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Separating Fact From Fiction

Note From a Friend

Someone I know pretty well and admire quite a bit sent me the following string of emails regarding Obama’s “John Wayne” moment in Libya. I don’t agree with everything he wrote me but thought much of it was spot on and it came from someone I would call of the Libertarian persuasion. ENJOY!

EMAIL FROM A FRIEND:

One:

Hate to say it dude… but I’m done with Obama after this Libyan Adventure. What a cluster_ _ _ _ of a situation… and Constitutionally dubious to boot.

I freely admit that most Republicans are nuts too. Most of the “leading” 2012 candidate-types would have had us in there (boots on the ground) 3 weeks ago. Utter insanity. Of course- they’re now leading the chorus of criticism- which is beyond nauseating. Anyway- whether democractic or repulican- this country appears to be irretrievably at the mercy of a…”pro-intervention” council of foreign relations type cabal that is hell-bent on bankrupting us in a vain quest to remold the Middle East (recently substituting “international norms” and “human rights” for “WMD’s”). Meanwhile Congress is nothing more than the pathetic dude who walks in on his wife getting banged by Joe the Plumber. The Founding Fathers are turning in their graves. Book it.

Anyway, unless Ron or Rand Paul somehow miraculously secures the GOP nomination… I guess I’m voting Libertarian here on out.

Peace.

Two:

Whatever the case- should be some interesting times on your blog. I didn’t put in my last my e-mail but to me Obama’s speech could best be described as “The Fog of War”. I don’t care if we run Gadaffi out of there in 2 days and Arabs are waiving the American flag (an unlikely result of course). The Middle East is the type of place where things are measured in 50 and 100 year increments. I’m sure we felt cool as hell when we shot up Iran and put the Shah in or ran the Soviets out of Afghanistan or handed victory to the “Northern Alliance” or took down Saddam… or…. How did any of those work out for us? Meanwhile- I certainly wish Gadaffi treated his people better- but the UN should raise its own army of folks (God bless them) who individually feel willing to lay their lives down for “international norms” and “stability” and NOT usurp war-making authority from the US Congress- or any other proposed ”combatant’s” governmental body in charge of declaring war. That’s always been my problem with the Security Council set-up- and why I frankly think it’s imperative for American liberty for the US to either withdraw from the UN completely- or alternatively- withdraw from the Security Council at least.

Three:

I know Rand’s a whipping boy for the Left… but all I can say to this is A-FREAKING-MEN!!!

Why is it so hard to have a President who actually gets and understands this stuff!!??! I certainly would have thought a Costitutional Law Professor from the University of Chicago with a law degree from Harvard would have been capable of it. Guess not!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWOWv2Dr-nk

Four:

Well I am confident they represent the empirical and pragmatic sentiment (if I may be so bold). I’m less confident that they represent the “Republican” sentiment though. Perhaps. As I’ve told you for awhile now- the party is in the midst of a Civil War of sorts pitting the true traditional, “Goldwater”, non-interventionist, Libertarian, conservative (correct usage) wing of the party (I’d estimate it at about 20%) against the ultra-nationalist, imperial, guns and butter, neo-conservative, manifest destiny, Theodore Roosevelt wing (give these guys 50%). I’m not at all certain how that will play out as our wing is clearly more in-step with the main street common sense views of the country (while there’s was thoroughly discredited under Bush II) on the one hand- but they have FAR MORE resources, influence and political savy to bring-to-bear on the other. I think what you’ll see is unapologetic neo-conservative  Republicans like Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, Newt Gingrich (and his shrill Dick Morris), etc. posing as re-formed ”limited government Constituionalists” for a period of time in order to draw in those more pliable elements of the Tea Party and the social conservatives (these two make up the balance) to their banner- only to ultimately give us Bush III (if elected). If I had to wager- right now- I suspect they will succeed. Sadly.

Courageous Stance from My Home State’s Capital

The city of Hartford, CT once simply known as the insurance capital of the world has spoken loudly and pointedly in response to Obama’s urge to get his name in the ledger on the side of “War Engaged” rather than where his Nobel Peace Prize implies he should be siding. Hartford is a city that exemplifies the growing canyon between the haves and the have nots here in the US. It’s city council stood up and passed the following resolution and I for one am so proud of this city for being a pioneer in standing up to Democrat and Republican arrogance with respect to the fueling of the Military Industrial Complex.

From Christopher Hutchins of Hartford Bring Our War Dollars Home:

This is the Resolution that just passed through the city council of Hartford!

RESOLUTION

A resolution of the city council of Hartford, CT calling upon the US
government and President Obama to Bring Our War Dollars Home Now

Whereas, the economic collapse has exhausted the financial resources at the
local, county, state and federal levels of the US; and

Whereas, the US government since
2001 has spent well over 1 trillion dollars nationally on the wars and
occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In Connecticut nearly 28 billion
dollars has gone to war spending and more than $453 million has been
taken from the city of Hartford to fund the wars and occupations, and

Whereas, more than 5,700 US troops have been killed, more than 40,000 wounded; and

Whereas, hundred’s of thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded and the
ongoing warfare poses great and unnecessary harm to the nation of Iraq,
Afghanistan, and Pakistan and elsewhere in the world; and

Whereas, billions of tax payer’s money is spent to prop up repressive regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere around the world; and

Whereas,
educational services, medical care, housing, other essential public
services, infrastructure repair, and family financing throughout
Connecticut, especially in cities such as Hartford, have been diverted
from a constructive economy to these wars and occupations, and

Whereas,
budget deficits, largely due to war spending, have been used as a
pretext to force concessions from public sector unions from California
to Wisconsin to Connecticut; and

Whereas, 2010 census data shows that Hartford has the highest poverty rating in Connecticut at 31.9% (nationally, the poverty rating is 14.3%) and

Whereas,
communities of color in Hartford have been hardest hit. Our city has a
population that is 41% Latino and 38% African American/West Indian population. Unemployment for people of color is over 40%, and unemployment for people of color is nearly 20% and when employed, people of color make only 60 cents for every dollar made by white workers; and

Whereas, the above mentioned communities are heavily targeted for military recruitment,

Be it resolved that the city council of Hartford call upon the US
government and President Obama to end the wars and occupations in Iraq
and Afghanistan and bring our war dollars home now.

Now be it further resolved, that the city council of Hartford support
informational events regarding the cost of the wars and occupations to
our community; and

Be it further resolved that the city council of Hartford support the right
of public sector unions and all other unions to collectively bargain
and defend the interests of their members; and

Be it further resolved, that the city council of Hartford urge residents
to participate in the April 9, 2011 national march in New York City to
end the wars and occupations and bring our war dollars home.

Deja Vu All Over Again In the Land of 1.2 Billion

Replace India with the US, America, or Supreme Nation…WHATEVER title you prefer for our “homeland” AND replace parliament with congress. Tell me if this opinion piece doesn’t ring directly true with our current state of affairs? OH YEAH and replace corruption with campaign finance adultery. Democracies always move towards this unavoidable and wealth/power aggregating endpoint with only the good people that creating the fabric able to overcome such endpoints.

http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/singh12/English

Footing The Bill

Anyone want to? Wanna really pay the price for war(s)? Nope!

How much would you pay for the life of one of this country’s active duty men or women? Below I discuss what our government has decided their worth (Hint: Its less than the cost of two movie tickets!). Read the rest of this entry »

Efficient Marketeer And The Rest Be Damned

This is something I wrote in response to an article by Dr. Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya at Project Syndicate. I love this site and really the thinkers and practitioners run the ideological gradient. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re Not Your Problem Mr. President!

I have known for quite a while now that the vote I cast for you in November of 2008 – my first ever vote for a member of The Big Two – was one that I would not regret, because I am still a huge admirer of your intellect, but would come to view with a great degree of disappointment and anger. Read the rest of this entry »

Axis of Progress

At this point we’ve all heard much too much about George Bush’s Axis of Evil [1]. For those of you that have been flying in outer space or tripping on some really good drugs for the last 8+ years since W. coined this phrase during his State of the Union Address on January 29th, 2002 it simply refers to the boogey men that ran Iraq, Iran, and North Korea at the time. Read the rest of this entry »

Fallen Update

The Department of Defense has identified 1,162 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations. It confirmed the death of the following American last week:

KING, Brandon M., 23, Pvt., Army; Tallahassee, Fla.; 101st Airborne Division.

According to icasualties.org:

Iraq = 4,4412 US, 179 UK, and 139 Other > 4,730 Total

Afghanistan = 1,188 US, 322 UK, and 436 Other > 1,944 Total

The dial continues to move in the wrong direction in the latter and it is speeding up! GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN MR. PRESIDENT!

The Cherry On Top! (aka Master of the Obvious Part Deux)

There really is no need to say any more as the title says it all.

U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan

I wonder if Big (What a..) Dick Cheney knew about this one! He couldn’t have otherwise he would have insisted on a more concerted and muscular presence in Afghanistan throughout the War On Terror. Oh well chalk one up to good ol’ fashion Mullah Omar misdirection. Something tells me you will be hearing that Freeport-McMoRan (FCX)out of New Orleans will be getting their grubby nefarious hands involved in this operation given their robust play in the global copper market. Okay you heard it hear folks with FCX’s near monopoly on the global copper market and a large presence in gold we will absolutely see a strong push by them into this nascent opportunity. Just for the record FCX shares are currently trading at $65.26 on the NYSE, traded as high as $87 on January 8th, 11, and April 5th of this year, BUT are far below highs of $114 and 122 on October 10, 2007 and May 19, 2008, respectively. These two dates and the general peak in copper prices happened to coincide with a commercial and residential housing construction boom in China and lead some to believe that we had reached Peak Copper, although the latter has yet to be proven, but it stands to reason we will reach some sort of peak given the finite nature of copper availability, the world’s insatiable appetite for it, and the fact that last I checked creating it out of thin air ain’t an option! I will keep a keen eye on this and I suggest anyone reading this do the same as I demonstrated with an earlier posting on Roche and it’s share skyrocket in the weeks leading up to and after The Great H1N1 scare.

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I would just say to the Pashtuns of Southern Afghanistan caveat emptor with Exhibit A being FCX’s Grasberg copper and gold mine in Indonesia, where the natives are restless and growing more so by the day. FCX is determined to see this mine to it’s complete exploitation given that it accounts for $4 Billion of FCX’s $6.5 Billion operating profit (i.e., Nearly 2/3). Some have even decided that peaceful protest is no longer helpful resorting instead to primitive but effective methods of “Message Delivery”. However, when the Indonesian government equips the mine bosses with a security force of 3,000 troops and police the odds are stacked against the indigenous peoples of Papua and Papua New Guinea (See Map courtesy of The Economist).

papua


Image Of The Day

Thanks to a great article by Nelson D. Schwartz in The New York Times. Can you believe this?

eudebtweb

Of course we have been doing the same here in the US since September of 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed. This type of mixing and matching would make even the most devious street hustler blush given the trickle down, up, left, and right of a group of greedy bankers and profligate sovereign governments. The idea that this type of thing couldn’t have been stopped is nonsense and to go one step further the Greenspanian idea that you don’t prick a bubble is pure hubris mixed with a large dose of Cigarette Smoking Man “After all, villains don’t think they are villains”.

What was it that John Maynard Keynes said about capitalism run wild. Oh yeah…Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

Well say what you want about Lord Keynes politics and the bastardization of his work and theories by the left and the right, but the fact remains we have never seen a paradigm proved so faulty, so often, in so many disparate economies, and with so many casualties than we have with Capitalism. Don’t even think I am espousing Socialism across the board I am not and would never, but a reexamination of the facts when they change should lead us to change our minds about Capitalism as it’s universal application is clearly misguided and when you wipe away the muck and bombast very dangerous for lots of folks.

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