Your Card Has Been Debited
Since it is unlikely that Dr. Henry Kissinger has been lurking on this site any similarity between Kissinger's recent observations and the familiar analysis of nuclear weapons offered here on the Belmont Club must be due to an earlier shared source. Dr. Kissinger is reported as saying on the BBC that what 7 American Presidents spent 40 years preventing may now have been achieved by the current incumbent.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has warned that a crisis involving a nuclear Iran is in the "foreseeable future"...
The consequences of Tehran's programme, he said, would be that other countries in the region would also want nuclear arms.
"The danger is that we could be reaching a point where nuclear weapons would become almost conventional, and there will be the possibility of a nuclear conflict at some point... that would be a turning point in human history," he said.
That's right. The world isn't going to buy everyone a Coke. And the earlier shared source? Why a hundred year old book which claims that reality eventually punctures fiction. "For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." And separately, "for they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."
There's a thought: that trouble, no less than investments also compounds with interest.
Meanwhile in other developments, Hugo Chavez's officially renewed health problems have renewed speculation that he's been dead or brain dead for some time and that the Venezuelan authorities are simply preparing the public for the announcement of his death. His death, by the way is the result of poisoning by the United States Air Force or some such, according to Venezuelan officials.
Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro claimed Tuesday that President Hugo Chavez's cancer was the result of an "attack" by his enemies and announced a commission to investigate.
The bizarre allegation came as Maduro announced that an American diplomat will be expelled for allegedly spying and meeting with military officers in a bid to destabilize the South American nation.
A U.S. embassy spokesman told the Associated Press that Washington was drawing up a response to the allegations about Air Force attaché David del Monaco, who was given 24 hours to get out of Venezuela.
What's real any more?
Well Chavez has just been declared dead by Venezuela's Vice-President. So I guess the claim is now that the Gringos assassinated Chavez. By some strange coincidence Chavez died on March 5, 2013, sixty years from the exact day Joseph Stalin Expired in 1953. Or did he die earlier and they simply got around to admitting it now?
The contrast between the actual and the announced has been noticed by 60 Minutes, which had a special on what could be the biggest property bubble in the history of the world: China's. "If trouble comes in threes, then what'll be the next global market to melt down after the U.S. and Europe? Some are looking nervously at China." And here's why.
Lesley Stahl: Why are they empty? I've heard that they have actually been sold.
Gillem Tulloch: They've all been sold. They've all been sold.
Lesley Stahl: They've all been sold? They're owned.
Gillem Tulloch: Absolutely. Owned by people in China's emerging middle class, who now have enough money to invest but few ways to do it. They're not allowed to invest abroad, banks offer paltry returns, and the stock market is a rollercoaster. But 15 years ago, the government changed its policy and allowed people to buy their own homes and the flood gates opened.
Gillem Tulloch: So what they do is they invest in property because property prices have always gone up by more than inflation.
Lesley Stahl: And they believe it will always go up?
Gillem Tulloch: Yeah, just like they believed in the U.S. Actually, property values have doubled and tripled and more -- so people in the middle class have sunk every last penny into buying five, even 10 apartments, fueling a building bonanza unprecedented in human history. No nation has ever built so much so fast.
Lesley Stahl: How important is real estate to the Chinese economy? Is it central?
Gillem Tulloch: Yes. It's the main driver of growth and has been for the last few years. Some estimates have it as high as 20 or 30 percent of the whole economy.
Lesley Stahl: But they're not just building housing. They're building cities.
Gillem Tulloch: Yes. That's right.
Lesley Stahl: Giant cities being built with people not coming to live here.
Gillem Tulloch: Yes. I think they're building somewhere between 12 and 24 new cities every single year.
Unlike our market driven economy, in China it's the government that has spent some $2 trillion to get these cities built - as a way of keeping the economy growing. The assumption is "if you build it, they'll come." But no one's coming.
So what? As Bloomberg would say, why can't the government pay for it all? After all, if as he claims "people" will lend the US government an "infinite" amount of money, why won't they lend China and Europe an equally infinite amount? That only makes three distinct infinities which are at least not uncountably infinite.
And if all else fails then the governments of China, the EU and the US can always get together and announce an imminent invasion of Space Aliens, just as Venezuela is always about to be invaded by the US Air Force, and with that build their way out of depression. Paul Krugman said it could be done and he has a Nobel Prize.
But at some point, common sense may rebel and say "no". No in spite of the Nobel prizes. No to Chavez being alive if he's dead. No to the proposition that if America unilaterally disarms then the world will buy everyone a Coke instead of everyone arming up, as Dr. Kissinger observed. And finally, no: if you build 12 to 24 new cities a year they won't come.
People are beginning to get it. National Black Chamber of Commerce President Harry C. Alford now says that Obama “made a fool out of me.”
“He believes in government controlling the lives of the people,” Alford said. “He wants government in anything and everything. Health insurance. He wants it in your job, the way you run your lifestyle, culture. He wants to take away your guns, which is a constitutionally-protected right.”
Alford also called out Barack Obama’s inattention to the national budget. The president has yet to submit a budget on time, and has not had a budget passed in more than 1,400 days.
“He doesn’t care about a budget. I’ve never known a president who doesn’t care about a budget. How do you run the richest economy in the world without a budget?” Alford asked. “You can’t even run a shoe-shine stand without a budget.”
Maybe Alford doesn't understand. Obama is too smart to run a shoe-shine stand. He's too smart to be anything except President. Yes or no?
And if that leads to a big and very terrible yes, consider what it may mean. Yes we are in trouble. Yes we have been sold a pack of lies. Yes the time is fast approaching when the lies will start to blow up in everyone's face. The terrible Ifs, Buts and Maybes accumulate.