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If I said… “Hey, dude, what happened 100 years ago today?”…. about 4 out of every 25,000 of  you, would know and answer back with a question…. “Are you sure you are not talking about 100 years yesterday?”    You would be officially right of course…  June 28th…. But I would be “politically” right, I guess, (struggling for an adjective to describe the rightness I would be..).

To fill in the rest of the 24,996 of you…. yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of the shooting of the Archduke of Ferdnand,,,,

“Who the fvck is that?”  say 24,996 people all at once….  (People in Oklahoma hear that rumble as another frack quake..)

Since reality is 100% of reality, I’ll take that on….

In 1914… there were 5 nations that mattered.  One of the nations that didn’t matter back then would have been the United States; others: China,  and Japan… The 5 nations that were relevant back then actually included Russia, believe it or not…. with Germany, France, Britain, and Austria-Hungary rounding out the full 5… This last nation, I always think of as a joke, and say so sometimes… (“What?  Austria’s Hungry?  What a joke!”)   That is because I tend to ignorant of anything southeast of Germany… I’m an American, you know…

Austria Hungary was called the Dual Kingdom…  Can you guess why?  One was Austria, the other was Hungary.   Austria ran Austria/ Hungary ran Hungary, and a couple of times a year they got together to coordinate…  Those episodes resembled today’s divided Congress.  Neither side would accept the provisions of the other….  and stalemate meant each could go their own way with little interference from the other…   However on security matters they were conjoined…  Austria had the military; a standing army of 900,000..  and Hungary bordered Russia from where any major attack would come…

To the south the ancient empire of the Ottoman Turks was decaying from its inside.  Recognizing that most of the Empire’s attention had to be focused inside of Turkey proper, all 5 relevant  nations begin eyeing the Balkans and Dardanelles and sizing each other up…  Significantly, Russia was very nervous over the Dardanelles because the wrong person owning that property, could bottle her navy inside the Black Sea…

Austria had, in just a very few years before, annexed Bosnia, roughly the same size as it is today, by marching in and calling it their own… Serbia, had wanted the same, but was too small to do anything about it and no one came to their aid…. But people inside of Bosnia who had wanted Serbia to control it, had financial resources made available to help make that happen…

The archduke was the next in line to the Austrian emperor, who himself was getting quite old.  Both the archduke and emperor were primarily pacifists who didn’t believe that war was profitable.  But like any nation, within their cabinet as well as in charge of their military, they had well-spoken ministers who argued that a “shock and awe” first strike was always the best option…

Unfortunately for the world, it was one of those two pacifists who was assassinated 100 years ago today….  along with his wife… killed by what today would be considered a terrorist cell of about 5 people total… working independently…  meeting in secret. etc. etc.  They botched their previous attempts and by today’s standards were almost comical, until they finally got lucky on number 3…

Some people got the word 100 years yesterday… June 28th.  Who these were, were mostly heads of state, many of whom were on summer vacation so telegrams had to jump all over the country, and in some places be put on skiffs and rushed out to meet the heads of states floating in the Baltic….   No one at first predicted what this assassination would preclude… Those who firmly believed in war,  thought it precluded war.  However most thought that was too unreasonable and assumed everyone would of course get mad first, then settle down and make certain arrangements and life would eventually go on as normal…..  After all, worse crises had been settled such….

There were two small problems… One involved the signing of treaties, some secret and some not, that tied promises of reaction to any military invasions of one of the signatories… The other, was the Victorian mode of character which dictated that one dutifully filled out one’s signed obligations, regardless if they had been originally made in error…  One filled out ones obligations and damned the torpedoes.

In efforts to preserve a peaceful Europe, (which had been effective for 40+ years, and probably a world record at that time)…. alliances had been made loosely between Britain, France, and Russia…  With the two extremes  of East and West appearing united, this left vulnerable those who could get crunched in the middle, so they formed an alliance too:  Germany and Austria-Hungary….

But no one ever thought they’d be used.  Ever! Europe was one chummy place.  The heads of England, Germany, Russia were all related, and met for state weddings and funerals regularly.  Vienna was one of the playful destinations in Europe, and socialites from all 5 nations frequented there every summer…  It and Paris vied for the Art & Music capitols of Europe…  Tension was not like during our Cold War at all. Europe was very open and much like international relations today, where one could travel freely, where all the big powers meet occasionally and decided how to deal with each of little tweaks and interruptions….

So 100 years ago today,  people woke up to this assassination story ….  Today (yesterday) is the real beginning of the count-down-clock because for the first time in European history,  the populations inside the nations were to have a profound impact on the upcoming events to come… (even though the structures of the governments were very closed to all but the upper crust of society…) Public opinion primarily through the growth of large metropolitan newspapers, had become an influence that had to be “reckoned with”.

For Austria Hungary was hot!  You can imagine if Joe Biden was killed.  Though some here love him, and some here make fun of him, … were he assassinated, this entire nation would demand retribution….   So Serbia got blamed….   In Austria-Hungary, with one pacifist dead, and the other now solo against a cabinet calling for an invasion, the call to go to war with Serbia came quickly…

Serbia appealed to their soul mate Russia.  There had always been a deep Slavic bond between the two nations… and the head of Russia, when confronted with the fact that his people would rebel against him if he ignored his brother nation’s plea, said Russia would attack Serbia’s attacker if Serbia were attacked by Austria Hungary…   Military philosophy at this time dwelt solely on the benefit of a quick attack.  All armies were trained to attack, not defend.  Simply put, the philosophy was that if you attacked quick enough, you always won…  And all nations suffered from this delusion, though reality had showed it certainly hadn’t worked in all the proxy wars (Boer, Sudan, Balkans)….   As Austria began to mobilize her troops towards Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, Russia began mobilization to send it’s troops to the  Austria-Hungarian border….

Austria Hungary had the second largest standing army in Europe (Russia had the largest due to its gigantic size relative to European nations)  but even still, Austria-Hungary could not both defend its border, and attack/occupy Serbia simultaneously… Therefore they appealed to Kaiser Wilhelm to promise an attack on Russia if Russia attacked The Dual Kingdom…  Previous handshakes had sealed the deal long before, and the Kaiser promised he would….

Now this caused a dilemma within Germany’s army.  Their plan had long called for first attacking France … France was the more dangerous of the two, so it made great sense to defeat France first and then attack Russia, instead of attacking Russia and have a fit France barge in through the back door…   No one had ever considered the option that perhaps a minor limited war with Russia could happen first without French involvement.  But plans were plans and the detail in them was so meticulous that there was really no option to opt-out and siphon off troops to the Russian Border…. (all the trains would be tied up and busy carrying soldiers to the West) until after France and fallen and signed their surrender…  The surprise Russian build-up now meant it was more imperitive than ever that France surrender before Russia could mobilize to march into Prussia proper….

France was insistent that it would not make the first move.  They tried to dissuade Russia to stand down, but Russia’s people felt a personal insult  (and a rational fear of internal overthrow) if Serbia fell, so that didn’t happen.  The French who were the villains of the last European War( the Franco-Prussian War that ended in 1870… a quick war, which France had lost, and been paying repatriation upon for a long time), were very squeamish about being  considered the aggressor again, and so they mobilized defensive forces and  fortified their common border with Germany, just in case.

Britain’s Prime Ministe firmly believed in making alliances but also keeping them secret so both his allies and enemies would be left guessing…  He was so good at it, that the Kaiser was convinced upon invasion, that Britain would definitely not interfere and that Paris would fall quickly as had long been planned (across twenty years)….

The accidental player in this scenario, turned out to be the tiny little neutral nation of Belgium……   With no real army and a reputation for being a peaceful take-what-comes population, its future role had been dismissed by Germany, France and Britain…   Germany simply assumed that it being a neutral nation, it would take the gentlemanly course and let the German’s pass through unopposed to attack France where it lacked defenses.  Britain and France had assumed due to its neutrality, Belgium would be off limits for any German advance….

As troop deployments began to show the German’s hand,  four nations raced to shore up that area….  Belgium said it would not allow German passage and began to mobilize  its defense….  (This infuriated the Kaiser who apoplectically raged how dare that tiny nation not fall in line with Germany’s plans; who did they think they were?)… which shows how reality and clear thinking often had little voice in governments at that time…. Assumptions made by whomever was annointed head of state, tended to always carry the heavier weight.

With everything ready and the impetus on the Axis (Germany/Austria)  to strike quickly and the Entente (Britain, France, Russia) to wait and only fight defensively, all pieces were in place for what everyone thought, would be a short little war… Most analysts assumed everyone lacked resources or the will to fight in order for it to carry over 2 months…  “By Christmas all the troops would be home” each nation’s people were promised….

What impressed me most upon looking back from a 100 years’ perspective and I guess it is true with any war, was how life went on normally for 99.999% of the world’s population while this crises brewed… Future weddings were planned, meetings between future adversaries were scheduled,  treaties and statements of purpose continued to be signed between the future enemies… At any point, if anyone powerful enough had said, “STOP!  let’s talk about it”, (as is done so often today it now seems like an extra step), this war would have been prevented… If Russia had not mobilized, this would have remained a local conflict, taking place only on Serbian hillside  whose outcome have been very quickly settled.  Or if Britain had been forthright, stating that it would come to France’s aid and attack German interests, then the cost of war would have risen to where the Kaiser would have backed down from attacking France first and would have made a deal with Russia…  If Germany had not been locked so deep into its own plans, so that once the order was given to mobilize it started everything which precipitated the next step automatically like a line of dominoes. …. if any of these occurred prior to the  First World War , history would be far different today;  The First World War would not have happened…..

The suddenness is simply mind boggling.  How could Europe go from congeniality and peace and prosperity and hope, to an all-out brawl.  Like a bar fight that erupts instantly leaving lifelong scars?

It would be like today… if we opened our paper and read the news that one of Putin’s emissaries was assassinated in Sevastopol, Crimea….   And…  by this upcoming Saturday (July 5th), Russia had asked China  if it will help fight and China agrees. .. and exactly two and a half weeks later on July 23, Putin’s Russia surprises the world with an ultimatum to Ukraine designed to be so harsh that the Ukraines cannot possibly accept it.  The world holds its breath, and the 5 day deadline passes, and Russia declares war on the Ukraine….  July 28th, exactly on month from today!

NATO mobilizes, beginning with their declaration… .   All NATO units are then put on full reserve and active units are then moved into Turkey, Uzbekistan, Poland, and Finland, positioned along their borders with Russia….

On the last day of this month, July, China calls upon the NATO to stop its mobilization…. NATO says no; it is mobilizing solely against Russia  and for only the protection of the Ukraine people….  Then on August 1st, China declares war on NATO, including the US….

The very next day, August 2nd, China bloodlessly rushes in to occupy North Korea  … China then demands of  South Korea to let them use its seaports to facilitate their landing craft invasion against Japan.  They promise that after hostilities are over, all Korea will be free and promise it can under them become one nation again…

The very next day, on August 3rd, China declares that the state of war now exists between it and Japan, Taiwan, North Vietnam, and the Philippines, and moves their navy into blockade those ports…  All those nations plea for help from the US and the US promises it…..  South Korea to the Chinese surprise, announces despite overwhelming odds,  it will NOT grant permission for China to enter peacefully, NOR allow Chinese military hardware into its country….  A brief testing skirmish occurs on the 53 parallel between US and Chinese troops becoming the first engagement of the war….  On this same day unknown to almost everyone, China and most Latin America nations sign a secret treaty…. relating strictly with the US and stating that if China is attacked, Latin America will side with China in order to protect their massive investments there….

The very next day, August 4th.  China swiftly invades South Korea and quickly over runs Seoul and commandeers all the ports on the peninsula.   China’s massive merchant marine of commercial cargo ships out of nowhere suddenly gather outside all of  Korea’s ports.   The US protests. calling for China to leave Korea. China flatly says it won’t.   The US declares war on China…. The Chinese merchant marine begins loading up the 2 million troops and lands them on the remote undefended section of north-western Japan…  Within 7 days,  2 million Chinese are moving towards Tokyo….

The very next day, August 5th… Latin America surprises all and closes shuts down all commerce with the US, closing it’s borders… All US firms have their property confiscated to be nationalized and the Panama Canal is closed  to all but Latin American and Chinese traffic…

The very next day, August 6th… Putin’s Russia declares war on the US and NATO….. and for what it is worth, the Ukraine declares war on China….

The very next day, August 7th…  The first US troops from Okinawa, land in Japan and rush north to engage the advancing Chinese… Battles ensue and the Chinese throughout the next week, till the 13th, win all of them…

The very next day: August 8th…  NATO and the US finally declare war on Russia…

For the next week, all eyes focus on China’s advance to Tokyo.  Then one week later, August 15th… Ukraine counter attacks a Russian outpost on its border, and regains control of the entire border area… The Russians run back across the border.  It will be the first allied victory of the war…

Two days later… August 17th… The US and NATO forces invade Russia proper upward from Uzbeckistan, and upwards from Turkey through Sochi, and eastward into Belarus from Poland, and towards Leningrad from Finland….

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4 years later, 2018, the armistice will be signed, leaving  37 million souls dead…. 93 million wounded for life…. and 34 million people simply missing… never heard from again….  And the borders between most of the big players will primarily remain just as they are… ( Hopefully all parties refrained from nuclear weapons….. or citizen causalities would be uncountable.)   Unsettled emotional antagonisms will continue to fester, and won’t be settled until after the next great war beginning in 2039…..

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This is how life changing that event was 100 years ago…. Literally it came out of nowhere…..  Just take a moment to consider the breathtaking speed with how fast this occurred and stretch your imagination wide enough to take in us being in a full fledged real world war equivalent to WWI in less than one month and 5 days from today, as you read this and the News Journal and fret over Greg Lavelle… ….. Maybe this could happen today, maybe not.   You and I need to make sure the “not” wins out…. were such a crises to occur.

The lessons of yesteryear are so lost on us today, as I’m afraid they are on every new generation.  I only share interest because of a personal bond with a relative, who was called to France in 1918.  So unlike most today, this history to me is something very real.   Upon my passing, there will then be no one to remind us of how stupidity can sometimes take over an ruin a world of good…  But for the rest of you, 100 years ago today you would be just reading about this life-changing first step in the paper…. (yawn) another assassination in Crimea… possibly thinking  “awwww… how sad”…  but never dreaming it would within four years time, cause you to lose your entire family in the same amount of time that briefly passes between two World Cups….

Life should never be taken for granted. Lesson.  Always be vigilant against war. Always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It appears that Obama’s plan is working.  Even with T-90 tanks on the border the economic sanctions against Russia are taking effect.

If you only follow America’s three lettered media… here are some things they have kept from you:

Global finance is more frightened of the US Securities and Exchange Commission than Russian T90 tanks

  • Hope of recruiting Beijing as an ally to blunt Western sanctions looks doomed
  • China did not stand behind Russia in the UN Security Council vote on Crimea, as it had over Syria.
  • Its foreign ministry stated that “China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country’s internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
  • Turkmenistan’s gas used to flow North, hostage to prices set by Gazprom. It now flows East.
  • in Kazakhstan, where Chinese companies have taken over much of the energy industry.
  • It is surely unlikely that imperious Xi Jinping will throw away the great prize of G2 Sino-American condominium to rescue a squalid and incompetent regime in Moscow from its own folly.
  • Enough of Europe’s gas pipelines have been switched to two-way flows since 2009 to help at least some of the vulnerable frontline states
  • Officials have been ordered to draft plans within 90 days to break dependence on Gazprom… Imports of Russian may be slashed by half within a decade.
  • Russia’s central bank cannot defend the rouble without tightening monetary policy, driving the economy deeper into recession in the process.
  • Russian banks and companies must roll over $155bn of foreign debts over the next twelve months in a hostile market, at a premium already over 200 basis points.
  • Any sanction against any oligarch linked to any Russian company could shut it out of global capital markets, potentially forcing default
  • The price of oil is poised to fall — ceteris paribus — as Iraq’s output reaches a 35-year high, the US adds a million barrels b/d a day this year from shale, and Libya cranks up exports again. The International Energy Agency says global supply jumped by 600,000 b/d last month. Deutsche Bank predicts a glut. So does China’s Sinopec. Mr Putin needs prices near $110 to fund his budget. He may face $80 before long.

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So in attacking Ukraine, Putin has lost China, lost middle Asia, lost Merkel, and unless it is immediately taken by force, lost all attempts to woe Ukraine back into the union.

He’ll attack shortly for domestic consumption.  if he doesn’t he is done at home.  The US should announce 20,000 troops are headed to Ukraine, and they should be stationed in reserves for military reasons; … to prevent them from being taken out in an opening sneak attack.  If we could convince the Chinese to join us, we could quite possibly have decades more of peace in our times…..

That will depend on Obama.

 

 

China shoots down two  B52’s flying through it’s extended air zone.

What now?

Nuke 7

The initial reaction would be to retaliate.  Strike something of theirs!  Expect some nut of the Tea Party to do a stand-up filibuster the Senate and demand nuking Beijing and Shanghai… But they are stupid.

The US is really not in any position to retaliate. We would have to react diplomatically.  Pull our staffs, etc, etc,… talk to them through the Russians.

For if we were to launch, we would be launching against a nation smart enough to cybersleath into our NSA, not some dumb Muslim nation locked in the 13th Century.  Good chance that not only would we have lost the two planes originally, but our losses would also extend to every single one of our attacking planes. We’d be wiped out.  No doubt all our electronic deflections have already been neutralized by the Chinese…   Our most effective military retort would be of a submarine at-sea launching of unmanned missiles taking out a minor retaliatory target.  But even if that launch was not jammed, once that was over, the extension of airspace would remain, and not be challenged again…..

In any military engagement off its coast, China wins.  Pretty much the same way the US would win in enforcing the Monroe Doctrine 2 centuries ago…  We have the power here; and you, from way over there, don’t.

Nuke 6

So one must use a different perspective.

What is the one thing China most fears…  Come on.. you know… It is obvious…  Still guessing?    Ok, I’ll help you out.  China most fears an insurrection of its own people.  People who want freedom, privacy, democracy, and those great things we often take for granted.  The Chinese willingly let themselves be run by their totalitarian government… At any point, based simply on numbers, ie the number of people in security, and the number of people not, China could rise up, revolt,  and rule itself…  This scares the Party more than any other threat.  They know that whereas the US would certainly not dismember their bodies in a public square, if the revolt got ugly, unlike us the local population would have no qualms in doing so…

Therefore we play to their fear….

The reason China does what it does, is to keep the people happy enough so they don’t revolt.  Their economic growth, their development, their capitalism, is all based upon that premise.  “If they are happy, we, the Party, stay in control….”

So.

Nuke 5

What if we declared economic war?  Stopped buying anything from China?   China would have to become a consuming nation to survive. Currently China’s wealth is saved and reinvested.  Compared to the average US income, which practically buys everything it makes… China buys very little of their own products, those are slated for exports to bring more cash into the country. If the world stops buying Chinese products, then those savings not invested outside of China, need to start buying  up the products instead of the other members of the global economy….  That is a short lived proposition.  After all, how many shovels will each Chinese buy?

It is further aggravated by China’s demand for raw materials.  Food is one.  Oil is another.  Heavy metals are a third.  As each of these become critical, each becomes rationed, the growing restlessness starts whispering that these hardships would never have come to pass, if the regime had not shot down two airplanes that up until a week earlier, had always flown that route with no problem.  Now, because of a gross error made by the current regime, millions have to go hungry, aren’t working, and are barely existing…  Perhaps the whispering campaign goes, it is time to overthrow the overlords and sue for peace, and get things back to normal?

As China cracks down against this whispering dissent internally, it loses focus externally…

Nuke 4

That would be the time to present a show of force.  The US  then blockaids China.  It would take two rings.  The outer ring would consist of ships permanently parked outside the range of China’s missiles… Their job would be to impede all international commerce headed to China, boarding and searching every ship…   The inner ring would consist of primarily of stealth submarines who would sink or shoot down everything making a mad dash into China…

The Russians would probably take the middle road, most likely benefiting from their proximity to China, but not going as far to alienate the US itself by forming a Sino-Soviet Aggression Pact.  It would be impossible to stop all commerce into China.  The demand for all goods would make the profit margins of smuggling, impossible to ignore.  The Soviets would benefit; Indochina, India, Burma, the Stans, would all benefit, but that amount slipping through, would not compensate for the hurt coming from the Shanghai and Hong Kong docks being empty of commerce….

Sooner or later, a group within the Chinese leadership, would have attracted enough numbers to challenge the military extremists, and something would crack and diplomacy would then become an option….

Point is, the choice to not attack militarily, is not an act of cowardice…  it is just so smart.  If every American citizen were to follow the Tea Party option and attack China, we would be at a 5 to 1 disadvantage.   But if every citizen in China attacked the ruling party and we were on THEIR side, we would have a 20 to 1 advantage….

nuke 3

Attacking China with economic weapons, is no different than surrounding a castle during a Medieval siege and waiting it out….

Super smart.  One gets the prize for no cost at all…..

That is why China has erred in its calculations… by thinking only in military terms where it does possess all the cards in its favor…

Unfortunately in war…  one does not get to make up all the rules….

Nuke 2Nuke 1

Would any American support a law imposed on us by the Soviet Union?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Communist China?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Islamic Iran?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Mexico?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Canada?

Would any New Yorker support a law imposed on them by South Carolina?

Would any South Carolinian support a law imposed on them by New York?

Would any Delawarean support a law imposed on them by Alaska?

No?

When put in this perspective, the phrase…”it’s the law…” rings rather hollow…

It’s the law… of what? It’s the law of…. who? It’s the law decided by whom?…… What reference does this law have to me?

Such is every Americans feeling to corporate law… These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our knowledge. These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our approval… There laws were applied to the lawbooks not in an open environment, but subtlely sneaked in, unannounced, unnoticed, unapproved, unsubstantiated, and unconstitutional…..

These laws that are being upheld, benefit a very thin percentage of people, a razor thin percentage of people. at the expense of the majority…..

Rick Santorium stands up and states we are a nation of law. We follow the rule of law…

Yes, we will follow a rule of law onto which a majority of us signs on to… But nowhere in our contract with America did we agree to follow laws that have not been sanctioned by the Constitution as being legal. Nowhere in our contract with America, did we agree to follow the phantom that corporations were human beings. that corporations had just as much right as people to write laws, get them passed, and then uphold them… as if they were people….

There are times when breaking the law, is better than following it…

If you don’t believe me, just ask Jesus.

In this past month’s news cycle, the state visit by the Chinese delegation, … got little attention. Yet, Historians will probably look back on that visit as the most important finishing touch of the past decade, even though it happened a few days into this current one. (Decades begin in the 1 years).

Alas, giant snowstorms and football playoffs have the tendency to suck up America’s attention in January. 🙂

What was notable;

A. China and the US are now equal players, both dependent on what the other does.

B. Both sides recognize that the other entity will do what is best in their self interest, and that neither party can make the other change course.

C. Both countries suffer malignancies the their hard line conservative movements (the mother-in-law syndrome), that slow the machinations of better relations.

The best description we have in today’s world to describe this relationship, at least that comes to this mind, is that of a marriage.

For an enjoined relationship has now grown up between these two partners; one that appears beneficial on all fronts for us both to continue; but one, which if ever split apart, will cost us both, ….. half of everything we own ad infinitum.

With that in mind, … the unilateral dominance that America has enjoyed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, is no more. We have a marriage now, whose new rules may cause us both some internal turmoil, but one that is better resolved through negotiation and discourse, than unilateral actions to the contrary………..

The US and China relationship …. has matured.

January 20th, Inauguration Day 2009.. Wow, it’s been two years…..

So…. what did he accomplish? And what did the Republicans accomplish by Inauguration Day 2002? At the same point in their tenure?

The answers are damning for Republicans, that’s for sure…

First of all, we must all remember. One president walked into a budget surplus, full employment, a roaring economy, and took over the nation that was the most respected in the world. ( That of course would be the Republican, because he had the good fortune to come in after 8 years of solid Democratic leadership ) The other president, took office that was deeply in debt, the economy was in a massive free-fall, we were losing two wars simultaneously, GM and Chrysler were belly-up, all our banks had collapsed, people could not keep up on their mortgages, and health care was out of control with insurance dropping paid-up people off their roles, simply because they got sick………..

One president had the world handed to him; the other came in owing the world….

At the end of his midterm, George W. Bush was rated by historians as the worst ever… Among some of their reasons… were:

the doctrine of pre-emptive war, crony capitalism/being “completely in bed with certain corporate interests,” bankruptcy/fiscal irresponsibility, military adventurism, trampling of civil liberties, and anti-environmental policies.

On the contrary, the Obama administration drove and got passed, the Recovery Act, which is the largest infrastructure investment since Eisenhower, the largest educational investment since Johnson, and the largest clean energy bill, since….. George Washington.

Similarly, with the help of Delaware’s Ted Kaufman, the Obama administration enacted Wall Street Reform, which empowered both investors and consumers, stopped predatory lending practices, brought trades into light, and…. ended tax payer funded bailouts…

The Recovery Act also reduced taxes for 95 per cent of working families. Very necessary unemployment benefits were extended for those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Credit Card Reform banned retroactive rate hikes, implemented new protections for young people who were enticed to spend more than they could afford, and required credit card companies to explain their terms in plain language. It also stopped banks from manipulating your balance to trick you into going over your limit, then socking you with excessive amounts of late charge fees.

New clean emissions standards and new mileage requirements rejuvenated the auto industry, causing it to undergo rapid development and growth in that sector, making America’s cars the envy of the world again. America’s auto industry was on it’s deathbed when Obama took over. Now, that sector is doing well, even better than Toyota.

At the midpoint of his first term, …George W. Bush, had at this time, ……….

Presided over the loss of approximately three million American jobs in his first two years in office, the worst record since Herbert Hoover.

Overseen an economy in which the stock market suffered its worst decline in the first two years of any administration since Hoover’s.

Transformed almost universal respect for the United States into worldwide condemnation. (One historian made this point particularly well: “After inadvertently gaining the sympathies of the world ‘s citizens when terrorists attacked New York and Washington, Bush has deliberately turned the country into the most hated in the world by a policy of breaking all major international agreements, declaring it our right to invade any country that we wish, proving that he’ll manipulate facts to justify anything he wishes to do, and bull-headedly charging into a quagmire.”)

Misled the American public about weapons of mass destruction and supposed ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Failed to follow through in Afghanistan, a military situation where we won, then abandoned that area allowing the opposition to regroup and become more powerful than ever. We are in Afghanistan today, solely because we did not finish what we started.

Insulted and ridiculed other nations and international organizations and now has to go, hat in hand, to those nations and organizations begging for their assistance.

Completely miscalculated or failed to plan for the personnel and monetary needs in Iraq after the war, so that he sought and obtained an $87 billion appropriation for Iraq, a sizable chunk of which is going, without competitive bidding to Haliburton, the company formerly headed by his vice president.

Inherited an annual federal budget surplus of $230 billion and transformed it into a $500+ billion deficit in less than three years. This negative turnaround of three-quarters of a trillion dollars is totally without precedent in our history.

Cut taxes three times, sharply reducing the burden on the rich, reclassified money obtained through stock ownership as more deserving than money earned through work. The idea that dividend income should not be taxed—what might accurately be termed the unearned income tax credit—can be stated succinctly: “If you had to work for your money, we’ll tax it; if you didn’t have to work for it, you can keep it all.”

Severely curtailed the very American freedoms that our military people are supposed to be fighting to defend. (“The Patriot Act,” one of the historians noted, “is the worst since the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams.”)

Called upon American armed service people, including Reserve forces, to sacrifice for ever-lengthening tours of duty in a hostile and dangerous environment while he rewards the rich at home with lower taxes and legislative giveaways and gives lucrative no-bid contracts to American corporations linked with the administration.

Proclaimed himself to be a conservative while maintaining that big government should be able to run roughshod over the Bill of Rights, and that the government must have all sorts of secrets from the people, but the people can be allowed no privacy from the government.

Against that negative backdrop, in two years Obama has done what progressives since Roosevelt have wished for: Health Insurance Reform, a simple law that returns decency and forces humanity back into the insurance industry. It returns things like they used to be.

It used to be.. if you got sick, your insurance would cover you. Thanks to Obama’s Health Insurance Reform, it is that way again. It used to be… that insurance would cover your check ups to keep you from getting sick. Thanks to Obama’s Health Insurance Reform, it is that way again. It used to be, that one’s children in school, were covered under their parents insurance… Thanks to Obama’s Health Insurance Reform, it is that way again. Since Obama’s Health Insurance Reform brings back the benefits of the Health Care we had growing up,… it is truly, the true conservative Health Care bill.

SCHIP was increased to cover 4 million more American children. Healthier children, lower medical expenses for all of us… in the future.

As for national security? Whereas Bush led us into fighting two wars, one completely unnecessary as well as a complete failure, since we didn’t get any legal oil from out that country, ( it still goes to Europe and China), under Obama, we have removed 100,000 troops from Iraq, and are currently reinserting ourselves into Afghanistan, to undo the damage that Republican president created.

In education, Obama saved American taxpayers 68 billion on student loans, over the next ten years, by making student loans more affordable and less profitable for banks. Under Bush, banks were pocketing most of the Federal guarantee money covering very high interest rates.

Whereas under Bush, we had “no child left behind” which meant that “no child ever moved forward”, under Obama, we have initiatives like “Race to the Top”, “Educate to Innovate”, which have a better chance at giving our nation’s students a competitive edge against the Chinese.

Like Harry Truman, the new GI Bill makes education more affordable for our veterans. Whereas “W” Bush sought to cut veteran’s benefits, as every veteran can attest from their real life history, Obama has tried to improve the lot of America’s finest…

Likewise, Obama ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, provided law enforcement new tools to deal with hate crimes, and made it easier for women to challenge unequal pay practices.

And to do all that? Obama in the worst of times, has added $201 billion to our deficit. The policies of Bush “W”, are responsible for the other $1.862 Trillion spending spree towards of this nations deficit, half of which is owned by our good friends, the Chinese. Thank you China for saving our ass from what the Republicans did to our nation…….

In just these two years, it’s obvious that we have a really great man… versus the Republicans abysmal failure…

Truth talks.

(Plus I just invested a big chunk into Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Depends, because obviously, … a lot of republicans are going to be needing them……… )

Obviously first, you have to see this as the propaganda for what it is…

Second, you have understand that everything to which we are exposed is propaganda… We just sort and pick out what we wish to believe out of the mess both sides have thrown at us..

Third, with those clarifications in place, you have to realize that this would never have happened just a few months ago….  If its idea even existed at all, it was only in the wildest dreams of some Chinese party official….. who would have been afraid to even mention it to his supervisors, for fear of sounding too outlandish for a position respected by his Party…

It has now come to pass….

An economic conference to which the US was NOT invited… hosted by who else….China.

Reading between the lines:

The summit was a pragmatic, open meeting, which embodied the strong wills of Asia and Europe in meeting challenges and seeking common development,

Discussed was how prevent future ties with the United States, so that our selfish machinations when they implode, would not bring the global economy to core meltdown.

Asian and European leaders agreed to enhance information sharing, policy exchanges, and pragmatic cooperation on supervision and management in the financial sector and effectively monitor, prevent and respond to financial risks to ensure sustained, stable and sound economic growth.

In other words to bypass the United States in their discussions.

The Beijing Declaration says all parties concerned are committed to promoting the realization of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as schedule.

The Cheney/Bush Administration removed the US from this initiative.

He said China has appealed to promote regional financial dialogue and cooperation and for reform of international monetary and financial systems. It had also proposed to build an Asian-European eco-city net, hold an Asian-European cultural and art festival, enhance trade safety between the two continents and promote disaster relief cooperation.

Meaning that the bullying down by our current administration has led our partners and allies to seek redress elsewhere. How can we bypass the US was the prime topic of cocktail conversations.

The summit has given the world a better understanding of China and stronger confidence of China’s development,

That it does. Meaning that the US is too busy saving its own ass to be counted upon for any leadership role.

The summit plays a key role in the process of Asian-European cooperation and will definitely push forward the new partnership between countries of Asia and Europe, contribute to global peace, prosperity and harmony,

The United States is conspicuously absent…..

My friends on the right who believe that Alaska is our strongest defense against Putin, who believe that not talking to China will force them back in line behind our failed policy, that making fun of their allies, is the way to curry favor….. have in 8 short years….brought the United States from its unsurpassed pinnacle of global dominance, to the rest of the world meeting behind our backs to whisper how to unseat us…..

What’s next?

Privately everyone wonders if China is about to call her loans……

And to even remotely consider putting in a new administration that has one of their spokespersons rattling off the same failed policies….(when she can adequately express them that is) does far more damage to this nation’s future……than those actions long ago partaken by one Benedict Arnold……

Olympics 2008 A Done Deal
Photo courtesy of People’s Daily

OuchThe Olympics ended yesterday.  As someone watching 24/7 coverage, their absence is immediately felt.  Surprisingly,…. there was little discussion related to that major event within our little frame of the world.

Overall, the global consensus is that the Chinese pulled this one off well.  Their overall execution was acknowledged to have probably been “the best ever” by some of the globe’s most seasoned participants.  Remarkable not only for its individual achievements, but just in the scale of records broken, this Olympic rank for a considerable time as the one to beat….  Of course it helps boost our nation’s spirits that the US came out well.

But hidden within that statistic, is a deeper truth.  Most of those playing for, and vying for Olympic fame,  have spent considerable time, and have trained within the United States.  Ironically our NBA stars were scattered over the entire globes competing basketball teams…  But so had soccer stars, gymnasts, kayak specialists,….all of which had used our technology and our expertise to better their game….

But so did the Chinese do well…   Without question the two athletic powerhouses in the world today are the Chinese (age 11 and up) and the United States.  Wealth is the driving force behind both.  The Chinese spent an estimated 80 billion on the Olympics this year alone.  It will be a while before that amount is ever spent again.  The Opening Ceremony alone was $330 million just in itself.  London appears to have a tough time keeping up with its predecessor, of that there can be no doubt.

Frighteningly, depending on what happens within the global markets after this year’s third quarter announcements…… this Olympics may one day looking back, become to be considered Mankind’s most astonishing, crowning achievement….

That hyperbolic announcement, if true, is scary, but should our global economy collapse into a Great Depression far more epic than the one lasting during the 1930’s, and should a subsequent war consumes all efforts to rise above it……. we may have just witnessed the temporary peak of our species’ achievement.

Achievement peaks fascinate historians.  For there are times throughout History when everything comes together.  Peace, prosperity, technology, the pursuit of knowledge, artistic expansion, caused unsavory negative issues to become fixed instead of ignored.  Egypt’s Middle Kingdom was one, Salomon’s reign during the Old Testament was another,  Byzantium during the Western Europe’s Dark Ages was a third, Elizabethan England in the 1590’s was a fourth, America’s Gilded Age as well as the Roaring Twenties up until the market crashed, could count as well.

During each of those times those within their respective societies, looked around and breathed a sigh of relief.  For there were no pressing problems interfering with living well, and with no challenging battles to fight, the entire realm of society could look around and say to themselves, wow…look at how great we are….

China provided mankind today with just such an opportunity.  And just from a cursory glance it seems that most of Delaware’s blogosphere seems to have missed the occasion.

For within each of those past societies,  once their vigilance stopped, the cracks in the foundation started to appear and increase spread rapidly…..  For two beautiful weeks during the August of 2008, while our eyes looked up to the Olympic Flame soaring above the Birds Nest Stadium, raising the marvel and future aspirations of all Mankind,  those cracks of ruin were racing across the globe underneath our feet at lightning speed.

growing like their economy

Every Democrat running for President agrees: the war in Iraq must end.

But it matters profoundly how we end it. It matters to our soldiers. It matters to Iraqis. And it matters to America’s future security.

Joe Biden sums it up well. I want to pay particular attention to the last line:

And it matters to America’s future security.

In my tongue in cheek post below about shrimp, I uncovered some facts I was unaware of. Particularly impressed was I on China’s buildup.

Knowing that it was the economic might of the North, that really outspent the South in the American Civil War, and knowing it was the economic might of the US during WWII, with the ability to build a liberty ship in sixteen days, that kept up with a two wars going on in two theaters, China’s relative economic strength versus our weakness, gives me some concern.

Speaking particularly of submarines, the Heritage Foundation has this to say:

Sea-power trends in the Pacific Ocean are ominous. By 2025, China’s navy could rule the waves of the Pacific. By some estimates, Chinese attack submarines will outnumber U.S. submarines in the Pacific by five to one and Chinese nuclear ballistic missile submarines will prowl America’s Western littoral, each closely tailed by two U.S. attack submarines that have better things to do. The United States, meanwhile, will likely struggle to build enough submarines to meet this challenge.

 

Right now, China wants to be at 85 submarines by 2010. The September 2004 promotion of Admiral Zhang Dingfa, a career submariner, to Chief of Staff of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) and a full seat on the Central Military Commission was a clear signal of the primacy of submarine warfare.

Comparatively, in the US, Electric Boat (EB), the nation’s preeminent submarine contractor, has announced plans to lay off 900 of its 1,700 designers and marine draftsmen engineers over the next three years. It will mark the first time in 50 years that the U.S. has not had a new submarine design on the drawing board. EB laid off nearly 200 submarine engineers and machinists in early February—and EB is the only shipbuilder in the nation that maintains submarine designers. The U.S. has three submarines under construction today.

Whereas China has 25 new boats under contract now; 16 are under construction today, including a new class of nuclear attack submarine designated the Type-093 and a new nuclear ballistic missile sub, the Type-094.

Our Navy’s new 30-year shipbuilding plan calls for 48 nuclear attack submarines in the fleet by 2035. If the Navy does not start launching new subs at the rate of two per year until several years after 2012, the force would dip to a low of 40 in 2028, or 17 percent below the Navy’s stated needs.

The reason for the cutback on what may be the most instrumental weaponry needed by mid century, is because of Iraq.

We simply do not have the resources to build submarines fast enough. Our money is being used elsewhere.

One needs to ask who will be the greater enemy of our future. The impoverished insurgents jumping through rings of fire in their video clips, or…..the worlds largest economic power when it finally decides to shift some of its resources away from butter, and turn them into guns……

This war in Iraq is a threat to America’s future security. We are squandering valuable resources needed elsewhere.

We need to end this war now, and start building to keep ahead of our real enemies. Otherwise, we will find ourselves soon to be out-Reagan’d by our newly capitalist friends in China………

spy photos of China's Secret Nuke Base