Dec 042012
 

    You know that “Ah Ha!” feeling when an answer is given to a question not posed? When it occurs, you are presented with a “Missing Link”, an insight into understanding some aspect of the workings of the world. It happened to this author during a TV interview with former HHC Secretary Tommy Thompson.*

Not only did this discussion reveal the missing link to how Romney’s healthcare plan could work in a state (additional federal funding) yet not on the national level (no place else to go but to the tax coffers), but it also showed the blind spot to a whole host of other seemingly good ideas that don’t work in the real world.

That “Missing Link” is the outside source of energy (or capital) which is never part of the original equation.

For instance, Greece and the EU: Unlike our federal system where funds can be directed to a particular state for a particular purpose, the EU does not have that same relationship to its member countries. Thus there is the inordinate pressure on one successful economy such as Germany to take from its own national coffers and bolster that of a liberally profligate one.

Sustainable Green Energy: The examples of that unacknowledged energy (and capital) requirement are legion, but an ad for the Chevy Volt is a good case in point. It draws our attention to the fact that besides the battery (charged by an outside energy source) there is also a gasoline filler cap so as to assure us it has “extended range”.

Globalization and Economic Interdependence: At first blush, it looks like a fair and just way to raise the fortunes of the less fortunate in third world countries. But there again is a hidden requirement for energy and capital (which is a form of energy exchange) in the equation. China is a perfect example. It worked fine when there was a low cost energy (cheap labor); working often in either state owned enterprises or selected national champion businesses, supported by artificially low interest or often no loan repayment. Keeping its currency artificially low in value is another way to obscure the hidden energy that drives the economy.

There is no such thing as perpetual motion, be it within the laws of physics or the economic laws of the marketplace. All these well intentioned wheels of healthcare, sustainable green energy, or national economics eventually need an energy input not acknowledged, often not even imagined by the interest groups and politicians who first started those concepts spinning.

Here in America, there is a very real concern that as energy is sapped out of our nation’s wheel of good fortune by higher taxes and regulation. The necessary outside source of entrepreneurship energy and innovation that has kept the economy spinning is being weakened.

Perhaps only too late in this chain of events will it be discovered that over looked Missing Link.

* http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/video/former-secretary-of-hhs-tommy-thompson-%e2%80%98on-the-record%e2%80%99-%e2%80%93-part-2/

Share
Dec 042012
 

     “Humanity Sucks.” This from a young woman who had just told me she wished to promote human rights.

Very upbeat and energetic, she had indicated she was nearing completion of her master’s degree in global studies and human rights. She was working on her thesis paper, a study of the effects of having or not having universal health insurance, “Because I am upset that now I am 26, I no longer have my parents health coverage.”

“Hmm,” says I. “What do you plan to do for work in the future?”

She said her professor hired her as a part time teacher’s assistant. “Maybe it will lead to teaching. I wish to participate with Human Rights organizations.” I nodded my head, encouraging her to continue. Then, with a shrug of burdensome resolve came the most astonishing assessment of my fellow man I have ever heard:

“Humanity sucks!”

“Oh you mean,” I offered helpfully, “like the authors of the Constitution who recognized there were weaknesses in man’s character.”

“No,” she signaled the finality of this conversation as she gathered up her things to leave. “I mean: Humanity Sucks.” There was no venom in her words. Her attractive smile and demeanor gave not a trace of irony. It was simply a summation of what her young life’s experiences and a liberal education had taught her. It taught me too.

It taught me that the very people who claim to help mankind hold that same humankind to be beneath them. Her words, “Humanity Sucks” seemed to have come down from some higher plane of observation; that mere numbers of the human species had only infrequently evolved far enough to take on the mantle of responsibility of care and of law-giving and restraint of the greater masses.

In a bewildering flash, the finality of that young woman’s judgment evoked in my incredulous brain images of the Galapagos and the Ganges, the all-seeing eye on the tip of the pyramid, the burning bush and the Golden Calf, of close encounters and isolated observatories, of the Cargo Cult’s straw airplanes and contrails through the moon beams. Since time immemorial, man has looked to the heavens for hope and dug the earth for sustenance. Now she was informing me that man’s spiritual and survival pursuits were really all for naught.

Had our nation been founded by the likes of many of the rather vocal folks in our society, the founding document might well have been called, “The Declaration of Dependence”

“When in the course of human events, it becomes perfectly clear that a people cannot long endure without the benefit of the direction of we the select and sophisticated people. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that man…sucks! And further, while we do not deign to argue the point of ‘Creator’, it is clear that societal evolution has by no means benefited in full measure from the beneficence of an enlightened Progressivism.”

No, young lady, it was not a disdain of human nature that the writers of the Constitution had, but rather the faith that man could freely thrive under a unique establishment of governance that would “insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

 

Dr. Charles Dusenbuy

[Below is a link to the brief free course “Constitution 101]

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/ 

Share
Dec 042012
 

    America has developed an unhealthy codependency on China. How else to describe a relationship with a cheating and abusive partner that keeps us willingly hooked and addicted to attractively priced consumer technologies, while coercing or out and out stealing the wealth of our nation’s intellectual properties and threatening the safety of our friends and neighbors?

And as is so often the case in such codependency relationships, do we or the Chinese really wish to face the consequences of any fundamental changes in behavior within the governing and economic systems of China?

“The Chinese Economic Miracle,” has been a common phrase that until just recently tripped easily off the lips of western national leaders and local laborers alike. The first decade of the 21st Century has seen a remarkable economic quadrupling in the most populous nation on the planet. From the country into the cities, the Middle Kingdom has experienced a migration of biblical proportions involving a population larger than that of the entire United States. With it has come much of the benefits to a growing middle class and now also the challenges for the one-party rulers amidst the rising demands for greater openness and freedom.

The author would be remiss if not noting that as the research and writing of this book progressed, it began to feel as if it were taking on some aspects of a morality play; indeed that may well be an apt description of the book’s theme. There is endemic corruption that pervades and influences every aspect of life in Communist China. The real question now is  how dependent has America become on China and have our national  values and guiding principles been irrevocably compromised?

Co-de-pen-den-cy: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition. (Merriam-Webster)

Share
 Comments Off on CHINA; and AMERICA’S CoDEPENDENCY
Dec 042012
 

  If you were asked to name just two nations that have the potential to surprisingly affect the course of world events in the near future, what would they be?

This author would pick ANGOLA and VIETNAM.

Surprised? So was this writer while casting about for an interesting storyline. Where on this planet does there exist all the elements and the characters that would make for a compelling story of secretive global money-men (and women), massive institutional corruption, and large scale human trafficking?

Angola and Vietnam.

Both countries have two big things in common: offshore oil deposits and China. Vietnam has over 2000 miles of coastline, roughly the distance between Seattle and the tip of Baja California. Its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) projects out 200 nautical miles from this coastline and into the oil-rich and overlapping claims of its South China Seas neighbors, especially China. In fact, as this author has pointed out in other writings, China basically has declared the entire South China Sea region as its own private lake. Just to keep this discussion brief, note that Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have collided on frequent occasions and, more ominously, Vietnam is investing in highly capable submarines and antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft.  Many observers speculate that this situation may well be one of the most dangerously explosive for the world community.

Angola, how globally challenging, let me count thy ways, and thy characters. Diamonds and that black gold, oil, are the larger pieces on the Angolan playing board. And the major players? Well, as a teaser for this author’s future writings, here are some of the most powerful men you never heard of:

Manuel Vicente, the Luandan-born recent past Chairman of China’s SONANGOL in Angola. In April of 2011, he was feted in Beijing by China’s presumptive next leader, Xi Jinping. Pages, nay books could be written on this subject of Angola. This author is working on it under the heading “88 Qweensway”.

Lev Leviev, an Israeli diamond, how shall we put it, dealer. Known in Israel for building settlements and doing large charity projects, he is better known to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission for his connection to obscure Chinese investment businesses, including Sonangol and Hong Kong based China International Fund Limited. Coincidentally, Leviev was born the same year as Vicente, 1956.

The cast of Angolan players continues with the likes of Portuguese billionaire Helder Battaglia, with close ties to the Angolan government, as well as Venezuelan Hugo Chavez and Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner. And let’s not overlook Frenchman Pierre Falcone and Russian born Israeli Arcadi Gaydamak, both under international indictment for arms smuggling into Angola in the 1990s. Gaydamak even ran for Mayor of Jerusalem in 2008. No Teddy Kollek he (mayor 1965-93), only receiving 3.6% of the vote.

So you see, Angola is indeed a fascinating topic. With nearly all of its income from oil, drilled by Chinese rigs manned by Chinese workers, and diamonds, dug by enslaved workers overseen by armed guards, supplying a world greedy for the products, Angola is, dare we say it, a gold mine of ideas for an inquisitive writer.

And that’s a RealDusey.

Share
Dec 042012
 

Has the industrial and economic dominance that the United States enjoyed for the past couple of generations been because it was a period of “American Exceptionalism” or has it been mainly an Exceptional Period for America in world history?

I say this as a part of the generation who came of age in the boom time of the post war years. It was a practically a Midasian period, when most any young person with a modicum of ambition could touch an endeavor and it would profit. And our parents, those of your Depression-born, war-challenged generation were glad to see their children prosper in a more economically secure environment; and certainly the trajectory for those children’s children seemingly assured. Yet now…

BLIP!

I am coming to view this post-war prosperity as just that, a BLIP in history; a period drawing to a close; book-ended by the close of WWII and the global economic collapse of 2008. After WWII, we were the only industrial nation left standing. Blessed with abundant natural resources and an educated work force, we quickly dominated the global economy; but no longer. Contrary to what  we may have thought we had learned from Magellan and Columbus, it turns out the world is flat, certainly as it relates to how easily money and information now rolls across it.

A current line of thought seems quick to hammer in the last nails into this coffin of history; potentially to place our nation’s achieved greatness on some mausoleum shelf, groaning under the weight of previous civilizations too exceptional to fail.

American Exceptionalism? A myth born out of historically easier times? Perhaps. Yet there is no denying the power of a myth, a vision, the strength that comes when a people can say, “I have a dream.” The founding father’s ultimately set to paper a clear vision for our nation, that “We the people” participate together “in Order to form a more perfect union…and secure the Blessings of Liberty…”

A dream? An illusion? Certainly to most peoples up to that time in world history. Yet the creative energy and potential released but a moment ago on the scale of human history, has created a nation of mythic accomplishments on the world stage.

What is American Exceptionalism? It is a nation of peoples, AMERICA, that had the exceptional good fortune to have been founded by men who believed in the power of a vision clearly defined, and held up as a shinning light through periods of challenge and acknowledged in times of plenty.

Now that’s Exceptional, America.

 

Share