Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Diversity Vs. Destabilization

If you believe diversity as currently practiced in the USA is a positive, you are foolish; on the contrary, it is a negative proposition that forces national disintegration. Let us examine various ethnic American groups whose narrow advocation of policies is destructive of US national interests. As a sample, I picked three: Armenians, Jews and Mexicans; there are others.

These groups argue that the richness of diverse cultures now in the US enhance the US – they may be right, if you bound their ethnic contributions to to music, science, food, dance, language, the arts and literature; but the fact is, many of these foreign elements became agitators for policies that pressure the US to support policies not in the US national interests.

The US has a legal systemic weakness that permits this exploitation. It is called campaign contributions, directed advertising contracts to media and ethic solidarity. The great irony is that all are eager for the economic fruits of the US, but seek concurrently to move the US to self destructive objectives

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee recently passed a resolution condemning Turkey (then the Ottoman Empire) for its nonfeasance, or alternatively, it's malfeasance in the atrocities against the Armenian people, calling it a genocide. The resolution has not passed the full house. The resolution was driven by US Armenian groups. The Turkish reaction to it was sharp: the Turkish ambassador to Washington was recalled. Relations between Washington are still strained. The US has serious strategic interests with Turkey, both military and economic, now jeopardized because American Armenians want to call a massacre that occured in 1915 in Turkey a genocide. What does this have to do with the US?

Mexicans in the US, millions who are there illegally, stridently demonstrate and advocate open borders and amnesty. Sanctuary cities where immigration laws are unenforced, abound. There is strong opposition by these groups to any effort to enforce the law as witnessed by the uproar over the recent Arizona law.

Illegal Mexicans are an economic and social burden. Though a source of stoop labor, they absorb enormous resources while much of their income is returned to Mexico. There are millions swarming in the US as the federal government does little to enforce the laws. Mexican drug cartels reach into most areas of the US.

Recently, Mexican President Calderon, before a joint session of the US Congress, audaciously hectored the US on the Arizona law. Democratic lawmakers stood and applauded this affront while the Republicans did not. It is evident why the Democratic Party choose a jackass as its symbol.

The Republicans should have booed and hissed Calderon; maybe even thrown soft tamales or cold burritos at him. One of these Washington wizards is going to figure out that without nationalism, there is no country.

Calderon was asked on TV why he condemned the Arizona law when Mexican immigration laws are even more stringent. He replied, THAT IS A GOOD QUESTION. WE ARE WORKING ON THE LAWS.

American Jews are a diverse group. They are bound together by an ancient religion that has different subsets, but they are united in their support of the state of Israel. American Jews have organized powerful lobbies that have been very effective promoting pro Israeli policies and foreign aid. Despite this support by the US, Israel sends spies against the US and has killed American sailors in the USS Liberty incident.

Unbalanced US political and military support of Israel against Palestinian and Lebanese Arabs has fueled Jihadist terrorism against the US; it will remain a source of continued anti-Americanism. The misguided Iraq war was promoted by largely Jewish American neocons to solve Israeli security problems with Saddam Hussein. It did, however, have the aid of the US military/industrial/congressional complex. The same drumbeat by the same people for war on Iran is louder each day.

The three ethic groups singled out have made contributions to the US. The question is when will their advocacies become destructive enough to undermine the US and outweigh their positive actions. A 19th century French writer observed that the US will disintegrate based on the greed and self-interest of power groups in the US. The US may be well on this path. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA ret

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

US Government Galore

Whether big government is bad and small government is good is not the question. As things go from bad to worse in the US, there is a desperation for either size – just install one that can function without self implosion. The GW Bush/Obama prototypes both managed to create bigger problems as they remained in office.

If you determine the size of government by the amount of debt incurred and expenditures beyond income, both GW Bush and Obama built giant edifices. If you determine the size of government by the number of people paid by the government, both presidents sustained the Iraq and Afghan wars with thousands of military and contract mercenaries; in this connection they bought weapons and war material from the industrial military complex that added more spent billions, feeding big government.

By these definitions both are big government presidents. So when the conservatives yearn for small government, it is uncertain on what model they base their aspirations. As long as there are colonial wars, big government is here to stay no matter how you define it.

When you accept the big government versus small government mythology, it automatically follows that lots of regulation comes with the BIG and much less with SMALL. This is baloney. Historically regulation follows Democrats and minimal controls are pushed by Republicans. Although President Clinton did confound this generalization with laissez faire mortgage standards which was the basis for a future fiscal disaster.

Crude oil furiously pouring from a broken pipe in the Gulf from a BP oil catastrophe is developing into a nightmarish bureaucratic showcase linking government and private corruption with ineptitude. Government agencies failed to monitor private oil drilling as the oil company, avoiding safety measures, carelessly cut corners that led to the disaster.

Neither party's government could accomplish the basic task of defending US borders to insure the integrity of the US in the face of irredentist Mexicans. Democrats need Latino support to win elections; Republicans, supporting big business and agro-industries, need low paid Latinos to remain cozy with their major campaign contributors; in either case, it has nothing to do with the size of government, but everything to do with political opportunism.

Right now there are trillions of dollars of federal debt, but no way to repay it. Democrats have the reputation of tax and spend while the Republicans just spend. So in either case, both approaches deepen the fiscal problems. The size of government expands as its responsibilities are broadened; as long as the wars continue, and TARPS/Stimulus imposed, the US is locked into an increasing debt spiral.

President Clinton, as a silver bullet, has recently advocated the value added tax (VAT) in addition to the income tax. More taxes proposed by Democratic leadership plays to profile. Try ending the wars first, because when the VAT comes, it will not be repealed, especially once the collection mechanism is in place. Note, this tax has not balanced the books in Socialist Europe and it has been in effect for years.

Big government galore will be in the US as far as the eye can see. Fretting over the proposition will not change it, but an economic crash or political disaster might... Are you ready to roll the dice? Colonial Robert E Bartos

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Act of God or Revenge of Nature

Texas Governor Rick Perry told us the recent gulf oil disaster was an act of God. If that is the case, BP is the hand of God. Maybe Rick is too close to the petrochemical fumes in Texas and this proximately has prompted an effervescence that is is now bubbling in his brain; although his brain does appear permanently clouded with secessionist politics.

Some say if it was not for oil and the petrochemical industry, Texas would have only tumble weeds, cattle, GW Bush and Mexican Wetbacks. Dixiecrat Perry's Texas refines BP crude at a furious rate... a BP refinery blew up recently killing Texans – another act of God I suppose. If that is his belief, suggest another God. May I recommend Chango, an all powerful Santería God that has protected Fidel Castro all these years. Perry has to slaughter an elephant with his bare hands to make it happen; not really in Rick's foppish character.

The most recent BP flop to contain the hemorrhaging crude oil leak from the bottom of the gulf was a four-story cement contraption that was to stop leakage from the ocean floor and channel the oil to on-station oil tankers floating above the disaster. It seems BP was as interested in capturing the oil as it was stopping the rupture. It did neither; and as of this writing the oil contamination is spreading, killing industry and the environment on the gulf coast.

Perhaps the oilmen/engineers, geologists and BP greedy investors should consider a first aid metaphor when approaching fixes to their self-made disaster. STOP THE BLEEDING AND THEN START THE BREATHING. These wizards, most likely the best in the industry, should understand the more complicated the solution the greater chance for failure. Forget the profits, and fix the mess you made. That is a civilized priority.

This blasé, audacious attitude by BP stems from a self-assurance based on campaign contributions.
"The Center for Responsive Politics ranks BP as one of the top donors to political campaigns over the twenty years having given in excess of $6 million to congressional and presidential campaigns. The ten biggest recipients of BP contributions still in Congress are Rep. Don Young ($73,300), Sen. John McCain ($44,899), Sen. George Voinovich ($41,400), Rep. John Dingell ($31,000), Sen. Mary Landrieu ($28,200), Rep. Joe Barton ($27,350), Sen. Jim Inhofe ($22,300), Sen. Mitch McConnell ($22,000), Rep. John Culberson ($20,950) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison ($19,500)."

The above quote is dated, but it provides a sense of who owes whom. This political financial support is augmented by BP passing out lucrative seats on their corporation and advisory boards to retired national politicians from both major parties. BP has enlisted powerful Washington players "like Leon Panetta (now CIA director), George Mitchell (now Obama's Middle East envoy), Christine Todd Whitman (the former EPA administrator), and Tom Daschle (the former majority leader) to serve on its various boards of advisers and independent panels. "

This is really a belt-and suspenders-approach for assured, continued influence. It is all legal... just squalid. Watch this play out as BP wiggles off the hook of responsibility. Rick Perry is just a minor BP pistolero. In BP's international scheme of influence, just a peashooter.

Earthquakes, floods, fires and Tsunamis now seem to reoccur so often. The world-wide and multiplying deadly mine disasters in China, Russia and the US, along with a volcano eruption in Iceland, combined with the most recent BP gulf oil calamity could appear as nature's response to too much exploitation – at least in the case of the volcano, no corporation stuck its finger into the smoking crater. With all the natural and man-made chaos, it is as if earth is trying to shake off its bloodsucking fleas. It is a case of civilization advancing backwards.

These are TIMES OF TROUBLES. And the Taliban just struck Times Square with an aborted truck bomb attack...Quo vadis America? Colonel Robert E Bartos USA ret

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Drowned in Black Gold

If you believe the oilmen, you just cannot get enough crude oil; the drill-baby-drill-baby crowd has certainly penetrated the political establishment. Silly Sister Palin and now even President Obama are on the Big Oil band wagon. Obama extended leasing rights on more offshore sites a few weeks ago. And now he is up to his eyeballs in the unending Louisiana oil slick from the BP offshore disaster, he has decided to review and delay the implementation of his decision.

Obama is certainly a one-step forward two-steps backward sort of flaky decision maker. This is evident in his Middle East Israeli, Iraqi and Afghan foreign policies, as well as his health care train wreck and his financial regulations fiasco. Thank goodness, however, he has walked back his decision to end Don' t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy at least for now.

On April 20, 2010 a semi-submersible exploratory offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded after a blowout, and sank two days later; it killed eleven rough-neck workers, and resulted in a significant oil spill. All southern gulf states are threatened; the coast of Louisiana, with its Mississippi ecological delta area is in particular danger of contamination.

The oil rig, owned by Transocean, Ltd., is leased and operated by BP who is the majority owner of the oil field. The company originally downplayed the size of the leak at about 1,000 barrels a day, but later accepted government estimates of a leak of at least 5,000 barrels a day; it could be more. A complete failure of the wellhead would mean 100,000 barrels a day leaking into the Gulf, unlike a leaking oil tanker with a precise volume of crude. With this leak in the crust of the earth, it is impossible predict the amount of black gold escaping. So this is a BIG problem. When it comes to off-shore oil leaks, the BIGGEST ever.

Google reports: “Seeking to blunt criticism of its emergency response BP indicated on April 30 that it would harness all of its resources to battle the oil spill, spending $7 million a day with it's partners to try to contain the disaster. BP was running the well without a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations, Brazil and Norway, as a last-resort protection against underwater spills.

The use of such devices is not mandated by U.S. regulators and their efficacy remains unclear due to the rarity of major offshore oil-well blowouts. The U.S. Government gave the responsibility of the incident to BP and will hold it accountable for costs incurred in containing the situation."

After this disaster, I believe the remote-control-shut-off switch will be required by the US. The so-called cement collar fail-safe installed apparently by Halliburton failed here as it did recently offshore in Australia. So the Trust Me, environmental impact statements by oil companies are bullshit; this misrepresentation should be ended or the greasy politicians responsible for oversight should be tarred and feathered.

The Washington Post reported "The administration yesterday put Adm. Thad Allen in charge of the overall response, replacing Rear Adm. Mary Landry, who had had some deer-in-the-headlights moments on TV and had initially declared that there was no leakage at the bottom of the gulf."

You must wonder if anybody in the US government has any idea of what is going on or how to fix the leak. One thing appears certain; the US government with all its resources, cannot fix the leak and it must rely on the wonder boys who caused the leak to fix it. Also, you can expect BP to find a scapegoat; it is one of the biggest corporations in the world and has a record of escaping controversy. Like the coal companies, it is cost effective to pay the fines rather than fix the problems.

The dilemma for the American citizen is who to trust. It is obvious that Big Oil is in the game for profit and screw the environment. State run enterprises in Communist/Socialist regimes in Central Europe, the Balkans and USSR promoted ecological disaster feverishly trying to fulfill state-mandated 5-year plans without environmental control. China and India are now both first-class polluters.

For the US, to regulate energy companies tightly, it has to be done as you would an utility: when they violate the rules, break them and jail the leadership. However, this requires political courage in the face of big buck opposition. Such courage does not exist in the US.

Shrapnel poll of the week. Which conglomerate is the biggest enemy of the people? Big Oil or Big Banks? Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret