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Open Thread – 28 March 2010
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For those who have not yet checked out what’s happening over @ TA in March…
May I recommend Pat’s latest Athenaeum post on cancer fighting nanotechnology developed by a Caltech team, as well as John Minnerath’s superb photographic post, “Our Own Private Star.”
Be interested in the readers of this blogs take on the announcement that US will sell “Drone” UAV technology to allies?
Am I correct that the Clinton Administration allowed the sale of sensitive technology to China allowing development of anti-satellite technology by that nation-state?
Finally, how many countries has US sold anti-satellite technology and missle systems to at this point?
Laura Rozen reports:
Ross is evil.
Notable for misasing in MSM: DoE expect oil [roduction to fall in 211-15 span:
That such news has to be found iin France, is self-destructive to the USA Public Good.
This also indicates that DoD should rethinl its actions and quit wasting energy on wars and super-expensive sate of the next art equipment,
Also indicates that Israek better smarten up, lest declining oil production mqkes her existance untenable.
Enjoy the qarticle and ponder the future!
Thanks to Col. Lang and all the readers for making this blog enlightening and thought-provoking. I enjoy the discussions.
Many of the foreign relations situations that are currently facing our nation involve very complex issues, with many different factors that must be taken into account. To produce a useable product for the nation’s leadership, we must have good analysts.
What do you, the other good readers of the Colonel’s blog, feel are the most important traits/qualities/skills for a good analyst to have? In other words, what makes a good analyst?
I recently stumbled across a documentary on Youtube
about the American involvement in Angola. The film relied heavily on the accounts of a man by th name of John R. Stockwell who was the CIA’s Chief of the Angolan Task Force.
Do you know of this man and is he to be taken seriously?
What are your thoughts on the American involvement in Angola?
Never heard of him and don’t know. pl
This video will help clarify any misconceptions and lack of understanding some of us may have regarding the enemy we are facing in Afghanistan. Must Watch!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOPLnvEXTiU
Came across this at SpaceDaily.com:
Market For Military Robots Will Reach $9.8 Billion By 2016
“Growth comes as the nature of combat changes in every region while the globally integrated enterprise replaces nationalistic dominance.”
So they expect “globally integrated enterprises” (PR-speak rebranding of “Multi-National Corporations”) to become important end-users of military robots? This is the logical end-state of unbridled Libertarian theology: they (MegaCorps) will supplant nation-states at the top of the food chain.
Ouch. We’re headed for life in a Sci-Fi movie, and B-movie at that.
Here’s another interesting video shedding some light on what is being done in our name.
Ross is an agent for a foreign government who needs to be registered under FARA, and stripped of all access to any type of U.S. sensitive/classified documents.
With the classified documents that Ross [in Ross’s position]is purview to, sends shudders up and down my spine at the thought of all the sensitive stuff Ross may be giving Israel’s espionage agents.
Respnse to AT the Virginia Capes: My answer is that training, education and experience can lead to a good analyst including a willingness to self disclose and analyize his/her bias and weaknesses. But this is not enough. They must be able to process the information they are given and provide their best judgement ( a difficult term when it comes to individuals)but also be willing to discuss how they arrived at that judgement and what arguments or facts they utilized or discarded and why or why not? Good judgment in any arena of human affairs is of course always in short supply and difficult to obtain and therefore once identified must be treasured and treated with the greatest respect even when disagreeing with that analyst’s judgment. I just finished a wonderful biography of FDR by Jean Edward Smith and really for the first time picked up on how much FDR’s sensitive antennae and judgment failed between the death of his friend and ally Louis Howe and the rise of Henry Hopkins. Apparently both were able to tell FDR “No” or “your making a mistake” to FDR and yet he understood at some deep level how much he needed that and did not get it from others. General Marshall of course was another who was willing to disagree with FDR and of course it is well documented he disagreed with Truman’s decision to recognize Israel as a nation. If there is a singular failure in public affairs in the US today and perhaps the private sector also it is the tremendous shortfall in people with good or excellent judgment about how, where, how, and why the US should proceed in foreign relations and foreign policy in a clearly multipolar world where the integration of vast amounts of divergant information makes for great difficulty in forming sound judgement about those aspects of our (US) existence. I wish more were written about this difficult area.
BP will close its solar-panel manufacturing plant in Maryland, the final step in moving its solar business out of the United States to facilities in China.
BP chief executive Tony Hayward said BP was “moving to where we can manufacture cheaply.”
So much for the green jobs for Americans the politicians keep promising.
Indications of worse to come. The Four Horsemen just seem to evolve in so many myriad ways…
Why should any American complain about BP going to China, Walmart went there years ago. All BP has to do is put an American flag on the box, they will sell. It’s Wall Street values – the dollar, or return on it, that is most important to too many.
David J and Fred,
today’s St Louis Dispatch has a front page article about the vanishing of jobs in St Louis, putting blama on lack of educated work force, that the ‘high school is not enough anymore’ – or something to that effect. Your comments make it clear that greed is the true motive, not the lack of ‘educated workforce’ – the Chinese workers are not any better educated, on the contrary, probably worse. So – what is the solution? Our cost of living cannot be the base of lowering the base pay. I am at a loss. These jobs will never come back here and on ‘service jobs’ – selling junk mortgages wrapped in “collateral certificates” will not bring prosperity back. Health care jobs will not bring prosperity back. What is the solution? I am afraid to hear the answer.
J and Fred,
Such is the China Price of Free Trade. The permanent real answer would be for America to cancel NAFTA and MFN for China, and withdraw from WTO. We would then restore the Tariff Wall of Protection against hostile production from underpaid underregulated areas and/or economies. We would have to expect revenge responses against our currency and our foreign-held debt. Those responses would be designed to either torture us into rejoining the Free Trade system, or destroy our society as an example to anyone else who might try such a defensive withdrawal from the Free Trade system. So we would have to make ourselves ready
in advance for such a response. If we tried it and succeeded, we could re-onshore some of our missing production and build up a neoFortress America survival
economy. (Such an economy would be materially poorer than what we still have.) Once we had that, we could afford to treat trade as a necessary evil and permit bilateral trade on a fairness and equity basis.
To try that would be painful and dangerous. But continuing on our present Free Trade course will turn us into a CornSoy Republic in the fullness of time. We would be allowed just enough other goods and services to keep us just alive enough to keep delivering the corn and soybeans to an impatient world.
Meanwhile, I hope the Obama Administration can maintain it posture of firm guidance to Israel. Obama is tossing Israel a flotation device but the Israelis think its an anvil.
If they learn the difference
in time, they will grab it and survive. If they don’t, they will sink and drown.
Fracturing the Netanyahu Coalition would be a good thing. Every Israeli Coalition government should be fractured until every Israeli political party learns that every Israeli Coalition will be fractured until we get an Israeli Coalition which accepts our firm guidance.
Obama will need to be a two term president to make that direction-change irreversible. I hope he changes some of the domestic approaches which could make him a one term president. For example, if he continues to fail to instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to separate the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal from Lake Michigan, and those Asian carp get into Lake Michigan, and the currently oblivious people of the Great Lakes find out what has happened and why; he will lose the electoral votes of 5 other Great Lakes states in return for keeping the electoral votes of Chicago (Illinois).
Since I mentioned the possibility of studying the mine-detecting abilities of African elephants in order to harness or mimic those abilities; I have read that some demining groups have experimented with training rats to detect landmines.
So perhaps elephants will not be necessary.
Stop grousing and look on the bright side. the wizards of wealth creation have given us a standard of living (overpriced housing and inflated medical costs) which precludes holding on to all the menial stuff. We can always get by selling one another securities, insurance, vehicles, real estate, medical procedures, and makeovers.
By way of the caring professions, the invisible hand, and the collective wazoo:
As we’ve chewed on it here at SST before, might as well chew on it again – via the NYT:
A summary of that Brookings report is here (6 page PDF).
David J, also – there’s Evergreen Solar:
“A solar panel company that received $58 million in state aid to build its factory in Massachusetts is now moving jobs overseas.
Evergreen Solar is shifting some of its production, currently done at a plant in Devens, to China next year, after posting an $82 million loss in the third quarter.
Gov. Deval Patrick calls the move unfortunate, but says some of Evergreen’s operations will remain here.”
A real kick in the teeth this one, State funds the company to build a factory, company leaves for China.
Your idea of rebuilding USA industry behind a Protectionist Wall has three problems [aside from retaliation by foreigners]:
1., The USA has not enought capital to finance the needs of Oil companies in the next 5 years see my citation above by your Department of Energy.
2., the USA is woefully short of most natutral resources needed for industry, which has to be imported — and there is very little the US can export due to restrictions on USA produced goods, dual purpose, strategic interest, or other nonsense.
Finally, if DoD is right, and I think they are far too optimistic; the availability of oil will decrease very fast, requiring all kinds measures to promote alternate energy, which will decrease available to other purposes: Wars, New Factories, New Mines, Discretory goods, gasolne availability, etc.
I agree with your notions re Israel. Though other powers could contribute to solving I/P problem if the USA does not act as a guardian angel to Israel, nor as if Israel was part of the Union.
Col Lang: In the arrest of the “Christian” militia group here in Michigan the other day, I find it interesting that they are not termed a “terrorist group”. I am certain that if a Muslin group (even composed of full US citizenship)in Dearborn Michigan were apprehended with the intent on the mass killing of police officers, they would be termed a “Muslim terrorist group”. Why not then for this homegrown group and the Timothy McVies (with his Christian White Idenity background) being termed “terrorists”. Just our way of practicing self-centered nationalistic, ethnic thinking?
A strange definition of “terrorism” prevails. I remember telling Britt Hume that the Washington sniper(s) were terrorists and he was shocked, shocked. (This is the same guy who asked me once how many Muslims were willing to blow themselves up). This was before they were captured and found to be angry black men as opposed to angry white man (mens). pl
So we would have to make ourselves ready
in advance for such a response. If we tried it and succeeded, we could re-onshore some of our missing production and build up a neoFortress America survival economy.”
That trick has been tried by every other empire. (Ottoman, China, Astro-hungarian, etc.)
In my not so humble opinion, forget yesterday product, minimize and cut the lost, but make sure we are on top of next development cycle.
Unfortunately this is where the trouble begun, it also mean a lot of status quo business and industries are going to fight it hard.
(eg. energy, transportation, utility, health care industry, media)
for eg. in order to build hyper-modern green city, one most likely will have to fight everything that depends on combustion engine business.
The fact that home fuel cell + functional hybrid car + smart grid are more than ready are irrelevant.
That’s just one aspect. Nevermind things like how do you build highspeed train with 3 times the efficiency of current intercity transportation? (fighting public perception, airplane lobbyists, town planning, outdated regulations, realigning utility supply, etc)
The chance of africa and central asia building efficient highspeed train system is far higher than building one in the US.
Mark my word.
That’s the part that everybody has to worry. We fail to adapt to new century and keep partying like it’s the 50’s.
Trade balance and energy import will go away once we move to newer technology.
that ain’t no kruze misel.
I wonder how many Trident’s the USN has ever fired in the ME? At this rate, we will resume our proper Big Power role of ratcheting pressure on Iran to grow up – they’d best pay attention to their realists rather than their fantasists. Israel has some growing up to do, too – let’s hope… ’tis the season.