Closing Thought–02Sep20

Look! Up In the Sky…..it’s a bird….it’s a plane…holy crap it is some dude with a jet pack…..

“We just passed a guy in a jet pack.” Those were the words from an American Airlines pilot approaching Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday night, and they have prompted an investigation. Another pilot also reported seeing a man in a jet pack at 3,000 feet; the first pilot said he was just 300 yards to the plane’s left. The FBI and the FAA are probing the incident, the New York Times reports. In what is perhaps the most unsurprising observation of the week, one expert notes it’s “very dangerous” to fly that close to a plane, not to mention illegal without FAA approval. He notes that among the many risks, the person could get “ingested” into the engine. The same expert says he does not think it’s likely the pilots were mistaken, and a second expert echoes that to CBS LA, noting pilots are trained to spot a situation exactly like this.

However, jet packs have so far only been able to make short flights, and not that many companies make them. One Jetman Dubai pilot flew almost 6,000 feet into the air using a jet pack earlier this year, but the flight only lasted three minutes. A company near LA does, in fact, sell a jet pack that can get 15,000 feet high and fly for 10 minutes, but it does not sell them for recreational use. Its founder says he would guess the pilots actually spotted a drone: “The likelihood of a real turbine-powered jet pack taking off from the LA area, getting up to 3,000 feet, maneuvering long enough to be sighted by two airliners and then coming back down and landing—it’s very, very low,” he said. “The other thing is that they’re pretty noisy so we haven’t had, as far I know yet, any reports of people on the ground or any cell phone footage from people on the ground seeing this thing take off and land, which is weird.”

This could make you swear off the gin on flights.

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Legal “Black Holes” Of Outer Space

Since the inception of the newest military branch in the US, the Space Force, I have been trying to get people to see the legal implications of so-called space exploration.

First to me this “Force” will be more about occupation than exploration.

I have written several times about the treaties and the legal aspects of this force in operation in space.

https://lobotero.com/2019/04/12/space-law/

https://lobotero.com/2019/07/16/space-law-part-2/

For those that cannot read…..a couple of short videos…..

 
The US among other international players have signed this treaty…..
 
By adopting the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty (OST) as an analytical framework in relation to the rise of the so-called US ‘NewSpace’ actors, this essay argues that there are significant legal ambiguities regarding the status of private space companies in orbital space. Such loopholes allow the US government to circumvent its own obligations to the OST, whilst simultaneously undermining the notion of space as a ‘global commons’ through a commodification process. The lack of specificity within the OST surrounding private property rights over extra-terrestrial resources risks the prospect of reinforcing Earth-bound wealth inequalities and US dominance in space, by restricting the potential economic benefits for the broader global citizenry in favour of a narrow class of wealthy American investors. Moreover, the OST’s weak clause regarding the regulation of space surveillance risks the incentivisation of a ‘global panopticon’ network of US satellites. The rise of dual-use technology is blurring the boundaries between military and civilian observations, raising serious ethical concerns over the nature of US space-based data collection. Finally, the increasing number of private satellite constellations is facilitating the possibility of cataclysmic space debris collisions which could exacerbate geopolitical tensions. Such developments are also contributing towards the contamination of the broader space environment in ways that the OST had never envisioned.
 
This could open up the SciFi scenario of corporations owning space…..
 
Also the treaty forbade the placing of weapons of offensive style in space…but that has stopped NO one…..
… corporate media repeated U.S. military propaganda: that Russia had “tested new technologies that could lead to so-called ‘killer satellites’” (ABC); the U.S. and Britain “accused Russia of testing a weapon-like projectile in space that could be used to target satellites in orbit” (BBC); “the US has publicly accused Russia of testing an ‘orbit weapon’” (CNN); “The launch could represent a step towards the militarisation of space”(Sky News); and so on.
 
These reports invert the chronology of events and omit the U.S. agenda to dominate space. Like China’s verified destruction of its own weather satellite in 2007, Russia’s alleged maneuvers in space are—if true—a response to what the Pentagon calls “Full Spectrum Dominance”: “dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. interests and investment.” This was a Clinton-era doctrine (1993-2001) which continues into the present. The Bush administration (2001-09) extended the policy, going from domination to “ownership”: Like the battles of old, “whoever owned the high ground owned the fight.” So-called Ballistic Missile Defense, which is supposedly designed counter nuclear weapons-carrying ICBMs, are actually missiles with the potential for first-strike capacity.

The Space Wars Have Begun

It appears that all signatories of the 1967 treaty have forgotten their pledge that space would be developed for all of mankind…..now they are just weaponizing space as quickly as possible.

Time to make these players live up to the treaty they signed all those years ago.

After I completed this draft news cam out about our new Space Force……they now have a doctrine published…..

The Space Force has three guiding responsibilities, according to the document. They are:

  • Preserve freedom of action 
  • Enable joint lethality and effectiveness
  • Provide independent options

“The United States’ ability to project and employ national power is predicated on access to space. Therefore, unfettered access to and freedom to operate in space is a vital national interest,” the document says.

But read the doctrine for yourself…DO NOT take my word for it….

Click to access Space%20Capstone%20Publication_10%20Aug%202020.pdf

Amazing what crap you can sell if you wrap it in the “national security blanket”……

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“lego ergo scribo”

My Foreign Policy

I get grief sometimes when I say that I cannot vote for any of the major candidates…..usually they blame me for their candidate losing…..I wish I had that power.

I have stated many times that for me foreign policy is the most important issue for any election…..so let me explain my issues…..

I have written that I am antiwar and that I support the efforts of some to end the endless war and interventions for regime change….but I have seldom gone deeper…..I shall do so now so that anyone that is interested in where I stand and write from can to caught up to date…..

I think of myself as a “rationalist” in foreign policy……A theoretical qualification to the pessimism of realism and the idealism of liberal internationalism. Rationalists view states as comprising an international society, not merely an international system. States come to be a part of an international society by accepting that various principles and institutions govern the way in which they conduct their foreign relations. In doing so, it can be argued, states also display a commitment to the idea that it is inappropriate to promote the national interest without any regard for international law and morality.

I guess I could be called a “Restrainer” in foreign policy as well…..to put the policy in simple terms…..it would be easier to understand what restrainers don’t want. They don’t want endless wars, bloated military budgets, and security commitments that keep expanding, but are never seriously debated or approved by the public.

But for those that would like a deeper look into this form of foreign policy…..I leave it to “Responsible Statecraft”……

1. Restrainers Want Continued U.S. Economic and Diplomatic Engagement. Critics often claim that restrainers are isolationists, a bogus charge intended to marginalize their views and stifle debate before it starts. In fact, restrainers recognize that the United States benefits from trade, investment, tourism, and other mutually beneficial interactions with other countries, and they know that Washington must work with foreign powers to address a number of significant global problems. For these reasons, restrainers reject a return to “Fortress America” and want the United States to remain fully present in today’s world.

2. Restrainers Want a Broad and Honest Debate. In recent years, public debate on foreign policy and national security has been dominated by those who believe that American power—and especially military power—is the optimal solution to most foreign policy challenges. As Zack Beauchamp of Vox.com observes, “Washington’s foreign policy debate tends to be mostly conducted between the center and the right. The issue is typically how much force America should use rather than whether it should use it at all.” 

3. Restrainers Want Realistic Foreign Policy Goals. Instead of engaging in costly and futile efforts to remake the world in our image, restrainers want U.S. foreign policy to pursue more feasible objectives. The U.S. military must be strong enough to deter attacks on the U.S. homeland, a task that is relatively easy to accomplish. When necessary, the United States can also help other states uphold the balance of power and deter war in a few key strategic areas  outside the Western Hemisphere. America’s economic clout will also give Washington considerable influence over the institutions that manage trade, investment and other beneficial forms of international cooperation, and it should use that influence to ensure these institutions are working properly. But the United States has neither the need, the capacity, nor the wisdom to conduct massive social engineering projects (“nation-building”) in deeply divided and conflict prone societies, and it should cease trying.

4. Restrainers Want Credible Foreign Commitments. The United States keeps taking on new security obligations in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, but it rarely debates their wisdom or value. Americans are now formally committed to defending more countries around the world than at any time in U.S. history, even though some of these states are hard to defend, have little strategic importance for the United States, and sometimes act in ways that damage U.S. interests. Washington is also engaged in less visible military activities in dozens of other countries, some of them shrouded in secrecy. Yet anytime U.S. leaders contemplate trimming these obligations, alarmists warn that the slightest reduction in America’s global presence will undermine U.S. credibility, embolden rivals, and lead to catastrophe. Having allowed itself to become overextended, the United States ends up fighting endless wars in places with no strategic value in order to convince allies and adversaries that it will still fight in places of greater importance.

5. Restrainers Want Business-like Relations with All Countries and Special Relations with None. In his Farewell Address, George Washington famously warned against “passionate attachments” to foreign powers. His wise counsel still rings true today. No two states have identical interests, and no U.S. allies are so valuable or virtuous to deserve generous U.S. support no matter what they do. Restrainers believe the U.S. should support its allies when doing so makes the United States more secure or prosperous, and distance itself from those allies when they act in ways that are contrary to our interests and values.

6. Restrainers Want More Diplomacy and Less Coercion. Over the past two decades, Washington has repeatedly tried to compel weaker powers to do its bidding by issuing ultimatums, imposing sanctions, and in some cases, unleashing its superior military power. Yet even weak opponents have repeatedly refused to knuckle under to U.S. pressure, because they cared more about the interests at stake and Washington typically refused to compromise at all. Even when Washington was able to overthrow a weaker adversary, the result was a failed state, a costly occupation, or both.

7. Restrainers Want U.S. Allies to Bear a Fair Share of Defense Burdens. The United States currently spends roughly 4 percent of GDP on the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and other national security missions, while allies like Germany or Japan spend a little more than 1 percent. U.S. leaders have complained about this disparity for decades, but their efforts have failed to convince these wealthy allies to do more.

8. Restrainers Want to Set a Good Example for Others. Restrainers are committed to classic liberal values—representative government, a market-based economy, the rule of law, and basic human rights—but they believe trying to impose these principles on others is likely to backfire.  Indeed, democracy is now in retreat around the world, and the United States is deeply polarized and increasingly dysfunctional. When The Economist Magazine’s annual “Democracy Index” downgrades the United States from the category of “full democracy” to “flawed democracy,” as it did in 2017, it’s a clear sign that something has gone badly awry.

None of this is harder than it appears……this type of foreign policy would go a long way at ending the crappy world that we, the US, helped to create.

There you have it……this is where I stand on foreign policy.

Do you know how hard it is to find a candidate that embraces these issues….for that matter some of these issues?

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“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Biden’s Foreign Policy

We are now in the midst of the 2020 election….we have the two major candidates and a few on the fringes…….and soon we will be making our mark in the booth……

I have said that I am not a supporter of the Biden/Harris ticket….and NO that does not mean that I would EVER vote for Donald the Orange.

My biggest concern is the foreign policies of the candidates…..and as I promised I will take a look at the Biden policies….

To begin with….all the talk about ending wars…but is Biden a Dove or a Hawk?

Now that Joe Biden is the Democratic presidential nominee, pundits, foreign policy analysts, and campaign beat reporters will be spending time between now and Nov. 3 deciphering how a hypothetical President Biden views the world, as well as America’s place in it. As is usually the case during campaign season, this crucial storyline will be trivialized into two neat camps. His detractors will label the former vice president as a member of an establishment class that brought us such luminary disasters such as the Iraq War and the 19-year-long war in Afghanistan. Biden’s supporters will try to convince voters that an incoming Biden administration will be calm, thoughtful, and deliberative.

Let no one tell you otherwise: Biden is no dove. His record as a senator is eerily similar to a classic liberal internationalist.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/joe-bidens-foreign-policy-hawk-or-dove

I agree……Biden is a Hawk….regardless what he lies about…..misadventures will continue if he is elected….

With Joe Biden leading in the polls and Republicans in trouble in the Senate, progressives are hoping for the sort of political revolution that Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 landslide over Barry Goldwater delivered. Biden has raced left, abandoning many of the positions which gave him his moderate reputation. If victorious, the aging, oft befuddled candidate seems likely to reign rather than govern, allowing energetic left-wing activists to drive his agenda.

However, while the portside shift is pronounced on domestic issues, Biden has made few concessions on foreign policy. Although an advocate of lower troop levels in Afghanistan, he backed the Iraq War and showed no dissent to the Obama administration’s other Middle Eastern misadventures.

Other than denounce the vile Saudi regime and promise to re-engage Iran, he has given no indication that his foreign policy would look radically different in substance than that of President Donald Trump. Rather, the Democrat’s focus is style and image. Biden promises to be much nicer to America’s cheap-riding allies, which likely means increasing subsidies for, deployments to, and entanglements with prosperous, populous countries that prefer to rely on Washington than spend their own money on their own defense. For reasons obvious only to themselves, self-avowed progressives have adopted this for their agenda as well.

Imagine a President Joe Biden: What Would be a Progressive Foreign Policy?

As a Progressive I would like to see more emphasis on diplomacy and less on armed conflict to settle disputes…..I still do not see a Biden presidency a break with the warmongering of the past….and Harris is no better.

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“lego ergo scribo”