The Octant
Insights and reporting from Caleb Maupin

FoodStamps

Donald Trump recently announced changes to the US Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called “Food Stamps.” This program enables low income Americans to buy food. As a result, 750,000 people will immediately lose their food assistance, while it is expected that as many as 3 million will be deprived of their benefits in the near future.

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg, former New York City Mayor, has announced that he is running for President of the United States as a Democrat. Many are revisiting his leadership of New York City and the many controversial things he did. Among them is was a subway advertisement campaign intended to discourage teen girls from becoming mothers by shaming them. The ads, showing a small child with the words “I’m twice as likely not to graduate high school because you had me as a teen” had the obvious, though unstated goal of increasing abortion among low-income New York City residents, many of which are not white.

Unemployment in the USA is low currently, and despite numerous projections that things could get bad soon, the stock market numbers and other measurements currently look somewhat better than most of the last decade. So, why cut food stamps?

Eliminating “Useless Eaters” To Save Capitalism

Those who equate the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany overlook many very key differences between the two countries and their political systems. One of the most obvious is this: the Soviet Union worked very hard to expand its population, while the Nazis worked very hard to reduce their population.

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Since the 2016 elections, the Democratic Party has been calling out President Trump for his alleged ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Even after the investigation of Trump for “collusion” has been concluded, new hearings regarding Trump’s dealing with Ukraine have been turned into a festival of anti-Russian phrase mongering.

Meanwhile, Trump is waging a trade war with China. The White House Trade Council includes Peter Navarro, an economic flimflam man whose entire career has consisted of blaming China for all of America’s woes. While Republicans love “law and order” at home, they seem to line up behind the Hong Kong protesters without question as they light people on fire and attack police officers.

Meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire and former New York City Mayor who recently announced a Presidential run as a centrist Democrat, speaks positively of Xi Jinping. Furthermore, despite it not showing up in his policies, Trump has made positive statements about the Russian President and expressed a desire to improve US-Russia relations.

So, what is going on here? It’s actually quite easy to understand. All it takes is an understanding of the Russian and Chinese economies, the US Deep State apparatus, and the different interests among the circles of American power.

WTOProtestNEOEveryone wants to predict the future. This is why for thousands of years astrologers, sorcerers, and psychics have continued to rake in money, despite science debunking their supposed abilities. Every human being goes through life engaging in actions based on a calculation of what the consequences will be, and on at least a vague prediction of what will happen next.

Beyond personal life, the ability to calculate the trajectory of events is deeply important in geopolitics. Observing global trends and making accurate predictions is a highly desired ability. To be able to watch world events as they occur, take note of certain trends, and forecast correctly what will eventually unfold, gives the forecaster a strong advantage.

With this understanding, we shall look over the year of 1999, twenty years ago. This was a year in which a number of the biggest trends impacting the contemporary global situation first began to manifest themselves.

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Three years into the Trump administration, the USA has certainly escalated tensions with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iran deal has been “ripped up,” new sanctions have been imposed, and the threat of war becomes more intensely visible amid a cycle of regional maritime incidents often involving the oil industry. However, there seems to be solid disagreements among the circles of power about how much to escalate tensions with Iran. The basis for these differences, and what they represent, is worth examining carefully.

Cecil Rhodes’ Round Table

In 1895, the wealthy British capitalist for whom the settler state of Rhodesia was eventually named, spoke frankly to members of his own class. Cecil Rhodes described a strategy for quelling dissent and labor unrest in the British homeland, while expanding the super-profits of British bankers.

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The folk songs carefully arranged by an American composer in 1950, contains subtle lessons amid the political turmoil of 2019.

On June 17th in St. John’s Church in New York City, tenor Everett Suttle gave a vocal performance accompanied by pianist Daniel Kirk Foster. The Greenwich Village event was sponsored by the Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture. The streets outside were decked out with rainbow flags in anticipation of the annual “pride weekend”, which generally shuts down the area with parades and festivities celebrating the political advances of the LGBTQ community.

After an opening selection of British music and a brief intermission, Suttle moved into Set 1 and Set 2 of Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs arranged and published in 1952.

The audience comprised of many young people from different national and ethnic backgrounds, who sat in the small seating area of the church. No doubt at least a few of them were supporters of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the new call for “Democratic Socialism” in American politics. Whether they knew it or not, as they face a troubling political atmosphere, the composer of the music shared many similar hopes and fears in his time.

 What is a Sympathizer?

Aaron Copland’s music is known for its ‘Americanness.’ The music from his ballets Billy The Kid (1938) and Rodeo (1942) have been used in a number of cowboy movies. However, Copland’s background is a far cry from what one would expect of a man who composed what essentially became the soundtrack for many Hollywood westerns.

In November of 2000, 100 years after his birth NPR’s Elizabeth Blair reported on the composer: “Copland’s music has become a symbol of Americana, but some details about his life remain little known. Copland was Jewish, homosexual, and often identified with the Communist Party. Some believe these affiliations made his music all the richer.”

Gangsterism

Many Americans base their entire view of the world, and their understanding of the relationship of the United States to other countries, on the contents of a college-level “Economics 101” course. They view the world market as a land of “free competition” in which different countries and international corporations “compete.” They then believe that consumers, communities and countries “vote with their dollars” rewarding the best products and services.

In this delusional fantasy, championed by figures like as George Soros and Anne-Marie Slaughter as an ideal “Open International Market,” the United States and western countries occupy their dominant position, simply because they are the best. The products and services offered by western financial institutions and international corporations are simply superior to those found anywhere else. This delusional fantasy goes on to present the western financial elite as somehow mentoring and assisting the world, by helping it “develop” and perhaps someday be more like the superior west.