“This Would Cross Our Red Line” – Chinese Military Considering Measures To “Cripple” Taiwan

While Donald Trump is tweeting his new year’s greetings to his friends, and especially enemies, China is thinking three weeks ahead to the day the president-elect is officially inaugurated, and is worried what that could mean for a suddenly empowered Taiwan, whose outreach to Trump now means that the long-standing “One China” policy is now a topic of negotiation. As a result, Reuters reports that China’s military, alarmed by Trump’s support of Taiwan, is considering strong measures to prevent the island from moving toward independence.
With China’s only aircraft carrier demonstratively passing in close proximity to Taiwan last week, and currently in the contested area inside the South China Sea, it is not surprising that according to Reuters’ sources, one measure being contemplated is conducting war games near the self-ruled island. More troubling is that as Reuters’ sources add, another measure “was a series of economic measures to cripple Taiwan.”
And since Taiwan is among the main sources of global high-tech, semiconductor fabrication and production, an economically “crippled” Taiwan suddenly becomes a potential gray swan for a world reliant on instant access to technological components to grow.
Adding to concerns of a potential “hot” conflict between China and Taiwan, while Reuters sources admitted that it was not clear if any decisions had yet been taken, the Taiwan issue had become a hot topic within the upper echelons of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in recent weeks.
“If Trump challenges ‘one China’ after becoming president, this would cross our red line,” said another source, who has ties to China’s leadership.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 31, 2016.

Ode to the Warehouse

Online commerce will soon be 10 percent of all retail, and it is growing at an exponential rate. We click and pay, and, if it’s not a digital good, the good arrives at our home a few days later. Remember ‘allow six to eight weeks for delivery?’ That’s gone. Everything comes fast. And if it isn’t in stock, we are notified. When it is shipped, we are notified. We can track our packages online, following them stop by stop.
The goods go straight from the manufacturer to the warehouse and then to our homes, eliminating the display racks, store fronts, retail outlets, salespeople, and everything else in between those stages. The most unassuming stage – and the stage that is increasingly important in modern commerce – is that warehousing stage, where products rest and wait for consumer volition to awake them from their slumber.
The warehouse has been a feature of the commercial world since the most ancient times. Jesus even has a parable that involves a grain warehouser who amasses ever more grain without selling any and then finally dies. Yes, that’s how the story ends.
The warehouse in our times is assuming ever-greater importance. The globalization and digitization of commerce has turned the warehouse from a useful institution into the very heart of commercial life.

This post was published at Mises Canada on DECEMBER 30, 2016.

Putin Mocks Obama Over Sanctions as He Invites U.S. Diplomats’ Kids to the Kremlin Instead of Expelling Their Parents – And His Aides Scorn ‘Angry and Shallow Brained’ Pol…

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his rival Barack Obama up to ridicule on Friday by declining to engage in tit-for-tat expulsions – and instead inviting U. S. diplomats’ children to the Kremlin to party.
The Russian strongman’s actions were accompanied by a fusillade of abuse aimed at Obama from Moscow underlings, who called him a ‘political corpse’ and said his administration was made up of ‘angry and shallow-brained losers’.
Putin had been expected to mirror Obama’s decision to expel 35 intelligence agents with Cold War-style revenge expulsions.
His foreign minister had called for the measure, but instead Putin – who met the makers of a Russian TV drama about Vikings and posed with a large sword – said he was waiting to deal with Donald Trump.
‘We will not create problems for American diplomats. We will not expel anyone,’ Putin said in a statement, also inviting children of US diplomats to a holiday party at the Kremlin.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 31, 2016.

Chicago Shootings, Deaths

Chicago shootings and deaths are in the news once again, thanks to the horrendous numbers in this regard racked up by the Second City. Progressive, liberal mayor Rahm Emanuel is busy wringing his hands and implementing policies responsible for the mayhem in the first place. He is fiddling while Chicago burns.
What would a libertarian do if he were mayor instead?
First, I would analyze the situation, were I in charge. I would ask what causes these debacles, and then try to eliminate them. Needless to say, the causal elements are, in this case, government programs. When they are ended, the murder rate in Chicago will plummet.
What, then are the causes? Let me list them.
First and foremost there is the war on drugs. This boosts the prices and the profits in this industry and feeds the gangsters who benefit from it. An inordinate number of bullet-spraying emanates from Chicago gangs, contending over turf with each other. They often shoot each other, and, as well, innocents who suffer from ‘collateral damage.’ I know full well that legalization is not the province of the city politicians, but, work with me here. I care not what the law is. Indeed, the law, in this case, is the very source of the problem. I am simply trying to come to grips with how best to solve the problem, and I shall not allow a little matter of the drug law being the responsibility of the state of Illinois or of the federal government to get in the way. So, yes, we legalize drugs in the Second City. All of them. Each and every one of them. Not merely marijuana, and certainly not for medicinal purposes only. For all purposes. And all of them without exception: cocaine, heroin, whatever. At one fell swoop this will cut a swathe through gang murders.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 31, 2016.

Why Politicians Are To Blame For Most Terrorist Attacks

European political leaders are making the same mistake in reacting to the massacre at the Christmas fair in Berlin, in which 12 died, as they did during previous terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. There is an over-concentration on the failings of the security services in not identifying and neutralising the Tunisian petty criminal, Anis Amri, as the threat he turned out to be. There is too little focus on bringing to an end the wars in Syria and Iraq which make this type of atrocity unstoppable.
In the aftermath of the killings the visibility of Amri, who was shot dead in Milan this morning, as a potential threat looks misleadingly obvious, and the culpability of those who did not see this appears more glaring than it really was. The number of possible suspects – suspected before they have done anything – is too great to police them effectively.
No politician or security official wishing to retain their job can tell a frightened and enraged public that it is impossible to defend them. Those in charge become an easy target for critics who opportunistically exploit terrorism to blame government incompetence or demand communal punishment of asylum seekers, immigrants or Muslims. At such times, the media is at its self-righteous worst, whipping up hysteria and portraying horrifying but small-scale incidents as if they were existential threats. This has always been true, but 24/7 news coverage makes it worse as reporters run out of things to say and lose all sense of proportion. As the old American newspaper nostrum has it: ‘if it bleeds, it leads.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

Catholic Bishops Push Amnesty, Vilify Trump Supporters

It is sometimes difficult to explain things Catholic to the general public. The vast majority of Americans, of course, are not Catholic, but most of them expect Catholics, especially our bishops – Catholic leaders – to act like… well, to act like Catholics.
Now there are specific Catholic teachings which are quite unpopular in our own age. Take abortion. Folks who support abortion ‘rights’ accuse pro-lifers of forcing their religious – and that means Catholic – moral views on the public. The same goes for contraception. Pollsters would have us believe that nobody, even devout Catholics, really opposes the Pill – in fact, our modern age has welcomed the Pill as a liberator. Indeed, it has been the engine of the sexual revolution.
And yet, Catholic teaching tells us that natural law, as well as the moral law, forbids artificial contraception. Why it even forbids homosexual relations! Unpopular? Sure. Against the grain? Absolutely. In every age, good Catholics should expect that teachings like these will be unpopular. But they should also expect that however, unpopular these teachings are, Catholic bishops, as their spiritual leaders, would teach them, explain them, and defend them publicly and faithfully, in the face of whatever opposition might arise. Isn’t that their job?

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 31, 2016.

Mormon Choir Singer Quits To Avoid Performing For “Tyrannical, Fascist” Trump

First, we had the downtrodden, disaffected Radio City Music Hall Rockette, Phoebe Pearl, who raged against her employer’s decision to perform at Trump’s inauguration saying she was “embarrassed and disappointed” by the upcoming performance. She even posted a cute picture to her instagram account, in protest, declaring that Trump is “Not My President!”
Now, Jan Chamberlin, formerly of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, is seeking her 15 minutes of fame. Rather than sing at the President-elect’s inauguration next month, Chamberlin has decided to quit the famed group in epic fashion with a Facebook rant saying the choir is implicitly “endorsing tyranny and fascism by singing for this man” while going on to compare Trump to Hitler on multiple occasions. Here’s a little taste of the rant:
I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man. But it’s no use. I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

Obama’s Parthian Shaft

One of my favorite literary expressions is the term ‘Parthian shaft.’ It refers to the favored tactic of the Parthians, a Persian people, of turning while on horseback and firing arrows while retreating.
The Roman consul Crassus, who defeated Spartacus, may have died from such a Parthian shaft after his defeat at the battle of Carrhae in 53 BC.
This week, outgoing President Barack Obama loosed his own Parthian shaft at Israel’s leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, by refusing, for once, to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s ongoing expropriation of Arab land on the occupied West Bank.
There was no mention of similar expropriation and ethnic cleansing on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights which legally belong to Syria.
For the past eight years, the Obama administration has discreetly argued with Israel over its settlement building on the West Bank and Jerusalem. In public, the Obama government maintained the ludicrous but convenient fiction that fruitful talks were under way that would lead to the creation of two states in historic Palestine.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on December 31, 2016.

Taxis In India: A Story Of Bootleggers And Baptists

This article was originally published in a longer form by the Indian magazine Swarajya.
I’d like to begin with a small confession. Ever since I read Bruce Yandle’s “Bootleggers and Baptists – The Education of a Regulatory Economist” (1983), it has become a cherished pastime of mine to view the many industries of the modern economy through the lens of the bootleggers and baptists analogy. Naturally, I was not surprised to find that that analogy was also useful in explaining the direction of taxi regulation in our country.
The Bootleggers and Baptists Analogy At the time of Yandle’s writing, many states in the United States had laws which banned the sale of alcohol on Sundays. These laws were not only supported by conservative baptists, who viewed alcohol as demonic, but also by bootleggers (illegal traffickers of alcohol) who made good money selling alcohol illegally on Sundays at higher prices.
While baptists would publicly lobby for the Sunday ban on the sale of alcohol, bootleggers would help out local politicians who were (and are) perennially in need of re-election funding. The law banning Sunday sales would contain no provision for banning the consumption of alcohol. This would ensure that both interest groups stayed happy.
And what about the consumer? The answer is simple; they get the short end of the stick. The higher prices due to the ban make their pockets lighter. In effect, it is the (un)holy alliance of baptists and bootleggers which would cause prices to increase.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Dec 31, 2016.

Obama Heads To The Hill To Strategize With Dems On Fighting Obamacare Repeal

Yesterday we noted that Republicans are considering a piecemeal repeal of Obamacare even though they have no viable alternative that has been fully vetted and stands ready to replace the failed legislation (see “Republicans Consider Obamacare Repeal Without A Replacement Strategy“). And while King Obama is happy to leave a path of destruction on his way out of the White House for the new administration to clean up, he’s not so keen on Trump’s vow to repeal his single crowning piece of legislation.
And while there’s not much that Democrats can do at this point to stop a repeal by Republicans, Obama has decided to schedule a rare meeting at the Capitol next week to strategize with House and Senate Democrats and “share his perspective about the dangers posed by Congressional Republicans’ stated strategy.” Per The Hill:
Obama will hold a joint meeting with House and Senate Democrats at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium. The notice for the meeting says the session is expected to last “at least one hour.”
The White House said Obama will use the meeting to “share his perspective about the dangers posed by Congressional Republicans’ stated strategy to repeal the [Affordable Care Act] before proposing any replacement, creating chaos in the health system in the short run – and holding hostage Americans’ health care – while Republicans develop their plan.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.

(Video) Syria, Assassinations, Wikileaks & the West: The Big Plan Exposed

In this latest installment of JaysAnalysis, I cover the big picture story of Libya, Syria and the post-modern imperial plan to restructure these nations for NATO and the Bilderberg establishment’s pipeline plans.
I cover fake news at length in the first free half, and the black markets, as well as deeper connections to Wikileaks and Benghazi in the second half.
YouTube here:

21st CENTURY WIRE


This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 30, 2016.