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22 March 2014

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John Gavin

Does my post in any way indicate that I would disagree with you???

John Gavin

To quote the President, "Elections have consequences."

Will Reks

So McCain, the Kagans, and Bill Kristols of this world are back to their old tricks because of Russia's religious traditionalism? Sure, Obama's stupid Olympics boycott was due to Putin's position on the gays but the neocons don't care about that.

Ryan

If the clowns and criminals who make up the "leadership" of the West attempt to get too cheeky with Putin he can remind them that most of the supplies and equipment that goes to the troops in Afghanistan use Russian railroads. I think this would stop this nonsense real quick.

William R. Cumming

Terrific comment IMO! The great question for the next year and decade!

William R. Cumming

H! Your memory of events seems close to my own as I reach 72 this August! Where are the snows of yesteryear?

William R. Cumming

ALL: One theme that seems overlooked in this thread is the reliance of Putin on Russian historical relationships to the Crimea and then presence of co- or shared linguistics. Should this become the basis for the adoption of FP by many other countries the world might become even more scary.

Fortunately to date I don't believe US military or other U.S. interventions have been based on either defending co-religionists, co-linguistics, or a shared culture and perhaps the USA is exceptional from that standpoint.

I perhaps differ from some in that I believe English and the dollar will be substantially less significant over the next decades. Perhaps the Internet will have its own language!

Tyler

When have the neocons not wanted the worst excesses of modern American culture shoved down the throats of everyone else in the world?

Remember how we were going to turn Afghanistan into a modern liberal democracy?

Highlander

I too believe the dollar will eventually lose its reserve currency status. The rest of the world is tired of paying what amounts to the Roman tax for the privilege of using the dollar. I see no viable replacement currency at this time, however.

Perhaps some Bitcom like creature of technology eventually?

When the day does arrive, all economic hell will break loose in this country. No more of those green government checks in the mail for one thing.

Do you care to venture a guess on timing?

nick b

"I perhaps differ from some in that I believe English and the dollar will be substantially less significant over the next decades. Perhaps the Internet will have its own language!"

WRC,
For an interesting riff on these thoughts, the novel 'Snow Crash' by Neal Stephenson is a great read. Written in 1992, it was way ahead of its time. It has some very humorous thoughts on the dollar, and its predictions about the internet and a universal language are both wildly interesting and entertaining.


William R. Cumming

ALL: Did I ever mention that almost 500M in central Europe Germanic by language or culture or both?

Babak Makkinejad

I think the socialized medicine of EU , Canada, and Japan has had the adverse effect of reducing substantially the development of new drugs; by far the majority of those drugs have come from the United States.

That also goes for new life-saving techniques and technologies.

Again, in terms of the new businesses, EU and Japan are not event a distant second to US.

I would like to draw your attention to the Internet and the World Wide Web - first conceived through DARPA and later developed by Barnes-Lee at CERN - it was in US that its potential was fully realized and from where the Web conquered the Earth.

The closest thing to the Web and the Internet in Europe was the French Minitel - a device and service that was a forerunner of the Web but, unfortunately, did not find traction for multiple reasons.

Norbert M Salamon

It is noteworthy, however, that Mr. Putin includes ALL Russian speakers, regardless of any minority status, be it linguistic or tribal. In this respect Mr. Putin's announcement that there are 3 official languages in Crimea is far more unifying than the pseudo equality between whites and blacks, Indians, Asians in the USA.

Babak Makkinejad

When the Soviet Union broke into 15 states, I was certain that Ukraine and Belarus as well Northern Kazakhstan would revert back to the control of the Prince of Moscow - that ties of blood and history cannot be disentangled so quickly and so formally.

I think we are at the intermediate stages of the reclamation of the Slavic lands of the former USSR; which began in 2008.

I do not know when this reclamation will end but I think that large parts of Ukraine as well as Northern Kazakhstan will rejoin the effective control of Moscow.

And nothing can be done to stop this - many of these artificial states will not endure.

If Uzbekistan - population 25 million - decides to invade and take over the gas-rich Turkmenistan - there is no way to prevent it or roll it back.

Babak Makkinejad

I do not think that there is any possibility of a wedge - as you put it - between US and Germany.

Germans can reduce their dependence on Russian energy imports by fracking as well as developing nuclear energy; although probably not in any substantial manner before 2020.

Germany will stick with US, in my opinion.

Babak Makkinejad

About the rentier classes etc..

I think in Iran you have an excellent example of how a rentier-based economy stifles creativity and progress - at all levels of society since everyone - regardless of social class - is in one way or another dependent on the oil-income and therefore not too keen on working too hard to do anything of substance (there is always the oil money).

I do not think US is in a rentier state although certain sectors are undoubtedly in that state and wish to remain so.

Both in New Jersey and in Japan self-service gas stations are illegal. That is not an example of a rentier mentality, rather it is an attempt by the government to create and maintain jobs at low wage levels for people who can do nothing else.

I think there are entire low-skill, low-pay types of work that could be entirely eliminated through intelligent automation; imagine shopping malls entirely devoid of sales clerks - that is quite doable with current technologies available on the market.

Which begs the question of what to do with all those people who are dependent on that low wage?

Should the legislature - in any country - follow the example of the Islamic Republic of Iran and allocate a basic minimum payout to everyone in the society?

For example, US Congress can meet and set the minimum payout/income of $ 20,000 a year for every unmarried adult?

(Working full time at minimum wage in US would still leave one homeless.)

The fact is that we have too many people for the available productive jobs all over the world. In more civilized countries such as Brazil at least this unemployable army of labor is available as servants and cooks and gardeners to the Middle-class people but not in US or in Canada or Australia.

turcopolier

NMS

Oh, come now! For a new Canadian to scoff at diversity in the US is ridiculous. What could be more artificial than the idea of Canadian nationhood? But you are in good company. the UK has been falling apart since Easter 1916. Belgium was an idea, but a bad one. British India quickly fell to pieces. Nation states hardly exist although states abound and there is always inequality among groups, always. pl

MRW

Putin/Russia not a rational actor? Putin is the only one that is. The idiots advising Obama can't even recall that Crimea voted by the same percentage to join Russia 23 years ago right after the breakup of the USSR. Crimea did it by referendum then, as it did last week.

What would we do about Guantanamo if the FALN overtook Cuba? You don't think we would react?

Thomas

Toto,

As mentioned above in my thank you to Colonel Lang, this was a reply to questions from Madhu. Libya is on the list as one of actions that affected Putin's strategic rational. He became fed up with the constant duplicity by the US in world affairs, especially when other important negotiation topics such as Syria and Iran are currently on the table. The straw was the diplomatically arranged Feb 21 agreement for a transitional government that was discarded by the violent overthrow. Obama should have adhered to this agreement and made the Ukrainian parliament walk back their actions. He didn’t and Russia responded to protect national interests in their sphere.

I understand that the Western Ukrainians don’t want to be under Russian influence or, in their own words, the Jewish Muscovite oligarchs. I believe many of the Ukrainians were sincere with their motivations to end the political corruption and improve their lives economically, but, as Russian history attests to, well intentioned revolutions can be hijacked.

Cookie Momma Vicky, the architect of this crisis, was a member of VP Cheney’s office and is an example of the Jacobins burrowed in the system. Her actions are having profound effect on the Administration.

It takes one small incident to spiral things out of control as our ancestors discovered a century ago when Apis, a Serbian Intelligence Officer, got Princip and his boys to do the deed. As fate would have it they missed the target only for the driver to get lost, double back and provide a second chance.

Thomas

John,

I understand. Hopefully it does not lead to armed conflict, but in a world of madness who knows.

Thomas

Great Uncle Satan has a least one favorable quality.

MRW

You need to read the 87-page book called "Freedom from National Debt" by Frank N Newman, former Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury who, unlike the idiot Jake Lew, has a sterling background in finance and accounting. As Newman points out, the word "debt" when applied to federal monetary operations is an accounting artifact, an artifact of the terminology applied to double-entry accounting. When you ISSUE currency, which the US government as sole legal issuer of the currency worldwide does, the method for annotating that goes on the right side of the ledger. It's marked as a "debt." Whatever this "debt" is purchasing goes on the left side of the ledger under the assets column. They both net to zero. As Newman points out, the "National Debt" is a record of all currency produced since 1791 minus the currency destroyed (taxes).

So where is the $17T? In the pension funds, savings accounts, university trust funds, foreign bank accounts, and Grandma's Savings Bonds of the private sector. To the penny. If that National Debt, also called "Debt Held By the Public" if you will check treasury.gov, were ever 'paid back' not one single person in this country would have a dime or dollar to their name.

MRW

Canada is 20 years ahead of the US in stem-cell research.

MRW

BTW, Canada has socialized health insurance, not socialized medicine.

MRW

Germany is decommissioning their nuclear plants as fast as they can, and building more coal plants using the Chinese Ultra Super Critical Coal technology that produces more gigawatts of power than a nuclear plant can. In addition, the latest Chinese tech reduces emissions, currently, to 20% less than the Kyoto Protocol would have required by 2020, and uses far less water because the water in this process does not have to reach the 'critical temperature of water' (374C).

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