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2024-03-15 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 303 references
[Comments enabled]  

Looking at who is screaming about the TikTok situation tells you much.

Let's take Elon Musk.  He thinks it sets a "dangerous" precedent.

What's his problem with it?  Well, I can think of a few.  "X" is full of "ads" from companies that appear to be drop-shipping things you can get on Alibaba -- a Chinese Amazon, if you will.  What if the retaliation for this is they pull the ads?  Or worse, what if they ban Tesla sales or battery and component production for Tesla?  China could, you know -- its not like they don't have their own EV manufacturers....

How about Congress?  Who's actually getting buttered by Xi?  Why does Thomas Massie have a problem with this?

Let me be clear: The bill is extremely explicit on the gating factors required to be deemed dangerous.  A requirement -- not one of many in an "or" fashion, but a requirement that must be met -- is that 20% or more control must be in one a set of nations listed under Title 10 that are barred from defense-related purchases and sales.  Those nations are Russia, Iran, North Korea and China.

To add another nation you'd have to add them to Title 10.  If another nation deserves to be added to Title 10, so be it, but that's the gating factor and adding them also adds them to being barred from a wide variety of defense and dual-use related purchases and sales.

Can the President override this?  No.  Not only must that gating requirement be met but in addition the listing of such a firm and its product(s) are subject to judicial review; this does not enable pure executive action, and beyond ownership of firms controlled or domiciled in those four nations you can't go after an app, web or otherwise, at all.

Those arguing this is like the "Patriot Act" are lying.  The Patriot Act was one was chock full of loopholes, such as "second and third association" games and thus could be used against Americans.  This bill has explicit prohibitions against any attempt to extend its punitive measures beyond the firm(s) involved in the actual issue which all must be domiciled in a nation listed as "antagonists" under a separate defense-related law.

Would it bar a US firm from providing services to such a deemed violator?  Yes; ByteDance cannot get around the constraint by buying Internet services from a US domiciled company.  That's good, not bad.

We should be divesting far more from China, not just blocking a service.  But let's cut the crap -- this company is directly targeting influence at minors.  It is abusing First Amendment rights that exist only on US soil through and to US persons; no person or US company gets the same rights in China!  China routinely demands censorship of US firms operating there, including information providers and even movie studios in order to distribute things to their population.

Ask yourself why all the so-called "TikTok" challenges to do stupid things like eat Tide Pods aren't on Facebook?  Probably because Facebook knows damn well that if such a thing started happening on a routine basis Congress would come after them -- potentially including revoking Section 230, especially when said kids start getting seriously injured or killed.

Never mind the data mining.  There's plenty of that sort of abusive crap that goes on right here in America.  Just because we refuse to hold people accountable for that crap here doesn't mean we should sponsor and allow children to be exploited across national borders.

China is an adversary, and a dangerous one.  We damn well ought to revoke MFN status and hit them with wage, environmental parity and currency parity tariffs (so they cannot play debt-based games to evade the other two) such that it makes no sense to try to arbitrage labor and environmental damage for US concerns.  Of course everyone who currently is abusing Americans via that, and who donate heavily to political campaigns, would scream -- but we must do it before China decides to do it the other way and we find ourselves in a situation where they choose to take some territory and we have no choice but to let them.

If we do not cut this crap out that day is coming and when it arrives it will be ruinously bad for the US.

Yes, it would be very challenging for us to do it now -- but now beats tomorrow, and thus we should do it right here, right now, and today.

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2024-03-13 08:18 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 387 references
[Comments enabled]  

It's not, of course, but is called that.

Here's the text by the way.

To protect the national security of the United States from the threat posed by foreign adversary controlled applications, such as TikTok and any successor application or service and any other application or service developed or provided by ByteDance Ltd. or an entity under the control of ByteDance Ltd.

Note the common thing that is missing: "and for other purposes."

That's because its not.

This bill applies:

(2) APPLICABILITY.—Subsection (a) shall apply—

(A) in the case of an application that satisfies the definition of a foreign adversary controlled application pursuant to subsection (g)(3)(A), beginning on the date that is 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and
(B) in the case of an application that satisfies the definition of a foreign adversary controlled application pursuant to subsection (g)(3)(B), beginning on the date that is 180 days after the date of the relevant determination of the President under such subsection.

For those who say it can be "broadened under interpretation" no, it cannot:

(f) Rule Of Construction.—Nothing in this Act may be construed—

(1) to authorize the Attorney General to pursue enforcement, under this section, other than enforcement of subsection (a) or (b);
(2) to authorize the Attorney General to pursue enforcement, under this section, against an individual user of a foreign adversary controlled application; or
(3) except as expressly provided herein, to alter or affect any other authority provided by or established under another provision of Federal law.

And for those who claim this could potentially be used against, say, a firm in Britain, no, once again, that is a lie:

(3) FOREIGN ADVERSARY CONTROLLED APPLICATION.—The term “foreign adversary controlled application” means a website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application that is operated, directly or indirectly (including through a parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate), by—

(A) any of—

(i) ByteDance, Ltd.;

(ii) TikTok;
(iii) a subsidiary of or a successor to an entity identified in clause (i) or (ii) that is controlled by a foreign adversary; or
(iv) an entity owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by an entity identified in clause (i), (ii), or (iii); or
(B) a covered company that—

(i) is controlled by a foreign adversary; and
(ii) that is determined by the President to present a significant threat to the national security of the United States following the issuance of—

(I) a public notice proposing such determination; and
(II) a public report to Congress, submitted not less than 30 days before such determination, describing the specific national security concern involved and containing a classified annex and a description of what assets would need to be divested to execute a qualified divestiture.
(4) FOREIGN ADVERSARY COUNTRY.—The term “foreign adversary country” means a country specified in section 4872(d)(2) of title 10, United States Code.

Title 10 4872 lists said nations and refers specifically to barring defense products from them; said nations are North Korea, China, Russia and Iran.  Period.

So why is Elon Musk and so others, including people like Massie, simping around and lying about this Bill and what it will do?

I don't know, but it is a reasonable assumption everyone speaking against this is sucking Communist Xi's DICK and if they are running a firm perhaps they themselves are, covertly, controlled by China, Russia, North Korea or Iran.

Why else would any of them think this bill is a bad thing eh?

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2022-06-12 10:31 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 7041 references
[Comments enabled]  

I predicted this, and now its happened.

Oh yeah, it hasn't been "recognized" yet, but it will be.

There are reports that Zelinsky is drafting women.  You don't do that unless you're out of fighting-age men who can actually fight.  Note that the soyman who runs away or spends his time buttfucking and/or preening can't actually fight, and you must have people who can.  When you even contemplate drafting women you've made a statement that you're out of competent fighting men.  This is similar to what the NVA did after Tet and what Iran did, but both grabbed literal boys, shoved rifles in their hands and sent them out to die.  Which they did, in size.  The war was over in that case both times, but not yet admitted.  In the former case we literally walked away from a win thanks to Cronkite and the stupidity of the American people buying his bullshit.  Thus it is here, except this time its just money, much of which has been siphoned off by defense contractors and the families of politicians -- like fuckface Biden.

Russia has employed a nasty and very effective strategy which our so-called "punditry" has entirely failed to understand.  Putin's folks lob artillery shells at the other guys; anything within 10-20 miles of their weapons gets pulverized.  With satellite and UAV targeting and fire direction these are wildly effective -- and cheap.  He can do this all day long for almost no money.  He blasts away until your force is cut in half, creating a no-go zone where if you stick your head up to try to return fire it gets blown up and then slowly does a pincer on one of the pieces, making the perimeter ever-smaller until they either surrender or are all dead.  Then he goes after the next one, and so on.

Ukraine has proved incapable of hitting Putin's field pieces as they do not have air superiority and man-portable stuff does not have the range to hit them.  Thus Putin can do this with impunity -- and is.

Yeah, Russian soldiers are dying.  But Ukraine is losing both men and material at a much higher rate, and slowly, one-by-one, all the places in the eastern part of the nation are having their Ukrainian troops removed.  In pieces.

At the same time the so-called Russian Sanctions have blown up spectacularly in the western world's face.  Russia now has a stronger currency than it did before the war we instigated began.  Oil and Natural Gas, never mind things like fertilizer, are nice and expensive which suits Putin just fine.  He has negotiated long term interchange with China for both and is building out the capacity to wildly increase same.  Europe is fucked down the road as a result and in the meantime they got nothing for all these "sanctions."

For that matter so are we.  We've sequestered our inflationary deficit spending overseas via the China/US (and other nations, including India) trade deficit for the last two decades.  That's over and will never come back because none of the nations that we were doing it with have any reason to allow it ever again and they don't need to.  Not a single member of the Fed or other "economic punditry" has said one word about this although I sure as Hell have.  At the same time Russia is shipping oil to these nations who then cross-ship it back, some refined first, and there's absolutely no way to do anything about that since we're incapable of sanctioning either without instantly detonating our supply chains, offshored labor or both.  As a result we can no longer spend in deficit without it reflecting back into inflation which means the "free ride" this gave has been terminated and while this was always eventually going to end we did this to ourselves and thus the inflation you're seeing and will continue to see was and is caused directly by our policies and our government.

Thus the only way to stop the inflation is to stop deficit spending -- all of it -- right now.

Biden and his vunt nutjob Nuland along with many others royally fucked up.  There's nothing to be done to salvage this; you can't directly engage in armed combat with Russia without everyone glowing in the dark and everyone with 2 or more IQ points knows it.

We had better reverse course on all of our insanity with regard to energy now -- including oil, natural gas and especially coal, which has a stable long-term price structure or we're going to get fucked.  The economy here will fold back into a deep, nasty inflationary recession materially worse than the Carter Stagflation, which I remind you we caused with our stupidity related to the Arab Oil Embargo.

Further, we can no longer spend, at the federal level, anything we do not first tax from someone.  I do not give a wet crap what the excuse is from the left or right it all stops now or we will continue to get a wild inflationary spike, demand destruction will inevitably follow and so will severe civil unrest when the blackouts start along with the inability to fund food or even worse -- civil war.

If you're flying a Ukraine flag, assholes, you are the identified enemy right here at home, thank you very much for wearing an enemy uniform openly in public and you deserve to be forced to pay every damned dime of the economic cost to this nation for that act of STUPIDITY.   You ALL deserve the worst of what is to come AND IT IS COMING, like it or not.  I and many others will do our level best to make sure YOU and your entire family eat that cost -- every damn cent of it.  You are the most-stupid follower of the "next shiny object" and frankly, you are too fucking stupid to consume oxygen that could and should instead be used by something like a hog that actually produces a useful end product -- tasty bacon.

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2022-03-21 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 1010 references
[Comments enabled]  

Give me a break, asshole.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky offered a dire outlook on the war Sunday, saying he is willing to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin — but failure at peace talks could lead to World War III.

“I’m ready for negotiations with him,” Zelensky told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in an interview. “I was ready for the last two years. And I think that without negotiations, we cannot end this war.”

Stop lying.

The conditions for peace were quite simple and put forward by Russia both before the invasion and have not been expanded.  You know damn well what they are and they're reasonable too.

You have deliberately violated all four of the below for the last two years and you've done it with malice aforethought.  Are you ready to cut that shit out or do you think any of the below expectations are unreasonable?  If so then explain why.

  • Ukraine does not enter NATO.  Ever.  Amend the Constitution.

  • Crimea is Russian.  It has been since before the Tsars and in fact was formally purchased by Catherine the Great in 1783, putting formal documents and money to what had previously been the case.  It is as Russian in terms of tenure as the original 13 American states and is as legitimately so as our Louisiana Purchase, being paid for in good funds.  If several States had no right after the fact to void their alliance with Washington DC (and Lincoln, by extension, had every right to burn half the South to cinders to enforce DC's demand they stay) then Russia has every right to enforce your theft of their land which Russia purchased over 200 years ago as well.  Never mind that the Ukraine government effectively declared a civil war on Crimea, which Ukraine had no right to govern in the first place other than by mutual assent -- and in response the territory seceded from your bullshit.  (Wouldn't you under those circumstances?)  As for the Donbas that likely needs to be independent, simply because you won't leave them alone, you and your predecessor shelled the territories on and off for the last eight years and the people there overwhelmingly identify as Russian.  They don't like you and would prefer you be dead, they have good cause for that and your best disposition to that which the last two administrations caused is to leave them alone.  Let them go.

  • Your Azov brigades are removed, period and if that shit (which is indeed reasonably called "Nazi") shows up again you send the people doing it to the Hauge to be tried and hanged by the neck until dead.  The bullshit that has gone on since 2014 in Donbas stops and since bad faith has been demonstrated there for years demilitarization of the entire nation may be necessary.  The fine details of that are likely subject to considerable negotiation but the Azov brigades, I'm reasonably certain, are either removed by you or every single person involved in it is going to die and every place they hide and use is going to be leveled by Russia.  Choose wisely.

  • Ukraine destroys and removes, under International observation including Russian observationall biological, chemical and nuclear material other than for civilian nuclear power production and does not engage in any activity that can be diverted or used for any other purpose.  Said obligation to permit full and unfettered access for verification is also written into your Constitution.

Putin is a bastard but so are you Zelinsky.  Outlawing by so-called "executive directive" opposition political parties, mandating Covid vaccines to obtain food and what amounts to a "universal basic income", removing the capacity for cash transactions thus forcing all social and political activity to be acceptable to you and the ruling political party under pain of literal starvation, forcing all media under your control (gee, so much for free speech) and similar, all of which you've done, are not the acts of a Constitutional Republic.  These are the acts of a jackbooted dictator and that makes you at least as much of an asshole as is Putin.

Let us not forget that Ukraine and Russia have been "intermingled" for more than 1,000 years and indeed without communist force of arms, under which was granted a "special administrative area" starting in roughly 1922 the boundaries on a map you call "Ukraine" would not exist.  Perhaps our Representatives and Senators were either asleep of smoking bong hits in history class but I was not and these are facts.  I'm well-aware of the history of your alleged "republic" in all of both its "glory" and suffering including many of your ancestors joining the Nazis and slaughtering Jews and Gypsies on the very land you call Ukraine, thinking the Germans were going to win, only to wind up on the wrong end of that bet when the Red Army stopped the Nazi advance and then came back through on their way to Berlin and unceremoniously arranged an immediate meeting for every single corroborator they could find with the Devil in Hell (there were a lot of them, by the way.)

You're hardly the land of clean hands and that landmass has gotten spanked repeatedly over the last 1,000+ years -- sometimes as a result of sectarian or religious hate and sometimes by nothing more than bad luck -- but then again clean hands are hard to come by in human history (including the US) so there you go.

At the same time whenever this dust-up ends we, the United States, should demand that all records relating to payment of any sums to any American person or politician paid out of or from Ukraine back to the breakup of the USSR be made 100% transparently public and auditable by anyone upon demand, with any fraud or bribery that points to any American politician, past or present, leading to immediate extradition of every involved person in Ukraine irrespective of their title to the United States for trial, judgment and imprisonment.  Yes, that might include YOU Zelinsky.

Your nation has been a cesspool of corruption, kickbacks, bribes and scams for decades and our current President and his family appears to have been embedded in that corruption up to their necks.

The recent admission by the NY Times that the Hunter Biden laptop was real, which your government and elements of ours both claimed were "Russian disinformation" for the explicit purpose of tampering with our election here in 2020 is, in my opinion, enough reason for the United States to flatten Kyiv and throw your ass in Gitmo to rot standing alone.  If you think our public would have voted for Biden having known that it was factual that his son and himself both profited directly and personally to the tune of millions from money funneled through your corrupt oligarchs you're out of your fucking mind.

Your "standing ovation" in our Congress during your recent speech was likely, in my opinion, because those oligarchs in your broken and corrupt runt "nation" may have been funneling money to far more of our politicians than just Biden and his family, extending to people on both sides of the aisle with many of them scared of being lynched right here if the truth of it comes out and our population manages to snap out of its Russia-Russia-Russia torpor.

You wish to claim otherwise?  Prove it.

You can start with Biden and his family since it has been admitted to as fact and intentionally suppressed, also admitted, by our own media including our so-called "paper of record", The NY Times.

Let me remind you, Zelinsky, that you've been in office since being elected in May of 2019.  If you had any intention of cleaning up the cesspool of corruption in your nation and actually benefiting your people, who have a per-capita GDP of about $3,700 a year while your "arch-nemesis", Russia, sports about 3x the per-capita economic output, you would have done so by now.  Economically your population would be wildly ahead if you simply became part of Russia once again, as you were before.  Given that your nation has had more than 20 years to cut the crap yet hasn't done so I can only conclude you like the corruption and don't care if it screws the vast majority of your citizens straight up the ass.

Oh, speaking of corrupt oligarchs and corruption how in the Hell did you get your money, essentially all of which you seem to have acquired since becoming President?  You were hardly the Ukraine version of Elon Musk before being elected and it wasn't a small amount either, was it?  I understand you have over a billion dollars with something like $35 million of it in a posh Miami-area mansion.  True?

Is it indeed not fair to ask if your prime motivation in all of this is protecting your personal cash flow from said corruption and oligarchs in your own nation at your own people's expense, never mind the possibility of goading other nations into a quite-possible nuclear war so this entire charade does not collapse around your ears?

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