Archive for the ‘power’ Category

Biggest Beneficiary of U.S. Economic Stimulus?

January 30, 2009

Name one state, agency or program that will get more than $300 Billion from the $800+ Billion economic stimulus.

That would be China.  Nothing and nobody comes close.

China will reap over $300 Billion just by fincnacing the stimulus.  That will be U.S. dollars flowing from Americans to China as interest on the loan.

We’d be be better off borrowing from our credit cards.

A bank employee counts US dollar bank notes. The euro fell sharply ...

When America borrows, who pays?  First, I guess, and correct me if I’m wrong, China lends the money to the U.S.

China already “owns” as of October, 652.9 billion dollars in US Treasury bonds.

And China won’t just get the money: China will gain further in its already pervasive importance in the world.

And China may call the shots.

Just today, China said it didn’t like the “Buy American” provisions in the economic stimulus.

What else doesn’t China like?

When one country owes another country so much money, over $1 Trillion, what will happen?  We don’t know, because this has never happened before.

Like a Mafia, Boss, China will own the United States.  And, if real estate trends are any guide, China will also buy up any remaining valuable U.S. soil.

China will have all the money.  And in some places, money is power.

In the business deal called the economic stimulus, I’d rather be Chinese than American….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

A Chinese customer shows off a handfull of hundred-yuan notes ...

The latest irritants to China from America are a “buy American” provision attached to White House-backed stimulus legislation moving through Congress and criticism of China’s currency policies by Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner….See:
China Starts to Set Limits On Its Biggest Borrower: Barack Obama and The U.S.

Related:
Economic Stimulus About “Soul of America”

Russia’s Putin Shuts Off Gas to Europe

January 7, 2009

It seems somewhat off to us that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia has said he’ll fully support a negatiated cease fire in Gaza.

Never mind that Russia is arming Syria and others around Israel.

What really causes us to wonder is Putin’s demonstrated use of power over ngotaiation in Georgia, Ukraine and now to all of Europe.

Putin and former head of Gazprom Dmitry Medvedev got Russia rich and powerful again with gas and oil.  Now they are using that power, and the very gas and oil all need, to “negotiate” with the Westward-leaning government of  Ukraine, and along with them all of Russia’s friends in Europe.

From the Associated Press:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered Gazprom to stop all shipments of natural gas to Europe through Ukraine.

Russian gas is already not getting through the pipelines that cross Ukraine. Gazprom has blamed Ukraine, saying Russia has delivered the gas but Ukraine has shut down the pipelines and is stealing gas intended for Europe.

Ukraine insists that Russia stopped supplying the gas on Wednesday morning.

Putin told Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller to go ahead and stop deliveries. He said this should be done “publicly and in the presence of international observers.”

Sixteen countries have stopped receiving Russian gas or have seen a sharp drop in supplies.

Europe depends on Russia for a quarter of its gas, 80 percent of which goes through Ukraine.

Why Obama’s green jobs plan might work

January 4, 2009
Some states — including Michigan — already see renewable energy as their future: It’s the only sector that appears to be making room for more employees despite the recession.
By Marla Dickerson
The Los Angeles Times
January 4, 2009
Reporting from Hemlock, Mich. — While Detroit’s automakers struggle to rebuild their sputtering operations, the key to jump-starting Michigan’s economy may lie 80 miles northwest of the Motor City.

This is the home of Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. It makes a material crucial for constructing photovoltaic panels. And that has turned this snow-covered hamlet into an unlikely hotbed for solar energy.
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On Dec. 15, the same week that General Motors Corp. and Chrysler begged $17.4 billion from taxpayers to stave off collapse, Hemlock announced a $3-billion expansion that could create hundreds of jobs. It’s a rare piece of good news for this battered Rust Belt state, whose 9.6% unemployment rate is the nation’s highest.

In contrast to Detroit iron, Hemlock’s quartz-based polycrystalline silicon is in such demand that workers in white smocks and protective gear toil around the clock to get it to customers around the globe.

Hemlock has been deluged with applications from idle factory hands such as former autoworker Don Sloboda. The 50-year-old Saginaw resident has been retraining at a local community college for what he hopes is the region’s new engine of job growth.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-
greenjobs4-2009jan04,0,378269.story

Israel vows to sweep Hamas from power

December 30, 2008

Israel vowed yesterday to sweep Hamas from power in Gaza, pledging “all-out” war and promising to smash every building linked to the Islamist movement.

Hamas continued to lob rockets at the Jewish state as Israeli forces carried out a third day of attacks on the Gaza Strip, broadening the offensive to include naval as well as aerial bombardments. But as Britain and other nations called for an end to the violence, there were signs that Hamas was feeling the strain with claims that its leader-in-exile was ready to renew a ceasefire that expired ten days ago.

Yesterday’s targets in Gaza included a university building, the Interior Ministry and the office of Ismail Haniya, the Hamas political leader. The Palestinian death toll reached 345, with 1,550 wounded, in just three days. Four Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rockets.

“The goal of the operation is to topple Hamas,” Haim Ramon, the deputy to Ehud Olmert, the Prime Minister, said. It was the first time since it launched its blistering offensive that Israel has openly stated that regime change is its ultimate goal. “We will stop firing immediately if someone takes the responsibility of this government, anyone but Hamas,” Mr Ramon said. “We are favourable to any other government to take the place of Hamas.”

It was not clear which party could take control if Israel succeeds in removing the Islamists.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wor
ld/middle_east/article5415759.ece

2008: U.S. Eclipsed Amid Marked Changes in World’s Political, Economic Landscape

December 29, 2008

The United States has been acting as the world’s only superpower in 2008, but the financial turmoil, which broke out in Wall Street in September, showed its vulnerability.

In addition, the country is still deep in trouble with its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which has undermined its international image.

Pedestrians walk pass the New York Stock Exchange. US share ...

The world has undergone remarkable changes this year, but international security situation on the whole remained stable with “peace” and “development” prevailing as the themes of the times. 

 In 2008, the world has continued moving toward multi-polarization, resulting in a distinctive shift of international forces. Globalization is developing in depth and regional cooperation is gathering momentum.

By Sun Ruijun and Bao Erwen
Xinhua

BeijingOlimpicGames2008-08-08.jpg
Above: Opening of Beijing Olympics

The world has been confronted with one hotspot issue after another and non-traditional threats are increasing. The world economic growth took a turn for the worse due to the outbreak of the global financial crisis.

Read the rest:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-12/28/content_10571543.htm

China’s Growing Naval Reach May Cause Worries

December 26, 2008

China’s Pacific neighbors worry that the superpower’s growing naval power could cause regional tensions to rise and fester…

The first deployment of three Chinese ships to the coast of Africa in hundreds of years means China is becoming more involved in world and international matters.  The pirates in Somalia are causing insurance prices to rise for everyone.  So China’s committment and involvement causes many to applaud.

But not everyone is applauding China’s naval moves.  Many worry.

Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, to name just a few nations, worry that China’s growing naval strength means China will eventually want something in Asia and have the power to take it without too much discussion.

Even Pacific Ocean nations like Australia worry that China will become too dominant in the region.

Here at Peace and Freedom, readers from Vietnam, Japan and South Korea have swamped us with questions about China’s actual strength at sea — and China’s intent.

And why does China need a large navy?  What is China’s “Grand Strategy”?

“I think the objective of the grand strategy is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war, with economy and culture,” said Chong-pin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan.

The “Grand Strategy” will ultimately include aircraft carriers.

China will “seriously consider” building aircraft carriers to protect its vast maritime territory, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense said on just last week as the anti-piracy mission was being prepared.

Huang Xueping made the remarks at a news conference called to announce details of a Chinese flotilla that departed for Somali waters on Friday to protect Chinese ships from pirates.

Asked whether the Chinese navy’s first deployment abroad is a good opportunity to build a carrier, Huang said the government would seriously consider the issue.

“Aircraft carriers are a symbol of a country’s overall national strength as well as the competitiveness of its naval force,” Huang said.

“China has a long coastline and the sacred duty of China’s armed forces is to safeguard the country’s marine safety and sovereignty over coastal areas and territorial seas,” he said.

Above: Near the Republic of Korea (Oct. 7, 2008). The ROKS Gangkamchan (DDH 979) steams by a line of  warships during the International Fleet Review “Pass and Review.”

China has many mineral rights and oil disagreements at sea with Japan, Vietnam and other nations — and a poweful navy means to these countries that China will, before long, lay down the law from Beijing on other regional neighbors.

According to Japan’s Navy Retired vice admiral Fumio Ota, currently director of the Center for Security and Crisis Management Education of the National Defense Academy, “One reason is China wants to make advances in the sea to secure energy resources. The other is to survey and expand the area of its operational waters in preparation for a war with Taiwan ….. China’s State Oceanic Administration has said: ‘The one who controls the sea will survive and grow. China will build a powerful and modern maritime state.'”

Most worriesome to the United States and those neighbors of China is this: no one really knows how big and capable China’s navy has become or how much China is spending on naval programs.

Beijing’s rapidly growing military spending, estimated at $85 billion to $125 billion last year, is still dwarfed by the United States, where a half-trillion dollars is shelled out for defense spending each year, not counting money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office last year said the U.S. Navy needs to spend about $21 billion annually on new ship construction over 30 years to meet its goal of a 313-ship fleet. That is far above the Pentagon’s average spending between 2000 and 2005, and about $6 billion more than President Bush requested for this year.

But it is China’s secrecy on military spending and programs that causes so many to worry in Asia — and that is why U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates frequently speaks about the need for “transparency” in both China’s military investments and their intentions.

China’s military spending and intentions are hidden behind a fog of state controlled media and government secrecy.

On the aircraft carrier issue,  China’s Maj. Gen. Quan Lihua said:

“The question is not whether you have an aircraft carrier, but what you do with your aircraft carrier.  Even if one day we have an aircraft carrier, unlike another country we will not use it to pursue global deployment or global reach.”

Of course: we can all trust China.

Related:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf
/12/26/china.pirates/index.html

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Piracy draws China back to the ranks of maritime giants
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China’s “Grand Strategy”: U.S. Out Of Asia?
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China Launching First Long-Range Naval Mission Since 15th Century

General Hints China’s Navy May Add Carrier

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, seen here on December 2008, ... 
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, seen here in December 2008.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Scott Olson)

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From the Associated Press

China’s willingness to send ships so far from home is also the latest example of the growing power and confidence of the country’s navy. In recent years, the military has been loading up on warships, planes, missiles and other weapons — a beef-up that has worried its neighbors and the U.S.

Those most concerned include the Japanese and South Koreans, who have long-standing disputes about territorial waters that occasionally flare up. China has also been locked in an uneasy stand off with the Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations over the ownership of the potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii, said countries in the region will view China’s mission off Somalia differently.

“For Japan and some in South Korea, this is another step in the unwelcome growth of the Chinese navy as a capable blue-water force, which has only downsides for Tokyo and Seoul,” said Roy, an expert on China’s military.

“I think the objective of the grand strategy is to squeeze out, very slowly and very gradually, the influence of the United States in East Asia, without war, with economy and culture,” said Chong-pin, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan at Princeton.

But he said most Southeast Asian countries may see China’s involvement in the anti-piracy campaign as a positive thing. It would mean that China was using its greater military might for constructive purposes, rather than challenging the current international order.

However, the analyst added, “The Chinese deployment gets at a question the U.S. and other governments have been asking: ‘Why the big Chinese military buildup when no country threatens China?’ Or more bluntly, ‘Why do the Chinese need a blue-water navy when the U.S. Navy already polices the world’s oceans?”‘

Roy said the answer is that China is unwilling to rely on the U.S. to protect China’s increasingly global interests. Beijing still believes it needs to enter the field, Roy said, and that leaves open the possibility of a China-U.S. naval rivalry in the future.

China has said the mission’s purpose was to protect Chinese ships and crews that have come under attack from pirates. The vessels would also be willing to share intelligence and conduct humanitarian rescue operations with other countries involved in the anti-piracy efforts, Senior Col. Huang Xueping, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said Tuesday.

Read the entire article:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,473044,00.html

China likely to miss energy saving goal for 2008

December 13, 2008

China is likely to miss an energy saving target that it has set itself for this year, state media reported Saturday, citing the nation’s top economic planning agency.

In the first nine months of the year, the nation cut average energy consumption by 3.46 percent, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the National Development and Reform Commission.

Workers install an electrical pylon in the southwestern province ... 
Workers install an electrical pylon in the southwestern province of Sichuan. China is likely to miss an energy saving target that it has set itself for this year, state media reported Saturday, citing the nation’s top economic planning agency(AFP/File/Liu Jin)

This makes it unlikely that China will meet its full-year target of a four-percent reduction.

The target was part of a larger ambition of reducing average energy consumption by 20 percent over the period from 2006 to 2010.

This first two years also fell short of the targets, with a 1.79-percent reduction in average energy consumption in 2006 followed by a 3.66-percent drop in 2007, according to Xinhua.

China has come under growing pressure to improve energy efficiency as its dependence on imported energy has risen, while its environment has continued to deteriorate.

–AFP

Russia’s Vladimir (NOT The President) Putin Hosts Phone-In Show

December 4, 2008

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is set to face a series of questions about the economy when he takes part in a nationwide broadcast.

A Conversation with Vladimir Putin will be filmed at a studio near the Kremlin in front of a 400-strong audience.

People from across Russia will be able to put questions to the ex-president.

Last year, a million questions were submitted in advance, the Kremlin said. However, all were screened and none were considered overtly hostile to him.

Annual tradition

The BBC’s James Rodgers in Moscow says that perhaps the most significant thing about the “conversation” will not be the questions, but the person who is answering them.

Vladimir Putin (27 November 2008)
When Mr Putin was president, the broadcast became an annual tradition

When Mr Putin was president, the broadcast became an annual tradition.

Mr Putin left the Kremlin in May, after being obliged under the constitution to step down after two consecutive presidential terms.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,left, and Prime Minister Vladimir ...
When journalists see photographs like this from Russia they often ask, “Who is the school master?”  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,left, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seen at their meeting in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service)

But it is he, not his successor, Dmitry Medvedev, who will take to the airwaves again this year, our correspondent says.

Many will see that as a sign that it is Mr Putin, and not Mr Medvedev, who wields the real power in Russia, he adds.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visits a ballistic missile ...
Russian media has been full of manly photographs of Mr. Medvedev and Mr. Putin this year; but it is clear who is the biggest cock. .(AFP/Pool/File/Dmitry Astakhov)

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7764131.stm