Posts Tagged ‘China’

Rep. Allen West recently gave an awesome speech to the Center for Security Policy.

While it seems that our media can only focus on one “crisis” at a time, Allen West never takes his eye off of all the threats to U.S. national security.

No teleprompter, you’ll notice. The man is a walking encyclopedia, and he can communicate.

What Paul Ryan does for budget issues, Allen West does for national security.

Hat Tip: Big Peace


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The most important developments seldom make it onto the front page of the newspaper. A prime example is the conference George Soros is convening on April 8 to reorganize the world’s financial structure. It is getting zero “mainstream media” publicity, of course. Media-watchdog group Media Resource Center is on top of it, though:

Two years ago, George Soros said he wanted to reorganize the entire global economic system. In two short weeks, he is going to start – and no one seems to have noticed.

On April 8, a group he’s funded with $50 million is holding a major economic conference and Soros’s goal for such an event is to “establish new international rules” and “reform the currency system.” It’s all according to a plan laid out in a Nov. 4, 2009, Soros op-ed calling for “a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order.”

The event is bringing together “more than 200 academic, business and government policy thought leaders” to repeat the famed 1944 Bretton Woods gathering that helped create the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Soros wants a new “multilateral system,” or an economic system where America isn’t so dominant.

That last is no surprise coming from Soros, who infamously said, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States.”  Soros has also talked openly of his plans to take down the United States through the  “managed decline” of the U.S. dollar.

In 2009, Soros founded the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), which is hosting the conference two weeks from now. The INET recently released a video, “The Need for a New Bretton Woods,” subtitled “How currency issues and tension between the US and China are renewing calls for a global financial overhaul.” In the video, INET board member Robert Skidelsky

called for a new agreement and said … that the conflict between the United States and China was “at the center of any monetary deal that may be struck, that needs to be struck.”

Soros described in the 2009 op-ed that [the] U.S.-China conflict [is] “another stark choice between two fundamentally different forms of organization: international capitalism and state capitalism.” He concluded that “a new multilateral system based on sounder principles must be invented.” As he explained it in 2010, “we need a global sheriff.”

In the 2000 version of his book “Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism,” Soros wrote how the Bretton Woods institutions “failed spectacularly” during the economic crisis of the late 1990s. When he called for a new Bretton Woods in 2009, he wanted it to “reconstitute the International Monetary Fund,” and while he’s at it, restructure the United Nations, too, boosting China and other countries at our expense.

“Reorganizing the world order will need to extend beyond the financial system and involve the United Nations, especially membership of the Security Council,” he wrote. “That process needs to be initiated by the US, but China and other developing countries ought to participate as equals.”

Soros emphasized that point, that this needs to be a global solution, making America one among many. “The rising powers must be present at the creation of this new system in order to ensure that they will be active supporters.”

Of the 79 conference speakers listed at the INET website, 22 are on INET’s board and three are INET grantees. Another 19 speakers are contributors to Soros’ Project Syndicate, which calls itself “the world’s pre-eminent source of original op-ed commentaries” reaching “456 leading newspapers in 150 countries.” You may recall that Soros also recently donated $1.8 million to National Public Radio to hire political reporters who share his agenda.

Altogether, Soros funds more than 1,200 organizations worldwide, including MoveOn.org, the powerful Center for American Progress, and opinion-shapers MediaMatters and ThinkProgress. With all those media outlets in Soros’ hands, the INET conference could be getting non-stop media coverage if Soros wished. So why haven’t we heard more about it?

The Soros empire is silent about this new Bretton Woods conference because it isn’t just designed to change global economic rules. It also is designed to put America in its place – part of a multilateral world the way Soros wants it. He wrote that the U.S. “could lead a cooperative effort to involve both the developed and the developing world, thereby reestablishing American leadership in an acceptable form.” [emphasis added]

That’s what this conference is all about – changing the global economy and the United States to make them “acceptable” to George Soros.

I’m grateful that despite the “mainstream media” blackout on Soros, Glenn Beck has done so much to make Americans aware of Soros’ agenda and activities, with backgrounders such as this and this.

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Never underestimate the capacity of the Left to shoot itself in the foot — and injure the rest of us while they’re at it. The New American reports:

Most of their pet “alternative energy” projects — solar panels, hybrid and electric car batteries, wind turbine magnets, compact fluorescent light bulbs, etc. — are dependent upon “rare earth elements” that have been made all but unobtainable here in the United States, thanks in significant measure to environmental [regulations]. Over the past two decades, various environmental laws and regulations have closed down mining operations for these elements in this country, making us almost completely dependent on the communist government of China, which now produces 97 percent of the world’s supply of these important minerals [even though it only has 37 percent of proven reserves.] Now that China has announced it intends to dramatically cut its quotas of rare earth exports, including to the United States, the Obama administration has expressed concern.

“We are very concerned about China’s export restraints on rare earth materials. We have raised our concerns with China and we are continuing to work closely on the issue with stakeholders,” an anonymous spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a statement carried by news services. The administration also says it will complain about the quota reduction to the World Trade Organization.

Don’t let the name “rare earth” mislead you: Most of the 17 “rare-earth” metals are anything but rare. For example, even the least two abundant, Lu and Tm are nearly 200 times more common than gold. Cerium, the most abundant REE, is more plentiful in the earth’s crust than copper or lead. Many of them are more common than tin, and all but promethium are more common than silver or mercury. The problem is that they are dispersed in forms that make them much harder to extract than those other elements.

Rare earth elements, or REEs, are those elements in one particular section of the periodic table of elements:  lanthanum and the fourteen elements following it (together, called the lanthanide series), plus scandium and yttrium, which tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and have exhibit many of the same chemical properties.

These elements were little more than a curiosity until the advent of “green technology” in the late twentieth century.

Their relatively low toxicity, combined with unique magnetic properties, quickly made rare earth metals vital to green technology. The USGS fact sheet [“Rare Earth Elements — Critical Resources for High Technology”] gives a detailed account of the environmental uses of rare earth metals. Some of these are:

  • Lanthanum could replace the much more toxic cadmium and lead in batteries leading to more environmentally friendly disposal and recycling.
  • Cerium could replace heavy metals in the commercial pigmentation industry.
  • The magnets in a 3 megawatt wind turbine use up to two tons of neodymium and other rare earth metals.
  • [A report published in the British newspaper] The Independent claims [that] the Toyota Prius automobile, the premier hybrid car in the world, uses up to 1 kg of neodymium in the electric motor and between 10 and 15 kg of lanthanum in the electric battery.

The U.S. has some of the largest known REE deposits. According to the U.S. Geological Service, the U.S. had, as of 2010, 13 million metric tons of rare earth elements. Unfortunately, according to The New American,

like many other minerals that have been put off-limits through environmental edicts, [REEs] have been made artificially rare…. Now there is a mad scramble to re-open some of these mines, as rare earth mining stocks have soared and green activists have reversed themselves in order to advance their “earth friendly” hobby horse technologies.

It did not take a crystal ball to see that the environmentalist attack on the rare earth mining industry would bring the serious consequences we now face. The New American warned about this repeatedly over the past two decades, including in this article, Engineered Extinction, in December, 2003. It reported:

Unfortunately, because of our anti-mining regulatory climate, we are now dependent on foreign producers for many of these vital materials. The case of the Mountain Pass Mine in California’s Mojave Desert is a prime example of the destructive power of the envirocrats. Mountain Pass, the world’s largest lanthanide mine, is a treasure trove of rare earth minerals like samarium, lanthium, europium and neodymium. The mine owner, Molybdenum Corporation of America, invested millions of dollars developing uses for these exotic elements in televisions, miniaturized motors, long-lasting lightbulbs, super magnets, and hi-tech military applications. Thanks to these efforts, the U.S. led the world in rare earth production and sparked a revolution in the use of these important minerals. But federal and state regulators shut the mine down on environmental pretexts.

Don Fife, a professional geologist and columnist, called the government action a “regulatory outrage” and “the coup de grace for America’s rare earth industry.” “With Mountain Pass Mine out of business,” says Fife, “we are dependent on foreign sources for our supply of these minerals. Since other countries produce only small amounts of rare earths, nearly all of these militarily strategic minerals now come from Communist China.”

This table will give you some idea of how utterly dependent our modern technological society is on these elements. ( I’ve omitted promethium, which has no known uses.)

Element Uses
Scandium Alloys for aerospace industry; sports equipment; metal halide lamps
Yttrium Television cathode-ray tubes; LEDs; spark plugs; catalysts; mantles for propane lanterns; microwave filters; lasers; strengthener for aluminum and magnesium alloys; camera lenses; cancer therapies; arthritis treatments; superconductors
Lanthanum High-end lenses for cameras and telescopes; catalysts; carbon lighting; ignition elements in lighters and torches; scintillators; gas lantern mantles; water treatment; pharmaceuticals; tracers in molecular biology; nickel-metal hydride batteries, including especially those used in hybrid cars
Cerium Catalysts in self-cleaning ovens and in petroleum refining; heat-resistant alloys; magnets; analytical chemistry; carbon arc lighting, especially in the film industry; gas tungsten arc welding; glass polishing powders; phosphors for screens and fluorescent lamps; pharmaceuticals; etching of electronic components; fuel additives for reducing vehicle emissions
Praseodymium Coloring glass and ceramics; catalysts; high-strength alloys used in aircraft engines; carbon arc lights used in film studios and movie projectors; achieving ultralow temperatures in physics research; fiber optical amplifiers; ignition elements in lighters and “flint” fire starters
Neodymium Coloring glass and ceramics; infrared radiation filtering; lasers; welder’s and glassblower’s goggles; astronomical spectroscopy; camera filters; incandescent light bulbs; powerful magnets (such as those used in wind generator turbines and hybrid cars)
Samarium High-strength magnets, especially when effectiveness at very high temperatures is needed; cobalt alloys; control rods in nuclear reactors; catalysts; geological dating; cancer treatment; lasers used in holography, astrophysics and high-resolution microscopy of biological specimens; pressure sensors and pressure-triggered memory devices; thermoelectric power converters
Europium Red phosphors and blue phosphors for color televisions and computer screens; “trichromatic” indoor lighting; compact fluorescent light bulbs
Gadolinium Contrast agents used for MRI scans; scintillators in PET imaging; gamma ray source for bone-density scans used in osteoporosis screening; high-temperature-resistant alloys; microwave applications; manufacture of optical components; green phosphors for TV screens and compact discs
Terbium “Green” (actually yellow) phosphors for color television and computer screens and fluorescent lamps; solid-state devices; stabilizers for fuel cells at high temperatures; sensors; naval sonar systems; biochemical probes; “trichromatic” indoor lighting
Dysprosium Control rods for nuclear reactors; data storage applications, such as hard disks; dosimeters; transducers; high-precision liquid fuel injectors; wide-band mechanical resonators; high-intensity lighting; nanofibers to strengthen materials or for use as catalysts; in drive motors for hybrid electric vehicles
Holmium Control rods in nuclear reactors; high-strength magnets; colorants for glass and cubic zirconia; spectrometer calibration; lasers for medical, dental and fiber-optical applications
Erbium Colorant for glass, porcelain and cubic zirconia; photographic filters; metallurgical additive; fiber-optical amplifiers used in communications; control rods for nuclear reactors; cryocoolers; high-power fiber lasers for metal welding and cutting applications; laser surgery; laser enamel ablation in dentistry
Thulium Radiation source for portable X-ray machines; lasers used for military, medical and meteorological applications; detecting flaws in inaccessible mechanical and electronic components; high-temperature superconductors; ceramic magnetic materials used in microwave equipment
Ytterbium Metallurgical and chemical experiments; optical and laser applications; some stainless-steel alloys

Sources: Chemical Elements.com; Wikipedia

New American continues:

REEs are essential for the increasingly ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries that power so many of our electronics today. And lithium-ion batteries are being held up as the saving technology that will power the electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that the federal government says Americans must give up their gasoline-powered cars for. However, lithium mining has fallen victim to the same legislative and regulatory forces that killed America’s rare earth industry.

So let’s get this straight. Environmentalists want us to use hybrid cars, wind turbines, compact fluorescent light bulbs and rechargeable batteries. But all of these “green” products require rare-earth elements — which we are not allowed to mine in this country because of “green” regulations! (Can you say “Catch-22”?) Instead, we must buy them from China, with whom we are running an annual trade deficit of over $273 billion, and which holds about $1.7 trillion in U.S. government debt. All while the U.S. sits on 13 percent of the world’s rare earth reserves.

It’s one thing if your enemy shoots you in the foot; but only a fool or a masochist shoots himself in the foot. And only a suicidal maniac shoots himself again and again and again.

It’s time to quit letting the lunatics run the asylum.

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Victor Davis Hanson is always worth reading, and I’ve linked to him before on this site.  One of the great things about Pajamas Media, where he blogs, is the caliber of commenters it attracts.  In a comment thread on one of Hanson’s recent articles, a person who goes by “ETAB” gave one of the most brilliant analyses of the situation in Egypt — and other Muslim countries — that I have ever come across:

The key variables that must be considered [with respect to Egypt] and that are, strangely, ignored, are: population, economic structure and political structure. These are entangled.

The Egyptian population has exponentially doubled from 40 to 80 million since 1970. But the economic and political structure has remained the same: a two-class (tribal) one of Rulers and Ruled.

This has operated as a statist economy made up of massive public institutions (the Suez Canal, the bureaucracy, all services) which functions as a public ‘redistribution’ of income to subsidize and serve the people. The problem is that such an economy does not generate enough wealth to support such a population growth; the result is that the majority of the population live in poverty, [and] there is enormous unemployment (you get a job with the state bureaucracy only if you know someone, have family there or can bribe someone).

There is no middle class, that is, a sector of the population engaged in private capitalist small- and medium-size businesses which would support this increased population.

And – the political system doesn’t enable a middle class to emerge, to take power (via democracy). Result? Unrest – and Mubarak has taken to brutal means to repress the people, outlaw all opposition parties, reject a free press, intimidate and coerce submission.

[T]he most impoverished turn to ‘magical solutions’ or the utopian dreams of fanaticism, Islamic fascism, which promises that IF only you are pure, THEN, everything will be OK. Unfortunately, utopianism is an activity confined to the imagination and cannot set up private businesses or run a country.

Mubarak has enabled the appearance of ‘magical solutions’ by his refusal to acknowledge that a statist economy cannot support 80 million people. We in the West, with our support for him, have enabled him to maintain power and repress the people. It can’t last. You can’t have those three systems — population, economic and political mode — ‘out of sync’ with each other.

Further down in the thread, “ETAB” confirms his thesis by contrasting the Middle East with China and India:

Both those regions [China and India] had [until recent decades] the same situations [as the Middle Eastern Muslim countries]:  massive population growth in a short period of time; out-of-date economic systems operating in the old two-class rural statist structure;  and political systems that of course, privileged the Old Elites. That left the majority of the population totally out of the economic and political picture.

But – China and India did things differently. They enabled the emergence and robust strength of an economic middle class – of private small- and medium-size businesses. This capitalist economy took over the well-being of that increased population. India has moved on to politically empower this increasing ratio of the population within democracy. China will, in its time, have to do the same. Neither nation is ‘out of the woods’ yet for there is still a strong rural/urban imbalance – but there is no comparison with the decay and entrapment of the Middle East.

The Middle East moved down a dead-end road; it retained that old statist two-class economic and political system. Why and How? Because it had oil..and could subsidize the emerging population and keep it quiet. Up to a point.

Then it went down another road as the population began to increase even more; the Middle East moved into repressive tactics. Military repression in Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran. And the most brutal repression – theocracy – for you cannot argue with the inarguable axioms of ‘god says so’.

Now, the population pressures have reached a critical threshold. The statist economic mode of public industries and employment simply cannot generate the wealth to maintain this massive population. And, the repressive measures are no longer viable – for the electronic communication systems allow the people to see that things are very different in other parts of the world. So, the whole thing starts to crack – that tectonic shift…

The Middle East can’t repress this enormous change. I don’t think that Islamic fascism will continue in any strength when this region enables a middle class to emerge into economic strength. So, the way to combat fascism is not to maintain the old dictatorships – for that actually is the breeding ground for fascism. The way to combat Islamic fascism is to enable the growth of a middle class capitalism.

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The inimitable Mark Steyn — author of one of the great books of the new century, America Alone, and probably the most popular substitute host on the Rush Limbaugh radio show — likes to crunch numbers. In America Alone, he examined population statistics to show how Muslims are conquering Europe demographically, by the sheer differential between Muslim and non-Muslim fertility rates.

Lately, he’s been crunching some equally alarming numbers:  namely, numbers describing the U.S. debt, and interest payments on that debt versus expenditures on our national defense. From his article, “Dependence Day,” in the current issue of The New Criterion,

According to the cbo’s [Congressional Budget Office] 2010 long-term budget outlook, by 2020 the U.S. government will be paying between 15 and 20 percent of its revenues in debt interest—whereas defense spending will be down to between 14 and 16 percent. America will be spending more on debt interest than China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel spend on their militaries combined. The superpower will have advanced from a nation of aircraft carriers to a nation of debt carriers.

J-11 fighters (JianJi-11) is an advanced 4th-generation fighter in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force

What does that mean? In 2009, the United States spent about $665 billion on its military, the Chinese about $99 billion. If Beijing continues to buy American debt at the rate it has in recent years, then within a half-decade or so U.S. interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese military. This year, the Pentagon issued an alarming report to Congress on Beijing’s massive military build-up, including new missiles, upgraded bombers, and an aircraft-carrier R&D program intended to challenge American dominance in the Pacific. What the report didn’t mention is who’s paying for it. Answer: Mr. and Mrs. America.

Within the next five years, the People’s Liberation Army, which is the largest employer on the planet… will be entirely funded by U.S. taxpayers. When they take Taiwan, suburban families in Connecticut and small businesses in Idaho will have paid for it.

According to Steyn, however, the money is only a symptom; the real tragedy is the relative decline, in the global political mix, of the great cultural inheritance of the English-speaking world: the whole concept of ordered liberty and self-governance, and the legal-political systems that embody it. After reading Steyn’s article, I would go so far as to say that, as important as scientific and technological genius has been for the alleviation of human suffering, the genius of the English and American political worldview has perhaps been equally important for the aggregate prosperity and happiness of the human race. But,

We are coming to the end of a two-century Anglosphere dominance, and of a world whose order and prosperity many people think of as part of a broad, general trend but which, in fact, derive from a very particular cultural inheritance and may well not survive it.

F.A. Hayek, author of the classic The Road to Serfdom, wrote in 1944 that collectivism changes the character of a people — and that it specifically erodes the virtues at which the British happened to excel:

independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one’s neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.

After quoting Hayek, Steyn goes on to say:

Within little more than half a century, almost every item on the list had been abandoned, from “independence and self-reliance” (some 40 percent of Britons receive state handouts) to “a healthy suspicion of power and authority”—the reflex response now to almost any passing inconvenience is to demand the government “do something.” American exceptionalism would have to be awfully exceptional to suffer a similar expansion of government without a similar descent, in enough of the citizenry, into chronic dependency.

Steyn makes the case much better than I can; read the whole piece here.

As Steyn’s article makes so clear, it is critical to the survival not only of America — but also of the ideals that America offers to the world — that we defend American exceptionalism, which is under vigorous attack by the “elites” in our own country.

It is urgent that we choose leaders such as Allen West who believe deeply in American exceptionalism. Like Mark Steyn, Allen West understands that:

1)  the national debt is a matter of national security;

2)  American exceptionalism is real, and it is a good thing — not only for us, but for the world overall.  For the good of everyone, we should fight to preserve it.

As you may recall, Allen West’s official campaign theme last fall was “Restoring American Exceptionalism.”

Allen West gets it.

hat tip: swvapatriot at RedState

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