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New translation, the Magna Carta



on the growing interdependence of the usa and china

“China's half-trillion dollars of foreign-exchange reserves, according to the same critics, display China's strength and the United States' weakness. On the contrary: the reserves are there because the government of China knows that the Chinese trust US banks rather than Chinese ones, and wisely keep a hoard of rainy-day savings in US funds. China cannot invest its savings at home until such time as Chinese laws, regulations, and politics give rise to a banking system as strong as America's, that is, until China's legal system looks a lot more Anglo-Saxon.”

About time someone started to catch on to this.

the web address for the article above is




"if there is "choice on earth", i'll bet on jesusland......"
Thoughtful in places, lighthearted as usual.

An accurate description of the socialist cult:
“What Timothy Garton Ash calls ‘the Enlightenment’ has degenerated under
its present trustees into a doomsday cult with all the coerciveness of the
old state religion and none of the eternal truths.”
marker at

“Whatever their faults, says Mark Steyn, America’s Christian fundamentalists are a lot smarter than Eutopian secularists.” [Spectator commentary]

marker at

“But if the Bible is merely a ‘useful narrative’, it’s an immaculately conceived one, beginning with the decision to root the divinity of Christ in the miracle of His birth. The promise of new life on earth prefigures the promise of new life in heaven. Once you cease believing in the latter, the former soon follows. Steve Sailer pointed out in the American Conservative the other week that George W. Bush won 25 of the 26 states with the highest fertility rate. On the other hand, John Kerry won the 16 states with the lowest. If I were a Democrat looking 20 years down the road, I’d be very alarmed by this trend.”

Jesusland. Image credit: unknown artist
Image credit: unknown artist

However, the oil problem is still no cakewalk, Mark!

marker at

“Of course, searching for oil thousands of feet below sea level is much more expensive and fraught with logistical problems.

“Despite the current enthusiasm, many sobering facts about exploring in uncharted waters remain.

“Erecting a comprehensive production platform out in the middle of the ocean can easily cost between $1 billion to $3 billion, compared with $100 million or less along the coast, analysts say.” [Quoted from planetark.]

Both these articles are recommended for scanning.

related material
replacing fossil fuels, the scale of the problem

the web address for the article above is

the road to peace in israel/palestine goes through baghdad

“Abbas, a former Palestinian prime minister who now heads the Palestine Liberation Organization, told the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that it was "a legitimate right of the people to express their rejection of the occupation by popular and social means." However, Abbas said, "the use of arms has been damaging and should end." ”

“Not coincidentally, the Associated Press reported Sunday that Abbas, on a visit to Kuwait, apologized for the Palestinians' backing the erstwhile Iraqi dictator's invasion of that country. We observed nearly three years ago that the road to peace goes through Baghdad. It is increasingly difficult to deny that we were right.”

the web address for the article above is

straight-shooting bush lays it on the line

What a difference from the usual mealy-mouthed politicians, and the ignorant fossil-media scribblers.

“Bush noted that in addition to the budget deficit, America suffers from a huge trade deficit.

“ "That's easy to resolve," Bush said. "People can buy more United States products if they're worried about the trade deficit."

“[...] Bush said he had reiterated to them the U.S. government's commitment to a strong dollar.”

But do not expect the voodoo economists to understand.

“The president also issued a warning to Iran and Syria, saying that "meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq is not in their interest." [...] ”

He also said getting the budget deficit under control was high on his to-do list.

the web address for the article above is

updated once again rumsfeld looks sloppy. is he a weak link?

The United States is learning to fight an old kind of war against better equipped predators.
Once again Rumsfeld comes across sloppy and casual.

When asked by a soldier at the sharp end about armour standards:

“Rumsfeld's initial response was testy. "You go to war with the army you have," he barked.

“ [...] Of the 19,782 Humvees currently in the Iraq theater, according to the Army's latest numbers, only a little more than a quarter, or 5,910, are the new M-1114 model, which is armored top to bottom and can withstand the weight because it has an improved transmission, a 6.5-liter turbo diesel engine and a tougher chassis. An additional 4,737 Humvees have no armor, and most of the rest have been modified with add-on kits. The problem is that these add-on Humvees sometimes break down under the weight or move too slowly in dangerous situations. "The modified armor makes vehicles slog," explains Pinter. And do-it-yourself hillbilly armor sometimes makes the vehicles less safe, especially when exposed to bombs. Why? Because poor-quality steel can turn into shrapnel.”

A HMMWV M1114 armored vehicle as used by Coalition forces in Iraq. Image credit: O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhart
A HMMWV M1114 armored vehicle as used by Coalition forces, photographed in Iraq.
Image credit:
O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhart

M1114 protection features
M1114 vehicle specifications
M1114 blast testing results

“Humvee factories, meanwhile, have not been operating at full capacity. And U.S. commercial steel-plate companies have been largely ignored by the Pentagon, which remains intent on supplying itself from a select number of Army depots. Perhaps inadvertently, the Pentagon late last week provided proof that it had not been doing its utmost. Two days after Rumsfeld's embarrassing exchange with Wilson, the Defense Department announced it was ordering 100 more up-armored Humvees a month from their main supplier, O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt in West Chester, Ohio. The Humvee armoring company had told reporters only a few days before that it was operating at 22 percent under capacity, but that there were no more orders from the Pentagon. Then suddenly there were more, for reasons the Army did not make clear. (The Pentagon claims it did not know about the additional capacity until the head of O'Gara's holding company, Armor Holdings of Jacksonville, Fla., announced last week that it was possible.) The new Pentagon order boosts production from 450 to 550 up-armored Humvees a month, neatly filling in O'Gara's capacity gap."

it is long past time the Pentagon and the US government took this operation seriously, instead sending the footsoldiers into battle improperly supplied, while they worry about Thanksgiving parties. It is essential to listen to those at the sharp end and cut through all the bullshit.

“Other defense insiders say that better armor has not been a high enough priority, at least until recently. After 9/11, Boeing ramped up production of JDAMs, its precise, GPS-guided bombs, from 900 a year to 3, 000 a month for use in Afghanistan. (This past week, in the middle of the armor furor, Boeing announced that it had delivered its 100,000th JDAM kit to the Air Force.) "If they could do it for bombs, why couldn't they do it for armor to save lives ?" asks Defense analyst Bill Arkin. Rumsfeld "could have awakened any morning in the last year and a half, determined to make sure every vehicle is properly armored and said, 'I want industry to jump through hoops to do it'," says one defense contractor. "I was infuriated
he could be so cavalier." [...]”

Article recommended for reading in full.

marker at

Another point of view:
The other side of the coin, resistance to army reform
Recommended reading.

“This type of change and adaptation has occurred in all wars from time immemorial. It reflects not poor planning but the unpredictable nature of war. That's why the Defense Department has been moving quickly to up-armor its humvees, producing nearly 400 such vehicles a month, up from 30 a month in August 2003, according to Army Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb.”

“Example: When the Army decided last winter to cancel development of its Cold War relic Comanche helicopter, Sen. Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, immediately took to the barricades. "It simply doesn't make sense to pull the plug on the Comanche," Mr. Dodd said. "Obviously, this will not be an easy fight, but I intend to work with other members of the Connecticut congressional delegation to seek to retain the Comanche as part of our military arsenal.

“It didn't seem to matter to Mr. Dodd that the Comanche was a $39-billion boondoggle[1] that the Army didn't want because the aircraft isn't suitable for 21st-century urban warfare. Nor did Mr. Dodd seem to care that much of the displaced Comanche money would be used to equip existing Army helicopters with new countermeasure systems necessary to neutralize the ubiquitous threat posed by rocket-propelled grenades, shoulder-fired missiles, and man-portable air-defense systems, all of which are omnipresent in Iraq.

“Yet Mr. Dodd, who has never been a champion of big defense budgets, now has the chutzpah to lecture Mr. Rumsfeld about the need to "spare no expense to ensure the safety of our troops, particularly as they confront a hostile insurgency and roadside bombs throughout Iraq." Mr. Dodd says Mr. Rumsfeld's response to Spec. Wilson--"You go to war with the Army you have"--is "utterly unacceptable. Mr. Secretary," he writes, "our troops go to war with the Army that our nation's leaders provide."

“Quite true--and Mr.. Dodd is one of those leaders.”

*boondoggle:- a useless or impractical task...

the web address for the article above is

surrounded? “They've got us right where we want them. We can shoot in every direction now.”

Transcript of Bush speech at Pendleton, recommended to read it in full.

“Afghanistan has been transformed from a haven for terrorists to a steadfast ally in the war on terror, and the American people are safer because of your courage.

“When America led a coalition to enforce the demands of the free world and to end the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Marines of Camp Pendleton made us proud once again. When the appointed hour came, the 1st Marine Division rolled across the border, pressing more than 500 miles over the Iraqi desert in less than one month. (Cheers.) Backed by the 1st Force Service Support Group and -- (cheers) -- and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing -- (cheers) -- you helped liberate the Iraqi capital, pulled down the statues of the dictator, and pushed north to secure the homeland of Tikrit. You drove Saddam Hussein from his palace into a spider hole. (Cheers, applause.) And now he sits in an Iraqi prison, awaiting justice. Because of your bravery, because of your skill America and the world are a safer place. (Cheers, applause.)

“In recent days the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force has once again shown America's purpose and resolve, this time in Fallujah. Block by block, building by building, Marines and the soldiers and Iraqi security forces took that city back from the terrorists and the insurgents. And when the smoke has cleared, we saw once again the true nature of the enemy. We found bloodstained torture chambers where hostages had been executed. We found videos of beheadings and brutal terrorist attacks. We found travel documents of foreign terrorists and equipment of forging Iraqi passports to make the foreign fighters appear to be Iraqi insurgents. We found more than 600 improvised explosive devices, including an ice cream truck that had been loaded with bombs for a terrorist attack. In the battle for Fallujah, the terrorists hid weapons in a cemetery, they hid ammunition in private homes, they hid bombs in mosques, but they could not hide from the United States Marines.

“We have dealt the enemy a severe blow. The terrorist Zarqawi has lost his main sanctuary in Iraq. The Ba'athist insurgents have lost one of their main bases of operation. We've seized tons of weapons and shut down terrorist bomb-making factories, killed more than 2,000 enemy fighters, and captured thousands more.”

“ Next month Iraqis will vote in free and democratic elections. As election day approaches, we can expect further violence from the terrorists. You see, the terrorists understand what is at stake. They know they have no future in a free Iraq because free people will never choose their own enslavement. They know democracy will give Iraqis a stake in the future of their country.

“When Iraqis choose their leaders in free elections, it will destroy the myth that the terrorists are fighting a foreign occupation and make clear that what the terrorists are really fighting is the will of the Iraqi people. The success of democracy in Iraq will also inspire others across the Middle East to defend their own freedom and to expose the terrorists for what they are -- violent extremists on the fringe of society with no agenda for the future except tyranny and death. So the terrorists will do all they can to delay and disrupt free elections in Iraq, and they will fail. (Cheers.)

“As Iraqi President Al-Yawar said in the Oval Office yesterday, the Iraqi people are anxious to go and cast their votes and practice for the first time in 45 years their right and duty of voting. Free elections will proceed as planned. The United States has a vital interest in the success of a free Iraq. A free Iraq will be a major victory in the war on terror. Free nations do not export terror. Free nations listen to the hopes and aspirations of their people. Free nations are peaceful nations. And a free Iraq will make America more secure and the world a peaceful place.”

If only more of the cottonwool heads in the West could come to terms with this reality,
and the freeloaders would stop shirking and playing to the gallery.

“ Some Iraqi units have performed better than others, as you know. Some Iraqis have been intimidated enough by the insurgents to leave the service to their country, but a great many are standing firm. In Fallujah, Iraqis fought alongside our soldiers and Marines with valor and determination. One American soldier who saw them up close in combat said they really excelled kicking in the doors, clearing the houses and running out into fire to pick up wounded Marines. The Iraqi security forces made up about 20 percent of the forces in Fallujah. They're killing the terrorists, blocking the escape routes and saving American lives. These brave Iraqis are fighting for their freedom, and we are proud to stand by their side. (Cheers, applause.)

“Our coalition is determined to help them succeed. We're working to develop a corps of well-trained senior and mid-level Iraqi officers. After all, Iraqi soldiers want to be led by Iraqis. NATO trainers are already in Iraq, and the alliance will soon develop a new training center for the Iraqi security forces at a military academy outside of Baghdad. We'll help the Iraqi government build a force that no longer needs coalition support so they can defend their own nation, and then American soldiers and Marines can come home with the honor they have earned. (Cheers, applause.)”

the web address for the article above is

people power can work [Xavier]

This document has become a briefing document.

the web address for the article above is

why does france act as it does in the world arena?

“By tradition in France, foreign affairs are the president's private domain. The foreign affairs minister only applies his policies. France is the only Western country where foreign policy is not a debating topic. The sovereignty of the people does not mean anything even if it has elected the president directly. The Parliament has no checking powers and is quietly relegated to domestic matters.

“The French Republic acts as an authoritarian regime, not as a democracy, since President Chirac has a free hand with international matters. This practice underlines that France still has to introduce an internal democratic debate to discuss its own foreign policy. This is key to understanding French foreign policy: it is above all the policy of one man or group of men, not of a nation. Such diplomacy requires a strong personal leadership along with the awareness of the nation's interests, two qualities necessary to put up a straight line of action, but two qualities often missing.” [Quoted from]

And from another source:

“France has pared down its interests essentially to:

“-- Pursuit of French economic and commercial interests above all else. Do whatever it takes to get the deal for a French firm! [A personal note: The Diplomad recalls lobbying the President of a small country to buy Boeing aircraft for the national airline; with Boeing reps we reviewed in detail the superior price and performance of the Boeing over the Airbus product. The President and the local airline representatives agreed with us that the Boeing was the better plane at a better price. So, as you would expect, Airbus got the deal. The French had bought the President a house in southern France.]

“-- Do whatever is needed to prevent American "hegemony." Suffice it to say for now, that France does not see the United States as an ally; it sees no country as a permanent ally or friend. France sees the world in terms of preventing any other country -- read, America -- from becoming too powerful or influential. France sees itself as offering the world a way of life much closer to the existing ways of thinking and cultures of most of the world than that of the horrid Anglo-Saxons. This includes spending huge sums of money around the world in a quixotic "fight" against the spread of English and active promotion of French cinema as an antidote to Hollywood movies.” [Quoted from the Diplomad blog – “A Blog by career US Foreign Service officers”.]

the web address for the article above is

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