Japan To Send Its Own Military Force To Strait Of Hormuz

Japan To Send Its Own Military Force To Strait Of Hormuz

Ever since the new round of ‘tanker wars’ began in Strait of Hormuz in mid-June with a mysterious mine attack on multiple tankers, one involving a Japanese-owned ship, Tokyo has reportedly mulled sending a Japanese defense force to the area to help protect vital shipping lanes. 

In a rare move, the pacifist nation appears ready to pull the trigger, as FT reports, citing chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, who indicated that “the government was planning to deploy forces in a region where a Japanese tanker, the Kokuka Courageous, was recently attacked with a limpet mine.”

Japanese Defense Forces file image.

Japan’s Asahi newspaper also reported that the self-defense troop deployment to the vital Persian Gulf passage way comes “instead of joining the U.S.-coalition”.

Japan had been among many US allies urged to assist in forming a US-led maritime security patrol — a plan which many feared would only exacerbate tensions with Iran, only leading to war. In not joining the US-led security mission, Tokyo is ensuring it won’t damage important economic ties with Iran.

FT describes what such a Japanese expedition will likely involve:

A Japanese expedition would probably involve ships and aircraft from the Maritime Self-Defense Force. [Chief Cabinet Secretary] Mr Suga said its operations would be limited to international waters in the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea and the Bab al-Mandab strait.

He said the dispatch would take place under provisions of Japanese law allowing for military information gathering and research. The pacifist constitution tightly proscribes how Japan can deploy its military and any ships it sends would use force only in self-defense.

Suga said further, “At present, there is no direct need for the protection of Japanese vessels by Self-Defense Force assets, but in any event, we’ll consider what further measures are necessary for the security of ships linked to our country.”

Earlier this month Defense Minister Taro Kono, while addressing the rising tensions between Western powers and Iran in the Persian Gulf, acknowledged that “80 percent of Japan’s crude oil imports come through the Strait of Hormuz.”

After he spoke to his Iranian counterpart by phone at the time, the defense minister told reporters: “The stability of the region is directly connected to Japan’s energy security.” 


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 22:45

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Why Is The Elitist Establishment So Obsessed With Meat?

Why Is The Elitist Establishment So Obsessed With Meat?

Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

I don’t know how many people have noticed this, but in the past three months it has been impossible for a person to throw a beef burger patty in any direction on the compass without hitting a news article on the “destructive effects” of the meat industry in terms of “climate change”.  There’s also been endless mainstream articles on the supposedly vast health benefits of a vegetarian or vegan diet. This narrative has culminated in a tidal wave of stories about vegetable-based meat companies like Beyond Meat and their rise to stock market stardom. The word on the street is, meat based diets are going the way of the Dodo, and soon, by environmental necessity, we will ALL be vegetarians.

For at least the past ten years the United Nations has been aggressively promoting the concept of a meat free world, based on claims that accelerated land use and greenhouse gas emissions are killing the Earth. In the west, militant leftists with dreams of a socialist Utopia have adopted a kind of manifesto in the Green New Deal, and an integral part of their agenda is the end to the availability of meat to the common man (it’s interesting the Green New Deal agenda matches almost perfectly with the UN’s Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030). Some of these elitists have argued in favor of heavy taxation on meat products to reduce public consumption; others have argued for an outright ban.

The problem with this dietary revolution is that it is based primarily on junk science and cherry-picked data, along with outright lies and propaganda. The majority of studies and articles covering this issue are decidedly biased, left leaning and collectivist in nature. Now, I plan to touch on this issue, but what I really want to focus on is the “WHY” of the matter – Why are the elites targeting human meat consumption, and why are they willing to lie about its effects in order to get us to abandon our burgers and steaks? What is the real agenda here…?

First, lets tackle the climate change issue. The UN claims that human food production must change drastically in order to stop global warming and damage to the environment, and these changes must focus mainly on meat production and ‘methane gases’. In other words, they assert that cow farts are killing the planet. This is a rather convenient story for the elites as they push their carbon taxation agenda. It seems everything we do as humans must be monitored, restricted or taxed, from breathing to procreating to eating meat, otherwise the Earth is “doomed”.

In past articles I have written extensively on the direct ties between the UN’s global warming hysteria and the push for global government. In particular, I’ve mentioned the writings of former UN assistant secretary general Robert Muller. In his manifesto collected on a website titled “Good Morning World”, Muller argues that global governance must be achieved using the idea of “protecting the Earth” and environmentalism as the key components. Through fear of environmental Apocalypse, the public could be convinced to accept global government as a necessary nanny state to keep society from destroying itself.

Muller initiated such programs in the early 1990’s, which were similar in tone to the Club Of Rome think tank, a group of consultants to the UN which called for a stop to human population growth. In their white paper titled ‘The First Global Revolution’, the Club of Rome stated:

In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes. and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”

The statement comes from Chapter 5 – The Vacuum, which covers their position on the need for global government. The quote is relatively clear; a common enemy must be conjured in order to trick humanity into uniting under a single banner, and the elites see environmental catastrophe, caused by mankind itself, as the best possible motivator.

From public admissions from UN officials and the Club Of Rome, we can see that climate change is a narrative driven by ideology, not science, and that the real goal is global governance, not saving the planet. As for the “science” these ideologues say supports their demands, there is none.

There is absolutely no hard evidence to support the claim that a cause and effect link between carbon emissions and rising temperatures exists. In fact, there is more evidence to show that the reverse is true – that higher temperatures result in greater animal populations and thus more carbon emissions and thus more food for vegetation. Ask any global warming “expert” from the NOAA, NASA or the IPCC what percentage of a temperature increase is caused by cars versus cows and what evidence there is to support their assertions? They won’t be able to produce an answer.

They will simply claim that the evidence is irrefutable because the temperatures are rising and so are carbon levels. In other words, their argument is that correlation always equals causation. But are temperatures really rising? What if the entire basis for global warming hysteria is fabricated?

The NOAA has been caught on multiple occasions doing just that. By going back to previously recorded temperature stats and tweaking them to make them lower, the NOAA then makes it appear as though the Earth is warming in a historic trend. However, the unaltered temperature record shows that the Earth has always had warming periods which run in natural cycles, followed by cooling and using tracking increased solar activity. You know that giant nuclear reactor in the sky that is 1.3 million times bigger Earth? Yeah, it has a lot more to do with the Earth’s climate patterns than cow farts do…

If one compares NOAA data on temperature changes over the past century from 1999 to the data the NOAA has released over the past few years, it is easy to see the adjustments they made to their own older data in order to make it appear as though steady global warming is taking place. The NOAA’s changes also make it appear as though temperature changes are closely tracking rising carbon emissions.

Here we see the climate change hoax in action, as well as the UN and the Club Of Rome conspiracy to engineer an environmental threat that will provide a rationale for global government. But what does all this have to do with meat?

The climate change myth is simply a means to multiple ends.

And, one of the things the elites are using it to unravel is society’s eating habits. The purpose behind the war on meat is less clear, but I do have some theories based on historical evidence as well as scientific evidence that shows ruling oligarchies have always tried to restrict meat consumption by the “peasant class” whenever possible.

In feudal Europe in the middle ages, the presence of meat in a diet was rare for the peasant class. Farm animals were strictly controlled property, given to peasant farmers as tools for working the land, not for eating. Hunting wild game was difficult as the ruling royal families often claimed ownership of all the best hunting grounds within the country. After multiple peasant revolts, such as the Great Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 in England, the elites banned hunting parties, as they were suspected of being used as cover for peasants to train in military tactics and to plan rebellions.

Peasants caught poaching “the king’s deer” were punished severely – this including hanging, castration, blinding and being sewn into a deer carcass and chased down by ferocious dogs.

This did not stop peasants from eating meat at times though. When possible they would eat small game. But their diets consisted primarily of pottage and porridge made from grains, beans and root vegetables, along with black rye bread.  Going into the middle ages onward, researchers will find that for the serfs and the poor, a meat dinner was treated as a special event.

In feudal Japan, meat eating, not just hunting, was specifically banned for over 1000 years, starting in 675 AD. The ban was based on the melding of Buddhist beliefs and Shinto. Of course, while the law was enforced for peasants, the elite ruling class and the samurai warrior class never actually gave meat up. Meat was often eaten by the elites, under the auspices of improving health. When given as a gift to a feudal lord, pickled meats were labeled “medicine” in order to avoid open defiance of the laws.

This selective ban continued until Europeans arrived on Japanese shores, and the reintroduction of meat dishes began to spread. By the late 1800’s the meat ban was officially lifted. It was believed by the Japanese of the era that Westerners had superior physiques because of their meat based diets, and that Japanese physiques had been subdued by their vegetable and grain based diets. There is some truth to this observation.

Today, the vegetarian ideology is not a stand-alone philosophy.  It is tied inexorably to other ideologies such as socialism, globalism and extremist forms of environmentalism. There are very few vegetarian promoters that are not politically motivated. This has caused a rash of propaganda, attempting to rewrite the history of the human diet to fit their bizarre narrative.

Even though human beings have been omnivores for millions of years, the anti-meat campaign claims that humans were actually long time vegetarians. They do this by comparing humans to our closest evolutionary relatives, like chimpanzees and gorillas, and arguing that these animals have a strict vegetable diet (which is not exactly true).

Of course, Native American tribes, living closest to how our prehistoric ancestors lived long ago, had meat heavy diets, but don’t expect the environmentalists to accept this reality. What they conveniently do not mention is that over 2 million years ago human ancestors broke from their vegetable diet and began eating meat. Not only this, but the diet changed our very physical makeup. We grew far stronger, and smarter.

Yes, that’s right, the rise of meat in the human diet tracks almost exactly with the rise of human intelligence and advances in tools and technology.

Vegetarian and vegan diets have been shown to lower overall IQ due to lack of nutrients required for brain health. This is because the human brain NEEDS fatty acids such as Omega 3 which is only found in saturated fats in meats. There is no substitute in the plant world. Saturated fats from animal protein have been shown to increase cognitive function as well as memory.

The brain uses almost 20% of the human body’s calorie intake in order to function, and much of this intake requires saturated fats and even cholesterol. Contrary to decades of misinformation, animal fats are good for you.  Pro athletes also must often revert to a meat based diet in order to build up superior muscle structure, and another factor which is rarely mentioned is the increase in estrogen-like compounds in plant based foods (mainly soy), which can reduce testosterone.

And here we get to the crux of the issue. It is perhaps by mere coincidence, or perhaps just observation on the part of elitist dynasties, but meat consumption has always been connected with an unruly peasant class. This is because meat eating contributes directly to greater cognitive function, as well as better memory and muscle mass.

While much is discussed about how artificial meat like Beyond Meat has effectively copied the taste or appearance of a normal hamburger, very little is discussed about what it is lacking. Beyond meat has zero cholesterol and no amino acids or fatty acids like Omega 3 or vitamins like B12. It uses coconut oil to mimic saturated animal fats, which does not duplicate the animal fat value to the human brain or body. Essentially, a Beyond Meat burger is designed to copy the taste of a burger without any of the benefits.

My theory? That meat is a cognitive enhancer as well as a strength enhancer and the elites at the UN and other globalists organizations are seeking to remove it from our diet based on lies because such a change could contribute to a dumber and weaker population that would be easier to control.

Fake meat is also highly processed and uses a complicated method to mimic beef protein structures. It can only be created in a lab and mass produced in a factory. You will never be able to make your own Beyond Meat burger. Meaning, by banning or taxing meat into oblivion and replacing it with an industrial substitute, the establishment will have made society effectively dependent on them for a significant portion of their dietary needs. Not only do they hope to make us dumber and weaker, they also hope to make us desperately dependent.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 22:25

China Bans Exports Of Black Clothing To Hong Kong Amid Escalating Social Unrest

China Bans Exports Of Black Clothing To Hong Kong Amid Escalating Social Unrest

Over the last 24 hours, several reports have surfaced, one from the South China Morning Post (SCMP), and another from Reuters, are now detailing new export bans that Beijing has enacted from mainland China to Hong Kong, which explicitly states shipping couriers and or customs will halt all black clothing and other items used by pro-democracy protesters.

Service workers at China’s top shipping couriers (STO Express, ZTO Express, and YTO Express) told Reuters this week that China banned bulk shipments of black clothing from mainland China to Hong Kong late last month.

One worker from STO Express told Reuters that black clothing, five items or less, could be shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong, but any more would be considered bulk and would be returned to the sender.

He said bulk items of masks, riot gear, umbrellas, helmets, and sticks, were also on the export ban list.

SCMP obtained a notice from Guangdong shipper PHXBUY that read any items shipped from mainland China to Hong Kong that includes “yellow helmets, yellow umbrellas, flags, flagpoles, poster banners, gloves, masks, black T-shirts, metal rods, fluorescent tubes, bludgeon clubs” would be rejected on site. If the sender uses a false name, the government would be inclined to launch an investigation.

Another notice SCMP received was from Guangdong shipper EXPRESS, which showed a more in-depth list of exports banned from mainland China to Hong Kong, the list read: “foodstuffs, liquid, powder, gases, counterfeit brand products, big machines, helmets, umbrellas, wrist bands, towels, safety vests, speakers, amplifiers, trestles, walkie-talkies, drones, black shirts and other clothing, goggles, metal beads, metal balls, horticulture scissors, metal chains, torches, binoculars, remote-controlled toys.”

Beijing, which has condemned the protests in Hong Kong, has taken quick measures to assure the unrest doesn’t escalate further.

Besides an export ban on items used by rioters, Beijing has also moved in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces into Hong Kong, a move seen by some that could mean a complete shutdown of the city is imminent.

As demonstrations continue to spiral out of control, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong heavily rely on China for gear, whether it’s black clothing, lasers, gas masks, drones, and or fireworks, it seems that China clamping down on exports to Hong Kong could result in more extensive crackdowns in the near term.

 


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 22:05

Medicare-For-All Is A Plot To Pillage You

Medicare-For-All Is A Plot To Pillage You

Authored by Veronique de Rugy via The American Institute for Economic Research,

Medicare-For-All (M4A) is gaining some steam. Two prominent Democratic candidates for the presidency, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, support it, and several polls show that the idea is supported also by a majority of Americans. 

In recent days, two academics from U.C.-Berkeley have even argued that a transition to M4A from the current system would dramatically cut taxes for the majority of workers by replacing all insurance premiums with taxes based on ability to pay.  

That outcome sounds great until you ask how we will pay for it. According to a new study by the Urban Institute, M4A will cost $32 trillion over ten years. This estimate is in line with that of my colleague Charles Blahous. That’s more than the federal government will be projected to pay over the coming decade for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid combined, according to the most recent Congressional Budget Office projections. According to Urban, you could reduce the damage down to $16 trillion with some cost sharing and some limits on benefits. Either way, that’s a lot of money. 

As Brian Riedl notes recently,  one of the ideas floating around is that we simply need to come up with a $35 trillion tax to pay for it all (I am not kidding). He writes, “Proponents [of M4A] assert that the $35 trillion that families and businesses are currently projected to pay over the next decade in health premiums, out-of-pocket expenses, and state taxes to fund Medicaid would all be replaced with a $35 trillion federal ‘single-payer tax….”  

Yet we have no details of how that would work in practice, and no one who supports M4A so far has offered an actual plan for the elusive $35 trillion replacement tax. Riedl writes, “Congressional Budget Office data show that raising $35 trillion would require a payroll tax increase of 39 percentage points, or a value-added tax of 91 percent – an enormous burden even for families no longer paying premiums.”

The scale of the tax hike it would require probably explains why no one wants to talk about it seriously. During the last Democratic debate, Senator Sanders acknowledged that it would require raising taxes on the middle class. He said, “At the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of people will save money on their health care bills. But I do think it is appropriate to acknowledge that taxes will go up.” But he has failed to give us any details about which taxes will go up and by how much and his campaign has only pointed out some options to pay for part of this extra government spending.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren has vehemently refused to say if the middle class would see its taxes go up to pay for M4A or how she would pay for this. As the Wall Street Journal reported, for instance, during the debate Ms. Warren, the new leader in the polls, was given at least six chances to answer yes or no. She ducked every time. “Will you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for it, yes or no?” asked one of the media questioners.” The Journal continues, Ms. Warren replied:

“So I have made clear what my principles are here, and that is costs will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down.”

Later on she added, “Costs are going to go up for the wealthy,” and “costs will go down for hard-working, middle-class families.”

Got it; costs will go down for some and costs will go up for others. Yet we still have no clue just who will pay for what and how much the bill will be. Even those Berkeley professors won’t tell us how to pay for it. They have mentioned having a plan for some taxes as replacement of the cost of the employer side of insurance premiums. But, if this was even doable, it may raise between $10 trillion to $18 trillion (depending on how you measure it) of the $32 trillion. 

While Warren doesn’t want to talk about, we can still do the calculation for her. 

For one thing, she has been open about paying for all her new spending ideas with a wealth tax on the rich, a corporate surtax, an increase in the estate tax, and the elimination of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts. Her wealth tax would raise, she claims, $2.75 trillion over ten years. Reversing the tax cuts would raise revenue by another roughly $2 trillion over ten years. You can add to that another $3 trillion that her campaign says she will raise through other taxes on the rich. 

However, once you spend $32 trillion on M4A, $1.07 trillion for universal childcare, $610 billion for free college, $640 billion for eliminating student debt, $100 billion to combat the opioid crisis, and some other smaller programs, you are still left with a $30 trillion gap. 

That’s 30,000,000,000,000 over ten years. It also ignores the deadweight losses of all this spending and new taxes on top of their inability to truly raise as much revenue as planned.

The bottom line is this: while M4A is getting a lot of favorable attention these days, proponents will continue to tout the benefits of a reform that lowers costs for some, while staying as far as they can from actually proposing a way to pay for it. But as PJ O’ Rourke famously said, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 21:45

‘WhatsApp Revolution’ Protests In Lebanon Turn Violent With Fires, Road Blocks; Multiple Dead & Wounded

‘WhatsApp Revolution’ Protests In Lebanon Turn Violent With Fires, Road Blocks; Multiple Dead & Wounded

Lebanon erupted in large-scale ‘Arab Spring’ style protests starting Thursday night into Friday, marked by number of massive fires and makeshift roadblocks which could be seen going up in Beirut, in what international reports are calling the biggest cross-sectarian anti-government uprising in years. At least two bystanders have died, one protester killed, and over 60 police wounded. 

The protests were reportedly triggered based on the announcement of a legislative bill to tax people $6 a month for using the popular WhatApp messaging platform, but have grown into broader demands that political leaders step aside over the country’s worsening economic crisis and lack of jobs.

Protests outside Beirut, via AFP/Getty/CNN

For this reason Lebanese daily al-Akhbar dubbed the protests “the WhatsApp revolution” and with others calling it “a tax intifada”. Chants could be heard in Arabic of “the people want the downfall of the regime” from crowds described as containing a broad cross-section of Lebanese society, whether Christian, Sunni or Shia. 

Police clashed with thousands of demonstrators in Beirut throughout Friday who lit tires on fire and in some cases charged government buildings and damaged shop-fronts.

“We’re not here over WhatsApp – we’re here over everything, fuel, food, bread, everything.”

Thousands have taken to the streets in Lebanon as anger grows over gov’t tax plans amid an economic crisis in the country #اجا_وقت_نحاسب pic.twitter.com/JzMfLp9pom

— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) October 18, 2019

Multiple reports have put Lebanese unemployment among those aged under 35 at a staggering 37%.

At the same time Lebanese political leaders have been broadly accused of dipping into public coffers to enrich themselves and entrench their positions.

Tensions were already high when on Thursday a government minister revealed a plan to boost state revenues with a daily tax rate on calls made via voice over internet protocol (VoIP), utilized by applications such as Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

Beirut, Baalbek, Tripoli, Saida. Historical night. pic.twitter.com/xHS92xfSLD

— Ali (@Ali_Kourani) October 17, 2019

The country has also lately suffered a severe slowdown in capital flows, and difficulty of importers securing dollars at the pegged exchange rate. Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to address the crisis Friday in a televised speech. 

Female protester trying to stop a minster’s body guard from using his weapon #Lebanon #LebanonProtests #لبنان pic.twitter.com/1D1swldRqL

— Steven nabil (@thestevennabil) October 17, 2019

Currently multiple main routes through the Lebanese capital have been shutdown due to makeshift roadblocks, as clashes with police continue, and with roads accessing Lebanon’s main international airport also blocked. 

Police have deployed tear gas and other riot control measures against crowds described in the tens of thousands.

Only in #Lebanon ! pic.twitter.com/wwyA0agYz6

— Luna Safwan – لونا صفوان (@LunaSafwan) October 18, 2019

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported Friday that two foreign workers died from spoke inhalation after protesters set large fires, and 60 members of Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) have been wounded

Reuters has also reported the first protester’s death in clashes with police, which happened in the northern city of Tripoli, the country’s second largest.

Live from Beirut, Lebanon in the anti-government protests that were triggered by an absurd government attempt to add taxes to WhatsApp!

Lebanese forces fired tear gas on the Lebanese civilians protesting corruption.

The Lebanese regime lost its legitimacy.

Stay strong Lebanon pic.twitter.com/UWLDpriFNa

— هادي نصرالله (@HadiNasrallah) October 18, 2019

According to the Reuters report:

Across the country, they chanted for top leaders, including President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to step down.

The mood was a mixture of rage, defiance and hope.

A security source said one protester was killed and four wounded after the bodyguards of a former member of parliament fired into the air in the northern city of Tripoli.

Riyadh Al-Solh Square, Beirut. Numbers growing by the minute, chanting for revolution. #Lebanon pic.twitter.com/rM6NAJwuNf

— benwedeman (@bencnn) October 18, 2019

Security authorities have condemned what they called “chaos and violence” unleashed on the streets and urged calm. 


Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/18/2019 – 21:25

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