Putin, Trump, and the EU

Like I said yesterday in comments, I’m bored with the impeachment follies, it’s bullshit and it’s going nowhere, although it may well give President Trump a landslide victory, and that very fact may allow reasonable Democrats to get control of their party. But don’t hold your breath on that either. We’ll come back to it, sadly, when there is something to talk about.

Meantime, it does us no harm to look out over the parapet and see what’s going on in the world. So today, there is an excellent (I think) assessment of Putin by Areg Galstyan at American Thinker. Let’s have a look…

Vladimir Putin has ruled the country since 2000, and over these 19 years, influence groups around him have been fighting each other for a special position and status. Unlike most of his associates, Putin is indeed an ideologically motivated leader who perceives himself not just as a politician and an official, but as a sovereign, such as Peter the Great and Alexander III — the beloved emperors of the current Russian leader.

One of my blogfriends, a Briton living in Siberia, categorically states he is also a Christian, that may be so or it may not be, but he undeniably supports the Russian Orthodox Church, whether out of conviction or statecraft doesn’t really matter. Interesting that Putin and Trump, the two largest nationalist leaders, also profess as Christians, not many others do, as they attend St. Mattress almost every Sunday.

The new ideology that is called Putinism is uniting principles and foundations that have remained unchanged throughout all the historical stages of the development of Russia. Its foundation is the concept of National Democracy. It implies that the process of democratization and the formation of an active civil society is inevitable but it should not be carried out according to any foreign model. The Russian nation, like any other, has its civilizational, social, and cultural features. Today, 190 peoples live in Russia, and most of them retain their language, traditions, and mentality. From this point of view, Moscow is always under the permanent threat of external forces using any interethnic disagreements for their purposes. If, for example, a political decision was made to allow same-sex “marriage” in the deeply conservative regions of the North Caucasus, Tatarstan, and Siberia, riots would begin. And they would lead to the most unpredictable consequences. For a large part of the progressive West, this may sound wild. Yet for Russia, it is a matter of national security.

It is important to understand that Russia is not limited to Moscow or Saint Petersburg. These cities, like any major megalopolises, are centers of the dominance of progressive and liberal ideas. No one will argue with the fact that the United States does not begin and end in New York and California; there are also Texas, Tennessee, Utah, and other states. The victory of Donald Trump vividly demonstrated that it was conditional Texas and Kentucky that were the heart of America, not Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The situation is similar in Russia: Putin is guided by the mood of the regional majority, not the liberal minority of the capital. There are a lot of sensitive problems, and any Russian ruler has to maintain internal balance in order to keep the country’s physical integrity. This is an extremely difficult task. At certain periods of time, Emperor Nicholas II, and then the last general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev, did not cope with this task. This resulted in the collapse of the Russian Empire and the USSR, respectively. Thus, the essence of Sovereign or National Democracy is in a banal formula: everything has its time. In other words, Putinism advocates an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary model of development.

There is quite a bit more, all of it good.

My takeaway is this, I don’t think Russia is much of a threat to the US. It is a big European/Asian power, yes, and it could do serious harm to the US, but why. The converse is equally true, and I don’t hear any American thinking we should destroy Russia.

We compete yes, especially for oil sales. As an aside, last month for the first time in 70 years we became a net exporter. But providing Germany’s fossil fuel doesn’t translate to a justification for war.

A key point is this, our interests are in fact, while not identical, similar, and until the 1917 revolution, Russia was (more or less) our friend, as much as any great power (saving only Britain) was or is. We pretty much know now (and probably should have before) that a lot of the Washington swamp hasn’t gotten the memo that the cold war is over. I’d guess that there is a similar cabal in the Kremlin. If for no other reason than its good for the arms manufacturers, and their subsidiaries in Washington and Moscow.

But we’re both interested in suppressing terrorism, especially after our ‘experts’ made the mid-east so much worse. And frankly, it is not really in either of our interests to encourage the Chinese, let alone the North Koreans.

NATO was formed 70 years ago to “Keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”. It has done well on the first two, and after the failure of the Soviet Union pretty much failed on the last. That will I suspect have consequences as Europe returns to be the cockpit of internecine conflict. The EU will implode, probably in this decade, and then the great game will restart as the Germans once more try to form a European Empire. In truth, the EU itself is an attempt by Germany to form an empire by economic means rather than military, that is why Macron’s nose is so out of joint.

If as the linked author says, Putin believes in Westphalia, Vienna, and Potsdam and Yalta, then he is pretty much the Russian form of Trump. And as we know, now if we didn’t before we elected him, he’s not out looking around for wars to wage. I doubt Putin is either. Both have better things to do for their countries.

And I think it entirely possible that Putin is more trustworthy than either Macron or Merkel, let alone this new German running the EU.

America stands with Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Reciprocates

This was a week that may well change the world. A lot of it is down to the Hong Kongers.

You remember that election they had earlier this week for mostly meaningless jobs (which is why China lets them vote, of course). There were absolutely no protests and nobody can complain the elections were anything but fair and free. And the protestors candidates won 17 of the 18 councils.

That is pretty amazing after all e disruption we’ve seen. It really is the population protesting. Then in a remarkably bipartisan effort, the United States announced that the Secretary of State is now required to report at least once a year on whether China is living up to the treaty that returned Hong Kong from Britain. What’s on the line for China? Their trade links with the largest economy on earth and the US will hold their personnel personally responsible via sanctions. You know the same tools that killed the Soviet Union and are killing the Mullahs of Iran

In response to that, Hong Kongers had something to say.

 

Of course the Chinese (and the HK puppet government) are already whining about it. PJ Media reports:

The Chinese ministry of foreign affairs has released a statement condemning President Trump for signing a bill in support of the Hong Kong protesters. Beijing told Trump to stay out of it because Hong Kong and China are “one country,” albeit with “two systems.” It is an internal affair, China says, and therefore none of Trump’s business. […]

“We are officially telling the U.S. and the handful of opposition politicians in Hong Kong who follow America’s lead to not underestimate our determination to protect Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, don’t underestimate our belief to protect the ‘one country, two systems policy’ and don’t underestimate our capabilities and strategies in protecting our country’s sovereignty, safety, growth and rights,” the ministry said in response to these bills.

“This so-called bill will only make the Chinese people, including our compatriots in Hong Kong, further understand the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the United States. It will only make the Chinese people more united and make the American plot doomed to fail,” China’s foreign ministry added.

Yeah, whatever. Sometimes one just has to do what is right, and when the police are ing live ammunition already, how much worse can it really get?

In truth, these protestors remind me of a group of farmers, who started a war with the greatest empire in the world and won through, back in April of 1775. Will the Hong Kongers win? I don’t know, but like us long ago, they know they have to hang together or they’ll assuredly hang separately. I do know this, America’s place is always on the side of freedom. Keep that beacon fire lit, there are people who still believe. In us, and in the dream.

Sadly those do not include Britain. As you may know, the President will be in London on Monday for NATO’s 70th anniversary. Sounding almost exactly like the Chinese, Boris Johnson is pleading with Trump not to talk about their upcoming election. I wonder why. Could it be that he is afraid the British people will figure out that he is selling Britain out (as they sold out Hong Kong) to the EU, which increasingly resembles das vierte Reich?

 

The Strange Death of Europe

It’s probably safe to assume that many of you have heard of Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe. Murray is an Associate Editor of The Spectator and the author of The Madness of Crowds as well. It’s another one of those splendid interviews we have come to expect from Peter Robinson and The Hoover Institution.

There’s little to add to this, it’s his view, and it is a valid view, and in fact, it is very close to my own view, just better expressed. Except perhaps to wonder whether the United States can survive the death of our parent society.


And in an endnote of sorts, Chik Fil A announced yesterday that its charitable arm will no longer support the Salvation Army. That’s well within its purview so I’ll make no comment on it. What is within my purview is what I spend my money on, and it will not be with a hypocritical so-called Christian business who does not support the most effective Christian charity in the world. I find few things more irritating than hypocrisy, especially in favor of perhaps 1% of the population, whom the Sally Army already helps as necessary.

The Salvation Army is the only national/international charity that I find worthy of my money, and as such, for a Christian charity to not support it is beyond my personal pale.

Eat Mor Beef.

That does not mean I’m calling for a boycott or any other action. I’m merely stating what I will do. You do what you think is right.

Flouting the Electorate, Brexit at 3 1/2

We get enough crap from our politicians, but it is as nothing compared to our British cousins lately. Ours often do things we don’t want and don’t do things we do, and it angers us. But ours haven’t yet asked us to decide something for them, and then literally called us stupid and done their best not to d what we said. That is exactly what the UK Parliament has been doing for three and a half years. So, where does Brexit stand? It’s complicated. Too complicated for me to explain it. But Katie Hopkins takes a shot at it in FrontPage Magazine. It’s the best status report I’ve seen.

“Katie – what on earth is happening with Brexit?”

It’s a question I have been desperate to answer and have found myself unable to answer — as one day of uncertainty has led into the next. The word ‘unprecedented’ is commonplace in the UK right now.

Trying to give an accurate update on Brexit has been like trying to sell yogurt in the desert. It is past its shelf life even before it reaches the store.

But despite the attempts by our Remain-leaning Parliament to frustrate the will of the people, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally found a way forward, albeit a long way from the “Leave” we were promised for Oct. 31. Even the ceremonial 50p coins minted for the occasion will be smelted down in despair.

Bojo has called a General Election for December 12, 2019 in the hopes of breaking the endless deadlock over Brexit. And despite a desperate effort by the opposition to allow 16-year-olds and 3 million EU foreigners (who do not have British citizenship) to vote, Boris has prevailed.

The British people will go back to polls and vote for a new government to take them into 2020. Boris believes it will give him the majority he needs and a fresh mandate to Get Brexit Done and get us out of the European Union — his battle cry since he entered the House of Commons.

But the risks are considerable and the choices are stark. This will not be just a vote on Brexit. This election merges Brexit votes and party loyalty. There are crossed allegiances at every turn. Leave-supporting Labour voters will never vote Conservative, for example — similarly entrenched in their view as a Never-Trumper is inside the GOP.

Keep reading at the link.

This week Nigel Farage (who has a pretty good radio show on LBC in England) spent about a half-hour interviewing President Trump. It’s very good, and will likely explode some head in both country’s media, and that’s an excellent thing.

See what I mean. 😉

The Britons I speak to every day are getting pretty fed up with their politicians, well since Ben Sasse is one of my Senators, I understand. Most of them forcefully state that one cannot possibly ever trust a politician. Well, where they ever got the idea that one could is beyond me.

What I have found is that I have to back off and find a calm port in a storm. Jess talked about this a bit after her recovery in the convent. Like her, I have a restlessness that keeps bringing me back to the battle, but downtime is important too. Her reflection on that is at the link above. In any case, one of the gifts she gave me was bringing back my love of poetry. And like her, one of my favorites is T. S. Eliot’s Little Gidding and it speaks to this.

If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid. And prayer is more
Than an order of words, the conscious occupation
Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living,
They can tell you, being dead: the communication
Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.

Freedom Beleaguered, On Three Fronts

American and UK flags flying together

Here we do our best to deal in the truth, sometimes gently but often unvarnished. I’ve skimmed the new Brexit deal, not thoroughly read it. I agree with the DUP and with Nigel Farage: It is unacceptable. What that really means that if Boris gets it through Parliament (and it will likely be close) it will be the end of his career and likely the Conservative party as well. Labour too, but that has several other causes as well as its muddled response to the referendum. anti-Semitism, pro-Islam, and identity politics play about as well in the shires as they do in the American heartland. The US Democratic Party also has a wake-up coming next year, I think. Insanity also doesn’t play well. In both countries, we are seeing a major realignment, from left-right to give us back our good old law, for lack of a proper term. It is what has always fueled English speaking revolutions, going back to King Stephen’s time, at least. Nothings changed, and not always have they been peaceful or even mostly peaceful. One could think of the Barons of England standing at Runnymede, in full armor fingering their swords. Regicide was in the air that afternoon.


Somebody else who tells the truth is Daniel Greenfield. Here in FrontPage Magazine, he tells us why our corporations are taking China’s part against the US and specifically against Hong Kong. There are no real surprises here if you’ve been paying attention, but he does an excellent job of pulling it together.

Think there’s a contradiction between ‘woke’ corporate titans like Apple and Disney silencing anyone opposed to China’s crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong?

It’s not hypocrisy, it’s synergy.

The same forces that made the major brands scattered around your kitchen, living room and garage broadcast their support for gun control, gay marriage and illegal immigration are fueling their support for the People’s Republic of China pulling another Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong.

The lefties in Beijing and Berkeley used the same set of ideological tools to force companies to toe the party line. They roped off access to an appealing customer base, the population of mainland China, urban millennials with huge amounts of disposable income, in exchange for ideological compliance.

Communist China is one entangled oligarchy which mingles political party and company. Sound familiar?

The CEO of Nike sits on the board of Disney. The CEO of Disney until recently sat on the board of Apple. The CEO of Apple sits on the board of Nike. Good thing we have a “free market economy” isn’t it?

There’s a lot in that, interlocking boards have been a problem in American business for well over a hundred years.

And the Mouse didn’t eat the entire entertainment industry by being unable to see the endgame. Avengers Endgame brought in $612 million in China. That’s the real endgame that it cares about.

In America and China, a lefty political elite controls the culture. Chinese and American lefties interlock cultural, economic and political power. Disney, once seen as a square family friendly studio, can rule the box offices in America and China because it advances the cultural goals of their political elites. […]

If you’re going to sell thousand-dollar phones made by slave labor in some dusty factory town where the air is poison, you need the sanction of the Communist Party of China and the culture industry of California. And if you’re going to dump your cultural garbage in American and Chinese movie theaters, both owned by the same Chinese corporations, you’ll need to run the stuff by cultural censors.

The ‘enemies of the people’ in Hong Kong are free market Christians who don’t want a police state controlling their lives. Funny coincidence, those are also the ‘enemies of the people’ in America.

Giant multinational monopolies don’t like free markets. They encourage competition.

The last thing the NBA, Disney, Apple, Nike and the rest of the ‘megas’ want is competition. What they want is a walled garden tended by a kindly Zen-Communist tyrant who will give them a virgin territory in exchange for a huge slice of the pie to be shared with local political partners. And, of course, slavish devotion to the tyranny of whatever it is the locals believe in, dialectical materialism, the transcendence of gender, which is a small price to pay by people who don’t have any principles or believe in anything. […]

Identity politics manufactures identities and then convinces its dupes that their lives are hopeless and incomplete until they also implement open borders, gun control, and a ban on fossil fuels.

Sound familiar? Buy into the revolution now. Organizers are standing by to take your call.

That’s also why religious believers are the enemy. They don’t make ideal consumers.

People who have a form of meaning in their lives that isn’t for sale on Black Friday aren’t good consumers. Lefties with thirty genders and a hole the size of Cleveland where meaning should be, are.

OK, I don’t know if the Hong Kongers are actually Christians, although undoubtedly some are. His point is valid in any case. Some of our founders were pretty questionable Christians as well, even apart from some that were Jews. But his point is valid, their identity isn’t tied into their iPhone and such trash, let alone the movies and crap music. What they believe in, just like you and me, is freedom. Can you imagine if a quarter of Americans were in the streets demonstrating against the government? Some 87.5 million of us? That’s what is going on in Hong Kong.

The fact that they are waving three flags is no accident either. The flag of the Royal Colony of Hong Kong, the American flag, and the British Union Flag. Those are historically, and even now, the flags of freedom around the world. The fact that all of us are in this same battle is also significant. The EU as we’ve said before is nothing more than a corporatist empire, that will stifle everything to make a sale, especially freedom and Christianity.

That’s why Brexit is so important now. It was an excellent idea at the time of the referendum, but the last three years have demonstrated just how evil the EU is.

The same is true here, in America, as the Democrats, the Media, and the left-wing corporatists attempt a takeover.

I’ll give Mr. Greenfield the last word.

What matters is that more people, in China and America, are realizing that what they want isn’t a sale: it’s freedom.

 

Two (Videos) if by Sea

So, an hour with Candace Owens and Douglas Murray from the Candace Owens Show in London. Interesting, Intelligent, and enjoyable. What’s not to like?

Hat tip to Kathy Gyngell at The Conservative Woman.

And Boris Johnson at the Conservative Conference. Always interesting and often fun.

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