Saturday, February 26, 2011


It appears that a crisis is approaching.

1) Economic problems in the U.S. are on the Federal, state, city and local levels. Bankruptcy is a distinct possibility for the largest economy in the world. If the United States cannot pay the interest on the debt, we will be forced to default. That day is coming, or else a massive change in spending. Unrest like in Europe is very possible, as Wisconsin is already demonstrating. And this problem is not even beginning to be addressed.

2) Unrest all over the Middle East. It is possible that Democracy is popping up all over the place, but so unlikely as to border on madness. More likely that once things settle down, the region will get the types of government the people want. Some type of Islamic based legal system. It is suited to step into vacuums and people have a habit of choosing things that stabilize things. This legal system is coming our way.

3) We have an Imam organizing an Islamic meeting on the White House lawn to impose Islamic law in the U.S. Want to start a war? Lets start having Islamic ideology like stoning become established as law in this country.

It just feels like we are on an edge of some type or another. Just waiting to fall off. Maybe things will settle down. I don’t think so. The reason that I am picking a pessimistic view is because of the financial problems in Europe and the United States. It could go the other way, but I doubt it. Economics can cause wars. When resources are scarce, people will fight over them.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Suicide Weapon

We are not seeing the high profile suicide attacks recently. The suicide attacks are still occurring. With all of the unrest throughout the Middle East, I have been expecting otherwise. Maybe the needs of the populations are being met. More likely is that the suicide attackers are not needed right now. Suicide attacks have a high attrition rate, so you don’t want to use them unnecessarily. The following post is from 4/25/09 and contains many of the reasons that I believe that what we are seeing is a lull in suicide attacks.


"Today the popular belief is that the Japanese who took part in banzai charges, flew kamikaze missions, piloted kaitens and shinyo ‘bang boats’, or served as human mines, were all fanatics. Because many of the banzai charges were ordered on the spur-of-the-moment no doubt there was an element of fanatism in the army’s operations. But the kamikazes, kaiten and kairyu men were dedicated individuals whose calm acceptance of death illustrates the impact of ideological persuasion." (A.J. Barker, Suicide Weapon, C1971, Page 157)

For the past 25 years or so, we have been seeing only the 2nd occurrence of the use of suicide as a weapon of war. The point here is that many of us believe that our enemies are only a very small minority of ‘fanatics’. Just the idea of a small number of ‘fanatics’ is incorrect. ‘Ideological persuasion’ is required to overcome the most basic instinct of all living things, survival. The suicide attacks we are seeing today are spread all over the Islamic world. They tend to be concentrated within areas of open warfare, but suicide attacks are occurring in many other parts of the Muslim world as well. Just the very size of the geographical area indicates that this ‘ideological persuasion’ is much more pervasive than a very small minority of ‘fanatics’.

Of large concern is that the suicide attackers are coming from such a large population. This population can be expected to produce far more suicide attackers if the need became obvious. It is also very unlikely that this ‘ideological persuasion’ can be altered in any significant way without some very large, traumatic event.

The first occurrence of the use of suicide as a weapon took nuclear weapons to put an end to it. (Many argue that Japan was on the verge of surrendering anyway, but no doubt the nuclear attacks sped up the Emperor’s decision to intervene and end the war.) The educational system of the culture that produced this first wave of suicide attackers was altered severely and thoroughly.

I expect that WMD will be used long before this current war of ‘ideological persuasion’ is over.

End Post of 4/25/09

It does not seem possible to me that the issues at the core of suicide attacks have been resolved. Islam is a major part of the ideology of the suicide attackers and is showing little to no reversal of the basic teachings that inspire the attacks. Maybe I am wrong, but I just do not see democracy (As repulsive as it is to Muslims) taking root all over the Middle East. After all, much of the reason that Israel is so despised is because it IS a democracy.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hope and change

President Obama was elected with a promise of ‘Hope and change’. I must admit, I never thought that the hope and change that he would deliver would be as effective as it has been proven to be.

Hope is with us always. I don’t really need my leadership to express this concept very much. My oldest son has autism. I hope that he will become independent some day. I am working very hard to help him. The reality is that it is a very good possibility that he will NOT EVER be independent. Hope only goes so far.

President Obama has promised change. He is delivering. Our economic system is changing, drastically. Our financial problems were already present on the local, city, state and federal levels. Now our financial problems are going to be the cause of civil unrest within our own country. It is only beginning. And this ‘change’ is occurring in other parts of the world as well.

Just look at the Middle East. ‘Change’ is all over the place. A major problem is that ‘Change’ is not necessarily for the better. Islamic culture and democracy are not compatible. One major aspect of Islamic culture is a sense of superiority and privilege. A major symptom of superiority and privilege is a sensitivity to insult. And we all know how the Islamic world is sensitive to insult. I suspect that most of the ‘changes’ that we ultimately get ‘over there’ are going to be more hostility toward the U.S. than ever before. And what is starting this process of ‘change’ over there? One major reason is the rapid rise in the price of food. This is at a time when the U.S. government is encouraging third world countries to convert food into fuel. Good idea, turn a product that people can eat into something that they cannot. And burn lots of energy in the process.

It looks as if we are going to NEED hope more than ever. President Obama sees himself as having ‘saved us’ from the brink of economic collapse. By spending resources so far beyond our means that we have a distinct possibility of not ever being able to pay the interest on the debt, let alone the principal. This is bankruptcy. This is on the national level and we are supposed to be the economic engine of the world? I believe that this will result in a major regional, if not a world war. Change indeed. And we will need all kinds of hope because that will be all we will have left.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Republicans are warmongers?

One of my brothers-in-law sent this to me back in 2008.
Whatever your politics, however you lean, and however you feel about thecurrent administration, this report helps dispute a common perception.
As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is, consider thefollowing statistics:

The annual fatalities of military members whileactively serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2006 - by any cause.
1980 .......... 2,392 (Carter Year)
1981 ........... 2,380 (Reagan Year)
1984 .......... 1,999 (Reagan Year)
1988 ........... 1,819 (Reagan Year)
1989 ........... 1,636 (George H W Year)
1990 ........... 1,508 (George H W Year)
1991 .......... 1,787 (George H W Year)
1992 .......... 1,293 (George H W Year)
1993 .......... 1,213 ( Clinton Year)
1994 ......... 1,075 ( Clinton Year)
1995 .......... 2,465 ( Clinton Year)
1996 .......... 2,318 ( Clinton Year)
1997 ........... 817 ( Clinton Year)
1998 ......... 2,252 ( Clinton Year)
1999 ........... 1,984 ( Clinton Year)
2000 ...........1,983 ( Clinton Year)
2001 ............. 890 (George W Year)
2002 ........... 1,007 (George W Year)
2003 ......... 1,410 (George W Year)
2004 .......... 1,887 (George W Year)
2005 ............. 919 (George W Year)
2006.............. 920 (George W Year)
2007............. 899 (George W Year)
Clinton years (1993-2000): 14,107 deaths
George W years (2001-2007): 7,932 deaths

(Please note some missing years.)

While I do not know what the breakdown on what cause of death was, I find it very interesting that President George W. Bush has close to one half the loss of life as President Clinton. This is even more pronounced because we have been engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for most of President Bush’s 2 terms. And we were supposedly losing the war in Iraq, a war that was a disaster!

The clincher for me is the fact that all 5 major wars since the U.S. Civil War have been with liberal Presidents.

The Spanish-American war was the only Republican president, but in 1898 Republicans were liberal and Democrats were conservative. (By today’s standards) No matter how you slice it, this was a war of aggression.

World War I and II can’t be blamed upon the Democrat president, but we can hold them responsible for our direct involvement. (We needed to be in both)

Korea was a BIG mistake by Truman. He withdrew all U.S. troops in September 1949. The war began with an invasion of the South on June 20, 1950. He badly underestimated his (Our) enemy.

Vietnam was a screw-up by Kennedy and Johnston. Want to know how? Please let me know.

I can go into considerable detail on how U.S. involvement in all of these wars evolved. Please feel free to ask for more details.

I am guessing that Republicans have the label ‘warmongers’ because they want a strong military so that we are better equipped when we do have to fight. Also, Republicans see strength as a deterrent. Republicans also believe than many wars can be kept much smaller if dealt with sooner rather than later. In other words, dealing with aggression is a lot like dealing with bullies. Better to face them right away. The longer you wait, the worse the fight will be. Stand up today so that you don’t have to fight tomorrow. Well, we all know that does not always work, but it is generally worth the attempt. After all, saving lives is VERY important. You also know the old saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The U.S. is NOT at war

I read recently how the US is in financial trouble because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is such a misunderstanding of the problem that I thought a comment was in order.

The United States is NOT at war. We do not and have not had conscription since Vietnam. Our army is a small, volunteer one. Even in Vietnam, our army that was deployed only numbered half a million men. Our defense companies are contracting, and have been for almost 20 years. During the 90's we disbanded half of our active divisions. Our economy is NOT geared up for war. The United States is NOT mobilized for war.

The economic problems the United States is facing are not because of the wars going on in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Note: The wars don’t help the economic problems) Our economic problems are simply because our governments (Federal, state, city and local) are and have been spending more than what they make. The interest on our debt is soon to be the largest SINGLE item on the budget. This problem is present at ALL levels of government, Federal, state, city and local. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not involved in the state, city or local government financial problems at all. These governmental entities have only been doing what the Federal government has been doing.

Please note: All levels of our government have only been doing what we want them to. The Health Care bill was a notable exception in that it was passed even though a solid majority of US citizens were against it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Economic incentive: Part II

I am a firm believer that many wars are fought for economic reasons. I do not believe that it was a coincidence that the largest, most destructive war ever fought (WW II) was immediately preceded by the greatest economic downturn in mankind’s history. The American south rose up and revolted against the national government because the President was threatening to stop the expansion of the principal that the economy of the south was dependant upon. (Slavery) Another way of looking at it: Some people will in fact take violent action because they believe in a different god. However, many more people will take violent action against others for their wallet. In many cases, the excuse is the god. The real reason is the wallet, land or water. I am worried that the United States is leading the world to the next big war.

Big wars occur every so often. It is human nature to fight wars, just as natural as fighting with your spouse. Big issues come up every so often that cannot be decided by talking or negotiation. Attempting to take away the slaves by talking to the slave owners would not have worked. It required force of arms. The world has not seen a major war since the mid-1940’s. That was more 60 years ago. The world just may be ready for another. I believe all it will take is a severe economic downturn or disruption of some type. And the U.S. economy is a prime candidate.

The governments of the United States are ALL in financial trouble. State, city, local and the Federal government have ALL been spending well beyond their means for generations. Borrowing money through the issue of bonds has made up the difference. The interest on this debt is enough to impact the expenditures by being one of the biggest, if not the largest item on the budget. Sooner or later the interest will become so large that we will be unable to pay it, leave alone pay back the principal. This is a recipe for disaster.

On the personal level, if any of us reaches this point, we will need to declare bankruptcy. Our State, city and local governments just may be allowed to do this. The impact will be hurtful, to say the least. However, the biggest problem is on the Federal level. We do not have any device to allow the Federal government out of our debts to foreign countries. We can default and expect all new borrowing to dry up. Or else print lots of money and let inflation destroy what we have left. By the way, this is what happened in Germany in the 1920’s. After the Germans had had enough, they elected Adolph Hitler as a way to get out of the economic jam they were in. And it worked VERY well for a number of years. Don’t think that this could happen here? Remember that Germany in the 1920’s was an advanced country. The population was well educated and they already had a modern economy.

I am not saying that we will elect a Hitler. What I am saying is that these economic problems are placing our representative form of government in jeopardy. The austerity that will be required to resolve these issues will make the ‘adjustments’ that we are seeing in Greece and England look like beginners. And riots are occurring in these countries because of them. To prevent this, all we can do is push this off to a future date, which will make that day of reckoning that much more difficult. Sooner or later, the bill will come due. When it does, I believe that we have a very good possibility that the economic stress that will result will trigger a major war. The war itself may not necessarily begin here in the U.S. The violence can easily begin somewhere else in the world that is impacted earlier and more severely than the United States. Like in Europe in the 1930’s.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Economic incentive: Part I

The United States has a remarkable record. Our most encouraging achievements are innovation through inventions of all types, not to mention an economic engine of the world for well over a century. Just look at the world leading progress through medical advances that the U.S. has been responsible for. And still is. A quick recap:

The cotton gin, the reaper, the rotating turret, the machine gun, mass manufacturing of steel, the telegraph, the telephone, the phonograph, the electric light, the AIRPLANE, how about mass manufacturing of automobiles, refrigeration, nuclear power, computers, just to name some of the most obvious. This stuff advanced ALL of mankind, not just the United States.

The rock upon which our economic record has been built upon is the concept that the individual person will make the best economic decisions when he/she is allowed to own the methods of production. The basic incentive is that a person will take much better care of a house if they own it themselves, rather than someone else. Personal property rights and the ability to profit from filling others wants and needs are actually a channel of human behavior toward constructive ends. The nations resources are best directed if they are privately owned. President Obama disagrees. President Obama appears to believe that capitalism is greedy and evil.

From what I have seen and heard President Obama say and do, he must believe that our government can allocate the national resources more fairly and wisely than when the decision making is in private hands. Just look at how he believes the stimulus will work, not to mention the take over of so much of the private economy. He appears to believe that private wealth is bad. Although many in this country agree with these ideas, these concepts are against historical American economics. This is where the phrase of someone who believes in this being called ‘un-American’ originates. The health care bill is an excellent example.

The United States was not founded upon the principle that the government can wisely allocate the resources of the national economy. In fact, the U.S. was founded on quite the opposite principal. Government involvement in the economy was to be minimal, if any at all. The channel of human ingenuity and industry will be directed into constructive methods if people were allowed to own the means of production and benefit directly from their own decisions concerning risk of investment in time and of resources. Our country has been moving in a different direction for generations now. The takeover of the health care system by the national government is only a glaring and the most recent example. And now the economy is struggling. I can’t imagine why.

I read a comment last week that pointed out how the United States became so prosperous because of our government. This is both correct and wrong at the same time. The reference was that government DROVE the inventions, such as paving roads and the nuclear bomb. In a sense, this is correct. The money allocated to roads did pay for the actual product, but private companies gathered the resources, obtained the expertise and invented the machinery to actually do it. (Nuclear weapons were a notable exception) During the 19th century and the first part of the 20th centuries, the US government (State and local as well) was noted for it’s non-interference with economic events. Government intervention did not take place during the 3 depressions and many recessions that took place before the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Middle East is very dangerous today

The Middle East is in a very dangerous state right now. I just can't see Democracy and freedom breaking out all over the place after so many years of the population being so hostile to us. Why would they want to be like us? After all, even our very own President does not like us very much. He wants to fundamentally ‘change’ our economic system and our society to become more ‘fair’ and ‘open’. It is far more likely that these governments are going to be much less like us and more openly hostile to our interests and us. What makes this more dangerous is that they will likely target our allies who are much closer and more vulnerable. Israel is likely to become the major local target.

One recent poll says Egyptians want a bigger role for Islam in politics, they want democracy and they reject Islamic radicals such as Osama bin Laden. Respondents also showed quite high levels of support for traditional Islamic punishments such as stoning for adulterers, cutting off thieves’ hands and death for apostates from Islam.

Notice how it is not quantified for level of support for traditional Islamic punishments? I would expect a much higher level of support than what the KKK gets within the US. This makes them much more dangerous than what our typical civilian police force faces. After all, the Islamic ‘radicals’ have access to machine guns, tanks and artillery.

I am actually surprised by the relative lack of violence in Egypt. Many have much to lose, even their lives. Regime change in the Middle East has a history of elimination of the families who lost. I would expect violent reaction, just in self defense, if for no other reason.

I believe that the reason we are seeing such a rise in "Islamophobia" in the US is because so many have done what I did after 9/11. I had only a very childish view of Islam prior to 9/11. Islam was just a religion, as I know them. It did not take long to understand where the root causes of so many wars going on throughout the world originate. I have studied history for more than 40 years and have never seen so many good reasons for open warfare as I have found concerning Islamic government.

Islamic nationalism IS just one of the root causes of the war. Just the one issue of a 'religion' fielding an army is worth waging war over. "Lands" and "Waters" are defended by Nation-states, not Religions. This is just one issue. Islam as a form of government is at war against us.
With all of the anti-American feelings that have been running throughout the Middle East for decades, I find it difficult to believe that we are going to see a friendlier Egyptian government, once this sorts itself out.

The war has not begun, YET. This is only the quiet before the storm.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Defense is not going to win this war

Last week, we had the toppling of the government of Tunisia. Today, political unrest in Egypt is destabilizing the government and threatening to bring it down. More unrest is present in Yemen, Jordan, and Syria. Lebanon had a change for the worst with Hezbollah gaining strength. In Pakistan, his own bodyguard for being ‘too Western’ assassinated a major political moderate. In Afghanistan, another suicide attack was successful last week. Another successful suicide attack was also conducted in Moscow. And just a few weeks ago, Sadr had return to Iraq, from Iran.

I posted this earlier this month:

"Sadr had been in self-imposed exile in Iran for nearly three years, and his return signals the political rehabilitation of his staunchly anti-U.S. political movement in Iraq's corridors of power."

This is an understatement. This is political Islam. This imam formed and led his own ‘militia’, or a part of the ‘army of Islam’. He had fled when the ‘surge’ was working. This guy IS the enemy. He is returning from Iran and will continue his work. The people of Iraq who we need to survive and prosper are now in even greater danger. Even though this has been expected, this is a major loss in the war. The tide has turned against us in Iraq. We left far too soon.
(End post)

It is possible that friendly, democratic governments will replace that in Tunisia. And it is possible that if the government of Egypt falls, a friendly, democratic government will also replace it. Given the direction of events throughout the region at this time combined with the overall population’s Islamic background, I find it much more likely that after the dust settles, governments that are more hostile to Israel and the United States will become established. These are not good ‘changes’ for us.

We may be playing good defense within our own country (And I debate this) but we are losing overseas. The activities of our enemies are increasing. The effectiveness of our enemy’s efforts is likewise increasing. The only way that I know of to reverse this trend is to reverse our retreating from Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, we need to wage offensive warfare. The United States is doing the opposite. We can expect more of what is going on in Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Pakistan. The events are beginning to gather momentum We are beginning to lose the war. What is worse is that this is ONLY the beginning.