Archive for January, 2007

The Challenge of Our Lives Has Arrived.

Just take a look around. China has enhanced their Star Wars program. Dick Cheney says no one can stop their insatiable worship of warships. And all over the place, financial markets are in a slow motion collapse.

Yet Americans choose to keep on partying and remain delusional. But, reality doesn’t care what any of us thinks… it will deal with everyone pretending we are invincible consumer vampires that can indefinitely suck suck suck away at mother earth without consequences.

But again, this is all coming from a hypocrite blogger who has credit card debt, a mortgage, and student loans to pay off. And Americans just make really, really dumb decisions sometimes. I can only hope that as it all unravels, the good people of this country will put their fears to work for good, and alleviate their suffering though community cooperation rather than insanity and violence.

As layoffs continue and prices rise, there will be tensions none of us have ever witnessed before. We will need to be more inventive, patient, and get by with MUCH, MUCH less.

It’s the challenge of our lives.

January 25, 2007 at 11:31 am 2 comments

The Hard Truth – A Video Interview With Richard Heinberg

If you don’t change your lifestyle habits after seeing this powerful interview with Richard Heinberg, then be prepared for a society scrambling for food to survive in the future. It’s the hard truth, folks.

Richard Heinberg Interview, Part 1 (7:38)

Richard Heinberg Interview, Part 2 (6:17)

January 18, 2007 at 1:08 pm Leave a comment

Politicians Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Save Our Children

You hear the same promise over and over, but usually in different terms.

“We need to ensure a future for our children.”
“Our children are the future.”
“We need to make sure our kids are getting a good education, so they can have a brighter future.”

Blah Blah Woof Woof. Excuse me, but many politicians’ children are getting GREAT educations already, so maybe they should be saying “YOUR children” instead. Because their kids are gonna be just fine, and the only future the children and grandchildren of many politicians will share with your kids’ future will be the one where the earth dies or humans nuke themselves to bits.

Seriously. By the time politicians get to the big decision making levels of government, they are usually so far up corporations’ asses they can’t see anything but their masters’ colons, let alone your children’s future. They are focused on serving themselves (consciously or unconsciously), and unless they can stand by the Declaration of Independence, they are not serving any children.

But, it’s business as usual, la la la. The aggression in the world will just continue as food stocks deplete, water shortages are abound, and we humans begin to swim in our own feces.

But dude, have you seen the new i-phone? I REALLY want one, but I’m fighting that whole materialism thing. And while I’m at it, I want a lot of things.

– I want humans to understand that we can’t continue any war without it escalating to global destruction.
– I want you to consider carpooling.
– I want you to know that I understand without Football, many American men would lose meaning in life.
– I want you to know Football isn’t as important as ensuring the future of children and grand children.

It’s not the politicians with kids that are grown up that will make changes happen fast enough. It’s the ones who are willing to be grown ups that implement pragmatic and real world strategies without self-reward.

But if they do a good job maybe they should get an i-phone.

January 12, 2007 at 12:02 am 1 comment

If It Comes To A Shooting War

You know, I would much rather be watching funny videos like these Spiders on Drugs than reporting the bad news of impending war and destruction. Seriously. This whole “We want to rule the world thing” is really friggen old.

The following is a partial reprint of an article that should scare the shit out of you. Maybe this is a very realistic global military conflict scenario will show you why peace and co-existence is the ONLY answer.

You must find your own way to peace, and then take action to promote it.

If it comes to a shooting war …
By Victor N Corpus

One could call this article a worst-case (my edit: a highly probable) scenario for the new American century.

… here is the outlook for Iran and beyond. Get ready for the most turbulent time of your life.

American crossroad
As the sole superpower, the US stands at a critical crossroad. One road leads to world domination. Using its pre-eminent military war machine without equal, it can strike at any perceived threat, change foreign sovereign regimes at will, grab precious mineral resources anywhere in the world and control local economies with its host of transnational corporations. It can also sabotage the economy of up-coming rivals, or launch preventive wars to preempt prospective competitors and try to defeat them militarily while they are still weak compared to America.

Such a course of action is very tempting, especially to leaders with global ambitions of becoming “Lords of the Earth”. But such a road is full of risks and what is planned on paper, as what was done in Iraq, may not turn out as hoped. And such a path will necessarily ignite the outrage of most right-thinking people. America will earn for itself the enmity and hatred of people all over the world.

America had outlined its blueprint for world domination, by force if necessary, in the following documents:
# National Security Strategy of the United States of America, September 2001
# President George W Bush’s speech at the Graduation Ceremony at West Point, June 1, 2002
# Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for the New Century, a report of the Project for the New American Century, September 2000
# Defense Planning Guidance written by then deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz in February 18, 1992

In these documents, the US outlined some of its new doctrines and policies, such as: preventive war, pre-emptive military action, unilateralism, regime change, acting as the world’s constabulary or “cavalry”, establishment of military bases and spreading US forces all over the world, control of outer space and the global commons of cyberspace and control of the world’s oil resources.

The alternate road, on the other hand, leads to world leadership. The US can choose to use its power, wealth and influence to sincerely do good for the people on this planet. It can lead in easing or obliterating the debt burden of poor nations, or in promoting the spread of quality education through distance learning in remote villages of developing countries.

It can focus in the fight against poverty, or the fight against drugs, or the effort to save the deteriorating environment of planet earth. It can lead the fight against HIV/AIDS, or malaria and other deadly diseases. The whole world is waiting for the US to lead in these important battles.

If the US chooses to focus its huge resources on the latter, I am confident that it will gain the hearts and minds of people all over the world. Then it can be a true world leader. Then it can maintain its preeminent world status. By gaining the world’s sympathy and support, terrorism directed against Americans and the US mainland will be greatly minimized. The alternate road, in fact, is the key to defeating the phenomenon of “terrorism” gripping the world today.

If the US pushes through its plan of world domination, then it should expect all the smaller and weaker countries that do not wish to be pushed around to fight back using asymmetric warfare. This is a form of warfare that allows the weak to fight and defeat a much stronger foe by “attacking the enemy’s weakness while avoiding his strengths”.

The US, for instance, may possess the most sophisticated weapons system on Earth. It may have the most modern planes, helicopters, ships, guns, precision-guided weapons, sophisticated sensors and command and control systems, but if it cannot see its adversary, if it is fighting a shadowy and “invisible” enemy (like American and British forces are experiencing in Iraq), such advanced and sophisticated weapons systems are rendered useless.

In asymmetric warfare, most of the fighting is conducted at the team level. Thousands of agile and elusive teams consisting of two to five members equipped with man-portable surface-to-air missiles, portable anti-tank guided weapons, sniper rifles, man-portable mortars, anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines, sea mines, C4 explosives (for making car bombs, booby-traps and improvised explosive devices or IEDs) riding on bicycles and motorcycles and fast boats will make the lives of any invading or occupying forces extremely miserable.

These “invisible” agile teams merge with the population most of the time and come out only when there is a vulnerable target to strike at. Then, they disappear into the shadows. They communicate via runners bringing coded written messages, so there are no electronic signals to track down. They operate semi-autonomously, so there are no centers of gravity that can be targeted.

And since they are indigenous to the area and united with the local people, their human intelligence (humint) is far more superior to that of the invaders. They will also enjoy a tremendous advantage in psychological operations (psyops), for it is much easier to mobilize nationalist sentiments against a foreign occupier than for an aggressor to justify occupation.

Asymmetric warfare may be compared to a fierce lion invading the territory of a school of piranhas; or a king cobra encroaching into a colony of fire ants. The lion may be the king of beasts, mighty and strong, but it is no match against the tiny piranhas in their own territory. The sharp fangs and claws of the lion are rendered useless. The same is true with the cobra’s venom. The analogy applies to the French in Dien Bien Phu, the Soviets in Afghanistan and the Americans in Vietnam and now in Iraq.

Asynchronous warfare
Aside from asymmetric warfare, weak nations fighting the strong can also avail themselves of asynchronous warfare. If a strong nation invades or occupies a weak one, the weak bides its time before striking back. And it strikes at a time and place when and where the adversary least expects.

An example is Iraq. The underground resistance movement in Iraq may recruit Iraqi scientists or sympathetic scientists of other nationalities to infiltrate the US (via the Mexican border, for instance) and manufacture dirty bombs as well as chemical and biological weapons inside the US. Such weapons may be brought to Washington and detonated in or near the US Congress.

They could also hire a private plane, or buy one themselves, and use it to spread biological or chemical weapons they have manufactured in-country over New York or Washington. They can mail letters containing anthrax to key offices of vital services all over the US and paralyze utilities and other government functions nationwide.

Or they can smuggle, say, the components of a hundred portable surface-to-air missiles, assemble them in the US, and employ them simultaneously in all of the major airports in America. Or they can employ those portable surface-to-air missiles to simultaneously target American airlines taking off or landing in different international airports all over the world.

Some major powers may pass on their research on RMA (revolution in military affairs) to the Iraqi resistance to be tested inside the US. These weapons include laser weapons, ultrahigh frequency weapons, ultrasonic wave weapons, stealth weapons, high-powered microwave weapons and electromagnetic guns. They include miniature robot ants that infiltrate computers, stay dormant and then activate on the signal to destroy their hosts. The Iraqi underground could also recruit hackers to work inside and/or outside the US to hack into key US systems.

On the Middle East Front

The three(+) US aircraft carrier groups that entered the Persian Gulf to ensure the unhindered flow of Arab oil are likely to be helpless “sitting ducks” against the bottom-rising sea mines and low-flying, supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles in Iranian hands. In the process, a couple of oil tankers about to exit the Strait of Hormuz are hit with the aid of rocket-propelled sea mines, thus effectively blockading the narrow strait and stopping oil supplies from coming out of the Middle East.

A “weak” nation like China or Iran, without a single aircraft carrier in their respective navies, could thus obliterate the carrier battle groups of a superpower. Here, one can see the hidden and often unnoticed power of asymmetric warfare, which may well spell the end of “gunboat diplomacy” in the not so distant future.

The Central Asian front
On yet another major front in Central Asia, Russian troops lead the other member-countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) into a major offensive against US military bases in Central Asia.

The bases are first subjected to a simultaneous barrage of missiles with fuel-air explosives and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warheads before they are overrun and occupied by SCO coalition forces. The missile attack on the US bases is followed by a lightning attack by four mechanized armored divisions coming from the Yili Korgas pass of China’s Xinjiang province, linking up with Russia’s own armored divisions in a pincer offensive against US forces in Central Asia and the Middle East.

America crippled on three major fronts
In just a few hours (or days) after the outbreak of general hostilities, America, the world’s lone superpower, finds itself badly crippled militarily in three major regions of the world: East Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Impossible? Unfortunately, the answer is no. China now has the know-how and the financial resources to mass-produce hundreds, if not thousands, of Moskit, Yakhont and Granit-type supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles and “squall”-type rocket torpedoes against which US and UK aircraft carriers and submarines have no known defense.

Iran, on the other hand, already possesses the same supersonic cruise missiles that can destroy any ship in the Persia Gulf, including aircraft carriers. Russia and China, meanwhile, are operating on familiar grounds close to their territory, compared to the US, which needs to cross the Atlantic and Pacific to replenish troops and logistics.

A geopolitical reality America has to face
An important consideration in any US-China conflict is the geopolitical reality that the US and its allies will be operating on exterior lines, while China will operate on interior lines. This gives China a huge advantage in a major war in Asia against US and allied forces.

Consider the long sea lanes of communication (10,000 kilometers) that the US alliance would be forced to cross each time its forces had to resupply and you get an idea of the huge logistics problem that the US would face in a confrontation with China.

Such lengthy sea lanes of communication (SLOC) are highly vulnerable to a gauntlet of Chinese and Russian submarines lying in ambush along the route laden with underwater sea mines. This will make transporting personnel and equipment by the US over the Pacific or the Atlantic extremely dangerous and expensive.

Compare this US handicap with troop movement by Chinese troops using heavy-lift aircraft, railways and highways within the China mainland. China’s interior lines of communication are shorter and protected, with little chance for enemy interdiction. Chinese troops can concentrate numerically superior forces rapidly at any given point to defeat invading US forces one by one with much shorter and less vulnerable lines of communication.

And in the event that the US forces and their allies are lucky enough to land on the Chinese mainland, they will be faced not only with a conventional People’s Liberation Army of more than 2 million, but also with a people’s militia conducting asymmetric warfare and a people’s war in its teeming millions. US forces and their allies will be like a raging bull charging and goring a hive of killer bees. US forces may be able to set foot in China, but it is highly doubtful if they could come out alive.

Grimmer scenarios
There is a scenario grimmer than described above, however, and that is if strategic planners belonging to that elite group called the Project for the New American Century decide to launch a nuclear “first strike” against China and Russia and risk a mutually-assured destruction: 1)In defense of Taiwan … or 2) In launching a “preventive war” to stop China from catching up economically and militarily. Or, if China decides to start an offensive against Taiwan with a one-megaton nuclear burst 40 kilometers above the center of the island. Or, if China and Russia decide to arm a number of their short and medium-range ballistic missiles and supersonic cruise missiles with tactical nuclear warheads in defending themselves against US and UK aircraft carrier battle groups.

Land-attack versions of these supersonic cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads carried by stealthy Chinese and Russian submarines can also put American coastal cities at great risk to nuclear devastation. Strategic planners must also consider these worst-case possibilities.

We must make our choice right now, folks.

Victor N Corpus is a retired brigadier general. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. His major assignment while serving in the armed forces of the Philippines was as chief of the intelligence service.

January 8, 2007 at 11:17 am 3 comments

The Devil Wears A Lot More Than Prada

Yep, the devil wears a lot more than Prada. Soon we’ll get to see a whole evil fashion show as the era of 50+ years of no one using a nuclear bomb against one another looks to be coming to an end. The devil also manifests himself/herself/itself in every country, and owns a lot of stock options. (I can only wonder how the markets or United Nations will react to the rising hatred… we’ll have to watch oil and stock prices this week).

But this old hatred and soon-to-be explosive violence is what happens when the selfish religions and governments of the world choose death over cooperation and co-existence. For instance, yesterday I went to see the “Quest for Immortality” exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. It certainly wasn’t the relatives of the mummies who built their tombs and pyramids. That’s Class-A slave labor, baby. Only these days we get to sit in cubicles and flip burgers while pigging out at the trough of materialism, choosing to indulge in false happiness through whatever advertisers tell us will cure our inner torments.

To other people, the Egyptian display may have been “neat, fascinating, and exciting”, but to me it just proved that regular folks like us have always been slaves to religion and government who are bent on continuing their cycle of oppression of humankind through distortions of reality and violence. (On a side note, it was interesting to watch a mother just smile and opt to not to attempt an answer when her little boy asked her what the “Netherworld” is).

I guess the reason for inaction against these injustices is because many of us feel too hooked to our mortgages and possessions to really take a stand against the insane and evil policies of religion and government. I’m still guilty of it too, so shame on me. But it’s never too late. Part of pitching in and doing our part is by looking deep inside and realizing that unless the people of earth accept one another’s cultures and learn to co-exist, we are all dead. There’s no other nice way to put it.

And for those of you cheering on or ignoring the imminent destruction of the world, we are already living on borrowed time. The timefor change was a long time ago! And yet we still don’t act to stop the madness. After all these rants, my wife told me today she’s not yet open to sharing our home as a co-op living space, but would be open to it if we lived in a place where she gets her privacy AND a shared living space. Like a commons. Of course, I think she’s too closed minded and needs to open up to the world more – and she thinks I’m nuts for moving towards giving up our living space privacy. We’re a work in progress you see.

I can understand such thinking though… self examination is the biggest challenge of anyone’s life and it takes a desire to learn and a willingness to explore more meaning in life than just ourselves. The problem is that the time is here when there will be a lot of crying as ignorance of such understanding and positive action is no longer an option. What that means is the days of hopping in your car to hit the drive through for fast food are nearing their end.

But hey, I’m just some guy with an opinion, albeit a pretty informed opinion. Where do you stand on this? Here’s a simple little “world view” test:

Once, Ghandi said he is a “Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, A Bhuddist, and a Jew”. What is your response?

A) I understand what Ghandi is saying, and we should all heed his example and follow the path of love, tolerance, and cooperation.
B) I can’t find it in my heart to co-exist, because (insert your religion here) is the only correct religion, if someone threatens us we should strike first, and my needs are more important than the needs of the world.

If you lean more towards answer B), you need a crash course in reality, and hop to it, will ya? And kudos to whoever else figures out how to get through to people that no religion is more valid than universal and infinite love.

January 7, 2007 at 6:16 pm 5 comments

A Novelty Item That Should Not Exist

NukAlert

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. This product should not exist. It’s not even a novelty. It’s a sign of how sick we are, laughing at the inevitable destruction of life on earth rather than eliminating the threats we’ve created.

What the hell us wrong with us? Are we so trapped in our consumer lifestyles that the choice we are being forced to make is either Big Screen TV’s or Death? When skin begins to melt from people’s bodies, I’m sure the novelty won’t take long to wear off.

January 4, 2007 at 11:23 am 2 comments

A Hip Energy Saving Strategy – Dinner Parties, Baby!

Looking for an easy recipe to have fun and save on your bills at the same time? My peeps, it’s all about turning off the TV and having dinner parties!

This isn’t revolutionary thinking. But as the energy crisis deepens, we are all going to find ourselves in a pickle as costs of food, transportation, utilities, and just about everything else rise. And as much as this is going to hurt, we can start training ourselves to live in the new future, starting right now.

Honestly, the best times I can recount in the past couple of years are from small gatherings of friends for adventures in cooking, conversation, board games, and drinks. If everyone loves the feeling of the holidays, why not just extend that feeling to anytime, 2007? I’m sick of so much gloom and doom. If we have to reduce our energy consumption, then we had better figure out fun ways to do it. Here’s one recipe:

6 – 8 friends (with an optional dash of someone new to spice it up a bit)
Food recipe (Everyone must agree on the meal to be made)
Food ingredients (one person might shop and everyone splits the receipt, everyone goes Pot Luck, or your own way…)
Music (If they are your friends you probably have similar tastes – why not give someone music-mix duty?)
Alcohol (optional, but I like to get my drink on with friends)
1 Clean Kitchen – Did you know that the kitchen is the most popular room at parties? It’s where everyone congregates anyway.

If you throw all these ingredients together, the thing practically makes itself. I mean, board games + friends + food + alcohol = Hootin’ Annie! Need I say more? But I should say, no driving drunk! And for those that can’t cook or don’t know how, the whole thing is a social exercise, so what a great time to learn while you appreciate the fine art of culinary delights and good company.

And it doesn’t have to cost anyone much… buying in bulk saves cashola. And you can eat delicious and healthy meals. And And And… the awesomeness just keeps on coming:

MONEY SAVING:
– Utilities: Everyone can turn off their heaters/AC units at home for the evening
– Carpooling: the way to go for saving gas and cutting down on carbon emissions.
– More for your dollars: More food can be made for less money via community cooking rather than buying pre-packaged foods
– Leftovers will save on food costs for a couple days after

So give it a try. Whip out your cell phone and just call some friends up… get the idea floating first, you can all pick an evening that will work for you. Just get started… make the invite, and since you’re the one reading this, offer to host the first one at your place.

Peace and Reality,

– Randy

January 1, 2007 at 10:34 pm 3 comments


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