Thursday, April 02, 2015

Thursday Tab Clearing

Some excellent articles from this week.  Just in time for your weekend.

Just a note - This is the first time I can remember posting all the articles from my Internet searches.  Each one of these made the grade.  And if you read them all, you may discover some overlapping messages that would not be apparent by the titles.

All these articles are in this Google Doc, ready to print.  You supply the cigar.


Russia’s oligarchs head for London as rouble collapses by Peter Spence

This is a great summary of the status of the Russian economy, and a good supplement to the book I recently reviewed: Red Notice.
Along with the tax changes, collapsing forecasts for economic growth and rocketing inflation rates have made Russia a less attractive place to do business. Andrew Porter, director of research at Campden Wealth, said: “Many of the wealth holders we spoke with expect that the economic conditions will, if not worsen, stay as bad.”

The Central Bank of Russia has estimated that GDP will fall by as much as 4pc this year, a product of falling oil prices and ongoing conflict in Ukraine. At the same time, inflation soared to 16.7pc in the year to March 10. 

Operation Jade Conditioning, by Matt Bracken (image: WSRA)
When the time comes to eliminate those pockets of bitterly-clinging dead-enders standing in the way of social progress that Team Obama seems to hate with far greater vigor than it hates the Islamic State or Al Qaeda, the federal bosses will already know which county sheriffs and chiefs of police are “reliable.” That is, reliable in the KGB or Stasi meaning of the world. Click your heels, Sheriff, and set up the roadblocks as instructed. It’s a federal order! Do it just like we did it last year.

Again, it’s Operation Jade Conditioning. Ditto for our generals being conditioned to take orders from civilian bureaucrats for military deployments directly into American cities and towns.

How Long America? by Fred
Is it possible for the United States to break up, either de facto or formally?
What can Washington do if states and regions simply go their own way? If large numbrs of people stop paying income taxes, say? One tax evader can be arrested. Fifty thousand cannot. A problem for the feds is that if a state’s police decline to enforce federal laws, the feds have to do it themselves, and they don’t have the manpower. Passive resistance is hard to prosecute, gradualism offers scant pretext, rising generations seem less concerned about immigration than their elders, and a forcible response from Washington would entail frightful political risks. 

How SJWs subvert moderate institutions, by Matt Forney

Part report and part pep-talk, from the front lines in just one of the battles against communism.

Having declared war on gamers, comic book fans and metalheads, SJWs [Social Justice Warriors] have now turned their guns on the world of indie rock. In the past couple of months, indie news site Pitchfork has been running increasingly venomous articles castigating indie rock and other alternative music scenes for being too white or male.
The transformation of Pitchfork into a left-wing, anti-male propaganda vehicle illustrates why it’s imperative for men to defend their spaces against SJW subversion. Merely being neutral or apolitical is not enough, because cultural Marxists use neutrality as a weapon to infiltrate and take over institutions. It’s precisely because most people are apolitical that cultural Marxism has seeped into every aspect of American life.
When you make statements such as “there’s no difference between the left and the right,” you’re opening yourself up to Marxist subversion.

As the cliche goes, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. Cultural Marxism is a virus that is fueled by the apathy of those who don’t fight against it. There may not be a winning move in this culture war, but not playing the game at all will guarantee that you lose.

Gold In Fed Vault Drops Under 6,000 Tons For The First Time, After 10th Consecutive Month Of Redemptions, by Tyler Durden (ZeroHedge)

It was 8000 tons the last time I checked...
. . . while the Fed has not revised its vault gold data, one thing is clear: the slow, stealthy and steady withdrawal of gold from the NY Fed continues.

Indiana Backlash: The Fight to Protect Labels, Not People, by Jeremy Egerer

The best article yet on the new religious freedom law in Indiana.
The overwhelming majority of us know some gay person who's earned our respect; the overwhelming majority of us can think of a gay person we know and love dearly.  But most of us (especially in areas with high concentrations of gay people) have also met the man who shows up to work wearing dangly flashing-light Christmas-tree earrings, and threatens to sue his own employer if he isn't allowed to wear a dress to work.

If one thing is certain, it is that protecting a label like gay is the sloppiest way of going about any kind of civil rights movement.  Like protecting a label like black, it affords great powers to a certain kind of person – most usually the worst kind.  It ensures that everyone who isn't gay and everyone who isn't black, who has the slightest interest in self-preservation, begins to consider the protected minority as a potential threat; it elevates everyone possessing the negative stereotypes into power, and it does nearly nothing to advance the ones who were already virtuous and loveable enough to merit advancement.  The man who wears a thong and talks about his belly-dancing classes openly suddenly becomes protected, not because he's attracted to men, but because he's disgusting; just like the man who wears a hood at night complains about his being persecuted, not because he's actually black, but because he's chosen to dress exactly like a criminal.

There’s No Deterring an Apocalyptic Nuclear Iran, by Thomas Sowell
It doesn’t matter what the terms of the agreement are, if Iran can cheat.

It is now nearly 70 years since nuclear bombs were used in war. Long periods of safety in that respect have apparently led many to feel as if the danger is not real. But the dangers are even greater now and the nuclear bombs more devastating.
Clearing the way for Iran to get nuclear bombs may — probably will — be the most catastrophic decision in human history. And it can certainly change human history, irrevocably, for the worse.
Also, read Mr. Sowell's two reasons why he thinks Obama is pursuing an agreement with Iran.

 The Conditions are Ripe for a Major Middle Eastern War
Our enemies have seen the U.S. “lead from behind” in Libya, then turn its back on our consulate in Benghazi.  They’ve seen us draw a “red line” in Syria, then walk away when Assad called our bluff. They’ve seen Russia annex Crimea and bolster the separatists in eastern Ukraine while America refuses to provide military aid to Kiev. They’ve seen us flinch at the thought of putting American boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS.

Put it all together, and it’s a picture of an America that is timid, or confused, or flaccid—a nation that still talks a good hard-power game, but lacks the will to follow through.

While the Obama administration may be willing to turn a blind eye to this threat in its pursuit of a nuclear deal, Iran’s neighbors do not have that luxury. 

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