Translate

Monday, December 29, 2014




“American Sniper” Movie Hits the Bulls-Eye! 
Congratulations to Director/Producer Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper, Actor/Producer for an outstanding depiction of the terrible Iraq War and it’s collateral damage.
I was pleasantly surprised by this film that depicts an accurate portrayal of the horror of war. Based on the true story of a Texan, Chris Kyle, who volunteered for four tours of duty as a SEAL sniper in Iraq [the battle of Fallujah] and was credited with close to 160 kills.  This film by the sagacious director, Clint Eastwood, neither glorifies nor deprecates the actions of this brave, but disturbed character. 

Like many of Clint’s films about war (“Letters from Iwo Jima” and the Japanese participation in WWII), Eastwood has a steady hand in directing the complicated action lines in many of the battles that occurred in Fallujah, Iraq.  He does not moralize for or against war, he simply portrays the mayhem and terror that constantly surrounds our fighting men/women. In the same vein of impressive performances, I must admit that the once pretty boy image of Bradley Cooper has morphed into a brilliant portrayal of a Texan born to snipe, fight and contemplate. Cooper has assumed a maturity as an actor that has to be commended, playing a SEAL whom everyone addresses as ’The Legend’. 
In this film, Cooper has demonstrated a wide range of emotions that belie the bravado of a first time sniper who finally comes to terms with his need for war and action at a very high cost to his own sanity and the well-being of his young family. Sienna Miller, his wife, was excellent as a bar-hopping young woman who matures into a loving, caring mother and wife.

What makes this film so exceptional is the perspective that Eastwood takes from the view of both the Iraq sniper [‘the butcher’] and the American sniper. Neither one is more moral or even better at his lethal skill of precision kills. Both are beset by circumstances that compounds their own particular problems in sighting their respective targets. However, I do caution those of you who have endured an assortment of tours through either Iraq or Afghanistan that the scenes of mayhem and death may resound beyond the borders of sensibility. I found the movie to be both emotionally moving, disturbing and excellently executed.
Clearly, as someone in my Fourth Trimester of Life [pun] I am encouraged by the fact that Clint Eastwood at the age of 84 has produced this American Masterpiece about war. I don’t know how the academy will vote on this picture because the academy is usually biased against films that portray war or even attempt to explain it; however, I would vote for Best Picture and Best Director- The American Sniper and Clint Eastwood. I would also vote Bradley Cooper as the Best Actor of 2014.  However, more often than not,  I have been wrong in my selections over the past ten years.

Congratulations to all involved in this brilliant film, “American Sniper”, depicting the horrors of war, particularly, the Iraq incursion.
I would also include those individuals who are often described as ‘below the line’ for recognition:
Best Adapted Screenplay.
Best Film Editing.
Best Cinematography
Best Production Design
Best Costume Design
Best Visual Effects
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
In other words, this film, American Sniper, is an all around winner!
Congratulations to all involved!!
P.S This film is a reminder that we really don’t need these types of wars anymore. But that is just my opinion.

 
A balanced piece
http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/28/quotes-of-the-day-1954/?utm_source=hadaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl
Here is an article by James Fallows that I liked, "The Tragedy of the American Military"
http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/12/the-tragedy-of-the-american-military/383516/

Friday, December 26, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

STEVE PIECZENIK LIVE on The Alex Jones Show [12-22-14]

Dr. Steve Pieczenik and Alex Jones discuss cyber warfare, North Korea, economic warfare, the Russian Ruble, kleptocracy, psyops, propaganda & more! 


CNN is compromised, Fox news is compromised, Obama was born in Kenya, oil prices will continue to drop, Palestine will be recognized as a state...


An explosive must watch interview broadcasted live worldwide on 12-22-14

Sunday, December 21, 2014




How the Mid-term Republican Victory is Quickly Turning the Staid Party into a Carnival of Self-Delusion and Grandiosity.
Self-Implosion is imminent.
Recently, President Obama pulled a Nixonian tour de force by recognizing Cuba in a well-orchestrated strategy/tactics utilizing the best of our Intelligence/ Diplomatic community. Whether you like what he did is not as relevant as trying to understand and appreciate both the bravado and deftness with which this complicated maneuver was executed by POTUS and the Pope.

So what is the response from the Republican Party which should have been in the forefront of creative diplomatic achievements a la Nixon? A cherubic pubescent gnat identified as a Cuban-American, Senator Marco Rubio uttered the most inane phrases like the baby-faced sputtering Republican saprophyte he has become:
“I know more about Cuba than the President.”
What?
This hyphenated Cuban-American is neither Cuban nor American. He has never served one day in our military nor intelligence service. Instead, after graduating from the least impressive schools that America can offer, this not very bright, ambitious panderer, immediately went into politics serving in the corrupt Tallahassee Legislature.
Throughout his limited political career he has been known as nothing more than a globule of protoplasm that spouts out repeatedly that his family came from Cuba as ‘political prisoners’ of Fidel Castro. Of course, he was lying, like most indigenous Cubans, his family fled Cuba to make a better living in the USA. 
So what did these Cuban refugees do to improve our economy? Parts of his family became involved in the drug trade so prevalent in Miami. Rubio then distanced himself from his own distorted narrative, supported by his mentor, Jeb Bush, and rescinded his stories about his family and his own miscreant activities with American banks[foreclosures]. 
Who is Marco Rubio?

Not an American and certainly not a Cuban. He was born in America and went both to Catholic and Mormon schools to achieve nothing more than a narrative of self-aggrandizement and self-delusions. By contrast, I was born in Havana, Cuba, went on to all the Ivy League schools and universities not once mentioning the fact that I was truly Cuban. Then I went on to serve both in our military, intelligence services and State Department.  Afterward,  I left the comfort of USG to start a series of start-ups as an angel investor.  I had successes and I had failures. Some other Cubans with whom I am very close to still serve our country as well as create many new and successful companies.
None of us have created a life solely based on the place where we were born a la Rubio who became the ‘House Hispanic’ for the Republicans. As both an American and a passport carrying Cuban who fought Fidel’s and Raul’s soldiers in Panama, I am proud that Obama and Raul Castro made this incredible d├ętente worthy of Nixon.
As a life-long Republican, I am ashamed of my party for splattering a moment of history with nonsensical palaver and self-delusional statements. If the Republicans continue on this self-destructive course of attacking every constructive initiative with ad hominum statements, they will be seen as nothing more than a ‘do-nothing party’. Obstructionism is not a strategy nor will it work and frankly, its unpatriotic

In addition, the floater launched that Jeb is running for president makes me feel even worse about this Republican Organization.  Its either stupidity, desperation or ego mania or a combination that propels Jeb from sullying what’s left of Bush Sr legacy.  Forget the fact that 70% of those polled believe that 9/11 was a false flag orchestrated by Bush Jr/Cheney.  Does Jeb really want to dig up the Neil/Marvin Silverado Scandals and the lies (9/11, WMD etc) of the Jr years?  This is in addition to his own wife’s greedy indiscretions, his daughter’s drug addiction for which she served time and the whole election rigging for his brother’s presidential…..other than that?!! (oh yeah, Jeb’s questionable business associations in Miami before he became governor, etc)
I digress, back to Rubio and his ignorance. … For those who know a little about the history of Cuba and America,  the Founding Fathers could not receive the necessary money, guns and gunpowder that allowed us to win the Revolutionary War without Cuba.  Cuba is more than Desi Arnaz and BabaLu and Castro.  Yet Rubio claims he knows more about Foreign Policy than former sec of state Hillary Clinton…..I doubt it.


Please get rid of this hyphenated nobody before its too late for the Republican Party.  Rubio does NOT represent real Americans who have served our country in the different times of need without elaborating on their Hispanic Roots, be they Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Latin Americans !!! A life-long politician is nothing more than a professional panderer who contributes nothing to our capitalist society based on risk, reward and hard work, asking nothing from anyone except the appreciation of the fruits of their respective labor. Rubio created nothing but a selfie on steroids that has become toxic element in our entrepreneurial economy. We can no longer afford the Rubios nor his mentor, Jeb Bush.
   


Thursday, December 18, 2014





The Cuba Opening: Obama’s Secret Diplomacy Success!
Most of you are aware that this blogger has not shied away from criticizing Obama or the CIA and other covert agencies for their past failures. However, if I am willing to criticize Caesar than I must also praise him for the fine handling of a very delicate issue like the loosening of relations with Cuba. I don’t have to go over the history of a fifty year embargo that has done nothing but made a few US mid-western farmers extremely wealthy shipping grain and other crucial goods to Cuba. 
Please remember that in every so called embargo of a country, someone tends to benefit.  More often than not, its our wealthy corporations or agribusinesses that profit the most from goods and services which find their way ‘somehow’ into the embargoed country. That was true of the embargo on South Africa when the Maritius Airlines were laden with all types of goods that were prohibited from being sold to South Africa. Or when Israel tested their non-existent atomic bomb off the coast of the African Horn.

However, this time around Obama initiated a one and a half year secret negotiations unbeknownst to me or others who were in the know. He made covert overtures to Raul Castro through an intermediary who was a ‘guarantor‘ for both the US and Cuba—The Pope. Congrats to the Pope Francis for his skillful backdoor negotiations with the Cuban leadership. Also Congrats to our Intelligence/Diplomatic Community for their persistent, quiet diplomacy which had effectively dismantled the antiquated, useless embargo. More and more, I am beginning to see that Obama is really growing in the Presidential office by initiating and completing several successful but completely unheralded accomplishments:
A few worth mentioning…..
1. One month ago a Singaporean tanker left Texas with American oil, signifying that for the first time, Americans have become a major exporter of oil to the world. At the same time, Obama has allowed the oil companies to produce over 9 million barrels of oil per day placing us in the position of being able to drive down the price of oil precipitously. Also Obama has, despite complaints from this left wing, increased the fracking that has been occurring all over the USA, even in places one would not have thought.
2. Obama vetoed the Keystone pipeline correctly claiming that the gas transported from the sands of Canada would do nothing for the American economy, but only benefit major Canadian Companies.
3. And the piece de resistance is that soon Obama will effectively conclude a trade and diplomatic treaty with the most crucial country in the Middle East: Iran. By doing so, he realigns the power base away from the useless makeshift post English colonial countries like Saudi Arabia [major thorn in our side]; UAE; Qatar; Jordan; Syria; and Israel [a strategic liability].
Please don’t forget that our economy has been growing while the rest of the world has been in an economic recession, no mean feat. It was the Obama administration and its covert operatives in the military, civilian parts of the USG who effectively taught Putin the lesson in economic theory. Don’t mess with America when it comes to money, honey! We will always win! Crony Capitalism trumps Kremlin kleptocracy.

So I must congratulate this administration for deeds well done and commend all the White House members for carrying out a very delicate act of diplomacy, a long time coming. Hail Caesar! Hail Obama!
Republicans: you are in deep, deep trouble, carrying on like children in a sand lot throwing mud at one another and the President.


  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014




The Russian Ruble is Crashing Thanks to US/EU Economic Sanctions/Warfare!
In the course of my thirty year career in national security, I have discovered that contrary to the consensus, bullets and artillery shells are not the most powerful tools of regime change. In fact, we are witnessing the strategy first implemented by Nixon, then carried out by Reagan and primarily Bush Sr/Baker of psychological warfare inducing fear through an economic system wherein the opposing regime cannot minimize the effect of an American Economic War.
I am not gloating over the fact that the Ruble; as well as, the Russian economy is literally on the brink of complete financial collapse. I am merely pursuing a narrative which I had started years ago about how powerful the American economy can be when judiciously targeted against a weaker more fragile, artificial economy, be it the Soviet Union, or the present Putin government. In the world of experts spouting geopolitical imperatives for the destiny of nations, I refute their basic constructs by pointing out that in the long term, most nations, like individuals or groups of individuals respond to FEAR. No nation is immune to the fear of an Ebola Epidemic or economic instability.

The very core of nation-state is based on the foundations of economic and political security. If one falters, then both will tumble. In both WWI and WWII what made America so powerful and lethal in combat was the fact that our economic capacity to turn out bombers, tanks, and war materials overwhelmed all the combatant nations. The fact that our crippled FDR understood that WWII was about allowing competing economic systems—both communism and national fascism –to destroy each other showed an incredible insight into the dynamics and faith he had about our unique capitalist economy.
During the Cold War, it was not weapons or missiles that won the war, but our ability to harness our economic power to over-ride any false confidence that the Politburo had about their failing, self-destructive economy and the useless weapons and goods that they manufactured. The one factor that had always impressed me about the Russians is their ability to delude themselves into believing that they were a formidable nation-state.  During this time, I helped to construct the strategy for the psychological warfare of regime change in the Soviet Union, starting with the Nixon administration sending me to Moscow to negotiate for the release of Christian dissidents [Baptists]  incarcerated in  psychiatric hospitals [ Kaschenko Psy. Hosp—GRU/KGB]  as ‘sluggish schizophrenics’ [a concocted term].  I immediately developed an economic matrix where I commoditized the value of the incarcerated Christian against the value of Wang Computers.

How did that work?
If I wanted a very important Christian dissident out of the psychiatric hospital,  I had to determine with my adversary, Stalin’s personal doctor/psychiatrist, how many Wang computers was the individual worth to the Russians. I got the Christians and Stalin’s henchman got the computers. We never talked about Human Rights or anything other than the worth of a ‘dissident’ in terms of an American asset that they wanted.

Similarly, in developing the strategy for regime change in the Soviet Union, the notion that Star Wars was not real but rather complete fiction was a way of creating fear in the Soviet Military Industrial Complex to spend whatever little remaining resources they had on a highly contrived psychological operation which finally depleted the Soviet Economy.  The rest of the regime change involved cultural manipulations of imposing religion where atheism existed; as well as, creating a youthful foment [Agitprop] with Radio Free Europe/Jazz/ Rock’n Roll. This led to an underground swelling of the ‘intelligentsia’ demanding change along the lines of the west.  Finally, all the factors combined—Financial, Cultural, and Agit Prop—defeated the existing Soviet System. This is contrary to Gorbachev’s statements that ‘Russia just collapsed in on itself’.

Next Gorbachev was chosen by the USG but he failed to make the necessary changes in both the economy and political body to sustain a viable Russia. Now, Putin, as many of you know from my past blogs, has literally fallen into the same psychological trap that the Soviets had done despite warnings from myself and others. He is NOT stupid yet his arrogance and ignorance of the world economy and the ability of America to literally vanquish any opponent economically [forget about the military] was not taken seriously. So the present Russian catastrophe of the Ruble crashing is the result of lessons not learned from the past.

If the occupation of the Ukraine was the initial precipitant, it was, at best, a false start on both sides. The real give away for me that Russia and Putin had failed miserably was the Sochi Olympics which was a bust—literally and financially. It cost Russia over 50 Billion Dollars of wasted money given to the Kleptocracy in the Kremlin. Once again, we initiate a economic war in order to teach Putin that his narcissism was completely out of control and that his weapon of choice against the EU, gas distribution on a selective basis, would never work.

The key turning point in this economic war was not the Ukraine or anything that we, Americans did or not do. It was Angela Merkel, the leader of Germany who had understood Putin so well, because both grew up in East Germany under the rule of Stasi [Putin was trained by Stasi], and had decided that Germany could no longer work with Putin suis generis. Her assessment that Putin was out of control because of his ego and inane behavior, marked the end of the Ruble and the Russian economy. Putin should leave office for the benefit of both Russia and world peace. Nothing good will be accomplished by Putin’s remaining in power.

For those who genuinely believe that Russians can continue to suffer because of their legendary soul-searching angst, I would caution both the Americans and Russians to think again. Angst and hunger do not play too well with the 21st Century Russian youths who have never witnessed the ravages of WWII and poverty.
As we say in the French Casinos:
“Les Jeux Sont Faits!” 
The Game Is Over, Ladies and Gentlemen! No more Bets!
Adieu Putin! Good bye!



Monday, December 15, 2014

Order this book for a gift for someone who "gets it"...I send it out priority mail so if you order soon you'll get it time.  Favorable reviews so far, limited run and they are going fast.  Buying details on my web site.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hello out there!  Just to end confusion, anyone that ordered a "book"  gets a REAL BOOK mailed to your address via US Postal Service Priority FLAT RATE.  Our web address was not changed in time (but has since been corrected) so it said eBooks.  Rest assured, you are getting almost 1000 of me.

Listen to my analysis of the recently publicized detainee report outlining the US government's use of torture techniques and more in this stimulating discussion with radio host Alex Jones.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Here he is now. Just had a birthday, in my 70s...this guy is still good,  Indulge me, will post tomorrow.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG7mBBIWvcM

I like this guy, I'll post tomorrow.  Here is Jim Glaser, earlier, thanks for turning me on to him.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bR_Du96Yatg

Monday, December 8, 2014




The Blowback Phenomena of ISIS Gory Propaganda!
  Nothing succeeds like success but nothing fails like too much of success. ISIS has been creating an ersatz caliphate through an effective propaganda machinery that employs Twitter, Facebook and other social media. They have been incredibly successful, as they have claimed, in recruiting new members from all over the Western and Arab world. However, ISIS never really learned the lessons of psychological warfare –that too much of a good thing can become quite a downer. Now ISIS, whomever this entity may really be, has entered the arena of propaganda warfare that is quite tricky and has to be managed very carefully.
In an excellent article (posted earlier) by Thomas Friedman, NYT, Dec.6, 2014, “How ISIS Drives Muslims From Islam”, he illustrates a number of very revealing cases of Muslims who are being turned off by the idea of a Nation-State enveloped in the artificial Islamic codes of “Sharia Law”.
Let me give you an example of what Friedman has insightfully recognized.
“.. on Twitter, a hashtag which translated as  ‘why we reject implementing Shariah’ has been used 5000 times in 24 hours. The conversation is mainly taking place in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.”

I find this particular anti-ISIS phenomena quite exciting. It illustrates that no matter how much one wants to use social media for recruitment and/or propaganda, there are internal limits to its utility. Every piece of propaganda showing the horrors that are committed by one or another side has inherent constraints which limit the utility of that particular message and media. I call that a ‘titration problem’. No matter how effective ISIS thought it was in the initial phase of its psychological warfare, it had to go in only one constant direction—more of the same.
When the saturation point of absorption occurred among knowledgeable Muslim youths all over the world, ISIS started to become a parody of horror and grotesqueness. The message of instituting Sharia Law backfired in such a way that it literally mobilized an anti-Sharia campaign in the very areas of the Middle East where Sharia Law is most prominent: Saudi Arabia. If there were any one Muslim country which least represents the true value of Islam, it is Saudi Arabia, a desert Kingdom of dysfunctional, spoiled brats who call themselves Kings, Princes and Royalty

For me, Saudi Arabia has been like a mirage in the desert, a fading image of post British Colonialism earmarked by a completely distorted/warped interpretation of Islam in the form of the parochial and dangerous Wahhabi tribal traditions which are the guarantors of the Saud/Faisal family reign. Fortunately for the enlightened world, Saudi Arabia and Wahhabism is faltering, if not moribund. The youth of Saudi Arabia are too smart for this arcane type of spiritual/political leadership. They have been trained in our schools from Montana State University to the Eastern Ivy League Universities. Saudi women will no longer wear the dark clothes of submission to assure the men that they are subjugated to a false God and makeshift misogynic laws. Saudi women are demanding their rights to drive, teach, learn as their western contemporaries have done for centuries.

When I went to Saudi Arabia years ago, the inherent hypocrisy of Sharia Law was evident in the 747 airplane that was taking off from the runway. As soon as we reached a certain altitude, all the Saudi women immediately disrobed and assumed their acquired western oriented dress codes. Believe me, these women were exceedingly beautiful.
ISIS is eventually going to implode on itself. Military excursions for and against ISIS, will have a very limited purpose. ISIS lives basically on a cash flow which propagates a myth of a caliphate that can never exist in the 21st century because the internet will deconstruct every statement, picture or utterance of fake political entity based on thousands of years of wishful thinking. Even the great Kurdish fighter, Saladin, knew that one day Judeo-Christian beliefs would have to consort in a world with Islam, Buddhism, and Atheism. He knew very well what the lesser, more pretentious, ineffective pretenders of ISIS did not realize—the Caliphates of thousands of years ago are essentially buried in the texts of the Koran, if one knows how to read the Holy Book properly.

For those of you who are thinking of joining ISIS or any other outdated, childish fantasy, think again. It could turn out that ISIS may be dangerous to your health. I want to thank and encourage all those young Muslims around the world who understand that religion and statecraft are two separate entities. Western European Renaissance was an outgrowth of the once dynamic Arab Culture that gave western civilization coffee, calculus and world-wide commerce.
Now, it is time for the youth of Saudi Arabia and other countries where so-called religious despots rule--- to overthrow their respective illegitimate regimes and become the ‘terrorists’ that the American Founding Fathers had once been called.
Good luck !
  And thank you ISIS for completely failing in your mission of conversion and nation-state building. If I did not know better, I would have presumed that most of ISIS was composed of the most dysfunctional NEOCONS, Intelligence Operatives and Bush-ites who failed to establish a stable nation after they invaded Iraq. That is just a whimsical thought..or maybe not!




Background for next post
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/opinion/sunday/thomas-l-friedman-how-isis-drives-muslims-from-islam.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthomas-l-friedman&_r=0

Friday, December 5, 2014




Palestine: The New Emerging State in the Middle East!
Thank You England, Spain, Sweden and now France for recognizing the state of Palestine! Finally, the past insane eruptions of conflict have settled into a narrative that portends peace and legitimacy. France, a country often associated with providing refuge to political dissidents around the world has boldly and correctly recognized the state of Palestine. Although this action is non-binding, it has the symbolic import of a de jure recognition of a group of people who have been displaced from their own homeland to pieces of land—both the West Bank and Gaza—that constitute for all reasonable purposes the new state of Palestine.

France follows several other countries like Spain, England and Sweden which have understood that the pronouncement of ‘statehood’ to refugees who have been thrown out of their own lands, for whatever reason, has legitimized the dreams of millions Palestinians to correctly call themselves a nation. Most importantly, the Palestinians can begin to have a piece of paper called the ‘passport’ that is recognized all over the world as a document that designates a particular person as a citizen of a country. For the past sixty years, Palestinians have had to endure the concept of ‘statelessness’ which entailed their begging for ‘laissez-passez’, transit papers from either Israel or some other non-indigenous authority.

Equally important, this symbolic recognition of Palestine is the direct consequence of the barbarous fifty day slaughter of innocent Palestinians in the camps of Gaza.  I have always found Bibi, the nominal leader of Israel, to be basically arrogant, merciless and not very bright, despite the fact that he went to my alma mater, MIT.  I can pronounce these words because since the time that my former boss, Sec State James Baker threw this ‘shithead’ out of the State Dept for his stupid, insolence pompous manners,  I knew that Bibi would lead Israel into a path of self-destruction.  Bibi is a spoiled American child reared by a self-aggrandizing Cornell University Professor.  Bibi’s father worked alongside another Cornell University Professor, the Neo-Con Paul Wolfowitz’s ruthless mathematician father.  Funny, how much of the foundational building blocks of the neo-cons come out of Cornell.

Unlike the true military geniuses, Moshe Dayan and Sharon, Bibi never once understood that to win a battle is not to win the war. This past battle of IDF tanks, jets, and gun boats, mercilessly bombarding innocent men, women and children reawakened the conscience of the world.  People like myself, decried the IDF’s actions as Nazi-like and compared it to the devastation of both the Warsaw Ghetto and Guernica, Spain during WWII. It was obvious to me that Bibi had finally reached the apex of his strategic limits and tactical malfeasance.

Those brave Israelis intelligence operatives and combat soldiers who defied Bibi’s orders to destroy the innocent, be they Palestinians, Druze, Jews or Christians, took the first and most important steps to realigning Israel with the principles of fairness and just deeds.  Justice and Fairness are at the root of Jewish philosophy evidenced by the 15th century writings of the great Maimonides—RAMBAM [medical doctor/ writer/ advisor to Arab leaders-- my direct descendant].
Thank you France. 
Thank you England.
Thank you Spain.
And, thank you Sweden.
Now, let the other countries of the world step forward and finally declare the just truth that those who have lived in the shadows of legitimacy and self-recognition can finally have their own State- PALESTINE!!

Mazel Tov! Salem Alechem! Merci! Thank you! Gracias! Tusen Tack! 


 

Monday, December 1, 2014




Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe has Courageously tried to Restart the “Lost Decades of Economic Stagnation” and has Failed Miserably!
The staid Japanese Ministry of Finance and its demands for so-called “budgetary” discipline win a pyrrhic victory---leading Japan into a massive economic depression. Japan is entering in to what I call a “ZOMBIE ECONOMY”[TM].

Many of you have heard rumbles of world-wide recession, starting in China and the Far East, and spreading all the way to the European Common Market [where unemployment ranges around 25% for the youth]. Unfortunately, there is a very real chance that one country, Japan, may well be headed into depression, even after the valiant attempts of Abe to stimulate the twenty year old no growth economic malaise that is structural, often described as ‘recession’, ‘stagnation’, or ‘heading to depression’.
Why do I call it a zombie economy?
This particular term is based on the fact that the Japanese people possess some very unique national character features that are particular to that nation. This feature of the Japanese culture makes change of any sort almost impossible to effect on a mass level. The Japanese are group oriented in terms of requiring consensual agreement on any re-alignment of the status quo. Therefore, it is close to impossible for any leader, particularly a proactive, aggressive political leader with extensive experience to change the Japanese economy when he is pitted against the embedded interests of the most recalcitrant bureaucracy in Tokyo, the Ministry of Finance.
Abe had pressured the Central Banks of Tokyo to flood the economy with easy money and credit in order to increase consumer spending and, therefore, improve the GDP.  However, on April 1, 2014, April Fool’s Day, the Ministry of Finance thwarted Abe’s attempts to stimulate the GDP as the best way to increase annual revenues to pay down the bloated national debt. This Ministry of Finance decided to impose an 8% tax on an already deflationary economy primed with quantitative easing of money. The impact: consumer spending stopped abruptly, dragging down a $5 Trillion economy with 220% of GDP in debt.
Sound familiar?
In some ways, Americans had been heading toward the same problem where we needed to infuse cash into a stagnant economy. The major difference is that Americans, by proclivity and habit, are used to creating new businesses in very quick time. That is what makes America an exceptional country.  In contrast, Japan’s economy is largely based on huge vertically integrated conglomerates, called Zaibatsus—Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, et. al. which guarantee lifetime employment for their respective workers who cannot be fired, despite the shadow presence of so-called ‘fake unions’. Similarly, farmers refuse to follow the economic mandates of an energetic financially proactive leader like Abe, because they do not want to impair their century-long traditions of farming and agriculture.

It was not an accident that we, Americans, had to send in our own nuclear scientists during the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant disaster. No one in the Japanese power plant management hierarchy wanted to take any responsibility for the nuclear disaster.  At the same time, the shame that they experienced as a result of this self-induced accident, made it much harder for anyone tell the truth as to what was really happening.  Like the fall-out from nuclear disaster, the effects of a Japanese Recession will impact the rest of the world.
I am not writing to whip the Japanese people. I have a lot of respect for them and their culture. I am only warning them that if they don’t act ASAP to correct their anti-growth fiscal policies proposed by the Ministry of Finance as well as MITI [Japanese bureaucracy that rules over their corporations] Japan will sink into vortex of inescapable financial pain which might lead them to assume, once again, a nasty course of action that no one would like to see—War with China over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. 

I hope that this type of conflagration does not happen.  Japan has the third largest naval force in the world and the Spratly Islands (I wrote about this area 20 years ago) are still an attractive excuse for conflict with China.  The Japanese, like Americans, may resort to the tenuous rationalization that in order to make money, the political elite will inflame nationalistic feelings to extract the promise of victory by attacking a falsely manufactured enemy
This type of inexcusable behavior is often called “Wars of Opportunity” or Unnecessary Wars just like our wars in Iraq (3 times) and our war in Afghanistan (12 years).
As Henry Fielding, the writer said:
“Money is the fruit of evil as often as the root of it.” 


Be posting shortly on Japan, here's some background.
https://www.moodys.com/research/Moodys-downgrades-Japan-to-A1-from-Aa3-outlook-stable--PR_313476