Todd is joined by Keith Preston and Will Mclean to discuss the problems of privatizing mobilization of armed forces.
Todd Lewis joined by Logos to discuss the problems of financing problems of private defense.
Press TV. Listen here.
A military option by the US against North Korea to resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula would have “catastrophic consequences,” says a political analyst in Virginia.
“An attempted invasion by the United States of the Korean Peninsula or the region of North Korea will certainly generate huge numbers of casualties on both sides,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.
“It could potentially lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction as well,” Preston told Press TV in a phone interview on Thursday.
“It’s also possible that a war of that type could escalate; that the Chinese and the Russians for example, could come to the defense of North Korea,” he added.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned the US against its “aggressive rhetoric” towards North Korea.
During a Tuesday phone call with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Lavrov stressed that Washington’s actions have heightened tension on the Korean peninsula.
Russian Ambassador-at-Large Oleg Burmistrov said on Thursday that there is a growing danger of sliding toward an unprovoked conflict on the Korean Peninsula amid an unprecedented level of tension in the region.
On Monday, the US sanctioned two senior North Korean officials over the country’s ballistic missile program.
Tensions have been boiling on the Korean peninsula since early summer when Pyongyang test-fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and then carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
Defying rounds of United Nations economic sanctions, the North tested a new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, nearly a month ago.
Experts say North Korea has virtually mastered the capability to use the ICBMs with nuclear warheads in potential attacks that could target the entire United States, South Korea’s closest ally in countering the North.
Many also fear that increased pressure on North Korea and bellicose threats of war against the isolated nation from Washington could finally spark a nuclear confrontation in the region. Pyongyang harshly reacted to a recent round of sanctions adopted Friday over the test-firing of Hwasong-15, and called them an act of war.
Press TV. Listen here.
Republican administrations in the United States have often been serving the interests of the upper classes, says a political analyst.
US President Donald Trump told a group of his billionaire friends Friday shortly after signing the historic US tax bill into law that they all became wealthier.
“You all just got a lot richer,” Trump said Friday at a dinner at Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida hours after signing the landmark bill into law.
Trump enacted his first major legislative accomplishment into law two days after the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday approved the tax bill in a major political victory over Democrats.
“It is obvious that the Trump administration is continuing a lengthy trajectory that has defined Republican administrations for quite some time,” Keith.Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, said on Tuesday.
“The republican party has, in recent decades, always been very aggressively in favor of advancing the interest of the upper classes,” Preston told Press TV.
“This is something that has been bipartisan, however, Republicans have often been particularly aggressive about this and Trump is no exception,” he noted.
He went on to say that “one of the defining characteristics of Republican administrations going back to decades has been to offer tax cuts that will predominantly benefit the upper classes.”
The tax reform sees the top rate of income tax drop from 39.6 percent to 37 percent, a move that is expected to intensify criticism that renders it as overly generous to the wealthy and big business.
Democrats and tax experts say wealthy business owners, including Trump himself, stand to gain from a provision in the Republican tax bill that creates a valuable deduction for owners of pass-through businesses.
Soon there will be articles in the press discussing the serious and imminent dangers posed by African-American white supremacists. “Clayton Bigsby is not just a fictional character!”
By Gabriela Resto-Montero
The footage from Aug. 12 is shocking.
Five white men surround a young black man curled in the fetal position and beat him with sticks. Some of them back off when another unidentified man in a white tank top and red hat jumps in to continue attacking 20-year-old DeAndre Harris, who is writhing on the ground in the entrance to a Charlottesville, Virginia, parking lot.
Along with footage and images of a car plowing into a crowd of demonstrators and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer, the video of Harris’ beating defined the violence that gripped the nation that day when white nationalists descended on the college town. Harris, who had been counterprotesting the “Unite the Right” rally, was left with a broken wrist and eight stitches in his head.
The clashes in Charlottesville catalyzed the American public’s reckoning with the budding white nationalist movement, which had accelerated after Donald Trump’s election. Afterward, the wave of public shaming of the violence in Charlottesville led at least one “Unite the Right” marcher to insist his participation in the rally was misinterpreted as racist. Others who attended quickly lost their jobs after online campaigns exposed them.
But the eventual identification of the man in the white tank top and red hat shook many: He was revealed to be a 33-year-old Puerto Rican resident of Georgia, originally from the Bronx. “I’m the only brown Klans member I ever met,” Alex Michael Ramos joked in a Facebook Live video before he turned himself into police Aug. 28. The Facebook post has since been taken down.
But Ramos wasn’t the only “Unite the Right” marcher with a Hispanic background.
Prominent neocon Max Boot moves leftward. In the early 2000s, I predicted that eventually “conservatism” in the USA would look like today’s Democratic Party, and that “liberalism” would look like the present academic left/SJWs. This seems to be the direction in which things are increasingly heading.
Boot says nothing in this article that is particularly insightful. What great epiphanies has he had? That many cops are assholes (duh)? That blacks, poor people, and other disadvantaged folks are more likely to be victims of police brutality than country clubbers (duh)? That some white folks stereotype black folks as criminals and ne’er do wells (duh)? That some men commit sex crimes against women, among other crimes (duh)? That some men (and others) engage in rude, boorish, or inappropriate behavior (duh)?
None of this has anything to do with the critique of totalitarian humanism. That workers are exploited does not legitimize Communism. That the Israel Lobby has too much influence over US foreign policy does not legitimize neo-Nazism. That Islamist extremists engage in terrorism does not legitimize US imperialism or Boot’s own neocon foreign policy outlook. Boot sounds like a guy who has realized that the stock value of “cultural conservatism” is declining, and is looking leftward for a more lucrative gig.
By Max Boot
In college — this was in the late 1980s and early 1990s at the University of California, Berkeley — I used to be one of those smart-alecky young conservatives who would scoff at the notion of “white male privilege” and claim that anyone propagating such concepts was guilty of “political correctness.” As a Jewish refugee from the Soviet Union, I felt it was ridiculous to expect me to atone for the sins of slavery and segregation, to say nothing of the household drudgery and workplace discrimination suffered by women. I wasn’t racist or sexist. (Or so I thought.) I hadn’t discriminated against anyone. (Or so I thought.) My ancestors were not slave owners or lynchers; they were more likely victims of the pogroms.
I saw America as a land of opportunity, not a bastion of racism or sexism. I didn’t even think that I was a “white” person — the catchall category that has been extended to include everyone from a Mayflower descendant to a recently arrived illegal immigrant from Ireland. I was a newcomer to America who was eager to assimilate into this wondrous new society, and I saw its many merits while blinding myself to its dark side.
An interesting profile of Alain De Benoist.
By J. Lester Feder and Pierre Buet
PARIS — The man the alt-right claims as its spiritual father is a 74-year-old who lives with four cats in a Paris apartment around the corner from a Creole restaurant, a West African clothing store, and a Peruvian supermarket.
His name is Alain de Benoist, and he has published more than 100 books in his nearly 60-year writing career that encompass topics from anthropology to paganism. As the leader of a movement begun in the 1960s known as the “New Right,” he won one of France’s most prestigious intellectual prizes, was a columnist for several of its leading newspapers, and helped build the canon of fascist and radical writers familiar to political players ranging from Richard Spencer to Steve Bannon.
His core arguments are at the heart of many nationalist movements around the world, echoed even by those who do not know his name. His work helped give an aura of respectability to the notion that European “identity” needs to be defended against erasure by immigration, global trade, multinational institutions, and left-wing multiculturalism.
Today, de Benoist generally avoids social media and remains very much a man of the printed page. His Paris apartment is a refuge from the country home where he keeps a personal library of more than 200,000 volumes, a collection so vast he says it has become a burden. His study houses an art collection that includes a modernist portrait of de Benoist with his face encased in what appears to be a mask of metal. A poster for a talk he once gave in Turkey hangs on the bathroom wall, opposite a poster featuring different breeds of cats.
He now sees himself as more left than right and says he would have voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 US election. (His first choice in the French election was the leftist candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.) He rejects any link between his New Right and the alt-right that supported Donald Trump.
“Maybe people consider me their spiritual father, but I don’t consider them my spiritual sons,” he said.
This would be comical if it wasn’t so pathetic. A coalition of Republican luminaries admits that the police state and its related features are actually a problem. The list of signatories to this group’s manifesto includes many who were involved in creating the police state in the first place. The monster they helped create is now coming back to actually attack those whom they like rather than those whom they hate.
THE ISSUE. Thousands of harmless activities are now classified as crimes in the United States. These are not typical common law crimes such as murder, rape, or theft. Instead they encompass a series of business activities such as importing orchids without the proper paperwork, shipping lobster tails in plastic bags, and even failing to return a library book. There are over 4,000 existing federal criminal laws. (The exact number of laws is unknown because the attorneys at Congressional Research Service who were assigned to count them ran out of resources before they could complete the herculean task.)
In addition to the profusion of federal statutory crimes, there are additional state crimes (Texas alone has over 1,700), and federal regulatory offenses (approximately 300,000). The creation of these often unknowable and redundant crimes, the federalization of certain crimes traditionally prosecuted at the state level, and the removal of traditional mens rea requirements all contribute to a relentless trend known as overcriminalization.
THE IMPACT. Significant differences between criminal and civil law make criminal law an overly blunt instrument for regulating non-fraudulent business activities. Whereas administrative rulemaking and civil proceedings may utilize a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the conduct at issue, no such balancing occurs in criminal proceedings because, theoretically, criminal law covers only those activities that are inherently wrong.
Also, because criminal law is enforced entirely by state prosecution, it tends to minimize the role of the victim. Indeed, the prototypical “regulatory” offense does not include anyone actually being harmed as an element of the offense. Finally, civil and criminal law have traditionally been distinguished by the requirement that a criminal must have a guilty state of mind. An increasing number of regulatory offenses nevertheless dispense with this requirement or require mere criminal negligence rather than intentional, knowing, or reckless conduct.
By A. Barton Hinkle
That dull roar you heard a few days ago? It came from the countless gasps of horror when The Washington Post reported that the Centers for Disease Control had discouraged the use of certain words.
According to The Post, policy analysts were told not to use seven particular terms: fetus, transgender, vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, evidence-based, and science-based. This led to stern editorials about “thought control, Trump-style,” warnings that the directive was an “attack on science,” and so on. Having the government tell people which words they may and may not use is doubleplusungood, was the widespread consensus.
And of course it is. But to borrow from Kipling, “you need not stop work to inform us; we knew it ten seasons before.” Those exercised over the news about the CDC are coming rather late to the party.
What’s more, the backstory may be less dramatic than the initial alarms about the dark night of fascism spreading across the land. Apparently career staff, not political appointees, suggested eschewing the seven dirty words so as to avoid inflaming conservative members of Congress who would be voting on CDC funding.
Yet you can’t blame people for thinking the administration was checking off box No. 1 on the “How to Impose a Dictatorship in 10 Easy Steps” worksheet. After all, the Trump administration has, in the grand tradition of Soviet censors, been erasing references to climate change and global warming from government websites almost since it entered office.
So why should the Trump administration be any different? It’s hardly the first to declare certain words off-limits, and it won’t be the last.
Guffaws erupted across the country in 2000 when the Clinton administration announced that it no longer would refer to outlaw regimes as rogue states. “We are now calling these states ‘states of concern,'” Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said.
The Obama administration likewise was extremely skittish about linking terrorism to radical Islam, going so far as to refer to the Fort Hood shooting as an act of “workplace violence” and to purge FBI materials that were deemed Islamophobic.
California has adopted legislation that, under rare circumstances, could lead to jail time for anyone who uses the wrong pronoun when referring to a transgender person.
But when it comes to Orwellian efforts to erase politically incorrect terms, politicians can’t hold a candle to the nation’s colleges and universities.
The problem I see with the line of argumentation that’s being made in this piece is the implicit assumption that because right-wing authoritarians actually exist (duh?) and that many representatives of the centrist establishment are scumbags (duh?), that left-wing authoritarianism does not exist, or is somehow not problematic.
By Sean McElwee
The pundit class has remained deeply in touch with the goings on at various college campuses while remaining blind to the rise of white nationalist authoritarianism. Weeks after an explosive New Yorker investigation on the rise of white nationalism under Trump, Jonathan Chait in New York magazine warned of a movement that “regards the delegitimization of dissent as a first-order goal.” He wasn’t referring to white supremacists, but rather, political correctness:
The upsurge of political correctness is not just greasy-kid stuff, and it’s not just a bunch of weird, unfortunate events that somehow keep happening over and over. It’s the expression of a political culture with consistent norms, and philosophical premises that happen to be incompatible with liberalism.
Even after Trump won the presidency, pundits have remained inordinately focused on the goings-on at college campuses across the country. The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart and Conor Friedersdorf and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria at CNN and have all written breathless op-eds about the perceived threat of campus politics. Slate’s Jacob Weisberg took a much-needed break from crushing a union drive to lament the “left-wing authoritarians” on our country’s campuses. Indeed, rather than systematic voter disenfranchisement and widespread racism, “political correctness” and “identity politics” have frequently been pointed to as the culprit in Clinton’s 2016 loss. According to a recent poll from the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, “71 percent of Americans believe that political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have.” Political correctness, we’re told, is the real bigotry.
It’s interesting how the left/right divide is increasingly taking place across conventional ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic boundaries. My guess is that as the techno-oligarchs and new clerisy increasingly become the dominant faction of the ruling class and the state, the Anti/SJW/neo-Communist configuration will attempt to piggyback on them for the purpose of using the state to advance their own objectives. At that point, they will be de facto “conservatives” (defenders of the status quo) while the “true left” (radicals, revolutionaries, oppositionists) will be all those who are under attack by these elements (i.e. the core demographics I identified some years ago).
Yvette Felarca a BAMN leader, associated with Antifa, targeted and attacked Amber, a transgender woman, BECAUSE she is transgender and does not fit into the box that they want her to be in. That is a hate crime.
A Hispanic man who survived a Communist revolution infiltrates BAMN/Antifa.
Paul Gottfried on why neocon propagandists are idiots.
By Paul Gottfried
The American Conservative
A new anthology of the writings of intellectual historian David Gordon contains a devastating review of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. Reading it reminded me how bad GOP propaganda dressed up as “history” can really be.
David takes no prisoners in his acidic analysis of bad books, and I am still eagerly awaiting his savaging of Dinesh D’Souza’s latest attempt to treat the Democratic Party as the American version of the German Nazi Party. Needless to say, what I’m complaining about goes well beyond Jonah’s bestseller, although it can’t hurt to begin with this prime example. Gordon shows how many howlers I missed in all my own diatribes against this book. In addition to pushing a badly substantiated comparison between fascists and Nazis (Jonah runs the two together) and Hillary Clinton Democrats, Goldberg fills his stem-winder with errors that even a moderately intelligent editor should have caught. He attributes to worthies Martin Heidegger and Jean-Jacques Rousseau positions that, as Gordon explains, were diametrically opposed to those that these figures actually expressed. One can easily doubt whether Goldberg ever read a word of either thinker.
As I predicted, Trump has been the most liberal president the US has ever had on social issues, other than Obama. An appointment of this type would have never happened under any previous administration, except the Obama administration.
By Rod Dreher
The American Conservative
Has the Trump Administration lost its mind? The White House has re-nominated lesbian activist Chai Feldblum to a seat on the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the powerful federal agency to which President Obama appointed her in 2010.
This is not just another faceless federal agency. As Roger Clegg explained earlier this year, “The EEOC enforces all the private sector anti-discrimination employment laws, so this is a big deal.”
Feldblum has been a leading advocate for LGBT rights. Her official EEOC biography states that she “has also worked to advance lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and was one of the drafters of the original Employment Nondiscrimination Act.”
When Trump was running for President, he said in an interview with Megyn Kelly that two of his main goals as Prez would be “rebuilding the military” and “tax cuts.” In other words, standard Republican talking points.
By Robert E. Merry
The American Conservative
In March 1997, two Washington reporters published a book entitled Mirage: Why Neither Democrats nor Republicans Can Balance the Budget, End the Deficit, and Satisfy the Public. The authors were George Hager, then a reporter for the CQ Weekly Report, and Eric Pianin of the Washington Post. A blurb on Amazon described the book as “a story of wishful thinking compounded by a chronic failure of leadership.” The clear theme: the budget would never be balanced.
But the fiscal year that began just the following October produced a surplus of $21.9 billion. The next three years generated surpluses, respectively, of $126 billion, $236 billion, and $128 billion. When the paperback came out, the title had to be altered to reflect the intervening events that had totally negated the thesis. By then the book was worthless, and it quickly faded. Today Amazon lists it as “unavailable”—not even a tattered used copy to be found.
These were bright and accomplished reporters, and they weren’t alone. The vaunted Office of Management and Budget had projected a 1998 deficit of $339 billion; the touted Congressional Budget Office pegged it at $357 billion.
On foreign policy, Trump more or less continues the Obama legacy, with a little bit of Republican hawkishness thrown in for good measure. In other words, more or less what Hillary what have done. Who could’ve guessed?
By Daniel Larison
The American Conservative
Trump has had a more hawkish foreign policy than the one he inherited:
Instead, Trump has sent more U.S. troops to conflict zones in the Middle East and South Asia. He’s dropped more bombs on Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. And he’s expanded a global campaign of targeted drone killings.
Add it all up, and it’s hard to see how Trump’s foreign policy is any less interventionist than his predecessors. If anything, Trump’s policies are a little more hawkish than those of Barack Obama, says Christopher Preble, with the CATO Institute.
“He’s largely continued what he’s inherited, with some additional increment of the use of force,” says Preble.
By Bradley J. Birzer
The American Conservative
As I write this second part of the series, the origins of the rise of the modern nation state, our own nation state looks—financially—nothing short of pathetic. At the end of 2017, the federal government’s official estimate for deficit spending is $666 billion. For all kinds of reasons, this is a really scary number, and not just because it causes one to think of the mark of St. John’s envisioned beast. Rrroawr! $666 billion is a number so terribly large that it is difficult for any of us—even those of us not suffering from innumeracy or apocalyptic dread—to comprehend. And, of course, this is just the recorded and admitted deficit spending for one year. That is, it accounts for those things the government admits to, on the books and on budget.
According to the U.S. Debt Clock, we’re at nearly $21 trillion in debt, and the number increases so quickly that seizures might very well result. As the number made my stomach turn, I thought, perhaps the site should come with a warning akin to those found on PS4 and Xbox games. That’s all we need, right? Another law and another regulation.
As Tom Woods and all sensible economists have recently claimed, the United States of America is simply insolvent. The only shocking thing is that no one in the mainstream media or financial institutions seems to care.
If the objective of pan-anarchism/anarcho-pluralism is the replacement of states with societies organized on the basis of decentralized, voluntary associations, then a question that arises involves the issue of what kinds criteria individual communities would have to meet of qualify as legitimate voluntary associations of these kinds. The Startup Societies Foundation offers a pretty good set of standards, all of which are rooted in the “exit principle,” i.e the right to leave if you don’t like what people around you are doing.
- No democide.
- No arbitrary laws.
- No impossible cost to exit.
- No surveillance for blackmail.
- No psychological control without freedom of speech.
- No torture.
- No ignoring sovereignty.
- No fraud.
- No red market economy.
- No aggressive military action.
Click here to learn more about these ten rules.
REPORT) — On Thursday, China’s State Council Information Office released a human rights report on the U.S., noting that while that country continues to act as “the judge of human rights” it continues to ignore its own “terrible problems.”
The report, called “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2016,” cites both international and U.S. academic and NGO sources focussed on that country’s domestic and international human rights record.
“Wielding ‘the baton of human rights,’ (the U.S.) pointed fingers and cast blame on the human rights situation in many countries while paying no attention to its own terrible human rights problems,” the report declared.
“With the gunshots lingering in people’s ears behind the Statue of Liberty, worsening racial discrimination and the election farce dominated by money politics, the self-proclaimed human rights defender has exposed its human rights ‘myth’ with its own deeds,” it added.
The withering away of the antiwar movement during the Obama era, and the failure of the Left to oppose the Trump administration’s efforts to strengthen the position of the Atlanticist-Zionist-Wahhabi axis (or to even take notice) indicates that US imperialism will have to be defeated externally rather than internally. This will be achieved by a combination of ongoing military defeats by fourth generation warfare forces, and the rise of counter power on a geopolitical level. On the former point, the US is now 0-5 in the 4GW conflicts that have been fought over the last quarter century (Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria). Meanwhile, the “triangular resistance” of the BRICS, Shia-led Resistance Block, and the Global South is rising to create a multipolar rather than unipolar world. The US has largely retreated from Latin America, and will gradually do the same in Asia and Africa in the future.
By Tom O’Connor
China and Russia may be devising a plan to attack U.S. forces in the event of an imminent war breaking out on the neighboring Korean Peninsula, according to two former military officials.
Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang, the former deputy commander of the western Nanjing Military Region, warned “the war on the Korean Peninsula might break out anytime between now and March next year”; his comments came during a conference hosted Saturday by ruling Communist Party newspaper The Global Times. The following day, the nationalist outlet expanded on the retired general’s remarks with insight from Chinese military expert, commentator and author Song Zhongping, who said China could potentially engage U.S. forces if they posed a threat.
This a a great cartoon in the sense that is parodies the reflexive sentiments of “conservatives” in the vein of FOX News fans and “dittoheads,” who echo Ayn Rand’s claim that “big business is the most persecuted minority,” or Cool Hand Luke’s quip that, “Them poor ole bosses need all the help they can get.” But it also regrettably falls prey to the “progressive” sentiment that the king is some mythical figure that will save the peasants from the aristocrats.
That nearly all political factions, from far left to far right, buy into the false dichotomy of “big business vs. big government” indicates how appallingly ignorant most people are of basic principles of political economy. Thinkers such as Pierre Joseph Proudhon and Joseph De Jacque had these questions figured out in the early to mid nineteenth century, and these same ideas have been expounded upon again and again by subsequent thinkers as diverse as Henry George, William Appleman Williams, C. Wright Mills, James Burnham, Murray Rothbard, William Domhoff, and Christopher Lasch. Yet modern leftists and rightists are still wanting to fight the “kings vs. aristocrats” battle. And people think the neo-Confederates or religious right are retrograde!
When will people, including most so-called “radicals,” realize that the political class is the modern equivalent of the king, and his ministers and knights, while the plutocrats are the new aristocrats with the mass corporations being the new manorial systems, with the media and the educational system serving the modern equivalent of the Church?