Showing posts from January, 2014

U.S. Overthrow Of Iran In Early 1950's

We remember Iran storming our embassy in 1979 and taking hostages. Iranians remember the United States orchestrating coups in the early 1950's to overthrow their government and several others. Here is a video worth watching. It is about 50 minutes long. If you wish to watch just the section on Iran's overthrow here is a link.  This video clip is about three minutes in length. Perhaps now you better understand why they don't trust us.

Media Benefits From Citizens United

Maybe this is why the media does not get riled up over Citizens United. They are big winners when it comes time to get paid during a election campaign. The obvious beneficiaries of the  Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission  decision by the Supreme Court in 2010 are the wealthy and the oligarchs who control many of our industries. Instead of being a country where the motto is "one man, one vote" we have quickly evolved where it is now "one dollar, one vote". Interestingly those who most often support Citizens United are the same people who claim to support the constitution that brought about the concept of one man one vote. Now they just interpret it differently. Our elected officials and regulators are not too keen on amending the constitution to reverse Citizens United because after all it is they who are receiving much of the benefits bestowed by the wealthy in the form of campaign contributions. In addition there is the cadre of pollsters, speech

Return To Iraq And China

I don't mind the United States being a policeman for the free world, but it is time we are not the only policeman.on the beat. There are rumblings that the United States may need to go back into Iraq. I hope not and if we do I hope we keep our involvement to a minimum and others do their fair share. The world is much more competitive than twenty years ago. Other countries are catching up to us economically and technologically. The United States has reached a point where we must think about our priorities before agreeing to increase spending in a specific area, such as defense. Every time a new spending request is in front of Congress, such as coming to the defense of Iraq, we must weigh the decision against other possible uses of funds.such as improving education or fixing infrastructure. It is also a necessity that we lengthen our planning horizon. Long term for our politicians is their upcoming election. For China it is decades or even centuries. It is noteworthy as we bar

Syria Peace Conference

How can you expect progress in Syria  when one of the major players in the region, Iran, is not allowed to attend the meeting? People, including children, are dying from bullets and empty stomachs while the world puts diplomacy over lives.. Surely we have enough influence over the rebel forces to demand they accept Iran at the discussions. Shame on us for not allowing Iran at the table while Saudi Arabia, who is supporting the rebels, is allowed to be present.  Saudi Arabia and Iran are enemies. So what! Aren't peace talks usually held between enemies. The United Stated should have exerted more pressure on Saudi Arabia. Instead we agree to a conference that in the end will make some grand announcement that the world will quickly forget after a few days of headlines. Afterwards, we will spend weeks trying to dissect what went wrong. Ordinary people in Syria will continue to die.

China: The Lost Century

Free Free Markets concluded in an article titled  China And The Five Baits  it was too early for the west to let its guard down about the threat that China posed. If all goes well China will evolve as stated in an article in Foreign Affairs magazine  How China Is Ruled , January/February 2014 "But there is also a fourth scenario, in which China’s leaders propel the country forward, establishing the rule of law and regulatory structures that better reflect the country’s diverse interests. Beijing would also have to expand its sources of legitimacy beyond growth, materialism, and global status, by building institutions anchored in genuine popular support. This would not necessarily mean transitioning to a full democracy, but it would mean adopting its features: local political participation, official transparency, more independent judicial and anti-corruption bodies, an engaged civil society, institutional checks on executive power, and legislative and civil institutions to ch

DIA And Foundations Proposal

It is wonderful that the Foundations are willing to help and let's make sure it is done right. Here is a key paragraph in an article in the Free Press dated January 13, 2014 . "In other words, there is no deal until all the various claims in the broader bankruptcy case have been settled. And the foundations’ support is contingent upon all their money going to support the twin goals of helping fill the unfunded gap in Detroit’s municipal pension obligations and protecting the DIA art collection from possible sale to pay the city’s creditors." Let's practice what the local newspapers preach. Full disclosure of the deal should be given before striking an agreement. When the EM took control of the city talk was that the artwork at the DIA was worth several billions of dollars. A recent appraisal by Christie's puts the appraisal somewhere around $750 million. I understand that Christie's appraisal was only on part of the collection. Why? That has never fully

China And The Five Baits

If you are under the age of 50 you should be concerned about China from an economic and global power standpoint. Some believe China is seeking peace with the rest of the world. Based on their long history, I am not convinced. For China long term is hundreds of years and for the United States it is the next election cycle. China's focus is always on the long term. Much of this post is drawn from a book,  On China , written by Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State under President Nixon and a research paper of the National Intelligence Council titled  Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds . Whether the future will prove China's desire for peaceful co-existence depends on whether its middle class will sufficiently benefit from economic growth and not allow their leadership to throw it away by creating enemies with trading partners.  This requires the country becoming more democratic and less inclined to be a threat to the remainder of the world.  The jury is still looking