April 18, 2017

Violent Left and Deep State now indistinguishable

There's a lot to unpack from the Battle of Berkeley over the weekend, where an army of Trump supporters took over downtown libtard central against a gang of Antifa ("anti-fascist"). See here for a first-hand account and observations of how both sides behaved.

Now that Antifa has actually had to fight a real battle, rather than showing up unchallenged, we can start to fill in a lot of the gaps about who they are and what they're about. An earlier post drew attention to the fact that they are not fighting against the other side's "speech" but against their right to free "assembly". They want to prevent the other side from congregating, getting pumped up as a group, and potentially acting as a collective force toward their goals. Keeping them from congregating amounts to isolating and atomizing them, preventing them from doing much toward their goals.

* * *

After seeing how Antifa interacts with a real crowd on the other side, we see even more about what their role is -- a police force. They're not just any old group that wants to occupy a territory against some rival group, like fans of one sports team taking over a certain bar and not welcoming fans of rival teams. They want to keep a space clear of the other side in the same way that the police want to keep the streets free from criminals, and they are willing to use force in order to make that happen.

They don't merely shove the other side out of the space, they surround downed opponents and beat them down. They use weapons that are only for cruelty, humiliation, and torture, like the glass bottles and brass-knuckled gloves wielded by that dreadlocked bitch who got mowed down by a Trump supporter. And of course the ubiquitous pepper spray that the actual police use, only here to inflict pain rather than to simply disperse a crowd. They are not trying to "win" against another team, but to punish those who they see as the lowest of criminals.

It is not just random terrorizing like you see from gangs who randomly target victims just so everybody in the neighborhood understands who's boss. Antifa directs their violence only against those who they charge and convict of certain crimes, and their violence is a kind of norm enforcement.

At first glance, you might say it's a kind of vigilante justice, coming from private citizens rather than any branch of the government. And yet there is nothing organic about their banding together, in the way that concerned citizens do when there's a crime spree under way in their neighborhood. The members of Antifa do not live next to each other or have other organic social bonds, at least across the whole group that shows up.

Instead, it is more like a deputized posse that is recruited and organized by the state. Anybody who wants to enforce certain norms against certain people, show up to the sheriff's office and we'll deputize you to use force against the bad guys. Indeed, the actual Berkeley police were nowhere to be seen, proving that they had temporarily transferred their authority to the thugs of Antifa. It would look too bad for the official police if they were raining down blows on Trump supporters, so let's just give a little wink at Antifa and let them do the violent policing against political enemies of the Establishment.

And we'll look the other way if you guys want to punish the criminals before they've even committed an illegal act -- there may not be a law against supporting Trump or putting American over global interests, but it is still a violation of our norms, and that is no less of a crime against our norms just because there's no government law against it. Merely showing up on the pro-Trump side is proof of committing this crime of allegiance to the wrong group (America vs. the world), so no further bad acts need to be committed for you guys to punish them violently.

* * *

It is inaccurate to use the phrase "thought crime" since they don't care what you believe or think or say, which are individual activities that can be done in isolation and generally don't threaten change to how the world works. They're primarily against you belonging to a certain group and acting collectively to advance its interests, whether voting for Trump or showing up for one of his rallies. This is more of a social crime -- a crime of allegiance to the wrong group. Specifically, the bad guys are to be punished for disloyalty or treason against the globalist side.

Notice that the Violent Left is no longer raging against the Right -- it's anybody who wants American interests to come before those of foreign interests. That includes just about everybody in the middle, moderate, or Independent range of the spectrum. And in fact, the Trump army began by laying waste to the Right during the GOP primaries. Antifa is not fighting against the theocratic and Puritanical crusaders who followed Ted Cruz. And they are not fighting against people who are harassing abortion clinics, burning books or other media that corrupt the youth, or other stereotypical right-wing extremism.

In fact, if that kind of right-wing behavior got out of hand, the Trump army would turn out to dampen it down or put it out. These are the people who got sick of the GOP when it went too far in the right-wing direction during the '80s and '90s, and backed Ross Perot or grudgingly Bill Clinton. Compared to a typical group of conservatives or Right-wingers, the Trump brawlers are more likely to have tattoos, have permissive views toward pornography, and rarely or never attend church, all of which place them lower on being driven by concerns about purity, sanctity, and taboo.

So it makes more sense to call them Normalizers, who intervene en masse when the pendulum swings too far in either direction. It happens to be swinging too far to the left now, so they come off as right-wingers. But circa 1990, it was swinging too far to the right (Tipper Gore and the PMRC), and they came off more as left-wingers.

This also explains their fumbling for descriptions: in such a polarized climate as ours, anyone less puritanical than the Mormons is a permissive libertarian to be kicked out of the Right, and anyone less multicultural than La Raza is a bigoted conservative to be kicked out of the Left.

* * *

Portraying a group like Antifa as a deputized posse of the state could be more literal than figurative. The Deep State has always infiltrated and co-opted groups that began as anti-Establishment, to turn them around and serve the shadow government's own ends. This is even more likely for very old groups like Antifa and the KKK where the operatives have had plenty of time to do their work, as opposed to fresh new organic movements like the Bernie or the Trump movements.

Threats to the Establishment could come from the Left or the Right, requiring a two-pronged approach. In each prong, the idea is to inflame the emotions of extremists and turn them against the mainstream majority to punish them for questioning the Establishment. On the Right, people's emotions are inflamed more by apocalyptic religion (the Judaizer cults that flock to Ted Cruz), while on the Left their emotions are inflamed by apocalyptic violence (the guerrilla wannabes who join Antifa). Both of these emotionally volatile groups can then be turned against normal Americans to keep them demoralized, apathetic, and bowing out of the political arena.

The two-pronged strategy of the Deep State -- instigate Antifa thugs on the Left and inflame the Mormons on the Right -- came out into the open when CIA operative Evan McMullin tweeted the following about the Alt-Right:

He had already publicly tried to derail the Trump movement by duping the Mormons in Utah, where all of his energy and funding was focused. After stoking the emotions of the crazy Right, he tries to stoke the emotions of the crazy Left, complete with an emoji reminding them to "punch a Nazi".

The McMuffin campaign was an abject failure by every measure, and the rout of Antifa by the Trump army in Berkeley only confirms how disastrously the Deep State strategy is breaking down. Normal Americans have had enough with the abuse from the moralistic Right and the moralistic Left threatening them with ostracism, damnation, and beatdowns just for wanting a normal American society and not some theocratic or communistic dystopia.

The only open question is how desperately Deep State tries to salvage their campaign. They may be stretched too thin from their push to embroil America in a series of pointless wars abroad, and not have enough capital to mobilize the cults of the Left and Right against Americans back home. Or they may decide to give up on adding more nations to its sphere of influence abroad, in order to double down on punishments for Americans who betray the globalist government by pushing for America-first policies. Only time will tell.

April 16, 2017

On Korea, what is Trump's history of comments?

Now that North Korea is becoming the next big foreign policy focus, we should see what Trump has said on the matter over the years. Given the Deep State pressure that has led to a reversal on Syria (strikes, regime change), it's possible that they will go contrary to Trump's own true goals for Korea as well.

Here is every tweet he's ever written about Korea. Not much at all, just over 20 tweets before the election, compared to hundreds about Syria.

More shockingly, this is the only thing he said about them during the entire election season, indeed since 2014:

During the VP debate, his team tweeted again that she's weak on Korea.

His only reference to Korea was to talk about a broader pattern of Hillary and co. letting nuclear weapons pile up in hostile countries. Not so much an attack on the country itself, as on "our very stupid leaders" for letting them gain on us.

He fired off a series of tweets around April 2013, when the North had been threatening to shut down the Kaesong industrial park that is run by the North and South, amidst generic saber rattling against the South and the US, who were conducting their annual joint military drills that the North sees as a provocation so close to their border. Trump puts the blame on China, saying they don't eat without China's permission, and they ought to keep their client from insulting and threatening the US so flagrantly.

Nowhere does he discuss them as a serious threat to the American homeland, although he likely saw them as a threat to our tens of thousands of soldiers who are stationed in the South.

And in fact it is South Korea that Trump has always argued is the real threat to American greatness. We provide their national defense for around half of what it actually costs, and they are a major economic competitor, especially for manufacturing. In essence, we are paying for our own de-industrialization, and militarily protecting that off-shoring target to boot! Without Uncle Sam providing their defense, South Korea would not be able to massively subsidize their domestic industries and suck all of those manufacturing jobs out of America.

That's a far harsher tone than he takes with North Korea, for whom he chides China, and whose threat is annoying bluster rather than de-industrializing our economy and costing us a fortune to provide their defense. Why aren't they paying the full costs, plus a 20% mercenary fee? Or how about half of Samsung's profits (currently $7 billion)?

Deep State's goal for the Korean peninsula is to wipe out the North even if it risks destroying the South, just so it can cross off another nation that had eluded incorporation into the American sphere of influence during the Cold War. There is zero of strategic value there. If adding a defeated and worthless NK to the American sphere of influence requires us to hemorrhage money for SK's defense, and thereby also our continued de-industrialization and impoverishment of the American people -- well, it's worth it to the elites whose hyper-competitiveness pushes them to expand at any cost (to others).

And now that we know true-Trump's feelings about what our real priorities are in the Korean peninsula, we will be able to tell if he's able to pursue them or if Deep State continues to advance its agenda. True-Trump's goal is to get US soldiers out of SK, or collect an absolute fortune for us to remain, and to thereby also deal a blow to their industrial competitiveness, now that they'll have to pay for their own defense and less on subsidies to Samsung. Suddenly American manufacturing workers are looking a lot more attractive relative to South Koreans.

If Korean policy unfolds as though they're dusting off a copy of Bush's Axis of Evil speech, then we'll know that Trump still has not gotten enough of his men into key positions in the military and foreign policy machines.

Poll: Trump's base least supportive of Syria strike

In the wake of the airstrike on Syria, everyone took notice of how negatively Trump's most hardcore supporters reacted, whether they struggled to rationalize the airstrike after their initial gut rejection of it, or jumped off the Trump train entirely, or fell somewhere in between.

Generally speaking, those who are newer to voting Republican were the most initially turned off. Those who were content, perhaps eager, to vote for Romney last time or God forbid McCain before that, had an easier time rationalizing or outright cheering on the strike. It's just the kind of move that Romney or McCain or Bush would have done, and indeed these figures suddenly found respect for a man they'd been maligning for years.

It would be an electoral mistake to discount these new Republican voters, or even shove them out the door as fair-weather friends. If only partisan Republicans vote next time, Trump will get wiped out just as bad as McCain and Romney did.

The GOP and Trump in particular needs these new Republican voters, and a large part of his appeal to disillusioned Independents and Democrats was shaking up the Establishment status quo. He was keen to emphasize the change in priorities he sought for foreign policy -- Iraq War was a disaster, Assad's a bad guy but he's fighting ISIS so let him stay, let's get along with Russia, and why do we serve as South Korea's military for free while they steal all of our manufacturing plants?

Certainly we should not believe that every new Republican was pissing their pants like some of the alt right Twitter people, but that is simply the tail of a distribution that had shifted in the "less approving" direction. If 20-something red-hats are pissing their pants, it means that the average Trump fan had also moved in that direction of feeling let down, even if not so extreme.

YouGov conducted a poll after the airstrikes to gauge support across various demographic groups. Since all of the questions are variations on the same theme (interventionist vs. not), the pattern of responses is similar across the questions.

On the whole, the key demographic groups who put Trump over the top on Election Day are the most ambivalent or turned off by the strikes -- Independents compared to Republicans, lower income rather than higher income, and Midwest region compared to the South or Northeast (the West is also highly opposed, but West Coasters didn't vote for him).

The first question asks at the most general level, is your view that "It’s best for the future of our country to be active in world affairs," or "We should pay less attention to problems overseas and concentrate on problems here at home"? Independents chose the America-first answer 44-37, while Republicans were about split at 45-46. Those with family income under $50K chose America-first at 44-40, those with $50-100K at 45-42, and only those with more than $100K gave the globalist response at 51-37. Midwesterners were the most America-first at 48-42, Westerners 39-38, Southerners slightly pro-globalist at 44-42, and Northeasterners even more globalist at 43-37.

Look through the other questions if you want, but the same basic pattern shows up. Since they allow "Not sure" answers, look at the responses that go definitively against the Establishment consensus. For example, on the question of supporting the airstrikes, the somewhat/strongly oppose response is more common in the Midwest (34%) and West (38%), than in the South (31%) or the Northeast (28%).

So which demographics resonated the most with the strikes? Wealthy Republicans (or Democrats) from the Northeast, AKA the NeverTrumpers who will sabotage any of the America-first agenda, and will never vote for him in 2020. Middle-class Independents from the Midwest, i.e. the people who put him in the White House, are the most unsettled by the apparent abrupt shift from campaign promises.

Nobody appreciates that the culture wars are largely fought within the elite level, and that working-class people don't pay any mind to abortion, tranny bathrooms, white privilege, etc. They are focused on bread-and-butter issues because their basic needs are less secure. It's only those who don't have to worry about income, food, housing, and so on, who have the time and mindset to indulge in post-material concerns like gay marriage, tort reform, etc.

Foreign policy is almost an entirely elite obsession -- as the data show, most working-class people don't give a shit about the rest of the world (not that they wish it any specific harm), and want that money spent right here on things they can actually enjoy. Roads without potholes, universal healthcare, whatever.

Only the yuppies have all of that lower stuff covered on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and turn their minds more toward airy-fairy things like "America's greatness in the world," namely taking more and more of the world into an American sphere of influence.

Being managerial types, they diddle themselves as they vicariously imagine themselves as the Chief Executive over a sprawling geopolitical empire, and how many more mergers and acquisitions can be done by the end of the term. They're the ones who ejaculated when Trump launched missiles at Syria, who have resisted joining America Inc. and must be crushed in a hostile takeover if they will not voluntarily be added to our portfolio of client states.

Ditto for regional differences: the Establishment along the East Coast is obsessed with "America's standing in the world," while Midwesterners are too removed from the centers of power to care that much.

The reality is the exact opposite of the "bread and circus" narrative about why we're bombing some place again for no reason. It's not to give the proles something explodey to cheer about while they wave an American flag. It's a status upgrade for the courtier class, who imagines itself presiding over an even greater range of exotics looking up to them (the "people" we're going to "liberate" from the target of our bombing).

Trump will have to take a stronger stand against the Deep State forces that are pushing him to change his America-first foreign policy, if he wants to reassure his electoral base that the Syria strike was just a fluke. Not just promises to go to a smaller magnitude in the current direction, but a change in direction back toward true-Trump. The more that foreign policy comes to resemble George W. Bush: The Resurrection, the closer he comes to being a one-term President.

It's true that his base will value all of the seismic moves he is making on the economic front, from instantly killing the TPP to bringing back more plants. But unless there is rapid re-industrialization within four short years, those efforts may not be enough to offset the further and growing drain on our economy and on our entire society if the neocons continue to get their way on major foreign policy fronts.

It's also true that immigration was a yuge motivation for Trump's hardcore voters, but this was not so important in the Rust Belt, since it has remained relatively unscathed by mass immigration.

I'm not predicting a loss for Trump if the Deep State dictates foreign policy, but it comes into possibility, and he would definitely lose at least one of the Rust Belt states where it was close (MI, WI, or MN). And that would almost certainly mean no third consecutive term for whoever comes after Trump in 2024, although three in a row is hard for anyone to pull off. But now more than ever, we can't afford for Howard Dean or Corey Booker to take back the White House in eight years.

April 14, 2017

Why neocons limit focus to only "ISIS" rather than jihadists in general

Against Trump's repeated emphasis throughout the campaign of eradicating "radical Islamic terrorism," the neocon Deep Statists led by NatSec Advisor McMaster are trying to re-frame the battle to be against only "ISIS" or perhaps also "al-Qaeda".

More encompassing terms like (radical) Islamic terrorists, jihadists, Islamists, Salafis, Wahhabis, etc. are not to be used because they will insult "our Muslim allies in the region" -- namely the Saudis, Turks, et al. who spread Salafi ideology through radical mosques all over the world, and who bankroll jihadist violence, whether that be conquest in the Middle East or spectacle terrorism in the West a la 9/11.

It has been SOP since the 1980s that the US foreign policy Establishment will align with jihadists against a government that resists incorporation into the American sphere of influence -- in Palestine (Hamas over PLO), Afghanistan (Mujahadeen over Soviet clients), Iraq (topple Saddam), and Libya (topple Qaddafi).

The difficulty comes with these jihadists turning on their paymasters, in most spectacular form on 9/11. It needs to be emphasized that these are not foreigners who we have attacked and are settling scores with us. They are Frankenstein's monster turning on its creator -- ethnocentric zealots stabbing foreign supporters in the back.

It's no different from naive Europeans who "welcome refugees," only to get robbed, raped, and run over by them.

"You knew damn well I was a snake, before you took me in!"

Blowback makes it impossible for the Establishment to continue supporting the group responsible, yet they still want to carry on the general program of aligning with jihadists. So the propaganda ramps up attacks on the specific group who blew up the World Trade Center (al-Qaeda), or the specific group whose loyalists shot up the Bataclan nightclub (ISIS).

That leaves the whole rest of the ever-evolving roster of jihadist groups out of sight and out of mind, for the general public. It's best not to name them at all, but if so, with non-alarming qualifiers like the "opposition" or "rebel" or "Sunni militia" group al-Nusra. Since al-Nusra is simply al-Qaeda by a new-and-improved name, the Establishment and its propaganda outlets in the media can go on supporting jihadists while not taking flak from the public, who has only heard of ISIS and al-Qaeda in the context of jihadism.

And if al-Nusra becomes too infamous for killing or threatening Americans, they can always re-brand to Ahrar al-Sham, or Tahrir al-Sham, or any other damn name that is too hard to pronounce or remember for the American people.

That is why our foreign policy Establishment will only commit to fighting "ISIS" and "al-Qaeda" in Syria, while we openly provide money, weapons, and positive spin to their jihadist brothers with different names.

And that is why we will remain at an impasse with the Syrian / Russian / Iranian side who are winning the war against the jihadists -- they intend to neutralize all jihadist groups because jihadism is a threat to their nation's security and stability. The American Establishment only intends to neutralize ISIS and al-Qaeda for bringing such bad reputation to the cause of supporting jihadism against governments that do not want to be part of the American sphere of influence.

Doesn't jihadism threaten America's national security, though? It does to some extent, but the Establishment is willing to write off those losses, in order to scoop up more of the oil-rich and militarily strong nations of the Middle East into its sphere of influence. It's another way in which the elites concentrate the benefits of policy at the top and stick the middle and bottom of the pyramid with all of the costs.

There is likely a similar dynamic at work within, e.g., Saudi Arabia. Only the elites benefit from being part of the American sphere of influence -- their elites' jihadism is likely to antagonize the American people into seeking revenge against the entire country, where the bottom rungs of the ladder would serve as cannon fodder against an invasion by Uncle Sam.

The social mood is currently more nationalist in Syria, Russia, and Iran, although these moods rise and fall in long-term cycles.

The US looked to join this trend with the election of Trump -- getting along with Russia, airstrikes in Syria could start WWIII, cut deal with Iran rather than continue getting stabbed in back by Saudis, etc. In general, don't put the middle and lower layers of society at risk, or picking up the tab, just so the protected elites get to masturbate furiously over expanding America's sphere of influence.

That has been put on hold, but only because Trump has not cleared out the anti-American personnel in the branches of government that touch on the military and foreign policy. That interest group can push back more forcefully against its region of the swamp getting drained, since they are the instruments of the legitimate monopoly on violence that is the basis for the President's authority.

Over the eight years of the Trump administration, he and the relatively less neocon individuals will come to fill out more and more of the military Deep State with personnel committed to a realistic, up-to-date assessment of where the major threats lie, and where the major alliances ought to be made.

Achieving that requires us to speak in general terms about our enemies -- jihadism, Islamic terrorism, etc., and not just "ISIS" or "al-Qaeda". Otherwise the general public will keep thinking there's nothing so wrong with aligning ourselves with the Saudis, "Syrian rebels" like al-Nusra, and whatever the hell they change their brand to next week.

The key country to spread the word about is Saudi Arabia, not only for their central role, but because a good share of the American people already know that they're bad, that's where bin Laden came from, and that's who attacked us on 9/11, for which we still have not gotten revenge. Antipathy toward Saudi Arabia is also completely bipartisan (just as is support for them among the globalists).

Since the Saudis are on the opposite side from Russia, breaking ourselves free from them will also allow us to pursue crucial detente with the other nuclear superpower during a climate that is pre-WWI.

April 13, 2017

Shoot first, take opinion polls later

A comparison between opinion polls taken ahead of a potential airstrike on Syria for alleged chemical weapons use in 2013 with those taken in the aftermath of the recent airstrike on the same country with the same leader for the same purported reasons, shows the power of cognitive dissonance to make people rationalize outcomes that they preferred not to happen.

Rewind to 2013, back when Trump was firing off tweets against the airstrikes on a daily basis. Every poll showed overwhelming opposition to such strikes, even when the question was worded to state as a matter of fact that Assad had used chemical weapons on his own citizens (ABC / WP), and even when a separate question found 80% agreeing that Assad had used chemicals on his own people (CNN).

Majorities agreed with anti-globalist positions across a range of questions (Pew / USA Today), such as airstrikes will make things worse in the Middle East, we have no moral obligation to stop violence against civilians in another country, Syria poses no risk to us anyway, and we're not going to lose credibility just because we don't fire missiles.

Republicans were more opposed than were Democrats, compared to the opposite now -- kneejerk partisan reactions. But Trump campaigned during the primaries and general that we should not do what we just did, and he blew away his anti-Assad rivals. So it's not like Republicans had changed their position as of a few months ago.

The main difference between this strike and the potential strike in 2013 is that Obama tried to argue for it in the court of public opinion, and that campaign dragged on and on as he refrained from pulling the trigger. That allowed Americans' true feelings to crystallize, and it turned out they were against it. This time, the Deep State pulled the trigger as soon as they could, after some pro forma propaganda about the evil butcher gassing beautiful babies. That rapid-fire response gave Americans little time to evaluate the situation and let their anti-airstrike views crystallize again.

After the strikes had already been conducted, a good chunk of people who were against them will not want to feel like they were on the losing side of that decision, so they rationalize after the fact that they actually approve of them when a pollster calls them up. There's no point in crying over spilled milk.

We can tell that people didn't actually want these strikes because the typical "approve" response is that they were fine, but let's not do it again, and definitely do not send in a ground invasion. They're just trying to rationalize this specific act, and move on.

If they were so against Assad or his regime or his Russian patron, they would be tasting blood by now and be excited about future strikes against the evil dictator. That's how the neocons have reacted. But only a small minority of American citizens feel this way, probably the same people who were looking forward to strikes in 2013.

Jackson would nuke Saudis, not Syria -- "counter-puncher"

Because the airstrike on Syria was in the 180-degree opposite direction of Trump's message about Syria, Assad, the Middle East, and Russia -- from 2013 through early 2017 -- many of his fervent supporters were struck with cognitive dissonance. The normal human way to solve that is to rationalize, and Trump supporters like anyone's supporters are only human.

Some rationalizations deal only with this particular strike -- explaining how was it a good thing after all, and then leaving it there. They're only trying to compartmentalize this specific incident.

But now there's a more general rationalization, sensing that there may be more foreign policy moves that are not just imperfect or less-than-pure (small magnitude) but pointing totally away from his original message (opposite direction). If the Syrian strike becomes one example among many, then a more general rationalization will be needed to cover all these cases coherently, rather than each one on an ad hoc basis.

Cognitive dissonance goes away more easily when there's a single interwoven story to tell, because telling ourselves dozens of patchwork stories is too obvious to fool our mind, even when it is seeking relief from dissonance.

The one I've been seeing over the past several days, whether alt-right people on Twitter or a gay racist bodybuilding forum like MPC, is that Trump's foreign policy is "Jacksonian" a la our seventh President.

This idea seems to trace back to an article from mid-March in National Interest (realists more than neocons), which was making an argument for where things ought to go, not what their current state was. There were no real defining events a month ago, but there are now.

The basic tenets were building up a strong navy in order to defend abroad our people, our material interests, and our national honor. But then only when diplomacy was not possible, e.g. dealing with savage races in the South Seas, not dealing with the French.

That does sound very much like what Trump has advocated for all throughout the campaign and back to his potential presidential run in 2000.

So how does the Syrian airstrike measure up by Jackson's and Trump's standards?

It fails the most basic criterion of targeting someone who had done us wrong. Assad's regime has not attacked us or threatened to. Nor has his patron state of Russia, who was in the place that was struck. They have not run off with our money or our things, taken any of our territory, insulted us, or threatened to do any of these things.

On the contrary, Assad and Putin were under the impression that we'd be working with them against the jihadists in Syria, whether their branding is ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, etc. Those jihadists and their Gulf state patrons are the ones who have attacked us -- most spectacularly on 9/11, but also ISIS-inspired attacks from American residents. Assad and Putin wiping them out is protecting our people.

By the way, when are we going to launch cruise missiles or rain down nuclear bombs against Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, to avenge their attack on 9/11? Now that would have been Jacksonian. (Don't count on Deep State to favor this, they are anti-American.)

Attacking someone who has not even threatened to attack you, let alone who is helping your interests, is a flagrant violation of the culture of honor, which is founded on tit-for-tat reciprocity -- or being a counter-puncher, as Trump always emphasized.

Jackson certainly never behaved that way against foreign societies. He got us into no military interventions, with the minor exception of sending the navy to thump some savage pirates in the South Seas, who had murdered our people, stolen our treasure, and destroyed our ships.

His only other major foreign policy confrontation was collecting a debt from France, but this payment was owed to us because they had done us wrong by capturing our ships and sailors, and he solved it through diplomacy first, rather than use force right away. Nobody in the administration last week tried to figure out what the hell actually happened in the chemical incident, let alone apply initial diplomatic or financial pressures if in fact Assad were at fault.

Closer to home, Jackson kept us out of war regarding Texas and Mexico. He favored trying to buy it off from Mexico, but they didn't bite, and he denied the option of a military take-over. It wasn't until roughly ten years after Jackson, when James K. Polk took office, that Texas was annexed, admitted to the Union, and defended militarily during the Mexican-American War. Unlike Jackson, Polk was elected on an explicit expansionist platform, through war if necessary.

Jackson did not expand the territory of the Union by even an inch. His main avenue of advancing European colonization was driving the Indians out of American territory via the Trail of Tears.

These are not the actions of someone who goes around randomly screwing with people, least of all the enemy of one's enemies, in order to create a madman persona for frightening others. Jackson was a counter-puncher, just like the real Trump (not the one whose arm was twisted by Deep State into striking Syria).

Many people now are confusing Nixon's madman approach derived from ghetto thugs and warlords, with Jackson's honor-based approach derived from reciprocity. This re-imagining of Jackson's legacy is what allows people to relieve their cognitive dissonance over Trump's Syria strike -- it's what Jackson would have done.

In fact, the airstrike on Syria comes from the stunt-pulling mindset of sociopathic Deep State agents, not the righteous indignation of a counter-puncher like Trump. We will have to wait and see how much pressure Deep State can exert over foreign policy, but for now we have a simple way to judge where the balance of power lies.

The more we pre-emptively attack those who have not done our people wrong -- and who have even helped our people's interests -- rather than applying diplomatic, financial, and finally military pressure in retaliation only, the more we can conclude that foreign policy will be the one domain where Trump's true goals may become subverted, and point in the opposite direction.

The legitimate monopoly on violence that the Deep State has access to, is not wielded by other interest groups like the Chamber of Commerce, immigrants' rights groups, judiciary branch, etc., so it will be full-steam ahead in all other domains. But we should stay objective about foreign policy and not fool ourselves into believing that Jackson or true-Trump are nothing more than a couple of wurlstah gangbangers or mafia kingpins unpredictably knocking people around just so everybody knows who's boss.

Instead, it's time to purge the infection of ghetto norms from mainstream American culture.

April 10, 2017

How to decide if "It's 4D chess, chill out" vs. "As it appears, start worrying"

There's lots of confusion among Trump supporters about what the meaning is of the administration's greater moves toward regime change and potential confrontation with Russia. Do we conclude that it's all part of a 4D chess strategy, perhaps involving other players like Putin, and there's nothing to get so worried about? Or do we conclude that it's the straightforward scenario of heightened conflict in the M.E. and/or Russia?

I've already explained why I think Trump truly has not changed his views deep-down -- he has been too consistent and vocal on them from at least 2013 through the early part of this year, on regime change in Syria. Rather, he's being maneuvered into that position by the military faction of the Deep State, who can credibly threaten to weaken their military support for his authority, at which point he cannot effectively govern.

(This is unlike his economic and domestic agendas, where our enemies have nothing to threaten us with.)

Still, it's a hypothesis, and so is the opposite view. How do we decide which case to believe in?

Beliefs are not important in the real world, it is how we behave that matters. So do we behave as though it's a 4D chess strategy, or as though it's as things appear?

This choice boils down to what are the consequences for choosing to behave as though one scenario or the other were true, weighted by how likely they are to be true.

The straightforward scenario should receive a higher probability of being true -- the whole point of calling something 4D chess or counter-intuitive is that it's less likely to be true, given what we observe.

In the case of Syria and Russia, this should be even lower in likelihood, assuming not only counter-intuitive moves by Trump / US but perhaps also by Putin / Russia, whereby these esoteric moves are acting in harmony when these two sides do not have identical goals, and even divergent goals.

What are the consequences if it's just 4D chess? Nothing much comes of it, no major changes, certainly not ones that negatively impact the American people. We breathe a sigh of relief.

The counter-argument is that the 4D chess move pulls off a victory for the ages, with all our foes vanquished and the American people reaping benefits for generations to come. Obviously that is wishful thinking, and even the "don't worry" crowd are downplaying the upside of the 4D chess view -- at most, we avert serious catastrophe, and the Syrian civil war winds down peacefully for the American side.

What are the consequences if it's as things appear, and we're heading toward armed conflict against Russia in Syria? There is no point in guessing an average, since that would be a fat-tailed event with more or less unbounded negative consequences, up to nuclear war that cripples much of the American economy, infrastructure, military, and citizens' lives. However severe, there would be only downside for the American people.

The counter-argument is that we're missing the upside to war against Russia -- e.g., proving once and for all that the "Trump in bed with Russia" narrative is bogus, winning support of media, Democrat politicians, and other groups who were antithetical to his coalition and will always remain so.

This is a phony upside, and as we're already seeing, the conspiracy theorists and witch hunters will never be satisfied, as every attempt to disprove their narrative only strengthens their convictions. "Ha, Trump only lobbed a few dozen missiles that did minimal damage to that airfield, leaving the runway intact -- just the sort of halfhearted PR stunt that a stooge of the Kremlin would resort to in order to throw us off track." Then if he launches a nuclear strike on Moscow, "Wow, someone is desperate to cover up his being controlled by the Kremlin. Trump only dropped one nuke and did not even flatten the city! Nice try to throw us off track."

The straightforward interpretation that we're heading toward a military escalation against Russia is both more likely and far more serious in its consequences -- so that's the scenario that we behave as though it were true.

To end with, let's contrast how this is unlike the several times when Trump's hardcore supporters freaked out during the campaign that he was changing course. For example, that he was opening up to amnesty for illegals.

First, there are concrete decisions made by the administration that point 180 degrees away from Trump's long-standing and fervent views on the topic. The missile strike itself, the public innuendo that Russia knew about the alleged chemical attack by their Syrian client (making them complicit), and on the Russian side, the termination of the deconfliction channel between the Russian and American militaries in Syria, along with condemnations of the strike.

Trump never made any clear action toward amnesty -- he wasn't even President, so how could he have taken any action one way or another? The paranoids were going off of his rhetoric alone, which itself was simply more ambivalent -- not unambiguously the opposite of what he had promised.

Now that he's taken office, this is the only policy on which he has veered off-course from his promises. He killed the TPP, nominated a SCOTUS justice from his original list, stepped up deportations and border defense, twisted arms of manufacturers into bringing back jobs and plants, and signed two separate executive orders to implement the Muslim ban.

None of these were preceded by 4D chess moves, taking clear steps away from his promises, only to return back to them for the win. Trump is a busy man, and there is so much on the Trump movement's agenda. He doesn't have time for playing games or toying with his supporters -- he's hit the ground running, and launched a totally straightforward full-court press on all of his major issues.

That would seem to rule out an emotional fake-out in the case of war, which was another of his major promises. He would have wanted to hit the ground running on fixing our commitments in the Middle East ASAP. But in this area, he ran into an enemy (military Deep State) that has enough literal forces to push back at least for the moment, though hopefully not for the long-term.

Trump wants rapprochement with Iran, distance from Gulf states

We're getting closer to involvement in an open armed conflict between the Iranian vs. Arabian sides in the struggle for regional dominance in the Middle East, with Syria and the Shia Crescent being on the Iranian side, and the jihadist-enabling monarchies on the other (led by Saudi Arabia).

If you belive in "trusting Trump," what are his views on this choice moving forward? For the past several decades, we have only sided with the Arabians and cut off relations with the Iranians.

It turns out that Trump believes in moving closer to Iran than we have been, and farther away from the Arabians than we have been.

Rewind to 2007, when Iranian President Ahmadinejad is visiting New York to give speeches at the UN and Columbia University. It's a rare appearance of an Iranian President in America.

As the Columbia president is giving the introduction to Ahmadinejad's speech, he turns to him and flatly accuses him, "You exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator."

At the time, Trump was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer, and the topic came up. Did we score any wins?

Well, I'll tell you this. I guess [Ahmadinejad] hates us pretty much already. When he leaves New York, he's going to dislike us even more. And in a way, that's too bad. But he certainly dislikes us. And from everything I see on television, between CNN and everything else, he's going to dislike us a hell of a lot more once he leaves.

So, he wasn't some supreme evil or #1 state sponsor of terrorism. He was some foreign leader who we should have made a better impression on and gotten something out of. It was a missed opportunity.

For even clearer statements, see this vintage Trump appearance on Fox & Friends from 2007:

President Bush was also at the UN at the time, but doesn't meet Ahmadinejad. Trump says that instead of blowing him off, Bush should be meeting, talking, and negotiating with the Iranian leader, especially now that he's on our turf (a rare opportunity for home field advantage).

A Fox host asks, "Do you think he's mentally stable?" Trump: "Who, the President?" lol. Trump calls the Persian "smart like a fox" who is probably playing other world leaders without them realizing it.

Trump reiterates that Iraq didn't knock down WTC -- that it was Saudi Arabia and other (Gulf) countries. Then he adds for emphasis that it wasn't Iran either on 9/11. He calls out Saudi Arabia again for probably harboring Bin Laden, when the retarded media is focusing on distraction countries.

At least as far back as a 1999 interview with Larry King, discussing his political views while considering a presidential campaign in 2000, Trump has made his displeasure known that "Saudi Arabia is ripping us off big-league".

Since the Iraq War, he has regularly made statements about how Iran's influence is growing in the region (and that was before Iran started taking over Iraq's oil, a common complaint of his now). As a savvy businessman, he knows that this means there's more and more reason to try to cut some kind of deal with them. Get a piece of the action, rather than get shut out. He probably has not just the oil in mind but the geopolitical strength that oil brings with it.

Here are all of Trump's tweets that mention Iran. Most are about the nuclear deal, and his criticism was always how bad our negotiators were at getting goodies for our side, not that it was immoral to make the deal, it would lead to nukes, etc. Unlike Lyin' Ted, Trump did not promise to "rip to shreds" the deal as President.

The other occasions are outrage when they antagonize us, but that burns out quickly.

And mentioning that Iran's power and influence continue to grow. He sounds upset not on an existential level, like the Antichrist is growing more powerful -- but because we have no relations with them, and they're holding more and more of the cards in the Middle East, especially regarding oil. He's pissed that we can't get in on that because we've so isolated ourselves from them, and on the few times when we do interact, we give them everything and get nothing in return.

He certainly has never mocked an Iranian politician like he did a major figure in the Saudi royal family:

Verdict: Trump favors rapprochement not only with Russia, but also their major ally in the Middle East, Iran (aside from defending their client, Assad, as the lesser evil). He has held this view for at least the past 10 years, and is making his calculations based on utilitarian concerns like rising vs. falling relative influence. If the Saudis are down and Iran is up, then we should re-allocate our relations away from the Arabians and toward the Iranians.

All the more reason given how we were stabbed in the back by the Gulf states on 9/11, and provide them with free defense without which they wouldn't exist. Iran does not parasitize us militarily or blow up our skyscrapers, so they would make better-faith partners.

If we the American citizens can drown out the drumbeat of war, we may actually get to see the President make good on his long-held goal for aligning ourselves away from the jihadist hotbed of Arabia and toward a worthy fuckin' adversary at the deal-making table. "The Persians -- they're great negotiators, folks."

Aside from that line, he does not idealize or romanticize Iran, but he's a realist -- and who is the alternative? The two big oil nations there are Iran and Saudi Arabia (Iraq is big, but becoming an extension of Iran). By now we see what we get from throwing in with the Saudis rather than the Iranians, a relationship that Putin has been benefiting from -- without having Iranians hijack planes and fly them into Moscow skyscrapers.

April 9, 2017

Put 150,000 Americans in Syria: Deep State envoy McMaster

Mike Cernovich, who broke the Susan Rice as unmasker story, delivers some unfortunate news (article link in tweet):

Here is a livestream he did at the same time.

Current National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond “H. R.” McMaster is manipulating intelligence reports given to President Donald Trump, Cernovich Media can now report. McMaster is plotting how to sell a massive ground war in Syria to President Trump with the help of disgraced former CIA director and convicted criminal David Petraeus, who mishandled classified information by sharing documents with his mistress.

As NSA, McMaster’s job is to synthesize intelligence reports from all other agencies. President Trump is being given an inaccurate picture of the situation in Syria, as McMaster is seeking to involve the U.S. in a full scale war in Syria.

The McMaster-Petraeus plan calls for 150,000 American ground troops in Syria.

The article also says that plan intends for the American force to be working mostly alone, not even with our jihadist supporting allies in the region (Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.). Therefore, certainly not with Assad, Russia, or Iran, whose forces are stabilizing Syria.

Read the whole thing.

This seems to be what the military wing of the Deep State wants, and is trying to get it the easier way, by having the Nat Sec Advisor present a warped picture of what the intelligence says to Trump, nudging him persuasively toward the full-scale invasion. More likely they're just using McMaster as a glorified courier delivering the message of what their demands are, if they are to continue giving Trump their legitimacy (control over the armed forces).

Timewise, both Cernovich and Jack Posobiec are saying their sources suggest a roll-out no later than the end of May.

That means all of this was crafted long ahead of time, back when every elite group was 100% convinced that Crooked Hillary was going to win. If it sounds like Hillary's foreign policy is coming true, it's more that she was the mouthpiece for plans that were developing and are now coming to fruition.

It's not as though the Deep State sat around with their thumb up their ass during all of 2016, and only after a winner emerged on November 9 did they begin crafting a set of short-term plans and long-term goals that would be to the liking of Trump and his voters. They knew Trump would lose, and began designing the standard interventionist program that Hillary would begin selling to the citizens during the electoral season.

Except that the Trump movement won on Election Day -- oops. They weren't going to let that get in their way, though. We managed to stop the TPP trade deal dead in its tracks, even though the Chamber of Commerce didn't want to give that one up either. But they have no leverage over us -- just money, which we don't need. The military wing of the Deep State, however, has armed forces that are slightly more persuasive.

Internally, we Trump voters and citizens in general are headed on a collision course with the Establishment warhawks. Externally, we are headed on a collision course with nuclear Russia -- far worse than merely getting bogged down in quagmires like Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam, where there was no major power on the other side.

As we prepare for the coming anti-war movement, remember not to blame Trump since his goals are our goals, and it's not his fault that the military part of the Deep State can threaten a coup or similar if he doesn't play along with their plans.

We will be only too happy if he does stand up to them, but at this early stage without widespread popular support for the anti-war position (especially after that disgusting speech he was forced to read during the missile strike), he might have to give in on this issue for a little while.

Our goal is to get him the popular support cover that he needs in order to say, "Gee fellas, I'd love to indulge you, but in case you haven't noticed, the streets are in turmoil and we're facing a bloody peasant revolt unless we get the hell out of there."

Our other goal is to shine a light on who exactly is pushing this -- both the Deep State concept, as well as specific individuals such as McMaster and Harvey (his Middle East advisor). Exposing shadowy behavior raises the social costs on it, and tends to make them knock off their subversion while they're under a spotlight.

Fun fact: the article says that the drama between Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner is hyperbole put out into the media by McMaster's team, since both Bannon and Kushner agree on not wanting to pursue nuclear WWIII in the Middle East. I told you I never know what to make of the mainstream media's reports of palace intrigue because the sources are the factions involved themselves, and have every motive to deceive.

BTW, I will be deleting all comments that are non-sequitur or raising questions of credibility (i.e. the Soros-funded shills). We'll stipulate that the report may be true or not, but given his track record in breaking the Susan Rice unmasking story, as well as going public with advance warning of the strikes the other night, it seems likely this one is true, too. He'd been sitting on it before the Rice story, and used that one to establish that his sources are accurate.

April 8, 2017

Looming war with Russia over who shapes post-war Syria?

In a few days, Sec of State Tillerson heads to Moscow. Now that American-Russian relations have soured, especially over Syria, it's worth asking a simple basic question: Why would Russia now allow us a role in shaping Syria after the war is all wrapped up?

Since the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, the efforts to put down the jihadists and stabilize the society in Syria has always come from Russia (and to a lesser extent, Iran), not from the US, EU, or the Arab League. As of 2015, that includes military intervention, not only the diplomatic and supplying roles they had played before.

See here for an overview, here for military intervention, and here for diplomatic leadership in the peace process.

Since Russia has played the decisive role in turning the tide against the jihadists, and before long ironing out the remaining wrinkles, they will play the primary role in crafting post-war Syria -- its government, economy (oil pipelines), military, and so on. Iran will also play a decent role for its involvement on the winning side.

What investment in stabilization can the globalists in the US State Dept, military, and White House point to? At least Obama didn't take out Assad, and he did fight ISIS somewhat. Beyond that, our involvement has been to leave the secular regime high-and-dry, while arming and providing propaganda cover for the jihadists not named ISIS (al-Nusra et al).

Our allies in the region have also been in favor of winking at the jihadists while fighting against only the ISIS fighters among them, possibly even favoring to depose Assad. Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey -- they, along with us, have been on the wrong side of history, not only in the moral sense of supporting jihadists, but backing the losing side in a war.

Our side, both the US and its allies, is also bitterly opposed to Russia's main ally and the secondary force for stabilizing Syria, Iran.

Over history, Syria has been aligned with the Soviet Union and Russia since the end of WWII. Their diplomatic, economic, and military bonds are stronger and deeper than either nation's bonds are with us.

Any way you look at it, Russia has invested tons more in the Syrian civil war and peace process, and importantly on the winning side. We have stayed more on the sidelines, and tended to back the wrong side when we did get involved.

Having put so much skin in the game, Russia is going to push for its own delegation to be the primary shaper from outside of the country itself. Secondarily the influence will go to Iran. Both are located close to Syria, and have more of a vested interest in the region's security.

Even if there had been a spirit of cooperation between the US and Russia, the Russians would push for more influence on account of having risked more and sacrificed more. But now that relations have gone from frosty to heating-up, they will be even less inclined for the US to play much of a role at all in shaping postwar Syria.

The American Deep State and military brass have twisted Trump's arm into striking Assad, against years of his arguing for the exact opposite (right through October 2016). Being in control of the armed forces that undergird his authority, they have leverage over his plans in a way that other big actors do not (Chamber of Commerce, illegal immigrants, and so on).

This was done as some kind of display of strength, presumably leading up to a negotiation of some kind -- likely the peace process talks that determine how Syria will operate after the civil war is completed. Their tough talk about "maybe Russia was involved in the chemical attack themselves, not just their client Assad," plays a similar function, turning up the heat ahead of sitting down at the bargaining table.

In the past few days, we've been wondering if Assad will ultimately go or not, and if so, who has input over his successor -- he would be someone to the liking of both Russia and the US. But given how distinct Russia's interests are from the US's interests in that country and region, it's unlikely that their goals will harmonize an awful lot -- not just about the individual leading the government, but who will benefit from oil pipelines, who gets which military bases, which areas provide buffer zones against whose vulnerable spots, and on and on.

So, the American foreign policy Establishment turning up the heat on Russia is unlikely to yield much at the negotiating table. They have contributed relatively little to stabilization (if anything, mostly destabilizing by supporting jihadists), have mostly sought the most destabilizing diplomatic option (Assad goes, before jihadists have been brought under control), and have taken unilateral military action against another party's client.

Then we arrive at the stage where a truly hot conflict breaks out, given that the US Establishment seems unwilling to back down or even moderate their tone and posture toward Russia vis-a-vis Syria. At that point, the question is who wants the influence over postwar Syria more -- who has invested the most already, and who stands the most to lose if they get little in return?

That is obviously Russia. They will be far more committed to winning any military conflict that breaks out as a result of a showdown among the parties trying to get a piece of the Syrian pie.

Iran would immediately side with Russia, and that could easily trigger the US allies to join in too, as they're all united around countering Iran's growing sphere of influence. With Turkey on our side, perhaps that would draw in some major NATO countries as well -- particularly France, which seems to be champing at the bit to stick it to Russia, Iran, and Syria. (Here's to hoping Le Pen wins the election.)

Hell, maybe China joins in on the other side for good measure, seeking a piece of Russian / Iranian / Syrian oil.

This thing has the potential to blow wide open, which is why so many in the Trump movement have come against even the initial moves in that direction. We don't want to risk nuclear WWIII against Russia, whose nuclear program is not still run on floppy disks like ours.

For some perspective, imagine if America had at first supplied the Mexican government with arms in their battle against the drug cartels, and then we intervened outright with our military and decisively turned the tide against the cartels. With over five years of involvement, who knows how much money spent, and conducting peace talks between Mexican government officials and cartel representatives to finalize the conflict, we would want a hell of a lot out of it.

Now imagine some country that wasn't even involved, or even one that had been funding and arming several of those cartels, butts into the process and arrogantly demands a seat at the final negotiating table. Some country that isn't even from this hemisphere -- France, say. They want a piece of Mexican oil, and they start turning up the heat on the United States ahead of meeting with us, hoping to psych us out of imposing our will on the post-cartel landscape of Mexico.

We'd slap them so fast it'll make ya head spin. And we can expect Russia to respond likewise when the US foreign policy Establishment and Deep State try to butt their way into the postwar process in Syria.

Who knows for certain who would prevail, especially considering the vagaries of which other countries would join us and which would join Russia?

But setting us onto this course toward potential nuclear WWIII cannot be tolerated. Not just because we have very little basis for demanding a role in the shaping process, given our record, but because on a pragmatic level, Russia stands to lose a lot more from being the first to swerve in this great big game of chicken -- so they won't, and either we'll swerve and look stupid and weak, or we'll choose to collide and fuck our country over for the next generation.

April 7, 2017

Alt-right as the new McCains? ("Sensibly nonpartisan")

With much of the alt-right freaking out over the Syria strikes, I wonder if we're going to see an evolution of the Trump movement into a state where they become the new McCains, so to speak -- not on policies, obviously, but on the jumping off the bandwagon and broadcasting their displeasure to an audience made up of the other side, every time their side does something they don't like.

The other side being the Sanders supporters, in this new alignment of parties.

Strangely, the alt-right will be seen as the "moderate" or "sensible" Trump supporters, who do not fall in lockstep with their movement on every issue, who are eager to "reach across the aisle" -- to the Bernie people.

True, on ideology they are more extreme than the unshakable Trump supporters, just like McCain is way more out-there on ideology than McConnell or Ryan.

But in terms of emphatically and dramatically showing their non-partisanship, the analogy looks fitting.

Also, the "sensible" Republicans of the past cycle were more concerned about finding a mate from the other side, rather than someone from their own party and social-cultural background.

Likewise we see the alt-right pining after secular / leftist exotics, rather than an American girl whose uncle wears a camo Trump hat out in public.

I attribute this greater desire to please the other side to a greater rootlessness. If you're a nomad, there is no "your people," and you have to rely on connections with unfamiliar groups. If you're deeply rooted, you've got that social-emotional sustenance already, and what the out-group members think of you is irrelevant.

April 6, 2017

War was green-lit before Trump took office, NOT a betrayal

Tonight sees the beginning of yet another pointless war in the Middle East -- a "limited strike" in a place with all sorts of foreign entanglements, which will provoke escalation, and which was followed by a call by the President on all civilized nations to join in the effort to stop the monster dictator who at any moment is bound to gas more babies.

There's good news and bad news for the Trump movement.

First, the good: it's obvious from Trump's history of shouting down military adventurists, specifically about Syria / Assad / false flag chemical attacks, that he did not undertake this action willingly.

If he could have done it his way, we'd be at least waiting for an investigation to figure out what the hell actually happened in the attack, and even if Assad were guilty, still weigh the utility of slapping him on the wrist against the risk that it could provoke nuclear WWIII. Small probabilities multiplied by enormously negative magnitudes of the outcome are too much to risk, especially when they're only counterbalanced by slapping a dictator on the wrist.

So, we cannot blame Trump for this. Some might call on him to stand up to the military-industrial complex, but Trump is only so powerful, no matter if he got elected by a populist revolt or not. He still has our nation's and our people's best interests at heart, but is constrained by certain political realities -- like an interest group that literally runs the armed forces.

We should not fundamentally alter our view of what Trump wants to accomplish -- only how able he will be to achieve the results, depending on who the enemy is.

Some enemies are weak, and we will make great progress -- those whose only power is money, for instance. They threw all the money in the world at us, and didn't put a dent in the Trump train. So expect all sorts of victories on economic matters -- trade deals (TPP killed within first week, to zero resistance), jobs and manufacturing returning to our country (all the companies he's been twisting the arms of before even taking office), and so on.

The open borders crowd has also proven weak, only able to obstruct with district court judges who will get overruled by the Supreme Court, or at worst can be ignored while Trump gives the go-ahead to the men with guns to get the foreigners out of here, and block others from entering. Expect major progress on immigration, including reductions in legal immigration.

The bad news: the one area where Trump cannot just tell the other side what to do is where his own authority lies, namely the monopoly on the legitimate use of force -- the armed forces. That's what lets him ignore lawless judges, if he so chose. That's who would enforce the border with guns, if he so assigned them.

The military has goals of its own, and given its hierarchical nature, the big pushes will come from the brass, who are more like corporate managers than battlefield leaders of the old days. Grabbing highly sought-after foreign territory is their mergers and acquisitions.

If they're going to go along with Trump being the leader of the nation, he's going to have to give them something they want as well. And considering that they could stage a coup against him, they have considerable leverage over him. He would have to rely on his popular support against the military's plans -- however, the military is the one institution that most Americans still trust. So a major showdown against the military, relying on popular revolt to back him up (the military will not wipe out the citizens), seems highly unlikely.

It seems clear that the military had planned the regime change and military intervention against Assad for awhile before Trump took office, given that it's been executed well within "the first 100 days" and is totally opposite of what Trump wanted to occur at any time in his term, let alone so early. They informed him that it would take place, and some pretext would be given, and he would have to go along with it, or else they would weaken or withdraw their support for him in his role as leader of the nation. And what is a President without the full backing of the military?

During any anti-war conversations or activities, it is crucial to emphasize that we are against the adventurists within the military brass who have been gunning for this for awhile, and not against our duly elected leader who has always expressed disgust for that kind of policy. Don't let the war machine's efforts succeed in pulling you away from your champion. Get angry instead at those who have driven a wedge between you and Trump. That would be anybody celebrating now -- warmongers, neocons, media, etc.

For some final perspective, consider our war in Yemen on behalf of the jihadists backed by the Arabians. That had been going on before we took office, and many of the maneuvers must have been planned back then as well. Trump could not just call them off without spending precious capital with the military. When the American soldier was killed in that raid in Yemen, you can tell Trump was disturbed by it, and didn't want him to be there for no greater purpose than advancing an Arabian jihad.

He tried to make it up to the soldier's wife, and to the American people, by building up the raid as crucial to collect information that would deter future attacks. Maybe, maybe not. The point was not a factual one, but a social-emotional one -- to help the American people not feel despair as yet another pointless Middle Eastern war wages on. We can expect him to do likewise with the new Syrian War, although perhaps also with some involuntary propaganda against the other side.

Let's be clear about the stakes here: it's been exactly one century since the last once-a-century war defined by pointlessness and disastrousness, WWI. The foreign entanglements throughout the Middle East, including two nuclear superpowers who are now on opposite sides of a hot conflict, make it possible that some kind of world war will ignite.

And again, it isn't the exact degree of probability that such a disaster occurs -- it is the probability multiplied by the magnitude of the outcome, that determines the expectation. A 1/1000 chance of 1 million people dying is, on expectation, a loss of 1000 people. Unlike the probability, though, the magnitude of the outcome is more or less unbounded -- it could be 1 million, 10 million, or 100 million dead if the nuclear shit hits the fan.

Those numbers make it impossible to support the war, and we need to make that clear to the rest of the American people, by protesting if necessary -- while reminding everyone that we're against the military-industrial complex, not against Trump himself or his broader agenda.

April 5, 2017

Trump is not cucking on regime change: Another boomerang operation

After the false flag chemical attack in Syria, the neocons and oppositional Dems are crying for regime change.

Trump ran his campaign on preferring a "bad guy" like Assad, if the only alternative is jihadist whackjobs who will spread chaos and violence all around the Middle East and the wider world. He defended that as a general principle, from Assad to Saddam to Qaddafi. "But they hurt their own people!" I know, it's terrible, really hahribble stuff -- but look at who the replacement would be, and the situation for people would be far worse.

Here are all the times Trump mentioned Syria on Twitter, from the most recent. Most are about the potential invasion or regime change in 2013 after another false flag chemical attack. Trump was forceful about not getting suckered into invading -- and that if Obama did get suckered into that, at least don't get suckered into picking up the tab as well, but make the Arab League pay us handsomely.

Now, he pins the blame on Assad and says it's changed his mind. He says he's famously flexible and not a rigid ideologue, so his plans are subject to change.

But when you listen to interviews from 10, 20, and 30 years ago, it's clear that he is the least flexible or mutable person who has ever taken high office. At least on the very important matters like trade, re-industrialization, immigration, healthcare, and foreign policy, all fitting into the broad theme of nationalism and populism. He even uses the same phrases and intonation (1999: "Saudi Arabia is ripping us off big-league").

The only thing he's really "evolved" on is abortion, going from pro-choice to pro-life after his wife got pregnant while he was fairly old to be a new father, but they took the risk and were rewarded with a son who's the apple of his eye. Even that issue is part of the culture war, which does not interest Trump at all -- the big picture is about the economy and the government, not social-cultural matters.

What does change from Trump is his moment-to-moment messaging, image, and presentation -- meant to throw his enemies onto the wrong track, keep them guessing, and lure them into letting their guard down.

There are four main groups who are pushing for regime change, so let's look at how Trump's policy of dissembling about his goals in Syria neutralizes the threat from each of them.

1. Jihadists on the ground (ISIS, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, etc.)

This is the group he is most worried about, since they're the ones doing the raping. By appearing to flip-flop overnight, he lulls them into complacency. Maybe Uncle Sam will be helping us topple Assad after all!

This will not only give the pro-Assad coalition the all-important element of surprise against the jihadists, it will also convince al-Nusra etc. not to take such desperate last-ditch measures like another false flag chemical attack. Their days are numbered, and Trump doesn't want them to go out with a great big desperate bang.

2. State enablers of jihadists (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey)

These countries favor jihadists over an ally of Iran, which is expanding its sphere of influence in the region.

But they are also lazy and stingy, relying as always on Uncle Sam to do the fighting, supply the arms, and otherwise pay up for the operation.

If they thought that the US was against regime change in Syria, then they might grudgingly take up the task themselves, risking a war against Russia.

If they're lulled into complacency about Uncle Sam stepping in yet again, they won't mobilize their militaries for invasion. Regime change will be a "possibility" that never materializes, and by the time the jihadists are defeated, their state enablers will have no cover story for why they're invading to topple Assad.

3. Warmongers in the American military, deep state, and elected office

They want to expand their sphere of influence as broadly as possible, whether or not it benefits the American people.

By appearing to have changed his mind, Trump fends off a rising chorus of war cries, and lulls them into complacency. They no longer cook up plan A, B, and C, figuring that Trump and his team are already on it.

4. Media and oppositional Democrats

They tow the Establishment line, so appearing to acknowledge their concerns gets them to stop beating the war drums so incessantly.

They are even more easily lulled into complacency because they have the self-aggrandizing delusion that they're powerful enough to push Trump one way or another on major policies. They will be the first to declare victory and pat themselves on the back, while Trump prepares his true plan.

The "tell" that Trump is playing his enemies yet again is how over-the-top his denunciations have been about the inhuman barbarity against little beautiful babies. This is the same guy who responded to Bill O'Reilly's attempt to provoke him into denouncing Putin as a "killer" with, "Yeah, well, there's a lot of killers out there -- you think we're so innocent?"

He knows which side is likely behind the attack, if not the specific jihadi group / state enabler / deep state operatives. Those specifics will take some time to figure out, and he needs to be left alone by his enemies in the meantime.

Rather than dismissing the attack on Twitter as "another obvious false flag trying to lure our stupid leaders into wasting lives and money in the Middle East," he's going to turn it back around on the real perpetrators.

In order for that boomerang to inflict maximum damage, he's going to have to get people's emotions on fire about how intolerable the act was. Then when we read a tweet about how he "just found out" that it was really, say, al-Nusra, helped along by Turkey, with CIA support -- he can call for greater severity against the jihadists (torture to get information), a clean break with the wrong-side-of-history nations like Turkey / Saudi Arabia, and heads to roll among deep state warmongers.

Then he can call for reprisals not just for how horrific the initial act was, but for the deceptive propaganda that could have lured us into another Iraq War -- this time against a nuclear superpower like Russia!

It will be hard to pull off a full discrediting of the jihadi warmongers without indulging them a little bit first. If he wants the warmongers to hang for it, first he has to fan the flames of calling for the perps to hang for it. The ultimate sneak attack will be revealing who the perps actually are.

April 1, 2017

Super-rich to get soaked in Trump's tax reform, a la his 2000 presidential plan?

In another interesting twist, complementing his preference for single-payer healthcare, Trump proposed to pay off the national debt through a one-time tax on the super-rich, back when he was considering a Reform Party campaign for President in 2000.

I was watching some old videos of that exploratory committee, and they referred to his "Robin Hood tax" idea: tax the whole wealth (not just annual income) of individuals and trusts that were valued at over $10 million, at 14.25%, one-time only, and that would deliver roughly $6 trillion in revenues, which was the size of the debt at the time.

He offered to end the estate tax to put a little something in it for the rich. But mostly the goal was tax cuts for the middle and working classes, saving Social Security, and paying off the debt.

That overall picture doesn't sound too different from the way he pitched his tax plan during the campaign, and he went to great lengths to emphasize that it was only an initial position during a negotiation with Democrats, Republicans, House, Senate, etc. If the rates for the very rich went up from his initial proposal, meh, whaddaya gonna do?

But that was only tax rates on a person's annual income. The Robin Hood plan was a one-time tax on their entire net worth. There's a lot more money sitting around out there than there is being earned in a given year.

Does Trump still believe in a one-time clawing back of 15% of the largely ill-gotten wealth made over the past 30-40 years? He said he no longer believed in it when asked in 2011 by George Stephanopoulos, but he also said that about single-payer during the 2015 Fox debate, and we know how much he's been pushing for negotiating drug prices and praising universal healthcare right up through 2015. Maybe he's quibbling over the exact rate -- now he only supports a 10% tax on the wealth of the super-rich, and maybe that threshold has been raised to $20 million.

He did go public with a plan to levy a one-time tax of 10% on corporate profits sitting overseas, to bring the remaining 90% of that wealth back into the country and hopefully put it to good use. So the basic idea has still been bouncing around his head. He didn't say he wasn't also thinking of levying a similar 10% tax on wealth already sitting here in America...

One thing seems unlikely to have changed -- his underlying worldview or tone. Here he is in a '90s internet article from CNN:

"By my calculations, 1 percent of Americans, who control 90 percent of the wealth in this country, would be affected by my plan," Trump said.

"The other 99 percent of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes," he said.

It's hard to ignore his playing off of one class against another, aiming to draw support from "the other 99 percent" even if it cost him votes, reputation, or whatever, from the "1 percent of Americans who control 90 percent of the wealth". Whatever specifics may have changed in his mind, something as fundamental as a worldview has not.

From another ancient internet article:

[Advisor Roger] Stone said Trump's polling shows that 65 percent of the public supports the "Robin Hood" tax concept.

"The tax issue solves a lot of other things -- the Social Security trust fund shortfall, plus it gets rid of the inheritance tax, and everything starts to fall into place," Trump said

Stone said Trump will soon release a plan for universal health care akin to the Canadian system.

"We'll put out a health care plan that will make Ted Kennedy blush," Stone said.

Nobody seems to have noticed just how forcefully Trump was willing to push the idea the first time he considered running for office. The counter-campaign was just throwing everything at the wall and seeing if it would stick. Reporters have minimal research skills (they cannot be bothered to google, let alone search Lexis-Nexis), and would not have pursued the story anyway because they're lazy. Plus Trump was hitting his enemies from so many angles, constantly changing them up, that they couldn't drill too hard even if he did have a weak spot within the GOP primary.

The only one to look in depth was the Politifact article linked at the top of this post, and it must have gotten buried under the avalanche of the 99% of their stuff that is BS propaganda hit pieces. Crying "wolf!"

In their research, Politifact turned up some quotes about how ridiculous some thought Trump's soak-the-super-rich plan was, including Stephen Moore -- a Reaganite supply-sider who would go on to become an economic advisor to Trump and a campaign surrogate (the really spastic one). I think Trump hired people like that in 2016 to fly under the radar while running as a Republican, in order to not disorient GOP loyalist voters too much too quickly.

I sense folks in the Trump movement opening up to the idea of "who cares about tax cuts for the rich?" ahead of the tax reform legislation that is sure to be a bigger shit-show than the healthcare circus. Ann Coulter was on Hannity the other night pointing out that W. Bush gave the very rich a yuge tax cut, and what did they turn around and do with the money other than bring in guest workers? (Or off-shore their business, or put it into the casino of the stock market hoping for their money to make more money without having to hire anyone.)

The idea that the super-rich are aching to hire Americans at decent wages is a total farce by this point, and even Hannity (caught off-guard) couldn't argue with those facts.

Trump himself blasted the carrot rather than stick approach during multiple rallies, such as in Erie and Wilkes-Barre PA. Politicians have been offering zero-interest loans to companies if they stay here, then they take the money and run overseas anyway, where they sell their product back into the US with no tariff. "There's going to be consequences" tax-wise, has been his mantra, not "tax cuts to the top will boost hiring and incomes".

Bernie whipped up so much of the Democrat and independent voters about his own "Robin Hood tax," which would have gone to pay for free college for all (Craaazy Bernie, kids need real jobs and real training). Trump would use the revenues to pay down the debt instead. Still, there may be enough support among the public that Trump and/or Crazy Bernie can turn up the heat on Congress to get something like this into the tax reform code.

March 30, 2017

r/K theory: Conservatives = r, liberals = K (reminder to the ignorant)

A recent comment blithely asserts that liberals show the hallmarks of a group adapted to an environment that is abundant in resources relative to the number of individuals competing for them, where life is cheap and time horizons are short, and where thoughtless rapaciousness is the norm. That contrasts with conservatives, who are alleged to show the hallmarks of the opposite end, where resources are stretched thin, where time horizons are long, and where stewardship is deliberate.

This way of thinking goes under the name r/K selection theory in evolutionary ecology. It is sometimes applied usefully to human beings, but usually not. Not because human beings transcend ecology, but because the people doing the thinking aren't very good thinkers.

I left a bunch of comments in response, but the topic deserves a post of its own because I can't stand when people bastardize SCIENCE! to prop up their half-baked ideas. Those comments are below, which also cover the moral dimension to this half-baked evolutionary thinking (shades of latter-day Social Darwinism in our neo-Gilded Age).

I'll add a few more things about sex, violence, and impulsivity:

Frontier Mormons began as a polygamous cult and only gave up polygamy, reluctantly, in order for Utah to join the Union of states. Saloons, brothels, and red light districts were more common per capita out in the libertarian / individualist / conservative utopia of the Frontier, than in a sleepy town back East. Conservatives get married earlier, have kids earlier, including higher rates of teenage pregnancy.

Whites are locked up at far higher rates in Arizona than in Alabama, showing higher violence and impulsivity in Conservative (TM) bastions.

Time horizons are so short in conservative strongholds like Texas that the state has given its name to a form of card gambling, not to mention Las Vegas being in Frontier land. And the tendency toward making a living by shiftless get-rich-quick schemes (cattle, gold, oil, etc.), shows how short-term-oriented the Frontier people were compared to the settled, more liberal folk back East.

So if anything, conservatism as a political movement is a reaction to the kinds of behaviors that pop up in a r-selecting environment.

* * * * *

Who has larger families, lives in low-density areas, where land has not been over-developed, with abundant resources, lower threats to their security, etc.? Not liberals.

Only a retarded and ignorant idea, i.e. that conservatives are K-selected, can lead to the prediction that conservatives would be pushing a "one child policy" rather than being the most fervently natalist.

Getting back to healthcare, or any welfare policy, and r/K:

Dull minds look at the black clamor for welfare goodies as a sign that the welfare state is an r-selected outcome, as blacks are more r-selected than whites. They conclude that conservatives must be K-selected, and therefore eliminating welfare would be the K-selected outcome.

It's totally backwards.

Urban blacks shoving their open hands in the white man's face is as r-selected as it gets -- abundant resources (white people's money), squeaky wheel gets the grease, intense competition amongst each other and against other non-white groups to get the biggest piece of the white money pie.

They have no fear of over-grazing the white cash commons, or killing the honky goose that laid the golden egg. See post-colonial southern Africa.

But that's just the demand for welfare from blacks.

The actual provision of welfare comes from whites, and it's K-selected -- part of a stewardship strategy to take care of one another, now that in an industrial urbanized ecology, resources are no longer so abundant that anyone can sustain themselves and their family.

For that matter, "liberal" regulations against unlimited resource extraction (say by oil companies) are also K-selected stewardship strategies. It's the r-selected conservatives of the less-developed Great Plains or Alaska whose answer is always "drill baby drill".

The demand for welfare by whites is of course not r-selected -- they don't shove their hands in the man's face, trying to suck up as much as possible, more and more over time, with no mind toward whether there will be enough money for everybody.

Whites are ashamed to receive welfare, are loathe to use it because "it's there for those who desperately need it," and do not want to over-burden the system into collapse.

Those are all signs of K-selection.

BTW, which non-white societies have a functioning welfare system -- K-selected Chinese or r-selected Nigerians?

Only whites in r-selected areas view welfare as unnecessary and in need of elimination. Land is abundant and cheap, resources are plentiful, crime and war are mild or even gentle -- who needs welfare?

You can split hairs and refer to "individualist" conservatives (r-selected) vs. "collectivist / communitarian" conservatives (K-selected), but that's on top of the liberal vs. conservative distinction. Too many spectrums.

The Trump "conservatives" (especially in the new ground zero of the GOP, Appalachia -- not the Plains and Mountains) are K-selected and see welfare state policies as necessary so that our industrial urbanized ecology doesn't allow people to slip through the cracks.

The heyday of individualist Frontier conservatism was the Reagan years. Anyone pretending that it's still a pre-NAFTA, pre-HMO environment is going to be wildly out of touch, and acting on the wrong side of history.

To summarize, the anti-welfare fanatics on the Right are guilty of anti-white demonization, whereby they portray poor whites as having the same characteristics of poor blacks.

Namely, demand for welfare is r-selected greed that will over-burden the system until the whole thing collapses, and the individuals extracting the resources don't give a damn about causing such a collapse.

That is the black behavior regarding the welfare system, not the white behavior.

Casting white recipients of welfare as a bunch of parasites hell-bent on sucking the most sustenance out of their captive host, is why community-minded white people don't just write off the wacko part of the Right, but are disgusted by it.

How dare someone portray the less fortunate among our in-group as though they were a parasitic out-group like the Gypsies?