Category Archives: Government

Voting Your Skin, by The Zman

White voters have been fleeing the Democratic party. From The Zman at theburningplatform.com:

Way back in the olden thymes, when Pat Buchanan was challenging Bush the Elder in the GOP primary, I found myself in a working class Irish bar talking politics. The TV in the bar was on the local news and they were doing a segment on the race. A male and female were beside me at the bar and were chatting about the race. The woman said something like, “I can’t vote for Buchanan. He a racist and I can’t vote for a racist.” The male sort of nodded along. He was clearly just going along with it because that was the easy route.

I think that was the point when I began to realize politics, at least for me, was only going to be for entertainment purposes. I did not fully comprehend the implications of what was happening, but in retrospect, Buchanan’s run was the beginning of the great unraveling of the Reagan coalition. The old sandwich attack was back, except this time, the bottom would include many whites attracted to the blue flame of social justice. Upper class whites had found a way to woo them back. The virtue of the multicultural paradise was the lure.

Of course, the managerial coalitions, that evolved in the 90’s and ran through the Obama years, were built on a lie. The managerial elite, particularly the corporate side of the house, had nothing but contempt for working class Americans. They developed a particularly healthy disdain for normal white people, as seen in their jihad against companies like WalMart. This was the heart of the Sailer Strategy for Republicans to regain the edge in elections. Now it appears the Progressives are beginning to come to terms with it too.

With the 2018 midterms months away and the 2020 presidential election cycle approaching rapidly, Democrats are considering how to improve their poor showings in 2014 and 2016. The party has been debating — sometimes heatedly — how to do this. Which voters should they target? How should Democrats target them?

But here’s what’s clear: White voters have been fleeing the Democratic Party, and that’s a big reason Democrats are looking to rebound from back-to-back losses.

Whites have slowly but consistently moved away from the Democratic Party. These recent losses are on top of Democrats’ losses among Southern whites during the 1960s and 1970s after Democrats’ support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

To continue reading: Voting Your Skin

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Doug Casey on the Future of War, Part 2

Part 2 of Doug Casey’s vision of future war. From Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Justin note: Yesterday, Doug and I discussed how future wars will be fought differently than they are today.

Today, in part two, Doug explains what a possible shooting war between the U.S. and China would look like… how artificial intelligence could be used in future wars… and what he believes will be “the single biggest technology that’s going to change the nature of warfare.”


Justin: What about a possible shooting war between the United States and China? You said there was a high probability of that happening recently.

Doug: Well, it seems like all these horrible people Trump has surrounded himself with—like that fellow with the bushy mustache—are banking on one, a conventional war. They seem to figure US aircraft carrier groups will allow them to bring the war to the enemy, but avoid going nuclear.

Unfortunately, the carrier is equivalent to the battleship in World War II. It has many sophisticated defense mechanisms, but there is no defense against the hypersonic weapons that the Russians, Chinese, and soon everybody else, are developing.

The carrier group’s Aegis systems, phalanx guns, and anti-aircraft missiles are useless against hypersonic attack.

Even nuclear weapons are becoming dinosaurs. In our last interview, I mentioned the space weapon, the “Rod from God.” Now, this won’t be deployed anytime soon. That’s because—and this is speculation—each rod would be 20 feet long, a foot in diameter, and made out of tungsten, which has an extremely high specific gravity, about 19, the same as metallic uranium. Even lead is only 11. Each rod might weigh 10 or 15 tons.

There are major technical hurdles of getting just one of those into high orbit. Then, there’s the challenge of building a launch platform for a battery of them in space. Then keeping the satellite, the battle station, safe from a preemptive strike.

The basic idea is sound from a number of standpoints, however. I first encountered it in Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, a really great sci-fi book he wrote in the ’60s. The idea was that the colony on the moon revolts against Earth, and simply launches big rocks down the gravity well to win the war. Something like that will undoubtedly happen in the future.

Justin: Yeah, I read somewhere that it would cost $230 million just to get each one of those rods into orbit.

To continue reading: Doug Casey on the Future of War

Tales from “The Master of Disaster”, by MN Gordon

Rising interest rates will deflate asset prices. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Daylight extends a little further into the evening with each passing day.  Moods ease.  Contentment rises.  These are some of the many delights the northern hemisphere has to offer this time of year.

As summer approaches, and dispositions loosen, something less amiable is happening.  Credit markets are tightening.  The yield on the 10-Year Treasury note has exceeded 3.12 percent.

If yields continue to rise, this one thing will change everything.  To properly understand the significance of rising interest rates some context is in order.  Where to begin?

In 1981, professional skateboarder Duane Peters was busy inventing tricks like the invert revert, the acid drop, and the fakie thruster, in empty Southern California swimming pools.  As part of his creative pursuits, he refined and perfected the art of self-destruction with supreme enthusiasm.  His many broken bones, concussions, and knocked out teeth earned him the moniker, “The Master of Disaster”.

But as The Master of Disaster was risking life and limb while pioneering the loop of death, the seeds of a mega-disaster were being planted.  In particular, the rising part of the interest rate cycle peaked out in 1981.  Then, over the next 35 years, interest rates fell and these seeds of mega-disaster were multiplied and scattered across the land.

Credit and Asset Prices

The relationship between interest rates and asset prices is generally straightforward.  Tight credit generally results in lower asset prices.  Loose credit generally results in higher asset prices.

When credit is cheap, and plentiful, individuals and businesses increase their borrowing to buy things they otherwise couldn’t afford.  For example, individuals, with massive jumbo loans, bid up the price of houses.  Businesses, flush with a seemingly endless supply of cheap credit, borrow money and use it to buy back shares of their stock…inflating its value and the value of executive stock options.

To continue reading: Tales from “The Master of Disaster”

8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump’s campaign, by Sharyl Atkinson

What the intelligence agencies have apparently done goes far beyond politics as usual and amounts to serious criminality. From Sharyl Atkinson at thehill.com:

It may be true that President Trump illegally conspired with Russia and was so good at covering it up he’s managed to outwit our best intel and media minds who’ve searched for irrefutable evidence for two years. (We still await special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings.)

But there’s a growing appearance of alleged wrongdoing equally as insidious, if not more so, because it implies widespread misuse of America’s intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

Here are eight signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump for political reasons.

 Code name

The operation reportedly had at least one code name that was leaked to The New York Times: “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Wiretap fever

Secret surveillance was conducted on no fewer than seven Trump associates: chief strategist Stephen Bannon; lawyer Michael Cohen; national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner; campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

The FBI reportedly applied for a secret warrant in June 2016 to monitor Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos and Flynn. If true, it means the FBI targeted Flynn six months before his much-debated conversation with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The FBI applied four times to wiretap Page after he became a Trump campaign adviser starting in July 2016. Page’s office is connected to Trump Tower and he reports having spent “many hours in Trump Tower.”

CNN reported that Manafort was wiretapped before and after the election “including during a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Trump.” Manafort reportedly has a residence in Trump Tower.

Electronic surveillance was used to listen in on three Trump transition officials in Trump Tower — Flynn, Bannon and Kushner — as they met in an official capacity with the United Arab Emirates’ crown prince.

The FBI also reportedly wiretapped Flynn’s phone conversation with Kislyak on Dec. 31, 2016, as part of “routine surveillance” of Kislyak.

NBC recently reported that Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, was wiretapped. NBC later corrected the story, saying Cohen was the subject of a “pen register” used to monitor phone numbers and, possibly, internet communications.

To continue reading: 8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump’s campaign

More Police State Surveillance: Courtesy of the Pentagon, by Jeremiah Johnson

The Pentagon has a plan to use biometric verification to track and identify people from their smart phones. From Jeremiah Johnson at shtfplan.com:

There was an article by Joseph Marks of Nextgov published on 5/16/18 that was neither picked up by the larger news networks nor kept in view for long. The article is entitled The Pentagon Has a Big Plan to Solve Identity Verification in Two Years, and here is a portion of it:

The Defense Department is funding a project that officials say could revolutionize the way companies, federal agencies and the military itself verify that people are who they say they are and it could be available in most commercial smartphones within two years. The technology, which will be embedded in smartphones’ hardware, will analyze a variety of identifiers that are unique to an individual, such as the hand pressure and wrist tension when the person holds a smartphone and the person’s peculiar gait while walking, said Steve Wallace, technical director at the Defense Information Systems Agency.  Organizations that use the tool can combine those identifiers to give the phone holder a “risk score,” Wallace said. If the risk score is low enough, the organization can presume the person is who she says she is and grant her access to sensitive files on the phone or on a connected computer or grant her access to a secure facility. If the score’s too high, she’ll be locked out.

Amazing. The Pentagon’s technical director omitted much in his quest to act as if such actions are “government streamlining” and occurring matter-of-factly, in the interests of securing information for the government and its contractors.

The problem: if it’s in the software of all the commercial smartphones (the ones bought in the stores), that biometric data will be transmitted by all the phones, not just the contractors to the federal government.

We also know where this is heading. The government will back-door everyone’s cell phones and make tracking and surveillance even more ubiquitous than it is now, and that’s saying something. Read this portion:

Another identifier that will likely be built into the chips is a GPS tracker that will store encrypted information about a person’s movements, Wallace said. The verification tool would analyze historical information about a person’s locations and major, recent anomalies would raise the person’s risk score.  The tool would be separate from the GPS function used by mapping and exercise apps, he said. The tool does not include biometric information, such as a thumbprint or eye scans at this point, Wallace said, because DISA judged that existing commercial applications of biometric information are too easy to spoof.

To continue reading: More Police State Surveillance: Courtesy of the Pentagon

John McCain’s Revisionist History Is a Team Effort, by Matt Taibbi

Insiders don’t say nasty things about other insiders. From Matt Taibbi at rollingstone.com:

In HBO’s ‘John McCain: For Whom The Bell Tolls,’ the Arizona Senator is pre-eulogized by ghoulish ex-foes

I hope my editors boil in oil in the afterlife for asking me to review John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls, the new HBO doc that premieres Memorial Day and stars David Brooks, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush and a succession of other wax-museum escapees who line up to evade and prevaricate about things McCain-related and not.

The review copy might as well have been titled, Go Ahead, Say Something Bad About a Terminal Cancer Patient. I felt like a monster 20 seconds in.

Having covered McCain’s 2008 run, I had mixed feelings about the man anyway. Just as a person, McCain came across as the kind of insistently obnoxious guy you hear complaining about the slow service in an airport bar – a type I always found oddly sympathetic.

But the political myth-making around McCain has always been tough to take, and this movie is basically two hours of it. The myths aren’t just about McCain, either, but also an effort to gloss over about six decades of American history, and how we got to the terrible place we’re in today.

The movie is called For Whom the Bell Tolls because McCain calls the Hemingway novel his “lodestar.” Mark Salter says its theme, “The harder the cause, even lost, the better the cause,” spoke deeply to his personal belief system.

McCain has certainly fought for a lot of lost causes in his life. But most of them were causes he deserved to lose.

For instance, one of the things McCain will be most harshly judged for is his decision to make Sarah Palin his running mate in 2008. Many people (correctly) believe that moment paved the way for the rise of what David Brooks in the movie calls “a disease” of anti-intellectualism in the Republican Party.

To continue reading: John McCain’s Revisionist History Is a Team Effort

The Skripal Case Is Being Pushed Down The Memory Hole With Libya And Aleppo, by Caitlin Johnstone

When an officially certified “narrative” starts falling apart, that’s when we’re all supposed to forget it about and move on. From Caitlin Johnstone at ronpaulinstitute.org:

On the fourth of March, in the sleepy British cathedral town of Salisbury, an ex-spy named Sergei Skripal was poisoned by an assassin with the most deadly nerve agent known to man.

The Russian government was immediately blamed by a shocked and outraged world. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson assured the people of Great Britainthat “There’s no doubt” that Moscow was responsible. In a large and sudden leap forward in cold war escalations, Russian diplomats were thrown out of countries all around the globe, including my own Australia, in a show of solidarity with the United Kingdom. It was the largest collective ejection of Russian diplomats in history.

Two months after his earth-shattering assassination, as the world stared spellbound at the weekend’s immensely popular PR spectacle of a royal wedding, Sergei Skripal was quietly discharged from the hospital he’d been staying at. The BBC reports that he is walking and approaching complete recovery.

Wait a second. Haven’t I seen this Python skit before?

So to recap, an ex-spy who had been retired and strategically irrelevant for years was reportedly poisoned by the Kremlin with Novichok, a scary Russian-sounding word which refers to a group of extremely deadly and fast-acting nerve agents that start shutting down the body’s muscles and respiratory system within 30 seconds to two minutes. Except in the case of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia it was several hours with a leisurely stroll, a meal, and beers in between.

The poison was placed in Yulia Skripal’s suitcase. Actually no, they got that wrong, it was the air vents in their car. Wait, no, that doesn’t work either. Maybe it was administered via weaponized miniature drone! Wait, no, it was the family’s car door handle. Actually, scratch that, it was the front door of the house. Definitely the front door of the house. We’re absolutely sure. Either that or Sergei Skripal’s favorite Russian cereal. They were given 100 grams of Novichok. Wait, no, that’s ridiculous, we retract that. Okay, maybe we have no idea what happened. Oh hey, their pets were completely unaffected by the poison. Let’s incinerate them.

To continue reading: The Skripal Case Is Being Pushed Down The Memory Hole With Libya And Aleppo