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The Approaching Storm

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As of the moment I write this, my Southern California home region is awaiting a week-long dousing by Mother Nature. To put it into some kind of a perspective for those of you who have never experienced the Pineapple Express, a one-hit-wonder named Albert Hammond wrote a song entitled "It Never Rains in Southern California," later covered by Barry Manilow if you're into his music.

Contained in the chorus are the following lines:

It never rains in California
But girl, don't they warn ya
It pours, man it pours.

He isn't kidding. It can and does happen. It's about to happen.

We are told by the Weather Service that we can expect up to eight inches of rain in Downtown Los Angeles and a foot or more in the mountains over the next seven days. What this will produce is a lot of entertainment for the disaster ghouls who are getting a little bored with the Haitian earthquake. This storm is likely to affect Hollywood lib'ruls, who will lose their multimillion-dollar Malibu mansions as the ground beneath them collapses from the water. You will get to see just as many conservative Orange County Republicans who live out the same foolish residential fantasies as their much-maligned political rivals up the coast suffer similar consequences from their ill-considered vanity. You might even get to see some serious flooding inland, which tends not to happen very often. It will affect the non-rich, and just might remind you of Haiti – and of New Orleans. So stock up the beer supply, pop a mound of corn, and settle in for real reality television! Eat your heart out, Jeff Zucker!

I don't provide this entertainment report about the coming weather on a political page unless there is a connection. The connection is: this nation is facing away from the approach of metaphorical storms which will cause as much havoc (allowing for variances equaling orders of magnitude) as either the Haitian Earthquake or The Great Southern California Flush.

The United States is so deep in debt that there is a realistic expectation that it can never be fully repaid. But the biggest single expenditure of the government -the military budget- isn't about to be touched, for it is needed to conquer the rest of the world and put it all under our national control for the benefit of the overt owners of the government – the private commercial sector (see: "health care reform" if you have doubts). Everything else is subject to curtailment or elimination in order to facilitate this insane goal. You ARE expendable in this effort.

But while the American armor appears to be strong and shiny on the outside, the inner portion suffers from malevolent neglect. Our industrial base -vital to any nation at war- has been shipped across indefensible oceans, something that isn't a good idea as our military planners should have learned from our successful submarine warfare against Japan in WWII. Despite the much-vaunted abilities of the US Navy, they were seriously surprised by an undetected Chinese sub surfacing about one mile away from a US carrier -a guaranteed kill, according to experts- during the conduct of an anti-submarine exercise which should have detected it. This incident tells us two things: We cannot protect our lines of supply. We cannot protect our means to wage war, much less ourselves. Imagine if real terrorists started flying into Detroit! No one will be able to save you from that.

Another vital item necessary to conduct global war is money. This nation is broke. The entire economic output of the US — estimated as of the end of the third quarter of 2009 at $14,242.1 billion — wouldn't completely cover the amount of money that has been promised to back up the Wall Street banks which put the world's economy on the skids. The Federal Reserve admits to some $2 trillion being supplied to the banks by the taxpayers, but we don't really know because they won't reveal the true numbers. MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan claimed on his 1/15/10 episode that the amount promised to the banks is closer to $24 trillion. That would put the GDP at only about 60% of the amount promised to the banks. Or, every dollar generated by the US economy for almost two years is now seen by the Wall Street banks as promised to them. Who cares if you eat! There are executive bonuses to be paid lest we lose their talents to competitors! You are expendable in this effort!

It isn't that simple, however, for we officially already owe over $12 trillion to various nations and private entities for our governmental and private sector debt. Of this, about $3 trillion is owed by the government. Of this, about 24% is owed to China, and another 20% is owed to Japan. Both nations are in the middle of adjusting their banking policies, and are expected to tighten their lending standards. Chinese banks have already been ordered to increase their reserves, which means they have fewer funds available to buy little things like US Treasury Bills. Japan is worrying about slipping back into the recession they endured for over 15 years due to their fiscal imprudence – a path the US seems intent on following. They aren't going to have much to invest in US debt.

We won't go into the amount of debt that is held by other economic rivals. I think the point of how vulnerable the US economy is to foreign action to be clear. You can't be protected from that probability.

Just like our ocean supply lines being indefensible, what are we to do if our international enablers creditors stop funding our wars of conquest due to domestic necessity, if not political disapproval? We could print money like it is going out of style, but that didn't work for Weimar Germany nor later for Zimbabwe. Eventually, Israeli Arms, Beretta, and the National Armory of Taiwan will hesitate to accept greenbacks for cases of 7.62mm full metal jackets, and domestic sources already struggle to catch up to the relatively small emergency orders placed by the Pentagon. How does one wage war with unloaded weapons? You might begin by looking at Chinese swarm tactics during the Korean War international police action. You are expendable in that effort!

There is an important lesson that the most ardent American GI Joe wannabee needs to understand: John Wayne is dead. We no longer have the means to wage war with impunity. That ability has been sold out to the lowest bidder to ensure the maximum profit by those who need defending the most – the corporate sector. Those foreign banks who now control the purse strings will at some point become less willing to tolerate our excesses, and could very well cut off their contribution to our ongoing pursuit to satisfy our blood lust. It may well prove to be in the interests of their own survival to do so. You are expendable in that effort.

That is when the storm hits, for Our Wasteful American Way of Life will be threatened. We Americans would rather fight than switch – no matter how good for us switching would be. We just won't have much to fight with, and a lot to fight against. We can't go on pissing on the world and expect them to do our bidding when it's becoming clear to them that we have had our day as King of the Hill. They are all getting ready for the time when we get challenged for the lead. Are we?

If one were a student of Sun-Tzu, one would realize just how foolish our warrior leaders are. But who is the bigger fool? The one who makes foolish war plans ensuring eventual defeat, or the fool who follows him blindly?

I guess we get to provide the answer to that with our future. You are expendable in that effort.

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About pessimist

  • I agree with you on the landslide spending (metaphor intended). But this country should not stop at halting war spending. NOT ONE MORE DIME should be spent on anything until we get ourselves out of this debt. But it’s hard to find anyone in the Beltway who knows how to add and subtract or with enough sense to figure it out.

  • So here you are bored with the earthquake coverage in Haiti..is that right?

    Maybe we should bury you up to your neck and leave you half alive, buddy.

    You wouldn’t be so tired of the l’iberal media then, would you?

    This is the appropriate article to post my full comment on!

  • Please Text the word Haiti to 90999, so that ten dollars will go to the Red Cross Relief Effort..

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Realist –

    I am retired Navy. The Kitty Hawk is being mothballed about ten miles away from me as I type this. I served for four years on her sister ship, the USS Ranger (CV-61).

    Those who suffered ‘great consternation’ at the submarine popping up alongside the carrier are far behind the times. Why? Because it’s well known that diesel-electric subs are very, very quiet…when they’re not snorkeling to recharge their batteries. That, and they don’t have anything even remotely close to the range that our submarines do.

    So I’m not surprised that the sub surfaced close to the Kitty – look where they were operating at the time – within less than a thousand miles off the coast of China! The only thing a sub like that is really good for is regional defense…and a surprise strike at the start of a war. Why? Because of the sub’s lack of legs (unless it’s a closed-cycle diesel (it’s not)), and because our subs can usually (but obviously not always) track them rather easily. Even though the article says we didn’t know about the sub…perhaps we did, and didn’t want the Chinese to realize how easily we could detect their subs (and our defense contractors could have an excuse to be given more billions in contracts). Frankly, I think that’s at least as likely an explanation as the sub not being detected at all.

    One other thing – it’s devilishly hard for any surface ship to find and track modern subs. That’s why the best way to kill a sub is with another sub.

    Oh, and another thing – the sub being that close to the carrier was a ‘guaranteed kill’? No sailor will ever call a ship unsinkable…but you’ve no conception of the compartmentalization of a supercarrier and the degree of damage control proficiency and training we maintain. Could the sub have crippled the Kitty? Easily. Could it have sunk the Kitty? Possibly. But a ‘guaranteed kill’? No, not without a nuclear-tipped warhead.

    I realize that this particular incident isn’t really what your article’s about, but I do have to speak up when I see people worrying about things that they don’t really need to worry about when it comes to my Navy.

    Have a fine Navy day!

  • My comment might have sounded a little threatening to you yesterday Mr. Realist..for that I apologize.

    I see how heated things can get here right now.

    I saw that you commented on my blog. Thanks:)

    Yet , when I searched for your personal web space, my server says the page cannot be found…just thought you should be aware of the problem.

    I once lived in Laguna Beach and I still miss those sunsets. As they say, ‘Have a nice day’:)

  • Interesting how so few people want to comment on the decline and fall of their own country.

    I always found this part of the movie “Cabaret” (1972) to be fascinating – almost as fascinating as the final scene – because like so much in the movie, there was a prescience to it that makes the spine shiver.

    I don’t think that tomorrow belongs to you, folks. You Americans created the monster of the Wahhabi, and the monster of the Taliban – and now you are discovering – to your disgust – that you cannot control the monsters you have created.

    But don’t worry. Tomorrow did not belong to the nazis, and it will not belong to the spiritual children of the nazis, either. It looks like a storm blowing in from the Yangtze, but my faith and the prophecies of the Bible tell me otherwise….

    “2010 will be the year that tries the souls of men.
    It will be the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end.”

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:2
    For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

  • Ruvy,

    Every generation has believed that they were the end…and man destroys man.

    Two little sayings that I heard over and over in the fifth grade.

  • WTF? fcetier

    Oh, it’s Sunday

  • Either photography…hmmm

    Maybe corporations sending out religious quotes are spammers.

    Dave, what do you think?

  • I’m not a Christian, kiddies. I don’t write this because it is Sunday. I write this because it is evident. OUR traditions (the Talmud) say that the Redemption will be accomplished by the years 5786-5790 (2026-2030).

    That means that there will be a Temple on the Temple Mount, that the nations deserving judgment will have been judged, that many will have died at G-d’s Hand, and that all of us who survive will have had one run at Judgment – comprehending how the evil we have done in our lives has affected the world around us from the point of view of those we have hurt. The messiah will have come, and will rule from Jerusalem, and Jerusalem will be the capital of the world. A program for cleaning up the planet (tikkún ha’olám) will be in place and will be beginning to operate. Technological advances will speed up and remarkable cures – cures that would look like magic to many of us today – will begin to take place, healing the sick, and curing the sick at heart.

    None of these things were evident at all 50 years ago.

    But America and Europe will fall because of the evil they have done – not merely to us, but to the rest of mankind. Before all this happens, despair will grip the planet, and death will cut like a scythe.

    Exactly how this will occur, I cannot tell you. But what I have written above is what the prophecy in the Hebrew Bible points to.

  • Ruvy, You misunderstood what I wrote.:(

  • and, if you click on fcetier then you will see a photographer? I took it as an advertisement and wondered why the Bible quote.

    I know that you are religious every day and not just on Sunday. Does this clear up our misunderstanding?

  • The United States is so deep in debt that there is a realistic expectation that it can never be fully repaid. But the biggest single expenditure of the government -the military budget- isn’t about to be touched, for it is needed to conquer the rest of the world and put it all under our national control for the benefit of the overt owners of the government – the private commercial sector (see: “health care reform” if you have doubts). Everything else is subject to curtailment or elimination in order to facilitate this insane goal. You ARE expendable in this effort.

    Excellent article Realist. Quoted for truth.

    Incidentally, something to do in NYC om MLK day! May as well put this here.

    IWW March Against Wage Slavery

  • Jeannie, Realist is writing with irony. As far as I can see, you are on the same side. 🙂

  • Yes, it is an excellent article.

  • Cindy,

    Funny, I didn’t get that impression when I read his comment on my blog.

    Then again, that was yesterday !

    In fact, maybe I should read this article in it’s entirety before flying off the handle! 🙂

  • OK here I go!!!!

  • I’m trying to access his comment, but I can’t.

  • Cindy, On my way down to the comment box, I stopped by your blog. There was no way for me to leave you a comment there. Why? Is it my Computer?

    That is a good cause! You go woman!!! 🙂

  • Jeannie,

    All you’ve got to do is click on the comment box.

  • Realist,

    Boy did I snap out at you for nothing!

    After reading, the whole article, I see that it really has nothing to do with Haiti…

    Maybe you have painted everyone in it with a broad brush. But then again, if this is irony, then never mind what I just wrote.

    I never get what satire is and I am just too darn emotional to see the humor!


  • Roger,

    I didn’t see a comment box.

  • Jeannie, not a box but a “comment” heading. Just click on it and a box for leaving a comment will open.

  • Roger, That’s because I deleted it..his comment.

  • Was it that bad?

  • Roger,

    Yes, I tried to click on the words, leave a comment, and nothing happened!

  • No, nothing that I’m not used to after all these years!

    Let me see if I can Quote it.

    ‘blank…’ nope

    the flavor was that I lacked writing ability..

  • That doesn’t sound like “The Realist.”

    As to the comment section on Cindy’s blog, perhaps she knows what the problem is.

  • It DOES work to the best of my knowledge, Jeannie. After a second or so, a comment box appears where you can post your message.

  • I am late and have to run. I will look at it tomorrow if you haven’t figured it out. Sorry ’bout that.

  • Roger, #29,

    I don’t know ..it was OK he said he wanted to see if my writing was as passionate as my comments.

  • Well, you’ve surely passed the litmus test, I’m certain.

    I’ve got to run for now. We’ll talk shortly.

  • I gotta run..see you later Roger

    I’ll be back later to get my message out for the people of Haiti…OMG

  • mrdockellis

    Rather dour stuff.
    Why not light a candle instead of cursing the gloom?
    I give my take for preserving what you have by buying natural resources in my piece gold, the dollar and Obama.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And I’m selling stereos out of the bank of my dad’s pickup. Opportunities, people!

  • Just to ease your minds, what I wrote Jeannie was

    I just wanted to see if your writing was as clouded by your passion as your reading was.

    I took her comment to me as snark, but I didn’t want to respond directly in kind. My reply was intended to stimulate thought, not start a flame war.

    Just for the record, Jeannie writes very well. I’m sure you would get much more out of her post than you would my comment. Did you?

  • Yes, this is an excellent article and very, very sobering.

    Ruvy. I read your response to my comment over on the Haiti thread and came here. In a sense, I think that character I referenced and the Talmud may very well be consistent. Insofar as the tikkún ha’olám, we have discussed this before. It is a concept that I do accept as quite real from a scientific point of view.

    Perhaps the eternal struggle toward Judgment Day is ultimately about balance. We’ve been entrusted with a world in balance and our role as the “intelligent life” was to preserve that balance or harmony, if you will. What frustrates me, more than anything, is that the American people have lost that talent for stepping up to the plate, rolling up their sleeves and getting the job done.

    My Mom was born and raised in Woonsocket, RI. If any of you had a relative who served in World Wars I or II, it is 95% probable that your loved one was kept warm by a blanket woven in the mills gracing the shores of the Blackstone River. That little French-Canadian city had a treasure of textile talent living in the little mill villages all over town. Once the wars were over and the unions insured labor costs would sky rocket, well you know the rest of the story. The textile mills moved South and after the Nixon Ping Pong Diplomacy Act, textiles left the US altogether.

    The generations since that time don’t know what ingenuity is. If the power is out for more than 6 hours, folks are like rabid pit bulls at a Michael Vick barbecue. The city newspaper used to be the line of communication for everyone. The Publisher back then wrote a column called “Off Beaten Path” which Grandma would always save for me to read, even at 8 years old. The publisher was awesome – had a great sense of humor and wasn’t afraid to call a politician out on an issue. The newspaper which exists today has less value than a roll of toilet tissue. It is a cheap, sanitized imitation of journalism.

    Yeah, I can see people rolling their eyes, thinking “there he goes again lamenting about the good ol’ days.” Perhaps I am – but in doing so I’m trying to make a point. In the blink of an eye we could be just like those poor people in Haiti. Without our electronic toys and convenient food stores and six dozen pairs of sneakers, we’re a lost tribe. That’s where ingenuity and creative talent comes in. Are we ready for an earthquake to hit the heart of Los Angeles? It could happen. What will we do if terrorists succeed once again only this time they target 3 or 4 smaller cities for the publicity value? Life is fragile enough as it is — are we that stupid as to think we’re so invincible that we can tempt fate? I know, I’m wasting my time.

  • No, Silas, you are not wasting your time. You are illustrating how a community functions – as opposed to how a community does not function.

    We in Israel are good at certain things – security, rescue, and doctoring – and the situation in Haiti lets us shine forth in all our glory. But to pretend that we are all that functional otherwise is a lie.

    However, I fear that this earthquake is just the first chapter of a painful series of disasters of various kinds facing mankind. Some can be terrorist attacks – the swine flu can come in for seconds or thirds in the Ukraine and kill off thousands of people, and then go in for more elsewhere.

    If you want to see ingenuity from Americans, tell them they can’t do x, y or z. And watch them do it!

  • Only one thing comes to mind right now, Ruvy. In a capitalist free market society no corporation can ever be too big to fail. We said no, and they said yes. Your point is well taken.