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Will North Korea test a nuclear weapon while Trump is in Asia?

The big question looms over Trump’s first Presidential visit to Asia.

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While the substance of Donald Trump’s first Presidential trip to Asia will be largely predictable, one issue surrounding the trip carries an element of surprise: Sill North Korea test a nuclear weapon or ballistic missile while Trump is in the region?

The DPRK has a history of conducting powerful weapons tests during, after or just before prominent regional events. Most recently, this came to fruition when Pyongyang successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb hours before the BRICS summit commenced in Xiamen, China.

With the US once again flying nuclear capable B-1B Lancers near North Korea in what can only be described as a simulated bomb drop exercise, shortly before Donald Trump takes off for his trip to Asia which includes a visit to South Korea, it is fair to say that provocation is in the air.

North Korea already authored a kind of “greeting card” for Trump, which said that the US President is a “nuclear war maniac” who is “incurably mentally deranged”.

Donald Trump’s first trip to Asia is set to be a predictable failure

The question now is, will North Korea do for Trump’s visit what it did for the BRICS summit? The following items must be considered when speculating on such an event:

1. China’s anger 

It is no secret that ever since Kim Jong-un assumed power after the death of his father, China’s relations with the DPRK have plummeted. While unlike the US, China continues to respect North Korea’s sovereignty, China incrasingly considers the DPRK to be a regional headache, at a time when regional stability is Beijing’s paramount consideration, not least to insure the smooth construction of the One Belt–One Road trading and infrastructure mega-project.

At the same time, China is deeply offended by the Trump administration’s patronising rhetoric which not so subtly indicates that the DPRK is a uniquely Chinese responsibility, something which is objectively untrue, especially in 2017 when the DPRK continues to become increasingly self-sufficient and with China less and less interested in good relations with the government in Pyongyang.

CONFIRMED: North Korea has enough oil to survive embargo

Nevertheless, were North Korea to test a weapon or missile during or surrounding Trump’s visit to the region, China would be angered by the DPRK’s breaking of the regional equanimity that China has invested a great deal of political capital in. Such a weapons test would equally inure Chinese wrath for feeding the mythical narrative from the Trump White House that China is some how impotent when it comes to “controlling” the DPRK.

From Pyongyang’s perspective, there are pros and cons to angering China. The obvious cons involve further alienating a powerful neighbour and a possible vital partner, one which could be an economic lifeline should the economic situation in the DPRK deteriorate.

Geopolitical expert Andrew Korbyko describes this mentality in the following way:

“North Korea acutely understands this state of affairs, hence why it assumed that it could do whatever it wanted in terms of weapons tests and the like while taking the aforesaid Chinese aid for granted, but that appears to be changing now because of just how much he’s embarrassed China, which admittedly seems to have been on purpose.

It can never be known with any certain degree of accuracy what Kim Jong-Un or his junta backers are thinking, but observations about North Korea’s behavior suggest that it’s intentionally trying to irk China a bit because it might have gotten too paranoid about the prospects of Beijing cutting a deal with Washington against Pyongyang. Ironically, however, North Korea appears to be making this fear a self-fulfilling prophecy through its short-term actions of always trying to upstage China in the international arena.

Instead of resulting in more aid, which for all intents and purposes serves the role of bribes for the North Korean “deep state” (permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies), Kim Jong-Un risks forcing China to downscale the said assistance in order to save face in front of the international community and consequently endanger the stability of his country”.

BRICS Summit? What BRICS Summit, Kim just stole the show!

Because of this, Pyongyang will likely factor these considerations into its wider “cost benefit analysis” over a weapons test during the Trump visit.

2. The Russia Factor 

In many ways, the Soviet Union was a far closer ally to the DPRK during the Cold War than China was, both during the Mao era or the reformist Deng era.

Russia maintains better contacts with Pyongyang than most international powers and unlike China, is less offended when the DPRK does something to disturb the would be placidity of East Asia.

Unlike China, Russia, including its President Vladimir Putin, has been very frank about the fact that North Korea has legitimate fears from a US regime which toppled countries that did not have nuclear weapons. In this sense, while Russia condemns all of North Korea’s nuclear and missile testes with the same sincerity as China, Russia also accepts that the DPRK has a legitimate need for a deterrent.

In this sense, a DPRK weapons test during a Trump visit would expose the limitations of US treats as well as the limitations of Chinese economic carrots and stick tactics. This would have the effect of enhancing Russia’s role as a preferred mediator in any future agreement, such as the tripartite economic cooperation scheme between Moscow, Pyongyang and Seoul, that President Putin presented during September’s Eastern Economic Forum, an event attended by a North Korean delegation and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Two Koreas–One Road: The future of cooperation between North Korea, South Korea and Russia

In this sense, North Korea may determine that angering China and exposing the weakness behind US threats to the DPRK, may pay off in the medium term as Russia’s stoicism in the face of such things appears to be more enduring than that of any other nation.

Russia itself would prefer the DPRK not to conduct any tests, but even if they do, Russia will not respond vengefully nor hysterically, something which works in the favour of all concerned regional players, including the DPRK.

3. The Trump Factor 

If one is to take Donald Trump’s ‘reality tv’ style threats against North Korea at face value, there is nothing more that Trump would love, than to launch a cowboy crazy attack on North Korea, ordered while he is in Asia.

The issue here is that for all of Trump’s bluster and threats, he has yet to make good on them outside of the area on continued sanctions. Furthermore, Trump’s embattled but still standing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is careful to counter Trump and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s hysterical threats with a far more measured and generally anti-war approach. It is also widely believed that Generals Kelly, Mattis and McMaster who are thought to hold the real power in the Trump White House, are ultimately less trigger happy than their Dr. Stranglove stereotypes would suggest.

With China stating that it will not allow a US attack on North Korea, unless North Korea strikes first (a nucleartest is not considered a strike in this scenario), Trump’s Asia visit could actually ignite a wider war in the region.

Because of the unpredictability of the Trump administration, there is an element of a ‘game of chicken’ to this scenario. Ultimately however, while Trump would scream and shout if North Korea did test a weapon during or surrounding his visit, conventional wisdom still dictates that the US would bark but not bite as a result.

Conclusion: 

The state of US relations with Asia have become so lacklustre and so predictable, that it is something of an irony that the most ‘exciting’ thing about Donald Trump’s first visit to Asia is playing the guessing game about North Korea’s possible nuclear or missile tests. This is a comment both on the state of America’s increased irrelevance in Asia, as well as the fact that for all the rhetoric and bluster on all sides, North Korea is capable of deterring military action from major superpowers.

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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Why Joe May be Courting Stacey

Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


Of 895 slots in the freshman class of Stuyvesant High in New York City, seven were offered this year to black students, down from 10 last year and 13 the year before.

In the freshman class of 803 at The Bronx High School of Science, 12 students are black, down from last year’s 25.

Of 303 students admitted to Staten Island Technical High School, one is African-American.

According to The New York Times, similar patterns of admission apply at the other five most elite high schools in the city.

Whites and Asians are 30 percent of middle school students, but 83 percent of the freshman at Bronx High School of Science, 88 percent at Staten Island Technical and 90 percent at Stuyvesant.

What do these numbers tell us?

They reveal the racial composition of the cohort of scientists and technicians who will lead America in the 21st century. And they tell us which races will not be well represented in that vanguard.

They identify a fault line that runs through the Democratic Party, separating leftists who believe in equality of results for all races and ethnic groups, and those who believe in a meritocracy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed anger and frustration at the under-representation of blacks and Hispanics in the elite schools. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have ignored his pleas to change the way students are admitted.

Currently, the same test, of English and math, is given to middle school applicants. And admission to the elite eight is offered to those who get the highest scores.

Moreover, Asians, not whites, are predominant.

Though 15 percent of all middle school students, Asians make up two-thirds of the student body at Stuyvesant, with 80 times as many slots as their African-American classmates.

The egalitarian wing of the Democratic Party sees this as inherently unjust. And what gives this issue national import are these factors:

First, the recent scandal where rich parents paid huge bribes to criminal consultants to get their kids into elite colleges, by falsifying records of athletic achievement and cheating on Scholastic Aptitude Tests, has caused a wave of populist resentment.

Second, Harvard is being sued for systemic reverse racism, as black and Hispanic students are admitted with test scores hundreds of points below those that would disqualify Asians and whites.

Third, Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Here are Biden’s quotes, unearthed by The Washington Post, that reflect his beliefs about forced busing for racial balance in public schools:

“The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with.

“What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist!

“Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?

“I am philosophically opposed to quota systems. They insure mediocrity.”

That was 44 years ago. While those views were the thinking of many Democrats, and perhaps of most Americans, in the mid-’70s, they will be problematic in the 2020 primaries, where African-Americans could be decisive in the contests that follow Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden knows that just as Bernie Sanders, another white male, fell short in crucial South Carolina because of a lack of support among black voters, he, too, has a problem with that most loyal element in the Democratic coalition.

In 1991, Biden failed to rise to the defense of Anita Hill when she charged future Justice Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment. In the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a law-and-order champion responsible for tough anti-crime legislation that is now regarded as discriminatory.

And he has a record on busing for racial balance that made him a de facto ally of Louise Day Hicks of the Boston busing case fame.

How, with a record like this, does Biden inoculate himself against attacks by rival candidates, especially candidates of color, in his run for the nomination?

One way would be to signal to his party that he has grown, he has changed, and his 2020 running mate will be a person of color. Perhaps he’ll run with a woman of color such as Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia.

An ancillary benefit would be that Abrams on the ticket would help him carry Georgia, a state Donald Trump probably cannot lose and win re-election.

Wrote Axios this morning:

“Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.”


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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President Trump’s Committee on Climate Security: A Much-Needed, Overdue Return to Science

In an effort to prevent the formation of this committee, a vicious defamation campaign has been launched against Dr. William Happer, a distinguished scientist and Princeton Professor of Physics.

The Duran

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Authored by Jason Ross via EIR…


President Donald Trump plans to appoint a panel to find out if man-made climate change is actually causing an imminent, irreversible, insurmountable, inescapable crisis that threatens not only the entire human species, but planet Earth as a whole. Shouldn’t we find out whether there truly is an impending catastrophe before allocating literally trillions of dollars for prevention and remediation, putting at risk the well-being of billions of people who will be adversely affected by expensive and unavailable energy? The president’s committee requires urgent support!

March 11—The Washington Post ran a story on February 20, centered on leaked National Security Council planning documents regarding an executive order to establish a committee “to advise the President on scientific understanding of today’s climate, how the climate might change in the future under natural and human influences, and how a changing climate could affect the security of the United States.”

President Trump has asked Dr. William Happer, a distinguished and well-known Professor of Physics at Princeton, to head the presidential committee on climate science.

In an effort to prevent the formation of this committee, a vicious defamation campaign has been launched against Dr. William Happer, a distinguished scientist and Princeton Professor of Physics, who has been asked to head the committee. Happer is also a deputy assistant to the president and the National Security Council’s senior director for emerging technologies.

The Post snidely noted that several studies have already been performed by various U.S. agencies, but that the NSC document had the audacity to assert that, “These scientific and national security judgments have not undergone a rigorous independent and adversarial scientific peer review to examine the certainties and uncertainties of climate science, as well as implications for national security.”

Happer, the former director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (the Nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences, with an annual budget of $6 billion), has been accused of lacking expertise in the subject matter and of being in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry. This last charge is both untrue in Happer’s case, and is selectively applied: how often are proponents of impending climate doom attacked for being part of the multi-
trillion-dollar Climate, Inc.?

Two questions are being prominently raised: is the science settled, and what are the actual costs of the Green New Deal?

Is the Science ‘Settled’?

A March 5 letter signed by 58 self-described “senior military and national security leaders” opposes the climate committee on the grounds that the science is already settled, stating:

Climate change is real, it is happening now, it is driven by humans, and it is accelerating. The overwhelming majority of scientists agree: less than 0.2% of peer-reviewed climate science papers dispute these facts. In this context, we are deeply concerned by reports that National Security Council officials are considering forming a committee to dispute and undermine military and intelligence judgments on the threat posed by climate change. This includes second-guessing the scientific sources used to assess the threat, such as the rigorously peer-reviewed National Climate Assessment, and applying that to national security policy.

Statistics such as the “0.2%” cited in this letter, and the commonly heard “97% of scientists” agree with climate change, are both misleading and inaccurate. First, there has been no meaningful survey of all scientists with relevant knowledge in this field. Secondly, it is essential to unpack what it might mean to “agree with” or “acknowledge” climate change. Clearly, climate change exists, and has existed for the history of the Earth, even without human involvement.

The question is not whether but to what extent human-caused changes in the atmosphere drive climate variations, and whether such changes are good or bad. Meaningful statistics (but ones that do not exist) would include responses to the following questions:

• What would be the impact of doubling atmospheric CO2?

• To what extent does water vapor cause a feedback effect?

• To what extent must we take into account the solar magnetic field’s effect on the creation of clouds via cosmic radiation?

• What is the certainty range on these predictions?

• How well have climate models of the last two decades fared at predicting the global climate during the past 5 to 10 years?

• Will the specific, foreseen changes in climate be beneficial or harmful, or a mixture of the two?

The climate of the Earth, as it exists in the solar system, is much more complex than a foolishly simple, yes-no question about “believing in” or “denying” climate change.

How can any such changes be determined? An individual cannot possibly notice that the climate is changing through their personal experience, which is necessarily limited in location and time. And it is absolutely ludicrous to claim that anyone could know, through their personal experience of weather, the cause of any such changes.

Science is not fashion. It is not decided by taking a poll or by seeing what is most popular. The idea that the Earth moves around the Sun was not popular, but it is true. Einstein’s theory of relativity was not supported by a popular vote, but it is true. A scientific argument that relies on appeals to authority is suspect. But, sadly, it coheres with modern education, in which the joy of discovery through experiment is replaced by learning formulas but not their origin, and by performing virtual, simulated “experiments” on iPads, rather than learning by interacting directly with the physical world.

A true, adversarial review of supposedly “obvious” climate truths is needed to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

What are the Costs?

The United States currently relies on hydrocarbons (fossil fuels) for 78% of its energy needs. The recently proposed Green New Deal calls for a reduction of net CO2 emissions down to zero within a decade. So-called “renewables,” which currently provide 17% of our electricity, would have to be scaled up to provide 100%. And that doesn’t even address the majority of U.S. energy use, which is not electricity. Transportation by air, land, and sea is overwhelmingly powered by hydrocarbons. What would it take to transition to 100% electric surface transportation? And would this even be technically possible for air and water transportation?

The worldwide costs for the less ambitious goals put forward by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are absolutely mind-blowing. Their “Special Report Global Warming of 1.5°C claims that in order to prevent a temperature rise beyond 1.5°C, CO2 emissions must be brought down to net zero by 2050. Point D.5.3 of the Summary for Policymakers gives an estimate of the cost: “Global model pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C are projected to involve the annual average investment needs in the energy system of around 2.4 trillion USD2010 between 2016 and 2035.”

This absurd goal is belied by the world’s rapidly increasing use of fossil fuel energy to eliminate poverty and provide high living standards. China’s CO2 emissions tripled from 2000 to 2012. During that period, poverty in China decreased from 40.5% in 1999 to 6.5% in 2012, according to the World Bank. Even under the Paris Agreement, Chinese CO2 emissions are expected to double by 2030, while those from India are expected to triple. Reliable and affordable energy means electricity in schools, fuel for agricultural equipment, transportation of crops to market, high-value-added manufacturing, top-tier research facilities, and efficient movement of people and goods; this brings higher life expectancies, lower disease rates, improved nutrition, and education.

Patrick Moore, an early and influential member of Greenpeace, quit the organization in 1986, and has since then opposed the Green population-reduction agenda and advocated nuclear poser.

Simply put, the green agenda means a reduction of human life and of human living standards. In a recent interview, a former top leader of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, was very direct:

I suppose my main objection is the effective elimination of 80 percent of the world’s energy would likely eliminate 80 percent of the world’s people in the end. I mean, just growing food, for example—how would we grow food for the world’s people without tractors and trucks, and all of the other machinery that is required to deliver food, especially to the inner cities of large centres like Moscow, Shanghai and New York City? How would we get the food to the stores? It’s symptomatic of the fact that people who live in cities just take it for granted that this food appears there for them in supermarkets in great variety, healthy food to keep them alive when they couldn’t possibly grow it for themselves with such dense populations. And if, in fact, fossil fuels were banned, agricultural productivity would fall dramatically, and people would starve by the millions. So, that is just a little bit of why I think it’s a ridiculous proposal.

The costs for implementing a Green New Deal or comparable policy are enormous, and every dollar spent on such projects is a dollar unavailable for other uses, such as education, research, or eliminating poverty through bringing on line much-needed efficient power.

Given the enormous, real costs of any plan to reduce CO2 emissions or to mitigate against purported climate catastrophe, wouldn’t it be remarkably irresponsible to future generations, if we were not absolutely certain about the science and models behind climate predictions, and of the costs (and benefits) of changing CO2 levels?

Where Did This Come From?

In a recent article, Megan Beets reports that

The modern environmentalist movement, to which so many deluded people in the West today pay obeisance, was never a grassroots movement of concerned youth, and never had anything to do with saving the Earth. It was created and promoted from the beginning by the British Empire to stop development: as a depopulation policy.

Emerging out of the eugenics movement, which became somewhat unpopular in the wake of Hitler’s genocide, the re-branded “ecology” or “conservation” movement continued the goal of maintaining the pre-war colonial system in the post-WWII world.

In 1968, money from some of the biggest oligarchical families in the West was deployed to found the Club of Rome, which declared,

In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine, and the like would fit the bill. . . . But in designating them as the enemy, we fall into the trap of mistaking symptoms for causes. . . . The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.

In parallel the United Nations sponsored a series of conferences on population in the mid-1970s to promote the idea that human population growth is a cancer on the planet, and launched the hoax of “sustainable development.”

A cultural paradigm shift occurred in the 1960s and 1970s, transforming the understanding of the relation of human beings to nature, and transforming the meaning of “progressive” from supporting progress to preventing it!

Beets argues:

Out of this process—not honest scientific work—came the formation of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, with a goal of inducing nations into signing binding agreements to limit their own development and industrialization based on lies of the dangers of CO2 and a coming climate apocalypse.

From this paradigm shift arise the unstated assumptions that underlie the emotional responses that many people have to these issues. One such assumption is a definition of “natural,” which excludes human activity, implicitly creating a goal—humans should simply not exist. This goes along with the shift from global warming (a specific change that could cause problems) to climate change, taking the assumption that any change to the climate would be bad, simply by virtue of its being change. Is this really true? Using desalinated ocean water to transform a desert, with a remarkably low level of biological activity, into a lush garden would be a good change!

The results of the Presidential Committee on Climate Science could challenge these assumptions, and could have cultural effects extending beyond the debate over this single issue.

The climate narrative has largely been controlled by climate alarmists. Now it’s time to give other experts a chance to weigh in, to have an open, sound, honest scientific discussion.

President Trump, for economic, scientific, and even cultural reasons, we call on you to move forward and appoint your Presidential Committee on Climate Science.

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