World Politics

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May 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
The struggle has been reduced to a Muslim vs. non-Muslim dialectic. The problem from the getty-up with nuclear weapons and realpolitk is that it has always been based on the later, nothing objective that is.

And then what? Everybody that has their bombs gets to keep them? But nobody else has the "right" to have them? In an international order that lasts forever.
No. The NPT always had the (vague) promise of disarmament. Yes, it did fail in that regard, but this is precisely why it needs to be renegotiated. But first it needs to acknowledge all actual nuclear powers. And of course, it needs a better mechanism to promote total disarmament.

And I agree with ramjambunath, North Korea is a problem.

blutto said:
...ok this may be from left field, but it may, if true, have some bearing on the drone downing...

...in a discussion about drones on another forum there was a point made by one poster which went as follows....drones or rather warfare which utilizes drones is a particularly hideous enterprise because it can only be used against a very technologically inferior opponent... apparently drones will literally glow in the dark when hit by even the simplest of radars...so their use is very limited ...they are a high tech version of Italian aircraft strafing Ethiopian horsemen during the 30's....

...I bring this up because this whole Iranian thing makes no sense...attack Iran which claims not to be on the path to nuclear weapons and the price of energy spikes and the world economy goes up in smoke...but that is simply not a winning move !....or is it quite possible that it is the Iranian oil bourse that is the problem, after all, Iraq and Libya both were attacked after they challenged the world financial hegemony....

...so it may not actually be Muslim vs non-Muslim...but a financially allied group of countries battling against outliers, who can, if organized, become a major problem as oil and other raw materials become a bigger issue....and in that regard the Libyian bank initiative for Africa could have been seen as a serious attack on the existing order of things....

Cheers

blutto
This drone had stealth technology. Apparently it hardly shows up on the radar. Clearly the rhetoric against Iran has stepped up considerably. First the ludicrous 'plot' to kill the Saudi ambassador using Mexican assassins. Now the drone incident. Why now? I don't know. Maybe the Iranians are closer to finish 'the bomb' then we are let to believe. Maybe it's to disrupt Iranian oil exports to China for whatever reason. Maybe it has to do with the Iranian oil bourse. Maybe it has something to do with Israeli or Saudi

VeloCity said:
Good summary of where we stand re: climate change. It's not encouraging.

http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-12-05-the-brutal-logic-of-climate-change

By some estimates, we're currently on track for 6 degrees C. If that's true, as the author says, it's game over.
Some twenty years ago, when the western world managed to get smog under control by greatly reducing SO2, NOx and other harmful emissions, the CO2 problem appeared on the radar. I was arguing at the time that contrary to the smog problem, the CO2 would not be solved. Unlike the other gases, CO2 cannot be avoided when burning fossil fuels. And sequestering it (or whatever people have suggested) is simply too expensive and would require quite a bit of energy itself i.e. consume more precious fuel. There's no hope stopping global warming; not that there ever was a chance. The only 'solution' will be to learn to adapt somehow.
 
Cobblestones said:
No. The NPT always had the (vague) promise of disarmament. Yes, it did fail in that regard, but this is precisely why it needs to be renegotiated. But first it needs to acknowledge all actual nuclear powers. And of course, it needs a better mechanism to promote total disarmament.

And I agree with ramjambunath, North Korea is a problem.
Ok, but in my overt simple-mindedness, there's something I've never gotten here, and it is this: how is any NPT signed by the country with the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet, going to register as something other than vapid ideology and brazen hypocrisy to any aspiring nation such as Iran who wants to join the atomic club?

My feeling on this is that any treaty without disarmament accompanied by a functioning global monitoring system and an orchestrated effort to ban the trade of radioactive materials, will be fallimentary. That we are thus headed to a very dangerous world in the future becomes an implacable human destiny.

In regards to the Muslim vs. non-Muslim point I raised, I was referring to the fact that since the Arabs and the Iranians have got all the oil, and that they pose a direct threat to Israel: it is much more likely that we go to war with Iran than North Korea. In the end, what are we really doing to arrest North Korea's bid at armament, given that the country has no real economic or energy bearing to us? So, once again, it comes down to the market.

The fact that we do not lead first by example, or that we have not begun to seriously attempt to pull the plug on the apparatus that keeps us irrevocably hitched to the Mideast (also in regards to what blutto raised about the delicate balance of financial interconnectivity); and then start to at least really try to implement a new energy policy that's safe and good for the environment - hell, even resolve the Palestinian question - means that the balance of power that has kept just marginal order around the globe is a pressure pot that's inevitably ready to explode.

A war with Iran already means the sh!t will hit the fan.
 
Jul 4, 2011
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blutto said:
...ok this may be from left field, but it may, if true, have some bearing on the drone downing...

...in a discussion about drones on another forum there was a point made by one poster which went as follows....drones or rather warfare which utilizes drones is a particularly hideous enterprise because it can only be used against a very technologically inferior opponent... apparently drones will literally glow in the dark when hit by even the simplest of radars...so their use is very limited ...they are a high tech version of Italian aircraft strafing Ethiopian horsemen during the 30's....

..now if that is indeed the case ( and that is a big if ) why would this drone have been sent over Iran ?... which we can assume has radar and the means to bring down a relatively slow moving aircraft...

Cheers

blutto
The 'downed'/'crashed' drone in Iran is reported to be the RQ-170 which cannot be detected on the radar. It flies at upto 50,000 feet and was used for intelligence gathering in Abottabad, a garrison town, for intelligence gathering on Bin Laden. It couldn't have carried out such sensitive intelligence gathering being very easy to spot.

Last month there were press releases that Iran had acquired the Russian Avtobaza detector.
The detectors, called 1L222 Avtobaza, passively collect electromagnetic radiation from surrounding airspace and identify its sources. Those include side-looking airborne radars used in combat aircraft, targeting radars of air-to-surface weapons, and radars used to guide aircraft flying at extremely low altitudes.
http://rt.com/news/radar-detectors-iran-arms-757/

It's possible that the radar was switched on in the drone and it could have been intercepted this way as well.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
No. The NPT always had the (vague) promise of disarmament. Yes, it did fail in that regard, but this is precisely why it needs to be renegotiated. But first it needs to acknowledge all actual nuclear powers. And of course, it needs a better mechanism to promote total disarmament.

And I agree with ramjambunath, North Korea is a problem.



This drone had stealth technology. Apparently it hardly shows up on the radar. Clearly the rhetoric against Iran has stepped up considerably. First the ludicrous 'plot' to kill the Saudi ambassador using Mexican assassins. Now the drone incident. Why now? I don't know. Maybe the Iranians are closer to finish 'the bomb' then we are let to believe. Maybe it's to disrupt Iranian oil exports to China for whatever reason. Maybe it has to do with the Iranian oil bourse. Maybe it has something to do with Israeli or Saudi



Some twenty years ago, when the western world managed to get smog under control by greatly reducing SO2, NOx and other harmful emissions, the CO2 problem appeared on the radar. I was arguing at the time that contrary to the smog problem, the CO2 would not be solved. Unlike the other gases, CO2 cannot be avoided when burning fossil fuels. And sequestering it (or whatever people have suggested) is simply too expensive and would require quite a bit of energy itself i.e. consume more precious fuel. There's no hope stopping global warming; not that there ever was a chance. The only 'solution' will be to learn to adapt somehow.
...beating a dead horse stealth division...

...firstly, that drone being kinda expendable because of the high likelyhood of being lost in battle was not full stealth rather it had some measure of stealthiness....

...secondly, see below...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Low-frequency radar uses frequencies lower than 1 GHz, as opposed to the usual radar bands, which range from 2 Ghz and up,and the maximum is 40 Ghz.The radar cross section of any target depends on the radar transmitted frequency. Below 900 MHz the target radar cross section increases exponentially, however the increased radar cross section means that there is much more radar return from undesirable sources, such as cloud cover and rain (cf. weather radar). It is because of this that radars are traditionally at much higher frequency, with an exception being the radars operated in the 3-30 MHz band which are used as over-the-horizon radar stations because signals in that range are able to reflect off the ionosphere.


This technology was uncovered by the serbs in kosovo during the Kosovo War in the 1990s. This technology was used to shoot down an F-117 nighthawk via a specially modified anti-aircraft missile to use this radar to guide it towards the target. The serbs say that this radar's drawback is that of the huge amount of clutter it creates because of the sensitivity of this radar. They also say that if you can reduce the clutter, this radar is highly effective against stealth aircraft, stealth ships, etc.


Recently, there has been interest in developing radars which operate in these low frequencies to help counter the advancement in stealth technology, by applying advanced digital signal processing to these bands in order to remove much of the "clutter" we talked about earlier. If the radar wavelength is roughly twice the size of the target, a half-wave resonance effect can still generate a significant return. However, low-frequency radar is limited by lack of available frequencies which are heavily used by other systems, lack of accuracy given the long wavelength, and by the radar's size, making it difficult to transport and making for an easy target. A long-wave radar may detect a target and roughly locate it, but not identify it, and the location information lacks sufficient weapon targeting accuracy
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

...so ancient old school radars are great to deal with stealth, especially if the radar operation can develop triangulation integration from several sources....so the question remains what happened and why...

Cheers

blutto
 
Jul 4, 2009
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...stealth update...here is a bit of hardware recently picked up by the Iranians....btw it works on cruise missles as well...

http://www.businessinsider.com/meet-the-russian-avtobaza-irans-possible-drone-killer-2011-12

...but back to the point that an attack on Iran for the reasons presently given makes no sense...the US is hugely, and uniquely among developed nations, dependent on foreign oil...a huge spike in oil prices would devastate the US the most....and oddly enough the Chinese are among those that would be least affected since it of all the upper echelon powers ( along with Russia ) are least dependent on imported oil )....

....the oil burse idea still ranks as the biggest threat to the existing world order...and just look at the countries pushing aggression against Iran and you see countries dependent on power derived thru use of money...which when it gets down to it, is either just paper, or blips on a computor screen...it is in fact, just a commonly agreed upon lie...which as the emperor with no clothes scenario shows can go up in smoke in an instant...

...and this battle for financial survival is the thread that runs straight thru Iraq, Libyia and now Iran....a bit crazy perhaps but the other stories make no sense...except of course as a smoke screen...

Cheers

blutto
 
May 13, 2009
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Nato jumped the shark?

Fogh Rasmussen criticizes Russian efforts to put up countermeasures to NATOs missile defense system near Kaliningrad. He claims the money would be better spent creating jobs in Russia and modernizing the country. :confused: Seriously, is Jon Stewart writing these speeches?
 
Sep 10, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
There's no hope stopping global warming; not that there ever was a chance. The only 'solution' will be to learn to adapt somehow.
Granted it's a century or two away and under business-as-usual scenarios, but there'll be no adapting to 6 d C.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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....would like to add a couple of more points to the story of the relationship between Iran and the powers that be...

...traditionally power is a function of the application of the barrel of a gun....but to develop and maintain the ability to apply that barrel you need resources and in this day and age the main resource for that is fiat currency....now if you look around the world there are lots of barrels and some folks have more and bigger barrels than others....but you need to support those barrels...

...support traditionally came in the form of capital that was the result of the production of tangible wealth...so if you made more better widgets you could afford more barrels...today there is another way to make money and it is tied to the financial services business...this system creates value out of literally thin air...the derivative market is worth $700 trillion ....and is it actually based on anything tangible ?...well no...its just debt that one assumes will be covered by dollars simply printed by central banks....and US dollars are the major currency involved here because as much as anything it is the de fa world trading currency and there is lots of it floating around and the Fed is more than happy to print more....and who pray tell is looking after the Fed ( but that is another story )...

....but here is the rub ( or rather rubs )....the US dollar since it is not tied to wealth production anymore ( just market manipulation ) has been teetering on a precipice for quite some time...one step, and ****, the confidence goes, and it will be devalued way down...and there goes the US ability to put barrels in the face of people...and oil goes somewhere else...

...the financial services business is even closer to the edge of the cliff....their stash, while on paper substantial, is in the long term unsustainable ( it amounts to something like 10x the GDP of the entire planet and realistically could never ever be paid off ) and it has one other big problem...build as a very tall house of cards it apparently cannot withstand a financial tremor that exceeds one tenth of 1% of the total value of the derivatives market....very scary that...

...but as of right this second the financial services business is the biggest player on the planet ( way bigger than any one nation or even any combination of nations ), they are very a very small group of players dedicated to a common purpose ( five banks control almost the entire derivatives market and they want to keep it that way ) and they have access to the best barrels money can buy, the Pentagon ( which along with all the other powers underwritten by US dollars has a big vested interest in staying on top )...

..so given this scenario who is the biggest threat to the powers that be...a country that may make a few piddly nuclear devices...or a country that can bring down the house of cards and everything and everyone that depends on it...

Cheers

blutto
 
May 13, 2009
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VeloCity said:
Granted it's a century or two away and under business-as-usual scenarios, but there'll be no adapting to 6 d C.
Yes, I read that in the article which was linked. Maybe I should've said 'The only solution will be to live (or die) with it.'

The problem with smog (SO2 and NOx) was regional, never global. Also, it was much cheaper to solve. CO2 is a global problem. But unlike the CFCs responsible for the hole in the ozone layer, it is also expensive to deal with it. In short, you're asking e.g. a mid-western farmer to ditch their SUV and shoulder substantial carbon taxes so that the African savanna doesn't turn into a new Sahara in 50 years. The world is simply not equipped with a political system which can deal with these kinds of questions. Otherwise, we would have ended world hunger, and cured all kinds of tropical diseases. It requires a world governing body with much more authority than the UN, and timeframes which greatly surpass the usual 2-4 year span election cycles of typical democracies.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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rhubroma said:
Ok, but in my overt simple-mindedness, there's something I've never gotten here, and it is this: how is any NPT signed by the country with the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet, going to register as something other than vapid ideology and brazen hypocrisy to any aspiring nation such as Iran who wants to join the atomic club?

My feeling on this is that any treaty without disarmament accompanied by a functioning global monitoring system and an orchestrated effort to ban the trade of radioactive materials, will be fallimentary. That we are thus headed to a very dangerous world in the future becomes an implacable human destiny.

In regards to the Muslim vs. non-Muslim point I raised, I was referring to the fact that since the Arabs and the Iranians have got all the oil, and that they pose a direct threat to Israel: it is much more likely that we go to war with Iran than North Korea. In the end, what are we really doing to arrest North Korea's bid at armament, given that the country has no real economic or energy bearing to us? So, once again, it comes down to the market.

The fact that we do not lead first by example, or that we have not begun to seriously attempt to pull the plug on the apparatus that keeps us irrevocably hitched to the Mideast (also in regards to what blutto raised about the delicate balance of financial interconnectivity); and then start to at least really try to implement a new energy policy that's safe and good for the environment - hell, even resolve the Palestinian question - means that the balance of power that has kept just marginal order around the globe is a pressure pot that's inevitably ready to explode.A war with Iran already means the sh!t will hit the fan.
I agree with your post. I am not sure what is happening to me but I agree with your post.

There is a reference in History to this. Japan and their invasion of China / southeast asia. All about resources. :(

It will happen only a matter of time. Sad thing about human's and their governments, everyone wants more all the time. :(
 
Dec 7, 2010
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VeloCity said:
Granted it's a century or two away and under business-as-usual scenarios, but there'll be no adapting to 6 d C.
There was a story I read somewhere about the USA's consumption of coal. Everyone should read that story.

Of course the asshats here at my office would tell me that it is the only way etc. :eek:

Anyone see the Piers B. interview with Michael M. last night? It was a good interview. I think (oh my god I can not believe I am about to say this) that MM made some valid points. Piers B. gives a good report on his impressions with the USA peoples lack of understanding with money etc.

We are a "got to have the newest stuff and more stuff" all the time people (aka asshats and fishsimps).
 
May 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
Ok, but in my overt simple-mindedness, there's something I've never gotten here, and it is this: how is any NPT signed by the country with the biggest nuclear arsenal on the planet, going to register as something other than vapid ideology and brazen hypocrisy to any aspiring nation such as Iran who wants to join the atomic club?
One should not forget that the NPT has worked also in the sense that powers such as Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Egypt, Sweden, Indonesia, South Korea, Germany, Japan etc. have indeed not pursued nuclear armament.

Also, the monitoring and technical aspects of the treaty are sound. As with every such treaty, the problem is usually what to do when one of the signatory countries is in willful breach of the treaty.
 
Jul 4, 2011
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Cobblestones said:
Nato jumped the shark?

Fogh Rasmussen criticizes Russian efforts to put up countermeasures to NATOs missile defense system near Kaliningrad. He claims the money would be better spent creating jobs in Russia and modernizing the country. :confused: Seriously, is Jon Stewart writing these speeches?
:eek:

Got any link, I can only find the former part of the statement and not the latter (about the spending to be done on creating jobs).

Pretty insolent to tell a sovereign country what to do.
 
May 13, 2009
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blutto said:
....would like to add a couple of more points to the story of the relationship between Iran and the powers that be...

...traditionally power is a function of the application of the barrel of a gun....but to develop and maintain the ability to apply that barrel you need resources and in this day and age the main resource for that is fiat currency....now if you look around the world there are lots of barrels and some folks have more and bigger barrels than others....but you need to support those barrels...

...support traditionally came in the form of capital that was the result of the production of tangible wealth...so if you made more better widgets you could afford more barrels...today there is another way to make money and it is tied to the financial services business...this system creates value out of literally thin air...the derivative market is worth $700 trillion ....and is it actually based on anything tangible ?...well no...its just debt that one assumes will be covered by dollars simply printed by central banks....and US dollars are the major currency involved here because as much as anything it is the de fa world trading currency and there is lots of it floating around and the Fed is more than happy to print more....and who pray tell is looking after the Fed ( but that is another story )...

....but here is the rub ( or rather rubs )....the US dollar since it is not tied to wealth production anymore ( just market manipulation ) has been teetering on a precipice for quite some time...one step, and ****, the confidence goes, and it will be devalued way down...and there goes the US ability to put barrels in the face of people...and oil goes somewhere else...

...the financial services business is even closer to the edge of the cliff....their stash, while on paper substantial, is in the long term unsustainable ( it amounts to something like 10x the GDP of the entire planet and realistically could never ever be paid off ) and it has one other big problem...build as a very tall house of cards it apparently cannot withstand a financial tremor that exceeds one tenth of 1% of the total value of the derivatives market....very scary that...

...but as of right this second the financial services business is the biggest player on the planet ( way bigger than any one nation or even any combination of nations ), they are very a very small group of players dedicated to a common purpose ( five banks control almost the entire derivatives market and they want to keep it that way ) and they have access to the best barrels money can buy, the Pentagon ( which along with all the other powers underwritten by US dollars has a big vested interest in staying on top )...

..so given this scenario who is the biggest threat to the powers that be...a country that may make a few piddly nuclear devices...or a country that can bring down the house of cards and everything and everyone that depends on it...

Cheers

blutto
There's a lot of good points. I'm not familiar with military technology. Clearly drones are expendable and they do not have to physically return for information to be retrieved. So stealth technology might not make the most sense, and anyway, to have a low radar cross section applies only to certain narrow frequency bands. I do not know to what degrees these drones are visible to what type of radar.

To add to your other point, the Iranian oil bourse would in fact undermine the strength of the dollar since it aims at using other currencies. In that sense, there will be even fewer tangibles to back the dollar and it will therefore bring the house of cards even closer to the brink (if not push it fully over the edge). So yes, I think I'm coming around to your view of things. I'm also tempted to connect it to another high profile event this year. The change of heart at the IMF from neoliberal to progressive views, followed by the 'affair' in a NY hotel room.
 
This was sent to me....:eek: by a friend of a friend and, well, I thought of that Krugman article VeloCity posted about being clueless. It's aparently circulating on the web.

And it's painful:



We read all the jokes and forward the good ones but I ust wonder who will pass this one on. How about you sending it on and back to me if you got the guts to do so. I am and just wonder how many I will get back? AND very happy to be of the 1%.







Someone



please tell me what the HELL's wrong with
all the



people that run this country!!!!!!

Both

Republicans

&

Democrats




We're



"broke" & can't help our own Seniors,

Veterans, Orphans,

Homeless

etc.,???????????


In the

last years we

have provided aid to Haiti ,

Chile , ****stan, Lybia , Egypt and

Turkey, AndJapan

Literally,



BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!


Our retired seniors

living

on a 'fixed income' receive no aid

nor do they get any breaks while

our government

and religious organizations pour

Hundreds of

Billions

of $$$$$$'s and Tons of Food

to Foreign

Countries!

We have

hundreds of adoptable

children who

are shoved aside to make

room for the adoption of foreign



orphans.
AMERICA: a



country where we have homeless without

shelter,

children going to bed hungry,

elderly going without 'needed'

meds,and mentally ill without treatment

-etc,etc.

YET.......................

They



have a 'Benefit'

for the people of Haiti on 12 TV

stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents clothes,

bedding, doctors and medical supplies.



Imagine if



the *GOVERNMENT* gave 'US' the same support they give to other



countries.


Sad isn't

it?


99% of

people won't have the

guts to forward this.

I'm one of the

1% --

I Just

Did

GOD BLESS

AMERICA

IN GOD WE

TRUST

=
 
May 13, 2009
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ramjambunath said:
:eek:

Got any link, I can only find the former part of the statement and not the latter (about the spending to be done on creating jobs).

Pretty insolent to tell a sovereign country what to do.
Haha. I was trying to find it in English, but no luck (I wonder why). I read it myself in what I think is the world's most important non-English news outlet Der Spiegel. Link.

Nato-Generalsekretär Rasmussen bezeichnete das Vorhaben der Russen am Mittwoch als überflüssig. "Es wäre definitiv Geldverschwendung, wenn Russland begänne, in Gegenmaßnahmen gegen einen künstlichen und nicht existierenden Feind zu investieren", sagte Rasmussen. "Dieses Geld könnte nutzbringender zum Wohle des russischen Volkes für die Schaffung von Arbeitsplätzen und die Modernisierung der russischen Gesellschaft ausgegeben werden."
Reuters also has the full quote.
 
Cobblestones said:
One should not forget that the NPT has worked also in the sense that powers such as Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Egypt, Sweden, Indonesia, South Korea, Germany, Japan etc. have indeed not pursued nuclear armament.

Also, the monitoring and technical aspects of the treaty are sound. As with every such treaty, the problem is usually what to do when one of the signatory countries is in willful breach of the treaty.
I'm not at all well informed about the treaty. But doesn't the fact that Israel, India and Pak!stan being armed mean that it hasn't worked so much?

Whereas your last statement strikes at the very cause of my simple-mindedness.
 
Jul 4, 2011
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Blutto- thanks for the post, enlightened me about military tech. The only thing I would counter is the world moving away from the dollar. There is no other viable option for a reserve currency ie international trade currency. There's also the lack of political will and leverage around the world to really shake it off. As long as the demand for the dollar remains, USA's economy's doesn't need to worry so much. There was only one attempt to try to form a new reserve currency for international trade based on gold credits and that came from Gaddafi and it was later clear why he did it as well, not exactly what you'd call a constructive idea.

Cobblestones said:
Haha. I was trying to find it in English, but no luck (I wonder why). I read it myself in what I think is the world's most important non-English news outlet Der Spiegel. Link.


Reuters also has the full quote.
Thanks for the link. At least the "imaginary threat" hasn't led to an invasion so far.
 
May 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
I'm not at all well informed about the treaty. But doesn't the fact that Israel, India and Pak!stan being armed mean that it hasn't worked so much?

Whereas your last statement strikes at the very cause of my simple-mindedness.
Neither of the three countries ever signed it. India and Israel because by the time they either were very close to developing or had already developed their own bombs. Pak!stan didn't sign it because India didn't.

It might be a bit of a stretch but you could say the treaty failed because three countries did not sign it. Well, two of them did not sign it because the treaty did not acknowledge the near realities of the Israeli and Indian bombs.

ramjambunath said:
Blutto- thanks for the post, enlightened me about military tech. The only thing I would counter is the world moving away from the dollar. There is no other viable option for a reserve currency ie international trade currency. There's also the lack of political will and leverage around the world to really shake it off. As long as the demand for the dollar remains, USA's economy's doesn't need to worry so much. There was only one attempt to try to form a new reserve currency for international trade based on gold credits and that came from Gaddafi and it was later clear why he did it as well, not exactly what you'd call a constructive idea.



Thanks for the link. At least the "imaginary threat" hasn't led to an invasion so far.
You could say the Euro is (was) another such project to shake off the dollar. That's also pretty much in shambles right now.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
There's a lot of good points. I'm not familiar with military technology. Clearly drones are expendable and they do not have to physically return for information to be retrieved. So stealth technology might not make the most sense, and anyway, to have a low radar cross section applies only to certain narrow frequency bands. I do not know to what degrees these drones are visible to what type of radar.

To add to your other point, the Iranian oil bourse would in fact undermine the strength of the dollar since it aims at using other currencies. In that sense, there will be even fewer tangibles to back the dollar and it will therefore bring the house of cards even closer to the brink (if not push it fully over the edge). So yes, I think I'm coming around to your view of things. I'm also tempted to connect it to another high profile event this year. The change of heart at the IMF from neoliberal to progressive views, followed by the 'affair' in a NY hotel room.
...yessiree that is an awfully good temptation because it makes sense...especially considering some of the things DSK was saying just prior to the European implosion...in fact the European situation would have turned much differently if DSK was still in the loop...

...and can you guess where DSK was heading when he got pulled off the plane...to deal with the European implosion...

...the guy may have been a scumbag, but he got set up...and we will all suffer for that....and this whole affair was a coincidence ?????....

...ironic that that article was on Al Jazeera....did anyone see this article discussed on a major news outlet, like lets say Fox News....



Cheers

blutto
 
Cobblestones said:
Neither of the three countries ever signed it. India and Israel because by the time they either were very close to developing or had already developed their own bombs. Pak!stan didn't sign it because India didn't.

It might be a bit of a stretch but you could say the treaty failed because three countries did not sign it. Well, two of them did not sign it because the treaty did not acknowledge the near realities of the Israeli and Indian bombs.

It's like starting a brawl and then asking everyone to play nice.
 
Nov 30, 2010
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I was at one point trying to explain why GDP growth obtained through increasing debt is 'unreal'. I didn't have the time or patience but luckily someone else has!

http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2011/12/the-hammer-of-debt/

The whole piece is good but this is the crux

"...Debt is the hammer of our age. Its original purpose was to accelerate growth. Which it does. But like many such accelerants, like steroids or speed, it has disastrous side effects which are never slow to manifest. In the case of debt the problems arise from a basic misunderstanding of what debt does. It is often suggested that debt increases growth. It does not. It hastens it. You can save up what it will cost you to build a new factory or you can borrow and build the factory sooner. The debt allows you to start growing sooner. But at the cost of siphoning away a little of the growth to pay the interest on the debt. So actually debt decreases your growth by the interest you pay on your debt. And that is the kernel of the disaster.

It will be argued that the cost of the interest on the debt is far outweighed by the profits that come from getting to market sooner. And this is of course true, as long as the demand is there when your factory opens. If it is, then you will grow sooner than your more cautious competitor and by growing sooner will grow for longer. So in good times, of growing demand, debt is the wonder tool that hammers all opposition. Everyone understands it, everyone wants it and those who sell it are as gods. Thus in good times of expanding demand, cheap energy and technological innovation, the amount of debt increases and with it, the pace of growth.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that just as debt can speed up production so it can accelerate consumption as well. Don’t wait till you’ve saved up for your new widget. Borrow and have it now. Which innovation seems to double and triple the genius of debt. Not only can producers expand production quicker but consumers can consume, excrete and consume again all the faster too. And of course each encourages the other, with debt as the necessary laxative. For as long as the happy state flows freely, the sellers of the debt laxative, become immensely rich from the interest and fees they charge to both sides, and powerful from being seen as masters of the miracle of debt which only they can make work.

Sadly the side effect, unseen in the good times, is how dependent the whole miracle becomes on continuing to grow and to do so ever faster and faster, in order to keep ahead of the increasing cost of the interest on the ever growing amount of debt. As soon as the rate of growth falters the instability of a system where both production and consumption have been accelerated by debt become apparent. But by then it is too late. The stupid but seductive answer is to pile more debt on the consumption-side to off-set any ‘temporary’ slow down. Advocates will always say, a slow down, even a crisis, will be temporary, just some animal crisis of confidence, bad weather, bad karma, communists, environmentalists or sun spots. Whatever it may be it will pass. All that is required is a ‘bridging’ loan to get across the little dip and then normal debt fueled service will resume. Advocates and defenders always say the ‘dip’ is small, contained, local, temporary and will definitely be over by Christmas. All these things were said in the first months of the present Bank and Debt Crisis. They were all absolutely wrong..."
The fact is that austerity is a given, it's inevitable. The only choice is whether you want austerity that makes the problem go away (do what Iceland did and default and refuse to bail out the banking sector) or austerity that just makes the problem worse (Quantitative easing, TARP, bailouts etc).
 
Sep 10, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
In short, you're asking e.g. a mid-western farmer to ditch their SUV and shoulder substantial carbon taxes so that the African savanna doesn't turn into a new Sahara in 50 years.
We're asking the midwestern farmer to ditch their SUV and shoulder carbon taxes so the American midwest and the Great Plains - the US breadbasket - won't become (depending on location) a semi-desert or forestland in the next 50 years, ie no longer very suitable as cereal cropland as temp and moisture patterns change. Climate change is as much a local issue as it is a regional or global one and will impact American Midwest wheat farmer dude as much as it will sub-Saharan millet farmer dude (or Australian cattle rancher dude or Bangladeshian rice farmer dude etc).

http://www.arborday.org/media/mapchanges.cfm

It's not entirely accurate, but the little animation gives some idea how plant hardiness zones in the lower 48 have shifted just between 1990-2006. Extrapolate - albeit accelerated - to 2050 and midwestern farmer's not going to be able to afford that SUV anyway.

The world is simply not equipped with a political system which can deal with these kinds of questions. Otherwise, we would have ended world hunger, and cured all kinds of tropical diseases. It requires a world governing body with much more authority than the UN, and timeframes which greatly surpass the usual 2-4 year span election cycles of typical democracies.
I don't agree - like CFCs or smallpox eradication, multinational action can be undertaken once there is general political agreement that a problem exists and that it has to be addressed immediately. The bit in italics is the stumbling block. We have all the tools to mitigate climate change - we know what the problem is and we know what has to be done. But imo it's a bit like the frog in the boiling water scenario - even though we are aware there's a problem, by the time we realize that we really need to act it'll be too late. Which it probably is already - as you said before, prevention is no longer an option, the absolute best we can aim for is mitigation, but that's not looking very likely either. Anyway, if we keep kicking the can down the road, the bigger the sacrifices are going to become.
 
Captain_Cavman said:
I was at one point trying to explain why GDP growth obtained through increasing debt is 'unreal'. I didn't have the time or patience but luckily someone else has!

http://www.golemxiv.co.uk/2011/12/the-hammer-of-debt/

The whole piece is good but this is the crux



The fact is that austerity is a given, it's inevitable. The only choice is whether you want austerity that makes the problem go away (do what Iceland did and default and refuse to bail out the banking sector) or austerity that just makes the problem worse (Quantitative easing, TARP, bailouts etc).
The fact is that we've outgrown ourselves, we've simply overestimated us.

Sooner or later we will have to shrink, before we can grow again.

Think of it as happy downsizing.
 
May 13, 2009
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VeloCity said:
We're asking the midwestern farmer to ditch their SUV and shoulder carbon taxes so the American midwest and the Great Plains - the US breadbasket - won't become (depending on location) a semi-desert or forestland in the next 50 years, ie no longer very suitable as cereal cropland as temp and moisture patterns change. Climate change is as much a local issue as it is a regional or global one and will impact American Midwest wheat farmer dude as much as it will sub-Saharan millet farmer dude (or Australian cattle rancher dude or Bangladeshian rice farmer dude etc).

http://www.arborday.org/media/mapchanges.cfm

It's not entirely accurate, but the little animation gives some idea how plant hardiness zones in the lower 48 have shifted just between 1990-2006. Extrapolate - albeit accelerated - to 2050 and midwestern farmer's not going to be able to afford that SUV anyway.

I don't agree - like CFCs or smallpox eradication, multinational action can be undertaken once there is general political agreement that a problem exists and that it has to be addressed immediately. The bit in italics is the stumbling block. We have all the tools to mitigate climate change - we know what the problem is and we know what has to be done. But imo it's a bit like the frog in the boiling water scenario - even though we are aware there's a problem, by the time we realize that we really need to act it'll be too late. Which it probably is already - as you said before, prevention is no longer an option, the absolute best we can aim for is mitigation, but that's not looking very likely either. Anyway, if we keep kicking the can down the road, the bigger the sacrifices are going to become.
Smallpox and CFCs were extremely cheap problems to solve compared to CO2 and climate change. Why do you think there's this pushback against climate change and a complete lack of consensus? Because literally everybody is going to be asked to make rather substantial sacrifices. The whole denier scene has been entirely funded by short sighted business interests and embraced by people who are not willing to sacrifice. There is denial not on scientific or even ideological or religious grounds (although they often provide the smokescreen) but simply because acknowledging the problem would mean, in consequence, to acknowledge the need for a fairly costly solution.
 
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