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Thursday, November 17, 2011


The older I get, the more peacenik I become.  But, for a good reason.  We have no mortal enemy anymore. When the Cold War ended, we won and for the next century, at least, will be the only supreme nation.

So when my president, Barack Obama, goes all the way to Australia and pronounces that America will send 2,500 marines to their continent, I say, what?  WE are the ones exacerbating any peace in Asia.  Mr. President, how can you do this???  You think the Military Industrial Complex has anything to do with this provocation?  We were warned half a century ago by President Dwight Eisenhower.

My posting on 11June2011:


suggests we do just the opposite.  To quote:

My view is to get out of the Middle East (86,000 in Iraq and 104,000 in Afghanistan) as fast as possible, and by the end of this year.  In fact, we should bring all of our troops back:

  Libya                  8,500 (ah, leave them there for now)
  Djibouti               3,500 (what, Djibouti??)
  South Korea      28,500
  Japan               32,800
  Germany          54,000
  Italy                 10,000
  UK                  10,000
  Qatar                8,000
  Kuwait             10,500

and 35 other countries.  Bring them all home.  In 2005, the cost per military person was as high as $175,000.  This all adds up to around $50 billion/year.  

We won the Second World War, and still have 54,000 in Germany and 32,800 in Japan, and the Korean War, with 28,500 still there.  We LOST the Vietnam War and have ZERO troops in that country.  I talked to people walking on the  streets of Saigon and Hanoi in my previous trip, and asked, who do you like most, the USA, China, Japan or Russia, and 95% said the USA.  Who they feared most was China, by far, although they don't like Russia and still hate Japan.

My Huffington Post article of three months ago also expresses dismay.  Here is the part that is most outrageous.  We won the Cold War in 1990 and, since then, relative to real dollars (that is, inflation adjusted), DOUBLED our military budget:

Every common sense tells me that the military budget should have been HALVED over the past two decades, as we now have no threat to our future welfare.  Terrorists?  They deserve a few billions of intensive neutralization, but they won't take over the world!  We thus should today have almost another TRILLION DOLLARS/YEAR to reduce the deficit (if you think we must...I don't think this is necessary--by the way, that Super Congressional Committee only has four days to publish their report--co-chairs, Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Jeb Hensarling to the left above), improve our physical infrastructure, enhance our educational system, switch away from oil / all fossil fuels and remediate the environment.

I can go on and on, but let me lower my blood pressure by showing Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean as I landed two days ago in Honolulu:

Saying hello as I went up to my roof garden was my family of flowers:

The next day I went to my office and saw a nice blossoming of Pearl's Yellow Flower tree:

On the way home purchased from Tamashiro's a live dungeness crab and poke, and had them with some Niigata rice, Zippy's potato salad, cheap sake and Kirin beer:

What a feast.  If you're wondering what I'm doing eating a crustacean, it is only when the flesh begins to decompose that my body reacts against the forming histamines...or something like that.

The Dow Jones Industrials fell 135 to 11,771, but the is still 1.67% above the beginning of the calendar year.  Save for Japan, most world markets also fell.  Gold sunk $32/toz to $1722.  If some of you are disappointed that the $2000/toz figure will not be met this year, just remember that the price was only a little above $1300/toz when the year began.  Oil prices fell today, but it is interesting that the difference between the Brent Spot ($108/barrel) and WTI Future ($99/barrel) is now only $9/barrel.  This disparity almost reached $30/barrel only a month ago.  Indications are that the White House delay on the Canadian pipe could reverse this difference early next year.


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