The Republican PNAC v 2.0

In case you missed it, 2020 is an election year in the US. On the 10th of June 2020 a Republican caucus in the US released its version of what could otherwise be known as the new PNAC plan for the US in the next decades ahead. Most readers will be familiar with the PNAC (Plan for the New American Century), most famous for its denizens in the Bush II “W” administration, a few of whom have made cameo appearances in the Trump administration, and one of whom just released a book. When you think of the PNAC, think John Bolton, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Elliot Abrams and the like, and the policies they represent, and you will be close to the mark in what this new plan inks out. It is called, “The RSC National Security Strategy: Strengthening America and Countering Global Threats”. It all sounds innocuous enough, right? Continue reading “The Republican PNAC v 2.0”

Is it a question of race or class with the Floyd protests?

In the midst of a still ongoing pandemic, the focus in the US has shifted to ongoing protests and incidents of violence since the death of George Floyd. These protests come just over 50 years after J. Edgar Hoover called the Black Panther Party “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”. Why that was will become apparent later. Membership in the party reached its peak in 1970. Some comment has asked whether the Black Lives Matter movement are picking up where the Panthers left off. The protests today do reflect many of the same issues that motivated the Black Panthers to form in 1966. The question is, are the current protests in the United States about race, or are they simply a question of police policy, or is there something more to them? Continue reading “Is it a question of race or class with the Floyd protests?”

The George Floyd riots: A closer look (Updated 4 June at end)

On the 25th of May this year in a suburb of Minneapolis, George Perry Floyd was murdered by a policeman during a routine callout. That is the public perception (see update at end for more details). He wasn’t shot trying to flee. He apparently wasn’t even resisting arrest. He was instead pinned to the ground by three police officers because he was afraid and claustrophobic, pinned to the point that he was suffocated and later died of a heart attack, according to the autopsy report. And yes, he was black. It was a strange thing to have happened, though, for several reasons. The arrest and pinning, with his loss of consciousness, was recorded for posterity on two cell phones and a security camera and soon went viral. The police seemed nonchalant. The nation exploded in protests and riots as a result. The world stood in solidarity with the protests. But why has this event caused such an outpouring when people die at the hands of police nearly every day in the United States? We’ll look at why here. Continue reading “The George Floyd riots: A closer look (Updated 4 June at end)”

Countering the Yellow Peril

Narrative, that is. By all appearances, to many commentators the US has entered a new Cold War, this time with China. Russia has now been relegated to second place in the annals of American enmity. That doesn’t mean Russia is off the books, far from it. But the new great power competition in the eyes of the US is all about countering China. The question is, do we really need to do so, and if so, why? We will explore that here, along with some astrology. This will be Part I of a two-part article on why relations have gone so far south between the US and China, especially given the latest manifestation of blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic. Continue reading “Countering the Yellow Peril”

Countering the Yellow Peril, Part II: The US

Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade advisor, recently stated, “We are at war with China”. He did not mean a literal shooting war, but his statement carried more meaning than that of a simple trade war. He then went on to accuse China of deliberately putting passengers infected with the coronavirus aboard flights bound for the US in the early days of the epidemic. It was an inflammatory statement. The American economy is perhaps facing shrinkage of its GDP by as much as 10% in 2020 due to its mishandling of the pandemic, while Asian economies are now almost up to full capacity, having clamped down the spread of the virus. So,why the heightened rhetoric? Continue reading “Countering the Yellow Peril, Part II: The US”

What’s up with the Fed?

This will be the first of several articles outlining the state of affairs in the West post-COVID-19. We’ll start with economics. A little over a month ago there were several headlines in open-source articles that carried the headline, “Has Trump Nationalized the Fed?”, or words to that effect. The US Federal Reserve has been a favorite of speculation, conspiracy theory, revile and even praise for years. We won’t be examining issues like foreign ownership in the Fed here. But recently, with the outbreak of the coronavirus in the US, it has been directed to start buying up junk bonds and the like to the tune of trillions of dollars at what many commentators see as an alarming turn of events, while using BlackRock as its agent. What exactly has happened to The Fed, then, and where will it likely land the country in the near future? Or the world for that matter? It’s been said that when the US sneezes the world catches cold, or in this case, a crowning virus. We’ll explore the astrology of The Fed here and see what clues are offered. Continue reading “What’s up with the Fed?”

COVID-19 and the US Pt. 3: BlackRock and Nemesis

Speculation about the many aspects of this virus has been rife on social media and sometimes heated. People are right to wonder about motives, to question the response and reaction of authorities, and especially about who is set to make gains off the crisis. The frontrunners in the latter case are the corporations and especially Bill Gates. How many people have heard of BlackRock, though? We started this series with the title ‘The Great Coronavirus Heist’. But instead of focusing on what is happening with the economy, we see diversion from a bigger issue that is staring us all in the face, and the latter revolves around a recent decision by the Trump administration regarding the financial firm BlackRock. Conspiracy? One might think so. But, given the massive amounts of funds that are now being transacted via that firm and why, we may want to be looking at that instead of a virus that will soon enough fade from the newsfeed. Viruses can come and go in a season. But BlackRock will be with us for years. Continue reading “COVID-19 and the US Pt. 3: BlackRock and Nemesis”

COVID-19 and the EU

It is probably not hyperbole to state that Europe, or specifically the EU, is facing its worst crisis since WWII. That is, at least economically. A little virus has brought on a crisis that neither Brexit nor years of neoliberal austerity could produce. And so far, the COVID-19 crisis is showing up all that has been at the base of the problems with the EU. More to the point, it is showing the north-south divide between EU member states that has been there all along, but which is never really stated in polite company. Just as a divorce tends to bring out the worst in couples who promised “to love, honor and cherish ‘til death do us part” when they married, so this virus is bringing all the skeletons out of Europe’s closets. And those antagonisms usually revolve around money and possessions. It is quite a spectacle. Continue reading “COVID-19 and the EU”

The coronavirus heist and the future (Part II)

We continue our investigations into the effects the current US epidemic is having on the economy and the likely results with a look at the current administration and its handling of events. There will be a ‘new normal’ after the pandemic has passed, with questions and much-needed discussions all around. The first primary impact is being felt hard in the strain the US epidemic is putting on its health services, and then in the social distancing and shutdown of businesses the former has mandated. One might disagree about the mandate, but the Italian and Spanish experience has shown the need for it. There will be more on that later. Continue reading “The coronavirus heist and the future (Part II)”

America and the great coronavirus heist (Pt I)

This is an article in two parts. The title of this installment outlines something that is happening before our eyes and gives the history of policies that have led to it. The second part will deal with the fallout from it, but also gives a brighter outlook for the future, which will come in a few years in all likelihood. Nations and their people – all of us – will recover over time once this has passed. But in the US and to a lesser extent in Europe, this virus is showing up something else, which is the theft of obscene amounts of money from the American taxpayers, in what amounts to socialism for corporations and the wealthiest families. That theft is what is otherwise known as bailouts. It is also to be the catalyst for coming changes in America. Continue reading “America and the great coronavirus heist (Pt I)”