ΩΩThe US government issued a New Security Strategy report and in it, Obama’s brainiacs ponder how to control the planet, run endless anti-Muslim wars, occupy Okinawa against the wishes of the people there, and spend money like drunks on the military/industrial complex while not going bankrupt. Changing course, of course, is deemed impossible. Along with this, the news that BP may have literally buried the fossil fuel ruptured pipes may give us a momentary pause in the terrible destruction of the entire Gulf of Mexico ecosystems.
ΩΩThe Gulf of Mexico is one big warm bathtub of a sea with a very powerful current which flows between Florida and Cuba, feeding straight into the Atlantic Ocean. This mile deep well is in such a hostile environment, that is, deep waters are under tremendous pressure and thus, not easy to reach or do work, that it looks obvious to me that we should not drill in these conditions. This is an object lesson to everyone: just because oil exists somewhere doesn’t mean we should try to tap into it.
ΩΩOf course, we want oil and we want cheap oil because it is the fundamental basis of our entire civilization. The hidden price we are paying is very severe. This includes the costs of trying to dominate and control Muslim lands that are rich in oil reserves. The risky drilling in very important fisheries is the first leg of the disaster of the Hubbert Oil Peak.
ΩΩMany years ago, I debated with others about this inevitable loss of petroleum sources and people online would love to claim there is endless supplies of oil hidden around the earth. But the earth isn’t a ball filled with oil. It is a complex geology. And one with severe limits as to access. The US is going bankrupt due to importing tremendous amounts of oil.
ΩΩMexico was one of our biggest suppliers but we sucked down most of Mexico’s natural resources and now it is in very swift decline and this is directly leading towards financial problems for Mexico as well as the US. And our entire Middle Eastern affairs are drenched in oil and religious intolerance on all sides, a particularly toxic mix.
ΩΩThe tragedy of the Gulf oil disaster has barely begun. Once hurricanes begin to rage, the destruction will only spread. The government’s complicity in this is tangled up with lots of wishful thinking in our own society: we know that drilling a mile deep in oceans is extremely difficult but collectively chose to overlook this because we want the oil. This isn’t the first offshore oil rig disaster, there has been plenty of previous disasters. Just like with coal mining, the public may express outrage whenever the inevitable disasters hit but the desire for more coal and more oil trumps short-term outrage.
ΩΩOne would imagine after the Exxon Valdez catastrophe, oil and water do not mix and the long term damage of any major oil spill is not easily fixed. And the most recent event is nearly impossible to fix! It will be allowed to just become a part of the already rather big ecological catastrophe that has been destroying the Gulf of Mexico. Pollution of our planet’s water is alas, all too easy to do, we treat much of our planet’s water systems literally as a gigantic toilet.
ΩΩHere is the President’s latest security report which shows how insane our system is at this point, there is no examination of our weaknesses and our hazards since we collectively choose to ignore all of this ratted difficult stuff and instead, we have wishful thinking. New Security Strategy Focuses on Managing Threats – NYTimes.com
In a 52-page document that tries to balance the idealism of Mr. Obama’s campaign promises with the realities of his confrontations with a fractious and threatening world over the past 16 months, Mr. Obama describes an American strategy that recognizes limits on how much the United States can spend to shape the globe. .
I see precious little sign that the advisors to the President have even the slightest idea of our limitations which are growing more and more restrictive over time. The world is no more threatening this year than any other year in my life, balancing our sovereign needs and aims with conflicting sovereign plans and games is a fact of life, not a surprise that excuses wild overspending.
An America “hardened by war” and “disciplined by a devastating economic crisis,” he argues, cannot sustain extended fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan, while fulfilling other commitments at home and abroad.
.We are not ‘hardened by war’….we have one of the least ‘wartime’ systems ever! Nazi Germany did this, too: when Hitler began WWII, he kept up civilian spending and goodies so the population would support his wars instead of imposing restrictions on civilian spending. The US went right out to the extreme in this: we expanded civilian spending tremendously (the Greenspan bubble) at the same time we started 2 wars!
“The burdens of a young century cannot fall on American shoulders alone,” Mr. Obama writes in the introduction of the strategy being released on Thursday. “Indeed, our adversaries would like to see America sap our strength by overextending our power.”
ΩΩThere are a great many of people out there who are rather anxious to see the US stumble and fall. Obviously, even Obama has figured out that we are in great danger of overextending our power. So what did he do?
ΩΩHe made a deal with Japan this week to help the Japanese increase their share of US auto markets even further and in return, the Japanese generously allowed us to expand our immense military footprint in Okinawa! So, Peace Prize Obama has extended our military obligations in Okinawa, doubled troops fighting in Afghanistan, continues the occupation of Iraq and here we are, increasing war spending on top of all this!
The Senate shot down two amendments offered by Coburn and Sen. John McCain to freeze federal workers’ salaries, sell government property and take other measures to pay for the wars.
But the close margins on both was more evidence that some Democrats are worried about mounting federal debt; congressional leaders scrambled on Thursday to get support for other bills that would increase the annual deficit.
ΩΩHow funny it is to see the GOP warhorses demand a balanced budget whenever a Democrat is President while doing the exact opposite when their own party launches several wars. So, to pay for our stupid wars, we will sell….OUR OWN GOVERNMENT STUFF???? How about putting up a huge ‘lawn sale’ sign in our front yard! So we sell public ownership of everything we own and in return, we get to spend many billions propping up the governments of distant lands like Afghanistan or Israel.
ΩΩSenate Approves $60 Billion For War, While House Cuts $24 Billion For Unemployed Workers And State Aid: and here we see the dim outlines of public rage! We have no money for ourselves but we have plenty of money for Karzai . So long as we had our butter, we loved the bombs. But now, the squeeze is on and the only people being squeezed are our own people. This is a sharp problem: a government exists to protect the citizens, not the other way around. And not just our individual selves but our entire society.
ΩΩDumping millions of unemployed people off the cliff so we can spend money overseas in various idiotic adventures, is fatal. Over time, we will have increasing social disorders stemming from this bad choice. Neither the GOP nor the Democratic leadership understand that the endless game of misleading the US public will not last forever. It will end with a jerk when our finances finally hit the wall.
ΩΩInstead of fixing the leaks in our finances, we are making them worse. Money spent in Asia and the Middle East is gone. Money spent on our own unemployed stays at home! This is why we have to change course or else. And I detect no sign of this happening. Meanwhile, in Israel, one of our bleeding red ink locales, things continue to deteriorate badly:
Hours before its arrival, the foreign minister lashes out at the Gaza flotilla. Avigdor Lieberman said Friday afternoon that “the flotilla is an attempt at violent propaganda against Israel, and Israel will not allow a violation of its sovereignty at sea, in the air, or on land.”
Lieberman, who spoke during a visit to the Forgein Ministry’s situation room, added, “There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and despite the Hamas leadership’s war crimes and rocket fire, Israel is conducting itself in the most humanitarian manner, and is allowing the entrance of thousands of tons of food and equipment to Gaza.”
ΩΩThis flotilla is an international response to the outrageous Gaza Ghetto blockade. Most Americans are unaware that the US is being held directly responsible for the Israeli Jew’s war crimes. But if we condemn the Nazis for doing this, we must condemn the Israelis. Instead, the US plays passive while the right wingers in Israel say and do increasingly demented things.
The Israeli Navy has planned to capture and seize all the vessels and detain the aid workers on board. They even have tents set up in advance for the mass processing of the aid workers, which incude a Nobel laureate, a Holocaust survivor, and several European MPs.
The planned attack on aid workers in international waters and the seizure of their cargo of medicine and building materials has taken on an air of shocking palatability in the mainstream of public discourse, with no real doubt that Israel’s military will crush the aid workers by any means necessary and no real questioning of why.
Israel’s list of banned goods is downright bizarre, and while officials claim no complete official list exists, the capricious banning of things like pencils and chocolate under its blanket ban on “luxury” items to the strip has stripped any pretense of legitimacy the blockade may once have enjoyed.
At this point, much of Israel’s blockade seems downright mean-spirited, ensuring that things like ginger and coriander never reach the shores of the tiny enclave. But the flotilla’s cargo isn’t just barrels of cumin and sesame seeds, aiming to make Gaza’s steady diet of rice, chickpeas and air strikes more palatable.
ΩΩThere is no reason to do this sort of illegal collective punishment! The bizarre list of banned goods is very much a cynical attempt of some very clever people to humiliate and harm a helpless population. This is pure grinding a boot heel into someone’s face. This blockheaded blockade is making both Israel and the US very unpopular and it costs us a fortune in ill will we can ill afford. Yet, Obama is silent on it. All he has to do is warn Israel to not interfere with this flotilla!
ΩΩBut Congress would howl with rage and punish him. And so we continue down this fatal path. AIPAC wants us to do this and this is the end of the story. No changes, no alterations and yes, we will cut benefits to the unemployed while increasing spending overseas, building other nations.
Military authorities said that masked naval commandos would greet the eight ships deep out at sea, escort the vessels to port and give each of the activists a stark choice: leave the country or go to jail.
ΩΩThe use of masked men to stop civilians delivering medicines and chocolate is the last straw. Of course, the Israelis would dearly love to do the Liberty Ship thing and simply sink these boats and strafe the survivors. Israel knows it can do this and the only thing hindering this is the international press which is watching this closely even if US media are playing possum.
How is it that a submarine of a fifth-rate power was able to penetrate a U.S.-South Korean naval exercise and sink a ship that was designed for anti-submarine warfare?
Such questions are being fueled by suggestions in the South Korean and Japanese media that the naval exercise was intended to provoke the North to attack. The resulting public outcry in the South, according to this analysis, would bolster support for a conservative government in Seoul that is opposed to reconciliation efforts.
As fanciful as it may sound to Western ears, the case that Operation Foal Eagle was designed to provoke the North has been underscored by constant references in regional media to charts showing the location where the ship was sunk — in waters close to, and claimed by, North Korea.
ΩΩThe outrage over the ship sinking is manufactured. That is, the US wanted to do a war game thing right next to and even right on top of China and North Korea’s waters and something bad happened. Imagine that. War games are very dangerous! Do them at home and people still get riled. Do war games inches in front of faces of countries we verbally attack and hate is insane and obviously, a provocation for war.
ΩΩThe ships of the US alliance were not merely floating about mindlessly, they were testing systems and actions to see if they could improve chances of winning wars! I am assuming that the ship sinking was an accident or mistake but then, how many wars are started by mistakes and accidents! This is why provocations are dangerous. Yet, the US decided, right when negotiating to keep troops in Okinawa, here comes a scary reminder to the Japanese that they better give us more of Okinawa for our military! Imagine that.
ΩΩWe imagine all of this is strengthening our alliances in Asia. But it is something we cannot afford. This is like picking a fight with a neighborhood schizophrenic off his meds while having a broken arm and sick with the flu! We should be avoiding this sort of thing, not provoking it.
The cause of the derailment was not immediately clear: some accounts suggested there had been an explosion before the crash, but local police chiefs said around 50 centimetres of track had been removed prior to the crash and that a campaign group closely associated with the Maoists had left posters claiming responsibility at the site.
India’s Maoist rebels have emerged as one of the major threats to the country’s internal security in recent months with a series of large-scale attacks. In April 75 police officers died in an ambush, earlier this month a bomb killed 35 bus passengers and railway trains passing close to the Maoists’ enclaves have been regular targets.
The site of this latest incident is in a remote part of West Bengal state, in an area known for its Maoist activity which is only a short distance from areas of hilly forest that are completely under the rebel control.
ΩΩThe economic wonder of India is in direct opposition to our own condition. The boom in India isn’t reaching the masses just like the NAFTA boom benefited the upper classes of Mexico while the masses are displaced or forced to flee. India is hemmed in by Pakistan, which is blowing up itself, and the Himalayas to the north and Burma on the east, all are very hostile to Indians crossing borders there so they have no easy outlet for public distress like Mexico has.
ΩΩIndian peasants supply a lot of the semi-slave labor for the OPEC nations, for example. The stresses in India are growing due to the increasing split between the English speaking thriving classes in the main cities and the teeming countryside which is being destroyed. The Maoists express this discontent in the countryside and they can’t be shoved aside so easily. There seems little alternative visions available.
ΩΩWe are having troubles with all our allies as the world economic situation unravels. Here is another example from the Germans: Geithner in Europe: US and EU Oceans Apart on Fiscal Policy – SPIEGEL ONLINE
On a more fundamental level, however, Washington is concerned that, should Europe overreach in its rush to cut government spending, it could endanger the fragile economic recovery that has taken hold on the Continent and around the globe. In particular, the US would like to see countries like Germany and France continue efforts to stimulate their economies….
…Christina Romer, who heads up the White House Council of Economic Advisers and who was with Geithner in London on Wednesday, said that European countries should be wary of cutting spending too quickly. “There is a certain amount of rush for the exits on fiscal policy,” she told reporters. The US is hoping that stimulus-fueled growth will ultimately result in higher tax revenues which can then be used to pay down debt.
Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve and an economic adviser to US President Barack Obama, also argued recently that Europe should focus on encouraging growth rather than cutting spending. Referring specifically to France and Germany, he said in an interview with Bloomberg radio earlier this month that “it would help a lot if the rest of Europe, the strong part of Europe … if they have more growth, that will help these countries on the periphery.”
Germany, however, is taking the opposite approach. Rather than take on even more debt to ramp up the economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel wants to set an example for Europe on how to cut spending and reduce budget deficits. Her government is currently looking into ways to make significant spending cuts. Many economists in Europe even view deficit and debt reduction as a key precursor to economic growth.
ΩΩNikkei news in Japan is very interesting:Exports Up 40% In April; Trade Surplus Swells
The data indicate Japan’s economy is off to a good start in the April-June quarter, after expanding at a solid 4.9% annualized rate in the previous three months. Exports have grown more than 40% on year every month since January, providing crucial support to an economy in which domestic demand is still heavily dependent on stop-gap government support.
Still, analysts are cautious about Japan’s economic prospects, saying Europe’s sovereign debt turmoil and consequent rises in the yen pose threats…
…In April, Japanese exports to the European Union rose 19.8% on year to Y665.8 billion, according to the data. That accounted for 11% of the nation’s total exports in that month.
Exports to the U.S. gained 34.5% from a year earlier, while those to Asia climbed 45.3%, the data showed.
ΩΩThe Japanese are very, very focused on protecting their export powers. While the US can’t seem to even understand that exports are important at all. We seem unable to even understand the need to balance trade just like we don’t balance our books by cutting wild military spending overseas even as Americans face economic and social destruction at home.
ΩΩNote that Japan’s trade with Asia is growing faster than trade with the US. Another reason for the Pentagon to encourage military instability in Asia by confronting North Korea.
Bank of England must raise interest rates this year, OECD warns – Telegraph: this is the end of the line for the easy riders in London. If interest rates rise above ZIRP rates while the US and Japan keep ZIRP rates dooms the London banking game. The all important carry trade will explode in England’s face. That is, England won’t be the source of easy credit, the pound will shoot upwards against the yen and euro and thus, will make things even worse for England. The easy money game is very hazardous.
Incapacity benefit, which now costs £5.3 billion, goes to those of working age who are too sick to work. The current payment is £91 a week compared to the £65.45 payment for jobseekers allowance. Successive government have tried to tackle the rising bill to get more people into work but with little success.
The new assessment will test if those claiming incapacity benefit could do desk or administrative jobs or part time work even if they are unable to do manual work or hold down a full time job. Officials said previous assessments had looked at whether someone was too ill to work rather than if they had the potential to work at a later date.
ΩΩLike the US, England is cutting services to citizens. The fixes being offered are decapitations, not repairs. Punishing the citizens is all important even as England sends troops to the US wars overseas, telling people to go die at home while spending money on convincing Afghanis England is invading in order to make their lives better…this is insanity.
ΩΩHow long will this go on? 1,000 US troops and many Brits have died in Afghanistan. It is a ludicrous as well as futile adventure and extremely expensive. Yet the new government in England seems to want to continue this. The calls to eliminate services and sell off public systems like roadways to pay for wars is pure insanity and the brief victory of the Tories will turn into hell if this is actually implemented.
P.O. BOX 483
BERLIN, NY 12022
Make checks out to ‘Elaine Supkis’
Click on the Pegasus icon on the right sidebar to donate via Paypal.