Sunday, August 17, 2008

Russia's New Nuclear Challenge to Europe

I sent Mateusz' comments to Mike as they were informative. Mike responded below in caps for ease of reading; he's not e-shouting. Blog readers are free to chime in as usual but I don't normally send Mike blog comments that contain merely opinions; I forward only information.

---JO


Mateusz wrote:

As a Polish-American living currently in Poland I thought it would be useful> to shed some views and clarifications here:>> 1. Ukraine is not a party to Missile Shield. It is to be placed in Czech> Republic (radar) and Poland (interceptors).

I NEVER SAID THAT THE MISSILE DEFENSE SHIELD WAS GOING INTO UKRAINE.THAT HAS NEVER BEEN THE PLAN. IF IT CAME OUT THAT WAY IT WAS AN ERROR.THE FACTS ARE QUITE CLEAR. UKRAINE HAS OPPOSED MOSCOW THROUGH ITSPOSITION ON THE BLACK SEA FLEET NOT RETURNING TO SEVASTOPOL.THIS WASDESCRIBED IN MY FIRST MESSDAGE ON THE SUBJECT.]>>

2. The negotiated deal included placing Patriot batteries in Poland (as a> countermeasure to direct threat to the mere presence of the shield brings),> and (unofficially) to the Russian short range missile batteries stationed in> Kalingrad. The deal also includes unspecified help for the modernization of> the Polish Army (which is set to be 100% professional by 2009, nad numbers> around 130,000).

AGREED, BUT THE U.S. POSITION WAS THAT THIS SHIELD WAS NECESAARY TODEFEND AGAINST IRANIAN MISSILES. HOGWASH. EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT THE REALCONCERN IS. AND WHY SHOULD THE U.S. BE CONCERNED ABOUT RUSSIAN IRBMATTACKS? BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN PUSHING RUSSIA HARD SINCE THE LATE 90S.]>>

3. Russian government was invited to set up controls of the site by the> Polish and American governments some time ago already, at least since> January 2008.

THANK YOU. THIS IS A VALID POINT.]>>

On the Georgian conflict:>>
1. What maybe did not make the news in the States is that over recent months> Ossetians were pushing Georgians in many ways. Attacking their convoys,> killing their soldiers...intensifying this recently to lure Georgians into> the attack result of which we can see today.

EVERYBODY WAS PUSHING EVERYBODY. BOTH SIDES WERE LOOKING FOR A FIGHTBUT THE U.S. AND SAAKASHVILI OVERPLAYED THEIR HAND.]>>

2. Besides Mr. Sarkozy, the presidents in the coalition of 5 nations> (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Ukraine) [toggether respresnting> over 225 million people]> went to Tbilisi just as Sarkozy was in Moscow. Especially Mr. Kaczynski,> President of Poland, was very aggressive and assertive in his speech> denouncing Russian attack.

IT WAS A NICE GESTURE THAT WILL HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON RUSSIAN POLICYOR ACTION. -- THEATER. RUSSIANS DO NOT CONFUSE BALLET WITH BULLETS.]>>

3. Notion of Russian Forces as civilized bringers of peace is very> far-fetched. What perhaps didn't make the news in the States are the videos> (from Bank and store security cameras) of Ossetian and Russian forces> robbing banks and plundering pretty much anything they can get hands on.

I HAVE NOT SAID THAT RUSSIAN FORCES ARE "CIVILIZED" AS YOU CALL IT. IHAVE SAID THEY ARE RUSSIAN.]>>

4. Even if officially denied by Russian Army, such practices are officially> condoned by their surrogate militias. (This from a statement by Russian> general).>>

5. The often repeated information that Georgians killed 2000 civilians in> one night of attacks on militias in Cchinvali (ossetian capital), which is> the reason for Russian invasion, is yet to be independently confirmed.>>

6. However, it might never be, as reporters and journalis continue to be> shot at (Georgian newswomen, and Turkey television crew filmed being> attacked while in MARKED press vehicle)>>

7. While such news reports might be terribly onesided, there is a lot of> surivor accounts of Georgian refugees fleeing from Russian and Ossetian> forces, and leaving burned down homesteads, left with nothing.>> ----> I am bringing all this to Your attention, not because I am a fan of Uncle> Sam's power games. But because there are just some notions that Westerners> might never grasp, simply because they have never, in any generation,> experiened it.>> For countries in the former Soviet Bloc, a greedy and powerfull ally that is> across the ocean, is much better choice than a greedy and barbaric Bear that> is across their border.>> For us, the images and accounts that are coming from Georgia bring back> memories either our own, or as recounted by our parents or gradnparents, of> Soviet occupation, of the intense brutality of these times, and of> incredibly barbaric and at the same time incredibly simple-minded Russian> soldiers.

I AM CERTAIN THAT THE RUSSIANS INTEND FOR THESE MEMORIES TO BE REFRESHED.]>>

Here, Soviets are a worse memory then Hitler.>> As much as I have learned to read the roadmap, I have to admit, this one> thing is extremely difficult for me. To not let the prejudice (toward> Russian leadership), justified or not, cloud the analysis of the situation.

I AM NOT AT ALL PREJUDICED TOWARDS RUSSIAN LEADERSHIP AND I RESENT THE IMPLICATION.


FTW Admin writes: Mateusz, I have send Mike an email saying I believe you were referring to your OWN prejudice toward Russian leadership.

---JO


MCR continues:

I HAVE BEEN TOTALLY CRITICAL OF U.S. DOCTRINE,POSTURE AND PLANNING FOR A DECADE SAYING THAT MISTAKEN U.S. POLICY WOULD PRODUCE THESE RESULTS AND, INDEED THEY HAVE. I UNDERSTAND HOW THE RUSSIANS LEADERSHIP THINKS AND ACTS. I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT, SINCE 9-11, THE U.S. HAS ADOPTED THE POSTURE "EITHER YOU ARE WITH US OR YOU ARE AGAINST US". IT HAS REDEFINED ITS OWN MILITARY DOCTRINE ALLOWING FOR PRE-EMPTIVE FIRST STRIKE NUCLEAR ATTACK AND EVEN (THROUGH P2OG) THE PROVOCATION OF RESPONSES BY POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES. ESPECIALLYPRIOR TO 9-11, THE U.S. TOOK RUTHLESS STEPS TO LOOT RUSSIA AS IT MADE A TRANSITION AWAY FROM SOCILAISM TO CAPITALISM, TO MAKE SURE THAT IT WAS TOO WEAK TO OPPOSE US MILITARY ACTIONS AFTER 9-11. ALL OF THIS WAS ULTIMATELY PREDICTABLE, WHETHER IT HAPPENED IN GEORGIA OR ANYPLACE ELSE WHERE THE U.S. HAS CONTINUED AN ECONOMICALLY AND MILITARILY AGRESSIVE STRATEGY OF CONTAINMENT. EASTERN EUROPE IS RIGHT TO REMEMBER THE CRUELTY OF SOVIET RULE. HAD THE UNITED STATES ADOPTED A DIFFERENT FOREIGN, MILITARY AND ECONOMIC POSTURE POST 9-11 EASTERN EUROPE WOULDN'T BE IN THIS POSTION. RUSSIA WAS ALWAYS THERE, VERY PATIENT AND GROWING EVER RICHER AND STRONGER FROM ITS OIL AND GAS INCOME WHILE THE U.S. SPENT ITS POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND MILITARY CAPITAL -- WASTING MUCH OF IT.]>

39 comments:

Rice Farmer said...

I get the distinct impression that some readers think we are "rooting for" one side or the other, when what we are actually doing is observing moves on the "grand chessboard."

Certainly countless innocent people are killed, maimed, lose their homes, and suffer other atrocities as a result, but this is just "collateral damage" to the chessboard players. We should be under no illusions that the big players, whether they are American, Russian, or whatever, care about the victims. Of course they will think of various ways to defend their actions and burnish their images in front of the world public (the US is especially good at this).

Yetirider said...

Maybe a bit Off Topic (with regards to the current discussion) But I'd like to hear some opinions on the following article. Is it wishful thinking, or is this a viable source of Oil?


http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_10220108

F.Kamilov said...

Mike is right, as usual, and has only pinpointed the reality. If yesterday the Eastern European nations were under Stalinist repression, today they are grovelling very cheaply at the feet of NATO and the West/USA. I don't know why they behave in such a slovenly and bohemian manner. The USA had a golden chance to turn the history of the world, nay that of all humanity, around in 1993, but very callously "grubbed it up"out of sheer selfishness. Now they will suffer the consequences. In the current situation only Russia is the genuine Eurasian pan-global leader of a non-decadent and superior European heritage for the benefit of all mankind. Let us speak the truth: the west has been trashed by and is sinking under the morass of Anglo-Saxon laissez faire style Capitalism, whereas the Third World is itself a floundering and terminally dysfunctional mess and is thus a sorry write-off. Only Russia holds the capability, hope and responsibility of a power that can confront the mad and addled USA to stop it from trashing humanity and its glorious modern heritage along with it. In about five years time, when the West is economically and militarily crippled by Peak Oil, Russia will be emerge as a paramoun military power. However, if in the unlikely case that it misuses its power like America, it will meet a sorry fate too.

Ruiz said...

I'm sure there is an element of rooting for Russian leadership -- not because they are model individuals, but because until now the impression has been that if Russia were left alone, it would not be acting as an aggressor.

(Similarly, China's actions in Tibet are attributable to US influence there. Neither Russia, nor China, nor the world can afford to prioritise humanitarian concerns over the correct chess move when the opponent is the US or its satellites.)

What FTW readers are in agreement on is the necessity of a multi-polar world as a means of ensuring US imperial decline, and every step towards that destination should be viewed as a victory.

Ivan said...

I'm far from being an advocate of Russia, but ethnic cleansing in Ossetia by Georgians was very predictable. Of cource, Russia has it's own selfish interest in the conflict, but it is clear to me, that if didn't intervene, the number of dead civilian ossetians would be a lot bigger than 2000.

Roland Ansgar said...

The writer's comments were hardly worth responding to as they were obviously extremely biased and uniformed; the author is likely suffering from an over-dose of consensus reality.

It's great to see Mike writing again and commenting on geopolitical events! Welcome back!
--
And, btw, the text is much easier to read when not in all-caps.:-)

Mateusz said...

To All:

As for my first post I had to say I was quite "wowed" when I loaded the Blog today and saw my post being answered to by Mike himself.

But some clarfication please:

1. My post was replying to not only Mikes' report, but to the entire diuscussion by others here. And so my point about civility of Russian army was in response to a posted comment by "whistlingGrizzlyBear", NOT to Mike's report.

2. As Jenna was correct in her thoughts, I referred only and solely to my very own prejudice (clouding my analysis), and not anyone's else.

Thank You for such a warm welcome :)

In other news:

Tat for tat: Russian Navy is talking about arming the Baltic Fleet stationed in Kalingrad with Nuclear Warheads.

whistlingGrizzlyBear said...

emotionally i have a feeling of "rooting for Russia", but then i have never been on the receiving end of some of their cruelty, as further described by civilian victims of their occupation in Afghanistan.

if Obama were a truly wise man, he would make Mike his assistant deputy National Security Adviser (maybe under a false name.)

i wish you guys would get a phpBB-type forum, so we could quote other poster's comments. one suggestion - Dreamhost, about $100 a year.

as far as missile defense, i suggest using Lexis Nexis or Findlaw or maybe Google to research 2 cases involving a primary missile defense contractor.

one is the Nira Schwartz case. a pHD scientist at TRW (acquired by NGC) fired for trying to do her job).

2 - a case settled under the False Claims Act. Northrop Grumman paid out about $100 million to the primary witness, another NGC employee - who i believe worked on missile defense.

these are facts. opinion - i believe the TWA Flight 800 shootdown was part of a missile defense test.

(i worked for Northrop Grumman & TRW for 8 years.)

getting back to what Rice Farmer said about admiring Russia - i think it's because i'm SOOOOOOOO disgusted by the US that, i look at Putin, and see someone who is calm, quiet, collected, focussed, intelligent, and, probably, murderous. compared to Bush & Cheney ...

side note - inspired partially by Rice Farmer, i bought some "organic wild rice" and sprouted it, a few months ago, and hopefully will have a seed crop in a few months.

inspired partially by MCR, i also have a wheat crop (for seed), and that is already showing its seeds.

Mateusz said...

To Roland:

Of course they were biased, after all this was the point of it as I even admit my own prejudice :)

We all have a bias, on some issues more than on the others. I decided to write that comment, as I felt, and many (though certainly not everyone) here prove it correct to balance the bias in this issue. To understand someone's point of view, as it looks from country next door as opposed to thousand miles away can be just as valuable as the opposite. (It is amazing how being away from the states for a few yeas aides in clarifying the 'chessboard')

I tried, perhaps in vain, to show that even when one is aware of the "game," it is difficult to just sit and watch and not take sides, while having a family to think about and hoping for a better world for your children, while there is more and more aggression in Your region of the world. (It was this 'inner conflict' that prompted me to write this). Choosing lesser evils? Maybe.

If you were in Tbilisi right now, I'll bet good money that even aware of all that you are aware off, you would not want the Russians to conquer Your country again. Just as the opposition in that coutnry has rallied behind its perhaps not very well minded president. And that is how, the local, or regional nuances are exploited by big players in their own games. Emotions, emotions, emotions, it is hard to rule them out. And they are a piece on that chess game, a formidable weapon indeed.

That is why no matter the logic, countries in former Soviet bloc will always be pro-American. And perhaps to the same extent, correct me if I am wrong, Latin and South America will always be
pro-Russian/China (at least the population, excluding US sponsored leaders). You will always hate Your oppressor. As the saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Ivan said...

To Mateusz:

Not to be a friend of Stalin doesn't mean to be a comrad of Hitler.

At least if you don't lull the conscience.

xcskwng said...

A good article about Russia:

Americans play Monopoly, Russians chess

"Demographics stand at the center of Putin's calculation, and Russians are the principal interest that the Russian Federation has in its so-called near abroad.
...
If the UN demographers are correct, Russia's adult population will fall from about 90 million today to only 20 million by the end of the century.
...
Russia, in other words, has passed the point of no return in terms of fertility.
...
The key to Russian survival is Russification, that is, the imposition of Russian culture and
Russian law on ethnicities at the periphery of the federation."

whistlingGrizzlyBear said...

Just to clarify my comment, when I said about Mike being a deputy or assistant adviser, i was referring to the intolerance of Washington & America for people who do tell the truth, and the need for advisers who do to generally keep a low profile.

gail said...

Speaking of how the US treated The Soviet Union, and looted them back in the early nineties, I just finished reading an interesting view on this, and how it may relate to 9/11, based on Eastman, Schwartz and other's works.The piece looks long and hard at the banks, and criminal use of large sums of money from the fall of the Soviets though Iran/Contra affair up through 9/11. It was up on Rense's site, but the site is now down (not surprisingly). The piece is called "Collateral Damage: US Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks of 9/11". Another interesting history lession. Check it out if the site gets back up.

I know I am extremely disgusted with the US, and I am not looking forward to the future which is just ahead. We do have Dimitri Orlov to speak to the way Russia really is. Personally, I would rather be living on another planet.

Good to hear from Mike!!!!!

Rice Farmer said...

I'm very happy to see such spirited discussion here!

I can understand that some people might have feelings of "rooting for Russia." I guess it depends on your personal experiences and point of view. I myself try to be a neutral observer, so to speak, although I confess I share MCR's disgust for the US government.

Whistling Grizzly Bear -- Rice is not hard to grow once you learn the ropes. In fact you will spend much less time tending rice than vegetables.

gail said...

Here is the link on Collateral Damage.

www.fourwinds10.com/resources/uploads/pdf/
Collateral_Damage_28062008.pdf -

Peace - enjoy those moments while we have them

Mateusz said...

gail said..."Personally, I would rather be living on another planet."

You know, i have the same feeling.

To Ivan:

I'd rather be a friend of none. Question is, in the long run, do You think it is possible to remain a passive observer? And if so, where would You say would be a good place to live? From Mike's experience in Venezuala i gathered that staying among Your folk is probably the best thing to do, but that was of course only my impression.

On my homefront I had a laugh a few minutes ago when I read in Polish News "Dziennik" that the Patriots Poland is getting will be used to protect...Warsaw (capital)! Wow, what a deal, the rest of the country can go...itself, as long as politicians are "safe." Unbelievable, the arrogance of politicians across the world has no bounds.

Ruiz said...

Who's assuming Russian leaders of today have the same geopolitical imperatives as the Soviet empire did before them?

Russia's leadership, although largely a hangover from Soviet times, now recognises that returning Russia to greatness requires little more than supporting allies, repelling attacks, and reaping nat gas wealth.

When Moscow begins unprovoked aggression in the name of expansionism, we can start to talk of a "lesser evil". No sooner.

Mike might like to comment on this article...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/19/usforeignpolicy.russia

Roland Ansgar said...

To Mateusz:

What you demonstrate is a profound ignorance of the politics in the West, who has power, why they have power, how the system works, etc. You might as well be standing outside a black box, merely looking on, while the black box performs its functions. You have no clue how or why.

I do have a clue, and it would take far longer to give you a fraction of an introduction than I care to invest here.

Let me leave you with a proverb that is popularly attributed to the Arabs: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

There. That's simple. Now you have it. Now go and spend several years educating yourself about the Western financial, economic, and political system, about which you seen to be clueless.

Mateusz said...

To Roland:

Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Thank You for Yours. As to leaving me with the proverb I have to say it has brought nothing new, afterall if you'd have read my post maybe you would realise I said the exactly same words. I will leave You instead with Your anger and arrogance which is something I admit I do not understand.

As Salam Alaikum...as the Arabs say.

p.s. Another great proverb ;)
"The wise man will never assume that he has attained perfection of knowledge"

Lawrence said...

I for one am sorry to see this blog become somewhat argumentative, and thus less informative. A favorite author defined our situation as that of a group of people in a car headed for a brick wall at 100 mph and arguing over who gets to sit where.

Anybody reading this blog, and knowing anything from the informative posts of Jenna and Mike, knows what is coming. Are you ready physically (food and water) as well as mentally. The internal pressure from the crisis, the mental anguish, will be tremendous. Where is the discussion about how to manage the anger and grief that will come with the collapse? I know I struggle to remain loving towards my enemy as well as my friend.

whistlingGrizzlyBear said...

about people arguing on Blog threads - that's one of the reasons i suggest a phpBB type forum. that way arguments can be moved to a "shark tank" forum category, so as not to dilute more informative content.

+ there's the consideration - that forum management consume a minimum amount of moderator time.

getting back to rice ... i never though much about where rice came from. i knew there were rice plants, but white rice always seemed so "isotropic" (lacking in grain) that i wondered if it was made like macaroni, except smaller pieces, & with the ends rounded.

in this case i'm using garden space in a community garden.

the rice hulls seem to be favored as a compost ingredient.
http://sonomacompost.com/product.shtml

i took a hands-on composting class from their soil scientist, Will Bakx.

businessman said...

The barnstorming is beginning with people suggesting more projects to deal with the energy problem. And there's going to be a huge lineup of people wanting government funding to make themselves and others rich off of their proposed "solutions" to the problem. In this article New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets into the act along with T. Boone Pickens:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/20/tech/main4365799.shtml

Mateusz said...

In the spirit of learning to love your enemy ;) I encountered an interesting article:

Lavrov [Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs]: The fundamental apect of the present stage of world development

"The other approach, which we share, consists in that competition now becomes truly global, acquiring a civilized dimension; that is, value guidelines and development models are becoming an object of competition among other things."

xcskwng said...

I couldn't stop laughing while reading the article below. The author believes the US needs to increase interest rates, abolish restrictions on oil development, and increase gas taxes. This will bring down the price of oil to $60 and help prevent Russian energy blackmail.

The new Cold War era

mrs p said...

Well if I were Queen some heads would role world-wide!

"Tat for tat: Russian Navy is talking about arming the Baltic Fleet stationed in Kalingrad with Nuclear Warheads."

This makes my blood boil--all the dickheads on the planet polishing their phallic symbols. When it comes to promoting imperialistic assinine-ness, I blame the U.S. the most! Dick Cheney in particular for turning up the heater as far as it can go. Israel and England next. Thanks a lot Dick for making planet earth a hopeless case just for your perverse group's agenda.

As long as the U.S. Corporate Monster Government, the WTO et, at, the U.N. continues to fake democracy and freedom as their B.S. Excuse to secretly invade, infiltrate, dominate, pillage & plunder, while turning it's back on those without prime real estate, oil & gas and greenlighting the destruction of humanity elsewhere, it's karma will be bad, very bad. We don't even take care of our own people. People on the front lines of whatever. N.Y.C. firefighters for example! Our children and elderly, our sick and dying are left to die alone in the street. I've watched the "quality" of life in the U.S. regress steadily since 1950 while some very few fatheads get fatter. And we've all been "Good Germans" and gone along with the B.S. we've been fed. Greed and hatred is ruling the day. I thought we were suppose to evolve past this by now. Can't some world leader some where stand up and set an example or are we just going to continue to ape ourselves into toast? mrsp

Rice Farmer said...

Speaking of energy, what's really disappointing about the whole energy debate is that the focus is on maintaining the current high-energy consumer society, which means finding more sources of energy. And trying to replace fossil fuels is, of course, a vain effort at best. Instead, the focus should be on powering down. We can be just as happy and healthy (in fact more so) with considerably lower consumption of resources and energy.

karlof1 said...

yetirider--The article you linked is about oil shale, and you questioned its viability. There's this PowerPoint slide presentation from the ASPO-USA 2006 Denver Conference that provides good visual discussion about Shell's process. TheOilDrum.com also has posted several articles about oil shale, and there's been thousands of comments you can wade through that discuss various aspects of its viability. You can also look up the properties of kerogen, which is what the immature hydrocarbon in the rock is called, at Wikipedia, or google it. The net energy obtained after mining and processing the kerogen might be positive at some point in the future, sort of like fusion will be ready at some time in the future. The US would have to be very desperate to get an energy return of maybe 10%--maybe!! And the monetary investment? Too much for a net energy return of perhaps 10%. It's better to build wind mills on the tops of those rocks. But pursue the leads and find out for yourself.

karlof1 said...

Imagine if the US Senate hadn't approved of Seward's treaty/purchase of Alsaka and the the house never had to refuse to pay for it. Turns of fate are very unpredictible in the relations between peoples/states. Russia is the largest contigious Empire on the planet and has been for centuries. I have never met a Russian who wasn't proud to be a Russian, regardless of their own personal state. I cannot say the same for all of the US citizens I've encountered. When you look at what Russia was like in 1900 and compare it with today, the accomplishment is breathtaking despite all the adversity and sorrow over the last 108 years. Most know that history; imagine what the USA would be like if subjected to the same rigors.

How much wisdom is at hand. Russia has 20 good years of oil and gas exports left and then it will need to transition to total electrification, just like the USA and all other oil importers must do now. Russia with its energy and abundant variety of other mineral resources and excellent human capital can prepare itself for the non-fossil-fuel-future with a luxury the West doesn't enjoy--time. Time is the master here. The US has squandered its opportunity, and is now in the process of destabilizing itself. Russia will and must closely guard its near-abroad, but it can afford to play "rope-a-dope" and outlast its competitor.

The US for 2008 will spend $1.3 Trillion supporting its Empire and another $800 Billion for imported hydrocarbons. That's $2.1 Trillion the Russians "save." The cost of occupying its Eastern European "satillites" was a big factor in the USSR's fall, as was the UK's before it. The only way for the US Empire to compete with Russia is to "downsize" and use the monies not spent on preparing for the change in energy paradigm. If we survive the century without nuking each-other, how well will Russia and the USA have adapted to the new energy paradigm and the effects of Global Warming? IMO, if we are to compete as two different peoples--Russians and Americans--then let us vie for being the best to adapt to the coming challenges of the changing energy paradigm and Global Warming, while causing the least amount of upheaval to ourselves or our fellows.

Rice Farmer said...

Neocon (oil)pipe dream fizzling out? Lately we have seen some serious setbacks for the neocon plan to control Middle Eastern and Central Asian hydrocarbon resources. Of course Georgia comes to mind first. But note also that recently Iraq has invited both the Russians and the Chinese back to help exploit Iraq's oil riches. I believe I am correct in assuming that the plan was to lock down these resources and keep out geopolitical competitors, especially Russia and China. Instead, the whole strategy seems to be falling apart. Or do the neocons still have some tricks up their sleeves?

gaelicgirl said...

Today, driving into the small, US mid-Atlantic city that I live near, I saw a giant billboard, situated, of course, right along the suburban strip heading into the city. It says: "Drill here! Drill now! Pay Less!" An idiot message targeted to an idiot audience. I wish someone would post a similar billboard, a little further down the road, that would say, "Conserve here! Conserve now! Pay less immediately and in future generations!" Perhaps with some smiling children on it....

Rice Farmer said...

Sign of the times:

Thieves loot cemeteries for metal

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-08-18-graverobber_N.htm

businessman said...

In follow-up to the article that Rice Farmer submitted, The Detroit News says you can now buy a home in Detroit for just $1.00:

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080813/METRO/808130360

Rice Farmer said...

So, maybe you thought the airlines were out of hot water...

Airlines Predicted to Lose Billions More

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121925889148657493.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I read somewhere that for the airlines to be profitable, oil would have to fall back to something like $80/bbl. That would entail a lot of demand destruction, and then who would have enough money to fly?

getonid said...

In my limited view of current world events, I see the populous of the world in dire need of a paradigm shift away from defining success in the forms of military might, positions that are newer, bigger, MORE, MORE - to a more reasonable thinking of flexibility and sustainability.

However, we as humans, have not moved to far beyond what our savage capacity was over the past 2 or 3 thousand years. Which brings us to a crucial point in our existence. Namely, that unless we are able to transcend our barbaric, greedy mindset, WE will be the cause of our own undoing and extinction. (I, undoubtedly, think you already know this. I just needed to say it.)

gail said...

Mrs. P: I share your feelings in so many ways, and the frustration that we just can't get everyone to wake up and see just how crazy this world is and that we are going down.

Often I struggle with the fact that I will probably not make it through the process. But I have every intention of participating in a way in which I take personal responsibility for myself and what I do from here, and for teaching my children how to be compassionate and generous adults, who can stand their ground and be survivors when they have to. I learned early that you cannot make others change. You can only do it for yourself and pass along the information you have about what works for you. When you start with even a small group of like minded sane people, then there is always a chance. The law of the universe does seems to be "what you give out, you get back".

GETONID: I totally agree that a new paradigm is the only hope. This is not something that will happen overnight, but it might be an interesting exercise to do on a blog with other people. What do we want, what do we need to make humanity a successful experiment? If indeed the PTB don't care about us folks, then how do we go about life? I can only get to the level of the individual, the family and the community on this question. That is, seeking to be other than the aggressor or the victim. Ideas anyone? I hope this is not too far off topic. If it would be more appropriate I can post on my own blog (so far empty) and people are welcome to join in.

Rice Farmer said...

And, some news bearing directly on this post:

Kazakhstan considers to divert oil export route from BTC to Russia

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/finance/9714319.asp?scr=1

businessman said...

If you're not familiar with NLP, also known as Neurolinguistic Programming, it's a very powerful tool that can be utilized to influence people's unconscious minds. I actually wrote a 210-page dissertation on this exact same subject several years ago.

These three sequential 10-minute videos show how NLP is utilized within the media to influence both our thoughts and our beliefs about what's true in our world, and outside of the part where the narrator shows an example of what he believes is Sean Hannity utilizing sorcery on the person he's interviewing, I feel that he does both a very good job and analysis of what's going on behind the scenes to influence our thoughts, beliefs, and conclusions:

Video 1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOHK8qK-Ajw

Video 2:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYZu2Fudp4U

Video 3:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzQOqnXQb9o&feature=related

whistling grizzlybear said...

If this thread is still alive - thanks to Rice Farmer for the encouragement !

I now have 15 acres to play with, instead of a 2 bedroom apartment and a small plot at a community garden.

Rice ho ! (or something like that)

To be clear, I am using 'ho' in the context of "Land Ho !", not as an abbreviation for "whore".

God the English language, has gotten complex.


This last year I tried to grow biodiesel crops on 2 acres. e.g. Planted about 5000 peanut seedlings. Got about a 1% yield. I had to admire the persistence & tenacity of whatever creatures were eating my plants. Still not sure if it was birds or raccoons/skunks/squirrels/other rodents.

In one case, I had 200 more peanut seedlings under a clear plastic tarp. Gosh was I wrong. Now, I know it wasn't birds. Some mammal chewed about 20 holes in the tarp, & crawled through every single pot, leaving with about 1% of my seedlings.

Who knows. Maybe squirrels have a "catch & release" policy of their own ? :)

I hope Rice Farmer sees this.

Jenna Orkin said...

fwded to rice farmer. congrats, grizzly