Bits and Pieces – 20170117, Tuesday

Commentary: From one of my favourite writers, an interesting piece on what the reactionary forces might do leading up to and into the inauguration: The Cheeto Cometh. The really interesting thought I found is that the next civil war has already begun.

We tend to think of major events as having clear start and stop points such as Pearl Harbor marking the start of WWII for the US. In actual fact, the US at that time had already enacted an oil embargo on Japan which might be said to have required Pearl Harbor as a defensive measure by Japan to the embargo which in turn may be understood as an act of war by the US.

Having said this, I just read a piece by George Friedman and Jacob Shapiro in which they state that their horizon for geopolitical analysis is independent of calendars and as such, specific events: Europe: The Process of Change Continues.

We are linear deterministic thinkers in a world where all action is individually determined and collectively emergent. So there is a continuum in any conflict among the protagonists in which specific points are purely arbitrary. We create such points to enable our (linear) thinking and discourse but in so choosing them, we lose the perspective of the true nature of the conflict. It also ensures our responses will not be optimal and may be very bad.

The conflict among the various political constituencies (I’m not talking Republican/Democrat) has become so polarized that an argument may be made that a civil war is in progress, has been for several generations, but has not yet entered a hot or kinetic phase. This is something to be feared.

I have been including links to speculation on a Trump assassination. It could, however be larger as: Putin Warns Of “Maidan-Style” Attempt To Delegitimize Trump; Doesn’t Believe Trump Used Hookers In Moscow. For those of you not recognizing the reference, “Maidan” refers to the events in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution during which it is alleged that right-wing extremist groups, supported by the State Department and the CIA, violently overthrew the elected government in a coup – classic CIA playbook activity.

Trump: The Trump effect in the auto industry motors on: Hyundai To Boost Investment In The US To $3.1 Billion Over 5 Years, Trump Touts “People Are Seeing Big Stuff” After GM Unveils 7,000 New U.S. Jobs, and General Motors says to invest additional $1 billion in U.S..

Fake News and Propaganda: Given the results of polling by the media during the election, one might be led to a contrarian application to new polls by the principal Trump antagonists (WaPo, CNN and ABC): New ABC / WaPo Poll Shows Drop In Trump Favorabilty Through Aggressive “Oversamples”. They used the same skewed sampling in per-election polls and we know those results.

Russia: Worth a read: Putin Warns Of “Maidan-Style” Attempt To Delegitimize Trump; Doesn’t Believe Trump Used Hookers In Moscow.

This article by George Friedman provides 4 maps that his company created to explain geopolitical situations. The first is used to explain the economic weakness of Russia. For those who think Putin wants to conquer the world, this map and an attendant discussion explain why he can’t do it – he can’t afford to. I think he is smart enough, unlike our Western socialist leaders, to understand this: The Geopolitics of 2017 in 4 Maps. On a separate note the second map of China is interesting. Our view is always from offshore looking in. This map is from the inside looking out – a much different perspective.

The American Empire (AE): I have wondered how empire can exist when the political helm changes every two or four years. I had speculated that the continuity of policy required for the persistence of empire lay within the State Department and to a certain extent, the military. On a separate note I was aware of the concept of the ‘deep state’ but had relegated it to the rather long list of topics to be explored. This has all come together in a beautifully woven tapestry from Zero Hedge in which the threads of many current topics are seamlessly woven together. In the process, the deep state is defined with links to more material. This article explains some of the difficulties Trump faces in implementing his policy objectives. It is a good read: Trump Takes On The Deep State.

Bits and Pieces: Expect the Liberal/progressive constituency to attack Trump’s change to Obamacare which has come to be known as the (un-)Affordable Care Act. For balance in this game read: Why Obamacare’s ‘20 Million’ Number Is Fake. For the full perspective, one needs to have been following the slow disintegration of the program over the last couple of years as insurer after insurer and doctor after doctor withdrew while premiums rose in the double digits and as much as 60%.

If you don’t understand the the electoral college and the nature of the US political system, this short read may help: Lewis & Media Do Not Even Understand Why there is the Electoral College.

Finally, a legacy that Obama has earned and should be recognized for: ‘Golfer-In-Chief’ Obama Plays More Rounds Than Any President Since Eisenhower. You may be surprised to know that Woodrow Wilson holds the record at over 1000 games (and his wife was better than him).

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