*
A-Renee Partners Sherry Spencer and daughter

*Records show that Richard Spencer has received subsidy income from the partnership but don’t identify him as an owner.

Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the Environmental Working Group; Louisiana secretary of state filings

Race relations have improved significantly in recent decades. But after Trump’s election, some white residents celebrated by draping their pickup trucks with Confederate flags and driving through the region’s towns, according to the Rev. Roosevelt Grant, head of the NAACP branch in Winnsboro, Franklin Parish, near another of the Spencers’ farms.

The Trump presidency, he said, “has caused people to pray more.”

Spencer’s maternal grandfather, Dr. R.W. Dickenhorst, established the family farming business. He was a radiologist who started a medical practice in Monroe in 1952 and became wealthy and socially prominent, according to local newspaper obituaries.

Racial segregation was a given in Monroe then. Blacks were barred from housing, schools and public facilities used by whites. White superiority “was the way of life; that was the way it was, and anyone challenging it was challenging God’s will,” said the Rev. Roosevelt Wright Jr., a local historian in Monroe.

Dickenhorst’s daughter, Sherry, who would grow up to be Richard Spencer’s mother, enrolled in all-white Neville High School in 1962, according to district records. In 1964, at the start of her junior year, integration of the school began, with a single African American student enrolling.

As Dickenhorst’s medical practice prospered, he bought farmland in northeast Louisiana on the Mississippi River’s west bank. He died decades later, in 2002, and his wife died the following year. By then, their only daughter was the wife of a wealthy Dallas eye surgeon and the mother of two grown children: Richard Spencer and his sister, who did not respond to an email and phone calls seeking comment.

Today, through Dickenhorst Farms and several related companies, Sherry Spencer, 68, and her two children jointly own most of the family farmland, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group. Sherry Spencer is general partner of Dickenhorst Farms, and Richard Spencer and his sister are part owners, according to state and federal records. The family contracts out crop production to local farmers, a common practice in a region where corporations and absentee owners control much of the land.

The Spencer family’s farms are headquartered at a $3 million home in the ski town of Whitefish, Montana, where Sherry Spencer now lives. Also headquartered there: Richard Spencer’s think tank, his AltRight.com website and other white nationalist-related enterprises he controls, including a book publisher and web design outfit. Spencer also has lived in Whitefish in recent years ­– sometimes in his mother’s home, sometimes in a condominium she owns, according to documents and interviews.

The Spencers have received payments from two federal farm programs. One is the commodity subsidy program, intended to guarantee income for farmers who are helping to maintain supplies of certain crops deemed important by the government. The other is the conservation reserve program, which pays farmers for environmentally sound farming practices. Most of the $2 million paid to the Spencers has been in commodity subsidy payments for growing cotton.

Yet, Spencer has been bitterly critical of America and its government.

“This is a sick, disgusting society,” he declared in his speech at an alt-right gathering in Washington after the election, “run by the corrupt, defended by hysterics, drunk on self-hatred and degeneracy.”

Note: I have no necessary qualms with Spencer’s wealth (though ultimately, something like Bowery’s/ William Jennings Bryan’s progressive land taxation based on site value might be in order) nor do I have anything against his family’s alleged history of wanting to live separately from blacks. - DanielS


The coming US–China trade war will present opportunities for Australia in RCEP & FTAAP.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Sunday, 12 March 2017 04:29.

ASPI - The Strategist, ‘Would a US–China trade war pay dividends to Australia?’, 09 Mar 2017:

Among many other colourful characters, Donald Trump’s cabinet appointments include two protectionist and anti-China hardliners, Robert Lighthizer and Peter Navarro, who sit at the helm of US trade and industry policy. That decision confirms a belligerent change of tack in Sino­–American economic relations. But what are the implications for Australia?

A number of monetary economists, including Saul Eslake, have warned that a potential escalation to a full-blown China–US trade war poses the single biggest economic threat to Australia. That position argues that the already struggling global economy can’t face a superpower trade war, likely to be triggered by the Trump administration at the monetary level, when the RMB/USD exchange rate will reach the unprecedented level of 7 to 1 (it’s currently sitting at around 6.9). Furthermore, a falling Chinese currency combined with protectionist measures in the US will dampen the Chinese economy by way of reduced volumes of exports and higher interest rates that will spread across the Asia–Pacific. According to such reasoning, that could have negative impacts for Australia’s economy; prices for iron ore, coal and natural gas could possibly drop—we’ll know by the middle of the year.

However, it’s questionable that such crisis would be detrimental to Australia. In fact, focusing on monetary dynamics alone fails to capture the role of industrial production and regulatory arrangements in the global supply chain.

On the contrary, after triangulating the trade and industrial data of the US, China and Australia and considering the current trade regulatory framework, there are substantial reasons to argue that Australia is well placed to fill the gaps left by a wrecked US–China trade relationship at the best of its industrial capacity. Australia is indeed one of a handful of countries to have solid free trade agreements in place with both the US and China.

As it currently stands, the annual US–China trade balance is worth over US$600 billion—around the yearly value of Australia’s overall trade volumes.

Australia’s rocks and crops economy—in particular the growing productivity potential of its agricultural and mining sectors—is strong enough to rise above global monetary tensions and falling commodity prices, thanks to rising export volumes to both the US and China. It appears that the harder the two superpowers use their trade relations as leverage in their strategic competition, the harder they’ll need to look for other sources to sustain their industrial production levels and corporate supply chain.

In a trade war scenario, the possible initial hiccups in the global supply chain will likely be short-lived. In fact, let’s consider that about half of US imports are estimated to be made of intra-firm trade, and that protectionist measures from abroad tend to have insignificant effects on the production input of Chinese State-owned firms. Thus, multinational corporations are proven to be particularly adept at   quickly replacing the flows of their industrial production and distribution, as is shown by history.

In other words, in the event of a Sino–American crisis, the major trading actors in both countries will be able and willing to promptly move their business somewhere else.

Thanks to the existing spaghetti bowl of international economic partnerships, Australia is in prime position to be this “somewhere else” for both countries. In fact, Australia is the second largest economy and Sino–American trading partner of the only six countries that have in place free trade agreements with both the US and China, including South Korea, Singapore, Chile, Peru and Costa Rica.

The liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade is a significant case study for Australia in this instance. Australia is the world’s second largest LNG exporter, and is set to become the first by 2020. It exports more than $16 billion a year of LNG and by 2020 the LNG industry is expected to contribute $65 billion to the Australian economy, equating to 3.5% of its GDP. 2016 saw the start of LNG exports from the US and an unprecedented boost of Chinese imports. In a trade war scenario, the US would be locked out of China’s thriving market and thus LNG prices would rise even higher than they already have. With sharply rising production capacity, Australia needs to expand and diversify its customer base to keep the lion’s share of the global LNG market. China’s response to Trump’s trade policy is set to dampen the rise of a   strong emerging competitor of Australia’s highly lucrative LNG industry, and thus open up new commercial frontiers.

The LNG example clearly shows that Australia’s economy would benefit from a contained US–China trade crisis. Nevertheless, should that trade crisis escalate beyond the economy, Australia’s luck may run out.

The Chinese leadership doesn’t hide the fact that promoting international economic integration outside of the US control serves the purpose of carving greater geopolitical autonomy and flexibility in the global decision-making processes. Beside Trump’s trade policy, Xi Jinping’s diplomatic strategy may also speed up the end of the US­–China detente initiated by Nixon and Kissinger in the 1970s. It remains to be seen whether China will also pursue hard-line policies to push the US outside of the Asia–Pacific. In that instance, Australia would be caught between a rock and a hard place.

If the US­–China trade war were to escalate to the geopolitical level, the American order in the Asia–Pacific would enter uncharted waters. For one thing, such an unsavoury development may compel Australia to make a clear choice between trading with China and preserving America’s security patronage.

Giovanni Di Lieto lectures International Trade Law at Monash University.

One of the most interesting things about all this is that while Australia is going to be compelled to make that choice, the choice has essentially already been made through the pattern of trade relationships which Australian politicians have chosen to cultivate.

The only way that Australia would choose the United States in that scenario, would be if Australians decided that they would like to deliberately take a massive economic dive so that they can ‘Make America Great Again’ even though that is not their country, and so that they can avoid being called ‘anti-White’ by the legions of anonymous Alt-Right trolls roaming around on Twitter using Robert Whitacker’s ‘mantra’ on anyone who won’t support the geostrategic and geoeconomic intertests of the United States, the Russian Federation, and Exxonmobil specifically. 

Given that we know that Australians don’t care about America or Russia more than they care about the economic prosperity of their own country, the outcome is already baked into the cake. AFR carried an article last year which can be used to forecast what is likely to happen, and I’ll quote it in full here now:

AFR.com, ‘How our free trade deals are helping Australian companies right now’, 17 Nov 2016 (emphasis added):

Free trade should be embraced, not feared.

It has lifted living standards, grown Australia’s economy and created thousands of jobs.

While it is becoming more popular to denounce globalisation and flirt with protectionism, we cannot turn our back on free trade.

Australia’s economy has withstood global challenges and recorded 25 years of continuous growth because we’re open to the world.   Since Australia’s trade barriers came down, we’ve reaped the rewards.

Trade liberalisation has lifted the income of households by around $4500 a year and boosted the country’s gross domestic product by 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, creating thousands of jobs.

One in five jobs now involve trade-related activities. This will grow as liberalised trade gives our producers, manufacturers and services providers better access to billions of consumers across the globe, not just the 24 million who call Australia home.

However, not everyone sees the value of free trade. Some see it, and the forces of globalisation, as a threat to their standard of living, rather than an opportunity to improve it.

When it comes to free trade, we often hear about the bad but not the good.

The nature of news means the factory closing gets more coverage than the one opening.

Chances are you heard about the Ford plant closing, but not the $800 million Boeing has invested in Australia and the 1200 people who work at their Port Melbourne facility.

You may have heard about Cubbie Station, but not heard that its purchase staved off bankruptcy, and has since seen millions of dollars invested in upgrades of water-saving infrastructure, a doubling of contractors, more workers, and of course, money put into the local economy supporting jobs and local businesses.

Key to attracting investment, jobs

The free trade agreements the Coalition concluded with the North Asian powerhouse economies of China, Japan and Korea are key to attracting investment and creating more local jobs.

The Weilong Grape Wine Company has said the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement is the reason it’s planning to build a new plant in Mildura.

This is a story being played out across the country.

Businesses large and small, rural and urban, are taking advantage of the preferential market access the FTAs offer Aussie businesses into the giant, growing markets of North Asia.

Australian Honey Products is building a new factory in Tasmania to meet the demand the trifecta of FTAs has created.

Owner Lindsay Bourke says the free trade agreements have been “wonderful” for  his business. “We know that we are going to grow and it’s enabled us to employ more people, more local people,”  he said.

It is the same story for NSW skincare manufacturer Cherub Rubs, who will have to double the size of their factory. “The free trade agreements with China and Korea really mean an expansion, which means new Australian jobs manufacturing high-quality products,” said Cherub CEO John Lamont.

It is easy to see why the three North Asian FTAs are forecast to create 7,900 jobs this year, according to modelling conducted by the Centre for International Economics.

Australia has a good story when it comes to free trade. In the past three years, net exports accounted for more than half of Australia’s GDP growth.

Exports remain central to sustaining growth and economic prosperity. Last year exports delivered $316 billion to our economy, representing around 19 per cent of GDP.

This underscores the importance of free trade and why it is a key element of the Turnbull Government’s national economic plan.

The Coalition is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda, and more free trade agreements, to ensure our economy keeps growing and creating new jobs.

On Friday I arrive in Peru for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting.

Free trade will be at front of everyone’s mind.

With the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) looking grim, my ministerial counterparts and I will work to conclude a study on the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which sets out agreed actions towards a future free trade zone.

We will also work to finalise a services road map, which will help grow Australian services exports in key markets including education, finance and logistics.

More to be done

The Coalition has achieved a lot when it comes to free trade, but there is more to do.

Momentum is building for concluding a free trade agreement with Indonesia, work towards launching free trade agreement negotiations with the European Union continues, we’ve established a working group with the United Kingdom that will scope out the parameters of a future ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA and we’re continuing to negotiate the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which brings together 16 countries that account for almost half of the world’s population.

The Turnbull government will continue to pursue an ambitious free trade agenda to keep our economy growing and creating more jobs.

Meanwhile Opposition Leader Bill Shorten continues to build the case for Labor’s embrace of more protectionist policies, claiming he will learn the lessons of the US election where it featured heavily.

What Labor doesn’t say though is that by adopting a closed economy mindset, they will close off the investment and jobs flowing from free trade. They’re saying no to Boeing’s $800 million investment in Australia and the Cubbie Station improvements; they’re saying no to businesses like Cherub Rubs and Australian Honey Products building new factories and the many local jobs they will create.

Steven Ciobo is the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

Obligatory Taylor Swift
What’s not to love about all this?

I really think I love Anglo-Saxons. This is going to be fun, isn’t it? 

When Mr. Ciobo spoke of ‘a working group with the United Kingdom that will scope out the parameters of a future ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK FTA’, he was not joking. That is happening and it is likely going to be another window that the UK will have into the formation of both RCEP and FTAAP, even though technically the UK is not physically in the Indo-Asian region.

I wrote an article several days ago called ‘A view of Brexit from Asia: Britain as a Pacific trading power in the 21st century.’ I chose at that time not to mention the Australian or New Zealand interface at all, but that article’s main point should be viewed as being reinforced by the point I’ve presented in here now.

I have also written an article today called, ‘US Government to build American competitiveness atop socio-economic retrogression and misery.’ It’s crucial to understand that time is of the essence, since the Americans are at the present moment in relative disarray compared to the rest of us. The Americans have not yet tamed and pacified the various economic actors in their own country, they are still working on that, and they also have yet to form a coherent internationalist counter-narrative to the one that is being enunciated by the governments of Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and so on.

Some of you may be mystified by that statement. What do I mean that the Americans don’t have a coherent ‘internationalist counter-narrative’? I mean that while they are capable of explaining and rationalising their own position as a narrowly ‘America first’ position in a way that is pleasing to Americans, they are not able to export that view to regular people anywhere else in a way that would induce any other European-demography country to comply with America’s geoeconomic interests.

After all, if the Alt-Right people are going to careen all over the internet essentially screaming, “put America first ahead of your own country’s interests or be accused of White genocide”, and alternately equally absurdly, “you’re an evil Russophobe who supports White genocide if you invested in BP instead of Exxon”, then they should not expect that they are going to win the sympathy of anyone who is neither American nor Russian.

I want to say to British people, to Australians, to New Zealanders, to Canadians, Commonwealth citizens in general, that you know, it’s been a long time since you’ve taken your own side. This coming phase is going to be a time when it will become possible to do precisely that.

The time is fast approaching when it will be possible to choose neither America nor Russia. You’ll be able to finally choose yourselves and your own geoeconomic interests, and you’ll be able to choose to trade and associate with whoever else in the world you want to trade and associate with.

Kumiko Oumae works in the defence and security sector in the UK. Her opinions here are entirely her own.


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