Month: December 2016 (Page 1 of 2)

img_8395

Trump’s tabloid crony and his “Muslim spies”

The National Enquirer is the magazine Americans ordinarily look at in the checkout line for some light humor about how Bill Cosby had his son murdered or how the people in Hollywood you already knew were gay are gay, but this year the rack-filler really went all in for Trump.

During the GOP primary, it attacked all of Trump’s rivals, publishing Trump opposition research, publishing pictures of Bush’s daughter, accusing Ted Cruz of having multiple affairs (in a story that has since then never been picked up by journalists), and even randomly linking Cruz’s father to JFK’s assassination in a defamation that Trump repeated on the campaign trail.

We also learned that in 2015 Hillary only had six months to live and that she was going to jail.

But now that David Pecker’s long-time friend is elected, it’s not time to stop. No, National Enquirer must publish an article written by McCarthy’s ghost accusing “55” CIA employees of being “Muslims Spies in Obama’s CIA.”

img_8395

Read More

1c8c3170-b49e-406d-9b37-2da6f40bb835

Don’t listen to the false prophets of humanitarianism

Must be hearing how Middle East civil wars are exactly like Jews being persecuted by Nazis in Europe during the 1930s?

I wrote on Quillette, why that is a lie. An excerpt.

02dac675-5323-4b11-8745-75561add6bb7

Read the whole thing here.

 

bn-lq401_2p0eu_m_20151210020304

When terror hits home

As a student of political science, and as a researcher in intelligence, I am no stranger to the concept, history, and effects of terrorism. It has been widely researched, and in recent years has become a staple in the education of any person with the remotest interest in international affairs. Certainly it is a centerpiece of tertiary education in political sciences. However, being Australian and having been educated in New Zealand, terrorism has always been a remote practice, removed from my everyday life. That changed this week.

I must first admit that I was slightly behind the times when I woke up this morning. As a full time PhD student that also works twenty hours a week and reviews books in her ‘spare time,’ I rarely have enough hours in the day to complete my work AND keep up on current affairs beyond my express area of research. See, my gym session with the trainer this morning was an hour earlier than usual, so I had a little time on my hands afterward; I decided to get a coffee and some breakfast. As is my custom when I have the time to do this, I asked for the paper to read. When it was delivered to me with my glass of orange juice, all I could do was stare.

Terrorist plot foiled, seven arrested, Christmas Day explosions planned. Headlines I’ve seen before, as I’m sure many have. But this time, the plot that was foiled? Was in my city. My home. Several full colour photos dominated the multiple page spread; Flinders St Station, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Federation Square. I was in two of those places just two days ago, and across the street from the other. Doing my Christmas shopping, glaring at the horse-and-buggies, laughing with my sister. My sister, who it occurred to me this morning, had we been in the wrong place at the wrong time, could have been killed. By terrorists. In AUSTRALIA. In Melbourne. In our home city.

Read More

Will Donald Trump start a “Clash of Civilisations” in Middle East?

(Originally published by the Centre For Land Warfare, New Delhi, India. Republished here, with added links.)

04a19404-184b-4d84-87b8-266598a03ff8

Read More

Obama goes all anti-PC

So, when does the left start calling Obama racist, sexist and misogynist?

obama-1

Heat StreetObama Slams Political Correctness, Says Stop Going Around ‘Looking for Insults’

obama-2

VoxObama on liberal college students who want to be “coddled”: “That’s not the way we learn”

 

3500

Taiwan will suffer most in any Sino-American brinkmanship

So, once again, as usual, Donald Trump when faced with allegations about Russian hacking in his election, quickly gave an interview to Fox News about Taiwan. That helped in diverting much of the traffic towards the issue, in a communication diversion strategy that Trump has mastered since he decided to stand for election. The interview itself was obviously incoherent, and Trumpian…as in he said a lot of things, half said even more, and almost all of them contradictory. Typical example being he claimed Obama’s policies were a failure, but simultaneously claimed that President Obama has been a terrific president. If any observer was watching for signs of Trump’s pivot towards centrism, this is as good as it gets.

However, the important part was his comments about One China policy. Trump said, he understands completely what a One China policy is, and why US governments have followed it for over forty years, but he fails to comprehend why it should be continued if there’s no deal with China. “I fully understand the ‘one China’ policy, but I don’t know why we have to be bound by a ‘one China’ policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” Trump told Fox, as reported by Reuters.

(For a Military comparison, check GlobalFirePower)

Well, that’s a bold statement, because for a start, he doesn’t understand One China policy. And, a deal is already in place. The deal is so the planet earth doesn’t look like a sequence from Fallout 4. But on the other hand, he cleverly didn’t say that he wants to topple the One China policy and chart a new US foreign policy towards China. It’s like an art of saying things, without saying things; kind of like thinking out aloud, wondering, what does it matter if the policy is overturned. If the Chinese administration was looking for hint, this is it. Let me explain.

Read More

nanking_bodies_1937

The long legacy of the Nanjing Massacre on Asian politics

“When will Japan’s war with China become history?”

Today, as with every December 13 for the past four years, Chinese officials gathered at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall and rang the bell for the up to 300,000 killed by Japanese imperial soldiers who invaded and captured Nanjing in 1937.

The conquest of the Republic of China’s capital six months after the Second Sino-Japanese War started inspired joy and complacency in Japan. Just weeks earlier the Japanese had completed their capture of Shanghai, a three month battle. Nanjing fell in less than two weeks. General Iwane Matsui was confident that taking Nanjing would result in China’s surrender. (It didn’t, and the war went on for seven more years before Japan surrendered.)

Upon victory on December 13, soldiers committed random acts of violence throughout the city. Civilians fleeing were shot in the back. Homes were invaded, women raped and then stabbed. Pregnant woman were bayoneted in the stomach. Dead bodies were thrown in rivers. Much of the city was destroyed by looting and arson.

Japanese soldiers rounded up masses of men on the grounds they were suspected of being soldiers. Some soldiers had indeed thrown off their uniforms and tried to blend in with civilians, but many more of those taken out to be executed had never fought in the first place. Hundreds of POWs were tied up and shot to death by the Yangtze River on December 18.

Read More

img_8160

Taiwanese are becoming more pro-independence–with or without Trump’s call

Having analyzed the dynamics of how the precedent-breaking phone call between Donald Trump and Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen played out between the U.S. and China, I now place my gaze on Taiwan itself.

In my observations visiting the island during the cross-straits meeting in 2015 and interviewing academics, I found Taiwanese youth especially likely to be pro-independent, and moreover the ethnolinguistic divides that used to animate their parents’ politics in the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War are becoming less intense.

I wrote about it in detail for Red Alert Politics:

For all the focus on how Donald Trump’s phone call with Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen has outraged China, the point of view of the country whose leader was on the other side of the phone has been neglected.

The Taiwanese people have lived for centuries in the shadows of foreign powers, having faced colonialism, invasion, and martial law, before winning democracy. Now, they face missiles pointed at them from an ascendant Communist state intent on eventually conquering them.

For Taiwan and its new pro-independence president, speaking directly to America’s incoming leader was a bold display of its autonomy in the face of Chinese threats.

It wasn’t an overnight shift in Taiwanese policy, but rather the culmination of a trend that has been underway for years. And Taiwanese millennials have played a significant role in that change.

Millennials helped propel Tsai to a resounding 25 percent victory in January’s general election and gave her Democratic Progressive Party its first legislative majority in history.

Read the rest: What Trump’s call meant to Taiwan’s “strawberry generation”

Flashback to 2008: Republicans and Joe the Plumber

Chuck Jones’ sin was pointing out that Trump lied about how many jobs the Carrier deal actually saved, tried to take credit for 33% more than the reality.

Now flashback to 2008 and the news sensation over Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher. How did conservative news outlets cover it?

Fox News (Hannity & Colmes): Why Are Democrats Attacking Joe the Plumber?

HANNITY: Why can’t you as a Democrat say you know what? Leave Joe, the plumber alone. He’s out there swinging a wrench for 12 hours a day, probably six or seven days a week. Do you think it’s unfair what’s happening to him?

Newsmax: Joe the Plumber Angered: ‘I’m Just a Private Citizen’

“I’m just a private citizen … That scares me just for the simple fact other people might hesitate on questioning our elected officials and that worries me greatly for America.”

American Thinker: Thugocaracy attacks Joe the Plumber’s Audacity

Michael Barone coined a word in his National Review article, dated October 11, 2008, entitled “The Coming Obama Thugocracy,” and subtitled “Attempts to shut down political speech have become routine for liberals.” Thugocracy: the rule of thugs.

Mr. Wurzelbacher was minding his own business when he had the audacity — Barack Obama’s favorite word after “taxes” — to question Senator Obama’s intention to “spread the wealth around.”

They’re out to destroy a simple American citizen who was made into a public figure by the people now out to smear him.

Townhall: The Obama Thugocracy Goes After Joe the Plumber

Jim Wickre: Attacks on ‘Joe the Plumber.”

The media and the Obama campaign will attack and attempt to destroy any one who stands in the way of Obama’s election as President.

Also in the Newsmax article, Joe said: “But to sit there and say that Barack Obama was directly responsible for such a thing–no, I’m not going to say something like that.”

That can’t be said about Donald Trump.

erickson-and-trump

Trump economics and the crisis of fake conservative populism

Trump is trying to stimulate the economy when the economy is booming.

Noah Rothman writes at Commentary that Trump’s economic proposals are “Keynesianism without a crisis.” The economy is chugging along, growing at 3.2 percent in the third quarter, and unemployment is below 5 percent. The U.S. has outperformed its peer competitors in Europe and North America over the past 4 years, topping France and Germany in GDP growth every year since 2012 and growing faster than Canada and the UK in 2015. This is important to note, because as economic critics point to 3% and 4% growth in the 1970’s and 80’s, they neglect to point out that the entire developed world has been growing slower since then. It’s harder to keep up a high percentage rate of growth on a bigger total.

But an even more important point of dispatch is that conservative critics and “populists” base their view on faulty emotional assumptions and incorrect data. Trump, for instance, said to Time that, the government needs to “prime the pump” “in order to get jobs going and the country going, because, look, we’re at 1% growth.”

In fact, the GDP has grown at 2.4% for each of the past two years. The slowest it grew since 2008 was 1.5% in 2013, still considerably faster than France and Germany. Moreover, quarterly economic GDP growth has never grown slower than 1% for the past three years. Trump is doing what he is so good at: making shit up.

But it’s not just Trump who is the problem. For most of Obama’s term, Republican and conservative “populists” have resorted to counter-factual appeals to the pain of the working class and consumers no matter what the economic conditions.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

Get the most important and interesting articles right at your inbox. Sign up for B+D periodic emails.