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China Warns Australia to Choose “Godfather” — China or U.S.

It is rare in diplomatic circles for governments to speak bluntly, particularly in the Orient, where manners are highly prized.

The exceptions to this rule are retired military officers, who are often able to voice sentiments too impolitic for other channels.

One of the more startling pronouncements in this vein occurred last week when Song Xiaojun, a former senior officer of the People’s Liberation Army, warned that Australia cannot juggle its relationships with the United States and China indefinitely and “Australia has to find a godfather sooner or later. Australia always has to depend on somebody else, whether it is to be the ‘son’ of the US or ‘son’ of China. (It) depends on who is more powerful, and based on the strategic environment.” Noting the rising importance of China as an export market Song added that Australia depended on exporting iron ore to China “to feed itself,” but “Frankly, it has not done well politically.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

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You Are All Suspects Now. What Are You Going To Do About It?

You are all potential terrorists. It matters not that you live in Britain, the United States, Australia or the Middle East. Citizenship is effectively abolished.  Turn on your computer and the US Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center may monitor whether you are typing not merely “al-Qaeda”, but “exercise”, “drill”, “wave”, “initiative” and “organisation”: all proscribed words. The British government’s announcement that it intends to spy on every email and phone call is old hat. The satellite vacuum cleaner known as Echelon has been doing this for years. What has changed is that a state of permanent war has been launched by the United States and a police state is consuming western democracy.

What are you going to do about it? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Brewing A Conflict With China

Washington has pressured the Philippines, whose government it owns, into conducting joint military exercises in the South China Sea. Washington’s excuse is that China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries concerning island and sea rights in the South China Sea. Washington asserts that China’s territorial disputes with the like of Indonesia and the Philippines are a matter of United States’ national interests.

Washington has not made it clear what Washington’s stake is in the disputes. The reason Washington cannot identify why China’s disputes with the Philippines and Indonesia are threats to the United States is that there is no reason. Nevertheless, the undefined “threat” has become the reason Washington needs more naval bases in the Philippines and South Korea.

What this is all about is provoking a long-term cold war conflict with China that will keep
profits and power flowing into Washington’s military-security complex. Large profits flow to armaments companies. A portion of the profits reflow into campaign contributions to “the people’s representatives” in DC and to presidential candidates who openly sell out their country to private interests. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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24 Outrageous Facts About Taxes In The United States That Will Blow Your Mind

The U.S. tax code is a complete and utter abomination and it needs to be thrown out entirely.  Nobody in their right mind would ever read the whole thing – it is over 3 million words long.  Each year, Americans spend billions of hours and hundreds of billions of dollars trying to comply with federal tax requirements.  Sadly, it is the honest, hard working Americans in the middle class that always get hit the hardest.

The tax code is absolutely riddled with loopholes that big corporations and the ultra-wealthy use to minimize their tax burdens as much as possible.  Many poor people do not pay any income taxes at all.  The dishonest are rewarded for cheating on their taxes (if they can get away with it) and the ultra-wealthy have moved trillions of dollars to offshore tax havens where they can avoid U.S. taxation altogether.  Our system is incredibly unfair to the millions of hard working people in the middle class and upper middle class that drag themselves out of bed and go to work each day and try to do the right thing.  In addition, the current U.S. tax system is incredibly inefficient, it diverts a tremendous amount of resources away from more valuable economic activities, and it has chased thousands of businesses and trillions of dollars out of the United States.  The U.S. tax code is such a complete and utter mess at this point that it can never be “fixed”.  The only rational thing to do is to abolish it completely, and any politician that tells you otherwise is lying to you. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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American Military’s Dependence on Space Technology

The United States may be falling behind in transportation, education and health care down here on Earth, but its military infrastructure is certainly way ahead when it comes to imagery and communications satellites armed with defensive and offensive capabilities out there in space.

That the United States leads in the militarization of space is apparent from House and Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearings this month on the fiscal 2013 budget of $9.7 billion for military space programs.

Like many Pentagon programs, these have had amazing successes but also billion-dollar overruns and costly failures.

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, released at Wednesday’s Senate hearing, showed major Defense space acquisition programs “have increased by about $11.6 billion — 321 percent — from initial estimates for fiscal years 2011 through 2016.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

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