Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 09, 2019

The Demise Of The 'Western' System

A U.S. made fighter jet that is claimed to evade radar, finally evades radar:

Japan's Air Self-Defense Force says an F35A fighter jet disappeared from radar over the sea off Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan, at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Japan Time.

ASDF officials said the aircraft took off from Misawa air base at around 7:00 p.m., and disappeared at a point about 135 kilometers east of Misawa City.

This again proves that Donald Trump is right:

"Amazing job … so amazing we are ordering hundreds of millions of dollars of new planes for the Air Force, especially the F-35. You like the F-35? ... you can't see it. You literally can't see it. It's hard to fight a plane you can't see," Mr Trump said in October.

Or is he?

The F-35 may have some good electronics but is not a good plane to fly against any competent competitor. The Marine version which can take off and land vertically, is a remake of the Soviet Yakovlev 141 which first flew in 1989 (vid). The derived Air Force and Navy versions do not have the vertical take off and landing capabilities, but inherited the disadvantages the basic design brings with it. The F-35's stealth does not work against modern radar:

[T]o shoot down F-35 one has to have two different bands radar, good sensor-fusion algorithms and decent signal processing protocols and voila'. S-300 PMU2 Favorit can do this, certainly S-400, and its inevitably coming iterations for which there is literally a line of customers, can. In general, this whole BS about "stealth" should end at some point of time--it was a good propaganda while it lasted. Reality is, with modern processing power and radar design F-35 is not survivable against modern cutting edge air-defense and air-forces.

The Turkish President Erdogan knows this. That is why he is not deterred by U.S. threats to not sell F-35s to him while he buys Russian air defense systems. He just flew to Moscow to discuss futher purchases which will likely include a Russian designed fighter:

The two sides must "strengthen cooperation in the military-technical sphere," Putin told Erdogan as they met in the Kremlin. "These regard first of all the completion of the contract to supply S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Turkey," he said. "There are other promising projects on the agenda related to the supply of modern Russian military products to Turkey," Putin added.

The U.S. no longer builds capable weapons. As Ian Welsh wrote yesterday in America: A Failing State:

The US military is showing signs of being unable to create effective advanced military equipment: as with the F-35, which basically can’t fly. It is showing signs of intense incompetence, as when it let multiple planes be destroyed on the ground by a hurricane rather than, uh, fly them out or get them under effective cover.

Other examples of the incompetence of U.S. military design are the Littoral Combat Ships, which are essentially unarmed fast boats. The "stealth" DDG-1000 Zumwalt class destroyers were supposed to support ground troops with their long range guns. Built at $4 billion a piece the ships are now losing their guns because the ammunition turned out to be too expensive to buy. Before that they lost much of their stealth capabilities because some necessary communication equipment was left out of the original design. The ships new task will be that of a missile launch platform, a job that any commercial ship, carrying containerized Russian missiles (vid), can likewise fulfill.

Ian points out that the lack of military competence is just a symptom. The real problem sits much deeper:

The US is a gold flecked garbage heap slowly rolling towards the ocean. On fire.

There is a lot of ruin in a nation, but for almost 40 years now America’s elites have treated the US as something to loot, and assumed that the good times would keep rolling. They were uninterested in actually governing. They were happy to move much of America’s core manufacturing overseas, to the most likely nation to replace America as a hegemon, because the Chinese were smart enough to make American elites rich.

The European Union suffers similar problems. Brexit is just one symtom of its demise.

Alastair Crooke thinks that the 'western' system at large is crumbling down:

Wherever one looks, it is evident that the post-war Establishment élites are on the backfoot. They maintain a studied panglossian hauteur.
...
More fundamentally, the question is rarely asked: can America truly Be Made Great Again (MAGA), its military totally renewed, and its civil infrastructure refurbished, when starting out from a position today (year to date) where its shortfall of Federal revenue to expenditure is 30%; where its debt is now so great that the US may only survive by again repressing interest rates to a (zombifying) near zero?

And again, is it truly feasible to force manufacturing jobs back to a high-cost base America, from their low-cost, offshoring in Asia – against the backdrop of an America made progressively ‘higher-cost’, through its locked-in monetary inflation policies – except by crashing the value of the dollar to make this high cost base platform globally competitive again? Is MAGA realistic; or will the re-capture of jobs back to the US from the low-cost world end by triggering the very recession which the Central Banks so fear?

And as the post-war élites in America and Europe become more and more desperate to maintain the illusion of being the vanguard of global civilisation, how will they cope with the re-appearance of a ‘civilization-state’ in its own right: i.e. China?

I recently re-watched the record breaking Chinese series Story of Yanxi Palace (vid). It is in all aspects better than anything Hollywood produces. Such cultural products are the next realm where China will beat the 'west' by a large margin.

The 'western' élites dragged it down. It is no longer superior. Something will have to give.

Posted by b on April 9, 2019 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

I don't know.

The west is in much better shape when it is loosely confederated and decentralizes, as opposed to orientalism in the east.

Elaine Pagels laid it out succinctly in her famous book, 'The Greek Way,' when delineating the difference btw the two through history. It is a must read.

All attempts at hypercentralization in the west begins with short-term benefits, i.e. the EU or Patriot Act but zaps the spirit of the individual in the long run. Yes, there will be a reckoning for the elites in the west. That it will ruin us is overblown IMO. The resource wealth is too great here to squander it ad infinitum.

The Chinese-lovers in here, while I sympathize with their view and applaud China and Russia as the antithesis of western hegemony in overreach mode, need to check themselves. You are fundamentally of not the same spirit as these other people. Your values are incompatible. And you resemble Pausianas, the Spartan General who defected to the Persians after Platea after commenting: "Why would the Perians come attack us Greeks? What with their wonderful food and our cuisine which is lacking in comparison."

Just my two cents.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 10, 2019 8:55:51 AM | 101

You cannot make it 1957 again. John Chuckman.. @ 6

yes John and in no time making America into 1957 can happen. heres how.
1 refuse to allow the discrimination in hiring of those with degrees
vs those without degrees Production is learned from the inside
by the smart ones.. neighter degree nor IQ.. makes one smart.
2. Return to the gold standard.. and peg $1.00 to 35/ once..
count of all fiat currency (USD) and reissue gold certificates based on
ratio [ gold verified in treasury] / [total fiat issued].
3. make fracking illegal <= to bankrupt the oil mafias.
4. eliminate traffic lights and build bridges over intersections
5. eliminate the need for a license to practice any profession
or to provide service to anyone
6. Put prosecution for crimes in the hands of private citizens, any
citizen may impanel a court against any person or corporation for any crime
that is one the books, and appoint a judge to hear the case On conviction
and after sentence is rendered, make the USA obligated to carry out the sentence.
7. make producing, distributing or airing any fake news or fake anything
on any media or communicated by any means a 10 year mandatory sentence, and
corporations in violatation of the no fake news law, required to dissolve
and deliver all assets to the public domain, with all liabilities to attach
to the directors.
8. make all levels of education free. and access to them unlimited. if not enough
space government must build, equipment and provide competent instruction for more.
9. Any politician that runs for office that makes a campaign promise and then on
election changes the direction of the promises or fails to do what was promised
on conviction 10 years mandatory prison sentence.
10. Nationalize the federal reserve and all member banks and dissolve them. USe the
proceeds of the dissolution to pay off the national debt of all nations in the
world prorata.
11. make into law that payments by any government or any corporation to any
foreign entity to be an act of treason.
12. limit salaries in the America to 2x the average salary. For example if the average
salary in the America is $20,000 for 2020 then the most salary anyone can be paid
is $40,000.
13. Outlaw Trusts funded by or through estates and tax all gifts to children at 100%.
Tax all estates of the deceased at 100%.
Americans should grow up to compete against each other on a fair basis. Fair
competition is the essence of capitalism.
14. Outlaw stashing and hiding wealth in foreign nations. Penalty is removal from
America and loss of all assets reachable the the USA.
15. No section of any law is allowed to be valid, unless each of its sections separately
stated, then explained, and then placed on a ballot, and then presented to the voters.
The law is then consolidated into the sections that gained a majority of the votes(all
sections not in the majority are removed from the law), After consolidation the
voters are asked to vote again on that law as a whole, if it fails to obtain a
majority of the votes , it cannot become a law or be used as a law.

There are probably a few more things that would help speed the transition from today to 1957 up..but
these 15 items will do a fair job of it.

Looking this list over, caused me to conclude that if there were no Article I lawmakers and
Article II kings and queens, America would be great again in no time.

Posted by: snake | Apr 10, 2019 9:26:03 AM | 102

TV shows about scheming, conniving, manipulative,فروشگاه اینترنتی hot-babe women at each other's throats in the harems of Ottoman sultans or Manchu emperors, or any other series of despots in whatever long-ago empire, always pull in the audiences.
لوازم خانگی بوش
Here in Australia we just had a series of such women at each other's throats: it was a reality TV series called "Married at First Sight". The only difference was the women were all married off separately to different men.
ویکی عروسی
US television used to produce similar shows,آلفا تجهیز like "Dynasty" or "The Bold and the Beautiful".
نمایندگی بوش
sally, those half million dollar F-35 flight helmets are quite impressive.

Posted by: ویکی سی ان سی | Apr 10, 2019 9:36:11 AM | 103

arby | Apr 9, 2019
"These dollars are worthless unless others who can't print them need to get their hands on them. The US happens to be in a position where other countries for various reasons need them. IMO, that is a very enviable position that is being severely abused by the US. Should this force others to stop using the dollar then it will fall to its intrinsic value. Zero."

Those who call for the dollar to fall to ZERO are numerous, have been around for decades, and are always wrong. However, that said, it is also true that the U.S. dollar is coming under increasing pressure, globally, and now declines in influence with each passing year. It is a long slow erratic march of devaluation, with many bumps (both directions) along the way, and shows no signs of slowing down or stopping. The world is in the process of repudiating the U.S. dollar, though it may take a couple more decades before a viable replacement arises and before the dollar radically loses ground. MMT (covergirl, are you listening?) seems not to have grappled with this uber-fact.

Posted by: alan2102 | Apr 10, 2019 10:07:44 AM | 104

@83 Chu Teh

That's a nice story of China, thanks.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 10, 2019 10:12:00 AM | 105

Possibly the Saker link is again getting caught in the Typepad spam filter. It comes and goes.

Ramin Mazaheri's latest piece in his 8-part series on China's Cultural Revolution is now published over there. Apparently I can't give the link. I'm sure those interested know the way. If not, probably the Saker has not yet been expunged from a Yandex search.

The title of this third part is: Why was a Cultural Revolution needed in already-Red China? (3/8)

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 10, 2019 10:18:22 AM | 106

Posted by: ویکی سی ان سی | Apr 10, 2019 9:36:11 AM | 112

Viva la revolucion? Insha’Allah.

Or any offers at communications beyond showing that b does not read Arabic?

Posted by: LeaNder | Apr 10, 2019 10:58:53 AM | 107

KC @ 84:
Back in the Cold War the bad guys were often Eastern Europeans.
_________________

There is one group that has played the identity/victimhood card very successfully. Perhaps the others are trying to emulate them.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Apr 10, 2019 11:03:22 AM | 108

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 10, 2019 8:55:51 AM | 107

It's ironic you mention that because the reason Rome (a Western power) was so successful was that it became centralized, while Greece (an Eastern power) was constantly ravaged by internal strife, revolutions and counter-revolutions.

Cicero himself described the Roman Republic as an ideal mixture between the three best systems there were: oligarchy, monarchy and democracy. He openly defended a mixed form of government in the form of an apology to the Roman Republic.

The stereotype of "West=decentralized; East=centralized" came with Gramsci, who used these terms to delineate two different revolutionary tactics. But I don't think people before the 20th Century saw the world that way. On the contrary, the Merovingians and Carolingians (the two Empires which gave the birth to the concept of Europe in the early Middle Ages) tried, at any cost, to reunite the Western Roman Empire. The only reason they didn't do it was because they couldn't.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10, 2019 11:30:21 AM | 109

Breaking Bad.tv.good.The shit movies are bogus.oscars?

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 10, 2019 12:02:54 PM | 110

I think the inveighing against the US military technology is a bit overplayed. It's more a result of unclear mission parameters. With no true pressing military competitors and the neocons having captured the state department, competing interests arise between fashioning the US military into the IDF, designed for endless wars in the middle east and designing it around a hypothetical war with China and or Russia. The end of the cold war meant little in the way of a failure state for bad procurement decisions and a fat bloated process was the result, but that doesn't mean that the stuff is junk, it's just sub-optimal. The more pressing issue is the addiction of the Pentagon to highly unit expensive stuff with the US starting to hit a wall for added value per dollar and constantly having to pare total unit orders down. If everything stays the same, it may be too expensive to field a proper number of 6th Gen fighters.

We saw this with all the journalists complaining that the US army was somehow inappropriately deigned to battle the Soviet Union and not occupy Iraq in a guerrilla war.

A bigger problem has been the insane recklessness of the US militarily, with it being impossible to negotiate with the neocons incharge. Every promise made in service of real US geopolitical interests can be broken at neocon diktat. How can you negotiate with such a partner? You can't. So this obviously makes a very good case not to cut a deal with the US, because if you're sufficiently powerful as a state you will always get in the way. Instead if you're Russia and China you accept you can't compete in spending and seek asymmetric means to challenge the US. With both of them working on the same problems they can either collaborate or learn from each other (or steal from each other) and the very slow moving US procurement system may not be able to respond fast enough. But that isn't to say the US stuff isn't still the best, just maybe not cost-effective. Just because the F-35 was oversold doesn't mean it's not better than any Russian offering for the time being.

Posted by: Altai | Apr 10, 2019 12:13:28 PM | 111

The Story of Yanxi Palace is good, but not nearly as good as some other Chinese series of the past several years. I'd recommend The Advisors Alliance (based on part of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms), which numbers 86 episodes, The Legend of Zhen Huan (some 60 or so episodes about the rise of a concubine to the position of Dowager Empress), the Legend of Miyue (starring the same actress as Zhenhuan and set in pre-imperial China, 80-plus episodes), and Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace (similar to Zhen Huan in its setting and overall plot and totaling 87 episodes). These are all lavish productions, with excellent casting, writing, and acting. I think our friend here is right in saying that they surpass anything coming out of "Hollywood" these days. It's only the soundtracks where the Chinese still have catching up to do. A great series set in more recent times (from the end of the Qing to after "Liberation") is White Deer Plain. I am basing my evaluations of all of the above on the original Chinese. I cannot vouch for translated subtitles.

Posted by: Peter | Apr 10, 2019 12:32:19 PM | 112

aspnaz @ 49 says:

China is a cultural dessert

i'll take your freudian slip at face value...

Wong Kar-wai has been making exquisite films out of Hong Kong since the early 90s. really superb, innovative cinema. here's the spoiler from Fallen Angels. or check out Chunking Express, In The Mood For Love, 2046

Posted by: john | Apr 10, 2019 12:35:02 PM | 113

@vk

I disagree re: Rome as western product. Indeed, in the book I referenced in my post, 'the Greek way', the author states that Rome was by far more eastern. This explains their good relations with Alexandria and the fact that Rome's elite treated anything Greek as en vogue, which was more ironic consumption and appreciation as opposed to mimicking the Greeks in their gov't.

I liken it to bollywood in India or ironic subcultures in China that idolize western tropes. Once again these are for the elites only.

Rome had very little to do with the Greeks.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Apr 10, 2019 2:28:20 PM | 114

@ Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Apr 10, 2019 2:28:20 PM | 114

Yes, I agree that Rome, in its essence, was not Greek at all. Yes, it was the main responsible for preserving Greek culture to our times, but it definitely wasn't Greek.

Rome's Eastern-based foreign policy comes from the simple fact that, during Ancient times (and pretty much until the Second to Third Industrial Revolutions) wealth was always in the East: during the Republic, it was the Eastern provinces which provided a surplus (Asia and the Levant) and, during the Imperial times (specially after securing Egypt, the wealthiest province of the Empire by far), the goal was, beyond doubt, to conquer Persia and thus eliminate the middle man that separated it from the Chinese empire (both knew the existence of the other since from the beginning).

Also, the Romans didn't have a concept of "Europe" or "Western": they saw themselves as literally the world empire, the center of the world, with Rome as the world's capital (capita mundi). When Diocletian first divided the Empire in Western and Eastern parts, he and his fellows saw it just as a bureaucratic tool. People in Rome at the time had no idea this division would end up being perpetual 150 years later.

Posted by: vk | Apr 10, 2019 3:21:54 PM | 115

Speaking of movies that beat Hollywood, China produced a movie in 2018 called "Operation Red Sea", about a team of Chinese Navy Special Forces rescuing people in a war zone in the Middle East. I was surprised to see excellent special effects in a well-written, well-acted, gritty (occasionally gruesome) military movie that matches anything Hollywood has produced in that genre.

China is also progressing in technology and has a definite program to excel in every technological area in order to provide the products they want to sell to the rest of the world along the Belt and Road Initiative.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 10, 2019 3:58:05 PM | 116

@Covergirl | Apr 9, 2019 2:26:14 PM | 11

While States rely on US dollars the same way individuals do, it is simply not true that debt is meaningful at the Federal level. Pure baloney.

Not baloney; see below.


The Federal government does not run off tax revenue because it printed the money in the first place.

This is baloney. The U.S. government (federal or otherwise) does NOT create the dollars. Since 1913, a private organization called the Federal Reserve creates the money. You can prove this by looking at any dollar bill, where you will see that "Federal Reserve Note" appears in small type. But before 1913, "United States Note" was there instead. In the oh-so-transparent United States, the money is created by a private company whose secretive activities have NEVER been independently audited.


The Federal government can print as much money as it wants...

Sure, the Federal Reserve can print as many dollars as it wants. As long as the money is never spent, it has no effect on the economy. Anyone can do this. For example, I can declare that I am a billionaire; as long as I don't actually try to spend my fantasy money, it may as well not exist, because it doesn't.

However, if the excessive money printed by the Fed (as government debt) is spent, some bad things happen.


...and while the effects of dilution are undesirable

The "undesirable" effects are more honestly called "inflation". At the moment, the rest of the world absorbs the excess dollars, so inflation in the U.S., while high, is not as high as it could be. However, if the Fed continues to print, the rest of the world will eventually refuse to take the U.S. currency -- in other words, the U.S. dollar will not be the reserve of choice -- and hyperinflation will happen.

High inflation will destroy most people. Already, in 2016 69% of Americans had less than $1000 in the bank.

Posted by: Cyril | Apr 10, 2019 6:12:56 PM | 117

US senators behaving like bullying dictators:


'This time senators didn't travel to Turkey, but confined themselves to a newspaper article.

Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jim Risch (R-ID) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) published a joint article in the New York Times threatening Ankara with all kinds of economic sanctions if it honored the S-400 deal. The article also threatened the destruction of Turkey's defence industry and hinted the country could be expelled from NATO.'
...
The four senators say Russia can only "fear" and "respect" Turkey when it's "anchored" to the West.

https://sputniknews.com/world/201904101073975458-senators-article-turkey-threat/?fbclid=IwAR2ZLOjfV7fUFvpD72P45noMSgJGLsJztXPzrACesu4h9FXyw8boWM20w7M

Posted by: brian | Apr 10, 2019 6:39:48 PM | 118

@William Gruff | Apr 9, 2019 4:40:23 PM | 35

Identity politics is constructed around the notion that an individual can achieve status from being victimized by something supposedly outside their control.

The explanation for the prevalence of identity politics is actually quite simple. The greatest fear of the 1% is that the 99% will unite against them and use some guillotines again. Therefore, the elite are carefully ensuring that we will never unite. And they are doing this by dividing us in as many ways as possible: men vs women, whites vs blacks vs Jews, et cetera. In other words, by fomenting identity politics. Divide et impere is a strategy much older than Rome.

Posted by: Cyril | Apr 10, 2019 6:55:11 PM | 119

F-22 was not in the way of a hurricane, they smuggled out of the USA, and sent to Israel

Posted by: mike | Apr 10, 2019 7:04:24 PM | 120

@11 re: MMT.

Quite. The debt level is not the problem. I am on the other hand concerned with the interest payments to the private holders of the Treasury's debt instruments, and if we can print money to pay those obligations. Should the ability to make interest payments come into question, obtaining further loans may become difficult.

Posted by: UnionHorse | Apr 10, 2019 7:04:41 PM | 121

@119 I have a little trouble seeing the 1% (all white, male, heterosexual Anglo-Saxons presumably) as being totally responsible for identity politics. Seems to me things like feminism, black power, gay pride etc. had their origins at the grassroots level. I suppose it is possible that the elites see such movements as a threat so they decided to co-opt the various movements. If that's the case they have succeeded in causing a lot of confusion and infighting.

Posted by: dh | Apr 10, 2019 8:42:43 PM | 122

For fans of animated films, I suggest "Princess Iron Fan", a 75-minute feature based on the adventures of the Monkey King, should be seen at least once. This was the first major animated Asian movie and the third to be made in the world after two American animated movies ("Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" [sic] and one based on Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels") in the 20th century.

The film was made by animators working in a Shanghai film studio that, a couple of weeks before work started on the film, had been strafed by Japanese warplanes during Japan's invasion of China in 1937. The film was completed under difficult wartime conditions by 1941. Over 200,000 pieces of paper were used in the animation process (rotoscoping was used).

The film was exported to Japan in the early 1940s where it (erm) blew away audiences including a young Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astroboy and godfather of current Japanese anime as we know it.

The animation is not very original and shows Disney-styled influences but it was quite a feat for Chinese animation at the time.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 10, 2019 8:48:29 PM | 123

"And again, is it truly feasible to force manufacturing jobs back to a high-cost base America, from their low-cost, offshoring in Asia – against the backdrop of an America made progressively ‘higher-cost’, through its locked-in monetary inflation policies – except by crashing the value of the dollar to make this high cost base platform globally competitive again? Is MAGA realistic; or will the re-capture of jobs back to the US from the low-cost world end by triggering the very recession which the Central Banks so fear?"

Missing the point! From 1776 to 1970 (wish) the American system was to NOT be globally competitive. America was a sealed economy, abundant resources and robust domestic competition due to vigorous antitrust enforcement. We didn't need to be 'globally competitive' with Bangladesh because we refused to compete with Bangladesh! Indeed, I'm old enough to remember when Gross Domestic Product was the same as Gross National Product - because trade was until recently hardly more than 4% of the American economy.

No, we probably can't go back, not now. Our corrupt elites have shipped off the patient work of centuries and it's gone. Just don't think that the issue is being 'globally competitive'. I assure you, the Chinese won't let their manufacturing base go to India no matter how low the labor costs there are (BTW Chinese wages are now significantly higher than Mexico's - but China is NOT shipping industries to Mexico. You don't say?)

Posted by: TG | Apr 10, 2019 11:08:56 PM | 124

@117 Cyril

As I'm sure you know, inflation IS occurring very significantly in the US from the printed dollars, but mostly in those areas where the money is actually going, which is not into the Main Street economy but the Wall Street economy.

The Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing has pumped trillions into the banks, but the banks have only loaned to other banks and into the investment sector, so we have a vast asset bubble, in the stock market and luxury items. This is where the classical "inflation caused by money issuance" has happened. And for the first time, bank shares have become high dividend payers, as the banks have bought back their shares and raised their value (as have most of the corporations). So all the great dividends being paid to stock holders right now have come straight from the Fed.

As professor Richard Werner has illustrated so succinctly in this great Renegade Inc show, The Finance Curse (worth watching for many reasons), inflation of prices only arises when additional money chases the same amount of goods. When you loan money into circulation and it goes into the productive economy, you don't get inflation because the extra money is chasing extra goods.

This is why, for example, China's supposed debt problem is no problem at all - they've used the money to create infrastructure, social capital and new wealth.


Posted by: Grieved | Apr 10, 2019 11:45:15 PM | 125

@125 more

I should add, real inflation at the street level IS happening also, in the US, and running at about 10% per year, as everyone knows who has to buy the necessary things of life. This is quite a high inflation for not being caused by any free money given to us to spend on those things we need.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 10, 2019 11:57:58 PM | 126

F-35 speculation...

As b notes in his intro, there were 4 x F-35s participating in the training mission. The pilot apparently announced that he was aborting/abandoning the mission.
How likely is it that the crew of the other 3 planes wouldn't immediately swing into panic mode and try to make visual contact with distressed plane? Imo, very unlikely. And equally unlikely that they didn't see the pilot eject (if he did) and watch the plane crash into the sea.
The Nips have found 'some wreckage' which suggests that the pilot didn't eject because had he done so he'd have been easy to find and rescue.
Imo something went badly wrong with that plane and the Nips are keeping quiet about it they've finished blackmailing Lockheed Martin et al's asses off.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 11, 2019 12:16:04 AM | 127

- Agree & Disagree. It's simply pure unadulterated corporate greed.

Pierre Sprey gives a very good explanation on why the F35 is a "turkey":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1Z_DuF87Sc

- I want to add the following thoughts. By designing a fighter for 3 different services (Marines, Navy, Air Force) Lockheed Martin was able to eliminate all the competitors who also are producing military aircrafts.

- "The Jet that ate the Pentagon".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTF_a1DuIyE

- The quality of the US army is deteriorating. While the US still can A LOT OF firepower onto the battlefield the quality of the overall army is deteriorating. This is the result of members of Congress having found a way to siphoning off funds from the Pentagon budget. The Pentagon has to cut costs for e.g. training.
- People were laughing about the corruption in e.g. armies in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Ukraine, corruption is also undermining the quality of the US army. When it comes to corruption the US army is perhaps as bad as the ukrainian army.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 11, 2019 2:56:42 AM | 128

- China is a (financial) house of cards. It is bound to implde as well.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 11, 2019 3:24:47 AM | 129

@ AntiSpin

Re: @ Covergirl

But – please do not forget that, thanks to the “Federal” “Reserve” (it's neither) every single US dollar comes into circulation as debt. The Fed creates the money out of thin air, but does not create enough to cover the interest, and as that interest piles up the US falls deeper and deeper into debt – real, honest-to-goodness, actual debt.

Double-baloney. All money, whether it's "fiat" or "backed by gold" is a liability to the issuer. It is a promise to pay. It is debt.

In the case of a nonconvertible, fiat currency like the USD, the only thing that cancels that debt (i.e. destroys money) is taxation. The issuer creates money by spending it into existence. The issuer destroys money by taxing it out of the economy. Taxes do not get recycled, re-spent, or re-distributed. Every dollar the US federal government spends is new and did not previously exist before being spent into existence.

Given the Fed creates money out of thin air, how would it NOT create enough to cover the interest? It can create as much as it needs to, to pay any liability in any amount at any time. The interest the US govt pays on bonds is an income stream to the bond holders. In fact, all govt spending is income for somebody. That scary number called the "national debt" is the exact amount - to the penny - that is in the wallets and bank accounts of individuals, households, companies, foreign central banks, and government agencies.

You can find political cartoons dating back decades scaremongering the "national debt" and the impending demise of the dollar. Decades - and still no bond vigilantes in sight, no Chinese bankers knocking at my door demanding I pay "my portion" of their $2T, nothing.

The USA without the petrodollar is Japan. That's what the US political class fear the most: Loss of empire.


Posted by: Higgs Boson | Apr 11, 2019 1:10:45 PM | 130

@Tuyzentfloot | Apr 10, 2019 5:42:28 AM | 93

It's easy to say that the F35 offers little value, and the stealth features are weak, but stealth is not a primary feature for planes. It's a nice to have.

If stealth is not the F-35's most important feature, the plane had better be at least competitive in most aspects. Is it?


And eventually the F35 and its evolutions will be workable. they don't have to be the best.

If the F-35 doesn't have to be the best, why does it have to cost the most?

Posted by: Cyril | Apr 11, 2019 2:45:30 PM | 131

@dh | Apr 10, 2019 8:42:43 PM | 122

@119 I have a little trouble seeing the 1% (all white, male, heterosexual Anglo-Saxons presumably) as being totally responsible for identity politics. Seems to me things like feminism, black power, gay pride etc. had their origins at the grassroots level.

The elites may not have created the divisions, but they were certainly responsible for greatly amplifying them. The deafening cacaphony of identity politics in the (elite-controlled) mainstream media proves it.

I suppose it is possible that the elites see such movements as a threat so they decided to co-opt the various movements. If that's the case they have succeeded in causing a lot of confusion and infighting.

Identity movements are a threat to the elite? Heck, they love these divisive movements. The infighting is the point: if we're fighting each other, we're not fighting the 1%. In addition, if by some miracle enough of us get together to oppose the elite, the carefully-inculcated inter-group hatreds guarantee that much of the 99% will fight us -- thus protecting the 1%, which is the point.

Posted by: Cyril | Apr 11, 2019 2:47:44 PM | 132

@132 Wherever you get groups of people you get divisions and schools of thought. Some are always more radical than others but if you want to give the 'elite' credit for human behavior so be it. Check out Emmeline Pankhurst's family if you get a chance. She founded the Sufragette Movement.... started out as a real firebrand and became a Tory MP.

Posted by: dh | Apr 11, 2019 3:08:48 PM | 133

@ dh who wrote in response to Cyril
"....but if you want to give the 'elite' credit for human behavior so be it.....
"

If you live in the West you are born into the God of Mammon religion. The God of Mammon religion is the elite control of global private finance that has existed for centuries.

For you to not know that you are forced to live according to the narratives of the God of Mammon religion is sad. It is the crux of the existential battle going on between China/etc. and the West at this time.....public/private finance = socialism/capitalism

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 11, 2019 3:21:29 PM | 134

@134 I'm sorry to have saddened you but I am well aware of the God of Mammon and the way we live in the West. I've spent my whole life under the system....sometimes as a victim, sometimes as a beneficiary. But I'm a lot more cynical than you about human nature.

Posted by: dh | Apr 11, 2019 3:29:20 PM | 135

@135 Incidentally if you think the system in China is fair and equitable I suggest you live there for a while. Check out the meaning of guanxi (關係) before you go.

Posted by: dh | Apr 11, 2019 3:45:57 PM | 136

@ dh that thinks I might not like Chinese culture.

I despise the elitism of Western culture but am old/poor enough that I will die under it and not experience the Chinese culture personally.

And I didn't make any children to continue any of humanity's hubris, lest you think me not cynical enough.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 11, 2019 4:42:11 PM | 137

@dh | Apr 11, 2019 3:08:48 PM | 133

@132 Wherever you get groups of people you get divisions and schools of thought. Some are always more radical than others but if you want to give the 'elite' credit for human behavior so be it.

I said, "The elites may not have created the divisions, but they were certainly responsible for greatly amplifying them. The deafening cacaphony of identity politics in the (elite-controlled) mainstream media proves it." (Emphasis added, as you seem to need it.)


Posted by: Cyril | Apr 11, 2019 5:24:07 PM | 138

@138 So in effect you were repeating what I said in my # 122 .... "I suppose it is possible that the elites see such movements as a threat so they decided to co-opt the various movements. If that's the case they have succeeded in causing a lot of confusion and infighting." No need for any emphasis.

Posted by: dh | Apr 11, 2019 5:39:40 PM | 139

@137 I have 4 grand-children but I'm still cynical. Actually I hope some of it rubs off on them....it's a good survival mechanism. Cynicism has a a long tradition...it's a Greek philosophy of the 4th century B.C. advocating the doctrines that virtue is the only good, that the essence of virtue is self-control and individual freedom, and that surrender to any external influence is beneath the dignity of man (I'm not sure who said that).

Posted by: dh | Apr 11, 2019 5:44:24 PM | 140

@dh | Apr 11, 2019 5:39:40 PM | 139

@138 So in effect you were repeating what I said in my # 122 .... "I suppose it is possible that the elites see such movements as a threat so they decided to co-opt the various movements. If that's the case they have succeeded in causing a lot of confusion and infighting."

No, you misunderstand. As I said in #132 (Apr 11, 2019 2:47:44 PM), the identity movements are NOT a threat to the elite. The 1% adore these divisive movements, because the infighting they cause prevents the 99% from uniting against their true enemies, the 1%.

The elite actually had to do a lot of promotion because many of the movements weren't strong enough by themselves. After all, before the (elite-controlled) media started talking loudly about transgendered bathroom usage, who cared about the issue?

The promotion of identity movements by elites is definitely a case of divide and conquer.


No need for any emphasis.

Sorry about that.

Posted by: Cyril | Apr 12, 2019 12:43:11 AM | 141

@ Cyril who wrote
"
The promotion of identity movements by elites is definitely a case of divide and conquer.
"

I agree and it has been very effective for them.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 12, 2019 1:49:39 AM | 142

As an 'ally',
Looks like Singapore plans to acquire a squadron of F35
just to humor Washington.

UNcle scam lost no time to foment discord, saying
' Sg is 'sending a message to Beijing',
prompting a frantic rebuttal from MINDEF.

Thats how the arsonists in DC make a living,
sobs.

Posted by: denk | Apr 12, 2019 2:55:21 AM | 143

@141 I don't disagree. Granted the media has blown the issues like transgender bathrooms etc. out of all proportion but it's because the public is so easily titillated. It's done to shock and aggravate 'normal' people. Same with movies but people go to watch them because they want to see the envelope pushed.

Yes the whole thing is a distraction from more important matters but even the BBC has become a constant barrage of race and gender tit-bits. They would probably justify it by saying it makes us more tolerant of each others differences. I'm just not sure who is behind it or what they expect to achieve with their agenda.

Posted by: dh | Apr 12, 2019 9:46:14 AM | 144

What'r those f35 doing out there,
practicing kamikazi runs on Chinese vessels ?

No tears shed for the lost pilot .

Posted by: denk | Apr 12, 2019 12:41:45 PM | 145

People really need to read up on Dr. Michael Hudson's extant work.
For example: the whole Fed/fiat issue. Money was invented specifically for taxation purposes. The Fed and US Government printing money is no different - except that they're now taxing foreigners as well as Americans.
An ex-Drexel trader who specializes in "low competition" finance - basically legal loan sharking for apartment/biz construction - understood the impact of this albeit in the usual libertarian backwards way.
He told a room full of HNW people (and me) that the revolution was coming: the ongoing economic oppression of the younger American generation was going to result in much greater wealth distribution through government means.
His view is that the method will be via accelerated devaluation of the US dollar via printing.
That is certainly one possible way. I and others were saying at the old iTulip.com that there needed to be a 100% inflation in 2007 to bring things back to normal. This number might be 150% or 200% now.
It could be in 1 year, or over 3 or 4 years.
The problem is that the people who hold the wealth now have to agree to that, and there's no sign of this at all.
My personal view, in light of this 10+ years of growing inequality and oligarchical separation from the rest of society, is the only realistic outcome is a major social disruption: revolution via dictator or some mutant form of socialism (Not communism, Leninism, or EU style socialism).

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 12, 2019 7:38:22 PM | 146

I heard the jp have grounded their fleet of f35,
now they know why its known as 'hanger queen' lol/
No matter, if somebody have dough to spare and are
just too eager to please their masters in Washington.

Bush...
Jp is like an ATM that requires no pin number.

hehheheheh

Posted by: denk | Apr 12, 2019 11:45:38 PM | 147

@ denk who wrote
"
Bush...
Jp is like an ATM that requires no pin number.
"

LOL!!! It just might seem strange to some that (the protectorate) Japan is one of the largest holders of US Treasuries, just behind China.

The coming crash will be spectacular......grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 13, 2019 12:03:09 AM | 148

psychohistorian 148

Now you know why they confer the title of
'honorable whitey' to the jps , who lap it up
with glee.

hehhehe

Posted by: denk | Apr 13, 2019 12:12:28 AM | 149

What'r those f35 doing out there,
practicing kamikazi runs on Chinese vessels ?
No tears shed for the lost pilot .
Posted by: denk | Apr 12, 2019 12:41:45 PM | 145

NHK TV news has dropped the F-35 story like a hot potato since the initial report. No mention of any aspect of the incident.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 13, 2019 3:36:48 AM | 150

Talking about Demise of the West, I've been recording the first 15 mins of CGTN, NHK, DW, F24 and Al Jaz. CGTN and NHK are only 15 mins, The others are 30 mins or more. CGTN's roundups are by far the most comprehensive, wide-ranging and professional. CGTN has a very busy headline scroll across the bottom of the screen, mostly but not entirely devoted to stories not covered in its TV reports.

CGTN & Al Jaz are the only ones providing regular brief updates on Libya. Al Jaz has a reporter in Tripoli. Judging by the unconcealed angst and vague insinuations from the 'UN-backed' side, I'm getting the impression that the Christians are disappointed AND in disarray.

Demise.
CGTN reported yesterday that the Military Commander of the Sudanese forces which toppled the Prez has told the International (White Man's Burden) Criminal Court in The Hague to STFU. "We won't be extraditing him. He'll be tried in THIS country."
Coincidentally-ish, Al Jaz reported yesterday that the International (White Man's Burden) Criminal Court has declined a request that it investigate alleged War Crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 13, 2019 4:17:43 AM | 151


arby | Apr 9, 2019
"These dollars are worthless unless others who can't print them need to get their hands on them. The US happens to be in a position where other countries for various reasons need them. IMO, that is a very enviable position that is being severely abused by the US. Should this force others to stop using the dollar then it will fall to its intrinsic value. Zero."

Those who call for the dollar to fall to ZERO are numerous, have been around for decades, and are always wrong. However, that said, it is also true that the U.S. dollar is coming under increasing pressure, globally, and now declines in influence with each passing year. It is a long slow erratic march of devaluation, with many bumps (both directions) along the way, and shows no signs of slowing down or stopping. The world is in the process of repudiating the U.S. dollar, though it may take a couple more decades before a viable replacement arises and before the dollar radically loses ground. MMT (covergirl, are you listening?) seems not to have grappled with this uber-fact.

Posted by: alan2102 | Apr 13, 2019 7:51:49 AM | 152

Who can say what will happen to Julian Assange.
This person who risk so much to inform others was taken with only feeble grumbling from those he helped (including myself).

We learn much from what he has revealed to us, but also from how he is being treated:
- frivolous legal actions to try to gain access to him
- support from few which is overcome by entities with power, influence, money (likely Judas Moreno is president because of interference by money interests)
- lack of power of the written law to protect from entities with influence
- lack of principle exhibited by the governments and other entities that serve those with influence and money
- lack of influence of the people
- people are manipulated to support the will of the powerful, not the obverse
- ask not for whom the bell tolls

I wish for Mr Assange and his mother peace in their hearts and great pride in what they have accomplished for others. The same for Ms Manning and family - unlike the mercenaries she revealed she can remember with pride what she has done in her life. We must ensure that history remembers them well and also the malevolent weakness of McCain, Clinton, Bush, Obomber and Trump.

Perhaps, he will yet come through this OK.

Posted by: jared | Apr 13, 2019 10:15:26 AM | 153

@alan2102 #152
There are a number of reasons why dollars are so prevalent. Some are historical - like that dollars are more stable for the Boomer generations due to the memories of WW2 impact on European currencies (Asian ones didn't matter then).
Operationally, the biggest single reason is oil. The US has been consuming between 16 and 21 million barrels of oil per day since the 1980s. 18 million barrels of oil per day = 6.57B dollars trading hands per year, just for the raw oil. The actual economic activity is many multiples of this number, but interestingly the question is how much impact the rise of American oil production has. US "self sufficiency" in oil means less money going to foreign countries - in reality most of it was going to Canada and Mexico - but it also means a lot less foreigners needing dollars to conduct oil business and a lot less reason to denominate oil in USD.
In particular, China is now the largest importer of oil.
Another major factor is size of economy. The US has been the largest economy for a long time - this is no longer true.
The last factor is trade deficits. The US has the largest trade deficit by far - with Germany and Japan as the largest trade surplus nations (China is third).
This trade deficit is broken down as follows:
Goods: $1.55T exports vs. $2.41T imports = 8.7% of world exports and 13.4% of world imports.
Services: $762B exports vs. $516B imports (surplus) = 14.4% of world services exports vs. 10.2% of world services imports.
Overall, $2.17T in exports vs. $2.93T in imports = 10% of world exports and 12.7% of world imports vs. 5% of the world's population and 15% of world GDP.
USD as a percentage of world trade? in the 60% range.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 13, 2019 11:21:37 AM | 154

Hoarsewhisperer 150

Make no mistake, the imperial jp navy is back with a vengence,
courtesy of fukus the arsonist. [1]

With the acquisation of f35, their fleet of Izumo class
'destroyers' have morphed into full fledged
offensive aircraft carriers, soon to join up with fukus
in its FON provocations at China's doorstep.

The Izumo was billed a 'destroyers' carrying only
antisub copters.
Those who knew better had seen this coming all along, ...
a creeping transformation of the IDF
into an offensive outfit...like the good ole days !
This was the plan from the outset when the Izumo
was first lauched.
Sneaky !@#$%^

The arsonists in DC are gloating at their handiwork,
wow, the chicoms must be wetting their pants now.
heheheh
[2]

[1]
http://original.antiwar.com/john-v-walsh/2013/02/03/us-goading-japan-into-confrontation-with-china/

[2]
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/chinas-worst-f-35-and-aircraft-carrier-nightmare-about-come-true-41922

Posted by: denk | Apr 13, 2019 11:48:08 AM | 155

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.