Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The Second Trump Summit Has The Potential To Create A Renaissance On The Korean Peninsula, by John Mappin and Irina Kudrenok-Mappin

As close observers of the Trump Presidency, we were most honoured to receive a Korean Delegation at Camelot Castle from both North and South Korea.

 This was, at that time, before the first meeting between President Trump and President Kim. At that time the delegation wanted our insights into the letter that President Trump had written cancelling the first meeting abruptly.

Our interview with the North and South Korean delegates was filmed and was immediately transmitted at that time in video and print media across the Korean Peninsula. It may be viewed here and here.

We pointed out at that time that the President meant precisely what he said in the letter and that the Korean Peninsula had two options. To welcome and embrace a new era of prosperity and experience a total renaissance or rebirth of its fortunes, or to return to the dangerous and unsafe foreign policies that had not worked in the past.

Our insight into the President and our ability to predict outcomes in relation to the current administration was of great interest to the delegates and indeed to the observers of our filmed interview on the Peninsula.

As history now records, the first meeting went ahead, as we predicted, without a hitch. Today it is our honour again to communicate with the influential and important Korean media on the upside potential of the second summit. This will be held as scheduled.

The choice of Vietnam is interesting as it is an example of a country whose economy has evolved and flourished from where it was. Doubtless, both parties felt that this might be a suitable place in which to hold their second meeting.

The potential of this meeting cannot be underestimated. North and South Korea have an unprecedented opportunity, both to put the past behind them, and to put in place the foundations that will result in the most significant economic and cultural boom that the world has ever witnessed. 

There has been no President in American history who has understood better than President Trump does how to rehabilitate a flagging economy.

The actions that he has taken in the USA in two short years, and the jobs and prosperity that he has returned to a home economy that was technically bust, are nothing short of a miracle. The US stock market performance and consumer confidence show this.

There has not been a level of genius and intelligence in the White House like this for many many years. Trump is willing to share his brilliance and know how with North and South Korea.

But at the same time, he recognises and respects, as no US leader has ever done before him, the excellent qualities of the North Korean Leader President Kim, and of the South Korean Leadership, too.

President Trump is one of the world's great listeners. And when one listens, one learns how to help. Anyone in today's world can find a reason to pick a fight, but it is the truly wise who apply Jesus' simple instructions to "love thy neighbour".

What is very rarely understood and reported by the media is the US President's deeply held and devout Christian faith. It is perhaps the President's divine connection that is helping to precipitate this ongoing miracle of diplomacy between North Korea and the USA, and between their two Leaders.

What is clear at this time is that there has never been such a willingness to understand, to listen and to work together for the betterment of all.

So what does the future hold? The answer is simple. An agreement between North Korea and the USA, and a positive Trump Summit outcome, will bring about the most significant economic boom and period of prosperity that North Korea has ever seen.

The Korean culture and international influence will expand as decades of suppression are lifted from both sides of the Peninsula and the region. Cut communication lines help no one. When they are not being cut. and are allowed to flow smoothly, life returns in a rush and prosperity follows soon after.

Previous US administrations from Clinton to Bush to Obama had applied a foreign policy of cutting potentially positive communication lines and empowering dangerous ones. President Trump is applying the opposite approach without being soft on evil and while maintaining a firm hand on the tiller, and it is working.

The great genius of President Kim may well have been that he noticed President Trump's positive qualities despite all the fake news reporting of the media and their attempts to sully his reputation with false and untrue reports internationally.

President Kim should be highly commended for that. He thinks for himself rather than believing what is in the media; perhaps President Kim's Swiss education helped with that. Or perhaps it is his innate Eastern wisdom and something that we in the West can also learn from. Certainly, the spiritual traditions and wisdom of the Korean Peninsula are of great intrinsic and extrinsic value.

President Kim will be recognised as a visionary and as a co-architect of a new age in Asia and a founder of that renaissance. The economic and cultural boom will be observable as an example of the Trump political and economic philosophy at work, and of his genius Foreign Policy abilities. It will impact the results of the 2020 election.

History has put us in a unique position at Camelot Castle. By fate, or divine will, we now have a better understanding of the President, and many wonderful and great friends in Washington DC. These friendship are expanding now around the world.

The communication that will be occurring at the second summit will far surpass the first and will put in place the foundation for an Asian BOOM the likes of which has not been witnessed for decades. All Asian markets will benefit. The Japanese and the Hong Kong markets in particular, as will the South Korean economy. Russia too will see extraordinary economic benefits, as will China.

We were recently appointed as CEO of the North Korean Development Group, and we have spoken to many many investors who would love to invest their resources in the extraordinary opportunities that North Korea will present.

Those who can remember the restructuring of Russia will recall how fortunes were made at that time and how the wealth of that country was restored. The North Korean and Asian boom will happen much faster than that. Indeed it has already started. Families from South Korea with relatives in the North are already now communicating, and events there, below the radar of the media, have been moving very fast.

Most of this has not been well reported by Western mainstream media. Mainly because they are still unable to assimilate and concede the extraordinarily high IQ that the President of the USA has and which is now running the White House.

Sadly the media communities in the USA have been acting against the interests of their own country by failing to highlight the positive developments of this presidency and the upside potentials. What this means in that US investors that read the US fake media are not as ready to move as they should be. Those who have analysed the position more accurately by truly learning what is going on are ready.

We are also very close to a USA-China resolution in trade matters, and there is an upcoming meeting that will happen soon at Mar-a-Lago between President Xi and President Trump where all will be revealed.

In a way, the economic factors of the Asian region are experiencing a perfect philosophical alignment for prosperity. The balance will be restored and it's people can move forward into prosperity and happiness.

Naturally, the enemies of happiness will try to put some bumps in the road, that is to be expected. But we are witnessing a miracle and a divine shift in our world. And even the most insidious evil forces cannot do anything about it. Right and the truth will triumph! The men of goodwill are winning the day and are winning the future.

We are incredibly honoured to have played and to be playing a small part in this. The future for the Korean Peninsular, the Asian region and markets is most exciting indeed.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

What the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Means for Progressives, by Norman Solomon

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris began this week in the nation’s first primary state by proclaiming what she isn’t. “The people of New Hampshire will tell me what’s required to compete in New Hampshire,” she said, “but I will tell you I am not a democratic socialist.” 

Harris continued: “I believe that what voters do want is they want to know that whoever is going to lead, understands that in America today, not everyone has an equal opportunity and access to a path to success, and that has been building up over decades and we've got to correct course.” 

Last summer, another senator now running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Elizabeth Warren, went out of her way to proclaim what she is. Speaking to the New England Council on July 16, she commented: “I am a capitalist to my bones.” 

A week later, Warren elaborated in a CNBC interview: “I am a capitalist. Come on. I believe in markets. What I don't believe in is theft, what I don't believe in is cheating. That's where the difference is. I love what markets can do, I love what functioning economies can do. They are what make us rich, they are what create opportunity. But only fair markets, markets with rules. Markets without rules is about the rich take it all, it's about the powerful get all of it. And that's what's gone wrong in America.” 

In the obvious contrasts with Harris and in the less obvious yet significant contrasts with Warren on matters of economic justice as well as on foreign policy, Bernie Sanders represents a different approach to the root causes of -- and possible solutions to -- extreme economic inequality, systemic injustice and a dire shortage of democracy. 

It’s not mere happenstance that Bernie is willing to use the word “oligarchy” to describe the current social order in the United States. What’s more, he pointedly ties his candid analysis of reality to more far-reaching -- and potentially effective -- solutions. 

Now that Bernie has announced he’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, progressives will need to decide on how to approach the contest. Anyone with feet on the ground understands that the Democratic nominee will be the necessary means to achieve the imperative of preventing a Republican from winning another four years in the White House. So, who is our first choice -- whose campaign deserves strong support -- to be the nominee of a Democratic Party that has remained chronically dominated by corporate power? 

The “tweak options,” represented by Sen. Harris, recycle the kind of mild populist rhetoric that served the presidential aspirations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama so well. Corporate interests backed them from the outset, and corporate interests benefited. Overall, Wall Street soared while Main Street got clobbered. The “regulatory options,” represented by Sen. Warren, would be a positive departure for the top of the Democratic Party. 

Yet the constrained analysis (markets “are what make us rich, they are what create opportunity”) puts forward constrained remedies, more palliative than cure. The tweak options are fully compatible with further consolidation of the reign of corporate power that has enthroned oligarchy in the United States. Strong regulatory options, if implemented, could roll back some excesses of corporate power, and that would certainly be progress. 

But we live in a world where mere plodding progress won’t be enough to halt catastrophic trends. The concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands is directly related to more and more disastrous momentum, from vast income inequality to out-of-control climate change to rampant militarism. For those who want the next president to fight for solutions that match the scale of such problems, the choice should be clear. 

One of the most exciting aspects of the upcoming Bernie campaign is the enormous potential for synergies with social movements. There are bound to be tensions -- that's inherent in the somewhat divergent terrains of seriously running for office and building movements -- but the opportunities for historic breakthroughs are right in front of us.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Bernie 2020 Campaign Has Corporate Democrats Running Scared, by Norman Solomon

With a launch of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign on the near horizon, efforts to block his trajectory to the Democratic presidential nomination are intensifying. The lines of attack are already aggressive -- and often contradictory. 

One media meme says that Bernie has made so much headway in moving the Democratic Party leftward that he’s no longer anything special. We’re supposed to believe that candidates who’ve adjusted their sails to the latest political wind are just as good as the candidate who generated the wind in the first place. 

Bloomberg News supplied the typical spin in a Feb. 8 article headlined “Sanders Risks Getting Crowded Out in 2020 Field of Progressives.” The piece laid out the narrative: “Sanders may find himself a victim of his own success in driving the party to the left with his 2016 run. The field of Democratic presidential hopefuls includes at least a half-dozen candidates who’ve adopted in whole or in part the platform that helped Sanders build a loyal following . . .” 

Yet Bernie is also being targeted as too marginal. The same Bloomberg article quoted Howard Dean, a long-ago liberal favorite who has become a hawkish lobbyist and corporate mouthpiece: “There will be hardcore, hard left progressives who will have nobody but Bernie, but there won’t be many.” So, is Bernie now too much like other Democratic presidential candidates, or is he too much of an outlier? In the mass media, both seem to be true. In the real world, neither are true. 

Last week, Business Insider reported on new polling about Bernie’s proposal “to increase the estate tax, the tax paid by heirs on assets passed down by the deceased. Sanders’ idea would lower the threshold to qualify for the tax to $3.5 million in assets, down from the current $11 million. The plan would also introduce a graduating scale of tax rates for the estates of wealthier Americans, eventually reaching a 77 percent marginal rate for assets over $1 billion.” 

Here are the poll results: “When presented with the details of the proposal, 37 percent of respondents supported Sanders' policy while 26 percent opposed, according to Insider’s survey.” (The rest had no opinion.) That kind of response from the public is a far cry from claims that Sanders is somehow fringe. 

In fact, the ferocity of media attacks on him often indicates that corporate power brokers are afraid his strong progressive populism is giving effective voice to majority views of the public. A vast range of grassroots organizing -- outside and inside of electoral arenas -- has created the current leftward momentum. “As a progressive, it is heartening to see so many other candidates voice support for Senator Sanders’ policies,” said Alan Minsky, executive director at Progressive Democrats of America. 

“However, I've been around the block enough times to know that politicians who adopt positions in tune with the fashion of the moment are not as trustworthy as those rare few, like Bernie Sanders, who have held firm to a powerful social justice vision through his entire long career.” 

I also asked for a comment from Pia Gallegos, former chair of the Adelante Progressive Caucus of the New Mexico Democratic Party. “Bernie's competitors lack his track record on economic security for all American workers, Medicare for All, free public college education, taxing the rich and opposing bloated military budgets,” she said. 

“Those are long-standing positions that -- more than ever -- resonate with grassroots activists and voters. Other Democratic presidential candidates will try to imitate this populist agenda, but only Bernie can speak with the vision, clarity and moral authority that the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate needs to defeat the incumbent.” 

The overarching fear that defenders of oligarchy have about Bernie Sanders is not that he’s out of step with most Americans -- it’s that he’s in step with them. For corporate elites determined to retain undemocratic power, a successful Bernie 2020 campaign would be the worst possible outcome of the election.

Norman Solomon is cofounder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network. Solomon is the author of a dozen books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.