Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The United States is not going to go bankrupt. At least, not in the way those private companies do when they sell off all of the assets and liquidate operating altogether. Many forms of bankruptcy exist where the company sells off some assets and consolidates the business into a smaller operation. No, the United States can just print more money to pay its bills. This just leads to a lower value of the currency, as we have been seeing for many decades now.
This form of bankruptcy is what some of the countries in Europe are beginning to experience. They have found that they can’t borrow enough money to continue to spend at current levels, so they have to consider reductions in expenses. Besides, the other countries in the Euro simply can’t go giving them money forever. Sooner or later, the United States will reach this position and we will face the same choices. We had that chance in the last election and we chose not to do anything about it.
The United States is the largest economy in the world. We had a great deal of wealth stored up from the 19th and first part of the 20th century. We have gone through much of this wealth, but we still have many advantages that continue to prop us up. What is the concern is that we are moving at an increasing rate. The ‘crisis’ that keep on popping up at an accelerating rate are a signal that danger lies ahead. Sooner or later, you can’t just print more money. Countries and people will begin to refuse to take it. This is when an ‘adjustment’ is mandatory. We got a glimpse of this back in the late 1970’s when inflation was a real problem. The next time around will be worse. How can it be better when your overall financial position is weaker and you have increased your spending habit?    

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Peace in the Middle East is impossible

Only two outcomes will result and one will not bring peace to the region.
After 55 years of constant warfare, it must be obvious that permanent peace is just not possible unless some drastic CHANGE occurs. The end result must be Israel is overrun and the land enters the ‘house of peace’, or else Islamic governance and nationalism dies.
Having Israel enter the ‘house of peace’ would result in genocide like the world has not seen since World War II. For a good example of what would happen after the fall of Israel, just look at how those 6 ‘informants’ were treated last week. These were 6 people who were accused of just working with the Israelis. They were not even Israelis and they were killed. I would expect even worse for those who are Israeli.
After the fall of Israel and the genocide that would follow, the land would become much more peaceful, as most inhabitants would then be dead. The new inhabitants would be exhausted by their efforts but would recover. This would not bring peace because eventually the entity that results would not remain content to live with the ‘house of war’. Warfare would be exported from that area just as surely as it was exported from Afghanistan during the reign of the Taliban and is today from Iran.
The other outcome has to be the end of Islamic governance and nationalism. A religion cannot be fielding an army any more. Imams cannot be forming and leading their own combat units. Religious law cannot be enforced that executes people for ‘insulting’ the religious leaders, nor for the host of other excuses does that Islamic law dictate. Islamic law is the most totalitarian legal system that I have ever studied. It is a 5th century system of governance that has no place in the modern world. Islamic governance is at war against every national government in the world, even those that are host to the culture that it has spawned over the past 1000 years. This is the actual cause of the constant warfare and violence that takes place constantly in all places of the world where Islam is in contact with other cultures and systems of government. I do not know of a way to have Islam evolve into a modern concept of religion other than to remove about 90% of its legal system and rules. This will not take place without open warfare any more than getting rid of slavery in the southern United States did in 1860. The effects of such change within Islam would also take hundreds of years. Before this, (as with getting rid of slavery) it would take a massively destructive war to effect such drastic change. People will fight openly to prevent that type of change in way of life. With the population of the supporters numbering in the hundreds of millions, such war could only be on the level that would exceed World War II by many multiples. In other worlds, it will require World War III. Nuclear weapons are the most likely instrument. And like the South in 1860, most likely the first blow will be stuck by Islamic nationalists in a location where the national entity is being challenged in the most obvious way(s). This confrontation cannot be delayed forever. Sooner or later, some decisive events must occur to put an end to it. Until then, the ‘cease fires’ that are so common between Israel and the surrounding areas will be constantly interrupted by warfare and violence that will continue to flare up.            

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Israel is at fault again

I have been hearing two of the same old stupid arguments again concerning the attacks upon Israel. The missiles being launched at Israel are relatively ineffective. Yet the Israeli response has been violent and far out of proportion. Yes the missiles are not very effective. Many are shot down and many fall in places where no harm is done. Yet these facts are not in any way connected to which side started the shooting or who is at ‘fault’. (Shooting first is justified in some cases, but is generally a sign of the aggressor.) I am guessing that the logic is that if you are good at something, then you like to do it more often than those who are not. Israel is much better at waging war than their attackers, so they are warmongers. This is fifth grade logic being applied to a graduate level discussion. Artillery bombardments have many misses. Even with today’s precision instruments, literally tons of shells can land in spaces that do no damage to the target. The intent is usually very clear. Just because you can build fortifications than can minimize the damage does not make you the attacker. The ability to shoot down missiles that are bombarding you makes you more effective in defense, not the attacker. Then we have the issue of proportion. War is NOT proportional. They are won by the side that escalates to a level the other side either cannot or will not match. It has nothing to do with who started it or who is ‘right’. Actually, the Israeli response HAS been restrained. The IDF has far more capability to wage war than what they are using today. No ground assault has been launched. (YET) Most of the IDF is sitting idle in prepared positions. No nuclear weapons have been used. Nuclear weapons are a last resort, and it has been demonstrated time and again that Israel is not going to use them in situations like this. The government of Turkey made a statement yesterday (11/20/12) that pointed out that Israel was deliberately attempting to kill civilians and is targeting them. Turkey’s capabilities must be miniscule, because if Israel was attempting to do this, we would be seeing tens of thousands of dead, every day. An Israeli division has enough firepower to kill hundreds of people in well under an hour. Multiply this with airpower and simple math will tell you that Israel is being so restrained that barely any resources are actually in use. My favorite of the most stupid arguments: The Arabs are taking far more losses than Israel. As if the losses one side takes in a conflict have anything to do with who started it or who is to blame for the conflict in the first place. The best example I can think of is that Japan attacked the United States in 1941. When it was over, we had lost something like 40,000 dead and a couple hundred thousand wounded. We killed millions of Japanese, many of them civilians. The two nuclear attacks killed far more Japanese than we lost in the entire war, and they were ALL civilians. And this makes us the ones who started it? We are the ones who are to blame for the conflict? Are you mad? No, it makes you prejudiced and/or uninformed. The presses (News reporters) have about a 5th or 6th grade level of understanding of warfare. Analysis is almost entirely worthless, if not misleading. I have seen this in reports from ALL the wars that I have studied since the inception of the printing press. We are seeing it again today.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

President Obama is losing the war

To recap: The U.S. supported the ‘uprisings’ in Libya and Egypt. The result is two new governments that did not protect our embassies and allowed both to be overrun by our enemies. Our ambassador was raped and murdered and the enemy flag was raised over both embassies. Syria is experiencing another ‘uprising’ and like Libya and Egypt, we (The U.S.) are supporting the ‘insurgents’. Now Hamas has launched attacks into Israel. Israel is calling up reserves in advance of a potential ‘invasion’ of Gaza. While this type of situation has been seen many times before, the increased boldness of attacks by enemies of established governments in the Middle East cannot be denied. This is what losing a war looks like. A good comparison is the American response and the results after the two different attacks on 9/11. After 9/11/01, the U.S. inserted ground units into Afghanistan and began ‘painting’ targets of the Taliban positions which resulted in the toppling of the government two months later. (November 2001) An ‘insurgent’ war began almost immediately. Within the next year and a half, the U.S. invaded Iraq and escalated the war to two countries where our enemies deployed much of their strength and resources in a failing attempt to meet our military in open battle. 9/11/12 was preceded by the U.S. assisting in the toppling of the governments of Libya and Egypt, the very same countries that failed to protect our embassies and allowed our enemy to raise their flag after successfully overrunning them. The ‘insurgency’ in Syria had already begun prior to the attacks on 9/11/12. Two months later, (November) Hamas is escalating the war against Israel who has now begun to call up reserves. Egypt has recalled its ambassador to Israel and is threatening to open the border to Gaza. This would allow for easier supply to Hamas and its allies in the faceoff with Israel. The increasing effectiveness and frequency of attacks upon the U.S. and our allies is unmistakable. After 9/11/01, the U.S. escalated the war to our advantage. Today, the war is being escalated by our enemies to their advantage. We are urging restraint on all sides. This is not being proactive nor is it being decisive. The U.S. is on the strategic, operational and tactical defensive. In other words, we are losing. Maybe President Obama will uncover some unknown strategy or make a move that will be more in our favor, but this remains to be seen. In the meantime, we can expect a further escalation of the war against our interests and people. This is not nearly as desirable as having our enemies attacking our military.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Lessons from Sandy

Once again, you hear about price gouging. My answer is: So what? I cannot think of a better way to conserve scarce resources, and neither has anyone else since the dawn of time. The argument is that it is greedy to raise prices in times like that. As if the person who is making the argument is not greedy. It is always someone else, not me. (I have an idea. Why don’t these people send all their money to me and I can determine how much they need to run their affairs. Any excess I will naturally keep for myself.) The best description that I can think of was articulated by Milton Friedman in a discussion with Phil Donahue on this very subject. It is human nature. The point I wish to make here is that by allowing prices to rise during times of shortages, a natural force of human nature is unleashed that will conserve those very resources that are in demand. If prices did not rise, then those who have the resources have little to no incentive to conserve. Nobody wants to change their behavior. Generally, people will only do so unless they see a viable alternative or are forced to do so. If prices are not allowed to rise with shortages of supply, the stock of resource(s) will be exhausted much more quickly thereby adding to the shortage. This is the primary reason why the old Soviet Union experienced so many shortages. And even then, the quality of what they were able to obtain was poor. I have relatives who live in New Jersey who had a flood a few years ago because the power had failed. They had purchased a backup generator and then thought that they were protected. The problem this time was that gasoline was in short supply. They had to run the generator sparingly in order to conserve the little gas that they could obtain. Do you believe that they would have limited their use of this generator if they had been able to obtain more fuel? Why should they be cold at night because everyone else could not obtain fuel? And they should sell some of what they had at the price that they paid for it because others were unable to obtain any? Why should they do so? What if you had been farsighted enough to stock enough for your needs? You should give this up for the common good? I know that you will not be able to find many people who would. In other words, EVERYONE is subject to these forces. Calling it greed only distorts the picture to make it look like you are better than everyone else. I suppose those who argue for going after those ‘greedy’ people are of the type that would give up everything to help those who are in need. Funny, I have not been hearing or seeing any of them. Accusations can tell you a lot about the accuser. This one is little different.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Broken systems

Political: I see the political situation in the United States as being like a pendulum. The public swings back and forth. After the excess of President Carter, the swing back to Ronald Reagan was dramatic and decisive. It produced results that were obvious to all. Today, the swing did not happen. The pendulum swung even further left as conservatives lost seats in both house and Senate. The defeat was systematic and ideological. This in and of itself is not a decisive event, but coupled with the two other broken systems and we are headed for some type of massive correction. Economic: Spending is out of control. This applies to Europe as well as the United States. The argument as to how to pay for it does not matter. The problem is like a family who is spending more than they make and are borrowing the amount over what they take in. Sooner or later the debt cannot be serviced. Europe is reaching this point only a little sooner than we are. Just look at the constant currency ‘crisis’ that keep popping up. This January 1st, it is the ‘fiscal cliff’. Right about the same time, the Congress will need to raise the debt limit. This stuff used to come up only every 5 or 10 years or so. Now that we are so much in debt, we are seeing the balancing act becoming necessary every few months or so. The problem is not taxes, although raising taxes takes capital away from the free market and limits its ability to sustain itself and/or grow. The problem is excessive spending and the election of 2012 has demonstrated that the population of the United States is not interested in addressing the root causes. The war: Find it convenient that the general who was to testify about Benghazi resigned just a few days prior to his taking the stand? I do, but this is only a symptom of the problem. We are losing the war and our government is attempting to hide this fact from us. The raising of the enemy flag over our embassies in Egypt and Libya is not just symbolic. It is a statement of progress. Two governments that we helped to topple have turned even more strongly against us. Islamic law (The legal system of the enemy that is at war against us) is favored in both countries and looks like will become more enforced in the very same lands. The majorities of the populations of the countries in the Middle East favor what happened in Benghazi. Even if this statement is incorrect in that it is only a minority, we are still looking at substantial numbers of enemy supporters. This enemy is capable of producing suicide attackers for only the 2nd time of all of recorded history. And this population outnumbers that of the 1st time (Japan) by many multiples. In other words, the war is much larger than what is going on and we are losing. It can only be a matter of time before it goes nuclear. And that time is approaching more quickly now as our enemy is gaining strength. Conclusion: It cannot be all that much longer before something breaks. Economics can start wars quickly. All we need is the match. It may still be a few years off, but it is close. Much closer now than ever before.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Regan Democrats are gone

Over the past year, I have seen and heard many comparisons between last Tuesday’s election and the election of 1980. President Obama was seen as being far worse than President Carter so the expectation that he would meet the same fate was overwhelming. It did not happen in at least part because the people who made up the Regan Democrats and swung to the right for that election are no longer numerous enough to make the difference. The CHANGE that President Obama spoke of has been implemented and is permanent. A good example: Obamacare. A good friend of mine told me last weekend that he had voted for Regan. Being a Democrat, this made him a Regan Democrat. He was going to vote for President Obama because Obamacare would make the heath care system free. He is thinking of people who were sick and were in debt that they could never repay. He is far from being alone with his thinking. My wife suffers from this type of thinking and she NEVER voted for Regan. What they do not understand is that we will never be able to go back. The CHANGE here is just as permanent as his swing to the left. Just think: Free. Free is a simple concept. Easy to understand and like. Do you believe that once you obtain something for nothing that you will EVER accept having to pay for it? If you really need it and want good quality, you will have to pay a VERY high price. This is what you need to do if you live in England or Canada. (Canada is much closer to the U.S. so it is much less expensive to travel here for quality.) It will take years, decades for us to reach this point. But make no mistake: This CHANGE is permanent, no matter how much we attempt to slow it down. The Regan Democrats are not going to be able to bring us back. They are gone and gone for good.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Bush lied and people died?

I am guessing that by people dying, the slogan is referring to our soldiers who died in Iraq. (As if our enemies did not take any serious loss) The entire war was about how President Bush lied to make war on Iraq. Well, I can’t think of better reasons to lie. Iraq (Saddam) was paying money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. This was enough for me. I did not care if they had WMD or not, but it did make for a good excuse. Engaging our enemies in the desert was a masterful move against the enemies who attacked us on 9/11/01. The desert in Iraq is the most ideal ground for the mechanized units that we field in order to engage our enemies. The best part was that they came to us from all over the Islamic world. We then kicked their ass in Iraq and they know it. We lost a lot of good soldiers but we killed far more of them than they did us. Not exactly like 9/11/01 when only 19 of them killed close to 3000 of us. If President Bush lied in order to wage effective war against our enemies, then so be it. War is deception. In 1941, Karl Donitz said in a speech to the German people to expect heavier losses. Winston Churchill ordered the navy to beef up escorts on the North Atlantic convoy routes because the Germans were about to deploy additional submarines there. He was correct. The Germans lost more subs because their leader made a mistake and said too much. If Bush lied to deceive during wartime in order to wage effective war against our enemies, then so be it. I do not believe that he lied. Most of the information pointed to WMD. Just look at all the countries that were fooled. They sent troops as well. Even Saddam himself thought that he had them. Even if President Bush did lie, he waged effective war against them. Today, we are not winning the war and our government knows it. The black flag of our enemies were flown over our embassies in Libya and Egypt. And yet nothing has been done in almost 2 months. Our President is still ‘investigating’. I guess he has not figured it out yet. (Mr. President, we have these things called aircraft carriers that planes land on. You are only partially correct: This is all about the capability that numbers provide. You are not using our capabilities.) How can President Bush lying about Iraq and WMD compare to the lying about Benghazi? Only 3 or so days before the attacks on Benghazi , President Obama had claimed that he killed Osama (Which the U.S. did.) And we had Al Qaeda on the run. In other words, we were winning the war. The Benghazi thing (And Egypt) could only have been politically inconvenient. He was lying to protect his own butt, not our country. And he is not waging war against our enemies who conquered our embassies. This election means more to him than our winning the war. I always felt that I knew his motivations and loyalties. This does not surprise me.