China’s economic concerns mount as thousands gather for congress

Premier Li Keqiang will deliver his annual report against the backdrop of a falling currency and an ever-growing housing and debt bubble

China’s rubber-stamp legislature convenes this weekend with the script focused on containing economic risks while president Xi Jinping consolidates power ahead of a pivotal Communist party meeting later this year.

The gathering of 3,000 delegates for the national people’s congress in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People is staged annually by the party.

Related: Why Donald Trump can’t bully China on trade

Related: Australian housing market crash could lead to broader downturn, OECD warns

Related: China accuses western media of fake news about human rights

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Data: The Next Element

The digital transformation that includes customer relations, internal data flows and rethinking business models with a platform mentality is now a common theme in all industries. Those who do not see it will simply not be able to remain competitive.

How To Counter Leftist Violence While Maintaining The Moral High Ground

Via Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com,

Social division is an undeniable reality of human existence; it is also not necessarily a negative aspect of human existence. The moment a society is forced or manipulated into blindly agreeing on everything is the moment that society begins to die and the future of mankind in general becomes rather bleak. Ideas need to be tested, they need to be scrutinized and they need to be verified, perpetually. That said, there are right ways and wrong ways of doing this.

Diving into a culture of zealotry is certainly the WRONG way. Zealotry requires a religious-like idolization of a particular idea or philosophy; it requires unverified faith and an unwavering devotion. Once people become zealots, they cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be debated, they cannot be dissuaded. They are, for all intents and purposes, automatons with only one mission — to spread their beliefs by any means necessary.  They do not care about being right, they only care about “winning.”  Because, in their minds, their position is unassailable.  They are righteous, and thus, the ends will always justify the means.

The culture of the Left in the U.S. is beginning to embrace zealotry and the path can only get more ugly from here. This is evident not only in the violent behavior of more vocal groups like Antifa, but also in the lack of self criticism by many on the left that would consider themselves more moderate. There are very few voices among liberals and “progressives” today that are openly admonishing the counterproductive and thuggish actions of their more extreme members (this includes not only Antifa, but other groups like Black Lives Matter).  In many cases, “moderate” leftists even cheer such actions.

There is this notion among some in the Liberty Movement that to even point out this dynamic is irresponsible because it only reinforces the concept of the false left/right paradigm. Most of these people I find are very new (newbies) to the Liberty Movement and don’t really understand what the false left/right paradigm is. When we talk about the Left and the Right as an illusion, we are talking about the elites who sit at the TOP of the sociopolitical sphere. Meaning, the elites have no loyalties to concepts on either the left or the right in politics. In fact, they often switch back and forth like chameleons depending on what they want from the public at the time. They have their own agenda which does not include the rest of us.

To be clear, I was just as much against the fake conservatism of George W. Bush as I was against the fake liberalism of Barack Obama.

This false paradigm does not, however, apply to regular citizens. The further away you get from the top of the pyramid, the more people tend to legitimately associate closer to one philosophy or the other. In times of crisis and uncertainty, these divisions become more pronounced. This is reality. Anyone who argues that there is no left/right paradigm when it comes to the average citizen has no idea what they are talking about.

So, now that we have acknowledged that the problem exists, lets examine it more in depth…

The Problem

All one needs to do is observe the attitudes, insane demands and criminality of hardcore leftists in the past year to see that at least one side of the paradigm cannot be salvaged. They are a lost cause.

 

This is a prime example of how it is impossible to win an argument when your position is fundamentally illogical. In most cases, these protesters can’t even specify their reasons for protesting, and they don’t really care to examine why they do what they do. They only know that their ideology is not being represented in totality.  They are unsuccessful at debating their ideas coherently and don’t have the intelligence to convince others that they are correct. They aren’t going to give up simply because they are wrong, so, their only other option is to slander the character of those who disagree, attack them physically and disrupt their ability to speak freely.

Keep in mind, there is no moral conundrum for zealots. They believe they are completely justified in what they do because the other side represents a “greater evil.” Labeling their opponents as “fascists” is a get-out-of-conscience-free card for them.

It is important to note that we are not quite at the moment of crisis yet, but I would consider 2017 a turning point. This is where our (conservatives and sovereignty champions) decisions now could affect the future for decades to come. I suspect that as we move closer to summer and warmer weather, riots designed to cancel conservative speaking events (and random riots with no specific purpose) will expand tenfold. Leftists seem to be more active in warmer weather (there is a reason most of them live near the coasts).

All American citizens, regardless of their political leanings or personal ideals, have a right to speak and the right to listen to those speaking. All American citizens also have a right to redress grievances. This includes leftists. That said, it is important to make a distinction here — NO ONE has the right to silence speech in public spaces in the name of “activism,” and this is where the Left has gone off the rails. My right to speak and be heard is protected; their “right” to silence me is not protected.

There is a line here that cannot be crossed. Conservatives must be allowed free speech in public places, and leftists must be allowed to protest in public places as long as that protest is PEACEFUL. Once an individual or group uses force to silence speech, they have given up the moral high ground.

I recognize that there are paid provocateurs operating among liberal protesters and that this likely contributes to higher chances of violence and the madness of mobs. The presence of elitist money among leftist groups has been exposed on numerous occasions in reference to George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, which admitted to injecting $33 million dollars into the Ferguson protests (riots). WashingtonCAN! (another Soros-funded group) put out a Craigslist ad in Seattle offering to pay people $15-$20 an hour to “organize” anti-Trump rallies. WashingtonCAN claims this was merely an ad to hire “phone solicitors,” but they do in fact help organize protests, and nowhere in the ad is phone solicitation mentioned.  I do not think it is a stretch to suggest that these paid "organizers" are present at protests, nor do I think it is a stretch to suggest that they are contributing to the mob mentality.

This should be taken into account as well. There are moments in any high-tension protest where the mob can be swayed to remain peaceful or to break out into thuggery. Usually, if the mob sees a few people getting away with violent attacks, this gives them license to unhinge as well.

Is the proper response to crush all leftist protests simply because of the violence of a handful? No. The key is to disrupt individual provocateurs before they can entice the mob to forget themselves. Normally, this would be the job of police on the scene, but as I’m sure many of you have noticed recently (Berkeley being a prime example), the police have been reticent to intervene in a tactically intelligent manner, depending on what municipality they are operating. It seems that when it comes to state and local law enforcement there are only two modes of response, either they are mostly hands off, or, they go full crackdown.

The issue that needs to be considered is when police or the federal government do initiate a full crackdown on all protests. Will conservatives cheer the measure?

As I have noted in past articles including 'Globalists Want To Destroy Conservative Principles – But They Need Our Help', I believe the greatest danger today is not crazed leftists, but how we RESPOND to crazed leftists.

To give some historical perspective, the Antifa movement, for example, is nothing new. It is an odd plagiarism of the “Anti-Facist” movements in Europe during the 1920s. Antifa was essentially an offshoot of communist movements in Italy opposed to the rise of Benito Mussolini, but it then spread to other European nations. It was in fact the belligerence of communist groups that actually inspired public support for fascist leaders like Mussolini and Hitler. As common people grew fearful of a monstrous Bolshevik-style revolution, the only other option offered to them was fascism, which at the time appeared to many to be a saving grace.

Of course, it was not, and totalitarianism in the name of defeating the communists only led to atrocities equal to communist dictatorships. This is what I call a “morally relativistic choice;” a catch-22 that is usually engineered, forcing the populace to pick between the “lesser of two evils.”

There are those who might argue that there is little chance of a similar development in America today, but consider this — conservatives movements were prodded and harassed for eight years by a constitution-trampling president who originally claimed he was going to undo the trespasses of the constitution-trampling president before him. This took place while leftist organizations imposed thought control and political correctness on us with relative glee. Conservatives have been organizing, training and arming themselves for nearly a decade in the event that globalist and Marxist ideologies take one more inch of rope, the expectation being that Hillary Clinton would attempt to take a mile.

Now, with Trump in office, we are a hammer looking for a nail.

This is what the left simply does not grasp. We are certainly not fascists now, but with continued violence from the left something in the collective conservative mind will eventually snap. My suspicion is that this is exactly what elites like George Soros want. They are using the left as sacrificial pawns in order to goad conservatives into going nuclear.

There are millions of conservatives coming home from work right now, sitting with their families, and seeing news each day filled with leftist protesters trampling all over conservative events and in many cases getting away with it. These conservatives are becoming more and more angry; more and more willing to embrace an ends justify the means reaction. Ultimately, they may very well support a full spectrum government stranglehold on protests and the speech of those we disagree with. This will make us the villains of our little period in history, and this is something I would like to avoid.

So, the question is, how do we counter violent leftists like those in Antifa without abandoning our constitutional principles?  Lets talk about solutions…

The Solution

There is a school of thought that suggests we should stand back, let the mobs tire themselves out and in this way we avoid “escalation.” I would point out that the Left has been escalating matters quite expertly without our intervention. When you have elitist funded organizations generating momentum at a constant pace, it is hard for me to back the notion of complete pacifism. On the other hand, moderation and an even hand rule the day.

Countering leftist mobs requires a scalpel, not a bulldozer, metaphorically speaking.

Conservatives are less likely to support police state intervention if they see that leftist attacks are already being countered in a rational way.  I would argue that this could be done by limited groups of civilian volunteers (around 50-100 men strong), without any government involvement, acting as security for speakers and the attendees of events.

These people would have to be highly vetted — no criminal background, no background of mental instability or psychotropic usage, a professional demeanor, absolutely no ties to federal agencies, no propensity to be ruled by emotion, no stolen valor, etc. etc.  They would also have to be physically capable.

Members would need previous training as well as updated training in self-defense and riot response, as well as defusing confrontation.  They would have to be invited by the event organizers in question and their goal would be to defend attendees from violence in a non-lethal manner.  Their purpose cannot be to stop a protest from happening, only ensuring that protesters do not overstep their bounds and harm others.

Of course, the immediate accusation that will be used is that this kind of organizing is simply the formation of “brownshirts” for Trump.  This is why a security group of this caliber would have to also be willing to offer their services to ANY speaker or event, regardless of political affiliation.  It cannot be exclusively about Trump. If a mob of conservatives were threatening to use violence to shut down a liberal speaker, then the group would have to be willing to protect those people as well. I don’t see any examples of this happening anywhere, but again, the group’s concerns must focus on free speech and those that are trying to squash it, regardless of who they are.

This civilian security organization would require funding at a grassroots level through donations from regular people. Large sums of cash from major political donors or non-profit foundations could not be accepted.  The group would have to be beholden to no one.  It would also need to be separate from any already existing organization and function as its own animal in order to prevent conflicting goals.

Donations would be needed to fund travel and food expenses for volunteers, as well as some protective gear, the cost of initial training, the expense of background checks as well as legal defense. This organization would have to be limited in size to prevent confusion and a lack of structural discipline.  I suspect that such a venture would start small, and truly qualified people would be limited in the beginning anyway.

I am willing to coordinate this effort with others depending on the level of enthusiasm that is generated and if donations are adequate. I am ready to help provide training for those who pass the vetting process.  Interested parties can contact me at: brandon@alt-market.com

I am also willing to be present and in harms way at every single event that requires a security response.

I have looked into money raising avenues like Kickstarter, but I believe strongly that these websites will not allow crowdfunding for this venture for political reasons. If there is a strong response to this idea, I will post regular updates to Alt-Market.com on money raised as well as progress made.

It is entirely possible that I will not be able to find the support needed to make this volunteer venture happen. I can only present the concept and hope that people agree with it. Make no mistake though, if I do not do it, someone else eventually will. It is vitally important that these people are found trustworthy and have a track record of supporting Constitutional principles as well as a track record of competence.  Anyone that arrives on the scene from nowhere should not be trusted.  Anyone looking merely for notoriety and celebrity should not be taken seriously. Anyone looking to start a confrontation rather than prevent one should be dismissed.  We cannot allow ourselves to become what the left accuses us of being.  This is a time for extreme caution, and quiet professionalism.

Inflation returns to Japan for the first time in more than a year

Prices tick up helped by the rising cost of oil but a slump in household spending clouds the outlook

Japan’s core consumer prices have risen for the first time in over a year thanks to a pickup in energy costs, marking a rare victory in the government’s long battle against deflation.

But a slump in household spending showed by 1.2% compared with January last year showed why economic growth and inflation have lagged the more ambitious goals set out by policymakers.

Related: A better economic plan for Japan

Related: When will Britons get a pay rise?

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Navy Punishes “Special Warfare Unit” For Flying Trump Flag In Military Convoy

About a month ago the Naval Special Warfare Group 2 of Virginia Beach set the Twittersphere ablaze after video surfaced of their military convoy flying a Trump flag on their lead vehicle.

Photos and videos of the ‘event’ quickly spread around the internet and prompted a full Navy investigation into the incident.  Here’s a photo of the convoy:

Trump

 

And here is the original video that made the rounds, complete with the full commentary of an obviously emotionally scarred Hillary voter.

 

Now, fast forward a month and Lt. Jacqui Maxwell has just announced that the world can go on spinning again because some of America’s finest soldiers have been appropriately disciplined for their ‘heinous’ crime.  Per the Washington Post:

Lt. Jacqui Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Group 2, said in a statement to The Washington Post that punitive actions were taken but declined to comment on the precise nature of the punishment or how many individuals were affected.

 

“The inquiry was completed between the unit’s commanders and service members,” Maxwell’s statement said. “It has been determined that those service members have violated the spirit and intent of applicable DoD regulations concerning the flying of flags and the apparent endorsement of political activities. Administrative corrective measures were taken with each individual based on their respective responsibility.”

 

“Department of Defense and Navy regulations prescribe flags and pennants that may be displayed as well as the manner of display,” Maxwell said last month.

 

“Naval Special Warfare strives to maintain the highest level of readiness, effectiveness, discipline, efficiency, integrity, and public confidence,” her statement continued. “To this end, Naval Special Warfare leaders are committed to thoroughly and impartially investigating all non-frivolous allegations of misconduct. Where misconduct is present, the Naval Special Warfare commander responsible for ensuring good order and discipline within his unit will make a disposition decision as to the appropriate administrative and/or disciplinary action, if any.”

We don’t know about you but we’re ever so thankful for this special snowflake who helped to expose the hateful and insensitive actions of these soldiers.  Imagine if they behaved this way during a deployment…they might offend some terrorists and start an international crisis.

Paul Craig Roberts Fears “The Resurrection Of Armageddon”

Via Paul Craig Roberts,

“The U.S. intelligence community’s extraordinary campaign of leaks claiming improper ties between President Trump’s team and Russia seeks to ensure a lucrative New Cold War by blocking detente.” — Gareth Porter

It only required 24 days for the Deep State to castrate President Donald Trump and terminate the promise that the high tensions with Russia created during the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes would be terminated by Trump’s presidency.

As Gareth Porter shows conclusively, the case against General Flynn, Trump’s 24-day National Security Adviser, and by implication against Trump himself, is a fake news creation.

Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, planted fake reports, none of which contained any evidence whatsoever, on the CIA-compliant media whores known as “presstitutes.” The CIA’s media whores knew that the reports were a CIA response to the threat to the $1,000 billion annual budget of the military/security complex that desperately needs “the Russian threat” for its justification. But the media whores—-principally the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC—-and all the rest as well are more dedicated to serving their CIA master than they are to serving peace between nuclear powers. Interesting, isn’t it, that the US and Western media are more committed to conflict with Russia than they are to peace, despite the brutal fact that 10 percent of the nuclear arsenal of either the US or Russia is sufficient to terminate all life on earth.

As Patrick Lawrence says: “The lights upon us are dimming. We have been more or less abandoned by a press that proves incapable of informing us in anything approaching a disinterested fashion. As suggested, either the media are Clintonian liberals before they are newspapers and broadcasters, or they are servants of power before they serve us.” 

All we have left, says Lawrence, is the alternative media. “To put this simply and briefly, they and we must learn that they are not ‘alternative’ to anything. In the end there is no such thing as ‘alternative media,’ as I often argue. There are only media, and most of ours have turned irretrievably bad.”

The alternative media is the Internet media, websites such as this one, RT, the Intercept, USAWatchdog, Alex Jones, Information Clearing House, Global Research, Unz Review, etc. These independent news sites are under attack. Remember the list of 200 “Russian agents/dupes”? Every source of information that does not subscribe to the Deep States’ Matrix creation of “the Russian Threat,” which is the Deep State’s replacement for the orchestrated “Soviet Threat,” has been selected for shutdown. Apparently, Alex Jones is already having problems with Google. Several websites managed to get off the 200 List, and those that have seem to have collapsed as members of the opposition.

As the Nazis said, all it takes is fear, and the people collapse.

Trump’s presidency is effectively over. Even if he is permitted to remain in office, he will be a figurehead for the Deep State’s presidency. President Trump has already fallen into line with the military/security complex. He has said Russia has to return Crimea to Ukraine, whereas in fact Crimea returned itself to Russia. He has rejected a new strategic arms limitations treaty (START) with Russia, stating that he wants supremacy in nuclear armaments, not equality. Obama’s one trillion dollar upgrade of the US nuclear arsenal is likely to get a boost from Trump.

After one month in office the goal has changed from reduced tensions with Russia to greater tensions. Greater tensions might soon be upon us. There are plans to occupy part of Syria with US troops in order to prevent Syria with Russia’s help from reuniting the country. http://www.globalresearch.ca/rand-corporations-plan-for-dicing-up-syria/5577009 Part of Syria is to go to Turkey, part to the Kurds, and Washington will keep a chunk. This way Washington can keep the turmoil going forever. The Russians brought this problem on themselves. Ever hopeful for Washington’s cooperation against ISIS, Russia dallied in cleaning out ISIS. The prospect that Trump would work with Russia as part of better relations assumed that Trump would actually be in charge, which has turned out to be delusional.

It is difficult to know if the new Trump regime is more Iranophobic than Russophobic. The Trump regime’s inclination to jettison the Iran agreement and reopen the conflict means more conflict with Russia. Washington’s continued provocations of both Russia and China will dispel any lingering Russian expectations of better relations with Washington.

It is bizarre to see the liberal-progressive-left allied with the warmongers against Trump. As the neoconservatives pull nuclear Armageddon out of the grave that Reagan and Gorbachev put it in, the American left demands the impeachment of the president whose goal was better relations with Russia. Once the champion of the working class, the left now champions Identity Politics. Trump’s goal of jobs for the working class leaves the leftwing cold. The left wants to destroy the “Trump deplorables,” which the left describes as “racist, misogynist, homophobic, gun nuts.” In Identity Politics, every identity is a victim except the oppressor identity—white heterosexual males.

Where then is the opposition to the neoconservative ideology that is driving US foreign policy toward world hegemony? There are a few of us, but we are being cast as “Putin agents.” In other words, those who have sufficient intelligence to understand that Washington is not going to achieve hegemony over Russia and China or even Iran, but is likely to provoke nuclear war by trying, are relegated to the traitor class.

The reason that there is still life on earth after more than a half century of nuclear weapons is that American presidents and Soviet leaders worked together to reduce tensions. During these decades, there were numerous false alarms of incoming ICBMs. However, because the leadership of both countries were working together to avoid nuclear conflict, the warnings were disbelieved both by the Soviets and Americans.

Today the situation is vastly different. The last three US presidents, and now apparently Trump also, worked overtime to increase tensions between the two nuclear powers. Moreover, it was done in ways that convinced the Russian government that Washington is completely untrustworthy. The ongoing vicious lies about the Russian connections of Trump and his associates are so obviously false as to be laughable, but the Russians are seeing that the falsity of the charges notwithstanding, Trump’s National Security Adviser has fallen and Trump himself might be next.

In other words, the Russians are observing that in America facts are not relevant to outcomes. The Russians have already experienced this with regard to themselves with the lies about Putin, the Ukraine, Georgia, and Russian intentions toward Europe. Putin is routinely called a “thug,” “murderer,” “the new Hitler” by US politicians, presstitutes, and the Democratic Party’s candidate in the recent presidential election. Ranking US generals describe Russia as the “principal threat to the US.” NATO commanders assert that the Russian Army could occupy the Baltics and/or Poland at any moment. These nonsensical accusations and predictions suggest to the Russians that the West is preparing its populations for an attack on Russia.

In such a tense state of affairs, how will false alarms be interpreted? Will Americans convinced that Putin and Russia are evil incarnate believe the false alarms this time? Will Russians convinced that they have been set up for attack believe them this time?

This is the extreme risk to which the insane neoconservatives, the idiot liberal-progressive-left, the greedy military/security complex, and the aggressive generals have exposed life on earth.

And the few voices warning of the risk are dismissed as “Russian agents.”