A nice way to stay in touch with loved ones, and a convenient way to share my opinions without having everyone just walk away...wait a minute, where are you going? I wasn't finished..

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This is the kind of harvest

that Bush's adventurism is south Asia will reap in the coming decades. "Let's go get them dirty Taliban" sounded pretty good to a lot of Americans in October of 2001, and the oil companies (IE VP Cheney) were happy to secure the right of way for a pipeline from the Caspian Sea. Problem is statesmen are supposed to be wise, deliberate and measured in their initiatives as opposed to say stupid, opportunistic, and acquisitive. Our military presence in south Asia will have more perilous consequences than the suicide bombers we've stirred up in the middle-east.

Here's a piece from an article which discusses important strategic shifts which are alarming as they were foreseeable. Most Americans don't have the time or the energy to concern themselves with such matters, which makes it all the more important that we elect leaders who exercise foresight and good judgement. Right now the two imperatives for American foreign policy is do whatever the oil companies and the Israelis want us to do, cause that's how you win elections.

The India-China-Russia Troika: Is It Possible?
Dr Suvrokamal Dutta
26 October 2007, Friday

With the historic India-Russia ties based on solid foundation, the emergence of warmer ties with China means a lot for this region. Already China and Russia have resolved their age-old border disputes amicably. Sino-Russian trade is quite robust and is increasing steadily. In the year 2003-04, the annual trade between China and Russia was to the tune of USD 5 billion which is a healthy figure on any country’s trade account. India’s defence and military - related trade being maximum with Russia (Russia accounts for 70 percent of India’s defence-related purchases) greater co-operation between the three countries will assume greater significance in future, if it really works out.

Russia’s inability to impede the eastward expansion of NATO and its frustration with NATO’s unilateral military action in Kosovo has forced it to seek closer strategic understanding with China and India. Yevgeny Primakov of Russia was the first person to talk about a "strategic triangle" involving Russia, China and India. India may still need time to decide if it should be one of the vertices of the triangle but such a decision cannot be ruled out .It is a fact that each of these States is involved in somewhat similar dynamics. Each is consolidating its relationship with the other, while simultaneously expanding its relations with the United States. In terms of strategic payoffs, this partnership will yield them, at least enhanced benefits arising from bilateral and trilateral co-operation and serve to neutralize US influence in the Asia-Pacific Region, at the most. This potential partnership could be a blueprint for the next Cold War and poses a threat that could affect the lives of everyone in the United States in a significant way and the United States of America is quite itchy about the unfolding tri-lateral ties.

During President Putin’s visit in December 2003, a multi-billion dollar defence deal was signed. Under the deal, Russia would supply IL-78 flight refuelling air-craft, aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and IL-78 FRAs to India. Russia would also sell MiG-29K fighter aircraft for the aircraft carrier besides submarines and frigates. Submarines and frigates would also be jointly produced by the two countries. With such warm ties obtaining, the emergence of the said troika can-not be ruled out.

During his recent visit to Moscow, the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had a detailed discussion with the Russian officials about many bilateral and strategic issues, including the Turkimenistan oil pipeline issue and the Indo-US nuclear deal. The response of the Russian side was quite positive to both the issues. It included an assurance from Russia of all help to India in the IAEA and the NSG.

A trilateral meeting of the Heads of the three countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Session in 2003 raised a lot of heartburn among several western countries, including the United States. The then External Affairs Minister of India brushed it aside as nothing but assumptions. He said the meeting discussed global issues and cross-border terrorism confronting the three countries. The clarification was furnished during the question hour while replying to the supplementaries. The minister said, “This kind of meeting took 14 years to take place and no country was mentioned by name during the informal meeting, though the issue of terrorism in general figured in the discussions.” He further said, “Otherwise, it would have given the impression that we (India, Russia and China) are forming a group.” The Minister had also said then: “The Foreign Ministers of India, Russia and China agreed to meet in-formally in the same format and in this informal meeting we did not bring up bilateral issues and only trilateral issues were discussed .The meeting also discussed globalization.”

The Minister’s indirect acknowledgement of the discussion of trilateral issues and issues of global concern reflects this unfolding axis amongst the trio. China and Russia are co-operating on establishing railway links and on the issue concerning the oil pipeline through Central Asia, connecting the Caspian Sea with the Middle East and Europe. Russia has also shown keen interest in the pipeline issue involving India, Iran and Central Asia .Chances of the three countries joining hands on such common issues in future cannot be ruled out. American presence in Central Asia, Afghanistan and in the former Soviet Republics like Georgia, Ukraine, etc has hastened the process. The way things are unfolding in Central Asia, the official acknowledgement of a troika taking shape or the official constitution of such a troika in the near future cannot be ruled out. Such a troika is also required for the region in the context of its strategic and economic location.

Involvement and the special interest shown by the western powers, specially the United States of America after the advent of the WTO and the globalization that the region has witnessed, render the formation of such a power grouping all the more vital as this can neutralize the power domination by the West and the USA. This will rid the region of any kind of American domination which is of vital importance for the healthy, overall development and security of Asia. Any outside presence in the area is not in its interest.

(emphasis added)


Incidentally, if you try to breakdown the globe into two camps, you'll find our camp is getting smaller with each passing decade. The rapproachment of India with China is troubling, but China ia also making significant inroads into the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. For now we can count on the grudging support of Europe and Japan, but these allies will necessarily hedge their bets making whatever accomodations are necessary with Russia and China as we isolate ourselves further from the world community.

These realignments would be hastened by an attack on Iran as we would demonstrate that we're incapable of learning from our mistakes, and bent on unleashing violence on who-so-ever Israel determines is a threat to their fascist state. I've always decried our support for the Israeli aggressors as brutish and immoral: it's also prohibitively costly as we'll soon learn.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Where else

could you hope to see Dwight Shute attack Jerome Bettis? I know what keeps you coming back.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mixed Emotions

One ND Fan posted this over at Her Loyal Sons to express his feelings about Notre Dame losing to USC 38 to nothing then getting verbal commitments from two top prospects for next year, including Michael Floyd, the receiver fans have been excited about as a prospect for the last year

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cloudy Monday but nice Sunday

We had a great time at Malachy and Madison's dual birthday party yesterday. A nice, pretty large group of grown ups and little ones - three generations of a couple families. It was a beautiful day and the kids got to run around a lot. Janett made mostacioli and Sandy baked three cakes. Two of them were four layer jobbies. I was impressed. Crystal bought big veggie and fruit platters for appetizers. I was also impressed with how the kids went for the veggies and fruit. Very healthy. One little guy (Isaac) asked me "What's that in you hand?" when I was smoking. Never saw a cigarette before. Hmmh.
Janett as usual sacrificed herself preparing and laying out the spread,so she didn't get to socialize as much as she would have liked, and now we all have to pay the price of missing the photo's she would have snapped.
Six or seven of the dad's snuck off to the basement to watch the last quarter of the Bears game and were rewarded with a last minute win. A very good day all around.
When it was time to go, I said good-by to Malachy three times. He was so deeply involved with a Power Ranger motorcycling transformer kind of thing he was oblivious to me. Never one to be ignored I scooped him up for a hug and a kiss. He howled and crumpled to the floor when I let him go. Then he gathered himself up and sobbing for a moment he returned his attention to the new toy. The crying stopped and the rest of the world faded back into oblivion. I resisted the temptation to pick him up for another hug. He was really deep into that toy.

We have new neighbors in the upstairs apartment: a cute young mom and her cute little boy. It sounds like the only toy the little guy has is a bowling ball. Somebody ought to get him a Power Ranger motorcycling transformer kind of thing.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

ND Loses again

'nuff said

I started a new temp assignment this week. It's a big company building a new plant. I'm supposed to do the capital project/fixed asset accounting. It'll be interesting.

Little Steffo suffered a set back in her effort to have another little baby last week. Sorry Steffo. I hope your faith makes it a little easier to accept the disappointment. We're all looking foreward to Malachy's birthday bash.

Because my new job is far away and outside my normal commuting range, I'm experimenting a little with routes. I tried going from 294 to 355 on 88 on the way home Friday. Boy, was that a mistake. I couldn't believe all those people put up with that traffic. People, haven't you ever heard of alternates: like Ogden, or Butterfield, or Roosevelt, or Cermak. What are you, goofy? You can tell I'm still upset. I mean I knew I must be sitting there with thousands of willfully stupid people who are going to vote for Hillary or Rudy. It was creepy.

Monday, October 08, 2007

From Portfolio Magazine's Blog

Regarding possible ouster of Sprint CEO

"Oct 5 2007 9:19AM EDT

PR Lie of the Day

A Sprint spokeswoman declined to comment. She said Mr. Forsee was traveling and couldn't be reached."

Now, that's funny.

I'm still recuperating from an over-the top week-end, but should note ND's win over UCLA. Wouldn't it be nice if we beat Boston College on Saturday? ND posters usually refer to BC as Fredo - like from the Godfather.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Last Thursday was my birthday. Janett and I celebrated Friday night, 3 bars in 5 hours and home by midnight. Not a moment too soon. "I don't remember stopping at Arby's last night."

Friday - night went to the gambling boat (for the buffet) with former co-worker Sal, who'd been thoughtful enough to call to wake me Wednesday(?) morning with some goofy little toy singing "Happy Birthday To You" over the phone.

Saturday - Got to watch Notre Dame unveil the dynamic duo, Tate and Kamara, and Sharpley showed that us old guys still got it.

Sunday - Lou and Julie and I watched the Bears game while Kim and Janett shopped. They brought home a cake, which we took to Steffie and Mark's to share. (and I got some presents) I'd talked to Jase Sunday morning when we didn't have any plans, and he sounded uncertain about coming over, he was a little under the weather. Well, if Jase, Dee, or Joey see this, we saved you some cake. But I don't know how long Mark can withstand temptation.

My baby bouncing boy, Noah, apparently placed a higher value on a Weird Al concert in Champaign with his buddy Chad, than he did on celebrating one of a few remaining birthdays with his dear old Dad. That's OK, Noah you're still in the will, if I had one.