Saturday, October 13, 2018

Lookout Below!!

By James Howard Kunstler

Looks like somebody threw a dead cat onto Wall Street’s luge run overnight to temporarily halt the rather ugly 2000 point slide in the Dow Jones Industrial Average — and plenty of freefall in other indices, including markets in other countries. A Friday pause in the financial carnage will give the hedge funders a chance to plant “for sale” signs along their Hamptons driveways, but who might the buyers be? Hedge funders from another planet, perhaps? You can hope. And while you’re at it, how do you spell liquidity problem?

Welcome to the convergence zone of the long emergency, where Murphy’s law meets the law of unintended consequences and the law of diminishing returns, the Three Amigos of collapse. Here’s where being “woke” finally starts to mean something. Namely, that there are more important things in the world than sexual hysteria. Like, for instance, your falling standard of living (and that of everyone else around you).

The meet-up between Kanye West and President D.J. Trump was an even richer metaphor for the situation: two self-styled “geniuses” preening for the cameras in the Oval Office, like kids in a sandbox, without a single intelligible idea emerging from the play-date, and embarrassed grownups all standing ‘round pretending it was a Great Moment in History. You had to wonder how much of Kanye’s bazillion dollar fortune was stashed in the burning house of FAANG stocks. Maybe that flipped his bipolar toggle. Or was he even paying attention to the market action through all the mugging and hugging? (He did have his phone in hand.) Meanwhile, Mr. Trump seemed to be squirming through the episode behind his mighty Resolute desk as if he had “woke” to the realization that ownership of a bursting epic global financial bubble was not exactly “winning.”

If I were President, I’d declare Oct 12 Greater Fool Day. (Nobody likes Christopher Columbus anymore, that genocidal monster of dead white male privilege.) The futures are zooming as I write, a last roundup for suckers at the OD corral, begging the question: who will show up on Monday. Nobody, I predict. And then what?

The great false front of the financial markets resumes falling over into the November election. The rubble from all that buries whatever is left of the automobile business and the housing market. The smoldering aftermath will be described as the start of a long-overdue recession — but it will actually be something a lot worse, with no end in sight.

The Democratic Party might not be nimble enough to capitalize on the sudden disappearance of capital. Their only hope to date has been to capture the vote of every female in America, to otherwise augment their constituency of inflamed and aggrieved victims of unsubstantiated injustices. It’s been fun playing those cards, and the Party might not even know how to play a different game at this point. Democratic politicians may also be among the one-percenters who watch their net worth go up in a vapor in a market collapse, leaving them too numb to act. The last time something like this happened, in the fall of 2008, candidate Barack Obama barely knew what to say about the fall of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing cascade of misery —  though unbeknownst to the voters, he was already a hostage of Wall Street.

Complicating matters this time will be the chaos unleashed in politics and governing when the long-running “Russia collusion” melodrama boomerangs into a raft of indictments against the cast of characters in the Intel Community and Department of Justice AND the Democratic National Committee, and perhaps even including the Party’s last standard bearer, HRC, for ginning up the Russia Collusion matter in the first place as an exercise in sedition. The wheels of the law turn slowly, but they’ll turn even while financial markets tumble. And the threat to order might be so great that an unprecedented “emergency” has to be declared, with soldiers in the streets of Washington, as was sadly the case in 1861, the first time the country turned itself upside down.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Who Knew?

Posted by: ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Sunday, July 15, 2018

NATO Now Serves the Interests of the Transatlantic Ruling Class

By Angelo Codevilla
If we’re to believe the recent NATO summit’s communique and the mainstream media’s commentaries about it, the alliance serves roughly the same essential purpose today as it did in 1948, and Americans had better heed European Council President Donald Tusk’s thinly veiled warning: rein in President Trump’s criticisms of NATO, because its members are about the only allies America has got.
 
But although the people who run today’s European and American societies are perhaps closer to each other than in 1948—which accounts for their dogged defense of “the alliance”—in fact, they themselves have changed in ways that obviate the purposes for which the alliance originally was formed.

The point of departure for understanding U.S.-European relations is that the relationship between “the people who count” on both sides of the Atlantic are so good precisely because they  have become aliens to their own peoples. And, since all are in the process of being rejected by their own peoples, they are each others’ natural allies. But against whom are they allied?

What is the purpose of this alliance and what does it mean to us Americans?

Herewith, a summary of these moral and political changes, whose importance dwarfs the massive material transformations that the world has undergone in the past 70 years.

Defense of the West
In 1948, Europe faced the mighty Red Army, prostrate, poor, and penetrated by Communist organizations. But its principal figures—Konrad Adenauer, Charles De Gaulle, and Alcide De Gasperi—were devout Christians leading peoples who, chastened by war, were eager to safeguard and bolster what remained of their civilizations. All were conscious of their dependence on the United States of America for pretty much everything and grateful to us for it. That moral-political strength made up for a lot of material weakness.

It should be remembered, too, that keeping fellow Christians from succumbing to godless Communism moved that generation of Americans almost as much as the realization that the Soviet conquest of Europe would be very dangerous for us. Most came to believe that an alliance that reassured a weak-but-willing Europe was the best way to prevent it. Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower, in tune as they were with ordinary Americans as well as with European leaders of their era, had no trouble forging a North Atlantic alliance based on the axiomatic commitment to nuke the Soviets were they to invade Europe.

Progressive Infection
NATO’s rot started in America. John F. Kennedy’s 1960 election brought to power progressives, who self-identified as “the best and the brightest.” Shaped intellectually and morally by the doctrines of (eventual Nobel laureates) Henry Kissinger and Thomas Schelling, they saw men like Adenauer and De Gaulle as of a piece with the American conservative persons and ideas they were displacing.

At the first NATO meeting after Kennedy’s inauguration, they removed the U.S. commitment to nuke the Soviets. They also removed the U.S. medium range missiles on the necessity of which that generation of European leaders had staked their legitimacy. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, these Americans did their best to foster the rise of progressive Europeans, who would be partners in the grand pursuit of “detente” with Moscow. They got what they wished, and then some.

In retrospect the 1980s, dominated as they were by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Helmut Kohl, were a brief anomaly.

Today, on both sides of the Atlantic, we have the opposite of 1948: political weakness born of the ruling class’s civilizational renunciation undermines vastly increased economic and (in the United States) military power. Russia’s army, backed by scarcely a tenth of the European Union’s GDP, would have little trouble making prisoners of NATO’s forward-deployed forces and reaching the Atlantic.

An Alliance to Protect the Ruling Class’s Power and Prestige

Today the transatlantic ruling class has its own civilizational agenda, manifested by its subsidies for constituencies both business and cultural, ranging from “renewable energy resources,” to education, the arts, and lifestyle. Far from allied to safeguard and promote Western civilization, this ruling class treats its cornerstone, Christianity, as unmentionable at best and usually as the main feature to be extirpated from people’s lives. This class also regards self-rule, the capacity of people in towns, regions, or nations to decide by vote how they shall live, as among the evils to be done away with. It treats as enemy anything—thoughts, practices, institutions—that limit its own its own power and prestige. For their power and prestige, after all, are what it is allied to protect.

Since ordinary people in each and all of NATO’s countries pose the clearest and most present danger to that power and prestige, whenever any country’s people have challenged the  power or prestige of their local member of the club, the other countries’ ruling classes have treated it as an attack on themselves. Under this updated version of the famous Article 5, the allied transatlantic rulers have warned, on pain of horrid consequences, the people of Britain to stay in the EU, the peoples of France to elect anybody but Le Pen, the peoples of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and most recently of Italy, not to vote as they did.

Most of all, they warned Americans not to elect Donald Trump.
Nothing has equaled their fury against him. This, of course, has little to do with Trump himself. Rather, it is the transatlantic allies’ reaction to their inability to bend the American people to their ways. The American people’s adherence to Western civilization, our inflexible desire to rule ourselves, is the negation of everything for which this class stands. And because America is what it is, the election of an anti-ruling class candidate has inspired European peoples to do likewise.

As the transatlantic allies have lost election after election, they have retreated to their bastions in the supranational institutions, the banks, the corporations, the media, etc. Their objective seems to be to punish voters—psychologically if in no other way—to convince them to repent. Their hands will have to be pried off the levers of power.

Because such things as Russia’s power, the Third World’s physical occupation of Europe and the United States, never mind the international military balance, do not threaten what the transatlantic ruling class is allied to protect, they cannot be bothered to take these questions seriously. Hence, for the American people, NATO as it exists today is yet one more ruling class institution to be overcome.

What good—and it may be considerable—that Americans might achieve by working with Europeans would have to be pursued with such peoples as have freed themselves from the transatlantic ruling class’s power.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The "Never Trump's" Dilemma

By Michael Rozeff

Many headlines question Trump’s triumph in Singapore, unreasonably so. Petty minds are at work who are paid to create stories, and stories always have conflict as a central element. If there is no conflict, the pundits imagine it. This is why fake news is not news but a form of entertainment. Besides, the audience for anti-Trump material is large.

The media belittle Trump’s accomplishment in countless petty ways, but they’ll soon be forgotten as they go on to the next concocted story. Trump will be remembered when they are long forgotten.

The big picture is that Trump outfoxed China. Trump broke the ice. He broke a frozen situation in Korea that favored China and its erstwhile ally, North Korea. China is trying to act as if it was critical in this movement, because China wants to hold North Korea in its sphere of economic and political influence. However, a united Korea stands like a united Vietnam as a stopping point for Chinese pretensions to project its power beyond its borders. Trump’s agreement with Kim signals the blocking of China and a limit to Chinese hegemony over its neighbors, and that is a major accomplishment for the U.S. strategy toward China.

The big picture is that in Singapore Trump and Kim furthered a peace process that began on May 10, 2017 when the newly-elected Moon made peace with North Korea a priority. Other steps have been taken during the past year, including meetings between Moon and Kim. The Singapore Agreement is yet another step that keeps the momentum of this process going. Hypercritical media comments and questions about the latest summit ignore or miss the big picture, which is that it is part of a stepwise process. This involves discovery by all sides of what can be done and invention of ways to do it, all embedded in a complex situation that involves neighbors like China and Japan who also have interests in the region. Trump’s approach was to endorse a general framework, and that’s sensible because the discovery-invention process takes a lot of time and dickering. Both sides retained flexibility through this lean approach.

Cold War and post-Cold War warriors who remain outspoken and influential in Washington did not succeed in getting their way with North Korea, after decades of trying. The situation threatened to come to open war. Trump has postponed that day and opened up the opportunity to make sure that that day never arrives. This is a major accomplishment and triumph.

The deal is not done, and Trump knows it. His followup remarks have been open and frank concerning how matters can change as time passes. Trump unfroze the untenable situation created by his predecessors. Kim, Moon and Trump will now have to keep doing that by concrete steps such as Trump’s calling for a halt to joint war games with South Korea.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΑΣ

Saturday, June 09, 2018

"Corporal" Hitler's Folly

By Eric Margolis

On my many walking visits to the vast Normandy battlefield in France, I kept recalling the ever so wise dictum of Prussia’s great monarch, Frederick the Great:  ‘he who defends everything, defends nothing.’  On this 74th anniversary of the D-Day landings, it’s well worth recalling the old warrior-king.

Adolf Hitler, a veteran of the infantry, should certainly have known better. Defending the European coast from Brittany to Norway was an impossibility given Germany’s military and economic weakness in 1944.  But he did not understand this.  Having so brilliantly overcome France’s Maginot Line fortifications in 1940, Hitler and his High Command repeated the same strategic and tactical errors as the French only four years later: not having enough reserves to effectively counter-attack enemy breakthrough forces.

Germany’s vaunted Atlantic Wall looked formidable on paper, but it was too long, too thin, lacked defensive depth and was lacking in adequate reserve forces.  The linear Maginot Line suffered the same failings.  America’s fortifications protecting Manila and Britain’s ‘impregnable’ fortifications at Singapore also proved worthless. The Japanese merely marched into their undefended rears.

In 1940, the German Wehrmacht was modern history’s supreme fighting machine.  But only four years later, the Wehrmacht was broken.  Most Americans, British and Canadians believe that D-Day was the decisive stroke that ended WWII in Europe. But this is not true.

Germany’s mighty Wehrmacht, which included the Luftwaffe, was destroyed by Stalin’s Soviet Union.  The Red Army claims to have destroyed 507 German divisions, 48,000 German tanks, 77,000 German aircraft, and 100 divisions of Axis troops allied to Germany from Italy, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia,  and Finland.

Few Americans have ever heard of the Soviet Far East offensive of 1945, a huge operation that extended from Central Asia to Manchuria and the Pacific.  At least 450,000 Japanese soldiers were killed, wounded or captured by the Red Army, 32% of Japan’s total wartime military losses.  The Soviets were poised to invade Japan when the US struck it with two nuclear weapons.

Of Germany’s 10 million casualties in WWII, 75% were inflicted by the Red Army.  The once mighty Luftwaffe was decimated over Russia.  Almost all German military production went to supplying the 1,600 km Eastern Front where Germany’s elite forces were ground up in titanic battles like Kursk and Stalingrad that involved millions of soldiers.

Soviet forces lost upwards of 20 million men. Total US losses, including the Pacific, were one million.  To Marshal Stalin, D-Day, the North African and Italian campaign were merely diversionary side-shows to tie down Axis forces while the Red Army pushed on to Berlin.

D-Day was without doubt one of the greatest logistical feats of modern military history. Think of General Motors versus the German warrior Siegfried.  For every US tank the Germans destroyed, ten more arrived.  Each German tank was almost irreplaceable.  Transporting over one million men and their heavy equipment across the Channel was a triumph.  But who remembers that Germany crossed the heavily defended Rhine River into France in 1940?

By June, 1944, German forces at Normandy and along the entire Channel coast had almost no diesel fuel or gasoline.  Their tanks and trucks were immobilized.  Allied air power shot up everything that moved, including a staff car carrying Marshal Erwin Rommel strafed by Canada’s own gallant future aviator general, Richard Rohmer.  German units in Normandy were below 40% combat effectiveness even without their shortages in fuel.

The Germans in France were also very short of ammunition, supplies and communications.  Units could only move by night, and then very slowly.  Hitler was reluctant to release armored forces from his reserves. Massive Allied bombing of Normandy alone killed 15,000 to 20,000 French civilians and shattered many cities and towns.

Churchill once said, ‘you will never know war until you fight Germans.’  With no air cover or fuel and heavily outnumbered, German forces in Normandy managed to mount a stout resistance, inflicting 209,000 casualties on US, Canadian, British, Free French and allied forces.  German losses were around 200,000.

The most important point of the great invasion is that without it, the Red Army would have reached Paris and the Channel Ports by the end of 1944, making Stalin the master of all Europe except Spain.  Of course, the Allies could have reached a peace agreement with Germany in 1944, which Hitler was seeking and Gen. George Patton was rumored to be advocating.  But the German-hating Churchill and left-leaning Roosevelt were too bloody-minded to consider a peace that would have kept Stain out of at least some of Eastern Europe.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Roman Empire II?

By Mike Rozeff

Pompeo’s speech today, making 12 demands upon Iran while threatening new sanctions, exemplifies an America trapped in the empire of its government’s making. Americans are hostages who have acquiesced. We can only escape our bonds by ending the empire.

Once an empire expands to take in numerous lands beyond the borders of its core country, its government (in this case, the U.S.) finds that its defense requires removing threats and potential threats in a host of places that are far from the core country, which is America, taking in these 50 states.

Pompeo says at the outset: “President Trump withdrew from the deal for a simple reason: it failed to guarantee the safety of the American people from the risk created by the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Pompeo misstates the reality. The American people or this country consisting of the 50 states, faces no safety risk from Iran. It’s the government, the U.S., that perceives the risk. America is not the U.S.; the U.S. is the government of America.
Although America, if it were shorn of its empire, and were reduced to its 50 states, faces no safety risk or military threat whatsoever from the IRI, when America is viewed as an empire with numerous overseas allies and obligations, then its leaders sense all sorts of distant threats and act against them. America is then trapped in the empire created by its own government, the U.S.

Pompeo and the rest of the foreign policy and defense establishment are men and women of empire. The Congress is too. This means that they do not act on behalf of America and Americans. They act on behalf of the empire. They are always giving us Americans a song and dance that they’re acting for our own good, our safety.
Iran presents absolutely no threat to America. By the U.S. empire, however, it’s conceived as a threat to its interests. America is trapped by its acquiescence to the U.S., which is the government controlling the empire.

Posted by ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Bravo Hungary!!

By Free West Media

It is well-known that Hungary put up a border fence, but how does it really work to keep migrants out? It appears to be a multiple-layer border fence stopping illegal migration to the country almost totally. The legal framework is nothing short of astounding.

The main ruse of all Soros-funded NGOs is constant litigation. Today, most illegal immigrants enter countries in the EU legally but overstay or violate whatever visa they may have obtained.

When the illegals get detained waiting for a deportation trial, lawyers employed by NGOs funded by billionaire George Soros, have unlimited funds to plead for their release.

The litigation overcrowds detention centers, because the longer the deportation legal process takes, the fewer deportations can be carried out.

If the detention center overflows, the authorities have no other option but to let the low-risk migrants back into the population where they disappear. This is called catch-and-release, done to prevent the system from becoming overburdened.

The genius solution of the Viktor Orbán government to this particular problem, is that the border fence is not actually on the border. It is situated a few meters from it. So there is a strip of land which is legally Hungary, before the migrants hit the fence.

In some zones, the border fence cuts deep into Hungarian territory, creating large areas of Hungary outside of the fence. These are called “transit zones”.
When a migrant is caught inside Hungary, he is instantly transferred to the transit zone, through one of the gates. This act is not deportation, but detention as the migrant is still in Hungary.

Lawyers from these NGOs can do nothing to intervene since there are no legal remedies available to migrants inside Hungary, technically speaking.
The migrant is able is approach one of the barracks set up inside these zones where he could present an asylum request, wait for its processing and the subsequent court appeal if he is rejected.

The point is that while the migrant is waiting, he is outside of the fence, so he is not actually in Hungary, although legally he is.

The zone has no fence on the border side, so migrants are free to leave that way – back to where they came from. This measure obviously prevents overcrowding. Most migrants do not wait around for their trials, but go back to try to cross the border somewhere where it is easier to get into the EU.

But by not being present for a trial, the case is then dismissed.
So it does not matter how long it takes before a migrant is legally deported from Hungary, because he never entered Hungary and never burdened the state, since most of them leave the zone.

Posted by  ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ