“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, April 17, 2009

China to accelerate new generation of warships, submarines, fighter aircraft, missiles and an aircraft carrier.Thank you Walmart shoppers.

Why not let China worry about Afghanistan and Pakistan? Say goodbye to Iraq. Let the Middle East sort out their own mess. Take a break. Rebuild our domestic industry. Focus on the Americas. Increase our national wealth. Refurbish our military and mind our own very neglected business. That is not isolationist. It is salvation.


China plans to expand navy

By Kathrin Hille in Hohhot and Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
Published: April 16 2009 17:48 | Last updated: April 16 2009 17:48

China has unveiled plans for a big overhaul and expansion of its navy, in an unusually bold confirmation that its naval ambitions have started to reach far beyond its own shores.

Admiral Wu Shengli, the commander-in-chief of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, said it would accelerate efforts to develop a new generation of warships, submarines, fighter aircraft and high-precision long-range missiles to counter the rise in non-conventional threats.

The remarks were published by state media on Thursday, a week ahead of the navy’s 60th anniversary, which some military observers believe will increase clarity over whether Beijing is building an aircraft carrier.

China has for years been expanding the reach of its navy, documented by a new submarine base on the southern island of Hainan and sightings of its submarines east of Taiwan. In recent months, Beijing has more openly asserted its ambitions for a blue-water navy – one capable of operating in the open seas far off its own shores.

Several PLA sources have been quoted by state media over the past three months demanding that China proceed to build its own aircraft carrier. In November, a Chinese military spokesman told the Financial Times that the world should not be surprised if China built one.

The PLA navy has been participating in anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden since late last year, its first out-of-area mission, which has been welcomed by US naval commanders as an opportunity to work more closely with China.

However, the Chinese navy’s more assertive stance was recently underscored when its vessels harassed a US surveillance ship in the South China Sea, an area which it views as part of its territory, in claims conflicting with those of several neighbouring countries. The incident spark renewed calls from US military officials for Beijing to be more transparent about its intentions. US experts on the Chinese military point out that China announced in its 2006 defence white paper that its navy would take on a more expansive role, reaching out beyond its traditional focus on the coastline. The development of a new kind of submarine – the Jin class – that would carry nuclear warheads has also sparked more intense surveillance missions by US spy ships in the South China Sea.

A foreign defence expert in Beijing said Admiral Wu’s remarks were “setting the scenes for next week’s anniversary. It is now even clearer to us that that event is meant as a milestone.”

The anniversary, which will be attended by Admiral Gary Roughead, the head of the US Navy, will be marked with celebrations including a parade at sea. Foreign military vessels, including the USS Fitzgerald, will also sail to Qingdao for the event.

China generally claims that its military strategy is purely defensive, mentioning potential moves towards formal independence by Taiwan, terrorism and piracy as main threats. The US regularly challenges that, saying that Beijing develops and possesses capabilities considered not needed to address those threats.

Adm Wu’s reference to China’s “expanded” national interests partly confirms this. Peng Guangqian, a military expert in Beijing, said one reason China needed a blue-water navy was to safeguard sea lanes for its exports and energy imports

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  1. We did get a new airfield today. To replace the one we lost in Ecuador.

    Thank you, President Uribe.

  2. Doug is upset that Anderson Cooper made a tea-bagging joke, but this would not be enough to convince me to spend my days with my head up Hugh Hewitt's ass.

    In other news:

    Former CIA Director Decries Memo Release

    Thursday, April 16, 2009 4:55 PM

    WASHINGTON -- Former CIA Director Michael Hayden says the Obama administration is endangering the country by releasing Justice Department memos that detail the CIA's interrogation techniques authorized by the Bush administration.

    Hayden tells The Associated Press the release will give terrorists a precise guide for what to expect in a CIA interrogation if those methods are ever approved for use again.

    The Obama administration outlawed the techniques but has a task force reviewing the military's interrogation methods to determine if they are sufficient for CIA use.

    Hayden says he worries the revelations will also deter other governments from cooperating with the United States because it shows the U.S. "can't keep anything secret."

    © 2009 Associated Press.

    Hayden speaks; Hayden knows.

  3. SHANGHAI (AFP) — China has extended 10 billion dollars in loans to oil and gas-rich Kazakhstan, according to the Kazakh state news agency, in the latest Chinese deal locking up access to foreign resources.
    China National Petroleum Corp, or CNPC, said Friday it had signed an agreement to give financial support to the resource-rich central Asian country's national oil and gas company.

  4. Venezuela continues to be a problem. Southern Command continues to study potential threats from Iran, Russia, or China in alliance with Venezuela. There is a real concern over Iranian and Chinese agents in the Venezuelan armed forces. The Russians are already there. Venezuela continues to aid FARC.

  5. "Venezuela continues to be a problem."

    Yes. Yes, it does.

    And it will continue to be a problem for at least as long Nutjob is there.

    We may pick up Cuba and the southern continent - minus our anchor - goes.

  6. Wonderful!

    Picking up Cuba could be like West Germany picking up the German Democratic Republic.

  7. There IS that aspect of it, whit.

  8. No move-in on Cuba is going to be cost-free.

  9. I think I disagree there. Open Cuba and you will have a tidal wave of private capital available to invest in everything.

  10. My fear is that we get Haiti and lose Cuba to the Chinese and Europeans.

  11. I'm not against getting in on the ground floor in Cuba. I've advocated it for years. That's the direction we're moving in and I'm glad.

    Like many a good thing, however, it will not be without its other costs.

  12. Haiti: Talk about yer desperate causes.

  13. Other than in China, I don't see any "tidal waves of capital" out there in the world.

    Aside from tourism, tobacco and music what does Cuba have? Development potential?

  14. Cuba could eclipse Las Vegas in good times and give Miami a run for its money in development. There are so many US citizens that would want to taste the forbidden fruit.

  15. The capital is there, waiting. Interesting enough, if US savings rate continue at 7%, you have a pool of five trillion in ten years.

  16. ..instead of plastic shit manufactured in china gathering dust in your garage.

  17. I might tend to be too shortsighted right now. I'm still watching to determine whether this latest financial crisis has resulted in any paradigm shifts. I mentioned before that I think our basic business plan based on a growth model (ever growing suburbia, oil, growth fees, burgeoning ad valorem tax roles, etc) is outdated.

    It now appears that government on all levels is struggling financially. To tax or not to tax, that is the question.

  18. Look at this Now that there's a new sheriff in town, the media sings a new tune with "Harsh methods" and "rough tactics"I'm glad Obama has decided not to prosecute anyone for "rough interrogations". I think it's "a hoot" that he has maintained enough of the Bush Admin policies to depress the far left.

  19. I think it's "a hoot" that he has maintained enough of the Bush Admin policies to depress the far left.

    Fri Apr 17, 05:41:00 AM EDT

    Roger that.

    They spun so far into the ceiling on this matter, they can't unscrew themselves.

  20. Just saw a shooting star over Bogota.

    Let that be our good omen for the day.

  21. I'm really sorry, but I've decided to toss my lot in with the PRC Chinese. Metaphorically speaking, of course, with plenty of secret handshakes with my classmates from China (all members of the government).

    There's simply too much evidence that the US is on the downslide while China is on the up and up.

  22. We ought to just sell the Chinese those carrier groups we are retiring.

    Save the planet.

    Now that the threat of prosecution is lifted, the Congress will begin to shine their light on the interrogation processes used by Team Bush.

    They could give a shit about what Mr Hayden thinks, unless he is testifying before them.

    Let's see, we are concerned that the Chinese are extending their influence in the South CHINA Sea.

    Since China is 4 times the size of the US, we should encourage their expansion, as a global partner in a piece of the action.
    There will be a bilateral arrangement, between America and China. That America is so fragmented while China is unified, puts them at an advantage.

    But there are over a billion folks, in America. Almost as many as in China, we, in the US, just have to be a tad less parochial.

  23. Well, wobbley, if I was in Singapore, I'd sing that song, too.

    But since I'm in Phoenix, I'll dance to a different tune.

    Good luck.

  24. The US may be on the downside , but more out of stupidity than fate. The US needs to lose twenty pounds, shed the victim bullshit, acquire some humility, learn that a little shame is a good thing and look in the rear view mirror.

  25. Totally off topic, but if you use a printer, you can get the ink cartridge re-filled at
    Wal-Green's for a couple of bucks after sending in the rebate, so the wife says, instead of paying big bucks for a new one at Wal-Mart.

  26. Here's the new hotel where the mill used to be, Sam. The air smelled better then than now, always liked that smell of cedar.

    Hitler-Signed Watercolors to Be Auctioned

    Friday, April 17, 2009 8:55 AM

    BERLIN -- A pair of watercolor paintings depicting farm scenes and signed "Adolf Hitler" are up for auction in the German city of Nuremberg this month.

    The Weidler Auction House said Friday that paintings titled "Farmstead" and "Farm Buildings on the River" and listed in its online catalog are attributed to the Nazi dictator.

    The watercolors are listed as "signed and dated 1914," with bidding to start at euro3,500 ($4,618). The auction runs April 23-25.

    As a young man Hitler sought to earn his living as an artist. He is believed to have painted hundreds of works, several of which have come up for sale over the years, most recently in England in 2006.
    Brings up the topic of what should be done with the paintings of a true criminal.

    Not sure what the proper answer is.

  27. The EPA did something truly bizarre, today. They classified CO2 as a "Dangerous Pollutant."

    Those South Sea Islanders that threw Virgins in the Volcanoes, and those Massachusettes Genii that burned backward girls at the stake for being "Witches" didn't have anything on us.