Korean Intervention

Korea appears to be simmering and bristling with weapons and threat in the most sustained unresolved civil war that could it seems erupt into further provocations by the North and responses of increasing violence from the South. American forces intervened in this war in the early fifties and US bases have been operational since. It seems to be a war of one of the most technologically advanced societies against a lunging starving beast with big guns. To the mind of a North Korean, the weight of evil may appear to be from the South and their weapons. The intervention does not appear to have removed the threat but sustains its presence but suspending violence until the weapons are too horrible to contemplate. Maybe that is why military spending keeps racing ahead of society – it is only possible to render your enemy unable to attack you if you can punish them even more than they can punish you.

“We are now in the most dangerous moment in Korean history over the last 25 years,” said Andrei Lankov, a Russian professor at Seoul’s Kookmin University. “South Korea has already committed itself to a strong reaction to a future North Korean provocation so many times and so loudly that if they don’t do it they will lose elections and be shamed.


While President Obama was rebuked by Congress for the American involvement in the war in Libya, the International Criminal Court in The Hague have indicted Muammar-el-Qaddafi for war crimes alongside his son Seif-el-Islam and his chief of intelligence, Abdullah Senussi.

New York Times

Economic Maladies

The Greek Tragedy threatens to engulf Europe in a contagion of defaults, resulting in loans from other countries / investors not being repaid.

Does economic isolation logically follow a default? Would you lend to someone who never repaid their debts? Moreover, when a default occurs the overseas assets of the nation could be repossessed or nationalised by the creditor nation. Unable to borrow funds to finance Government spending could only be financed by printing money. And economies that inflate in this way render their currency meaningless. Like Zimbabwe.

The problem is that the trade between nations is the driver of economic wealth. The sudden cessation of the ability to import would hamper the capabilities for business growth as well as indulgence in the luxuries we can import. Exporting would also be limited as one could not expect payment from an erstwhile business partner to whom billions are not repaid.

Unemployment and criminal activity would follow.

So how can spiraling economies like Greece recover? When the bulk of Government spending is an ingrained bureaucracy without inherent value that can be exported, it does not provide much scope for a means to recover. And how does the unprecedented levels of imbalance become rebalanced?

The inherent force by which China forces its human economy to produce exportable goods for little pay has enabled it to outdo the West through sheer economic force. It is a flaw in values that money is a relativistic means of exchange, that economic prosperity can be distorted by risk to the degree it has and that greed should be the rationale over which economic decisions are reached.

Gambling produces nothing except increased risk. The only path out of this mess is to confront what is real, not what is imagined.

Solar Energy

To claim that solar power is too weak to power the world is simply wrong. We use so little of the solar power that arrives for free from the sun and investment in using more of it efficiently will not have the potential cost or nightmare consequences of a nuclear meltdown.

Climate change denial does not stop irreversible extinctions and “being real” by building nuclear plants on or near fault lines or population centres is plainly daft.

What commercial imperative is there for free energy? Free energy is the most efficient form of energy. It would mean we can spend more on the very real problems we face from polluting the seas.

[comment post on the Guardian.co.uk CIF talkboards]


Granted that the IMF bails out countries and finances deficits against future growth, it is seen as a stabilising force in the world. But to what degree are weapons funding inherently part of this structural adjustment to a nation’s expectations? If the IMF did not bail out a country, then what would happen to them?

The financial crisis that has rocked the world was, in case anyone has forgotten, due to Lehman Brothers and the sub-prime mortgage markets collapsing. It was due to the raised expectations and false hope provided by signing up everyone who could never afford it, loans that were almost certain to collapse in a pile of bad debt. These bad debts were then onsold into the “market” that was seen as being completely able to direct what happened next. It could not. And what happened was a call on the also illogical insurances that backed Lehman deals. And that saw AIG being bailed out by the US government for 185 billion dollars.

The damage done was having to reverse all these ridiculous agreements for those who could not afford mortgages they should have avoided. It is the illusion of being able to stay above water that keeps the poor sods struggling before they sink. If they remained in their affordable, uncomfortable, low expectation lifestyle, there would have not been a problem. It is a need to have things as a right rather than as a reward that seems basic to this horror.

And the same goes for the IMF bailing out the economies where tax payers have bailed out banks. All very well to continue to support these banks that have flouted their responsibilities. But are new investment rules and responsibilities not just overdue?

Are we being taken for a ride by the likes of the IMF?

See New York Times