“This site is dedicated to preying on peoples vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”

Sunday, February 09, 2014

It’s time for the US to stay out of other people’s quarrels and other nations’ wars

DEFENSE & NATIONAL SECURITY
STAYING OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S WARS


By: Patrick J. Buchanan
2/7/2014 09:28 AM
“If these negotiations [with Iran] fail, there are two grim alternatives,” said Sen. Richard Durbin, “a nuclear Iran, or war, or perhaps both.”
Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham returned from the Munich security conference saying that even John Kerry agrees that President Obama’s Syrian policy has failed. They are urging another look at air strikes.
North Korea is warning that should the annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises go forward in March, it could mean war, possibly nuclear war.
Philippines President Benigno Aquino III this week compared his country’s situation to Czechoslovakia in 1938, and the disputed islets off his coast in the South China Sea to the Sudetenland. Like Hitler in Europe, Aquino is saying, China is on the march in Asia. Aquino wants the world, i.e., us, to stand up to China.
At Davos, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe compared Japan’s clash with China over the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea to German-British tensions on the eve of World War I. Though they were major trading partners, like China and Japan, said Abe, Germany and Britain went to war.
China’s foreign ministry charged Abe with “saying these things for the purpose of escaping Japan’s history of aggression.”
China was enraged by Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine where Japanese war dead are commemorated, including Hideki Tojo and 13 other Class A war criminals.
Asia today is like “19th-century Europe, where military conflict is not ruled out,” said Henry Kissinger at Munich.
Cal Coolidge’s admonition not to panic — “If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you” — is often wise counsel. Yet, any of these five situations could bring about a war, a war involving us.
For we are obligated by treaty to defend South Korea, Japan and the Philippines. And the Obama “pivot” to Asia is seen by Beijing as a U.S. strategic move to contain China’s rise to superpower status.
The possibility of America being dragged into a new war is growing.
For not only is Beijing bullying its coastal neighbors, the Middle East is descending into a maelstrom.
Libya is disintegrating. Egypt is moving toward a new military dictatorship. Sinai is a no man’s land. Syria is three years deep in a civil-sectarian war with 130,000 dead. Sunni and Hezbollah groups car-bomb one another in Lebanon. Iraq is being torn asunder by Sunni Islamists in Anbar, newly battling the Shia regime in Baghdad. Tribalism tears at Yemen. Afghanistan may see a return of the Taliban when we go.
Nuclear-armed Pakistan is trying to reconcile with its own Taliban. Al-Qaida has denounced the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria for atrocities and dividing the rebel cause in Syria.
Even the jihadi terrorists are fighting one another.
Behind these conflicts is a Moslem awakening, a Sunni-Shia struggle for supremacy, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia for primacy in the Gulf, and the ethnonational dreams of Pashtun, Baluch, Kurds and other tribes.
Still, it is hard to see any U.S. vital interest so imperiled in these conflicts to justify plunging into another war in that hate-filled and blood-soaked region. Sarah Palin’s suggestion, “Let Allah sort it out,” begins to sound like the sage counsel of George Kennan.
Twice since last summer, anti-interventionists have routed the War Party. First, with the popular uprising that swamped calls for strikes on Syria. Second, with this winter’s blockage of new sanctions on Iran that could have torpedoed negotiations.
Yet in both cases the anti-interventionists succeeded because Obama has never at heart been a war president. And because the country does not want any more wars.
A sign of the times was ex-Reagan speech writer and veteran Congressman Dana Rohrabacher telling C-SPAN the U.S. media give too much time to McCain and Graham, who do not speak for the Republican Party when they call for military action. They speak only for themselves.
Yet, despite the victories of the anti-interventionists, the United States remains a hostage to war. Dating back to the early years of the Cold War, in the 1950s, we signed treaties obligating us to fight for scores of nations on five continents. NATO alone now requires us to defend 25 European countries, from Iceland to Estonia.
How many of these war guarantees are vital to U.S. security?
How many of these treaties, which could require us to go to war with nuclear-armed powers like Russia and China over tiny islets and minuscule nations half a world away, are truly in America’s national interest?
The 2016 primaries are the setting for the Republican Party to debate and to adopt a new foreign policy for the 21st century, a policy that rejects the mindless interventionism of the McCains and steers us around, not into, the wars of the future that are surely coming.
It’s time for antiwar conservatism — staying out of other people’s quarrels and other nations’ wars — one of the oldest and proudest traditions of the republic, to regain its rightful place in the Grand Old Party.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”

115 comments:

  1. ...a policy that rejects the mindless interventionism of the McCains and steers us around, not into, the wars of the future that are surely coming.

    What about mindful interventialism?
    Mindful of what N Korea would do to the south if we don't show some spine in front of the north's little shithead leader?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The South Koreans have a million man Army.

      They can more than adequately defend themselves against the North Koreans.
      25,000 US troops on the DMZ are a distraction, not a strategic force for good.

      Delete
    2. One wag posited that our troops were there to protect the North Koreans.

      Delete
    3. Hell, the South Koreans would be in Pyongyang before little Kim could call Dennis Rodman to negotiate a truce.

      Delete
  2. All that is, precisely, why I do not want to see a Hillary Presidency. I'm afraid they will be able to bum-rush her into one of these messes. Hell, they even had Obama wanting to "play" in Syria.

    Absolutely none of these deals are anywhere close to being worth getting involved in a war over.

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    1. We're supposed to get hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands (?) of our troops killed, and maimed, and spend no telling how many more Trillions of Dollars because we don't like some little N. Korean shit?

      And, besides, S. Korea would slaughter the Nork assholes.

      Delete
    2. That N Korean has nukes to play with now.

      Delete
    3. And, missiles that don't work, and that wouldn't get to the DMZ if they did.

      Delete
    4. .

      Every president seems to think he to bust some chops to prove he is a man.

      And they say a women needs to work twice as hard as a man to succeed.

      What does that mean if she becomes president?

      .

      Delete
    5. The same as when she was Sec. of State, I'm afraid.

      Delete
    6. Mostly I'm playing the devil's advocate on this subject as I'm not up on current events over there. So I differ to those with more knowledge on the matter.
      I'd hate to see this become an echo chamber around here :)

      Delete
    7. I don't think you should lose any sleep over that. :) :)

      Delete
    8. But, the effort is appreciated. :)

      Delete
    9. B.S., r2.

      And even if it were true that they don't have a missile that can work, they are be able to do a trade with Iran.

      All they have to worry about is......Hillary, ar, ar, ar.

      Delete
    10. .

      Hillary, Rice, Powers, Obama's hawks who convinced him to get involved in Libya.

      But which is the pilot on The Ride of the Valkyries?

      .

      Delete
    11. Doubtful that little Kim what's his name will do anything though, he and his folks like things the way they are, if one is irritable one can bump someone off, if one has the urge, there's the latest broad over there, if one is thirsty, there's always more scotch. He knows the risk he might end up dead. But he could ruin the S. Korean capital.

      Delete
    12. And, several Patriot III batteries, And the new Mid-range Defense System, And, some other Airborne stuff that they haven't talked much about.

      Delete
    13. The North Koreans have had the capacity to bomb Seoul, for as long as I have been alive.

      They haven't done it. The price is too high and there is nothing they'd gain by it.
      Every man in South Korea is a veteran, they have an active Army of over a 500,000 men

      the Republic of Korea Armed Forces is one of the largest standing armed forces in the world with a reported personnel strength of 3,539,000 in 2012 ...
      ...
      South Korea has one of the highest defense budgets in the world, ranking 12th globally in 2011, with a budget of more than $30 billion U.S. dollars. Its capabilities include many sophisticated American and European weapon systems, complemented by a growing and increasingly more advanced indigenous defense manufacturing sector ...

      The ROK Army (ROKA)—the sixth largest army in the world—is by far the largest of the military branches


      Delete
  3. Admiral Mike Mullen, Chief of Naval Operations ...

    “One lesson we still learn today is the worth of naval engagement,” he said.

    “Many extol Theodore Roosevelt for his reading of Alfred Thayer Mahan and advocacy of a strong Navy.
    Yet few remember his strenuous diplomacy in helping to resolve the Russo-Japanese War,
    as well as other maritime conflicts, for which he earned the Nobel Peace Prize.

    There is no shame in praising vigor. Yet, vigor in the name of naval strength need not always be offensive.”

    He added “…the real meaning, the real potential of Sea Power. It is the power of the sea to empower and to heal.
    It is the power of the sea to reach and to feed.

    It is the power of the sea to aid and to understand,
    it is the power of the sea to share and unite,
    it is the power of the sea to protect and to endure.”


    In a follow-up speech, Mullen gives the Naval Surface Warfare Association more of his insight of what constitutes Sea Power. He said,
    “For too long it's been centered in my view on one of two things: programs and blue water.
    Building big things and putting them to sea.

    We have almost 4,000 Sailors on the ground there [Iraq] and in Afghanistan right now,
    and over 10,000 on the ground in the CENTCOM AOR. That number is going to climb to more like 7,000 and 12,000, respectively.

    That's not the way we have traditionally thought of Sea Power, but it is a dimension of Sea Power for this new century and the joint arena we are going to harness it.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just one more asshole that would kill a million men to get one more star.

      Delete
    2. There aren't any more stars for Mike Mullen ...

      He retired.

      Delete
  4. Enjoy your time with pa1, folks.

    out

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  5. They come, they go, but even after they go... they're still here. They never really went anywhere.
    ― C. JoyBell C.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The closer you get, the further away you are
      - Marjorie Kehe

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Self-defense groups and their critics

    Published on February 3, 2014 in Michoacán By Scott Campbell

    Since mid-January, when armed self-defense groups launched an offensive against the Knights Templar cartel in the Tierra Caliente region of Michoacán, Mexico, much ink has been spilled evaluating the pros and cons of the self-defense movement. Critiques and speculations have been leveled from the left and right, yet what has largely been absent is an appreciation for the events in situ.

    From the right (including the government and mass media), the self-defense groups have been labelled as vigilantes, taking the law into their own hands, armed by an opposing cartel, and threatening to turn into paramilitary death squads a la the AUC in Colombia. Such meritless talking points are not of concern here.

    What is of concern is the predominant response from the left, where the self-defense groups have received a lukewarm reception at best. Held at arm’s length, the self-defense movement is chastened for not being like the autonomous municipality of Cherán in Michoacán or the CRAC community police in Guerrero. For not being indigenous, for not having a comprehensive platform, or for cooperating with the government. From behind computer screens, those who are dodging the bullets of the Knights Templar (and occasionally of the state) are patronizingly told what they are not and what they should be doing.

    Fortunately for the self-defense groups, they did not wait for nor did they petition the support of the left. For years, communities in the Tierra Caliente have faced murder, rape, kidnapping, extortion and terror at the hands of the Knights Templar cartel, which operated with impunity in the region. Faced with state inaction, or complicity, toward the cartel, the communities decided, via assemblies, to form self-defense groups. Emerging from these community assemblies, they can only be considered legitimate manifestations of the people’s will. The inclusion of landowners and businesspeople in the self-defense groups does negate their popular origin, as all members of the community were targets of the cartel’s actions.

    Similarly, the sole goal of ridding Michoacán of organized crime does not make them unworthy of support. Perhaps they are not, as armed formations, environmentalist, anti-capitalist or anti-authoritarian, though many among their ranks may be so. The focus on the cartels is clearly understandable, as it is the cartels who are the main impediment to a life with dignity for these communities. The focus on the Knights Templar specifically, as opposed to other cartels, is likewise easily comprehensible. Far from it meaning that the self-defense groups are armed and financed by rival cartels, it is simply the fact that it is the Knights Templar terrorizing the Tierra Caliente, so naturally they would be the primary target of groups originating from the Tierra Caliente. In numerous interviews, self-defense spokespeople have indicated their groups’ opposition to all organized crime operating in Michoacán and in Mexico.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That the groups are not like Cherán or the CRAC is also a misguided critique. Part of it is based on the fact that the self-defense groups are not wholly indigenous and not wholly rural. Instead of embracing the emergence of urban, mestizo self-organization, somehow this is held up as a point of criticism. Such a perspective is indigenist in the extreme, and a denial of agency based on ethnicity and locality. An oppressed people have the right to organize and rise up, regardless of that group’s composition, and regardless of if it mimics the predominant model of armed formations in Mexico. Finally, many participants are indigenous, it is just not the primary focus of the organization.

      Also held up as a distinguishing factor is that the self-defense groups, unlike Cherán or the CRAC, cooperate with the police and army. This is both true and false. Yes, the self-defense groups have agreed to be integrated into the state’s forces. At the same time, the groups have previously shown their willingness to act in opposition to the state, which is precisely what brought so much focus of the plight of the Tierra Caliente and pushed the state into acting against the Knights Templar. Some may critique the move as naïve, but if the main goal is to rid the area of organized crime, the groups remain empowered to do so, and remain armed. The agreement can be seen as a tactical move to achieve their goal. If it becomes a hindrance to doing so, there is no evidence that the groups would not break with the state and pursue their objectives on their own yet again.

      Cooperation with state forces, no matter how objectionable, is common to the self-defense groups, Cherán and the CRAC, blurring the lines of any criticism which uses state cooperation as the standard for support or not. Cherán has invited both the Federal Police and the military to set up bases near their community to aid in fending off organized crime. The CRAC recently joined with a rival organization, UPOEG, and became a state-approved formation. Whether this is good or bad is another matter. The point is that the issue is not so cut and dry when it comes to the relationship of the state with self-organized armed groups and communities in Mexico.

      The crux of the situation is that the self-defense groups should be evaluated on what they are, not what one would wish them to be or what one would desire they do. And what they are is an authentic people’s movement organized against an oppressive force. To hold them to a standard of purity not even existent among the movements they are critiqued against and held up to is not only intellectually dishonest but also unconstructive. Evaluated based on their own process of formation, their proposals and their actions, the self-defense groups have not given cause to merit recrimination. Ultimately, they will act regardless of what those of us from afar say or write about them. The minimum they deserve is a disinterested, fair evaluation.

      http://elenemigocomun.net/2014/02/self-defence-critics-analysis/

      Delete
  8. Michoacán: "Blood Avocados"

    Note:Michoacán is the leading producer of avocados in the world accounting for half of the world market. Conditions in Michoacán are ideal for production of the preferred Haas avocado, rendering it non-seasonal, with year round "season".production. Since the health benefits have been widely known, the trade has increased three fold in 6 years, which in 2012 resulted in just shy of one billion dollars (0.9B) in shipped to the US alone.

    Vocativ/Jan-Albert Hootsen
    The Knights Templar has brought kidnappings, murders, money laundering and fear to Mexico's prized avocado business

    MORELIA, Mexico—There’s an almost Mediterranean charm to the rolling hills here in Michoacán, a state in western Mexico. Avocado farms occupy vast stretches of land, and the rows of low-growing trees resemble the olive gardens of southern Europe.
    These idyllic farms grow millions of pounds of avocados that Americans consume every year. But there’s a dark story lurking beneath the surface of the fleshy green fruit—and the bowls of guacamole it produces. A drug cartel known as the Caballeros Templarios, the Knights Templar, has infiltrated the avocado sector, and now controls the local trade, from production to distribution.

    In Mexico, the avocado is called aguacate. It has been a staple food here for thousands of years. It’s also Michoacán’s principal export: 72 percent of all Mexican avocado plantations are located in the state. More than 80 percent of Michoacán’s avocados are exported to the United States—the bulk of them of the fatty Hass variety. In the latter half of 2012 and the early part of 2013, the U.S. imported nearly $1 billion worth of avocados from this state. Not surprisingly, a common nickname for the fruit is oro verde, green gold, because it yields more cash than any other crop—including marijuana.

    Few people here know more about avocados than Jesús, 50, whose family has been developing plantations and growing the fruit for generations. He took me on a drive around the countryside to show me the ins and outs of his trade, as long as I didn’t reveal his real name.

    Like many avocado farmers, he is afraid of the Templarios.

    Read more ...

    ReplyDelete

  9. Petraeus: H. Clinton would be 'tremendous president"

    Former Gen. David Petraeus tells the authors of a new book on Hillary Rodham Clinton that "she'd make a tremendous president."

    The comment is in HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes; it hits bookstores on Tuesday.

    Petraeus, often called the Republicans' favorite general, even praises Clinton for her handling of the incident that has drawn the most Republican criticism of the former secretary of state, the 2012 attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya.

    "Like a lot of great leaders, her most impressive qualities were most visible during tough times," Petraeus says in HRC.
    "In the wake of the Benghazi attacks, for example, she was extraordinarily resolute, determined, and controlled."


    http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2014/02/10/david-petraeus-hillary-clinton-hrc-jonathan-allen-amie-parnes/5358913/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In other words:

      I Need a Job.

      Delete
    2. Speaking of "jobs;"

      I've never seen a "jobs report" as mischaracterized as Friday's has been.

      Labor Participation Increased by 0.2, and Unemployment Fell.

      If you knew absolutely Nothing else about the report, That alone would have to inform you that the labor situation Greatly Improved.

      The fact that those jobs were mostly in the "small to medium-sized businesses," rather than the Large Public Companies, seem, somehow, to have clouded everyones' minds. But, it is precisely there, in those smaller businesses, that recessions are licked; and, it is there that we have been having most of our trouble.

      It seems to me that a lot of people have "gone stupid," recently.

      Delete
    3. .

      Right.

      113,000 jobs.

      I'm jumping for joy.

      .

      Delete
  10. .

    Comments seems a bit sparse at the old blog, this morning.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. .

      RAT: The Wind From The Southwest

      [A monograph on the rat and the insidious pathogens he spreads]

      Feng is an ancient Chinese word meaning ‘grasping the wind’. It is portrayed through two pictograghs, fan which represents ‘origen’ and cheng which represents ‘insect’. It is used in Chinese medicine to describe not only the destructive force of the wind but also the concept of insects and the diseases that they carry that are borne on the winds. It speaks of both the etiology and the manifestation of disease and all manner of ill that proceeds from it.

      Like the black, disease carrying rats that destroyed half the population of Europe in the 14th Century, today the black rat’s western progeny spreads disease and decimation to the blog. However, rather than the plague carrying fleas that infested Europe’s rats, today’s distemper is spread on a hot, unwholesome wind blowing out of the southwest. Like the winds that spread Kawasaki disease over Japan and other Pacific nations, the virtual wind originating in Arizona carries the rat’s malignant pathogens over the internet infecting the blog.

      The nature of the wind is insentient and chaotic like the lunatic ramblings of the blind idiot god Cthulhu from Lovecraft’s Azathoth Cycle, disassociated mewlings of drug cartels and a rolodex presentation of Brainy Quotes interspersed with rabbinical pronouncements that lack any relevance or context, all designed to numb the senses like some inane and irritating Muzac stream locked into a continuous loop.

      Boring and soulless yet implacable like some ancient doomsday machine let loose into the internet by some petty, vengeful, misbegotten, eons-dead aliens , the rat-wind proceeds forth and bloggers disappear.

      :-)

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      Luckily, I have had my shots and take my vitamins.

      .

      Delete
  12. These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his blog; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Quirk, you're making the same mistake as many of the others. An Increase in the labor participation rate of 0.2% means approx. 300,000 entered the workforce.

    In other words, you would have to Add 300,000 Jobs just for the Unemployment rate to remain "steady."

    To get the Unemployment rate to Fall by 0.1%, on top of the increase in the participation rate, would require the creation of approx. 450,000 Jobs.

    (in fact, I think the number - a piece of malware prohibits me from accessing the bls website - from the "household survey" was 499,000 Net new jobs.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, you got nice gains in small manufacturing, and residential construction.

      Delete
    2. I'm not saying the economy is "BOOOooooming," but there's no sense in taking what little good news that you can get as "bad" news.

      Delete
    3. .

      We can parse the numbers any way we like and people will look for the good or that bad depending on their politics.

      At the height of the recession there were 5 people looking for every job that was out there. The latest I saw was that there were now only 3 people looking for each job. Progress? I don't know.

      I put up some numbers the other day showing that over the past five years about 15 million kids had graduated from high school and that somewhere over 6 million people had gone on social security. That would mean about 9 million potential new job seekers. You would need 150,000 per month just to fill the need.

      Now, you can say that some Federal workers and some state workers like school teachers aren't on social security, however, in 1984 (30 years ago) as I understand it the federal workforce switch over to the FERS system which is covered by SSA. Also, at that time people who were covered by the old system were allowed to switch over to the new system and some percentage did. In addition, in recent years a lot of government employment at both federal and state level have been contract employees who are covered by social security. Given these facts [that contract worker are usually the first dropped through furlough] and that because social security has been a fact of life for federal workers for 30 years, social security applications should be a pretty good surrogate for retirement numbers.

      But let's be generous and take the 5 year number down to 7 million. That still leaves 117,000 per month replacement level without even touching the current unemployment level.

      Obviously, these are ballpark figures. Most people I've seen is that we will need numbers in the 250,000 to 300,000 per month range for years to get to the even new normal) full employment figures.

      At any rate, there are so many versions flying around about jobs and how to interpret the numbers that I am lost anymore.

      However, the numbers I laid out above tells me that something is wrong.

      .

      Delete
    4. .

      By the way, the participation rate increase was the first thing I noticed in the report, obviously a good thing.

      .

      Delete
    5. Well, of course, something is "wrong." We came within an eyelash of Great Depression II. We've gone over the "what's wrong?" ad infinitum.

      And, after things get a little better, there's a good chance that things will get even "wronger."

      BUT, right now, at this moment, there is a slight improvement taking place. There's no use ignoring that; "small victories," and so forth.

      Delete
    6. By the way, the JOLTS data (I think this JOLTS chart is probably the best "one stop shop" for employment/economy information available) comes out tomorrow.

      JOLTS Chart - Calculated Risk Blog

      Delete
  14. (CNN) -- The Obama administration is in high-level discussions about staging an operation to kill an American citizen involved with al Qaeda and suspected of plotting attacks against the United States, a senior U.S. official tells CNN.

    The official, who declined to disclose any specific information about the target or the country the suspect presides in, was confirming information first reported by The Associated Press.

    The debate about whether to undertake a mission is being held with various commanders in the U.S. military, as well as the U.S. national security agencies. The discussion centers on the risk involved and the importance of the target.

    Before military force against an American is approved, there must be an imminent danger and no reasonable prospect of capturing the target. Ultimately, the President would need to sign off on the decision.

    The U.S. has targeted an American before, most notably Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a key member of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed by a U.S. drone in 2011. Another American, Samir Khan, was killed in the same strike, though he was not the target of the operation. Khan was behind al Qaeda's English-language Inspire magazine, which aimed to influence jihadis and wannabe jihadis around the world.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. .

      I hope the guy isn't located in the Detroit area.

      .

      Delete
  15. Costa Rica doubles down on security

    While neighboring nations turn to their armed forces for help fighting drug trafficking and violence,
    no-military Costa Rica taps into other approaches.

    By Ezra Fieser, of the CSM


    As have other Central American countries, Costa Rica has seen its share of drug trafficking in recent years. Cartels move cocaine by air, land, and sea, and Costa Ricans who once boasted of their peace and tranquility are increasingly worried about crime.

    Unlike its neighbors, however, this country of 4.7 million has no army to call in. It abolished its military in 1948. These days it relies on a police force of roughly 14,000 to keep the peace.

    The lack of a military hasn't kept Costa Rica from doubling down on security, though. In fact, its internal security spending increased more than that of any other Central American country in recent years, growing 123 percent from 2006 to 2012 to $331 million, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

    "You need to invest in policing – that's important – but we've also taken an integrated approach that favors prevention," says Max Loría, deputy minister for justice and peace. "If you don't have a military, as is the case here, you have to take a different approach."

    Costa Rica went through what Mr. Loría calls "a crisis" in the late 2000s, when the homicide rate reached a record 11.5 killings per 100,000 residents, and cocaine seizures by the antidrug police spiked. Yet crime never reached the levels seen in Central America's northern triangle, which includes the world's most murderous country, Honduras. Even without a military, however, Costa Rica is taking the same tack as neighboring countries by investing heavily in security and trying to equip police with heavy arms.

    Read More ...

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    1. .

      "You need to invest in policing...

      Right.

      We saw what happened in Boston.

      At what point does the difference between the military and the police become meaningless?

      A couple days ago in Iowa.

      Open...Bamn

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      What justification was there for the cop destroying two video cameras 'outside' the house other than to destroy evidence?

      (Why were the cameras there. Another story on the same incident indicate the son worked for a company that installed surveillance equipment. Also, that his car had been stolen in the past.)

      There are better videos that highlight the police 'knocking', waiting and 'extraordinary' amount of time, and then busting in the door.

      .

      Delete
    3. The distinction, Quirk, is in the level of corruption that permeates each organization.

      The local police are often paid by the criminal element to 'look the other way'.
      Especially after the criminal element gains political power.

      We saw his in Chicago, back in the Capone era.
      Illustrated in the 'Untouchables' with Costner and Connery.
      It is evident in Michoacan, Mexico today.

      Some claim that the 'Biggie & Tupac killings were undertaken by local police, out of uniform.
      Though there have been no indictments.

      Whitey Bulger, he had a corrupt FBI agent looking out for his interests.

      In Mexico the military is less corrupted by the criminals, because they are mobile, not stationed in one locale long enough to become tainted. When they are in one location, as happened in Michoacan, they're can become corrupted as well. To the level of firing on civilians, to make a political point.

      The militarization of US law enforcement has been ongoing for quite a while, a decade or more.
      It is a separate issue from using the military as law men, as is becoming the standard practice in most Latin American countries, like in Mexico or Colombia and Venezuela, too.

      Delete
    4. .

      You may be right in the specific point you are making; however, I am more concerned about trends that seem to be evolving in this country and the tactics used by federal and local military and/or 'law enforcement'.

      We have had a story here today of a president looking for an excuse to use the military or other covert agencies to assassinate an American citizen without indictment or trial and another that speaks of swat teams attacking a private home in pursuit of the perpetrators of non-violent crime.

      In this environment the distinction between the military and civilian law enforcement become blurred and quaint concepts such as the posse comitatus act are meaningless.

      .

      Delete
    5. Sure thing, what you are concerned about seems to be the miltarization of civilian law enforcement.

      Making para-military forces out of the police and sheriff departments around the country.

      Sheriff Joe Arpaio personifies that trend. Due to the limitations of Blogger I cannot post the photos, but ...

      here they are.
      Sheriff Joe's armored personnel carriers, artillery and such

      A seperate issue, but one that is serious. As one photo's caption put it ...

      "Here is the Standing Army the Founders warned US about."

      Delete
  16. .

    Petraeus on Clinton:

    "Like a lot of great leaders, her most impressive qualities were most visible during tough times," Petraeus says in HRC.
    "In the wake of the Benghazi attacks, for example, she was extraordinarily resolute, determined, and controlled."



    :-o

    Based on the judgment Petraeus has shown in the past, his current evaluation on Clinton should be accorded the amount of consideration it deserves.

    .


    ReplyDelete
  17. Replies
    1. Putin has been riding the 'Church Lady' pony for quite a while.

      First saw it referenced in his 'First Term' as leader of the Russians.

      Looking at
      https://www.google.com/search?q=putin+orthodoxy&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

      There are extensive commentaries on his continued use of the Church.

      I doubt he is the cause of the transformation in Russian society, but he is benefiting from it.
      The chart is illustrative of a reason for his continued popularity, there., too.

      Delete
    2. I guess it boils down to:

      People are going to ferment fruit for alcohol,

      they are going to eat mushrooms,

      and smoke weeds,

      and "be religious."

      You're just not going to be able to stop'em.

      Delete
    3. You're just not going to be able to stop'em.

      That's right.
      Or as one of the great men said,"Give me Liberty, or give me death>"

      Delete
  18. .

    Hegemons and the World We Live In

    China

    To be fair, it is not clear yet if indeed China seeks regional hegemony. But there is a growing consensus among American and Japanese analysts that this is indeed the case. By Chinese hegemony in Asia we broadly mean something akin to the United States’ position in Latin America. We do not mean actual conquest. Almost no one believes China intends to annex even its weakest neighbors like Cambodia or North Korea. Rather, analysts expect a zone of super-ordinate influence over neighbors.

    For example, in 1823, U.S. president James Monroe proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine, which warned all non-American powers to stay out of the Western Hemisphere on pain of U.S. retaliation. This has worked reasonably well for almost 200 years. The U.S. has variously used force, aid, covert CIA assistance, trade, and so on to eject foreign powers from what Washington (condescendingly) came to call “America’s backyard.” Today, of course, such language seems disturbingly neocolonial, but many assume that the fundamental illiberalism of such spheres of influence do not worry non-democracies like China. A Sinic Monroe Doctrine would likely include some mix of the following:

    - the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Japan and Korea,

    - U.S. naval retrenchment from east Asia, perhaps as far back as Hawaii,

    - a division of the Pacific into east/U.S. and west/China zones with a Chinese blue-water navy operating beyond the so-called second island chain running from Japan southeast to New Guinea,

    - an RMB currency bloc in southeast Asia and possibly Korea,

    - a regional trading zone,

    - foreign policies from China’s neighbors broadly in sync with its own.

    This is not going to happen soon of course. This is a project for the next several decades, just as U.S. power over Latin America came slowly through the nineteenth century. But such goals would broadly fit with what we have seen in the behavior of previous hegemons, including Imperial Japan and China, Rome, the British Empire, the U.S. in Latin America, and various German plans for Eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. The era of U.S. preponderance in Asia is coming to an end.


    Is China a hegemon? I would say that at this point it is not but that it is close and is quickly moving that way. The truth is a state seeking to attain hegemony will continue until it has achieved that state or it is stopped.

    There are states today that exhibit hegemony (the US, Russia) and there are states seeking hegemony such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel. They seek it for various reasons. Suadi Arabia, for instance, is seeking both political and sectarian (i.e. religious) dominance. Others like Iran and Israel (and Russia before them) seek it mainly for security reasons.

    In all cases, they will continue their hegemonic expansion until they have achieved their goals or until they are stopped by some outside factor(s).

    .

    ReplyDelete
  19. .

    The Hillary Files

    The full contents of the archive, which before 2010 was closed to the public, have not previously been reported on and shed new light on Clinton’s three decades in public life. The records paint a complex portrait of Hillary Clinton, revealing her to be a loyal friend, devoted mother, and a cutthroat strategist who relished revenge against her adversaries and complained in private that nobody in the White House was “tough and mean enough.”

    http://freebeacon.com/the-hillary-papers/

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      When Clinton finally admitted to the relationship after repeated denials, Hillary Clinton defended her husband in a phone call with Blair. She said her husband had made a mistake by fooling around with the “narcissistic loony toon” Lewinsky, but was driven to it in part by his political adversaries, the loneliness of the presidency, and her own failures as a wife.

      She told Blair that the affair did not include sex “within any real meaning” of the term and noted President Clinton “tried to manage” Monica after they broke up but things spiraled “beyond control.”




      As Hillary said in a different context: "What difference does it make?"

      .

      Delete
  20. This is horrible:

    Ms. Fields, who has a 4-year-old son, earned about $7,000 last year working at a cleaning service. That is too little to qualify for federal help buying coverage in new health-law marketplaces, and too much for coverage in Alabama's Medicaid program, which has an income ceiling of $2,832 for a family of two, after deductions. If Ms. Fields could buy insurance for $50 a month, she said, "I definitely would."

    The Wall St. Journal

    ReplyDelete
  21. Now, a little good news

    ALBANY (Feb. 10, 2014) – NY State of Health (NYSOH), the State’s official health plan marketplace, reported that as of 9 a.m. today, 696,880 New Yorkers have completed their applications and 412,221 have enrolled for coverage since the launch of the Marketplace on October 1, 2013. Sixty-six percent of New Yorkers who have enrolled to date were uninsured at the time of application....
    "We are thrilled to see that more than 412,000 people have enrolled for quality, low-cost health insurance and nearly 697,000 have completed applications since the Oct. 1 launch of the marketplace. Also, 66 percent of enrolled New Yorkers were uninsured when they applied,” Donna Frescatore, executive director of NY State of Health, said.

    Of the 412,221 total enrollees, 251,306 opted for private coverage and 160,915 people qualified for Medicaid, the government’s program for low-income individuals. Nearly 697,000 people in the state have also completed applications under ObamaCare but are not yet enrolled.
    Note that the "66% not previously insured" doesn't specify whether this . . . . . .

    ACA Signups

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a fascinating blog you have here. I've read more painful drivel here in the last three minutes than I do in a year on most other blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  23. They just can't stay gone, can they?

    I really don't believe he could have "read much" in 3 minutes, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's see, T runs off because allen didn't march according to her parade orders and allen ran off because Rat out bullshitted him and Bob tried to run off because he is afraid of the rat, but he can't help himself and still hangs, and WiO, well, a cat got his tongue and he doesn't dare say he's gonna run off 'cause when he came back he'd be just like T...

      ... Maybe with a bit of time they'll all come back spouting their crap and we can be one big happy querulous family again...

      Delete
    2. querulous, yeah.

      happy? . . . eh .. . . .

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    4. The three of 'em ought to go to Michoacan, rat's down there surely he would show 'em around.

      If they don't want to go to Michoacan, there's the Zetas just across the border at Laredo, Texas.
      Don't even need to go to Mexico, the boys of Barrio Azteca are Zeta trained and all over Texas.
      Some are on trial in US Federal Court for killing US Consulate workers, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

      Farmer Bob, he supports the Knights Templar terrorists in Michoacan, with every avocado he eats.
      ... and he loves avocados.
      He wrote about that aspect of his life at length.

      In consideration of the quality of the content, there is no need to wonder why the door was unlocked and the 'Welcome' mat laid out. Then the continuing posts about enemas, you just gotta love it.

      Delete
    5. .

      Hey, no sending them to Michigan.

      .

      Delete
    6. .

      Anyway, I'm glad to hear it was the foul wind from the southwest that drove Allen off. I was feeling guilty. I thought my putting and end to his '13 to 0' meme might have had something to do with it.

      .

      Delete
    7. .

      Despite the fact we disagree on most things, I worry he may be ill or something what with taking off without explanation. He usually adds a little melodrama to his departures.

      .

      Delete
    8. Yeah can't tell from yours, Q, but that foul wind you speak of, has over 16,000 views at the profile page.

      Now if you were take allen's, 'O' and Farmer Bob and add 'em all up, they would not garner a tenth of the interest, as does 'the rat'. Simple fact of life, who interests the reader and who don't. It's verifiable. Google has the numbers, makes 'em public if the contributor let's 'em.

      And 'rat' he hasn't posted in quite a while.

      Tasty pudding, if you compare sales.

      When you give away the product, and there is no cost of goods sold, it's embarrassing when no one wants it.

      When readership drops, because the door to the 'Bar' was locked and the most 'popular' bartender wouldn't ask for a key.

      The 'Private Club' went bust.

      Delete
    9. :) Ya got me beat by a factor of 10. :)

      I'm contemplating suicide, now, you know. :)

      Delete
    10. You lay down copious turds and page views will increase - so? Does it mean you make sense? Are popular? An asset? No!

      Delete
    11. You've fallen into the wannabe celebrity trap rat - Paris Hilton, Rob Ford - more like avoiding looking at a train wreck. We've got another who is a legend in his own mind.

      Delete
    12. .

      Shit, rat. Most of those hits probably came from you in your various personas trying to remember who you are.

      And you can run but you can't hide.

      You will always be the rat to me.

      .

      Delete
    13. Not at all, ash.

      That is why the 'rat' retired., it was over 17,500, just went and looked.

      Hadn't looked at it since it was 16,000 plus.

      Reader interest, ash, that is king, not whether the 'rest' of the contributors, those that do not spark interest from the peanut gallery thinks it is, or not.

      It ain't quality that counts, it's quantity.
      It's why the door got unlocked.

      Betcha an Amero to a doughnut.

      Maybe 'rat' will be back. There are lots of folk that 'retire' and then make a 'comeback'.
      Hulk Hogan, The Rock two fellas from the World of Wrestling that 'retire' then 'return'.

      Keeps the story line fresh, after a decade of so, gotta do something.
      'rat' went to Michoacan, to fight terrorist insurgents that have taken over the state.

      Quite the story, may just get him to tell it. You never know about that 'rat, he's quite the character.'.

      Delete
    14. .

      Gee, let's see what the rat is up to down in Michoacán.

      El Ratso



      Oops

      :-o

      .

      Delete
  24. AshMon Feb 10, 05:45:00 PM EST
    WiO, well, a cat got his tongue and he doesn't dare say he's gonna run off 'cause when he came back he'd be just like T…

    Fuck you Ash, I don't shoot off my mouth like T.

    Nor do I make childish threats.

    But sometimes it's good to watch those that have nothing to actually say of meaning spout…

    Like you and Rat of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lighten up ole boy, we all spout crap some just pile it higher and deeper. Good to see you ain't done run off

      Delete
    2. we all spout crap some just pile it higher and deeper

      Speak for yourself.

      But I guess I'd be lying if I said I was always truthful.

      Delete
    3. .


      :)

      Justa lurkin and waiting to pounce.

      .

      Delete
    4. Dougman,

      Most folk like the smell of their own farts.
      An individual may think what they write is truth but, in the end, it is still a big steamin' pile of crap. Mine droppings look and smells darn fine though! Yours, not so much

      Delete
    5. .

      Are you trying to bring the blog down to your level, Ash?

      Ashed Potatoes

      .

      Delete
    6. Heh heh, and the desert rat thinks he is popular - when was the last time someone made a video about a desert rat? Like never, or maybe a Nat Goo show back in the 50's.

      Delete
    7. .

      Nonsense, Ash.

      Take a look upstream.

      .

      Delete
    8. Heard you fellas been talkin' about me, but my ears don't burn.


      The Desert Rats - Richard Burton plays a Scottish Army officer put in charge of a disparate band of Desert Rats - 1953

      The Rat Patrol - an American television program that aired on ABC during the 1966–1968 seasons.

      NASA Desert RATS, Houston, TX. - 28,400 likes

      Desert Rats vs. Afrika Korps is a real-time tactics game - 2004

      Desert Rats - also known as 'North Africa Campaign, The'
      Year of release - 1985
      Publisher CCS (UK)
      Re-released by - Juegos & Estrategia (Spain) (as 'Ratas del Desierto')

      Delete
    9. Gotta go, got Templars to catch!

      One of the members of the Hegemony of Character will keep you fellas up to date on the happenings in Michoacan and Guerrero. Freedom is on the march, it is fabuloso!

      Delete
    10. What is "Occupation"
      Profile Views - 88

      Lot of interest in what "What" thinks and says, NOT!

      Delete
  25. .

    Bob, will be back after restocking his free t-shirt collection.


    T, I don't know. I forgot what the reason was for this time.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  26. .

    I see Doug hasn't checked in either.

    This is like taking a headcount after a disaster hit.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  27. The EB Israeli lobby has not recovered since the public failure of AIPAC to commit the USA to do Israel’s bidding over Iran.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not to worry, Iran is sending it's warships to NYC to pick you up to give you a medal

      Delete
    2. Warships? In reality, the US likes the fact that Iran is the only stable country in the Middle East. Get used to it.

      Delete
    3. Ah, Iran is Jenny's best friend.

      I suggest you go there and hang out... On a crane perhaps?

      Delete
    4. Two PT boats and a canoe, and the in-house Israeli passport holder has an anxiety attack


      Delete
    5. AnonymousMon Feb 10, 11:44:00 PM EST
      Two PT boats and a canoe, and the in-house Israeli passport holder has an anxiety attack


      LOL they aint heading to Jerusalem....

      They KNOW the Great Satan....

      Iran KNOWS who the cowards are now... And it aint Israel...

      Look in the mirror.... See the coward hiding in AZ? or it is the hills of mexico?

      Coward on the run...

      Delete
  28. I'm out until tomorrow gentlemen.
    See ya!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Gennulmen?

    {nervously looks around, shrugs, and slouches away}

    ReplyDelete
  30. Land, conflict and injustice in India

    India may not be choosing to feed its 450-million-plus starving citizens or provide sanitation and health care to the rural poor and metropolitan slum dwellers, or even toilets to 50 per cent of the population who defecate in the open, but it comes tenth in worldwide military expenditure, has the third largest standing army in the world and is a nuclear-armed state.

    Read More

    ReplyDelete
  31. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_DucdSN7iY

    rat on cocaine

    conspiracy !

    3:08

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And all these years I thought Richard Burton was a drinker ...

      Delete
  32. How about it, Deuce, is this -

    Farmer Bob, he supports the Knights Templar terrorists in Michoacan, with every avocado he eats.
    ... and he loves avocados.
    He wrote about that aspect of his life at length.

    ---- is this a personal attack?

    I could give several other examples just recently, and not only against me.

    He is ruining you blog again.

    g'nite

    ReplyDelete
  33. Farmer Bob broke into the Moonshine...

    Struck down by Avocado Anxiety.

    I think the shoes supportin my arches support the Chi-Coms.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Brooklyn hipsters get a taste of rural life at Clawhammer Farm in Lisle, N.Y. -
    NY Daily News


    "We each put a bird into an upside down traffic cone so the chicken’s head stuck out the bottom. Then it was as easy as gripping the neck with one hand and slicing with the other. We were told to cut only the blood vessels and not the neck bone itself, as that would dull the knife.

    (I'd say "fuck your knife dude, I'm a hipster not a fuckin surgeon, that head's coming off.")

    Holding the chicken’s neck like that, I could literally feel the life bleeding out of the bird. It took only a few seconds to die.

    After that I dipped the dead animal in hot water and put it in a spinning contraption that removed the feathers. Farmer Becky showed me how to slice open its gut big enough to fit my hand inside and yank out the giblets (a nice name for all the guts and organs).

    Killing and dismembering the still-warm bird was not nearly as unpleasant as I thought it would be. In fact, it all felt totally natural.

    “Humans have been killing animals for thousands of years,” said farmer Becky. “It’s what we do.”

    Yes, but I’d been eating chicken my entire life and never actually killed one before. I decided right there that anyone who wouldn’t kill an animal has no business eating one.

    So, mom and dad, my time at Clawhammer Farm has been a chance to experience a taste of a life I can’t find in New York City, even if some of us got squeamish at the sight of pig intestines splayed across a butcher table.

    “Sometimes the transition from urban to rural doesn’t quite make the leap,” says my camp buddy and farmhand Eric Lind. “But it’s still important to pierce the vacuous bubble of the city.”

    ReplyDelete