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Recent news in the US
23 February 2017, 00:18,
#21
RE: Recent news in the US
You got it LAC ....physical gold ...or....gold you can hold in your hand is one thing Paper contracts saying " you own X amount " is something very different and a means of control and moreover easy to manipulate and electronically moved up or down via computer logarithms in a nano second,at the same time say one ounce of physical metal can be leveraged thirty ,fifty,one hundred times ( in paper) for the same one ounce so if you want to redeem your paper for phiysical you are in the que thirty,fifty or whatever ....if you can't hold it in your hands you do NOT own it ! but that issue aside Dr Paul Graig Roberts...IS well respected on most all topics he cares to talk about and there are many topics he does indeed cover ....Putins propaganda is total bullshit....just bullshit of a lost main media struggling to fight against truth but taking the money from their paymasters hoping nobody notices or realises what is really going on .....you can have the best platform on the planet to speak from.....but best of all is the platform of truth ....there are many that think the other way around ........these normally are too dull to have a headache.
The ability to laugh at yourself while you learn is a great attribute.
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5 April 2017, 18:42,
#22
RE: Recent news in the US
Is Trump's ego going to push us into global nuclear war?

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-nor...ons-2017-4

...As North Korea continues to test nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the US nears a "point of no return," Omar Lamrani, a senior military analyst at Stratfor, a geopolitical analysis firm, told Business Insider...

once North Korea's military perfects an intercontinental ballistic missile that can strike the US mainland, the US would no longer be able to launch a preemptive military attack without fear of casualties at home, and it may then consider recognizing North Korea's Kim Jong Un for the first time as a legitimate world leader.

But perfecting an ICBM could take years, and South Korean politics could freeze Trump out of the conversation long before then.

"If the Trump administration is hell-bent on significantly stepping up pressure on China and North Korea, it's going to have a serious problem," Joel Wit, a former State Department diplomat who cofounded 38North, a website that brings together experts on North Korea, told Business Insider.

That problem's name is Moon Jae-in, a liberal South Korean human-rights lawyer who is favored to win the country's May 9 presidential election.

"He is going to pursue a very different approach from President Park," Wit said, referring to Park Guen-hye, South Korea's conservative former president who was recently impeached and arrested after a bizarre influence-peddling scheme came to light.

Wit said the normally ironclad alliance between the US and South Korea could be rocked by a reversal by Moon on policy toward North Korea. Moon is expected to pursue some kind of diplomacy with North Korea, a strategy that has been attempted previously in the past-quarter century to no success...

Wit said the clash in objectives for North Korea would create "problems that the Chinese can take advantage of," further relegating the US to the sidelines without the North making a single concession.

So if Trump can't convince Xi he's on the brink of war with North Korea and muscle out some concessions, he's looking at about a one-month window in which he could act unilaterally, before possible responses go from bad to worse...

73 de KE4SKY
In
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
USA
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5 April 2017, 20:49,
#23
RE: Recent news in the US
North Korea, Syria, Ukraine,Iran and the south China sea are just some trigger spots ....all ready to be blamed for the up and coming financial collapse of the fiat monetary western system.
The jury is out on Trump....no one can be sure of him yet....we keep hearing he knows his stuff regarding bankruptcies an excellent attribute when things go's tits up what a great inspiration ....but he does know he's on the Titanic i have no doubt.

All the nonsense regarding Russia the latest Reinvented yep they did it they are to blame for anything we say....yeah right ! Are these people Real ! ....NO but they are good at taking the Money in exchange for any integrity they may have once had.
The ability to laugh at yourself while you learn is a great attribute.
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6 April 2017, 04:51,
#24
RE: Recent news in the US
This part of Asia has its own logic that doesn't conform or parallel how Round Eyed American's think.

The best metaphor I can offer to this is the Korean Flag: circular yin and yang to remind us that things flow in endless cycles, governed by the elements of nature, earth, wind, fire and water. Natural cycles are important, as are historical precedent and Confucian responsibility. Westerners do well to those facts in the forefront of analytical thought because they matter here. They matter far more than the standard rules of logic.

Buddha says no war this year or next, unless America or Japan start it. DPRK doesn't want and can't afford a war that will disrupt the dynasty and social organization as it currently exists. Japan and ROK have a quasi alliance that drives the regional security dynamic in strange ways. The less involved the US is in East Asia, the closer Japan and ROK collaborate on their respective security against China and deny doing so because of the 5000-ish year history of warfare on the Peninsula. (Korea is the dagger pointed at the heart of China; Korea is the dagger pointed at the heart of Japan. A very complicated idea that has fueled regional war for literally millennia). Feel free to stop reading here, because the rest is merely elaboration.

Relevant cycles.

1. Military Training Cycles. Winter and spring are big training times in Korea because the weather supports it. US-ROK just finished the major spring exercise, which is always accompanied by a DPRK "provocation" in the form of missile launch, artillery duel, naval skirmish or the like. Same thing happens in the fall. One should not get worked up by these events as they are truly programmed rhythms that occur year in and year out. So long as not many civilians are harmed they pass largely without notice. When a ship is sunk or a village bombarded (usually accidentally) there is lots of angry rhetoric for a couple of weeks and things calm down to status quo ante. Just the rhythm.

2. Economic cycles. Winter and spring are tough for the North because their food producing infrastructure sucks. Harvests are usually below the subsistence requirements so they need food and fuel to make it through until the weather moderates and they can start harvesting locally. The masses demand bread and circuses to distract them, so the military provides this distraction. The US is always the boogey man because they are far away and not really dangerous to regime survival. Regime survival is always the prime concern. So we see some skirmishes over fishing rights in both the East and West seas. This aggravates ROK and Japan, but usually not to the point of gunfire.

3. ROK political cycles. Since 1988 or so, ROK has alternated between pro-unification administrations and pro-ROK administrations. Deviations in the pattern do occur when the economy is in a downturn, leading to occasional back to back pro-nationalism administrations. Given that the ROK economy is relatively good right now (stable exchange rates, stock market not in wild swings, real estate prices stable, energy prices low) it's a safe bet that the next administration will be relatively liberal compared to the Park regime. ROK has a parliamentary system with a unicameral legislature. The national governing dynamic is very different here that the US. A liberal regime tends to be more generous in aid to the north, and to the ROK poor generally. They also tend to be more conciliatory toward Japan, and more defiant toward the US. That moderating influence reduces the chances of war.

4. China. ROK-China trade is the big cyclical driver here. China is ROK's major trading partner and the fuel of ROK's domestic electronics industry. China doesn't want a unified Korea for historical defensive reasons and will do just about anything to prevent it from coming about. Coupled with liberal ROK pro-unification government that is likely to come in, this presents another moderating influence. China will turn the economic screw just a little. Tighter for ROK to discourage unification. Looser for DPRK to discourage bad behavior that could cause external intervention. China-Japan is the wildcard because ties are less direct and less influential in the economy.

5. Japan. The real local wild card for a couple of reasons. First, their economy continues to be stagnant and that is causing huge social strain. Confucian obligations in the society demand that the rich provide for the poor, usually in the form of lifelong employment. That's a problem with an aging population and stagnant economy. A big problem since the most remunerative and meaningful work is being outsourced or automated due to limited labor force and low growth. A more troubling issue with the aging population is that the WWII generation is dying out. Nationalism is on the rise. War guilt and fear of war are very low in Japan, which is why there are increasing calls to revise their constitutional limits on military power. Recent JDF participation in A-stan and Iraq have been popular, despite their "humanitarian" purpose. Japan is leaning toward a larger military role in the region. They have the technical knowledge and manufacturing capacity to rapidly transform the capacity for war; in ways that do not exist in the US (with it's penchant for expensive long lead time weapons that don't really work and weak strategic leadership) or DPRK (which is essentially moribund in military industry).
Japan is wildly angry about the missile launches toward it's territory. They're a huge insult to Confucian respect for one's betters. Japan views DPRK as the drunk brother-in-law that lives in your spare room. Japan has to put up with a certain amount of silliness because of the US, ROK, and China but things are getting out of hand and Japanese dignity is demanding that DPRK get back in line with the house rules. This dynamic is very underappreciated flash point. It becomes more significant as the US rhetoric focuses on Europe. The quasi-alliance between ROK and Japan becomes more dominant. Watch Japan's reactions more closely than Washington's.

6. ROK-US defense alliance. Ebbs and flows. Every year there are Defense Ministry talks in the fall, either at JCS or SECDEF level (alternating). Special sessions occur episodically, especially with new US administrations. Watch this closely. There has been a spate of high level US visits to ROK lately. The timing and duration are uncharacteristic, and that causes me some concern but not enough to override the other factors. There is another high-level meeting scheduled in the near future. If it's followed by a trilateral ROK-US-Japan ministerial level meeting that's something to pay attention to.

Enough on cycles. They exist and they drive a lot in this part of the world. The natural cycle of planting and harvesting are real physical considerations for DPRK and important metaphors for China, Japan, and ROK.

Nukes. A different subject.

Nukes are for having, not for using. Most everyone understands this, including the DPRK.

DPRK wants to be treated as a first tier nation and be recognized by the US as such. This is Confucianism at it's finest. DPRK wants the same peerage relationship with US that ROK has. One on one negotiation of a peace treaty is a critical start for them, and a way to increase DPRK status in the eyes of China and Japan. Its an ego thing for the regime. Nukes are a vehicle to get that recognition, and at the same time to insure against regime change invasion. Everyone knows what happened to Saddam and Kadaffhi when they abandoned nuclear ambitions. Few nations will make that mistake again.
The missile tests make sense in this context. DPRK is signalling. They have nukes. They are building ICBM technology and probably have a workable system that they don't want to demonstrate right now (as Pakistan and India do). A successful ICBM launch would be an inappropriate escalation that threatens regime survival, so they don't bring out the first tier stuff just yet. A DPRK satellite launch would be a game changer and probably start a war in the region. That's why they're not doing it right now. The DPRK goal is just to keep things simmering so they move toward the recognition they want, without causing the pot to boil over.

Way Ahead.

DPRK is not Iran. DPRK is not an existential enemy sworn to destroy the infidel western world as Iran is. The approaches should reflect that difference. A cyber attack against DPRK is still in bounds, so long as it's limited to the nuclear program. It would not be wildly destabilizing. It would cause a counter provocation that no one would enjoy, but the resulting crisis would still be manageable.

A more useful approach is tough love for the alcoholic brother in law. Lock up the family jewels (missile defense, cyber, etc), don't give him the car keys (piss off China so they use DPRK as a proxy), keep feeding them at the family dinner table but don't take him to business dinners (negotiate in a quadrilateral fashion with ROK, JAPAN, DPRK, and US, but not bilateral and certainly not at the UN), make him go to counseling that we pay for (influence through China, Pakistan, and Russia), and pray for his soul. Recognize that people don't change till they have to, and that no amount of whipping a drunk will cause him to give up the bottle; only genuine Christian conversion or death can do that.

Let's hope the Cyber Command can do enough damage to set back the program for years.
Too many American and S. Korean lives will be lost if we attack.
http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-nor...ons-2017-4

73 de KE4SKY
In
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
USA
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6 April 2017, 15:57,
#25
RE: Recent news in the US
Good post Charles.
The ability to laugh at yourself while you learn is a great attribute.
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