Trump’s One China Gambit and the Genius of Bargaining With Nothing!

New York Stock Exchange

Donald Trump claims that Mexico will pay for the boarder defences that he plans to build on his country’s southern border. Today we get a glimpse of Trump’s strategic thinking and deal making genius, that maybe, just maybe might be applied to his most noteworthy proposed building project.

A few weeks ago he caused a furore when he made a simple telephone call to the leader of Taiwan. This tiny act upset the diplomatic relations between China and the United States. Previous administrations had followed a policy of not officially recognising Taiwan as a truly independent nation. This was a wink and a nod to the Chinese claim that Taiwan is nothing more than a rebellious Chinese province, even though in every real sense Taiwan is a country like any other. Trump’s phone call implied that he would be willing to recognise Taiwan as a fully independent nation.

However, in recent remarks, President Elect Trump appears to be suggesting that the One China Policy will be left intact, but perhaps only if the Chinese make some reasonable minor concessions in trading arrangements. The subheading on an article posted today on The Guardian website makes this exact point: “President-elect also hints that Beijing will need to show good faith on trade practices for him to commit to ‘One China’ policy”

This “hint” by Trump about future US relations with China, also gives us a glimpse of Trump’s strategic thinking and deal making genius. By taking part in the telephone call he uses something that is supposedly settled, the One China Policy, disrupts it and then puts a price on returning it to a state of normality.

The costs are all on China’s side and the net benefits are all American. If the One China Policy is ended then China would lose face, something that no Chinese leader is keen to endure. It might also encourage instability in some of China’s currently “non rebellious” provinces. Trump has already resolved to adjust what he sees as unfavourable trading relations with China, what he has done now is given himself and extra bargaining chip and doing so for free. The chip doesn’t even need to be played, and probably shouldn’t be played, but nevertheless remains in play.

Trump’s One China Gambit, gives an insight into how he will make Mexico pay for “The Wall”. He has definitely mastered the art of using absolutely nothing as leverage. All I can say is that I wish that my own country had a leader with such gifts and such commitment to the national interest. But, you never know, Theresa May could still surprise us in her dealings with the EU!

Trump is showing he can play the game that China and Russia have themselves played and perfected over the years, and to do so with equal or perhaps even superior skill.

Interesting Facts: The Japanese Occupation of the United States During World War II

Kiska-1942

Japanese troops raise the Imperial battle flag on Kiska after landing on 6 June 1942.

Today I discovered something about World War II that I previously did not know. I did not realise that portion of what is now one of America’s 50 states was actually occupied by the Japanese.

I am, of course, stretching things with the title since the state in question, Alaska, was a Territory at the time and only joined the Union in 1959.  Nevertheless, it was, like the British Channel Islands, occupied by one of the Axis powers.

The Japanese occupation of Kiska and Attu in the Aleutian Islands began on 6 June 1942 (1).  There was only a very minimal US presence at the time of this successful attack on US territory:

 “When the Japanese attacked Kiska, the only people on the island were members of the U.S. Aerological Detail who ran but were caught in just a matter of days.  Senior Petty Officer William C. House avoided the Japanese for 50 days, surviving on plants and worms alone but eventually, when he weighed just 80 pounds, he made a decision to either give up or die from lack of food; he chose to give up. ” (2)

The invasion to liberate Kiska from the Japanese yoke took place on 15 August 1943, but the Japanese had already left at the end of July. (2)

He following is an American documentary about the Aleution Campaign:

Notes:

(1) Japanese occupation of Kiska  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_occupation_of_Kiska

(2) Japanese Occupation Site at Kiska Island. https://www.theclio.com/web/entry?id=16114

Keep Calm Folks – The World Won’t End After Brexit

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Run on the Seamen’s Savings’ Bank during the Panic of 1857. Image obtained from Commons.Wikimedia.org

There seems to be a lot of worry, angst and hysteria from the Remain camp about the trade issue and what is going to happen on 24 June after we have voted to leave the EU.

They forget what the 2 year transition period is for. We don’t leave the EU at the stroke of midnight on 23 June, much as many if us would like to. Contrary to all the alarmist talk, every county in the EU that trades with the UK has as much stake as we do to make the transition work. No company wants to lose out on trade opportunities.

On 24 June the negotiations start to make things work. The last thing the EU will want is the massive disruption to trade that Bremainers are fantasising about. European and British firms will continue their primary goal – to make money.

Also after Brexit the EU will be in a much more vulnerable situation than us. We will know where we are heading, they will be worrying about the secession from the EU by other member states, especially in the east. Meanwhile EU governments are going to be under enormous pressure from their businesses to sort things out quickly and minimise any disruption and uncertainty.

Bremainers seem to have got themselves into a bit of a tizzy when there is really nothing to worry about. What happened to the British stiff upper lip? It’s a bit embarrassing to see many of our fellow citizens in such an irrational state of fear and timidity.

Perhaps the Government can make sure paper bags are on hand for them to blow into until they come to terms with the fact that everything’s fine!

Predictions of a Trading Apocalypse Are Grossly Exaggerated

Apocalípico I by Mauricio Garcia Vega (artist) – Source/Photographer Mauricio Garcia Vega. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Apocalípico I by Mauricio Garcia Vega (artist) – Source/Photographer Mauricio Garcia Vega. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Obtained from Commons.Wikimedia.

The Sky is Falling!

There are dire predictions of a trading apocalypse if Britain acts in its best interests and leaves the EU. That is if the hysterical campaign to remain in that undemocratic and economically fragile political grouping is to be believed.

The doom and gloom Remain crowd are now wheeling out globalist after globalist to scare Brits into submitting to EU rule. The people behind pointless wars, biblical scale migrations, financial disasters and undermining cherished freedoms are currently on the march again.The latest of these political ‘celebrities’ is Presidential wannabe Hillary Rodham Clinton.

It is obviously very clear that the globalists who seek to oppress us defiantly want the us Brits to remain as inmates in the open prison also referred to as the European Union – with no prospect of reprieve or parole.

Britain, the Latest US Ally to be Threatened by the Obama Regime

The other day Obama threatened to put Britain to ‘the back of the queue’, if we were naughty and failed to follow his ‘advice’. Perhaps we would end up even further back in the queue than the long suffering American people!

The Obama Administration has a reputation for stabbing its closest allies in the back as THIS article suggests. The UK is just the latest victim!

A Democrat Party Hostile To British Democracy

It is now clear that a Clinton Administration would follow the same hostile policy towards America’s closest allies. Under the Democrats America will end up without any reliable allies at a time when new great powers are on the rise. Does this confirm that Obama and Clinton want to deliberately weaken America as many commentators suggest? Perhaps it does!

The recent interventions of Obama and Clinton in British affairs is not America intervening as some maintain, it is the Democrat Party intervening. They are putting party policy before the American national interest, though that comes as no real surprise.

Britain’s Ability to Frustrate Democrat Party Global Social Engineering

The outcome of the forthcoming Presidential election is not certain but even if Clinton gets in, there is always the British veto on the UN Security Council which it has not yet given up to the EU. No legal military action can take place without Britain’s say so.

Britain could be a thorn in the side of a Democrat Party with a penchant for interventionism, nation building, and international social engineering. A Republican President would have a very different policy.

If America under a Democrat President no longer wants to be friends with an independent Britain then they would become isolated amongst the permanent members of the Security Council with only France as a *potentially* reliable partner.

Keep Calm The Sky Won’t Fall if the UK Brexits

What the Bremainers and the scaremongering, anti democratic power crazed globalists don’t understand is that people can see through their desperate charade. Everyone knows that they created, either deliberately or due to incompetence, the current social and economic crisis we see across the world. They know that following the wishes of these people will mean more of the same or worse.

The British people have a backbone and will not be tricked by these charlatans. They will not bow to manufactured fear.

The reality is that it is in nobody’s interest to start a trade war with an independent Britain. After all, such action would damage an already shaky trading system still recovering from the global financial crisis. Any of the economic sanctions imagined by the Bremain campaign would be self defeating as they would risk pushing an already fragile world economy over the edge.

One thing that has come out of the recent interference from Obama and Clinton, Brits should not feel excluded from sticking our noses into the American Presidential election. My message and advice to the American people is this, vote for anyone (even Mickey Mouse) so long as it is not Hillary!

The EU is an Obstacle to a People’s Europe

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Above: Brick wall close-up view. Author: Pawel Wozniak. Source: http://freestocktextures.com/texture/id/690. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Original dimensions of 4,752 × 3,168 pixels, and file size of 10.24 MB has been changed to 640 x 427 pixels and 105.5K

Visceral Hatred of Democracy

I have taken part in a number of online discussions during our ongoing referendum campaign here in the UK. What has struck me most is the apparent visceral hatred for democracy by some on the Bremainers.

There is no reasoning with them, they say that Britain is not a democracy anyway. They are effectively claiming that Britain is not a democracy and as a result the EU does not need to have democratic aspirations.

Part of the reason for the absence of democracy and accountability in the UK is because MPs can turn round and say ‘beyond our control’ because of rules made by the EU.

Urgent Need for Democratic Reform

Nevertheless, if the EU was a democracy I would be one of the most committed pro Europeans. I would be in favour of having the EU as the sole law making body for the whole of Europe.

However, to be a democracy it one of two options would need to be taken. The first option would be the abolition of the unelected EU Commission and the transfer of all its powers to Parliament. The second option would  be reforming the Commission into a directly elected Senate. It is not enough for it to be appointed by people who were appointed by people who were directly elected because that prevents direct accountability.

Currently the European Parliament is elected by PR, which is the fairest system of voting. However, the Commission has the real power which renders fairer voting for the Parliament a moot point.

Currently the EU is corrupted by lobbying by the transnational elite and their corporations. The EUs current complexity and lack of transparency allows them to get away with it. A democratic Europe would look after the people of Europe.

The Non-Existence of a People’s Europe

I would be in favour of a democratic European federal state because it would be big enough to stand up to transnational corporations. At the moment they get states to compete with and undercut each other for their favour. A united democratic Europe could bar them from the entire market if they refused to pay their fair share towards society.

It is tragic that the EU is not a democracy and does not represent the interests of Europe’s population effectively. It could really be a force for good. Unfortunately its vested interests refuse to reform it as we saw with Cameron’s sham ‘renegotiation’. He could have asked for the democratic reforms that ultimately would be in the EUs and Europe’s long term interests.

The EU could have put forward such reforms on its own. However, that would not be the EU that we know, the EU that will continue to exist until it collapses under its own contradictions. It’s vested interests want to control Europe and will never hand it over to its people.

That is why I have been forced to abandon my own dreams of a United Europe, that is why I will unfortunately be voting to leave on 23 June.

The Antidemocratic EU is Unfixable – Vote Leave!

Would be nice to fix the EU but it is unfixable. In addition to its unelected executive institution the Orwellian sounding European Commission and its rubber stamping Parliament it has a record of showing contempt to the will of the people.

Its vested interests simply refuse to change it! We saw this when Cameron’s ‘renegotiation’ achieved nothing what so ever! We also saw this when EU member states had referenda results that these vested interests did not like:

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Transparent ballot to prevent pre-stuffing box with fake ballots – Not needed in EU that simply ignores “wrong” results This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Author: PereslavlFoto. Obtained from Commons.Wikimedia. Original file size of 3,140 × 4,000 pixels, 3.72 MB reduced to 300 x 382 pixels, 33.08K

(1) Nice Treaty – Irish vote 53.9% against (7 June 2001), response – wrong answer, Vote Again!

(2) Constitutional Treaty – French vote 54.9% against (29 May 2005), Dutch vote 61.5% against (1 June 2005), EU response – wrong answer, ignore result, rename Constitutional Treaty as Lisbon Treaty and try again, but don’t make the mistake of asking the people! Planned referenda in other countries – Cancelled!

(3) Lisbon Treaty – Irish result 53.2% against (12 June 2008), EU response – wrong answer, Vote Again!

(4) Greek bailout vote – result 61% against (5 July 2015), response – apply pressure on Greek government to ignore their people and impose even harsher measures to punish them for their temerity.

(5) Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement – result 61% against (6 April 2016), EU response to a clear vote against EU expansion – start the process of making Turkey a member of the EU.

(6) UK In-Out Referendum (2016 – ongoing) – propaganda campaign to demonise and mock those who want to leave, propaganda leaflet distributed to every household paid for at tax payers’ expense, Civil Servants forced to produce propaganda figures to further sway opinion – again at taxpayers expense, globalist elite mobilised for the propaganda campaign, ship in a foreign leader to add further weight to propaganda campaign…

The EU is an unreformable antidemocratic sham where ordinary people are regularly held in contempt. The EU is there to further elite interests and elite interests only!

Vote for democracy – Vote Leave! because you won’t get another chance !

Notes:

Source of percentage figures above:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Referendums_related_to_the_European_Union

The Ecological Destiny Of Homo Sapiens And Its Successors

346px-Pedigree_of_man_(Haeckel_1874)-300px-wideHumans As Natural

Humans are a natural part of nature and have an ecological purpose. I don’t see any separation between the human and the natural world at least on the macro scale. Humans are part of nature and therefore natural. Those who treat humans and nature as separate are equivalent to those who say that it is not natural for humans to fly because they don’t have wings. In reality humans don’t fly with wings but with their minds.

Assuming that humans evolved on this planet then they arose out of the wider environment and are a fundamental part of it. In this sense they were not artificially placed in it by some extra-terrestrial entity or Divine power. Even if they were this would just imply a broader conception of nature stretching deeper into the visible and indeed invisible universe. But that is probably too deep even for this essay.

Image Above Right: Evolutionary History of Man. Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pedigree_of_man_(Haeckel_1874).jpg

The Ecological Purpose of Man

Human beings are the only life form on Earth that is capable of deliberately leaving the environment in which it evolved. It may seem like an ‘out there’ idea but I think if humans have a role in nature it is to export the biosphere to places where it does not exist. If humans are to survive beyond the Earth they will have to take their environment with them. That means learning to understand it with an entirely new level of precision.

The current debate on climate change may ultimately give us the understanding to fulfil such a destiny.

James Lovelock and The Gaia Hypothesis

James Lovelock saw the Earth as a self regulating system, a cybernetic organism in its own right. I see in his concept of Gaia, the global ecosystem is like an overlapping system of systems. However, I don’t think he recognised the ecological destiny or purpose of man. In the chapter on cybernetics in his book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth he states the following:

“One of the most characteristic properties of all living organisms, from the smallest to the largest, is their capacity to develop, operate, and maintain systems which set a goal and then strive to achieve it through the cybernetic process of trial and error. The discovery of such a system, operating on a global scale and having as its goal the establishment and maintenance of optimum physical and chemical conditions for life, would surely provide us with convincing evidence of Gaia’s existence.”(1)

He did grasp the truth that man could mess the whole thing up and destroy his own environment. If that happened humanity would surely die out and Gaia would simply have another go at evolving a life form that would fill the human ecological niche and go on without us. I think he is right about this.

Humans cannot be allowed to fail their ecological destiny in this way. They certainly need to strive to learn to work with the non human component of nature, learning its inner workings in their entirety in order to eventually fully merge with it.

Anthropogenic Nature and Primeval Nature

I distinguish between two different views of nature, primeval and anthropogenic. What I refer to as primeval nature relates to the view that human beings are somehow above the natural world and separate from it.  What I refer to as anthropogenic nature relates to the idea that human beings are an intrinsic part of nature and have their own ecological purpose.

An interesting article  about vertical farming by A. C. Stark helps me make the point I am trying to make. He talks about how some parts of the environment that we regard as natural are actually massively shaped by man. He sees this as a problem and vertical farming as a potential solution that would allow the countryside to return to its actual natural state.(2)

While I have great respect for his far sighted vision for farming and fully approve of both vertical farming and his desire to return to a more natural environment, I don’t see the fact that nature has been shaped by man as a problem per se.

As I have mentioned earlier I see man as part of nature and something that cannot be separated from it. What man does to the world is natural for good or bad. A volcano destroys but it also creates. Stark seems to want to keep primeval and anthropogenic nature apart whereas I want to create an integrated synthesis. I see such an outcome as both natural and inevitable.

An Evolved State of Nature

I think that vertical farming is one of many technologies that are emerging that will help humankind understand nature with far greater precision and their study should be pursued for their own sake in order to fully understand the natural world. I think the outcome would of course allow vast tracts of the Earth to return to a more primeval state. However, at the same time new forces will inevitably be released by man to modify this primeval state to some degree, not least the technological evolution of the human race itself. However, if man’s understanding of the workings of nature becomes more precise then impacts will be predictable and planned for.

I believe humans, whether naturally evolved or of Divine manufacture, or indeed in the future of human manufacture, will eventually become agents of their own evolution. They will create new life and new life forms from the biological raw material found around them on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. That would certainly move us away from primeval nature, and would perhaps be much resisted, but this would not make it any less natural. This evolved form of Gaia will be what spreads beyond the Earth as humans realise their ecological destiny and intrinsic purpose.

Notes:

(1) James Lovelock (2000). Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, page 45-46, Oxford University Press.

(2) Vertical Farming: A Huge Piece to a Gigantic Puzzle. A.C. Stark, 11 March 2016.

Harriet Tubman – A Fine Choice For The $20 Bill

Harriet_Tubman_Civil_War_Woodcut-300px-wideI must admit, until this week I had never heard of Harriet Tubman. I am not an American so have a bit of an excuse about not previously knowing anything about the first African American women to appear on a US bank note.

She was born into slavery but after escaping, perhaps motivated by her strong Christian faith, devoted her life to helping others escape and build meaningful lives for themselves. She was later involved in the campaign for women’s sufferage.

I think she is a worthy choice for commemoration on the $20 bill. It is not because she is a woman or that she is an African American, it is because what she did was right. She stood up to tyranny, took personal risks for the sake of others and was unwavering in her cause. Her place on the banknote was earned on pure merit. She is an inspiration to all those who stand up to current vested interests who use their power oppress others.

As a campaigner for women’s suffrgage she is very relevant to the present day where democracy is gradually being subverted under the pressures of globalisation. In America and in countries around the world large corporations can buy politicians via the lobbying process and manipulate opinion via their control of the media. We live in a world of backroom deals and legislation by treaty, a world where the simple vote has become a debased currency. It is a world where currency itself is debased due to the hidden machinations of our system of central banks which often amount to organised officially sanctioned theft (her presence on the $20 bill in this sense is rather ironic).

We live in a world where cherished freedoms are being eroded, the kind of basic freedoms that were hard won by people like Harriet Tubman. Her presence on the $20 bill will be an ever present reminder of the idea that the only antidote to tyranny is eternal vigilance.

Harriet Tubman provides a lesson on how a person from humble origins and limited, or even non-existent means, can achieve great things. She also reminds us that freedom isn’t free and that to be free often requires real effort and sometimes even personal sacrifice.