Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Bits and Pieces – 20181104, Sunday

Commentary

Last night I watched this long 2-part video comparing the fall of the American Empire (AE) to the fall of the Roman Empire. It identifies 3 principle economic causes, the ongoing cost of foreign wars, public works, and social entitlement programs, leading to deficit spending. This in turn leads to the necessary debasement of the currency and punitive taxes to support the deficit. Here is the first part which will automatically link to the second part at the end:

The creator of this video has interviewed a number of extremely clued-in people – I follow them all when they are not behind a paywall.

Although the video is about the AE, it is equally applicable to Canada and the countries of Europe. We are in the late stage of decline before revolution.

Bits and Pieces – 20170810, Thursday

Commentary: Martin Armstrong’s computer model has picked Aug. 12-13 and Sept. 11-12 as two key dates when a Korean conflict may begin: North Korea – Beware August 2017. That makes this weekend critical. There is more below that shows the growing tensions. George Friedman thinks there will be war but offers his thinking on NK behaviour: North Korea, Nukes and Negotiations. Finally … US “Confirms” N.Korea Has ICBM-Ready Nuclear Warheads, North Korea Responds To Trump Threat, Says It Is “Seriously Considering” Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike On Guam, and Trump Threatens North Korea With “Fire And Fury Like The World Has Never Seen Before”. Which side makes the first move?

Some folks are beginning to look at the cost of a war with NK. Since the extent of the destruction cannot be known in advance, one can identify impacts while not being able to estimate them accurately. Read: How A Renewed Korean Conflict Is Going To Be Felt Around The Globe and “Under Any Analysis, It’s Insanity”: What War With North Korea Could Look Like.

Late comentary provides insight into one of the preferreed options: Pentagon Unveils Plan For “Pre-Emptive Strike” On North Korea. Most parties agree the a negotiated settlement would be the preferred option of them all.

I thought summer was supposed to be the quiet time when everyone went to the beach. The fall should be a doozy.

Bits and Pieces – 20170619 – Monday

Civil Unrest: The deepening divides in the US leave one wondering which way it may go … er, blow. Here’s one civil war scenario: The Treasonous Secession Of Climate Confederacy States. Jerry Brown leads a renegade band of states that want to form their own international climate treaties, something forbidden in the constitution.

Then there’s the left/right divide that is becoming increasingly violent: Summer Of Hate: The Arrival Of The Crisis & The Second Civil War? The problem of a civil war based on political orientation is that it is not territorial in the sense that civil wars result in the division of a country. France is probably the model for this kind of civil war.

MSM: Media wars, the other side: Alex Jones Gets Jump On Megyn Kelly – Leaks Recordings “To Set The Record Straight”. Did Megyn’s piece air?

WWIII: Another piece moved into place against Russia ensuring the Russians will have to go nuclear defensively: Norway On The Way To Become Unfriendly Neighbor In Russia’s Eyes. And we have escalation in Syria beginning with the latest coalition attack on a Syrian fighter: Russia Halts Cooperation With US In Syria, Will “Intercept Any Aircraft” In Russian Areas Of Operation. And the response: Pentagon Responds: “US Pilots Will Defend Themselves If Attacked By Russians”. Remember, the generals are now in control.

The American Empire (AE): The AE apparently lost a key supporter: ISIS Leader Baghdadi Reportedly Killed In Russian Airstrike. Damn those Ruskies. Elsewhere on the periphery: US General Wants 20,000 Additional Ground Troops Sent To Afghanistan. Recall that Trump recently gave the military carte blanche: Donald Trump’s hands-off approach gives US military free rein.

Canada Corner: Housing info: Despite Bank Of Canada Hubris, Existing Home Sales Crash In May.

Bits and Pieces: Here’s something to stick in your back pocket: Scientists Warn Current Yellowstone Quake-Swarm “Could Rip The Guts Out Of America”. This event has spawned a sensationalist article: There Have Been 296 Earthquakes In The Vicinity Of The Yellowstone Supervolcano Within The Last 7 Days. This does not mean that much of the article may not be accurate. I recall reading years ago that a past eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano affected much of the continental US as described.

Escalation in the Middle East: Saudis Foil Iranian Terror Attack On Major Offshore Oil Field. At depressed prices, it might be time to add some oil stocks to one’s portfolio. Also, Israel Has Been Secretly Funding Syrian Rebels For Years.

Bits and Pieces – 20170614 – Wednesday

Commentary: Here is a must-watch half hour video by George Friedman. He presents the best succinct description of key geopolitical issues that I can recall: the position of Russia, the problems in the EU, the Middle east with Turkey in a pivotal role, where China stands: Crisis & Chaos: Are We Moving Toward World War III?

Turn off CNN, NBC, CBC and the rest of the MSM and spend the time listening to this a second time. He brilliantly summarizes all you need to know about the issues driving the important events of today and tomorrow. If on the other hand you’d feel more comfortable watching a telethon, turn on CTV.

Bits and Pieces – 20170502, Tuesday

Commentary: I’ve been struggling for a while with the problem of how to organize information. To capture one idea, that of “memes“, I include this short post: The ‘Taxation Is Theft’ Meme Has Officially Gone Mainstream.

The scientific method is simple: a) form a hypothesis; b) survey the literature on the topic, and; c) construct experiments to prove or disprove the hypothesis. At the masters level of graduate work, the object is to complete step “b” – master a subject or topic. At the doctoral level, the object is to complete step “c” after “a” and “b”. This is a very focused and narrow task.
Several times I have believed something to be true, formulated it as a hypothesis and begun to research the topic only to find that the hypothesis is false. But having hypotheses is valuable because they focus inquiry, reading and effort. As we read, we either find supporting evidence to strengthen and deepen our hypotheses or we find dissenting evidence that leads us to the conclusion our hypotheses are wrong.

I would extend the idea of a hypothesis into a larger concept I will call a theme. A theme  is more of a topic of interest than a fixed and limited proposition. As long as it remains open or active, there is a constant evaluation of information relevant to the theme with an assessment of how it affects the current body of knowledge comprising the theme. There is an immense amount of information available to us with a few keystrokes. It becomes important to have themes or other structures to act as filters in two ways.

Tracking the Spread of Peace and Democracy by Western Powers

We have not seen any comprehensive tracking of the peace and prosperity brought to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt and now the Ukraine by Western nations such as the US, Canada and NATO. This post is a placeholder for articles we come across. By country:

Flash Point: Who We’re Supporting in Syria

Canadian or American, your government supports these people: Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West. But not to worry. We can easily distinguish good rebels from bad rebels like we did in Libya: How militias took control of post-Gaddafi Libya, ensuring future peace and democracy for the Syrian people. It worked in Iraq (Iraq Body Count) and Afghanistan (Taliban peace talks: ‘Peace and reconciliation’ negotiations to take place in Qatar).

Be sure to watch the video in the New York Times article.

Western Foreign Policy Success Updated

Recall how in our efforts to overthrow evil tyrants and bring peace and democracy to the oppressed, we invaded Iraq, deposing the murderous Saddam Hussein. We thought you might like a current measure of the fruit of our labour. From NightWatch yesterday:

On Friday, 84 people were killed and 77 wounded in attacks in 12 towns. Most of them were shooting intermixed with a few bombings. On Saturday, 46 people were killed and 106 were injured in 17 towns. Most of the attacks were bombings, with a few shootings and clashes. On Sunday, 77 people were killed and 223 injured by bombings and shootings in 18 towns.

That’s 207 dead and 406 injured in 3 days. Not bad! The Iraqi people are so much better off now. Right? And now that we are just about finished bringing peace and democracy to Afghanistan, think of how bright their future will be for Afghanis, especially for those who collaborated with the allied forces. They’ll be paraded through the streets as heroes, right? Surely Syria is about ready for Western intervention and salvation. And Egypt is just warming up. Such exciting times ahead for Western foreign policy wonks.

Flash Point: The Eye of the Hurricane

The holiday season is all but over and we are left with a strange sense of quiet leading to disquiet. There appears to be nothing in the news now that the fiscal cliff deal has been reached. A discussion with friends last night reviewed what we think are a few major issues – none new – will heat up in 2013. This is a watch list not a forecast list:

Agenda with Robert D. Kaplan on Afghanistan

We’re picking up this earlier video interview with Robert Kaplan because we value his analysis (9:27 minutes).

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