YOUGHAL, IRELAND – Yesterday, the world’s press once again erupted in outrage.
The hacks were upset… appalled… indignant.
Of course, it was The Donald that set it off.
But this time, they charged him not with being a boor or a nincompoop. This time, the charge was the sort that could get a man hanged, or at least impeached – treason.
And this time, we rise to his defense, not in the spirit of mischief and mockery like we did yesterday, but in earnest.
First… a brief travel update.
We drove from France to Ireland via England. Readers with a map of Europe in their heads will quickly see that this is impossible.
England is separated from France by the English Channel. And it is separated from Ireland by the Irish Sea.
Since we neither walk on water nor drive on it, we took the Chunnel under the Channel, where you drive onto a train for the 35-minute passage… and a ferry across the sea from Wales to the Emerald Isle.
It was hot and crowded in London. And it took hours to get out of the city. Then, we headed west, across the Severn River to Wales. Everywhere we looked, the grass was brown.
Our ferry connection was at Pembroke, where we lined up with other cars, mostly vacationers with children in the back seats and additional storage on the roof racks. Once on the ferry, it was a pandemonium of children running around and babies crying.
“These are big families,” Elizabeth noticed. The average seemed to be about four children.
Fortunately, we had reserved a cabin, where we were able to rest peacefully until we pulled into Rosslare Harbor about four hours later.
This morning, it is a cool 57 degrees here in Ireland… with rain in the forecast. But here, too, the grass is dried out.
“The climate is changing,” says a friend. “England and Ireland are becoming more Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers.”
We’ll see about that…
Deep State War
Back to world events. Our beat here at the Diary is money. But today, we turn away from our usual rounds to try to connect some dots that lie on the periphery.
The question on the table: Did Donald Trump just go to war with the Deep State?
There are three parts to the Deep State agenda – the Warfare State, the Welfare State, and the Police State. Together, they keep the money flowing to the insiders.
Until now, Mr. Trump has shown himself willing to go along with all three.
So far, he’s been unable – or unwilling – to significantly cut spending on the Welfare State.
He made no attempt to rein in America’s 17 different spook agencies. And he actually increased Pentagon spending by some $700 billion over the next 10 years.
But what justifies spending so much on defense? And why put up with a vast, Police-State spy system in what is supposed to be a free country?
What are we so afraid of?
Terrorists are a trivial enemy. Even with all the encouragement given to them by the U.S. – bombing, assassinating, killing thousands of civilians – the “insurgents” can’t seem to get their act together.
They present no plausible threat to the USA; they have no tanks, no planes, no ships, and no marching bands. Worse, like last season’s TV shows, the public has lost interest in them.
What does that leave? Russia!
The idea is absurd. But apparently, it’s the best Deep State strategists can think of. Russia has a tiny economy, with GDP less than one-tenth of America’s.
Its military capabilities are impressive, but no match for the UK, let alone the U.S. The Pentagon spends 10 times more than the Russian military.
Why worry about Russia? Its tanks are not going to pour across the Rhine. Its soldiers are not going to raise the Russian flag on top of the Eiffel Tower.
Nor is it going to land troops in Alaska and take away our national parks. The Russians are not going to start a war with the U.S., because they couldn’t win.
And yet, the elite insist that the Russians are “bad guys.” Per House Speaker Paul Ryan:
There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals…
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
I’ve said a number of times and I say it again, the Russians are not our friends and I entirely believe the assessment of our intelligence community.
Friends, schmends… Russia has “values” and “ideals” of its own, just like every other country. And like all the world’s people, Russians do the best they can with what they have to work with.
But for the Establishment, Russia is a bȇte noire… a bogeyman… a monster from the steppes. Attila with a Kalashnikov. Genghis with nuclear warheads.
And the sight of a U.S. president treating the Russian president with friendly respect is anathema. When asked if he believed the assessment of the FBI that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election, Trump conceded that he “saw no reason why they would.”
He might just as well have supped with the Devil himself.
From CNN anchor Anderson Cooper:
… one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president… I’ve ever seen.
James Fallows of The Atlantic:
…shameful performance… [Trump is a] conscious tool [or] useful idiot… those are the choices…
CNN’s Jim Acosta:
This president of the United States [is] essentially taking the word of the Russian president… over his own intelligence community… It was astonishing, just astonishing, to be in the room…
John Brennan, former CIA director:
It was nothing short of treasonous…
“It was beyond the pale,” added another former CIA official.
(Incidentally, “beyond the pale” is an expression that comes from here in Ireland. England invaded the country and established its beachhead in Dublin. It put up a palisade to protect itself from the wild Irish.)
In comparison to the hysterical shrieks of the elite warmongers, Donald Trump sounded like a sensible man:
I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish. We should’ve had this dialogue a long time ago; a long time, frankly, before I got to office.
But what does this mean? Is the American president undermining the foundations of U.S. imperial power – the Warfare State… and the Police State? Is this a challenge to the power of the Deep State itself?
Do the Russkies have something on him? Or is this just The Donald – out of control… and making it up as he goes along?
And what about Russia’s alleged attempt to distort U.S. elections? Shouldn’t Trump have come down hard on them for that?
Tune in tomorrow…
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: GATEKEEPERS OF THE INTERNET
By Joe Withrow, Head of Research, Bonner & Partners
Today, we take a step back from our usual analysis of the market to explore an interesting dynamic in the tech industry.
Google and Facebook now receive more than half of all online advertising revenue globally…
That’s the story of today’s chart, which maps Google and Facebook’s share of online ad revenue against all other online advertising platforms.
As you can see, Google and Facebook gobble up 62% of the entire world’s online advertising budget – leaving their competitors to scrap for the remaining 38% of online advertising spend.
This dynamic has given Google and Facebook outsized influence over what people see or do not see online.
In fact, earlier this year, Google threatened to ban all Bonner & Partners advertising campaigns. They considered some of our advertising “too sensationalist.”
And as Bill said himself, Google also deemed some of his work too “extreme” or “frightening.”
This is one reason why Bill is concerned about the growing influence of these big tech companies.
– Joe Withrow
Facebook Tracks Non-Users, Too
In the wake of the revelations surrounding the Cambridge Analytica data breach earlier this year, some Facebook users decided to cease using the platform. But now, bad news… Facebook is still tracking you.
Amazon Owns Online Retail
As Joe Withrow showed above, Facebook and Google account for the bulk of online advertising spend. Meanwhile, new data shows how dominant another Big Tech firm, Amazon, has become. The e-commerce giant now accounts for half of all online retail spending.
But read also…
In the mailbag, it’s all Trump…
I love your musings. Keep up the good work! The wonderful thing about our fearless leader is that he is so helpful to students as the perfect example of narcissistic personality disorder! No need to consult the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), just observe POTUS in action… anytime, anywhere!
The sad side of his reign is that his personal karma becomes the karma of the nation. All those slights, embarrassments, unpaid bills, etc. become part of the nation’s karma. And those bills will be paid not by His Majesty, but by the nation as a whole!
– David G.
The picture of Donald Trump and the Queen was faked. The real picture came out and she was beckoning for him to keep up with her. Never trust the press.
– Gerald K.
Why not close some of our 800 military bases instead of spending more? The Department of Defense is the most inefficient part of the U.S. government. Instead of increasing our military spending, we should be cutting it. What are Trump supporters thinking? They say they want smaller government, but then support the biggest, most bloated part with more money and drive up the deficit. Also, what are we doing with the largest embassy building in the world in Iraq?
Trump has a persecution complex, which is everyone else’s fault. By the way, he is broke and owes Putin a ton of money, which is why he won’t release any of his financial data. So he is selling the USA down the river.
– Paul L.
Some think that Donald Trump is the Antichrist. Here is more fuel for the fire: Who else would walk in front of the Queen after being late to meet her? I personally would never defer to royalty. If I did not suspect who he really is, I would cheer for his irreverent attitude… The only royalty deserving of deference, fear, and respect is our Lord, Jesus Christ! Trump’s ego inflates more and more each day. Demonic power carries him forward in his victories.
Also, who cares what Princes Charles and William do, except for the fact that they snub the president of the U.S.? They started the rudeness, and this does not work with Trump. He just responds with more outrageous rudeness. Of course, he creates chaos wherever he goes. That is what was prophesied by the Bible.
– Virginia D.
I love your approach and way of expressing things. I really have to laugh at the feedback section every day. I can’t believe people get so worked up about your comments, both for and against. Life is short. My wife and I try to do everything in moderation. We try to keep an open mind on all things. What’s the point of getting ourselves worked up over mere words? It’s your Diary, and you are free to say what you want. Others can start their own diary, and see that you can’t please everybody.
My wife and I, for years, have tried to avoid buying things made in China. We often go to resale shops, thrift stores, etc. looking for American-made products, especially appliances. We never buy any food items made in China; we just do not trust them with our health. The trade war with China will not affect us, as we do not have to have the latest gadgets or most of the junk in Walmart, Target, and dollar stores that comes from China. We are savers and investors, not spenders.
We are both veterans and fairly conservative in our political views. But if one is to have freedom, one must respect the rights of others to hold different opinions. We believe the secret to business success is to provide a quality product at a competitive price and excellent customer service. We do buy foreign (except China) products – if they’re superior products to American-made ones. We spend our dollars wisely, and want to ensure our products have value and last.
Keep up the great writing in the Diary, as well as your monthly newsletter with Dan Denning.
– Joe E.
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