America the Beautiful and its "pivot to Asia"...

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John McKenna
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

America the Beautiful and its "pivot to Asia"...

Post by John McKenna » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:43 pm

Here are a few snippets of recent news that I read, courtesy of Associated Press (AP) "the world's oldest and largest newsgathering organization".

Seoul - North & South Korea agreed (Wed.) "to hold their first reunions of Korean War-divided families in more than three years... despite North Korea's anger over upcoming U.S.-South Korean military drills... North Korea calls them a rehearsal for invasion."
(Korea was paritioned as a result of the Korean War 1950-3. Will it ever be reunited?)

Tokyo - a Japanese government panel "will urge Japan to allow its military to help allies that come under attack, in a major reversal of the country's ban on collective defense under its pacifist constitution. The panel on Tuesday discussed ways that Japan can improve its defense capability..."
(Japan's Constitution was a post-war gift from General Douglas MacArthur.)

Beijing - Chinese President Xi Jinping has "departed for the Sochi Olympics and talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in what state media portrayed as a sign of warming relations between the neighbors and former communist rivals..."
(1969 - a 7 month undeclared border war between them now there's cordial cross-border trade.)

Washington - Chief of U.S. intelligence said (Tue.) "China's aggressive pursuit of territorial claims in the seas of East Asia is driven by a sense of historical destiny and is causing great concern among countries in the region..."
(China recently put it's first aircraft carrier - purchased from Ukraine - into service.)

United Nations - President Tommy Remengesau Jr. of Palau in a keynote address (Tue.) "declared that his Pacific island nation will ban commercial fishing and become a marine sanctuary... ... and that once current fishing contracts with Japan, Taiwan and some private companies expire only fishing by island residents and tourists will be allowed in its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone."
(The Battle of Peleliu - now Palau - had the highest US casualty rate of any in the Pacific War. It was expected to last 4 days but went on for over 2 months.)

Beijing - the sumptuous Scholarly House restaurant and its compound of pavilions in the center of the Dragon Lake Park "has been off-limits to most park goers, catering to wealthy businessmen and government officials. But now it has been forced to throw open its gates to the public... the latest target of an austerity campaign by the government to curb lavish banquets for party cadres — considered a breeding ground of corruption."
(Speaks for itself but note that 'austerity' means something slightly different in China to the UK.)

Washington - the Senate Foreign Relations committee has "approved President Barack Obama's nomination of veteran Sen. Max Baucus to become U.S. ambassador to China. Baucus is a Democrat and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees trade issues. The 72-year-old was first elected to the Senate in 1978".
(American Bob comments -
How long before America steps in and starts using the drones to kill the Thailand people and their Government, Just like America did in Syria. Is the US Backing the Terrorist their now to overthrow Thailland most likely .Looking for a war or to make new Enemies around the world? The USA specializes in that. And is always willing to take any foolish county down that path as long as they well accept Psychotics and the Insanity they bring along with it. With so many unrestrained Psychotics in Washington and Congress, Most counties don't want anything to due with us If we won't offer them free US Tax Money and Weapons of War ,Along With military man power. The USA is trying to buy Friendship, Hahahah, What could be more funny then that!. And what is the US voters return on their Trillions of US tax dollars? S#IT on a Stick buddy treat. And Russia walks right in and gets the sweet deal. The US Government is pulling America down so fast. Your Corporations and our own US government, Destroying America from the inside out with Deceit and betrayal. This is all due to lifers in office getting wealthy off War and enjoying extreme power trips.CAN IT GET ANY MORE INSAIN. Yes. Time to vote every one out of Washington. Or just Accept the Rip offs and your new life under or new Dictatorship. Hand crafted by our US Government.
Compatriot D. replies -
I agree with most of what you say but if we don't make bullets or other types of war armament we will loose our entire ability to manufacture anything in these great United States...
So lets keep America strong and keep supplying the world with all the weapons we can...USA...USA...USA

They may've sung this original version (1893) of America the Beautiful during the intro to the Superbowl -

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
(Not quite there were a number of natives & buffalo.)
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!
O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife,
When once or twice, for man's avail,
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
(Bob'd say 'Amen' to that.)
Thy whiter jubilee! (D. might concur.)
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
Posts: 3991
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: America the Beautiful and its "pivot to Asia"...

Post by John McKenna » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:47 pm

Just to add a few stats (Daily Telegraph 6th Feb.) -

Top Five Defence Spends 2013 -

1. US £369 bn. (More than the rest of the world combined?)
2. China £69 bn. (True amount open to question?)
3. Russia £42 bn. (Must be quite a reduction on Soviet times but think of the 'peace dividend'.)
4. Saudi £37 bn. (What percentage of their GNP?)
5. UK £35 bn. (And, not even all well spent?)

[Source of figures: Institute of Strategic Studies]

Saudi Arabia has recently overtaken the UK due to the latter's budget cuts.
A former US Sec. of Defence, Robert Gates, recently said that the UK will no longer be a ‘full partner’ with the US. (Somehow I can't see the Saudis taking up the vacancy.)
The main reason the US needs military partners is to answer critics - at home and abroard - who, otherwise, could accuse it of acting unilaterally.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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Re: America the Beautiful and its "pivot to Asia"...

Post by PeterTurland » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:05 pm

Millienia ago, Plato told us, we should separate passion from reason, or put in a more modern idiom, distinguish between logic and emotion, in terms of causation. In 2003 my son was in the Persian Gulf and I hated it. People were marching up and down in our streets carrying placards saying 'not in my name' I literally could not say that. I started thinking about human history and behaviour, in terms of causality. A good while ago, I learned of a formulation made by the American psychcologist 'Maslow's hierachy of needs' it struck me, just wow.

As we look at the human brain, it takes on more the apperance of an onion, the more you look at it, as you travel inwards, in terms of evolutionary layers and the species you are studying, the more you see cellula, layers.

We share areas of our brain's, with many other species.



John McKenna
Posts: 3991
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: America the Beautiful and its "pivot to Asia"...

Post by John McKenna » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:37 am

Thanks for those observations, Peter. To some they may seem tangential to the beautiful circle and to certain others almost completely unconnected to it. However, I know that all things are connected and I suspect you know that as well. 'Lateral thinking' is neglected these days but I studied with the son of its 'inventor'. (A poor choice of word due to my limited vocab, but what else do you call a man who simply names something that already exists - he isn't even a discoverer, just as Cook wasn't in the case of Australia, but I digress...)

All I can say specifically in reply right now is that it's the 'higher' parts of our brains - those that we don't share with other species - that are both a blessing and a curse, a mixed blessing to us and a terrible curse to them. The 'shared' parts are more natural and we have become unnatural creatures, in a sense, due to the expansion of our brains and the way in which we misuse and abuse them - both our brains and most other species that is.

To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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