Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Just one more tidbit of banking history they won't teach in schools
A little video stroll down memory lane.

Greece is the  Opening Act of the Fiscal Tragedy Called “Over-Leveraged/ Under-Funded Economies” 
Including Brazil; Turkey; Italy; and Most Importantly –China!!! 
For some time now, I have felt like the Greek seer—the infamous, Cassandra. Clearly, I did not create the fiscal tragedies that I could foretell. However, I had the unique experience of having been involved in the crisis management of the Maryland Savings & Loan disaster of the late 1980’s.
One unidentified S&L requested my help to stem the flow of dollars leaving that particular institution in a suburb of Maryland. I soon learned that America can also suffer liquidity shortages. During that time, any check from any Maryland S&L was not accepted as a legitimate currency, even if the person had more than sufficient funds to cover that check. In particular, I remember how ordinary people were refused service at Giant Food Stores for the most basic consumer goods [bread, meat, vegetables]. Cash was king yet these S&Ls were forbidden to dole out more cash that a small stipend. Sound familiar? Thousands of Marylanders had to suffer because a S&L crisis was precipitated in a Colorado S&L called Silverado.

Who were the culprits in the Silverado fiasco?
None other than two spoiled, noisome, entitled brothers who never had any experience doing anything more than leveraging their identifiable names into dangerous deals that frequently ended up raping the public. By now those two brothers are well known—Neil Bush and Marvin Bush.
What made the S& L crises so hard to manage was the convenient editorial ignorance of the major newspaper in Washington D.C. In particular, the then highly esteemed team of Ben Bradlee and Bob Woodward were completely incapable of helping to stem a rush on the S&Ls because they had no comprehension of the difference between net worth and liquidity. That was the beginning of my crisis experience in managing a dysfunctional banking system and the ancillary variables that contributed to that S&L meltdown.
I will say that the Maryland prosecutors in Baltimore, along with the FBI, prosecuted those individuals who had started the rush on the S&Ls. Of  course, Neil and Marvin were never indicted. 

Now, for the present situation.
China has just entered a stock market crisis where the large amount of leverage in their markets have created a ‘bubble’ where the highly inflated values will lead inevitably to a crash. That is not wishful thinking on my part. China has had an artificial economy where in the political leaders have granted large sums of liquidity to friends, family members of the elite Communist Party. The political cronyism has led to a depressed economy where the GDP may be entering negative territory. All these highly leveraged assets, stocks and housing will fall in value because there is not enough liquidity to maintain the artificial values created by the inveterate Chinese speculators.

Unlike the EU, China has its own currency. However that currency, once lauded as the next substitute to the dollar, is basically a worthless piece of paper based on the bad faith of the political system.
What do I mean?
China for too long has based its economy on political cronyism and not the principles of economic entrepreneurial growth. As a result, the present leader, Premier Xi has no other option than showing that he is in charge of a failing economy by arresting many of his former comrades who had helped this princeling to attain his position of leadership.
In addition,  Premier Xi has created an elaborate strategy of reviving the concept of the Silk Road Trade from Russia back to the Middle Kingdom [China].
At best that narrative is a distraction from the more serious issue of unemployment for millions of highly trained university students; as well as, inculcating some hope in a desperate China which can barely provide water for over 500 Million of its inhabitants in the western part of the country.

So like the Bush family that keeps on giving us miscreant crises, the Chinese, like the corrupt Turkish, Brazilian and Italians are now in the cross hairs of financial meltdown.

Nothing taints a currency more than self-delusion and wishful thinking conflated with self-serving political corruption. For now,  Americans will weather out the storm; despite the fact that our political elite have absolutely no idea as to what to do.
The reason is simple. 
This country is so big geographically and blessed with all the natural resources that we could literally seal our borders and remain viable.
Also, we must thank those geniuses at Bretton Woods [N.H.] who had the foresight to dominate all future assets, commodities and properties all over the world in United States Dollars. Now that is American ingenuity!

Let’s see if we can’t bring it back one more time with someone who has economic experience and strategic foresight.
Let’s work to get that individual amidst the herd of bovine contenders.
Choose wisely! 


Monday, June 29, 2015

Puerto Rico, An American “Commonwealth” [State] must be able to Declare “Bankruptcy” Because the Governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, Clearly Stated that the Puerto Rican Debt  Not Payable!
Just as we are entering the death spiral of Greece and potentially other EU countries [Spain, Italy, Portugal]; Puerto Rico refuses to pay any of its hundreds of millions of dollars of debt. Governor Padilla has stated to all of his debtors that Puerto Rico will not pay any of its debt back. This statement may sound arrogant and dismissive; however, I found it to be a breath of fresh air. Unlike all the leaders of the EU who are basically in technical insolvency, this Governor makes no bones about the fact that he and his cohorts are incapable of restructuring any reasonable deals with his creditors.

How Puerto Rico became such a financial basket case is a shady story with endless Investment Banking and Hedge Funds willing to extend credit to any Island on a basis of fictitious numbers of future cash flows which the creditors knew in advance were never really viable. Why would such sagacious bankers from the mainland go out of their way to prostitute themselves in front of Puerto Rican institutions like the Light and Power company?
The answer is very simple. 

Most of these bankers wanted to EARN FEES on the financial instruments that they were creating specifically for Puerto Rico, irrespective of caring about its REAL FUTURE EARNINGS. What is happening in Puerto Rico is what had happened when our fearless, greedy leaders like Bill Clinton and Bush Jr allowed the banks to loan at will; assuring them through the mumbled thoughts and words of the three stooges: Greenspan, Bernanke; and Geitner—that all these banks would be backed up by Fannie Mae and other Federal Financial Institutions. Effectively, these financial geniuses created ‘zombie banks’ that could do no wrong every time they flushed a suzerainty like Puerto Rico [used as target for US Navy shelling] with Bonds for everything. The bonds were to be paid back in principle by revenues and tax dollars that were supposedly generated by the consumers of the utility or manufacturing facility.
That did not happen.
Instead most Puerto Ricans [whom I admire]  came to Nuevo York [mainly around my neighborhood on 108th and Amsterdam] decades ago to make better, safer living for themselves and their family. Many of you would say that the financial behavior of the Puerto Ricans was irresponsible.
I could not completely agree.

The willingness to take money that seemed endless and ‘free’ was too tempting to refuse. However, what had happened during the tenure of the governors prior to Alejandro was reprehensible. This endless flow of bonds for everything and anything was part of a collusive entity created by greed and irresponsibility between the Wall Street bankers seeking fees for their meager work and Puerto  Rican officials harvesting cash crops for their respective political futures. Now, Puerto Rico beset by malignant neglect by the Obama administration has ventured down a road where they are stating out right that ‘no debt will be repaid’.
That may mean very little to us, Americans for now.
It does portend a trend where American localities like Detroit and Stockton, California have also gone into a fiduciary default mode. The difference is that both Detroit and Stockton were able to declare bankruptcy and wipe out their respective debts in order to start all over again. Puerto Rico which has debt in the billions of dollars cannot and will not pay back any of the bonds. If PR is granted the right to enter into Chapter 9 [bankruptcy] then it might be able to restructure the debt load and something on the bonds.
However, this is a new phenomenon where a commonwealth [ read state] has no ability to wipe out it debts completely is problematic, uncertain. Now, we will wait and see what PR does in the next few weeks; as well as watch the Wall Street Bankers like Citibank accrue fees for helping them to bail out from their own debts .

Banking is nothing more than a vicious cycle of numbers floating around the ether of “make-believe” or more clearly stated by the lead banker in the Wolf of Wall Street--- 
“Its Fugazi!” 
Poof! Magic! Where the money never goes back to the client; but keeps floating around the banking cycle fueled by cocaine, alcohol, sex and mucho greed!
Folks, sit back and watch the new show:
“West Side Story” meets “Wolf of Wall Street”!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Greece: Vote “NO” on June 30th Referendum!
Not One Euro will go to the Greek People but to the Indifferent, Greedy Creditors—French and German Banks!
Once again, people around the world are confronted by the interest of the ordinary citizen versus the financial interests of opportunistic, voracious international banks which have zero interest in helping Greek citizens.
Greece, if you vote to remain in the EU, you will be basically throwing your hard earned money away to some corporate French/German bankers who have not one iota of interest in your collective welfare. Therefore, voting “NO” will afford you citizens of the once great civilization a new chance to re-start your economy on a parity with your growth and income stream. “NO” means that the future belongs to every single Greek man, woman and child. If you allow yourselves to be controlled by fancy titles of ersatz institutions like the European Economic Commission or the International Monetary Fund [America’s Investment Banking arm]; then you remain in political/financial servitude; constantly replenishing the bottomless pit of money that was originally owed to the private bankers who had taken a  risk on Greece---and lost! That is the essence of your vote on June 30th, 2015. 

“No” means freedom and a future opportunity to start all over again in a fashion that will be consistent with your particular live styles. A “Yes” vote will bind you in perpetuity to a highly contrived financial system that benefits not one Greek citizen. This vote will only line the pockets of the bankers who did what they do best--- loan out money with quantifiable risks. The Greek risk of default was always there. Since my last blog where I pointed out that as far as these fancy named meaningless financial institutions are concerned—Greece is already in ‘technical default’. I will repeat that term because the bankers knew that this had been the case for close to a decade yet they want to CYA [cover their ass] on the balance sheet so they don’t appear as reckless and stupid as they really have been.  

In a way, Greece will be making history. It will be the first country to officially exit the nonsensical Euro which was set up to enforce the French Magical Thinking that post-WWII, France could contain the growth of a dynamic Germany.  At best this was a fantasy.  At worse, it was a complete state of self-delusion; a psychological dynamic characteristic of the French since Napoleon Buonaparte, a Corsican who tried to make France a Revolutionary Empire. It failed and so did France. Now France can barely lift its economic head from the internal discords harping throughout Lyons, Paris, and Toulouse. France, as a financial entity is, at best a basket case; at worse it is a museum to be visited on a tour of the other failing states.
Greece could be the new leader of an onslaught of other countries which will probably exit the Euro right after they do; Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The reason is that these countries also want their own printing press to determine their liquidity and not be beholden to some faceless German banker in Frankfurt.
Times change is here. It is a simple choice --- “NO”—means freedom and self-determination. That is the course for which many brave Greeks fought during WWII and the post-war Communist Regime. Don’t forget the bravery of those Greeks who literally gave their lives for the right for you all to determine your respective freedoms.

“Ephristo”! Thank you !

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The South Carolina Flag is Retired to a Museum as a Symbol of the End of White on Black Crime in Charleston, S.C.
Which Flags should be retired for Black on Black Crimes in Detroit? Miami? Chicago? 
The Governor of South Carolina decided that the state flag of South Carolina should be retired to a distant museum as a symbol of white racism.  How a state flag could represent the horrible crime committed by one insane white boy who had killed nine innocent blacks during Sunday Prayers is still a mystery to me. I have dealt with multiple murderers of all types at St Elizabeth’s –all of which could equal the ignoble actions of that particular white boy who had committed that heinous crime this past Sunday.

One crazy white boy’s hate does not signify the advent of any type of White Supremacy or national movement ignited by his venomous feelings toward black people. In fact, this is a one-off incident that immediately accrued significance through the hysteria of the American media which could not really define at that particular moment what had motivated that boy other than hatred and a history of repeated mental illness. Instead of concentrating on the more relevant problem stigmatizing this country—mental illness; the press led by none others than the CNN agit-prop team of Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper go for the race card.

Fact: America has 100 Hundred Million –yes, ONE HUNDRED MILLION---people WITHOUT MENTAL HEALTH ACCESS.  This FACT was completely IGNORED.
Our so-called ‘aloof’ President Obama repeated his noisome colloquy about gun control and racism; not even daring to consider that the real problem –again and again is MENTAL ILLNESS. The South Carolina Governor, a woman of questionable intelligence and integrity, rode the most convenient hobby-horse available to everyone who did not know anything about the history of the Civil War or its roots.

Neither the Governor nor President were born or raised in America to the extent that they might have had some questions about the courage and validity of the state of South Carolina to defy the tyrant Abraham Lincoln; who had no intention of freeing the black slaves from the very start of the war. His intentions were clearly delineated in his papers and those of his warmongers henchmen—Stanton, Seward, Sherman and Grant. They all shared the common mercenary conviction that the north needed the waterways and land rights embedded in the rural south.

Slavery was not even an issue until Lincoln, a manic-depressive, Marfan syndrome railroad lawyer, had to disguise his ignoble intentions of killing hundreds of thousands of his OWN PEOPLE in the name of the Republic. South Carolina reiterated the basic tenets upon which our original 13 colonies had coalesced—upon condition that anyone of them could and would secede. Nothing in that statement reaffirmed the need for black slavery. Yet the northern Armies under the misfits like General Grant [alcoholic] and Sherman [savage, ruthless] had no qualms when they indentured young Irish Immigrants who came off the ship from Ireland to involuntarily fight for the cause of ‘northern aggression’. The north indentured the poor whites of all nationalities; yet no flag waves for them; other than an incidental asterisk in some irrelevant narrative of the civil war.
As a youth, I had a problem understanding how AUTO GENOCIDE –Lincoln willing to kill his own people—could be justified on any grounds; let alone by the notion that black slaves would be freed. That was the biggest lie of all. Two southern states had to ratify the constitution after the civil war in order to legitimately free the black slaves.
So we butchered our own people in order to convince them that they had to free some of our own people; completely ignorant of the fact that Lincoln and his northern cronies wanted railroad tracks from north to south; as well as usurping the transit waterways of the grand Mississippi River and the Missouri River. It was also convenient for the north to acquire the crucial seaport of New Orleans in order to ship goods from the north ---southwards.

The flag of South Carolina has been retired in much the same way that the truth of our barbarous history toward Native Americans and toward our own Americans on 9/11—was concealed and disguised by nonsensical statements of national security and songs ‘God Bless America’. The longer we divest ourselves of truth the longer we will remain retarded in our growth of the country and its intellectual horizon. Instead we can one day visit our past in the empty museums of inanity; flags; and worthless symbols.
Long live the Republic! It will one day default into a moment of lies from which it can never ascend. Artificial symbols have co-opted history; and America is headed into a spiral of self-destruction based on historical ignorance and present day arrogance.

Hubris Ate Nemesis!
Pride Brings Its Punishment! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

T.B.D. American Wars” Against Al Qaeda, ISIS!
Without An Effective War Strategy Against ISIS, we have created a tbd war—To Be Determined!
Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, recently made a very revealing comment as he met with Israeli senior military/intel officials. When he was asked the question: “Will we have a more robust strategy in Iraq/Syria?”
He responded: “To Be Determined!” TBD?!.
Or maybe, wait and see what our American Generals will concoct “on the fly”.
Equally interesting and disturbing is the fact that there is no consensus between Dempsey and his General, Lloyd J. Austin III, Chief of Central Command. Austin sees the center of gravity as defeating ISIS by recapturing Mosul [Iraq]. However, Dempsey does not think that Mosul is at all relevant. To compound the American strategic quagmire, the State Department and the White House have chimed in with their perspectives of a non-existent unified military strategy.
For some time now, I have reiterated the fact that we have an army that cannot fight. We have civilian and military leaders going all the way back to Bush Jr who had no idea of kinetic wars and their consequences. For the most part, American citizens appear to be indifferent, if not disgusted with the unnecessary wars. Occasionally, we hear a draft dodger like Jeb Bush [who went into the Peace Corps in Mexico to avoid the draft] utter some regurgitated neocon statements about more force or ‘boots on the ground’. Yet still the same cycle of stupidity rears its ugly head.  Seriously, how many times have we screwed up in Iraq??  Afghanistan?  No wonder we don’t teach military history anymore.

Most of us war/terrorism veterans are completely disgusted by what is happening. As I wrote in my previous blogs, we have created our enemies, Al Qaeda and ISIS, through civilian/military incompetency; and now, we find ourselves bereft of any cogent immediate strategies. I am not surprised that we have entered this period of TBD wars all over the world. As someone who had been peripherally involved in teaching/advising our senior DOD, I have found that the brightest of the military officials –all the way from Captain on upward--- left the military to earn a hefty salary. Example: General Keith Alexander who now makes over $600,000 per month on one contract. In contrast, I encounter soldiers who are in the National Guard who complain that they are not treated on par with the regular full time army; despite the fact that they are doing most of the fighting and performing the necessary services to maintain some semblance of an effective kinetic warfare.
Our military/political leadership is completely incompetent in planning and executing an effective strategy yet we taxpayers are paying an exorbitant price to so-called ‘private contractors’ who basically out source the war. I guess that TBD means that we have no military strategy. It also means we do not have an effective tactical or implementation capacity.

TBD also means that CYA –Cover Your Ass—is becoming the new sobriquet for our non-existent U.S. military. Consider the Secretary of Defense, a civilian who never met a Hedge Fund or bank [Goldman Sachs] that he didn’t like; is far more interested in promoting an openly gay civilian official to head up one of our armed services. I am all for progress BUT when the military and the White House appear to be more concerned with celebrating LGBT day at the Pentagon than implementing a long term military/political strategy in global trouble spots than I start to get very concerned.  Our American military and political system has been degraded and corrupted to such an extend that it no longer functions at all.  YET we continue to fund this bloated corporation at the expense of public education, infrastructure and the environment.  Now these bloated, inefficient institutions must be DOWN SIZED. Get rid of the over paid, pension hogs who can not even “talk a good strategy” let alone execute one. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Intolerable Essence of Being Greece and the EU!
Stop renegotiating a fictitious debt that has already been discounted with an entity, the EU, that may no longer exist in a few years. For some time now, we have been witnessing a financial Kabuki where Greece and its ignoble, manipulative representatives are playing on the world stage while their country sinks into oblivion.
For the past year, I have stated very clearly that the best thing for Greece is to refuse to pay a debt incurred while doing business with Germany. Simply put, Greece cannot afford to pay anything, let alone fictitious debts denominated in the over-inflated Euro. At the same time, Germany knows all too well that there is no collateral that will guarantee any repayment, let alone one that is denominated in the billions. Both parties are playing an exasperating game which amounts to really nothing other than process leading to Erehwon [nowhere spelled backwards].
What should Greece do?

Get rid of all its present leaders who have made a mockery out of a country that once had a very noble history albeit centuries ago. These politicians know all too well that they are just kicking the can of insolvency down the road so that they can come later onto the world stage and play their farce once again. The most important reason for Greece to leave the EU is the simple financial revelation that with their own printing press—in Drachmas—they can literally print their way out of trouble; instead of pleading to retain a currency—the Euro—which is nothing more than a paper barometer of the German economy.

In turn, Germany has to come to turns with the realization that Greece will never be able to ascend from this fictitious morass created by France and Germany to basically control the militaristic future of a Prussian resurgence a la WWI, WWII etc. The Euro is not a real currency that reflects anything other than the presumed strength of the once formidable,  Deutchmark.
Contrary to the world bankers and hedge fund managers accruing paper wealth beyond the diktats of the game, Monopoly, they are really nothing more than “Teddy Boys”[sorry Britain] playing with themselves. For the most part, currencies are nothing more than paper expressions of wishful thinking about a particular nation, commodity or assets. In reality there is nothing to back up the myriads of currencies floating around the world. All that moves around are electrons which indicate some number that may or may not having meaning; according to the receiver.
The Greek debt is as much a myth as the European Union is and will be. There is no real European Union! What we have is a group of former politicians in one country refusing to give up their past personas in order to play again in a country which can’t even garner a Prime Minister, let alone a efficient government. And that basket case of a country –Belgium—has become the epicenter of the fictitious European Union where more countries are performing under par [France]; or, completely out of step with German growth like Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal [PIIGS].

In reality, the EU has become somewhat of psychological burden on the financial systems of the world, having to work through national companies which are highly subsidized like the French or even the Spanish. Only those countries that have grown strong have retained their own currencies, denominated in numbers that can attain whatever ratios are needed for trade. Witness the Swiss Franc that broke through the ersatz basket [or snake] of the Euro to ascend into one of the strongest currencies in the world. 

For three hundred years, the Swiss have been successful in allowing their banks and FIFA executives to indulge in massive financial corruption without harnessing an ounce of moral indignation. And so, England, Norway, Sweden, and Holland have all quietly amassed an impressive growth picture while remaining relatively silent on the world stage.
Only the Greeks and Germans, and sometimes the French, scream ‘bloody murder’ when the Kabuki goes awry.
  Greece will inevitably default on its debt. 
In fact, if anyone bothers to take the time to read their balance sheet, one will find that Greece is in technical insolvency! In other words, Greece’s DEBTS EXCEED ITS ASSETS! If that is not bankruptcy, then folks, I have no idea what that term really means. 

The Greece/Germany two step has shown me how inept our own bankers, Secretaries of State and Treasury really are –when they announce that the world financial markets will collapse if Greece fails to pay its debts. It has already failed de facto to pay its multiplicity of debts. Nothing has happened to the world markets; simply because Greece and the Euro are not that important to Chinese, South East Asian and American GDPs [which is what really matters].
Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe are all nice geopolitical entities in which highly paid pundits revel about in their nonsensical discussions about Geopolitical Imperatives or the New Cold War. The truth is more ugly than that. China keeps growing. India will grow. 
Vietnam; Indonesia; Cambodia; Myanmar— will all grow.

Europe is the newest and oldest sense of the term is just not relevant!
America could become an asterisk in the history of the 21st Century if we don’t stop creating wasteful and complete inane wars thousands of miles from our shores—all in the name of “Peter Pan’s” Terrorism. We have a very weak growth capacity. We will enter a negative growth curve if we don’t stop producing the useless tools of a war that has no bearing on our future.. or national security.
Yet who am I? Just a lonely voice in the world of “bankruptcy”; whether real; or imagined. A word of wisdom to all countries and currency producers---Get Your Own Printing Press! No more worldwide Kabukis, its a distraction and its tiresome.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

“Olive Kitteridge”-- An HBO Special TV Mini-series- Starring Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins and Zoe Kazan –Should Be Recognized by the TV Academy!  Outstanding Writing, Acting and Producing [Tom Hanks/Play Tone].
Usually, I have very low expectations for what I would call, “A Chick Flick”—those dealing with marriage; personal relationships; and family dynamics. Yet I was proven wrong by none other than the  brilliant actress, Frances McDormand of “Fargo” fame and “Mississippi Burning”. She is one of our country’s greatest actresses; bar none. She made a very wry, sardonic Maine school teacher living with a boring pharmacist husband, Richard Jenkins an extremely compelling character to watch.

Without any chase or shooting scenes, the HBO special mini-series, “Olive Kitteridge” based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name by Elizabeth Strout, is one of the more interesting psychologically driven shows of this past year. In part, Ms Jane Anderson has done an exceptionally brilliant job of translating the book of short stories into a full length mini-series with enough compelling plot twists that allow the viewer hours of entertainment. The direction by Lisa Cholodenko allowed Olive to proceed without any visual hiccups.
This is a movie about ordinary women written by a woman and adapted by a woman produced by a woman [Frances McDormand] and directed by a woman. It has proven to me how insipid I had been regarding the ‘stereotype of a chick flick’. 
If nothing else, I had wanted Olive Kitteridge to continue for another season. However the finale of the film was sufficient. I recommend this HBO series for as many awards that an adapted Screen Play can receive and then some.

For those of you who do not know anything about the matrons of the Northeast—New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts—I strongly recommend this film as an introduction to the world of the laconic, determined and forceful woman –whom we often refer to as the “Yankee Standard”. My only word of advice: don’t mess with them. Maybe one day we will have a leader who can represent all the honest and brutal qualities of these “Yankee Standards”.
Thank you Play Tone and HBO for an excellent miniseries. May all the deserved accolades come your way.
P.S. Frances, you might want to show your husband and brother-in-law, the Coen Brothers, how to write, direct and produce a movie that is truly interesting and dramatic without being heavy-handed; as well as, having to rely on Sophomoric Yiddish Humor. But that may be asking too much. 


Friday, June 5, 2015

Lets make our own rockets in U.S. instead of giving $$$ to Putin!
We are now completely dependent on Putin for rockets, giving him Billions of Dollars from our inept Air Force/Pentagon. Why are we incapable of producing our own rockets? What about Lockheed Martin and Boeing?  Don’t we need jobs in the U.S.? Shame on us and on these functionaries and tax subsidized private companies.

Our military /industrial complex is overseen by highly paid generals/admirals/civilians who pay billions of taxpayer dollars to corrupt Russian oligarchs including Putin to send our Top Secret payloads into space. At the very same time, those same US military officials are trying to make a “regime change” in Russia because of their ‘supposed invasion’ of Ukraine [Crimea].
I was shocked to read in the NY Times article on June 3, 2015 by Steven Lee Myers about this incredible paradox in which our senior Pentagon officials and their eventual employers after retirement—Lockheed Martin and Boeing—have had to beg the White House/ Congress to continue the exorbitant payments to the Russians for their rocket boosters.  It was more evidence that DOD has become nothing more than a nursing home of useless military officials who garner all types of ‘fruit salad’ for nothing more than preparing themselves for a highly subsidized tax payer retirement.

The Pentagon has become a bloated and festering tumor due to ignorance, laziness, and greed. The U.S Air Force [descending quietly into oblivion with the advent of drones] has not been able to develop the simple booster rockets required to send our intelligence/satellite payloads into space. As a result of the so-called “peace dividend”,  Americans have the good fortune of paying the Russians for the privilege of using their efficient booster rockets; which we could not and have not been able to manufacture since the 1990’s.
We have our very own  dysfunctional “private” corporations,  Lockheed Martin and Boeing,  demanding that despite our sanctions against Russia for their invasion of the Ukraine that Congress should release the necessary funds to buy more Russian booster rockets.
Here are some of the relevant quotes from the NYTimes article:
“Certainly we cannot have Vladimir Putin and his cronies profit from the sale of rocket engines,” Senator McCain said at a news conference.
“Ending the reliance on the RD-180 [rocket booster] is not as simple as it appears,” said David A. Deptula, a retired Air Force General who runs the Mitchell Institute For Aerospace Studies in Arlington, Virginia. He continued, “Underinvestment, lack of clear vision and stifling bureaucracy has slowed innovation of alternative for years.”

Please tell me why no present or past Sec Defs or POTUS’s did not FIRE everyone involved or uninvolved in developing a 21st century American rocket for the new space era?
The reason is simple.
American citizens have tolerated dysfunctional military which has not and cannot win a battle or a war since 1944. They have been coddled by Generals and senior officers whose primary concerns have been their careers and their own wallets. We have allowed our legislators to pork barrel the pentagon budget so that every member of Congress has a totally useless military installation in their district yet serves no segment of national security.  Our so called weapon systems are primarily constructed from elements of electronics developed/manufactured by our potential enemies; China, Russia, and questionable allies; Israel, India, Pakistan.

Def Ashton Carter should kick these lazy celebrity generals in the butt.  In addition, as Congress feeds the old dinosaurs Lockheed and Boeing tax payer handouts in exchange for fat campaign contributions, tell them to dust off the R&D departments and make some space age technology happen.  Or give the money to Elon Musk and Space X, he’s got rockets and the drive to make something happen. 

  Time for the generals and old time corporations that exist on the tax payer dole to take the dirt nap.
Congratulations to Putin! He understood that no matter how tough we might posture in the world, the truth was more pathetic: We need Putin in order to fight Putin.

Monday, June 1, 2015

More on Jade Helm

“American Crime” An Outstanding TV Series [ABC Studios], Written, Produced, and Created by John Ridley
Should Sweep TV Emmy Awards!
In a time of domestic turmoil when dynamic human forces are swirling about in a series of confrontations and family tragedies, “American Crime”, an innovative TV series, created by the talented Academy Award Winner [12 Years A Slave] John Ridley has captured the time’s troubled temper.

In a kaleidoscope of characters, ranging from L.A. Chicano gangs played by Richard Cabral [once a real gang member] to the ostensible black gangster, Elvis Nolasco; arching over the lead characters played by Caitlin Gerard, Timothy Hutton; and Felicity Huffman, we see an American Tragedy emerging as these characters try to make some sense of a senseless drug killing.
From the very beginning of the TV series, one is completely thrown off by the fact that we never see the actual murder. The creator of this series, the articulate, bright screen writer/novelist, John Ridley concentrates his story line on the different familial reactions to a crime that the viewer never really sees. Next Ridley takes us through a series of dramatic twists and turns that keep drawing us further into the disparate story lines till we, the viewer, want a moment of respite and emotional catharsis. It is very rare to see a TV series of such emotional depth without relying on stereotypic characters or iconic scenes of violence.

To say that the actors were uniformly outstanding is an exceedingly rare occurrence in this judge’s experience. For those who might remember the American writer Theodore Dreiser, one might imagine that “American Crime” could be the modern day equivalent of Dreiser’s masterpiece, An American Tragedy. The polymath John Ridley happens to be African American. However, his sensibilities are clearly universal and trenchant. He understands the complicated dynamics that occur amidst all the races and ethnic groups without straining credulity. It’s a pleasure to witness this kind of talent in action. All of the characters, played by exceptional indigenous actors range from the panoply of diversity that we see in America.

There are very few moments in the lengthy TV show that appear contrived, or incredulous. To ABC Studios, I send my kudos for taking an exceptional risk on a very delicate subject and making certain that the show never wavers into maudlin, self-indulgence; or bursts out into flairs of gratuitous violence. The  Television Academy would do well to grant this show all the recognition that it deserves , as follows:
Best Director;
Best Producer;
Best Original Screenplay;
Best Production Designs.
For the leading characters—awards galore.
Once again , congratulations to John Ridley for a job exceedingly well done. May his career continue to prosper in the directions that he may chose. To ABC Studios, a tip of the hat for taking an incredible risk that could have easily backfired into the TV land of gratuitous sex, violence, drug addiction, and minority stereotyping.
I will end this blog on note of caution to ABC Studios and John Ridley. It may have been sufficient to have developed this series for only one season. I am concerned that two or more seasons will strain the viewers’ compassion and interest.
But what do I know?
I just watch and vote.