Friday, 29 January 2016

U.S. Debt $19 Trillion and Counting…

The USA is saddled with a $19 trillion debt and it is counting. Statistics show that all empires over the centuries have suffered this fate and as a result collapsed from economic fatigue.

The United States of America is going over the top and heading to decline largely because of its overstretch of the military industrial complex. The US has well over 1,000 military bases around the world.

In a public lecture in Canada’s capital on January 23rd, titled ‘Does history repeat itself?’ Bulgarian-born political science Professor Ivaylo Grouev of the University of Ottawa addressed an audience of 60.

Monies that are urgently needed for the repair of crumbling infrastructure, health care, affordable housing, education, science and dealing with climate change are just not there because of twisted priorities that are leading the country to the brink of disaster.

Professor Grouev focussed sharply on this one variable because he found it was one of the critical ones for explaining the collapse of empires over the centuries.

The discussion that followed after the lecture and on the internet showed that the one variable theme was indeed dumbfounding and scary. Will the US continue on its doomed hegonomic path or will it reform and change its course from being a super power to that of a regional state? That is the trillion dollar question.

Public reaction varied from outstanding material (‘very important data to have’) to that of denial and excuse of needing ‘a balanced’ debate with other factors. This ‘balanced debate’ appears to be an excuse for being politically correct and being afraid to shake up the status quo. For some, to question US as a world bully is ‘rank heresy’. It is time to speak truth to power.

Image saved from financialsensearchive.com
on Pinterest.com and U.S. color changed to red.

Following feedback and comments, Professor Grouev responded:

'Thank you for your feedback and comments. I agree with you — the lecture was too long and unfortunately at the expense of the Q&A section. I also agree that there are many important questions to be analysed while discussing the rise and fall of empires and hegemonic powers. The list is long, however, just a few elements: decline in morals and values, political corruption, agricultural/economic decline, inflationary spiral, level of unemployment, the role of the colonial elites, military spending/military overstretch.

'My lecture was about the last variable, namely (a) Is the current US military overstretch leading to economic weakness, yes or no, in my mind yes, and (b) In the context of the neo-liberal model, is the tax base in the US eroding as a result of the competition coming from China (etc), yes or no? In my mind yes.

'These two variables can provide a satisfactory answer as to how long the uni-polar moment may last. Based on the data on excessive military spending I may argue — not that long. Of course things may change, US may become again a powerful regional, however not a global power as it used to be in 19th century, after the Monroe doctrine. It is known that all empires have their expansion and contraction phases. In my humble opinion the answer to your 19 trillion question lay with Asia, more specifically with China.

'Hope this may help.'

We now come back to the question, ‘Does history repeat itself?’ What do you think?

George Bernard Shaw once stated: ‘We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.’

Tariq Ali, British, Pakistani historian said: ‘We live, after all, in a world where illusions are sacred and truth is profane.’

This is only a summary of a large, but important topic for our world community. Let's respect the truth as sacred.

More
  1. Andrew Bacevich. ‘The Top Six Global Threats the Presidential Candidates Are Never Asked About.’ Common Dreams, January 26, 2016.
  2. Global Military Spending Facts : A Collection of Sourced & Verifiable Facts on Global Military Spending, The Humanity Campaign.
  3. Peter Koenig. 'The World Economic Forum  Financial Collapse Or Not Collapse  That Is The Question.' Information Clearing House, January 28, 2016.
  4. Koozma J. Tarasoff. 'Do U.S. Bases Threaten World Peace?' Spirit Wrestlers Website, January 20, 2012. 
  5. The Corbett Report. 'How Big Oil Conquered the World.' Sept. 1, 2015. Video on YouTube, 1' 11''.
  6. The Corbett Report. '9/11 Trillions: Follow the Money.' Sept. 11, 2015. Video on YouTube, 1'.
  7. Paul Craig Roberts. 'The West Is Travelling The Road To Economic Ruin.' Information Clearing House, Feb. 1, 2016.
  8. Johan Galtung. The Fall of the US Empire  And Then What? Transcend University Press, 2009.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Doukhobor solution for Middle East?

I was recently asked how the Doukhobor position of nonkilling could help solve the current Middle East situation of terrorism and war. The nonkilling paradigm has been developed extensively by Dr. Glenn D. Paige of the Center for Global Nonkilling.

The West typically uses military might to crush the Islamic State and take over the oil resources. The result in Iraq has been an illegal war and a complete quagmire just as in the earlier Vietnam War.

Summary data from the Information Clearing House about recent costs of wars with Iraq and Afghanistan (Middle East) to the West are alarming:
The situation in the Middle East is complex with many political, economic and religious players actively involved. The solution of creating a culture of peace is not immediate, but it is a step in the right direction.

Historically Spirit Wrestlers / Doukhobors have taken an absolutist stance against the institution of militarism and war. They have argued that there is a spirit of love/God/beauty in all of us. Therefore it is wrong to kill another human being. They proclaimed this nonkilling stance by doing a mass burning of guns in Tsarist Russia in June of 1895. The result was persecution and the migration of one-third of the most persecuted group to Canada in 1899.

Just think how much the Middle East would be better off if bombs and missiles were destroyed and the moneys redirected from military hardware to building houses, roads, public transit, free universal medicine and education, providing clean water, supporting scientific research, creating new parks and helping with the transition to a carbon-free energy supply? The Doukhobor solution promises a new era in human development.

The situation in Canada with a new Liberal Government and an economic downturn may be conducive to providing a peace dividend to the country. Hopefully the new government will not cave into the pressures of the military industrial complex, sensational media, and Conservative mindset.

In my opinion, Doukhobors (and probably most concerned Canadians) would support the intent of the following two writers who propose nonkilling solutions:

Jim Cooperman. Switch spending from military to helping citizens, Opt Ed, Ottawa Citizen, January 18, 2016: page C5.

Cooperman, an antiwar activist from the 1960s, is an environmentalist and author who presently lives on a rural property above Shuswap Lake, British Columbia. He concludes his article with:
Canadians can help by encouraging the new Liberal government to replace bombs with diplomacy, bullets with books, jets with better social programs and warships with programs to address the dangers of climate change.

Paul Maillet. Open Letter: 'A coherent Mid East strategy'. January 19, 2016.

As a retired Colonel in the Canadian Airforce, Paul Maillet is now a co-chair of the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Department of Peace Initiative. Also he heads the Paul Maillet Center for Ethics. In this Open Letter, Maillet supports the values of peace, nonviolence, compassion and respect, and shows how these values can be achieved by a new peace strategy encompassing all the possibilities of peace building, peacemaking, and peace keeping. He concludes with these words to Canadian politicians:
No matter how intractable, there is always something positive we can do. The over 500 million dollars we have spent on bombing, could have gone a very long way to saving countless lives with this approach. I believe that it is time we rebuild institutions for peace operations in Canada. I believe it is time to earn the two Nobel peace prizes we have for peacekeeping. We can become a leader in next generation evolution of peacekeeping and peacemaking and peace building operations and practices. We can regain our place in the world as a country for peace. This is only a question of courage and values.
More

YouTube video clip: I didn't raise My Boy to be a Soldier —the first anti-war hit record. 3.08" The  song in the video is 100 years old.

Year-end Newsletter 2015

Dear Friends,

Seeking good health, visits with family and friends, travel, photography, and working to create a culture of peace has occupied our time in the past year.


The last week of 2015 was a very memorable warm and wonderful vacation in Cuba with family and friends (909 photos). The island is a social experiment promoting an equitable society. Did you know that Cuban police do not carry guns? Why? Because drugs are absent. People feel very safe.

Koozma’s trip to Saskatchewan in summer was an opportunity to show two of his grandchildren (Nicholas and Elena) the places where the Tarasoff ancestors lived, worked and went to school. It was also a time to introduce the children to cousins, uncles and aunts and see my brother John in Saskatoon.

Being an activist, writer and photographer for the annual Ottawa Peace Festival was again a challenge. ‘Peacing together the Canada we want’ was part of a larger frame in which we create an image of the future where we can live in a peaceful world with a friendly attitude to the environment. Our important work continues to ensure that our planet and its peoples will survive.

Reviewing books and plays, answering questions, working on an eBook of Biographies, and with webmaster Andrei Conovaloff (Arizona, USA) has kept Koozma busy. Our mission continues to be to search for truth and a nonkilling future.

With Kristina and her daughter Milena, Koozma visited New York City in the spring. We did a lot of walking — visited the Guggenheim Museum, went to the top of Empire State Building, and visited the World Trade Center site of 9/11. On 57th Street, we took pictures of the famous Carnegie Hall where Kristina in the fall of 1963 danced with the Koutev Bulgarian National Ensemble (State Ensemble for Folk Song and Dance) and toured 25 USA states and Canada.

In this 1963 Program at University of Michigan she performed as a soloist in many dances.

Kristina continues to work part-time on Saturday mornings as Site Administrator with the International Languages Program of the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) Continuing and Community Education Department, serving over 230 students.

Kristina’s daughter Milena teaches music in Ottawa, while Orlin, Kristina’s son in Sofia, Bulgaria, is working as a musician / composer.

Lev continues to teach physics at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John’s. He commutes to Guelph, Ontario as needed; his wife Dorothee Bienzle teaches at the University of Guelph. Their son Jaspar is now studying at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, while daughter Katya continues to be a good student and a soccer athlete.

Koozma’s daughter Tamara continues to work for Parks Canada, while her husband John travels widely and works for Heritage Canada. Their son Nicholas is studying at C├ęgep Heritage College in Gatineau, while daughter Elena goes to Philemon Wright School. All are good students and active in sports.

Kristina and Koozma have maintained close contact with family and friends including several Bulgarian families in Ottawa. We were delighted to be guests of the beautiful weddings of the children of friends — Arinka, the daughter of Kalinka and Aram Naltchadjian, and Luba — the daughter of Tatiana and Mike Raytchev. These two events radiate beauty of Love and Happiness to all of us! Direct visits, emails, telephone and Skype connections give us an opportunity to maintain ties across the country and abroad.

Together we wish all our dear friends the best of good health, creativity, love, joy and happiness in 2016.

Koozma J. Tarasoff and Kristina Kristova, 882 Walkley Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1V 6R5, Canada. Emails: kjtarasoff@gmail.com and k.kristova1@gmail.com

Previous Year-end Newsletters : 2014 — 2013 — 2012 — 2011 — 2010 — 2009