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Thread Wars: Armed Reconnaissance Edition, versus EGI Notes and AWPN.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Monday, 17 April 2017 20:19.

Disqus profile card as of 17 Apr 2017.
My Disqus profile card as of 17 Apr 2017. Follow me, I’m lots of fun.

Introduction

As far as I’m aware, I’ve really made some figures in American White Nationalism upset with my latest two articles, ‘Donald Trump authorises reckless airstrikes against the legitimate government of Syria’, and ‘Silk Road News: First demonstration cargo train departs London for Yiwu, China’. But it doesn’t end there.

‘Armed recon’

It looks like my presence on Disqus comments threads has finally become the target of something resembling a rag-tag opposition. I have to say it took them long enough, given that I’ve been actively and openly voicing my opinions on that platform since Autumn 2015. Some people have now been drawn into mounting a weak and pathetic campaign against me and against Majorityrights.com generally.

Why am I jokingly calling this article ‘armed recon’ in the title? Because it has been kind of like the internet equivalent of that process, in the Vietnam era sense. See this definition:

Armed Reconnaissance: A mission with the primary purpose of locating and attacking targets of opportunity, i.e., enemy materiel, personnel, and facilities, in assigned general areas or along assigned ground communications routes, and not for the purpose of attacking specific briefed targets.

In simple terms, it means going out there and thrashing around methodically in the brush and then seeing who comes out to shoot at you and what tactics they use while doing so.

That’s basically how all this started. I offer my unvarnished and real opinion, as always, and then I see who agrees and who disagrees. Here’s an example of that:

Disqus / AltRight.com, ‘Trump is Trophy Hunting in North Korea’, 15 Apr 2017:

Disqus comment concerning DPRK.

And another example in a different thread:

Disqus / AltRight.com, ‘Meet Globalist Gary’, 14 Apr 2017:

Disqus comment concerning Gary Cohn.

These are clear stances.

What kind of person—if anyone—might appear out of the brush to tell me that I’m not allowed to hold those opinions because they are dangerous and that I had better sit down and shut my whore mouth immediately?

Well, I hit the jackpot.

Out comes Ted Sallis with an absolutely insane narrative:

Ted Sallis / EGI Notes, ‘Silk Road News: Asian Infiltration of AltRight.com’, 15 Apr 2017:

EGI Notes agitprop: 'Asian infiltration'.

Apparently I’ve ‘infiltrated’ AltRight.com by simply commenting there like anyone else can do.

Are you surprised? I’m not surprised. After I made the comment about Gary Cohn, things got slightly interesting. One of the figures who seems to be associated with the American White Pride Network (AWPN.net) who was commenting under the name ‘Celestial Time’, began to obliquely defend Gary Cohn and the rest of the Zionist Trump administration. Seriously, that happened. You can read the thread to see how that played out.

In summary: My assertion was that Bob Whitacker’s mantra and the ‘anti-White’ discourse concept had been appropriated by Zionist forces and used as a method for defending Zionists. Their response was to laughably claim that my viewpoint on that was in and of itself an ‘anti-White’ viewpoint.

They say that my anti-Zionism is ‘anti-White’: I fire back

The entire conversation then devolved into a handwringing crybaby session on the part of the AWPN guy, who basically proceeded to redefine ‘anti-White’ to mean any opinion which happens to hurt his feelings, or could be conceivably interpreted by other White people as being hurtful to their feelings.

That’s about as vague as the definition of ‘anti-Semitism’. Incidentally, if they had chosen to use ‘anti-Semitic’ as their accusation toward me rather than ‘anti-White’, it would have made no functional difference because both discourses are being used to defend objectively Zionist outcomes.

So I went with the ‘whisper gently into the megaphone’ approach:

Disqus / AltRight.com, ‘Meet Globalist Gary’, 15 Apr 2017:

Disqus comment concerning Anti-Zionism.

I am terrible, aren’t I? Profound butthurt on the part of my opponent ensued. I can’t be given a ‘free pass’ to ‘belittle’ the apparently ‘White’ people who are upset about my comments! I must be held to account!

There is an easy way to understand how that kind of surreal outcome could manifest. You only need to know that Argumentum ad Asiatica is the new Argumentum ad Hitlerum. ‘Anti-White and anti-American’ is the new ‘anti-Semitic’. Up until now, the masters of cultural critique did not have a method for shutting down Asian criticisms of Zionist policies. The rise of Trump as a Zionist, and the affinity that certain pro-White activists have for Trump, means that by some historical accident Zionism is now effectively sheltering under ‘Whiteness’ in the American context.

Anyone who doubts this only needs to watch any of the top trending videos on Rebel Media’s youtube channel, which is controlled by none other than Israeli Zionist Ezra Levant. The trend is absolutely obvious.

Donald Trump card trick

I love card tricks!

I don’t know if you’ve had fun with this article, but I have.

I once heard about something called the ‘Donald Trump card trick’. It really illustrates how the Donald Trump campaign, as well as the Alt-Right opinion leaders who supported him, have run their operation. Let’s call this trick ‘The Donald’.

Check it out, it goes something like this.

To gain admission to the show, you have to basically mortgage your entire future for a generation or more. Having done that, you are in. You do that first.

So, secondly, they open a perfectly ordinary deck of cards, and you will be shown that they are indeed all different. Let’s say that the campaign is the card trick, and let’s say that the followers and voters have been asked by Trump, to pick a card.

Trump fans the cards out, and he acts like the selection of the cards doesn’t really matter. It’s an old magician’s trick; the selection of the card actually always matters. But you have to be a certain kind of nonchalant if you want to do a force.

And so Trump says, “Pick a card.” And the voters and supporters come together and pick a card and it’s the Jack of Hearts. Trump doesn’t know that. So the Trump campaign takes the card and slides it back into the deck.

Now, don’t forget, it’s the Jack of Hearts. It’s now somewhere in the middle of the deck.

Trump then gives the cards a shuffle while he’s talking. Now, the patter does not matter, Trump can say absolutely anything that pops into his head. Let’s say, “I’ve got a perfectly ordinary deck of cards here, and Mexicans are rapists.”

And then he shuffles a little bit more, and “I still have a perfectly ordinary deck of cards here, and Asian countries are ripping us off on trade via currency manipulation.”

And then he gives them another little shuffle and puts in a little bit more misdirection, like, “I could shoot somebody on fifth avenue and I wouldn’t lose any votes”, and, “She had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her whatever”, “They are ripping us”, and “We’re going to build a big, beautiful wall.”

And when election time comes, after all this misdirection, all this shuffling, all this handling of the cards, Trump then has the card on top.

Clean-handed, and with great flourish, he produces the card, turns it around and holds it out, and says, “Is this your card?”

And it’s the…

Eight of Spades, not the Jack of Hearts.

Because he’s a fucking idiotic Zionist tool and so are you.

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


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Epshteyn will leave Trump TV to join the Trump Administration.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Sunday, 26 March 2017 18:57.

Jewish Daily Forward, ‘Epshteyn To Leave Trump TV’, 25 Mar 2017:

Boris Epshteyn, a prominent Trump surrogate during the election campaign, is expected to quit his post at Trump TV, Politico is reporting from many sources close to the administration.

The Trump TV project was widely seen as a post-election project if the Republican candidate had failed to win and needed to build yet another alternative to news that would outflank Fox and Breitbart on the right, and give Trump an ongoing political platform.

Epshteyn, a 35-year old attorney from a Russian-Jewish family and a college friend of Eric Trump, is expected to join the administration in an official capacity.

It’s rapidly becoming the case that The Forward is one of the most authoritative mainstream news sources on what is happening inside the Trump administration, because so many of the Trump administration’s most prominent and influential figures are Jewish.


FBI probing far-right news sites and social media platforms.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Sunday, 26 March 2017 18:32.

The FBI is now investigating a story that almost everyone intuitively knew was true from the start:

The Hill, ‘FBI probing far-right news sites: report’, 20 Mar 2017:

The FBI is investigating whether far-right news websites contributed to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to a new report.

The probe is focused on discovering whether Russian operatives used conservative outlets to help spread stories favoring now-President Trump, McClatchy said Monday.

McClatchy confirmed with two people familiar with the inquiry that the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division is driving the investigation.

The sources said Russian operatives seemingly strategically timed computer commands called “bots” to blitz social media with pro-Trump stories.  

The bots were used at times when Trump appeared struggling with 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, they continued.

McClatchy’s sources said the bots mainly created millions of Facebook and Twitter posts linking to articles on far-right websites including Breitbart News, InfoWars and the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News.

The sources added that some of the stories were false or contained a mixture of fact and fiction.

Federal investigators are now examining whether the far-right news organizations took any actions aiding Russian operatives, they said.

The bots could have amplified pro-Trump news on Facebook and Twitter, regardless of the outlets’ knowledge or involvement, the pair of sources noted.

“This may be one of the most impactful information operations in the history of intelligence,” one former U.S. intelligence official told McClatchy, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the matter’s sensitivity.

FBI Director James Comey earlier Monday confirmed the Department of Justice (DOJ) is scrutinizing Russia’s meddling in the 2016 race, including any possible ties between Moscow and officials from Trump’s election campaign.

“As you know our practice is not to confirm the existence of an ongoing investigation,” he said during a House Intelligence Committee hearing.

“But in unusual circumstances where it is in the public interest, it may be appropriate to do so,” Comey added, noting the DOJ had authorized him to break bureau policy and publicly disclose the probe.

“This is one of those circumstances. I can promise you we will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

Comey added the FBI’s investigation began in late July and will include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.

During the campaign itself, Louise Mensch had reported on basically the same thing. You can revisit that at Heatstreet, and I’ll just give you an exerpt from that:

Heatstreet, ‘How Russia’s Twitter Bots And Trolls Work With Donald Trump Campaign Accounts’, 20 Oct 2016:

If you’ve been following the Twitter fiasco that is the Donald Trump campaign, you will be aware of his association with the Alt-right and with Russia bot accounts.
 
Broadly speaking, Trump has two categories of support on Twitter. Alt-right trolls, and Russian bot accounts pretending to be patriotic Americans.*
 
In many cases, these two groups cross over. The altright contains actual humans, such as @prisonplanet, and many, many bots.
 
In this article I shall however examine the way in which Russian bots are created and used to follow and boost Trump online.
 
It is not that Donald Trump does not have widespread support. He does; even at his current polling lows, his support includes millions of Americans. It is, rather, that Trump’s supporters are incredibly unlikely to use Twitter.
 
Broadly speaking ,Trump’s real supporters aren’t on Twitter – and Trump’s Twitter supporters aren’t real.

[...]

Three such bots that I videoed in the act of using this method were @Commander6080, @Sbragusa, and @jamesdgriffin. All have profiles that pretend to be Americans and to live in the USA.
 
How might this affect a twitter trend? What is the point of it? One scientist theorized as follows. It is a “fake trend” theory called “A Handoff”:

Let’s say you had a hashtag you wanted to get trending. You have a thousand bots (or Russian Trolls) and a popular account like Ricky Vaughn. You have the bots start using the hashtag, they start flooding twitter until it gets a high count (but not in the top 20 trends) then have a real person,  Ricky Vaughn, start pitching the hashtag to his followers. Here is where the window of timing kicks in: within minutes, Ricky Vaughn can have something trending, but before he gets the hashtag to the top 15 you have almost all of the bots automatically delete their tweets with the hashtags. You‘ve now started “a trend” quickly and have had it associated with “Ricky Vaughn” and not a 1,000 odd bots or Russian trolls.

[...]

This whole arrangement of social media manipulation is part of the communication operations side of the modern form of Russian Active Measures. The most remarkable thing about this arrangement is how it is tactically innovative and well-timed to exploit a particular weakness in American society specifically, but it is strategically unsophisticated because Russian commanders have also permanently ruined their own country’s reputation among the international journalist community and among most people on social media.

It’s highly abnormal for an entire country to transparently do something like that. Why would they choose to so carelessly and openly abandon even the appearance of any kind of ‘normality’ on national level?

There are a few reasons as to why they would have chosen to behave this way, but all of them seem to be capable of being summarised like this: Russian commanders may have been willing to sacrifice their country’s perceived journalistic integrity in the eyes of most of the world, because they’ve already given up on the idea that they could ever create a narrative that could appeal to a broad audience. Instead, Russia is seeking to cultivate a very particular audience in Europe and North America (excluding the United Kingdom which they seem to be abandoning). They are seeking to cultivate that roughly 20% of the population which is somewhere vaguely in the nationalistic spectrum and is disillusioned about the political situation in their country, but also lacks grounding and experience in how the world actually works. Russian commanders want to shape the media experience through which those people will come to terms with the world around them, and thus, create a long-term ‘following’, even if those followers are not necessarily aware of what it is that they are following.

The utility of this is clear. 20% of a population is enough to seriously impact the operation of political institutions in western democracies which operate in a pluralistic mode. Russian journalism is not seeking to be liked by everyone, or even trusted. Russia just wants 20% of any given European population to be responsive to their input because that is the bare minimum that they need.


Bold and Brash Intelligence: Examining Geert Wilders and the PVV in the Netherlands.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Thursday, 16 March 2017 04:17.

Introduction

‘Bold and Brash Intelligence’ is a feature that I’m inaugurating today, in which I’ll just give a very quick opinion about an event as it is unfolding, interpreting the facts on the ground to draw conclusions about the operational efficacy of a particular political tactic or strategy.

For the mechanics of the election in the Netherlands, the parties that contested it, and the way that the coalition politics of the Netherlands works, mainstream news organisations everywhere have already adequately described that, so I won’t repeat what is already understood by everyone.

I’ll just dive straight in to some points that I’d want to highlight, which I think are relevant to our readers here from an ethno-nationalist perspective.

The assumption I’m proceeding forward with in this article is that the objective of those who profess support or allegiance to the PVV is that they are concerned about the problem of mass migration of people from Muslim-majority countries into the Netherlands and they subjectively perceive that the PVV is a way to somehow counteract that threat.

If we accept that assumption as true, the central question then becomes, why does the PVV consistently fail to accomplish that, and how did it fail again last night, despite the fact that the conditions – for example the rise of the migrant crisis, the conspiratorial relationship between Rutte and Merkel, the secret deal with Turkey, and so on – could be seen as ripe issues for them to build significant gains atop? How did the PVV go from having 40% support, to having only 20% support in a year, despite the fact that all of these apparently terrifying events were occurring which they ought to have been able to politically capitalise on?

I will suggest some reasons.

1. The VVD moved slightly to the right in rhetoric so as to sap PVV’s base

Mark Rutte’s VVD moved to the right in terms of rhetoric, and was able to take away a significant amount of the PVV’s support. 34% of the people who said that they voted for VVD, say that Rutte’s little battle against Turkish ministers influenced their vote. Clearly the optics of that fight, although lacking in any substance, helped Rutte. Given that the media environment in the Netherlands is one in which the PVV is portrayed as ‘extremist’, it means that for those who like to be risk-averse, it may be the case that they would rationalise making the ‘safe’ centre-right choice.

The VVD may also have either sought to emulate or been given help in emulating a strategy used by Angela Merkel in Germany several years prior. Casting oneself as a supporter of a ‘responsible and steady’ centre-right statesman who is willing to ‘resist populism’, is – paradoxically – psychologically rewarding to the kind of people who individually believe, either correctly or incorrectly, that the concept of ‘basic-bitch average civilian’ includes everyone except their own esteemed selves.

The nativist populist rhetoric which has become ubiquitous online and can be seen in loud campaign slogans and vague policies, paradoxically repels the very kind of people who are needed to make nativism successful. The politically-savvy cohort who is desperately needed by nativists and yet is absent everywhere, is the kind of person who is just above-average enough to see politics as being more than a public stage on which to have a moralistic battle of sentiments, but is unfortunately also not above-average enough to be willing to entertain a certain amount of deliberate stupidity or obfuscation for the sake of courting the below-average cohort which must also be secured in order to fully lock-in a victory.

Now, some people may be thinking, “But didn’t Trump show that it can work in the United States? He managed to get lots of people to vote for him by basically talking complete nonsense in a very loud voice, all day long, and people voted for it!” Yes, but the United States is populated by low-information voters who are moved by animal-spirits, with an electoral college that grants a large amount of weight to the opinions of a voting bloc of actual political retards who have been subjected to a kind of Pavlovian meme-conditioning for 40 years, so it’s a completely different environment there. There is no parallel to that in Europe. It is not possible to simply meme one’s way to victory through padding-out your vote with political ‘potatoes’ in Europe, no matter what party you are representing.

The other thing about ‘potatoes’ is that they are notoriously unreliable, even if you can find them and secure them in Europe. Because they tend to vote on appearance over substance, they are just as likely to vote for you, as they are to vote for a guy who comes out cosplaying as you in the week prior to the election. The PVV lost significant support to the VVD precisely due to that phenomenon. Having locked down the limited number of ‘potatoes’ that did exist, it couldn’t even hold them. Why even bother?

By way of an agricultural comparison, one which the Irish are surely familiar with, you could very well say that monocropping is the worst possible strategy. In other words: Live by the potato, die by the potato.

2. All substantive debates in the Netherlands are conducted behind a technocratic layer of abstraction, in which the PVV cohort does not participate

The Dutch people really like their technocratic TV debates and their statistics which they drag into every comments section and all over social media. In that sense they actually resemble the British voting profile, and that is not a bad thing.

The PVV of course failed to tap the breadth of issues that Dutch people have been discussing throughout the election, because the PVV is widely perceived as a single-issue party and acts exactly like a single-issue party.

Geert Wilders’ views on immigration, the refugee crisis, and the European Union are a key part of the national debate in the Netherlands, but the polls and a basic survey of the media shows that the biggest issues in the minds of voters are healthcare and social care for the elderly. Other issues of interest to them are law and order, social service provisioning, and so on.

Crucially, 81% of the Dutch people who voted for VVD say that they did so because they liked Rutte’s views on the economy.

If the PVV is seen as having either no economic platform, or alternately, a bad economic platform, is anyone really surprised that it’s also a party that cannot win?

3. The PVV attempts to publicly re-litigate the past 70 years of immigration policy and the majority are not responsive to it

Rather than focussing on one explicit part of the immigration situation – the issue of the actual threat posed by Europe’s lack of coherent external borders – as a fulcrum around which many other issues implicitly rotate, the PVV and other parties and groups similar to it, tend to have a habit of trying to re-litigate the entire history of immigration policy in Western Europe over the past 70 years. In one election.

Obviously this cannot work as part of electoral rhetoric, as it opens a wide flank for public debate and criticism which would otherwise not occur. Why bother talking about the overall immigration policy from years gone by, when you could instead – for example – just talk about the Bataclan attack and the security situation which led up to it?

It remains a mystery as to why political parties with nativist intentions do not yet understand how to strategically dress all their concerns up as security issues which – in reality – those concerns in fact are.

Having the entire debate through the lens of ‘culture’ and ‘civilisation’ ends up giving social services professionals, third sector organisations and charities, and political dilettantes the ability to talk their way out of recognising reality with increasingly complex verbiage and appeals to emotion.

There is however no appeal to emotion and no language construct which can be leveraged against the hard reality of bombs, bullets, armed police response times, economic disruption, and emergency services personnel putting out fires and carrying away body bags. It is a reality which everyone is forced to acknowledge simply by watching television.

‘Defence of your city from bombs and roving bands of armed ISIL-affiliated men’, sounds much more concrete to the average voter than ‘defence of Western Civilisation from Islamisation.’

‘Defence of your city’, is an angle which does not require the voter to accept any fact other than the simple fact that the Bataclan attack happened and that security services have accurately described how that attack took place.

The ‘Western Civilisation’ argument, however, requires that the voter must accept someone’s particular view on what that civilisation should look like or what it used to look like, and requires significant time and effort to articulate. This doesn’t mean people shouldn’t articulate such a view, but it shouldn’t be done as part of electoral messaging when you have a limited amount of time and space to make a point to people who have a limited attention-span. Yet, in a move that can only be seen as a mysterious herculean effort to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, almost all nativist groups would rather wax lyrical about ‘Western Civilisation’ than actually just exploit the really-existing feelings of terror which have manifested as a result of the absolutely exploitable series of terrorist attacks which have occurred in Europe since 2014.

4. The PVV embodies and vectors a pro-Zionist narrative-hijack and diminishes its own electability as a party in the process

This is the foundational point that underscores all the others, as I believe it is the fundamental root of the problem. The PVV is basically a party of Zionist-imperialism which is committed to socially-legitimating the State of Israel through the propagation of a ‘Clash of Civilisations’ narrative which conveniently – for Israeli communications operations commanders – posits that the State of Israel should be understood by Europeans to be the most important and most brittle line of defence against an allegedly monolithic ‘global Islam’.

It’s such a transparent narrative-hijack that one almost has to stand back in wonderment and stupefaction at how gullible a person would need to be to fall for it.

The PVV and the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’ propagates messages of social-legitimation for Israel’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank by transforming every Islamist attack that takes place on European soil, into part of their ongoing narrative which usually contains the nonsensical words “this is what Israel has been fighting against all along.”

Nothing could be more absurd.

It is the foreign policy pursued by the State of Israel and vectored though the halls of American power, which has been one of key factors in sustaining the civil war in Syria from which the migration crisis arose, and furthermore, Israel is the same country which also – with no concern for the migration crisis – had one of its top think tanks advance the concept that it would be a ‘good’ idea for the West to deliberately let ISIL continue to exist. The State of Israel is a country whose strategic command has rationalised that since “Assad is now Iran” it would be better for Israel if “Al-Qaeda” or “one of those groups” were to be left running Syria in the aftermath of the war.

To posit that Israel could ever be a real ally of Europe on the issue of radical Islamic terror and the migrant crisis, is an absurdity. Yet it is an absurdly which is continually repeated by the likes of PVV politicians and allies, Geert Wilders himself, and the so-called ‘counter-jihad movement’.

The only way to explain that in the context of the Netherlands is to look at the ethno-racial identity of Geert Wilders himself, as his personality has a strong influence over the essential character and policy direction of the PVV. It is after all a party that was created by him.

Geert Wilders has volunteered at a Kibbutz during his youth, and has lived in Israel. Wilders’ paternal grandmother Johanna Meijer was a Dutch Jew who lived in the Dutch East Indies. Wilders’ family fled the Dutch East Indies during the Second World War shortly after Japanese occupation began, for reasons which probably need no explanation. Wilders has asserted that his father was Jewish. Additionally, Wilders is married to a Jewish-Hungarian diplomat.

Given that Jewishness clearly is a core part of Wilders’ identity and his talks and speeches on the matter only serve to bring that into sharper relief, no one should be surprised that things have turned out the way that they have as a consequence of having allowed Wilders to rise to a leadership position in Dutch the nationalist scene.

Whenever European nationalists engage in political bargains with Zionists, the Zionists will tend to inappropriately utilise the European nationalist organisations as a public relations show-piece whose mission is to divert all revenue streams toward projects which serve to socially-legitimate Israel’s foreign policy preferences among right-wing voters and will function as an aggressive public relations interface for Israel. That interface is then used by them to neutralise existing anti-Zionist sentiment on the right, or to forestall any imminent development of it there.

Combating anti-Zionist sentiment is basically the only thing that the PVV ever concretely accomplishes, which is why the PVV is in fact worse than useless.

Additionally, the PVV would probably have a wider appeal if it were not a Zionist party. Yet, for the operators of the party, the maintenance of the PVV as a ridiculous Zionist outfit is more important to them than actually winning at anything. Even when taken alone, that simple fact should speak volumes about the priorities of the so-called ‘activists’ who represent that party.

This whole assessment is simply a results-orientated approach to politics, devoid of any emotional bias. Even from the most cynical perspective, bartering with Zionists makes no sense.

Empirically speaking, have Europeans who bartered with Zionists ever been known to emerge with a good result for European nationalists? Scientifically speaking, has bartering with Zionists ever been known to work? 

The answer to that question is: Basically no.

Verdict: Into the trash

Some people like to claim that Geert Wilders and the PVV are bold and brash. In reality, Geert Wilders and the PVV are in fact worse than useless, and they belong in the trash.


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.


Richard Thepenther: “Yeth I Did, Tho What? Are You Going to Make Thomething of it?

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 01 February 2017 08:53.

       
        Thtar crothed path

       
        I wath tho proud to help him, to be a part of hith life.

...and hith thupport from Hillel. ...but ..(((Thtephen Miller))) - He ith hith own man. Tho, there, I thaid it!

Yeth I did! Tho what? Are you going to make thomething of it?

What ith the problem? He wath a conthervative just like I wath…

READ MORE...


The day when American White Nationalism stopped making any sense at all.

Posted by Kumiko Oumae on Monday, 23 January 2017 00:59.

Well, that day wasn’t actually today. Besides, American White Nationalism stopped making sense even on its own terms quite a while ago, around about the time when a sizable portion of them began to seriously endorse a certain New York real-estate developer named Donald Trump during the GOP Primary campaign.

Nevertheless, I’ll start with a quote from The Right Stuff:

The Right Stuff, ‘Requiem for a Dead Presidency’, 20 Jan 2017:

Today, this hallowed Day One of the Trump Age, we watch the man who has ran this country for the last eight years fly off into the distance on his presidential chopper and into the curio cabinet of political kitsch, a relic of a party that no longer exists.

[...]

Unsurprisingly, TRS is extremely enthusiastic about the result that has been brought about. But they are not the only ones. Also, this person is enthusiastic:

And so is this one:

That is the outcome which they’ve delivered. But that’s not all there is to it. Let’s go to David Duke’s recent radio broadcasts on the inauguration of Trump, since they act as a barometer for ‘the movement’ in America as a whole. It has been observed that he tends to echo the general median of where White Nationalism in America is standing on any given issue.

On 20 January 2017:

David Duke Show, 20 Jan 2017, at 02m49s

So right out of the gate, Duke basically admits that ‘there are Jews around him’. That’s an understatement if I ever saw it.

David Duke Show, 20 Jan 2017, at 03m25s

Mobilised them behind what? Elevating Jared Kushner to the position of being the most powerful Jewish person to ever exist in the world?

David Duke Show, 20 Jan 2017, at 04m02s

It’s actually saddening to see this level of hype being attached to Donald Trump. How on earth can the election of Donald Trump be considered ‘a more important event’ than the Battle of Tours or the breaking of the Siege at the Gates of Vienna?

These quotations are going to be haunting people later on.

On 16 January 2017:

David Duke Show, 16 Jan 2017, at 47m36s

David Duke’s analysis of the TRS scandal is of course completely divorced from facts, but that’s not even the most important part of this. Notice how the core principle which American White Nationalists claimed to adhere to, the position of taking a strong line on the ‘Jewish Question’, is completely abandoned by the wayside.

On 18 January 2017:

David Duke Show, 18 Jan 2017, at 47m12s

To actually answer this ridiculous question, the answer is: No.

No, they are not doing ‘good work’. Can anyone actually tell me what ‘work’ the TRS people have done that has actually been of any use? Is there anything at all measurable?

READ MORE...


Trojan Horses into Japan - Business English and The English of Popular Western Culture

Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 08:52.

A couple of weeks ago (((Steve Sailer))) hypothesized in the Taki’s Magazine article, “Choose Your Words Wisely” (4 Jan 2017), that right-wing populist nationalism was taking off in western countries NOT because of, say, any nefarious orchestration by Russian Jews, but rather perhaps because western elites, in their white, self destructive, integrationist madness all share the same lingua franca - English - and are therefore more easily seduced into eachother’s madness.

One reason it’s happening over much of the planet is because the various establishment elites have become so homogenous in their ideology, unconsciously egging each other on into more extremism. For example, after the normally cautious Angela Merkel made her historic refugee blunder in 2015, Hillary Clinton repeatedly endorsed Merkel’s foolhardiness, even as the German leader herself came to regret her imprudence.

But the corporate press has been no more aware of its own drift toward anti-border fanaticism than a fish notices it’s wet. Thus, the American establishment’s increasingly comic conspiracy theory blaming its political failings on a nefarious Kremlin plot. After all, what else could explain why voters did not respond appropriately to the media’s furious instructions to elect Hillary besides Muscovite mind-control rays?

A sensible exception has been Fareed Zakaria, who pointed out last month:

The one common factor present everywhere, however, is immigration. In fact, one statistical analysis of EU countries found that more immigrants invariably means more populists. One way to test this theory is to note that countries without large-scale immigration, such as Japan, have not seen the same rise of right-wing populism.

That raises the question of why Japan’s ruling class didn’t feel the necessity of going down the same mass-immigration path as did so many other advanced countries: Why is Japan such an exception?

“The coming global monoculture of English could be highly productive…until it’s not.”

One reason is that Japan isn’t a white country, so it’s immune to white guilt. Sure, the Japanese abused other East Asians 1931– 45, but that was in the name of organizing against white colonialism. So hassling Japan isn’t a high priority like it is for Germany.

Another reason is that Japan is linguistically quite isolated from the growing worldwide dominance of the English language.

If elites unthinkingly think alike, one reason could be because they increasingly share a language: English. Across much of the world, English is becoming the lingua franca. ...

READ MORE...


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